All Things Considered, I'd Rather Not Be in Philadelphia
Pennsylvania Convention Center, PA---
I admit it, I'm getting too old for this shit. No, it's not so much the air travel and living out of a suitcase every four years. It's the sensation that with every quadrennial national party convention I go to, I get this uneasy sense that that things are worse than they were four years ago.
The 2016 Democratic Convention unofficially kicked off yesterday with a sound vaguely akin to a starter not quite engaging and the teeth grinding. The double whammy of the Guccifer 2.0 (that implicated Nancy Pelosi, who's already been booed today) and the Wikipedia #DNCleaks, as it's known on Twitter, were too much for even snarling, delusional crooks like Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the Sopranos leadership of the DNC to ignore. Schultz was swiftly demoted to strictly gavel duty, her spot as Chairperson of the convention hastily given to her heir apparent, nonentity Marcia Fudge of Ohio. An hour or two later, as I'd predicted, Schultz announced she was resigning as chair of the DNC after the convention.
Seemingly seconds after that, the Clinton junta announced they'd hired Schultz to be the "honorary" chair of Clinton's campaign, marking Debbie Wasserman Schultz's coming out party (as if her political orientation was ever held in serious doubt). And the entire party is so corrupt and so in the tank for Hillary, the person they temporarily replaced her as DNC Chair, Obama and Clinton head cheerleader, Donna Brazile, was also implicated in the Wikileaks data dump, resulting in her working for free for CNN (reports originally stated she was booted from the network during the convention, as they should have).
If the Democratic National Committee was smart, they'd keep Schultz in the attic of the PA Convention Center, if it has one, and relegate her to Phantom of the Opera status. To show how clueless she is, this morning she had the nerve to show her face at the Florida delegation breakfast and was roundly booed. And it wasn't even the first time today- She also got booed when she gaveled the convention open. It probably hasn't been lost on the delegates that Wasserman Schultz still has official duties at the DNC convention, is still the DNC Chairperson yet is now officially working for the Clinton campaign.
This is one of the reasons why I walked into the convention center this afternoon with a sense of dread and that things have gotten worse since four years ago during this glorious back half of the Age of Obama: Conflict of interest and recognizing the appearance of impropriety are now merely quaint notions of a bygone age.
She Had One Job...
In a rare foray into meme-making (which got a "like" from Rosario Dawson on Twitter. Aw shucks), I hit the nail on the head while getting to the heart of the matter. Schultz's astoundingly rapid fall from grace (sinecure or no) was almost pre-ordained as if it was something out of a Greek tragedy, with well-informed and well-aware Bernie supporters providing the Greek chorus.
A party leader's primary remit, whether Democratic or Republican, is to unify that party regardless of how unpopular or controversial a presumptive presidential nominee. Schultz did the exact opposite with divisive and perhaps even illegal tactics that were hardly more publicly civil than they were in the leaked emails in which she called Sanders campaign chair Jeff Weaver "scummy" and "an ass."
One cannot escape the realization that with every initiative Wasserman Schultz had taken whether it be changing rules, installing members for the three important committees determining the tone and direction of the party's convention or scheduling debates, 100% of the results always benefited Hillary Clinton, whom DWS had served as campaign co-chair in 2008.
The conspiracy theory of the Sanders campaign illegally accessing a voter data base was just that, a discredited conspiracy theory. Even at the state level (especially the now-notorious Democratic imbroglio in Nevada), rules were abruptly changed while voice votes were ignored, lies spread about violence in the Sanders delegation, delegates getting ignored and stripped of credentials and other crimes too multitudinous to enumerate.
Then there was a plainly illegal if not prosecutable scheme to coordinate a joint fund-raising venture that just happened to exclude the Sanders campaign. Wasserman Schultz scheduling a handful of debates near holidays or weekends to ensure lower visibility for Sanders. In short, she'd hamstrung the Sanders campaign and his delegates in every conceivable way and she wasn't even smart enough to be subtle about it.
Then, the inevitable happened: In the age of Anonymous, three Guccifers and other hackers, the emails came out. So what did the DNC do about this on the eve of the convention? Apologize to Camp Sanders, put oil on the waters?
The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming!
You got it. This accusation could've come screaming out of the sweat-soaked pages of Alex Jones' Prison Planet. It's the fault of the Russians and Donald Trump and Vlad Putin and everyone who's ever said the words vodka or caviar for the DNC leak. On Twitter, Trump publicly ridiculed this conspiracy theory and I hate it when he says something with which I have to agree.
Yet what the Democratic National Committee, aka Tammany Hall 2.0, fails to address is the still obvious fact that, whether or not Putin was influencing the election to make Trump his puppet, the emails are still genuine and the scandals still very real. Wasserman Schultz was justifiably toppled like Saddam's statue, not once but twice, and is being booed everywhere she goes.
Still, the Russian conspiracy theory lives on like we're back in 1955 and Joe McCarthy still holding sway. And still Hillary backers are using Trump as this cycle's bogeyman, hoarsely screaming for party unity (In other words, "All ye who enter this convention center, abandon hope and Bernie Sanders and vote for Hillary"). Which, with Hillary's tanking poll numbers against Trump, is like locking every passenger in steerage just as the ship begins to sink. And look how well that worked for the folks onboard the Titanic.
Hillary backers insist the Republican convention and nomination of Donald J. Trump was a cult of personality but that's only half the story. Trump wound up at the top of the pile because of conservative voters, racist or no, finally growing disillusioned, disenfranchised and disaffected by the Republican Party. As with Schultz, it was such a sudden turn of events for Ted Cruz, former Tea Party darling, being thrust into the grown up table and being forced into the now dysfunctional mainstream Republican Party.
Democrats should see an object lesson in that but they won't because their brainless, bellowing support of Hillary Clinton, possibly the most spectacularly corrupt politician since Huey Long, makes them insensible to irony. Or a Greek chorus.
Tonight, the super delegates will at last vote for the candidate of their choice. And while their choice is preordained, it'll still be interesting to see how many super delegates who'd already pledged their votes for Hillary will change to Sanders in light of the party leadership's shake up and proof of its own corrosive corruption.