Will Democratic Party Superdelegates Prevent a Progressive Nominee in 2020?

Jerri-Lynn here. As the Democratic Party race for the nomination heats up, the threat of superdelegates intervening in the 2020 party convention looms. A  reform agreed last year means their participation is more limited than in the past: superdelegates can no longer vote during the first ballot, but only during the second and subsequent ones, should no candidate secure a majority.

Norman Solomon discusses the situation in this Real News Network interview.

GREG WILPERT It’s The Real News Network and I’m Greg Wilpert in Baltimore.

The race for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination is now in full swing. Last month, we already had the first two debates among twenty of the candidates. The next double debate, this time on CNN, will take place in Detroit on July 30th and 31st. Fourteen candidates have so far qualified to participate. As the primary process heats up, attention is being placed once again on the role of the so-called superdelegates during the party’s convention, which will take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 13th to 16th in 2020. Superdelegates are elected Democratic Party officials, former distinguished party leaders, and state party officials. In the past, the superdelegates who were not pledged to any particular presidential candidate were able to vote for any candidate of their choice during the convention. Supporters of Bernie Sanders in 2016, however, objected to this rule saying that it biased the nomination process in favor of establishment candidates, such as Hillary Clinton. The nomination rules were thus changed last year so that superdelegates can no longer vote during the first ballot, but only during the second one and after, should no candidate have a majority of pledged delegates leading up to the first ballot.

Joining me now to discuss the Democratic Party’s nomination process is Norman Solomon. Norman is co-founder and National Coordinator of RootsAction.org. Also, he’s the founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. Thanks for joining us again, Norman.

NORMAN SOLOMON Hey. Thank you, Greg.

GREG WILPERT So you were quite involved in the discussions about the superdelegate reform process last year. As a matter of fact, you were there at the DNC meeting last August to see the process. So before we get into what this new process means for the 2020 race, what did you think about the reform at the time it was passed? Was it a good compromise, or was it a bad one?

NORMAN SOLOMON It was an important step forward and it’s notable that a lot of the establishment of the DNC was very upset at that meeting that you mentioned in Chicago last August. We had people like Donna Brazil and others, members of Congress who are longtime Democratic elite leaders or at least manipulators, who were outraged that their power to affect the Democratic presidential nomination was in their view, being usurped and taken away. And they felt that they were being disempowered where actually, what was happening was that the electorate was being empowered and their disadvantages were being eliminated or at least sharply reduced. So the best solution would have been to simply get rid of superdelegates and their power to vote on the nominee, period. The best that could be done was to get rid of their power to affect a vote during the first ballot. And it’s important to recall that there hasn’t been a second ballot since 1952. So the danger is still there that the decision could go as far as a second ballot, but I would say the odds are against it next year.

GREG WILPERT That’s exactly what I want to turn to now. At the time that the DNC reformed the nomination process, it wasn’t clear that there would be 24 candidates running for the Democratic nomination. I think that must be one of the largest number of candidates ever running for the Democratic Party nomination. So as a result, since there’s so many candidates, wouldn’t that actually significantly increase the chances of no candidate winning in a clear majority, and thereby bringing us back to the old system where the superdelegates end up being the ones who brokered the decision and decide the race in the end?

NORMAN SOLOMON That’s an understandable fear. I think, at this point, it’s a misconception for two big reasons. First, is that the rules require that for a candidate to get any delegates from a state, from a congressional district when the delegates are representing that district, that candidate has to get at least 15% of the vote. And the vast majority of the candidates will come out of a particular primary or caucus with zero delegates. The other reality, which has become more clear in the last couple of weeks, is that there can be 24 candidates. There’s about five who are at this point likely serious contenders. You look at the numbers and the vast majority of those 25 or so, are somewhere between 0% and 1%, or 1.5%, of the national polling. And particularly, when you look at—And of course, it’s possible to see a change, but I think the odds are very strong that one of four people will be the nominee because they are at the first tier. And that is: Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, or Kamala Harris. And after those four, there’s a very, very steep drop-off to single digits. The closest in the polling has been Buttigieg. And so, this field is going to winnow out pretty fast. And the vast majority of those two dozen candidates will be quickly irrelevant, and go to the convention in Milwaukee next summer with single-digit delegates, I believe, if at all.

GREG WILPERT Let me just push back a little bit for a moment. I mean, the thing is that, I mean, even if you end up with only four major candidates, if none of those four get an absolute majority— that is, more than 50% of the delegates in the first ballot— that still means it will go to a second ballot. And let’s say, presumably Biden might still be the frontrunner. Then he ends up getting the superdelegates, even if the other candidates in theory could have maybe won if the superdelegates hadn’t participated. I mean, what do you think about all that?

NORMAN SOLOMON Well, sure that could happen. It could have happened in 1988. It could have happened in 1984. It could have happened many times in the last several decades. So the theoretical possibility is there and, you know, my crystal ball is in the shop. Nobody knows for sure, but I would say that the chances that there will be a second ballot are low. Because as this happens, as the candidates are winnowed out, and most of them fall by the wayside quickly, and most of the rest of them pretty soon afterwards, you’re going to have a handful of contenders. So I understand people’s concerns. I think it’s important that we not only horse race or, you know, be the pundits, as valid as that might seem, but it’s activism that matters. If people don’t want it to go to a second ballot so that corporate powers can start to really put their thumbs on the scale, they ought to make sure, we ought to make sure that we don’t have a corporate frontrunner to begin with.

You know, Joe Biden is clearly, I believe, the worst candidate among anybody with a ghost of a chance of winning the Democratic nomination next year. And you know, Kamala Harris is also a corporate creature. So if we don’t want those lobbyists—And by the way, most of the superdelegates are simply elected Democrats, so they’re establishment people on the whole. If we don’t want them to have power over the nomination, we should also move forward now to make sure that the billionaire class doesn’t have power over who is the frontrunner. And while Joe Biden is sinking from where he was, he still has a lot of money, a lot of clout, a lot of friendly corporate media behind him. And that’s, I think, where activism kicks in. You know, if people organize effectively, we can change the news, we can change history, not just learn about it later on.

I should add one other thing. That the odds structurally are against progressive, genuinely left progressive candidates from being nominated for the presidency. The odds were also against this young activist named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. And the structure of the rules in New York preregistration requirements and so forth, made the conventional wisdom that this powerful guy named Joe Crowley was simply going to walk back into Congress, and we know the history. That was changed because people had— not to coin a phrase, it’s an old phrase— they had “pessimism of the intellect.” That they brought to bear not only their optimism of the will, but their organizing to change what had been forecast, and bring about a much better result.

GREG WILPERT Yeah. I think that’s a very good point. Though, one of—The other change, though, that has taken place is that now California, which used to be almost an afterthought in the nomination process because it was one of the last states to hold a primary, has now moved its primary race up to March 3rd. And it’s taking place together with other major states, so that up to a third of the delegates will be chosen on that March 3rd. Doesn’t that significantly increase the uncertainty of who will be the frontrunner, and therefore maybe also the possibility of actually having a brokered convention come July 2020?

NORMAN SOLOMON There’s certainly a lot of uncertainty in general. I think it’s coming with the territory— anytime you have some strong candidates with a chunk of money and, you know, some media momentum, if not grassroots. We have some Astroturf candidates. We have a couple of what I think are more genuine candidates— Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders— with a lot of momentum. I’m here in California, and certainly it’s going to be a battlefield here, the biggest prize by far in terms of delegates. And one of the things that the Bernie Sanders campaign is doing is this distributed outreach, where we’re not reliant on the big media markets and the advertising budgets. You know, the Sanders campaign is very adequately funded. At the same time, the differential is going to be what happens on the ground.

And so, one thing I’d add is that the conventional wisdom has been so wrong that, you know, pundits may as well just go on vacation for the next year and a half in terms of being reliable. You know, Hillary Clinton was going to absolutely trounce Donald Trump according to the wise men and women of the pundit-ocracy. And so, you know, we don’t know and there’s so many variables. There’s a populist upsurge of bogus, racist, xenophobic media often driven upsurge or down surge from the right-wing, and there’s also a tremendous populist progressive upsurge at the grassroots. And I think that we can bring that to bear to realize that it’s not electoral work or nonelectoral work. That it’s all part of a larger hole that we can bring to bear. So the dangers, again, are there. They always are there. And corporate power, the elites, are using everything they can to maintain power. That’s all the more reason for us to organize.

GREG WILPERT Okay. Well on that note, we’re going to leave it there for now, but I’m sure we’re going to come back to you to talk about this more as we see how the race shapes up. I was speaking to Norman Solomon, co-founder and National Coordinator of RootsAction.org. Thanks again, Norman, for having joined us today.

NORMAN SOLOMON Thank you, Greg.

GREG WILPERT And thank you for joining The Real News Network.

 

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55 comments

  1. UserFriendly

    FWIW delegates are pledged. That means even if Bernie/Warren/Tulsi wanted to give their delegates to each other they can’t. Either one candidate gets 50%+1 of the delegates or the super delegates get to vote.

    That said, it’s still possible to imagine a ‘nightmare’ scenario where you have 3 candidates with roughly the same amount of delegates and none who can get enough super delegates to cross the line. That is when you can trade delegates.

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      I did not realize that “pledged” means “could not even be re-assigned BY the nominee-candidate they were pledged to”. If that is what it really means, then the idea of “all Decent Democrat delegates voting for the Decent Democrat with the highest number of delegates right before the First Ballot” can’t be executed.

      In theory such an idea could be executed on the Second Ballot. Would each and every “hereinafter-released” delegate from the Decent Democrat delegations all unanimously agree to vote for the single Decent Democrat with the most delegates . . . on the Second Ballot? If they can do that, then perhaps the Decent Democrats have a Second Ballot chance to defeat the Catfood Leadership. If the Decent Democrat Delegates can NOT do that on the Second Ballot, they will have no chance thereafter. And the nominee will be a Catfood Democrat.

      It will be instructive and amusing to see how many of the “pledged” delegates are resentfully pledged and chafe under their pledged status and consider themselves “operationally and coercively” pledged for the First Ballot ONLY. And not the least bit morally pledged at all for Ballots Two-through-Infinity. We will see how many of those delegates turn into Catfood Delegates starting with Ballot Number Two.

      Reply
  2. Ignacio

    Many candidates => try to dilute Sanders. Superdelegates => second Sanders barrier if the first is overcome.
    Isn’t it?

    Reply
    1. Jeff W

      I’d say:

      four major candidates → lowers the probability that any of the four passes the 50% first ballot threshold (that could be seen as “dilute Bernie”)

      Second ballot → superdelegates: any candidate but Sanders

      I think Norman Solomon really soft-pedals that possibility.

      Things will get interesting if Sanders has a clear plurality but doesn’t hit the 50% threshold.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Norman Solomon seems to me to be high on hopium. The whole set of rules is designed to pre-shape the Convention Battlespace to advantage the Catfood Democrats. Pledging the delegates for Ballot Number One ONLY is meant to allow all the Catfood Delegates to vote and bargain Catfood from Ballot Number Two onwards.

        At that point, the only thing the Decent Democrat Delegates of conviction can do is keep voting for the Decent Democrat of their choice, and Never! Ever! vote for a Catfood Candidate. Maybe that way they can prevent a Catfood Candidate from ever achieving 50% of the Delegate Votes. Maybe they can force the Catfood Leaders to Catfood-Broker the Catfood Convention to Catfood Coronate a Catfood Nominee. Maybe the Decent Democrat Delegates can drive the Catfood Leaders to create such an atmosphere of rage and hatred out in the Decent Democrat Base . . . that Trump wins all Fifty States and the Catfood Democrat Party can be set up for extermination and dismemberment and incineration.

        Reply
      2. ChuckT

        Take a wild guess who will win in the second round if Sanders gets 49% on the first ballot and biden gets the second highest with 20%. If you think its Sanders I have a bridge to sell you.

        Reply
    2. WheresOurTeddy

      also no reason for you to drop out if you’re in a multi-person race and have a path via convention…someone with as little as 15-20% of the delegates who would otherwise drop out in a 2 or 3 person race has much more incentive to ride it out and less incentive to read the momentum and realize they’re not going to be within shouting distance of 50+1

      Frankly, a brokered convention hurts whoever the nominee ends up being.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        And THAT is how the Decent Democrats can have their revenge on the Catfood Democrats. They can prevent a Catfood Democrat from ever getting that 50+1. They can force the Catfood Nominee to bear the burden of being the Catfood Choice of a Catfood Leadership, hworked up onto the table by the Catfood Brokers.

        The Decent Democrats can cut the Catfood Nominee’s legs off at the knees with a rusty chainsaw.
        That is how the Decent Democrats make the Convention and the Party pay for brokering a Catfood Compromise Nominee.

        Reply
        1. Carey

          Except, unfortunately, that the Catfood Dems are fine with #losing, as long as Sanders
          doesn’t win.

          Anybody but Sanders = Catfood Dem version of Dole ’96. They’re fine with that.

          Reply
          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Yes, you and I both know that. But many loyal DemParty voters can’t bring themselves to know that yet.

            But a Catfood Convention brokering itself for a Catfood Candidate in the teeth of Decent Democrat rejection may get more people to see that, and may get the Catfood Democrats more hated, and may get more loyal DemParty voters to become bitter ex-Dem voters who are ready to see the Catfood Democrat Party exterminated from existence and wiped off the face of the earth.

            If we can turn the Catfood Democrat’s deliberately self-hoped-for loss of Election 2020 into the sort of Pyrrhic Loss which leads to comprehensive Catfood Extermination, then they will end up not having saved themselves by throwing the election.

            Reply
  3. Tomonthebeach

    I never thought the superdelegate rule change was more than cosmetic. DNC is still the Daley machine with new faces. Many of Dems are sick of the paternalist “We know best” attitude of the DNC leadership nicely projected daily by Pelosi.

    Reply
      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        looks good on the screen but I signed up to phone bank on Saturday and no one was there.

        another volunteer showed too and was able to get me set up with the web “app” (Bern) and get me signed up to canvas bypassing that smart meeting thingy which I don’t care to join.

        AND I got a solicitation to donate “for the first time” when I have already donated several times.

        he really needs to get his data wrangling together quick, it’s a real turnoff

        Reply
  4. Reify99

    I get angry when I think about the superdelegates stealing the nomination again, –

    after the meat tenderizer of propaganda has softened up the electorate to the point that they are willing to settle for “not Trump”.

    It becomes a self-licking ice cream cone.

    If this happens I think it’s time to draft Bernie as an independent, whether he wants it or not.
    Kill the Democrat Party. We’ve got to get to the next incarnation, expunge the Pelosi bus with all of its denizens.

    Throw their buns out.

    Reply
    1. edmondo

      Philosophical question: Can you “steal” a nomination from someone who never wanted it to begin with?

      Reply
  5. Donna

    Of course, then there is vote rigging. Bernie never challenged primary election results in 2016. But investigative reporter Greg Palast called many of those primaries results questionable. California is one example https://www.gregpalast.com/bernie-won-california-official-un-count/.

    Most recently you have the Queens D.A. race. The recount continues. But this comment from https://www.kingscountypolitics.com/seddio-blasts-caban-win-in-queens-da-race-cites-inexperience-age-as-factors is interesting: There are 3,400 absentee votes yet to be counted, according to the BOE. In order for Katz to flip the win in her direction, she would need over 1,200 ballots, which would be a tough feat considering the votes could be split either six or seven ways amongst the other candidates in the race. Of course after the first recount the machine supported D.A. has now taken the lead.

    So, I think Norman is being overly optimistic. If you don’t talk about the conduct of the actual elections you are missing a big chunk of the story and the problem with elections in the Democrat Party.

    Reply
    1. Wombat

      Yep- Doesn’t get fishier than the party machine curration of these paper ballots. I ran the statistical test on this the other day, to see if the paper ballots were from the same voting population we would expect based on the previous votes.

      Data pulled from this article: https://www.amny.com/news/elections/queens-da-race-1.33376740

      Summary- Caban was ahead 33,800 to Katz’s 32,700. About 6,000 Paper Ballots remained, About 3,000 were tossed by the Board of Elections for reasons unknown. Of the 3,276 ballots split between Katz and Caban: 2,198 went to Katz and 1,078 went to Caban. Katz pulled ahead.

      We have enough information to conduct a statistical proportion test.

      https://stattrek.com/hypothesis-test/proportion.aspx

      Null Hypothesis: 3,276 ballots came from the same voting population. (In other words, these ballots that were NOT tossed ARE representative of the voting population that voted nearly 50-50 for Katz-Caban?) Can this null hypothesis be true?

      Some given information

      P=0.50 (the Null proportion- about 50% of the Katz/Caban voters went to Katz)
      p=0.67 (2,198/3,276) – the proportion of Paper ballots that went to Katz. The sample proportion.
      n=3,276 (the number of Katz or Caban paper ballots counted after the BoE discarded others)

      So:
      1) stdev=sqrt(P*(1-P)/n)= 0.5*0.5/3,276)=0.0087

      2) Z = (p-P)/stdev = (0.67-0.50)/0.0087=19.54

      3) A Z-score of 19.54 is 19.54 standard deviations from the true proportion of votes. That is a super-right tail event with a likelihood of nearly 0. A standard Z table only goes to 4.00.

      CONCLUSION: Reject the null hypothesis. The final paper ballots counted are NOT representative of the voting population for this race. With a sample size of 3,276 it is extremely unlikely that Katz would have pulled 67% of the votes.

      (By removing nearly 3,000 paper ballots for reasons unknown, the BoE may have furnished a sample that was not representative of the voting population and allowed Katz to win).

      Reply
  6. Mark K

    I wish I were as sanguine about the nomination being decided on the first ballot as Mr. Solomon. In the previous elections he mentions, it doesn’t seem like the ideological differences between the major candidates were as stark as they are now. Also, identitarian considerations have become more important for some voters in the last few cycles.

    Winnowing isn’t a cure-all. It only takes three or four entrenched interests to prevent a majority. Since the mid-1960s, Canada has three major political parties at the national level, the Conservatives, the Liberals (centrist/corporatist), and the New Democrats (NDP, leftist/labor). In addition, the separatist Bloc Quebecois has been a factor in national elections since 1993, winning about 10 to 15 percent of the total vote.

    In the 15 Canadian elections held since 1968, the winning party has garnered at least 50% of the votes cast exactly once — in 1984, when the Conservatives received 50.3% of the votes . The winning party (never NDP, alas*) typically receives about 40% of the votes.

    With its ideological/identitarian mix, this cycle’s Democratic nomination contest looks more like the Canadian situation than any in recent memory.

    * Although they have formed the the government at the provincial level numerous times.

    Reply
  7. Norm

    The real question here is whether Bernie will have the guts to exercise the power he should have when the convention rolls around. To exercise that power he must tell the DNC that if he doesn’t get either the nomination or, failing that, serious commitment from the appointed nominee, that his (Bernie’s) key planks must be the translated into a total commitment to enact those planks (not just campaign on them). He should also insist on selecting the VP and some key cabinet members and regulatory agency heads. And if these minimum demands are not met, he should go the third party route, as he should have done in 2016. It is easy to understand why he made the decision he made in 2016, but in hindsight we all know that it didn’t work out so well. Well this is Bernie’s last chance, let’s see if he’s really up to the challenge.

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      And even if he isn’t, he will leave behind an organized movement full of people who will live and learn and decide how to be up for the challenges going forward.

      Reply
  8. DJG

    One of the interesting things about the article is that Solomon quotes Antonio Gramsci, communist theoretician and political prisoner, in the middle:

    Pessimist by intellect / intelligence, optimist of the will

    We are going through a sea change here, and this new willingness to acknowledge that the left has ideas and a basis for its will to attain power is refreshing (I’m going out on a limb here…). Having Gramsci embedded in U.S. culture matters, as does the new appeal to the radical Martin Luther King, advocate of peace and redistribution of wealth, as do the new and consistent references to Marx and Marxian thinkers.

    I’m not saying that we have discovered a way out of this mess, but I have perceived at least one green shoot. Now, will the party that tried to force Hillary “I’m have no idea what Bill was doing on Epstein’s airplane” Clinton on us reform itself? I assign it a probably of 0.06.

    Reply
  9. Synoia

    Do not underestimate the determination of the Democratic Gerontocracy to resist change while collecting “campaign contributions” and banking future favor$.

    As typified by Great Grandma Pelosi.

    I wish for a mandatory retirement age for our elected. 65 would be good, 55 would be better.

    Reply
      1. flora

        Can also be written: youth and treachery will overcome old age and skill. (see: DLC and New Dems vs New Deal Dems) heh.

        Reply
    1. pretzelattack

      then we wouldn’t have had sanders, which means we likely wouldn’t have had aoc or tulsi gabbard this cycle.
      and without having to fend off sanders, partly by cheating which lost her votes in the general, she might have won and made the gerontocracy even more entrenched.

      Reply
    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Well . . . that would mean no Senator Sanders, then.

      Meanwhile, the Axis of Pelosi would learn how to groom ever-fresher waves of young Pelosian successors, the way sharks grow ever-renewing series of teeth. So no . . . an age limit would not solve the problem.

      Reply
  10. stevelaudig

    Let’s quit calling them “Super Delegates” and give them a name that describes them. These are unelected delegates, or lobbyists or influence peddlers or failed politicians. There is nothing “super” in the good sense about them. They should be individually named and resumes given. They are “undemocractically appointed” delegates. They are the “deep state” delegates. They are anti-progressive delegates.

    Reply
    1. flora

      Yep. Forget about the electoral college; get rid of super-sized delegates back-rooming candidate selection.

      Reply
    2. Jeff W

      Good point!

      Maybe “unelected delegates” or “appointed delegates” contrasts them sufficiently with the delegates who are democratically elected. “Superdelegates” makes them sound like some bonus you get when you score a high level in a video game or like they swoop in at the last minute and save the day à la Mighty Mouse. (Ha! “Mighty Mouse delegates”—could they survive the mockery?)

      Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Aristocats.

          Aristocatfood Delegates.

          Eating their Fancy Feast in their Smoke Filled Rooms.

          Reply
  11. Heraclitus

    We could not operate a pure Democracy in a country this size. It is not possible. It’s a Republic, or nothing.

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      OK. let’s try that for a time….

      of course, i’ve been fielding that angle from repubs for a long time:”we aint a democracy, we’re a republic”
      but it’s democracy that is supposed to determine the composition of that republic….from Latin, “res publica”=” a thing of the people”.
      how are our “representatives” supposed to know what the “will of the people” is at any given moment, save by actual elections, where they can be punished by removal, or praised by reelection?(and please see Article the First:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congressional_Apportionment_Amendment)
      it bothers me greatly that the frelling gop seems often to be more democratic than the “Democratic Party”.

      Reply
  12. Big Tap

    The question I ask is what will the Left do in 2020 when the party uses superdelegates to nominate a centrist like Biden. Will they play sheepdog and vote for Biden, vote third party, or stay home? I’m planning to vote but will skip the presidential ballot line and leave that blank.

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Different ones will do different things.

      Sanders will support the Catfood Nominee because Trump. I will not blame Sanders for that or feel let down by it. He grew up during the fading warm afterglow of the “Popular Front” 1930s. He sincerely considers Trump so much worse than Biden that he will feel no hesitation supporting Biden to defeat the “truly horrible Trump”.

      Younger leftists should prepare themselves psychologically and emotionally for that. They can reject Sanders’ advice to vote for Biden while still respecting Sanders and Sanders’s achievement. Sanders is a product of his “Popular Front” and “anti-Fascist” times.

      Reply
      1. Tony Wright

        It would obviously be better for one of the progressive candidates to get up despite the best efforts of the Democrat Establishment. However, should Biden win the nomination, I hope US citizens vote for the lesser of two evils. Otherwise Trump wins by default.
        And US citizens please also remember, your choices will greatly effect the rest of the world, not just the US. The fact alone that Trump is effectively a climate change denier should be enough to motivate even the most disenchanted progressive voter to get out there and vote for whoever the Democratic Convention nominates.

        Reply
        1. JBird4049

          And US citizens please also remember, your choices will greatly effect the rest of the world, not just the US.

          Well maybe. The consequences for the future will likely be global, but the pain right now is very local.

          My state of California is almost wholly-run by the Democratic neoliberal machine. To see the results, all I have to do is to just go look at my rent payment, or my utilities, or the blackout warnings from PG&E, or drive around to see the homeless encampments, or try again (and again) to get more grants for my over priced college education. I am at a loss as to see how the Republicans can be much worse.

          As I see it too, the problem is that the DNC, and its loyal minions throughout the party down to the county level, is trying to stop Bernie Sanders’ nomination using every means except that of assassination, and l mean that as a fact, not hyperbole; they have some months left to succeed.

          Unless Sanders, or maybe Warren or Gabbard, wins the primary, and therefore almost certainly the general, this American thinks that his country is gonna be screwed, blue’d, and tattoo’d by The System. More precisely stated, the general revulsion of blocking any of the reformers will drive a majority of the voters to Trump; the choice would either be a fraudulent Democratic candidate or the crook already in office.

          If it becomes a choice between someone like Harris and Trump, I’m going third party, do a write-in, or vote Trump while trying not to hurl. Doing anything else would be a validation of the Democratic Party. A vote for the Democratic candidate then is not happening. Afterwards, would also mean that I would spend the rest of my life trying to reform the party, or after likely failing that, see to its destruction.

          Reply
          1. Tony Wright

            How do you think Harris, or Biden or anybody else could be worse than Trump? Under the following policy headings:
            Climate Change
            Pollution
            Immigration/the Wall
            Iran
            Cooperation with allied countries( Instead of hitting them with tariffs)
            Abortion rights
            Responsible economic management (LOL)
            Saudi Arabia
            Israel
            Public Health policy
            Wealth inequality/wages.
            Please explain how these policy areas would suffer (further) under any of the Democrats.

            Reply
            1. ChuckT

              They’d be just as bad and in some cases such as escalating tensions with Russia, worse. Of the topics you list the most important of which is climate change, it doesnt matter if we have a full out climate change denier like trump who wants to kill anything ‘green’ and try and prop up coal, or a corporate whore like Biden who will make some token changes without doing what must be done to prevent catastrophy. If its not treated as an existental threat, we die. Biden is not the man for the job. He’s Nevile Chamberlain, we need a Winston Churchill for climate change.

              Reply
              1. JBird4049

                There is nowhere really for any American across the political spectrum to go too anymore. Oh sure, some of the details are different, but it has gotten to where the deciding, which political party to vote for, is a choice between ingesting radium or polonium.

                The two parties have ostensibly different social agendas and their stated economic plans are merging. Whatever their stated positions, their actions led to same results, which is increasing poverty, corruption, and loss of civil rights to a powerful, growing, and increasingly aggressive police state.

                I am not going to dance to their tune of voting for the lesser evil anymore.

                Reply
        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          If a default Trump victory can be leveraged to exterminate the Bidencratic Party from the face of the earth and wipe it out of existence, then a Trump victory will be good in the long run.

          I am not a World Citizen. I am an American citizen.

          Maybe it is time for the Rest of the World to create its own security structures.

          For example, nothing stops Europe from abolishing NATO and creating its own NEATO ( North East Atlantic Treaty Organization) for its own purposes.

          Reply
      2. Amfortas the hippie

        LOTE is dead to me.
        it’s the “Lesser” part i disagree with.
        Biden isn’t a “lesser evil”, just a different kind.
        when the shenanigans ensue, as i’m all but certain they will, I’ll vote Green, or even Libertarian, depending on who remains on the Texas ballot.
        then, no matter who gets selected by our betters, I’ll consider the Republic gone, go into the (secular) monastery, and shut the gate.
        I’ve resisted this nihilism for all my life(Nietzsche).
        oh well.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KE4HGlmtOcg

        Reply
    2. Carey

      Your choice of words – “when”, not “if”, is apt.

      Solomon is either deluded or gotten-to, in this piece, IMO.

      Reply
  13. Louis Fyne

    “– superdelegates can no longer vote during the first ballot, but only during the second and subsequent ones, should no candidate secure a majority.”

    (tin foil hat on) I’m sure that DNC bylaw had nothing to do with the motley crew of 20+ people running in the primaries this year.

    Not that the DNC purposefully encouraged candidates, but that marginal candidates like Hickenlooper and Klobuchar and Gillenbrand are counting on a protected convention fight and each thinks that they’ll be the one who successfully lobby superdelegates.

    Reply
  14. Lambert Strether

    The Democrat establishment lives and dies by controlling the ballot: Who gets on it, who gets to cast it. Therefore, it seems highly unlikely to me that:

    1) We would have 25+ candidates, spontaneously. I think if the DCCC et al. had said “cut it out!” to Hickenlooper, Swalwell, and all the rest of them, that would have happened.

    2) The superdelegates have surrendered control of the party machinery, first ballot or no, no matter what deal was cut at the Unity Reform Commission.* First, they have no incentive to do so. Second, they genuinely believe they best represent the party, and are best equipped to determine its future direction.

    NOTE * Do remember that Perez, after Obama stood him up, purged all the Sanders supporters from the Rules and Bylaws Committee, which is where any challenges to election results in the primaries or at the convention would go. So, “Election rigging? What do you mean?” The establishment rigged the referees, in an especially raw power play. That right there would have told anybody that the split in the Democrat Party is real, and all the AOC stuff we are seeing today follows from that (though of course at that time, AOC wasn’t even on the horizon). The establishment believes the split is real, so believe them.

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      “The Democrat establishment lives and dies by controlling the ballot: Who gets on it, who gets to cast it”

      Germane: https://www.texastribune.org/2019/07/11/libertarians-green-party-sue-make-it-easier-get-texas-ballot/

      and i’m too lazy this AM to find it(Texas web presence is often convoluted and opaque), but it’s very difficult to do a write in, as well, in Texas…the requirements mean that you’re not really a “write in”, at all.
      no more votes for Mickey Mouse.

      Reply

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