Bernie Sanders is suggesting it’s inaccurate to apply the “democratic” label to the Democrat Party, not with the rigged party rules for selecting its presidential nominee which don’t respect the will of voters. Take the case of socialist Sanders’ win in Washington State as a prime example.
In a rather impressive feat, Sanders won every single county in Washington State last Saturday. All in all, the revolutionary who refuses to identify as a Democrat trounced the party’s favored nominee, Hillary Clinton with 72.7% of the vote.
Washington Democrats are not only showing Sanders the love with their votes, they are also feeling the Bern with their pocketbooks. So far, Sanders has managed to collect $2.6 million for his war chest in Washington, 30% percent more than Clinton. Seattle ranks first in the nation for the money donated per capita to the Sanders campaign.
These facts should leave Clinton in the dust when it comes to picking up presidential convention delegates in our state. But, thanks to the undemocratic rules of the Democrat Party, they don’t.
While Sanders collected the loin’s share of Washington’s 101 delegates allocated by the caucus vote, Clinton may have all of the state’s 17 unpledged “super delegates” in her pocket. These “super delegates” are not bound by the will of the people of Washington State at the Democrat National Convention.
These in-the-bag-for-Hillary delegates include Governor Jay Inslee, U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, all six Democrats in the state’s U.S. House delegation, and certain state party leaders. And, by every indication, they are all backing Clinton (despite the more than clear will of their constituents).
Ever out-of-touch with reality, Inslee even posted a “selfie” of himself caucusing for Clinton on Saturday. He wrote, “I was proud to caucus for Hillary Clinton today in Bainbridge.”
If the vast majority of the comments on Inslee’s out-of-touch post are any indication (which they probably are), the undemocratic nature of the “super delegate” system is not sitting well with Sanders’ supporters – and the people Inslee will be asking for votes this fall.
In an attempt to right the wrong, Sanders backers launched an online petition on MoveOn.org that demands super delegates “follow the lead of average Democratic party voters and uphold authentic democracy.” The petition, launched on Saturday, already has over 26,000 signatures.
The divisiveness among Democrats in Washington State (with, of course, Sanders supporters in the overwhelming majority) isn’t likely to be soothed easily. With Clinton supporters feeling their candidate is entitled to the nomination and Sanders supporters sensing their candidate will be cheated out of the nomination, tensions are running high and unforgettable attacks are being made.
Carolann Driver, a member of Washington Women for Hillary, went so far as to claim that Sanders supporter are “figurative gang-rapists” of anyone supporting Clinton. She wrote via the group’s Facebook page, “I really don’t have much problem with Sanders. However, his followers have been horrible, nasty, attacking, figurative gang-rapists of anyone supporting Hillary, and I am very glad those people will not be in power – they are as bad as Trumpsters.”
For their part, many of Sanders supporters appear to believe Clinton is running a disingenuous campaign by attempting to appear to the left of Sanders. Via the Guardian,
“[One Sanders supporter] is suspicious that Clinton will dump her more liberal positions once she has the nomination in her grasp. “Clinton’s coming out and saying things she didn’t say before. She’s starting to sound like she’s a Berniedette,” she said. “As she’s made such a big stink about calling herself a progressive, what’s she going to do if she gets the nomination? … Is she slowly going to become acceptable to rightwing people because she wants their votes too?”
Clinton’s campaign denies allegations that any type of political maneuvering to the left is occurring. A campaign official told the Guardian, “We’re already a stronger party because Bernie Sanders ran in this election… There are good ideas coming from Bernie Sanders supporters, so we have to have a place where the Democratic party is unified going into this election.”
So, how democratic is the Democrat Party? Not at all, for two reasons.
- The absurd power granted to super delegates.
- The fact that Democrats believe that a self-declared socialist made their party “stronger” by bringing in “good ideas.”
Super delegates are undemocratic, but so are socialists.