I’ve spent a lot of time this year counseling Democrats, independents and establishment Republicans not to freak out. That advice still holds – but barely.
The release of illegally hacked Democratic National Committee emails, coming on the eve of the convention in Philadelphia, was a fiasco that the forces of truth, justice and the American way – those, in other words, determined to prevent a Donald Trump presidency – surely could have done without. It’s not the end of the world, but yes, it’s a big deal.
What were they thinking at the DNC? That’s not a tough question. Hillary Clinton, a leading figure in the Democratic Party for decades, was struggling to tamp down a surprisingly strong challenge from Bernie Sanders, who wasn’t even a Democrat until he launched his campaign. The emails leave no doubt that some at party headquarters wanted to give Clinton a little help.
The thing is, she didn’t need it. Clinton beat Sanders fair and square, racking up more votes, more states and more pledged delegates. But the purloined emails, published on the WikiLeaks website, can only increase the ire and resentment of unreconciled Sanders supporters who have long complained that the fix was in.
Just like Richard Nixon didn’t need to break into Whitewater to help his campaign, Hillary didn’t need the help either.
The parallels between Nixon and Hillary just keep coming.