Democrats From Bloggers to Al Sharpton Protest Clinton Attempts to Steal Nomination

Most likely the next President of the United States will be Barack Obama or John McCain. It is becoming increasingly difficult to see how Hillary Clinton can win the Democratic nomination without alienating so many Democrats by her tactics that they will either stay home or vote for McCain. Ezra Klein has also commented on this problem:

If Hillary Clinton does not win delegates out of a majority of contested primaries and caucuses, her aides are willing to rip the party apart to secure the nomination, to cheat in a way that will rend the Democratic coalition and probably destroy Clinton’s chances in the general election. Imagine the fury in the African-American community if Barack Obama leads in delegates but is denied the nomination because the Clinton campaign is able to change the rules to seat delegates from Michigan, where no other candidates were even on the ballot, and from Florida, where no one campaigned. Imagine the anger among the young voters Obama brought into the process, and was making into Democratic voters. Imagine the feeling of betrayal among his supporters more generally, and the disgust among independents watching the battle take place on the convention floor. Imagine how statesmanlike John McCain will look in comparison, how orderly and focused the Republican convention will appear.

This demonstrates not only a gross ruthlessness on the part of Clinton’s campaign, but an astonishingly cavalier attitude towards the preservation of the progressive coalition. To be willing to blithely rip it to shreds in order to wrest a nomination that’s not been fairly earned is not only low, but a demonstration of deeply pernicious priorities — namely, it’s an explicit statement that the campaign puts its own political success above the health of the party and the pursuit of progressive goals, and one can’t but help assume that’s exactly the attitude they would take towards governance, too.

I’ve already stated that should Clinton steal the nomination in this manner, my concerns for the preservation of the democratic process would out weight my considerable disagreements with John McCain on other issues. Preventing the election of Hillary Clinton would become my top electoral priority and I would vote for McCain. If I believed that Clinton’s election was likely, I would also be tempted to vote Republican for Congress and the Senate to increase the chances that, like with her husband, we would have a Republican Congress to keep her under control. (Hopefully they would exercise conventional checks and balances without going to the absurd extreme of impeachment.)

Of course that’s just my vote, but I bet that many others who would otherwise vote Democratic would do the same, or at least stay home on election day. We now have evidence that at least some blacks would also protest should Clinton steal the nomination. Al Sharpton has threatened protests and possible legal action:

Sharpton wrote: “I firmly believe that changing the rules now and seating delegates from Florida and Michigan at this point would not only violate the Democratic Party’s rules of fairness, but also would be a grave injustice.” The Rev. Al Sharpton yesterday said the Democratic Party would commit a “grave injustice” if it seated delegates from Florida and Michigan at the party’s national convention – and he threatened a march on the party’s Washington headquarters…Sharpton told The Post, “I think the DNC is playing a dangerous game . . . [and could] open the door here for everything from litigation to demonstration.”

He said his National Action Network is discussing a possible march on DNC headquarters, adding, “This smacks of the same stuff we accused the Republicans of in Florida in 2000 . . . changing the rules.”

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