1. In case you missed it—and there were a lot of people trying to make sure you did—the illegal hacking organization Wikileaks released nearly 20,000 stolen e-mails from the Democratic National Committee. It is, by any estimation, a scandal, and potentially a devastating one. You can read various takes on it from Heat Street, BuzzFeed, NPR, The Daily Beast, CNN, BizPac Review, Business Insider, The New York Observer, Fox News Insider, Associated Press, The Daily Caller, Mediaite, and the Associated Press. Among other things, the e-mails show that the Democratic National Committee was actively colluding to undermine Bernie Sanders and ensure that Hillary Clinton won the race to become the Democratic nominee. That means that the Democratic Party, while holding itself out as running a fair nomination process to be determined by primaries and voters while the party played neutral referee, was in fact cheating. It was fixing the competition. It lied to Democratic voters and the nation.
I think that’s a big deal.
2. Objective observers and commentators knew this was the orientation of the DNC long before the leaks, of course. It was obvious, or should have been, that the fix was in. The party tried to make sure that no real competition for Clinton emerged to challenge her for the nomination, despite her obvious weaknesses as a candidate and her self-evident corruption. All that Hillary had to overcome were a Star Wars cantina of token opposition: Sanders, an elderly socialist crackpot; Jim Webb, a conservative, sort-of-Democrat maverick with even less charm than Hillary; Martin O’Malley, a lightweight former governor with no policy positions that varied significantly from Clinton’s, and whatever the heck ex-Republican Lincoln Chafee was supposed to be. Even against this motley crew, Hillary might well have lost in a fair contest, just as she did to an unproven, inexperienced junior Senator from Illinois in 2008. But Clintons don’t do “fair,” and the DNC was willing to serve as her accomplice. Thus the party appointed Hillary-supporting “superdelegates,” including Hillary’s husband and many former Clinton appointees and previous enablers. Thus they held as many debates as possible on weekends and opposite major sporting events, so as few undecided people as possible would be exposed to the inevitable Clinton gaffes, lies, and awkward public persona.
2. There should be little sympathy for indignant Democrats who are shocked—-shocked!—that the leaked emails show that the DNC was trying to sabotage Sanders and push Clinton over the finish line. Hillary cheats. Everyone knows that. Everyone knew that before she announced her candidacy. She was cheating all along, just like she was lying about her State Department e-mails all along, and continues to lie about her Goldman Sachs speeches. Knowing all that, with an obligation to his conveniently adopted party and his principles to try to stop a manifestly unfit woman from gaining power, Bernie Sanders still refused to attack Clinton where she is least fit to be President: her character. All the pieces were there. If the Wikileaks leaks were necessary for Sanders and his supporters to figure out that they were the marks in a rigged game, they are too gullible and pathetic to be involved in politics.
3. It is ironic, is it not? The GOP’s mistake was giving a fair chance to win the nomination to a destructive, unfit candidate whom they should have banned at the outset. The Democrats ensured that their process would not be fair and open like the Republicans fiasco, to guarantee the nomination of someone just as corrupt as Trump, and almost as unfit to hold high office.
4. The DNC plotting was revealed in the leaked e-mails as blatant and vicious. For example, DNC CEO Amy Dacey outlined a scheme to raise questions about Sanders’ religion to undermine him with Christian voters in the South. An attorney advised the committee regarding the best defense of Clinton after the Sanders campaign accused her of violating a joint fundraising agreement.The stark betrayal creates an ethics test for Sanders and his supporters. Why would he endorse Clinton, knowing this? Why should he be loyal to a party that treated him this way? Why would Sanders supporters remain loyal to the Democratic Party after learning how Sanders was treated? Why would they go to the polls to vote for Clinton, who undoubtedly coordinated it all, or at very least was aware that she was being unfairly assisted?
These citizens gave money, time and passion believing that they had a chance, and behind their backs, the party wasn’t just putting its finger on the scale, but sitting on it.
5. Democrats, those with any shred of integrity at least, now should understand my assessment years ago that Hillary Clinton, like her husband, is one of those corroding cultural pathogens known as an Ethics Corrupter. She corrupts everything and everyone she comes in contact with. She corrupted the State Department, and now the e-mails show that she corrupted the Democratic Party’s management and leadership. Now what?
6. More irony: the only remaining justification Republicans have for supporting the atrocious Donald Trump is that Hillary Clinton is too corrupt to be President. The Wikileaks leaks just bolstered their argument, and also left Democrats with the sole justification for supporting Clinton the conclusion that even she is less dangerous than Donald Trump. I wonder how confident the non-corrupted among them are of that conclusion.
7. The closest comparison I can find with Hillary Clinton, ethically and historically, is Richard Nixon. Like Nixon, she has proceeded to advance in her ambitions despite there long-standing concerns about her character. Like Nixon, she fully embraces the concept that the ends justify the means, and among those justifying ends are her achieving great power. Like Nixon, she has corrupted her party, and like Nixon in 1972, she did not have sufficient confidence in her ability to win a fair competition, and so sought unethical means to undermine the process, and democracy.
More irony: Hillary’s introduction to national politics was as a Hill lawyer investigating Watergate. She appears to have learned the wrong lessons from the experience.
8. You will glean from these observations that I am convinced that Hillary Clinton knew that the DNC was working as her ally, and to the extent possible, coordinated that unethical alliance. No, the smoking gun e-mail that proves that has not surfaced (yet). Competent lawyers often make sure that everything is handled orally when they don’t want their strategies discovered by unfriendly forces. With all the contact between the party, Bill Clinton and Hillary, it is not possible that the Clinton camp wasn’t aware that the DNC was clearing its path, and highly unlikely that it wasn’t involved in the conspiracy.
9. Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said his team was “disappointed” by the e-mails—you know, like Chamberlain was disappointed when Hitler invaded Poland?— and added that “Someone does have to be held accountable.” That’s rich, isn’t it? This was the epitome of a fait accompli. Accountability for anyone but Hillary Clinton is meaningless at this point, and like fair, Clintons also don’t do accountability. Maybe Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s head will roll, but so what? The damage is done, Clinton got what she wanted, and Debbie’s head is of dubious utility anyway.
This just came in since I started writing the post. Here’s your “accountability,” Jeff: Wasserman Schultz won’t get to speak at the convention.
Oooh, that will teach Hillary not to cheat…
10. More to not be surprised about: the mainstream media tried to bury this damaging scandal, using Clinton’s choosing Tim Kaine as her running mate to justify pushing it off the list of top stories. (As of an 11 PM last night, when I started writing this, Google News didn’t list the scandal as a “top story.” ) The e-mails are, to any objective citizen, a much more important story than Clinton’s VP choice; after all, she was going to have to choose someone within a week anyway. The revelation that the entity overseeing the Democratic nomination process was secretly plotting to help Clinton and sink Sanders show us an attack on democracy itself by one of the two major political parties.
Isn’t that obviously more important than another symbolic development in the false veneer of democracy being shown to Democrats and the public?
11. Twitter, meanwhile, showed its loyalties by taking the story off its “trending” list for no discernible reason. No, the DNC isn’t the only one trying to fix the game for Hillary Clinton.
12. Wikileaks is a chaotic entity seeking conflict, distrust and anarchy. All of those involved are criminals, and any benefits their crimes happen to bestow are moral luck, and do not in any way justify their methods.
13. Donald Trump spent much of his speech decrying the “fixed” system in America. Democrats and progressives said that they found his speech “scary.” They should be frightened that he was right, at least about their party.
14. This post gets the “This Will Help Elect Donald Trump” category marker, and Democrats have no one but themselves to blame. I wonder how many of these there will be?