Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hillary, During The Primaries: "I don't Understand What's Happening In The Country"


I haven't read Jonathan Allen's and Amie Parnes' book, Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign and I can't imagine a circumstance where I ever would. Terrible candidate, half the country had learned to loath loses to semi-human baboon... not something I want to spend my precious time reading about it. The DailyBeast pointed out that the book is "based on interviews with more than 100 unnamed sources from within Clinton’s orbit-- each account given under the condition that the tales would be told only after the final ballot was counted-- the 480-page report relays the behind-the-scenes drama behind many of the Clinton campaign’s most embarrassing blunders and unforced errors. More damning than any anecdote of petty infighting or a deadly devotion to data, however, is the book’s verdict on the main reason for Clinton’s loss: Clinton herself." Arrogant Clintonian denialism played an outsized role in the debacle and, well... I don't need a book to tell me that.
Despite many obstacles beyond her control-- including a bitter primary opponent who refused to concede long after all routes to the nomination had been exhausted, a Republican rival whose personal attacks shattered all established standards of decency, and a Kremlin-orchestrated operation to thwart her campaign and delegitimize her incipient administration-- Clinton’s race, Allen and Parnes report, was winnable.

But despite its buckets of money, its deep bench of supporters and surrogates, a general-election opponent in a constant state of implosion, and the imprimatur of a popular sitting president, Clinton’s campaign couldn’t overcome its biggest obstacle. “The variable she couldn’t change,” Allen and Parnes write, “was the candidate.”
Maybe it goes too far to suggest that anyone who depends on the vultures at EMILY's List is probably doomed but "part of the problem, Shattered implies, was Clinton’s Cersei Lannister-like reliance on a cadre of informal 'advisers' who offered counsel that was often equal parts sage and self-serving, in the hopes of maintaining close relations with the Clinton political dynasty-- or, better yet, undercutting a rival for her attention. That same dynamic bled into the campaign apparatus, Allen and Parnes write, hampering efforts from speechwriting to debate prep as staffers feared undercutting 'protected' members of the Hillaryland old guard. The candidate’s tendency to 'favor loyalty over competence' turned the campaign into a popularity contest. 'There’s one goal here: to win the fucking election for president,' said one speechwriting source. 'It’s like, do you want to win the goddamn thing or are we in junior high school again?'" It's much easier to blame the misogyny.

A little aside: the book also exposes Chris Van Hollen for what he is, having "urged unions to not aggressively turn out the state's African American vote because it would help his Democratic primary opponent," Donna Edwards. Since Hillary was benefitting from African-American votes in her own primary, she flipped out when she heard about the arrangement. "Who gives a fuck about Chris Van Hollen?" Clinton asked one of her aides after a campaign event in Baltimore, according to the book. "What the fuck are we going to do to fix this?" Today Van Hollen is not just in the Senate, but Schumer's vile pick to head the DSCC.

My old friend Bruce Mulkey wrote an essay, A New Beginning For The Democratic Party? that is far more instructive than the book about Hillary's collapse. He writes for us regularly but you can find his work far more regularly at For those who would rather look forward than dwell on a past many of us saw spiraling downward from miles away, there's this:

I’m a registered Democrat. I’ve always voted for the Democratic presidential candidate, well, except the two elections earlier in my life when I voted for a third-party candidate. As some say, the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. My parents, Mack and Sue Mulkey, were progressive southern Democrats who fervently supported Tennessee’s liberal senators Al Gore, Sr. and Estes Kefauver in the 1950s and 60s. And throughout their lives they voted for every Democratic presidential candidate who ran-- from FDR to Barack Obama.

After the debacle of 2016, however, I was seriously considering changing my voter registration from Democrat to Unaffiliated. The reason? I believe that, over the past several decades, the Democratic establishment has tilted to the right of center and that they’ve become more interested is serving their big donors than the working people of this nation. As I wrote in an earlier essay:
A 2014 Princeton study that reviewed more than twenty years of data (that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues) indicates that political leaders of both major political parties listen to the economic elites, business interests, and people who can afford lobbyists (all entities that fund their re-election campaigns) rather than the citizens who elected them. According to the study:
The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.
We live in an oligarchy, a country run by the economic elite. No matter how popular a measure might be with the bottom ninety-percent of income earners in America, no matter which party holds the presidency or a majority in Congress, issues that are popular with the public—such as federally-funded healthcare insurance for all Americans, regulating the prices of life-saving drugs, job creation, and effectively dealing with global warming, among others—never see the light of day. Our government apparently doesn’t care what you think. Not unless you are willing to contribute excessive amounts of money to a politician’s campaign, an action that is tantamount to legalized bribery.
Just as I was making plans to change from Democrat to Unaffiliated, I got wind of a group called Our Revolution, an offshoot of Bernie Sanders’ campaign for president that claimed they wanted to shift the Democratic Party toward more influence from the grassroots and less from the party professionals. The group’s upcoming meeting was at Odyssey Community School, only a half-mile from my home, so I walked over to check it out. I anticipated twenty or thirty of the usual suspects, and a disorganized gathering that would come to little or nothing. To my surprise, there were more than 150 enthusiastic participants there, some of whom I knew, many I did not. The founder of the group, Matt Coffay, led a lively, well-organized session. Coffay, youthful, spirited, and well-informed, presented an inspiring and clear message: Given that there’s no real path for a third party, we must work within the Democratic Party to reshape it from the bottom up and make it more representative of the working people of this nation. And we would begin at the precinct level of the Buncombe County Democratic Party.

As a result of press releases to local media, e-newsletters, texts, Facebook posts, and word of mouth, at the next meeting on February 18, it was standing room only for the meeting at Rainbow Community Center in west Asheville. Four hundred motivated people received practical information about how the state Democratic Party worked, the importance of attending the upcoming county precinct meetings, and logistical info regarding when and where the precinct meetings would take place. Then, the participants broke into their individual precincts to strategize for the February 25 precinct meetings.

On February 25, many Democratic precincts across Buncombe County reported record turnouts, in some cases ten times the usual attendance. Rather than the predictable handful of graying activists, in some cases approximately eighty percent of attendees said it was their first time at a precinct meeting, and fifty percent of those said that they were there because of the efforts of Our Revolution Asheville. Many of the newcomers were elected precinct officers and chosen as delegates to the county convention on April 8. While deep concern about the fate of our nation during the Trump presidency drove the majority of the new participants into action, they would likely not have known their way into the process without Our Revolution.

Needless to say, I am re-energized and re-engaged in Democratic Party, despite the recent selection of an establishment favorite as DNC chair. It’s exciting to realize that this grassroots activity is taking place in counties across North Carolina and in states across the nation-- California, Washington, Hawaii, Nebraska, Florida, and Michigan. I believe a new day is coming for the Democratic Party, a day in which we will eliminate corporate money, disavow the influence of the wealthy elite, retire the moribund party establishment, and again become the party of the people.

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At 2:37 PM, Blogger Bruce said...

Thanks for including my piece in your post!

At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Republican Party: Extremely hideously immoral, knows how to push emotional buttons to rally its voters.

Democratic Party: Somewhat less hideously immoral, without a clue how to assemble / maintain a winning voter base.

At 4:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


"Given that there’s no real path for a third party, we must work within the Democratic Party to reshape it from the bottom up..."

Given, as you report, that the party is bought from the top down. And there are literally many billions of dollars being slathered on the top party asshats.
Given these, reshaping that long lost "party" from the bottom won't fucking work. People have tried for nearly 40 years... indeed, they tried all during the viet nam holocaust and it didn't work. All you ever get is rhetoric, lies and broken promises.

And you fell for it again.

The head needs to be cut off. Easiest way to do that is kill the whole snake and keep killing it until all its heads stop growing back.

The ONLY path is through a new movement/party. And if Bernie had joined the Greens with his army of dedicated (and now disillusioned FORMER left voters) workers, you'd see that path coalescing. But Bernie is a democrap. He's part of the problem.

At 6:53 AM, Blogger Thomas Ten Bears said...

I'll not argue the two party system is failing, it is in fact working perfectly, and needs to be replaced, but I will, Anon451, argue your conclusion. Sanders is not "the problem", he successfully brought attention to the problem, and would have no more gone with Stein than the majority of Green or lean-green (I have been a non-affliated voter since St Ronald of Ray Gun) who have long been uncomfortable with her and her elite crew for quite some time. A discomfort borne out in the closing days of the last go 'round.

Change will come, I doubt it will be pleasant.

At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TTB, you make solid points. But the current "lefter" half of the money system needs to go. It just does. Only when it is gone can a truly left mechanism replace it. Clearly history proves that a vast vacuum on the political left will never be filled as long as the fake left party is still alive. Stupid voters are so numerous...

I never said Berine WAS the problem. I've said all along that, after he turtled to the DNC fraud and endorsed the clueless hapless dipshit anti-Bernie, he returned to being PART OF the problem.

And Bernie didn't need to join the Greens. He could have ran independent. But the Greens were supposedly open to a merger and they were already on almost all 50 ballots.. and their platform much more closely matched Bernie's rhetoric than did the 50-year record of $hillbillary.

At 11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happened at the April 8 county meeting? I could see how activists could force the hand of the power at the top by taking over the low turnout state-level party positions. The right has done this in the past, but they always had elite moneyed interests since from top-to-bottom the right is about protecting the position of white males.

I just wonder at what point does the establishment step in and try to quash the effort. I could see counties still holding to their activist base, but did that happen here?

At 8:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ 11pm:

"... from top-to-bottom the right is about protecting the position of WEALTHY CORPORATE CHRISTIAN white males. " You will be able to prove this correction in Coaldust and Blacklung Counties before too many more months go by.

You're welcome. No charge.


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