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!