There were three big, Big problems with the Democratic Party's utilization of a nomination rigging device in 2016 that we've all heard of: Super Delegates.
The first problem was that the Clinton Machine systematically went around the country years in advance, before Hillary had even declared herself as a candidate for the presidency, and "secured" the commitment of Party Super Delegates to vote for her. And by "secured", we mean that she offered to structure her campaign fundraising in a way that generated large amounts of funding for state Democratic Party organizations. And then, predictably, it turned out that a huge proportion of that promised money never went to the state campaigns, but remained with the Clinton 2016 campaign.
On every level, this was the opposite of how a democracy should function. Votes should not be "secured" and should not be done so years in advance of the actual vote, but should be cast at the time of the vote according to the judgment of the voter as to which candidate is the best. Votes should not be "secured" in exchange for something, particularly money. That is corruption pure and simple. And where there is any justification for such exchanges because it somehow represents a coordination of candidates who share the same policy goals, it is theft or breach of contract or just dishonest to promise money in exchange for something and then not provide the money even though the other side of the exchange has been performed.
That was just the first problem with Super Delegates in 2016. The second problem was that from the get-go, as much as six months before the first primary, the media misrepresented the nature of Super Delegates in a way that suppressed voter engagement, validated the corrupt mechanism, and inaccurately reported as impossible that anything that could happen that would cause Bernie to win the nomination. This was particulary influential on Super Tuesday when the major media outlets all displayed graphics on a frequent basis that showed how many delegates had been secured by each candidate, including Super Delegates even though the Super Delegate votes would not be cast until the convention. The mainstream media gave the high volume message to the American voter as a huge number of votes were being cast in the South that the nomination was already a lock for Hillary Clinton, eventhough by that time, Bernie was running neck and neck with her in the primaries up to that time. This fraudulent reporting undoubtedly suppressed the number of votes cast for Bernie on that singular day in the primary season.
The third problem with Super Delegates in 2016 was that the Super Delegates defiantly asserted their right to disregard the popular vote in their state. These party insiders, many of them lobbyists, touted their superior expertise in judging which candidate best meet the criteria for being the nominee, arrogantly insulting the voters and disenfranchising them at the same time. This Democratic Party then doubled down on this arrogance by arguing in court briefs in the law suit over the DNC's rigging of the primaries that it did NOT have a duty to respect the vote of its membership!
Following the exposure of DNC emails plainly evidencing what was already widely on public view from many angles, the party agreed to "reform" its Super Delegate system in that Super Delegates would no longer be allowed to participate in the first round of voting at the convention. Thus, if someone succeeded in gaining a majority of the voter delegates in the first round, then the party would have to respect the will and vote of its membership. This change would make it harder for the media to report that the nomination was a lock if an establishment candidate went around and bribed all the Super Delegates ahead of time as Clinton did. It also provided some, or rather a false, sense that the Democratic Party now would respect the vote. However, it did not prevent Establishment candidates from "securing" Super Delegate commitments far in advance with bribes and it left the door wide open for an easy manipulation to put the Party Insider Super Delegates back in control of who gets nominated, and that's why Super Delegates are still an outrage.
The easy manipulation that puts the Party Insider Super Delegates back in control of who gets the nomination works like this: The Establishment leadership of the Democratic Party agrees that they will recruit and support a large number of candidates who all understand that they will all be rewarded for dividing the vote in the primaries so that no candidate ends up with a majority, which means in the second round of voting at the convention, the Super Delegates get to vote, and likely to throw the election to the candidate of their choice. The collusion described probably also includes an agreement between these establishment candidates that they will all throw their delegates in the second round to the candidate supported by the Super Delegates or the candidate with the most delegates among them. And the collusion also likely includes the reward that with this "teamwork," each of the Establishment candidates now has a chance to come out first among their group, which is a far less likely outcome if they have to compete in a fair process against Bernie Sanders that does not have Super Delegates at all.
Yes, all of this is the Establishment fighting tooth and nail against its destiny. The progressive movement is unstoppable. Demographically, this team of Establishment candidates working in collusion with the DNC to prevent Bernie Sanders from getting the nomination will be despised and cursed by the young people who are coming of age and by the young adults who are already clear about the corruption of our process and these Establishment candidates' selfish ambition that plays games with Super Delegates while the climate change crises, voter disempowerment, criminal justice injustice, and economic injustice and disparites grow to unprecedented extremes. So let's name them so it's clear they will know they are the ones we are talking about: Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Kirstin Gilligrand, Amy Klobuchar, Sharrod Brown, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, John Delaney, John Hickenlooper. I leave Tulsi Gabbard out of this list until we see what happens when Bernie enters the race. These are the candidates whose policies immitate Bernie's 2016 candidates but who failed to endorse Bernie in 2016. Thus, they blatantly sided with the corruption of Clinton's 5 SuperPACS, her corrupt use of Super Delegates, her deceitful rigging of the entire primary process through her control of the DNC chair, and many other unethical strategems. They blatantly sided with a policy platform that could care less about climate change and that scorned the vision of economic empowerment and criminal justice reforem offered by Bernie Sanders, which these hypocritical candidates all now claim they believe is very important. Thus, these candidates have already irrevocably demonstrated their lack of integrity, leadership and vision to the voters. And the young generations, who with each passing year replace older voters who identify too strongly with the bad old days of the Democratic Party to let go of their allegiance to it, no matter how clear the corruption is. These older voters are disappearing and so too is the day in which the Establishment control the Democratic Party. But for 2020, Super Delegates are still a very real outrage against democracy, a very real impediment to the progressive movement electing a leader who has the proven will and determination to take money out of politics so that we can start putting in place the solutions to our many crises that have not been possibly while the money of the oligarchy controls the Democratic Party Establishment.
Progressives need to make this Super Delegate Outrage a news story the media has to cover. We need to make this narrative unescapable so that the participants in this Super Delegate collusion selfishly pursuing their own ambition when they have no real leadership to offer cannot look the public in the eye when confronted about it. We need the voters of our nation to be unable to escape understanding of the interest they have in having their vote respected and of the sophisticated game these candidates are playing to undermine the power of the vote on behalf of the oligarchy that controls the establishment and does not want change. These colluding establishment candidates offer watered down versions of Bernie's platform and claim to be running for the presidency in order to lead the movement for change, but they have proven that they are not commited to this change when it does not serve their own ambitions, and unlike, Bernie, they have not shown that they really can transform the political landscape in our nation. Even without being nominated, Bernie has already done that.
Old guard voters who support the Democratic Party Establishment should consider that, if the Super Delegate Outrage described actually occurrs, this will be a pheric victory, creating such a back lash that the Democratic Party will never recover. Meanwhile our many crises will not have an effective response from our government. All that will be achieved is that a few members of this generation of politicians will have their ambitions gratified pointlessly. The mainstream media will run stories about them being the best leaders of most voter's lifetimes, ignoring that the leaderhsip during these lifetimes has been abysmal, and ignoring that none of our problems were really solved during their tenure, but instead only grew worse and harder to remedy for the unnecessary delay. For this, our children will curse that generation and the Democratic Party Establishment will be lucky if it disappears without notice.
Respecting the vote is the only source of leadership that can guide a nation through crisis. DNC Party Chair Tom Perez dishonestly touts his goal of making this primary season the most inclusive one it can be, contrasting it to the 2016 primary as though the problem with that primary was not that the DNC did everything to overthrow the vote, but was instead the fact that it was a contest between two very different visions, one that advanced the interests of the oligarchy and another that advanced the interests of the people. Tom Perez is lying to his constituents. "Inclusive" is code for a primary that likely prevents a majority of delegates from being won in the popular vote and therefore swings control of the nomination to the Party Insiders named as Super Delegates. If we care about our future, we need to call Perez out for this lie and we need to turn up the heat against this outrage with the aim of forcing the Democratic Party to make further changes, eliminating Super Delegates once and for all.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS