“The Democratic Presidential Primary Needs the Democratic Party”

From Brendan Nyhan, at Medium:

For anyone concerned about democratic norms and the rule of law, the 2016 election offered a clear lesson: Parties need to exercise more control over candidate selection. In this era of high partisanship, the official party nomination puts any candidate within striking distance of the presidency. This great power thus carries a profound responsibility: to deny the party endorsement to would-be demagogues. So why are Democrats reducing the role of party elites in the primary process this time around? …

Democrats also yielded to pressure to open access to presidential debates. In fact, they’ve now promised to include any candidate with 65,000 donors on the debate stage, in addition to those with qualifying levels of polling support. Not surprisingly, this rule is already being gamed: Recently, the Washington Postreported that John Delaney, a wealthy former member of Congress, is matching $1 donations with $2 contributions to charity to try to attract enough support to be included despite having no measurable support in polls. ..

Democrats see what is happening to democracies across the world; they should know better than to diminish their control over their own nomination process.

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