Home
In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 11, 2008 /4 Adar II 5768

Power rightly belongs to Dem superdelegates

By James Klurfeld


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | After last week's primary results, it's clear that the superdelegates will have to decide who the Democratic nominee for president will be. Good.

There's been entirely too much movement toward pure democracy in the Democratic Party. And now the Democrats are paying the price.

Go back to the Founding Fathers - they didn't trust pure democracy. "Democracy" went back to the Greek word "demos," the common people, rule of the mob. The Founders were much more interested in a representative democracy, a republic. They didn't believe it was wise to have each and every decision made by popular vote.

The superdelegates have a specific and important role to play in the nomination of a presidential candidate for the Democrats. And they've been part of the system - written into the party rules - since the early 1980s. They are a group of party officials and supporters, some elected, and other party elites who are expected to add professional (that means political) judgment to a decision about who'll be the party's standard-bearer. There's nothing illegitimate about them or how they vote.

If you read that to mean the superdelegates are a throwback to the old days of smoke-filled backrooms, you've got it right. Before the Democrats implode, they ought to get some backroom politics into their deliberations (just without the smoke, which, we now know, is dangerous to your health).

You can't tell me that the past 25 years or so of party history says the more democratic system has worked that much better than the old system for choosing a worthy candidate.

For good reason, many political scientists have been cool to the concept of proportional voting. It makes it that much more difficult to reach a clear decision, to declare a winner, especially in a pluralistic society. That is exactly what's happening now with Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton. They need 2025 delegates to win the nomination, and each is hundreds of votes shy. The proportional allocation of delegates has made it difficult for either of them to gain a clear-cut advantage.

Proportional allocation of delegates is a concept that Jesse Jackson and other liberals pushed on the party in the name of democracy. With a winner-take-all system, Clinton would likely be well ahead now, because she has won more of the big, traditionally Democratic states.

A long, drawn-out and indecisive battle like this, while making for good TV, isn't necessarily good for the country. It forces candidates to take positions to gain votes that later lock them into bad policy options if they are elected.

Example: Clinton and Obama have been tripping over each other to say they are more opposed than the other to the North American Free Trade Agreement. In reality, they both understand the importance of free trade to the U.S. economy. But they've become so obsessed with getting every vote and pandering to the crowd that they have now said they'll be ready to renegotiate the agreement or withdraw from it. If either is elected in November, he or she will be faced with this choice: Pursue an unwise policy by trying to renegotiate the treaty, or don't - and look like a hypocrite.

At some point the superdelegates should make an attempt to throw their weight behind the candidate they believe will be best for the Democratic Party. That means, in the end, who can win in November. That decision doesn't have to be now. It's only March 7, a point in the political calendar that once upon a time marked the beginning of the primary season, not the end.

The superdelegates, even if they have already committed to a candidate, can still change their minds. (The other, elected delegates, by the way, have no legal obligation to vote for a particular candidate, but they did declare a preference in becoming a delegate.)

The whole point of having these 795 superdelegates is to avoid a train wreck for the party. At the moment, Clinton and Obama are two steam engines chugging down the track headed straight for each other.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

James Klurfeld is a professor of journalism at Stony Brook University.


Previously:

03/04/08: A neophyte looks like a pro, and vice versa
02/22/08: The allure of Obama for young people
02/19/08: Obama sounds good, but words aren't enough


© 2008, Newsday Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles