Kind of Ironic

I don't really care that much how either party chooses their candidate, beyond a general plea to reduce the influence of Iowa so we can finally put ethanol subsidies to bed.  However, I thought this was a bit ironic:  A self-styled progressive who complained for years about how the 2000 election was decided argues that having the Democratic candidate selected by a few party elites is A-OK:

I really, really hope the Democratic primary doesn't
come down to superdelegates "” the privileged class of delegate that
gets to vote however they want, and were created to ensure that party
elites didn't lose too much control over the process.

I'm just being contrarian here, but why would this be so bad? After
all, the only way it could happen is if the voters themselves split
nearly 50-50. And in that case, the nomination would end up being
decided by a massive effort to sway uncommitted delegates anyway. So
who cares if that massive effort is directed at superdelegates
(senators, governors, etc.) or the more plebeian regular delegates
(typically county chairs, local activists, etc.). And in any case, why
shouldn't the party elders, many of whom have to run on the same ticket
as the presidential nominee, get a little extra say in the process?

Here is how I think such a scenario will play out.  I think by convention time Obama will substantially lead Hillary in the polls.  However,  Hillary will be at a distinct advantage in the knife-fighting for long-time party movers and shakers.  We could well see the party elites overturning what at the time may be a strong popular sentiment among Democrats for Obama.  Hillary's biggest advantage will be that many party officials will be afraid to cross her.  Obama needs to be able to assure them that he has their back if they scorn Hillary. 


  1. Biomed Tim:

    I glanced through the comments in Drum's piece; I'm surprised that no one brought up the perspective of public choice theory.

  2. Steve:

    I don't really find this any more ironic than the various conservative blogs that are trying to convince their readers that McCain represents, and holds dear, conservative values. Both sides are trying to make silk purses of the sow's ears they find themselves with.

  3. Quincy:

    One thing about both of the major parties and their partisans is they don't care what the people want, they don't care about what is fair or unfair, or even who would do a good job running the country. They care solely about getting that person in the White House who they believe would act in their interest. Hence, on the Republican side, the former uncontrollable maverick John McCain becomes a party darling because his maverick image is needed to keep Republican interests in the race. On the Democratic side, the party and the partisans want Hillary elected, and will be willing to override the will of the people to do so. My call is that Obama has no chance at being the nominee in the face of the Democrats' political machine.