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POLITICS

Did the Democrats just drive the stake through the heart of conventions?

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

The two parties have spent much of the past two weeks eliminating all remaining reasons for the continued existence of national conventions.

Democrats this afternoon joined Republicans in finally ending the pretense that conventions are democratic gatherings where delegates have power.

Recall that RNC Chairman Reince Preibus and House Speaker John Boehner steamrolled delegates in blocking debate, ignoring amendments, and then ultimately making up the results of a floor vote.

Also one of the contentious GOP rule-changes changed how amendments are made. Previously, only delegates, at the convention, could amend the party rules. Now the RNC can amend the rules whenever they want, even without delegate approval

Then today, we got the embarrassing performance by L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa captured in the video above. After party leadership introduced an amendment restoring platform language on God and Jerusalem, Villaraigosa took three roll calls. In none of them did the Ayes plausibly have a two-thirds majority, but ultimately, he ruled the Ayes had it – even though they didn’t.

So, we’ve known for a while that the conventions don’t nominate anyone – primaries select the presidential nominee, who in turn selects the Vice Presidential nominee.

Now we know that no meaningful grass-roots democracy happens at these things – it’s all a farce.

Also, weather shortenings of the last two GOP conventions, and voluntary shortening of this Dem convention show that three days is certainly not too little.

So these are festivals and pep rallies. Why they should get federal subsidies and huge floods of media attention is beyond me. Maybe this year’s snafus will finally convince the world to dial back the conventions.

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