Unity Schmunity (Open Thread)

Have we discussed the DNC Unity and Reform Commission findings yet? I’ve looked online and can’t yet find a copy of the recommendations, so I’m relying on media reports. HuffPo has a run-down of the key points; from what I gather there and elsewhere, there are three major changes proposed:

1. Fewer superdelegates (60% reduction according to HuffPo)

2. Absentee ballots for caucus states and allowing voters to register or switch party affiliation on the day of the caucus; also, possible penalties for states that hold closed primaries if they don’t allow same-day registration or party affiliation changes.

3. More transparent budget.

One of the main arguments I’ve heard to retain the superdelegate system is that it could allow the party to rid itself of an unqualified lummox like Trump. I don’t personally find that convincing, since the lummox in question is now squatting in the Oval Office. The Republicans weren’t going to get rid of Trump because their voters would have rebelled, and the Democrats wouldn’t either, should a Trump-like figure arise in the Democratic Party.

The second proposal troubles me the most, especially the prospect that closed primary states that don’t allow same-day registration and party affiliation changes will be penalized in some way, possibly through loss of delegates, if they don’t do “everything in their power” to conform to the same-day rules. States set voter registration and party affiliation change rules, not parties.

There are arguments to be made for closed and open primaries, but they need to be made on a bipartisan basis at the state level. Penalizing Democrats from closed primary states because of rules they can’t control is just another form of “rigging,” IMO. This time, it’s the Sanders people who look like they are trying to grease the skids.

If you agree that penalizing closed primary states isn’t fair, you might want to bring that up with your local party delegate or make your feelings known to the DNC through other channels. The URC recommendations have to be adopted by the DNC rules committee before they go into effect.

Other than that, open thread!

190 replies
  1. 1
    debbie says:

    Definitely get rid of superdelegates. Intended or not, there shouldn’t an “elite” faction. They can be chosen just like regular delegates are chosen.

  2. 2
    Doug R says:

    Berners don’t seem to want to talk about the Washington State primary for some reason.

  3. 3
    geg6 says:

    No same day party switching. Closed primaries. No non-Democrats getting funding or running as a Democrat. Abolish caucuses. Other than that, they can do as they wish.

  4. 4
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I thought the whole point of caucuses was personal participation and face-to-face persuasion. How the hell do you have “absentee votes” in a caucus?

  5. 5

    “Let’s make it easier to ratfuck a caucus.”

    LET’S DON’T.

  6. 6
  7. 7
    dr. bloor says:

    I don’t mind losing Supers, but the rest of it is a POS designed to placate the fee-fees of a bunch of neophytes.

    Closed primaries with well-publicized preregistration requirements, and NO CAUCUSES.

  8. 8
    B.B.A. says:

    Here in New York, the deadline for changing parties is October of the previous year. This is, frankly, ridiculous. It’s also a rule we’ve had forever, and for the BBros to come in and say the primary was “rigged” because they weren’t even interested in voting until months after the deadline passed is also ridiculous.

  9. 9
  10. 10
    mike in dc says:

    @geg6: Yeah, I think you should be a registered Democrat in order to run as a Democrat. Second, I’m okay with switching parties 30-90 days before the primary or caucus, but not same day. Caucuses aren’t going away any time soon, but absentee/proxy balloting is a great idea. Same-day registration for first-time voters makes sense.

  11. 11
    RepubAnon says:

    @geg6: Agreed – we’ve seen too many instances where the Republicans run a sham candidate as a Democrat, or partisan voters switch their registration so as to vote for the least-qualified candidate on the other side. As for caucuses – they may have been a good idea for rural counties in the 1800s, but caucuses don’t work in today’s world. Too many people simply can’t spare the time to attend due to job / family / health considerations. They shouldn’t be denied a voice in party politics simply because they lack the time, energy, or physical ability to mill around – and in these partisan times, a secret ballot becomes increasingly important.

    Plus, it’s a political party: if you don’t register as belonging to that party, why should you have the ability to choose that party’s candidate?

  12. 12
    Lapassionara says:

    the Dems tried to “close” their primary once in South Carolina, and they were immediately shamed into changing it to an open primary. Of course, Dems feel shame.

  13. 13
    Kathleen says:

    @geg6: @Ben Cisco (onboard the Defiant): What both of you said.

    ETA: I’ll stop at that since this whole topic could lead to eleventy level spittle flecked rant from me and I don’t have energy for that right now.

  14. 14
    dmsilev says:

    Caucuses are stupid, and really should be replaced by primary elections. Yes, even the great and sacred Iowa thing.

  15. 15
    B.B.A. says:

    I’m pretty sure we are the only country that even has primaries. (Setting aside the UK Labour Party. I don’t think even the other parties in the UK have copied them, and you can see why not.)

    What exactly is the problem with smoke-filled rooms, aside from the poor ventilation?

  16. 16
    B.B.A. says:

    Since it’s an open thread, today on one of the bobblehead shows Bernie said that regarding sexual misconduct, we need a “cultural revolution.”

    Maybe rethink that word choice there?

  17. 17
    Schlemazel says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    Given the modern hellscape that is America not everyone has a Tuesday night they can invest in the party. That said absentee ballots for what exactly? More focusing on the POTUS nod than the real work that should be taking place at the caucus. This is a stupid idea as is the no closed primary idea. MN has been ratfucked many times in my life by Republicans crossing over to vote for bad candidates because they allow same day declaration of party. Lets not make this a national thing.

  18. 18
    Highway Rob says:

    Hypothesis, incapable of definitive proof: This is not a proposal designed to effect change. This is a proposal designed to be incapable of adoption in full, so that a segment of the left can maintain its position that the Democratic Party is showing insufficient fealty to that segment of the left.

  19. 19

    I’ve lived in both a primary and a caucus state, and I prefer primaries. They’re more democratic.

    Iowa’s caucuses are closed, but you can change party registration at the door. The parties have always liked that because it adds to their mailing lists. Given our two tiered voting system (vote your heart first, then switch if your candidate doesn’t get enough votes to earn a delegate), I don’t see how an absentee ballot would work.

    ETA: Also, I forgot that platform issues are voted on at the caucus.

  20. 20
    magurakurin says:

    @dr. bloor: actually it’s designed to help Sanders win the nomination. New York is in their cross hairs as the main state to be “punished.” They are insane. They are doing all this for a man who will be 80 if he’s even still alive. And there is no reason to believe 2020 will be anything like 2016. They are fighting the last war. And they will lose. Sanders will never be the nominee.

  21. 21
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ben Cisco (onboard the Defiant): The same scum that tried to game the GOP caucus system in 2012 for Ron Paul want to do it for Bernie in 2020.

    Berniebros, fuck the fucking fuck off.

  22. 22
    Schlemazel says:

    If you kill caucuses where do you build the party from? Where does the platform come from? Where do you start to build the connections that give the party strength? Holding a primary where people who can barely fog a mirror show up, vote for a small handful of offices and wander away is not going to give the party the strength of numbers and community it needs to have the ground forces come election day.

  23. 23
    Feathers says:

    I think superdelegates are a good idea, but they need a new name and far greater transparency. My sense is that the notion of who could be a superdelegate expanded and became an ego thing.

    They should be limited to elected Democratic officials, or people who won a Democratic state wide primary within the previous Presidential election cycle. These people really should be choosing our Presidential candidate and making the “ordinary” delegates run against them to be able to go to the convention doesn’t seem fair. States that want to open up all their slots for elected delegates should be free to do so. They should be named up front, before the regular selection process. I’d also do a “Lifetime Achievement” delegate for each state. Something for some who’s never run for office, but done great work for the party.

  24. 24
    Jack the Second says:

    @B.B.A.: The October registration date is also the least awful part of New York’s election system. Before I bothered with changing that, I would rather see the state (1) align state, local and federal election cycles (2) have a single primary and general election day, and not three primaries and three general elections in the same year and (3) eliminate multi-lining.

    THEN we can worry about a deadline that catches unengaged voters like once at most.

  25. 25
    mike in dc says:

    @magurakurin:
    Best case scenario: Joe Biden’s team pre-emptively oppo dumps on Sanders before he declares. Sanders declines to run, in the ensuing “scandal” Joe also declines to run, and then the field is open to newer candidates. Nina and Tulsi cannibalize each other’s support and go nowhere. A real liberal-progressive Democrat wins the nomination.

  26. 26
    Percysowner says:

    I do think that primaries should be closed to anyone who wasn’t registered as a member of the party for 1 year prior to the election. Bernie deciding to use the Democratic party for his own ends, then dumping them as soon as he could will never be right for me.

  27. 27
    BellyCat says:

    Meh…

    Do away with the electoral college AND party registration entirely and let people register (even the day of voting) and then vote online, through a double-authenticated, secure website, and the spoils go to the winner of the popular vote.

    Shit, go the carrot and stick approach for bonus points: get a tax credit for voting and possibly a penalty for not.

    This would represent a radical (and necessary) shift which might have a chance at battling big money and voter suppression.

  28. 28
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @geg6: This. Also, when it comes to superdelegates, I really don’t have a problem with them. I feel people who put blood sweat and tears into building a party have earned the privilege as opposed to a dumb fuck like me who just gives a little money, may or may not volunteer but does vote every election. At the same point, I have no problem with them going away.

  29. 29
    Jack the Second says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Mostly re: “SUPERDELEGATES” I think Berners are going to be disappointed when they find out that the people we give an extra vote as “superdelegates” will always have an outsized role in picking candidates, because they are influential people within the party. Other people within the party value their opinions, and will always ask who they think the best candidates are, and that will heavily influence many voters.

  30. 30
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    Has anyone seen Hovercraft comment here lately? Is she okay? I don’t recall seeing her nym in a while.

  31. 31
    msdc says:

    @Schlemazel:

    If you kill caucuses where do you build the party from? Where does the platform come from? Where do you start to build the connections that give the party strength?

    Yes, this explains why Democrats always win caucus states like Iowa, Alaska, and Kansas, while the party is such a shambles in primary states like Virginia.

  32. 32
    B.B.A. says:

    @Jack the Second: In theory, the WFP is a decent idea. They can cross-endorse the Democrats who are actual progressives and challenge the machine operatives who care more about graft than policy.

    In practice, they may have won one or two special elections here and there, and otherwise have been completely irrelevant. Plus the ballot access laws force them to support Governor-for-Life Cuomo every four years, and he is The Worst Democrat now that the remaining Dixiecrats have died off.

  33. 33
    MattF says:

    There is no obvious solution– it’s always possible to game the system, whatever the system will be. And everyone will be trying to do that.

    You don’t want riots or free-for-all fights in the street broadcast on CNN. A plausible path forward is to have a very small number of very simple rules, rigorously enforced. As few surprises as possible.

  34. 34
    magurakurin says:

    @Schlemazel: yet somehow Democrats in California control the state government. How did they manage that without a caucus?

  35. 35
    Schlemazel says:

    @BellyCat:
    I work in IT security and there is no way on Pasta’s marinara-drenched earth I would ever trust a “a double-authenticated, secure website” because there is no such thing. You would save a lot of time and money simply asking Putin who should be given the job. Online voting is a cool idea and would be great but it is not possible in the modern environment to ever be secure or verifiable. It is just not.

  36. 36
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @mike in dc: Best case scenario: Joe Biden’s team pre-emptively oppo dumps on Sanders before he declares

    That’s my hope, that someone big will enter the primary just to treat Sanders as regular candidate, not the Twilight Zone kid who can send them to the cornfields

  37. 37
    JR says:

    IF Bernie thinks he has a shot in 2020, he is wrong. He will be steamrolled by a rising anti Russian sentiment and likely escalating tensions with said frenemy.

  38. 38
    Mary G says:

    In California the Democratic primary is open to any registered voter and the Republican is not. It doesn’t matter here because there aren’t enough Republican voters to make a difference, but it’s a good example of self-ratfucking Democrats are prone to. No caucuses unless there’s also a primary everyone can vote in later. No non-Democrats running.

  39. 39
    Peale says:

    @magurakurin: and why would States that have gop control of their legislatures and governors do something to prevent their states democrats from being punished. I think there will be even more voters pissed if their votes don’t count than there were before.

  40. 40
    MattF says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): I noticed a comment from her about a week or two ago. But it’s true– not much lately.

  41. 41
    Schlemazel says:

    @msdc:
    Oh fuck off with that bullshit. You have no idea how much worse it might be without them or how fucked up the local party is.

  42. 42
    magurakurin says:

    @BellyCat: vote by mail. No hacking. paper trails. Vote by mail should be job one for the DNC, in my opinion.

  43. 43
    Schlemazel says:

    @magurakurin:
    Because there are more fucking Democratic voters in California than Republican ones? Or is that too simple?

  44. 44
    Kathleen says:

    On a different note, Here is an excellent overview of the history of the “Southern Strategy” on Twitter. Most people here probably already are aware, but it’s excellent refresher.

    https://twitter.com/magi_jay/status/939892032411242497

  45. 45
    JMG says:

    @B.B.A.: France has presidential primaries. Also a two-stage election, multi-party first round and top two in a runoff if nobody gets 50 percent plus one.

  46. 46
    oldgold says:

    After this Trump debacle, I am rethinking my former advocacy of a pure vox populi candidate selection system.

    Populism, generally speaking, I favor, but moderating mechanisms in the selection of presidential candidates seems to be where wisdom lies. How much moderation and what form does it take, of course, are the keys. If not super delegates as currently constituted, how could a populist wildfire be best contained and cooled to allow some sober reflection?

  47. 47
    magurakurin says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: bind them to the popular vote in the first round. Then they are on the floor if there’s a second round of voting when they will be needed.

  48. 48
    ThresherK says:

    @Jack the Second: Your sense is lost on the crowd whose aim is to gut the DNC, then…miracle occurs, then…revolution!

    People who can’t decide if they’re actual Dems two months before their state has a primary or caucus are shocked to learn that party-builders get listened to.

  49. 49
    mike in dc says:

    Shock poll shows Randy Bryce within 6 points of Speaker Ryan. LOL. Early Xmas gift next year if/when it happens.

  50. 50
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kathleen: 1. New Deal Folks who weren’t primarily motivated by racial animus
    2. New Deal Folks who were deeply, deeply racist.

    2016 in a nutshell

  51. 51
    gene108 says:

    @B.B.A.:

    In parliamentary democracies the Party has a lot of central control on who runs, who gets to stand for elections, and where they will contest.

    We have never had such centralized Party structures.

    Even when Presidents were picked in smoke filled rooms, by Party delegates, there were still contested conventions. In parliamentary systems you don’t even have that. The leaders are picked and stay, unless there is a rare revolt and/or losses force a change.

  52. 52
    Chyron HR says:

    1. Fewer superdelegates (60% reduction according to HuffPo)

    Won’t that make it harder for The Lord Our God to stay in “the race” until the convention by claiming that the superdelegates are still up for grabs?

    Or now that Crazy Aunt Donna has given Their Revolution the idea of changing the candidate at any time after the convention, are they planning to keep fighting the primary all the way to November 3rd next time?

  53. 53
    magurakurin says:

    @Schlemazel: caucus is a relic of the past. It needs to die. It is voter suppression. The selection process has been evolving from day one. The goal should be all primaries. I am somewhat agnostic on open or closed…but the caucus system is bullshit.

  54. 54
    Feathers says:

    @Schlemazel: I remember going to the Virginia caucuses as a kid, and they were awesome and really did build a sense of party and community. There was heckling and pleading, it wasn’t ballots, you really did have to go and stand in your candidate’s corner, and then move to another when they got eliminated, with everyone calling out for you to come join them. I think it would be great to go back to this, but I know it ain’t going to fly.

    Elections are the way to go for primaries. You should have to be registered in the party to vote in the primary. Too much proven mischief without it.

    Since the topic seems to be Berners, I would just like to point out my frustration with the hecuddawon crowd – as soon as he went negative, he started losing. I know so many people in Massachusetts who deeply regret their primary vote. They didn’t like him, but wanted to see his ideas taken seriously by the party. I think that was a large portion of his vote in the early days. When he started being, well, Bernie, that support fell away. So, so, sad to see his campaign turn into a personality cult.

    Oh, and he never released his taxes, which gave cover to Trump hiding his. To get on the ballot or into the debates you need to do a financial release of ten year of tax records to the party. They should go to a trusted elder type, who can verify no emoluments problems. They wouldn’t be made public until the normal time in the cycle, but candidates need to know that this info is non-negotiable.

  55. 55
    tobie says:

    @JR: Your lips, FSM’s ears. I’m pissed at the Dems for being so feckless vis-a-vis Sanders and his loyalists. The Democratic Party keeps on thinking that if they play nice, Bernistas will join forces with them. And the Republican Party loves to play on the Bernistas’ sense of victimhood because it keeps the Dems in disarray. What a mess. Anyhoo I don’t care about getting rid of super-delegates but I’d also like to get rid of caucuses.

  56. 56
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @ThresherK:

    Your sense is lost on the crowd whose aim is to gut the DNC, then…miracle occurs, then…revolution!

    большевики, in other words.

  57. 57
    Fair Economist says:

    @magurakurin:

    actually it’s designed to help Sanders win the nomination.

    If Sanders actually has a decent chance of winning the general, the Sanderites will be shocked when the open primary states turn against him in 2020, just like they switched from pro-Hillary in 2008 to anti-Hillary in 2016, because the real difference between open and closed primaries is Republican ratfucking.

  58. 58
    B.B.A. says:

    Would it not be easier to dissolve the people and elect another?

  59. 59
    Jack the Second says:

    @B.B.A.: Yeah, in theory multi-lining gives special-interest groups a way to stay involved without running vanity candidates, in practice … you get to spend a month or two of election season playing pokemon with 6 extra ballot lines, with only WFP being awarded even nominally based on an interview and how well the candidate matches with their goals, and the other 5 being a mix of “the fiefdom of a power-mad local” and “awarded through the capricious “opportunity to ballot” process”.

    It’s meaningless game that’s a waste of everyone’s time to play, and yet it has real electoral consequences, because voters will vote on a ballot line even if that ballot line was awarded because candidate A got enough signatures to have an opportunity-to-ballot, but only one party member showed up for the primary, and they wrote in C’s name, and C wasn’t even running.

  60. 60
    msdc says:

    @Schlemazel: @Schlemazel: If you had an actual answer to these objections, you probably wouldn’t need to go straight to the invective every time.

    There is no correlation between a state’s use of the caucus system and the health of its Democratic party. None.

    But states that use caucuses are more likely to nominate candidates that enjoy support among a minority of voters, esp. young voters or students who don’t have family, work, or health conditions that prevent them from committing to a multi-hour voting process. States that hold both caucuses and primaries, like Nebraska and Washington, show a clear difference in the electorates who turn out for each one. The primary contests were much better attended and, in 2016, nominated a different candidate from the caucuses.

    Primaries present much less of a barrier to voting and are the more small-d democratic option.

    But it doesn’t surprise me that somebody who describes primary voters as “people who can barely fog a mirror” wouldn’t respect that.

  61. 61
    magurakurin says:

    @Fair Economist: and who is to say that maybe Joe Kennedy and his supporters won’t turn out to dominate the caucuses. They fighting the last war and their general is a mummy with many skeletons.

  62. 62
    MomSense says:

    One of the other reasons for the super delegates (15% of the delegates) was to make room for non elected officials to serve as delegates. Prior to super delegates, the people who are now super delegates were the regular delegates. They were actually in part to bring more people in to the process.

    I hate caucuses. It’s always the same loud voices dominating the process and the length of time discourages participation.

    Knowing some of the personalities, in Maine it was a bunch of powerful players who like the process because it is easier to influence.

  63. 63
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Schlemazel: It wasn’t that long ago when there were more Republicans than Democrats in CA. Not to disagree with your sentiment (because it sounds good) but in this day and age caucuses are a rather unwieldy tool for building party identity.

  64. 64
    WaterGirl says:

    If these changes are an attempt to placate Bernie and the Beernie-bois, how is it that the Democratic party cannot understand that no changes will be good enough. Ever. So once again, we are giving away the store when there is nothing big enough that we could give away that would get the outcome the Democratic party wants. The Bernie-bots do not want to be unified. They want to take-take-take-take-take and give up nothing.

    Every vote matters. Even if you live in a safe state like CA. And of course, there’s the question of whether any state is a safe state after 2016. But putting that aside, for the moment, if everybody in a safe state had voted against Trump, we might have won the popular vote by millions more. Maybe that would help the powers that be realize that the electoral college should be burned to the ground.

    In 2016 they did not do the only thing that would have justified the continued existence of the Electoral College – they did not say “this man is unfit for office” and use their votes to stop him.

  65. 65
    Hal says:

    The number one item for unity should be Sanders actually becoming a Democrat. It’s astonishing to me that a man who is not a Dem and does not apparently care for the party is dictating what the party rules and platform should be. All the while trying to set himself up as the 2020 nominee by preemptively trying to knee cap the competition. But hey, I’m sure a strategy of shitting on candidates of color {Harris, Patrick, Booker} while decrying identity politics will no doubt convince the folks out there who think Trump is brilliant to vote for an 80 year old Bernie.

  66. 66
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    What would a set of Sanders cabinet nominations look like? My perception is that they’d suck as bad as Trump’s from the other direction, but would not get confirmed.

  67. 67
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    OT, if there’s a T… While the DNC tries to pacify Bernie, Sarandon and Donuts Turner, a third rate cable personality, whom the President of The United States consults on legal and judicial affairs, is calling for a Trumpist purge of the FBI and the Justice Department. Probably a couple of dozen elected Republicans, including very serious prosecutor Trey Gowdy and uber-VSP and Sunday morning Beltway idol Lindsey Graham, are on board.

    Fox News‏Verified account @ FoxNew
    JudgeJeanine: “There have been times in our history where corruption and lawlessness were so pervasive, that examples had to be made. This is one of those times.”

    Now would be a good time for those mill-youngs and mill-youngs to….

  68. 68
    B.B.A. says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: With this senate, neither would Hillary’s.
    That was the constitutional crisis I thought we were going to have this year.

  69. 69
    trollhattan says:

    @magurakurin:
    Personally I prefer voting by mail but wonder, have there been any studies of mail-only ballots unduly impacting those with housing stability issues? Like a lot of systems I could see it having a disproportionate impact on the poor.

  70. 70
    magurakurin says:

    @Hal: If Sanders does run he will find himself in a battle royal and he will have plenty of other people trying to throw him over the top rope. Whoever the other candidates might be, they won’t treat him with kid gloves like Clinton did. Caucus system or no.

  71. 71
    magurakurin says:

    @trollhattan: I don’t know, either.

  72. 72
    laura says:

    I’d be grateful if the Party spent some time on drafting a platform of core values -and running on it. We could use a new New Deal. Hell, let’s just dust off John Edwards’ Two Americas and follow through,in every race, every level, every district.
    Less the person and more the principles please.

    I await criticism, correction or cosigners.

  73. 73
    mike in dc says:

    @Hal: The other candidates will initially genuflect to try to woo some of Sanders’ softer supporters. Then they will come at him directly hammer and tongs with oppo dumps, picking apart the lack of detail or realism in his plans, and exploiting his usual weaknesses with regard to the diversity of the Democratic base. His support will steadily erode, and Sanders will be gone after the first Super Tuesday.

  74. 74
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Nebraska uses it for people who have to work, are in school, are infirm, live too far away from the caucus place, are out of state. It is basically a hybrid system. Not a full caucus and not a full primary.

  75. 75
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Feathers:

    remember going to the Virginia caucuses as a kid, and they were awesome and really did build a sense of party and community. There was heckling and pleading, it wasn’t ballots, you really did have to go and stand in your candidate’s corner, and then move to another when they got eliminated, with everyone calling out for you to come join them. I think it would be great to go back to this

    Good God that sounds horrifying. A bunch of people barking arcane rules at me as I stand in a corner reminds me of 5th grade gym class.

  76. 76
    J R in WV says:

    I’m against change for the cake of change, but I don’t think someone who hasn’t been even registered as a party member should be able to run for an office under that party’s umbrella. I think you should have to have voted as a Democratic member for a whole presidential cycle, 4 years, before running for any office.

    Those who wish to register as undeclared or independent, however their state does that, can run as independent, or Libertarian, or Republican, but NOT Democratic. No more Sanders swooping in from Vermont to consume resources without belonging or contributing to the Democratic party.

    I’ve never lived in a caucus state, it sounds undemocratic to me, especially learning what happened in Washington state in the last election cycle. A tiny minority made a big decision that a huge majority of actual voters disagreed with. Sanders people took the votes away from actual Democratic members by bullying in caucuses, best I could tell from here.

    Needing to register in October the year before a November election, so 13 months ahead of time, seems extreme, but better than same day to me. It shouldn’t be something you decide to do last minute, perhaps unless your birthday is Nov 1 or something like that.

  77. 77
    Fair Economist says:

    @MomSense:

    One of the other reasons for the super delegates (15% of the delegates) was to make room for non elected officials to serve as delegates. Prior to super delegates, the people who are now super delegates were the regular delegates. They were actually in part to bring more people in to the process.

    Given that the non elected officials included a lot of BernieBros making asses of themselves on the convention floor, that might be an argument for getting rid of supers.

  78. 78
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    Bernie Sanders, the second most dangerous politician in America.

  79. 79
    germy says:

    @mike in dc:

    Shock poll shows Randy Bryce within 6 points of Speaker Ryan

    I would love to see Ryan “return” to the private sector.

    Wait, was he ever in the private sector? And I don’t mean a few months in his uncle’s law firm or a summer selling hot dogs.

    He’ll be fine if he loses his election. MSNBC, CNN, ABC and CBS will start a bidding war. They’ll love him as a serious policy analyst.

  80. 80
    bmoak says:

    Open primaries are a bad idea. People are so myopic that election=presidential election that people forget there are primaries for thousands upon thousands of state-level and local seats that are selected by primaries and that a) primary turnouts are often so low that a few hundred votes can put a candidate over the top. The recent primary for City Judge here in my town was decided by less than 20 votes. b) very very rarely do both parties in most elections have competitive primaries, especially when there is an incumbent, so the voters on the incumbent’s side can easily kneecap the opposition by voting in their primary.

    Former commenter Southern Beale wrote a bunch of posts about how this played out in her home state of Tennessee. Here’s one . IIRC, she found cases of Republican officeholders voting in Dem primaries to select their opponents.

  81. 81
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I watched some of the committee meeting and debate on C-Span on Friday. My takeaway is what it has been all along: selected individuals, for instance Turner and Konst, aren’t actually interested in reform. They want to break the Democratic Party/DNC institutionally. There are 21 voting members of the committee. 7 picked by Clinton, 7 by Sanders, and 7 by Perez. So for Turner and Konst to get their way they have to convince several people appointed by either Clinton and/or Perez. But my impression is that if they don’t get everything they want, they’ll cry foul and throw a tantrum. So its heads I win – I got you to do what I want, which will destroy you anyway – or tails you lose – I’m going to pitch a fit and destroy everything because I couldn’t convince you to slit your own throat.

    I’m not arguing that necessary and reasonable reforms shouldn’t be made, but open primary contests with caucuses instead of primaries aren’t necessary and reasonable reforms. The first is anti big D Democratic as in the Democratic Party as it allows anyone who isn’t a party member to skew a primary. The latter is anti small d democratic as it is a less representative way of choosing candidates.

  82. 82
    BlueDWarrior says:

    @laura: The problem is that there is no ideological consistency even in the base. All there is a broad agreement of principles. I mean you can see that here when the argument is about a particular policy. Some people are maximalists, some people are incrementalists, some people will take a hodge-podge so long as the ball is being moved toward the opponent’s goal line, on down the line.

    I mean, that’s why the working platforms always sound so generic, they have to be almost by default.

  83. 83
    Jeffro says:

    Since this is an Open Thread…here’s something that’ll give you nightmares: This Is How Nuclear War With North Korea Would Unfold

    Not really hard to see this happening, is it?

    When a South Korean airliner strayed into North Korean airspace, a Northern air defense crew, already jumpy and anticipating the allied maneuvers in the Sea of Japan, mistook it for an American bomber. The crew fired a surface-to-air missile, sending the plane plunging into the ocean, killing all 250 people on board.

    The South Korean public was outraged. Within hours, Moon ordered South Korean missile units to strike the air defense battery, as well as select leadership targets throughout North Korea. Moon’s limited missile strike might have been enough by itself to start the nuclear war of 2019. South Korean and American officials are still trading accusations. But the surviving members of the Moon administration insist that things would have been fine had President Trump not picked up his smartphone: “LITTLE ROCKET MAN WON’T BE AROUND MUCH LONGER!”

    Despite a “limited” exchange that ‘only’ destroys Seoul and Tokyo at first…naturally, the DPRK feels it’s at existential risk, and so…

    …Kim gave the order to use the remaining nuclear-armed Hwasong-14 and Hwasong-15 ICBMs against targets in the United States — two each against naval bases in Pearl Harbor and San Diego, along with leadership targets in New York, Washington and — in a personal touch — a single missile aimed at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., to bring the total to a dozen. The targets looked very much like the ones shown on a large map of the United States erected in Kim’s office, in front of which he had authorized the development of a nuclear strike plan in 2013.

    The United States, of course, had a missile defense system in Alaska, along with a small number of interceptors in California. But the system was sized to deal with only 11 missiles. As it was, two-thirds of the North Korean missiles reached their targets.

    The U.S. Missile Defense Agency would later say this was a sign that the system had worked well, downing about a third of the missiles — although experts would argue that the low intercept rate resulted from problems that the Los Angeles Times had reported in 2017. The exoatmospheric kill vehicles had faulty divert thrusters, analysts said, making it unlikely that any had successfully intercepted incoming warheads. It seemed more likely, the experts said, that five of the missiles had simply broken up as they reentered the earth’s atmosphere.

    The remaining seven nuclear warheads landed in the United States. These missiles were no more accurate than the others — but with 200-kiloton warheads, 10 times the power of the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, close was enough to count in most cases. Pearl Harbor took a direct hit with a single weapon, while San Diego was lucky: Both of the missiles aimed there failed to arrive.

    One warhead hit Manhattan — which North Korea’s state media had specifically mentioned as a target of its long-range missiles — while the two missiles pointed at Washington struck the Northern Virginia suburbs. Trump, in a makeshift bunker in the basement at Mar-a-Lago, felt the earth shudder as the last warhead landed in the town of Jupiter, Fla., about 20 miles away. The other two missiles fell wildly off course, detonating in the ocean or in rural, sparsely populated areas.

    It will only be unthinkable until it happens.

    These clowns enabling the dementia-patient-in-chief have absolutely no understanding of how many people could die, just from the Ill Douche’s dumbass tweets…

  84. 84
    BlueDWarrior says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’ve noticed that too, about 20% of the Berners are really leftist Jacobins who want to devolve all the Democratic institutions into basically leftist populist mobs.

    And I can feel the appeal to that, but doing that has never ended well anywhere else in the world, and I don’t know why it’d end any better here. But that’s the environment some of these people live in, and any institution worth its salt will resist that.

  85. 85
    tobie says:

    @WaterGirl:

    [H]ow is it that the Democratic party cannot understand that no changes will be good enough. Ever.

    They don’t get it because at some fundamental level they don’t know how to fight. The kind of personality drawn to the Democrats is one that hopes that conflict can be avoided through compromise. This is how large enterprises work. It’s a good a impulse. But in the face of an arsonist like Sanders, like Trump, like the GOP as a whole, it is useless as a strategy. The Dems are trying to preserve an organization. Sanders doesn’t care if it blows up because he wants to destroy it either from within or without. I hope the party brass has wizened up to this.

  86. 86
    B.B.A. says:

    Fun fact: Patrick Leahy has never registered as a Democrat either. Vermont has no party registration.

  87. 87
    Kathleen says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Her threads are excellent. She also did an excellent in depth analysis of NYT Nazi profile which I believe someone in comments linked to last week or so.

  88. 88
    germy says:

    I saw this comment on a different blog:

    Finally some good news from the dysfunctional duopoly party of the “left.” I’m glad that the Sanders people are helping to move the party establishment kicking and screaming into the future. If they can do this they might yet work to ban corporate lobbyists from becoming superdelegates, and eventually eliminate that category of delegate entirely.

  89. 89
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    Well, whatever the current merits of ths democratic system, it resulted in a candidate that lost to Donald Trump.

    That is not a good thing.

  90. 90
    Kathleen says:

    @Chyron HR: As long as Lord Our God could fund raise, yes.

  91. 91
    JAFD says:

    Greetings from New Jersey !

    As I’ve mentioned before on BJ, have spent the past half-dozen Election Days working for teh Board of Elections, checking signatures, working the machine, etc.

    We’ve held our Presidential primary in June (same day as California, last year) which is probably later than optimal.

    In NJ, you can switch from ‘Unaffiliated’ (there are no ‘Independents’ in New Jersey) to a political party on Election Day, and vote in that primary. That automatically makes you a member of that party unless and until you reregister otherwise. You can’t switch from one party to another on the primary day.

    Superdelegates – There were a couple of stories in October about the number of prominent Democrats, coming here to campaign for Governor-Elect Murphy, contrasting the paucity of prominent Republicans coming here to campaign for Lt Gov Guadagno (and, let’s face it, she probably couldn’t think of any prominent GOPer from west of the Delaware who’d be helpful in her campaign.).

    Which, IMAO, illustrates the difference between our parties. We Dems work together _as a team_ to solve problems, GOPers are free agents to cause chaos and destruction. I _want_ Rep. Sires and Rep. Payne to be on board, supporting our next President from day 1, and if that gets them a free ticket to (convention city here) and a vote, all well and good.

    MY $0.02 worth. Regardless, my best wishes to all of you for a Happy Chanukkah, Solistice, Christmas, Boxing Day, New Years, Mummers’ Day, and Epiphany, and a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2018.

    Finally, Methinks there oughta be a NYC area Balloon Juice Meetup sometime in the next six weeks, and we should think of making it an annual event.

  92. 92
    Kathleen says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap: I agree with you 100%.

  93. 93
    B.B.A. says:

    @Amaranthine RBG: as Matt Yglesias likes to say, O’Malley woulda won!

  94. 94
    Chyron HR says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    It’s okay, dude, you won. You saved America from The Clintons and their neoliberal minions by burning the country to the ground. Take a breather.

  95. 95
    tobie says:

    @B.B.A.: Thanks for the fact check. Didn’t know there is no party registration in Vermont.
    @germy: Lord have mercy. The party bans contributions from corporate lobbyists. Corporate lobbyists are not super delegates. These folks just make stuff up. I guess they didn’t feel it was working to call super delegates neoliberal shills so they had to come up with a new description.

  96. 96
    kindness says:

    There should be no caucus states in the Democratic party.

    All our votes should be equal. Sorry if that hurts Bernie but caucus’ are not representative.

  97. 97
    BlueDWarrior says:

    @tobie: Like I said, they hate institutions almost as a matter of faith. They wont rest until the Democratic Party is just a dis-aggregate leftist mob roaming from election to election like the Mongols of yore.

  98. 98
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @Chyron HR:

    Hey shithead, how many days did you spend knocking on doors for Clinton?

    Put up or shut up, you dickless wonder.

  99. 99
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @B.B.A.: Well that may be true, BUT he calls himself a Democrat on his Senate website.

  100. 100
    JR says:

    @B.B.A.: what’s your method? I prefer hydrofluoric acid myself.

  101. 101
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @magurakurin:
    Funny thing about Sanders. I play Hearts of Iron 4 sometimes, a WW2 simulation game that has a lot of strategy involved. There’s a mod I play on it called “Red World”, that takes place in the “present day”, but where the outcome of the Cold War is reversed: the United States collapsed in 1987 and bulkanized. The main American remnant nation, the “American Commonwealth” or something like that is a revolutionary soci*list country led by Noam Chomsky in the former northeast and parts of the upper midwest out to northern Illinois and Michigan.

    Through national focuses Sanders can become your President. But he always becomes a tyrannical dictator pretending to be a moderate dem soci*list since he organized the 5/1 attacks, that world’s version of 9/11 done by white supremacists. In the context of Bernie’s antics last year (like disregarding the votes of Democratic voters in the South and wanting superdelegates to crown him over the popular vote) it’s pretty hilarious.

  102. 102
    msdc says:

    @mike in dc:

    Sanders will be gone after the first Super Tuesday

    I thought he would be gone after the last Super Tuesday – and in terms of his electoral prospects, he was. But his disinclination to abide by election norms (in which unelectable candidates drop out and endorse the electable ones), his lack of interest in the fortunes of the Democratic party or its candidates, and his unending flow of unreportable small donations meant that he stayed around long past his welcome. I’m worried that all of those would hold in a hypothetical 2020 run as well – the stream of untraceable money most of all.

    I do agree that things will go very differently if even one candidate has the fortitude to attack him next time around.

  103. 103
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:
    You shouldn’t call someone that. You don’t know their gender. Second of all, methinks you’re not placing appropriate blame on the political process of a party that would allow someone like Trump to get its nomination. Or voter suppression. There’s more wrong with this country than the nomination process of the Democratic Party.

  104. 104
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @mike in dc:

    Sanders will be gone after the first Super Tuesday.

    I don’t want that motherfucker near any election in 2020 unless it’s for Burlington Animal Control officer.

  105. 105

    @kindness: I agree that our votes should be equal, and there’s a seldom mentioned glitch for the caucus states in having voters’ individual votes count. That is, they don’t. So it looks like Clinton got more primary votes than Obama did in 2008, and maybe she did. But you can’t tell because, for instance, my raising my hand for Obama wasn’t included in the count.

    Mind you, I prefer primaries, but I resented it when Clinton dismissed my “vote” that year.

  106. 106
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    After the crap you’ve posted, you can shove your tone policing up your ass.

    But placing blame on the Republicans is pointless and stupid. They ain’t changing. It’s a waste of time

    And about “there’s more wrong with this country than the nomination process of the Democratic party”? Well, no shit. But the top post is about changes to the democrat’s nomination process so that’s why I was posting about that. Its seems like you are just trying to be argumentative. And you suck at that.

  107. 107
    henqiguai says:

    I’m curious; maybe you who pay close attention to these things might know. If Caucuses were to become the thing all across the nation, how would that work? Iowa has a population density of apparently less than 60 people per square mile, and the Caucuses, by descriptions, seem to be a zoo. How does this work in a high density environment? DC, for example, has 10,000 people per square mile. How do you make a Caucus work in that environment? Bet NYC or Philly is higher. Districts consisting of only a few square blocks?

  108. 108

    @henqiguai: :Iowa caucuses by precinct. That seems to work reasonably well. The population of the precincts is roughly equal.

  109. 109
    PhoenixRising says:

    @Schlemazel:

    If you kill caucuses where do you build the party from? Where does the platform come from? Where do you start to build the connections that give the party strength?

    County and state nominating conventions. It’s not hard. It requires the partisans who want a particular candidate to do the work of knocking on doors in our precincts, persuading our neighbors to attend those events, and reporting out to the state party.

    Caucuses are garbage and should be abolished by the coalition that is the Democratic Party. You either want wage workers, parents, elders, and disabled people in the coalition, or it’s all talk.

  110. 110
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Amaranthine RBG: I’m curious, Steve, how do you decide which personality to type in every day?

  111. 111
    raven says:

    @Amaranthine RBG: What’s up asshole? How bout them Panthers?

  112. 112
    henqiguai says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady) (#108):

    @henqiguai: :Iowa caucuses by precinct. That seems to work.

    So, how many people in a precinct? Looking again at DC, 10,000 people per square mile; how many precincts would that be to make it manageable? We back to each precinct being a handful of square blocks? My point is that the Caucus system would be fundamentally unworkable for a modern high-population nation. Maybe works for a low-density rural state, but an urbanized industrial powerhouse?

  113. 113
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    Its seems like you are just trying to be argumentative. And you suck at that.
    -Amarathine RBG

    I should totally print this out and frame it on my wall because it’s totally priceless.

    Oh and I wasn’t “tone policing”. Just asking you to be a better human being. Calling someone “dickless” is disgusting and ableist.

  114. 114

    @henqiguai: People vote by precinct in the general election. They’d do the same in the caucus. The issue would be finding spaces to hold them. That changes year to year here. We’ve met in a middle school cafeteria and the UAW hall. A densely populated area is going to have trouble finding enough space.

    In my experience, the biggest problem with caucuses is the requirement that you be physically present for two or more hours a Tuesday night in the dead of winter. I used to work out of town, and missed every caucus. The second largest problem is the lack of a secret ballot.

  115. 115
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    in not unrelated news, Dave Weigel (currently under attack by trump and his twitter followers) is also getting sniped at for linking to a Medium essay by a young Alabama Bernista who says she won’t vote for Jones because he’s not pure enough. I’m ‘still not sure what the hell Medium is, though from the pieces I’ve tried to read they definitely don’t have editors. Apparently, among other rules that need to be changed for DSA types is, they’re not responsible for people reading the things they publish online.

  116. 116
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Saw that over at LGF, that woman is a goddamn idiot.

  117. 117
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @magurakurin: Oregon shows you the way.

  118. 118
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    Oh wow, is that. like, a zinger you’ve been saving for a while. Good on you for finally using it you capless motard.

    Here’s the simple fact: OP posted about the Dem. primary process. I posted about that. And you, you motherless licker, your billiiant riposte is to counter my post by noting that there are things to post about OTHER THAN the Dem. primary process. Shine on you crazy diamond.

  119. 119
    germy says:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-18/democrats-plan-to-name-lobbyists-operatives-as-superdelegates

    The Democratic Party this week plans to name 75 people including lobbyists and political operatives to leadership posts that come with superdelegate votes at its next presidential convention, potentially aggravating old intraparty tensions as it struggles to confront President Donald Trump.

    The new members-at-large of the Democratic National Committee will vote on party rules and in 2020 will be convention delegates free to vote for a primary candidate of their choice. They include lobbyists for Venezuela’s national petroleum company and for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., according to a list obtained by Bloomberg News.

  120. 120
    trollhattan says:

    I’m seeing a lot of dang pie this morning (which it still is here). Did somebody chant “Wilmer, Wilmer, Wilmer” into the mirror again? I thought we had an agreement.

  121. 121
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Medium is an online publishing platform developed by Evan Williams, and launched in August 2012. It is owned by A Medium Corporation.[3] The platform is an example of social journalism, having a hybrid collection of amateur and professional people and publications, or exclusive blogs or publishers on Medium,[4] and is regularly regarded as a blog host.

    It’s literally just a blogging website. The WaPo it is not.

  122. 122
    tam1MI says:

    @msdc: his unending flow of unreportable small donations

    … made in rubles…

  123. 123
    James E. Powell says:

    Caucuses are so obviously so bad that anyone arguing in favor of them ought to be ignored. We should also figure out how to get rid of the Iowa – New Hampshire two-step to start the primary campaign.

  124. 124
    B.B.A. says:

    @tam1MI: If Bernie really is a Russian plant, wouldn’t someone in his fellow traveler Trump’s administration know about it? I suppose they’re just sitting on it until precisely the right time to properly distract us from the other Russian Bear in the room.

    It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

  125. 125
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @henqiguai: It wouldn’t work. You’d see the already low to medium voting turnout drop way off.

  126. 126
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    Oh wow, is that. like, a zinger you’ve been saving for a while. Good on you for finally using it you capless motard.

    At least mine makes sense. WTF is that supposed mean?

    Here’s the simple fact: OP posted about the Dem. primary process. I posted about that. And you, you motherless licker, your billiiant riposte is to counter my post by noting that there are things to post about OTHER THAN the Dem. primary process. Shine on you crazy diamond.

    Here’s a simple fact, I don’t find much wrong with the primary process. It wouldn’t have failed if the Dems had refused to let Idiot V. Debs run in it. I also thought you should acknowledge other reasons for why Trump won because it seemed like you were only blaming the Dems. And so what if the Republicans will never change? You can still blame them. Would you not blame a murderer for killing someone when caught red-handed?

  127. 127
    divF says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: Around these parts, Medium is described as a “long-form Twitter”.

  128. 128
    James E. Powell says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I saw many similar “I won’t vote for Hillary” articles in the months before the 2016 election. It’s typical.

  129. 129
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    You are a motard. You have no cap. Hence, you’re a capless motard.

    Makes perfect sense.

  130. 130
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:
    What a well-reasoned argument. Care to explain?

  131. 131
  132. 132
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @James E. Powell: true, it’s more the contradiction of “Our voices must be heard!” and “How dare you pay attention to what we said!” that I find irritating

    This is typical of the blowback Weigel is getting

    Dave Weigel‏Verified account @ daveweigel
    On “Meet the Press,” Sanders becomes the third member of D caucus to suggest Trump resign like Franken did. (Trump should “maybe think about it,” he said, a bit softer than Booker/Merkley.)

    Seth 🌹‏ @ mfpseth
    He did that last week Dave, now go subject more random young lefty women to endless torrents of online abuse

    He (mildly) disrespected the Chosen One, so it’s being implied he’s a misogynist bully for taking her seriously and treating her as an adult.

    ETA: Since trump started calling on Weigel to be fired, his Amazon sales rank has gone from 15,00 to 1,500. I wonder how many books that represents. I thought about spite-buying a copy, but I’m trying to cull my library at the moment

  133. 133
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I can’t suffer the stupidity of morons. It’s a character flaw of mine.

  134. 134
    Kathleen says:

    For those who are interested, here is a link to a survey by the Unity Commission at DNC:

    http://my.democrats.org/page/s/2017-unity-survey

  135. 135
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Let me guess: “It’s just a bloody Mary!”

  136. 136
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:
    Why are you so obsessed with people’s dicks?

  137. 137
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @divF:
    I thought “long-form Twitter” referred to a Trump speech.

  138. 138
    germy says:

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Sunday that women who accuse someone of sexual misconduct deserve to be heard, even if it involves President Donald Trump.

    “I know that he was elected, but women should always feel comfortable coming forward. And we should all be willing to listen to them,” Nikki Haley said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

  139. 139
  140. 140
    Brachiator says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    a Medium essay by a young Alabama Bernista who says she won’t vote for Jones because he’s not pure enough.

    Well, I guess Roy Moore comes across as pure to his supporters.

    Man, these Bernistas live in a bubble. Reminds me of the Japanese soldiers who refused to surrender and lived alone in island ratholes for decades.

  141. 141
    msdc says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady):

    People vote by precinct in the general election. They’d do the same in the caucus.

    But in a general election or a primary, all those voters have to do is show up and cast their vote – they are in and out and they can spread their visits out over the course of a whole day. In a caucus, every voter has to be present at the same time for the whole time of the caucus.

    hengiquai’s got this one exactly right – they wouldn’t work in high-population density cities or states, which is probably why they are mostly used in sparsely populated western and interior states. (And even there, they can turn into zoos.) Caucuses are a terrible idea, and the DNC should be giving states incentives to move away from them, not towards them.

  142. 142
    B.B.A. says:

    @germy: Former ambassador Haley, make that.

    Though I’m 50-50 on whether he fires her or just pulls out of the UN altogether.

  143. 143
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @germy:
    Ruh oh. Cue angry Trump tweet tearing apart Haley and the U.N. in 3-2-1…

  144. 144
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @raven:
    It would be irresponsible to speculate. For reals.

  145. 145
  146. 146
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @msdc:

    Caucuses are a terrible idea, and the DNC should be giving states incentives to move away from them, not towards them.

    It’s not a terrible idea when you’re knuckling under to Wilmer so he can run again and have a better chance at winning in 2020. He’s such a hypocrite and hates real democracy.

  147. 147
    msdc says:

    @B.B.A.: Why bother cultivating a plant when useful idiots grow on trees?

  148. 148

    @debbie: If you get rid of the superdelegates then those folk will be regular delegates and regular folk will end up being excluded as delegates. The supers actually end up bringing more folk into the process*.

    *Barney Frank was using that argument during the Primaries.

  149. 149
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @germy:

    “…after which, we can either ignore them after trashing their lives, or can talk about how the perp has now found Jesus and is a changed man, and shouldn’t be judged for his behavior before he was saved. MAGA!!!!”

  150. 150
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Brachiator:

    Reminds me of the Japanese soldiers who refused to surrender and lived alone in island ratholes for decades.

    I’m not sure that they didn’t have the right idea.

  151. 151
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @geg6: No non-Democrats running in Democratic primaries sounds good to me.

  152. 152
    JR says:

    @BlueDWarrior: They’re doing it wrong. The Jacobins destroyed the royalists first. They didn’t go all out against Lafayette et al. until after the Champ Du Mars massacre.

  153. 153
    msdc says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: That is insane. “How dare you promote our stupid ideas!”

    The irony here is that Weigel is probably one of the more Sanders-friendly journalists, to the point that anti-Sanders people like Al Giordano dismiss him and harass him about it (quite unfairly, I think).

    I guess there’s no pleasing any of the zealots, but it says something extra special about the DSA types when their ideas are so terrible that they interpret a link and a perfectly accurate summary as an attack.

  154. 154
    debbie says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Sorry, but I disagree. Any form of “privilege” is elitism. Let them go through the same process as us schlubs.

  155. 155
    debbie says:

    @debbie:

    Also, superdelegates will only keep the party where it is — looking back to the good old days.

  156. 156
    debbie says:

    @B.B.A.:

    And then kick the UN out of the country?

  157. 157
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @msdc: I’ve got a few beefs with Weigel– his last two pieces at Slate were mash notes to Trey Gowdy, who was gonna get to the bottom of the Benghazi “talking points”– but I think most of his WaPo stuff has been pretty straightforward

  158. 158
    Chyron HR says:

    You guys better watch what you say or B-dog’s going to dox you and have his followers send you rape and/or death threats (as applicable).

    You know, like he to the Democratic state party officials when he lost the Nevada primary.

    P.S. The DNC is the REAL problem.

  159. 159
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @debbie:

    Supers consist of people who are elective officeholders and party officials who’ve won office, been appointed to government or participated in instrumental ways in campaigns and understand processes. What Bernie and his people want are sociology professors in gray ponytails and tie died shirts, pomo crit educated sophomore dropout activists whose last job was at a coffee shop three years ago, and some hackeysack kicking dude in a knit cap named “Moonbeam” who begs for money in a park.

  160. 160
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @RepubAnon:

    As for caucuses – they may have been a good idea for rural counties in the 1800s, but caucuses don’t work in today’s world. Too many people simply can’t spare the time to attend due to job / family / health considerations. They shouldn’t be denied a voice in party politics simply because they lack the time, energy, or physical ability to mill around – and in these partisan times, a secret ballot becomes increasingly important.

    at lot of them were tests of how well the candidate was supported by the party faithful who would end up doing the real work in the election.

  161. 161
    debbie says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    Then take away the title and whatever privileges go with being a superdelegate. I know the GOP doesn’t have them and their officials are always in attendance.

  162. 162
    WaterGirl says:

    @tobie:It makes me think of a person with an abusive spouse who hopes that if the house is perfect and dinner is perfect and everything is perfect then he will stop abusing her. Not gonna happen.

  163. 163
    Doug R says:

    @oldgold: trump got 2,800,000 FEWER votes.
    Populist voting would work JUST FINE.

  164. 164
    tobie says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: What a comprehensive list but this one takes the cake:

    and some hackeysack kicking dude in a knit cap named “Moonbeam” who begs for money in a park.

    LMAO.

  165. 165
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @germy: Hmmm. I don’t see things ending well for Haley. That’s a pretty strong statement.

  166. 166
    Vhh says:

    @magurakurin: @magurakurin: Sanders will be 79 years old in 2020. Older than the impaired Trump. Anyone who thinks a 79 year old Socialist who refuses to join the Democratic Party, refuses to release his taxes, and whose wife is under a legal cloud because of her role in causing the bankruptcy of a college, has a ghost of a chance of being elected to national office is in serious need of therapy.

  167. 167
    Doug R says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    Well, whatever the current merits of ths democratic system, it resulted in a candidate that lost to Donald Trump.

    He got 2,800,000 FEWER votes.
    NOT a democracy.

  168. 168

    @trollhattan: Like a bakers convention up in here.
    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    some hackeysack kicking dude in a knit cap named “Moonbeam” who begs for money in a park.

    You know you wrong for that.

  169. 169

    I see that the other Putin stooge and his minions have not given up on wrecking the only party that stands between the stooge-in-chief and absolute power for their Russian overlord.

  170. 170

    When is the Green Mountain Sage up for reelection?

  171. 171
    Cacti says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    Through national focuses Sanders can become your President. But he always becomes a tyrannical dictator pretending to be a moderate dem soci*list since he organized the 5/1 attacks, that world’s version of 9/11 done by white supremacists. In the context of Bernie’s antics last year (like disregarding the votes of Democratic voters in the South and wanting superdelegates to crown him over the popular vote) it’s pretty hilarious.

    When you consider Bernie’s total lack of transparency on his personal finances, and his weird Pope-stalking visit with charter plane and lobster ravioli for the entire family…

    It’s not a stretch to say he would have fit in just fine in the old Soviet Politburo.

  172. 172

    @debbie: Super’s were brought into the the process because the “elites” were taking all the delegate slots, super’s were actually broadening the delegate pool, that’s what Rep. Frank was saying. You should actually like super delegates since they allow MORE people into the process than less. The elected officials and DNC type would ALWAYS get delegate slots prior to the supers being introduced.

  173. 173
    trnc says:

    @geg6: Agree 100%

  174. 174
    B.B.A. says:

    @schrodingers_cat: 2018. No actual Democrats have stepped up to oppose him yet.

  175. 175
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    Wait… states decide the rules for the party in a given state in how they choose candidates? As an outsider (Canada) looking in, do you folks realise how completely fucking insane that is?

  176. 176
    Citizen Alan says:

    @WaterGirl:

    The Electoral College exists to give the slave states an unfair advantage in picking the president. Every other supposedly benefit is puffery. That said, it is effectively impossible to remove it from the Constitution so I refuse to worry about it. The same people who put it in the Constitution also made it nearly impossible to remove, because it will require 8 of the 25 states that actually benefit from the Electoral College disproportionately to agree to surrender that advantage.

  177. 177
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    How ’bout a transparency rule requiring candidates to release all tax returns.

    You can’t trust someone who insists in hiding all their returns (ie Nixon, Drumpf, Mittens)

  178. 178
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Fair Economist:

    The thing that I will never ever ever forgive the Bernie Rose for is that the Clinton campaign picked delegates based on who would reflect the party best on National Television during the convention. The Sanders campaign picked delegates based on how likely they were to boo any mention of the nominee’s name even if it came from a gold star family or the black lives matter mothers

  179. 179
    trnc says:

    @J R in WV: Hear, hear.

    Also, beware the dreaded Cake of Change.

  180. 180
    Jinchi says:

    Here’s a crazy idea.
    Get rid of all delegates. Just tally up the votes in all the states and let the majority of the votes decide.

  181. 181
    Jinchi says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch: Yes we realize how crazy that is.

  182. 182
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    In no small part because comrade Sanders and his cult members did everything they could to undermine our nominee at every step of the way. People like you are why I consider the entire Sanders campaign to be nothing more than Phase 1 of the Putin campaign against the Democratic party.

  183. 183
    BellyCat says:

    @Schlemazel:

    Online voting is a cool idea and would be great but it is not possible in the modern environment to ever be secure or verifiable. It is just not.

    So, how do banks and enterprises like PayPal make it work?

  184. 184
    BellyCat says:

    @magurakurin: Agreed. Vote by mail is also desirable.

  185. 185
    WaterGirl says:

    @Citizen Alan: Well that’s depressing!

  186. 186
    B.B.A. says:

    @BellyCat: The bank stands to lose money if there are security issues with online banking. With online voting, the incentives aren’t there for anyone.

  187. 187
    Meg says:

    @Mary G: I think you are not completely correct on this.
    California Dem’s presidential “open” primary only opens to Dems and people with no party preference, not to Republicans or people registered as members of other political parties.
    For any non-presidential election, CA primary (top two system) is open for any party. Every voter can pick whichever candidate on the ballot, regardless of party affiliation.
    At least this is what they told us at the voter registration training.

  188. 188
    TriassicSands says:

    I live in Washington State where we have caucuses and sometimes both caucuses and a primary. I like caucuses. I enjoy meeting with like-minded people who are more committed (on average) than the typical voter.

    My only problem with caucuses is that they are a lousy way to pick a candidate. They eliminate too many people for reasons those people can’t control. Allowing absentee ballots might be better than nothing, but only a little. The great thing about a proper caucus is that people can get together and discuss candidates and issues. The exchange of ideas and opinions is healthy. Unfortunately, the attention spans of Americans — even committed Democrats — are shrinking. People want to get in, vote, and get out. In most cases, minds are already made up and a brief discussion isn’t likely to have much effect.

    However, at the 2016 caucus I attended, there were a number of Sanders supporters who claimed that if he didn’t get the nomination they wouldn’t vote at all. In my group, we managed to persuade them (I think — I didn’t see their completed ballots in November) that such a course was unwise and would only help elect someone far worse than Clinton. But we’re only talking about a handful of people.

    I’d support a dual system — both a caucus and a primary with a formula created to decide how to apportion credit/delegates toward the nomination. How to structure the “best” electoral system is the subject of countless books and articles (I’ve read many of them.) and it is, to me, one of the most fascinating questions facing a population trying to decide how to elect representatives. It’s also much too complicated to go into here.

    But, if there is only going to be one, it should be a primary. It’s one thing to acknowledge people who are more committed and involved, which to some extent a caucus can do (accepting that it has serious flaws, as well), but in the end getting the most people involved is more important. And getting people who are natural Democrats to vote is among the party’s most serious problems.

  189. 189
    Captain C says:

    @magurakurin: Soneone will go negative on him. Between what there is on him and his thin-skinned temperament, his candidacy won’t survive.

  190. 190
    LosGatosCA says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I thought the point of caucuses was to weed out the folks who aren’t able to spend a whole day or evening before casting the vote they already want to. And consequently they aren’t deserving to have a voice in who they would like to vote for in the general election.

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