As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Monday, June 29, 2009

You Can Go Ahead And End The Superdelegate Process Any Time

Though in the final analysis, the chaotic and difficult Democratic primary race in 2008 did not impact the general election - and contra Big Tent Democrat, Obama took Florida and Michigan - the campaign, and the role of unelected "superdelegates" in deciding it, embarrassed the Democratic Party and offered little confidence that the will of the electorate in deciding the nominee was being honored. So proposals to do away with that part of the process and reform the primary system please me to no end. Superdelegates are not the only thing wrong with the system - front-loading primaries, the role of unrepresentative states like Iowa and New Hampshire, the unnecessarily limiting caucus system which disallows everyone from participating - but they are the most high-profile failing, and should be stricken as an artifact of a top-down structure designed to subvert the will of the people if their passions grew too out of line with the prevailing wisdom. As Elaine Karmack said at the DNC meeting studying the primary process, the superdelegates ended up ratifying the leader in popular votes in 2008 anyway, and so they probably don't need to exist. "Their deliberative role... has in fact been supplanted by a very very public process."

I was worried that, considering the unlikely event of an actual primary in 2012 against President Obama, that the DNC would shy away from fiddling with the primary process. But they appear to have learned the lessons of 2008. Good.

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