I do think it's a clusterf*ck. But this is really on the state parties (yes, FL too -- they also could have held a revote but the chairwoman didn't want to dilute the vote on Amendment One) and the DNC. It's not on Obama. I agree that giving Obama all the uncommitted delegates, and then some, is probably marginally unfair, and the RBC shouldn't have done it anyway, just to avoid the appearance of unfairness at this critical juncture. But this was the compromise the Michigan party put forth, and Fowler and at least two other Clinton supporters voted for it. Either they know something we don't know about what kinds of possibilities were available to them or they're complete idiots.
Meanwhile, I heard on the radio last night, on two different shows, that there were Clinton people at the meetings arguing that Obama should get zero of the uncommitted delegates and Clinton should pick up an additional five. Of the uncommitted delegates. In case that wasn't clear. So MI Democrats came to the polls even though the DNC said their presidential votes wouldn't count and there was no significant underballot, and they affirmatively chose to say "none of the above" to the candidates remaining, and yet their votes really represent Clinton votes?
And I don't understand where Ickes, who voted to strip each delegation of votes in August and December, gets off lecturing people about democracy now. Nothing about stripping (then) or seating (now) the delegates is democratic. I very clearly remember the unequivocal statements from the DNC in August and December that these primaries would not count and the state parties would have to come up with alternative means of apportioning their delegates if they wanted to be represented at the convention. No one has ever explained what changed except political expediency. At best, the compromise is an effort -- a sad one, and one that will likely fail -- to appease angry voters in two important swing states. At worst, it is a deeply cynical ploy on Clinton's -- yes, Clinton's -- part to grab delegates and/or appear like a hero to MI and FL voters should she somehow wrangle the nomination.
Not to mention that I am really sick of hearing "count every vote" crap from a campaign that cynically avoided states in favor of a "big state" strategy and didn't put up a fight for MI and FL voters until she needed their support. I have had so many Clinton people lecture me about my commitment to democracy this week -- and I am not even an Obama supporter -- but I never saw them out there with me at 6:00 a.m. doing election protection work or working for *&^% wages at an organization that basically wrote the VRA. Have you seen the proliferation of "even the slaves were counted as 3/5, not 1/2" comments on Clinton blogs? Come again? COME AGAIN? These people don't even understand the basic facts of the historical stain that is the 3/5 compromise; I won't hear any more of their complaints about the importance of the democratic tradition.
This was awesome. A few quick things I'd add though: I think (all) the candidates share some role in this. None of them, for very good reason (their prospects in IA and NH), wanted to show any sort of political leadership to try and help resolve it. And I think a lot of the complaints from (delusional) Clinton supporters come from losing their chance at having all of MI's popular vote count for Clinton's total, and having Obama received zero. The moment during the hearing when Ickes was questioning Sen Levin, and Levin point-blank says "You're asking for a fair reflection of a flawed primary" was f-ing brilliant. And this was from LEVIN, probably the one person *most* responsible for the clusterfuck. Some blog I read wrote that what the RBC did, in the most legalistic interpretation, wasn't (legal), and made the observation that they didn't act as a court of law would have, but rather as a court of equity would've.
Edited to Add: And I don't think clusterfuck is quite fair. My personal opinion is it won't make a whit of difference in the general. Obama's going to win Michigan, and McCain is going to win Florida, barring some large tide of popular opinion either way. This is only a clusterfuck in the eyes of the (many) hyper-informed Democrats who follow this *&^%.