Even after a charged, protracted Democratic primary season that revealed deep philosophical fractures in the party, Hillary’s willingness to cater to actors on her left remains minimal. Accordingly, the historic Sanders delegate walkout is emblematic of what should now be obvious: there is a level of hostility toward Hillary among activist-minded progressives that never existed toward Barack Obama in 2008 or 2012. For one thing, the composition of the party has changed dramatically over eight years. Ideological progressives, who in 2008 yearned principally for emancipation from the nightmare reign of George W. Bush, have since undergone gradations of radicalization: by the financial crisis, the Occupy movement, the Snowden revelations, Black Lives Matter, and other developments. Their critique of the established order is far more targeted and coherent than it was when Obama first ran. And they situate Hillary squarely within that order.
Hillary may have never won over the bulk of these people, but selecting a vice-presidential nominee who aligned somewhat with their present orientation would have at least constituted an attempt at placating them. Tim Kaine does not constitute any kind of attempt. If anything, he represents a rebuke to disaffected progressives. Throughout the primaries, Hillary’s campaign worked feverishly to make rhetorical overtures that suggested superficial awareness of underlying shifts in the party […] but when push came to shove and she could have taken a tangible action reflecting her awareness of these shifts, Hillary reverted to old habits: extreme risk aversion and a commitment to perpetuating the status quo.
If hundreds of Republican delegates had staged a mass walkout at the GOP convention last week in open defiance of Trump, does anyone seriously doubt that the elite media—especially on cable news—would have gone absolutely berserk with wall-to-wall, breathless coverage about how Trump failed to “unite the party”? Yes, there were minor displays of dissent by the misbegotten #NeverTrump faction in Cleveland, but nothing near comparable to the scale of this week’s Bernie-related theatrics. That’s an unprecedented level of intra-party dissension now facing Hillary, and her VP selection indicates she has no plans to take any substantive steps to remedy the problem.