The Democrats watched the Republican National Convention on TV last week and gleefully rubbed their hands. When Texas senator Ted Cruz conspicuously and pointedly failed to endorse nominee Donald Trump, Democrats began deriding Republicans as a party divided and crowing about the united front that they – the Democrats – would be putting on display this week.
All of that went south in a heartbeat with a Wikileaks revelation of nearly 20,000 Democratic National Committee emails that clearly showed that the DNC had its thumb on the scale for Hillary Clinton.
Sanders supporters – most of whom suspected that the DNC was playing favorites – had their suspicions confirmed.
By the time delegates and the media began arriving here in Philadelphia on Sunday, Florida congresswoman and DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz had announced that she would be stepping down from her chairmanship post Friday morning. Yes, she would gavel the convention to order Monday afternoon and gavel it adjourned Thursday night. But then she would step down.
Before the sun was much above the horizon yesterday morning, that plan was out the window. She would have no role in the convention. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has left the building.
Bernie Sanders supporters were quite in evidence yesterday and many of them were making their displeasure known. Many of the pre-printed signs that read, “Love Trumps Hate” had been modified by delegates to read, “Love Bernie or Trump Wins.”
Sanders supporters feel – with considerable justification – that they have been screwed. Bernie’s 1,846 delegates – 46 percent of all delegates at the convention – are making their feelings known.
Party unity indeed.
There are thus some parallels between the GOP convention last week and the Democratic convention this week. In both cases, the primaries were bitterly fought. In the end, both parties wound down the primary season with two high profile candidates in the hunt. In both cases, there are some understandable hard feelings between those candidates.
But that’s where the two parties diverge.
Last week in Cleveland, Ted Cruz petulantly refused to endorse the party’s nominee. Not only did he decline to endorse, he said not a single complimentary word about Donald Trump.
But last night in Cleveland, Bernie Sanders swallowed his anger and spoke in support of Hillary Clinton. Clearly and unmistakably.
And thus we come to learn that in a heads up comparison – Ted Cruz vs. Bernie Sanders – Bernie Sanders is the better man.
Ted Cruz lost to Donald Trump but there is no evidence of any cheating. Donald Trump won the race fair and square.
Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, got screwed. It is likely that Hillary would have won the nomination anyway, but Sanders and his supporters are at least somewhat justified in feeling that they were unfairly treated by the DNC.
Yet Bernie Sanders put the interests of his (adopted) party first and himself second.
Ted Cruz did just the opposite.
Politics notwithstanding, hats off to Bernie.