Is Hillary Clinton a Democrat?
Henry Srebrnik, [
You're the person who deserves - indeed, is absolutely entitled - to be the Democratic Party's nominee for president of the
You've worked for decades to reach this point, kept your eyes on the prize, suffered through the travails of being married to a philanderer, and taken abuse from misogynists and "the great right-wing conspiracy."
Then along comes this young, charismatic African American, seemingly out of nowhere, and you're in danger of seeing it all slip away. You have run a rather uninspiring campaign and have now lost eight contests in a row. You are behind in both the popular vote and the pledged delegate count.
You've already forfeited the black vote, thanks in part to the rants of your husband, the ex-president, whom you've allowed to campaign on your behalf. And now even core support groups such as Latinos, working-class whites, and women are beginning to desert you.
What to do? Well, if you're Hillary Clinton, it's simple: just circumvent the democratic process.
It requires a total of 2,025 delegates out of 4,049 to win the nomination. But almost one-fifth of the delegates, 796 people, are "unpledged" so-called "superdelegates," ex officio Democrats who hold various elected offices or other positions within the party. They are not bound by any rules and can back whomever they choose.
Not everyone is happy with her tactics. Donna Brazile, a commentator and superdelegate herself, told CNN that "if 795 of my colleagues decide this election, I will quit the Democratic Party."
The Democratic National Committee stripped the two states of their delegates - 156 for
All of the candidates agreed to this and none of them campaigned in these two primaries. In the case of
As the only major candidate on the
The prospect of a fight over seating the two delegations will gravely wound the party. As the Rev. Al Sharpton, a prominent black activist, pointed out, this is like trying to change the rules of a football game when you're behind in the third quarter.
He also said that many people in those two states did not go the polls because they assumed their votes would not count.
They became known collectively as "Tammany Hall" politicians, named for the building in
Hillary Clinton may be a Democrat, but it's clear she's no democrat.
Should she get away with these shenanigans, the party's left wing will argue that the nomination was "stolen from a black," many African Americans and other progressives will sit out the general election in November, and the nearly impossible may happen: the Republicans under John McCain might actually win the presidency.