About those Super Delegates

Well, it’s true that they have 2 Super Powers.

First, they are not elected. They are Democratic elected officials and Officers of the Democratic Party. Yes, that’s almost as undemocratic as you can get unless, of course, they inherited that power.

Second, they are unbound. They can vote for any candidate they want, even if it’s against the results of their State Primary results. But that has consequences, I imagine someone who stubbornly supported Bernie in a solid Hillary District might at least expect some very embarrassing questions about it when they faced the voters in November.

And it’s a double edged sword in another way too. They are unbound. Whatever commitment they have made to a particular candidate, they can change their mind right on the Convention floor. What can the spurned candidate do? Piss up a rope and throw a tantrum that makes them look like a baby.

Boo Who?

Media outlets that pretend any different, that the Super Delegates can and should be counted in with the Regular Bound Delegate count, are simply displaying their bias (as if we didn’t know).

The Bernie super delegate panic is based on lazy reporting — here is what’s really going on in the DNC
Joshua Holland, Raw Story
11 Feb 2016 at 15:07 ET

As the Democrats head to Nevada, Bernie Sanders has 36 delegates, Hillary Clinton has 32, but you might not know that if you’ve been exposed to some lazy or sensational journalism suggesting that Clinton is in the lead.

Following the New Hampshire primary, a number of outlets reported that Clinton, rather than Sanders, was ahead in the delegate race because she had secured the backing of a number of Democratic super delegates – officeholders, party activists and officials who are not bound to vote for a candidate at the party’s convention in Philadelphia.

(P)eople only become super delegates because they have a longstanding affinity for, and loyalty toward the Democratic Party. Some may be total hacks, but they’re party hacks, and that makes them unlikely candidates to completely rip apart the Democratic coalition for a generation or two, which would be the only possible result of these unelected delegates overturning the will of primary voters. They share a common sense of duty to the best interests of the institution.

It is no doubt true that many of them feel a sense of loyalty to the Clintons. But it doesn’t follow that they’d effectively become political suicide bombers because of that loyalty. They want to beat the Republican nominee in November, and those who hold elected office also want to be re-elected. The worst way to accomplish either goal would be to create a massive scandal within the Democratic Party just months before the election. The super delegates aren’t going to destroy the party from within just because they prefer one candidate over the other.

It’s also true that many of the super delegates who endorsed Clinton did so because they believe that she’s the better candidate for the general election. But that view isn’t set in stone. If the unlikely scenario in which Sanders comes into the convention with more bound delegates but not enough to secure the nomination came to pass, something significant will have happened to shift the nature of the race between now and then. And whatever that something might be, the fact that Sanders was ahead would mean that many of those super delegates would no longer be confident that Hillary is the superior candidate. They’re not crazy. They’re party activists.

(U)ltimately, it’s the widespread expectation that the choice of nominee will reflect the will of the voters that makes a super delegate coup so unlikely. They can back whomever they want according to the party’s rules, but it would be a huge violation of the prevailing norms. And that’s why it’s the last thing voters should be worrying about.

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