For decades, it's been Iowa and New Hampshire – the latter for more than a century – that cast the first votes in the presidential primaries. On Friday, however, the Democratic Party's Rules and Bylaws Committee, following the lead of President Joe Biden, voted to move its first contest to South Carolina, then Nevada and New Hampshire, then Georgia and Michigan … with Iowa well down the list.
It's clear to critics of Biden's proposal: it's all about ensuring he has no challengers to securing the Democratic nomination for 2024, by prioritizing states with large black populations – the only voting bloc that polling shows still has a positive view of the president. And notably, Biden's 2020 campaign was basically on life support (4th in Iowa, 5th in New Hampshire, a distant 2nd to Bernie Sanders in Nevada) until popular black Democrat, Rep. James Clyburn (South Carolina), endorsed Biden in the lead-up to that state's primary.
After trouncing his opponents there (where he garnered 61% of the votes), Biden went on to victory in Georgia (almost 85%) and Michigan (53%).
Fox News columnist Liz Peek says Democrats "are playing a dangerous game" by making changes that favor black voters. While the changes might work for individual candidates in some states, she says, it "risks losing support from other members of their coalition, including Asians and Hispanice."
Joe Mobley of Project 21 Black Leadership Network seconds Peek, saying the move is pure virtue signaling. "It's just an excellent example of how the Left at large [is] racist – and they demonstrate their racism through their public statements and their public action," he tells AFN.
Mobley says this is about "equity," which has been in the Democrats' playbook since the advent of identity politics during the Obama administration.
"This is what he does," he states, referring to the former president. "They said they want 'diversity,' but they mean [they] need to be able to look at the playing field and see X number of genders represented and X numbers of different colors."
Mobley says the Democratic Party wants diversity in every area except one: diversity of thought. "That's the only diversity that really, truly matters – and they don't want to have any of that," he exclaims.
He goes on to argue that moving the primaries around is really just smoke and mirrors, since the primaries are no longer an honest contest to find a party leader.
"With rare exception, I think that we do have these kind of selected, elected elites," he says. "We've seen it on both sides of the aisle, [but] famously with Bernie Sanders having the rug pulled out from under him in the 2016 election when Hillary Clinton became the nominee."
Any changes to the primary schedule must be certified by the Democratic National Committee – and that vote won't come until early next year. The proposal must also be approved by some of the states.