"So I followed the money."
November 2, 2017 5:04 PM   Subscribe

Politico has published an excerpt from the upcoming book by Donna Brazile, the former chair of the Democratic National Committee: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Secret Takeover of the DNC. "When I got back from a vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, I at last found the document that described it all: the Joint Fund-Raising Agreement between the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary for America. The agreement—signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias—specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised." posted by supercrayon (614 comments total) 54 users marked this as a favorite
 
thanks heaps to jessamyn for helping me with the creation of this post
posted by supercrayon at 5:04 PM on November 2 [24 favorites]


Thank you for posting this for the folks who want to discuss it and the folks who want it kept out of the other thread. (I am both.)
posted by lalex at 5:07 PM on November 2 [8 favorites]


Hillary was on Daily Show last night, and was as sharp as ever. I don't doubt that she wanted to take over the DNC and get the nomination she's spent her life working for (and the eventual presidency that... y'know).

My read on the whole thing is that she took matters into her own hands, manipulated the system to get to the top, all because she wanted to do good things for the country. The vibe is that she's now getting the shit end of the stick because the end sadly didn't justify the means.

Sidenote: I work on Capitol Hill and I've ran into DWS twice in the past year. I was tempted to say something both times but I chickened out. (I'm super shy in public and avoid confrontations at all costs, otherwise I would've gotten a picture with John Lewis that one time I ran into him in the hallway at work instead of smiling and nodding awkwardly)
posted by numaner at 5:15 PM on November 2 [17 favorites]


I am a Bernie voter, but the same damn deal was offered to him..... gah, blergh. I'm so tired.
posted by Gyre,Gimble,Wabe, Esq. at 5:16 PM on November 2 [31 favorites]


Follow the money? Follow it all the way to Brazile's new book.
posted by Random_Tangent at 5:19 PM on November 2 [85 favorites]


Gyre, I don't think he was offered organizational control over the DNC.
posted by Coventry at 5:19 PM on November 2 [15 favorites]


Bernie's response was admirable:
Bernie took this stoically. He did not yell or express outrage. Instead he asked me what I thought Hillary’s chances were. The polls were unanimous in her winning but what, he wanted to know, was my own assessment?

I had to be frank with him. I did not trust the polls, I said. I told him I had visited states around the country and I found a lack of enthusiasm for her everywhere. I was concerned about the Obama coalition and about millennials.

I urged Bernie to work as hard as he could to bring his supporters into the fold with Hillary, and to campaign with all the heart and hope he could muster. He might find some of her positions too centrist, and her coziness with the financial elites distasteful, but he knew and I knew that the alternative was a person who would put the very future of the country in peril. I knew he heard me. I knew he agreed with me, but I never in my life had felt so tiny and powerless as I did making that call.
posted by Coventry at 5:20 PM on November 2 [30 favorites]


is it too much to ask that a couple of other people lead the factions in the democratic party from now? i'm tired of both bernie and hillary
posted by pyramid termite at 5:21 PM on November 2 [100 favorites]



My read on the whole thing is that she took matters into her own hands, manipulated the system to get to the top, all because she wanted to do good things for the country. The vibe is that she's now getting the shit end of the stick because the end sadly didn't justify the means.


I hope this isn't what happened, but if it is then she deserves to get the shit end of the stick. omg.
posted by lalex at 5:22 PM on November 2 [26 favorites]


I have dreams of someone like my freshman congressman running for President in 2020 just to get us some fresh blood already. At least he’s actually a Democrat.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:32 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


Brazile has figured out what side of the bread has butter on it, that's for sure.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:35 PM on November 2 [36 favorites]


Hey, it worked in 2008.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:35 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


Motives aside, Hillary's camp proved ineffective with the degree of control that they were given. If you vote Democratic then you're used to machiavellian scheming. The real sin is incompetence.
posted by codacorolla at 5:40 PM on November 2 [33 favorites]


Brazille's book is coming out on the heels of recent infighting within the DNC. Cry havok and all that.

Well, better now than a year from now, I suppose.
posted by homunculus at 5:41 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


Man, I'm not even done with the indictment thread and now there's this and the new one? Great.
posted by Caduceus at 5:43 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


Donna Brazile has also retweeted people, responding to her words, saying;

[email protected]
1. No primary votes were impacted by what @donnabrazile "revealed" today. Not a single one.


and

[email protected]
I would say #IAmHillary but I didn’t singlehandedly save the Democratic Party from bankruptcy, win the popular vote by 3 million, and become the first woman nominated to a major party in US history


and a lot of plugs for her book. I'm still trying to understand what her point is (other than promoting her book). And Elizabeth Warren...I don't know what's going on there.

But yeah, now was the time they thought this should become the public discussion.
If you search twitter it's mostly Right wingers celebrating the dirt on Hillary finally coming out and the Democratic Party falling apart.

BTW, I first learned of this whole story from a fundraising email from Nina Turner saying "It was rigged all along".

This whole thing has a bad odor and is not making anyone involved look good.
posted by bongo_x at 5:43 PM on November 2 [41 favorites]


And Elizabeth Warren...I don't know what's going on there.

Really not surprising that a person who criticizes money's influence in politics would criticize a pretty clear example of how money influences politics.
posted by edeezy at 5:45 PM on November 2 [60 favorites]


If you search twitter it's mostly Right wingers celebrating the dirt on Hillary finally coming out and the Democratic Party falling apart.

Russian trolls and bots are pushing this hard. Anyone who feels like arguing with another progressive about this subject should keep in mind the context.
posted by Justinian at 5:46 PM on November 2 [68 favorites]


Obama left the party $24 million in debt—$15 million in bank debt and more than $8 million owed to vendors after the 2012 campaign...

Is this typical?
posted by JoeZydeco at 5:46 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


Seriously though, what kind of fucking timing is this? Why are they fucking doing this shit right as the Republicans launch the tax bill, just in time to distract from both the indictments and the tax bill? And Obamacare open enrollment? It's shit doing time, Donna Brazile, not infighting time! People's lives are at stack! There's an ongoing humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico! Infight after when all the bad shit is taken care of!
posted by Caduceus at 5:48 PM on November 2 [79 favorites]




@realDonaldTrump: Donna Brazile just stated the DNC RIGGED the system to illegally steal the Primary from Bernie Sanders. Bought and paid for by Crooked H....
....This is real collusion and dishonesty. Major violation of Campaign Finance Laws and Money Laundering - where is our Justice Department?
posted by theodolite at 5:51 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


Infight after when all the bad shit is taken care of!

Unfortunately, that time doesn't exist.
posted by iamck at 5:51 PM on November 2 [28 favorites]


Seriously though, what kind of fucking timing is this?

A whole bunch of people said this when Hillary released her book, and I think it's misguided. I guess I'd try to avoid releasing a book like, right up against the big elections every two years, but other than that idk. Republicans are always gonna be doing something shitty so there will never be a right time.
posted by lalex at 5:52 PM on November 2 [41 favorites]


god i literally don't even care if hillary did 9/11
posted by poffin boffin at 5:53 PM on November 2 [139 favorites]


Poffin boffin, I've got some bad news for you about pizza in the Washington area...
posted by fatbird at 5:53 PM on November 2 [12 favorites]


[few comments nixed, lulzy "Russia" jokes maybe not so great, timingwise?]
posted by jessamyn at 5:54 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


For real. I feel like there is a universe where Jeb Bush was nominated and beats Clinton and criticisms like "the DNC is hugely mismanaged" are things I would have the energy to muster up passionate feelings about but we do not live in that universe.
posted by windbox at 5:54 PM on November 2 [47 favorites]


except to escape this universe we have to care about whether Democratic institutions are mismanaged so we can win elections and basically this is all a kafkaesque hell
posted by lalex at 5:56 PM on November 2 [38 favorites]


This whole thing has a bad odor and is not making anyone involved look good.

Agreed. The stench is going to be hard to wash off for the party, and I'm concerned for the voting next Tuesday. But like some said above, I think this kind of maneuver is par for the course for modern American politics. The fact that it failed and this is all coming out in books is what stinks. But I think the significance of the election have caused a lot soul searching for all involved, creating so many desires to speak out and finger-pointing and just anything to ask what the hell happened. ... I dunno, I hate that we're still talking about last year right now while there's so much work to be done in the future. Like, I understand why Brazille felt like she needed to write this book but goddammit maybe just do a tweetstorm to get the catharsis out and then it'll blow over in a week or so.

Really not surprising that a person who criticizes money's influence in politics would criticize a pretty clear example of how money influences politics.

Ironically, when Trevor Noah asked Hillary last night if she can see a future where money would not influence politics she gave a pretty pessimistic answer, citing Citizens United and the need for an amendment, which won't happen because Congress being the way it is. That is the answer of a hawk that played the game to the best of her abilities and lost.
posted by numaner at 5:57 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


So what the hell kind of message are we supposed to take away from this? especially now, when we should be gathering steam in the buildup to the midterms? that the Democratic Party is broken and can't be trusted any more than the Republicans?

Seriously, I get that there's no good time for something like this to come out, but some times are better than others. If this undermines the GOTV process for elections next week and those next year, it doesn't matter what kind of motives Brazile or anyone else involved might have had, they'll effectively be doing the same kind of damage from the left as the people who are intentionally working to undermine the system from the right.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 5:57 PM on November 2 [35 favorites]


I do think the timing argument can be misguided, but we've got major elections happening in five days, and asking the party to hold itself together until Wednesday shouldn't be too damn much to ask.
posted by zachlipton at 5:57 PM on November 2 [54 favorites]


Now Trump is yelling at the Justice Department to investigate
posted by lalex at 5:59 PM on November 2


FFS they just handed Trump his next six months worth of talking points about Crooked Hillary
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 6:01 PM on November 2 [48 favorites]


If this undermines the GOTV process for elections next week and those next year

I am honestly interested in how much of this kind of stuff the average voter hears or cares about amidst all the other news. That's a genuine question; I would really like to know.
posted by lalex at 6:01 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


Now Trump is yelling at the Justice Department to investigate

Whoa there. "Where is our Justice Department?" could just be an honest geographical question
posted by theodolite at 6:02 PM on November 2 [80 favorites]


"Obama’s neglect had left the party in significant debt. As Hillary’s campaign gained momentum, she resolved the party’s debt and put it on a starvation diet. It had become dependent on her campaign for survival, for which she expected to wield control of its operations."

This gibes with what I've heard, which is that she basically personally saved the party from its dire financial straits, and then was very active in reorganizing its ability to effectively get out the vote. But let's face it... this woman can't do anything good without it coming back to bite her.
posted by xammerboy at 6:02 PM on November 2 [137 favorites]


Now Trump is yelling at the Justice Department to investigate

clearly we need more human errors to happen like earlier
posted by numaner at 6:02 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


i literally could not care less without medical intervention and this information will have nonexistent effects upon my voting next week, next year, any week, any year, until the end of time
posted by poffin boffin at 6:03 PM on November 2 [42 favorites]


No wonder my Trump-loving colleague was chortling earlier. Lock her up!

The way I see it, this is proof that the Clintons don't go around murdering people.
posted by betweenthebars at 6:04 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


if hillary is like what up fools i'm surprise running for mayor of nyc on tuesday i'd be like girl i am fucking here for it
posted by poffin boffin at 6:04 PM on November 2 [68 favorites]


FFS they just handed Trump his next six months worth of talking points about Crooked Hillary

Yep. BernieBros and ClintonFans will fight the 2016 primaries for the next 20 years.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 6:05 PM on November 2 [9 favorites]


they just handed Trump his next six months worth of talking points about Crooked Hillary
...which will allow EVERY OTHER DEMOCRAT six months to do whatever they want without Donnie noticing...
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:06 PM on November 2 [6 favorites]


Regardless of what everyone's feelings on this matter is, none of this should affect Mueller's investigations.
posted by Apocryphon at 6:06 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


if hillary is like what up fools i'm surprise running for mayor of nyc on tuesday i'd be like girl i am fucking here for it

i'm for damn sure voting her for dogcatcher if she runs for it
posted by numaner at 6:06 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]



FFS they just handed Trump his next six months worth of talking points about Crooked Hillary ;


Well.. Maybe it is time people learnt to separate the noise from the signal.
posted by asra at 6:07 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


The accusations seem to be that; She pulled the DNC out of a money hole, and raised money that helped Bernie and down ballot candidates. That gave her a power advantage in that her campaign was holding it all together for everyone.

There may be something I'm missing, but being organized, taking action and fixing things doesn't sound so terrible.
posted by bongo_x at 6:08 PM on November 2 [100 favorites]


I am honestly interested in how much of this kind of stuff the average voter hears or cares about amidst all the other news

The only silver lining here is that Trump has been crying wolf about the 'crooked Dems' for so long now that a fair number of Dem-leaning voters will dismiss this as more of the same noise and bluster. That's my hope at least.

And can I just say holy shit does it feel bad to know that you're on a side where the truth of recent events will actively hurt your party's chances at the polls. This is not where I ever want to be as someone (marginally) active in American politics. When the best we can say to "both sides do it" is just, "well yeah but... we do it less obviously, and listen you really need to look beyond this for right now and vote with us anyway because these guys are literally destroying everything good about our country, let me explain" -- nah, a pretty good chunk of voters tuned out right after "well yeah but", their suspicions confirmed, and made other plans for that Tuesday.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 6:10 PM on November 2 [6 favorites]


For me personally I'm not pissed at Donna Brazile for the timing of the release. I'm pissed at the mainstream media for breathlessly covering this shit like it's in any way equivalent to what else is going on in the Trump administration. Like there is an ongoing humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico that is a direct result of mismanagement by Trump et al., and it's resulting in the suffering and death of American citizens. But hey Dem thunderdome lets all act scandalized and elevate this to make the two seem like they're remotely equivalent! See this is a scandal and that's a scandal, and these are two scandals and they are the same! Both sides!

The media in America will not learn, will not take responsibility for how they drive our political narratives, will not admit that they give disproportionate coverage to what should be fringe issues, and are actively helping Trump and the Republicans drive the United States off a cliff.

I think the DNC sucks, I think we need increased transparency with how they work and what they do with their money, and I think they need to stop insisting on running centrist snoozefests with no charisma and no ideas.

However I don't feel that the foibles of the DNC, no matter how deeply weird, are remotely equivalent to, oh, what's happening in PR, what's happening with CHIP, what's happening with DACA, what's happening with tax reform, what's happening with the ongoing mendacity of the entire administration and the erosion of our democratic norms, what's happening with the recent indictments, or what's happening with the multipronged Russian interference into our electoral integrity and the successful manipulation of American voters via social media.
posted by supercrayon at 6:10 PM on November 2 [147 favorites]


The article alleges that the money earmarked for helping down-ballot elections, didn't:
Yet the states kept less than half of 1 percent of the $82 million they had amassed from the extravagant fund-raisers Hillary’s campaign was holding, just as Gary had described to me when he and I talked in August.
posted by Apocryphon at 6:10 PM on November 2 [12 favorites]


I think xammerboy has it right on. Bernie turned down the DNC's request to campaign on behalf of the organization, and here's HRC swooping in with money, a long history with the party, a track record of supporting winners when she loses, etc. etc. I'm not saying the DNC was right to do what they did and I hope there will be more reforms like the one they recently adopted regarding money from interests the party doesn't share, but I'm not particularly surprised by any of these revelations. I'd be slightly interested in a list of vetoes/actions the HRC campaign undertook over the objections of the DNC, though.

I'll just keep voting for the leftmost viable candidate in every race and the leftmost candidate in every primary, same as I've always done.
posted by xyzzy at 6:11 PM on November 2 [27 favorites]


From the article: I had gone department by department, investigating individual conduct for evidence of skewed decisions, and I was happy to see that I had found none.

So Clinton's campaign bailed out the DNC and kept it running in exchange for some measure of control. She then used that control to make sure the newly solvent DNC provided operational support to the Sanders campaign, and Brazile found no evidence of bias in the decisions made by the DNC in providing support to either candidate.

Am I understanding this correctly? Is this the new 'but her emails'?

On preview, I'll second this... There may be something I'm missing, but being organized, taking action and fixing things doesn't sound so terrible.

posted by soy bean at 6:11 PM on November 2 [94 favorites]


I think Donna Brazile is trying to heal the Democratic Party. Talking honestly about what happened under Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's watch can help with that. If this translates into more transparency in the Party's leadership, this can make our party stronger going into 2018 and 2020.

There's something to be said for acknowledging that some unethical stuff happened and trying to rebuild trust.
posted by nangar at 6:13 PM on November 2 [32 favorites]


I am honestly interested in how much of this kind of stuff the average voter hears or cares about amidst all the other news

Most people don't know much of anything, that makes it worse than if they did.
"but her emails" skewed a lot of people. I personally know someone who voted Republican because of that shady Ben Ghazi guy. Not kidding.
posted by bongo_x at 6:15 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


I guess this means trouble if the Democrats nominate Hillary Clinton in 2020 then
posted by Apocryphon at 6:17 PM on November 2 [7 favorites]


I still think the timing for this is incredibly convenient for both Sanders and Trump. It's interesting the way its blown up so quickly and effectively, implying a lot of quiet contacts and coordination on this. I'd say there's a good chance that Sessions will announce a formal investigation by next Friday.

In short, I think this is the first salvo in ratfucking the 2018 elections. By next spring, the Democratic Party should be completely disorganized and too busy with infighting to properly help with the election.
posted by happyroach at 6:17 PM on November 2 [12 favorites]


If this translates into more transparency in the Party's leadership, this can make our party stronger going into 2018 and 2020

I would love to believe this so badly but that's a big 'if'. Nothing we've seen from any part of the American political scene in the last couple of years makes me think that the Democratic Party can turn this into anything but another reason to lose.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 6:17 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


Wait, are you saying you think Sanders has been coordinating with Trump to organize this rollout of Brazile's book?
posted by lalex at 6:18 PM on November 2 [24 favorites]


My preliminary condolences on Clinton's failed bid for dogcatcher.
posted by codacorolla at 6:18 PM on November 2 [10 favorites]


So Bernie learned right after he didn't receive the Democratic nomination that the entire process was rigged, and he didn't say a word about it? These revelations don't reflect well on him; just more grist for the mill for those suspecting him of being a Democratic sheepdog. He had a clear reason to cry foul, and he chose not to.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 6:19 PM on November 2


Also can I just say that when DWS was announced as chair I was excited about it, in retrospect mostly because I thought her TV appearances were great! Man, what a disappointing mess.
posted by lalex at 6:19 PM on November 2


Wait, are you saying you think Sanders has been coordinating with Trump to organize this rollout of Brazile's book?

Probably not. But then, he doesn't need to, does he? No knowledge on his or Trump's part is required.

As the saying goes, I'm being paranoid, but am I being paranoid enough?
posted by happyroach at 6:20 PM on November 2


Sanders lined up to support the party nominee, and urged his followers to do the same. So he is to be faulted for refraining from launching a party insurgency (thus splitting the left/liberal vote and confirming the Democrats' greatest fears about him), now?
posted by Apocryphon at 6:20 PM on November 2 [44 favorites]


He had a clear reason to cry foul, and he chose not to.
Heh, when Al Gore did this, we called him a hero for not destroying the nation over his election being determined on party lines by SCOTUS.
posted by xyzzy at 6:21 PM on November 2 [12 favorites]


The question I have is did this start before or after there was no practical way for Sanders to win the nomination. Sanders stayed in the race long after he was no longer viable, after all, and my opinion of this changes dramatically based on whether it happened after that point. (I recall Sanders started claiming early that losses in majority black electorates didn't count for various reasons but at that point he was still viable.)
posted by Merus at 6:21 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


I guess this means trouble if the Democrats nominate Hillary Clinton in 2020 then

quite frankly i can only hope to be dead or marooned on an uncharted tropical island by then

like either one is honestly fine
posted by poffin boffin at 6:23 PM on November 2 [17 favorites]


Well.. Maybe it is time people learnt to separate the noise from the signal.

Have you not been paying attention? The noise is the signal now.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:25 PM on November 2 [15 favorites]


Sanders lined up to support the party nominee, and urged his followers to do the same. So he is to be faulted for refraining from launching a party insurgency (thus splitting the left/liberal vote and confirming the Democrats' greatest fears about him), now?

I would quietly point you back to the innumerable comments over the course of 2016 about Sanders decision to stay in the race until the Democratic National Convention and his refusal to back Clinton, or urge his follows to back Clinton -- some of whom used the Convention to protest Clinton -- until that point. People see how the primaries went very, very differently.

(I am really, really not wanting to discuss which of those views is correct any more than has already been done; I'm just wanting to note that there exists a disagreement about that.)
posted by cjelli at 6:30 PM on November 2 [21 favorites]


I am honestly interested in how much of this kind of stuff the average voter hears or cares about amidst all the other news. That's a genuine question; I would really like to know.
Search your conservative family members’ Facebook shares. During the 2016 campaign from my perspective this stuff was like 90% of the memes flying around – the occasional issue came up but mostly it was fever dreams about email, Iran, assasinations in DC, and, almost as often as the emails, Bernie-was-robbed! They loved anything that excused voting for Trump as necessary for keeping a crook out because it absolved them of any personal responsibility for supporting him.
posted by adamsc at 6:30 PM on November 2 [10 favorites]


> So Bernie learned right after he didn't receive the Democratic nomination that the entire process was rigged, and he didn't say a word about it? These revelations don't reflect well on him; just more grist for the mill for those suspecting him of being a Democratic sheepdog. He had a clear reason to cry foul, and he chose not to.

I gotta say, this framing is not helping me think of ISO as a serious organization. Like plus two points for rigorous application of theory, but negative several million points for effective praxis.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:31 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


Have you not been paying attention? The noise is the signal now.

Nomiki Konst tweeted today that the problem is the DNC didn't handle things the way corporations do.

Irony is not a thing any more.
posted by bongo_x at 6:32 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


What "major elections" next week? It's an odd numbered year, not divisible by 4. I know of NO elections coming up.
posted by MikeWarot at 6:32 PM on November 2


VA-Gov, NJ-Gov?
posted by carsondial at 6:34 PM on November 2 [26 favorites]


People see how the primaries went very, very differently.

In terms of the whole "supporters that won't get on board" thing, I see a lot of parallels between the Bernie dead-enders and the PUMA Hillary supporters in 2008.
posted by lalex at 6:34 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


Virginia gubernatorial for one.
posted by glonous keming at 6:35 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


Now that's a reminder how overly immersed in current politics I am. I was like HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW ABOUT THE ELECTIONS!?!?!?11!!121111!
posted by Justinian at 6:35 PM on November 2 [26 favorites]


People see how the primaries went very, very differently.

Well, regardless of what happened during the primaries, afterwards he still rallied around Clinton. Could he have done more to support her? Sure. Could he have done far, far, worse to her presidential campaign? Also sure.
posted by Apocryphon at 6:35 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


I gotta say, this framing is not helping me think of ISO as a serious organization.

You can think that if you want, but does the fact that I'm not in that organization, and never have been, affect your opinion at all?
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 6:36 PM on November 2


Wonkette has a pretty good write up.
posted by Twain Device at 6:37 PM on November 2 [7 favorites]


What "major elections" next week? It's an odd numbered year, not divisible by 4. I know of NO elections coming up.

Here
you go.

There are some high-profile governor's races, there are a bunch of empty seats that need replacing in special elections because of vacancies (many from appointments to the current administration); there are a huge swath of local elections -- in my area, off the top of my head, we've got a slate of judicial races, judicial retention votes, election of election supervisors, the city's District Attorney, and a major city ballot issue and a major state ballot issue.

Check your state's election calendar. Check your city's election calendar. Even if there aren't elections to national-level positions, there's almost always something to vote on.
posted by cjelli at 6:38 PM on November 2 [9 favorites]


What "major elections" next week? It's an odd numbered year, not divisible by 4. I know of NO elections coming up.
The states of Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, Montana, South Carolina, New Jersey, and Utah would like a word.
posted by xyzzy at 6:39 PM on November 2 [23 favorites]


(And then go vote if you legally can. Voting! It's fun!)
posted by cjelli at 6:39 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


From the Atlantic article ("Donna Brazile's curious account of the 2016 elections"), she's opportunistically claiming ignorance of the widely publicized fundraising agreement for months between April and September. Also, she spent money at the last minute in New Orleans and Chicago to shore up the vote count, overconfident of winning the electoral count, which reveals her revisionist history, as Nate Silver points out. I get that this is politics, but some of these old-schoolers forget that the internet links are still there.
posted by Brian B. at 6:43 PM on November 2 [27 favorites]


There are elections on Tuesday and I will be voting for not-Cyrus-Vance! But yeah, there are off-year elections every other year. Should noone release books? Should HRC not have released a book less than two months ago? idk.
posted by lalex at 6:44 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


What "major elections" next week?

New Jersey is ditching Chris Christie! We’re going to have a parade!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:45 PM on November 2 [23 favorites]


Medicaid expansion in Maine would also like to raise a hand and wave.
posted by chris24 at 6:45 PM on November 2 [14 favorites]


I'm pissed at the mainstream media for breathlessly covering this shit like it's in any way equivalent to what else is going on in the Trump administration. Like there is an ongoing humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico that is a direct result of mismanagement by Trump et al., and it's resulting in the suffering and death of American citizens. But hey Dem thunderdome lets all act scandalized and elevate this to make the two seem like they're remotely equivalent! See this is a scandal and that's a scandal, and these are two scandals and they are the same! Both sides!

Yes, this! I did not think through my earlier comments, this is what I really am upset about!
posted by Caduceus at 6:50 PM on November 2 [8 favorites]


Couple thoughts:

1. How the hell did Obama leave the DNC in such a large hole when he was vacuuming up money in his own campaign?

2. The existence of the JFA isn’t the surprising part — it’s the degree of control HRC exercised over the DNC as a result. Yes, Bernie could have raised $$$ through his own JFA but he literally would have been raising money for Clinton to use as she saw fit.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 6:51 PM on November 2 [9 favorites]


I get that this is politics, but some of these old-schoolers forget that the internet links are still there.
Or they’ve picked up the new rules where nothing matters as long as you don’t blink and just keep repeating the same untrue things because nobody will even look for the easily-found counter-evidence.
posted by adamsc at 6:53 PM on November 2 [14 favorites]


From the Atlantic article ("Donna Brazile's curious account of the 2016 elections"), she's opportunistically claiming ignorance of the widely publicized fundraising agreement for months between April and September, which amounts to incompetence.

She's not claiming ignorance of the agreement, she's indicating that the actual details of the DNC-Clinton Campaign agreement were possibly unethical:
The agreement—signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias—specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.

[...]

When the party chooses the nominee, the custom is that the candidate’s team starts to exercise more control over the party. If the party has an incumbent candidate, as was the case with Clinton in 1996 or Obama in 2012, this kind of arrangement is seamless because the party already is under the control of the president. When you have an open contest without an incumbent and competitive primaries, the party comes under the candidate’s control only after the nominee is certain. When I was manager of Al Gore’s campaign in 2000, we started inserting our people into the DNC in June. This victory fund agreement, however, had been signed in August 2015, just four months after Hillary announced her candidacy and nearly a year before she officially had the nomination.

[...]

The funding arrangement with HFA and the victory fund agreement was not illegal, but it sure looked unethical. If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead. This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party’s integrity.
Was Sanders' agreement identical? I don't know.
posted by edeezy at 6:54 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


fuck I should just keep my damn fingers off the keyboard. I don't know what to be most upset about.
posted by Caduceus at 6:58 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


I forgot about adding the uspolitics tag so that it can be blocked, sorry about that. I've added it now.

How do you block a tag?
posted by Coventry at 7:01 PM on November 2


Trump Jr is enjoying this on his Twitter.
posted by asteria at 7:02 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


For tags: you can filter using the MyMefi view.

For politics: FAQ entry about how the US Politics sidebar widget works
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:03 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


Good.

It's about time someone got the DNC to clean house.

And the targets it puts up for President Trump are irresistible, and ultimately useless. He can unload everything he's got against Hillary Clinton and the DNC, and what will it matter? He's going to be targeting something in the next couple of weeks, it might as well be targets who can take it.

If the DNC has a backbone left, and a decent public relations person, they'll take this opportunity to start making reforms, increasing transparency, and contrasting it to the Republican Party at every step of the way.

Meanwhile, Mueller gets to drop a series of enormous bombs that directly impact the President, and then walks away unscathed while HRC and the DNC take all the heat.

At least, in the fantasy world in my head that's how it plays out.
posted by MrVisible at 7:10 PM on November 2 [21 favorites]


So does anyone know if any KPD or SPD bigshots had books coming out in 1933? Might help explain things.
posted by chris24 at 7:13 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


She picked up the tab to assume control over industry operations. This is how mobsters do business.

The level of cognitive dissonance (or astroturfing) in this thread is disheartening.

Perhaps this revelation will ignite the viability of more third party candidates in the future.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 7:15 PM on November 2 [11 favorites]


She picked up the tab assume control over industry operations. This is how mobsters do business.

Or she took a failing business, used her money to fix it, and wanted her people in charge rather than the fuckups who ran it into the ground.
posted by chris24 at 7:16 PM on November 2 [56 favorites]


At least, in the fantasy world in my head that's how it plays out.

On the other hand, raisins in the Cinnabons.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:17 PM on November 2 [6 favorites]


This is how mobsters do business.

Seriously? Mobsters literally punch people and break things as threats before they get to the killing as a means of taking control. The cognitive dissonance here is equating a typical business takeover with actual mafia shit. Come on now.
posted by numaner at 7:20 PM on November 2 [58 favorites]


it shouldn't be possible to lose an election to a senile Donald Trump, and yet the Hillary Clinton campaign did. It kind of broke people's brains. There's pretty clear evidence of Russian propaganda campaigns on social media and they were almost definitely behind the email hacking. But like, we're not talking the mind control bombs from Command&Conquer here. It just shouldn't have been possible.

Leaving aside Hillary Clinton, who probably would have been a good president, there's just a bunch of utter fools in and around the DNC. Mothership Strategies got paid $4 million to lose the Ossoff campaign.

Money out of politics is the dream, but I'd be happy if they'd just spend their huge corporate bribes on people who aren't utterly incompetent.
posted by vogon_poet at 7:22 PM on November 2 [14 favorites]


Also it's not just "Crooked Hillary".

Warren/Kamala/Cory is the 2020 nom? "Crooked Hillary's crooked pals are up to their old tricks!"

Bernie is the 2020 nom? "Crazy cuck Bernie let Hillary cheat him out of the 2016 nom. Sad!"

(I assume by 2020 he'll just be calling people cuck on Twitter because this is hell and all.)

There are DNC issues to address, no argument there. But Brazile''s selective memory of the past and clickbaity use of the word "rigged" aren't great.

She picked up the tab assume control over industry operations.?This is how mobsters do business.

1. It's not. 2. The DNC was clearly not good at managing money, to put it mildly. Hillary wanting to control how they managed the money she brought them and for her campaign was not stupid. Unfair to other candidates? Yeah, I can see that. But would you trust them with your money?
posted by asteria at 7:23 PM on November 2 [22 favorites]


She picked up the tab to assume control over industry operations. This is how mobsters do business.

I'm not sure you understand how mobsters do business.
posted by bongo_x at 7:23 PM on November 2 [53 favorites]


But would you trust them with your money?

no...but I'm also not sure I'd trust Hillary with it either. Not because she's a mobster, dear god, but I don't think her history of campaign staffing hasn't been impressive enough to say that she wouldn't just put another group of fuckups in charge.
posted by lalex at 7:26 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure you understand how mobsters do business.

[from the OP link]

A Politico story published on May 2, 2016, described the big fund-raising vehicle she had launched through the states the summer before, quoting a vow she had made to rebuild “the party from the ground up … when our state parties are strong, we win. That’s what will happen.”

Yet the states kept less than half of 1 percent of the $82 million they had amassed from the extravagant fund-raisers Hillary’s campaign was holding, just as Gary had described to me when he and I talked in August. When the Politico story described this arrangement as “essentially … money laundering” for the Clinton campaign, Hillary’s people were outraged at being accused of doing something shady.

posted by Christ, what an asshole at 7:26 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


So where is the money-laundering?
posted by asteria at 7:29 PM on November 2 [10 favorites]


This Twitter thread pulls the 2015 Joint Fundraising Agreement:
Nowhere in the 2015 JDA is there reference to where "Hillary would control the party's finances, strategy, and all the money raised"

Nor did the 2015 JFA give Hillary the right of first refusal over party communications director or other staff. NONE OF??IS TRUE

I think Donna is confusing the 2016 JFA, between DNC & Hillary as nominee, with this 2015 JFA. Donna, if so, you've created a SHIT STORM
posted by palindromic at 7:30 PM on November 2 [61 favorites]


So where is the money-laundering?

Hey, Politico described it as similar in an article a year and a half ago. Good enough for me. Lock her up.
posted by chris24 at 7:30 PM on November 2 [10 favorites]


There's a random person (to be clear, an obvious Clinton fan) on twitter arguing that it seems like Brazile is conflating the 2015 Joint Fundraising Agreement and the June 2016 agreement (yes, before the convention, but after the CA and NJ primaries and after she clinched the nomination), based on a hacked copy of the agreement from WikiLeaks emails. And it would make sense for the 2015 agreement to be more about straight fundraising and the 2016 one to be the one that gave the Clinton gang effective control over party operations, which isn't evidence of rigging at all. Has anyone seen more on this?

This "money laundering" claim seems to be describing the way it's been done since at least Obama, using state party contribution limits to allow donors to write bigger checks and have the money all flow uphill. That's how the Obama Victory Fund worked too. The 1% arrangement has been publicly known since at least last May.
posted by zachlipton at 7:36 PM on November 2 [19 favorites]


Heh, I just saw that JFA thread. If Brazile really is using the post primary JFA for these allegations she done fucked up.
posted by xyzzy at 7:36 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


Seriously though, what kind of fucking timing is this?

A whole bunch of people said this when Hillary released her book,


...and during the primary, and after the primary, and after the actual election, and they'll say it during the windup to the 2018 midterms and the 2020 primary and forever and ever.

In other words, people just want the actual leftist side of the party to shut up and go away and join with the centrists and that strategy has just worked SO well so far.
posted by Foosnark at 7:44 PM on November 2 [26 favorites]




people just want the actual leftist side of the party to shut up
The idea of lefties defending the woman who provided Clinton's campaign with primary debate questions and then lying about it on tv sort of amuses me.
posted by xyzzy at 7:47 PM on November 2 [9 favorites]


They were. At least this morning. Apparently she had to stand by HRC and couldn't speak out against her during the campaign.
posted by asteria at 7:50 PM on November 2


All the money flowing uphill costs the Democrats state legislatures, redistricting, congress, and young political talent. It's the Koch brothers who save Republicans from the same fate by organizing rich donors into paying for down ticket races.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:52 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


Wow, that money thread on twitter is even more interesting than the JFA thread!

If that thread is correct, the states weren't getting down ballot disbursements from HFA because she had to wait until she was officially the nominee. Bernie's unwillingness to step out of the race hurt all the downballot candidates in the states because none of this money could be released before he backed out.

Damn.
posted by xyzzy at 7:54 PM on November 2 [62 favorites]


bongo_x's link above actually succeeds in turning the tables on the accusers. Transparency indeed. Hillary may have saved the local parties and never got credit.
posted by Brian B. at 7:56 PM on November 2 [28 favorites]


"1. How the hell did Obama leave the DNC in such a large hole when he was vacuuming up money in his own campaign?"

After Obama won there was a decision to keep his fundraising apparatus and organizers a separate organization rather than roll them up into the DNC. Unfortunately, they repeatedly failed from then on to provide any support to the DNC. At least, that's what I've heard...
posted by xammerboy at 8:02 PM on November 2 [10 favorites]


I feel like this is kind of vaguely interesting, but only in the sense of like a fiction book I’m reading. I’m sure I’ll care when the world isn’t on fire, but it is, so it’s hard to be angry at spilled milk.
posted by corb at 8:04 PM on November 2 [11 favorites]


So, here’s what I don’t get — the HRC JFA collects a bunch of money on behalf of several state orgs and the DNC. It isn’t her money, right? Why is she holding it until her nom is locked up? Makes no sense to me.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 8:13 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


Also, if Donna Brazile conflated the 2015 & 2016 JFAs, wouldn’t her publisher have caught such an obvious error when fact-checking the book?
posted by Big Al 8000 at 8:17 PM on November 2


palindromic just posted a bombshell
but bongo_x just posted a BOMBSHELL basically showing that Brazile's story is exactly wrong. If you're reading this post, read that tweet link.
posted by xammerboy at 8:17 PM on November 2 [12 favorites]


I don’t think a candidate becomes a nominee until a party has its convention, so Sanders’s decision to stay in the race wouldn’t have changed anything.

It does seem like the DNC needed the money, though. Everyone seems to agree on that.
posted by eagles123 at 8:18 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


Why is she holding it until her nom is locked up?
SHE wasn't holding it. This was money she raised. She gave it to the DNC. But because this money was collected under a loophole that allow higher than normal individual contributions under a SCOTUS ruling, the DNC couldn't disburse it until she was the de facto nominee.
posted by xyzzy at 8:19 PM on November 2 [17 favorites]


De facto nominee? I don’t think an unofficial or assumed designation can have a legal standing in contracts or under campaign finance law.

Anyway, I don’t think the tweets necessarily contradict Brazile’s account. Everyone seems to agree the party needed financial support.

Brazile just talks about the control Clinton supposedly had over the party as part of the arrangement.

My take: Everyone assumed Clinton would cruise to the nomination with little contest and then the presideny, so the whole thing was arraigned as part of the process of transferring control of the party from Obama to Clinton.

The problem is nobody saw Sanders or Trump coming because the level of discontent with the political system was underestimated. Now everyone is trying to spin their role in the events of 2015-2016 in the most positive light possible after the fact - Brazile included.
posted by eagles123 at 8:33 PM on November 2 [11 favorites]


When did Clinton drop when running against Obama?
posted by asra at 8:33 PM on November 2


June 7, 2008
posted by lalex at 8:42 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


It's perfectly understandable that Sanders wouldn't have entered into a "JFA" when his whole campaign was predicated on broad-based small-dollar donations (so was less in need of $353,400 checks), and his studied disconnection from the traditional means of funding political campaigns was a large part of his appeal.

About the 2015 vs 2016 JFA, Brazile states that the document was "signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias." Wikipedia says Dacey resigned in August 2016 after the Wikileaks affair. It seems like we could confirm which version of the agreement Brazile is referring to by either finding out who signed it, or by finding out if the 2016 version was signed after August 2016.
posted by whir at 8:42 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


...because the level of discontent with the political system was underestimated.

Apparently it was overstated for political effect, known as fake news.
posted by Brian B. at 8:44 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


While bongo_x's link was really informative, it was also really condescending. The "Berner"/(insert HRC support epithet here) thing is so divisive and if the collective we don't cut that shit out half past yesterday, we'll all be stuck in this timeline forever.

So putting Sanders and Clinton aside, there's something broken about the DNC if Clinton had to do what she did to keep it solvent. And yes, it is of the utmost importance that we try to put out this dumpster fire of an administration, but it's also not going do us much good if we fail to notice our own house burning. (It's past my bedtime and I have a migraine. Sorry for that tortured sentence.)
posted by Ruki at 8:44 PM on November 2 [13 favorites]


Clinton dropped MUCH earlier.

eagles123: If you read the links they show that Clinton had no such control. Brazile is just flat out wrong.
posted by xammerboy at 8:44 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


Ach, it looks like the 2016 version was signed around June 9th, so I suppose there's no way to tell from that alone, as Dacey would have been CEO for both documents.
posted by whir at 8:45 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


June 7, 2008

It might be worth pointing out that the delegate difference at this point was 60 and the lead had swapped multiple times. Compared to Clinton’s insurmountable lead as of May 15th the campaign should have been done and dusted then. Hell, the writing was on the wall in April for Bernie.
posted by Talez at 8:48 PM on November 2 [17 favorites]


there's just a bunch of utter fools in and around the DNC. Mothership Strategies got paid $4 million to lose the Ossoff campaign.

The election that's going to court, investigated over suspicion of vote tampering, where they wiped all the hard drives, the State Attorney General just announced they will no longer represent State Election Officials, and reports just surfaced that the Russian Ambassador visited Kennesaw State University in 2016 for some reason?
posted by bongo_x at 8:51 PM on November 2 [33 favorites]


Brian B -

I have no idea what that is supposed to mean.
posted by eagles123 at 8:52 PM on November 2


I have a hard time believing the release of this book is going to affect any of the upcoming gubernatorial races, does anyone really believe that? Maybe New Jersey? The only other competitive race is Virginia and that race seems to operate at a level of discourse that is pretty far removed from questions about who was at the helm of the DNC in the run-up to the primary.
posted by whir at 8:58 PM on November 2


This entire discussion is honestly reminding me of how much nastier and more frustrating the 2008 primary was (Michigan! Florida!) than the 2016 primary.
posted by lalex at 8:58 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


Ruki,

Sanders is accusing Hillary of rigging the election when all she did was bail out the DNC and then raise basically raise all the money for every state's run (something he refused contribute to), and you feel the word "Berner" is offensive? I agree it's something we need to cut out, but the tweeter is re-butting a really ugly accusation from Bernie directly.
posted by xammerboy at 8:59 PM on November 2 [12 favorites]


Actually Donna Brazile has made that accusation. Sanders himself hasn’t commented on the story from what I can tell.
posted by eagles123 at 9:00 PM on November 2 [8 favorites]


...which is to say, I might have believed the book would have an impact if it was going to be released right before some important Democratic primaries, but this is actually kind of the perfect time to release it so as to inflict the least damage on the party.
posted by whir at 9:00 PM on November 2


What is the "ISO" to which You Can't Tip a Buick is referring?
posted by dhens at 9:06 PM on November 2


The problem is nobody saw Sanders or Trump coming because the level of discontent with the political system was underestimated. Now everyone is trying to spin their role in the events of 2015-2016 in the most positive light possible after the fact - Brazile included.

THIISSSSS

Like I said above, holy hell this did not need to be a book. Everybody's frustrated as fuck, but we don't need no money-grubbing book to further distract the party.
posted by numaner at 9:16 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


Yeah, no, Brazile made that accusation, not Sanders. And I never said I felt the word Berner was offensive. I was referring to the “all x supporters are y and therefore bad” kind of divisiveness, such as Berners with their whiny annoying voices or whatever. But like I said, it’s past my bedtime and I have a migraine, so I’ll be back in the morning if this comment didn’t help clear things up.
posted by Ruki at 9:18 PM on November 2


"Don't write a book that might be controversial/divisive/relitigate the primaries" is not a standard we are (or should) be holding HRC to.
posted by lalex at 9:22 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


Here's another good link on why Donna Brazile is wrong: /files/politicaledu.org/2017/11/02/elizabeth-warren-donna-brazille-wrong/
posted by xammerboy at 9:24 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


So, here’s what I don’t get — the HRC JFA collects a bunch of money on behalf of several state orgs and the DNC. It isn’t her money, right? Why is she holding it until her nom is locked up? Makes no sense to me.

It is effectively her money (in the political sense; nobody thinks it is her personal money). She raised it, and the donors she solicited contributed to the Hillary Victory Fund. As I understand it (this isn't one of my strongest areas, so correct me if I've bungled this up), the HVF exists for precisely this purpose, thanks to the Supreme Court eliminating aggregate donation limits:

People make big donations to Hillary Clinton. The first $2,700 from an individual (well, $2,700 for the primary and another $2,700 for the general) goes to the Clinton campaign ("Hillary for America") directly. Anything above that goes to the HVF. The HVF sends the limit for party donations ($33,400) to the DNC. This, conveniently, quickly solved the problem of the DNC being broke. If there's still more money in that check, the HVF starts sending it out $10,000 at a time (the state party limit) to the 33 state parties that agreed to participate in the fund. Most state parties keep a little for themselves as thanks, and the rest of the money goes back up to the DNC (some of the battleground state parties got to keep more to build up local operations), which is fine: national and state parties can transfer money between each other anyway they want. The transfers from state parties back up to the DNC is something the DNC kept fairly quiet, though Politico figured it out through FEC filings.

Sanders did the same thing, just without the states. He could collect a check for $36,100, keep up to the $2,700 limit for his campaign, and the rest would go through his joint fundraising committee to the DNC, though he didn't do much in the way of big-dollar solicitation.

But with the HVF, the money was never really collected for the state parties per se. J. Big Clintondonor wasn't giving to the HVF to donate $10K to the Mississippi Democratic Party. If he wanted to do that, he would have written them a check himself. He was donating to the Clinton campaign and the DNC, and the Mississippi Democratic Party was a handy resting place to, yes, take full advantage of what campaign finance law, sadly, allows. That seems logical to me. Clintondonor's donation to the Hillary Victory Fund was never intended to benefit the Mississippi Democratic Party, because giving money to the Mississippi Democratic Party was not part of the path to a Hillary victory in 2016. If state parties want to raise money on their own, they can always do that, and if state parties wanted to save specific donors for themselves, they apparently had a mechanism to submit those names to the HVF in advance.

So Politico, and now Trump, start calling this practice "money laundering" (fascinating how he latches on to this days after his campaign chairman was indicted for actual money laundering), because it involves shuffling money around, even though it's not the actual crime of money laundering. And then people start complaining that it doesn't benefit the state parties very much. Which, yes, that was the whole point. The Hillary Victory Fund solicited donations to benefit Hillary Clinton, not to build up state party coffers or serve any other agenda.

Is any of this the campaign finance system I want? EXTREMELY NOT. But trying to make that the point muddles the issue. The only part of this I care about is whether the DNC actually handed control of the party (not just of the HVF, but of all DNC operations and staffing) to Clinton in August 2015. If there's a contract that says this, it should be easy to produce it.

I believe that's the short version of the next 6-12 months worth of screaming, but it's 2017, so I'm sure something even worse will happen soon enough.
posted by zachlipton at 9:24 PM on November 2 [100 favorites]


Ruki, I re-read the tweet and yeah, it's divisive I agree.
posted by xammerboy at 9:26 PM on November 2


SHE wasn't holding it. This was money she raised. She gave it to the DNC. But because this money was collected under a loophole that allow higher than normal individual contributions under a SCOTUS ruling, the DNC couldn't disburse it until she was the de facto nominee.

Yes, I understand she raised it. But not for her campaign. Would the Bernie JFA money be given back to the contributors since he wasn’t the nominee? This explanation isn’t making sense to me.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 9:26 PM on November 2


If Brazile confused the 2015 and 2016 agreements it will be easy for the DNC to clear up by producing them.
posted by edeezy at 9:27 PM on November 2


Would the Bernie JFA money be given back to the contributors since he wasn’t the nominee?

No. The first $2,700 went to his campaign, anything on top of that to the DNC. You don't get a refund.
posted by zachlipton at 9:29 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


I’m really skeptical that rando Twitter person has the goods on the 2015/2016 JFAs and Brazile’s publisher doesn’t. For them to publish her claim without fact-checking would open them up to massive liability should HRC choose to pursue a libel claim.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 9:30 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


No. The first $2,700 went to his campaign, anything on top of that to the DNC. You don't get a refund.

Right. So how can the DNC and state money be held back until Hillary is the nominee? It isn’t her money.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 9:31 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


This is a really dumb question, but... do publishers actually do fact checking?
posted by Jpfed at 9:33 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


"Don't write a book that might be controversial/divisive/relitigate the primaries"... and release it and promote it one week before a bunch of off-year elections...
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:37 PM on November 2 [6 favorites]


zachlipton- I missed your reply above. Thanks for the explanation.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 9:38 PM on November 2


rando Twitter person
We're all rando Twitter persons who can read the draft 2015 JFA thanks to Wikileaks! Which I just read. Literally nothing in there about rights of refusal or any of that nonsense.
posted by xyzzy at 9:38 PM on November 2 [10 favorites]


For them to publish her claim without fact-checking would open them up to massive liability should HRC choose to pursue a libel claim.

I used to think people knew what they were doing, and fact checked and all that.
posted by bongo_x at 9:43 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


I should say, of course, that I still strongly despise Assange and find the Podesta hack distasteful, so we should wait until the DNC produces documentation to refute or support Brazile's claims to be totally sure.
posted by xyzzy at 9:45 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


So basically there’s nothing going on here? Hillary “took control” of the DNC and saved their asses, none of the primary votes were changed, ppl still got their money? I mean, after reading the thread, what’s the news here? What am I missing?
posted by gucci mane at 9:45 PM on November 2 [20 favorites]


I used to think people knew what they were doing, and fact checked and all that.

Forget it, Jake. It's Politico.
posted by dw at 9:46 PM on November 2 [11 favorites]


Interestingly, the Sanders campaign put out a press release on April 16 2016 complaining that the JFA "raises serious campaign-finance concerns," just prior to the "money-laundering" Politico story Brazil talks about (that phrase itself is attributed to general "fundraisers who work for state parties" in the article).
posted by whir at 9:48 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


"Don't write a book that might be controversial/divisive/relitigate the primaries" is not a standard we are (or should) be holding HRC to.

Her book didn't just relitigate the primaries, it relitigated that and the general, and it was basically research into WTF HAPPENED from her point of view instead of "hey, there might be something shady in the primaries based on what I saw of the money flow", which we're all now discovering to be maybe nothingburgers.

But also, the timing could've been better. And this hurts the party more than Hillary's book.

Also I'm sorry if I seem combative but I've been drinking all night.
posted by numaner at 9:50 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: it's 2017, so I'm sure something even worse will happen soon enough.
posted by numaner at 9:58 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


Yeah, so draft JFA isn’t signed JFA. About half of this thread is potentially bollocks until somebody comes up with the signed 2015 JFA. This isn’t Donna Brazile’s first rodeo, so I remain skeptical that she is making what amounts to a rookie mistake and that her publisher, Hachette, is making it, too.

But, y’know, hey. ˉ\_(ツ)_/ˉ Donald Trump is president so who the hell knows what is true and real any more.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 9:59 PM on November 2 [7 favorites]


In fairness, there's an addendum I should add to my screed above (on preview, hey, it's what whir just posted!). The Hillary Victory Fund did add one new trick, and the Sanders campaign didn't love it. The Fund itself ran a few million dollars worth of its own ads, complete with "I'm With Her" tagline, to solicit donations for the HVF.

The usual story for a joint victory fund is to use it for high-dollar donations above the $2,700 limit, sending the small dollar donations directly to the campaign first (the campaign stores for Clinton and Obama were also run through joint fundraising accounts, because as I understand it, sending store proceeds to the fund largely avoids the pain of dealing with people who already their max to the campaign and now want a t-shirt). The Clinton campaign didn't just do that; they used these ads to solicit small dollar donations directly to the HVF too.

The Sanders campaign accused the DNC of essentially supporting Clinton's fundraising efforts with these ads. Some of the big donor donations to the fund were used to buy these ads to small dollar donations to the fund (which builds up a donor list for the Clinton campaign to hit up again and again), which directly benefits the Clinton campaign and not the DNC.

I don't see this as the scandal of the century, but it points to the HVF existing as a Clinton-controlled entity to benefit Clinton more than a true joint effort (though pouring millions into the DNC and wiping out its debt is a good sign this wasn't entirely a selfish effort). At the end of the day, the Hillary Victory Fund was obviously there to support Clinton. The big problem would be if the DNC's own funds were used to materially support only Clinton during the primaries, which would be a different story.
posted by zachlipton at 9:59 PM on November 2 [14 favorites]


Even if it turns out Brazile was mistaken, even if she's the wrongest person who ever was wrong, this isn't going away. People were already well convinced the primaries were rigged.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 9:59 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


>For them to publish her claim without fact-checking would open them up to massive liability should HRC choose to pursue a libel claim.

This is a really dumb question, but... do publishers actually do fact checking?

The short answer is: no.

The Atlantic (2014): Book Publishing, Not Fact-Checking

Vulture (2015): Will Book Publishers Ever Start Fact-checking? They’re Already Starting.

The longer answer is 'no, generally, but they sometimes do.'

(Sort-of-relatedly, here's a good piece on the difficulties of integrating fact-checking into the editorial process -- it's a constant balance of timeliness with accuracy. Columbia Journalism Review (2002): Fact Checking At The New Yorker)
posted by cjelli at 10:00 PM on November 2 [12 favorites]


People were already well convinced the primaries were rigged.

Even if it was rigged, even if Clinton walked out on 5th ave and said "I did it! I took you fools for all you're worth and then I lost", even if she walked into the capitol and slapped Sanders in the face, this is already done because she's not going to run again. People should pay attention to the burning pile of orange garbage that we need to piss on to extinguish.
posted by numaner at 10:07 PM on November 2 [15 favorites]


Metafilter: I've been drinking all night.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:31 PM on November 2 [8 favorites]


Democratic Party: You really need to leave the Democratic Party in a better position with your presidency...
Obama: Yeah, right. What's the worst that could happen? A white supremacist being made president through a loophole in electoral law who systematically undoes everything I've achieved? LOL.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:39 PM on November 2 [13 favorites]


>they just handed Trump his next six months worth of talking points about Crooked Hillary

...which will allow EVERY OTHER DEMOCRAT six months to do whatever they want without Donnie noticing.


And will associate "DNC" with "crooks" in voter's minds so all of the special elections a week from now, and all the 2018 elections in a year, will go GOP and we will have missed a chance at hobbling Trump.

This is the emails red herring all over again. What has everyone got it in for the DNC?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:45 PM on November 2 [12 favorites]


All I can see is that whoever gets the nom in 2020, I need to keep my wallet in my pocket. I’ll vote but that’s it. Even kinda regretting my donation to Warren a couple of months ago right now. There are neighborhood concerns I can look at instead.
posted by rewil at 10:47 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


The DNC is basically Kruger Industrial Smoothing.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:00 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


Trump doesn’t need this to whip up his base; he/they just made up a uranium scandal that doesn’t exist. The uranium deal is just as real to his base as this is, and if they want to find a new scandal to play they’d just as soon make one up. “The right is just waiting for the next real scandal so they can pounce” is not a thing that happens. Anymore.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:43 PM on November 2 [9 favorites]


I mean, every single thing Trump and his people are accused of they turn around to the Dems and HRC. With Trump there is no shortage of shit to fling.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:45 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


What no RLTP tag? Held my tongue so long i forgot what to argue. So....
DNC is centrist political machine that holds leftists vote-hostage because they are not worse than the Republicans. And it is never going to be the progressive leftists turn. But leftists like myself want to fight white supremacy, patriarchy, cisherereoconformity, the military-industrial complex, Wallstreet, militarized and privitized law enforcement and save the environment and end income inequality and the Dems are like " ok, we can't fight every unfair power imbalance simultaneously so how about we suck up to wallstreet and the military and we'll put gentle pressure on the rest?". I get that Centrism has a certain pragmatism, but halfway between the TrumpublicaNazi party and socialism is still too far to the right for sure.

Was HRC better than Trump? Infinitely
Was HRC the heir apparent in the eyes of the media and the party apparatus, while Bernie was dismissed before the primaries even started. Yes.
Will i (and my fellow lefties vote against republicans even if it means voting for centrists who will stab many of my causes in the back to protect the status quo) sigh, yes.
Was Bernie supported by russians or even a long sleeping soviet cultivated socialist finally used in case of HRC emergency - IDK

Are large parts of the Democratic, ideology-less political jobholders serving corporate masters and speaking the local values of their Blue districts. Yes.
The party is meant to corral and compromise the left, to never offer a leftwing candidate and to always pull the leftwing voter to choosing a compromised candidate. I dont think the american political distribution of beliefs is a bellcurve where moderates on both sides fight to capture a swing center and thus a majority. I think there are two poles: One deplorable and hardright pulling its party rightward and far from the middle, and one leftish, that wants a public option, guncontrol, progressive taxation and aggressive environmental protection, equality diversity and and civil rights for all. There arent that many middle moderate centrist swing voters.... of course i have no polling or data or links to back me up. It wouldn't matter if i did.
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 11:52 PM on November 2 [12 favorites]


point is: american people are two-humped camel, the republicans are siting on the right hump, and the Democrats are sitting between the humps and wondering why they keep coming up short. But the left hump is unacceptable to corporations, and a whole lotta white people are leary of how colorful the left hump is, so they can't bring themselves to climb up out of the middle.
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 11:57 PM on November 2 [11 favorites]


Democrats are sitting between the humps and wondering why they keep coming up short.

HRC ran on the most progressive democratic campaign and won the election by 3 million votes, that Trump is in office is a result of your idiotic presidential electoral system. Which by the way, has screwed over the Democratic party twice now.
posted by PenDevil at 12:08 AM on November 3 [55 favorites]


The American electorate is not a camel. It is a body of people who broadly support socialist policies. In fact, the most popular politician in America is an uncharismatic ancient Jewish man from Brooklyn precisely because of his supposedly far-left views. The problem is that the Democratic party has been unable to convince the 40 percent of people who don't vote to get out to the polls. Why don't these people vote? Because they see it as a pointless exercise that will not change the material conditions of their lives, and the capitalist DNC does everything they can to prove them right.
posted by R.F.Simpson at 12:24 AM on November 3 [12 favorites]


Agreed HRC won the primary and the election and was screwed by Comey and Russia. Agreed USA is barely a democracy.

HRC is not a progressive. she made the practical decision to accept the progressive platform from fear that disillusioned Bernie Bros would stay home or bolt. I think she's an extremely well qualified candidate who should have won. She should not run again. Nor should BSanders.
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 12:29 AM on November 3 [13 favorites]


Humps From Pew The Congress of Today Has Its Roots in the 1970s
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 12:34 AM on November 3


Can we decide what this thread is for exactly? Is it here to discuss the topic in the FPP, broadly construed, or to generally make statements about the nature of the Democratic Party and the political beliefs of the American electorate while relitigating aspects of the primary unrelated to the DNC?
posted by zachlipton at 12:44 AM on November 3 [9 favorites]


I retract. public opinion has a significant middle, politicians not so much. Im going to bed, will stop hogging comments. Up-anchor and away!
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 12:44 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


I am a little confused how the DNC were so far in debt that they needed saving? Political parties here in the UK regular take on debt (one big story this year was the LibDems being debt free thanks to a surge in donations and members joining due to Brexit). Were the DNC's debts not backed by the membership paying their monthly dues? Did the membership collapse during Obama's terms?
posted by DoveBrown at 12:54 AM on November 3


Political parties in the US don't work quite like political parties in the UK (some days, I really wish they did). The Democratic party membership is just "the set of all people who ticked the 'Democrat' box on their voter registration form." There are no dues, and membership doesn't fluctuate a whole lot. The parties are funded by donations. It's not uncommon for them to go into debt during Presidential campaigns and rebuild, though Brazile here charges her predecessor with not sufficiently reducing costs during off-cycle years.
posted by zachlipton at 1:09 AM on November 3 [3 favorites]


Were the DNC's debts not backed by the membership paying their monthly dues?
We don't pay party dues. I've considered registering as a Republican to vote in their primaries, but I just can't quite stomach it.
posted by xyzzy at 1:41 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


My read on the whole thing is that she took matters into her own hands, manipulated the system to get to the top, all because she wanted to do good things for the country. The vibe is that she's now getting the shit end of the stick because the end sadly didn't justify the means. -- numaner

Even the ending she was after might not have justified the means, if her victory came at the cost of starving the states. Of course, even that would have saved us from Trump, so... yeah, maybe it would have been worth it after all. Rough compromise, though.

Anyway, numaner, yes, that's almost exactly how I've always seen it, though I'd be a little less charitable about her motivation. (I think it's always been clear that both Underwoo Clintons have always been about power first, by any means necessary, and if they can do a bit of good once in power, great, everyone wins. And since they've always been a whole closer to the good-guys side of the power structure than the other options, it's almost always been acceptable to me. Perfect is the enemy of good, and all that. So go ahead, I mentally said to Hillary the same way I said to Bill before: play hard, play dirty, do what it takes to win, and at least keep the much more corrupt, if not downright evil guys out of office. Be nasty, but be nasty to a better end. That was a bargain worth taking for me, and for most voters, I think.)

She'd been pretty clearly gunning for 2016 since the day she lost to Obama in 2008, and getting early and solid control of the DNC was an obvious, deliberate (and clever) way to make sure she was the uncontested nominee next time out. It was pretty clearly her machine even before the earliest primaries, and I don't think anyone other than blinder-wearing Clinton fans or Brooks-driven astroturfers failed to see that, to varying degrees of discomfort (see above rationale).

Now, whether she needed to be so Machiavellian to win the nomination this last time is an open question, of course, as is whether she needed to alienate so much of the left on her way to securing it. Heck, I think it's even valid to ask whether it may have done more harm than good to funnel so much money into the Presidential race at the cost of all the state efforts. The Republicans have absolutely crushed Democrats in state races for a couple of decades now, and this... well let's just call it hard-nosed... approach of focusing only on the Presidency sure did nothing to shore up any chance of correcting that in future. We're in a deep hole now.

So, even though it's a year later, it's nice to see Brazile confirm all these things that some of us were ridiculed or called paranoid for pointing out as pretty obvious last year.

Someone should probably remind her not to re-litigate the primaries, however.
posted by rokusan at 2:00 AM on November 3 [9 favorites]


I think there are two poles: One deplorable and hardright pulling its party rightward and far from the middle, and one leftish, that wants a public option, guncontrol, progressive taxation and aggressive environmental protection, equality diversity and and civil rights for all. There arent that many middle moderate centrist swing voters.... of course i have no polling or data or links to back me up.

You could be right! (Or at least, "moderates" exist, but they aren't actually centrists.)
posted by en forme de poire at 2:23 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


Fucking why the fucking fuck does this fucking world have to fucking be so fucking shit-fucked by fucking every fucking person with a fucking dab of fucking power?
posted by giraffeneckbattle at 2:38 AM on November 3 [20 favorites]


Well said, Giraffe. Well said.
posted by rokusan at 2:58 AM on November 3 [3 favorites]


...what kind of fucking timing is this?

A whole bunch of people said this when Hillary released her book...


Brazile's book timing makes sense to me, actually (the primaries are far enough past that we're not still hot about them, the midterms are far enough away that this won't be news anymore, etc) but I still don't get the timing of Clinton's book. I mean, it's about why and how she lost the election, and the jury is still rather out on the details of that, I believe.

I feel like any book about the 2016 election that's already been written is going to need a New and Updated Version by this time next year.
posted by rokusan at 3:01 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


there's never going to be a good time for some people - and eventually the issues behind the 2016 primary are going to have to be thrashed out, but in the context of having trump for president

i'm not sure exactly what that means but i will say that politics as usual isn't going to work because politics as usual is how we ended up where we are - the democratic establishment had the ball and they didn't get the job done

i would say that the biggest mistake wasn't supporting hillary over bernie - it was not doing more for the downticket votes nationwide

it's about state races and congress right now - the main circus will have to wait
posted by pyramid termite at 3:23 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


...why... does this... world have to.. be so... [disadvantaged] by... every... person with a... dab of... power?

We know that feelings of power suppresses your empathy, and that wielding power long-term does permanent damage to the brain. That trope about a good leader having someone in their life that treats them normally has experimental backing: breaking that feeling of power is vital to give the brain a chance to heal.

Basically the fuckers are fucked in the head
posted by Merus at 3:50 AM on November 3 [7 favorites]


What has everyone got it in for the DNC? -- E.C.

The articles... kind of explain this?

While it's had good ideas and good periods (Dean's Fifty State Strategy was one of those, I think), the DNC in general has been relentlessly centrist, old-power, establishment, and opposed to progress. It's been run, more or less, by the same old minds for decades now, running the same triangulation models and failing at almost every opportunity. Obama struck on his own path to success largely from frustration and mistrust in the DNC ways of doing business, but post-Obama, they're back to the same tired approaches and powers.

They've institutionalized taking leftist and progressive votes for granted while chasing big donors and ignoring individuals that actually, you know, vote. This latest brain-dead plan, as Brazile now formally and finally acknowledges did really happen, included deliberately starving the states while secretly funneling every penny possible to the HRC campaign, starting from long before she was even the nominee. This is actually pretty much in line with classic DNC myopia. They ceded state houses, races and power for another cycle or two, and marginalized their most energized constituents... completely ignoring the Republican lesson: to seize all three branches of government, start smaller, locally, lean on your most vociferous voters rather than alienate them, and build up from there.

There are a lot of good, modern, progressive Democratic candidates out there. Many people believe that these good candidates deserve support from a DNC that's more honest, open and representative of voters' interests than the one we seem to have at present.
posted by rokusan at 4:23 AM on November 3 [17 favorites]


I've been interested in Brazile since I first saw her on a late night news show (Nightline?) a couple of decades ago. She was passionate and eviscerated a Repub spokesperson. But when it came to transforming that passion into effective action, she came up short. She was thrown out of the Dukakis campaign for screwing up. Before that Brazile worked for Mondale and Jesse Jackson. She worked for Senator Dick Gephardt but lost in the 1988 primary. She was fiercely loyal to Bill Clinton, but the party gave her few large responsibilities until she wound up managing Al Gore's Presidential campaign. Notice a recurrent theme? Donna Brazile never managed a successful campaign. And that is where this book is coming from: trying to paint Brazile's career as successful. I am really sorry she did this. Brazile was, if anything, a Hillary supporter, not a Berner. She gave Hillary direction during the candidate debates, as was exposed via hacked e-Mail.
I have little respect for certain political professionals -- people like, say, James Carville or Karl Rove. The best politico in the 2016 US Presidential campaign was Jared Kushner. Yes. He knew how to use Facebook.
posted by CCBC at 4:31 AM on November 3 [6 favorites]


Trump is tweeting about Brazile's book. Says Clinton stole the election from "Crazy Bernie". Maybe if you're going to feign like you're upset about how Sanders was treated you should refrain from insulting the supposedly injured party in the very same sentence?
posted by Justinian at 4:52 AM on November 3 [10 favorites]


the primaries are far enough past that we're not still hot about them

The cranky tone of many of the comments above would seem to suggest otherwise.

The NY Times just ran a very long article about the Democratic Party's struggles and flailing attempts to find a strategy. I have no idea how the next set of elections will go, but it does feel like any effective remaking of the party is many years away, given the lock hold that the same people (eg, Pelosi) still have on things.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:02 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


The timing on this sucks BUT the DNC needs to handle their shit and/or cease to exist. They've been a clusterfuck for years and years.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 5:04 AM on November 3 [8 favorites]


Trump is tweeting about Brazile's book. Says Clinton stole the election from "Crazy Bernie". Maybe if you're going to feign like you're upset about how Sanders was treated you should refrain from insulting the supposedly injured party in the very same sentence?

And follows it up by saying "Pocahontas just stated that the Democrats, lead by the legendary Crooked Hillary Clinton, rigged the Primaries! Lets go FBI & Justice Dept."
posted by chris24 at 5:05 AM on November 3


So now he's making explicitly racist tweets instead of just implicitly racist ones. Hooray?
posted by Justinian at 5:06 AM on November 3 [3 favorites]


@JoyAnnReid
A small note - that’s actually a big one - on the subject of “rigging.” The @donnabrazile excerpt is causing lots of sturm und drang w @SenWarren joining the chorus saying it proves the ‘16 Dem race was “rigged” in favor of Hillary Clinton. But I think we need to take a deep breath and unpack what’s at issue. The question is: what does the DNC actually do, and can it, even if it wanted to, rig 50+ primaries for any given candidate? Well let’s start with what the DNC (and RNC) actually do: they are the governing bodies for their parties. They write the platform, support candidates up and down ballot, fund state parties and operate what’s called the “coordinated campaign” for the presidential nominee. They do NOT determine whether states have primaries or caucuses — that’s up to the states and state parties. Most state parties prefer primaries because the state pays for them, while parties preferring caucuses do so for more control. Other than using their delegate allocation power to lock in the “go first” states, the DNC also doesn’t set primary/caucus schedule. That too is up to states, who generally pass laws to fix the date leaving it to the state party (not the DNC/RNC) if they’re open or closed. That’s why we already know the order for 2020. States for the most part already decided. Here’s the 2020 primary schedule:

The DNC in 2016 also used the same delegate allocation rules from 2012, so all the candidates knew the deal. The DNC and RNC also form joint fundraising committees with the eventual nominee. They offer these agreements to all the candidates. Per Donna’s contention, that process was polluted by the fact that Hillary Clinton was both a candidate and bailing out the DNC financially. There’s some question about whether she acquired the control every nominee gets over the DNC before or after she clinched the nomination, but that, and the clear preference of DNC staff and longtime Clinton loyalist are the source of the “rigging” claim. Well the setting of the debate schedule, which you could argue was done to bury Sanders' appeal, though clearly that didn't work. But the question is -- what could the DNC have done to actually cause Sanders to lose the states he lost, which cost him the nomination? Even if one objects to the JFA as Donna did it didn't hurt Sanders financially. By April he'd raised as much as HRC. I was in S Carolina covering that primary. Sanders had robust staff, enthusiastic supporters and lots of money. Did the DNC "make him lose?" South Carolina is the giant-killer in presidential campaigns, D and R. Had Obama lost it in '08 Clinton would likely have been the nominee. The DNC & the party writ large very openly favored Hillary Clinton. Obama lost huge primaries and won caucuses. He still got the nomination. Since the rules were the same -- including the superdelegate rules -- why was outsider Obama able to beat the DNC establishment then? And by the way, if you made the superdelegates proportional, or disappeared them, Clinton still would have won. The superdelegates strongly favored Clinton in 2008 by the by, including the CBC. They couldn't stop him from getting the nomination either. Even if the DNC passed a rule binding superdelegates to their state primaries, Clinton would have won.

So here's the deal: the DNC is full of super-Democrats who are party loyalists and yep, they favored Clinton over the independent Sanders. They snarked about him in emails stolen and released by Russian hackers. They were a sloppy organization that was broke and needed Clinton. And they entered into a deal that basically saw the more or less inevitable nominee, based on the primary calendar, loan them money. But snarky emails didn't cost Bernie Sanders the nomination. DNC fundraising deals with Clinton (for money to spend in the GENERAL election) didn't either. Sanders didn't win the nomination because Hillary Clinton got more votes than he did. She won the calendar. And she got more votes particularly in states with large black voting populations, which is how Democrats win primaries. The DNC, from what I gather, including from Donna's book excerpt, could barely function, let alone rig 50+ primaries. Because again, how would an organization compel/force more people to vote for one candidate over the other? Perhaps if they had run a disinformation campaign against Sanders? Which is odd because there was one: that Russia ran against Clinton. The candidates traded insults and accusations but that's hardly rigging a campaign. He portrayed her as a crook, she called him unrealistic. (Well maybe "crook" is too harsh - but you get my drift.) The JFA is interesting news to me in that it shows how fecacked the party was. But I can't see how that fundraising arrangement actually rigged the election in Clinton's favor. Perhaps I'm missing something.
posted by chris24 at 5:16 AM on November 3 [65 favorites]


fecacked

Not in the OED, although I guess the meaning is clear enough.
posted by thelonius at 5:29 AM on November 3 [3 favorites]


Yet the states kept less than half of 1 percent of the $82 million they had amassed from the extravagant fund-raisers Hillary’s campaign was holding, just as Gary had described to me when he and I talked in August.

This is the real story, right here. Clinton was okay with throwing the down-ticket races so long as she got the money she needed for her campaign.
posted by fifthrider at 5:31 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


This is the real story, right here. Clinton was okay with throwing the down-ticket races so long as she got the money she needed for her campaign.

I would refer you to zachlipton's expansive comment above.
posted by chris24 at 5:33 AM on November 3 [11 favorites]


And that this is the same set-up Obama had.
posted by asteria at 5:37 AM on November 3 [3 favorites]


Bottom line: as long as we let privately controlled party organizations control the on-ramps to our electoral processes on a partisan basis, money and influence peddling and the team sports mindset and all the other problems inherent to effectively letting private companies pre-screen political candidates and invite them to put those parties’ institutional interests ahead of the conscience and independence of the individual people running for or holding office, there will continue to be power struggles over control of those party apparatuses, and in the end, those parties will be free to be as fair or unfair in how they run their nominating processes as they want to be. The party itself has no obligations, legally, to be fair.

Parties do have an obligation not to help other countries carry out covert espionage operations against US government and society, though.

My own preference would be to dismantle the party system and fully fund campaigns with strict limits on advertising, but that’s so far out of step with the norms and expectations we’ve established at this point it’s not looking like anybody in politics would take the initiative and try to lead us in that direction. We’d need better media integrity, too, and more spirit of good faith public interested politics to make that kind of public system work now.
posted by saulgoodman at 5:57 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


We don't pay party dues.

Wait, is this true? Even to hold party office?
posted by corb at 6:07 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


A related post from Feburary 2016 suggests that this isn't really new knowledge.
posted by thelonius at 6:09 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


There are plenty of problems with the DNC (the inability to focus on anything outside of DC is the biggie), but the fact of the matter is that this is complete bullshit.

Every single time the Dems get ratfucked, the right celebrates, the DS sulk, and the leftists make shit up in the hopes that this time attacking the Democratic Party will gain them followers, when in reality it just supports whataboutism and bothsidesism and works to the advantage of the right wingers. The public at large can't tell the difference between the lies and the overblown, though not entirely groundless complaints. Wingers deal with it on their side by suppressing the voices of dissenters. The DNC and the left won't do that to each other, so the internecine fighting continues while the Republicans use the argument to successfully discredit everyone else.

When we talk about nothingburger "scandals" as if there is serious wrongdoing, we directly damage our political system by sowing distrust among the electorate. Trump has scandals, the Dems have scandals, they must be all the same. The complaints haven't helped in 20 years, so why not try something different? (The DNC tried for a bit, at least)
posted by wierdo at 6:12 AM on November 3 [21 favorites]


I don't have time to really go into this but here is pushback suggesting that there are big problems with the story
posted by thelonius at 6:13 AM on November 3 [3 favorites]


What is the "ISO" to which You Can't Tip a Buick is referring?

International Socialist Organization. They supported Stein and not Clinton in the 2016 election. (They usually support Green Party candidates in national elections.)

But, really, any socialist party/organization (and there are a lot of Trotskyist and Maoist organizations out there) with a class line on elections (i.e. no support for bourgeois parties) will refuse to support Democratic candidates.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 6:20 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


In the section of her book excerpted in politico, Donna Brazile does not make any allegations that the primary election voting process was "rigged" by the DNC, none. The DNC is not in a position to do so even if wanted to. The primaries are run by the state election commissions in most states, and the state parties in states that have caucuses, not the DNC. The excerpt is about "the Joint Fund-Raising Agreement between the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary for America....signed in August 2015", and why she thinks it was improper. In the excerpt, she's very clear about what agreement she's talking about and when it was signed.

The excerpt is the first link in the FPP. I'd suggest reading it to find out what we're talking about. It looks like some people have jumped in and started commenting without bothering to do that.
posted by nangar at 6:27 AM on November 3 [8 favorites]


And Warren clarified that she didn't mean the primaries were rigged.

@Alex_Roarty (McClatchy)
fwiw: spokeswoman for Warren says the senator agreed the DNC was rigged, not the primary process itself
posted by chris24 at 6:35 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


My own preference would be to dismantle the party system and fully fund campaigns with strict limits on advertising, but that’s so far out of step with the norms and expectations we’ve established at this point it’s not looking like anybody in politics would take the initiative and try to lead us in that direction. We’d need better media integrity, too, and more spirit of good faith public interested politics to make that kind of public system work now.

Those aren't just your preferences, those are actual preconditions for a functional democracy, especially the part about strict limits on advertising. A lot of political campaigning, and a large part of "political discourse" conducted by the press, is corrosive to democracy at this point. It's vital that this gets sorted out, but it doesn't seem likely that it will get sorted out.

(I'm a socialism-enthusiastic US citizen but was completely disgusted by the Bernie hagiography and by the "OH JEREMY CORBYN" thing in the country where I live; that sort of in-group shit and personalisation of politics is really not compatible with the analysis and vision I expect from the left, although it's to be expected from the right and centre. I've seen calls, on MeFi and elsewhere, for a leftwing or liberal "noise machine" to counter the rightwing one, and that is just the worst idea ever.)
posted by busted_crayons at 6:54 AM on November 3 [9 favorites]


You're misreading my point, chris24. The problem is one of essential strategic priorities: Clinton had a choice to either prioritize asking donors to donate the limit to the state parties, which would have allowed for a more robust state-level strategy and improved the presidential ground-game, or prioritize asking them to put money in the presidential race through the Victory Fund. She picked the latter, which is the same stupid strategic mistake that the DNC has been making since 2008: 'We'll keep the presidency forever, so state organization and state races don't matter.'

The Republicans have this one figured out: sink your big money into House and Senate races, gerrymander the hell out of your state districts, and keep control of the statehouses and governorships. That way, even if you have an opposition president for eight years, you can just ignore him, block his judges, and wait for an upset to get your four-year window to hit all your priorities—or, just strongarm some of what you want through during a Democratic presidency anyway, because they're into that "compromise" stuff.
posted by fifthrider at 7:05 AM on November 3 [16 favorites]


The Democratic National Committee is made up of representatives of state Democratic organizations. It includes people who were Bernie supporters during the primaries as well as Hillary supporters. The DNC is "establishment" in the sense the state, local and national party organizations are the Democratic Party establishment. It doesn't mean these organizations are limited to conservative or moderate Democrats. The leadership of these organizations are elected directly and indirectly by active Democrats who show at local Democratic Party meetings and vote on leadership positions or run for them, this includes progressives.
posted by nangar at 7:15 AM on November 3 [13 favorites]


My own preference would be to dismantle the party system and fully fund campaigns with strict limits on advertising, but that’s so far out of step with the norms and expectations we’ve established at this point it’s not looking like anybody in politics would take the initiative and try to lead us in that direction.

There wouldn't be any point for someone in politics trying to do that; it would directly and flagrantly violate the first amendment. "You've tried hard enough to get elected; you have to stop trying now" is pretty much impossible to square with free expression, as is "You have to stop advocating for causes you believe in because you've done enough already."
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:21 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


She picked the latter, which is the same stupid strategic mistake that the DNC has been making since 2008

Which is probably why HRC would not be a great choice for DNC Chair, her fundraising skills aside. But why was she ever in a position to make that call? Why was the DNC so broken it needed someone to save it? What happened once Dean left?
posted by asteria at 7:22 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


Few people set off my bullshitometer like Donna Brazile. DWS is one. Ugh.

I'm disappointed that Perez isn't leading a strong DNC cleanup push. I'm not at all optimistic that the DNC will be the competent and trustworthy organization that we need it to be by 2018 / 2020.
posted by kprincehouse at 7:22 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


Perez seems to be a proponent of the idea that it's better to have people inside the tent pissing, than outside. Not sure how it's working out for him.
posted by asteria at 7:24 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


i would say that the biggest mistake wasn't supporting hillary over bernie - it was not doing more for the downticket votes nationwide

it's about state races and congress right now - the main circus will have to wait


I agree with this. There was a poster waaay upthread who thought there were no elections because the 4-year cycle/2-year cycle hadn't come. There are always local/regional/state elections and we Dems aren't always great about showing up for those or thinking those are equally as important as the presidential one. If you are in a state where elections are coming up next week, get out there! This is how Republicans get in good; their supporters turn up. From school boards to governors to senators, you have got to pay attention to the details, not just the big picture. Campaign as hard for these races as you did for Hillary.
posted by Kitteh at 7:28 AM on November 3 [6 favorites]


Why was the DNC so broken it needed someone to save it? What happened once Dean left?

Apologies in advance for answering a question by quoting you back at you, but "this is the same set-up Obama had." There was this notion that if we had this young, inspiring President that won in landslides that everything would be okay. Trouble was, Obama's campaigns were incredibly (and increasingly) expensive, while the focus on a single, magnetic personality didn't exactly get people excited about getting out to canvass for the county commissioner or whatever. Turns out that Matthew 6:26 isn't a great strategy in the real world.
posted by fifthrider at 7:29 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


This week's scandal reminds me of first-grader soccer. My daughter started playing in first grade. It was cute. To start both teams would line up mid-field in an orderly way. But as soon as the ball was in play, they all ran after it. Like one swarm of bipedal bumble bees.

I think, all that's missing from political "analysis" of Ms Brazile's motive for publishing EXPLOSIVE REVELATION of party sandbagging is a reminder: Hillary or Bernie (depending on which way you swing) would have won, if blacks had gone to the polls.
posted by marycatherine at 7:34 AM on November 3


if blacks had gone to the polls.

WTfuckingF? 89% of blacks voted for Clinton. 57% of whites voted for Trump. If turnout was a little lower than 2012, that was because of voter suppression. VRA gutted, Voter ID in many states, reduced early voting, etc., etc. And maybe a tiny bit because the first black president wasn't on the ticket. Understandable.

So no, black people aren't to blame. White people are. And it's really fucked up to blame the people most at risk and harmed for the problem, especially when they overwhelmingly fucking voted the right fucking way.
posted by chris24 at 7:40 AM on November 3 [61 favorites]


if blacks had gone to the polls.

Really digging your implied premise that getting out that segment of the vote was somehow all specifically Donna Brazile's job for some reason...
posted by fifthrider at 7:44 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


i think marycatherine was saying that the analysis of the motive for publishing is just as lazy as the misguided idea about black people voting
posted by kokaku at 7:45 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


Apologies in advance for answering a question by quoting you back at you, but "this is the same set-up Obama had."

Right. What I am getting at is why was the DNC so tied to Obama and to the presidency/presidential candidate at all. Why after Dean did it revert to a failing top-down structure? Was it incompetence? Malfeasance?
posted by asteria at 7:48 AM on November 3


Was it incompetence? Malfeasance?

All indications at this point are six of one, half a dozen of the other.
posted by fifthrider at 7:49 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


The accusation is she used the DNCs financial mess to exert ethically questionable control over the organization. So, the people saying Hillary bailed out the DNC and helped down ballot candidates with the HVF are being overly generous — especially when you look at the nationwide results up and down the ballot. The truth is she used current campaign law to turn the DNC and the state parties into a parallel finance arm for her campaign.

Thee are plenty of examples where the Bernie campaign was stymied by the DNC, including when he was cut off from the voter lists last spring. They were in the bag for Hillary, and looked to (legally) help her when possible and (legally) neglect Bernie when possible. No votes were bought or primaries rigged but that doesn’t make it okay.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 7:54 AM on November 3 [7 favorites]


including when he was cut off from the voter lists last spring.

You mean when ? Yeah, that's on him and he got off light.
posted by
chris24 at 8:01 AM on November 3 [19 favorites]


So, the people saying Hillary bailed out the DNC and helped down ballot candidates with the HVF are being overly generous

Going by her twitter feed, that would include Donna Brazile who is also the source of the accusations that some people are clinging to so this might not be the smoking gun you're looking for to knock Hillary out of the 2016 primary and declare Bernie the winner.
posted by asteria at 8:02 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


My mind is fucking blown, honestly. We have a daily shit fit over any minor indiscretion that Trump's admin committed w.r.t. election law (some of them are gigantic, yes, but literally anything minor is fodder for us). And when it comes to light that HRC colluded with the DNC to win the democratic primaries, somehow that is very different from Trump colluding with the Russians to win the presidency. It's the same fucking thing! Are you guys crazy?!
posted by TypographicalError at 8:05 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


Like okay, maybe the DNC was just doing strong advertising for Clinton. HEY GUYS THAT'S WHAT THE RUSSIANS DID TOO.
posted by TypographicalError at 8:06 AM on November 3


Going by her twitter feed, that would include Donna Brazile who is also the source of the accusations that some people are clinging to so this might not be the smoking gun you're looking for to knock Hillary out of the 2016 primary and declare Bernie the winner.

That doesn't really follow. True, Brazile is almost certainly downplaying her involvement here—hell, there was enough smoke here that people outside the party had a good idea that something fishy was going on, so not having caught on as a senior party official would border on inexcusable. What she's saying about everybody else in the party leadership is not necessarily inaccurate or even suspect, however, on that basis.

HEY GUYS THAT'S WHAT THE RUSSIANS DID TOO.

Let's not go down this particular derail, please.
posted by fifthrider at 8:09 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


Even if you want to accept that the DNC rigged the primaries, using some kind of magic, who cares? The Democratic Party is not a public utility. It's a huge organization built up with millions upon millions of person-hours over two centuries. The idea that they should've smiled and played fair and let a dude who's built his personal brand in part on shitting endlessly on them take over the whole house and lead the party and use its resources is asinine and profoundly entitled.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:10 AM on November 3 [32 favorites]


A lifelong democrat bailing out the Democratic Party and getting some margin of additional control over things she's paying for (and that we've known about for a year and a half) is just like Trump colluding with a hostile foreign power to hack our democracy. Alrighty then.
posted by chris24 at 8:11 AM on November 3 [41 favorites]


Um, for one thing it is perfectly legal for US citizens to work together to elect a candidate. It is not legal to obtain material assistance from foreigners. So maybe fuck off with the false equivalence.
posted by wierdo at 8:11 AM on November 3 [42 favorites]


And when it comes to light that HRC colluded with the DNC to win the democratic primaries, somehow that is very different from Trump colluding with the Russians to win the presidency. It's the same fucking thing! Are you guys crazy?!

I'm sorry, are you implying that Democrats are a hostile foreign power?

???????
posted by a fiendish thingy at 8:12 AM on November 3 [24 favorites]


The Democratic Party is not a public utility.

Counterpoint: when you're the de facto gatekeeper to electoral politics for all left-leaning candidates in a country, acting like you deserve to be above criticism is entitled as hell.
posted by fifthrider at 8:13 AM on November 3 [17 favorites]


Internal Politics is internal. Campaigns generally have actual financing going on. If they could go to HRC rather than BAC, more power to them. To me this is a non-issue, and I'll give a shit when there are policy implications, like Republicans policies that'll result in actual deaths.
posted by mikelieman at 8:13 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


Wait, is this true? Even to hold party office?

I pay dues. But I'm in my state party's women's caucus.
posted by Ruki at 8:13 AM on November 3


Even if you want to accept that the DNC rigged the primaries, using some kind of magic, who cares?

If we were going to accept that it would seem like a problem to me.
posted by edeezy at 8:13 AM on November 3 [5 favorites]


Counterpoint: when you're the de facto gatekeeper to electoral politics for all left-leaning candidates in a country, acting like you deserve to be above criticism is entitled as hell.

Good thing I'm not suggesting that the Democrats deserve to be above criticism, then.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:15 AM on November 3 [7 favorites]


Good thing I'm not suggesting that the Democrats deserve to be above criticism, then.
...
The idea that they should've smiled and played fair and let a dude who's built his personal brand in part on shitting endlessly on them take over the whole house and lead the party and use its resources is asinine and profoundly entitled.

Your words, not mine.
posted by fifthrider at 8:18 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


Hey, criticize them all you want. There's lots to be mad at the Democratic Party on basically every level about. But the idea that they should've just handed over control of the party to somebody who isn't a member, who hasn't put in any time or dues or fundraising for them, an outsider who's suddenly decided that this massive organization he has no ties to is a good tool for getting what he wants? That's absolutely ridiculous and if you swapped out "Bernie Sanders" and "The Democratic Party" for other groups nobody would think twice about laughing at it.

That particular criticism is asinine and dishonest and at best reflects a profoundly poor understanding of what political parties are and how they operate. That I think one particular criticism is invalid in no sense means I think the Dems are above criticism, christ.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:22 AM on November 3 [44 favorites]


yes, kobaku. As night turns to day, every US election begins with "black endorsement: Righteous!" and post-mortem (when Nader isn't available) concludes with "black turnout: Dupes?". On account of the "bloc" being all "marginal" margin-of-error and whatnot running a phalanx in hostile counbies of the USA until, well, nevermind.

"Black voter" loyalty to Hillary was questioned from time to time though in the run up to 6 Nov 2016.

I surmise, from my readings of this thread and other popular reactions conveyed by the social networks, Bernie's campaign trial by the DNC has all but been forgot. That may well have been the objective of his rapproachment with the caucus despite his delegates' lawsuit against the DNC earlier this year. I couldn't say, and honestly wouldn't give a damn except it appears Ms Brazile's goddam, god-given American right to make bank like the rest of the pols has been impugned. Ignored! I call bullshit on it all.
posted by marycatherine at 8:22 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


I honestly think that anyone who expected a center-right political machine to give a leftist a fair shot using their infrastructure was more than a little naive. The DNC has never and will never function as an objective platform for everyone who wants to run on the Democratic ticket.
posted by FakeFreyja at 8:28 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


Brazile is almost certainly downplaying her involvement here...What she's saying about everybody else in the party leadership is not necessarily inaccurate or even suspect, however, on that basis.

From Politico, back in December:
[I]nterim DNC chair Donna Brazile...persuad[ed] the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to hold the $5 million transferred to them from the Clinton campaign and to wait to spend it buying airtime for minority voter turnout in the final week they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to fund.

[M]millions approved for transfer from Clinton’s campaign for use by the DNC — which, under a plan devised by Brazile to drum up urban turnout out of fear that Trump would win the popular vote while losing the electoral vote, got dumped into Chicago and New Orleans, far from anywhere that would have made a difference in the election.
(With a hat tip to Nate Silver for pointing that out.)

I have to express a certain frustration that Brazile is alleging the Clinton campaign put an insufficient focus on down-ballot campaigns (without breaking any laws) when Brazile's own plan was, reportedly, to...not focus on down-ballot campaigns. And instead spend money on the popular vote in non-battleground states. And that wasn't even necessarily an unreasonable choice, given the polling and information at the time, but it doesn't seem like a reasonable choice if she did (as she claims) doubt the polling at the time. So I do think that does make her statements about the rest of the party's leadership at least slightly suspect, but not (I agree) necessarily inaccurate.
posted by cjelli at 8:30 AM on November 3 [25 favorites]


Questioning Brazile's integrity? What a hoot!
posted by marycatherine at 8:31 AM on November 3


Questioning Brazile's integrity? What a hoot!

Let me get this straight, in support of Sanders, you're now blaming Clinton for not getting out the black vote? When she crushed him with blacks 76-23? Ooookay.
posted by chris24 at 8:35 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


i wonder if the future survivors of the (nuclear/climate/neofuedal) apocalypse (choose one or more) will still be squabbling about clinton/sanders while hunting rats for food among the rubble
posted by entropicamericana at 8:42 AM on November 3 [10 favorites]


The idea that they should've smiled and played fair and let a dude who's built his personal brand in part on shitting endlessly on them take over the whole house and lead the party and use its resources is asinine and profoundly entitled.

Not at all. Only if he became the nominee. Their obligation was to provide neutral services so the voters could determine who should lead the party. Putting the thumb on the scale, even just a little, teeny, tiny bit is pretty clearly against the ideal of fair play that Democrats claim to stand for.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 8:42 AM on November 3 [5 favorites]


There is literally no story here: /files/politicaledu.org/2017/11/02/elizabeth-warren-donna-brazille-wrong/

Money did not make it to the states until late in the game because of the funding rules Hillary used (that also allowed her to get more money for them). It is not true that the majority of the money went to her campaign. It went to the DNC, then to the states, who largely returned much of it to the DNC (to help them win). There was no quid quo pro. Even Donna Brazile says nothing improper happened during the primary.

You have been gaslighted by the media. Donna Brazile and Elizabeth Warren deserve some of the blame too. This is less of a story than Clinton's emails. This is less of a story than Uranium One. This is less real than claims that Global Warming doesn't exist. Don't be fooled.
posted by xammerboy at 8:44 AM on November 3 [25 favorites]


I didn't vote for Sanders. I didn't vote for Clinton. I'm asking you all straight up, How many more ways can "mainstream voters" tell the "margins" to stay in their place?

Take a few hours. I'm getting up to speed on "false information," listening to CSPAN's recording of Facebook, Google and Twitter Executives on Russian Disinformation 31 Oct 2017
posted by marycatherine at 8:44 AM on November 3


When she crushed him with blacks 76-23?

Is "blacks" still an OK word to use? I got called out and clowned on for using it in 2002, so I stopped using it. I had previously thought that it was OK since using the word "black" is OK. Since then, seeing it used on the left has seemed kind of jarring.
posted by bootlegpop at 8:45 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


Even the advertising thing. Yes, she gave that money to the DNC and those ads should not have included her Logo. However, she raised basically ALL of that money, and those ads were shown during a time when she was running against a candidate who could not win (because math) but refused to bow out. Normally during that time period the DNC would have straight up been making ads for Clinton. Yes, wrong, but you have to acknowledge Bernie's part in putting the DNC between a rock and hard place and entirely fault him for states getting their (Hillary raised) DNC funding so late.
posted by xammerboy at 8:49 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


[Comment removed. We are gonna immediately drop the "what words is it okay to use for race" thing, I'm not chasing down this nonsense this morning.]
posted by cortex at 8:57 AM on November 3 [21 favorites]


The burn rate was $3.5 million to $4 million a month, he said.

I gasped. I had a pretty good sense of the DNC’s operations after having served as interim chair five years earlier. Back then the monthly expenses were half that. What had happened? The party chair usually shrinks the staff between presidential election campaigns, but Debbie had chosen not to do that. She had stuck lots of consultants on the DNC payroll, and Obama’s consultants were being financed by the DNC, too.


Worth noting that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz allowed a huge amount of DNC money to be sucked up by consultants, which I would be interested to hear more about. Who are these consultants, and why were they being paid such exorbitant amounts? It smells of corruption.

Why would anyone donate to DNC if their money is basically being used to line people's pockets? I certainly plan only to donate to specific candidates from now on.

I know of NO elections coming up.

Yeah, Seattle mayor and Seattle City Council locally, a lot of local DAs, sheriffs, and judgeships, VA gubernatorial and bunch of others. These are critical, and a large reason why state govts lean so heavily Republican is because Dems don't get out to vote in these elections. Find out what's happening in your area, and vote as far to the left as you can!
posted by Existential Dread at 8:59 AM on November 3 [6 favorites]


But the idea that they should've just handed over control of the party to somebody who isn't a member, who hasn't put in any time or dues or fundraising for them, an outsider who's suddenly decided that this massive organization he has no ties to is a good tool for getting what he wants?

One other thought: I get the reasoning behind this sentiment, and it's natural to want to support candidates who have put in significant sweat equity into an organization. But ultimately politics is about getting votes where it counts. Yes, Hillary won a massive popular vote victory, and yes, gerrymandering and the electoral college is a large reason why she lost. But to dismiss one of the most popular politicians in the country (particularly with younger voters, whose turnout is critical to Dem success) because they aren't a party insider is a very risky strategy.

Insiderism shouldn't count; what should count is how the candidate in question helps your voter turnout and helps you achieve your policy goals.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:05 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


But to dismiss one of the most popular politicians in the country (particularly with younger voters, whose turnout is critical to Dem success) because they aren't a party insider is a very risky strategy.

He lost by 4 million votes out of 28 million. It wasn't particularly close. You could argue that what makes him different than Dean or any other more liberal primary candidates who lost in prior years is the race was always basically a two person race so he accrued pretty much all the anti-Clinton/establishment vote, and internet fundraising allowed him to stay in the race where earlier candidates withdrew.

He didn't even win very liberal Dems, they tied 50/50. The only demographics he won were 17-29 (the lowest turnout demo) and Independents. So not sure his constituency was more important than hers to Dem success. POC are what drives that and she dominated there.
posted by chris24 at 9:11 AM on November 3 [29 favorites]


I will say though that Brazile's book (and more importantly, the rebuttals it spawned on twitter) has explained some things about Bernie and Hillary I've found confusing.

Like why Bernie personally seemed to hold this belief that the primary process was unfair. His supporters I could brush off as many who believed the "rigged" pov also seemed confused on how primaries worked. But Bernie, who I expected to be a bit more knowledgable, also held this view for reasons I couldn't figure out. It makes sense though that he feels this way, even if it wasn't "rigged" that Hillary did have an unfair advantage with the DNC as she had to save them and had pumped so much money into them to keep them afloat. It's not too far off from if he had mounted a primary challenge to Obama with all the power she had in the party. Even if she didn't use it against him, that power imbalance was still there and had to be frustrating.

(Though Obama faced a similar problem in 2008 but at least Dean was in place as DNC Chair and did a better job of managing it so the Clintons weren't quite as critical to keeping the DNC afloat.)

And it also explains why Hillary seemed to hold a grudge against Bernie and his team long after the election. It was hilarious but also a bit bizarre to have the always-composed Hillary airing all her messy feelings and still seeming to have some anger about what happened a year ago. But it makes sense, in her pov, she worked to keep the DNC afloat and went to lengths to keep it fair like not going after Bernie for the stolen data and being much easier on him than she'd been on Obama eight years prior. Some could say it's entitled but I think she might have actually felt genuinely hurt by the treatment.

It's a mess.
posted by asteria at 9:18 AM on November 3 [22 favorites]


He lost by 4 million votes out of 28 million. It wasn't particularly close.

A fair point. But primary voters are not general election voters, and caucus-type votes are inaccessible to a lot of people. I'm more interested in how the DNC acts going forward, and Tom Perez's recent actions against Ellison supporters at the DNC worry me.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:20 AM on November 3 [6 favorites]


I don't see how Sanders is very relevant here. Clinton didn't quietly take control of the DNC to defeat Sanders. She did it much earlier, long before it was a two-person contest, when Sanders was still nothing but a novelty act on par with Lessig et al. She did it strategically, in order to assure she would defeat all comers, in much the same way she (and the DNC) maneuvered to clear the field in the years previous.

(And as above, I'm not even necessarily saying this is so awful. It's devious, yes, hard-nosed, perhaps a little dirty... but that's how politics has always been played in them there parts, and the Clintons were always, always very good at it. Nothing about this is shocking other than Brazile now acknowledging it.)

That the last other candidate standing ended up being Sanders is an irrelevant coincidence.
posted by rokusan at 9:22 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


>Insiderism shouldn't count

And evidently neither does party affiliation. So why fall for party okie-doke every election.

Welding et al. v. DNC Services Corp., d/b/a Democratic National Committee complaint May 2017
Welding et al. v. DNC Services Corp., d/b/a Democratic National Committee final order Aug 2017

It can't be that difficult to acquaint oneself with an individual candidate's political agenda or your state's legislative agenda before you vote, can it? If it is, that can be the only explanation for Republican Party majorities in the US House and states' assemblies, right.
posted by marycatherine at 9:23 AM on November 3


>novelty act on par with Lessig et al ?

For one, one of this persons was not and still is not a senator. But, m'k. I see what we're working with.
posted by marycatherine at 9:26 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


She did it strategically, in order to assure she would defeat all comers,

Or because they were mismanaged and if she was going to be running on their ticket and raising money she wanted some say as they were so horribly mismanaged.

But y'know whatever.
posted by asteria at 9:27 AM on November 3 [9 favorites]


...was still perceived as a novelty act, might be more accurate, Mary, but my edit window is closed.

Not a slight against Sanders, only a way to describe the way he was being treated at the time. One of a dozen extreme longshots, not yet risen to his eventual stardom.
posted by rokusan at 9:30 AM on November 3


All the say, asteria. All the say.
posted by rokusan at 9:31 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


I've railed against the DLC and the Clintons since the mid-90s. The fact that this all ended the way it did was not a surprise to me. With Perez and Ellison, I don't have a lot of faith that the DNC has learned anything. And we need a strong DNC more than ever. I don't think the next couple of election cycles will be good for America. I hope I'm wrong.
posted by black8 at 10:03 AM on November 3 [3 favorites]


it would directly and flagrantly violate the first amendment.

Nonsense. The constitution doesn’t establish any particular legal structure for funding campaigns and the parties themselves are an extra-constitutional system that developed later, after the constitution was established. This is a nonsense rebuttal from top to bottom.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:14 AM on November 3 [3 favorites]


rokusan, edit doesn't matter, because the US electorate is conditioned by the press and broadcast poli-sci "experts" to discard alternatives to DNC and RNC party nominees. "Long-shot" verdict by periodic, eligible-voter-survey of 300 +/- 4% is older than dirt. The electorate is trained to love a winner of the "lesser evil" contest.

This time around, Sanders like Trump is relevant to any discussion about which pol's "organization" is dirtier than the other's, because all the crypto-third-party nominees for POTUS are either dead or otherwise pre-occupied.
posted by marycatherine at 10:35 AM on November 3


The idea that the government can't make you stop engaging in political expression is a bedrock principle of the first amendment. You can't do what you want without the government forcing individual American citizens to stop engaging in political expression. If they've spent the money the government thinks they should be given to campaign, the government forces them to stop campaigning, which is political expression. If they've spent too much publicly advocating for causes they believe in, the government forces them to stop doing so.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 10:36 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


broadcast poli-sci "experts" to discard alternatives to DNC and RNC party nominees

Hi! In real life I am one of those, with the caveat that you're unlikely to see me outside Buffalo or occasionally CTV, and I know a whole shitload of other people who are those, and that's not something we do.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 10:39 AM on November 3 [3 favorites]


Man, MetaFilter used to be less dumb about shit like this. Or at least have a higher signal-to-noise ratio.

Let's run down some basic things that will help people be less dumb when they talk about party politics.

1) There's no such thing as a median voter, or median party member.

Voters tend to act like agglomerations of inconsistent and incoherent extreme preferences, and tend to take their cues from partisan elites when assigning priorities. That upends a nearly 100-year consensus on voter behavior that until recently nobody had ever really thought to measure, since it seemed to work in theory and from the post-war era through about the '90s, policy differences between the parties tended to be small overall anyway, in large part because of geographic diversity.

2) The two major political parties in the US are constituted differently, but frequently treated as equivalent. That leads to stupid opinions.

The GOP is currently constituted as an ideological party, where, essentially, their coalition is based on mobilizing racists and theocrats to support the policy preferences of the rich. The rich used to be able to use anti-Communist mobilization to ensure their political preferences; now white identity politics has replaced that third leg. The policy preferences of the rich are profoundly unpopular, and one of the biggest problems facing the Republican party (and America) is that right now, there's no electoral path to victory for them without straight up racism.

In contrast, the Democrats are constituted as an interest party. They have less of an ideological core and are more focused on delivering services and benefits to their constituents. This means that they are far more diverse, prone to internal conflict over limited resources, and less able to enforce party discipline. This does not mean that there aren't shared values, and that those values aren't articulated, but they tend to be more abstract and contestable. Various other quirks tend to put them at a disadvantage when articulating a vision: They're progressive, so must be able to articulate a narrative of future progress (versus the regressive nostalgia of Republicans); many of their values are reflective, not reflexive, values — one example is on gay marriage, where the GOP messaging focuses on fear and disgust, while liberal messaging focuses on love and empathy, which can be trumped (pun somewhat intended) by fear and disgust in immediate decisions; they're non-authoritarian, which means that decisions take longer to make and are, again, harder to enforce; they tend to hew to liberal values, including valuing dissent, which can be exploited by the political nihilists of the right wing.

One of the groups in the Democratic coalition is the self-identified left, who want a more ideological Democratic party. But unlike the GOP, ideological leftists don't tend to have a lot of super-rich motherfuckers willing to firehose cash as an investment in future payout. They tend to view compromise as corruption — and sometimes they're right — and regularly complain that their votes are taken for granted, which is true to some extent. They tend to ignore that many of their ideas aren't as popular as they believe, tend to believe that strong, reasoned arguments are the most persuasive, tend to over-estimate ideological unity within the left, tend not to celebrate victories — the constant (and correct) impulse that things could always be better leads them to reject incrementalism. They're also prone to a hindsight bias that makes them to over-value their contribution to Democratic victories.

3) The Democrats can't win without the left, and the left can't win without Democrats

But like a green-card marriage gone on too long, both the Democrats and the left resent each other and feel taken for granted. Hillary Clinton ran on the most progressive platform for president ever, but she's not a leftist, and those who want a more ideological Democratic party resent her for it. Those other members of the Democratic coalition whose priority is not an ideological Democratic party resent the left for the perceived disloyalty and short-sightedness. Establishment Democrats are over-reliant on the discredited theory of median voters and centrism, in part because they live in a bubble of disproportionate wealth and media flattery. Both establishment Democrats and a significant slice of the left discount "identity politics," with the establishment Dems feeling like it's divisive and the subset of the left feeling like it's a distraction from their class/economic arguments, which (like all good totalitarian ideologies) subsume identity conflicts into the economic framework.

This all means that calls for the Democrats to mirror the Republicans through more coherent and rigorous ideological commitment have limited electoral upside without leftists demonstrating that they can win elections at local and state levels consistently, and that attempts to placate the left while acting to reinforce the false narrative of centrist victory will only hobble the Democrats' ability to get the left to reliably turn out, which is more important in closer, more polarized contests.

This has all been pretty descriptive — my normative prescription would be that the Dems need to focus on creating a vision of the future that is clear, positive and articulable (Obama's "Hope" was popular, but ideally, it should be more concrete) as well as articulating a cooperative set of identities for Democrats, to help inculcate against ressentiment attacks and allow "Democrat" to become an ancillary identity with some resilience folded into people's modern passel of identities that they act through. This can ideally help Democrats operate across levels of government more effectively, as lower levels are more transactional, but national politics rewards more coherent identity. It means resisting the tendency to blame other members of the Democratic coalition for losses, and recognizing what actually motivates voters based on evidence. From that, I think some clear, structural changes to American governance should be part of that vision — an amendment to explicitly allow the regulation of electioneering spending would be a start, as well as the difficult commitment to redistribution of wealth in order to reinforce participation from some segments of the Democratic coalition whose voting has fallen off (understandably so, in many cases), and a commitment to strengthening American small-d democratic institutional strength, which should coincide with that redistribution.
posted by klangklangston at 10:40 AM on November 3 [71 favorites]


I'm asking you all straight up, How many more ways can "mainstream voters" tell the "margins" to stay in their place?

I don't quite understand these sentiments. Mainstream voters would be the majority. Margins would not be. Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but I see calls here and other places online that seem to amount to "why don't we ever give the people with the least popular plans and opinions the reins?" How and why would that happen?
posted by bongo_x at 10:44 AM on November 3 [3 favorites]


"The idea that the government can't make you stop engaging in political expression is a bedrock principle of the first amendment. You can't do what you want without the government forcing individual American citizens to stop engaging in political expression."

Slow clap for the Citizens United I guess, but if you distinguish between money and speech, you can in fact stop people from spending money in a particular way to advance their political beliefs. We already do, in fact. So it's a change to how it's regulated, not regulating something that's an inviable freedom.
posted by klangklangston at 10:48 AM on November 3 [6 favorites]


Can someone explain this to me: "But there was a catch. She couldn't really send out the money yet because she wasn't the nominee officially." [from this twitter thread linked above]

Why couldn't she send out the money before she had the official nomination? What would have happened to the money if she hadn't become the official nominee? I thought the nominee wasn't official until the nominating convention anyway?

Apologies if this was answered upthread - I didn't read all of the comments.
posted by congen at 11:03 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


> Mainstream voters would be the majority.

Yes, let me decode "mainstream" for you: "White, only" in the language of US government as "margin" is a euphemism for "people of color" which, possibly being the complement for all persons not "White, only" OR "Black or African American" AND CISgendered AND affluent, a euphemism for all disenfranchised persons.

I cannot however assist you in a critique of majoritarianism praxis, mediated by statutory protection of every minority franchise. Ain't nobody got meme for that, although "identity politics" seems to be dancing on everybody's last nerve.
posted by marycatherine at 11:06 AM on November 3


klangklangston , I noted with interest and some gratitude at the time Citizens was published (2014). Justice Stevens (ret'd.) indeed offered that John Paul Stevens: ‘Money is not speech’. To equate them is a category error. He was repeating his opinion given in Nixon v. Shrink Missouri Government PAC, 528 U.S. 377 (2000)..

The distinction is too sophisticated in the context of electioneering today, where the measure of advertising value and volume is said by some to satisfy one's fitness for office or popularity among voters.
posted by marycatherine at 11:17 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


Yes, let me decode "mainstream" for you: "White, only" in the language of US government as "margin" is a euphemism for "people of color" which, possibly being the complement for all persons not "White, only" OR "Black or African American" AND CISgendered AND affluent, a euphemism for all disenfranchised persons.

Mainstream in this context means anyone likely to vote for a major party candidate, D or R. As in not lifelong Green party members or representatives of the Jedi Caucus.
posted by FakeFreyja at 11:19 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


White Males invented "identity politics" and have used it to their benefit since the founding of our imperfect nation.

Now, who is the 'mainstream'? Well, if you go by audience share, NOT the viewers of FoxNews or CNN, or Game of Thrones or The Big Bang Theory... the closest we have to 'mainstream' anything is Professional Sports, and even the NFL is less 'mainstream' every year. That's why Disney owns Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars; why 21st Century Fox airs Hannity and The Simpsons. No, America does not have a 'mainstream', just a big, mostly stagnant lake with a few pools of inexplicable whirlpool activity, going in circles. Any questions?
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:26 AM on November 3 [6 favorites]


I didn't vote for Sanders. I didn't vote for Clinton. I'm asking you all straight up, How many more ways can "mainstream voters" tell the "margins" to stay in their place?

Yes, let me decode "mainstream" for you: "White, only" in the language of US government as "margin" is a euphemism for "people of color" which, possibly being the complement for all persons not "White, only" OR "Black or African American" AND CISgendered AND affluent, a euphemism for all disenfranchised persons.


I assumed in that context you meant mainstream Democrats vs marginal Democrats.
posted by bongo_x at 11:31 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


Elizabeth Rogers: Okay, I am at home, I got a bunch of links open and I am ready to start explaining in mindnumbing detail the HVF. That would be the Hillary Victory Fund that was a joint fundraising agreement between the Clinton campaign, the DNC and the state parties.

(tweet storm compiled by Thread Reader)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:38 AM on November 3 [8 favorites]


Donna Brazile joins Warren in saying the primaries weren't rigged.

@donnabrazile
Trump looks for a daily excuse to distract from his job. No, the primary system wasn’t rigged! States control primary ballots.
posted by chris24 at 12:05 PM on November 3 [5 favorites]


I don't know where you're getting the idea that Warren reversed herself here but in addition to CNN she went on the PBS News Hour and repeated her thoughts very clearly:
JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you think, though, that what we're learning from Donna Brazile's book suggests that the campaign, that what the Democratic National Committee did, meant this election was rigged?

ELIZABETH WARREN: Yeah, I think it was.

WOODRUFF: That's a pretty powerful charge.

WARREN: Well, what we have to focus on now as Democrats is that we recognize, the process was rigged, and now it is up to Democrats to build a new process, a process that really works and works for everyone, and that as we go forward we have the confidence in the integrity of the system, that Democrats as they run a primary are going to let the people speak, and that we're going to have a candidate who's the candidate chosen by the people.
posted by indubitable at 12:26 PM on November 3 [3 favorites]


Donna Brazile would like us to know she was seeking attention, not scrutiny. Do we not understand how 2017 works?
posted by bongo_x at 12:28 PM on November 3 [11 favorites]


I don't know where you're getting the idea that Warren reversed herself

@Alex_Roarty (McClatchy)
fwiw: spokeswoman for Warren says the senator agreed the DNC was rigged, not the primary process itself
posted by chris24 at 12:30 PM on November 3 [3 favorites]


OK, and you're taking some third hand twitter information over the unambiguous words out of her own mouth?
posted by indubitable at 12:30 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


OK, and you're taking some third hand twitter information over the unambiguous words out of her own mouth?

I believe when McClatchy's DC correspondent reports that her spokeswoman said this. Which was last night. If the Senator has changed her mind or has a confusing or unclear position, or isn't expressing herself well, or her spokeswoman fucked up, that's undetermined.
posted by chris24 at 12:33 PM on November 3 [3 favorites]


There is absolutely nothing unclear about this.
posted by indubitable at 12:33 PM on November 3 [3 favorites]


When I posted the tweet the first time, and the Brazile tweet, there sure as fuck was in my mind since I hadn't seen the latest from Warren. So thanks for assuming ill intent on my part.
posted by chris24 at 12:35 PM on November 3 [1 favorite]


And when it comes to light that HRC colluded with the DNC to win the democratic primaries, somehow that is very different from Trump colluding with the Russians to win the presidency. It's the same fucking thing! Are you guys crazy?!

I guess we're just gonna pretend that this absurdity didn't get posted and come out of the mouth of someone who, by all appearances, manages to be a more or less functional human being while still believing it? I'm on board for that I suppose but... just let's marvel that someone actually posted it for a minute.
posted by Justinian at 12:48 PM on November 3 [18 favorites]


> mainstream Democrats vs marginal Democrats

Waaaailll, now that's a new one! Ima put that in my Majoritarianism > Electoral College > Election 2017 > DINO > Misplaced Precision folder ( above "Ask Cokie") for future reference.
posted by marycatherine at 12:57 PM on November 3


I think we should cut Warren and her spokesperson the same slack we cut when any other politician repeatedly makes a false claim and then their press secretary contradicts them in an effort to reduce the damage.
posted by The World Famous at 12:58 PM on November 3 [13 favorites]


This is why I am not a fan of lefties getting too smug about how the right was duped by Trump. It's obvious a lot of people don't care about facts, they don't vote based on facts, and you cannot reason them out of positions they did not reason themselves into.

Hillary made a lot of people mad because they did not identify with Hillary. And voting is an extension of their identity for those people. Same with people mad about Bernie. This applies to the right and the left.
posted by asteria at 12:58 PM on November 3 [4 favorites]


Strictly speaking, firms collude, individuals conspire to restrain FREE! trade.
posted by marycatherine at 1:01 PM on November 3


DNC Chair statement.
posted by bongo_x at 1:14 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


So C and S had the same JFA? What the fuck is this "scandal" about?
posted by Justinian at 1:20 PM on November 3 [4 favorites]


DNC Chair statement.

If I'm reading this correctly, this speaks to one of the questions that's been asked a few times: if donations went to Clinton's JFA, why was there money she couldn't spend until Sanders conceded (or until the convention)? Because (some of) the donations were designated through the JFA for whoever the Democratic nominee was, and would have gone to Sanders had he won the nomination.

Which is definitely an unusual structure for collecting donations, and isn't how direct contributions to a candidate work (you can donate to a candidate in the primary and designate it for their use in the general if they win, but the campaign can't generally pass the money to a different candidate's campaign; the JFA structure seems to be...not that?), but the very nature of legal loopholes is that they're often unusual.
posted by cjelli at 1:21 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


I'm confused. Was there a separate JFA in 2015?
posted by lalex at 1:31 PM on November 3


There seems to be a JFA in 2015, and then a separate one in 2016 which give Clinton control once she had the nomination, which all seems to be standard according to most people. Brazile is claiming Clinton had control before the 2016 one, that being the problem, but many are showing that she seems to be confusing the two, and she has not clarified, or even acknowledged that she was aware there were two.

If this is the case this is a big FU on her part. It's surprising to say the least.
posted by bongo_x at 1:38 PM on November 3 [5 favorites]


So the Perez statement is maybe only talking about the 2016 JFAs? JFC, they need to just release all of them so we can decide where to aim our pitchforks.
posted by lalex at 1:43 PM on November 3 [1 favorite]


I'm also interested in learning more about the DNC/Obama debt resolution because I'm seeing different numbers in a couple different pieces.
posted by lalex at 1:48 PM on November 3


I'm confused. Was there a separate JFA in 2015?

I don't have an answer to that. The DNC statement linked above specifically mentions the 2016 JFAs and doesn't mention a separate (or similar) JFA in 2015 either way, so...if there was, it's unclear whether the above statement applies to a 2015 JFA or not.

Brazile's comments seem to be largely about a 2015 JFA -- "This victory fund agreement, however, had been signed in August 2015, just four months after Hillary announced her candidacy and nearly a year before she officially had the nomination." But Brazile also seems to conflate the 2015 and 2016 JFAs (if they were separate), and talks about how Sanders campaign signed their own JFA. It's not entirely clear in the excerpt from her book if she's always talking about both, or sometimes talking about one or the other.

And then: Wikileaks has a copy of what it claims to be the 'final' 2015 Clinton JFA agreement, which was hacked from Podesta's email account, which...has none of the language that Brazile talks about being in the Clinton JFA. But since it's (a) from Wikileaks, and (b) Brazile has been imprecise in talking about the 2015 vs. 2016 JFAs, it's not clear whether that means anything at all in terms of proving or disproving Brazile's claims.

So the Perez statement is maybe only talking about the 2016 JFAs? JFC, they need to just release all of them so we can decide where to aim our pitchforks.

To be fair, Brazile is maybe also only talking about the 2016 JFA's at times. But yes, I think the Perez statement only applies to the 2016 JFA; at the same time, the leaked copy of the 2015 JFA has none of the language to which Brazile has objected.

tl;dr -- it is confusing, and releasing the 2015 and 2016 JFAs from both Clinton and from Sanders would be helpful here.
posted by cjelli at 1:48 PM on November 3 [7 favorites]


yeah I saw the 2015 Wikileaks one and it almost seems like a form they pulled out of their electronic filing cabinet as the sort of starting draft. [ADD STATE PARTIES], etc. This is very confusing and I hope the DNC just releases the agreements.
posted by lalex at 1:52 PM on November 3


I also wonder if there aren't actually two separate agreements; folks talking about an agreement signed in 2015 that applied through the 2016 election cycle could easily be referring to that single agreement as either the 2015 or the 2016 agreement.
posted by lalex at 1:55 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


At least all this acronym babble (acrobabble?) gives me an excuse to link to one of my favorite mixtape weapons:

If JFA Were Still Together by Majesty Crush.
posted by klangklangston at 1:59 PM on November 3


and with that my head just exploded.

I have to say I'd be shocked if Donna Brazile was outright lying about this; as far as I know she's been loyal to the Democratic Party for her entire adult life. I just don't know.
posted by lalex at 1:59 PM on November 3


I would also be shocked if Donna Brazile intended to lie about this, right now it looks as if she may have been confused and made a huge mistake, but she already made it the centerpiece of her book promotion. She's spent the last two days saying "I didn't mean that the way it sounded" and walking it back. She's also not answering people who've asked if she's sure she didn't confuse the two contracts.

Maybe she has a point and is just not explaining it well?

Elizabeth Warren on the other hand, that's just weird.

I really don't DGAF about this political minutiae, but I'm really concerned and curious why 2 leading Democrats decided to bring this up now.
posted by bongo_x at 2:09 PM on November 3 [14 favorites]


So, there is a Politico piece from 2015 linked in the comments above where it references the 2015 JFA and says the 2015 HVF JFA was signed “after months of fractious negotiations”.

If the Hillary/Bernie JFAs are identical, why the fractiousness?
posted by Big Al 8000 at 2:16 PM on November 3


If Perez and the Party leadership want to engage constructively about this and regain trust, they need to come clean about the agreement between the Clinton campaign signed in August 2015 that Donna Brazile was criticizing, and what the terms were, not change the subject to a different agreement made with the candidates a year later.

Blatantly changing the subject this way is making it look like Perez covering up for what DWS did, and is not helping. Of course, I don't know if Perez actually wrote the text quoted in the tweet bongo_x linked to, or if he did, that he wrote it today response to the excerpt from Donna Brazile. I'm not going to judge Perez based on a tweet with no link to the source, especially given the amount of sometimes deliberately false information that's been flying around.
posted by nangar at 2:17 PM on November 3


So the initial consensus here seemed like, "yes the DNC leaned in favor of HRC with fundraising/advertising but it wasn't illegal, only violated the spirit of party rules and not the letter, didn't matter because Bernie was toast..." etc etc. This has... devolved somewhat as the thread has gone on.

Current take away from the bottom half of the thread being: So as opposed to being crappy in office, we're crappy in the election for that office and this is OK.

Which is obviously not OK for folks (like me) who don't like "their side" pulling these shenanigans.

Also, I'd love it if people would use "RIGGED" in the same way. In one sense, it's about favoring a candidate (plausible) and in the other sense it's about changing votes (ridicule worthy). Because trying to parse whether someone is arguing about favoritism or trying to make someone else look like a loon is not fun. Ditto on "collusion".
posted by Slackermagee at 2:19 PM on November 3 [5 favorites]


I don't know if Perez actually wrote the text quoted in the tweet bongo_x linked to, or if he did, that he wrote it today response to the excerpt from Donna Brazile.

I thought the same, and couldn't find it elsewhere, although I didn't look that hard, but then I noticed that Perez "liked" the comment.

I may be misunderstanding this, but it seems Sanders DFA would be from 2015. Both parties signed the same deal, according to reports. I don't see why Sanders would need a new 2016 one. The 2016 one is supposed to be a new agreement for the official candidate that acknowledges that and gives them control. Brazile took over the DNC at the 2016 convention.

Whatever Brazile is trying to say she needs to explain it better.
posted by bongo_x at 2:29 PM on November 3


Jesu Christe, as a party, we don't even need the Russians to ratf*ck us, we do a good enough job doing that to ourselves.

I am so angry and disappointed at Brazile and Warren. Warren, gah.
posted by madamjujujive at 2:32 PM on November 3 [12 favorites]


And I keep saying DFA instead of JFA because acronyms are confusing.
posted by bongo_x at 2:37 PM on November 3


Atlantic: Donna Brazile's Curious Account of the 2016 Election
The former DNC chair seems eager to jump on the Bernie Sanders bandwagon, but her claims of ignorance about party favoritism toward Hillary Clinton don’t add up.
TPM: Donna Brazile Needs to Back Up Her Self-Serving Claims
Whether or not Clinton should have won the Democratic primary, she did. It wasn’t rigged. She had lots of advantages from simply being the establishment candidate, from long relationships with Democrats around the country, endorsements, promises and more. But she had all that and more in 2008 and lost to Barack Obama. She won because she got more votes. Indeed, Sanders relied (just as Obama did) disproportionately on caucuses where voting matters less than it does in primaries. The relevant point is that the Democratic party needs unity to combat the dangers and damage of Trumpism. False accusations are always bad but they are particularly bad when their immediate effects are so potentially damaging. That’s the case here.

Why Brazile chose to take this course I really don’t know. I think it is best seen as her read of where the party is going – in the direction of Sanders. I think she’s right in the sense that the party is moving toward Sanders-like policies and in many respects Sanders-like politics. I have no problem with that. But not everyone supports or supported Sanders. The Democratic party has different wings, different factions. It’s overriding interest is to find a mix of policies and politics that can bring those different groups together in a way that can win elections. There’s zero advantage to re-litigating the toxic 2016 primaries. Poisoning the well by purporting to validate that Sanders was cheated does the exact opposite. It’s toxic and much worse than toxic it’s not at all clear it’s even true. If Brazile wants to make these accusations she needs to provide the documents she’s referring to and something concrete about actions the DNC took to rig the primaries against Sanders. The fact that Wasserman-Schultz was a bad chair, the fact that the DNC was poorly run, that not enough money went to state parties – all true. But none of that is what made Brazile’s claims a bombshell. All of that was known. If she can’t back these claims up she owes every Democrat a huge apology. And I have to say that applies to Elizabeth Warren too who jumped on the bandwagon.
@NateSilver538
The central purpose of Brazile's book seems to be to rehabilitate her image as a TV pundit.
posted by chris24 at 2:40 PM on November 3 [25 favorites]




"The Democratic National Committee struck a deal with Hillary Clinton in 2015 that gave her campaign input on some party staffing and spending decisions, but only related to the general election and allowing other candidates to make similar arrangements, according to a memo obtained by NBC News."

So a nothing burger. Thanks Donna!
posted by chris24 at 2:54 PM on November 3 [7 favorites]


hit post too soon, sorry!
The August 26, 2015, memorandum of understanding from Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook to DNC CEO Amy Dacey more fully explains the relationship between Clinton and the DNC long before she won her party's nomination.

In exchange for Hillary for America's (HFA) helping the cash-strapped DNC raise money, the committee agreed "that HFA personnel will be consulted and have joint authority over strategic decisions over the staffing, budget, expenditures, and general election related communications, data, technology, analytics, and research."

Specifically, the DNC agreed to hire a communications director from "one of two candidates previously identified as acceptable to HFA." And while the DNC maintained "the authority to make the final decision" on senior staff in the communications, technology, and research departments, it said it would choose "between candidates acceptable to HFA."

However, the memo also made clear it pertained only to the general election, not the primary season, and it left open the possibility it would sign similar agreements with other candidates.
the "click here to read the memo" link is not working for me.
posted by lalex at 2:55 PM on November 3 [5 favorites]


This link to read the memo works for me.
posted by zachlipton at 3:01 PM on November 3


If I'm reading correctly, this basically seems to line up with what Brazile is saying, and the major conflict is that she seems to think this is unethical and other folks dispute that? OK, hugest possible shrug.
posted by lalex at 3:05 PM on November 3 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure how having some staffing input on general election hiring rigs the primaries/system. Especially when other candidates were allowed to do the same thing.
posted by chris24 at 3:10 PM on November 3 [4 favorites]


Look, if Jared Kushner your kid wants to go to Harvard, and you promise that you will start making large donations to Harvard as soon as your kid gets accepted, it's not unreasonable to wonder if such an agreement provides an unethical set of incentives for the humans working in admissions at Harvard.

But idk the real issue to me here is that the DNC had burned through money in such a way to even put themselves in the position of relying on a single candidate to provide them with liquidity for the 2016 election. Not great.
posted by lalex at 3:15 PM on November 3 [4 favorites]


It's clear that the DNC was not super competent and the leadership needed to be replaced (as they were). But that was't Brazile and Warren's charge. They said it was rigged, not incompetent. If Northam loses by a point I... will probably just get really drunk. But this is harming the country.
posted by Justinian at 3:17 PM on November 3 [14 favorites]


\_(ツ)_/ˉ

I love talking about this stuff but don't think it will have any real effect on the electorate.
posted by lalex at 3:19 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


Well let's hope you are correct. But that's what I'd have liked to believe about email servers, and that cost Clinton the election. It seems like voters vote on all kinds of crazy bullshit. Or at least they stay home and depress turnout!
posted by Justinian at 3:22 PM on November 3 [10 favorites]


I mean, if this had happened a week later I'd completely agree with you. I don't think you're wrong in general just that the timing makes it problematic.
posted by Justinian at 3:23 PM on November 3


As I read this, it seems like there were two parts of the plan. First, the HVF raised $1.2 million/month for the DNC to pay down its debts and rebuild. Second, Anything raised on top of that for the DNC would belong to the DNC for campaign purposes, but would be effectively under the control of the Clinton campaign for the general. In exchange for this, the Clinton campaign had "joint authority" over staffing and strategy for the general. But:
Nothing in this agreement shall be construed to violate the DNC 's obligation of impartiality and neutrality through the Nominating process. All activities performed under this agreement will be focused exclusively on preparations for the General Election and not the Democratic Primary. Further we understand you may enter into similar agreements with other candidates
Yeah, some of the language around allowing the Clinton campaign to install a DNC Communications Director and begin to prepare the party for the general before the primaries had really begun is problematic. A good chunk of the HVF's funds above the millions necessary to keep the lights on at the DNC were effectively under the Clinton campaign's control, not the party's (presumably because they didn't trust the people they were bailing out of major debt). I don't particularly like that. It sets up the party as simultaneously running an impartial primary while giving one candidate a chance to set the party up for the general. That's not an arrangement that should be allowed to happen in 2020. But is that the same as a "rigged" nomination process?

I also feel like this agreement got the party out of a major financial hole and financed its data and research operations for the general, to the tune of millions of dollars. What nobody has been able to identify for me are specific ways the primary was rigged beyond: 1. debate scheduling, and more debates were added after that complaint was raised; 2. Donna Brazile leaked an entirely foreseeable debate question that wasn't actually asked. Am I missing something?
posted by zachlipton at 3:26 PM on November 3 [6 favorites]


I do NOT want to get into the 2016 campaign at length, but the email story was about a specific, individual, highly visible candidate and also was solidly in line with the whole truism that the most devastating gaffes/errors/whatever are when something happens that confirms a negative belief that voters already have about you.

(In this case the belief that Hillary is shady and thinks she is above the rules. I am NOT saying those things are true, just talking about perception.)

To me, this story is more in line with how both national parties poll abysmally, but pretty much everyone gets re-elected. Are voters really thinking about this when they head to office to vote for their local, individual candidate? idk.
posted by lalex at 3:29 PM on November 3


Today's memo really hasn't even blown up my political Twitter, although Marc Elias is retweeting a LOT.
posted by lalex at 3:32 PM on November 3


I basically agree with zach's assessment I think. The implications of the memo are problematic but certainly not illegal, I'd add that I'm not happy with how little of this money goes to state parties just as a practical matter, and I hope the DNC is reevaluating some of these practices.

I personally don't doubt that the folks at the DNC preferred to see HRC win the primary, but I don't see any new evidence of "rigging".
posted by lalex at 3:38 PM on November 3 [1 favorite]


People make big donations to Hillary Clinton. The first $2,700 from an individual (well, $2,700 for the primary and another $2,700 for the general) goes to the Clinton campaign ("Hillary for America") directly. Anything above that goes to the HVF. The HVF sends the limit for party donations ($33,400) to the DNC. This, conveniently, quickly solved the problem of the DNC being broke. If there's still more money in that check, the HVF starts sending it out $10,000 at a time (the state party limit) to the 33 state parties that agreed to participate in the fund...

[snip]

Sanders did the same thing, just without the states. He could collect a check for $36,100, keep up to the $2,700 limit for his campaign, and the rest would go through his joint fundraising committee to the DNC, though he didn't do much in the way of big-dollar solicitation.

See, this is the description of the way that JFCs are supposed to work, according to what I read too; for a $36,100 donation, approximately 7.5% (or less, depending on the involvement of state parties) would go to the candidate's campaign.

But if you look at the Opensecrets page for the HVF, as of December 31, 2016 total receipts are $529,943,912 of which $158,200,000 is listed as given to the Clinton campaign, which is nearly 30%. Is this explained in any of the links?

This is what drew my attention during the primary: quarter after quarter, Opensecrets seemed to show far more money flowing to the Clinton campaign than the rules for JFCs mandated, as far as I could tell. Substantially more than went to the DNC and state parties, which the rules would appear to indicate should have been receiving the overwhelming majority of revenues; but the distributions listed to the DNC and all state parties together only add up to about 41% of the total donations.

There were various other issues suggested by the various articles written before the convention about the HVF, but this was the basic thing which puzzled me but I couldn't find the answer to: why does it look like a large chunk of the donations allowed via the fundraising limits of the DNC and state parties got sent directly to the Clinton campaign? Maybe there's another rule for how JFCs operate that I'm missing?

(Another thing is, all of the money sent to beneficiaries in the list on the Opensecrets page only add up to $378,141,298, so... does that mean that the fund had, like, $150 million in operating expenses?)
posted by XMLicious at 3:40 PM on November 3 [5 favorites]


@MeetThePress
[email protected]: "It's incredible that Donna thought that she should come out with this complaint at this time." #MTPDaily

@mmurraypolitics (NBC) Retweeted Meet the Press
McAuliffe added that the Brazile revelations were "terrible timing" for Democrats in the VA election
posted by chris24 at 3:45 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


haha yeah I bet McAuliffe said that
posted by lalex at 3:47 PM on November 3


But if you look at the Opensecrets page for the HVF, as of December 31, 2016 total receipts are $529,943,912 of which $158,200,000 is listed as given to the Clinton campaign, which is nearly 30%. Is this explained in any of the links?


I'm speculating here, but I'd imagine this was because the HVF ran its own fundraising operation for small dollar donors, plus ran the Clinton campaign store. Since the HVF gave the first $2,700 from each donor per cycle to the Clinton campaign, the percentage that went to the Clinton campaign would depend on the size of the donation. A $36,100 donation would result in, yep about 7.5% going to the Clinton campaign, but a $3,000 donation would result in 90% going to the Clinton campaign.

It looks like the HVF directly paid for $40M in online ads and around $45M in fundraising, besides what it funneled to the Clinton campaign and the DNC.
posted by zachlipton at 3:54 PM on November 3 [1 favorite]




@CharlesPPierce
Great get by @aseitzwald. Whole "rigged primary" thing was for nothing

@GovHowardDean
Turns out the memo Donna spoke about applied only to the general election. If so then this memo is standard operating procedure for 15 years

@chrislhayes
"However, the memo also made clear that the arrangement pertained to only the general election" A big detail!
posted by chris24 at 4:03 PM on November 3 [9 favorites]


Democrats: Okay, we have a historically unpopular president that's a disaster in governing, we have a real shot in state races, we could turn one if not both chambers blue and set up for a strong 2020...
Other Democrats: LEEEEROOOOOOOOY JENKKKKKKINS
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 4:05 PM on November 3 [45 favorites]


I'm pretty much in agreement with Josh Marshall here:
I think a fair read is that they wanted control over things for the general, which is fair and normal. But they also wanted control over the building of what they expected to inherit for the general. That’s not unreasonable in itself but also meant having a lot of veto power over things that were happening during the primaries, hiring of key staff. So while it says these things apply exclusively to the general, they were also getting veto rights over organizational decisions *during* the primaries even if they weren’t abt the primaries. There are also some lines in their abt rights to review emails etc that are a little unclear to me and might create more control.

The upshot is that this is significantly different from what DB claimed. But it also includes levels of control pre-general election that wld have come as a surprise to many. As I said in my post this morning, there’s nothing remotely here that qualifies as “rigging” the election. That’s inflammatory, frankly a smear. Indeed, it makes no sense if you have any real understanding of of what the dnc even does it can do. The schedules are set up way in advance, long before people at the DNC had any idea Sanders would run such a strong campaign. The DNC doesn’t administer the primaries, the states do.

Basically the DNC cldnt rig the process even if it wanted to. This agreement isn’t nothing. No candidate shld have this kind of say during the primaries even if it’s abt things for the general. But it’s very different from what Brazile describes and it doesn’t remotely mean anything wS “rigged”. That’s a smear intended for political effect.
posted by zachlipton at 4:06 PM on November 3 [21 favorites]


So what I'm reading is that if Bernie would have won, a bunch of the money Hillary raised would have went to him, but Bernie didn't share anything with the DNC, so it was not reciprocal.

Interesting who's crying foul.
posted by bongo_x at 4:44 PM on November 3 [19 favorites]


yeah that's an accurate reading
posted by edeezy at 4:47 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


The Rude Pundit: Goddamnit, Just Knock It Off About 2016
posted by homunculus at 4:48 PM on November 3 [8 favorites]


To his credit, the only comment I've seen from Bernie about this is his tweet replying to Trump: "We won't be distracted from your efforts to give billionaires tax cuts, take health care from millions and deny climate change. Do your job."
posted by lalex at 4:58 PM on November 3 [6 favorites]


I will say that from a campaign finance standpoint, this arrangement effectively makes the $2,700 limit utterly meaningless, since the Clinton campaign had effective control over the donations that were on top of that, even if they belonged to the DNC.

I'm sure the best campaign finance lawyers you can buy determined this was legal, and since Super PACs give a completely unaccountable loophole big enough to drive a truck through, it's hard to get angry at a smaller, less opaque one, but it's clear that a series of court decisions have left us with practically no effective campaign finance regulation of any kind, even compared to the bad old days where we complained about money in politics a decade ago.
posted by zachlipton at 5:02 PM on November 3 [6 favorites]


He doesn't have to say anything to make it stick, he can be silent and look noble. I'd like it better if he made a strong statement about not relitigating the past.

I can't possibly overstate how let down I am by my Senator. Rigged is a very damaging word, particularly in a climate where DC republicans are trying to get momentum for more Clinton investigations. JFC.

As if we haven't had enough slings and arrows from every other direction, it is totally dispiriting to me to have it come from a former hero. Someone with good photo shopping skillz should do Hillary as St Sebastian.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:10 PM on November 3 [12 favorites]


A $36,100 donation would result in, yep about 7.5% going to the Clinton campaign, but a $3,000 donation would result in 90% going to the Clinton campaign.

You're right, that does appear to be how it worked:
According to the agreements signed by the participating committees, which were obtained by POLITICO, the money is required to be distributed, at least initially, based on a formula set forth in joint fundraising agreements signed by the participants. The first $2,700 goes to the Clinton campaign, the next $33,400 goes to the DNC, and any remaining funds are to be distributed among the state parties.
I wonder how that worked with the fund's expenses, then—whose portion was the presumably ~$150 million in expenses taken out of?

This makes it sound like the revenue from the online store went to the DNC rather than the Clinton campaign:
The victory fund also sponsors Clinton’s online store, allowing donors who have already given the maximum to her campaign to purchase Hillary lapel pins, caps or car magnets, with their money benefiting the party.
posted by XMLicious at 5:26 PM on November 3


And now DFA is being fucking stupid in VA too.
posted by klangklangston at 5:29 PM on November 3 [4 favorites]


I'd like it better if he made a strong statement about not relitigating the past.

Honestly, neither Bernie nor Hillary are ever going to be able to appease folks who came out of 2016 soured on one of them. I'm sorry I even mentioned it; let's talk about the DNC.
posted by lalex at 5:32 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


> And now DFA is being fucking stupid in VA too.

klang's context: The Most Self-Righteous Political Act of 2017 Just Took Place in the VA Governor’s Race
posted by glonous keming at 5:34 PM on November 3 [5 favorites]


yeah Howard Dean is not amused: "I Hope this is inaccurate because it is an incredibly stupid thing to say and deeply discredits the organization which I founded."
posted by lalex at 5:36 PM on November 3 [6 favorites]


So is there a law somewhere that any organization Left of Center must dig their own grave with one-upmanship, infighting, and rules lawyering, or is it just a time honored tradition?
posted by bongo_x at 5:52 PM on November 3 [11 favorites]


Yeah, Hillary is done, she will never again be relevant. Neither she nor Bernie are the issue. This is one last burst of hand-waving, and I am not at all impressed with the company line that Dean and Warren were so up their own fundament they didn't know this was going on. Way too late now to come out on the side of the angels, we really don't believe you.

Obama flagrantly left the Democratic party adrift, not caring at all what came next after he left office, confident he left lasting institutions in place. Guesss whaaaaaat...

Where do we turn next? Where are the new leaders, and how can they get people to the polls?
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:53 PM on November 3 [3 favorites]


Obama flagrantly left the Democratic party adrift, not caring at all what came next after he left office, confident he left lasting institutions in place.
He obviously doesn't consider Congress or State Governments to be 'lasting institutions' because he watched the Republicans steal all those while he was in office...
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:57 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


And now we've got another news cycle (via BuzzFeed's Paul McLeod):
Whoa. DNC vice-chair Keith Ellison asked if primary was rigged for Clinton, says "It's impossible to know what results would have been"
...if Hillary's people didn't have hiring veto powers in their fundraising agreement. This at a Pod Save America taping. Lots of crowd boos.
The Pod hosts made great pains to spell out that the agreement, while wrong, didn't swing anything for Hillary. Ellison wouldn't sign on.
posted by zachlipton at 5:59 PM on November 3


well that's interesting
posted by lalex at 6:03 PM on November 3


I honestly don't know what "we'll never know what could have happened if the DNC had different staff" means unless people identify specific people at the DNC who did specific actions that caused millions of people to vote for Clinton over Sanders.
posted by zachlipton at 6:06 PM on November 3 [5 favorites]


Yeah I just...I haven't been paying much attention but is the relationship between Ellison and Tom Perez just...terrible? You'd think they would have had a conversation about the DNC's position.
posted by lalex at 6:09 PM on November 3


Also interesting that the Pod Save America guys (these are ex-Obama people) characterized the agreement as "wrong". Makes me wonder how standard such an agreement is, although of course the DNC may have been in a different cash flow position with previous candidates.
posted by lalex at 6:13 PM on November 3


All these Bernie aligned people are doing their damnedest to make sure this country doesn't make any move to the Left. To think I was hopeful not that long ago.
posted by bongo_x at 6:16 PM on November 3 [9 favorites]


"we'll never know what could have happened if the DNC had different staff"

i mean I guess this is technically true but not sure if now is the right time for Ellison's thoughts on chaos theory
posted by lalex at 6:17 PM on November 3 [8 favorites]


I'm more than ready for Dinosaurs Eat Man time so we can move on to Woman Inherits the Earth.
posted by Salieri at 6:22 PM on November 3 [1 favorite]


All these Bernie aligned people are doing their damnedest to make sure this country doesn't make any move to the Left.

How so?
posted by edeezy at 6:25 PM on November 3 [1 favorite]


You're obviously mistaking 'Bernie aligned people' with Bill Clinton's 'Third Way'.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:28 PM on November 3 [3 favorites]


He obviously doesn't consider Congress or State Governments to be 'lasting institutions' because he watched the Republicans steal all those while he was in office...

Not true. I've posted about this several times. The party that has the presidency for 8 years pretty much always suffers big losses. The only exception is Reagan.
Those losses are formidable, but hardly unique. Parties almost always lose ground elsewhere while they hold the White House. In two-term presidencies since World War II, the incumbent president’s party lost more House seats than Democrats did with Obama under Bill Clinton (54), George W. Bush (45), and Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford (44). The president’s party lost the same number of seats as Obama did under John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson (39) and fewer seats under Dwight Eisenhower (26). Senate losses exceeded Obama’s under Bush (14), Eisenhower (11), Kennedy and Johnson (8), and Clinton (6), while Republicans gained two senators under the Nixon and Ford administrations.

Obama lost fewer governorships than presidents’ parties surrendered under Kennedy and Johnson (15) and the Nixon and Ford administrations (13)—and lost more than under Eisenhower, Clinton, and Bush (nine each). Only in lost state legislative seats (850) did Obama significantly exceed any of these predecessors, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Ronald Reagan was the great exception to all this: During his two terms, Republicans gained 18 House seats, four senators, four governors, and 237 state legislators. Reagan was also the only two-term president since World War II whose party held the White House when he left.
posted by chris24 at 6:38 PM on November 3 [7 favorites]


So is there a law somewhere that any organization Left of Center must dig their own grave with one-upmanship, infighting, and rules lawyering

All these Bernie aligned people are doing their damnedest to make sure this country doesn't make any move to the Left.


I don't mean this as a gotcha, at all, but we can't even have a 2016-related thread without it devolving into pretty stark "Bernie/Hillary people are the Worst" comments in this relatively tiny community.
posted by lalex at 6:39 PM on November 3 [5 favorites]


In re VA: I am concerned at this point, just as I was before the presidential election, that after so many years of centrist Democrats leaning on people to vote for the lesser evil, people do not understand the importance of this particular lesser evil situation.

It was extremely, extremely important to vote Democratic in the last election because we were playing for the Supreme Court. Now we've lost the Court, and the cascade of terrible effects have barely begun to be felt - just wait a couple of years after the the Trump Supreme Court rules on Janus, for instance, something that is going to be like Citizens United in its effects on democracy. It is going to weaken workers in the workplace, and it is also going to weaken workers as an influence on politics. Winning the Supreme Court was more important than any other aspect of the election, in my opinion, and yet it was hardly discussed and came as a surprise to several otherwise fairly informed lefty people I talked to.

If VA goes Republican, it is the 33rd state of 34 needed for a constitutional convention. Guess which state may very well elect a Republican governor next year, after losing the legislature last year. That's right - Minnesota. Minnesota could be 34. And then we're all up to our necks in shit. It is extremely important to elect a Democrat in Virginia, no matter how bad he is on sanctuary cities.

There is this state of denial among liberal and left voters about the actual mechanics of government and their long term effects. We would rather that it were not true that mediocre Democrats are better than the alternative, so we behave as if wishing makes it so. We would rather that major Supreme Court rulings won't make things worse. We would rather that a constitutional convention could not be called by the right. So we pretend, right until we're in the wolf's mouth, that this can't happen.

Welfare "reform" and attacks on labor diminished the political power of the working class and gave money to the oligarchy. This was predictable in the nineties and it's bearing fruit now. But with minor exception, liberals and the left preferred not to go to bat for welfare recipients (lazy! immoral!) and union members (lazy! surly!) and here we are today. When you weaken the working class, you weaken its political power to act as a check on the oligarchy. You take away your own choices, because where you had room to dismiss centrist and mediocre Democrats before, you have no real choice when the alternative is Trump.

We, as liberals and the left, have put ourselves in this situation, but we're determined that if we just clap for Tinkerbell and are very, very good, the mechanics of the law and the political process will be suspended and somehow allowing Republicans to be elected won't really do anything. We think this after Trump. We think that we have moral wiggle room now, because we can't take an honest look at the situation we're in.
posted by Frowner at 6:42 PM on November 3 [49 favorites]


"I never thought the leopard would eat my face," claims voter who was too pure to vote for the slightly flawed anti-leopard-eating-people's-faces-party.
posted by Justinian at 6:47 PM on November 3 [24 favorites]


Look, regardless of exactly what happened last year, isn't this a great opportunity to use this as an excuse to reform the Democratic primary process yet again, for the sake of transparency? And also shore up the party's finances?

(a party purge would be nice, too)
posted by Apocryphon at 6:52 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


"I never thought the leopard would eat my face," claims voter who was too pure to vote for the slightly flawed anti-leopard-eating-people's-faces-party.

I know it's fun to keep punching left and all, but Bernie voters voted for Hillary in greater percentage than Hillary voters for Obama. This myth that somehow the left cost the Dems the presidency is real tired at this point.
posted by Existential Dread at 7:03 PM on November 3 [25 favorites]


I was talking about the DFA in Virginia. This isn't a hypothetical, they pulled their support for Northam just days before the election.
posted by Justinian at 7:26 PM on November 3 [13 favorites]


(Sorry for not being precise, I agree I should have been more explicit given the general rancor.)
posted by Justinian at 7:27 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


they pulled their support for Northam just days before the election.

Now the guy who played on racist anti-immigrant hysteria is going to win for sure.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:40 PM on November 3


I don't mean this as a gotcha, at all, but we can't even have a 2016-related thread without it devolving into pretty stark "Bernie/Hillary people are the Worst" comments in this relatively tiny community.

Poorly worded on my part, but I meant people who represent publicly, not voters or supporters.
I don't know if that makes it any better for you though.
posted by bongo_x at 7:47 PM on November 3


yeah it's not just you, I could go through this thread and every other thread finding examples. I actually left this thread for a while when someone pulled out the "HRC dropped out WAY earlier in 2008 than Bernie thing" because ugggghhhhhh.

I had no particular preference last year but I was a huge early Obama 2008 supporter so I think I genuinely understand how folks are feeling and how every new thing is further evidence of how your opponent is terrible and unfair? In fact, when the comment I mentioned above was posted I started typing some facts about HRC's activities during the 2008 primary but just...idk that primary is over, last year's primary is over, we lost the election, the end, I'm tired.

My basic point wasn't that you, or anyone, is a terrible hypocrite. Just that it's pretty easy to see how these divisions keep eating everyone alive; we can't even get off it here on MetaFilter.
posted by lalex at 7:57 PM on November 3 [3 favorites]


I voted for Sanders in the primary, Clinton in the general. I donated to Clinton's campaign. I had long conversations with anti-Clinton people before the election trying to get them to see the importance of not handing this election to Trump. And I recently sent 100 GOTV postcards to District 42 in Virginia.

I think the primary process and the Electoral College are both outdated. I think it was a mistake to abandon Dean's 50 State strategy and I think the DNC has been problematic for a long time. And I think we can't just be the party of "not-Trump." I'm part of my state's Democratic party's women's caucus, so at least I can say I can be part of the change I want to see down here.

But then I see some of these of these comments, and I wonder if anything I wrote after the first four words here even matter. It just makes me kinda sad, because we're on the same side.
posted by Ruki at 7:59 PM on November 3 [26 favorites]


I think it was a mistake to abandon Dean's 50 State strategy

HUGE.
posted by lalex at 8:00 PM on November 3 [16 favorites]


I voted for Sanders too, and gave money. I didn't at all feel like it was at all unfair, and that's been one of the strangest things to me, the divisiveness.

I wrote a response to why I thought Lefty Spokespeople are fucking up this historical chance, but hesitated to post it. No one hears anything but "Bernie/Hillary or Dems/Socialists suck".
posted by bongo_x at 8:24 PM on November 3 [9 favorites]


that's been one of the strangest things to me, the divisiveness

Just replace the slime from Ghostbusters II with the Russian noise campaign and things start to make more sense.
posted by Jpfed at 8:29 PM on November 3 [6 favorites]


No one hears anything but "Bernie/Hillary or Dems/Socialists suck".

But people are posting links to articles that explicitly say "Left, this is why people hate you." And I mean, yeah, the DFA thing was monumentally stupid, but, this is also what I was trying to say last night about the Twitter thread. That diviseness is there, and it doesn't have to be. I think the sentiment and the information, respectively, could have been conveyed without it.
posted by Ruki at 8:51 PM on November 3 [1 favorite]


I ignored this earlier today because I didn't think it was true, and still can't, but people keep saying Donna Brazile is going to be on Tucker Carlson's show Monday night. The night before the election.
posted by bongo_x at 8:53 PM on November 3 [1 favorite]


But people are posting links to articles that explicitly say "Left, this is why people hate you." And I mean, yeah, the DFA thing was monumentally stupid, but, this is also what I was trying to say last night about the Twitter thread. That diviseness is there, and it doesn't have to be. I think the sentiment and the information, respectively, could have been conveyed without it.

Fight the primary hard but after the dust settles for the love of god get behind the nominee the voters chose. If we don't start doing that with strict discipline and without handwringing from the left who want to be the smartest people in politics, we'll continue to flat out lose to race baiting incompetent schmucks. If the Left decide they want to stay home because candidate doesn't support their unique brand of progressivism then why exactly shouldn't the Democrats turn centrist. They can't give everyone 100% of what they want at all times.
posted by Talez at 9:02 PM on November 3 [13 favorites]


"Left, this is why people hate you."

Is there like an Excel spreadsheet that the centrists have that lets them figure out how much racism they should espouse in each state to win the suburbs?
posted by Space Coyote at 9:04 PM on November 3 [8 favorites]


Jesu Christe, as a party, we don't even need the Russians to ratf*ck us, we do a good enough job doing that to ourselves.

I am so angry and disappointed at Brazile and Warren. Warren, gah.

@NateSilver538
The central purpose of Brazile's book seems to be to rehabilitate her image as a TV pundit.


Words cannot express how fucking incensed I am at Brazile, Warren, Perez, Ellison, et al., who apparently are now the iconoclastic Bannons of the center-to-left. I mean, yeah, I get it, this is what establishment national level pol people do after an election. They write their tell-all books (and I am not exempting Clinton from culpability in that) and burnish their brand by trashing everyone else or whatever the fuck, blah blah blah.

But Jesus Fucking Christ, the Democratic Party just lost the most important election of my lifetime, herds of white nationalists are openly running for office or being given cover by GOP "moderates," every key policy and social justice accomplishment of the last 20 or 30 years is being rolled back, the Republic is in actual dire peril thanks to the goddamn incompetent malicious lunatic in the White House. And these assholes, these FUCKING selfish ASSHOLES think it's OK to do in-fighty business as usual and hang out all the dirty laundry like there's nothing really major at stake.

Seriously, Warren goes on TV a day after the Russia indictments just before the VA election and starts tossing around words like "rigged" with apparently not one scintilla of audience awareness? God, if there were any other way besides through the DNC and Presidential-level candidates to defeat Trump and his henchmen and the hordes of people much, much worse than he is waiting in the wings, I would so happily take it. I just hope I live long enough to see Indivisible-type candidates and grassroots organizations get into a position where they can win hard and then burn these jerks down to the ground.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:19 PM on November 3 [38 favorites]


Fight the primary hard but after the dust settles for the love of god get behind the nominee the voters chose. If we don't start doing that with strict discipline and without handwringing from the left who want to be the smartest people in politics, we'll continue to flat out lose to race baiting incompetent schmucks.

But there was not lock-step support behind Trump by the establishment GOP -- if anything, it was far more fractious than on the Dem side -- and they still won (with some nefarious help, of course).

I agree that staying in party unison can be effective, but it doesn't help when your leadership is stale and out of touch, and it also doesn't help when that party unity is used to paper over bad decisions. I don't particularly care about the specifics of this set of accusations, but it is better to air them and maybe the cumulative effect will aid in creating pressure for institutional change.

A major factor driving support for both Sanders and Trump was people's certainty that the party system is corrupt and fully in control of the party elite. It's hard to argue with in some ways (I mean, Pelosi et al have remained in place despite disastrous outcomes), but it's also a lazy cynicism with corrosive results.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:28 AM on November 4 [4 favorites]


Nothing like giving the enemy ammunition before a big battle.

@RVAwonk:
8 of the top 10 trending topics on @SecureDemocracy's Russian propaganda tracker are about the DNC/Democratic primary controversy. CHART
posted by chris24 at 4:51 AM on November 4 [6 favorites]


Well, it clarifies who the enemies and the enemy alliances are...
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:00 AM on November 4


@NatashaBertrand: Boom. AP reports that the Russia-linked hacker Guccifer 2.0 edited leaked documents.

@donnabrazile:
There’s a reason for this: to sow discord and turn us against each other. Please pay attention folks.

——

No really, she tweeted this yesterday.
posted by chris24 at 5:10 AM on November 4 [12 favorites]


Republicans have been getting into existential intraparty squabbles on a weekly basis since Truimp threw his hat in the ring. And they win.

Democrats must have a brand, a strategy, a recruiting game, a ground operation, etc. that can survive these short news cycles that don't even affect people's lives. I am mystified by what Brazile's doing, but if we lose in VA it's not gonna be her failt.
posted by lalex at 5:12 AM on November 4 [2 favorites]


funny how the third way dems have forgotten that nearly everything good in this country came from the left. i will never be ashamed of being a leftist, never.

a lot of people here would have been calling fdr a class traitor and baying for his blood if they had been around then
posted by entropicamericana at 5:23 AM on November 4 [6 favorites]


Republicans have been getting into existential intraparty squabbles on a weekly basis since Truimp threw his hat in the ring. And they win.

Because they're authoritarian sheep who fall in line. Dems for better and worse are more independent and intellectually curious and this bullshit has more effect. A close VA loss won't be Donna's fault, but she'll be a probable contributing cause.
posted by chris24 at 5:28 AM on November 4 [6 favorites]


funny how the third way dems have forgotten that nearly everything good in this country came from the left.

C'mon, this is what we're going to do? Fine, then how about losing 5 of 6 elections by huge landslides to the Republicans from 1968 - 1988 with Humphrey, McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis, hardly the Bluedog branch of the Democratic party. How'd the Dems break that? With Clinton, because the country isn't always as liberal as we'd like to be. And if nothing else in those 8 years, we got Ginsburg and Breyer, justices who would be Scalias without Clinton. And without them no gay marriage, no Obamacare, No Lawrence, probably no Roe, etc. etc.
posted by chris24 at 5:43 AM on November 4 [13 favorites]


I agree that staying in party unison can be effective, but it doesn't help when your leadership is stale and out of touch, and it also doesn't help when that party unity is used to paper over bad decisions. I don't particularly care about the specifics of this set of accusations, but it is better to air them and maybe the cumulative effect will aid in creating pressure for institutional change.

I agree completely, but the ethical, responsible, and non-self-destructive way to air this type of information and resolve these issues is NOT to spontaneously drop it into the media like a grenade in the most divisive, disruptive, loaded, self-serving manner possible. That's not just a shot at Brazile and Warren but at the whole party leadership apparatus, who apparently have never taken a single 100-level public relations course among them.

Listen, I get (and share) the impulse to tear shit down, clean out the rot, and build something better, but there are many, many, many, many vulnerable or dispossessed people in this country and the world who will. not. survive. an extended reign of Trumpism. The nation itself may not survive, which, sure, would not necessarily be a bad thing in the long run, but I worry about people who are blasé about that level of avoidable human suffering, as if this is just a thought experiment or something. Anyhow, that doesn't mean reformers need to shut up and fall in line, but everyone needs to be smart and careful and yes, maybe compromise and prioritize. But I might as well yell that into the abyss for all the good it will do.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:51 AM on November 4 [11 favorites]


the country isn't always as liberal as we'd like to be

The country is far more liberal than third way hacks think:
A slim majority of Americans support a single-payer health-care system that is funded and administrated by the government and eliminates private insurers, according to a new poll.

posted by entropicamericana at 5:57 AM on November 4 [12 favorites]


I mean, the US has lived in the hell of Trump and his GOP minions for nearly a year now, and yet the Virginia gubernatorial race is neck and neck. That fact is and should be fucking terrifying to us all.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:59 AM on November 4 [12 favorites]


The country is far more liberal than third way hacks think:

Yes, the country is more liberal than 1968 - 1992, which my comment was referring to. And hopefully that translates soon into winning elections for the left, but it hasn't thus far. Maybe because of name calling like hacks and the ridiculous FDR comment.
posted by chris24 at 6:12 AM on November 4 [8 favorites]


Democrats must have a brand, a strategy, a recruiting game, a ground operation, etc. that can survive these short news cycles that don't even affect people's lives. I am mystified by what Brazile's doing, but if we lose in VA it's not gonna be her failt.

I...disagree? Sort of? I think this is a kind of wishful thinking. Democrats should have all those things, and need all those things to be able to win in a secure way. But Democrats don't have them, and we still have elections. What I'm hearing people say - and what I've been hearing since 2000 - is that if the Democrats aren't appealing enough, it's not our fault as voters if we knowingly make a choice that brings in someone who does really bad stuff. If I vote for Jill Stein and my state goes red, that's not my fault - it's the Democrats' fault for sucking, even though I made that decision and pulled the lever.

The way I feel is that we each individually have the responsibility to make the best decision under difficult circumstances that is available to us, even if the range of decisions is constrained by the failure of the Democratic party. And we have the responsibility to be real about consequences. We are all morally responsible for making the best decisions we can. Moral responsibility inheres in the individual - it isn't dished out from a finite amount like slices of pie. Upper level Democrats may be morally responsible for ending the fifty state strategy, but that doesn't mean that I'm not morally responsible for my own stupid votes. Russian interference, Democratic mismanagement, bad timing - all those things can be causes for a close election, but none of them remove my responsibility to be real about the safest realistic outcome of the election.

So when I consider Donna Brazile, I think to myself, "is there some urgency about this book, some political project that can only be achieved if it is released before November 7? Is the wrongdoing alleged in the book so important and so relevant to the issues that it should influence the November 7 election?" And I'm not seeing it. Why not wait literally ten days? There is nothing in this book, as far as I can tell, that is specifically relevant to the local elections happening on the 7th - nothing that we all need to know to make informed decisions about our governors, park boards, etc. So there is no pressing moral reason for Brazile to release it now instead of, eg, November 10. And to me that means that she and the publisher are in fact responsible, in a particularly idiotic way. People who are stupid about voting because of the book are also responsible.

Look, we've all got to put out fires that we see, we can't just say "well, I always extinguish my cigarettes, not my problem".
posted by Frowner at 6:14 AM on November 4 [24 favorites]


the overwhelming majority of the namecalling in this thread has been directed toward the left
posted by entropicamericana at 6:15 AM on November 4 [4 favorites]


the overwhelming majority of the namecalling in this thread has been directed toward the left

I think there's a difference between expressing disapproval/displeasure and name calling, which is my perception of most of the commentary, though maybe I've missed name calling.
posted by chris24 at 6:19 AM on November 4 [3 favorites]


that's okay, the left will keep dragging the country forward, no matter how much the centrists disapprove of us
posted by entropicamericana at 6:22 AM on November 4 [7 favorites]


I think this is a kind of wishful thinking.

It is definitely wishful thinking! And I absolutely agree with your view that voters bear personal responsibility for making shitty choices, but I'm not sure what to do about that. And without doing anything about either thing we are going to continue losing elections.

Or not! Who knows, maybe Dems will do well on Tuesday.
posted by lalex at 6:36 AM on November 4


As far as timing goes, it’s not as if Donna Brazile was sitting around and just decided to release the book this weekend. We have a lot of authors and publishing pros here; what is the production and marketing scheduling timeline for a major release? And how easy would it have been to turn the ship around, realizing there was a very tight race in Virginia?
posted by Room 641-A at 7:39 AM on November 4 [1 favorite]


She's been in politics for decades, she knows the first Tuesday in November is election day. I find it hard to believe this was inadvertent. Whether she was trying to capitalize on current election hype, or the anniversary of Trump's win, it shouldn't have happened this week. And wouldn't be difficult to avoid.
posted by chris24 at 7:46 AM on November 4 [13 favorites]


@donnabrazile:
There’s a reason for this: to sow discord and turn us against each other. Please pay attention folks.

——

No really, she tweeted this yesterday.


What I'm wondering is if she said "Btw my publisher screwed up the timing of this soooo bad" would her publisher be able to retaliate against her somehow?
posted by Jpfed at 7:47 AM on November 4


It doesn't take a genius to not release a book a week before an election, or a genius to realize that there are likely to be all kinds of important elections in the wake of Trump. Brazile is a political strategist, that's kind of her whole thing. Not thinking this through is a failure on her part. Even if the choice was "let the publisher do whatever they want, and be damned to the consequences" or "write some longform articles and give interviews instead of a book so that I control the timing" this was still foolery. We have the example of the election and "but her emails" right in front of us.

This is precisely what I mean when I say that each of us needs to take moral responsibility. Choosing not to think about it or choosing to take the easier path is a failure of responsibility. If we are looking at a constitutional convention in two years and this country goes from the brink of the abyss to god knows what because everyone made the most self-serving decisions possible, well, look back at the excuses we made. I cannot overstress that we could have a constitutional convention which would lock in the values of the extreme right - that this would be the Supreme Court but worse and far, far harder to undo. God knows what horrors of abuse and violence would be added to what already exist.
posted by Frowner at 7:48 AM on November 4 [15 favorites]


that's okay, the left will keep dragging the country forward, no matter how much the centrists disapprove of us

We are two states, probably only ONE state away from the Republicans sponsoring a constitutional convention. When that happens the Left will be dead for this country for the next century. Aren't you even the least bit terrified? Or are you that confident in the inevitable march of history?

The Left and hell the moderates are all have been losing repeatedly over the last twenty years. And we're on the verge of losing everything. So maybe we all could stand to be a little less smug.
posted by happyroach at 7:56 AM on November 4 [18 favorites]


(programming note: the Pod Save America episode zach referenced will be up later this afternoon.)
posted by lalex at 7:58 AM on November 4


[Several comments deleted. We aren't gonna open a fight about government ice cream vs Ben and Jerrys here; just go read another thread if you're ready to do something other than fight over Brazile.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:33 AM on November 4 [2 favorites]


I don't think this story will influence the VA election much at all. For Bernie supporters, this story means that someone who a had high-ranking position in the Democratic Party gets our complaints about DWS and takes them seriously. So this makes us feel better about the Party and a bit vindicated. For Hillary supporters, this provokes renewed fuming about "BernieBros" and anger at Brazile for criticizing the Clinton campaign, but Northam isn't a BernieBro and I don't think Hillary supporters are going to change their vote because of this. And of course, there glee on the Republican side because Democrats are arguing about something, but they're voting Republican anyway. But for the most part, this is story that Democratic Party activists and political news junkies care about. I don't think it's on most people's radar.

Some polling in VA has pointed to higher turn-out by Democrats than usual in this race. And I don't think the race is as close as the Real Clear Politics polling average would indicate. The Gillespie campaign has released some internal internal polls polls recently which show them winning (naturally), and the RCP average gives those polls exactly as much weight as results from well-established, reliable pollsters. The results we've been getting from reliable pollsters, though, have been pretty encouraging. I live in VA, and I'm pretty exited about next Tuesday's election. I'm not mad at Donna Brazile about anything.
posted by nangar at 8:37 AM on November 4 [5 favorites]


The Left and hell the moderates are all have been losing repeatedly over the last twenty years.

the moderates have been doing everything in their power to strangle the left in the cradle for the past 25 years. maybe if they stopped helping the right, the left would see better national gains.

Aren't you even the least bit terrified?

terrified? no. concerned, sure. if we got to the craziness of a republican-called constitutional convention, i believe the coasts would secede.

Or are you that confident in the inevitable march of history?

i believe that children are our future
posted by entropicamericana at 8:45 AM on November 4


that's okay, the left will keep dragging the country forward, no matter how much the centrists disapprove of us

The danger is that if someone confuses left and right for good and evil, then more left (or more right) is always better to them, which contains multiple fallacies.
posted by Brian B. at 8:46 AM on November 4 [4 favorites]


maybe if they stopped helping the right

Counterpoint: Nader and Stein
posted by chris24 at 8:47 AM on November 4 [7 favorites]


[A few deleted. No secession talk, many downsides to that, we've been over this hundreds of times.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:51 AM on November 4


> It doesn't take a genius to not release a book a week before an election

The book's actually scheduled for release on Nov. 7, the day of the the VA and NJ elections. So by the time people bought copies, read it and started publishing reviews. etc., the election would have been over. The decision to publish an excerpt a few days in advance was likely made by the publisher's marketing department, not something that Donna Brazile planned or agreed to.
posted by nangar at 8:53 AM on November 4


Reviewers always get advanced copies and excerpts are almost always published as part of a PR push before it goes on sale, so people know about it and buy it when released. I find it hard to believe this wasn't anticipated or known.

And she's said nothing to calm the storm, refute the damage or dispute the timing.
posted by chris24 at 8:56 AM on November 4 [9 favorites]


And of course, there glee on the Republican side because Democrats are arguing about something, but they're voting Republican anyway.

The mere mention of Crooked Hillary unleashes the brain hornets in the Trump faithful. I wouldn't bet my life that it won't increase turnout.
posted by benzenedream at 8:59 AM on November 4


For Bernie supporters, this story means that someone who a had high-ranking position in the Democratic Party gets our complaints about DWS and takes them seriously. So this makes us feel better about the Party and a bit vindicated. For Hillary supporters, this provokes renewed fuming about "BernieBros" and anger at Brazile for criticizing the Clinton campaign, but Northam isn't a BernieBro and I don't think Hillary supporters are going to change their vote because of this.

It's not specific to the Virginia election, but the #1 electoral problem for the Democratic Party is not motivating the people who already vote reliably for Democratic candidates. It's getting the less motivated or apathetic DemSymps and leaners off their damn couches and into the voting booth. Adding clickbaity new verses to the same old "Both sides, nothing ever changes, pols are corrupt, they're all alike, all they do is fight among themselves and feather their nests instead of helping real people" tune is not helpful.

that's okay, the left will keep dragging the country forward, no matter how much the centrists disapprove of us

I'm probably leftier than you are, but this is also not helpful because as you may have noticed, the Trump administration is busily dragging the EPA and Justice Department and Supreme Court and planet backward to places it may take all of us centuries to pull them back out of. It kind of won't matter who has the moral and ideological high ground when we're all living in a toxic famine-ridden apartheid handmaid's tale.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:59 AM on November 4 [18 favorites]


We are two states, probably only ONE state away from the Republicans sponsoring a constitutional convention. When that happens the Left will be dead for this country for the next century.

Nah. Any of the dumbass things a convention did would still need to be approved by 38 states to take effect.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 9:16 AM on November 4 [1 favorite]


@MarkHarrisNYC (NYmag)
I see a lot on this site about what Democrats are going to "have to do" in 2020 to win over disgruntled progressives and it amazes me. 1/
- What it means is that many progressives here see themselves as customers who will have to be sold on a dubious product--the candidate. 2/
- Since last year, we've heard about how Sanders leads a "movement." But many BS supporters seem to have no faith it will produce someone. 3/
- When I ask about it, I hear "Well, the corrupt DNC will obviously steal it from us because the system is rigged," etc. That's a dodge. 4/
- Because the truth is, if this is a real movement, it can produce a viable candidate. I hope it's not Sanders, but it certainly could be. 5/
- And if it does, this "movement" will have to become a movement of sellers, not buyers. No more demanding mea culpas or setting conditions. 6/
- Instead it will have to convince Clinton voters that this is the way forward. And I wish I was hearing more about how they'll do that. 7/
- Because telling voters they're corrupt or deluded or low-information or had their chance won't win a Twitter fight, let alone an election. 8/
- And the notion that they don't need mainstream Democrats bc it'll all be made up for by galvanized new voters is numerically delusional. 9/
- So I hope the Dem left shifts from "list of demands" to salesmanship fast. You might be able to own the party now. Start acting like it. x
posted by chris24 at 9:21 AM on November 4 [25 favorites]


The thing is, the Democratic Party IS moving left, as we speak, and certainly needs to, whether the DC suits want to or not. Look at the good young candidates coming up; they are by and large not centrists or moderates or RepubLites. They're racially diverse heartland-y (or heartland friendly) socialists or mega-progressives at heart, many of them, especially on health care and voting rights. If they can get decent funding and the Democratic Party will get out of their way and we can stop all the public bickering, I think they can have a lot of success because they are not afraid to openly stand for something distinctly unlike the GOP.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:40 AM on November 4 [15 favorites]


> It's not specific to the Virginia election, but the #1 electoral problem for the Democratic Party is not motivating the people who already vote reliably for Democratic candidates. It's getting the less motivated or apathetic DemSymps and leaners off their damn couches...

There are some indications of higher than usual turn-out for Democrats in this election (a WaPo poll that specifically asked about that and absentee ballot figures). We'll see in a few days. I know a lot of people in this thread want to see a Republican victory in VA so they can use it as rhetorical cudgel to attack "BernieBros" and Donna Brazile, but I don't think Virginians are going to supply them with that.

(By the way, most people have to work on Tuesdays. It's a matter of taking extra time before or after work to go to their polling place and vote for most people, and time ahead of that to make sure they're registered and have an ID their state will accept, not "getting...off their damn couches".)
posted by nangar at 10:12 AM on November 4 [1 favorite]


> I know a lot of people in this thread want to see a Republican victory in VA so they can use it as rhetorical cudgel to attack "BernieBros" and Donna Brazile

I'm legitimately unsure where you're getting that from, and it feels like a deeply uncharitable reading of people who are worried about VA; no one here who has been talking about the race, I think, wants to see Gillespie win, period.
posted by cjelli at 10:19 AM on November 4 [32 favorites]


I know a lot of people in this thread want to see a Republican victory in VA so they can use it as rhetorical cudgel to attack "BernieBros" and Donna Brazile

C'mon. You think any Dem whether a centrist, liberal or leftist wants to lose VA just for a "I told you so?" When the legislature map in 2020, Obamacare and Medicaid expansion, etc. are at risk? There's all these complaints about how people are insulting leftists, but then this really offensive shit gets thrown around.
posted by chris24 at 10:19 AM on November 4 [24 favorites]


By the way, most people have to work on Tuesdays.

I think turnout depends less on the DNC or Ds getting out their messages and more on fixing our voting laws. Early or mail-in voting in one state or county alone probably would have tipped the scales.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:23 AM on November 4 [1 favorite]


I know a lot of people in this thread want to see a Republican victory in VA so they can use it as rhetorical cudgel to attack "BernieBros" and Donna Brazile

It's this stuff, this eleventh-dimensional chess stuff, this "admit it, you all secretly care primarily about which faction comes out ahead" stuff which is precisely the problem, because any criticism or concern is read through the lens of "is this a pro-Bernie or pro-Hillary criticism" first. To the point, apparently, where folks are thinking that being afraid that the Democrat will lose is a sign that you secretly crave a Republican victory. I don't even understand how we get to this point - I am personally literally afraid that I will die during the Trump administration, because of the Trump administration. The idea of a Republican victory - even for dog catcher - fills me with horror.
posted by Frowner at 10:25 AM on November 4 [36 favorites]


What bums me out is that it took 2016 for people to realize that if they want to change the party, they need to be involved with the party locally, which is how reshaping the whole thing starts, it's really the only way to reshape it. It's not an immediate process and it takes time and it takes persistence, and while it is happening, it could have been well on its way long ago with involvement at the bottom. This is the main reason I can't get super worked up over left wing complaints about the Democratic party despite having left wing views myself, changing the party is totally doable but it takes work and time and the centrists have been putting in more of both pretty much unopposed for too long. It takes a lot more than railing against elected politicians and party leaders, we needed to be on the committees and putting in time and votes and persuading people aaaages ago. Like what, was DWS gonna listen to our complaints if she was a shoe-in with the state parties as they were anyways? Change the local parties, change the state parties, then the whole thing changes, nothing else works.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:28 AM on November 4 [13 favorites]


If I vote for Jill Stein and my state goes red, that's not my fault - it's the Democrats' fault for sucking, even though I made that decision and pulled the lever.

What bums me out is that it took 2016 for people to realize that if they want to change the party, they need to be involved with the party locally,

Consumer mentality. It's ingrained in us now.
posted by bongo_x at 10:50 AM on November 4 [3 favorites]


Here's a typically smart Joy-Ann Reid piece that was just retweeted by...Donna Brazile: Donna Brazile’s Bombshell Isn’t That Hillary Clinton Rigged the Race, But That the Democratic Party Blew It
posted by lalex at 10:53 AM on November 4 [6 favorites]


> C'mon. You think any Dem whether a centrist, liberal or leftist wants to lose VA just for a "I told you so?"

Yeah, that's honestly how I understood most comments about the upcoming elections in my state in this thread. If that's not what you meant, and you were offended by the way I took your comments, I apologize.

And, no, Frowner, I didn't take your comments this way, even initially. (But I did take most other comments about the VA that way.)
posted by nangar at 10:55 AM on November 4


WaPo has a new excerpt, and it's pretty bizarre:
Former Democratic National Committee head Donna Brazile writes in a new book that she seriously contemplated replacing Hillary Clinton as the party’s 2016 presidential nominee with then-Vice President Biden in the aftermath of Clinton’s fainting spell, in part because Clinton’s campaign was “anemic” and had taken on “the odor of failure.”

In an explosive new memoir, Brazile details widespread dysfunction and dissension throughout the Democratic Party, including secret deliberations over using her powers as interim DNC chair to initiate the removal of Clinton and running mate Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.) from the ticket after Clinton’s Sept. 11, 2016, collapse in New York City.

Brazile writes that she considered a dozen combinations to replace the nominees and settled on Biden and Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.), the duo she felt most certain would win over enough working-class voters to defeat Republican Donald Trump. But then, she writes, “I thought of Hillary, and all the women in the country who were so proud of and excited about her. I could not do this to them.”

Brazile paints a scathing portrait of Clinton as a well-intentioned, historic candidate whose campaign was badly mismanaged, took minority constituencies for granted and made blunders with “stiff” and “stupid” messages. The campaign was so lacking in passion for the candidate, she writes, that its New York headquarters felt like a sterile hospital ward where “someone had died.”
posted by lalex at 11:10 AM on November 4 [6 favorites]


No, that's not what I meant and yeah, it's offensive. Pretty fucking bad faith imo.
posted by chris24 at 11:12 AM on November 4 [10 favorites]


I frankly agree with most of her assessment of Clinton's campaign in this piece, but what is she talking about wrt "removing" the nominee? I'm not totally up on the DNC's bylaws, but this is fantasy, right?
posted by lalex at 11:13 AM on November 4


Even if she had the power, replacing the nominated candidate in September? Had she taken leave of her senses at that time, or was it while writing this book that the attack occurred?
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:15 AM on November 4 [6 favorites]


I remember at the end of the 2008 primary, Clinton sent a memo urging superdelegates to select her over Obama - is that what she's talking about? Using superdelegates? Are there even enough to do something like that? I'm so confused.
posted by lalex at 11:16 AM on November 4 [1 favorite]


Donna Brazile is going off the deep end.
posted by bongo_x at 11:18 AM on November 4 [8 favorites]


btw this is a terrific detail:
During one visit, she writes, she thought of a question former Democratic congressman Tony Coelho used to ask her about campaigns: “Are the kids having sex? Are they having fun? If not, let’s create something to get that going, or otherwise we’re not going to win.”

“I didn’t sense much fun or [having sex] in Brooklyn,” she deadpans.
I spent some time in an Obama PA office in 2008, and that...sounds about right ;)
posted by lalex at 11:18 AM on November 4 [2 favorites]


Brazile writes that she considered a dozen combinations to replace the nominees and settled on Biden and Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.), the duo she felt most certain would win over enough working-class voters to defeat Republican Donald Trump.

WTH? Apart from how bad of an idea this is, how would it even work? And wouldn't that alienate both Clinton and Sanders supporters? If Clinton needed to be replaced for some reason, the logical choice would be Sanders - the other person who actually received votes in the primary. Biden??? A guy who is to the right of Clinton? And why would you remove Kaine too? How would that ticket garner any votes? And why is now a good time to release these excerpts if you supposedly have an interest in getting Democrats elected? What is she even doing?
posted by melissasaurus at 11:20 AM on November 4 [19 favorites]


Amid an ongoing battle within the Democratic National Committee between its progressive wing and the more "centrist" establishment, a Harvard-Harris poll (pdf) published Tuesday found that a majority of Democrats think their party should be embracing grassroots movements, ditching its current leadership, and moving to the left.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:23 AM on November 4 [5 favorites]


What is she even doing?

Constructing a fantasy narrative that will maximize her chances of being employed in the future. She was part of the problem and is blame shifting like a madman.
posted by benzenedream at 11:26 AM on November 4 [23 favorites]


Yeah, Biden would be the worst possible person to replace Clinton. My parents are textbook examples of the aging true Blue working class Democrats shifted to the right, and that would NOT have gone over well. Plus what melissasaurus said about alienating both Clinton and Sanders supporters. What the hell?
posted by Ruki at 11:27 AM on November 4


If Clinton needed to be replaced for some reason, the logical choice would be Sanders - the other person who actually received votes in the primary. Biden???

Even if it were Sanders it would STILL have been insane. I spent a lot of nervous time in 2008 thinking about what would happen if superdelegates selected Clinton to run over the first black American to receive the most delegates in the primary. And that primary was closer. And this, the first woman? This is CRAZY. Why not just blow the party up?
posted by lalex at 11:27 AM on November 4 [8 favorites]


I thought of Hillary, and all the women in the country who were so proud of and excited about her. I could not do this to them.”

...she says, like it would be like telling excited children on Christmas Eve there's no santa claus.

as for the real women and men (!) who would have been outraged because a. what? and b. we voted for her in the primaries expecting those votes to determine the nominee, not outraged because she was the incarnation of all our empowerful dreams and the Democrats dared to despoil them -- as one of them, I thank her for not the worst but definitely the weirdest condescension I have ever been the recipient of. at least have the nerve to carry it all the way through and say you wanted to do it for our own good -- for us, not to us -- since that is the premise of even considering it.
posted by queenofbithynia at 11:28 AM on November 4 [6 favorites]


“I didn’t sense much fun or [having sex] in Brooklyn,” she deadpans.

Yes, in an election in which many women journalists and political activists received rape and death threats, an election in which the opponent is an admitted sexual predator, an election that involves virulent misogyny both in rhetoric and policy, it is scandalous that in a campaign headed and staffed by women there wasn't enough of a focus on "having sex."

Not all of us want to have sex with our coworkers. Not all of us treat the workplace or our political activism as a hunting expedition for sexual partners. And I'm not convinced all of the "having sex" going on in other campaigns was always consensual or wanted.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:29 AM on November 4 [32 favorites]


Yeah, this is weird in many ways, but hey, she's got a book to sell and a reputation to rehabilitate. Say what you want Donna, but why the hell couldn't you have waited until next week? The decision to push this division - true or not, or even logical - right as people go to polls in important elections is unforgivable.
posted by chris24 at 11:30 AM on November 4 [3 favorites]


but hey, she's got a book to sell and a reputation to rehabilitate.

This is a bad strategy, unless your goal is to be a commentator on Fox News. And at this point I'm not sure it isn't.
posted by bongo_x at 11:33 AM on November 4 [6 favorites]


She also says that she feared being killed by a sniper and recommended Hillary treat her flu with acupuncture. Off the deep end indeed.
posted by schoolgirl report at 11:38 AM on November 4 [6 favorites]


it is scandalous that in a campaign headed and staffed by women there wasn't enough of a focus on "having sex."

No one is saying it's scandalous. It's a reference to the energy level, the kinetic excitement in the room when you have a bunch of (often single) people who share the same goals working constructively towards the same goal 24 hours a day. Campaign relationships are a cliche for a reason.
posted by lalex at 11:38 AM on November 4 [2 favorites]


I get the point, I just think that this election was different in character than past elections. I think the misogyny in the election warrants at least a consideration of who gets to have a "fun" election? It may nevertheless function as a signal for enthusiasm or energy, but it just feels a little like being told to smile more while this asshole over here talks about grabbing women by the pussy while mandating forced birth. Like telling people who object to sexual harassment that they're making the workplace less "fun."

A deep dive on the issue is probably a derail from this thread, but I chafe at the implication that women's libidos are somehow responsible for the election of Trump, when the reverse seems far more likely.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:49 AM on November 4 [11 favorites]


unless your goal is to be a commentator on Fox News.

Ding ding ding
posted by benzenedream at 11:50 AM on November 4 [4 favorites]


I just don't think that's the implication at all, but perhaps I'm deriving too much from my own ladyperson experience participating in campaigns.
posted by lalex at 11:50 AM on November 4


I really can't get over how bizarre this is.
posted by lalex at 12:05 PM on November 4 [6 favorites]


I just don't think that's the implication at all

I don't think it is either -- at least, not exactly -- but it is a seriously weird and heteronormative and kind of offensive thing to say. (Also... how do you know who is boning whom anyway, Donna?)

And yet somehow this whole aside about 'fun and f*******' during the campaign appears to be among the less out-there-wild-and-wacky stuff Brazile is saying at present.
posted by halation at 12:07 PM on November 4 [2 favorites]


(By the way, most people have to work on Tuesdays. It's a matter of taking extra time before or after work to go to their polling place and vote for most people, and time ahead of that to make sure they're registered and have an ID their state will accept, not "getting...off their damn couches".)

Virginia has in person absentee voting starting Sept. 22, with several Saturday and extended hours during the week. I'm going out today to vote.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 12:08 PM on November 4 [3 favorites]


I don't think it's the only interpretation of her comment, and I don't mean to discount your personal experience. I just hesitate to apply patterns and culture of men's presidential campaigns to Clinton's, which was staffed with 52% women (54% women for senior leadership positions). Maybe it was lack of enthusiasm, or maybe it was just a different office culture. Maybe it was still happening and people just weren't talking about it in the office for everyone else to hear?
posted by melissasaurus at 12:09 PM on November 4 [5 favorites]


(54% women for senior leadership positions)

Which makes this criticism from Brazile seem odd.
Brazile describes Mook, in his mid-30s, as overseeing a patriarchy. “They were all men in his inner circle,” she writes, adding: “He had this habit of nodding when you are talking, leaving you with the impression that he has listened to you, but then never seeming to follow up on what you thought you had agreed on.”

Brazile’s criticisms were not reserved for Mook. After Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri challenged Brazile’s plan for Kaine to deliver a pep talk to DNC staff at the party convention in Philadelphia, Brazile writes, “I was thinking, If that b---- ever does anything like that to me again, I’m gonna walk.”
So the inner circle is all men, but then she complains about someone very high level who you would think would be inner circle who's a woman.
posted by chris24 at 12:15 PM on November 4 [1 favorite]


Donna Brazile considered REPLACING Hillary Goddamn Clinton wholesale because she "was running an anemic campaign"? In September? With Joe Biden? The Joe Biden who nobody in the party fucking voted for?

I... I don't even know what to say. The sheer gall is baffling.
posted by lydhre at 12:17 PM on November 4 [16 favorites]


Maybe it was lack of enthusiasm, or maybe it was just a different office culture.

Oh, sure, I'd agree that either of these interpretations are possible. And certainly no one should be prying into the sexual activities of campaign staffers. I just didn't really read it so literally, as much as a shorthand reference to the energy that occurs when everyone in the room shares the same values and is firing on all cylinders.

I fell in love, either romantically or platonically, with pretty much every single person I spent a lot of time with during Obama 2008. It's entirely possible that that sort of thing was frowned upon in the office culture of a different campaign.
posted by lalex at 12:21 PM on November 4 [1 favorite]


Now that I think about it, btw, after Clinton fainted there were swirling rumors in the Italian press that some mysterious "they" wanted her replaced with Biden. At the time I had laughed and told my family that was completely fabricated nonsense.

... I guess it wasn't fabricated, though definitely still fucking nonsense.
posted by lydhre at 12:23 PM on November 4 [4 favorites]


This whole thing is getting more and more bizarre by the $timeperiod.
posted by glonous keming at 12:33 PM on November 4 [2 favorites]


Hmm...

@ddale8:
Brazile says she was appalled at primary unfairness and also that she thought about deposing the elected nominee for a guy who didn't run.
posted by chris24 at 12:35 PM on November 4 [15 favorites]


Re: The Brazile stories

@nycsouthpaw:
I just want to say: all this bullshit has nothing to do with rank and file Democrats.
- This is mandarins in DC either intriguing against each other or trying to make a buck at the cost of what a lot of people believe in.
- plus doing it days before crucial elections, undermining a lot of people who are desperate to save this country from a rising tide of bigotry.
- I don’t know why it’s happening. But it’s awful and it’s not the fault of the voters and volunteers and staff who are working so hard.
posted by chris24 at 12:41 PM on November 4 [24 favorites]


@mmurraypolitics:
DNC chair can't unilaterally replace nominee. 1st - nominee must agree to step down. 2nd - whole DNC chooses sub

Vox: Here’s what happens if a presidential nominee has to drop out of the election


@joshtpm:
Possibly we shld explore a side agreement by which Donna can contribute book royalties to party unity efforts given all damage she doing.
posted by chris24 at 12:48 PM on November 4 [7 favorites]


@Mikel_Jollett:
That means Donna Brazile would've been cool not only ignoring SEVENTEEN million Clinton voters...but THIRTEEN million Sanders voters too.

@rezaaslan: retweeted Mikel Jollett
I of all people know how hard you have to hustle to sell books these days but this is nuts @donnabrazile - are you gunning for Fox News gig?
posted by chris24 at 12:54 PM on November 4 [6 favorites]


Now that I think about it, btw, after Clinton fainted there were swirling rumors in the Italian press that some mysterious "they" wanted her replaced with Biden.

iirc, for a couple days Clinton's campaign explained her 9/11 fainting incident as the result of overheating, which was implausible enough to spur speculation and a round of explainers like the 9/12 Vox one chris24 posted above.
posted by lalex at 12:54 PM on November 4


This thread from Melissa McEwan (@shakestweetz) discusses the "sex"/"joyless campaign" issue. [note: we are not the same person, despite having the same first name and reaction to that passage]
posted by melissasaurus at 12:57 PM on November 4 [13 favorites]


! I read that as "we are the same person" and I was like OMG HIIIII!!!!
posted by lalex at 12:58 PM on November 4 [3 favorites]


Clinton fainting was such a non-story from a medical perspective it was weird to watch all these people speculate when every doctor and nurse I know was like, a woman in her 60s who’s been working around the clock gets sick and has a collapse, wow what a shocker.
posted by supercrayon at 1:04 PM on November 4 [8 favorites]


Yeah I think the mainstream press corps was responding to the mystery, not the fairly routine mild pneumonia that it ended up being, iirc. A mystery is always a story!
posted by lalex at 1:11 PM on November 4


iirc, for a couple days Clinton's campaign explained her 9/11 fainting incident as the result of overheating, which was implausible enough to spur speculation

i have definitely personally overheated and fainted in similar circumstances *without* being ill, so i never really got that scepticism. people all analysing dewpoints and relative humidity and fabric thicknesses. i once overheated on an early spring day while in perfect health because i was in a crowd and dressed too heavily for the low-70s. it happens, jeez.
posted by halation at 1:16 PM on November 4 [4 favorites]


We are two states, probably only ONE state away from the Republicans sponsoring a constitutional convention. When that happens the Left will be dead for this country for the next century

Losing Virginia would be a disaster and, worse, an entirely avoidable one. And this isn't to be taken as saying "don't worry." But having a Constitutional Convention isn't enough to change the Constitution only enough to propose amendments. Those amendments still have to be passed by 3/4 of the states. The "constitutional Convention" thing is just a relic of a past age without ubiquitous and instant long distance communication. They could, if they so chose, do exactly the same thing now without an official convention. It's essentially a meaningless symbol.

The Republicans controlling 3/4 of the states while representing a minority of the country... now that's the real nightmare scenario. And not an impossible one. I don't think it will happen but... it's closer than we should feel at all comfortable with.
posted by Justinian at 1:17 PM on November 4 [8 favorites]


One guess what MSNBC is going on and on about 3 days before an important election.
posted by Justinian at 1:24 PM on November 4


One guess what MSNBC is going on and on about 3 days before an important election.

Sure seems like it's just never a good time to discuss the failures of people in power.
posted by R.F.Simpson at 1:54 PM on November 4 [2 favorites]


It must be remembered that Brazile got her start in the Demo hierarchy with the '84 Jesse Jackson campaign and was most active in all the LEAST successful Democratic campaigns of the last 30 years. If Wasserman-Schultz was a failure as party chair, choosing Brazile as her replacement was an unequivocally bad move and if she indeed shares some of the failure of the Clinton campaign AND all the other party failures in the '16 election, her book looks like an inadvertent confession to that.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:55 PM on November 4 [4 favorites]


Talking about ways to improve is one thing, but an entire news cycle devoted to some kind of strange election fanfic (which is what "replacing HRC with Biden" is) is another thing entirely. What even is this? You can't do that! Like, you literally can't.
posted by Justinian at 2:11 PM on November 4 [10 favorites]


Fair enough, MSNBC is uniformly terrible. I just have a bad taste in my mouth from people always saying "now isn't the time to talk about x" because, of course, it never is.
posted by R.F.Simpson at 2:18 PM on November 4


I'm listening to the Pod Save America podcast with Keith Ellison. He definitely says what was reported, that he believes that it is impossible to know whether the outcome would have been different

He says (paraphrasing) that it doesn't benefit us (Democrats) to sweep this thing under the rug, it should be dealt with in a clear way, pledge that it doesn't happen again, it wasn't fair for one candidate to have the prerogative to appoint staff.

He seems to be taking an approach that I theoretically approve of - admitting to some sketchiness, promising action and reform, cutting to bigger reform issues like how primaries are handled, and emphasizing that we all need to unite and move forward from 2016.

But...idk this was recorded yesterday and I'm really unclear on whether he'd seen the actual memo, was aware of the fact that the memo specified only the general election, etc.
posted by lalex at 2:33 PM on November 4 [5 favorites]


(If folks want to listen the Keith Ellison part of the podcast starts at about 25:30)
posted by lalex at 2:35 PM on November 4


I'm just really...feeling unpleasant maybe? that Ellison and Perez don't have their acts together enough to get on the same page about this. The DNC is, in part, a messaging organization.
posted by lalex at 2:39 PM on November 4 [2 favorites]


Welp...

@studentactivism
The Post has been silently editing the story. It seems Brazile never claimed she had the power to act unilaterally.
- Without including a correction note, the Washintgon Post has changed today's Brazile story in an important way. Look.

V1
Whenever Brazile got frustrated with Clinton's aides, she writes, she would remind them that the DNC charter empowered her to replace the nominee. If a nominee became disabled, she explains, the party chair would oversee the process of filling the vacancy.

After Clinton's fainting spell, some Democratic insiders were abuzz with talk of replacing her — and Brazile says she was giving it considerable thought.
V2
Whenever Brazile got frustrated with Clinton's aides, she writes, she would remind them that the DNC charter empowered her to initiate the replacement of the nominee. If a nominee became disabled, she explains, the party chair would oversee a complicated process of filling the vacancy that would include a meeting of the full DNC.

After Clinton's fainting spell, some Democratic insiders were abuzz with talk of replacing her — and Brazile says she was giving it considerable thought.
posted by chris24 at 2:40 PM on November 4 [2 favorites]


How is that anything but a clarification of an earlier generalization?
posted by R.F.Simpson at 2:44 PM on November 4


So the inner circle is all men, but then she complains about someone very high level who you would think would be inner circle who's a woman.
And not only that, but uses a gendered slur. "Oh the patriarchy, but I hate that bitch over there eating crackers."

My respect for Donna Brazile, already at an all time low after her efforts to misuse her press access in order to benefit HRC, has all but disappeared at this point.

(My complaints at the time about the Brazile revelations were that the question passed on was an obvious one to prepare for and we had no evidence that the info had been actively propagated. But I always thought it was unethical to offer it up in the first place.)
posted by xyzzy at 2:45 PM on November 4 [3 favorites]


"empowered her to replace the nominee" vs. "empowered her to initiate the replacement of the nominee" is big. One is unilateral power, one is is a preliminary procedural step.

And the second change from it being all about her to being the whole DNC is a pretty significant change, especially since the first version basically said she had the unilateral power.

And Josh from TPM on the how the new version doesn't really change the ridiculousness of what Brazile claimed.

@joshtpm
The simple reality is that no one has the de facto or de jure right or ability to replace the nominee unless they die or resign.
2/ So any claim from Donna Brazile that she was considering doing so or holding it over the campaign as a threat is risible nonsense.
3/ Why the Post chose to validate this nonsensical claim is a genuine mystery.
posted by chris24 at 2:50 PM on November 4 [2 favorites]


So, what's the significance of this (I'm not being snarky, I legit don't know)? That Brazille is guilty of self-promotion or ego-inflation?
posted by R.F.Simpson at 2:57 PM on November 4


Mostly that she's spreading a bunch of bullshit at the worst possible time. I guess a week before the midterms in 2018 would be worse. I'm sure somebody is salivating at the idea of releasing a book then, too. Robby Mook maybe? Or that Comic Book guy that worked for Sanders?
posted by Justinian at 3:03 PM on November 4 [6 favorites]


That Brazille is guilty of self-promotion or ego-inflation?

Yeah, combined with some Captain Hindsight of "I knew she was doomed and came oh so close to making a change that would've won it for us."
posted by chris24 at 3:04 PM on November 4 [2 favorites]


As much as I supported Bernie in the primary, it would be nice if we could get someone to the left of him who doesn't still have the stink of 2016. Keith Ellison or Nina Turner would be nice.
posted by R.F.Simpson at 3:35 PM on November 4 [2 favorites]


Is "surrogate for Bernie Sanders" a qualification for President now?
posted by Justinian at 3:37 PM on November 4 [7 favorites]


Tammy Baldwin maybe?
posted by Justinian at 3:41 PM on November 4 [1 favorite]


Keith Ellison or Nina Turner would be nice.

Turner couldn't even win statewide office here in Ohio. Sure. Let's run HER against whatever Republican horror show the other side comes up with. Sounds like a super great and practical plan. You might as well run an internet-famous otter for public office, the results will be much the same.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 3:50 PM on November 4 [12 favorites]


What would be nice would be a Left party that didn't start with "Win Presidential election" as step one, had experienced candidates, and didn't just throw up whoever's been making the most noise as their choice.

I'm thinking the shine may have worn off the "outsider" label for a lot of people.
posted by bongo_x at 4:03 PM on November 4 [16 favorites]


This thread from Melissa McEwan (@shakestweetz) discusses the "sex"/"joyless campaign" issue.

This posted earlier by melissaurus is really a must read.
posted by chris24 at 4:07 PM on November 4 [8 favorites]


Is "surrogate for Bernie Sanders" a qualification for President now?

No, but "leftist" is.
posted by R.F.Simpson at 4:19 PM on November 4 [1 favorite]


I'd vote for an otter.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:20 PM on November 4 [4 favorites]


Dude, vote for a mink. They are way cuter than otters.
posted by riruro at 4:22 PM on November 4


Marmot/Meerkat 2020
posted by contraption at 4:31 PM on November 4 [1 favorite]


Open letter from Hillary staffers.
posted by lalex at 4:35 PM on November 4 [7 favorites]


If Hillary's book was titled "What Happened", then Brazille's book is "Where Am I".

Now who's going to do a memoir titled "Why Am I Here and Where's Admiral Stockdale".
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:57 PM on November 4 [3 favorites]


Jennifer Palmieri, campaign communications director who Brazile called a bitch, responds.

@jmpalmieri
Donna was longtime colleague & friend. Sad to learn she feel this way about me. Don’t recall request she refers to.
posted by chris24 at 5:17 PM on November 4 [4 favorites]


This is genuinely sad. Brazile has devoted her life to the Democratic Party! To burn so many bridges with friends and colleagues...
posted by lalex at 5:25 PM on November 4 [8 favorites]


It is very sad. Brazile's strengths were her passion and combativeness. But these strengths can become flaws if not restrained by judgement and experience. To see her flail about in defense mode is painful. (Yes, she defends by attacking. Remember "sad ass whipper leakers" from the debate question controversy?)
One other painful item: the holding back of campaign funds until inserting them into two cities hoping to sway the popular (not the electoral) vote. That seems to be a terrible bit of strategic thinking until you realize that one of the cities was New Orleans, Brazile's own stomping grounds. I wonder if she's trying to distract from that.
posted by CCBC at 6:09 PM on November 4 [3 favorites]


> All these Bernie aligned people are doing their damnedest to make sure this country doesn't make any move to the Left.

Bernie-aligned people are going out canvassing for local candidates in VA, so are Hillary-aligned people. It's the last weekend before the election. You're spitting on people who are trying to get out the vote and win the election in my state, because some of them are from a different wing of the Party.
posted by nangar at 6:33 PM on November 4 [12 favorites]


Bernie-aligned

First I was Chaotic Bernie but now my magic user is drifting towards Neutral Clinton.
posted by benzenedream at 6:47 PM on November 4 [13 favorites]


@Tom Periello (Ralph Northam's primary opponent in VA-Gov): "Covered 300 miles of campaign trail in VA today. If I got $1 for every voter who asked about Brazile book, my pockets would still be empty."

*fingers crossed*
posted by lalex at 7:08 PM on November 4 [23 favorites]


I've two questions about the constitutional convention idea:

First, would Republicans agree among themselves more during a constitutional convention than they do during conventional congressional debates. I'd wager yes since constitutional amendments should be more statement of principle.

Second, what constitutional amendments would Republicans seek and/or achieve? I'm doubtful that they'd manage to outlaw abortion or gay marriage actually. It's clear their Christians would try of course, but you cannot cut deals with amendments as easily as with legislation.

I'd expect Republicans would first go after progressive taxation, say by ending estate taxes and income taxes for businesses, and capping the income tax rate. Importantly, there is no requirement to evaluate real world economic or budgetary constraints when passing an amendments at a constitutional convention.

I'd similarly expect Republicans would attempt to hobble regulations with ideologically pro-business amendments. Almost anything goes here because Clinton, Shrub, and Obama have all relentlessly hammered countless ideologically pro-business rules into trade agreements efforts. All you need is fancy short language that parrots many positions pushed by Obama's USTR. Investor-state dispute settlements should eliminate CA's restrictive pollution regulations, prevent states from going beyond Obamacare or sanely managing state parks, and prevent cheaper prescription drugs at any level. And financial regulation could be hobbled in numerous ways.

Aside from Obamacare, there is a risk to Unemployment, Social Security, Medicare/Medicade, not because Republicans might directly kill them, but because they might hobble them with amendments that cut their strongest points. Imposing "service choice" could disrupt these and give charter schools to the Christians.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:39 PM on November 4


If I got $1 for every voter who asked about Brazile book, my pockets would still be empty.

Most people don't know what the DNC even is. This is a story about Democratic Party finances and governance that Democratic Party activists care about. It hasn't gotten much coverage outside of websites and blogs that focus on US political news as far as I can tell.
posted by nangar at 7:44 PM on November 4 [2 favorites]


All these Bernie aligned people are doing their damnedest to make sure this country doesn't make any move to the Left.

Bernie-aligned people are going out canvassing for local candidates in VA, so are Hillary-aligned people.

I apologized upthread for my poor phrasing, I meant politicians and professional spokespeople, not voters and supporters.
posted by bongo_x at 7:53 PM on November 4 [3 favorites]


Tom Periello is a Bernie guy and he's been out for days canvassing for his primary opponent. I say this not as a gotcha, just a reminder (that I can also use) that the politicians and spokespeople are human beings and not so easily categorized as sides in a war.
posted by lalex at 8:01 PM on November 4 [1 favorite]


Yes, not all Bernie people. I agree.

There are many people in prominent public positions who claim to represent the Left, although that may not be the case, many who consider themselves aligned with Bernie Sanders, but not necessarily all, that are saying and doing a lot of things that may be hurting the future of mainstream acceptance of Leftist ideas more than helping, in my opinion.
posted by bongo_x at 8:15 PM on November 4 [3 favorites]


There are many people in prominent public positions who claim to represent the Left, although that may not be the case, many who consider themselves aligned with Hilary Clinton, but not necessarily all, that are saying and doing a lot of things that may be hurting the future of mainstream acceptance of Leftist ideas more than helping, in my opinion.
posted by R.F.Simpson at 8:24 PM on November 4


@RonaldKlain: Enough. For the next 72 hours, any Democrat not focused in Northam v Gillespie is not focused on what really matters.

@donnabrazile Retweeted Ronald Klain
Agree.

---

Meanwhile, she's going on This Week with George Stephanopoulos tomorrow morning to push her book.
posted by chris24 at 8:33 PM on November 4 [6 favorites]


Brazile and Warren aren't really "Bernie people". They're anti-Clinton, or anti-DNC people at this point. The highest level Bernie person who's spoken out is Keith Ellison, who seems relatively reserved about it.
posted by Apocryphon at 8:51 PM on November 4 [1 favorite]


Yeah I don't in any way blame Bernie, Bernie People, or anyone but Brazile for this. She's clearly score settling with a side helping of cash-money.
posted by Justinian at 8:57 PM on November 4 [4 favorites]


I'm willing to give Warren the benefit of the doubt that she made a major faux pas while speaking off the cuff. Hopefully she does better in the future.
posted by Justinian at 8:59 PM on November 4 [5 favorites]


What Killed the Democratic Party?
While the country awaits the verdict, a new and quite provocative critique has emerged from a group of left-leaning activists: They blame the Democratic Party itself for its epic defeat. Their 34-page “Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis” reads more like a cold-eyed indictment than a postmortem report. It’s an unemotional dissection of why the Democrats failed so miserably, and it warns that the party must change profoundly or else remain a loser.
AUTOPSY: THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IN CRISIS
? The party should avidly promote inspiring programs such as single-payer Medicare for all, free public college tuition, economic security, infrastructure and green jobs initiatives, and tackling the climate crisis.

? While the Democratic Party fights for an agenda to benefit all Americans, the party must develop new policies and strategies for more substantial engagement with people of color — directly addressing realities of their lives that include disproportionately high rates of poverty and ongoing vulnerability to a racist criminal justice system.

? With its policies and programs, not just its public statements, the Democratic Party must emphasize that “in the real world, the well-being of women is indivisible from their economic circumstances and security.” To truly advance gender equality, the party needs to fight for the economic rights of all women.

? The Democratic Party should end its neglect of rural voters, a process that must include aligning the party with the interests of farming families and others who live in the countryside rather than with Big Agriculture and monopolies.

? “While the short-term prospects for meaningful federal action on climate are exceedingly bleak, state-level initiatives are important and attainable. Meanwhile, it’s crucial that the Democratic Party stop confining its climate agenda to inadequate steps that are palatable to Big Oil and mega-players on Wall Street.”

? “What must now take place includes honest self-reflection and confronting a hard truth: that many view the party as often in service to a rapacious oligarchy and increasingly out of touch with people in its own base.” The Democratic Party should disentangle itself — ideologically and financially — from Wall Street, the military-industrial complex and other corporate interests that put profits ahead of public needs.
The Obsession With White Voters Could Cost Democrats the Virginia Governor’s Race - If Ralph Northam’s campaign is any indication, Democrats have learned the wrong lesson from 2016.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:37 PM on November 4 [22 favorites]


I admit I was worried that Weekend Update was going to do something dumb since Larry David is hosting, but Brazile's book was mentioned only as a line in a Trump brothers bit, which is the most nothingburger way it could be brought up, so I'm taking that as a good sign?
posted by Ruki at 9:55 PM on November 4


@the man of twists and turns, thank you, those are great perspectives. I would love to support a Democratic Party (or any party!) with those values.
posted by SakuraK at 1:29 AM on November 5


Second, what constitutional amendments would Republicans seek and/or achieve?

a balanced budget amendment would be no 1, without a doubt - they might go for repeal of direct election of senators and an anti-abortion amendment but those might be a harder sell
posted by pyramid termite at 1:45 AM on November 5 [1 favorite]


a balanced budget amendment would be no 1

This would be the end of the Republic. Straight up.
posted by Talez at 5:43 AM on November 5 [1 favorite]




Four Viral Claims Spread by Journalists on Twitter in the Last Week Alone That are False
Viral Falsehood #1: The Clinton/DNC agreement cited by Brazile only applied to the General Election, not the primary.
Viral Falsehood #2: Sanders signed the same agreement with the DNC that Clinton did.
Viral Falsehood #3: Brazile stupidly thought she could unilaterally remove Clinton as the nominee.
Viral Falsehood #4: Evidence has emerged proving that the content of WikiLeaks documents and emails was doctored.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 8:01 AM on November 5 [2 favorites]


It's hilarious pro-DNC stooges went with that story about wikileaks having doctored emails. Donna Brazile and Tim Kaine both tried that spin right when the Podesta emails came out, but proved Brazile and Kaine to be liars. LOL
posted by
jeffburdges at 8:09 AM on November 5 [1 favorite]


I am shocked, shocked I say to see the Intercept/Greenwald downplaying Russian interference and attacking Clinton. /casablanca
posted by chris24 at 8:15 AM on November 5 [14 favorites]


I like the theory that the US lost a cyberwar in 2016 and the winners installed Trump as president.
posted by rhizome at 8:30 AM on November 5 [3 favorites]


The fact that a few iconoclastic statements by a Dem operative the vast majority of the population have never heard of is seen as crippling the Democratic party at a crucial moment just demonstrates how shit that party is.

If Northam loses it won't have dick to with Donna Brazile.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:57 AM on November 5 [4 favorites]


dick to do with, that is

hmm
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:02 AM on November 5


Not merely a cyberwar. A memetic war.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:25 AM on November 5 [1 favorite]


I drifted away from this story a bit, so Greenwald's story is confusing me a little. Why is he talking about a memo when before we were talking about the JFA? That confuses me about points 1&2. Point 3 confuses me because Brazile did consider trying to remove Clinton as the nominee...everything Greenwald is writing about has to do with emphasizing the focus on Brazile being stupid and unilateral but I thought the big headline was that she considered it in the first place. Did I miss something?

And point 4 is just more wikileaks apologia; altering metadata is still altering a document. That's why wikileaks is bullshit and that's why directly leaking to reporters is still your best bet if you can't get any joy from your superiors or Congress. Hacked documents can't be trusted. I say this as an ex-hacker.
posted by xyzzy at 9:47 AM on November 5 [7 favorites]


Not merely a cyberwar. A memetic war.

I think this is a category error, like "Not merely a world war. A bullets war," and "Let's go get some nutrition food."
posted by rhizome at 10:54 AM on November 5 [2 favorites]


If Northam loses it won't have dick to with Donna Brazile.

Do you think the vast majority of the population had heard of James Comey?
posted by Justinian at 11:17 AM on November 5 [5 favorites]


I've got a bunch of issues with Greenwald's column, but the memo was essentially a component of the JFA, or a side agreement as to how it would work.
posted by zachlipton at 11:29 AM on November 5 [1 favorite]


Guccifer 2.0 is not Wikileaks, xyzzy, the wikileaks version was unaltered. At this point, if anything was altered about any email published by wikileaks, then the DNC would have published the original to boost their narrative. Yet, every time DNC people tried refuting an email they picked one with a valid DKIM header, thus proving themselves to be liars. Yes, DKIM headers cover everything about the mail, including all the metadata, well except later DKIM headers of course.

As a political fanfic aside, I'm kinda disappointed the DNC never took one of the Podesta emails with accidentally invalid DKIM headers, modified it further, and convinced Google to falsify a new DKIM header. It's possible Google already rotated the relevant signing keys by the time the emails came out. Anyways it'd be hilarious if they'd done this because many emails with invalid DKIM headers can actually be corrected if you know enough about the software along said mail's path. If they'd hit one of those, and wikileaks corrected the original, then it'd expose their forgery along with Google's help, thereby discrediting Google as being a political stooge.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:36 AM on November 5


I've got a bunch of issues with Greenwald's column, but the memo was essentially a component of the JFA, or a side agreement as to how it would work.

what does jodie foster's army have to do with this
posted by entropicamericana at 11:42 AM on November 5 [5 favorites]


Do you think the vast majority of the population had heard of James Comey?

Nope

I would imagine they still haven't
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:50 PM on November 5 [1 favorite]


Right, so the fact that most people didn't know who Donna Brazile was isn't predictive of whether the fact that much of the last week's narrative was bad for Democrats will affect the race if it is narrow enough.
posted by Justinian at 12:54 PM on November 5 [5 favorites]


Sounds like Hillary Clinton will never become governor of Virginia at this rate
posted by Apocryphon at 1:05 PM on November 5 [9 favorites]


Guccifer 2.0 is not Wikileaks, xyzzy, the wikileaks version was unaltered.
I'm speaking in generalities, not specifics. Introducing hacked material directly to the public via a non-trusted source undermines anything you're trying to do and always introduces the sort of snippy arguments about legitimacy we see happening here. If you want to bring down corrupt organizations you need to do it as cleanly as possible.
posted by xyzzy at 1:08 PM on November 5 [1 favorite]


That's my point. If it's close enough that something so ambiguous can lose an election, that is not the fault of a random dissenter, even part of the party establishment. That is the fault of the party, the campaign and the candidate.

I think grouping what Comey and Brazile have done together is disingenuous anyway. Comey carried out an assault on our democratic process to preserve his own image. Brazile wrote a book slightly critical of political orthodoxy.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:08 PM on November 5 [2 favorites]


I hope Northam wins but if November taught us anything it's that a lot of us are too optimistic about what can or will affect how people vote. Hell, I was too optimistic and I was probably the most pessimistic heavy poster in the politics thread. Lots of stupid bullshit we think is idiotic has outsized effects, particularly when it reinforces a media narrative like "the Democrats are corrupt, both sides have major problems!!!!!11!!!111".
posted by Justinian at 1:15 PM on November 5 [9 favorites]


My sister lives in Richmond. I'm gonna start texting her every 15 minutes until she promises to vote. Pray for me.
posted by Justinian at 1:17 PM on November 5 [8 favorites]


Lots of stupid bullshit we think is idiotic has outsized effects

like preemptively declaring that you will outlaw sanctuary cities when you're the "liberal" candidate
posted by indubitable at 1:18 PM on November 5 [1 favorite]


Northam's campaign has not been particularly impressive, no. Where do we find these people?
posted by Justinian at 1:24 PM on November 5 [1 favorite]


like preemptively declaring that you will outlaw sanctuary cities when you're the "liberal" candidate

...and your state doesn't have any sanctuary cities.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:49 PM on November 5 [4 favorites]


As someone who doesn't live in Virginia, I found this comment helpful in understanding the Northam sanctuary city thing. I mean, knowing that it's in response to a previous political gotcha makes it a tiny bit better than if it totally came out of nowhere.
posted by Ruki at 2:13 PM on November 5 [3 favorites]


There's Northam, and a Norment? I hate this electoral race already.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:15 PM on November 5


yes, the guy folded like a cheap table in response to an attack from the right rather than blurting out xenophobic shit unprompted.
posted by indubitable at 2:30 PM on November 5


NEVER MIND

Donna Brazile: "I found no evidence" election was rigged [w/video]
Donna Brazile, the former interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, said she "found no evidence, none whatsoever" that the Democratic primaries were rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton, dialing back an earlier statement in a Politico tell-all that the DNC was "rigging the system" for Clinton.
posted by chris24 at 3:50 PM on November 5 [11 favorites]


If it's close enough that something so ambiguous can lose an election, that is not the fault of a random dissenter, even part of the party establishment. That is the fault of the party, the campaign and the candidate.

Problem is that ambiguity is irrelevant when you have a very loud false narrative that ignores any ambiguity in favor of teh SCANDALZ!!!1!
posted by wierdo at 4:45 PM on November 5 [3 favorites]


"funny how the third way dems have forgotten that nearly everything good in this country came from the left. i will never be ashamed of being a leftist, never.

a lot of people here would have been calling fdr a class traitor and baying for his blood if they had been around then
"

I appreciate your attempts to provide examples for my comment upthread about the ideological "left" wing of the Democratic party, but since I just ran through the FDR thing in another thread with another self-identified leftist with vague revolutionary dreams, it's worth noting that contemporarily, FDR was widely not seen as a leftist. FDR was opposed by: the revolutionary left, who decried his incremental reformism; the anti-establishment left, who saw his attempts at centralizing power as tantamount to tyranny; Southern populists, like Huey Long, who described the New Deal as having all the problems of socialism with none of its benefits; anti-corruption left, like Al Smith (ironically backed by Tammany Hall), who saw the massive government doles as patronage and bribery writ large; and the anti-racism left, who recognized that FDR passed the New Deal bills only with the support of Southern Democrats by ensuring that black people were left out of many of its benefits.

The notion that FDR was a darling of the leftists of his time is total bullshit. FDR was a moderately progressive Democrat who saved capitalism in America by rescuing it from the laissez-faire robber barons that had brought in the Depression and the austerity-minded GOP who preferred stony silence to an active, economically interventionist federal government.

Likewise, the notion that everything good came from the left: LBJ was not a leftist. He was responsible for the second most disastrous war in American history and was loathed by the campus left. He also passed several civil rights bills and established Great Society programs that were the most economically progressive since the New Deal, and contemporary documentation lauds how active his leadership was on those issues.

In 20 years, Obama will be described as a committed leftist by leftists when they want credit for the Affordable Care Act.
posted by klangklangston at 8:15 PM on November 5 [36 favorites]


"yes, the guy folded like a cheap table in response to an attack from the right rather than blurting out xenophobic shit unprompted."

And then the DFA affirmed its belief that the mediocre is the biggest enemy to the good, and flounced off.

"Northam's campaign has not been particularly impressive, no. Where do we find these people?"

One of the explanations I've heard comes back to that coalition of interests versus ideological party constitution: For the GOP, the path to promotion is either to raise more money or to be more ideologically pure. For the Dems, you get to run for higher office by putting in the work in the party. That means that the GOP will favor younger, rising stars, while the Dems will tend to frustrate young and ambitious candidates who don't want to put in the dues of building constituencies within the party apparatus.
posted by klangklangston at 8:22 PM on November 5 [6 favorites]


People still take Glenn Greenwald seriously?
posted by asteria at 8:54 PM on November 5 [4 favorites]


"AUTOPSY: THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IN CRISIS"

One of the people who wrote that, Karen Bernal, kind of highlights one of the problems with the passion-first ideologue approach.

Her biggest issue, both through her losing campaign for Ca Dem chair and through an ugly legislative fight that had her basically excoriating the Ca Dems as bought-and-paid for by the insurance lobby, was to get California on single-payer health care. The proposed legislation had a huge price tag — which, due to several other stupid voter props, meant that it would have entailed massive increases in spending in a swath of other areas. It had no plan for paying for any of it, basically saying that it was all TK and to be based on some other think tank's proposal, which wasn't in yet. It didn't actually lay out any of the important pieces required for a piece of legislation, especially one that would mean significant institutional changes throughout California's government.

It was a fundamentally shitty piece of legislation, even though it is aimed at achieving a goal that I think is both possible and worth pursuing. But it had less detail than an underpants gnome business plan.

Further, it became clear from the way that she talks about this that her goal is to pass single-payer health insurance in California, to show that it can be done other places—rather than securing universal health care. Single-payer insurance isn't the only way to get to universal health care, and there are a variety of ways to get everyone adequate care. By fixating on a single approach through a deeply flawed bill, then painting every opposition to that as corrupt corporate Democrats, she builds her brand as an iconoclast while alienating fellow Democrats—including procedurally important ones, like Senate President Pro Tem Anthony Rendon—without getting anything for it except a handful of interviews in places like In These Times.

It was particularly galling to see her—and one of the CA nurses unions (the other opposed the bill)—attack Rendon as bought by big insurance and pharma after he declined to bring the bill up for a vote on the promise that they could amend it later to fill in the details. He did receive contributions from health insurers and big pharma, sure, but he took far more from unions, including the nurses union supporting the bill. Can't it just be that you had a shit bill and that part of actually governing well isn't using the excuse of a Dem supermajority to force through shitty, poorly written laws?

So when I see an "autopsy" like this that has a lot of ideological hectoring without a ton of evidence that these strategies would be particularly successful, from a person who argues that the state where progressive Democrats have arguably the most success in the nation the Dems are corrupt failures, I need more evidence than just her to feel like these strategies are going to win in Michigan or Wisconsin.

I hate to cite Reagan for anything, but his "eleventh commandment," that Thou Shalt Not Speak Ill of Another Republican, is pretty much the only thing that Dems should be looking to take from him.
posted by klangklangston at 9:10 PM on November 5 [17 favorites]


Not merely a cyberwar. A memetic war.

The Dark Art of Political Memes
talks about this.
posted by FJT at 9:13 PM on November 5 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: dick to do with, that is.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 11:06 PM on November 5


#booksalesovercountry

A pox on her house

Here in Virginia it's the lead story on Good Morning America and tomorrow is Election Day.
posted by jointhedance at 5:04 AM on November 6 [4 favorites]


Final two polls in VA have Northam back up for an overall RCP average of Northam +2.9%. I have zero capacity for optimism these days, but fingers crossed.
posted by lalex at 6:31 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


seen on twitter: "donna brazile is hurting the party by relitigating 2016 to sell books" is an odd critique to hear from clinton people"
posted by entropicamericana at 6:40 AM on November 6 [5 favorites]


Here is the thing with Donna Brazile, and "the party" and so on:

I actually don't mind relitigating 2016 (not here! in general!) , if everyone is in good faith - by which I mean willing to acknowledge that there were many causes of the loss, none of which should have happened and all of which need to be prevented from happening again. This means pushing the Democratic party to return to the 50 state strategy, it means that we try to move the party from a party of very wealthy social liberals to a party genuinely driven by the needs of non-rich Americans, it means that we stop thinking of "regular Americans" as white straight able-bodied cis men and everyone else as a special interest group, it means we fight back against all this Facebook garbage, it means that we are real about Putinist attempts to influence our politics via wealthy right-wingers, etc etc. All those things need to happen, because we can't risk letting one of them slide and that fucking everything else up.

With the Democratic party, though, it seems like if you're in it, you have to be in to win. And that means that you have to think of all the things, which includes how your book is going to get spun and when.

To me it sounds like Brazile is airing the fact that the DNC does not operate with standards that many people would view as fair and transparent, and that there's not nearly enough structure and continuity to keep it on an even keel. This doesn't astonish me - hello, large organization run by wealthy people deciding questions of power! - but it seems obvious that we should expect a lot better. I think that her criticisms seem formatted misleadingly but she's obviously pointing to real problems.

To me this is important - but not so important as to justify running with it right before November 7. Nothing was going to explode if book promotion started in December.

I don't think any liberals or leftists in this whole mess are looking to sabotage Democratic candidates, but I do think that we're all looking to shift responsibility. "It was really the Russians/BernieBros/Hillary's refusal to go to Michigan/whatever! Nothing I could do matters, so I don't need to be strategic and can just take the easiest path!"

I think a lot of us are letting ourselves act in bad faith, because we don't want to admit that we individually or "our people" should have been smarter and acted better.

Many mefites are familiar with Iain Banks's Culture novels, right? The ones with the post-scarcity gay space communism and the super-duper AIs and the orbitals? The thing I really like about the Culture is that they have back-up plans for their back-up plans, failsafes for their failsafes. They don't fuck around, and that's why the Culture almost always wins. The Culture starts from the standpoint that you have to be ready for ten things to go wrong and still be able to come out on top.

Right now the Democratic Party is like the anti-Culture - they have own-goals for their own-goals, fuck-ups for their fuck-ups. We have to stop that. We have to be more resilient - we have to anticipate that we will make mistakes, that there will be schisms within the party, that there will be attacks of every kind from the right - and we have to be strong enough to win in spite of those things, not just say "but who could have predicted that things would go wrong?" This is why I really, really want everyone to be on all the time - release your damn books after the election, think when you talk about "regular Americans", don't make nice with a homophobic misogynist nationalist like Putin just because Snowden had nowhere else to go..Lenin? We could use a little dose of Lenin right about now, because whatever his failings, he played to win.
posted by Frowner at 7:18 AM on November 6 [29 favorites]


Fox News out with a poll showing Northam up 5 points. I ctrl-Fed all three of today's poll releases for any mention of "DNC" or "Brazile" and as far as I can tell no related questions were asked.

I kind of wish they had been asked just to satisfy my own personal curiosity, but I'm also...glad they weren't.
posted by lalex at 7:48 AM on November 6 [4 favorites]




Genuinely bizarre.
posted by lalex at 11:38 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


Just to amend my earlier grouse about one of the authors of the Autopsy: She was seriously promoting the idea of a primary challenge for Obama in 2012, to force him further left. I have serious doubts about her ability to articulate a good faith and effective strategy for Democrats.
posted by klangklangston at 12:12 PM on November 6 [2 favorites]


@donnabrazile

Tuesday, November 6th is Election Day. Please pledge #IWillVote. Go to @TheDemocrats for the latest information. #believe

There's an inflection point at which "incompetence" becomes less likely and "gunning for Fox News commentator" becomes almost 100% certain the goal.
posted by Yowser at 1:29 PM on November 6 [10 favorites]


It's a well-established tactic by Republicans to sabotage democratic voters by sending them "don't forget to vote" flyers with the wrong date on them. By doing the same thing, Ms. Brazile has officially defected to the Dark Side.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:39 PM on November 6 [5 favorites]


She's had it up for over an hour. Just despicable behavior.
posted by Yowser at 1:44 PM on November 6 [2 favorites]


I have followed Brazile on Twitter forever and can say that she's really bad at Twitter, to the point where I wouldn't be surprised if she's not looking at her comments or mentions. But really, has no one picked up the phone?
posted by lalex at 1:50 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


Omg my stomach just dropped and I could feel the blood draining from my face as I worried that I'd sent out 100 postacrds to Virginia with the wrong date.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:56 PM on November 6 [5 favorites]


Given the last week, isn't the simpler explanation for why the DNC was fucked until recently that it employed someone as terrible as Donna Brazile?
posted by Justinian at 3:04 PM on November 6 [7 favorites]


For like five months? Come on.
posted by lalex at 3:10 PM on November 6


Omg my stomach just dropped and I could feel the blood draining from my face as I worried that I'd sent out 100 postacrds to Virginia with the wrong date.

I was so worried that I would accidentally do this that I kept the election date up on my screen as I was writing them. Thankfully, I did not use Donna Brazile's Twitter as a reference. Sheesh.
posted by Ruki at 3:38 PM on November 6 [4 favorites]


/opens new bottle of Pepto-Bismol, offers it to Room 641-A
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:48 PM on November 6 [3 favorites]


HOW IS THAT TWEET STILL UP JFC
posted by halation at 5:59 PM on November 6 [2 favorites]


As a person who types a lot (like, old-folks touch typing, not thumb-texting), I will cut Brazile the slack of noting that the 6 is next to the 7, so it's super-easy to hit the wrong one and just not notice (just like how our beloved zachlipton typed "quote" instead of "quite" above because of juxtaposition).
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:09 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


It's possible that's because I type the word "blockquote" entirely too many times in these threads, having stubbornly resisted the obvious tactic of setting up a type completion for it.

Can somebody please send a carrier pigeon or howler or something to Brazile's house? The mistake is normal, leaving it up for hours and hours is not.
posted by zachlipton at 6:18 PM on November 6 [5 favorites]


It's possible that's because I type the word "blockquote" entirely too many times in these threads

you and me both, buddy
posted by lalex at 6:28 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


The mistake is normal, leaving it up for hours and hours is not.

exactly, it's not like she hasn't had eight billion replies and retweets on this subject
she needs to fire whatever lackey is running her social media feeds (let's be realistic it is probably not actually her)
posted by halation at 6:39 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


Oh man and Marc Elias just retweeted her, adding: "Donna is a voting rights #hero. Do what she says! Pledge #IWillVote."
posted by lalex at 6:58 PM on November 6


I will cut Brazile the slack of noting that the 6 is next to the 7, so it's super-easy to hit the wrong one and just not notice

What a cop out. Six was forced to move to an undisclosed location after seven ate nine. Let's not pretend like six doesn't have a valid reason to leave. Please don't try to gaslight us by claiming that six is still there.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:09 PM on November 6 [4 favorites]


The 6 being next to the 7 is an excuse for the tweet being up for 5 minutes. It's not remotely an excuse for it still being up. There is no excuse for this.
posted by Justinian at 7:35 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


At what point do we admit that she's deliberately sabotaging the democrats for personal profit? C'mon people, it's staring you right in the face.
posted by Yowser at 7:38 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


Holy shit, she literally dedicated the book to patriot Seth Rich.

HELLO DOGWHISTLE I HEAR YOU
posted by Yowser at 7:45 PM on November 6 [5 favorites]




The 6 being next to the 7 is an excuse for the tweet being up for 5 minutes. It's not remotely an excuse for it still being up. There is no excuse for this.

Well of course there isn't. I would just lay odds on utter obliviousness and incompetence on the part of Brazile and/or her social media person/staff/intern rather than malice. But that's probably because I have personally done the "make a tiny but dreadful typo, overlook it or forget to proof, then go AFK for a bunch of meetings only to return to a firestorm of OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOES" thing myself completely accidentally. Somebody who purposely wanted to mislead voters would tell them a date later than the actual election date.

Also, people who follow Donna Brazile on Twitter (and their followers) are overwhelmingly likely to already know really really well that elections happen on Tuesdays regardless of the day number.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:02 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


Holy shit, she literally dedicated the book to patriot Seth Rich.

[real]
posted by Ruki at 8:16 PM on November 6


"The 6 being next to the 7 is an excuse for the tweet being up for 5 minutes. It's not remotely an excuse for it still being up. There is no excuse for this."

despite all the covfefe
posted by klangklangston at 8:20 PM on November 6 [2 favorites]


At what point do we admit that she's deliberately sabotaging the democrats for personal profit? C'mon people, it's staring you right in the face.

This woman has devoted her life to the Democratic Party so I'm maybe going to wait a few more days? Honestly this whole...episode is so incredibly bizarre I'm starting to wonder if something's wrong with her.
posted by lalex at 8:32 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


despite all the covfefe

You joke but it's been up for considerably longer than the covfefe tweet, and Trump is a stupid incompetent moron with stupid incompetent moronic staff.
posted by Justinian at 8:36 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


well at least the President and a small group of people knew exactly what he meant by covfefe.
posted by lalex at 8:39 PM on November 6


Russian blackmail, in cahoots with Right Wing media opportunities as the carrot. It's the besttimes we live in.
posted by Slap*Happy at 2:35 AM on November 7


Holy shit, she literally dedicated the book to patriot Seth Rich.

HELLO DOGWHISTLE I HEAR YOU


i can't believe i'm about to defend donna brazile, but...

he was her co-worker. she probably knew him. he died tragically. dedicating a book about that period in the DNC to his memory is not surprising and not some kind of conspiracy.
posted by indubitable at 4:56 AM on November 7 [6 favorites]


dedicating a book about that period in the DNC to his memory is not surprising and not some kind of conspiracy.

true, but a better way of honouring him would perhaps be respecting his parents' wishes and not continuing to feed conspiracy theories, particularly not by writing about his death's affect on her in a way that seems like capitalising on that death for attention and book sales.
posted by halation at 5:22 AM on November 7 [6 favorites]




Maybe when you've come to the conclusion that Donna Brazile is part of an anti-Clinton conspiracy you should step back and reconsider your thought processes.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:39 AM on November 7 [2 favorites]


I don’t think she’s part of a conspiracy. I think she’s decided to put Team Brazile over Team Democrat and she’s doing it in the clumsiest way possible. I think greed corrupts.
posted by Ruki at 9:45 AM on November 7 [10 favorites]


meanwhile Trump Jr. has tweeted twice today telling his followers to vote...tomorrow.
posted by lalex at 10:10 AM on November 7 [7 favorites]


For once in my life, I hope people listen to Junior.
posted by asteria at 11:26 AM on November 7 [2 favorites]


Brazile is on Chris Hayes tonight. Let's hope he questions her closely.
posted by Justinian at 12:05 PM on November 7 [1 favorite]


I turned on MSNBC to see the delicious election results and there she was. Flailing.
I feel like she was clearly betting on Dems losing and making some sweet Fox News money.
posted by bongo_x at 5:58 PM on November 7 [1 favorite]


well that went well!
posted by lalex at 9:29 PM on November 7 [1 favorite]


How ya feeling about Brazile now, lalex?
posted by Yowser at 9:55 PM on November 7


Exactly the same way I felt upthread:

\_(ツ)_/ˉ

I love talking about this stuff but don't think it will have any real effect on the electorate.
posted by lalex at 6:19 PM on November 3 [2 favorites +] [!]

posted by lalex at 10:00 PM on November 7 [2 favorites]


(I did not watch the MSNBC interview because I was freaking out about the election results; did anything interesting happen?)
posted by lalex at 10:01 PM on November 7


From the couple of clips I saw of MSNBC, not really, nothing salacious compared to the last week fo Braziledom.
posted by Yowser at 1:54 AM on November 8


Brazile's on Morning Joe now. It's hard to parse her heroic evasion of answers to questions. She's coming across like someone who lost an intra office scrap and five years later is still trotting her bruised ego out to anyone who will listen.
posted by jointhedance at 4:44 AM on November 8 [2 favorites]




people keep saying Donna Brazile is going to be on Tucker Carlson's show Monday night. The night before the election.

Noting that this particular rumor proved wrong: Brazile was not on Tucker Carlson's show this Monday past.

She will, however, be on Tucker Carlson's show tonight, the day after the election, per Carlson's Twitter. ('Donna Brazile talks to #Tucker in her first FNC interview. Was the primary rigged for Hillary? All questions answered 8pm ET.')

To which my reaction is mostly that it's telling for Carlson to be focused on the 2016 election instead of the one that literally just happened; I'm still really not sure what to make of Brazile's choosing to go on his show, at all.
posted by cjelli at 1:03 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


I'll just leave this here for the doubters.

That is...just wow.
posted by bongo_x at 2:37 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


I'll just leave this here for the doubters.

So , confirmation she's just setting her DNC career alight in order to make a grab at wingnut welfare, I guess? She'll get to be the "liberal" voice on those panel shows that confirm all the Fox News Grampaw preconceptions about Crooked Hillary?
posted by Existential Dread at 2:42 PM on November 8 [8 favorites]


I think we need to have a serious conversation about body doubles.
posted by asteria at 2:47 PM on November 8 [4 favorites]


Donald Jr has napalm gel. In his pants.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:04 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


I'm still really not sure what to make of Brazile's choosing to go on his show, at all.

Oh, that's simple. She can go fuck herself. As has been pointed out by a few commentators, she's actively burning bridges to cash in.
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:33 AM on November 9 [8 favorites]


The Festooned Sheriff is also a nominal Democrat.
posted by klangklangston at 9:56 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


Ugh, the Clarke thing really bugs me. I'm usually 'eh' about hugs and photos with other politicians, even if they are notorious assholes, but Clarke has *killed people*. In horrible tortuous ways. I really cannot imagine caring so little about that that you snuggle up to him for a picture.
posted by tavella at 10:37 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


I listened to parts of her interview on KQED Forum this morning, and came away with the theory that when they had to punt DWS and install Brazile as DNC chair, they treated her not quite as a powerless figurehead but somewhat as a caretaker who was sitting on the driver's seat, but not really allowed to steer the car or tap the brakes. This seems to have irked her somewhat. When she talked about the DNC vetoing a hiring decision, she sounded understandably human, like it bothers her that a tight campaign under stress didn't appreciate her input or let her wield much authority.
posted by puddledork at 10:15 AM on November 10 [1 favorite]


Everyone knew the person after DWS would be a seat warmer, expect the person who actually got the job apparently. I guess the on-boarding didn't go over that very, very obvious reality.
posted by Yowser at 8:53 PM on November 11 [1 favorite]


According to Wikipedia, Brazile was acting DNC chair before DWS in 2011 too.
posted by XMLicious at 9:19 PM on November 11


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