Doubtless her saying so makes all of our lady parts ache, but haven’t we heard this before? Remember, after she took a beating in North Carolina? And then before that, memorably, when she creeped us all out in that interview with Greta Van Susteren? How is this big news? Welcome news, to be sure, but big?

The Politico article’s better, actually.

Hillary Clinton compared her effort to seat Florida and Michigan delegates to epic American struggles, including those to free the slaves and win the right to vote for blacks and women…

“In Florida, you learned the hard way what happens when your votes aren’t counted and the candidate with fewer votes is declared the winner,” she said. “The lesson of 2000 here in Florida is crystal clear: if any votes aren’t count, the will of the people isn’t realized and our democracy is diminished.”

So entrenched is the belief among Democrats that Bush stole the 2000 election that it almost doesn’t pay to link the study that showed he didn’t, but for the record, here you go. If she’s willing to stoop to compare getting a couple of state parties off the hook for breaking DNC rules to freeing the slaves, there’s no sense expecting honesty about the Florida recount. Here’s the money bit:

“If we fail to [seat the delegations], I worry that we will pay not only a moral cost, but a political cost as well,” she said. “We know the road to a Democratic White House runs right through Florida and Michigan. If we care about winning those states in November, we need to count your votes now. If Democrats send a message that we don’t fully value your votes, we know Sen. McCain and the Republicans will be more than happy to have them. The Republicans will make a simple and compelling argument: why should Florida and Michigan voters trust the Democratic Party to look out for you when they won’t even listen to you.”

Is she … encouraging them to vote Republican if the delegations aren’t seated? Don’t laugh; re-read the post from that Greta interview and remind yourself how far she’ll go to delegitimize Obama as nominee if she doesn’t get her way on this. What kind of compromise on the delegations will satisfy her, though? Is she going to the convention if anything less than the full number are seated and the full popular vote totals are added to her column? The AP surveyed members of the DNC’s credentials committee a few days ago and found no support for that; the states have to pay some kind of penalty or else other states will follow their lead four years from now. But if she agrees to anything less, it’ll cripple her last argument to the superdelegates. Exit question: How does this play out? Does the committee seat half the delegates and dare her to push this all the way to Denver? Or do they try to encourage enough supers to switch to Obama to give him a big enough margin that Florida and Michigan become irrelevant, whereupon they’ll simply bite the bullet, seat each state’s full delegation, and deal with the perverse incentives about moving up one’s primary in four years?

Update: David Axelrod says he’s willing to go “more than halfway” on a compromise.