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Political wonking

hillary2.jpgI eat lunch with the same group of folks at work almost every day, and without fail, the conversation turns to politics at some point during every lunch conversation, which has two amusing results. First, one of the people immediately tunes out from the conversation, as she is simply not all that interested in political wonking. Second, I find myself in a rare situation, being the sole liberal voice in a room full of conservatives (it should come as little surprise that the vast majority of BigLaw lawyers are Republicans, because high salaries mean that the “typical” liberal tax raises hit them/us harder). In any event, one thing we often talk about is how the Democrat side of things is going to shake out. And we’re all generally in agreement that it will almost certainly be undecided before the DNC Convention this summer, which leads most of us to the conclusion that Hillary will win, even if Barack’s populist appeal increases two-fold between now and then.

And The Wall Street Journal has now highlighted the number one reason why this will be the case — it’s because of the friggin’ superdelegates — the 796 Governors, Senators and Representatives, and other Democratic big whigs — who each have as much power as the “normal” state delegates. With Barack and Hillary each unlikely to have the requisite delegate vote before accounting for the superdelegates, it’ll be these party insiders who will likely wind up deciding things and as a UVA political scientist puts it: “To the public, that looks like a throwback to the old, corrupt system of smoke-filled rooms.”

If this is indeed how it all shakes out, Hillary almost assuredly wins, because the Clintons are just more plugged into the machine. Almost half of the superdelegates have already made announcements of who they support, and while they could certainly change sides, that support is almost two-to-one in favor of Hillary. Now I’m of two minds here. On the one hand, I’m a Barack supporter (although I agree that the concerns Dustin talked about last week are valid, to an extent), so I’d rather see him get the nomination over Hillary. On the other hand, if this is how shit goes down, maybe it’ll get enough people up-in-arms that we’ll finally see a change to this whole stupid system. Delegates, electoral college, it’s all so fucking antiquated and archaic. Fuck campaign finance reform — I think the number one election-related agenda should be fixing the god damn backbone of the system.

Of course, I’m an idiot if I think things will ever really change, but according to the spin, “change” is what this election is really all about, right?

(As an aside, again at The Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan has an interesting commentary on whether Hillary even knows how to lose.)