Monday, February 11, 2008

Go easy on the Super Delegates.

Much of the media coverage of the Democrat primary (certainly a barn burner) last weekend focused on the unfairness of super delegates “determining” the Democrat nomination.

Of course, the only real complaint is the false representation that super delegates are not elected. Silly on two grounds.

First, the super delegates are elected. They are elected when the parties adopted the rules at the national committee level. The process of electing delegates (like each state’s chair and two national committee members, all of whom are elected) is different for super delegates but they are, none the less, elected. In fact, far more people typically vote for the actual humans who become super delegates in the elections by which those humans occupy the positions that earn them super delegate status.

Second, the super delegates, much like the Senate, the Electoral College, Presidential vetoes, are intended to act as a brake on close but unwise decisions by bare majorities. Why shouldn’t Bill Clinton, George Bush, Al Gore, Dan Quayle, Walter Mondale and even the buffoonish Jimmy Carter earn a seat at their parties’ national conventions? Their insights into both the job as POTUS and the applicants’ therefore are certainly far greater than that of the average delegate.

Once at the convention, the super delegates each have only one vote. As highly influential as vote may, in fact, be it is still singular and not weighted in the actual tally. Moreover, if a candidate doesn’t win a majority of the vote then there is no clear expression of “national will” to borrow a phrase of a particularly poetic Obama advocate and the super delegates are merely performing their intended function by voting their proverbial and respective conscience.

No one has a “right” to represent any political party at the top of its ticket. If one does not like the DNC rules then the solution is to start working on one’s positions and filing fees and get on the state ballots as an independent. Barack went into the fight knowing the rules. One doesn’t change the rules only after one learns they lost the game.

More on Florida and Michigan (and Hillary) tomorrow.

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