Friday, February 8, 2008

The Tipping Point, Superdelegates, Obama, Billary and Democracy in America

AAPP: The Democratic Party and/or its Superdelegates, just may try to shut Barack Obama out of the Presidency. It's the color scheme stupid.

The writing is on the wall
. Denver may be the scene of another 1968 like Democratic National Convention. That's if
superdelegates, party leaders, members of congress and other VIP's get an automatic vote on the Democratic Convention floor for a brokered convention. Meaning the winner of the pledged delegates who represent the popular votes across America (which will probably be Obama) loses to the candidate who has the most superdelegates (which will probably be Billary Clinton). So, America, it would appear the Fix just might be in. The Democratic Party and/or its Superdelegates, just may try to shut Obama out of the Presidency. This should alarm the American Democratic electorate. It just may cause a Revolt against the Democratic Party rules not seen since the days of Fanny Lou Hammer and Hubert Humphrey.

This has the makings of ugly
Democratic Politics that may destroy allegiances of progressive voters to the Democratic Party. The question many black bloggers, including the blog What About Our Daughters is asking; Will Barack Obama pull a "Fannie Lou Hamer" or Will he take ne for the team?

But it's just not black bloggers, as John DeSio writes in the Village Voice "Barack Obama’s is locked in a virtual tie for convention delegates with slim delegate lead over Hillary Clinton, but Democratic Party rules could still shut him out of the presidential nomination despite his strong performance in the primaries."

John Desio goes on to write, "At issue are so-called “superdelegates,” former and current elected officials and other Democratic power-players who are appointed as delegates to the party’s national convention and can choose their preferred candidate with no regard for how their state has voted. New York’s superdelegates include, among others, former President Bill Clinton, United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and every Democratic member of the State’s congressional delegation.

Within the primary voting system Obama has put together a small lead over Clinton, with 635 delegates compared to her 630, according to CNN, though other counts vary. But Clinton has maintained a strong majority of those superdelegates that have made their official pledge, and leads Obama 783-709 when those numbers are factored in (other superdelegate counts give Clinton a larger lead.)

Obama is well aware of the disparity and has sent a message to the Democratic establishment on those superdelegates, stating that they "would have to think long and hard about how they approach the nomination when the people they claim to represent have said, 'Obama's our guy.'" Obama’s message is clear: do not subvert the will of the people.

The superdelegate system used by the Democrats was put into effect during the 1970’s, as a means for party officials to maintain their influence in the face of reforms that arose from the 1972 presidential campaign of former senator and liberal stalwart George McGovern, said Tom De Luca ,a professor of political science at Fordham University.

The superdelegates are bound to nothing but their own opinions, said De Luca, and make up a strong 20 percent of the total Democratic delegate count of 4,049. Should Clinton’s lead among superdelegates vault her to the nomination, despite her defeat to Obama at the hands of the people, it could mean trouble for Democrats in November.

“I think it would be very, very bad for the Democrats,” said De Luca. “It might really demobilize some of the Obama constituency in the November election, which could well be very close.”

Harlem State Senator Bill Perkins was the first New York elected official to forsake his hometown senator and endorse Obama’s campaign, and he too is concerned that the will of the people could be cast aside at the convention, all in the name of party politics. Obama’s campaign is one of hope, said Perkins, and those hopes could be dashed by the superdelegate system, shutting Obama out of his rightful nomination “not on the basis of merit.” More here

I agree with David Sirota and his Huffington post article, A Short-Term Solution to the Potential Superdelegate Problem, Americans need to find out who their Superdelegates are in their state, and then start putting pressure on them. As David said, We've got to get ahead of this thing before the horse-trading and backroom dealing starts. We have to watch out and make sure Billary Clinton does not try to buy or steal the election. The message needs to be sent out. Superdelegates: We Are Watching You

AAPP: Here is more historic information on the Superdelegates.


Who: A superdelegate is a Democratic Party representative who carries an independent vote going into a national convention. He or she can be a former elected, or party, official or a current officeholder. A superdelegate is not bound to vote in line with party primary elections or caucus decisions.

How many: The Democratic Party has just fewer than 800 superdelegates headed to the Democratic National Convention in Denver. The exact number of superdelegates is fluid until March 1. They will account for about 20 percent of delegate voting at the convention.

The GOP: The Republicans give each state and protectorate three unpledged delegates: the state party chair, a committeeman and a committeewoman. Also, there are some GOP state parties, such as Colorado's, whose primaries or caucuses are meant to guide pledged delegates but do not bind them to the popular vote.

History: In 1984, Walter Mondale persuaded the Democratic Party to create superdelegates while running as the party's establishment candidate. The Republican system evolved after reforms in both parties in 1972.

Why: Democrats banned winner- takes-all contests in the 1980s to apportion support so that underdog candidates had a fighting chance. But the invention also shelters party front-runners from being overwhelmed by unknown candidates who surge from behind. The real aim is to head off protracted fights on the convention floor, keeping some power for party insiders.



Yunis Segura McNally said...

Really I felt sad to read this article. As a Dem voter I like both and my party because show is a party with strong leadership with future. My support to Hillary Clinton is because under actual US crisis in many ways (recesion, war, health care, etc) She is the right person. Please who hire someone for a position without the appropiete experience? Please don't put race in this nomination.

susanna said...

I find this commentary very disturbing for a number of reasons. First, it’s far too soon to assume that Obama will win the “popular” vote, there are still a lot of primaries to come. Second, there is no true “popular” vote in a primary where there are caucuses. Third, if you are focusing on the “will of the people” then you need to include the delegates of Michigan and Florida. And fourth, this isn’t about race, it shouldn’t be about race, and shame on you for using the race card.

If the pledge delegate count is very close, which it looks like it will be, then for the second and third reasons above, a “brokered convention” is the only possible solution. It’s disingenuous to suggest that a “brokered convention” will be used to shut out a black candidate. There are as many reasons why the Democratic Party would lean towards Obama as there are reasons it would lean towards Hilary and I doubt any of them are related to race.

Barack Obama is not running as a “black” candidate, but comments like this, polarizing blacks and whites, serves to make Obama the “black” candidate. To play the race care like this will only serve to further divide the Democratic Party and insure a Republican victory in the Fall.

g said...

Dear Yunnis, I felt sad about this article as well, but not because it places race into the race (Mr. Clinton took care of that a couple of weeks back), but because of the conflict it foreshadows, a conflict in which actual voters stand to lose while politicians cut deals as usual and perpetuate their well being while sacrificing integrity and the people’s will.

I ask you to please think about your query: “Please who hire someone for a position without the appropriate experience?” The answer to that concern is that the appropriate person would not be Senator Clinton, her experience as a corporate attorney (for Wal-Mart) and as a career politician cannot be said to bring insight or personal experience into issues such as recession, war, or health care. I know this, I am a corporate attorney and deal day in and day out with people that have little to no concerns for middle class Americans, even less poor people, the ones that will actually be affected by an economic recession, will fight our wars and will die without health care. I much rather trust Mr. Obama’s experience as a community organizer and civil rights leader in the South Side of Chicago and the unquestionable perspective his exposure to other cultures has given him when it comes down to deciding who is the appropriate person for the job.

Shazza Nakim said...

I have to agree, you would think that people would stand behind what they say about not selecting a candidate according to their RACE or GENDER but how conveniently people fall into their prejudices behind closed doors.

People chant that they are not a Monolith but look at the statistics? Look at the Polls? Look at the information coming out the caucus? They are all along racial and gender lines.

You have groups of Black Americans banning together to PUNISH those Blacks (politicians, entertainers, contributers, etc.) for not supporting Barak Obama when the real reason should be allowing people to support whomever that choose to.

Susanna has a good point, the Democratic Leadership has punished Michigan and Florida for wanting to have their caucus moved up in the rank and file and NOW their voted won't be counted. HOW DEMOCRATIC IS THAT?

So now the Republicans have pulled their PARTY together and BLACKS, WOMEN, LATINOS and Poor WHITES are tearing each other apart when they should just GET WITH THE PROGRAM and demand Clinton and Obama to check their EGOS and run on the same ticket so we can get this country FIXED.

Bob said...

Get real with your arguments. Obama has recieved several superdelegates from NY, Clinton has not recieved a single one from Ill. If you are going to force Obama down my throat be honest with your statements. You are as devicesive as the media. My question to you is why are you not attacking the racism in the black community. It seems every other voting block is split 60/40 except the Black vote which is 84/16. I compliment those in NY who were the only honest split for the Black community thus far.