Across the U.S. Bernie Sanders’ fans are thrilled about his vision of bringing revolution to the Democratic Party and overjoyed about his rise to prominence, but from Rachel Maddow to your Facebook wall they are furiously confused about the mighty Superdelegates, many of whom have already signed on to support Hillary Clinton.
The Superdelegates are made up of elected members of the Democratic Party and their votes in the primary account for nearly a fifth of the total delegate count. Although the DNC maintains that these Superdelegates could all change their endorsement at the convention, should they choose, most of the them have already announced their support for Ms. Clinton.
“The Democratic National Committee shouldn’t be picking favorites,” I often read. Constant complaints that the DNC must be shills for Hillary and that they should equally support both presidential candidates and worry more about the Congressional races down the ticket.
To that point they are right, the DNC is concerned about elections up and down the ticket, and Sanders’ fans need to realize that like it or not, it is that concern that informs their decisions regarding their candidates for the White House.
A lot of it comes down to one simple fact, a fact that Sanders’ fans did not like hearing when Ms. Clinton pointed it out at last week’s town hall; Bernie Sanders has never been a Democrat.
Sanders’ is an Independent who preaches the best Democratic ideals, votes Democratic and benefits from Dem fundraisers, but he doesn’t raise money for other Democrats. He has not always been in the trenches with Democrats who’ve been struggling to stop the onslaught of the Tea Party, the Bushes and Union Busters for the past decades.
Hillary, on the other hand has already raised millions of dollars for other Democrats. Democrats who fight as a team against a wave of partisan opponents constantly pushing deregulation, anti-union, anti-middle class policies.
The Super Delegates support Hillary because she been good for the Democratic Party for decades, good for the party to win seats and votes, enabling them to better stand against the extremist tide.
There are plenty of Democrats with elections in red states, or at least red districts, who will need to pull centrists to keep or win their seats. It makes sense that they would be weary of the candidate running ever further from the center.
When you run on the National Stage you have to live up to the dreams of many constituencies, you have to negotiate and sometimes there are hard choices with no outcomes that provide wins for everyone. It’s much easier to be single minded and stubborn, to refuse to barter, when you’re focused on a small set of issues, for a smaller audience.
Bernie and his big ideas rock, but Hillary bashers are doing a disservice to Ms. Clinton, as well as the Democratic Party as a whole. For more than a generation she’s been a leader and supporter of the Party that Bernie has never deigned to be officially counted among, until now that it serves his revolutionary dream.