[digg-reddit-me]“We are the Democratic party.”
I really hate to use profanity like this on the blog – but I think it is called for under the circumstances. The New York Times is reporting that:
…influential fund-raisers for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton have stepped up their behind-the-scenes pressure on national party leaders to resolve the matter, with some even threatening to withhold their donations to the Democratic National Committee unless it seats the delegates from the two states or holds new primaries there.
According to the Times article, Ms. Clinton’s donors have donated just under $300,000 to the Democratic National Committee – and they are threatening to stop supporting the Democratic party if the DNC doesn’t cave in to their demands. I have some hope that Howard Dean will not give in to Ms. Clinton’s bullying. But he undeniably is being pressured, bullied, strong-armed. And big donors today have an outsize influence in the DNC.
So far, the DNC has been lagging behind the Republican National Committee in fundraising. This is exceptional considering the money advantage both Ms. Clinton and Mr. Obama have had over any of the Republican presidential candidates. I support the DNC – and no matter who the Democratic presidential candidate is, and no matter who wins in November, I want a strong Democratic party.
But today, I am donating to show that Ms. Clinton’s backers do not own the Democratic party. I may not be able to donate $63,500 like Paul Cejas – and I won’t try to hold the Democratic party hostage to my personal views. But I am donating $50.00 right now to make a point. I hope you can show your support as well.
Mr. Dean has not taken sides in the current primary battle – but is trying to enforce the rules that Ms. Clinton and Mr. Obama explicitly and publicly agreed to last year. Ms. Clinton’s backers are now trying to bully the DNC to break the rules and hand Ms. Clinton the nomination against the will of those people who have voted so far.
This is outrageous. We are the Democratic party. Let’s show Hillary’s big money pals whose party this is.
(I am not a big fan of Ms. Clinton – but I don’t hate her. This post is not about Ms. Clinton herself – but about my outrage at the tactics of her supporters. Shame on them.
And Ms. Clinton – if you don’t condemn these anti-democratic and anti-Democratic tactics, shame on you.)
Updated: Let me be clear – I support Barack Obama in the primary – and have since before he won more states, more delegates, and more votes than Ms. Clinton. But if Ms. Clinton were in the position Mr. Obama was in – I would not want Mr. Obama to win by extortion.
The Drudge Report is highlighting the news – which means that it will likely dominate the news cycle tomorrow. Obviously, most commentators will say that the tactics of the Clinton campaign are wrong. But nothing would prove them wrong more than a donation to the DNC – allowing the Democratic party to ignore the powerful individuals who are trying to hijack the party.
3rd update: NJ Mom over at dKos interprets the story in much the same way:
I’ve been concerned for a while that the Obama/Clinton contest is becoming a surrogate battle between the Dean and McAuliffe wings of the DNC. It is a battle between those that believe in the “important states” vs. “the other 40”, between DLCers and DFAers, between an addiction to corporate/special interest money and those that believe that small donors in vast numbers are democracy at its most powerful.
What I read in the NYT today, makes me concerned that McAuliffe and those that he represents are trying to ambush Dean using Clinton donors.
The NetRoots helped Dean get where he is today. With the DNC coffers very low right now, he is under attack. He needs us.
N.B. This post was written in the midst of an obviously contentious election campaign – one in which I had strongly considered supporting Senator Clinton but after careful evaluation, had come to the conclusion that Barack Obama was the only candidate suited to our current challenges. While I stand by the content of the post, in retrospect, the tone is a bit overheated.