Saturday, January 12, 2008

Bush Lite: When all else fails, disfranchise your rival's supporters

Because a casino workers' union endorsed Barack Obama, Clinton surrogates have now sued in the state of Nevada to shut down caucus sites originally designated to allow casino employees working on the caucus date (a Saturday!) to participate.

This plan had long been in place. Only when the union endorsed Obama did the Clinton surrogates decide to litigate. The contention seems to be that it is unfair to cluster caucuses near employee workplaces. By this rationale, it is unfair that Manhattan has more voting booths per square mile than Joshua Tree National Park. I recently had an employer that closed on voting days -- this too would be unlawful under the Clintons' lawsuit.

The Nevada Democratic Party and the relevant unions are understandably displeased:

The state party quickly dismissed the lawsuit. Going back to last spring, every presidential campaign was involved in setting up the unusual casino caucus sites while state party officials and the Democratic National Committee ironed out the details. "This is a fair, legal and proper way to choose delegates under established law and legal precedent that has been reviewed by attorneys....The time for comment or complaint has passed," the party said in a statement.

The union was more blunt, contending the arguments are only a political effort to muddy the waters in case Clinton loses. "It's strange [the suit] is coming after our endorsement," said D. Taylor, the secretary-treasurer of the local labor group, told the Washington Post in an interview last night after an Obama rally in his union hall.

They have studied Karl Rove very well.


Flop said...

It's nice to that using the legal system being to suppress voters is a bipartisan trick now. Previously, this was only how Republicans rolled.

What a proud moment for the Democratic Party.

Flop said...

Also, sir. Your headline is erroneous. There's nothing "Lite" about this at all. Bush has been all about using the courts to subvert the will of voters since his first campaign, no?

crimenotes said...

I'm trying to refrain from saying anything like Clintons = Bushes, because even I think there are a lot of similarities, the Bushes have been 1.) far more destructive and 2.) somewhat more brazen. For instance, I suspect that the Bushes wouldn't have bothered with a lawsuit -- they would have merely forced the party to shut down these sites (as is the parties' right). Then again, if the Nevada party was in the Clintons' pocket, I wouldn't have been shocked if they did the same.

To some degree I'm struggling with how to piece this together. Early in the primaries I found myself liking Hillary Clinton and concluded that even if she wasn't the party nominee, I could enthusiastically support her (enthusiasm meaning donate, possibly volunteer). Then the circus came out after Iowa. There have been a lot of fresh reminders of precisely why Bill's administration was so frustrating and why I initially was so frustrated with the prospect of H. Clinton being the party nominee (situational ethics, chronic triangulation, lack of broader "vision," etc.).

Now I'm just trying not to become so bitter that I say to hell with her entirely and cast a protest vote (I think I voted socialist [or maybe Green or communist?] when she was up for [very safe] reelection) in the event that she becomes the nominee, but she isn't making it easy. Still, while they're acting like Bushes, I don't feel like they've hit a point where Clinton = Bush.

Flop said...

No, but this move -- trying to subvert the actual will of legitimate voters simplly based on their likely preference -- is pure Bush. And I think it's perfectly fair to call her on that, leaving aside the other issues. It's a new and depressing low.

Overall, the Clintons are frustrating and better than the Bushes, if only because the Bush administrations have been marked by economic insecurities and war, while the Clinton interregnum was noted for its peace and prosperity (for most).