[guest post by JVW]
As Democrats gather in Philadelphia to coronate Her Clintonic Majesty, the Past, Present, and Future Inevitable Next President of the United States, Hillary! Rodham Clinton, they will apparently do so without their candidate’s most loyal foot soldier. In the aftermath of a Wikileaks document dump showing that employees of the DNC actively sought to undermine the candidacy of Senator Bernard Sanders (Dem Socialist – VT), the party has announced that DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Congresswoman from Florida, will not preside over the convention nor will she have any speaking role.
This brouhaha comes as the Democrats attempt to contrast themselves with last week’s GOP convention in Cleveland, with the Philadelphia meeting stressing themes of party unity. Three of the four nights of the Democrats’ gathering feature banal themes that make use of the word “together”: “United Together,” “Working Together,” and “Stronger Together” (the fourth night features the theme “Still Getting Away with It after All These Years”). The revelations in the Wikileaks email dump that key DNC employees conspired to use Sanders’ religious faith (or lack thereof) against him in Bible Belt primaries has roiled the Sanders folks who have long complained that the DNC had tilted the primary rules to favor Mrs./Senator/Secretary Clinton. For his part, Sanders has called upon Wasserman Schultz to step down as DNC Chair — probably a fait accompli after the election is over — and he has already endorsed her far-left primary opponent who is running against her in this election cycle.
Sanders could have kept his powder dry and held off on endorsing Clinton until the convention, which would have brought an element of excitement to what otherwise promises to be a dull and overly-scripted four nights. Had he done so, he might have had more influence over her Vice-President pick and he might have even pulled the party even further to the left in the run up to November than it has already traveled. Instead, he meekly and obediently climbed aboard her bandwagon two weeks ago, suggesting that at the end of the day his candidacy was a lot more about tactics than principle, and that rather than changing the corrupt culture in Washington he merely wants to redirect it to his own ends.
The joke on Sanders is that the big money men in his new party are not going to accept some far-left lunatic in the role of DNC Chair, so look for Hillary to appoint a longstanding Washington insider and party hack and for the Senator from Vermont to go back to his role as the gadfly crank occupying the crazy end of the political spectrum. Well played, Hillary!, well played indeed.