No snarky commentary on the Bush chest bump at the Air Force Academy graduation yet?
I’m very disappointed.
UPDATE BY BRENDAN: Here’s a photo of the bump in question:
(Via the Denver Post.) Heh.
Glenn Reynolds weighs in on an illegal, deadly aphrodisiac: "Others may see things differently, but to me there’s a big gap between ‘toad venom’ and ‘feeling sexy.’" As Glenn himself would say: Indeed.
This comes on the heels on Tucker Carlson’s disturbing relevations about his sex life, vis a vis the veepstakes:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The VP story is a little bit like sex,Ã¢â‚¬Â observes Tucker Carlson, the
writer and NBC political analyst who falls into the skeptic column.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s happening, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re totally focused on it, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all you want.
Then, the second itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s over, you can barely remember why it seemed so
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It happens, there are fireworks for 30 seconds, Ã¢â‚¬Ëœ[AP’s Ron] FournierÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s
got it Ã¢â‚¬â€ itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s JACK KEMP!Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬Â
According to Wikipedia, Tucker is married with four children, so I’m guessing he doesn’t really yell out "JACK KEMP!" in the heat of passion. But who knows. I suppose some women would find it sexier than toad venom, at least. Though, if there’s a bow-tie involved as well, toad venom might be preferable.
Hillary Clinton just sent this e-mail out to supporters; boldface in original:
This Sunday, voters in Puerto Rico will go to the polls and make their voices
heard — the first time the island has played such a vital role in selecting our
party’s nominee. At this critical moment, I am depending on you to help me make
sure they have a choice. We are depending on the voters of Puerto Rico
in our fight to secure the nomination.
She goes on to say that "this race is up to the voters, and I’m
going to keep fighting for every last vote," and that "over the next four days, we have the
opportunity to make history in the Puerto Rico primary — and win the national
primary vote by redoubling our efforts."
That some very interesting language there: "national primary vote." Is she trying (again) to exclude all caucuses now, even the ones that report popular-vote tallies? I thought Hillary said we must have a nominee based on 50 states! Now she seems to be suggesting that she can claim victory based on the popular vote in 37 states, two territories and the District of Columbia. Hmm.
Needless to say, that’s ridiculous, and nobody would take such a tally seriously. However, as I’ve pointed out before, Hillary does have a shot at an arguably plausible "victory" in the tally of all states and territories — leaving aside that the "popular vote" is an inherently illegitimate metric — but, in order to get it, she’d need a Puerto Rico margin of between 113,000 and 268,000 votes, depending on how you do the Michigan math. The best magic number for her to aim for is probably 177,000; that margin would give her a shot at catching Obama in the count that includes all the caucus states and Florida and Michigan, and gives Obama the "Uncommitted" vote in Michigan. (To win without Michigan, she’d need 268,000+.)
Of course, I realize that the notion of a popular-vote victory fundamentally premised on a Puerto Rico blowout is a contentious issue. But I’m not wading into the pros and cons right now — been there, done that. I just wanted to point out, for whatever it’s worth, that the Clinton campaign has now made it explicitly clear that they are "depending on" Puerto Rico.
Today’s e-mail missive from the Obama campaign, by the way, states as follows:
three contests remain in the Democratic primary.
Voters head to the polls in Puerto Rico on Sunday, followed by South Dakota
and Montana on Tuesday.
After more than four dozen contests, Barack has won the most votes, the most
delegates, and more than half the states. But we still need 48 delegates to
secure the nomination.
We’re fighting in these critical states and making the preparations necessary
to take on Senator McCain.
That language, "these critical states," is intriguing. Are they sloppily declaring Puerto Rico a "state," or are they implying that South Dakota and Montana and the only "critical" contests remaining? We report, you decide.
P.S. Hillary’s memo to the superdelegates sheds some light on that "national primary vote" line:
[W]hen the primaries are finished, I expect to lead in the popular vote and in delegates earned through primaries. Ultimately, the point of our primary process is to pick our strongest
nominee Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the one who would be the best President and Commander in
Chief, who has the greatest support from members of our party, and who
is most likely to win in November. So I hope you will consider not just
the strength of the coalition backing me, but also that more people
will have cast their votes for me.
So, "more delegates earned through primaries" = "more people have cast their votes for me." So she is advancing a metric that explicitly ignores the will of the voters in 13 states. Fantastic!
The problem with this approach goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, since Hillary Clinton appears committed to leaving no childish lie behind, no asinine argument unmade, no deceptive bit of rhetorical nonsense unstated in her endless assault upon reason, logic and truth. So, here goes:
It’s one thing to claim that caucuses are undemocratic, unrepresentative, unfair, and generally, well, bad. That’s a perfectly defensible position. However, it’s the sort of argument that you make in the course of trying to reform the system,
for example by convincing caucus states to switch over to primaries.
Hillary did not do this — indeed, she played lip service to
the glory of the caucus process in Iowa specifically, in order to
pander to those voters — and now, instead, she wants to simply ignore
the results from those states, because of their "undemocratic" process. Well, guess what? I know something that’s more undemocratic than having a caucus: not having an election at all! Yet that’s exactly what caucus states are reduced to — electoral non-entities that effectively did not vote — if you count only the states that held primaries.
That’s without even getting into the fact that, coincidentally, pretty much all of the demographically Hillary-friendly states held primaries (and indeed, several of them got "bonus" delegates for voting late in the process), whereas a bunch of demographically Obama-friendly states held caucuses. So the "delegates earned through primaries" are hardly a fair or representative sample of the country. If all states had held primaries, Obama’s pledged-delegate lead would be narrower (because his percentage margins in the caucus states would have been smaller), but he’d still be ahead, not behind as in Hillary’s phony metric (because he still would have won those states). Moreover, Obama’s popular-vote lead would be wider (because his raw vote margins in the caucus states would have been larger, since vastly more people would have voted). This is all hypothetical and speculative, of course, but it has a firmer basis in reality than Hillary’s utter, shameless nonsense.
And then, of course, there are the contradictions inherent in Hillary’s position. For example, Michigan’s primary was also incredibly undemocratic, unrepresentative and unfair, since only one major candidate was on the ballot, and since most voters didn’t bother to show up (or voted in the other party’s primary) because they knew the primary didn’t count. Yet Hillary wants to count that undemocratic primary — in fact, she wants to give herself a Soviet-style 328,309 to zero victory in it — while simultaneously excluding all the caucuses, which (unlike Michigan) fully complied with the rules, on the basis that they are undemocratic. Obviously, that makes no sense.
But then, we’re well beyond the point where we should expect Hillary Clinton to make sense, or be internally consistent, or remotely rational, or morally defensible, in her pursuit of power. So I guess I’m just wasting my breath.
P.P.S. In case anyone’s wondering, here is the full list of states whose voters are disenfranchised by Hillary’s "delegates earned through primaries" metric for ascertaining the popular will: Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii (gee, do you think Obama would have won by a huge popular-vote landslide in a primary there?), Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Washington and Wyoming. Needless to say, with the possible exception of Nevada, every single one of those is an Obama-friendly state, and if they’d held primaries, he almost certainly — given the "demography is destiny" nature of this campaign — would have won ‘em all.
Any method of counting the votes (or the delegates) that excludes any of these states is inherently and facially illegitimate, and the fact that she would even attempt to make such an offensive argument is itself a independently sufficient reason to deny her the nomination.
CNN Breaking News: "A judge has ruled that the Democratic National Committee has the right to determine whether to seat Florida delegates."
Meanwhile, DNC lawyers say the Rules & Bylaws Committee cannot seat more than half of the delegates. I’m skeptical of this, and so is DemConWatch, which muses, "I haven’t seen the analysis, but I thought the RBC was free to come up
with any solution they wanted. And I’m curious - if the RBC comes up
with a solution that the DNC lawyers don’t like - what is the DNC going
to do? Sue its own RBC committee?"
That said, the lawyers’ memo may provide crucial political cover for the RBC members to reject Hillary’s proposal (which they almost certainly want to reject anyway, for reasons I explained before). Thanks to the memo, instead of actively choosing to "disenfranchise" Florida and Michigan, they can simply say, "Sorry, but the lawyers told us we have to!"