As a follow-up to my post from last Friday, I present to you Wikipedia's list of the 2016 Democratic Party super-delegates, their states, and their allegiances.
Many of my friends are quite enamored of Senator Bernard Sanders, his presidential campaign, and what that campaign represents. I deeply respect and admire their idealism, even when they overlook portions of Bernie's voting record that are far from ideal. So I post this not with the intent of pissing in anyone's punch bowl, but to remind them of the reality.
Today I bothered to look up the super-delegate list only because of news stories of how Sanders crushed Senator/Secretary Hillary Clinton in the popular vote in New Hampshire, yet Clinton will show up in Philadelphia with more delegate votes from that state.
As of now, if Sanders picks up every single super-delegate listed as Uncommitted, he and Clinton will each have exactly 355. 355 + 355 + 2 for former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley = 712, whence we derive the title of this post.
The Primary System Is a Scam, Y'all
The primary system was originally designed to make the nomination process more democratic. When I was a tot, only about 15 states had primary elections. The rest had smoke-filled rooms. In 1968, the result was that Vice President Hubert Humphrey, who received just a small slice of the primary vote, still won a plurality of delegates. This occasioned the famous anti-war demonstrations outside the convention hall and Chicago's bloody crackdown thereupon.
For 1972, the Democratic Party massively expanded the number of states that decided delegates by popular vote. Each state's party maintained a degree of autonomy and could make its own rules for apportionment of delegates. At the convention that summer, South Dakota Senator George McGovern won the nomination as an anti-war candidate; in November, Team Nixon ran the table. The Democratic Party establishment licked its collective wounds and said, "That's what we get for letting the people decide. Back to the drawing board."
So party leaders kept tinkering with the process. Now, the super-delegate tail wags the dog. Also, Super Tuesday, originally a Southern regional event, is no longer confined to the South and requires huge campaign expenditures, so only the candidates with serious fund-raising machines can compete.
And the rest, as they say, is political chicanery at its most thoroughly developed. No, wait...they don't say that, but I do.
This is just one of the reasons I took the cure and bailed on the Democratic Party 20 years ago. Not only does the party build progressive dreams only to destroy them, but it does so by rigging the game.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
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