A small group of Democratic National Committee members are said to be weighing up plans to change the rules on superdelegates ahead of the Democrats’ national convention. The move by mainstream Democrats showing, once again, that they intend to stop the campaign of Bernie Sanders at any cost.
Looking to ensure that superdelegates can vote on the first ballot at the convention, the move would seek to improve the position of top party officials and members of Congress who usually have to wait until the second round of ballots until being able to have their say on whether the convention is contested.
In what looks like a repeat of the 2016 disaster when the Democrat establishment undermined and scuppered Bernie Sanders chances of winning in favour of the deeply unpopular Hilary Clinton, the same establishment cliques are seemingly now looking to again end the challenge of Sanders, likely in support of Joe Biden.
Sanders, who continues to surge in the polls nationally, seems likely to win Monday’s Iowa caucus, a victory that will give him momentum enough to likely chip yet further away at Joe Biden’s ever-shrinking poll leadership. The prospect exists that Sanders will end the convention in the lead but without the ballots needed for a first-ballot nomination.
The Democrats are said to be worried that in such a scenario when superdelegates backed Biden or another candidate on the second ballot, the backlash from furious grassroots Democrats would be more than enough to ensure that they lost to upcoming Presidential election, the party haemorrhaging support to the Green Party.
In 2016, despite warnings from the left that she couldn’t defeat Donald Trump, the superdelegates still sided with Hillary Clinton, defying the will of many Democrats who foresaw the defeat to come. The betrayal of Sanders supporters wasn’t forgotten at the ballot with many electing to either stay at home or vote for Jill Stein.
Despite the idea growing in traction amongst the neoliberal camp within the DNC, it is unlikely however to gain the support required to move to the next level, being more likely to be on the table in 2024.
The fact that such a move to once again put an end to the Sanders campaign is even being discussed, however, shows the level to which the mainstream establishment fears a Sanders candidacy and the societal changes that would follow. Beholden to the same corporate ideals as the Republicans, the feeling that they would rather see another term for Donald Trump than countenance the possibility of a Sanders Presidency becomes ever more inescapable.
Main Image: Senator Bernie Sanders’ speaks at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Bell Tower Amphitheater on September 19, 2019 | Jackson Lanier