The AP has decided to declare Hillary Clinton the winner of the Democratic primary on the night before millions of voters head out to the polls.
A consequence of such headlines is unduly influencing an election through the effect of discouraging voters. Tampering with the outcome of an election is a serious matter, and attempting to influence voters in this way is a type of interference. The AP has no more power to call an election than I do. What’s more, the breaking news isn’t that Clinton was declared the winner, but that in a survey the AP conducted, they think she has enough delegates. The two are not the same. It’s a good thing some in the DNC are putting the brakes on this early coronation, but such brakes should be applied by those at the very top and very firmly, at that.
Where the Director of Communications for the Democratic Party tells CNN they SHOULD NOT count super-delegates yet.https://t.co/GzrimDd9vm
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) June 5, 2016
But even if the AP turns out to be right, there is still the matter of tomorrow’s primaries in eight states and, in a few more days, the District of Columbia. It isn’t until the Democratic convention takes place and the delegates have their say that we will finally have an actual nominee.
Then, the AP is leading the charge with a widely quoted report based on unnamed sources that a deal is coming together between the White House and Clinton campaign to coordinate President Obama’s endorsement of Clinton, tomorrow, voting day.
If true, announcing such a thing before the convention would be very premature and in bad form.
But there is also the fact that there is that one sticky item the White House should settle before making such an announcement: Clinton’s email problem. Judicial Watch is still taking depositions from former Clinton State Department staffers and the FBI isn’t done yet with its investigation. Assuming the latter is truly being done in an independent fashion, for as long as there is some chance Clinton may have a legal problem, an endorsement should be withheld. How much of a chance? Well, her former IT guys was given immunity and in his deposition in the Judicial Watch case, he did reveal some things that are perplexing. Maybe this all amounts to nothing in the end, maybe not. But the point here is that there still are ongoing processes.
Establishment forces are having a panic attack at the moment, as, weeks ago, it was assumed that the problem of getting a quick nomination would be the GOP’s and not the DNC. But here we are, and let us not forget that, like it or not, nearly half of the Democratic party voter base chose Bernie Sanders. This political revolution isn’t going away any time soon, regardless of outcome. In fact, depending on how things go at the convention, it can go one of three ways:
- The sides don’t come to an agreement and the progressives split
- The sides come to an agreement but the candidate pivots away from agreed upon platform planks
- The election comes and goes and the president deviates from platform and triangulates positions away
While some may be in a rush to get the deal closed, there is still an order to things and it must be followed. Among the many things this primary has done is that it has spurred a movement to reform DNC rules, especially where superdelegates are concerned. The bigger consequence of this election, however, is that the political revolution isn’t a goal of the primary, but a goal for progressive politics going forward.
Establishment Democrats seem to either be clueless as to voter sentiment or arrogant in their assumption that, no matter how pushy they get, their actions will be forgiven and forgotten. The level of discontent among at least a third of voters is quite high and anger is palpable across the entire electorate. Playing mind games like these hasn’t been going over well. Why exacerbate an already tense situation with this kind of in your face rubbing salt in an open wound and risk widening an already sizable rift to the point it cannot be mended?
This cycle is more akin to 1968 than it is 2008. There is much that has been bubbling just under the surface. So, please, grab yourself a cup of hot chamomile tea and buckle your seat belt. It’s going to be some ride until we get through Philadelphia!
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