For an unstoppable, inevitable, entrenched monolith of a sure-thing campaign, Hillary Clinton's sure is fraught with insecure, vindictive supporters. Hillary secured the nomination months ago. By most plausible reckoning, she's going to win the Presidency. You'd think her campaign, surrogates, and supporters would lay the hell off of the nearly forty percent of the party whose votes they say they still want.
But, no, they go right ahead lecturing. TPM's Josh Marshall, who has seemed on the edge of a nervous breakdown throughout the primary this year, threw yet another fit on Twitter yesterday at the impudence of "a small vandguardist/wrecker element" threatening to ruin everything just by being disappointed, I guess. It's truly bizarre to see grown political professionals act out with this level of paranoia.
The disturbing thing is that Marshall and Clinton wing liberals like him aren't just angry at their fellow Democrats for preferring another candidate in the primary. Instead they are maniacally fixated on stamping out any and all criticism. Marshall even tacitly acknowledges this himself, admitting that disaffected Sanders supporters can't and won't negatively affect Hillary's chances through their vote because, well, the polling tells us they can't and won't do that. Furthermore, even if a let-down Left did have an impact at the margins in terms of either reduced turn-out or third party defections, the Clinton strategy has already accounted for such a scenario. We discussed this further the other day, but, in short, they're planning to win by flipping white anti-Trump conservatives first and then assuming enough of the base turns out to finish the job.
This is a wacky campaign, of course, but things do seem pretty well in hand. So what is the deal with all these pissed off Clintonites? Why do they insist that everyone not only support but also love Big Brother? Why are they so fixated on the notion of "Unity"?
Unity is a meaningless concept in and of itself. So, naturally, the press made it the dominant narrative question of the convention. "Can the Democrats achieve Unity?" asked about a billion headlines this week. But finding "unity"of mind in the sense that the MSM.. and, apparently.. a lot of the Clinton people define it is a) creepy and undemocratic and, more importantly, b) not even the damn point of the convention in the first place.
The Democratic Party is, and has long been, a complicated coalition. Unlike the relatively homogeneous Republicans, the Democrats stitch together a broad fabric of diverse groups with disparate interests who often work at cross purposes and sometimes even hate each other. There were some high profile arguments this year but, really, they fight like this at every convention. 2016 is more pronounced given the circumstances of the contentious primary. But it's not unique and it's nothing to have been worried about. If anything, it's a sign that passions are high and people are engaged in the work.
And that work isn't about finding unity of mind or, as Mitch Landrieu likes to say, "One Voice." Democrats don't have one voice. It isn't necessary to be unified in that sense in order to achieve solidarity of purpose. That purpose is mobilizing the troops such that they vote in sufficient numbers to defeat the opposing party in this year's election. Aside from that, everybody can go right on disagreeing with each other.
From the looks of things, the 2016 Democratic Convention did its job as well as any. All that's left now is just to keep calm, go vote, and then we'll all get started on figuring out the next steps. In the meantime, knock it off with the unity talk. We're already good on that front.