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While we’re at it, NBC’s Chuck Todd is a useless tool.

Senator Bernie Sanders (D) [2016 file photo].

In 2016, at the Missouri State Democratic Convention the four elected positions on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) went to supporters of Bernie Sanders.

In the period since 2016 the DNC revised the 2020 party presidential caucus/primary/convention process to exclude so-called “Super delegates” (Uncommitted Party Leader Elected Official) on the first presidential nominating ballot at the national convention. These PLEO delegates would/can vote if no candidate for the nomination receives 50% + 1 on the first ballot. In addition, as what has always been the case, committed delegates are only bound on the first ballot. After that they can vote for anyone.

The last time a Democratic National Convention went to a subsequent ballot for the nomination of the party’s presidential candidate was 1952.

In 2004, in part of the process in Missouri to elect committed PLEO delegates (by the state party committee), I was asked, in passing, of my interest in running for one of those allocated delegate spots by a representative of a candidate I did not support or vote for in the Missouri primary. I declined. If I had managed to get elected as a delegate I would have been committed to that candidate on the first ballot. If there were any subsequent ballots, in this hypothetical situation, I would have most definitely voted for another candidate.

One of the rules of the delegate selection process is that all candidates have the right of approval for any individual running for one of their national delegate spots. In Missouri these are allocated by formula based on the outcome of the presidential preference primary vote.

In 2016, at the state Democratic Party Convention, 88 individuals filed for eight at-large Hillary national delegate slots. Hillary’s campaign did not strike any individuals from that list. The eight delegate slots were filled by the vote of the Hillary caucus. At the same convention 21 individuals were listed as vying for seven nation delegate slots allocated to Bernie Sanders. I was curious about the disparity. I later learned that over 100 individuals had filed the paper work to run, but the Bernie Sanders national campaign struck most of those individuals from their approved list, without apparently notifying them of the how and why. This upset a lot of Bernie Sanders supporters at the state convention. So much so that there was a motion from the floor to open nominations for national delegate slots from the floor.

Why would a national campaign piss off so many of their supporters? It wasn’t until last night that I finally understood a possible explanation for the underlying why.

In 2016, if, for some reason, the 2016 convention went to a second ballot (brokered), the Bernie Sanders campaign only wanted true believers in their delegate slots. A true believer be more likely to stick with their candidate over multiple ballots, after being released from that first ballot commitment.

Last night NBCs Chuck Todd asked a process question of all of the candidates. If one candidate had a plurality and not 50% + 1, should they be entitled to be the nominee. All of the candidates, but one, replied no, there’s a process in the rules to deal with the selection of a nominee in that situation. The lone dissent: Bernie Sanders.

The irony here is that Bernie Sanders supporters on the DNC (including the four elected from Missouri in 2016) ostensibly voted to approve the caucus/primary/convention rules for 2020, which also removed the vote of uncommitted PLEO delegates on the first ballot.

There is no rule that allows for a plurality of delegates to select the party’s nominee. None.

Here’s a hypothetical situation. Candidate A has 35% of the delegates, candidate B has 30% of the delegates, and candidate C has 21% of the delegates. No one gets to 50% + 1 on the first ballot. Candidate B and C and their delegates come together – one will be the presidential nominee, one will be the vice presidential nominee. On the second ballot they get 51% of the vote. That’s how a subsequent ballot can select the party’s nominee.

After Chuck Todd’s admittedly stupid process question and Bernie Sanders’ dissenting opinion there were discussions on social media, with some Berniebros going on about the unfairness of it all. With the same temperament as the responses from 2016. Think about that for second. Their revolution’s representatives to the DNC ostensibly voted for those rules. Now, somehow, they’re unfair. They feel entitled enough to want to replace their rules midstream with some nonexistent plurality rule. Because.

I like Bernie Sanders. I find his ideas compelling, though he’s not my first choice. I find myself listening to him and appreciating his voice. And then I encounter a significant (not all) number of his supporters, too many, who are serious assholes. [Fuck you if you start in with me, “what about?”] And then I remember 2016 all over again.

Previously:

Your $27.00 won’t get you into heaven anymore (June 19, 2016)

A text from Bernie 2020 (December 18, 2019)

Nevertheless, she persisted (February 20, 2020)