Bernie Sanders and the Superdelegates

I don’t think Bernie has his best talking points with respect to the Democratic Party super delegates.  I would respond to questions with this:

It’s important to understand what a super delegate is.  Democratic Party activists who have put in the time and effort to elect Democrats, and the men and women who have won elective office as Democrats, should have plenary votes at their national convention along with delegates selected by voters in primaries and caucuses.  It makes all the sense in the world for party officials, whether selected at the county level or by winning elections, should have a voice in nominating the Party’s candidate for President.  But I see a disconnect when I win a primary in West Virginia by 60% but the Democratic Party officials who serve the state support my opponent, and I wonder why they don’t support the choice their own constituents prefer.  It seems to me that they open themselves to challenges from inside the Party.  I’m not threatening to support primary challengers, but challenges would not surprise me if voters want to move in a new direction.

I am active in the Democratic Party at the county level in Virginia, and I work to elect candidates from within my Party.  Bernie Sanders has caucused with Democrats but is not an activist Party member, and this makes me wonder why I should support nominating him for President on our ticket.  The answer of course has to do with policy.  I agree with his rejection of neoliberal economic policy – free trade, lower taxes on the wealthy, personhood for corporations, among other things.  I also agree with his rejection of foreign policy as usual, where many Democrats look all too much like GOP neocons.  This resolves  my concerns, and I would personally prefer to see Sanders win the Democratic Party nomination.  If he does not, I want to see his candidacy move my Party toward support for his policy proposals.

In the end, however, it’s no surprise that core legacy Democrats – long time activists and elected officials – want to stick with someone who has supported Democrats her entire life.  If Bernie wants to influence the Party he needs to join it officially, and direct his supporters to likewise join its activist ranks.  They can then compete in Party politics, including local level primaries and elections for grassroots Party positions like the one I hold: district chair.

I voted to send a Bernie Sanders delegate to the Democratic National Convention last weekend.  I welcome his supporters to the Party and their efforts to remake it according to their policy preferences.  If they do well, the super delegates will follow.

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