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Monday, February 11, 2008

State of the Primary

Bopping around the usual poli-blogs I pay attention to (Washington Monthly, Unqualified Offerings, Talking Points Memo, This Modern World, and a few others I'm too lazy to type in right now), I'm getting a sense that the liberal/progressive blogosphere is sharply divided as regards the potential role of superdelegates in deciding who the Democratic nominee for President is going to be.

One group is outraged, outraged at the notion that the Democratic Party's convention superdelegates might possibly swing the nomination to a candidate that the majority of voters in Democratic primaries and caucuses did not vote for. Mind you, the superdelegates have been part of every nominating process since the 1980 election and they haven't seemed to bother anyone to date, but, well, we haven't had a Democratic primary this close in all that time, either, so the superdelegates weren't really a factor. Now that they might be, a great many people are extremely upset about the possibility.

The other group is pretty much complacent about it -- yeah, the superdelegates can vote for any candidate they want to regardless of how the various votes in the various primaries and caucuses came out, but, y'know, don't sweat it, that's what the whole superdelegate idea was formulated for in the first place; this is the system, just sit back and relax and let it work itself out.

Here's what I'm noticing, though, and maybe it's just me, but, still, so far, this seems a reliable observation --

If you're deeply, deeply upset that the superdelegates might vote for a candidate who did not win the majority of the primary votes, then, well, you're an Obama supporter.

On the other hand, if you feel that all is copacetic and the system is fine and the superdelegates should be free to vote for whomever they think would make the best Democratic nominee for President, well -- chances seem pretty good you're wearing a Clinton button on your beanie.

Funny how that works.

It's ridiculous to think that this has anything to do with any sort of completely unfounded yet deep seated, nearly instinctive foreboding that the Clintons have long ago sewn up the superdelegate vote... right?

Yeah, that's just silly.

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