About the protesters at the RBC meeting
Leah sends me this link where, amazingly, Mark Benjamin of Alex Koppelman War Room in Salon does -- and to think I thought the art had died out -- some actual reportage. Read as an antidote to whatever else the OFB and our perfumed stenographers write about the RBC protesters:
But if you just walk up to the protesters and ask them why they are there, the people who traveled from across the country that I talked to said they were angry because the Florida/Michigan debacle gives them sinking feeling that that America democracy is broken. Clinton didn't pay their bus fare, or even tell them to show up, they said.
"We are here because we want every vote counted," said Wesley Taylor, who traveled by bus from Coral Springs, Florida to air his bad feelings. Taylor, who voted for John Edwards in the primary, served 14 years in the Army, including service in Bosnia. "I didn’t fight not to have my vote counted," he said.
"It is not democracy," complained Debbie Kubiak, 52, who traveled from Buffalo, N.Y. "It is worse than what they did back in 2000."
The black limousines passing through the protest crowd on the way to the meeting only contributed to the feeling among the people shouting "count our vote" that, like 2000, the votes of individual citizens are being discarded and American power is being divvied out in smoke-filled back rooms.
A professor of politics will explain over a three-hour lecture why these people just don't understand the brilliance of the American electoral system. But they seem honestly angry with the Supreme Court in 2000. They are angry with the Electoral College. They are angry because they think that the each vote should count and the voters should pick the president.
Superdelegates? All of a sudden we are hearing about them. Who are these people?" asked Sharon Miley, a 66-year old woman who traveled by bus from South Bend Indiana. "I've been voting since I was 22. This is the first time I felt like my vote did not count," she said.
"It is the whole system," added Phyllis Steele, who came along with her. "It is not democracy any more."
The Democrats may have good reason to punish Florida and Michigan for moving up their primaries. Perhaps they think in the long run, it will be better for the primary process and democracy. But they are doing a rotten job of explaining it to people.
"They travel by bus" is today's equivalent of Jesse Jackson's "they work every day."
With this difference: They're not "just" working, but taking the bus to show their support for democracy. Yes, imagine that.
If Clinton is imaginative and smart -- and the Democrats are smart enough -- they'll figure out how to leverage this moment.
UPDATE Author corrected, hat tip Leah.