TECHNICALLY CORRECT

Posted in Election 2008 on May 22nd, 2008 by Ed

Hillary Clinton has spent the last two months waxing noble about "letting the democratic process play out", i.e. leaving the nomination unresolved until every state has held its primary or caucus. Here is just one example of that refrain. How laudable.

Our democratic process is important. It's always a good thing when candidates and elected officials remember that. Hillary does. Perhaps that is why she had one of her staffers offer the Young Democrats of America $1,000,000 for the support of the group's two unpledged superdelegates. Believe it or not, this is legal.** It's just, you know, completely fucked up.

The strangest part about this is that Hillary is technically correct; she is letting the democratic system play out – our democratic system. The system is so thoroughly dominated by money that paying for votes, directly or indirectly, is simply par for the course today. This is the way the system works. American Politics v.2008 makes Gilded Era corruption and influence-peddling look positively quaint in comparison.

**I never fail to note (to my students' disbelief) that there's absolutely no legal reason a delegate or elector in the Electoral College cannot be bribed. George Soros, for example, could have contacted a bunch of Bush electors in 2004 and offered them $5 million apiece to flip. In the ~20 states that don't have pledged/committed elector laws, that would be entirely legal. Primaries (or nominations more broadly) are even worse; they're run according to party (DNC/RNC) rules, most of which have no legal standing.

Tags: