Calvin Wolf, Convention, delegates, Superdelegates, Uncategorized

Hillary Clinton is the Candidate Superdelegates Were Always Meant to Stop

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June 7 is a date that will live in infamy.  The last Super Tuesday of the Democratic primaries, the day began under a cloud of tainted journalism and broken spirits.  The day before, the Associated Press had pre-emptively named Hillary Clinton the official Democratic presidential nominee after a journalist allegedly discovered that she had claimed a few more unpledged superdelegates…just enough to put her at the magic 2,383 delegate mark.  Despite the fact that superdelegates do not vote until the Democratic National Convention in late July, and can change their mind at any point up to the actual vote, the mainstream media eagerly ran with the story.  “Hillary Clinton Clinches Democratic Nomination” became the sensational headline, with journalists eagerly playing up identity politics by labeling the event a big win for women.

This was all before voters even cast their ballots on Super Tuesday.

Berners went to the voting booths on June 7 under a cloud of journalistic snark and sneer, with the talking heads declaring the race already over and demanding that progressives, independents, Millenials, and white men obediently fall in line with the Clinton political machine.  In California, Sanders’ make-it-or-break-it state, Hillary Clinton won by a suspiciously high margin.  Quickly, it was revealed that over two million ballots had not been counted, with over 1.3 million still uncounted as of June 16.  Like Arizona and New York before it, the California Democratic primary has received criticism of voter suppression…the majority of it affecting Bernie Sanders supporters.  From Iowa onward, it has been clear that Sanders Democrats have been at far greater risk of being turned away at the polls or having their votes discounted for a controversial myriad of bureaucratic reasons.

Since June 7, additional counting has flipped three California counties from Clinton to Sanders.  While the final tally may still not turn the state from Clinton red to Sanders blue, it will provide a far more accurate look at the two candidates’ respective popularity.  As any objective observer can attest, the mainstream media and the Democratic Party establishment have worked overtime to artificially amplify Clinton’s popularity at the expense of Sanders’ support.  The Democratic Party, once touted as the political party of inclusiveness, has become a parody of itself as it aggressively barred Sanders’ supporters from closed primaries.

Millenials, independents, and even Republicans, all of whom overwhelmingly favor Bernie Sanders to Hillary Clinton, have faced obstacles to casting ballots in closed Democratic primaries.  Sometimes, they were required to be registered as Democrats months before voting day.  Other times, they discovered at the polls that their recent registrations as Democrats could not be found.  Who knows if there were instances where votes were intentionally miscounted?  Given that most state-level Democratic parties are heavily pro-Clinton, it is almost impossible to assure that primary election tallies have not been tampered with.

It doesn’t take a PhD to realize that Hillary Clinton’s support has either been artificially inflated, or that Bernie Sanders’ support has been unfairly marginalized.  With Hillary Clinton enjoying a premature “victory tour,” assuming that all of her superdelegates will remain loyal, the Democratic Party is sweating out the FBI investigation into her private e-mail server.  Now that the primaries are over and Bernie Sanders is taking a breather, everyone anxiously awaits for news of Clinton’s past scandals.

Will the FBI encourage an indictment?  Will Wikileaks release documents damaging to the Clintons?  Could someone leak the long-demanded Goldman Sachs speech transcripts?  Might Donald Trump and the Republican Party dig up additional dirt on any of the Clintons’ many long-simmering scandals, going all the way back to Whitewater and Paula Jones?

Democratic superdelegates, who have overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton, most since before the Iowa caucus even commenced on February 1, are tasked with voting for the candidate they consider most likely to win the general election this fall.  All the polls reveal that Bernie Sanders, not Hillary Clinton, handily bests Donald Trump…but superdelegates have waved off these surveys as misguided.  They have also either remained mum on Clinton’s legal woes or opined that her scandals are heavily overblown and will quickly fade away.

It does not take an expert to realize that these superdelegates are taking a tremendous risk by ignoring two powerful variables:  Sanders’ superior polling against Donald Trump, and Clinton’s mounting legal woes.  Currently, pro-Clinton superdelegates are blindly hoping that most of Sanders’ supporters will quickly line up behind the former First Lady.  Despite little evidence that such a shift is occurring, or even that the scars will fade by November, the Democratic establishment confidently declares that it will happen.  Is this mere confidence…or irrational recklessness?  Though many pro-Clinton superdelegates are certainly feeling some doubts, it is unlikely that any will speak up.

But speak up they should, for Hillary Clinton is precisely the candidate who Democratic superdelegates were always intended to prevent from garnering the nomination.

A scandal-plagued candidate of questionable popularity, and who faces serious long-term liabilities, is precisely the sort of politician who should be banned from claiming the mantle of Democratic nominee.  On paper, at least, superdelegates were charged with ensuring that such a flawed politician could never claim the nomination and put the Democratic Party’s general election viability at risk.  Alone among candidates in recent history who have made it to major-party conventions, Hillary Clinton epitomizes the sort of flawed politician who could spectacularly implode between August and November.  Unlike presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, whose many flaws have already been glaringly revealed, who knows how much more Hillary Clinton dirt remains to be exposed?

Wikileaks, Anonymous, the FBI, or Donald Trump’s private investigators could swiftly sink Clinton’s campaign between now and election day by revealing damning new details of her lies and/or corruption.  This is bad enough on its own, but its danger is compounded by the fact that Hillary Clinton’s popularity is already relatively weak.  Only mainstream media bias and Democratic National Committee maneuverings have allowed her to win the majority of pledged delegates.  Frankly, Clinton need not fall far in the polls to guarantee a Donald Trump victory in any general election match-up between the two.

Most Democratic superdelegates should realize that, on a level playing field, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) would be a shoo-in for presidential nominee.  He has decades of experience, is unrivaled at winning against the odds, has bold and popular policy proposals, and has an unrivaled reputation for integrity and consistency.  Nothing is going to trip up Bernie Sanders on his way to a general election victory over Donald Trump.

Between now and July 25, let us hope that the Democratic superdelegates come to their senses and realize that Hillary Clinton is less popular than she appears and is at a dangerously high risk of imploding before election day.

#StillSanders

#FeelTheBern

 

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About Calvin Wolf

By day, Calvin Wolf is a high school social studies teacher. By night, he is a freelance writer and novelist, penning political thrillers and commentary on politics, education, economics, foreign policy, and culture. In the past, he's worked as a professional cartoonist and as a backpacking guide. He once stood between a mother bear and her cub and emerged unscathed!

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