The main story from the Democratic debate in Nevada was the utter collapse of Mike Bloomberg. He was bruised and battered by all of the others on stage, especially Elizabeth Warren. He had no response for his horrid record of Stop and Frisk or for the many allegations of sexual harassment. He proved that money may be able to get you onto the debate stage but that it can’t change history. Bloomberg’s numbers will start to plummet and numerous candidates will benefit, leading to a clustered field.
There was another key moment Wednesday night. As the fiery debate was coming to a close, Chuck Todd levied a very interesting and important question to the candidates on stage. Todd remarked,
There’s a very good chance none of you are going to have enough delegates to the Democratic National Convention to clench this nomination, OK?
If that happens, I want all of your opinions on this. Should the person with the most delegates at the end of this primary season be the nominee, even if they are short of a majority? Senator Sanders, I’m going to let you go last here, because I know your view on this.
Here’s the official transcript with answers from each candidate:
TODD: So you want the convention to work its will?
WARREN: But a convention working its will means that people have the delegates that are pledged to them and they keep those delegates until you come to the convention. All of the people.
BIDEN: Play by the rules…let the process work its way out.
BUTTIGIEG: Not necessarily. Not until there’s a majority.
KLOBUCHAR: Let the process work.
SANDERS: Well, the process includes 500 super-delegates on the second ballot. So I think that the will of the people should prevail, yes. The person who has the most votes should become the nominee.
TODD: Thank you, guys. Five noes and a yes.
As usual, Sanders gets it right. The person who receives the most votes in the primary across 50 states should be the Democratic nominee. This should not be a debate. There is a reason that Bernie, from the beginning, has said he will back the winner of the primary if it is not him. He needed to make that explicit in order to force the other candidates to say the same.
Last night made it official. The other Democratic candidates cannot be trusted to get in line and back Sanders for the nomination should he win the most delegates. It is disappointing to see all of them spit in the face of democracy. Allowing the DNC to override the will of the people at the convention is a recipe for disaster. It could be the end of the Democratic party as we know it and would guarantee re-election for Donald Trump.
It’s obvious that everyone on that stage outside of Bernie Sanders believes that they won’t have at least a plurality of delegates before the convention. That’s the only reason you would give such an anti-democratic answer. Bernie, on the other hand, knows he has a diverse working-class coalition that will carry him to victory.
It is that same coalition that will be rioting in the streets if the nomination is stolen from Bernie Sanders in Milwaukee. Say goodbye to millions of Democrats and Independents who bought into the political revolution. Say hello to a Trump landslide.
Chuck Todd’s question peeled the curtain back and revealed the Democratic party’s pure hypocrisy. For three years, Democrats have (rightfully) complained that Hillary Clinton received three million more votes than Trump and she should be President. The Democratic candidates have endorsed getting rid of the electoral college, as they should. The electoral college is outdated and undemocratic. It is not consistent to hold that view and also promote the idea that the person who receives the most votes and delegates during the primary not win the race for the Democratic nomination.
There are 771 “superdelegates” that can potentially flip the will of the people. They are allowed to vote for the nomination if one candidate does not reach a majority of regular delegates. So, if Sanders has a comfortable lead but only has a plurality of delegates, the superdelegates can throw all their support behind the 2nd place candidate and propel him or her to first place.
These superdelegates are not elected to this position. They are either members of the Democratic National Committee, elected Governors or congressmen, or distinguished party leaders. Since Sanders is more of an outsider to the party, these mainstream Democrats cannot be trusted to throw their support behind him.
The threat of a brokered convention is real and Wednesday night confirmed it. It’s time to call out the Vote For Blue No Matter Who movement for what it is. It’s a plea for people to accept the eventual robbery of the Democratic nomination. And then when their chosen candidate loses in a landslide to Trump, they’ll shift blame to Bernie Sanders and his supporters for not falling in line.
It’s an embarrassment that the Democratic party has a process that is so anti-democratic. Keep the pressure on all candidates to commit to backing the person who receives the most votes. It is the only chance we have in defeating Donald Trump in November.