Last week, the Republicans revealed to the world how untrustworthy it had become under the curse of Donald Trump during its ugly convention. The Democratic Party has, against all odds, still managed to equal them, proving beyond all doubt that it is equally untrustworthy—and equally loathsome—before its convention even started. Debating which party debased itself more is a ludicrous exercise—“more untrustworthy” is like “more pregnant”—but boy, it’s hard to conceive of more cynical, “We’re corrupt to the core and proud of it!” behavior than the Democratic Party’s reaction to the Wikileak-ed DNC e-mails.
Many of my progressive Facebook friends spent last week knocking themselves out gloating, and writing screeds beginning with “How can anyone look at themselves in the mirror and say they support the Republican Party?” If they have integrity—and most of them don’t, being thoroughly infected with partyism, bias, and Clinton Corruption–they will be asking their mirrors the same question, with the substitution of one key word.
Here is the unethical aftermath as it has unfolded so far, and what it revealed to anyone not in denial:
1. As I predicted, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was designated official scapegoat for the entire party’s primary season-wide cheat, as if she rigged the nomination all by herself, and nobody else knew. Indeed, the damning e-mails revealed that the whole DNC staff management was involved in an organization-wide plot to guarantee the nomination for Clinton, undermine Sanders, and lie to the nation that it was an open and fair process. If the staff knew, the party leaders knew. If the party leaders knew, Hillary Clinton knew….and anyone who argues that she didn’t know is either so dumb or so corrupt themselves that I wouldn’t recommend letting them house-sit for you.
My brain hurts from trying to come up with a suitably descriptive analogy. Is this like one of bullet-riddled Sonny Corleone’s assassins kissing his forehead and saying “There! Boo-boo all better?” Is it as if Major League Baseball’s response to the 1919 Black Sox scandal and its rigged World Series was to fire the corrupted team’s manager and let the players who took the bribes continue as if nothing happened? The best analogy is probably the most obvious one: Wasserman Schultz is a scapegoat in the traditional sense of the word,symbolic living vessel atone for
2. Democrats added a new level of cynicism and sham to its version of scapegoating, however, because competent and principled Democrats had been calling for Wasserman Schultz to resign for years. In her role, she was an embarrassment to decent, honest Democrats—I just know they’re out there—long before Wikileaks. The major talent she displayed during her tenure was the ability to argue, shamelessly, on national TV that the sky wasn’t blue but orange, right after the weather report.
I’ve written about some of her unethical episodes—not even close to all of them, since tracking the unethical words of this woman warrants a dedicated blog —and the very fact that a major party would allow such a habitual liar and such a bad liar to represent it was itself signature significance of a corrupt organization.
Here’s just one example that should have done in DWS during the last Democratic National Convention:
In 2012, the Democrats approved a platform that removed any mention of God and the assertion that Jerusalem is the proper capital of Israel. After this was roundly slammed by conservative pundits and others, someone, maybe the President, then concluded that God and Jerusalem needed to go back into the platform to avoid alienating Jews and religious voters. This triggered a near riot on the convention floor, with some delegates booing the return of God and Jerusalem and, in a display of fake democracy that was often recalled last week after the GOP similarly ignored a voice vote that seemed to favor the Never-Trumps, the required two-third ayes were mysterious heard by the Convention Chair to pass the change.
All of this was on live TV and well-reported. Nonetheless, Wasserman Schultz went on CNN and denied it, saying, in effect, “What are you going to believe, me, or your own eyes?” She told CNN after the vote, “Essentially, with Jerusalem, it was a technical omission and nothing more than that…There was never any discussion or debate commentary over adding or subtracting it.” CNN White House correspondent Brianna Keilar asked her about the messy process of changing the platform, which took three voice votes, and the discord on the floor (exemplified by the televised and audible jeers and booing). Wasserman Schultz replied, “There wasn’t any discord.” Keilar persisted, noting that many delegates didn’t believe there was a two-thirds majority based on the voice vote. Wasserman Schultz replied, “It absolutely was two-thirds.” (There obviously was not.) Then Keilar noted that the final version of the platform was a reversal, since the Obama campaign had originally stated that it stood by the no-God, no-Jerusalem platform as it was originally passed.
“No, no, it’s not actually,” Wasserman Schultz said.
After showing this jaw-dropping example of a politician flagrantly lying and expecting her part members to accept fantasy as fact, Anderson Cooper told his panel back in the CNN studios:
“I just got to go to the panel with this. I mean, Debbie Wasserman Schultz said it wasn’t a change of language, there was no discord that we saw, and it was a two-thirds vote. [“And it was a technical oversight!” injected panelist David Gergen] I mean, that’s an alternate universe…I just think from a reality standpoint, you can defend it as the head of the DNC, but to say flat out there was no discord is just not true.”
This wasn’t an isolated incident. Debbie Wasserman Schultz did this kind of thing all the time. Thus the DNC’s response to e-mails showing that the party rigged its nomination process was to fire an obviously unethical official who made no secret of her dishonesty, and whose continued tenure had been an organizational ratification of lies, manipulation and corruption as business as usual.
3. Wasserman Schultz’s statement announcing her resignation (after the convention, she says, though there was, and maybe is, confusion about that) shows how devalued ethics has become in the party, and how trivially it is treated. She wrote:
“I have been privileged to serve as the DNC Chair for five and a half years helping to re-elect President Obama and Vice President Biden, strengthening our State Party Partnership in all 50 states, leading a vigorous primary election this past year while preparing for the general election and representing millions of Democrats across the country. I couldn’t be more excited that Democrats are nominating our first woman presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, a friend I have always believed in and know will be a great President. We arrived here in Philadelphia with the most inclusive and progressive platform the party has ever proposed and a unified recommendation from the Rules Committee on our path forward as Democrats. I am proud of my role in leading these efforts. My first priority has always been serving the people of the 23rd district of Florida and I look forward to continuing to do that as their member of Congress for years to come. As the mother of my three amazing children and the Representative of Florida’s 23rd congressional district, I know that electing Hillary Clinton as our next president is critical for America’s future. I look forward to serving as a surrogate for her campaign in Florida and across the country to ensure her victory. Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish those goals is to step down as Party Chair at the end of this convention. As Party Chair, this week I will open and close the Convention and I will address our delegates about the stakes involved in this election not only for Democrats, but for all Americans. We have planned a great and unified Convention this week and I hope and expect that the DNC team that has worked so hard to get us to this point will have the strong support of all Democrats in making sure this is the best convention we have ever had. I’ve been proud to serve as the first woman nominated by a sitting president as Chair of the Democratic National Committee and I am confident that the strong team in place will lead our party effectively through this election to elect Hillary Clinton as our 45th president.”
An ethical party simply cannot allow this if it really wants to show that it is mortified before the nation, and that it understands that rigging a nomination and lying about it was wrong. The statement never says why Wasserman Schultz is leaving the job. There is no apology, or even a hint of one. Indeed, her statement seems to confirm what the e-mails show. “I couldn’t be more excited that Democrats are nominating our first woman presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, a friend I have always believed in and know will be a great President” is an admission of bias and a conflict of interest. It tells us “I helped Hillary, and I’m proud of it.” She never suggests in the statement that she did her job fairly and without favoritism, because 1) she didn’t, 2) she doesn’t think that’s anything to apologize for, 3) the rest of the party knew she was a Clinton ally, 4) the party allowed her to rig the process, 5) it wanted her to rig the process, and 6) it was as involved in the fix as she was.
We also get a diversion: “the most inclusive and progressive platform the party has ever proposed,” meaning that “the ends justified the means,” the current progressive motto, and “We have planned a great and unified Convention this week,” more trademark Wasserman Schultz orange sky. Yes, the party sure looks unified, Debbie. If it’s so unified, why are you stepping down again?
There are a lot of really bad people in our political class, but none is more of an ethics blight on our culture than this horrible, arrogant woman—whom the Democratic Party allowed to be its spokesperson and face all these years. Her existence is signature significance. Ethical organizations don’t allow themselves to be represented by someone like this. They just don’t.
4. But “you ain’t seen nothing yet”! In a display of breathtaking defiance and open contempt for ethical values, Hillary Clinton released this:
Translation: “Debbie did a great job rigging the nomination for me. I’m grateful, I salute her efforts to successfully cheat Bernie Sanders, and I look forward to her using the same lack of integrity and respect for democracy to defeat the Republicans in November. Her removal from her position is no reflection on her or the party, just a political necessity and sop to spoil-sport Sanders supporters so they’ll swallow their indignation and embrace corruption like the rest of my supporters.”
This surprised even me. I assumed that Clinton would pay off Wasserman Schultz, but I assumed that she would have the decency to wait until the Gieger Counter stopped ticking. This time, the apt analogy is easier, though: Clinton’s statement recalls President Obama rewarding Susan Rice for her Sunday morning of lying repeatedly on news shows about Benghazi with a prestigious promotion to National Security Advisor . That was disgusting, but at least Obama had the decency to wait until after the scandal cooled. Clinton’s move was like Obama rewarding Rice the same week the news media realized that they had been played, along with the public.
5. Clinton’s immediate endorsement is even worse than that, though. One of the disclosures in the e-mail was that the DNC organized two anti-Donald Trump protests in South Bend, Indiana and Billings, Montana. The involvement of DNC Interns in such protests is mentioned tin the leaked emails twice . In another e-mail chain, DNC communications director Luis Miranda complained about photos of an empty anti-Trump protest in Washington, D.C., writing:
“Going forward, when our allies screw up and don’t deliver bodies in time, we either send all our interns out there or we stay away from it.. we don’t want to own a bad picture.”
These are the kinds of anti-democratic dirty tricks that characterized the activities of Richard Nixon’s campaign machine, and that led to Watergate. They are the kind of thuggery condemned by the new media then, and later in the film “All The President’s Men, ” based on the Washington Post’s reporting. (Has the Washington Post deemed evidence of similar conduct by Clinton’s Demaocrats newsworthy? Not as far as I can see. All of the reporting on the DNC’s dirty tricks is in conservative blogs and publications…which means, of course, that the story doesn’t count.)
What Clinton’s embrace of Wasserman Schultz also means, then, is this: “I am Richard Nixon in a pants suit. I will lie, cheat and distort the process in pursuit of power. But I am better than Nixon, because my goals are worthy ones, I am a woman, and unlike him, the news media will let me get away with everything.”
[Continued in Part 2…]