The Nevada Democratic Convention has highlighted a rift within the Democratic Party. Bernie supporters have called out arcane rules and unfair procedures like a May 1st registration deadline which was a date that was decided on at the convention, 2 weeks after the date had already passed. Hillary Clinton supporters have called out alleged chair throwing and violent death threats from Sanders' supporters to the convention chair Roberta Lange. This convention chaos exposes a schism that first formed in the 2008 primary. The M. Night Shyamalan Twist, you ask? In 2008, it was Hillary who was the one crying about the unfair rules and Obama was the one who miraculously took home more delegates than she did.
In 2008, the Nevada Democratic Caucuses were moved up from a later date to January 19, 2008. Harry Reid pushed this caucus date up on the calendar in order to bring Nevada's large Hispanic population to forefront of the Presidential nomination process. This caucus came after Obama's Iowa win and Hilary Clinton's surprise comeback in New Hampshire. Nevada became critically important because it was huge for momentum and how the race was perceived.
Hillary Clinton went on to win Nevada 50.8% of the vote to Barack Obama's 45.1%. But at the end of the night Barack went home with 13 delegates and Hillary only got 12. Hillary didn't cry and scream because she didn't want to seem like a sore loser going into the March 1st primaries. However, as soon as you fast forward to the the Nevada State Convention where Obama won the majority of delegates despite losing the county convention by 3%. Obama was able to pull ahead because many Clinton supporters didn't show up or were disqualified by registration deadlines. Sound familiar?
Hillary Clinton was pissed and in a TV interview she said “I think we need to figure out how we can have a process that reflects the desire of the voters,” And she is absolutely right.
Many voters have crippling amnesia when it comes to politics. It is difficult to remember what happened with the Malaysian airline, let alone what happened in 2008. But in 2008, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but received fewer delegates and therefore lost the nomination. That's right, we subverted democracy and we already forgot about it. Hillary Clinton received 17,857,501 votes and Barack Obama received 17,584,692 or 300,000 votes less than the loser of the Democratic primary.
I know that might sound hard to believe, probably even harder because anyone reading this article must have surely been alive then and would probably remember how much of a shit storm the last Democratic primary was. #7YearOldsDon'tMatter
But trust me when I tell you that this shouldn't be something that you forget. Remember, in Presidential Primaries you are not voting for which candidate you want, but rather a delegate who will go to the national convention and vote for your candidate there. But that's if you are lucky.
If you are someone who lives in a caucus state like Nevada, there are 3 elections you have to go through in order to allocate all of your delegates. The caucus, the county convention, and then the state convention. These three processes get less and less democratic as more and more people separate you from your original vote. These conventions have rules that are decided on at the convention and depending on where those rules land, it could ensure that your vote did not count.
So I am going to make a suggestion to Secretary Clinton over the Nevada convention. Give Bernie the extra delegates.
If Hillary Clinton gives Bernie the apportionment of what he lost, 5 delegates, then she can take the high road. She can give the crying baby his rattle. She can even point to the 1st Nevada Caucus and show that she would have gotten a majority of those extra delegates anyways from what the voters wanted, but she is going to be magnanimous and give them to Bernie Sanders because arcane rules hurt everyone. Including her. And then she can remind everyone that she won the 2008 popular vote and she will win it for the 2nd time this year.
I am not saying there weren't parts of this primary process that tipped the scales in favor for Clinton both this time around and in 2008. But if Bernie Sanders' supporters want to stand around and bitch and moan about how they unfairly administered the rules to a process that already subverts the rights of the voter in the first place, then I don't be part of it. I literally have anything else to do.
Bernie got unfairly treated by the DNC in this election cycle. But imagine the outrage his supporters would have if he was winning the popular vote, but he was somehow still behind in the delegate total. That rage must have been felt in the veins of every 2008 HillDawg supporter who felt robbed by an unnecessarily complicated and corruptible process.
Hillary Clinton is going to be the nominee in July, but I am not sure that she is unifying the party in any meaningful way. Bernie has been mathematically defeated and yet she is still acting like he is the enemy. Giving Bernie the delegates back from the state convention forces everyone to take a step back and realize how insane this process is and what the reality looks like. Hillary is going to win because that's what should happen when someone gets the most votes. She doesn't need to win delegates from these chaotic conventions, she needs to pivot to the general election and in order to do that, she has to bring Bernie's supporters with her. If she is going to be the leader of the party and leader of the free world, then maybe its high time that Hillary Clinton actually stands up and begins to lead.
If she can do that, then come convention time Bernie won't be staging a floor fight, or a food fight, he will be falling in behind the leader of the Democratic party, just like everyone else.