Paging Alice Palmer

How will Barack Obama manage to avoid a floor vote in Denver, and the potential embarrassment of show of no-confidence from Hillary Clinton delegates?  Apparently the DNC has taken a page from Obama’s own political practices.  One Colorado delegate got threatened with expulsion after sending a private e-mail to another delegate criticizing Obama (via Slapstick Politics):

[Sacha] Millstone acknowledged she was frustrated over how the Obama campaign was treating delegates who supported Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and told a fellow delegate, in what she believed was a private e-mail exchange, that she was not sure she could vote for Obama at the Democratic National Convention later this month.

The other delegate apparently filed a complaint with the state Democratic Party suggesting Millstone lose her status as a delegate.

Apparently the Political Director of Colorado’s Democratic Party, William Compton, took the suggestion very seriously and told Millstone via e-mail, “You are directed to come in to the Party Headquarters and explain your comments and why you should remain a national delegate…”

Millstone, who worked on the campaign for Hillary Clinton, considered the e-mail a threat.

This gets creepy on a number of different levels. Now we have delegates acting like little spies against each other, reporting on disloyalty to the party, which has historical echoes to very unpleasant times in the last century. The party itself has now sent the signal that it will brook no dissent from The One, not even in private communication.  That would seem at least on the surface to be the philosophical antithesis of the entire purpose of political conventions.

Earlier, a Wisconsin delegate got removed from the DNC for her open support of the Republican nominee.  That move made sense, even if it seemed rather ham-handed and tactically foolish, as it made Debra Bartoshevich a national story (and a Republican).  Millstone supported Hillary Clinton, not John McCain, and had made no public statements derogating the presumptive nominee.

The scenario should remind people about how Obama started his political career.  His mentor, Alice Palmer, decided that she didn’t want to vacate her state Senate seat after all, but he got her disqualified anyway by challenging her petitions, as well as those for all of the other Democrats in the primary.  Obama wound up unopposed after he ensured that no other options would be available

Sounds like what the Denocrats want to do with Hillary delegates.  Either they need to march in lockstep and keep their mouths shut, or their fellow delegates will report them for disloyalty to The One — and they can watch the convention on C-SPAN.