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How Democrats Should Solve Their Superdelegate Problem

[ Posted Wednesday, November 29th, 2017 – 18:22 PST ]

In December, the members of the Democrats' "Unity Reform Commission" will make their recommendations to the Democratic Party for changes in the way it handles presidential elections (among other things). Then it will be up to the Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee to decide whether to fully or partially adopt any of these recommendations. This is a big deal for Democrats, as it is the culmination of the effort to bridge the still-raw divide between the Bernie Sanders wing of the party and the Hillary Clinton establishment wing. Nobody at this point knows exactly what the unity group is going to propose, but there's one festering issue which will likely take center stage: superdelegate reform. The answer to this problem, though, seems pretty obvious to an outside observer. There's one way to solve it which would seem to appeal to all concerned.

Before I get to my answer, though, a quick review seems appropriate. Superdelegates are a purely Democratic idea, as the Republican Party seems to do just fine nominating their presidential candidates without such a system. The idea of superdelegates was anti-democratic from the beginning, although instituted with the best of intentions. When the modern primary system was created in the 1970s to gave the voters the power of selecting the nominee, the party organization sought to create a sort of semi-veto over the popular voters' will, in order to avoid extreme or unelectable nominees. The party currently has over 4,700 delegates to their national convention, including over 700 "superdelegates" (roughly 15 percent of the total). These superdelegates are party bigwigs -- elected officials, party leaders, former politicians, and other Democratic Party insiders.

The non-super delegates come from all the individual states and territories and are proportionally represented, in two ways. The first is overall -- states with higher populations (and therefore more House districts) get more delegates. The second is in how they vote, at least from most states. After the state holds either a primary or a caucus during presidential primary season, a certain number of delegates is allotted to each candidate, based on their share of the vote. Rules vary from state to state, with some being more strictly proportionate than others (some award bonus delegates to the winner of the primary, and some have Byzantine rules set up for who gets to be a delegate and how they'll vote, and some just unanimously award all delegates to the winner). But the basic rule of thumb is that the winner gets more delegates than the loser(s), and how that divide happens usually depends on how big the margin of victory was in one way or another.

Superdelegates, however, are "unpledged." They get to vote with only their own conscience guiding them, in other words, instead of some rule that forces them to vote for one candidate or another based upon the results of the primary vote. This is where the undemocratic part becomes obvious. If you're a pledged delegate from a state, then your vote is determined by tens of thousands of primary voters. If you are a superdelegate who votes for a different candidate for personal reasons, then you wield the same amount of power as tens of thousands of Democratic voters, all on your own. It's not "one man, one vote," rather it is "one superdelegate trumps tens of thousands of votes," in other words.

All the delegates -- super or not -- meet during the summer of an election year at the national convention. This is where the delegate votes are actually cast and counted. The national convention is a big party, both literally and figuratively. It is a meeting of representatives of the Democratic voting base from every corner of the country for the serious business of nominating a presidential and vice-presidential candidate. It is also a rollicking good time where Democrats join in boisterous merrymaking for three or four solid days and nights. I speak from experience, having attended the last two such conventions, I should mention (you don't get much sleep, I'll leave it at that).

This may sound trivial, but it's a big deal -- and I feel it is where the answer lies to the problem of superdelegates. All the other delegates to the national convention have worked very hard to get there -- these are the local county and state party leaders as well as the behind-the-scenes Democratic Party frontline troops who have put in hundreds of hours manning phone lines and handing out lawn signs and knocking on doors to try to enthuse the grassroots voters. They work very hard and if they're lucky, they get chosen to be a delegate as a reward for all their efforts.

Superdelegates, however, get a free pass. They are automatically assured a seat at the convention no matter how much effort they put in to the campaign or the party at large. They are seen as the party elders who have already earned the right to be there by their entire career, to be more charitable, but they know from the very start that they're going to get to go to the party at the end of the process.

Now, nobody's really saying this out loud in the discussion over the superdelegate problem, but this is a huge personal benefit that the superdelegates currently enjoy. So my answer to the superdelegate debate is to continue this perquisite, but also to remove the power of their independent vote. All superdelegates should be considered part of their home state's delegation, in the future. Every party bigwig comes from somewhere, so they should just be added in to that state's total voting bloc at the convention. But -- this is the crucial point -- they would no longer be able to freely vote for whomever they personally chose. Their votes would instead be strictly allocated in exactly the same way as all the other delegates' votes from that state. Perhaps they could have the option of deciding which candidate they'd like to vote for before all the other delegates are allotted -- that would be a limited form of the freedom to vote they currently enjoy. But only up to a point -- if they wanted to vote for Candidate Smith when Candidate Jones won all the delegates from their state, then they would not be allowed to do so, period. They could vote for Jones, or abstain, or just decide not go to the convention -- and those would be their only choices. Just like all the other delegates.

Obviously, this would take some reshuffling of each state's overall total delegate allocations. There may be more superdelegates from certain states than others, which would have to be balanced by reapportioning the other delegates to reach the same overall proportional balance (by population) between the states as before, in other words. But that's a purely mathematical problem which should be able to be worked out without too much trouble.

This would seem to solve the problem without being overly harsh about it. Superdelegates would still automatically be invited to the convention and they'd still be able to cast their vote for the nominee of their party, but who they voted for would no longer be solely up to them. They may retain a limited form of this, where they'd be able to request being a "Smith delegate" or a "Jones delegate," but only up to the point that such delegates exist from their home states. By doing so, the Democratic Party would again become a truly democratic party, where no one person's vote is weightier than any other's.

To me (at least) this seems an elegant solution to the entire problem. Superdelegates could publicly come out for one candidate or another and pledge their support. They could still campaign for their chosen candidate to their hearts' content, they could pledge their support as early as they pleased, and they would know that they're going to the convention automatically. But their pledged support would only go as far as the voters in their home states allowed. They -- just like all the other delegates -- would be bound by the rules each state has set up for the allocation of convention delegates. They could not overturn these rules and would have to abide by them, even if it meant ultimately casting a vote for the candidate they didn't support in the primaries. The voters would return to having the ultimate say over their vote -- which is the real core of the problem today.

So sure, let them come to the party. A lifetime's service as a Democratic politician or party leader should have some benefit, after all. Who is going to turn away someone like Barack Obama if he says he wants to participate in the convention? But in the end the voters from the state of Illinois (once he moves back there) would control Obama's vote, just as they control every other Illinois delegate's vote. Perhaps such delegates would have to be renamed, from superdelegate to something like "automatic delegate," since they wouldn't have their superpowers any more.

This could achieve true party unity. The Bernie Sanders supporters chafed at how undemocratic the superdelegate system is, but such a change would remove this problem and restore the party to honestly being a (small "d") democratic party once again. The Democratic Party establishment shouldn't be too put out by such a change, either, since the bigwigs would retain all of their convention perks except for one. They'd even retain the ability to be an outsized influence on the presidential nominating process, if enough of them endorsed a candidate very early in the process. But this time around the voters would know that their personal voting preferences were that and that alone -- if the voters spoke differently, they'd have to change their convention vote whether the former superdelegates liked it or not. The people, in other words, would gain veto power over the superdelegates rather than the other way around.

Like everyone else, I have no idea what the Unity group is going to propose to the D.N.C. next month. And I have no idea what the party will accept in the way of superdelegate reform. The only rumors I've heard are that Tom Perez is considering merely lowering the overall number of superdelegates. This might be seen as a step in the right direction by some, but it doesn't address the basic problem of the unfairness of their votes counting for more than the rank-and-file Democratic base. My solution does fully address this problem, while still retaining the privileged status of the superdelegates' automatic invitation to the convention. This would seem to be a solution both Clinton and Sanders supporters could at least live with. Superdelegates were always intended to be a sort of establishment veto power to be wielded over the Democratic voting base. It is an elitist entitlement created to thwart the will of the actual voters, to put it bluntly. That part needs to completely end. But at the same time, there's no reason Barack Obama (and Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, for that matter) shouldn't get an automatic invitation to the big party in 2020. Keep the non-voting benefits and just meld the superdelegates into each state's pledged delegation. Problem solved!

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

62 Comments on “How Democrats Should Solve Their Superdelegate Problem”

  1. [1] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Could somebody explain to me, why it is the 'DemocratIC' party, instead of the 'Democrat' party? Democratic is an adjective, is it not?, presumably referring to people claiming to be in favor of 'democracy', right? And such people would normally be said to be 'Democrats, right? However, if for some reason its adherents want it to be known as the 'Democratic' party, why are the members not 'Democratics'???

  2. [2] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Originally it was hyphenated (Democrat-ick). As time went by the hyphen and the K were dropped.

  3. [3] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    A better idea would be to eliminate the role of all delegates for choosing the nominee. Just give each state the number of delegates they have as votes and distribute them proportionally. And get rid of caucases.

    The same should be done for the electors in the Electoral College, though that would take an amendment.

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Originally it was hyphenated (Democrat-ick). As time went by the hyphen and the K were dropped.

    :-)

  5. [5] 
    neilm wrote:

    I think the caucuses are a bigger problem than the superdelegates. The superdelegates were used as a whine point by the Sanders supporters but if the rules CW proposed were in place Hillary would still have been the nominee - she simply got more votes.

    And in 2008 she had a superdelegate lead that evaporated when the popular vote went to Obama.

    Don't get me wrong, I see no point to superdelegates - give out free passes to the party to the deserving.

    ButI'd just do away with the delegate concept altogether - award the Presidential nomination to the candidate with the most votes nationwide and the Vice Presidential nomination to the second candidate - then you have the most popular ticket - the fact that they might not like each other is irrelevant - both the top two voted for candidates are on the ticket.

    Also, I'd create four voting days and split the country into four roughly equal parts - Northeast, Mid West, South and West. These would rotate on order every four years so we get rid of the Iowa/New Hampshire nonsense.

  6. [6] 
    neilm wrote:

    Lauer and Keillor today.

    Time for 45 and Moore to have their day being fired.

  7. [7] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    C. R. Stucki [1] -

    More than you ever wanted to know, with full historic citations on why "Democrat Party" is a slur, from 2006:

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2006/08/07/the-ic-factor

    Short answer: It's jarring. It's stupid. It's disrespectful. How would you feel if every Democrat began referring to the "Republic Party" and "Republics" in Congress? You'd think they were brain damaged, right?

    Well, that's the way Democrats feel about the whole "-ic" factor.

    :-)

    -CW

  8. [8] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    C. R. Stucki -

    Also, you kinda answered your own question within your own comment. "Democratic" is an adjective. "Democrat" is a noun. So the noun "party" is modified by the adjective "Democratic." And a person from that party (a noun, in other words) would naturally be known as a "Democrat."

    I mean, where's the confusion? Or are you that unsure of what the words "adjective" and "noun" mean?

    -CW

  9. [9] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Don Harris [2] -

    Actually, it was originally hyphenated by historians (although, not so much by politicians or newspapers of the time) as the "Democratic-Republican Party" of Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, et al.

    Just to be pedantic...

    Heh.

    -CW

  10. [10] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    neilm [5] -

    Can't say I disagree with any of that, personally...

    I also agree that the caucuses (cauci?) are outmoded and need to be replaced by true primaries. Not everyone's got the time for such nonsense these days, in other words...

    -CW

  11. [11] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So, C. R. Stucki, feeling pretty foolish, are you?

    I do hope you enjoyed the article as much as I did. It is quite telling ...

    Heh.

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, of course, C. R. Stucki, there is the whole thing about the small 'd' and big 'D', as it were.

    You're a real hoot, CRS!

    I'm sorry but, I simply cannot resist. I'm not that strong ... and you're too easy. :)

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Short answer: It's jarring. It's stupid. It's disrespectful.

    You mean, I have been insulting the Democrat Party every time I used the phrase Democrat Party???

    Kewl!! :D

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Time for 45 and Moore to have their day being fired.

    For what??

    Simple politically motivated accusations???

    Ahh that's right. When a Republican is accused, the accusation is PROOF of guilt....

    But ONLY for a Republican.. :^/

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    Lauer and Keillor today.

    What *IS* it with your Democrats, Neil???

    Why can't they keep their hands out of other people's pants???

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sexual harassment standard different for Congress, SC’s Clyburn suggests

    U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn could find himself in hot water.

    A flippant response the Columbia Democrat made to reporters while walking in the Capitol is drawing the ire of many.

    When asked about sexual harassment allegations against colleague Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Clyburn seemed to suggest elected officials should be held to a different standard than other public figures.

    In a video posted on Twitter, the 77-year-old Clyburn is walking to an elevator with Congressional Black Caucus chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.), when asked “Other men in other industries have faced similar accusations … and gotten out of the way, resign, stepped down, far faster than he has, right … Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer?”

    Clyburn’s response, “Who elected them?”
    http://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article187166378.html

    Typical Democrat.....

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    Time for 45 and Moore to have their day being fired.

    And Franken??? And Conyers???

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    Dem lawmaker: Pelosi harassment response set women back 'decades'
    Her defense of John Conyers as 'an icon' squandered the party's moral authority, Rep. Kathleen Rice says.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/29/nancy-pelosi-kathleen-rice-john-conyers-sexual-harassment-270483

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Democrat Leadership Press Conference

    "We have a ZERO TOLERANCE policy against sexual harassment.....
    "What about Congressmen Franken and Conyers???"
    ".... but that policy only applies when it's Republicans who are accused"

    Where's a political cartoon artist when ya need one?? :D

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    First, there was Leader Nancy Pelosi’s political face-plant on Meet the Press this weekend. When pressed by moderator Chuck Todd as to the fate of Conyers given her call for “zero tolerance” regarding sexual harassment, she gave this garbled — and wholly unsatisfying — reply:

    We are strengthened by due process. Just because someone is accused — and was it one accusation? Is it two? I think there has to be — John Conyers is an icon in our country. He has done a great deal to protect women — Violence Against Women Act, which the left — right-wing — is now quoting me as praising him for his work on that, and he did great work on that. But the fact is, as John reviews his case, which he knows, which I don’t, I believe he will do the right thing.
    A few hours after the taping, Conyers stepped down from his leadership post, while still denying the charges against him. On Monday, Pelosi released a statement saying that she had personally spoken with one of the accusers, Melanie Sloan, and said she “find[s] the behavior Ms. Sloan described unacceptable and disappointing...[And] believe[s] what Ms. Sloan has told [her].” Sloan had publicly accused Conyers with “berating her” while she worked for him in the 1990s. Sloan's story was in the Washington Post on November 22 — four days before Pelosi’s Meet the Press interview. When asked if she “believed” the accusers by Todd on Sunday, Pelosi replied: “I don’t know who they are. Do you? They have not really come forward.”

    https://www.cookpolitical.com/analysis/national/national-politics/democrats-missed-their-opportunity

    You see, this is why it's hard to take ya'all seriously.. Because ya'all never condemn the Democrats when they do something stupid.. At least ya'all haven't in the last couple years...

    It's all PTDS hysteria all the time....

  21. [21] 
    neilm wrote:

    Time for 45 and Moore to have their day being fired.

    Well that got you riled up Michale - lots of "but" ... "but" ... "but"

    Not so funny when your personal idols are held to the same standard as everybody else.

    Fortunately for you, your idols have no decency, and their supporters and enablers are too venal and desperate for power to act with any decency, so will need to be forced out.

    Come the revolution ...

  22. [22] 
    neilm wrote:

    I think we are letting 45 away far too lightly for his retweets from "Britain First".

    This is what the murderous savage shouted as he killed MP Jo Cox last year.

    Obviously 45 is far too stupid to understand, but there should be far more disgust being expressed on his favorite channel so even he understands how horrific his actions are.

    But everybody on the right seems to let "grampa" off the hook because he is obviously senile.

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well that got you riled up Michale - lots of "but" ... "but" ... "but"

    Yea?? Where???

    Not so funny when your personal idols are held to the same standard as everybody else.

    Which personal idols would those be???

    Fortunately for you, your idols have no decency, and their supporters and enablers are too venal and desperate for power to act with any decency, so will need to be forced out.

    Which is your way of dodging and avoiding the FACTS...

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    Obviously 45 is far too stupid to understand,

    If factual, then that must mean that YOUR champion is even stupider...

    So, are you going to go on record as saying that Hillary Clinton is stupider than Donald Trump??

    Of course you're not..

    So I just destroyed the credibility the claim that Donald Trump is "stupid"...

    "Yer welcome"
    -Maui, MOANA

    :D

  25. [25] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Neilm-5

    "I'd create four voting days and split the country into four roughly equal parts - Northeast, Mid West, South and West. These would rotate on order every four years so we get rid of the Iowa/New Hampshire nonsense."

    I proposed a primary structure based on the NCAA seeded bracket system several years ago. It's buried somewhere in the comments section archive back in the Obama Era. It would give promising political talent a chance to sharpen their campaign skills and gain national exposure - while keeping more established politicians well exercised. Party Conventions would determine the seeding, which would give them something useful to do.

  26. [26] 
    neilm wrote:

    Obviously 45 is far too stupid to understand,

    If factual, then that must mean that YOUR champion is even stupider...

    Elections aren't intelligence tests Michale - in fact sometimes they are the opposite.

  27. [27] 
    neilm wrote:

    I proposed a primary structure based on the NCAA seeded bracket system several years ago.

    You know, I think I remember that - that is probably where I got the idea from.

    Well I guess everything is a remix:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJPERZDfyWc

    (Note: if you haven't seen this is worth 30 mins of your time.)

  28. [28] 
    TheStig wrote:

    As currently structured, the primaries are basically popularity contests which don't serve to guide party policy in a useful way. The parties are basically fund raising structures waiting to be hijacked every 4 years. Trump is the ultimate expression of what can go wrong with that process.

    Prior to the Primary Revolution of the Seventies, parties still hammered out platforms that shaped policy. I have come to think the old system was better, although it suffered from the "sausage factory" downside of actually watching representative government at work at the policy level.

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    OOooooo Balthasar????

    Army veteran says Franken groped her during USO tour in 2003
    http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/30/politics/al-franken-groping-allegation/index.html

    How come yer not defending Al FrakIt any more?? :D

  30. [30] 
    DecayedOldBritishLiberal wrote:

    Michale; TL;DR.

    (That's all your posts).

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale; TL;DR.

    (That's all your posts).

    And yet, you cared enough to respond.. :D

    Funny how that is, eh??

    But I get it.. I really do.. It's hard to maintain yer delusion when all the FACTS are thrown in your face on a daily basis..

    I understand and forgive you...

  32. [32] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Neilm-27

    Well, that video resonated with me pretty well.

    I mapped economic theories onto ecology and evolution and got a Ph.D. for my trouble. I then mapped my Ph.D. onto military risk assessment, which swapped back into biology via the ecological risk assessment portal. This professional strategy was viable in the USA thru the late 20th century, which welcomed multi-disciplinary collaborations. The 21st century USA market is not so enamored with this fluidity and has developed a guild system based on putting sheepskin pegs into matching professional holes.

    The main difference in the current repackaging game is the faithfulness of digital, as opposed to analog information. Copies are for practical purposes, completely faithful. Everything can easily look professional, even if it is basically garbage at a deeper level. Or worse, misinformation at a deeper. That's the problem with YouTube.

  33. [33] 
    TheStig wrote:

    I have an old, board game from the 1970's titled King Maker. It's a licensed version of a British product. It's about the 15-th century "War of the Roses."

    The premise of the game is that the Kings of England were weak compared to rich nobles, mere figureheads to be fought over and captured or executed. Keys that unlock power, but are not powerful in themselves. The real power lies with coalition of rich nobles who hold the keys. I think this game is apt analogy to both Democratic and Republican parties in the modern era. The Forbes 400 are the modern nobles.

  34. [34] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DecayedOldBritishLiberal-30

    Had to look that abbreviation up. I agree.

  35. [35] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Chris

    One of us has serious English language comprehension problems. 'Democrat' is a noun, defined in my (admittedly 50 yr old) Webster's as "An adherent of democracy". 'Republic' is likewise a noun, defined as a nation with a "government which has a chief of state that is not a monarch."

    Consequently, your "Republic Party" actually makes perfect sense,, and would not offend me in the least, but your "Republics in congress" makes NO sense whatsoever, seeing as how a human cannot very well claim to be a 'republic'.

    Also, I'd point out that the Sanders people could make a pretty good case that the Democrats have forfeited the right to claim to be 'democratic' (adjective) by virtue of the way they treated him.

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    DecayedOldBritishLiberal-30

    Had to look that abbreviation up. I agree.

    Once again, you prove for all to see. You CAN'T ignore me, even when you hide in your Safe Space.. :D

    I am in your head, TS...

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    Also, I'd point out that the Sanders people could make a pretty good case that the Democrats have forfeited the right to claim to be 'democratic' (adjective) by virtue of the way they treated him.

    A Million upvotes if I could.. If you were on that ORVILLE planet, your safety from prosecution would be assured.. :D

  38. [38] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    You don't have to be a Sanders person to make a pretty good case that the Democrats have forfeited the right to claim to be democratic by virtue of the way they treat the Big Money donors versus how they treat the people that vote for them.

    And yet people keep voting for them.

  39. [39] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CRS-35

    I don't think "Democratic Party" violates any rules.

    Democratic Party is a title. First and last words in a title are capitalized. "Democratic" is an adjective describing the noun "Party."

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    John McCain will support Senate tax bill, boosting its chances of passing
    Sen. John McCain will back the Senate Republican tax bill.
    McCain was one of the last remaining GOP holdouts on the bill.
    His stance boost the Senate's chances of approving the legislation by Friday.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/30/mccain-will-support-senate-tax-bill-boosting-chances-of-passage.html

    Now watch you hysterical NeverTrumpers turn on McCain.. :D

    McCain is the best person in the world, ya'all said when he was doing what ya wanted.. :D

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    Nancy Pelosi: John Conyers Should Resign

    Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called on Rep. Jon Conyers (D-MI) to resign on Thursday following a host of sexual-misconduct allegations against the senior Democrat. “The allegations against Conyers, we have learned more since Sunday, are serious, disappointing and very credible," Pelosi told reporters this morning. "Congressman Conyers should resign." She added that "the brave women who came forward are owed justice" and offered prayers for Conyers and his family due to his current hospitalization in Detroit. Pelosi had received flack for her interview in which she called Conyers an "icon," as multiple House members said Conyers should resign. Additionally on Thursday, Pelosi said there are discussions about revealing past secret harassment settlements.
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/nancy-pelosi-john-conyers-should-resign

    Pelosi closes the barn door after the horse got out and sexually harassed the cows.... :D

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bad times for the Democrat Party.. :D

    I'll be circumspect about it and won't rub it in...

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    Much... :D

  44. [44] 
    DecayedOldBritishLiberal wrote:

    [35] C. R. Stucki wrote:
    Chris:
    One of us has serious English language comprehension problems.

    That's you, you silly old sausage!

  45. [45] 
    DecayedOldBritishLiberal wrote:

    [35] C. R. Stucki wrote:
    Chris:
    One of us has serious English language comprehension problems.

    That's you, you silly old sausage!

  46. [46] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    [29] Nice try, Michale. Look at the picture. Franken's hand is on her back.

    So far, except for the conservative talk show host, all of Franken's accusers have the same story to tell - that Franken somehow violated them while pulling them in close for a photo op. In public.

    But there seems to be no photo evidence of this at all, despite the presence of a camera in every instance.

    What I want to know is: How did Roger Stone know about Franken's first accuser before she had even made the accusation? And if there was no collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign, how did Stone know about the Podesta email dump before that happened? The former Nixon dirty trickster sure seems to know alot about future events for someone who's supposedly not on anyone's organization chart. Psychic powers?

  47. [47] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Meanwhile, President Trump's retweets of Isis propaganda videos and misleading Right-Wing "Britain First" propaganda has sparked an international incident between the U.S. and its closest ally, Britain.

    Big Baby has stepped in his own dod-doo. How sweet.

    The husband of the British legislator who was murdered by a man yelling, "Britain first!" is less amused.

  48. [48] 
    neilm wrote:

    http://thehill.com/policy/finance/362412-cisco-pfizer-coca-cola-plan-to-turn-over-gains-from-proposed-tax-cuts-to

    The poor are going to get screwed. The rich, particularly those invested in capital markets, are going to get a lot richer.

    If I hadn't watched the attempt to reformat 20% of our economy behind closed doors and at breakneck speed a few months ago, I'd not have believed that the Republicans would have tried to push this tax bill through in the same manner.

    Every single Republican voter who earns less than $250K or has less than $1M in investments needs to ensure that they understand this piece of legislation - whining in a few years time after the realization of what this does is going to be too late.

    Or perhaps I don't understand it - again, can one of our Republican friends on the board explain why this is going to be good without using the concept of trickle down (or just come out and say they think trickle down works).

    If you need an entertaining understanding of why the rich don't need to get any richer, spend 6 minutes of your life watching this video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM

  49. [49] 
    neilm wrote:

    http://thehill.com/policy/finance/362412-cisco-pfizer-coca-cola-plan-to-turn-over-gains-from-proposed-tax-cuts-to

    The poor are going to get screwed. The rich, particularly those invested in capital markets, are going to get a lot richer.

    If I hadn't watched the attempt to reformat 20% of our economy behind closed doors and at breakneck speed a few months ago, I'd not have believed that the Republicans would have tried to push this tax bill through in the same manner.

    Every single Republican voter who earns less than $250K or has less than $1M in investments needs to ensure that they understand this piece of legislation - whining in a few years time after the realization of what this does is going to be too late.

    Or perhaps I don't understand it - again, can one of our Republican friends on the board explain why this is going to be good without using the concept of trickle down (or just come out and say they think trickle down works).

  50. [50] 
    neilm wrote:

    If you need an entertaining understanding of why the rich don't need to get any richer, spend 6 minutes of your life watching this video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM

  51. [51] 
    neilm wrote:

    Kevin Hassett, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said on a call last month the main reason why cutting the corporate tax rate would boost wages is because doing so would make it less expensive for companies to invest in capital assets such as machines.

    “More assets like machines let workers produce more, and when workers can produce more, businesses can afford to pay their workers more,” he said last month.

    Somebody needs to explain to our Kevin that the machines are being bought to replace workers, not improve their wages.

    Also, the tax problem isn't that our corporations are starved of cash to invest - they have plenty of it offshore. And cash is basically free at the moment, interest rates are at record lows. There is no pent up investment wave waiting to be set free - this is what the CEOs are already telling this yahoo and he can't get it. Between increased dividends and buy backs, the stock market is going to pop. Now, that does not mean a crash isn't in the cards as we redistribute the wealth again and destroy some poorly invested money (Bitcoin, I'm looking at you), but the long term outlook for capital markets will be good until the pressure on our currency from the national debt grows too much - then that capital will move to more stable countries at the speed of light.

    Now, how many regular Americans can move to another country instantly if our finances tank and we need the largest bail out in IMF history?

    And Canada and Mexico don't count - they are going down with the ship as well.

    For about $60,000 you can buy a European passport. Probably less for one from S.E. Asia. Might be a better investment than Whole Life.

  52. [52] 
    neilm wrote:

    Earlier this month, chief White House economic adviser Gary Cohn appeared surprised at an event after few CEOs said they planned to invest more if the GOP's tax plan is passed.

    "If the tax-reform bill goes through, do you plan to increase investment — your company's investment, capital investment?" an editor asked during an event for The Wall Street Journal's CEO Council.

    People were asked to raise their hand.

    When few hands were raised, Cohn asked: "Why aren't the other hands up?"

    C'mon red state dwellers - get up to speed on this bill. If you like it, good for you, call your Senator and tell them. But if you don't, and I'm pretty sure most of you who aren't in the top few percent won't, call and tell them. They will listen to you.

  53. [53] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "If you like it...call your Senator and tell them. But if you don't...call and tell them. They will listen to you."

    No, they won't. For the same reason the Big Money Democrats won't listen to their voters- because when they don't listen the voters keep voting for them anyway.

    Stop voting for them and start voting against them is the only way to make them listen. And if they still won't listen then we will be able to replace them.

    The power isn't in the phone booth it's in the voting booth.

  54. [54] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    Chris,
    This is late to the party, clearly (ha ha), but your plan for having Superdelegates conform to the majority votes of their states defeats the whole point of the Superdelegates.

    As you noted, they were invented to counter the popular voice - specifically, after 1972. That was the year when the McGovern campaign gutted state party after state party, electing Convention delegates under new popular rules (that McGovern had written, after 1968's defeat of McCarthy by Humphrey), and leaving hundreds of Congressmen, Governors, and State Party chairmen unable to attend the 1972 Convention, because the 'regular Party' delegate tickets they were on had been defeated in Primary or Caucus selection by a bunch a goddam hippies - so to speak.

    Superdelegates, by design, are undemocratic (small d), but are there for the same reason the Senate, the Electoral College, and a lifetime Supreme Court are there: to prevent the People from making (ahem) bad decisions. Rather than force the Superdelegates to vote with their states, and so rubber-stamp the People's (possibly) bad decisions going forward, the simpler solution would be to abolish the position and go back to letting them run in the primaries as Delegates proper for the candidate of their choice (it's been a few decades, and they're probably up to speed on the McGovern reforms and the idea that open primaries and caucuses name the delegates now); if they should lose, and they'd like to come to the Convention, they would come (on the basis of their offices) as honorary non-voting delegates.

    As you say, the Republicans don't have Superdelegates. But that's because they never had the commitment to precinct-level democracy in candidate selection that the Democrats had, until several decades later. I suspect that a large number of Republican office-holders wish they had been able to attend the 2016 Convention as Superdelegates, able to defeat the Trump candidacy. Unlike McGovern, he won, of course; but the story isn't over yet, and they (the Republican Party leaders) seem uncomfortable with with the result of the open and popular primary elections for the nomination last year.

  55. [55] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    John M. [53]: Yup. All true. The last thing we need is a Democratic version of Trump.

  56. [56] 
    neilm wrote:

    Another little gem hidden in the tax bill. Adjusting the CPI (official inflation rate) mechanism - and guess what, they want to lower it by about 0.3%.

    Now that might not sound like much, but this is where the beauty of compound interest comes in - it is going to save the government almost 1/2 of the money that they need for the tax cuts - in lower social security payments in the future as well as keeping the tax brackets lower and so pushing people into higher tax brackets sooner.

    Again, this is a regressive tax move and we need people to pay attention now if they don't want to get fleeced.

    C'mon people - if you are in a red state or district, learn about this now. Regrets aren't going to do anybody any good.

  57. [57] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    For the same reason the Big Money Democrats won't listen to their voters- because when they don't listen the voters keep voting for them anyway

    Don. You're killing your own credibility by attacking Democrats at exactly the same time that the GOP is mounting a historic campaign to fete the super-rich.

    They've even admitted that their current efforts are being driven by their 'donor class', rather than by their rank-and-file base, who frankly put tax cuts for the 1% fairly low on their own lists.

    So here's your chance to speak out against Big Money, and you instead continue to try to divert attention back to their political opponents. Methinks 'tis not Big Money, but rather Democrats that thou doth oppose.

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    [29] Nice try, Michale. Look at the picture. Franken's hand is on her back.

    If you read the article, you would know that she turned away so that Frankenstein's hand was off her tit..

    And we know it's true because ALL women are to be believed..

    I guess for you, it's all women are to be believed except for those women who accuse those with a -D after their name..

    You really don't see how bad you are???

    But there seems to be no photo evidence of this at all, despite the presence of a camera in every instance.

    Ahhhhhhhh So, when it's a DEMCORAT who is accused, you want PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE of the woman being humiliated by the Democrat...

    But when it's a REPUBLICAN who is being accused, a 40 year old accusation from a woman with an axe to grind and connections to the Democrat Party is PERFECTLY acceptable...

    Why don't you just have I AM A DEMOCRAT PARTY SLAVE tattooed on your forehead??? :^/

  59. [59] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Balthasar-
    I wasn't aware that I had any credibility to lose.

    Incredible. :D

    However, I believe that credibility is established by being consistent. I was not diverting attention from Republicans to Democrats, I was including Big Money Democrats with Big Money Republicans.

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    Balthasar-
    I wasn't aware that I had any credibility to lose.

    Incredible. :D

    Heh... :D

    However, I believe that credibility is established by being consistent.

    DING DING DING!!! WE HAVE A WINNER!!!

    Consistency is the key...

    Take people here..

    They hated Comey, they loved Comey, they hated Comey, they loved Comey...

    All based on their Democrat Party agenda..

    McCain.. They LOVED McCain when he thwarted President Trump's agenda..

    Now they are going to despise and attack McCain because he is for President Trump's tax plan...

    That's what constitutes "consistency" around here...

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I've always loved Comey. He's the cream of the crop in my book.

    How's that for consistency?

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    I've always loved Comey. He's the cream of the crop in my book.

    How's that for consistency?

    You're the exception that emphasizes the rule...

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