Wisconsin

Mandatory Delegate Diversity Bedevils DNC

Policy

Bernie Sanders isn’t the only thing tying the Democratic National Committee in knots these days. Ahead of the Democratic National Convention in July, state parties are assembling delegate slates that will head to Philadelphia to help pick the party’s presidential nominee, endure an endless succession of boring speeches, and vote on things like the official party platform. But picking just who can and can’t be a delegate is a bit tricky thanks to the rules established by the DNC itself.

In a bid to embrace diversity (a good thing) the DNC has gone overboard by not just prohibiting discrimination (common sense), but simultaneously mandating, requiring and prohibiting state Democratic Parties to use and not use quotas to fill delegate slots. The conflicting rules are a byzantine construct that reveal the absurdity of political correctness.

According to Rule 4.B.(1), the DNC refers to a person’s “race, sex, age, color, creed, national origin, religion, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic status or physical disability” as “status,” and Rule 5.B. declares that “Discrimination on the basis of ‘status’ in the conduct of Democratic Party affairs is prohibited.”

Clear enough.

But the rules don’t just stop there. Rule 5.A. establishes a “program of effective affirmative action and inclusion” for the Democratic Party. Rule 6 helpfully explains how the affirmative action program works, but also notes that:

“This goal shall not be accomplished either directly or indirectly by the Party’s imposition of mandatory quotas at any level of the delegate selection process or in any other Party affairs.”

So after mandating that state parties “give preference” to certain demographics that the DNC feels are underrepresented, the DNC hastens to say that mandatory quotas shouldn’t be a part of the delegate selection process. State Democratic parties are warned that if their delegation to the 2016 DNC in Philadelphia is not deemed to be diverse enough, that could be grounds for the state’s credentials to be challenged. However, if the Democratic state party has implemented a diversity plan (even one that apparently delivers no results) the state will not be vulnerable to a challenge based on the monochromatic nature of its delegation.

Then comes the kicker – while no Democrat shall be discriminated against on the basis of status, and while preference will be given on the basis of status (yes, this is hard to follow), and diversity shall be required but not mandated via quotas, and if a diversity plan is at least in place, at the end of the day each state delegation of Democrats to the DNC shall consist of an equal number of men and women.

DNC Rule 6.C. declares:

“State Delegate Selection Plans shall provide for equal division between delegate men and delegate women and alternate men and alternate women within the state’s entire convention delegation.”

Missing from this mandate is the possibility that there may be more than two genders available for individual Democrats to choose from. But that aside, the very fact that the DNC will tie itself in knots to appear and posture as cutting edge in its embrace of diversity while also undermining the very strength of its own assertions is remarkable.

To see this plan in action, including the breakdown of state delegates by male and female gender, look no further than the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s delegate selection plan. A partial listing of who those delegates are has been released.

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