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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Assuming Your Conclusion Is Not Arguing For It

Mike, in the midst of your discourse on "being" and "doing", you at the crucial step simply assume the point that you should be arguing for.  It happened right when you said: "While the ineligibility is by definition a disqualifying factor prior to election, the assumption that the same type of filter applies after election does not follow in light of the fact that there is a clearly defined process for how to deal with it."  What is _precisely_ in dispute is whether the for-cause process applies to 8.4 violations.  You and Knapp keep making assertions about what the Bylaws clearly say, but you should instead simply quote the Bylaws wherever you claim they are clear.  Like so:

8.4. A National Committee member shall be a sustaining member of the Party, and shall not be the candidate of any party except the Party or an affiliate.
8.5. The National Committee may, for cause, suspend any member-at-large by a vote of 2/3 of the entire National Committee. [...]

You can assert all you want that 8.4 is merely an exemplar of an 8.5 cause, but this bald assertion needs an actual argument behind it.  The best one I've seen is the one I myself offered: that 8.4 is missing the "deemed vacant" language used in the three places where the Bylaws indisputably talk about vacancies happening.  The contrary arguments are:

1) 8.4 has to be considered "horribly crafted" under your reading, and you compound the problem by saying 8.5 must be considered flawed for restricting for-cause removals to at-large reps and not regional reps;

2) the "shall" in 8.4 indicates a completely non-optional rule, in sharp contrast to the "may" of 8.5 that you want to govern 8.4;

3) 8.5 itself demonstrates that it is possible for an adversarial removal to happen without the for-cause process, and even if you buy Knapp's not-until-the-minutes-are-approved argument, the threshold for action is less than the 2/3 required in the for-cause case;  [Also, what is the process for a resignation that may have been forged, but also may have been sent but then falsely disavowed?]

4) Bylaw 7.6 says “The Secretary shall be the recording officer of the Party” and shall “keep such minutes and records as necessary”.

Again, a fundamental rule this Party abides by is: “When a provision of the bylaws is susceptible to two meanings, one of which conflicts with or renders absurd another bylaw provision, and the other meaning does not, the latter must be taken as the true meaning.”  My interpretation spares 8.4 from being considered broken with respect to regional reps, and the next leading brand doesn't.

Erik, when I said "apply Erik's favorite point", I of course wasn't claiming you agree with the conclusion I reached thereby.  What you've repeatedly said if that if one side is so clearly right, then they should just rely on the ability of the body to vote for what is clearly right.  I simply turned that logic against the Redpath-haters here, and challenged them to drive over the cliff and say he clearly should be unseated for cause.  Thelma Knapp over there gladly did so, but I of course was not saying that you are his Louise.  I've told you repeatedly that I don't think the interpretation of 8.4 is a slam dunk, so please stop aiming your "if Wrights’ removal was so clearly called for" arrows at me.  I didn't intend to put a conclusion into your mouth, but you seem determined to put words into mine.

Tom, it's bad enough when you evade large chunks of my argument e.g. regional reps, reading absurdity into the Bylaws, forged resignations, begging the question with imaginary "all"/"other" in the Bylaws, differing margins for minutes-approval vs. for-cause suspension, minutes that could note an absence without noting it being consecutive.  You only dig your hole deeper when you pretend that the Bylaws only mean LNC-approved minutes where it plainly says "minutes and records".  Are you saying that no record kept by the Secretary is more than a mere "allegation" until the LNC blesses it?  When Wrights admitted against interest that his dues had lapsed, was he confirming a fact, or merely repeating an allegation against himself?  Just how far down the rabbit hole are we going here?

Regarding "plenary power to act in lieu of the full LNC on such facts or allegations", see and/or  Nobody has said that the Secretary's duty to report 8.4 disqualifications is a delegation of the LNC's 8.5 for-cause removal power.  Please stop trying to sneak in the assumption that 8.4 is a special case of 8.5, and try actually arguing for it.  Bonus points if you can do so without silly red herrings about convictions for murder or widget-stealing, where there is no dispute about what the prescribed process is.