The DNC Rules Committee approved the recommendation of a new rule last week that allows the party to block certain presidential campaigns. More specifically, the party will block campaigns that do not “affirmatively demonstrate that they are faithful to the interests, welfare and success of the Democratic Party of the United States.”
The Democratic Party would decide how to define “faithful,” which means that not only could this block outsiders like Bernie Sanders from running as a Democrat, but even life-long Democrats (e.g. Tulsi Gabbard) who want to see broad and extensive changes to how the party operates and its policies.
“Why wait till the primaries or the convention to cheat progressives out of the presidential nomination when you can just block them from running in the first place? Who needs 718 superdelegates to rig a primary election when an even smaller body of DNC members can just cancel it,” said Nick Braña, who lobbied the superdelegates for Sanders on his 2016 presidential campaign.
Remember when then-DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz admitted on live television that superdelegates exist to protect party-loyal candidates from grassroots competition? Here is a refresher:
"Unpledged delegates (superdelegates) exist really to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grassroots activists." – DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz Fair?
Posted by Independent Voter on Saturday, February 13, 2016
This outraged many voters. It outraged many more when it came to light that DNC officials did what they could to marginalize Bernie Sanders’ campaign and essentially picked Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic nominee before a single primary vote was cast.
Despite calls for change in the Democratic Party — to end superdelegates, to open primary elections, to adopt “big tent” policies for greater competition within the party — party leaders have since double downed on many of these same policies that resulted in broad anger, distrust, and disenchantment in 2016.
Stay tuned for more on this story.
Editor’s Note: This article originally said the DNC passed the rule. It was approved by the DNC Rules Committee for recommendation. The DNC will consider it in August. Thank you Richard Winger for the clarification.