Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What a hurry and a scurry and a flurry . . .

I'm not generally impressed by or interested in political party conventions.  They're heavily scripted public relations exercises, designed to portray the party and its candidates in the best possible light.  However, when things go wrong, they can become a lot of fun - at least to outside spectators.

I'm afraid the high jinks and shenanigans surrounding the Democratic Party convention in Philadelphia this week have been so delicious as to provoke the onset of schadenfreude.  Frankly, the consequences of the party bureaucracy's misconduct are richly deserved, and one can only hope there's more to come.  They deserve every bit of it.  The party structure is supposed to be neutral towards its candidates until one is selected, whereupon it swings into action to support the chosen candidate(s) during the election process.  Instead, it turns out that the Democratic National Committee has been partisan throughout the selection process, actively conspiring against one candidate and for another, and hoodwinking the party's own members in the process.  No wonder the members are angry.  They have every reason to be!

What I find most strange about this whole thing is that more heads have not rolled over the issue.  Only the DNC's chairperson has resigned - and that won't take effect until after the convention.  For such egregious misconduct, one would have expected that every single person involved should have resigned the moment their activities were uncovered.  If they did not do so, someone should have fired their asses instanter.  However, such conduct is apparently too honorable to be expected.  I seriously question whether most of the guilty parties will be punished at all.  The ethical and moral blindness of the party's leadership is astonishing.

I suppose, in a way, it's similar to the problem that the Republican party establishment had with Donald Trump.  He defied the establishment, running his own campaign his own way, and going over the heads of the party's bureaucracy to appeal directly to its members.  He succeeded.  His Democratic Party rival, Bernie Sanders, tried valiantly, but couldn't overcome the entrenched establishment of his party in the same way.  I think that was a great pity, for the sake of American democracy overall.  There's nothing like skewering the self-proclaimed powers that be!

I'm also greatly enjoying the DNC's attempts to 'spin' the crisis.  They're now trying to blame President Putin of Russia for the debacle.  I don't think he'd have hesitated for a moment to arrange it, if he could have;  but the DNC should pause to think about that.  If he is, indeed, behind the Wikileaks revelations, why would he release so many of them now?  Surely he should have held onto them until they could have the greatest impact on the electorate as a whole, just before the election date?  To me, that suggests that if he is involved, he's 'keeping the best wine until last' - he's got a whole lot more information that he's going to release at the most appropriate moment, from his point of view.  Some people in the DNC appear to be very worried about that - with good reason.  (It would be the best possible outcome, IMHO, of Hillary Clinton's criminal misconduct in using an unsecured private e-mail system for classified communications of state.  Serves her right!)

Of particular irony is this comment:

If the Russians were behind the leaks, said former CIA director Michael Hayden, “they’re clearly taking their game to another level. It would be weaponizing information.” He added: “You don’t want a foreign power affecting your election. We have laws against that.”

Oh, really?  Well, Mr. Hayden, what about US interference with elections in Ukraine a couple of years ago - interference that had a great deal to do with subsequent Russian intervention in that country?  'We have laws against that', you say?  Well, then, why didn't the US government itself obey them?  It's not the first time the USA has done that, of course.  Try Haiti and Chile, among others.  Pot, meet kettle.  Kettle, pot.

You know what would be the best possible outcome of this whole kerfuffle?  Let disgruntled Republicans, who can't stand the thought of Donald Trump as their party's candidate, vote instead for Governor Johnson of the Libertarian Party.  Let disgruntled pro-Bernie Sanders Democrats, who can't stand the thought of Hillary Clinton as their party's candidate, vote instead for Jill Stein of the Green Party.  With luck, this will lift both minor parties out of the doldrums and into the mainstream of future political activity.  That might be the beginning of the end of the US's de facto two-party system.  Far better, IMHO, to have four mainstream parties, and meaningful choice for the electorate.  Bring it!



Anonymous said...

Apparently, the Democratic Convention has segregated bathrooms, too!! Men must use the men's and women must use the women's. Where's my class action lawyer?

Joe in PNG said...

Sadly, despite the outrage, most will fall into line and vote Hillary.
This year, both parties were able to find the one person most abhorrent to the other side's voters, the perfect "vote against" candidates.

Eric Wilner said...

With California's new "open primary" system, the party that plays by the rules and waits for the voters to choose a candidate from a healthy field in the June "primary" risks having no candidate at all on the November ballot.
I'm still registered Republican (from a couple of cycles back, when I wanted to vote for Fred in the primary), and saw no sign of any pre-"primary" organization. I'm guessing the Democrats had some sort of get-out-the-vote drive on behalf of their pre-selected candidates.

Anonymous said...

A four party system would kill the US. I don't much like the two we have, but without a full on majority in Congress, we would be at the mercy of a coalition. Talk about a mess.

I think it would be far better for the democrat lite republicans to run as democrats. I don't really know of a republican lite democrat.

I do have to admit to a bit of dark enjoyment with all the monkey poop flying in Philly.....

dirty dingus said...

One way of looking at this is that this is a public warning to Clinton that if she doesn't do as Putin wants she'll get all her emails dropped.

It will be interesting to see how she shapes her policy wrt Russian interests over the next few months

Anonymous said...

To be fair we would most likely not have four parties for very long given our system of government. Just like we no longer have a Whig party, it is most likely one of the other parties would simply fade out.

Anonymous said...

I don't blame the Dems at all for the way they handled Bernie. He wasn't a party member until it was time to run for the POTUS. They should have just stated he was Bern the Usurper from the beginning.

What is enlightening is the party of inclusion is just as petty about peoples differences as they claim the GOP is.


Ray said...

The us will always be a 2 party system, with the current voting system. Meaningful 3rd parties have arisen, and been absorbed into one of the top two parties.

Anonymous said...

Well, they wanted a repeat of '68 and they got it. Except now Wasserman-Schultz and co. are "The Man" that the young upstarts are sticking it to. That was not supposed to happen!

Heh, heh, heh. *goes to refill popcorn bowl*


Anonymous said...

On Ukraine, I call bs on the article. Us involvement was words and some democracy training (training was also done in Egypt). Russia has used little green men (Russian forces sans insignia) to force revolts in Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, etc. Russia likes having frozen conflicts they can restart at any time. It gives them a lot of power. Ukraine's resistance was more than they expected. Frozen conflicts include Moldavia, Georgia, Ukraine, and Armenia. This has been noticed by other Russian neighbors, especially the stans, Poland, and Baltic's. Us played checkers, while Russia did chess. Russia took risks, while the us did business as usual.

Another anon

August said...

The best outcome would be for the elites to do something stupid. If the libertarian and green parties got more votes, that might look good, but it doesn't fix the underlying structure.

Anonymous said...

"We have laws against that". Oh sure, NOW they want the rule of law...

We've been interfering in the elections of other countries for many decades, and now we get all puffed up at the notion (whether true or not, I don't know) that someone may be trying to play with ours?
Gimme a break.

Sic ol' FBI Comey on 'em - then they'll be sorry... or doubled over with laughter.

- Charlie

Uncle Lar said...

It seems apparent to me that in the DNC's alternate reality the only thing they did wrong is to get caught.
Even their spin such as it is does not deny the contents of those e-mails, it deflects the attention onto who may purportedly have been responsible for the hack that uncovered them.
Deny, deflect, minimize the seriousness of your crimes, this is what the Democrats do. And it's why Hillary Clinton is their perfect candidate.
After all her crimes, all the sins of the DNC, all the failures of eight years of Obama, she is still probably going to win. Because her base simply does not care. Everything being done after all is done to gain power, and that power will be used to make the country behave in the manner that they insist is the only right and proper way.
That this is impossible on the face of it given human nature means nothing, no more than it did to the power seekers in Nazi Germany, the USSR, or Communist China as millions of their own people died. Reason and logic do not matter as they are consumed by their liberal progressive socialist religious beliefs.

Anonymous said...

The silent elephant in the room regarding the WikiLeaks hacked email - if Russia was able to hack the DNC, what makes anyone think the same party didn't hack Secretary Clinton's server as well ? What information (private and government) may have been compromised ? Will the hackers make that public knowledge or is it too good to let us know that they have that information.

Quartermaster said...

Agree with Anonymous above. We did not interfere in Ukrainian elections. Yanukovych had decided not to sign on with the EU association and was getting ready to sell out Ukraine to Putin, and the people would have nothing to do with that. People came from all over teh country to protest,. If Yanukovych had left things alone, and simply backed down, things would have calmed down, but he didn't. instead, it appears he gave orders to the Berkut to start killing people on the Maidan, and that was the end of Yanukovych. He ran for Russia as did much of the Berkut. Putin gave him citizenship to prevent his extradition.

Yanukovych is still a wanted man in Ukraine and he has to watch his step because if he leaves the country there are international warrants outstanding on him and he will find himself in chains with a one way ticket home.

Putin is the man that has been stirring problems locally for a number of years. The only thing that is not his, other than maintaining it, is the business in Moldova. that started under Yeltsin. Putin is the man that is dangerous to his neighbors. We're still home playing marbles.

Peter said...

@Quartermaster: Sorry, but you're wrong. The USA did actively interfere in Ukrainian elections - the evidence is clear. It's been commented on at length in European newspapers for years (usually unfavorably). Regrettably, US news media have been a lot less thorough in their coverage of it.

Anonymous said...

I just don't see the us government as being competent enough to interfere in anyone's elections now after the via got gutted by the Church hearings.

The anti Americanism in many European newspapers, such as the guardian above that equated us actions to Russian is business as usual.

The us does do democracy trainings worldwide. I question how effective they have been...

Soros I am not do sure of with his funding worldwide... From blm to ?

Another anon

Dirk said...

"The ethical and moral blindness of the party's leadership is astonishing."

Not really...after all, they're behind Hillary, and we know what she's guilty of, allegedly.

Genericviews said...

“You don’t want a foreign power affecting your election. We have laws against that.”

Hahaha. You mean, something... something... Taking money from foreign countries is bad, M'Kay? Like the Clintons have always done? Fundraising from China from the VP office (Al Gore). Selling the Entire US patent data base to China under the last Clinton administration in exchange for bundled Chinese donations?

Stu Garfath, Sydney. OZ. said...

'The DNC's chairperson has resigned'.
I am well aware that the P. C. brigade have manipulated and bastardised the English language in many instances, one of which is the enforced use of Chairperson.
When I was in high school in the mid 60s, the word was Chairman, which, we were told by my English teacher, was a truncation/shortening of the word Chairmanager, the description, title and word has never had anything whatsoever to do with gender.