Thursday, May 29, 2008

Harold Meyerson Ignores Facts About Clinton's Stand on FL and MI

This morning I got the following from Hillary's Rapid Responders. Unfortunately, their links do not come through on this blog. Here is the address to sign up for these alerts:


Washington Post (DC): Clinton's Two-State Two-Step

By Harold Meyerson

Our Thoughts: It appears that Harold Myerson is taking his journalism cues straight from the Obama campaign. Harold, as a supposedly independent journalist, a little honest research will go a long way.

On Jan 25, 2008, Senator Clinton stated the following in a press release:

“I hear all the time from people in Florida and Michigan that they want their voices heard in selecting the Democratic nominee.

“I believe our nominee will need the enthusiastic support of Democrats in these states to win the general election, and so I will ask my Democratic convention delegates to support seating the delegations from Florida and Michigan. I know not all of my delegates will do so and I fully respect that decision. But I hope to be President of all 50 states and U.S. territories, and that we have all 50 states represented and counted at the Democratic convention.

“I hope my fellow potential nominees will join me in this.

“I will of course be following the no-campaigning pledge that I signed, and expect others will as well.”

She has stated this very same position on numerous occasions:

February 22, 2008:
March 12, 2008:
March 12, 2008:
March 17, 2008:
March 20, 2008:
March 26, 2008:
April 2, 2008:
April 4, 2008:

Harold, please also tell us your source for drawing such an asinine conclusion that “a number of Clinton supporters have come to identify the seating of Michigan and Florida not merely with Clinton's prospects but with the causes of democracy and feminism -- an equation that makes a mockery of democracy and feminism.”

Is fairness in the media too much to ask for? We are pretty clear that independent journalism is out of the question.

Full Article:

On Saturday, when the Rules Committee of the Democratic National Committee meets to determine the fate of Florida and Michigan's delegations to this summer's convention, it will have some company. A group of Hillary Clinton supporters has announced it will demonstrate outside.

That Clinton has impassioned supporters, many of whom link her candidacy to the feminist cause, hardly qualifies as news. And it's certainly true that along the campaign trail Clinton has encountered some outrageously sexist treatment, just as Barack Obama has been on the receiving end of bigoted treatment. (Obama has even been subjected to anti-Muslim bigotry despite the fact that he's not Muslim.) But somehow, a number of Clinton supporters have come to identify the seating of Michigan and Florida not merely with Clinton's prospects but with the causes of democracy and feminism -- an equation that makes a mockery of democracy and feminism.

Clinton herself is largely responsible for this absurdity. Over the past couple of weeks, she has equated the seating of the two delegations with African Americans' struggle for suffrage in the Jim Crow South, and with the efforts of the democratic forces in Zimbabwe to get a fair count of the votes in their presidential election.

Somehow, I doubt that the activists opposing Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe would appreciate this equation.

But the Clintonistas who have called Saturday's demonstration make it sound as if they'll be marching in Selma in support of a universal right to vote. The DNC, says one of their Web sites, "must honor our core democratic principles and enfranchise the people of Michigan and Florida."

Had Florida and Michigan conducted their primaries the way the other 48 states conducted their own primaries and caucuses -- that is, in accord with the very clear calendar laid down by the DNC well before the primaries began -- then Clinton's marchers would be utterly justified in their claims. But when the two states flouted those rules by moving their primaries outside the prescribed time frame, the DNC, which gave neither state a waiver to do so, decreed that their primaries would not count and enjoined all presidential candidates from campaigning in those states. Obama and John Edwards complied with the DNC's dictates by removing their names from the Michigan ballot. Clinton did not.

Seating Michigan in full would mean the party validates the kind of one-candidate election (well, 1.03, to give Dennis Kucinich, Chris Dodd and Mike Gravel, who also remained on the ballot, their due) that is more common in autocracies than democracies. It would mean rewarding the one serious candidate who didn't remove her name from the ballot when all her rivals, in deference to the national party rules, did just that.

What's particularly outrageous is that the Clinton campaign supported the calendar, and the sanctions against Michigan and Florida, until Clinton won those states and needed to have their delegations seated.

Last August, when the DNC Rules Committee voted to strip Florida (and Michigan, if it persisted in clinging to its date) of its delegates, the Clinton delegates on the committee backed those sanctions. All 12 Clinton supporters on the committee supported the penalties. (The only member of the committee to vote against them was an Obama supporter from Florida.) Harold Ickes, a committee member, leading Clinton strategist and acknowledged master of the political game, said, "This committee feels very strongly that the rules ought to be enforced." Patty Solis Doyle, then Clinton's campaign manager, further affirmed the decision. "We believe Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina play a unique and special role in the nominating process," she said, referring to the four states that the committee authorized to hold the first contests. "And we believe the DNC's rules and its calendar provide the necessary structure to respect and honor that role. Thus, we will be signing the pledge to adhere to the DNC-approved nominating calendar."

Not a single Clinton campaign official or DNC Rules Committee member, much less the candidate herself, said at the time that the sanctions imposed on Florida or Michigan were in any way a patriarchal plot or an affront to democratic values. The threat that these rules posed to our fundamental beliefs was discovered only ex post facto -- the facto in question being Clinton's current need to seat the delegations whose seatings she had opposed when she thought she'd cruise to the nomination.

Clinton's supporters have every right to demonstrate on Saturday, of course. But their larger cause is neither democracy nor feminism; it's situational ethics. To insist otherwise is to degrade democracy and turn feminism into the last refuge of scoundrels.

Email the author at

And this is what I wrote to Mr. Meyerson:

Dear Mr. Meyerson:

Is it REALLY too much for the public to expect journalists to fact check anymore? It would certainly SEEM so, at least regarding your article regarding Senator Clinton's "Two-Step" in today's Washington Post. A SIMPLE search would demonstrate that Senator Clinton has been discussing this since JANUARY 25, 2008, in which she spoke out on the importance of NOT disenfranchising TWO STATES.

The level of bias demostrated by your piece is unacceptable. Clinton pushing for ALL VOTES TO BE COUNTED should be seen as a POSITIVE thing, and is something she has done since JANUARY!!! Only the media bias would spin it otherwise. It is not like other states have not had their delegates fully restored by the Rules Committee before, and the "nuclear option" Donna Brazille forced on MI and FL was DISPARATE treatment - IA, NH, and SC ALL broke the rules, received NO punsihment, and only FL and MI - two heavily Clinton states - were penalized in EXCESS of the stated DNC rules (50%). Perhaps if you had enaged in some fact checking, you would have found that Donna Brazille ALSO said on CNN that this has happened before, it gets taken to the Rules COmmittee at the end of May, and that other states had previously had their delegates restored. Gee - too bad THAT didn't make it into your article. No, rather you decided to link this to feminism and to take yet another convoluted route to put down Senator Clinton as a result. This would simply be boorish behavior if you were not a journalist for the Washington Post. As I said above, this level of bias by the media is unacceptable. And your sexist determination that this has lowered the cause of feminisim is ABSURD. It merely highlights your thinly veiled bias.

Senator Clinton is running as an extremely accomplished candidate, and to treat her as anything less than that by trying to diminish her (and other women, for that matter) is reprehensible.

You owe Senator Clinton an apology,. You owe yoru READERS an apology. AND you owe a correction to your factual errors.

The Rev. Amy

No comments: