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Response to Scruffy1 (Reply #19)

Tue Jul 4, 2017, 06:12 AM

25. Thank you for correcting that bit of historical misinformation!

Last edited Tue Jul 4, 2017, 07:33 AM - Edit history (1)

The historical revisionism around here of late is just sickening.

The popular wisdom is that superdelegates were instituted after the combination of McGovern's loss and the loss by Carter eight years later of his reelection bid 'proved' that the selection process as it then existed was flawed, and so, in 1982, the Hunt Commission came up with the idea of superdelegates, created to "prevent another McGovern."

But I think to really understand it, you need to go back to the disastrous 1968 convention. In 1968 and previous conventions, the process of selecting a nominee was totally undemocratic: party bosses dictated who the nominee would be. The result of this, in 1968, was that Hubert Humphrey -- who hadn't run in a single primary -- was selected over Eugene McCarthy, who had won more primaries than any of the other candidates. This caused a major rift in the party, and a significant number of Democrats called for reforms to make the process more democratic and responsive to the grassroots. To that end, the McGovern-Fraser Commission was set up to come up with the needed reforms. And as a result, McGovern won the nomination.

Throughout the '70s, party heavyweights were unhappy at the grassroots incursion on their kingmaking turf, and were eager to find a way to reassert control of the nominating process. And so, after Carter's loss in 1980, they simplistically and opportunistically blamed the reforms instituted by the McGovern-Fraser Commission for both the McGovern and Carter losses. And so they formed the Hunt Commission, which came up with a way to reserve the appearance of a democratic process while ensuring the established power structure within the party would be able to maintain control, leaving us with the same moribund platform and the same brilliant-but-for-some-reason-failing campaign strategy.

Also, I question whether ANY Democrat could have won in 1972, when Nixon was still at the height of his popular approval. Even if some of them disagreed with his handling of the war in Vietnam, most of the country still regarded LBJ as having been responsible for escalating it. So it's not like they had any particular reason to trust Democrats over Republicans on that score. Add to that the fact that millions of voters, from both parties, had found the chaos and violence of the previous decade to be profoundly unsettling, and so when a guy like Nixon came along with his promises of restoring "law and order," it should be no surprise that a lot of people fell for it.

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Arrow 33 replies Author Time Post
kristopher Jul 2017 OP
ck4829 Jul 2017 #1
IronLionZion Jul 2017 #3
ck4829 Jul 2017 #6
HopeAgain Jul 2017 #2
Sienna86 Jul 2017 #4
markpkessinger Jul 2017 #24
Voltaire2 Jul 2017 #5
Dustlawyer Jul 2017 #7
rainy Jul 2017 #30
Hell Hath No Fury Jul 2017 #8
pirateshipdude Jul 2017 #10
murielm99 Jul 2017 #11
Scruffy1 Jul 2017 #19
LineLineLineNew Reply Thank you for correcting that bit of historical misinformation!
markpkessinger Jul 2017 #25
rainy Jul 2017 #31
murielm99 Jul 2017 #9
joeybee12 Jul 2017 #27
Vinca Jul 2017 #12
murielm99 Jul 2017 #13
Vinca Jul 2017 #16
murielm99 Jul 2017 #18
Vinca Jul 2017 #28
NYResister Jul 2017 #23
delisen Jul 2017 #32
George II Jul 2017 #14
murielm99 Jul 2017 #17
Igel Jul 2017 #15
OilemFirchen Jul 2017 #20
kacekwl Jul 2017 #29
OilemFirchen Jul 2017 #33
yurbud Jul 2017 #21
benld74 Jul 2017 #22
joeybee12 Jul 2017 #26
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