Saturday, June 04, 2016

Another Footnote, this one not on the show

Another Footnote, this one not on the show

I wasn't going to talk about this directly because, frankly, I expect that the efforts by the Bernie Sanders campaign to win over some superdelegates who now say they intend to vote for Hillary Clinton at the convention will not bear a lot of fruit. I doubt more than a few will change their minds and some who now say they'll vote for Sanders might flip for Clinton to make a show of "party unity."

So in practical terms I don't think it will make more than a minor difference one way or the other. But I decided I've gotten fed up with the, yes, character attacks on Sanders over the superdelegates, attacks being perpetrated by people who know exactly what they are doing: aiming to discredit and "disqualify" Sanders and his entire campaign with their increasingly noxious rhetoric on the matter.

So I want to get a couple of things straight.

The louder and louder claims being snarled by the Hillarybots that trying to convince superdelegates to change their minds about who they intend to vote for is somehow "undemocratic" or "disenfranchises the voters" is complete, total, thorough-going, pure, unadulterated, in your face bullshit. Period, full stop, exclamation point. Those who make those claims who don't recognize that fact are buffoons; those that do know it are damned liars.

The superdelegates have not yet voted. They don't vote until the convention. They are not "pledged" to any candidate in any binding way. Which means their votes are every bit as much up for grabs as are those of anyone else who has not yet voted. To claim otherwise is a lie by commission; to deliberately avoid mentioning the fact is a lie by omission.

Superdelegates are supposed to be the voice of the wiser heads of the Democratic party. (Double the emphasis on "supposed to be." They actually are the voice of the party establishment, which was united behind Clinton before the race ever began.) They are supposed to vote on the basis of "the good of the party" or on who would be the strongest candidate in the general election, with the assumption being that those are generally the same thing.

Which means that the now argument from the Clintonites that those superdelegates are somehow obligated to vote for Clinton because she got more votes in the primaries is, again, "total" - total ignorance or a total lie; in either event, total bullshit.

According to every poll - every poll - Bernie Sanders does better against Donald TheRump in a general election than Hillary Clinton does. Now, it is quite legitimate for a superdelegate to be honestly convinced otherwise in spite of those polls and to support Clinton in the conviction that she is actually the stronger candidate of the two. (In fact, I know some folks who say they are closer to Sanders but support Clinton because despite the polls "this country is not ready to elect a democratic socialist," thereby making exactly that "stronger candidate" choice.) What is not legitimate is for the Clinton attack dogs to be telling any superdelegates who do accept those polls that it doesn't matter, they have to vote for Clinton anyway. Never mind your judgment, never mind your conscience, never mind the role you are supposed to play in this: You have to vote the way I (and the party establishment I support) tell you. That is disenfranchising a voter.

Now, I would happily do away with the superdelegates, and I say that knowing full well that if that had been done this year, Clinton would still win the nomination. But the fact is, they are there and their votes do count and their votes belong to them every bit as much as is true for any other voter. To say, as some have, that because you would get rid of superdelegates that you must campaign as if they were not there, that it's the actions of an "old line autocrat," even more that it's somehow racist to compete for them, is such swill that it would embarrass the writer if they had any shame.

If there was a basketball coach who wanted to do away with the three-point shot, you would think it beyond absurd for someone to tell them that therefore they must instruct their team never to take a three-point shot and if they ever do and make it, to demand that the team only be awarded two points. Because you play by the rules you have.

So it is here. To tell the Sanders campaign that they can't play by the rules that exist, that they are not allowed to compete for superdelegates, that doing so is an underhanded, anti-democratic, racist, disenfranchisement of Clinton voters (while declaring them off-limits is not a disenfranchisement of Sanders voters) is nothing short of a Big. Fat. Despicable. Lie. A lie intended to help crush any challenge to the political establishment which the Clinton campaign serves and of which it is part.

And that is what is "anti-democratic" here.

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