Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 10 Share on Twitter 2 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/7/16

Blue-state Bernie and the DNC's Plutocratic "Victory" Rules

By       (Page 4 of 6 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page. (View How Many People Read This)   No comments
Author 89501
Message Rob Hager

Sanders consistently wins the support of Independent voters in exit and other polls. Independents are 40% of the electorate compared to Democrats who barely reach 30%, a number that will likely continue to decline as the party's corrupt election rigging practices under challenge in 2016 become even more apparent. Since Independents determine presidential elections, factoring their choices into the run-off process is conducive to victory. Should Independents get turned off the Democratic Party due to its transparent election rigging, Democrats will lose in November to Trump, who at least keeps a straight face when pretending to be a post-plutocracy plutocrat.

Different approaches to primary elections range from, say, Minnesota's, which has an entirely open process requiring little more than future voter eligibility and a signature to participate, to a state like Massachusetts which is not so open, to states like New York that are closed. In Minnesota, a solid blue state that has consistently contributed all its electoral votes to Democrats for two generations since 1976. Sanders accordingly defeated Clinton with a landslide vote of 61-38% on Super Tuesday, in an historic turnout second only to 2008. The Minnesota results were comparable to Sanders' landslide in his neighboring New Hampshire, and exceeded in Kansas. In Massachusetts, by contrast Sanders ran almost even. The Super Tuesday and other states range across this spectrum from open to closed, giving their results variable validity in representing the actual preferences of general election voters.

The DNC cannot by itself change this variable discrimination in different states against Independent voters. It was unsuccessful in trying ad hoc discipline of state primary practices it disapproved in Michigan and Florida in 2008. Discrimination against voters that the party will need to win the general election is usually rooted in state laws which the corrupt parties have created for their mutual duopolistic benefit. But the DNC rules committee could immediately ameliorate this problem with a rule change demonstrating its commitment to a democratic run-off process. The rule change would compensate for this bias by making an adjustment in delegate voting strength.

Comparable to the proposed remedy for the rotten borough problem, such a rule would handicap each state's procedures on the spectrum from open to closed. The adjustment would deduct voting strength to the extent a state party chooses to distort voter preference by restrictive processes which tend to misstate the relative prospects of different candidates in the general election. Voting delegate strength at the Convention would be adjusted to favor the voting strength of delegates selected by open primary voting, like Minnesota, over those selected by closed primary voting, like New York. Failure to use paper ballots and tolerance for election law violations would also be factored in to the estimate for openness. This adjustment would attempt to better approximate the likely Democratic general election voters' actual choice for a nominee rather than a manipulated choice designed to represent only a 30% share of the electorate, or less, and who Independents might well actively dislike.

Why should a state that runs a tightly controlled primary that deliberately misrepresents the actual preferences of the state's voters have the same weight as Minnesota, which seeks to allow everyone interested to participate, and thereby also more reliably contributes to Democratic electoral votes year in and year out?

Failing to make this rule change would continue to condone election rigging by excluding or deterring the 40% of Independents from entering a winning coalition by participating in the run-off process. Manipulating the process to privilege a plutocratic nominee is not a winning strategy in an election year when such political corruption and rigging of the system is foremost in many voters' minds, especially of the Independents who will decide its outcome.

3. Disinformation

Virginia is the only state that is not a deep red state where Clinton has crushed Sanders, nearly two to one, as Sanders crushed Clinton in the blue states of Minnesota by 23% and New Hampshire and Maine by similar margins. Virginia was previously a red state along with the other former slave states upon which Clinton has built her "major victory." Virginia shifted to Obama in 2008 and 2012 and has a governor who is a Clinton ally. It can now be called a purple state, just behind Colorado on its way to claiming blue status, if the trend continues.

Washington Post exit polls of Virginia voters raise another issue for which the solution is somewhat more elaborate than the other rule changes proposed here. This issue no doubt also affects Clinton's other delegates, especially those from red states where reliable information about national Democratic politics is far more scarce than it is in blue states. Delegates from the red states would be eliminated by the above "rotten borough" rule change in any event. So the analysis in this section will focus solely on Virginia.

The Virginia exit polls tell us that the 52% of Democratic primary voters who expressed a preference for a candidate who "Can win in November" or one who "Has right experience" overwhelmingly voted for Clinton. Meanwhile the 47% of such voters who prefer a candidate who "Cares about people like me" or who is "Honest and trustworthy" tended to prefer Sanders by lesser, though still respectable, majorities (56% and 78%, respectively).

One must ask whether the experience of Clinton which is preferred by these voters is that of selling US foreign policy for the benefit of the Clinton Foundation as described by Peter Schweizer, Clinton Cash (2015), or the experience of defending herself against an FBI investigation for national security breaches that may or may not be related, or Clinton's destabilization and warmongering for the benefit of weapons manufacturers who pay her, as described in Diana Johnstone, Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton (2015).

When fending off the accusation that her most significant "experience" has been her service to the plutocratic Establishment, Clinton admitted Sanders' superior relevant experience: "He's been in Congress, he's been elected to office a lot longer than I have." The non-sequitur that experience in office could be considered interchangeable with serving plutocrats is beside the point of Clinton's express acknowledgment of Sanders' superior elected experience. Clinton is not even close to Sanders' long-term experience in public service, including executive experience. The experience "advantage" relied upon by Clinton's voters becomes even more ephemeral when one tries to pin it down to specific accomplishments as opposed to the "blur" of activity that obscures borderline criminality. Clinton Cash 101.

As to the second issue, that of Clinton voters' preference for winning in November, every poll since December has shown Sanders defeating every Republican with significantly higher margins than Clinton, who some polls show actually losing such match-ups. This widespread misperception as to electability, which nevertheless motivates many Clinton voters, flies in the face of known fact.

Can anything be done about such Democratic voter ignorance on these two themes? It is primarily the consequence of pervasive mass media propaganda which is bought one way or another by plutocrats for their favored candidate. Propaganda cannot be regulated without enacting laws that the Scalia Supreme Court and lower courts would have ruled unconstitutional. Cf. Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, 573 U.S. _ (2014)(on remand).

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Valuable 2   Must Read 1   Well Said 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Rob Hager Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Rob Hager is a public-interest litigator who filed a Supreme Court amicus brief n the 2012 Montana sequel to the Citizens United case, American Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Bullock, and has worked as an international consultant on legal (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

State Convention: Another Lesson in Strategic Failure by the Sanders Revolution, and How to Recover

Unraveling Comey's Political Fix

The Plutocratic Jurisprudence of the Roberts 5: Episode VII

Sanders Wins another Purple State, But Is Still Lost in a Haze of Bad Strategy and Rigged Delegate Math

McCutcheon: Plutocracy is Corruption

Obama Vs. Snowden: Parsing the Presser

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: