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As 'Petulant' Democratic Elites Howl in Protest, DNC Moves Ahead With Plan to Gut Power of Superdelegates


#41

I like your explanation. I too have wondered: Who are these Independents?


#42

I was describing an argument I saw being made by some Sanders supporters–the rationale for which was based on polling. Your clue that I strongly disagreed with those Sanders supporters who made this argument should have been the point at which I said " I strongly disagreed with those Sanders supporters who made this argument". But if you think describing a position I disagree with actually means I endorse that position, I would only note that I also disagree with some in this forum who have concluded you are a mentally-challenged thickwit. Make of that what you will.

“The voters picked Clinton over Sanders in the primary, end of story.”

Clearly that was not the end of the story, because we are still seeing the fallout from that race, and the way it was conducted, and I think there is yet more to come.

“They probably had a number of reasons for voting for Clinton, only one of which is they thought she would be more likely to win over Trump despite polls during the primaries.”

And several of my die-hard Republican neighbors crossed over and voted for her in the primaries precisely because they thought she’d be a weaker candidate than Sanders.


#43

What happened with Hillary and early votes by SuperDelegates was outrageous –

but still, I don’t think this goes far enough. There shouldn’t be any “Super” delegates at all.


#44

I actually don’t have a problem with smaller states having more delegate impact, mostly because nearly all the Dem at-large delegates are assigned proportionally, so the enhanced impact of the delegates won by the leading candidate is at least partially offset by the enhanced impact of the delegates won by the trailing candidate(s). Also, smaller states have more impact per vote in the general, so it kind of makes sense that the primary process should mirror that.

I also don’t mind the drawn-out primary. A one-day primary would be tilted heavily in favor of the big-money candidate. I remember Sanders not having a lot of traction at first, but the longer the race went on and the more time he had to get his message out (and likewise, the more people looked at Clinton) the better he did and the worse she did. It would have been a Clinton blowout if it had been a one-day national primary, and I don’t think that would have been a better result. I do think it would make sense for the last primaries to be in a large bloc that takes place on the same day. Being in a straggler state would suck for most elections.

And I like ranked choice voting, and running a primary that way might be a good way to introduce people to it, but since most Dem primaries already have proportional allocation of delegates, I don’t think it would make much practical difference–especially in those races which quickly devolve to two candidates.

I don’t know that this move to limit the power of the superdelegates will make much difference either, but I think it will improve the optics. There were a lot of people who were deflated, disgusted or alienated by seeing how the superdelegates could wipe out Bernie’s big lead in New Hampshire. But I have the feeling that the money masters are only going to allow reforms which don’t threaten their grip on the political process. Whatever we can accomplish toward making voting more inclusive, fair, transparent, proportional, and democratic is for naught so long as we have a system where whoever we elect can be bought–whether by layaway on the deferred-bribery installment plan or by straight-up cash on the barrel head, hidden by a shell game.


#45

Thanks, got it.


#46

Don’t really give a duck fart what you buy or don’t buy.


#47

Superdelegates are undemocratic. They were manufactured in 1982 for the sole purpose (as DW Schultz proudly claimed often throughout the 2016 Primary) of denying the nomination to an “outsider” grassroots candidate. The question is: just who does the unDem party serve if not the voters who’d want such a candidate?


#48

Finally, dearest Lord, Finally. Now for that stupid electoral college. Clinton 3 million more votes and the spoilers Stein and Johnson 7.6 million votes and we get Trump? Awe c’mon!!! And we get Kennedy retiring just before the midterm election? Putin is on the floor laughing his damned head off. He has fractured Europe and busted up the America’s. Damn he is good


#49

You cling to the mocked up proposition that supposedly “some Sanders supporters” want to disenfranchise Southern state primary voters, because they urged super delegates voting against Sanders to change their votes.
Yet every super delegate voted against Sanders. Which by the same reasoning, disenfranchised Sanders voters because it cancelled out their votes.
The super delegates had not even voted yet and were not scheduled to vote for over a year, when the Southern primary elections took place. This did not allow for the possibility that any of the super delegates were human beings capable of changing their minds, which of course they were not.
The media was very happy to count the super delegates votes for Clinton a year before the super delegates voted, and the DNC was happy to let them. No protest was made. Nobody from the DNC went on TV and said hey you can’t count the super delegates votes because they won’t be voting till next year!
The mockery of the name “Democratic” was a delight to the media. The more so, because it was done with complicity of the DNC.
Republican - Trump 0 Cruz 0 Jeb 0 Others 0
“Democratic” - Clinton 852 Sanders 0 Omalley 0
Then a few weeks later
Republican - Trump 10 Cruz 0 Jeb 0 Others 0
“Democratic” - Clinton 862 Sanders 3 Omalley 0
Then a few weeks later
Republican - Trump 31 Cruz 0 Jeb 0 Others 0
“Democratic” - Clinton 925 Sanders 13 Omalley 0
Etc.
And you people are still at it, you got a weak proposal that’s hard to explain what it does, it takes like 5 paragraphs to explain, here you are enacting it at this stage it’s just a proposal. Likely to be watered down. Not to be finally voted upon for months, and to be taken up just before the midterms.
Democrats my god what is your problem with Democracy.


#50

They may have been, nay probably were, bamboozled into believing it didn’t matter how they voted because the party had rigged the system to assure that HRC was the nominee.

There’s certainly no evidence that they voted for Hillary because they thought she had a better chance of beating Trump than Bernie, and of course, we now know the fallacy of that theory.


#51

Surely the primary vote was suppressed in California, because of the LA Times front page headline calling the race over, and that, based on including the votes of super delegates who had not even voted yet.
We have seen the meek weak Democrats suddenly grow strong and audacious when opposing progressives, using every tactic, lies - accusing Sanders supporters of throwing chairs! (even when we had video proving no chairs were ever thrown) Insults. Slander. Not acknowledging that Sanders did everything he could to help Clinton. Not acknowledging how many votes came from Sanders supporters who in fact did for Clinton - despite the negativity - the cheap FOX news style lies and insults - the dirty tactics. And still you don’t quit - still you Democrats don’t really seek unity.


#52

As a CA voter, I absolutely feel this is true. The declaring the race over (which they never do anymore in the general until all precincts have closed) and at the beginning even discussing how many Superdelegates Clinton had were two of the bigger problems and this is why I think almost all of us agree there need to be reforms to the primary process.


#53

I wasn’t trying to make that point - I understand the math of a smaller state having more per person voter power in the general due to a minimum of 3 EV per state, I was making a related point about democratic primary voter power being more when in a low percentage democratic state (regardless of how big it is).

This is one of my worries too. If we could ever figure out how to do electronic voting correctly (and I have my doubts - I’m still for paper), then we could have a much longer voting period (a few months) where anyone could vote early AND change their vote as coverage of candidates changed with their popularity. This way would be fair to all voters as opposed to people in Iowa not being able to change (a rotating schedule is also proposed I know).

I agree - any party can get out in front of this issue because as I understand it, there are fewer hoops to go through to make change in a primary election than a general election (hey, they could decide in smoke filled rooms if they want to - right? - uggh what a jerk that lawyer was)

Agreed. RCV is all about being able to state your preference for multiple candidates - I guess I was thinking it might make it less likely that among 3 or 4 candidates that anyone will drop out. I suppose nothing prevents RCV from being implemented with multiple election days and state ‘quantization’ of results though it is definitely not as straightforward as everybody voting together in a big pool.


#54

I heard California Attorney General Javier Becerra on KQED last night and he was defending how great Pelosi is. Becerra spent 24 years as a congressman. In California, the establishment democratic party rules and if you want to get anywhere you have to toe the line like Becerra did. California is almost a democratic machine party state. A lot of them talk progressive but they are mainly about their own power and don’t like the people really getting power. The touted Kamala Harris is part of the Willie Brown machine and if you know much about Willie Brown he was old school machine type politics and as everyone else he could talk progressive but he was mainly in it for his own power and money. When some protestors threw a pie at him, he make sure they spent time in jail. San Francisco’s PBS station KQED has a show called POLITICAL BREAKDOWN and it seems to fawn over the democratic party hacks as if the newscasters and the politicians were just the best of friends. No hardball questions there.


#55

I didn’t mock up anything. I clearly remember some Sanders supporters (thankfully, not a majority) dismissing Clinton’s wins in the South on the basis of her expected losses in those states in the general as part of their argument for why the superdelegates in those states should declare for Sanders, and it was memorable because it was so cringe-worthy.

“Yet every super delegate voted against Sanders. Which by the same reasoning, disenfranchised Sanders voters because it cancelled out their votes.”

Precisely. After having correctly identified and condemned the unfairness of having superdelegates disenfranchise Sanders voters, some Sanders supporters turned right around and used the same reasoning to argue for the superdelegates to engage in the exact same kind of unfair voter disenfranchisement of Hillary voters. It was hypocritical and embarrassing. There should have been nothing but a laser-like focus on the anti-democratic unfairness of superdelegates having the power to override thousands of ordinary-people votes. If they wanted to urge the superdelegates to voluntarily redress this unfairness, they should have urged the superdelegates to withdraw their stated commitment to vote for Hillary, and replaced it with a commitment to try to mirror the popular vote in each state. The superdelegates would, of course, have done no such thing, and then that could have been used to bolster the case for eliminating or curtailing the power of the superdelegates. Instead, by taking the low road and urging the Superdelegates to engage in unfair disenfranchisement of a different sort, that looks like an endorsement of superdelegates having the power to engage in unfair disenfranchisement in the first place, and it only helps make the case for why superdelegates need to have the independence to decide between squabbling factions. Trying to turn an injustice around and exploit it for your own ends is no way to fight that injustice.

“The super delegates had not even voted yet and were not scheduled to vote for over a year, when the Southern primary elections took place.”

Either there is some big typo or editing glitch in that sentence or your memory is playing tricks on you, but as stated, that’s incorrect. Some superdelegates did indeed declare their position more than year before the 2016 convention, but there were no 2016 primaries held in 2015. The first primaries were in Feb. 2016.

“And you people are still at it,”

I don’t know what group you are including me in, nor what you think this group is persisting at.

“you got a weak proposal that’s hard to explain what it does,”

If you mean progressives and Sanderite reformers are still trying to make the Democrat party more democratic, I don’t see anything wrong with their persistence in that regard.
If you mean the entrenched leadership is still resisting reform, I have nothing to do with that group.

But in a nutshell, the proposal here is that superdelegates don’t get to vote in the first round. That means any commitment they state before the convention carries no weight where the contest has boiled down to a two-person race. They would only become relevant in a multi-candidate race where no candidate has enough delegates to win on the first round of votes–a condition that would normally result in a brokered convention, where party leaders would have more influence anyway.

“here you are enacting it at this stage it’s just a proposal. Likely to be watered down.”

The fight for reforms will be difficult and protracted. That’s why the reformers are “still at it”.

“Not to be finally voted upon for months, and to be taken up just before the midterms.”

Taking the issue up this year affords more than ample time to implement the reforms before anyone declares their bid for the Dem nomination next year.

“Democrats my god what is your problem with Democracy.”

That makes it sound like you think Democrats are a monolithic block. They are actually a collection of competing and conflicting factions, some of which are aggressively pushing for democratic reforms, others of which are dragging their heels. But for now at least, it looks like there is no major faction actively pushing to move the party further away from democracy, so the drag factions may be successfully slowing down the reform factions, but at least the overall movement looks to be headed in the right direction.


#56

In so many ways, California is a machine - a democratic machine - which puts out a pretty progressive face but inside is just about like the rest of them. We do have some good things going on though - with sanctuary cities and other progressive agendas but we still have the death penalty, police abuse and a lot of political pandering. The progressives in California outside of the mainstream democratic party seem to fight each other over everything and can never seem to unite due to their ideological purity and need to be superior to the others.


#57

The super delegates announced which way they were going to vote more than a year before they voted, and their votes were counted even though they had not voted yet. That is wrong. It allowed the media to create the illusion of Clinton having momentum, based on people who had not yet voted. It makes a farce of the notion that the voters are human beings capable of changing their minds. The “Democratic” party was in cahoots with this scheme, and so was the media, it was unfair, and of course the LA Times notoriously took advantage of it to declare Clinton the winner based on to votes of super delegates who had not yet even voted.
Sanders supporters were never in favor of super delegates.
Sanders supporters never proposed that unfair un-democratic measures be used in order to win.
Sanders supporters, merely made logical arguments, based on the ostensible purpose of the super delegates. It was nothing more than making a rhetorical assumption as though part of your opponents claims were true, so as to make an argument against.
“Assuming. That super delegates exist to help the stronger candidate win, therefore…”
That’s all it was.
Yet you, insincerely, pretend that what was advocated, was an endorsement of superdelegates, which it was not, and it was very clear.
I understand you are making a case for reform and I respect that, but I am displeased to see that you still willfully mis-interpret arguments made by Sanders supporters, as though Sanders supporters, were ever in favor of dis-enfranchising anybody. You have made it clear what you say your reasoning is in making that willful mis-interpretation.
But the very notion of Sanders supporters, being against Democracy, as you suggest, is absolutely disgusting - and completely ridiculous. What you refer to was quite clearly, just debate - not a proposal for how to run an election - it was totally clear. Sanders supporters, never, ever, ever, advocated for super delegates - at all!


#58

Well that was really emphatic. But I don’t think my interpretation was incorrect, unfair or unreasonable. Here are some quotes from some prominent articles from that period:

From Mother Jones (“The Myth of Sanders’ November Advantage”)–

"Soon after Sen. Bernie Sanders was declared the loser in the New York Democratic presidential primary on Tuesday night, his campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, was on MSNBC explaining the path ahead for the independent socialist from Vermont. Weaver contended, optimistically, that Sanders could potentially win all the remaining contests. When pressed on what the campaign would do should Sanders end up second to Hillary Clinton in the delegate hunt, Weaver said the campaign would spend the weeks between the final primary in early June and the Democratic convention in late July trying to flip the superdelegates who have declared their loyalty to Clinton.

To some, this might seem fanciful. Would Democratic officials throw Clinton to the curb in favor of the second-place guy who has never been a member of the Democratic Party? And would Sanders, the champion of small-d democracy and the scourge of machine politics, really turn to the equivalent of party bosses to secure the nomination after losing the popular vote? Weaver justified this possible strategy by insisting that Sanders is the Democratic candidate better situated to win in the November general election."

The Hill (“Sanders pressures Clinton superdelegates to jump ship”)

"Sanders strategist Tad Devine noted the importance of superdelegates and said that more party leaders will defect from Clinton because, he said, Sanders is better positioned to win the general election. … Sanders and his supporters have tried to woo Clinton supporters away from the front-runner. Colorado Rep. Jared Polis, a Clinton supporter, received a note in a takeout meal over the weekend imploring him to “Feel the Bern,” tweeting a picture to his followers. The pitch about Sanders’s claimed general election supremacy over Clinton did not convince Sullivan, the New Hampshire superdelegate siding with Clinton. When the Sanders pitch was repeated back to her by The Hill, she laughed. “That’s not true. I have to laugh at that. Secretary Clinton is the stronger general election candidate,” she said, noting that both Sanders and Clinton would defeat Donald Trump. "

Slate (“Polls Say Bernie Is More Electable Than Hillary. Don’t Believe Them.”)

“Trailing in the Democratic presidential race, Bernie Sanders has one last gambit. He wants to persuade the party’s superdelegates—officeholders, luminaries, and party officials who can vote at the convention—that he’s the Democrats’ best hope to win the general election.”

MSNBC (“Sanders surprises with controversial superdelegate strategy”)

"Though it’s never happened, the existing Democratic process leaves open the possibility that actual, rank-and-file voters – the folks who participate in state-by-state elections – will rally behind one presidential candidate, only to have party officials override their decision, handing the nomination to someone else. For many, such a scenario seems un-democratic (and un-Democratic).

It therefore came as something of a surprise this week when Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign first raised the prospect of doing exactly that. Sanders aides told reporters that he may not be able to catch Hillary Clinton through the primary/caucus delegate process, but the campaign might come close, at which point Team Bernie might ask superdelegates to give Sanders the nomination anyway, even if he’s trailing Clinton after voters have had their say."

The Atlantic (“Is the Democratic Race Really Over?”)

“The Sanders campaign’s case for continuing on is a two-part argument. The first is that those superdelegates aren’t bound by their commitments to Clinton so far, and they could change their mind before the Democratic National Convention in July. The second is that Sanders will appeal to those superdelegates to abandon Clinton, on the basis that head-to-head polls show him performing better against Trump than Clinton does.”

U.S. News and World Report (“Sanders’ Nonsensical Path Forward”)

“…if Sanders can hold Clinton under 59 percent of the pledged delegates, it is technically possible for him to pluck the nomination from her regardless of how many supers currently say they’re in her corner. And that’s pretty much the vow Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver made in an underwhelming appearance Tuesday night on MSNBC after Clinton’s sweeping victory in the New York primary. “It is extremely unlikely that either candidate will have the requisite number of pledged delegates to get to this number, right?” he told Steve Kornacki. “So it’s going to be an election determined by the superdelegates.” When Kornacki asked if Sanders will spend “those weeks in the summer trying to flip superdelegates to Bernie Sanders before the convention” even if Clinton leads the popular vote and in pledged delegates, Weaver said “absolutely” that’s the case.”

And there are plenty more out there, but I think that should be enough to rebut every one of your claims. It seemed very clear to me that this was a core faction of Sanders supporters that included his campaign manager and campaign strategist–and even if Sanders tried to be coy about it, he did not disavow it. It was also clear this was no mere hypothetical, but was a campaign strategy and it provided the main rationale for Sanders continuing in the race. Sanders definitely did court superdelegates, and people in the Sanders campaign were unambiguous that they would try to convince superdelegates to elect Sanders even if he trailed in both votes and pledge delegates–even if that was undemocratic–on the basis of the electability argument.

Being emphatic does not make you right. But it does ensure that when you are wrong, you are emphatically wrong. And after your gaff about some of the primaries being held more than a year before the convention, seems like that should have been an object lesson about the value of doing a little fact checking–particularly since it appears there is something distinctly unreliable about the way you process, store, or retrieve information.


#59

Not even CLOSE to “good enough”. I was a loyal democrat for over fifty years~I shook Hubert Humphrey’s hand, for god’s sake~but until there are NO superdelegates–NONE–I will NOT vote for the UNdemocratic “democratic” party again!!!


#60

You THINK you have “rebutted” “claims”, but you have defended a corrupt democratic party and a corrupt candidate, who by the way blew through $2 billion, and LOST.