Did the DNC do enough to curb the fears of their liberal base?
Originally the Democratic National Convention was billed to be a pretty uneventful one this week. Then this happened:
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 23, 2016
And then, this happened:
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 23, 2016
While many fears of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party have been subsided, there are still many that feel that the Democratic Establishment have drowned out their voices. For many, particularly Sanders supporters, the two instances confirmed what many had feared; that their ideas are being ignored within the Democratic Party.
This could be seen this week as many were protesting outside the convention hall to voice their discontent over how the Democratic National Committee have ignored their candidate and positions.
However, it’s gotten pretty bad. Here’s Bernie Sanders making the case on why his supporters should support Hillary Clinton in the general election and getting booed by the crowd, AT HIS OWN RALLY!
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 25, 2016
Why are some liberals so upset with the Democratic Party in particular? As we said, some of their anger stems from two particular incidences over last weekend.
Tim Kaine VP Concerns
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine is very popular among his Democratic peers and in addition to that, Kaine is a really smart choice for the Clinton campaign in terms of attracting independent voters. For “traditional Democrats”, Kaine as Hillary Clinton’s VP is a great choice as running mate. But for liberals in the Democratic Party, you can see why they would feel a tad jilted from the pick.
For weeks the Clinton campaign had been vetting probable progressive heavyweights like Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren, yet by picking someone like Kaine, many liberals had felt the Clinton campaign had completely ignored their interests. Most felt that after Sanders’ performance at the Democratic primaries that Clinton would go for a more liberal VP pick. What they got instead was Tim Kaine.
Now that isn’t to insinuate that Kaine is a conservative by any means – his voting record generally falls in-line with the Democratic Party – regardless, he’s definitely not the “progressive pick” that some liberals hoped for. As a Pro-Choice Democrat and someone who has vocalized his success of cutting more than $5 billion from the state’s budget (which would mean a reduction of social programs), he is far from a progressive choice as VP. From a campaign that REALLY wants liberals to vote for Clinton in November, many are feeling that the Clinton campaign is simply just paying them lip service.
The bigger source of anger – especially from Sanders fans – comes within the contents of the hacked emails from the DNC. Wikileaks had released over 20,000 emails that had been taken from DNC servers by hackers last weekend.
To be clear, the emails absolutely show no proof that DNC resources were either being used to help Clinton or hurt Sanders, yet they definitely were not pleased that Sanders was doing as well as he was in the primaries. While the emails of top DNC officials didn’t have anything particularly nefarious within their contents, it did however show a general disdain for the Bernie Sanders campaign. The email exchange between two DNC staffers that were questioning how Sanders’ religious beliefs – or lack thereof – could potentially be used against him in the primaries, particularly didn’t go over too well with many Sanders voters.
Even though the DNC officially apologized to the Sanders campaign and Debbie Wasserman Shultz had to step down as the DNC’s chair, for Sanders’ supporters the emails confirmed something much deeper that they always assumed about the Democratic Party; that the DNC did not want Sanders as their nominee. Some of them – the “Bernie-or-Bust” supporters we talked to anyway – felt betrayed by the Democratic Party and all the emails did was confirm their suspicions of the DNC to be correct.
It’s honestly hard to say how liberals will feel about Hillary Clinton when they leave Philadelphia this week. Some that were very adamant against Clinton early on have softened during the week, yet others continue to staunchly hold the position that they will be voting for someone else come November. Day 1 of the DNC looked to be a consorted effort by the Democratic Party to bring many of those naysayers into the fold, whether that outreach worked will only be known till after the convention.
(Photo Credits: CNN’s YouTube Channel, Wikipedia)