Wikileaks Takes Down DNC Chair on Convention Eve

The Bernie Sanders campaign spent quite a bit of time trying to interest the media in a story about Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her pro-Clinton bias. The media ignored the story until yesterday, shortly after Wikileaks released thousands of e-mails that proved the Sanders’ claim. The Congresswoman is leaving her post immediately after the convention, which suggests the Clintonistas will be sorry to see her go, or she would be gone now. The DNC, of course, has never been neutral in the selection of candidates for the presidency, but the naive are appalled at this. Here, the position is a bit different. She and her posse need to be drummed out of the party for gross stupidity. Writing down the kinds of things in those emails is criminally dumb.

The total number of emails approached 20,000, and they are certain to have been taken from the DNC server when it was hacked by the Russian security agencies earlier this year. Leaving aside the Russian dimension (which is clearly a hamfisted attempt by the Putinistas to influence the American election, something the Russians have tried to do since the 1920s). Given that provenance and the fact that the Democratic Party has responded to a man by accepting their authenticity, it is clear that the DNC was in the tank for the Clinton campaign from the beginning.

A quick review of the last few decades will demonstrate that the DNC is never neutral. After the McGovern people took over the party in 1972 and after the disaster of the Carter re-election failure, the DNC has consistently put its finger on the scales in favor of “safe” candidates. In 1984, former Vice President Mondale was given major support against Colorado Senator Gary Hart. In 1988, nominating Michael Dukakis was secondary in many minds to stopping Jesse Jackson. In 1992, Larry Agran was prevented from joining the debates. and Jerry Brown was smeared for his style by the Democratic Leadership Council and the DNC, who preferred Mario Cuomo (who didn’t run), Bill Clinton and Paul Tsongas. In 2000, Senator Bill Bradley’s campaign was undermined in favor of Al Gore. In 2008, Hillary Clinton was clearly favored by the party, but grass roots enthusiasm prevailed to elect Barack Obama.

To be quite honest, there is no reason for the DNC to run perfectly fair elections. It has a vested interest in the outcome. It desires a candidate who can win and who will do the appropriate favors for the other members of the party. Choosing a loser is not something the DNC can live with, nor can any party’s central committee (what the DNC truly is). The primary and caucus system give the average voter input into the decision, but the party apparatchiks are in a position to know better who can win and who will do the right things in office. That is not to say that the DNC is right to do these things, nor that the DNC picks the right candidate (this journal believes Mr. Sanders would be a better choice for the party and the country). One merely means that the pros whose livelihood depends on a given outcome would be fools not to try to get that outcome.

What is appalling about the email scandal is that this sort of conspiracy (for that is what it was) was conducted by email. The American political class has a ridiculous habit of taking notes at all times and of sending texts and emails that contain compromising information. When conspiring to arrange the election of a given candidate, one cannot be seen to do so. Leaving behind evidence of doing so is sloppy amateurism. Every camera and microphone must be assumed to be live, every person in earshot must be assumed to be hostile and every communication must be voice only, and ideally done face-to-face. The mafia understands this; that’s why taking down organized crime is so hard.

The DNC has been caught being a crooked referee, and for that, Chairwoman Wasserman Schultz needs to go. However, replacing her will not change the nature nor the behavior of the DNC. Maybe the next chairperson will understand operating under Moscow Rules.