Delegate quotas and the DNC
I noted in a prior post that lots of state Democratic party rules called for surprisingly strict
Delving around a bit, it turns out that much of this silliness is mandated from the top, specifically from the Democratic National Committee's "Delegate Selection Rules for the 2008 Democratic National Convention." Of the 21 rules listed in the document, three are entitled, "Non-Discrimination," "Affirmative Action," and "Inclusion Programs."
A certain narrative emerges from those three DNC rules.
- We've got a history of voting discrimination.
- Let's compensate for that history.
- Let's identify groups that need help.
- Let's establish target numbers.
- But let's be sure not to call the target numbers "quotas."
- Except for in the man/woman thing. We kinda need quotas there.
- We've got a history of voting discrimination:
... right to vote have not always been extended... groups of Americans have been explicitly denied the right to vote... subjected to discriminatory and exclusionary practices... denying them voting rights.... past history of discriminatory denial of the franchise.... effects of past discrimination.... groups of Americans...may be under-represented in Party affairs.
- Let's compensate for that history:
... a program of effective affirmative action is hereby adopted... Discrimination on the basis of “status” in the conduct of Democratic Party affairs is prohibited...efforts to include groups historically underrepresented in the Democratic Party’s affairs... each state party shall develop and submit Party outreach programs... to achieve full participation by such groups and diversity in the delegate selection process and at all levels... shall adopt and implement affirmative action programs... such affirmative action shall be to encourage participation in the delegate selection process... approved Affirmative Action Plan.... encourage the participation of minority groups... not gerrymandered to discriminate... achieve the full participation of members of these and other groups
- Let's identify groups that need help:
... race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation or disability... African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian/Pacific Americans and women. ...priority of consideration shall be given to African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian/Pacific Americans and women... African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian/Pacific Americans or women.... encourage the participation and representation of persons of low and moderate income.... the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gendered] community and people with disabilities...
- Let's establish target numbers:
... implement affirmative action programs with specific goals and timetables... if such priority of consideration is needed to fulfill the affirmative action goals... Plans shall provide for equal division between delegate men and delegate women and alternate men and alternate women... as far as mathematically practicable, also provide for equal division between district-level delegate men and delegate women and district-level alternate men and alternate women... State Parties may use goals to achieve these ends....
- But let's be sure not to call the target numbers "quotas":
... shall not be accomplished either directly or indirectly by the Party’s imposition of mandatory quotas.... in no event may such participation be accomplished by the use of quotas.
- Except for in the man/woman thing. We kinda need quotas there:
Notwithstanding sub-paragraph A.(2) above [the paragraph that forbids mandatory quotas], equal division at any level of delegate or committee positions between delegate men and delegate women or committeemen and committeewomen shall not constitute a violation of any provision thereof.