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Saturday, February 09, 2008
What's Up with the Democrats?

I always have to caution myself when analyzing events on the other side of the aisle. We all know how hopelessly badly the liberals tend to understand Republicans; I am humble enough to recognize that in all probability I'm as lousy at handicapping their entries.

Chris Bowers at Open Left says he will leave the Democrats if something happens or doesn't happen, involving the Super Delegates. See if you can figure it out:

This is not a negotiable position. If the Democratic Party does not nominate the candidate for POTUS that the majority (or plurality) of its participants in primaries and caucuses want it to nominate, then I will quit the Democratic Party. If you think this is somehow rejecting the rules and bylaws of the Democratic Party, you are wrong. The fact is that there is nothing in the bylaws of the Democratic Party that dictate how super delegates should vote at the Democratic national convention. In the absence of any legal dictation of how they should vote, I will hold them to the principles that make me a Democrat: as the democratic institution through which internal disputes of the American center-left are resolved. If the Democratic Party fails to respect those principles, and their "super" delegates nominate someone for POTUS other than the person who received the most support during Democratic primaries and caucuses, then I fail to see any reason to continue participating in the Democratic Party. If the Democratic Party is not a democratic institution, then to hell with the Democratic Party.

A champion of Democracy? Errr, no. Obviously this leaves an unsettled question as to quite what Bowers means by "most support during the Democratic primaries and caucuses", as a commenter points out. Chris responds:

A 1% lead or more in pledged delegates from all 50 states and every territory. If it falls in between the plus or minus 1% range, I'll cut some lack. Otherwise, none.

Well, let's go over to the RCP delegates page to see who that means currently.

Hillary leads in total delegates, 1079 to 1017. However, that includes the Super Delegates. If those are excluded, Obama leads barely, by 880-868. It is well-established that in the next few states, Obama will probably do well, so he will widen that lead, but may or may not catch Hillary in the real total.

In the real world, I don't know what the total vote count is so far, but I strongly suspect that Hillary has won more popular votes than Obama, with his big wins in the South and Illinois matched by her victories in the Mid-Atlantic states and California. This site indicates that Hillary has outpolled Obama so far by 8.9 million to 8.4 million. Where's Bowers' pledge to leave the party if it does not abide by the popular vote?

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