Bernie Sanders: to fix the Democratic Party, curb superdelegates, make it easier to vote in primaries, and account for funds


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/11/13/occupy-the-dnc.html


#2

Good for Sanders to take more of an interest in the actual future of the Democratic party than the Brazile’s et al that brought us to our current state of affairs.

Devil’s advocate on the superdelegates, though: After seeing someone like Trump take over the Republican party by a confluence of events, you have to admit that having a level of circuit breakers that prevent the party from committing ideological suicide (even if it leads to electoral success) is not without merit.


#3

Got my fingers crossed that Bernie will be running in the general election.


#4

The push should be for superdelegates to be a sample of registered Democratic voters and not Democratic donors/DNC workers. Right now it is very much a structured thing to promote loyalty which also isn’t good.

Superdelegates would also only make sense if stacked into swing states to encourage and influence that will line up with the electoral college.


#5

We just need to get rid of the electoral college


#6

Much easier to build your plan around it first.


#7

I think you can make a good argument that it makes sense to have the superdelegates be local and state party officials, because those are the people who (at least in theory) are building and maintaining the party on those levels.

But there are some misconceptions out there about these delegates, because a fair number of people are still under the impression that Clinton only beat Sanders because of them. She didn’t, and had a pretty comfortable margin of victory on the total votes cast, and if she’d lost the votes she would have also lost the superdelegates (as she did in 2008 to Obama).

Sure, but that’s not going to happen in the near future, so the Democrats better be prepared to play by the rules that exist now rather than the rules they’d prefer.


#8

We don’t have to. We, as in the left, need to take over state legislatures and enact state laws that apportion their Electors according to the proportion of popular votes cast. Then, problem solved. Some states have already done this. We need to make it generally accepted practice. No Constitutional amendment needed.


#9

It’s absolutely pathetic that legitimacy and financial transparency and easier enfranchisement should be controversial proposals within an organisation that touts itself as the party of liberalism.

Quite so. When selecting a nominee, the party organisation can do without the votes of lobbyists for right-wing media organisations and the petroleum industry, thank you very much.

I don’t think that’s going to happen, but reform through the setting of national standards on accountability and proportional allocation of Electors is certainly possible. Democratic legislators in the capitals of sane states like California and New York will have to set the standard.


#10

This was the point of superdelegates: to prevent the 1972 election from happening again. George McGovern lost the popular vote for the Democratic party nomination, but he made some deals and secured the nomination. He won Massachusetts and Washington D.C. in the general election. Superdelegates pledged to vote for the popular vote winner could have overridden McGovern and selected Hubert Humphrey, instead.


#11

George McGovern lost the popular vote for the Democratic party nomination, but he made some deals and secured the nomination.

I don’t think that is accurate. From the Wikipedia to which you linked:

In the end, McGovern won the nomination by winning primaries through grassroots support in spite of establishment opposition.

Superdelates were put into place to frustrate popular non-establishment candidates, especially left wing candidates, like McGovern. The system worked as designed with Bernie.


#12

There were quite a number of superdelegates that outright said they would not vote for Bernie despite him having popular support in some states. And considering that Clinton rigged the system against Bernie… yeah, it works as intended.


#13

I am no defender of Clinton and her cronies, and the sooner they are gone from the Democratic party the better off we and the country will be, BUT she did get several million more primary votes than Sanders did. Superdelegates had little if anything to do with Clinton’s win in this primary.


#14

So if you’re not really paying enough attention but do vote, and you see a graph like this:
image
Where is your vote going?


#15

I am not sure. Clinton had connections beyond the party. I think it’s no coincidence that Bernie received little to no coverage on the news cycle or that he was consistently dismissed as a fringe candidate despite having a lot of support. Or that they would only report that his base was violent. They wanted to assassinate his character and make him less credible as a candidate, and a lot of this has come out since that Clinton coordinated this so him getting less votes overall reeks of manipulation of the system.


#16

I agree she won those votes. I think she was also helped in that by arguing that she was the “inevitable” nominee, and defiance is useless. I personally know several elected officials and down ballot candidates who supported Bernie, but endorsed Clinton out of fear of repercussions.

.


#17

Why do you keep posting this graph? it’s disingenuous at best, and @fitzador debunked the shit out of it the last time you posted it.


#18

All of that can be true to a certain extent, but it isn’t what superdelegates do. I fully agree that Clinton’s cronies at the DNC didn’t play fair, and the party suffered for it.

Leaving aside the legitimacy of the graph, I take your point that looking like the inevitable candidate is an inherent advantage of a kind. BUT she also started out in a roughly similar situation in 2008.

ETA: I think I have been unclear about how I view superdelegates. I agree that the way they currently function is not appropriate, specifically when they “commit” before the conclusion of the race. I think there is value in serving as a circuit breaker, though, so I would argue that they should only “commit” against the vote of their state in the rarest of circumstances (looking at you, Trump!).


#19

Remember what I said last time you posted this? How it’s disingenous and misleading because it reflects a single point in time; indeed, the only time Bernie had a chance with respect to pledged delegates? And how, after Super Tuesday, it became much more difficult to see a path for him to win on pledged delegates?


#20

Disclaimer: I voted for Sanders in the primaries and Clinton in the general election.

The following is of course all based on my perception of events, so take it with a grain of salt, but:

Even with an even playing field I do not think Sanders would have won the primaries. However, if the playing field had been more even, I don’t think there would have been as much bad blood from Sanders supporters.

I also think this was the first election that a lot of people really paid close enough attention to (or the news gave as much coverage of) superdelegates. I think it came as a sort of surprise to folks who hadn’t given it much thought before and stunk of back room deck stacking. Why would my vote count so much less than some party hack? And why is some bunch of party busy bodies even limiting my choices of who to vote for in the first place?

Of course, in theory, the superdelegates were going to vote for the majority popular vote winner. But the news cycle kept showing graphics of all the superdelegates tacked up on Clinton’s side long before the primaries, which played right into the idea of Sanders as an underdog, fighting a system stacked against him.

This, and other rumors of inner party shenanigans, and consistent intimations that Clinton was the party anointed one, really embittered both Sanders supporters and anyone else who felt the current system was locked in place and failing them.

I can’t say for sure it lost Clinton the general election, but I don’t think the appearance of unfairness and exclusivity during the primaries helped at all.