Superdelegates are not mysterious, hidden figures, manipulating strings behind the scenes: They’re people like Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who are established politicians that have to answer to the base if they want a future in the party. Defying a clear victory in the delegate count is a poor way to foster goodwill among ones supporters.
What a dangerous distraction the Iowa spectacle has been from the dysfunction and unfairness of democracy as we now know it. No, worse, what a cynical celebration of it. Pitifully few Americans vote, and shockingly few of them are young or poor or people of color, yet we give wildly disproportionate influence to the white rural voters of one small state whose priorities, like subsidies for corn-based ethanol, are nationally marginal, and whose disposable time for caucus-going is unimaginable to parents working multiple shifts at multiple jobs. Continue reading The Idiocy of the Iowa Caucuses
For about a month, reporters and pundits have been heralding surges of support for outsider candidates like Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Ted Cruz, and everyone’s favorite bombastic billionaire, Donald Trump. Based on the flood of news stories predicting insurgent victories, readers might believe that Trump and Cruz are the only Republicans left and that Sanders is about to deliver the knockout punch to Clinton’s glass jaw in Iowa and then New Hampshire.
But the truth is considerably murkier. With only a week to go before the Iowa caucuses, the political landscape remains as tumultuous and unsettled as ever, and these surge storylines may ultimately hurt the outsider candidates in the long road to the nomination for a number of reasons.
Continue reading The Outsiders