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Hey Senator McCain—Do My Jewish In-Laws Favor Surrender To Terrorists? Or How About My Dad Who Fought In Korea?

In dropping out of the race for President, Mitt Romney said voting for Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton would be akin to surrendering to terrorists.

Campaigning last week Senator John McCain said advocates of a timed-withdrawal in Iraq are in favor of surrender.

Do my Jewish in-laws favor surrendering to Islamic terrorists?

Does my father who fought in Korea favor surrendering to terrorists?

Does any American favor surrendering to terrorists?

Is this going to be the Republican theme in 2008?

If so, I will never view Senator McCain, if elected, as my President. His campaign will have been based on the premise that myself and people who believe as I do are disloyal. 

February 7, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , | 2 Comments

History Of The Superdelegate

What is a Superdelegate in the fight for the Democratic presidential nomination? What is the history behind the awarding of these delegates?

A  “superdelegate” is a party leader, an elected official or otherwise, who is made an automatic delegate at the party nominating convention. This person is not required to win his or her place in a primary or in a caucus. They have a spot at the convention no matter what. 

The so-called superdelegate was created as a “reform” within the Democratic nominating process for the 1984 elections. Party leaders felt that the process had gotten away from them and was overly geared to primary voters and caucus-goers. 

According to Congressional Quarterly’s Guide To U.S. Elections

“This reform had two main goals. First Democratic leaders would participate in the nomination decision at the convention. Second, they wanted to ensure that these uncommitted party leaders could play a major role in selecting the presidential nominees if no candidate was a clear front-runner.”

Isn’t is great that Democratic party leaders had to be given a free pass instead of earning a place to take an active part in the nominating process?

The superdelegate idea was in in many ways a roundabout response to a process set in motion by liberal party activists who felt shut out at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. Vice President Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota in 1968 was the last major party nominee to win the nomination without entering most of the primaries.

A commission was set up led by Senator George McGovern of South Dakota that led to an opening of the process and to more primaries. This openness was the trend in the 1972 and 1976 nominating races for the Democrats and Senator McGovern benefited from these new rules in his own successful 1972 nomination bid.    

For 1984, the party leadership reasserted some authority with superdelegates. It was a “reform” that was really a step backwards.   

Superdelegates in 2008 are Democratic members of the House and Senate, Democratic Governors, and members of the Democratic National Committee. Al Gore and Bill Clinton are also superdelegates. 

There are approximately 800 superdelegates of the 2125 delegates needed to win the nomination.

In 1984, four of five superdelegates supported Walter Mondale of Minnesota (photo below) over Senator Gary Hart of Colorado. This despite the fact Vice President Mondale won 37.8% of all primary votes in 1984 against the 36.1% won by Senator Hart. The party establishment was beyond Mr. Mondale regardless of how people were voting in the primaries.

 

Since 1984, the percentage of superdelegates has increased. It was 14% of all delegates in 1984 and is nearly 20% today.

As I write this in February, more superdelegates are pledged to Senator Hillary Clinton of New York than to Senator Barack Obama of Illinois.   

Superdelegates can change their minds if they wish. They can do anything they want.

It’s like some sort of House of Lords. ( Illustration below.)

This process is undemocratic. Delegates should be elected by rank-and-file members of the party. If a sitting Governor or Senator can’t win a spot in a primary or a caucus, what type of legitimacy as a popular leader does such a person have?   

I hope that at the least, superdelgates will reflect the wishes of the district or state they represent, or, for those not currently holding any political office, the state or local area they come from. 

2008 Democratic Convention Watch is a blog doing a good job tracking who superdelegates are supporting.  

Texas Liberal is leading the way in politcal history blogging in 2008.

February 7, 2008 Posted by | Books, Campaign 2008, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Will “Latest News” On Texas Democratic Party Home Page Ever Be Updated Past January 3?

Will the so-called “Top Story” on the home page of the Texas Democratic Party ever be updated past January 3?

Will the “GOP Watch” ever be updated past December 19?

Will the “Features” section ever be updated past November 8?

All of these sections are under the broad heading of “Latest News” on the Texas Democratic Party home page on the web.

Yes—Some things are updated. There is an updated calender of events and a fund-raising pitch for Texas House of Represenatives candidates.

But what about the rest of the web page?

Below is a picture of a town crier.

“Hear ye, Hear ye”  

Since more modern technology is not fully working out for the TDP , maybe a town crier could be employed  to keep party faithful up to date.

 

  

February 7, 2008 Posted by | Politics, Texas | , , | 1 Comment