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Superdelegates: Now They’re a Problem
Posted by: Dale Franks on Friday, February 15, 2008

Last week, on the news, I was watching Susan Estrich talking about the superdelegates for the DNC. Estrich—who was against the idea—was on the DNC rules committee that promulgated it back in the early 80s. The whole point of the superdelegates was to intentionally put some adult supervision into the nomination process.

The worry at the time was that the activist whack-jobs might take over the nominating process, and nominate some commie freak to run for president. In order to forestall that, the DNC created superdelegates, which consist of all the state governors, all members of congress, and then a smattering of what Estrich calls party hacks. That way, if the activist children started to get out of hand, there'd be 700 adults available to sterr the party in a more desirable direction. The whole point of superdelegates, in other words, is to impose a non-democratic, establishmentarian order on the party's nomination process, should it prove necessary.

But, they're votes have never really been necessary before. All of the nominees since then have captured solid majority support, and been fairly establishment democrats themselves.

But, as a famous Democrat once said, "That was then. This is now."

Now, for the first time, the superdelegates are actually in a position to do exactly what they were designed to do: toss the nomination to an establishment Democrat, in order to defeat an insurgent candidate.

So, how's that working out for them?

Apparently, it's torking off the activists. I am in possession of a brand new email sent out from True Majority, and they don't like the idea of the superdelegates doing what they were designed to do.
Dear Dale,

You've probably heard about the "superdelegates" who could end up deciding the Democratic nominee.

The superdelegates are under lots of pressure right now to come out for one candidate or the other. We urgently need to encourage them to let the voters decide between Clinton and Obama — and then to support the will of the people.

Our friends over at have put together a petition to urge the superdelegates to do just that. Sign their petition to the superdelegates and make sure they respect the will of the people.

Together, if we can reach 300,000 signatures, MoveOn will publish the petition along with the final number of signers as an ad in USA Today. And if you're one of the first people to sign, they'll include your name (with your permission).

Here's what the petition says:

"The Democratic Party must be democratic. The superdelegates should let the voters decide between Clinton and Obama, then support the people's choice."
This is just fun to watch.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Depending on how events develop between now and the convention, the idea of superdelegates might turn out to be a terribly GOOD one.

For instance, if something in Obama’s background turns the prince into a toad, the delegates committed to him aren’t going to be in a position to change their ballots.

Ditto if Hillary does a "Dean".

There are a lot of safeguards in the US Constitution that a lot of folks have disliked at times, as well...but praise be they are there, nonetheless.

Superdelegates might prove to be one of those kind of provisions.
Written By: Silussa
URL: http://
Since McAmnesty has pretty well wrapped up the gop nom, I have decided to vote in the dim primary here in ohio. I had been leaning towards Obama, but since he has gained the upper hand, I have decided to vote for Shrillery. My hope is for her to come into the convention very close to him in the delegate count. What little pleasure I get from politics these days come from watching the dims eat their own guts. I expect the dim convention to be very entertaining. FUN
Written By: Paden Cash
URL: http://
The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 02/16/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention updated throughout the day…so check back often.
Written By: David M
"....Superdelegates might prove to be one of those kind of provisions. "

I guess we only need one party, after all.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Imagine that, Democratic power brokers being for democracy until it doesn’t go their way.
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://

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