Con­tro­versy of the week

Brazile re­opens the 2016 wound

The Week (US) - - 6 News -

“That sound you hear is the pri­mal scream of mil­lions of Bernie Bros,” said in “They were right. The sys­tem was rigged.” Last week Donna Brazile, for­mer chair of the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee, went pub­lic with ex­plo­sive claims that the DNC ef­fec­tively gave con­trol of the party to Hil­lary Clin­ton’s cam­paign, months be­fore the pri­maries even be­gan. In an ar­ti­cle in, ex­cerpted from an up­com­ing book, Brazile says that her pre­de­ces­sor at the DNC, Deb­bie Wasser­man Schultz, cut a fundrais­ing deal with the Clin­ton cam­paign that helped the DNC pay off $25 mil­lion in debt, in re­turn for giv­ing Clin­ton con­trol over hir­ing and strat­egy. Since the de­ba­cle of 2016, the uni­fy­ing hor­ror of Pres­i­dent Trump has en­abled the Demo­cratic Party “to pa­per over its in­ter­nal di­vi­sions,” said Aaron Blake in Wash­ing­ton­ But the rift be­tween the pro-San­ders in­sur­gent left and the proClin­ton party es­tab­lish­ment was never re­solved. What Brazile has just done “is the equiv­a­lent of tak­ing the smol­der­ing em­bers of the 2016 pri­mary and throw­ing some gaso­line on them.”

Sorry, said David Gra­ham in TheAt­, but some of Brazile’s al­le­ga­tions just “don’t add up.” The fundrais­ing agree­ment be­tween Clin­ton and the DNC was known to San­ders and wellpub­li­cized last year. It mostly ap­plied to the gen­eral elec­tion, not the pri­maries. Be­sides, it’s hardly un­usual for the party’s na­tional com­mit­tee to have a pref­er­ence for an es­tab­lished, loyal Demo­crat of Clin­ton’s stature over an out­sider like San­ders, who was a reg­is­tered in­de­pen­dent for decades. States, not the DNC, de­ter­mine the tim­ing of pri­maries and run them, and vot­ers ul­ti­mately chose the nom­i­nee, giv­ing Clin­ton 3.7 mil­lion more votes than San­ders. Brazile’s mo­tives here are “patently ob­vi­ous,” said Becket Adams in Wash­ing­tonEx­am­ She “bet on the wrong horse in 2016,” even feed­ing pri­mary de­bate ques­tions to Clin­ton when she worked for CNN; now, with far-left heroes like San­ders and El­iz­a­beth War­ren in as­cen­dance, “she’s try­ing to re­write his­tory to en­sure she sur­vives the com­ing house­clean­ing.”

Re­fight­ing the 2016 elec­tion may feel like an “ex­er­cise in after-the-fact fin­ger-point­ing,” said Su­san Glasser in, but “the party re­mains in se­ri­ous dan­ger of an­other elec­toral catas­tro­phe” un­less it re­solves why it lost. Democrats need to fig­ure out “how to talk to the Trump base in the for­merly Demo­cratic states of Mid­dle Amer­ica.” Can white, work­ing­class vot­ers be wooed back if the party moves left, and prom­ises free health care and ed­u­ca­tion and higher taxes on the rich? Or should the party hold the cen­ter and bet on Trump so badly dam­ag­ing the Repub­li­can brand that there’s a ma­jor back­lash? Democrats need to choose a path now, said Joy-Ann Reid in TheDai­ Oth­er­wise, they’ll en­ter next year’s midterms with “no dis­cernible mes­sage, no rec­og­niz­able plan, and no real re­sponse to Trump’s se­rial rend­ing of ba­sic de­cency and honor.”

Democrats have al­ready de­cided on mov­ing left, said Jonah Gold­berg in Na­tion­alRe­, and Brazile knows it. The Clin­ton­istas are done; all the pas­sion in the party is for San­ders’ warmed-over hip­pie so­cial­ism and the “an­gry, sanc­ti­mony-be­sot­ted iden­tity pol­i­tics pop­u­lar on col­lege cam­puses.” Nei­ther ap­proach has much ap­peal to work­ing-class vot­ers in Mid­dle Amer­ica, so the Democrats’ best ar­gu­ment is, “We’re not Repub­li­cans.” Un­der Trump, Repub­li­cans are even more dys­func­tional; nei­ther party has a co­her­ent mes­sage or in­spir­ing lead­er­ship. In this era of crum­bling in­sti­tu­tions, it’s pos­si­ble “both par­ties are doomed,” and “no one can say they didn’t have it com­ing.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.