Collusion and Exclusion: The UnDemocratic Party

For anyone who thinks the Republican Party has the market cornered on exclusion, think again. True, it was the GOP who initiated Voter ID legislation and opposed gay marriage, but when it comes to excluding people from the political process, the Democratic Party wins the prize with their own brand of disenfranchisement.

Let’s begin with Iowa. Several months prior to that state’s caucus, Bernie Sanders was trailing Hillary Clinton by as much as 50 points. Then as Bernie’s message began to spread, he closed the gap in Iowa and pulled dead even with Hillary. After a neck and neck battle all evening, Democratic Party leaders in at least seven precincts had to flip a coin to determine selection of their county delegates, and party officials claim that Bernie won most of those flips. However, they also admitted that many precincts were not able to use the new Microsoft app, and might have conducted coin flips that went unreported. Meanwhile, according to The Guardian, State Democratic Party Chairman Andy McGuire arbitrarily removed one of Bernie’s delegates at the Grinnell College precinct, and awarded it to Clinton. McGuire, by the way, is a long time Clinton supporter who once sported a license plate that read, “HRC 2016”. His unilateral delegate switch didn’t alter the final state tally, but he didn’t know that at the time. It makes you wonder what other help he gave his pal Hillary that wasn’t reported. In the end, Clinton edged out Sanders by less than two-tenths of one percent. Of course we’ll never know exactly how many people voted for either candidate because state Democratic caucus rules prohibit making that information public. And they say Putin runs crooked elections.

The following week in New Hampshire, Bernie won 60 percent of the popular vote to Hillary’s 39 percent, yet Clinton ended up with the same number of delegates from the Granite State. How did that happen? Two words: super delegates. Super delegates are comprised of Democratic congressmen, senators and governors, as well as DNC committee members and other party officials. This elite corps of Dems are automatic delegates to the national convention, and are allowed to go rogue and endorse whichever candidate they choose, regardless of how the popular vote turns out in their state’s primary. There are nearly 800 Democratic super delegates across the nation, 394 of who have already endorsed Hillary. And so, even though Bernie should be leading in number of delegates based on the popular vote, instead, thanks to a rigged system, he now trails Clinton by 352 delegates! And, if Hillary continues to rack up Super Delegates who owe allegiance to her and her husband, she could arrive at the convention with as much as 20 percent of the number of delegates needed for nomination before her legitimate delegates are even counted.

If all of this sounds sleazy and exclusionary to you, rest assured it gets worse.

Last week in what can only be called a shocking move, the Democratic National Committee, led by Hillary’s friend, Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, lifted its ban on contributions by PACS and federal lobbyists. Guess who stands to gain from that sea change? Hillary Clinton, that’s who. Coincidentally, just days before the DNC’s ruling, Hillary spoke about how her new best friend Barack Obama had once accepted money from PACs and lobbyists, and it hadn’t compromised or influenced his Presidency. Translation? Hillary most certainly knew the DNC announcement was coming, so she was positioning herself to benefit from the rule change. I believe the DNC shocker was orchestrated by Clinton and Wasserman- Shultz because Bernie was becoming too serious a threat to Hillary’s dream. In fact, one recent poll shows Sanders pulling dead even with Clinton nationally.

It would be sad indeed if the DNC, a few hundred party bosses, and a handful of PACs and lobbyists get to supersede the will of the people, but I’m afraid that’s where we’re headed unless Bernie brings in a massive amount of new voters, and wins some major primaries next month. If so, his grass roots delegates could prove to be just the kryptonite needed to neutralize the Super Delegates, and drain the power from their fearless leader. !

JIM LONGWORTH is the host of “Triad Today,” airing on Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. on ABC45 (cable channel 7) and Sundays at 11 a.m. on WMYV (cable channel 15).