As readers of this blog may know, the Medina County Democratic Action Committee puts out a weekly newsletter that goes primarly to Democrats in Medina County and northern Ohio. One of the subjects that has come up in our newsletter is the role of super-delegates to the Democratic convention.
It started when a local Medina County Democrat posed the following question in our newsletter to the Medina County Democratic Chair:
"What is behind the Super Delegate election system. What is wrong with letting the popular vote be the deciding factor in ALL cases?? The voting public is not so stupid that they cannot decide for themselves the best candidate. Thanks, Jan Leatherman"
This was the response from Pam Miller, Medina County Democratic Chair:
"The National Democratic Party set it up that way on purpose, in order to give elected officials a stronger voice based on the idea that they would be more likely to have actually come in contact with and therefore know the abilities and the electability of the potential nominees.
Before 1972, all the decisions were made in the smoke-filled back rooms. Then the Party changed the system to allow the voters more say in selecting the delegates, thus opening the door to a more inclusive makeup of the delegate pool. After Jimmy Carter became the nominee, the Party moved to bring in the Super Delegates for future elections in order to balance the nomination process.
This year, many people are saying that the entire caucus system is flawed and the fact that the delegates are allocated differently in some states is another flaw. In all likelihood, Super Delegates will look at how their constituents voted and support that, but in the end, each has the right to vote as his or her conscience dictates."
Ms. Miller's response led to this letter to our newsletter's editor:
"Message From Medina County Dem Chair Pam Miller explaining SUPER DELEGATES to Jan Leatherman.
"The National Democratic Party set it up that way on purpose, in order to give elected officials a stronger voice based on the idea that they would be more likely to have actually come in contact with and therefore know abilities and electability of potential nominees."
That mean multimedia campaigns directed at ignorant We The People are a bunch of half-truths and innuendos known as lying all the way to the top.
"Before 1972, all decisions were made in the smoke-filled back rooms. Then the Party changed the system to allow voters more say in selecting delegates, thus opening the door to a more inclusive makeup of the delegate pool. After Jimmy Carter became the nominee, the Party moved to bring in Super Delegates for future elections in order to balance the nomination process. In all likelihood, Super Delegates will look at how their constituents voted and support that, but in the end, each has the right to vote as his or her conscience dictates."
That means Super Delegates still enjoy back room politics to sell their vote while including "I, the all knowing, represent my best interest and that includes Me Next" or, "My support is for sale to the highest or best bidder."
Thank you Pam Miller for enlightening We The People that each Super Delegate has the right to vote as his or her conscience dictates, just to protect all us Ignorant Voters.
Robert F. McCafferty"
Mr. McCafferty's letter in turn generated this response from another reader:
"To the Editor:
I read with great interest Mr. McCafferty's take on Pam Miller's explanation of Superdelegates, and I respect his view, but I have a slightly different take. I am not the consummate political junkie, but I try to keep up with candidates and politics as best I can. But, there is no way that I can have the day-to-day contact and get to know the candidates as well as the Superdelegates.
I too can get taken in by the smooth talkers, the sharp dressers, the guys and gals with the $400 haircuts. I do not always know how they treat their co-workers and fellow men, or know their work ethic, their ability to work with others, especially behind the scenes, and I don't mean the latter in a negative way. So, I have no qualms about Superdelegates having a say in the presidential primaries.
However, I don't want to go back the days of "favorite sons," ("Mr. Chairman, Ohio passes.") And, I can remember in the 1972 election that we may not have put forth the best (read electable) candidate available, due to radical changes in the nomination process for that election cycle, and, based on what Pam says, they were not adequately changed until even after the 1976 cycle.
This is not to say the McC. is wrong, this is just my personal take on the situation. At least in this election, I can and will support the eventual winner, and I believe we have two very good candidates. I might add, however, that neither were my first choice several months ago, but I sure can support either after August.
So there you have two views of the role of super-delegates at the Democratic convention. One view is that they are legitimate because they have more contact with the candidates than most Democratic voters and therefore may be more aware of their strengths and flaws. The other is that such delegates are inherently un-democratic and therefore their existence is not legitimate.
Tell us what you think by leaving us your comments.