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Next Time…Get Rid Of The Superdelegates

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I’m with Josh Marshall. The argument behind creating the superdelegates in the first place was merely an extension of the political boss system that determined state primary winners by who had the most power and that tradition has absolutely no place in modern politics.

Some history…

Coming out of the 1970s, the Democratic party establishment created the superdelegates precisely to put a brake on the power of “the groups”, which was shorthand for, and not necessarily in this order, the hippies, the blacks, the gays, the feminists, the environmentalists and everyone else suspected of driving the Democratic party to the left of the American mainstream and out of contention in national elections. In this view, there were ordinary Democrats on the one hand and these assorted freaks on the other who came out every four years and out-organized the ordinary Dems to nominate rotten presidential candidates who got slaughtered in national elections.

The more palatable argument was that the superdelegates balanced out the idealism of party activists with the more pragmatic experience of party regulars and elected officials who had experience winning actual elections. But however you argue it, the supers were put there precisely to second-guess the results of the primary and caucus process.

In 2008, the supers are part of the process and they can do whatever they want. But come 2012, I hope I don’t have to write about them again. They’re an idea whose time has long since passed.