The superdelegate saga has been an ongoing storyline this primary season for a number of reasons. One, there is the political aspect of it, with a great number of the superdelegates pulling for the established Democrat as opposed to the grassroots candidate. There is also the philosophical argument opposing the elevation of certain party figures above the rest, which is essentially what the superdelegate role does.
Right or wrong, these are the views of the role. Even if they don’t actually decide this or any other primary election, they create a bad image for a party that likes to sell itself as a voice of the people and more democratic than those across the aisle.
It’s time for superdelegates to go, and Maine Democratic voters agree, as voted overwhelmingly at the State Convention.
In the time since, Democratic National Committee Vice Chairman Raymond Buckley, who is also a member of the DNC Rules Committee, has taken to attacking State Representative Diane Russell and Maine activists who sided with her resolution calling for an end to the practice.
As noted last week in Undercover Porcupine, Vice Chairman Buckley accused Representative Russell of misleading Maine voters and proceeded to tear her down in a series of Facebook comments. When Maine Democrats on social media challenged his assertions, he became hostile, often deflecting from his own accusations and unable to provide specific citation of things he claimed she said.
It was an alarming move by a national party leader, but it fits the narrative that the Democratic National Committee seems to be out of touch with the bulk of the party grassroots. Senator Bernie Sanders has drawn in a great deal of new voters and activists to the party, and if accepted, they could be a real asset in the future. But there seems to be a great deal of resistance at the top to what they want to accomplish within the party.
Whether the view of Senator Sanders’ supporters is valid or not doesn’t matter when people like Vice Chairman Buckley seem to affirm suspicions. Perception is everything.
Furthermore concerning is the lack of response from the Maine Democratic Party, who claims to care about the everyday Maine voter. When a national political figure rips into their own State Legislator and talks down a major accomplishment of the party grassroots, where is the defense from the party? Where is the leadership from the Chairman?
Chairman Phil Barlett has been missing in action. The Maine Democratic Party has been completely silent.
The Maine Democratic Party has taken the time to tweet endlessly about Donald Trump and what he will do to America, but what about what another arrogant political figure has done to Maine Democrats? Does Chairman Bartlett even care? Does anyone at the Maine Democratic Party care?
Senator Sanders supporters may have won big in Maine, but it’s clear that the leadership at the Maine Democratic Party isn’t on their side. Chairman Bartlett either agrees with Chairman Buckley’s opposition to what Maine Democrats see as undemocratic practices, or is just unwilling to stand up for the activists he is supposed to be leading.