On Friday the Republican National Committee Standing Rules Committee told its membership convention delegates are not bound to the will of Americans who voted in the primary.
Curly Haugland of the Republican National Committeeman for North Dakota said in a letter sent out on March 11 delegates may “vote according to their personal choice in all matters to come before the Republican National Convention, including the vote to nominate the Republican Candidate for President” and disregard voters.
Haugland dismisses primaries as “nearly worthless ‘beauty contests’” and believes delegates “have been bound only once in the history of the Republican Party.”
In 1976, the Ford campaign, afraid of losing “pledged” delegates to Reagan forces and having the strength of delegate numbers needed, forced the adoption of the “Justice Resolution” which amended the convention rules to bind the delegates to cast their convention votes according to the results of binding primaries.
According to Haugland instead of “pledged” delegates—pledged to the wish of the American voter—delegates should be free to “vote their conscience.”
He continues: “Every delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention is a completely free agent, free to vote for the candidate of their choice on every ballot at the convention in Cleveland in July. Every delegate is a Superdelegate!”
If not for Donald Trump, this would not be an issue—establishment candidates invariably go on to claim the nomination and fight it out in the general election with a Democrat, similarly chosen by delegates beholden to the party and the establishment.
Democrat Party Rigs the Process with Superdelegates
“Superdelegates were created in part to give Democratic party elites the opportunity to put their finger on the scale and prevent nominations like those of George McGovern in 1972 or Jimmy Carter in 1976, which displeased party insiders,” writes Nate Silver.
Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz made this perfectly clear in February when she admitted the system is rigged (for the sake of “diversity,” of course):
Unpledged delegates exist really to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grass-roots activists. We are, as a Democratic Party, really highlight and emphasize inclusiveness and diversity at our convention, and so we want to give every opportunity to grass-roots activists and diverse committed Democrats to be able to participate, attend and be a delegate at the convention. And so we separate out those unpledged delegates to make sure that there isn’t competition between them.
In order to make this palatable to PC sensitive Democrats, Wasserman Schultz added:
We separate those so that we don’t have elected officials and party leaders running against the activists, but want to make sure are helping to diversify our convention. That is something we take great pride in. A Native-American cancer survivor. Those people should have an opportunity to be delegates, too. And they shouldn’t have to deal with very well-known officials and party leaders. And that’s why we separate them.
This is not only absurd, it is insulting—the DNC does not care about Native American cancer survivors, it is only concerned with making sure an establishment vetted candidate makes it into the presidential election.
Lambert Strether comments:
Wasserman Schultz is stunning in her effrontery, both for her fabrication—does anybody really believe that the superdelegate system was set up so that Native-American cancer survivors could run?—and for her paternalism: Does she really think that “Native-American cancer survivors” want to sit at the kid’s table, and don’t want to “deal with” “very well-known officials and party leaders”? Personally, I’d like to deal with them very much, and even have some ideas about how to go about doing it.
A chart included in Strether’s post reveals the corporate allegiance of super delegates during the Obama presidential run: they worked for Goldman Sachs, Verizon, JPMorgan, Pfizer, News Corp., and various SuperPACs controlled by corporate clients.
Grafting the Superdelegate Scam on the GOP
Haugland’s letter announced establishment Republicans have more or less adopted the Democrat super delegate process in an effort to make sure Donald Trump does not emerge from the convention a winner.
“If the Republican nomination were contested under Democratic delegate rules instead, Trump would find it almost impossible to get a majority of delegates, and a floor fight in Cleveland would already be all but inevitable,” writes Silver.
It is not clear if the Republican strategy will work. However, it does signal that the GOP is busy attempting to fix the race and steal the nomination for one of the candidates who will likely remain in the race despite dismal numbers.
Earlier this month it was reported previous presidential loser Mitt Romney was brought out of the closet to stump Trump.
“Mitt Romney has instructed his closest advisers to explore the possibility of stopping Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention, a source close to Romney’s inner circle says,” CNN reported. “Romney is focused on suppressing Trump’s delegate count to prevent him from accumulating the 1,237 delegates he needs to secure the nomination.”
Mitt has a condition, however. “But implicit in Romney’s request to his team to explore the possibility of a convention fight is his willingness to step in and carry the party’s banner into the fall general election as the Republican nominee. Another name these sources mentioned was House Speaker Paul Ryan, Romney’s running mate in 2012.”
Romney and Ryan did not run in the 2016 primary and are not the choice of primary voters, but this does not matter. The only thing that matters in 2016 is saving the party and the establishment from the dangerous and resented outsider Donald Trump.