Democrats Strip Superdelegates Of Power In Historic Reform Vote

Huffington Post

Many of my Bernie supporting fans were decrying superdelegates back in '16 when Hillary ‘stole’ the nomination.

Whether she did or didn’t I really couldn’t say, but I do see this as a good thing for the party whether it will make a substantive change in the way things are done or is just working for public perception removing a bone of contention.

Dumb move. It allows populists to take over, while acting like Sanders had a point when he lost even without the superdelegates.

Though, note, I’ve not done any particular checking into this. I’m just going off the OP.

It doesn’t really mean anything, but anything that’ll shut up the Bernie Bros is a good thing. I’m hoping the next move is to strongly encourage states to eliminate caucuses, which allow bullying activists for fringe candidates to have too much influence. And, I think a lot of Republican states might go along with ending caucuses since they can still remember the nuttiness of the Ron Paul people and how they were able to hijack control of a couple of state parties.

As long as all Democratic primaries and caucuses continue to allocate delegates proportionally, there’s little risk of the Democrats nominating a Trump. Trump was able to steam roll his delegate count by winning small pluralities in states with winner take all and winner take most delegate allocation.

Despite your hate-on for Sanders supporters, I think removing caucuses would also be a good move. It’s not bullying, but it is a fairly elitist way to choose a nominee, and we’d be better off getting rid of both superdelegates AND caucuses, IMO.

The Bernie Bros will not be silenced!

I’m not tied to democratically selecting party candidates except inasmuch as undemocratic methods can turn off voters in the general election. Ultimately, the party needs to nominate the candidate with the best chance of winning, and strict democratic voting isn’t necessarily the best method to ensure that happens. I was never much opposed to Super Delegates, but since it seems like they weren’t doing much to affect candidate selection, it’s probably best to just get rid of them.

Yeah, because the Democratic Party has proven in the last 50 years very adept at letting popularity choose the next president… :wink:

Yeah, but is there a better method? If there is, I’m all for it. I think that the problem is more associate with the voters in the general election and the peculiarities of the electoral college. Maybe we don’t allow any state with an ocean border or a border with Canada to have any say in the nominating process. Exceptions made for east coast states south of VA. :slight_smile:

You do realize, do you not, that the most annoying of the “Bernie Bros” were Russians?

Good. If that’s the only major reform, the DNC rules still allocate delegates in a way that many would likely consider undemocratic.

Proportional representation only affects how the state’s delegates are broken down. Delegates are not assigned to states strictly by population. There’s a role for total electoral votes that potentially gives small states a similar advantage over large states inside the DNC as they do in the general election. Results from the last three Presidential election cycles impact the delegates allocated to each state in a couple ways. When a state chooses to hold it’s primary also has an impact; there can be bonus delegates awarded for certain scheduling. There’s also rules that allow sanctions against state delegations or specific candidates for rules violations. The 2016 rules for how pledged delegates were allocated are here.

Proportional allocation makes it harder than in the GOP, but it’s possible to win the Democratic nomination while losing the primary popular vote.

Bernie Sanders is Russian??!?

I don’t see the point of taking away their power, 99% of the time they would just vote for the candidate with the most delegates anyway and the other 1% is the reason they exist in the first place.

The Bernie Bros worked themselves into a coronary because it was the ‘corrupt’ DNC that had anoited Hillary. Of course, they harassed superdelegates once Bernie decided to ‘take it to the convention’ Because, of course, elected officials such as super delegates would consider changing their vote to the guy who had the fewer elected delegates.

Well, we certainly can’t have anyone getting worked up over political rivals within the left, can we? I appreciate your modeling for us the sort of calm, reasoned disagreement that you wish Bernie Bros would evince.

I thought the purpose of superdelegates is to thwart populists - that even if a populist is winning the primaries - someone the powers that be don’t want - that the superdelegates will be there to serve as a veto and make sure that the Party’s preferred choice ultimately still prevails.

You seem to hail from a different reality than I do. I live in one where Sanders gave a keynote speech in support of Clinton at the DNC.

for those that don’t know here is what Ron Paul nuts did at GOP caucuses. They would say they were running for an office so they were allowed to give a speech. But their speeches were all about how great Ron Paul was. These speeches would go on for a really long time. The non Ron Paul nuts would get tired and leave but the Paul supporters would stay and vote and that’s how Paul won some caucuses.

While Nixon was caught with his hand in the cookie jar, it seems like politics used to be more corrupt in general, in that era and before.

It’s difficult to meaningfully bribe the general populace. Vouching to lower taxes is about the best you can do. If you just need to convince the party head that you’re the person to choose, then all sorts of backroom shenanigans are easy to arrange, and so they did and so we had lots of corrupt leaders. Moving back to party-head selection process would likely mean a return to general corruption.

Superdelegates are probably also prone to fall into the bucket of corruptible entities, in the long run, even if they aren’t yet.

The Venetians had an elaborate system of electing the Doge that used several steps of randomness to try and ensure that no one affiliated with anyone was making the decision, and you couldn’t predict who those people were, so you couldn’t bribe them. And that system ended up becoming corrupted because, in essence, while selecting random people as the electors, they were always random people from the nobility - and the nobility had become a corrupt class, in general, so they tended to pick people who would continue to make that more easy.

It seems that Clinton did, effectively, buy the election within the party. More than them pulling some clever moves to hurt Bernie, her ability to finance the party made it impossible for other candidates to step up to run against her, despite Hillary having been an unpopular candidate that most anyone could have won against if they’d been able to. The party decided that it was more useful to have the money to use on Congress than to have a strong candidate.

That had nothing to do with Superdelegates. Clinton won more because no one else ran against her than because the Superdelegates backed her. There should have been more names in the race than just Clinton and some Socialist crank. But even were that not the case, Superdelegates would eventual become a target for bribery and corruption.

Democracy, on the other hand, while hard to corrupt - unless you’re narrowing it down to sub-sections of the populace, which you can do given enough time - doesn’t really prevent corruption either. And, more importantly, it promotes Demagogues. Which isn’t to say that a Demagogue is bad. Julius Caesar was, at the end of the day, a clever guy who knew how to get shit done.

But consistently finding a good Demagogue is hard, and even the best of us will go downhill at some point (read about the last years of Madison’s life, for example). Many a great leader has screwed over his legacy in old age, unable to recognize that he’s no longer the man he was. Nepotism, in particular, is a factor that seems to be very hard for even the wisest people to avoid. While doing everything else smart and canny, they’ll then go and put in their idiot son as their successor.

Caesar was great, and the people loved him enough to force the country to abandon Republicanism, when he was assassinated by Senators, trying to protect the country. And that choice sent Rome into a downward spin that never corrected. It was all downhill from the moment they abandoned the Republic, despite each Emperor having full power to do everything necessary. And that’s counter-intuitive to your average person. Endless bickering, compromising, and taking half-measures by a Congress of people can’t possibly be more effective than a powerful, capable leader with full ability to make any decision necessary for the state.

But no, reasoned debate by a Congress of educated people is more successful - particularly in the long run - than rule by a great leader.

A single voice to try and give some shape to the debate is good. Rule by only a Congress would be hellish. But it needs to be a balance, and most people don’t respect that.

What’s needed isn’t democratic election, superdelegates, or historic processes. Something new needs to be developed that is able to find decent people and vet them.

I suggest a solution that treats it like a job. Not a campaign, but an interview process. And I mean that on the side of the electors. They should be finding candidates and taking them apart.

Don’t just select the electors randomly, make sure that they represent all of the people of the country, but also are reasonable-minded sorts within that class. But beyond that, they should be random and unaffiliated with the party heads in any way, direct or indirect.

If we still have a democratic general election, then ask them to promote a few names so that you can have an in-party election of those candidates, to make sure that the candidate can win a popularity contest - something unlikely to come out in an interview.

Bernie Sanders isn’t a “Bernie Bro”.

Yes, exactly, and so weakening them empowers the populists, just like BigT said**.

Again, Sanders himself is not a “Bernie bro”. Sanders supported Clinton, but many of his “bros” did not. That sort of division is what the DNC is trying to avoid in the future with this rule change. But it’s irrelevant, because, as noted, most of those obnoxious “bros” who attacked Clinton were Russian trolls.

What would be the point of having super delegates if they didn’t consider that?

They got rid of them?

Yeah, that’s probably for the best. It’s a silly procedural thing to worry about; it’s just a step on the way to picking a good candidate. But it looks like the Democrats need to reform internally in order to compete, and become more social-democratic; this may be a concession that their future, if any, is as a mass democratic organization, not an old club.