February 12, 2016 by David K. Sutton
The Democratic Party’s ‘Superdelegates Of Mediocrity’
Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire Democratic Primary by a near landslide, beating Hillary Clinton by 20 points. But, it is not the average citizen who goes to the Democratic Convention this summer. Instead, delegates will cast votes for each state, ultimately electing the next Democratic nominee. But, delegates are supposed to represent the will of the people, right? Yes, that is how it is supposed to work, but the problem is that not all delegates are created alike.
The Democratic Party has regular delegates and it also has superdelegates. It might as well be ripped from the pages of a comic book (a really boring comic book), because superdelegates do indeed have special powers. See, superdelegates don’t have to represent the will of the people, they are free to vote for any candidate, and they usually vote for the candidate they view as most electable, which is another way of saying, the establishment candidate. Democratic Party rules, written by party elites, are designed to put a damper on candidates those elites consider to be undesirable. You know, the one’s who actually have a passion and true progressive vision for America. Oh, I don’t know, maybe someone like Senator Bernie Sanders.
If you look at a Democratic delegate tracker like this one from The New York Times, you’ll find that Hillary Clinton has a massive 394-44 delegate lead over Bernie Sanders so far, despite having been walloped by Sanders in New Hampshire and only essentially having tied him in Iowa. While Sanders does have a modest 36-32 lead among elected delegates — those that are bound to the candidates based on the results of voting in primaries and caucuses — Clinton leads 362-8 among superdelegates, who are Democratic elected officials and other party insiders allowed to support whichever candidate they like. – Superdelegates Might Not Save Hillary Clinton (FiveThirtyEight)
Well, that seems rather sordid to me.
This is precisely why the Democratic Party is an establishment party. As I said previously, this is the incrementalism of low expectations that defines the modern Democratic Party. No longer is it the party of big ideas. The Democratic establishment is more interested in ruffling as few feathers as possible, never following up rhetoric with action. You can add “superdelegates” to the list of reasons political parties are a bad idea. Just another example of a rigged system.
For a non-establishment candidate like Bernie Sanders to stand a chance, there must be a substantial groundswell within the electorate. Superdelegates are already in the bag for the establishment candidate, so they won’t budge unless forced to.
Another way to look at it, the non-establishment candidate must woo superdelegates, something the establishment candidate doesn’t have to do. That means if the non-establishment candidate has a slight edge in the electorate, that non-establishment candidate will likely get trounced in the delegate count, and lose the nomination.
How about this for a radical idea. — Let people vote, tally up results, declare winner, escort loser(s) to golf course.
Down with the comic book superdelegate hilarity.