I don’t mean to steal the fire of Mark’s excellent post on the Donna Brazile article. Brazile paints a dire picture of the mismanagement and neglect at the DNC, and the Clinton campaign’s bailout/takeover starting in 2015.
The most charitable possible reading of the Clinton campaign’s actions is that they bailed out the DNC, by whatever legal means necessary. Unfortunately this required funneling money through a method intended for state parties, that then left the state parties high and dry. And the previous management under Obama and Debbie Wasserman Schultz come in for a drubbing. Schultz presided over the losing of winnable elections, so I can’t say I’m surprised at Brazile’s general assessment.
I can’t claim to understand all of the legal/ethical issues, and certainly I can’t keep the entire history in the front of my mind all at once. So far I can’t quite make the leap to saying that the whole primary was “rigged”, as Elizabeth Warren went as far to say. I would need to see more evidence — or be reminded — of how Clinton’s influence over the DNC affected the primary versus Sanders: Was the Sanders campaign deprived of resources, support, infrastructure etc. that the DNC did offer Clinton? Did any of it have a material effect on the primary? Or does the conflict of interest make the primary inherently “rigged?” I don’t think this is merely a semantic discussion: “Rigged” is a strong word and we should be clear what we’re talking about — if only so that we can avoid it in the future.
Joy Reid has a useful thread casting skepticism on that:
A small note – that’s actually a big one – on the subject of “rigging…”
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) November 3, 2017
I always think facts matter. We should be very clear what “rigged” means; and at the same time acknowledge an inherent conflict of interest when a campaign essentially buys out a political party’s operations. It’s just not acceptable. And it’s definitely not acceptable to bleed state parties and organizations dry, given that we’re only a few GOP state legislatures away from calling a constitutional convention. We’re eating our seed corn.
If there’s any hope to be had in this, it’s that we’re dealing with actual incompetence and bad strategy, as opposed to intractable structural problems with the party. Let’s replace people who aren’t up to the job with people who are. Massachusetts, e.g., is chockfull of effective political people, at every level: John Walsh for DNC chair? Kate Donaghue? We could do much better.
If we step back, and recognize that this is about faith in our Democratic/democratic institutions, then Warren is right:
“… When Tom … Perez was first elected chair of the DNC, the very first conversation I had with him was to say, You have got to put together a Democratic Party in which everybody can have confidence that the party is working for Democrats rather than Democrats working for the party. And he’s being tested now – this is a test for Tom Perez. And either he’s going to succeed by bringing Bernie Sanders and Bernie Sanders representatives into the process; and they’re gonna say it’s fair, it works, and we all believe it; or he’s gonna fail. And I very much hope he succeeds.
A housecleaning seems in order.