The state Democratic convention in Nevada Saturday devolved into a chaotic demonstration of party division and the emotional theatrics of candidate-centered movements.
64 Sanders delegates weren't seated because they either weren't registered Democrats by May 1 or hadn't provided basic identifying information. Eight Clinton delegates were rejected for the same reasons. Six of the rejected Sanders delegates were eventually credentialed after providing the required information.
But, of course, in heeding the call to revolution, an outspoken block of Sanders supporters viewed a straightforward and non-controversial rejection of unqualified delegates as a plot to rig the process. They took to the convention floor in fury, booing Barbara Boxer (Really? Barbara Boxer?!), with at least one person calling her a "bitch," after she called for unity moving forward in the election. That fulmination reached the point where the security director of the hotel said he could no longer handle the event, already hours behind schedule, and he shut it down. As one would expect, when they refused to leave, police told them they had to.
There were 12 national delegates up for grabs at this state convention. Clinton was awarded seven, Sanders five. All of this agitation over a net gain of exactly two delegates for the candidate that won the state by over 5% in February.
Again we see the consequences of willful ignorance. Like in New York, where many Sanders supporters claimed "voter disenfranchisement" because they didn't register as Democrats in time to vote in that state's primary, supporters in Nevada not inclined to acquaint themselves with credentialing requirements couldn't participate in the convention. Certainly, many of these primary processes are arcane and convoluted. Nevada's delegate selection process is among the most so. But not understanding a process is not a good excuse for misleading others about it. And not being allowed to participate for not following rules does not make that process "rigged," nor does it constitute "disenfranchisement."
Such self-victimizing charges have been casually levied by a growing faction of loud, unhinged progressives either so new to the process or so ignorant of the rules that govern it they claim it was designed specifically to exclude them. Of course, it wasn't. And these shrieks serve only two functions: To delegitimize Clinton's near-certain nomination and salve the sting of defeat with cries of conspiracy.
Meanwhile, sane inhabitants of a reality-based world are left to endure a litany of reductive, histrionic narratives implying Hillary Clinton is a despotic harridan dispatching winged monkeys throughout the land to execute her suppressive "establishment" agenda. The liberal-on-liberal invective and sophomoric evangelism these people demonstrate at every turn is beyond unnecessarily divisive, it's wearisome. As is their unwavering faith in conspiracies despite evidence, rendering them impervious to persuasion or thoughtful discussion of any kind.
Do they comprise the whole of Sanders' supporters or even a large percentage? Absolutely not. But they are large and loud enough and, unfortunately, they purposely command all the attention. Because "revolution." They bask in an ideological purity that borders on nihilism and a moral superiority unlike anything I've ever seen among progressives. Couple that with a determination to delegitimize the wins of a sworn enemy, Clinton, and they resemble their extremist cousins on the Right, who tried for seven interminable years to delegitimize President Obama, holding reason and the nation hostage to their political extortion and lunacy.
Behold, America: the Herbal Tea Party.