Jul 23, 2016

Yesterday Was Horrible for Progressives

While yesterday may have been a big day for the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton, for American progressives, it was marred by infuriating leaks and frustrating announcements.

The biggest news of the day: Clinton selected Virginia senator Tim Kaine as her running mate. A clean cut pick from a battleground state? Sure, but is he really the right pick for Clinton in a year that's going to be remembered for its populist fervor? Probably not. And progressives are reacting accordingly.

Kaine has already been receiving criticism from progressive groups like the PCCC over his support of the TPP. In fact, Kaine voted to fast track the trade deal that so many populists - including both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders - vehemently oppose.

Kaine is also under fire from progressives over his support for decreasing banking regulations. It's worth noting that the third biggest industry contributing to Kaine is the securities and investment industry. This won't help Clinton's image as the "Wall Street candidate."

But perhaps the worst thing about Kaine is that he is a giant slap in the face to Sanders supporters. Clinton had a chance to pick a running mate that would have appealed to a split party, acknowledging the vocal progressive wing that is reluctant to switch support from Sanders to Clinton. In selecting Kaine, Clinton seems to be simply turning her back on a potential schism in the party. Filmmaker and ardent Sanders supporter Michael Moore summed the situation up nicely in a tweet: "Show me 1 voter gained by naming Tim Kaine. Att'n Hillary campaign: It's not Trump who'll beat u. It's the people who are going to stay home."

But in the disaster that was yesterday, Tim Kaine was only half of the bad news for progressives.

Progressives on Twitter were fired up about a WikiLeaks dump that released 19,252 emails from the DNC. It seems as though the suspicions of Sanders supporters were confirmed: the DNC was deliberately working against the Sanders campaign.

The emails show not only an obvious bias towards Clinton during a time the DNC claimed to be neutral, but also an intense dislike of Sanders. Some of the leaked emails that were particularly fascinating to me included one in which the Sanders campaign was laughed at for wanting a debate ahead of the California primary, an email where DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz calls Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver an "ass," and my personal favorite, in which Wasserman Schultz calls the prospect of a Sanders presidency "silly." Perhaps the most objectively horrible email is the one where the DNC seems to be trying to use Sanders' faith against him. 

Between a disappointing running mate for Clinton and a leak that proved the DNC was working against Bernie Sanders, progressives truly had a horrible day yesterday. Maybe this isn't the best way to go into the convention....

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