07.25.2016 08:38 AM

The Democrats’ “scandal”

So, the chair of the DNC picked sides. 

In my experience, in every leadership race, every party official picks sides.  They want to keep their job, so they have a perhaps-understandable tendency to oscillate towards the perceived winner.  Happens all the time.

That said, a few observations about the Democratic Party’s “scandal,” which – when compared to the fun-loving cross burning ceremonies in Cleveland last week, resembles a gathering of septuagenarian Rotarians in a dry state – as follows:

This stuff isn’t a scandal.  It’s an opportunity.

One, by forcing the controversial Wasserman-Shultz to walk the plank, Hillary Clinton showed herself to be decisive and in-control.  That isn’t what we witnessed with Donald Trump last week: he sees nothing wrong in maintaining the support of really bad people.

Two, Trump clearly is hoping to define himself as an authoritarian nationalist, rather like his pal Putin.  But by edging too close to the Russian dictator – and by actually acting as Putin’s surrogate with the DNC leaksTrump further risks splintering the GOP base, which is made up of people who grew up detesting and fighting Mother Russia, and who still see value in NATO.

Three, we have now entered an alternate universe where the Democrats are the anti-Russia party, and the Republicans are the ones who are soft on Soviet-style expansionism.  It opens up a world of possibility for Hillary, wherein she scoops up bushels of pro-military Republicans, many of whom were already appalled by what Trump has said about POWs.

Donald Trump is working overtime to engineer his own defeat in November.  All that would save him, at this point, is an October Surprise.  And I’ll have more to say about that later.

 

 

 

29 Comments

  1. Aongasha says:

    I know the Putin thing is the Dems party line, but I have a hard time buying into conspiracy theories just when they start losing.
    I see polling guru Nate Silver has pronounced once again.
    http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/#now
    US media has a lot to answer for, they helped create this situation for a guy who couldn’t win a year ago. Their anti-Trump message became good PR for him, helped raise profile and support. Shows again what I’ve said for some time, the folks don’t trust the media anymore and recent polls bear that out.

  2. P. Brenn says:

    this stuff on both sides is why joe average is fed up

  3. MississaugaPeter says:

    So DWS has gone from head of the DNC to head of honorary chair of Clinton’s campaign. WTH? The optics of this are just incredible.

    https://www.hillaryclinton.com/briefing/statements/2016/07/24/hillary-clinton-statement-on-the-resignation-of-democratic-national-committee-chair-debbie-wasserman-schultz/

    I’m sorry, as head of the DNC the Democrats have been losing ground in Congress every election cycle while DWS was head. And now DWS is an honorary chair of the Clinton campaign?

    Concerning the Russian connection. There is absolutely no proof of it. Donna Brazile acknowledged that last night on CNN. And WikiLeaks (Assange) has as well.

    It took until Melania last Monday for the Republican convention to go off course. The Democrats have them beat. It is off course even before the Democratic convention has started. WHY? Sorry WK, the blame falls on HRC, and the above announcement means she is trying to out-Trump the Trump train wreck.

    BERNIE! BERNIE!

    • MississaugaPeter says:

      Scott, when Donna Brazile says they have no specific proof of Russian involvement, I trust her. I wish she was running for POTUS.

      http://fair.org/home/with-dnc-leaks-former-conspiracy-theory-is-now-true-and-no-big-deal/

      Please read, the FBI does not say there was Russian involvement.

      As far as anyone knows, it could have been a BERNIE supporter that hacked the emails and gave it to Assange and WikiLeaks. But what is happening is an attempt to deflect the contents of the emails. I don’t blame the DNC for doing that, other than, it reinforces the idea that the world is getting awfully similar to the world of Orwell’s 1984.

    • Michael Bluth says:

      The only security experts I have seen quoted about Russian involvement were admittedly paid by the Clinton campaign.

      Did an FBI official come out and confirm these concerns today?

      I think it is a pretty tough case to make that this email leak will hurt Trump with his base.

  4. Lynn says:

    It is all such a mess. The Democrats really need to keep their shit together, and this email scandal does look really bad; I am a bit worried about the fallout. DWS always seemed so smug to me, and I am pleased she is forced out at this time.

    I am wondering how this will go down with the diehard Bernie supporters; it does give credence to some of their grievances. Philadelphia could be interesting.

    On the lighter side (please do not get offended, or think I am being cruel, it is an observation), the potential future first lady sounds like a Gabor sister. Close your eyes and listen..Eva or Zsa Zsa; and who did not love the Gabor sisters?

    Interesting times.

    And I look forward to the October surprise. There is a lot of time between now and November and many things can happen. I need to start keeping notes on the changing players on both sides.

  5. G. McRae says:

    I see your Putin/Trump conspiracy and raise you Russian money funding the Clintons. What kind of influence and access does that buy?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html

    A country of 324 billion people and these two asshats are the best candidates? The system is busted. Any third party candidate out there?

  6. P. Brenn says:

    Tulsi Gabbard did it right ..she resigned from the DNC to support Bernie –

  7. Tim White says:

    I agree wholeheartedly, the Clinton Foundation is the elephant in the room for the Democrats and their nominee.
    It’s going to hamper the campaign plenty before voting day.

    • Warren says:

      Yeah, a foundation that actually helped folks who need help to the tune of millions – while Trump lied about his charitable donations. Gotcha.

      • G. McRae says:

        The millions coming from Gulf sheikhs, shady Russian uranium dealings, secret speaking fees etc. It all reeks of “pay to play”.

  8. Carey Miller says:

    I appreciate the reality of party officials choosing a side. So none of the content of these emails is particularly shocking. Even the one about religion is not a real issue. Some of the ideas I have read in emails during campaigns make these look tame.

    However, the party should be perceived as supportive to all candidates. The issue here, ironically, is that the private party emails, replete with the salty conversations of the most politically religious, were made public. That the party of Hillary Clinton is having another email scandal has me laughing coffee through my nose.

    It will be interesting to watch the convention this week. For me, I am looking forward to the inevitable comparison between Hillary and Bill’s speeches. Bill has the unfortunate habit of being the star orator in every room in which he speaks. Hillary, not so much. I can almost hear the commentary on Thursday evening, with praise of her speech interspersed with longing for a candidate of the stature of Barack or Bill.

  9. Rich says:

    Look for far more from Wikileaks, the claims will likely focus on Clinton herself. It will likely ramp up as the convention goes on.
    I bet that staggered releases will be aimed at creating a story which will consume all the Dems’ efforts. This will be exceptionally tough to counter.
    Trump’s campaign has to do nothing but quietly say “we told you so”.
    The “collusion with Putin” theme will not stick I predict.
    I favour neither party…I am from ‘a pox on both their houses ‘ .

    • Ron says:

      The timing on the email leaks is no coincidence. If there are more, they won’t be ‘staggered’ either.

  10. PJH says:

    If this is the reception DWS is going to face at the main convention hall, I would have thought the DNC would have demanded her immediate resignation…..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRbBVULW73M

  11. Luke says:

    Think about it from the perspective of rather passionate Bernie supporters. The big deal to them (would include me were I American) would not be whether Wasserman-Shultz had an opinion, but the possibility that her opinion led at all to secret favour being paid to the Clinton campaign, and thus an unfair loss of Bernie’s campaign. If the truth is that Wasserman-Shultz’s personal leanings did influence the final outcome, that is outrageous and wrong, and it is a scandal. That would be the entrenched politics Sanders’ supporters hate using nefarious powers to undermine and stamp out their movement built on honest $27 donations from real people. Not good at all.

    And so maybe Hillary will get some hawks that won’t want Trump for allegedly colluding with Putin (which sounds sort of ridiculous), but she might well bleed ample Berners to third parties or sufficiently drain their enthusiasm to the point they don’t bother voting. After all, Hillary Clinton does seem like the lesser of two evils, but the Berners are not after the lesser of two evils. A good fraction of those young people probably will not want to vote for a person if they believe on some level that the DNC or Hillary herself sabotaged the contest against their candidate of choice.

    This is what I propose will happen. Donald Trump will continue to confound pretty much the entire media establishment with his brand of insane nationalism, and it is going to work. He will get a good portion of the disaffected middle class who respond to protectionist rhetoric, and he might even have a point there. He will get virtually all of the racists and xenophobes, and those who otherwise seek strong policy on immigration (even if they are not racists). He will have a hardcore base that turns out to vote. But his big advantage is that a vote for Donald Trump says in no uncertain terms, “Fuck you” to Washington, which seems to match what a lot of people feel these days. Hillary will win with minorities of various kinds, sure. She will win over Democrats, and probably women, overall. But it is going to be a pretty tall order for her to really convince Sanders’ supporters that she is by any stretch the person to carry on that legacy, because she isn’t, and any attempt to pretend she is will ring hollow.

    Will loathing of Trump inspire Sanders backers to vote for Hillary? Some of them. But some of them are going to think instead about letting the DNC and establishment politics fail miserably and endure the consequences. I think there is a certain sense of “Sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better.” Hillary represents stagnation rather than change, so a vote for her is a vote for nothing to get any better or worse. If Trump wins, I think everyone expects change (however catastrophic).

    Hillary should have picked Bernie for VP if she wanted to show a serious intention to implement some of what his movement is about. Platform concessions are mere promises to be broken after election day, given that so few Americans trust Hillary Clinton. Bernie as VP would show a commitment to collaboration to get a progressive agenda moving.

  12. godot10 says:

    Romanian hacker Guccifer2.0 has claimed responsibility for the DNC hack. Last time I checked Romania is now part of the NATO.

    The mainstream media doesn’t seem to want to report this. I guess it is because it is inconvenient to the desperate spin of the Clinton campaign.

    How is releasing apparently accurate information “meddlling”? Accurate information is not “meddling” in an election. It is helping the people make an informed choice in the election, is it not?

    • godot10 says:

      Also, Guccifer2.0 has claimed that he hacked the home server of Hillary Clinton.

      This Wikileaks release was probably a suggestion that she resign now and let the Democrats run a Biden/Warren ticket. If one is really anti-Trump, this is what one should want to happen, because the October surprise of the HRC server e-mails has been signalled.

    • Ron says:

      I’m sure the electors of America will get the government they deserve.

  13. MgS says:

    I dunno … seems to me that the DNC collectively have been quite ineffective in capitalizing on Trump’s errors. Either they aren’t seeing them as opportunities to capitalize on, or there is an element to the political landscape that they are overlooking.

    Either way, I wouldn’t want to call the outcome in November from here.

  14. Michael Bluth says:

    Agreed more than DWS’s head needs to roll.

    The Clinton campaign is headed in a bad direction. Something has to change.

    Don’t think the Ruskie thing will hurt the Republican base. Seems to me the only people who would abandon the Republicans over this are the Fox News types. A quick check of their site and the Fox News site and there is no mention of Donald and the Russians, or at least it’s hard to find on there.

  15. monkey says:

    As crazy as Donald Trump is, the Democrats need to take him seriously as there is a chance he could win. The good news is the group he is doing strongest amongst, blue collar white voters, there are two easy attack ads that can be run over and over again and just might work. During one GOP debate, Donald Trump said wages are too high, run that clip heavily. Many blue collar workers voting for him are doing so because they think his tough talk on immigration and free trade will improve their wages, this rips that apart. Secondly go after him on taxes. His tax cuts would overwhelmingly benefit the top 1%, not the blue collar workers as well as he has refused to release his tax returns so hit him hard on that. Mitt Romney even suggested he likely has a bombshell in there thus why he doesn’t want to release them, so go after him to force him to release his tax returns and continue to hit him over that. And if you want to go really nuclear, bring up the idea this guy cannot be trusted with several nuclear weapons, otherwise shades of daisy ad. Otherwise forget about being nice and trying to unite people, the Trump crowd has shown they are haters and aren’t interested in unity, so its time to hit them and hit them hard.

  16. Ian Howard says:

    I wonder when politicians, bureaucrats, and party apparatchiks will finally realize emails may be convenient but they are never to be considered secure.

  17. Kelly says:

    Republicans may not like Putin but they dislike, even more, the spreadsheet the Dems made of big donors and which appointments they will be given after Hillary supposedly wins the election. I’d be surprised if she wins.

  18. Francis says:

    “In my experience, in every leadership race, every party official picks sides. They want to keep their job, so they have a perhaps-understandable tendency to oscillate towards the perceived winner. Happens all the time.”

    Good fucking god, why don’t people understand this?!

    Here’s the crux of the Bernie/DNC issues:

    Bernie Sanders has been an independent Senator for the past 37 years. This means that for the better part of 3 decades, Bernie has opted (as per his prerogative) to say outside of the American political party system. By not registering himself and running as a Democrat, he chose not to involve himself in the process by which the DEMs elect their leaders. Bernie Sanders rejoined the DEM party a month before the primaries began. Hillary Clinton on the other hand has been a registered and active Democrat for 20 years now, elevating herself to a position of seniority within the party. She has been hob-knobbing Democratic operatives, politicians and donors for decades and more importantly, since 2007 when she first began her preparations for a presidential bid.

    2015: Bernier Sanders comes in with a shiny coat of optimistic-revolutionism plastered all of his face because he fundamentally believes that his held values are shared by millions of Americans and that it is an opportunity to at least take a shot at a meaningful position of power. Bernie Sanders actively made the decision not to run as an independent but to run instead as a DEM because it is a pre-existing infrastructure of voter engagement and it provides a pathway that is more probable for relevancy.

    Lo-and-behold, Bernie Sanders finds out that a lot of people have already made up their minds in favour of Hillary who has been unofficially campaigning for 2 years for this very moment. Now, instead of acknowledging the amount of ground work that Clinton has laid in anticipation of 2015/2016, he decides that the system is rigged in favour of her because of his inability mathematically to significantly compete for the nomination; so he bitches and whines. Sander complains about the (unarguably) flawed process and system by which nominations and politicking is done in the DEM party. But, instead of working at trying to fix the Democratic party from the inside to resolve the problems he perceives, he joins the DEMs at the 11th hour to then cry about it at the 12th hour.

    Again, Bernie Sander has ample time to mount a significant campaign within the DEM party in preparations for a possible leadership bid. But, unlike Hillary Clinton who has been campaigning for pretty much 8 years since the last time she ran, Sanders decided to bitch and moan about how he’s entitled to something he hasn’t even worked for. The popularity and albeit, stunning success of the Sanders campaign is absolutely noteworthy. However, it was doomed for the onset as it faced significant obstacles and was based on a hope and prayer. His petulance and indignation at the possibility that the DEM party favoured a person who has been within the folds of the party for some 20 plus years over him — someone who decided overnight that the DEM party wasn’t good enough to be a Senator under but terrific to be a Presidential nominee under, is exactly what has caused and bred todays resentment amongst progressive voters.

    Bernie Sander ignored the winds of reality until he had no other choice. He quickly realized that when you involve yourself within a party, you’ve a) gotta role with it and b) earn your stripes. Unfortunately, his supporters have failed to understand this and are choosing to damage their own self-interest in a futile effort to stand noble.

    For the record, if I was an American DEM voter I probably would have voted for Bernie Sander because of the resonating (albeit unrealistic) message, knowing full well that Hillary was going to win the nomination anyway. Bernie Sanders is a feel good candidate that could beat the odds. But instead of accepting this, the “I told you so” protestors at the DNC are failing to realize the implications of their blind feel-good-ism.

    DWC was absolutely right to resign not because she displayed favouritism, but that she evidently did it in an insensitively arrogant manner. Not to mention, not being more cryptic in her emails and expecting that she’d get 7 tickets to Hamilton. That said, people need to grow up and understand that Hillary Clinton didn’t just pop into the Democratic party last night. She has been working very hard at earning her support within the party that has no doubt favoured her candidacy. She has proven to her colleagues that despite whatever reservations people may have about her, she is absolutely capable of the responsibilities as POTUS. Thus, she has earned the support of delegates and super-delegates through the established process — however perverted some may believe that process to be.

    At the end of the day, Hillary isn’t the most charismatic candidate to grace the stage. She’s no Bernie and she’s certainly no Barack Obama. She’s incredibly uninspiring and does not exude optimism and change. But she is hard working and has sure as hell earned her place as the nominee, and even the Presidency. Political parties are there to provide a collective platform for individuals of shared values and a commitment to one another and the party itself. If you can’t work within that structure, you don’t get to complain about it when you can’t manipulate it in your favour. Remember, Hillary lost in 2008 and only some 33% of the total super-delagate support. She is now the favourite of the party today with majority of the support. Thats something that neither Bernie, nor Bernie Bros can take away just because they feel like they got the shaft from the party they simultaneously hold disdain for and support.

    Is this a scandal?

    Only if you have no idea what the a political party does or how it works.

    There endeth my diatribe.

  19. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    It will be like the last 25 years. Hillary will be the last one standing, Wiki leaks or no Wiki leaks!

  20. Mulletaur says:

    “In my experience, in every leadership race, every party official picks sides.”

    Ah, no. Sorry brother, but you’re wrong on this one.

  21. Jay Currie says:

    godot10 I suspect you have it right. This round of leaks is a shot across the Hilly bow.

    Biden/Warren could work. Trump only wins if Hilly is the candidate. Everyone of his commercials will have Comely saying, under oath, that she lied to Congress, lied about her server, put national security at risk. Nothing less than the truth. Trump may be a liar, but he has not lied to Congress and he has not lied to the American people as their Secretary of State. Hilly has. (And that is ignoring the Clinton Foundation which is a whole minefield in itself.)

    Add to that the fact that Hilly is a terrible campaigner and Trump wins.

    Put him up against Biden? Trump’s toast. Gone.

    The next set of emails will be more damning. The set after that – whether hacked from her server or the DNC will put her under. But that may not happen until September or they may be the October surprise.

    The leaked oppo research the Dems did on Trump is pretty tame stuff compared to the sale of offices by the DNC – replete with spreadsheets – the sale of SecState decisions and Lord knows that came off Hilly’s personal server that was claimed to be un-work related. Oh, and Lolita Express flights for hubby…nothing like a few under age girls to bring out the soccer moms.

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