With great power comes great responsibility, Spider-Man tells us. And Super Delegates, you have great power. What are you going to do with your responsibility?
Chris Matthews pulled back the curtain for us this week when he interviewed Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey. Menendez is one of those superdelegates, and I'm glad he was identified, because it's hard to tell super delegates from the rest of the delegates by looking at them; they don't wear capes, they don't wear masks. The best way to tell which delegates are super is that some of them seem to believe the will of the people is theirs to ignore.
Menendez pledged his support for Hillary Clinton, but here's the best part: he said he would support Senator Clinton regardless of how the people in his state voted. In other words, if the people in his state went 2-1 for Senator Barack Obama, he would still cast his ballot for Hillary.
Luckily for Senator Menendez, the votes this week let him off the hook: New Jersey went for Hillary, so the super delegate was saved by Super Tuesday. But Menendez brings us an example of the big problem on the horizon: what if super delegates go their own way, and not the people's way?
In 2000, Al Gore won more of the popular vote than George W. Bush. Democracy was then subverted by the conservative Justices on the Supreme Court. All of us railed against it - we talked about how the country's democratic institutions had failed us, and how we had to work harder to elect a Democrat so that the Court would not get to decide the winner, but instead, we the people would choose our President.
Will the Democratic Party do to itself what the Supreme Court did to the country in 2000? Will the super delegates subvert the will of the people?
We have been warned. Already, the super delegates - those that committed early - committed more often to the Clinton machine. But the people may give more delegates to Senator Obama than to Senator Clinton. Are the super delegates really willing to go the other way and pick the candidate not chosen by the people?
I have a recommendation for you Super Delegates. If you are in the Senate, vote for a candidate based on who won your state. For example, if you are in California, Senators Feinstein and Boxer should go for Hillary. In Missouri, Claire McCaskill should go with Obama. In Congressional districts, Congressmen and women should cast their ballots for their candidate who won their district.
Super D's should not believe themselves above the people. You represent us. If we get to Denver, and you decide your vote based on which candidate may offer you a better job in their Administration, let me tell you something - we're watching you. We're watching you very carefully. Quid pro quo - we know all about it. Remember Oliver North and the questions about whether we made a deal with Honduras in which that nation would receive our assistance if they supported the Contras? That was quid pro quo.
Are Democrats going to be taking cues from Oliver North? If you act in your self-interest, and not in the interests of the nation you purport to represent, we will know quid pro quo.
I want you to look at the picture attached to this blog. See that mug? If you, the Super Delegates, go against the will of the people in Denver, that person in that picture (with grayer hair) will be the first one protesting against you, the first one speaking out against you, and the first one supporting a candidate other than you when you run for reelection.
Don't go against the will of the people. Be true Democrats. You have been given power by the people - use it responsibly.