Inside The DNC’s Efforts To Make Sure It Doesn’t Get Caught Again

That should be the title of a recent Fast Company article entitled, “How the DNC Is Trying To Prevent A Repeat Of 2016’s Hack.”

“The committee, along with organizations on both sides of the aisle, is focusing on the basics of cybersecurity as they prepare for the midterms and 2020,” the article is subtitled.

Are they focusing on the basics of integrity, fairness, and neutrality in facilitating their party’s nomination processes as well?

Or just not getting caught again?

Let’s read on to find out:

“It’s been almost three years since Russian intelligence operatives reportedly first hacked the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) servers on July 27, 2015—setting off a chain of events involving the DNC’s own sloppy security measures and lax response, and Wikileaks’ disclosure of embarrassing Hillary Clinton campaign emails, helping propel Donald Trump to victory.”

A correction: Some of the leaked emails were more than embarrassing; they were damning.

And not merely of Hillary Clinton, but to the entire pretense of the Democratic Party as an orderly, rules-based institution for facilitating fair and open nominations of candidates.

As the Washington Post put it:

“Many of the most damaging emails suggest the committee was actively trying to undermine Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign. Basically, all of these examples came late in the primary—after Hillary Clinton was clearly headed for victory—but they belie the national party committee’s stated neutrality in the race even at that late stage.”

That was published in July 2016 right after Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation as chair of the DNC.

Her interim replacement, Donna Brazile, found herself at the helm of a badly corrupt and financially crippled DNC, with massive sums of money essentially stolen out of its coffers to stuff the pockets of friendly political consultants, and to give an advantage to the presidential nomination campaign of Hillary Clinton.

She wrote a blistering exposé about the DNC’s rampant corruption one year after the election.

Donna Brazile herself was caught and later admitted to using her position at CNN to give Hillary Clinton CNN presidential debate questions ahead of the debate. Brazile was part of the institutional culture of unscrupulousness at the DNC.

As close as Bernie Sanders’ vote totals were to Hillary Clinton’s, such institutional bias for a candidate may have had a substantive impact on the result of the DNC’s primaries, which flies in the face of what the DNC says in the preamble to its own charter:

“Recognizing that the vitality of the Nation’s political institutions has been the foundation of its enduring strength, we acknowledge that a political party which wishes to lead must listen to those it would lead, a party which asks for the people’s trust must prove that it trusts the people and a party which hopes to call forth the best the Nation can achieve must embody the best of the Nation’s heritage and traditions.

What we seek for our Nation, we hope for all people: individual freedom in the framework of a just society, political freedom in the framework of meaningful participation by all citizens. Bound by the United States Constitution, aware that a party must be responsive to be worthy of responsibility, we pledge ourselves to open, honest endeavor and to the conduct of public affairs in a manner worthy of a society of free people.

Even more directly to the point, in Article I Section 4 of the DNC charter, it says:

“[The Democratic Party of the United States of America shall…] Establish standards and rules of procedure to afford all members of the Democratic Party full, timely and equal opportunities to participate in decisions concerning the selection of candidates… and further, to promote fair campaign practices and the fair adjudication of disputes.”

But when Bernie Sanders took the DNC to court for violating its charter, the Democratic Party’s lawyers amazingly argued that the DNC has no legal obligation to keep its promises to its members.

The Fast Company article continues:

“This time, the DNC is hoping that the lessons it’s learned from that history will help it avoid a repeat. And the Republican National Committee (RNC), which was fortunate during the 2016 campaign that hackers failed to infiltrate its own semi-secure servers, is praying that it’s not their turn this time.”

And the rest of the article is about firewalls, phishing attacks, cloud services, all of the many technical ways the DNC is looking to secure its emails, but other than a word about how Clinton’s emails were “embarrassing,” this article and so much other commentary out there like it exists in a bizarre world in which a political party increasing cybersecurity after getting caught being corrupt can be reported on in such a positive, amoralistic manner.

Keep tightening up your security measures political parties, but please tell us how you're cleaning up your act.

What’s more outraging, that the DNC decides for its voters instead of helping its voters decide? That it conceals that fact behind a facade of fairness? That it got caught?

That Americans had to rely on foreigners for information about their political candidates, because our own journalists don’t have the will to do some relevant journalism?

Frankly, I wish American journalists cared enough about our elections to interfere in them.

Keep tightening up your security measures political parties, but please tell us how you’re cleaning up your act.

Alright, I’d better go before someone hits the Independent Thought Alarm and has me escorted off the premises.

Photo Credit: Gregory Reed / shutterstock.com