After the controversial Democratic primaries between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, Democrats are looking ahead to 2020 in hopes of putting forth the best candidate possible to unseat Mr. Trump. This past week, the Democratic National Committee hosted its summer meeting in Chicago aimed at voting on policies and reforms.
On Saturday, The DNC voted overwhelmingly on a new policy to dramatically reduce the power and influence of superdelegates in choosing the party’s presidential nominee. According to NPR:
‘DNC members voted on a proposal to take away the role of elected officials and other party dignitaries in selecting a nominee at the Democratic convention — leaving it up to delegates selected in primaries and caucuses only — unless the process becomes deadlocked.
‘Opponents of the move stood down and the measures were adopted in a voice vote. A DNC panel overwhelmingly approved the move earlier this summer.’
The reforms adopted also encourage individual states to do away with caucuses and switch to primaries administered by state and local election officials. If states continue to hold caucuses, which are in-person meetings, there has to be a provision for people to vote absentee in circumstances where there are barriers such as military service, childcare, or disabilities.
Top DNC leaders broadly support the proposal. Vice chair Michael Blake said:
‘Voters want us to be listening to them, and this is a way to show that we’re listening, to show that we’re understanding the changes that had to be made after 2016.’
DNC Chair Tom Perez told party members:
‘Folks, what we all have in common is we’re here to win elections.’
Vermont Senator (I) Bernie Sanders also expressed his approval:
‘Today’s decision by the DNC is an important step forward in making the Democratic Party more open, democratic and responsive to the input of ordinary Americans. This has been a long and arduous process, and I want to thank Tom Perez and all of those who made it happen.’
According to NPR:
‘The 2016 Democratic primary was fought bitterly for a number of reasons, but the issue of superdelegates — who are unbound by primary results and are free to support whichever candidate they choose — loomed large over the fight between Hillary Clinton and Sanders, whose supporters railed against the party establishment.’
In 2016, Hillary Clinton also largely earned the backing of the Democratic Party’s superdelegates, and won the majority of the delegates decided in the primaries and in the caucuses. However, many Sanders supporters felt that support from the party establishment was an unfair advantage, and a means to which other outside candidates could be prevented from seriously contending for the nomination. It was inevitable that Hillary would win the nomination.
In June, the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee voted 27 to 1 o prevent superdelegates from voting on the first round of ballots at presidential nominating conventions. Perez said:
‘No candidate should have an accumulated lead, whether real or perceived, before a first ballot is cast.’
Michigan Education Association president Paula Herbart said:
‘We’ve always said that we are the party of all, and we are proving it by working this resolution and moving and changing our rules. When we include all voices, we have the power to move mountains.’
The proposal drew criticism from some though. Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA)., the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, wrote a letter to Perez, saying:
‘(the policy would) disenfranchise elected officials for no substantive reason and would create unnecessary competition between those elected and their constituents.
‘The thought that a member of Congress would have to compete with their constituents in an election to secure a first ballot vote on the party’s nominee creates unnecessary friction between those elected and the people they are elected to serve.’
Former interim DNC chair Donna Brazille also criticized the proposal, saying:
‘At a time when we’re trying to figure out as a party if we’re gonna disenfranchise those who are party leaders, party officials, party donors, party activists and [the] grassroots, I think this would just really kick the you-know-what out of us.’
Outside the DNC meeting in Chicago, the All-American Impeachment Marching Band pic.twitter.com/1EEEQMhVa5
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) August 23, 2018
Featured image is a screenshot from YouTube