I call it the “we-have-to-do-something” disease. A tragic event occurs – or almost occurs – and everyone screams that the government should do something to solve the problem or prevent it from occurring again. It’s happening in Connecticut in reaction to a few tragic car accidents where teens were driving too damn fast, it happened in 1933 with FDR’s National Industrial Recovery Act, and it happened in 1982 when the Democrats rearranged their nominating procedures.
When you jump into motion to solve a problem, one rarely believes the solution may result in bigger problems and for certain, you would not think that it’s a problem that doesn’t need to be fixed in the first place. Democrats ran into a problem in the early 1980s; voters actually voted, and the party leaders didn’t like who were getting the votes.
J.R. Dunn has written a great piece entitled Superdelegates are Another Dysfunctional Liberal Fix at American Thinker that captures the non-problem and the solution that has developed into some serious issues for the Democrat party 26 years later.
Liberals learned nothing from the New Deal. Every last liberal program since, with no notable exception, has followed the same pattern — urban renewal, the War on Poverty, criminal justice reform, affirmative action, energy policy, federal welfare, the War on Drugs, and so on to the point of insanity. All shared the same recomplicated nature, all were disastrous.
So when it came time to “reform” Democratic nominating procedures in 1982, there was a tradition. The same procedures had been reformed only ten years earlier, but unfortunately this “democratization” had made it possible for any loon with enough financing and a convincing line of patter to stampede the gullible party faithful into giving him the nomination. This was not merely a theoretical concern, as attempts by such figures as the Rev. J—- J——- and the Rev. A- S——- revealed.
The solution was superdelegates. As we all know by now, the superdelegates consist of roughly 790 Democratic notables, including public officials, party stalwarts, senators, and congressmen, who have been awarded permanent delegate status and allowed to vote as they please, beholden to no constituency. If a dubious candidate appeared — say, a junior politician with little experience, shady associates, and a habit of making vast public claims to be a racial reconciliator while secretly belonging to a racist “church” — the superdelegates could vote as a bloc to stymie him.