By Robert A. Vella
On the eve of its national convention in Philadelphia, the Democratic Party has put itself in a condition of disarray not seen since the turbulent and violent days of Chicago in 1968. Make no mistake, had the GOP nominated a traditional candidate – even one as flawed as John McCain in 2008 or Mitt Romney in 2012 – the 2016 presidential race wouldn’t be close. Hillary Clinton is damaged goods to all except her most ardent supporters, yet she still might prevail in this election because her opponent – the megalomaniac Donald Trump – is widely despised.
American politics today pits a very sick donkey against a rabidly crazy elephant.
The latest fiasco involves the Wikileaks release of emails on Friday showing collusion between the Democratic National Committee and their media cohorts to discredit Hillary’s primary challenger Bernie Sanders, in addition to the just-completed and hotly-contested negotiations between the two camps to reform the party’s nomination process. On top of all that, Clinton’s poll numbers continue to suffer from the questionable decisions made recently by the DOJ and FBI regarding a completely different email controversy.
Not only is this donkey sick, it’s kicking itself.
While the GOP has its own set of serious internal divisions, there’s something unique happening inside the Democratic Party. Whereas Republicans are more amenable to authoritarianism regardless of their establishment or populist leanings, voters who are inclined towards Democrats are not so amenable and this is particularly true for progressives and younger people. When the machinations of authoritarianism usurp the practices of democracy, it is correctly interpreted by such voters and would-be voters as despicable forms of political corruption – a realization that surely drives-down election day enthusiasm and turnout (the Achilles heel of Democratic Party electoral success).
In a real democracy, the people decide… not an elite cabal of insiders hell-bent on fulfilling some preconceived agenda.
I believe the competency of the Democratic Party leadership should be called into question. It didn’t have to allow Sanders to run in the primaries in the first place. He is, after all, a registered independent. After they allowed him to run, they immediately began changing the party rules to rig the outcome in Hillary’s favor. For example, I was excluded from voting for Bernie in my state (Washington) unless I publicly declared myself a Democrat – something I refuse to do. This makes no sense whatsoever. It’s akin to inviting a guest over for dinner only to deny them a seat at the table. What purpose could it serve?
In reaction to this questionable leadership, the party’s Rules Committee earlier today rescinded DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’ role as Chair of the National Convention which begins tomorrow. It doesn’t appear likely that she’ll be allowed to give a speech either.