If Democrats expect the Republican Convention clown show last week to automatically make the DNC look like a smooth, unifying parade—they better look out the window real soon.
Why wouldn’t they in the aftermath of the recent WikiLeaks dump of nearly 20,000 DNC emails—which show the supposedly neutral arm of the party campaigning to discredit and mock Bernie Sanders; a fact that Sanders and his legion of supporters have been railing about for months, only to be knocked down as “conspiracy theorists.”
To save face, the Democrats forced Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign as party chairwoman. But unfortunately for the establishment, the gasoline has already been poured onto the ever-growing fire of revolt against the Democratic Party—and there’s no sign of those flames dwindling.
Shockingly, their tone deafness struck again as Clinton decided to name Wasserman Schultz as an “honorary chair” of her campaign.
This is bad news for the “let’s unify” crowd; who hoped this week would be dedicated to bashing Donald Trump and bringing liberals, centrists and conservative Democrats together against a common enemy.
Even with Wasserman Schultz out, it’s highly likely we’ll see the boo birds out frequently as establishment lawmakers and party operatives give speeches sticking to the anti-Trump playbook while tossing out the phrase middle class early and often to fill their populism quota.
We can also expect to see a convention built less on progressive ideals and proposals for economic equality and poverty—and more on what a menace and danger Donald Trump is.
The true hallmark moments will come from Bernie Sanders and the current president.
Sanders, who had railed against the rigged primary for months, will likely rise above it all and deliver one of his patented progressive barn burners. He’ll also probably lob a few digs at establishment lawmakers watching on the convention floor.
His tone will most likely mix in his opposition against the status quo politics many Democrats in the room have helped perpetuate while simultaneously serving as a foil to Donald Trump, pointing out why he’s really not the populist he’s pretending to be.
Like in 2004—when many at home were left wondering why the well-spoken, inspiring guy named Obama wasn’t the candidate instead of John Kerry—there will be plenty of media reaction (and this time social media reaction) belatedly wondering whether Sanders is the candidate who would’ve given Democrats the best chance to defeat Trump.
After Sanders, President Obama issues his final high-profile defense of Obama-ism on Wednesday; one that reminds Americans that he saved the economy from a Great Depression-like collapse while also delivering the closest thing to universal healthcare the U.S. has ever seen.
But the problem is progressives, independents, and apolitical Americans alike don’t feel the benefits of those accomplishments Obama will boast about.
More importantly, they don’t instinctively see or trust Hillary Clinton as a person who will take the more drastic measures needed to fix an economy that’s been tilted toward the 1 percent since Ronald Reagan created government-by-social darwinism.
And so, on Thursday night, Hillary Clinton will get her best chance to decide…who Hillary Clinton is.
Long criticized as your classic scripted, poll-tested-for-every-word politician, Clinton will have to sell Americans, not just on why Donald Trump is unacceptable, but on why she should be trusted to deliver anything more than the status quo.
With thousands of progressives shouting all week that they don’t believe her, Hillary, and the establishment, will be hanging on for dear life.
Commentary by Jordan Chariton, a political reporter for The Young Turks, reporting on the presidential campaign trail. He can be seen onTYT Politics. Before TYT, Jordan was a reporter for TheWrap and TVNewser. Follow him on Twitter @JordanChariton.
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