The Democrats just handed another victory to Donald Trump- and few noticed
Donald Trump has had a rough week. But amidst the news surrounding McCain and the Russia probe, there might have been one bright spot that has gone unnoticed: an underreported event, far from the swamp of D.C., that could be the determining factor in whether Trump wins re-election in 2020. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) may have made the critical move that will set up a vulnerable opponent for this hobbled Chief Executive. On Saturday, the DNC voted to end the designation of the so-called “Super Delegates” for the first ballot of the Presidential Nomination process. The several hundred people who went to the Convention as voting delegates under this banner were members of Congress, local and state elected officials, as well as party influencers such as union leaders and fundraisers. No more.
If you can remember, the Bernie wing cried foul that in 2016, because these delegates overwhelmingly supported Clinton, his candidacy started the war down a few hundred votes from the outset. They felt the establishment was against them, supported by the revelations from the Wikileaks dump of Chairman Wasserman Schultz's emails that the DNC favored Clinton's candidacy. But what people forget is that Clinton bested Sanders by a few million votes in the Primaries (just as she did Trump that November) and the dump was probably orchestrated as part of Russian interference in our electoral process.
The Super Delegates are to the nomination process as the Senate is to the House. Ever hear the adage “The Senate is a saucer?” The story goes that two Founders were arguing the issue of whether to have a two chamber legislature while drinking coffee. Suddenly, Washington asked Jefferson, "Why did you pour that coffee into your saucer?" "To cool it," replied Jefferson. "Even so," said Washington, "we pour legislation into the senatorial saucer to cool it."
There is a good possibility a convention body composed of activists will reach into the candidate bag of very left of center progressives to choose a nominee. Though the person may be compatible with them, they might not be the best choice to take on Trump. We saw this in in 1972 when the McGovern-Fraser Commission opened up the nomination process where the party structure had little or no influence on the selection of delegates. The result was the nomination of George McGovern over Hubert Humphrey, which culminated in a landslide by Richard Nixon.
If Humphrey would have been nominated under the old rules, would our country have gone through the tumult of the Nixon years, including the impeachment and resignation of a President?
The Super Delegates have the ability to bring rational political thought to the process. The goal of nominating a candidate for President, at the end of the day, is to win, not to make an ideological statement. Unfortunately, my experience with many in the Progressive/Democratic Socialist wing of the Party is to be ideologically pure and the Hell with winning. Fact is, a decent chunk of superdelegates would ascribe to that philosophy, but also want to win, so they would have a better idea of how to split the difference.
One counter-argument would be the former superdelegates can always run as regular, committed delegates. The problem with that is many of these people do not want to put their names on the ballot because they could lose through no fault of their own. And in losing, it has the potential to make them appear vulnerable for re-election or weak as leaders.
My fear is that Donald Trump will be re-elected because of this unforced error by Democrats. The Democrats excel in shooting themselves in the foot, and I have to believe this action is consistent with their reputation. For me, I have no problem with elected members of Congress as well as Governors and others having a say in who the Party nominates. They have earned the right to have their voices heard, and whether successful or unsuccessful on that fateful November 2020 day, the former superdelegates will have a more significant role than the rank and file in working with or against the next President of the United States.
Our Founding Fathers got so many things right. We need their wisdom and example more than ever during this turbulent period. Though they were wary of tyrants and political parties, my guess is that if given the chance, they would have made sure those members of the DNC would have glanced at their saucers before making that vote.