If Dirty Want His Money, I Think Y'All Should Give Him His Money

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I predict that Steven Ybarra of Sacramento will end this primary as the Democrats' least popular superdelegate. Why?

He says he'll sell his vote for a price. A very high price: $20 million.

Steven Ybarra of Sacramento says that eight-figure price is peanuts for the presidency.

When asked whether it was right to offer what is clearly a quid pro quo, he responded, "yeah, absolutely. People do it all the time," answered Ybarra.

But not in public! And not for $20 million. J.D. Rockefeller bought the Senate for less than that!

Ybarra isn't trying to enrich himself—he's bribing the party to spend money "registering and educating eligible Mexican-American voters, who he calls the key to the White House." It's yet another reminder of how foolhardy the Clintonites sound (or in-kind allies like Rush Limbaugh) when they talk about the small-d democratic values of the primary. There's no election less democratic than a Democratic primary. Wintry, tiny states get godlike powers over the citizens of the other 48. Electoral vote-less places like Guam and Puerto Rico have a say. "Momentum" is almost totally hostage to quirks of the calender—how strong would Obama look now, for example, if Indiana (swing) and Pennsylvania (strong Clinton) had had their primaries on Tuesday, and not Indiana and Obama's sure-thing North Carolina?

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  1. I’ll sell my vote in the general election to the highest bidder.

  2. All my fly bitches like dirty money, dirty money.
    All my stripper bitches like dirty money, dirty money.
    All my superdelegates like dirty money, dirty money.

  3. Political parties should have the right to select their nominees in any way they wish. If they base their choice on a straw poll in Kazakhstan three years before the general election, that’s fine with me.

    Of course, political parties also should have to compete with each other on a level playing field, rather than writing advantages for two of them into the law, but that’s another issue.

  4. And whichever candidate/campaign shells out the $20 million will be tarnished for the act if (s)he does, indeed, capture the nomination. Of course who knows how many other superduperdelegate votes will be for sale of this goes through?

  5. There’s no election less democratic than a Democratic primary.

    Is the GOP much different?

  6. Electoral vote-less places like Guam and Puerto Rico have a say.

    I don’t see a particular problem with this. It’s about the only say they have in choosing a president, and, in the case of Guam, is likely to have unless we go to a popular vote system.

    If we don’t want them to have any say, give them their independence.

  7. “Momentum” is almost totally hostage to quirks of the calender-

    I was going to ask what pasta-draining equipment has to do with politics, but instead I’ll point out that lots of things in life are totally hostage to the calendar. I thought it was conservatives who had a problem with chance and ambiguity?

  8. If we don’t want them to have any say, give them their independence.

    IMHO, Hawaii should annex Guam and American Samoa.

  9. Ah! joez law of the internets strikes again. I meant, paper-making equipment, not pasta-draining (colander)

  10. If Tuesday was Pennsylvania and Indiana, that means last Tuesday would have been North Carolina all by itself, the reports about the election being all-but-over would have started with last Wednesday, and she would have lost Indiana closely because she never got the money, press, and momentum bumps from a Pennsylvania victory.

    The press would have been 1) Obama wins 12 in a row, 2) six weeks later, Obama wins big in North Carolina, 3) Obama gets another victory in Guam (which would have gotten press, because it fit in with the Obama-mentum story), 4) Hillary needed a huge win on Bizarro May 6, but split the Indiana and Pennsylvania contests.

  11. (or in-kind allies like Rush Limbaugh) when they talk about the small-d democratic values of the primary

    Perhaps I’m missing something but everytime I’ve heard Rush over the past two weeks he has been saying there is nothing democratic about the Democrat Party primary.That is his number one “on message” shtick for the whole “Operation Chaos” thing.

  12. Electoral vote-less places like Guam and Puerto Rico have a say.

    Um…doesn’t that show that the general election is less democratic than the Democratic primary?

  13. I’ll sell my vote for only $19 million! Wait, I’m not a super-delegate…

  14. I think a better system would be to randomize the order of the state primaries so no state gets constant disproportionate advantage. Divide the country into four or five zones and then selected a state in each one. That way the first few primaries would reflect across the country. After that, then people could talk about momentum. With modern travel and communications, there’s really no reason to go one at a time any more.

    I would also do away with caucuses. Another anachronism.

  15. Um…doesn’t that show that the general election is less democratic than the Democratic primary?

    That’s what I was thinking too. Including more people = less democratic ?

    And how is winner take all (the GOP primary system) MORE democratic than proportional delegate awards ?

  16. I like the idea of having a few early contests in smaller states, one at a time. It really does go towards retail politics and the things Iowans and New Hampshirites say.

    But there is no earthly reason why it needs to be those two states.

  17. Ybarra wants summa dat “Woo” Tang money.

    Ybarra is fo’ da children!

  18. There’s no election less democratic than a Democratic primary.

    That’s a bold claim. How about the GOP primary, in which the same small states exercise the same godlike powers, but the winner-takes-all system further punishes someone who only got 47% of the vote in those small states?

  19. It’s not surprising that one side of the Crooked Coin of the 2 Headed, 1 Party System is into BRIBERY to register ILLEGAL ALIENS (Called “Hispanic Voters” by the Stupordeligate). The Dems want dumb, cheap votes, the Reps want dumb, cheap labor! Both Parties Sell out the rest of the American Public.

  20. “And how is winner take all (the GOP primary system) MORE democratic than proportional delegate awards ?”

    Because the GOP does not have “superdelegates”, party hacks..er…officials from the state who are appointed to their convention positions and not elected by Democrat primary and caucus voters. The Democrats have every right to do this, but it is a strange institution given what they usually say their principles are. On the other hand, since Democrat politicians generally behave like populist aristocrats, it is not so strange that they don’t really trust their electorate.

  21. savage = lonewackoff with functional thumbs?

  22. Because the GOP does not have “superdelegates”, party hacks..er…officials from the state who are appointed to their convention positions and not elected by Democrat primary and caucus voters.

    And what does that have to do with Winner take all vs proportional awarding of delegates?

    I would say Winner take all is by far worse than giving a small subset of party members the ability to cast their lot in with whoever they like.

  23. Wintry, tiny states get godlike powers over the citizens of the other 48.

    Godlike? Really? Yeah. How DARE those of us that live in the 95% of the continent that isn’t urban have any say at all. We should just lie down and accept the rule of those who have no concept of life outside of a rent controlled apartment. Good grief Weigel. This is weak even for you. You should be ashamed. Talk about the tyrany of the majority.

  24. “I like the idea of having a few early contests in smaller states, one at a time. It really does go towards retail politics and the things Iowans and New Hampshirites say.”

    “But there is no earthly reason why it needs to be those two states.”

    Bill Richardson was right. Us Iowans have been ordained by God to be first in the nation so we don’t need your earthly reasons.

  25. He who pays the piper calls the tune, so as long as states have to pay for the primary elections, it’s not reasonable to expect them to bow before some national primary date lottery.

    I really don’t like the idea of federalizing any more processes that can just as easily be controlled by individual states. We’ve been sliding down that particular slippery slope for almost a century and a half now.

  26. Um…doesn’t that show that the general election is less democratic than the Democratic primary?

    That’s what I was thinking too. Including more people = less democratic ?

    So including votes from, say, China, or North Korea, would make the U.S. presidential election more democratic?

    Which part of “Guam and Puerto Rico have chosen to not be states, and thus have no constitutional right to vote for our president” are you puzzled by? I recall the people in Puerto Rico repeatedly voting against becoming citizens with the right to vote.

    Do you guys think “U.S.” is an abbrevation for “United States, Territories, and other affiliated areas?”

  27. Don’t worry. This crook will make sure to get his cut.

    Still, it is refreshing to see any honest Democrat.

  28. Larry said, “Good grief Weigel. This is weak even for you. You should be ashamed. Talk about the tyrany (sic) of the majority.

    Actually, it sounds like he’s talking about the tyranny of the minority here.

  29. Which part of “Guam and Puerto Rico have chosen to not be states, and thus have no constitutional right to vote for our president” are you puzzled by? I recall the people in Puerto Rico repeatedly voting against becoming citizens with the right to vote.

    You know what’s puzzling?? People who bring up points that aren’t relevant. They aren’t voting for president. They are voting for the nominee of a private party. That is quite a distinction you are ignoring.

    And considering that they are US territories and commonwealths who fall under the jurisdiction of the United States, I do believe that they should have a say.

  30. Yes, they’re voting for the nominee of a private party, but they’re also voting for president, since you can’t be president without getting the nomination of one of those parties. It’s not like the Rotary Club electing its president. These are public elections, paid for by the taxpayers, to choose the finalists for public office. Screw the parties.

  31. I meant, paper-making equipment, not pasta-draining (colander)

    Don’t you mean a hollander? That’s the paper-making equipment…

  32. “Because the GOP does not have “superdelegates”, party hacks..er…officials from the state who are appointed to their convention positions and not elected by Democrat primary and caucus voters.”

    I never fully understood the details, but isn’t Wyoming’s caucus pretty much Republican party officials in a smoke-filled room? At least that was the impression I got. Granted, that’s only one very small state that has a lot less influence than the Dem superdelegates.

    “We should just lie down and accept the rule of those who have no concept of life outside of a rent controlled apartment.”

    Larry, if you can’t figure out that Iowa and NH have an influence grossly disproportionate to their population size regardless of how rural or urban they are, you’re a dipshit. The “lie down and die” and “rent control” comments are just dipshit icing on the dipshit cake that is you.

  33. Of course, what Weigel (any relation to Teri?) fails to address is that due to “libertarians” supporting corporate welfare, vile racial demagogues like Ybarra will get even more power.

    I mean, really. It’s not hard to think these things through.

  34. Actually, Republicans do have unpledged (AKA super) delegates. They’re smaller in number (about 463) and no one knows about them because they’re not relevant this year. Outside of hard-core political junkies, no one knew about Democrat superdelegates before this election either.

    I really think we need to get rid of the territory protectorate thing. We should have a set amount of time in which they can remain territories and after that they have the option of becoming a state, joining a state (if they have insufficient population) or going it alone. I’m sure the business lobby wouldn’t be happy about this because they could no longer have something “Made in the USA” without adhering to federal labor/environmental laws.

  35. ODB… RIP

  36. Pendantic irrelevant point.

    Of all the ‘territories’, only PR would be eligible for statehood.

    Guam can’t chose statehood, they’re too small, approx 150K residents.

    IIRC American Samoa and USVI are even smaller.

    Joining a state is impractical; Guam & AS are 3k-4k miles from Hawaii. Although USVI could possibily join either PR or Florida.

    And they prefer not to go it alone – and after spending so many lives and money on telling certain people they *can’t* leave, it seems kinda ridiculous to kick people out of the club who wannna stay, no?

    Sorta but not quite back on point.

    I would be in favor of a constitutional ammendment that all non-state, non-D.C. residents collectively get 3 electoral votes (similar to the 23rd Ammendment)

  37. You know what’s puzzling?? People who bring up points that aren’t relevant.

    Ummm, Chicago Tom, you did a “me too” on a post sort of advocating giving these territories a vote in the general election, on the grounds that it would be more democratic, and I pointed out why that wasn’t a good idea. How is responding to your point not relevant?

    Now, if the point you made had been about the primaries, then I would have agreed that the parties are welcome to any screwed-up system they want, including the current one including PR and Guam.

  38. I thought vote buying was a hallmark of socialism. Shows what I know

  39. “Momentum” is almost totally hostage to quirks of the calender-how strong would Obama look now, for example, if Indiana (swing) and Pennsylvania (strong Clinton) had had their primaries on Tuesday, and not Indiana and Obama’s sure-thing North Carolina?

    What does momentum have to do with democratic values, small-d or otherwise? Momentum is a media creation–there’s no special bonus in a state primary for having won previous contests. Hillary bet that momentum would carry her after Super Tuesday and she failed. Edwards pinned his hopes on momentum out of Iowa and he failed. Momentum doesn’t win elections.

    And “quirks of the calend[a]r”? Please, they all knew the rules going into the campaign–it’s like saying February is quirky because it is the shortest month. Who cares? Only Obama managed to make a plan for the actual campaign calendar. Therefore, he wins.

  40. “And what does that have to do with Winner take all vs proportional awarding of delegates?”

    The proportional awarding of delegates has created a situation where the Democrat nominee will be selected by those delegates who have their position independent of the primary/caucus voters. How is that more democratic?

  41. Actually MJ the superdelegates will indeed rubber-stamp the winner who was selected by primary/caucus voters. Formally, you are correct, the superdelegates will put Obama over the top, but they will be following the voters’ will: he has won more delegates, has the higher portion of the vote total, has brought in the most donations by far, etc. No chance outside of Obama being caught with a live boy or dead girl will superdelegates award it to Hillary after NC and Indiana.

    The superdelegate system definitely has had the potential to be undemocratic from the moment it was implemented, but there has never been and likely never will be (especially following this campaign) a situation in which they will overturn the choice of primary/caucus voters.

    I will suggest, however, that the ambiguity of the Democrats’ system has been more democratic in that it has allowed two candidates with different but strong levels of support in the party to continue to fight for the nomination without either being institutionally disadvantaged. The Republican contest is always a game of insiders with no chance for an insurgent outside the party apparatus to win: Dole, W., McCain. In other words, Dem rules made Obama’s nomination possible, but an Obama-like candidate in the GOP would never happen. (Maybe with O’s money machine things would be different.)

  42. I don’t much doubt that the superdelegates will not take the nomination away from Obama, the resentment such an action will cause for black Democrats is a can worms the superdelegates will not likely want to open. The point is, how democratic is it to put it in their hands to begin with? The proportional distribution of delegates combined with the large number of superdelegates make it more likely that the Dem primaries will produce no winner before the convention by design. That the superdelegates are unlikely to take the nomination away from the candidate with more regular does not change the fact that putting it in their hands is inherently undemocratic. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, unless your party makes a fetish of pure democracy.

  43. But as Obama illustrates, that power never was in their hands, was it? Given how tenderly superdelegates have been wanting to wield their supposed power, they must not have much of it, I’d think. If anything, they’re using their power to decide the nomination to *avoid* the impression that they’re deciding the nomination.

    Any theoretical judgments about superdelegates and their undemocratic nature should be put to the test that we’re seeing right before our eyes. This is the only election where they’ve seemed to matter, and it turns out they don’t matter at all. I totally believe they were a loser idea cooked up by Dem losers in their losingest cycles (1980-1984), and I bet they’ll be significantly reworked following this cycle, but their power on paper actually to decide a nomination doesn’t seem to have been borne out by reality.

  44. Most superdelegates are, in fact, elected officeholders, not “party hacks.” Governors, Senators, Congressmen, present and former Presidents and VPs. Add to that the number mayors, state reps, and other officeholders who become superdelegates in some other way, and it’s more than half. Most of them are not, in fact, Howard Dean’s receptionist.

    As opposed to the RNC “supredelegates,” a grouop entirely composed of RNC members.

    That said, there are still way too many of them. It makes sense to have some to breat a tie, but no more than 5% of total delegates should be chosen outside the primary/caucus process.

  45. This super delegate procedure is for the birds .. just as the electoral system negates the votes of the people (witness Bush’s election). Now Ybarra has the audacity to “sell” his vote. My God! The man should not only have his vote taken from him, but should be black-balled by his party. How low have people, in the name of doing good, sunk into the cess pool called politics!

  46. Most superdelegates are, in fact, elected officeholders, not “party hacks.”

    These categories are not exactly mutually exclusive, joe.

    Actually MJ the superdelegates will indeed rubber-stamp the winner who was selected by primary/caucus voters.

    Thus abdicating their responsibility and revealing themselves to be pointless and superfluous.

  47. Pointless and superfluous–DUH!, but what “responsibility” did they have in the first place? The responsibility to hand the nomination to the 2nd place finisher just because? Obviously Obama is not some emerging dictator who needs to be stopped at all costs, so what would be the point of overturning the results of the primaries and caucuses merely to satisfy Hillary’s ambition? The process has shown that Hillary is the loser and Obama the winner; why would any Dem want to walk away from Obama’s unparalleled money-making machine for someone who has to keep self-financing to stay afloat?

  48. I hope Dean cleans house and reforms the primary system…for 2012. But for 2008, the systems should not be changed-no fair changing the rules after the game has been played. And, under the current rules, Obama obviously will be the winner. This has been clear for some time (since before Texas/Ohio, in fact).

  49. Mr. Ybarra:

    You are a joke?.because of idiots like you the Democratic Party is failing. I left the Democratic pary this year and went Independant due to the failture of this party to really support the true interest of what the Democratic party is all about?Shame on you to even suggest buying a canidates vote for 20 million. The Delegate system in the US is note the voice of the people?in the hard count vote Mrs. Clinton would be leading?she has won all the large states. It people like you Mr. Ybarra that will had the Preidential nomination over to Senator McCain in November?.due us a favor and spend some money to buy bus tickets for all those illegal aliens here in Southern California, so the rest of us legal citizens, can has some pride knowing we came here legally?and no the Mexican Cacucas does not represent me?.

  50. One more than Mr. Ybarra you are NOT THE SUPER LATINO….ASSHOLE YEs…..Super Latino…NO

  51. Di Di Di,

    When you have power and choose not to exercise it, that does not mean you did not have the authority in the first place. The question is not how the superdelegates choose to use their power, it is why the Democrats set up their primary rules to give them that ability in the first place.

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