Citizens Slogging the Superdelegates

Last Monday was not so ordinary.

I was in the process of helping to start up a blog. There were lots of emails going back and forth with my blogging partner. As the day went on the emails were less about the blog and more about the emerging issue of the superdelegates and the growing anxiety that the Democratic nomination might be determined by this class of delegates who aren't beholden to the will of the voters.

While discussing the supers, I floated this idea to my blogging partner at LiteraryOutpost.com: Why not create a wiki to centralize information about super delegates? I wanted to compile popular vote results and pledged delegates district by district, and track those results against the superdelegates' current pledges (and their eventual votes). This would serve as a resource to citizens and journalists with interest in the matter.

For all the hand-wringing about superdelegates, it would be difficult or even impossible to speak about their impact on the process without digging into the numbers. With some mainstream media outlets not even separating the supers out in the delegate counts, I figured this would require some immediate and collaborative citizen action.

And so, the Superdelegate Transparency Project was born. On Monday night I built the wiki. On Tuesday, the blog was launched. On Wednesday, Chris Bowers mentioned the project on OpenLeft.com. On Thursday I found myself giving a radio interview for the first time in my life and Jennifer had placed a piece on Huffington Post about the project. The superdelegate project was off to a flying start.

We are still moving right along. But what I have found both interesting and surprising are some of the negative reactions to both the project and to the suggestion that rank-and-file Democrats should have something to say about how the supers vote.

A little back-story about me: My father was in politics--serving as a Republican member of the US House of Representatives in the 1970s. While he and I often disagree about specific policies, he taught me that above everything else the political process should, ideally, be open and fair. I have long cradled these two attributes as the foundation for my own political thought.

Perhaps that makes me too naive for contemporary politics.

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