One of the easiest ways for a hack media outlet to get instant clicks is to write about galaxy-brained ideas to manipulate the convention to steal the nomination from the party’s voters. 2016 had not only an endless procession of stillborn “Never Trumpers will screw Trump out of the nomination” stories but of course the “this one DNC functionary sent an email with an offensive anti-Bernie idea that was completely ignored” stories that somehow morphed into “this is a massive conspiracy to RIG the nomination!!!1!!111!!!!”
Apparently we’re going to be doing this again. We being with the Dramatic Headline:
DNC members discuss rules change to stop Sanders at convention
Which is immediately revealed as a complete non-story to anyone who pays any attention to the weasel words and qualifications in the lead graf:
A small group of Democratic National Committee members has privately begun gauging support for a plan to potentially weaken Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and head off a brokered convention.
So, a few anonymous randos are floating a plan of floating a plan to see if there’s any support for a plan to do something that might have some negative effect on Bernie’s chances of winning the convention. This is, how shall I put it, not news, and it’s certainly not news that justifies strongly implying an anti-Bernie conspiracy in the headline.
We move on to more of the same:
In conversations on the sidelines of a DNC executive committee meeting and in telephone calls and texts in recent days, about a half-dozen members have discussed the possibility of a policy reversal to ensure that so-called superdelegates can vote on the first ballot at the party’s national convention.
So six people have discussed the possibility of discussing the possibility of doing something to change a policy with strong support within the party that reflects the longstanding de facto norms of the party anyway.
Then, in the sixth graf, we get the open admission that this is a whole lot of nothing:
Even proponents of the change acknowledge it is all but certain not to gain enough support to move past these initial conversations. But the talks reveal the extent of angst that many establishment Democrats are feeling on the eve of the Iowa caucuses.
So even this handful of anonymous DNC people admit there’s not actually any chance that the plan they’re planning to possibly discuss at some point actually working. And just to remove any doubt, the head of the DNC threw cold water on this hyped-up bullshit immediately:
Absolutely not. We put in the work to ensure power was returned to the grassroots, we will be following the rules set forth by the DNC. We will not bend on this, we will not change our rules. https://t.co/CZRwRnMxfg— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) January 31, 2020
So the only actual “news” in this story is that Bernie Sanders does not have the full ex ante support of the Democratic establishment, a “scoop” I could have uncovered from the comfort of my living room. Anyway, there’s not going to be a superdelegate coup, and barring some extraordinary circumstance like a 4-way near-tie or something whoever enters the DNC with the most delegates is going to be the party’s nominee, Bernie most definitely included.
You would think at this late date people would stop falling for this ridiculous rube-running clickbait. You would especially think that nobody with a six-figure politics writing sinecure could possibly buy this particular parcel of Glengarry Highlands. Alas:
The time between now and the first Tuesday in November is going to be the longest 70 years of my life.