Over the weekend, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) sent a letter to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) announcing its opposition to any reform that eliminated superdelegates. A copy of the letter was sent to Bernie Sanders, who proposed the reform. The letter explained the benefits of superdelegates in veiled language, easily interpreted by the Elite of the Democratic party but less so by ordinary people like me.
Here is the key passage in their letter, followed by my translation:
“The Democratic Party benefits from the current system of unpledged delegates to the National Convention by virtue of rules that allow members of the House and Senate to be seated as a delegate without the burdensome necessity of competing against constituents for the honor of representing the state during the nominating process.”
- Point 1: The Elite (i.e., members of Congress, former presidents, multi-million dollar donors) should not compete with ordinary Democrats to become delegates.
- Point 2: The Elite are entitled to their seats at the convention.
- Point 3: Ordinary Democrats become ordinary delegates and must democratically support the candidate for whom their districted voted. Elite Democrats should not be bound by the democratic process, and should be able to vote solely upon their own interests.
Well, duh. The Elites oppose any curtailing of special privileges for themselves at everyone else’s expense. In other news, the sky is blue.
The comments section is always so much more interesting than the article. There, a Battle Royale raged between Establishment supporters and some Bernie bros.
A pro-Establishment commenter opined that the CBC was right not to dilute their influence, since they were already forced to moderate their views to remain electable. Superdelegates are their opportunity to vote for the most liberal candidate and drive the party forward.
This comment hit me hard. I’m always preoccupied with the undemocratic purpose of the superdelegates, but this comment made me wonder about the why of it. Superdelegates are a way to stack the deck for the Elite and against the People. The two factions must want different outcomes, despite all belonging to the Democratic party.
Superdelegates were established in 1982, so this isn’t about Clinton and Sanders per se. The real rationale for Superdelegates is bound up in the answers to these questions:
- On what issues do Elite candidates differ from someone chosen by the people?
- What issues are so critical that the Party uses superdelegates to disenfranchise their own voters, so the Elite candidate wins?
- What do the Elites want that ordinary Democrats do not want (or vice versa)?
- What do ordinary Democrats dislike about Elite candidates, but have become resigned to as a necessary evil?
In closing, here’s DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schulz, explaining why superdelegates are necessary to protect the interests of the Elite: