With all the fuss about 'delegates' v 'popular vote' v 'criteria of the day' and the rhetoric over 'disenfranchised voters', one could be forgiven for thinking that choosing a nominee is necessarily a democratic process.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
There is no inherent constitutional or other legal right whatsoever for 'voters' to choose the nominee of a political party'
A party can define any criteria it wishes to determine the candidate/s to represent them in an election.
Howard Dean should accept responsibility for allowing the present farce to have occurred in the first place and must take immediate action to clarify the situation once and for all.
Suppose I set up the "Flying Pigs Party".
I could define the nomination contest by giving each prospective candidate a canvas, a paintbrush and some paint. The candidates are given 15 minutes to draw a flying pig. A randomly chosen 5 year old then picks the picture they like the best. The respective artist becomes the nominee.
NOTE: There is no constitutional basis for voters being allowed to participate in the nomination process. The electorate only has a constitutional right to vote for candidates, in Special and General Elections.
The Democratic Party has clearly defined the rules by which a nominee is chosen.
In order to be 'politically correct' those rules allow individuals in each state and territory to vote in some fashion (primary/caucus) for their preferred candidate.
'Unpledged Delegates' better known as 'Superdelegates' were added to provide a means for experienced senior party members to exercise a level of 'quality control'.
The rules are constructed to prevent discrimination and define acceptable limits of behavior by the candidates and state organizations.
Under the rules, the ONLY measure that determines the nominee is the delegate vote at the convention.
Pledged (elected) delegates have a moral responsibility to vote for the candidate they were elected to represent, but are allowed the freedom to switch if they wish.
In order to limit the vast expense and distraction of a prolonged nomination contest, and allow the presumptive nominee to begin campaigning ahead of the convention vote, it has become tradition for unpledged delegates to publicly declare their intention to vote for (endorse) a particular candidate at the convention.
The utter farce and confusion of the present scenario is due to the lack of clarification by the DNC regarding spin and hype over 'options' to bypass the rules.
The DNC should have been much more forceful in articulating and defending the rules as published. Instead, they have allowed the MSM, losing candidates and the opposition to instill Fear Uncertainty and Doubt into the process, resulting in heated exchanges between supporters of rival candidates.
It's time to state in clear and unequivocal terms the pre-eminence of the rules, and dispel rumors of disenfranchisement, unfairness, bias etc...
Howard Dean MUST speak up prior to May 31 to explain what the rules committee is for and how it works. Otherwise the process is liable to be hijacked for political gain, to the detriment of the party and the chosen nominee.