PHILADELPHIA — Hillary Clinton's nominating convention opened with loud dissent, just like Donald Trump's last week. By forcing the resignation of the Democratic Party's chairwoman, it had greater short-term effect.
The nature of Democratic dissent, and thus how the party was able to respond to it, was far different. And that suggests the Democratic dissidents will damage Clinton less than the Republican dissidents will damage Trump in November.
Among supporters of the "political revolution" Bernie Sanders championed, the anger and disappointment are real. Their suspicions of Democratic Party favoritism confirmed by stolen emails published by WikiLeaks, they booed chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz at her own state's delegation meeting and forced her to surrender the convention gavel.
On Monday afternoon, they booed Sanders himself when he tried to make the case for unity behind Clinton. Some even repeated the "lock her up" chant that echoed through the GOP convention hall in Cleveland last week.
But the Democratic Party moved at every level to mollify and tamp down dissent. Sanders sent emails and texts to his supporters asking them as "a personal courtesy to me" not to disrupt the convention. The Clinton campaign placed comedian Sarah Silverman, a Sanders supporter, on stage to make the unity case. Especially popular with young people, she told others feeling the Bern "you're being ridiculous" to keep up protests.