The RBC‘s decision set a precedent that is very dangerous. We cannot let it continue to stand.
The rule the RBC created that required a 50% reduction penalty to FL and MI most of us were expecting. They made a gross error in judgment in 2007 when they chose to exercise the “nuclear option,” so=to=speak, by using their discretion to penalize both FL and MI by removing 100% of their delegates at the Nominating Convention. The committee’s decision to reverse that for the lesser penalty is not the issue that Hillary Clinton supporters and others interested in seeing our party’s charter found disturbing.
The principles of enfranchisement and fair representation have been a party of our party for a long time now. In Bush v. Gore 2000, we argued to the U.S. Supreme Court that every vote in Florida should count and that every vote should reflect the will of the voter.
Is there any more substantial way to reflect the will of the voter(s) than to allocate delegates based on actual votes cast?
I don’t think so, but the RBC apparently did. The “compromise” drafted by the MI group did not follow our party’s rules or reflect fair representation as I understand it. The idea that the RBC’s decision to let actual votes cast be trumped by opinion polls or exit polls and, worse, party pols who divined which candidate a voter might have voted for had they actually cast a vote and, even worse than that, took into consideration (somehow) sealed write-in votes that were declared invalid by the MI Secretary of State, is, as Harold Ickes said, stunning (and not in a good way, either). That we took delegates from UNDECIDED/UNALLOCATED, which is an accepted delegate category for our party and this nation and allocated votes and delegates to a candidate that was only one of several that took their names off the ballot. That we took delegates based on actual votes cast and reallocated them from the candidate for which they were cast to a candidate that same candidate that was not on the ballot.
This goes well beyond the affirmative action exercise this year’s primary calendar became. We disenfranchised voters. We manipulated elections according to our own BELIEFS about what we think the voters might have intended had they voted or voted legally. We gave voters who didn’t vote credit for votes they didn’t cast, and took credit away from the voters who did vote by not allocating their votes as cast.
We were the party in 2000, Bush v. Gore, that told the U.S. Supreme Court to “count every vote as cast” and “let the vote reflect the will of the voter.” I sat there and watched C-SPAN with my jaw on the floor. I knew they were cutting deals behind the scenes during lunch, that’s just the way things are done. But I could not believe that it was my party doing this. Punishing voters and manipulating elections. I thought that was what Republicans did.
We cannot let this precedent stand. If we do, it will haunt us for many elections to come.