When Democrats successfully overturned an election
today at 1:13 pm
Curious how Democrats are charging that Republicans are out to cancel an election when Democrats themselves established the modern-day precedent for overturning the results of an election.
It came at the Democratic National Convention in 1972 when a “reform” plank of self-appointed delegates managed to dump the entire Illinois delegation that had been elected by voters themselves.
It didn’t matter that the “reform” Illinois delegation–headed by Jesse Jackson and then-alderman Bill Singer–hadn’t received a single vote to sit in the convention that would select the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate. They weren’t even on the ballot.
They just showed up and played on the memories of the 1968 convention riots in Chicago, still pissed at Mayor Richard J. Daley for the “police riot” that caused by the hippies who stormed the city. So they took it out on the elected Illinois delegation headed by Daley. Somehow they persuaded the creditials committee and the entire convention to vote to oust the democratically elected delegates to the (high irony here) Democratic convention.
They all were so self-satisfied with this rebuke of the Chicago Democratic Machine, along with many in the media and in the liberal salons along the lakefront. Accolades flowed. Goodness was acclaimed.
Until legendary Chicago columnist Mike Royko shocked them by rebuking the “reformers” for their anti-democratic, anti-voter revolt. It came in a Daily News column that I’ll long remember for its honesty and courage, taking on many of the same readers who loved him for his support of the civil rights movement, his voice for the working man and certain liberal causes. It made me proud to labor on the same newspaper.
I can’t find the original column but below I’ve reprinted an entire column from the Chicago Tribune in 1992 in which he eloquently expressed the same shock and anger at the destruction of a democratic institution the self-appointed virtuous. It was an early taste of things to come in today’s cancel culture. (The highlights are mine.)
A footnote. George McGovern, who emerged as the canidate from that disastrous convention was rebuked overwhelming in the general election, winning only one state. Might there be a lesson here?
DEMOCRATS DON`T NEED TO RECALL `72
By Mike Royko
CHICAGO TRIBUNE, July 10, 1992
An invitation arrived for what should be one of the most significant events at the Democratic convention.
The card said: ”Eleanor and George McGovern cordially invite you to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the 1972 nomination and campaign.”
A call to the person handling the arrangements brought this information:
”McGovern wanted an opportunity to see old friends and to thank people who worked on the campaign. People who are still active in Democratic politics will be coming to New York anyway, so he thought it would be a good chance to get together.”
Unfortunately, I can`t attend. And I regret it because I would like to see how the years have treated the people who managed to screw up the Democratic Party almost beyond repair.
Twenty years ago. That`s when the McGovernites decided to purge the party convention of those Democrats who had been found guilty of being governors, mayors, sheriffs, and members of Congress and state legislatures. In other words, people who had actually campaigned for and been elected to public office.
Under the new rules, the only deserving Democrats were those who were minorities, young, female and anyone else who claimed to be oppressed and was incapable of delivering a vote on Election Day.
This was the convention that decided that Mayor Richard J. Daley and his delegation didn`t represent Chicago`s Democratic Party. All they had done to become delegates was receive the overwhelming majority of the city`s Democratic votes.
So they tossed Daley and all of those officeholders out of the convention and replaced them with delegates led by Jackson and other alleged reformers.
One of those reform delegates, it turned out, was a registered Republican, heading a committee to elect a Republican governor. A minor technicality.
And Jackson hadn`t even bothered to cast a vote in Chicago`s delegate election. He said he was out of town or busy or forgot or something.
So after strong-arming control of the convention, the McGovernites put on a show unlike any seen before.
We were treated to MacLaine, reincarnated as a political ninny, making a speech to the convention about how a Chicago villain named Andy Toman should be cast into the darkness.
”Who is this terrible Andy Toman?” TV viewers wondered.
They would have laughed if they knew. Andy was the Cook County coroner, an obscure and meek fellow who made sure all the stiffs at the morgue got the right tags on their toes.
And McGovern demonstrated his political shrewdness by letting his followers babble so long that by the time he made his acceptance speech, the sun was almost coming up and the only people watching were some night watchmen.
This was the convention that decided the party needed quotas for everything. Of every 10 delegates, 4 1/2 had to be females, 1/2 had to be young, 3 3/4 had to be minority, and every one of them had to be sensitive, caring, politically correct, swear their loyalty to white wine and cheese, and report anyone seen having a beer and potato chips.
They did such a good job of throwing out the old-time Democrats and putting together a coalition of amateurs, movie stars, grousers, gripers and goofballs that McGovern led the party to one of the worst defeats in history. And he and his people stuck the Democrats with a legacy of rules and quotas that helped shove most of middle America over to the Republicans, where they`ve been since.
Now they are going to get together, for old time`s sake.
If Bill Clinton is wise, there is still time for him to go to McGovern and the `72 crowd and say:
”Here, these are free airline tickets for Paris, London, the Bahamas, anywhere you choose. Have a good time. But please, do me a favor and get out of New York before the TV cameras find you and Shirley starts making a nutsy speech again.
”Better yet, why don`t you all throw your support to George Bush?”