The Coming Anarchy of the Democratic Party

by twit

In my ongoing efforts to understand superdelegates and how they operate in primaries, I found this:

Rewind to the 1968 Democratic National Convention, which showcased the undue influence of the party’s old guard.

Fortunately, there’s a cartoon-infused historical documentary coming soon, and other reference materials…

(image via Rotten Tomatoes)

in an article posted at the Nation on January 31, 2008, Ari Berman writes:

If the race goes down to the wire, an elite contingent of superdelegates–unpledged party operatives and elected officials not chosen by primary voters–could play a decisive role, even though most voters don’t know they exist.

and discusses how things have been stacking up recently:

The obvious beneficiary of the superdelegates this time around is another establishment favorite, Hillary Clinton. Before Super Tuesday, Obama had sixty-three pledged delegates, compared with Clinton’s forty-eight. But as we went to press Clinton had a huge advantage in superdelegates, 184 to ninety-five, according to CNN. “Many of the superdelegates were in and out of the Clinton White House, invited to dinners, have received contributions from Clinton allies,” says Hart, who has endorsed Obama. “There will be pressure brought to bear to cash in those chips.”

and then this shocking bit:

There’s often a disconnect between the choices of rank-and-file Democrats and the preferences of superdelegates.

and why 1968 seems like such an uncanny reference to make:

Superdelegates are notoriously fickle, and can swap candidates at any time. Before the 2004 Iowa caucuses, for example, Howard Dean enjoyed a commanding lead among superdelegates. But after his disappointing third-place finish, they jumped ship, rallying around the eventual nominee, John Kerry. The same thing could happen to Clinton if Obama wins enough primaries and establishment support.

UPDATE:   From Frank Rich on Feb 10, 2008:

A race-tinged brawl at the convention, some nine weeks before Election Day, will not be a Hallmark moment. As Mr. Wilkins reiterated to me last week, it will be a flashback to the Democratic civil war of 1968, a suicide for the party no matter which victor ends up holding the rancid spoils.

thx lestro


3 Responses to The Coming Anarchy of the Democratic Party

  1. independent says:

    We can’t just let this election slip away… the Democrats are being led by a few elite corporatists and the Republicans aren’t even happy with their own frontrunners…I just don’t think anyone listens until we’re really really loud

  2. independent, how can you say that the dems are being led by a few elite corporatists. Sure, Hillary was on the chair at Walmart, so I give you that.

    Obama has never worked for a corporation. He does not take contributions from lobbyists. He might be wet behind the ears, but in today’s politics, that is a good thing. We need someone who doesn’t claim to know all the answers, but promises he will have a cabinet who can get them. Its time for change. Obama ’08!

  3. Pingback: democratic cartoon

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