Sunday, November 05, 2017

Brazile and the Sanders-Clinton Kerfuffle

I suspect that what’s going with Brazile’s reveal is that the DNC and the Democratic Party hierarchy has decided to join the Progressives. The 2020 game is afoot. Brazile has decided to proceed, with the best and most-honorable of intentions, by telling the Sanders' folks that "they were right all along" about Hillary. If Brazile had to walk back or otherwise disavow her comments, she could easily do so later, once people stopped paying attention. Instead, a huge fight erupted.

Now Donna B tells her critics to shut up - a bit high handed - then says she did not say the primaries were rigged, but rather, Clinton had undue influence. And this agreement at the center of it all states that it applies to the general election only, not the primaries, and shouldn’t be construed as to show bias. So what Donna B said has either been exaggerated or misreported, or she is currently in the process of changing her story. In any event, there are reasons to worry about the DNC, but this agreement is not one of them.

Even though this agreement was signed in September, 2015, the memo is clear that it refers to the general election, and that there might be other agreements with other candidates (such as with Sanders) later. Indeed, Sanders had his own agreement - less specific - with the DNC. Nevertheless, the influence Hillary was exerting was informal, and more subtle. Basically, Hillary was paying the DNC's bills. The DNC wasn't going to favor Sanders in the primaries if it might cross Hillary - after all, they rely on her.

This kind of situation reminds me of sporting events. In 2002, the Sacramento Kings battled the LA Lakers in the Western Playoffs, and the refs weren't calling obvious fouls. The refs were sending the message to the Kings: "don't ask us to help you win - if you want to be champions, you have to outscore the Lakers." The refs did not have to be told that, in the West, the Lakers ruled. The Lakers were paying far more than their share of the NBA's expenses. The refs weren't to shut down the NBA Finals gravy train early unless they were absolutely forced to do so. A similar message from the DNC here.

This situation where the candidate controls the national committee, rather than vice versa, has been getting worse and worse since the introduction of televised campaigning - since 1956, or so.

I like this analysis of the DNC's woes:
The moral implosion that Brazile describes was the tragic result of a bunch of more or less decent people with more or less honorable intentions struggling to deal with a long chain of unintended consequences stemming from decisions they hadn’t made.

Even Debbie Wasserman Schultz, America’s Most Kickable, wasn’t personally responsible for the way Barack Obama regally ignored the Democratic Party for eight years, leaving it, Brazile says, with $25 million in debt, not to mention wiped off the political map in virtually every state that doesn’t touch a large body of water. For that matter, it wasn’t Obama who decided that the working class and the welfare state were yesterday's news and turned the Democrats into the party of “The End of History,” embracing Silicon Valley venture capital and deep-pockets Hollywood donors (cough, cough, Weinstein) and deregulated Wall Street derivatives that nobody could understand but were sure to keep going up, up, up. That particular maneuver paid off big time for Bill Clinton in the '90s -- and has been poisonous ever since.

The net result of all this has been highly anomalous, if not unique in political history: On one hand we have a party that nominally stands for principles and policies supported by a majority of the population, whose nominee has won the popular vote in six of the last seven presidential elections. On the other we have a party that has lost close to 1,000 state legislature seats over the past decade and suffered historic wipeouts in the last two midterm elections, leaving it in a weaker position on Capitol Hill than at any time since the Great Depression. That party became so strapped for cash, not to mention so spiritually enervated, that it rented itself out to one of its presidential candidates while pretending to remain neutral with respect to that candidate’s campaign. Spoiler alert: Same party!

No comments:

Post a Comment