Thursday, February 11, 2016

It’s the delegates who matter, dummy!

There’s a reason the popular vote, at this stage of the presidential election process, is referred to as the “beauty contest.”

FOXX TO SANDERS FANS: 'You big dummies!'
It’s downright superficial. It doesn’t mean a thing. When it comes to the process that Iowa and New Hampshire have already performed (and which Illinois will undergo March 15), it’s who you pick for the delegates to the nominating convention that matters.


Those votes you cast on your ballot for the actual name of a candidate? Although fun to do, it was a waste of your time.

And if you are some sort of politically-unaware numbskull who only cast your ballot for the presidential candidate and chose to ignore all that political gibberish about delegates, then you really accomplished nothing.

For it is the delegates who go to the presidential nominating conventions and actually pick who gets to be on the ballot for the November general election. Although in all honesty, by the time the conventions come about, the outcome is so preordained that they really are a formality.

THE EQUIVALENT OF a political pep rally – only with people wearing all sorts of donkey and elephant paraphernalia and most definitely not with teams of scantily clad cheerleaders on the sidelines. (Whether there are scantily-clad women hanging around the delegates hotel rooms is a question for a different day’s commentary).

CLINTON: Will her lead grow?
To me, all of this is incredibly obvious. I remember back in 2008 when I attempted to write a commentary making a presidential endorsement of sorts, I began by highlighting the names of the delegates from my congressional district who were committed to Barack Obama.

Because that was the way to ensure that the Democrats would pick Barack over Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid – which had the same air of inevitability that fizzled out the same as she appears to be weakening in the presence of Bernie Sanders, the U.S. senator from Vermont who goes about bearing the “Socialist” tag with a sense of pride.

But Hillary isn’t politically dead by any means – and this delegate issue is the very reason why.

SANDERS: The N.H. winner -- Not really!
CLINTON MAY HAVE not been the choice of New Hampshire voters any more than Coca-Cola was NOT the “choice of a new generation.” But she took most of that state’s super-delegates (there are two who are so wishy-washy they won’t commit to anyone).

Which is why after Iowa and New Hampshire, it is Clinton – 42/Sanders – 36. And in many of the states coming up in the near future, it will be the establishment Dems likely to make sure all those snot-nosed, punk kids know their love for Bernie won’t mean much.

It is likely that the Clinton delegate lead will continue to grow, no matter how many people are likely to want to make Hillary “feel the Bern.” Actually, by the time the process gets to Illinois, it may not matter much what we think.

We may have a pre-ordained outcome. No matter how many people rant and rage about how New Hampshire could be a “tie” for Clinton and Sanders even though Bernie took about 60 percent of the popular vote.

SUPER-DELEGATES CAN be a fickle batch, because they’re usually the party regulars who have no interest in people who think the process itself (which they have made the effort to master) is the problem – and that if we’d only get rid of the rules, we'd be better off.
TRUMP: Whiners bigger than Bernie's
Which is part of my problem with the Bernie Sanders movement – one that seems to be a collection of amateurs – which was never really the way with Barack Obama back in 2008. Which also is why it’s not a surprise that Barack himself now says he’d rather have Hillary succeed him, rather than Bernie.

Then again, it’s also why I consider Donald Trump on the Republican side to be the ultimate political buffoon – making his way to appeal to people who think we win only if the system is gamed in their favor.

Their idea of “revolution” strikes me as being the equivalent of the whiny kid who, realizing he’s about to lose playing Monopoly, decides to knock the game board flying in the air while ranting about how unfair those rules are.


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