Written by Frank Salvato
June 6, 2008
By Frank Salvato
With the announcement that Hillary Clinton is abandoning her quest for the Oval Office the Democrat National Committee (DNC) – and specifically the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee – has effectively selected the candidate for their party. I say selected because, by construct, the decision making process was taken away from the party faithful and placed in the hands of an elitist class of party insiders. These party insiders – superdelegates and the DNC Executive Committee – have literally usurped the will of the people by marginalizing the popular vote in deference to manipulated vote worth and their own self-importance.
The right to vote – the right to have our votes count – is the fundamental bedrock of our Constitutional Republic. It is through this fundamental right, this Constitutional Right, that We the People affect our control over government. Through our ballot choices we select delegates to the Electoral College who represent our amassed votes. These delegates, in turn, vote for the President of the United States. This process serves as a safeguard against mob rule and the bad choices to which emotionalism can lead. The Framers were brilliant in this respect.
Party politics is a bit different, although it has been based on this model in the past.
Through the primary process the electorate selects delegates to represent them at the party conventions. These delegates, representing the will of the people and bound to the victorious candidate in each respective state – at least in the first round of voting – then cast their votes for their party’s presidential nominee. At least that’s how it is supposed to work.
Enter the superdelegate.
In 1982, the Hunt Commission recommended to the DNC a rule that set aside delegate slots for select congressional Democrats and state party chairs and vice chairs. Ironically, the commission felt that by empowering an elitist class of delegate they would safeguard the process from being manipulated by the party leadership.
In 1998 the category of superdelegate ballooned to include all Democrat governors and DNC committee members. In 1992 additional superdelegate slots were allocated to the states to cover party leaders and elected officials not covered by previous definitions. And in 1996 each Democrat member of Congress was awarded superdelegate status. At the August 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, superdelegates will make up approximately one-fifth of the total number of delegates. Please keep in mind that these superdelegates were not elected by the people to represent anything at the party convention.
Enter the DNC Executive Committee under Howard Dean; the Ã¼ber elitists of the DNC.
During the 2008 primary election cycle the DNC Executive Committee penalized the states of Michigan and Florida for executing their primaries before the committee said it could execute them. Initially, both of these states were to lose their delegates to the convention and have their state’s vote totals ignored. As we all know, the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee voted last week to allow the Michigan and Florida delegates to be seated but in doing so devalued their votes to only half that of the other states’ delegates.
These initial and subsequent decisions by the DNC and the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee have resulted in Hillary Clinton having received a majority of the popular vote and Barack Obama receiving an adjusted majority of the delegates.
Further, without the role of the superdelegates neither of the candidates would have attained an unbeatable number of delegates for the nominating process at the convention, thus creating the need for an open convention, a convention where the candidates would literally have to court each vote from each delegate.
By manipulating the worth of the votes that will be cast by the Florida and Michigan delegates and by the existence of superdelegates to the weight of 20% of the total vote, the DNC under Howard Dean has literally selected their party’s candidate over the will of the Democrat populace, evidenced by the total popular vote.
This is astounding.
The very idea of the “superdelegate” (and yes, the GOP has them as well but in vastly smaller numbers) lends itself to the Socialist dogma of the elitist class; a class of government official and politician that knows better what is good for the party – for the nation – than those they would govern. Regardless of the fact that these superdelegates were elected at one point, they were elected to do a much different job then that of electing a candidate to represent the party. In essence, they represent the party and not the proletariat...I mean party members.
Then there is the decision by the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee that literally resurrected the concept of a human’s worth being just three-fifths (in this case one-half) the worth of another. By slashing the value of the Florida and Michigan delegates’ votes the DNC has literally told the voters in Michigan and Florida that they – politically – are worth half that of the voters in every other state. It matters not that these Florida and Michigan Democrats have donated hard-earned money to the party, money that the party willingly took and spent. It matters not that honest and hardworking Florida and Michigan Democrats knocked on doors, put up yard signs, got petitions signed, etc. The Florida and Michigan Democrat organizations usurped the authority of Howard Dean and the voters are to be punished for it.
Perhaps I am being too literal here, too beholden to our rights as they are afforded under the US Constitution, maybe I adhere to the reality that our country is governed by We the People and not a group of elitists who want to emulate the Socialist class system of government, but it seems to me that the DNC hierarchy is disenfranchising their own party members. It seems to me that from the DNC’s refusal to “count every vote” and their refusal to recognize the one-man-one-vote system of representative government we embrace in this country they are refusing to recognize each citizen’s right to vote; each citizen’s right of governmental oversight. In essence, the DNC has stolen this election from their own party members by commandeering the candidate selection process. Talk about affirmative action!
All this said, two questions stand out as questions each and every Democrat must ask themselves as they head into this election: What other constitutional rights are you willing to forfeit? And what other constitutional rights is the DNC preparing to deny?
Frank Salvato is the Executive Director and Director of Terrorism Research for BasicsProject.org a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, BasicsProject.org, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism.