Monday, September 7, 2009

New Members on the Democratic Party's Rules and Bylaws Committee

It is too bad that this story appeared over at The Hill on Saturday. It is something that got lost amid the distractions of a long holiday weekend.

To the victor goes the spoils.

DNC Chairman Tim Kaine last week appointed several new members to the Rules and Bylaws Committee (Remember them?) of the Democratic Party. To me, though, the interesting thing is not the inevitability that Clinton supporters in positions on the committee were replaced by Obama supporters (or New Hampshire's representation on the R&B), but the fact that there are at least three members of the Rules and Bylaws Committee that are simultaneously serving on the Democratic Change Commission. Jeff Berman, Minyon Moore and Randi Weingarten are all pulling double duty.

Why is this noteworthy?

Well, as things are set up for 2012 (presidential nomination) rules making, the Democratic Change Commission debates, formulates and recommends a plan to tweak and ultimately govern delegate selection for the 2012 nomination. That recommendation, though, is passed off to the Rules and Bylaws Committee for approval. The Change Commission is due to make said recommendation by January 1, 2010, and if history (the 2008 cycle) is any indication, the R&B will formalize those rules some time during the late summer of next year.

Still, what does the fact that several members are pulling the double matter? It means that the Rules and Bylaws Committee has representation (at least 3 of the 37 Democratic Change Commission members) on the Change Commission. Does that mean they can push through or prevent reform to some degree? Not really (with so many total members), but it does provide the committee with something of a symbolic footprint on the meetings this fall of the DCC. It also further bolsters the notion that real change to this process will be shunted off to be dealt with in the future and that the president (as so many presidential nominees of both parties before him) is attached to the status quo; the process though which he won the nomination.

In a summer of discontent this likely won't sit well with those on the left looking for change. And though, I'll admit that the Change Commission (at least some among its ranks) foresee the need to make some significant changes to the nomination system, that has always run against the notion that presidents stick with what got them there. Does that mean that the latter will outweigh the former in this instance. It does not, but it would be wise to consider both as the 2012 rules are being considered, crafted and certified.

Recent Posts:
State of the Race: Virginia Governor (9/5/09)

The 2012 Presidential Candidates on Twitter (Aug. 2009)

State of the Race: Virginia Governor (9/2/09)

No comments: