POLITICAL DIVIDE--While the country is in the middle of realizing that we have had an illegitimate Presidential election, we are also continually battling the daily onslaught of misinformation that is being spewed by both Trump and his followers. This is a time when Democrats need to rally together to pursue fact checking and attempt to maintain some form of sanity.
But if you could think of a method to continue to split the party, it would be yet another blame-Hillary announcement that would stir the pot for the Tea Party Left and wreak havoc in the mix. This is indeed what happened when Donna Brazile wanted to include some of the information from her new book and in doing so, knew perfectly well how it would be received. Brazile, a longtime political strategist and former temporary Chairperson of the Democratic National Committee, included an excerpt from her up and coming book and the media sliced and diced it so that it stated that she believed the Democratic primary was “rigged” in Hillary Clinton’s favor. But this situation is not what it seems, and within twenty-four hours, Brazile backtracked the comment to try to clarify. But the damage was done, and she had achieved the attention she wanted so that people would be racing out to read more in her new book.
Of course, it didn’t take long for Senator Elizabeth Warren to jump on the bandwagon in agreement with the media. Many have held Warren on a pedestal as she has rallied for so many of the causes that the Democrats have believed in, but in this case, Warren had a knee-jerk reaction and we can conjecture why. It is no secret that Warren has historically disliked Hillary Clinton, although she did end up supporting her as the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2016. However, Warren is keeping her eye on the prize for 2020, and she has been a symbol for the extreme Tea Party Left. Warren knew that by confirming the media comments, she would continue to stir up the Hillary-hate of the extreme left and in doing so, potentially give herself an excellent position as a potential for the 2020 Presidential race.
Both women have deliberately made comments that were designed for their own purposes and the ultimate problem that has resulted is the Democratic Party is dividing even more. This is a situation that pleases the Republicans, as they watch their own party crack and shrivel.
This is Old News…Like 2015 Old
As we push aside the ranting screams of the extreme Tea Party Left that are now combined with the exhilarated tweets of Trump, accusing Hillary Clinton of rigging the Democratic primary, we need to drill down to exactly what was said in Brazile’s book as well as what actually happened. You see, none of this is “new” and the fact that both Brazile and Warren used information that was already known for their own slanted purposes, is an example of why liberal Democrats are rejecting both of these women.
Politifact delved into the portions of Brazile’s book that related to this situation:
“The excerpt said that the DNC’s finances were in disarray when she [Donna Brazile] took over as interim chairwoman in July 2016, after leaked emails showed members of the party favored Clinton.
Brazile said that she had promised Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders she ‘would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process, as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers and posted online had suggested.’
She wrote that the party was broke and millions of dollars in debt and that former chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz ‘was not a good manager.’
‘She hadn’t been very interested in controlling the party — she let Clinton’s headquarters in Brooklyn do as it desired, so she didn’t have to inform the party officers how bad the situation was,’ Brazile’s excerpt said.
She added that she had tried to determine the extent of Clinton’s control, and learned that the DNC, Hillary for America and the Hillary Victory Fund had reached a deal, called a joint fundraising agreement, for Clinton’s campaign to help the party with its debt in August 2015.
‘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.’
Politico reported Clinton reaching a fundraising agreement that month. They noted that all 50 state parties were invited to participate and that “the Clinton campaign, wary of management and structural problems at the DNC, insisted on a tight rein on spending.’”
Hillary Clinton has had a long history of donating to the Democratic Party, so much so that she has donated millions over the years. So, donating and attempting to keep the Party afloat is nothing new. When Hillary came onboard, the DNC was in the red due to the massive expenses of the 2008 election process, and Clinton wanted to do everything that she could to get things balanced.
It also needs to be noted that even though Bernie Sanders continued to be an Independent, running as a Presidential candidate under the Democratic ticket, he also signed an agreement. But in Sanders’ case, he defaulted and gave nothing.
Sanders Reneges on His Promise to the DNC
While Sanders is known for his choice ofnot being aligned with big corporatedonations, to participate as aPresidential candidate, in 2015, he and his campaign agreed to hold fundraising campaigns for the DNC. The purpose of these fundraisers is the same as the Clinton group: to get money to the DNC to assist in the election process for the Presidential candidate as well as to fund many of the down-ticket candidates.
The announcement of this agreement was listed in a Politico article on Nov. 5, 2015, entitled:“Sanders campaign inks joint fundraising pact with DNC.”
Once again, it has to be stated, that this is “old news”, but for those that want to find conspiracy theories, it is fodder for the imagination, and the BernieOrBust people are known for buying into any and all of the Russian and Macedonian purveyors of fake news…just like the TrumpTrolls.
However, to clarify the situation, the “name” of the DNA must be noted: Democratic National Committee. This can be compared to a kind of private club where members receive all of the benefits. In the case of Bernie Sanders, a self-described Democratic Socialist, he was graciously allowed to run under the Democratic ticket but refused to become a Democrat. This is important because when you become a member, you can enjoy everything that goes along with that membership. Sanders chose not to join, but as is typical of his philosophy, he and his campaign demanded to have the same benefits and rights as Hillary Clinton, who is a member of the Democratic Party.
But it goes deeper than just not belonging to the Dem Party. Sanders has actually benefited from all of these Dem Fundraisers that he is quick to complain about. In a 2016 CNN article they state:
“Bernie Sanders complained on the campaign trail Friday that dialing for dollars ‘affects your entire being.’ What he didn’t mention: The Vermont senator and presidential candidate is a prolific fundraiser himself and has regularly benefited from the Democratic Party apparatus.”
“In recent years, Sanders has been billed as one of the hosts for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s retreats for the “Majority Trust” -- an elite group of top donors who give more than $30,000 per year -- at Martha’s Vineyard in the summer and Palm Beach, Florida, in the winter. CNN has obtained invitations that listed Sanders as a host for at least one Majority Trust event in each year since 2011.
“The retreats are typically attended by 100 or more donors who have either contributed the annual legal maximum of $33,400 to the DSCC, raised more than $100,000 for the party or both.
“Sanders has based his presidential campaign on a fire-and-brimstone critique of a broken campaign finance system — and of Hillary Clinton for her reliance on big-dollar Wall Street donors. But Sanders is part of that system and has helped Democrats court many of the same donors.”
But here’s the thing: when it came to raising money via fundraisers during the Democratic candidacy, Hillary Clinton’s campaign followed through on their promise and Bernie Sanders did NOT. This translates to abiding by an agreement and therefore benefiting from the abilities to actively participate in a party that you belong to and NOT abiding by an agreement, refusing to comply and NOT giving the money that you promised.
In any logical situation in life, one cannot sign an agreement, back out, and then expect to reap the rewards. It would be like getting a mortgage, refusing to pay the monthly payment and expecting to not only stay in your home but actually own it.
In a CBS News article addressing the Brazile book segment entitled: “Former Clinton campaign aide says rigged election claim is ‘overstating’ things.”
“Zerlina Maxwell, formerly the director of progressive media for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, said on Friday the claim in former Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile’s new book that the election was rigged for Clinton is ‘overstating’ how joint fundraising committees work.”
“In a nutshell, Maxwell confirmed the information that in the beginning of the Presidential election cycle, the DNC was broke. In the article Maxwell also stated: ‘Yes, they were broke when Hillary showed up in 2015 to start her campaign for presidency, so yes, she paid off their debt,’ Maxwell said, which through the joint fundraising agreement, allowed Democrats to raise more than $500 million.
“The joint fundraising agreements allowed Democrats to raise more than $500 million, Maxwell said. But, Maxwell said, more transparency is needed around joint fundraising agreements. Maxwell called the joint fundraising agreements ‘somewhat of a loophole,’ because people can donate a much larger amount than the maximum contribution to the DNC, versus a candidate directly.”
The article also includes a DNC comment response to the accusations that Brazile made in her book and the media pounce on only a portion of it:
“The DNC must remain neutral in the presidential primary process, and there shouldn’t even be a perception that the DNC is interfering in that process,” DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa said in a statement. “Joint fundraising committees were created between the DNC and both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in attempt to raise the general election funds needed to win in 2016.
Clinton was the only candidate who raised money for the party through her joint fundraising committee with the DNC, which would benefit any candidate coming out of the presidential primary process.”
Without the assistance of fundraisers, of which the Clinton campaign was the only one to contribute, there would not have been enough money to help either candidate or the all-important down-tickets.
So Why is Warren Defending the Sanders’ Group?
Senator Elizabeth Warren is a savvy politician. As a registered Democrat, she is well aware of the differences between an Independent being allowed to run under a Democratic ticket and a member of the Democratic Party doing the same. However, she has a history of supporting many of the Bernie Sanders ideologies on topics such as healthcare, increased minimum wage and removing big donor abilities from the election process.
During the Democratic Presidential candidacy, Senator Warren received constant negative complaints and threats from the extreme Tea Party Left for not endorsing Sanders and eventually endorsed Hillary Clinton when she became the nominee.
Warren should therefore be fully aware that a member of the Democratic Party would indeed receive the benefits of not only being a member but being the ONLY candidate that raised money for the Party so that they could continue to ensure that BOTH candidates received the funding that they needed as well as the down-ticket candidates.
The fact that the Hillary Clinton campaign had an agreement that allowed them to assist in selecting internal DNC staff and in making some of the down-ticket donation decisions has admittedly been a bit of a loophole that people are raising their eyebrows about, but the fact that the outcome and choices benefitted BOTH candidates has been completely overlooked.
Since Sanders gave nothing and expected everything in return, without the help of Hillary Clinton, there might not have been a Democratic candidate at all. Just as the media allowed Sanders to compete without being vetted or showing his taxes, they are ignoring the fact that he and his campaign gave absolutely no financial assistance but had the expectation of being able to receive ALL the benefits of being a Democratic candidate.
Senator Warren has added her name to the accusation of the “rigged” situation and in doing so has stirred up the pot of BernieBot and crat cult followers. One might wonder why Warren is doing this and one answer is she is making a stand to become a potential Presidential candidate for the 2020 Presidential election.
But here’s the problem with this: The BernieBots may make up a small but loud percentage but the majority of them hold absolutely no loyalty to the Democratic Party. The balance of Democrats is currently outraged by Warren, and since they make up the largest percentage of the Party, they are already vowing not to vote for Warren for anything.
Other Democrats are expressing their anger against the DNC for not being stronger about distancing themselves from the Bernie Sanders groups, especially as these extreme Tea Party Left participants continue to push their “purity tests” against Democrats that are currently running, which is allowing Republicans to win.
Both Brazile and Warren knew exactly what they were doing in their statements and even while Brazile is walking back the media translations, this is dividing the Democratic Party and the Republicans couldn’t be happier.
But it’s just a diversion and standard Dems are calling to put this topic to bed. The DNC is already making changes to their doctrines and as a group, we need to focus on getting people out to vote in the midterms and get Republicans ousted. Unfortunately, the BernieBots do not share this philosophy and in their case, they are acting in their typical childish manner as they push their own agenda instead of realizing that they will once again lose if we don’t get Democrats in key positions.
(S. Novi is a journalist that worked in the media when it DID have integrity. A liberal and one that is suspicious of cults and empty promises. She is a Medium member and an occasional contributor to CityWatch.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.