The self-styled "party of unity" has been exposed as a collection of manipulative dividers. The facade that Democrats present to American voters is crumbling.
WikiLeaks has released more than 19,000 internal emails from Democratic National Committee officials, claiming that the massive leak is merely Part 1 of a "Hillary Leaks" series. The emails reveal DNC favoritism toward Hillary Clinton, who'll be officially nominated for the White House this week, at the expense of her vanquished Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders. DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz stepped down Monday just as the party's national convention was getting underway.
How did the documents get out? The FBI will no doubt launch a thorough investigation free of any political bias, just as it did when it cleared Clinton of wrongdoing after finding 110 email chains containing classified material on her vulnerable private server.
Sifting through the DNC emails, it becomes clear why the party is freaking out. The documents don't undermine democracy itself, as Sanders' supporters are claiming. Rather, they undermine the illusion of democracy that the Democratic Party is selling to the American public and to the rest of the world.
At the party level, the emails provide a glimpse behind the curtain of an organization that purports to stand for hope, love, unity, democracy and progressiveness, revealing instead an elaborate effort to create division and to protect the establishment status quo.
There's also damage at the international level. When internal documents reveal attempts by Democratic Party brass to undermine one of the candidates in what is supposed to be a fair and democratic process, it demolishes the moral authority that American leaders have to criticize other countries for being "undemocratic."
If Clinton is elected president, will she lecture other nations about the importance of a free and independent press? That would seem wildly hypocritical in light of some of the revelations from the DNC leak.
After Mika Brzezinski, co-host of the MSNBC political talk show "Morning Joe," called for Wasserman Schultz to resign because of her perceived mishandling of the Democratic primaries and the DNC's favorable treatment of Clinton, Wasserman Schultz wrote an email to Chuck Todd, political director of NBC News, with the subject line, "Chuck, this must stop."
DNC communications director Luis Miranda, expressing his displeasure with "Morning Joe" co-host Joe Scarborough in a note to DNC press secretary Mark Paustenbach, wrote: "(Expletive) Joe claiming the system is rigged, party against (Sanders), we need to complain to their producer."
How could Clinton possibly preach to other nations about the importance of transparent and democratic elections after her party's national committee derided her Democratic opponent?
In one email, Wasserman Schultz, whom Clinton has adopted as an "honorary chair" of her campaign, responded dismissively to an email quoting Sanders' desire to stay "in this race to California." Wrote Wasserman Schultz: "Spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do."
The leak also revealed that Paustenbach had sent an email to fellow DNC communications staffer Miranda about potentially trying to derail the Sanders campaign: "Wondering if there's a good Bernie narrative for a story, which is that Bernie never ever had his act together, that his campaign was a mess."
Sanders and his supporters naively assumed that their candidate would receive fair treatment from those responsible for overseeing the process. Most Americans would assume this to be true for any candidate, regardless of party affiliation.
And how could Clinton ever accuse Republican rival Donald Trump of bigotry after DNC officials were caught discussing the use of religion as a wedge issue?
"Does [Sanders] believe in a God," Brad Marshall, the DNC's chief financial officer, wrote in an email to a colleague. "He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist."
The biggest victims in this scandal are the idealistic Americans who supported Sanders and thought that the system would be fair to their candidate. They were betrayed across the board. Sanders has now fallen into line behind Clinton -- he spoke in support of her Monday night at the convention. It was the equivalent of Che Guevara showing up in a business suit and starting a new job at Goldman Sachs.
Sanders supporters had sought an anti-establishment revolution. The DNC leak shows that they're right about the system being rigged, right down to the level of their own party. There's only one candidate left for them now -- and it clearly isn't Hillary Clinton.