Wednesday, September 5, 2018

This is why we lose

I saw this on Twitter the other day and I thought my head was going to fall off. This is the most tone-deaf piece of writing I've ever seen. It's like it was designed to alienate and drive away voters.

Democrats stripped my superdelegate superpowers. Now I'm a notch above a coin toss

Donna Brazile, Opinion contributor

Not really. I mean, a coin toss has a 50/50 chance of getting something right.

The Daily Show Boom GIF

Curses! Superdelegate is vanquished!
I’ve had my wings clipped, my cape ripped, and my super powers stripped. My irresistible Kung Fu grip on the Democratic Party is being pried loose by well-meaning citizens who may yet endanger the very fountainhead of their freedom.

Okay, she's being facetious, right? There's no way she could possibly be serious right?

You see, since time immemorial, we superdelegates have stood as the guardians and protectors of the secret machinations of the Democratic Party, keeping it safe from outsiders and agitators. We were ever watchful, always ready to spring into action should unorthodoxy raise its ugly head.

Okay, I know this is supposed to be sarcasm, but replace "time immemorial" with "1984" and you're pretty spot-on.

But now, a simple Democratic National Committee vote has effectively left us neutered  — stripped of our awesome powers, left helpless and weak like Superman zonked by kryptonite, Batman without his utility belt, or a hammerless Thor. 
OK, I don’t actually read a lot of comic books. I’ve been too busy running the Democratic Party by executive fiat along with the other Politburo insiders, I mean “superdelegates.” At least, that’s the way it’s been explained to us.

Oh my God, you're really beating this whole superhero analogy into the ground. Can you just get to the point?

Last weekend, the DNC voted to essentially disenfranchise the “superdelegates” 

Archer No GIF

No. No no no no no. That is NOT what happened. Do you not know what disenfranchised means? You still get to vote. It's just that your vote now counts the same as mine. Or any other citizen. You did not lose your franchise. You just don't get treated quite as super-special as before.

According to the new rules, we superdelegates won’t be able to vote on the first ballot at the convention. Or on any ballot, unless there’s a tie or some other sort of deadlock in the process.
So, we superdelegates are now what? Merely the mechanism you default to in case of a tie? Great. I’ve fought for the Democratic Party my entire life, and now I’m one notch above a coin toss.

Oh my God, this kind of whiny entitlement is usually only seen on My Super sweet 16 or any reality show about trust-fund kids.  "I've fought for the Democratic Party my whole life and now I am to be on the same level as any common voter? Am I to cast a mere vote that will be lumped in with the votes of those who have not achieved my superior status? Next they will expect to make eye contact with me when I speak! Imagine the effrontery!"


I realize that many people have felt left out. Part of the reason is that they have not participated, worked and fought to the same degree as many other people. A political party isn’t like some sort of event planner that’s there to make sure you have a fun time installing the candidate of your choice. It’s an organization made up of flesh-and-blood people who have spilled endless blood, sweat and tears.

What blood? When have you ever spilt blood in the course of your duties as Democratic Party functionary? Sweat? Sure. I'll buy that. Tears? No doubt, considering the ammount of failure you've had your hands in. But blood? Now you're just being ridiculous.

Also, if your potential voters are feeling "left out," I'm not sure if the best strategy is to tell them "oh, that's because you haven't sacrificed enough for the party."

Those people have literally devoted their lives to creating this organization to fulfill their dreams of the kind of country we’re going to be.

Wait, THIS? This was the kind of country you were aiming for? A country where the most basic government services like single-payer healthcare and tuition-free college are considered far too radical to be taken seriously? A country whose citizens were so fed up and furious with the political establishment that they voted for a syphilitic orangutan with a history of sexual assault and severe personality disorders rather than another tepid DNC-approved moderate? That's what you dedicated your life to building?

Oh, and also let's not try to pretend that devoting your life to the DNC is some sort of selfless act of altruism. You are paid very well for your series of stunning failures. Plus you get a measure of fame and prestige. You get to go on all the news interview programs and have people pretend to value your insight. Hell, you even got to guest on an episode of The Good Wife!

Donna Brazile, the Democratic strategist, made an appearance in 2013 on "The Good Wife." 

By the way, you're every bit as good at acting as you are at running a political party.

In one of my tweets this week, I used Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards as an example. He has devoted his life to public service both in uniform and in office. As governor since 2016, he expanded Medicaid to give health care to thousands of Louisianans. He wasn’t given a seat at the table; he earned it.

Oh for God's sake.
First of all, let's stop referring to a career in politics as "public service." Governor is a job that people fight over. No one has to be cajoled into running for governor. It's not like joining the Peace Corps. As long as he is in office, every four years there will be people vying for the chance to try to take that job away from him. He's not a hero. He's in a position in which he has probably dreamed of being for years.

Oh, and he expanded Medicaid? Good. Good for him. He not only did the right thing, he did the politically popular thing. And it cost him nothing. Just because his predecessor was a cruel and craven asshole doesn't make him a portrait in courage for doing the non-shitty thing. And it shouldn't entitle him to be in a position to override the votes of thousands of ordinary people. Hey, earlier today I saw a puppy and I didn't kick it. Where's my seat at the table?

And the superdelegates aren’t the infamous “smoke-filled room” full of “old white men” deciding the fate of everybody else. But let me tell you something — it was once close to being that. I know because I helped change it. As I said earlier this week, I’ve been those people outside, shouting at the gate. I was with Jesse Jackson in 1984: an outsider, a troublemaker and a believer in the Rainbow Coalition. 

Oh my God. You were with Jesse Jackson. Great. Then you sold out. You know Jesse Jackson is exactly the kind of candidate that the superdelegates exist to thwart. If a Jesse Jackson-type candidate  (or a Bernie Sanders type) was to win a majority of pledged delegates, all of you superdelegates would throw your support behind whatever moderate centrist he was running against. Anything to keep the donor dollars flowing!

 We complained and we fought. And we worked like hell for years to get on the DNC in order to make it inclusive.
I earned my place at the superdelegate table
“Now that POC, women, and LGBTQ+ leaders have a significant say in the nomination process suddenly the rules need to be changed, effectively eliminating their participation. Funny how that happens. 

Lana Kane Nope

Oh no. No no no. This is what the right does. This is what hacks like Candace Owens do. They do or say something stupid or offensive, get called out for it, then say "Oh, you're trying to silence me because I'm a woman, or because I'm black" or whatever. No one is becoming upset about the superdelegates because they are a more inclusive group. People are only now getting upset abput them becaue they've just recently learned of their existence. I had never heard of "superdelegates" until the Obama-Clinton primary in 2008. And I thought that they were some new invention added that year. And I keep up with this soul-killing crap a lot more than the average bear. A lot of Democratic voters probably only learned about the existence of superdelegates during the Clinton-Sanders primary, where it seemd to be a regular occurrence that Sanders would win the vote in a particular state but Clinton would get more delegates because of these so-called "superdelegates" and people started asking "what the hell are superdelegates, and how is that fair?" No one ever said "wait, they're letting WOMEN be superdelegates? BLACK WOMEN? Oh, hell no!" It's incredibly cynical to suggest otherwise.

All of the people lumped together as “superdelegates” have made the DNC an organization that everyone can be proud of

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HOW? How do you figure anyone is going to be proud of the DNC? You know you lost to this guy

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and this thing, right?


You know that your opponents control the White House, the Senate, the House of Representatives, the Federal judiciary, the governorship of 33 states and control both chambers of 32 state legislatures. And the only reason that any of that is projected to change is that Donald Trump is so widely reviled that voters are abandoning the Republican Party. And you've got two Democrats that are energizing voters, OAC and Andrew Gillum and your organization hasn't gotten behind either one. It's like you want to lose. Or you'd rather lose than win with someone who will upset the donors.

To some degree, this has been a perception problem. People seem to think that we superdelegates really did have some sort of superpowers.

No. No one thought that.

Maybe it was the “super” part of superdelegate that spooked them. They began to fear and distrust us. 

Maybe it was the fact that you seem to think that the voters are stunningly stupid? No one was "spooked" by the term "superdelegate." No one thought you had super powers. People think, and they aren't wrong, that it is profoundly undemocratic to have a group of party elites whose vote carries the same weight as that of a normal delgate who represents thousands of actual voters. You could call yourselves "Special delegates" or "premium delegates" or "chocolate souffl├ęs." It isn't a perception problem. Well, I guess it is for you, because Democratic voters are getting a correct perception.

 We’ve wound up being outcast and despised, like those with superpowers in the X-Men universe. I think. Like I said, I don’t actually read a lot of comics.

Oh my God, that is peak Donna Brazile. Make a statement about something, then acknowledge that you don't actually know about the topic, then for some inexplicable reason LEAVE THE COMMENT AND THE DISCLAIMER IN THE FINAL DRAFT.

Also, you're hardly "outcast." You're still in a position of influence. You're still in the club. You're just not being given outsized influence over the choice of candidates. An influence which you've never even had occasion to use. As you said, Clinton won the majority of regular delegates and superdelegates have never voted to overturn the will of the voters. But I guess no longer having that power in your back pocket should a true progressive ever threaten to win the nomination feels like some sort of oppression to you.

Well, I can still go to the convention as a superdelegate, and do everything in my power to help Democrats win elections. I earned my place at this table. Hell, I helped build the table.

Yeah, I wouldn't brag about that. It's not a very good table. And frankly, considering your track record, I think I would prefer that you do everything in your power to help the Republicans.


Okay, couple disclaimers:

1. Yes, I know that the 2000 election was stolen in Florida. But for God's sake, it never should have been close enough to steal. I mean, running against the dim-bulb son of a one-term president whose own party didn't even like him?  And your candidate is the vice president of a popular two-termer?That's a gimme.

2. I am not saying that Bernie Sanders didn't lose the nomination fair and square. I'm not saying that the superdelegates had anything to do with his loss. (Except that by padding Clinton's delegate totals they gave her nomination an air of inevitability). But just because they may never have used their undemocratic powers to unseat the people's chosen nominee doesn't make it any less undemocratic.

Thank you./