When I defended the Democrats for saving “superdelegate” seats for key officials, I expected to get blowback from Bernie supporters. And I did. And that’s fine. But I think something needs to be said in response.
The tenor of the blowback is basically that the Democrats are rigging the game for Hillary Clinton.
Well, if this is true, then it’s a woefully inept conspiracy.
The Democrats have set aside 15 percent of their delegate slots for officeholders and party leaders. These people can cast their convention votes as they see fit. Those who get superdelegate spots are not chosen for their loyalty to a particular candidate. If they were, then Sanders supporter Rich Cassidy wouldn’t have a superdelegate slot from Vermont. Hell, Bernie himself is a superdelegate — and he’s not even a Democrat.
And so far, less than half the superdelegates have endorsed Clinton.
And they are free to change their minds at any time.
That is one weak-ass conspiracy.
Now certainly, most superdelegates will make their decisions based on what they think is best for the party. A majority will, naturally, prefer Hillary Clinton. A broad spectrum of politicos and observers see her as the stronger candidate. The conventional wisdom might turn out to be wrong, but there are solid and considerable reasons for its existence.
Not to mention she’s been a Democrat for a long time, while Bernie’s enjoyed playing the outsider.
In fact, he’s enjoyed playing it both ways: he slams the party as “establishment” when he wants, but he benefits from the Democratic label when it helps his presidential candidacy and when it gives him more clout in the Senate. Last time the Dems had a Senate majority, they made Bernie a committee chair. A competent cabal would have exiled him to the back benches.
Indeed, they didn’t really have to let him run for president at all. If this was really a conspiracy, the DNC could have instituted a rule that any presidential candidate must be a card-carrying Democrat. Better still, must have been a card-carrying Democrat for, say, at least two years prior to becoming a candidate. Call it a minimal proof of commitment.
Heck, in New Hampshire, there was a serious question about whether Bernie was qualified to be on the ballot as a Democrat. And Democratic Secretary of State Jim Condos provided information to New Hampshire in support of Bernie’s eligibility.
I guess Jim didn’t get the conspiracy memo.
And there’s the point I’m trying to make, in my usual discursive way. If there was really a Wall Street/pro-war/anti-Bernie conspiracy at work, don’t you think they’d be doing a better job?
A few hundred superdelegates? Who may or may not support the insiders’ choice?
Really? Is that the best the One-Percenter/Kissinger/Davos/Clinton Foundation/Bilderberg crowd can do?
Good grief. With tactics like these, I don’t know how they ever expect to take over the planet.