Exactly two years ago today, I walked into the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA and experienced four days of lying and deceit and unfairness that shook my soul. A newbie to that level of political ploys, I was horrified at the underbelly of politics that one rarely sees up close. The West Virginia Superdelegate Disaster was only one of many dreadful stories. Now, there are real, tangible DNC reforms coming our way, two years and a Trump later.
One of the rare good things that came out of Philly was the unanimous formation of the Unity Reform Commission tasked to make major reform recommendations to the DNC. You can read their report here. They were tasked with addressing the many contentious issues that plagued the 2016 primary season including reforming primaries, reforming caucuses, general party reform and the mother of all reforms - superdelegate reform. Their recommendations went to the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee who adopted most of the recommendations and folded them into official DNC documents for approval. On August 25, 2018, in Chicago, Illinois, the full body of the DNC will vote to accept or reject these proposals.
Two things made these reforms a possibility: two years of people pushing and prodding and protesting for change within the party and Trump. Trump has people in the DNC terrified, and rightly so. His hostile rhetoric and regressive policies have devastating consequences on peoples lives. When Donald J. Trump won on November 8, 2016, they realized that they needed the "Bernie people" to win in 2018 and 2020. At that point, thankfully, they got busy figuring out how to do just that.
It was actually rather simple; they just had to listen to everything that had been told to them over the last year and a half about fairness. That's all the Bernie people ever wanted; fairness. A fair process for people to participate in choosing their candidate. They want their vote in primaries and caucuses to count, they want caucuses to be open and fair and reflective of their position or none at all, they want to participate in their primary without having to deal with registration issues months before they even know who they want to vote for, and they want DNC officers, staff and members to provide a fair process for all candidates and not put a thumb on the scale for their favorite. These are not radical requests. They just want fairness.
So, now we are exactly at the two year mark of walking into the DNC Convention. I can honestly say that I have hope. The reform package is good. Would I change some things if I were writing them? Yes. I don't want to pretend that the reforms are perfect. But, I will say that they are very good. The superdelegate reform alone is better than I ever imagined coming from a DNC that still has a majority of establishment members and the fact that some powerful Democratic members of Congress are opposed. The new reform would keep superdelegates from changing the outcome of the primaries and caucuses. If there is a clear winner from the grassroots vote, that is the winner; no superdelegate interference. The only time their vote will be relevant is if there is no clear winner, and then only on a second ballot. They listened. Our next steps are to push for this reform, take it and run like hell with it!
The documents that will be voted on at the August 2018 DNC meeting can be found at this link. Please review and share with others. Please contact your DNC members and ask them to support these reforms. There is even a sample resolution for groups to use. Pass and send them to your DNC members and the press.