Plata o Plomo.

It means, "Silver or lead."

By Moe Lane Posted in | | Comments (0) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

It's a little trick that the drug traffickers came up with (or stole) down in South America. What you do, is you go up to a recalcitrant obstruction and you give him or her a choice between getting either lots of money, or a bullet in the head: and the point is, you don't really care which one the obstruction picks. Either one will clear the obstruction.

And I bring up this fascinating, yet not ostensibly relevant, cultural phenomena why?

Because Nancy got a letter.

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the US House of Representatives
Office of the Speaker
H-232, US Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Madame Speaker,

As Democrats, we have been heartened by the overwhelming response that our fellow Democrats have shown for our party’s candidates during this primary season. Each caucus and each primary has seen a record turnout of voters. But this dynamic primary season is not at an end. Several states and millions of Democratic voters have not yet had a chance to cast their votes.

Oh, yes, it gets better. Read on. (H/T: Hot Air)

The full text:

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the US House of Representatives
Office of the Speaker
H-232, US Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Madame Speaker,

As Democrats, we have been heartened by the overwhelming response that our fellow Democrats have shown for our party’s candidates during this primary season. Each caucus and each primary has seen a record turnout of voters. But this dynamic primary season is not at an end. Several states and millions of Democratic voters have not yet had a chance to cast their votes.

We respect those voters and believe that they, like the voters in the states that have already participated, have a right to be heard. None of us should make declarative statements that diminish the importance of their voices and their votes. We are writing to say we believe your remarks on ABC News This Week on March 16th did just that.

During your appearance, you suggested super-delegates have an obligation to support the candidate who leads in the pledged delegate count as of June 3rd , whether that lead be by 500 delegates or 2. This is an untenable position that runs counter to the party’s intent in establishing super-delegates in 1984 as well as your own comments recorded in The Hill ten days earlier:

"I believe super-delegates have to use their own judgment and there will be many equities that they have to weigh when they make the decision. Their own belief and who they think will be the best president, who they think can win, how their own region voted, and their own responsibility.’”

Super-delegates, like all delegates, have an obligation to make an informed, individual decision about whom to support and who would be the party’s strongest nominee. Both campaigns agree that at the end of the primary contests neither will have enough pledged delegates to secure the nomination. In that situation, super-delegates must look to not one criterion but to the full panoply of factors that will help them assess who will be the party’s strongest nominee in the general election.

We have been strong supporters of the DCCC. We therefore urge you to clarify your position on super-delegates and reflect in your comments a more open view to the optional independent actions of each of the delegates at the National Convention in August. We appreciate your activities in support of the Democratic Party and your leadership role in the Party and hope you will be responsive to some of your major enthusiastic supporters.

Sincerely,

Marc Aronchick
Clarence Avant
Susie Tompkins Buell
Sim Farar
Robert L. Johnson
Chris Korge
Marc and Cathy Lasry
Hassan Nemazee
Alan and Susan Patricof
JB Pritzker
Amy Rao
Lynn de Rothschild
Haim Saban
Bernard Schwartz
Stanley S. Shuman
Jay Snyder
Maureen White and Steven Rattner

If you've ever wondered what 1.8 million dollars looks like, well, now you know: eighteen of the signatories are official Hillraisers, which means that they've each collected at least $100,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign. Bear in mind that to do that, they had to go out and convince other people to donate money to Hillary's campaign, which means that they have both fund-raising skill and personal influence. Alternatively, they know how to fiddle with the campaign finance laws sufficiently well to pump ferocious amounts of personal cash into the system. Either way, they are valuable to a political organization.

And they're making a rather pointed threat, here. While the DCCC is currently flush, with $38 million on hand, the nature of House elections is such that they'll be spending every dime before the end and go looking for more. And they'll be hitting up people precisely like these folks for help.

So... silver, or lead, and the obstruction this time is the super-delegates' nervous desire to re-establish order. Hillary's financial supporters - and we don't know how representative they are, one in ten isn't a bad number to start with - have just told the Speaker of the House that if she tries to end this race prematurely, then she can get to hear the noise that all politicians fear: the sound of checkbooks flapping shut. Given the current number of freshman Democrats in Bush districts, plus the prospects of pickups from retirees, and the seats that actually need defending... a loss of big-money bundlers can kill the Democrats' planned expansion program dead, and Nancy knows it. And Pelosi can't go to the DNC for help, given that Dean's spent the last few years burning through the cash it's gathered in order to make the Idaho Democratic Party feel better about being surrounded by all those awful Republicans. On the other hand, the pressure from the more plebeian parts of the Democrats' base will be intense, as an examination of TPM's comments section would suggest. The Speaker's biggest hope has to be that it's a bluff on Hillary's big-money people's part... or that the plebes will blink first.

Which, to be fair, they have a habit of doing. Either way: interesting times, folks. Interesting, interesting times.

Moe Lane

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