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The Spurious Obama "Superdelegate" Argument

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Howard Dean articulated a point that directly refutes one the Obama campaign's core nomination arguments- namely that superdelegates are a bunch of elites plotting to overturn the will of the people, which currently is awarding the junior Senator from Illinois with a slim lead (currently 137, with 716 left to go per CNN) in pledged delegates. Via Meet the Press yesterday;
MR. RUSSERT: The candidate with the most elected delegates is not guaranteed the nomination?

DR. DEAN: The rules say that the candidate with the most delegates gets the nomination, and I support the rules.

MR. RUSSERT: So that the superdelegates could, in effect, overrule the elected delegates?

DR. DEAN: That, you know, you shouldn't think of it that way. So-called "superdelegates" are, in fact, elected by exactly the same people who vote for the elected delegates. This is just--this is like an--a representative democracy. You elect a--80 percent of the delegates, and they have to do what you ask them to do. The others, the 20 percent you elect, essentially do what's in their best judgment, just like the House and the Senate does. Sometimes you like it, and sometimes you don't. But these folks are elected, all, all of them, almost all of them are elected. A tiny minority are not elected; they're appointed. But most of them are elected. They're elected by the same people who went to the--who go to the conventions and go to the--vote in the primaries. They're governors, senators. A lot of them are, are, are DNC members. There's 21-year-olds there, there's--50 percent are women and so on, and on, on it goes. So this should not be looked at as some bunch of cigar-smoking folks in the back room slapping each other in the back and electing the next president. It doesn't work that way.

Thus, per David Axelrod's strained logic, Hillary Clinton should drop out now with the idea that to truly overcome Obama's lead she'd have to sweep the rest of the contests. Never mind the fact that Obama cannot achieve what the rules state is the required delegate count (2025) either, at least not unless Hillary suddenly drops out (not going to happen) and definitely not without the aid of those damned elitist superdelegates as well. Oh, and I suppose we should also try to forget what the Obama campaign's chief strategist said before they realized they needed a strategy to compel superdelegates away from Senator Clinton (via Hillary's site);

LAUER: Let me ask you about superdelegates. A lot of discussion about the role they're going to play in all this by the time it's over and the debate being whether they should vote out of loyalty to a candidate, particularly if they're elected officials, or whether they should vote the way their state or district votes.

So, when it comes to Senators John Kerry and Senator Ted Kennedy, should they vote for had Barack Obama because they've endorsed him or should they vote for Hillary Clinton because the state of Massachusetts voted for Hillary Clinton?

AXELROD: I think that the role of the superdelegate is to act as, sort of, a party elder. These are elected officials from across the country and they're supposed to exercise their judgment as to what would be best for the party. And as they look at this, they need to decide who would be the strongest candidate for the party...

LAUER: David, you're not answering. Should those two senators vote for Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton?

AXELROD: I think they and all the superdelegates should vote according to what they think is best for the party and the country. And I think that we need the strongest possible candidate against John McCain...

This ridiculous point is propagated anywhere you see shameless Obama advocacy, such as Daily Kos, the Huffington Post, the Carpetbagger Report, and a goodly chunk of the mainstream media. I think the point needs to be made and re-made, especially since it's very likely superdelegates will decide the Democratic nomination one way or the other. There's no sense for the American public to wise up now and protest Democratic party rules that have been on the books for 25 years- you had your chance to engage in your nation's politics, America, and you shat the bed with George W. The Chairman stated Sunday that this contest will be decided according to the rules currently in place, not some trumped up, completely fictitious vision of smoky back-room deals overturning the "will of the people" as the Obama-philes would like folks to believe. This fiction needs to be shown for the desperate campaign strategy it truly is.
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Mike Kuykendall is a progressive, patriotic veteran of the U.S. Air Force, fighting hard to save our democracy.
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