August 26, 2018

Landslide Victory for Progressive Reform as DNC Cuts Superdelegates Down to Size

The DNC approved new rules that will significantly curb the power of superdelegates

By Jon Queally / 08.25.2018

In a landslide victory for progressive reforms, the Democratic National Committee approved new rules that will significantly curb the power of superdelegates during a meeting of party delegates in Chicago on Saturday.

“This is massive,” declared journalist Alex Kotch in reaction. “In 2016, Clinton went into the election with 700 committed electoral votes—which had nothing to do with voter preference—simply because she was a powerful party leader. Now that unfair advantage is basically gone.”

Watch the final vote as it was taken:

As Huffington Post political reporter Daniel Marans tweeted just minutes after the vote was taken:

“We made these changes because it’s never too late to do the right thing,” California DNC member Michael Kapp, who supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential primary, told Marans. “By restoring trust to our presidential primary process, we are reinforcing the fact that Democrats are the party of the people.”

Norman Solomon, national coordinator for the progressive advocacy group, which had lobbied on behalf of superdelegate reform, said he was skeptical that the power structure of the party would actually move on the issue.

“But it moved  in a big way today — because of grassroots power,” Solomon told Common Dreams in an emailed statement just after the measure passed. “The sustained groundswell of progressive outrage, agitation, activism and organizing since 2016 forced corporate forces at the top of the party to confront a tough choice — either surrender on the superdelegate issue or deepen the justified distrust among people who believe in the principle of one person, one vote.”

The DNC leadership has realized, he added, “that it won’t be possible to defeat Republicans unless progressives are strongly on board. Faced with the choice and undergoing such sustained pressure from the grassroots, the corporate forces of the party have retreated about superdelegates. Of course there will be huge battles ahead for progressives. We have got to keep the pressure up and keep moving to make the party and the country live up to the democratic rhetoric that so routinely rings hollow.”

As The Hill reports:

The reform was pushed by DNC Chair Tom Perez, but faced strong opposition from a relatively small but vocal group of party members, who argued it would disenfranchise some of the party’s most prominent members.

The action seeks to heal divisions exposed during the 2016 Democratic nomination, when Hillary Clinton prevailed over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) after receiving the support of the superdelegates – “unpledged delegates” in the party’s parlance.

The vote was immediately celebrated by progressives who had demanded major party reforms in the wake of the party’s devastating losses in the 2016 elections:

Originally published by Common Dreams under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.