On Friday, we wrote about former DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile's allegations about the party's rigging of the 2016 primary -- a charge Elizabeth Warren has embraced, incidentally. Additional revelations emerged over the weekend, as did a backlash from Democratic critics of Brazile, who say her claims are far-fetched and inaccurate. We'll get to the pushback, and her response, in a moment; first, here's another juicy grievance she's leveled against Team Clinton, going to the well of identity politics. The racial connotations here are not at all subtle:
Beyond the criticisms we covered last week, Brazile fired additional rhetorical shots at Democratic bigwigs. Again, she took a two-by-four to the triumvirate of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Debbie Wasserman Schultz:
Brazile writes that she inherited a national party in disarray, in part because President Obama, Clinton and Wasserman Schultz were “three titanic egos” who had “stripped the party to a shell for their own purposes.” Brazile writes that she inherited Wasserman Schultz’s office — with “tropical pink” walls that she found hard on the eyes — and “ridiculous” perks, such as a Chevrolet Tahoe with driver and a personal entourage that included an assistant known as a body woman. In her first few days on the job, Brazile writes that she also discovered the DNC was $2 million in debt and that the payroll was stacked with “hangers-on and sycophants.”
Clinton loyalists and other party figures aren't taking these broadsides lying down. Dozens of Hillary alumni signed a letter blasting back at Brazile, suggesting that she was a credulous consumer of -- wait for it -- Russian propaganda. But of course: "It is particularly troubling and puzzling that she would seemingly buy into false Russian-fueled propaganda, spread by both the Russians and our opponent, about our candidate's health," they wrote. That's a reference to the contention in Brazile's book that she actively contemplated replacing the Democratic presidential ticket just weeks prior to the general election, in the aftermath of Hillary's medical incident at a September 11 memorial event in New York City. She writes that she considered replacing Clinton/Kaine with a combination of Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Cory Booker. But as a number of observers have since pointed out, that's...not how any of this works:
Many Democrats are also objecting that Brazile's characterization of the controversial joint fundraising agreement struck between the Clinton camp and the DNC. Bernie's campaign was also offered an opportunity to enter a similar pact, the counter-narrative goes, but they declined to do so. While it looks like Brazile may have embellished the nature and implications of the arrangement, the "Bernie could've done the same thing" spin isn't quite correct, either. The contract Hillary's team inked included a bonus 'memorandum of understanding' (which was kept secret from most of the party, including rival campaigns) that ceded a great deal of sway to Clinton headquarters in Brooklyn over DNC staffing and spending decisions -- prior to and during the primaries. Brazile explained as much on ABC's This Week, holding up two separate documents to illustrate her point. She also fought back against Democrats who've attacked her perspective and timing, using some colorful language in the process. She'd get knocked no matter when she stepped forward with this information, she said, expressing resentment at the notion that she's not entitled to tell her side of the story. Her message to those who want her to sit down and be quiet? "Go to hell:"
Lots of interesting salvos in this discussion -- which was anchored by a former Clintonite political operative, it must be said -- including Brazile's stammering gibberish when pressed on her role in (and dishonesty about) feeding Team Hillary debate questions in advance was a sight to behold. Also interesting is Brazile's assertion that she found "no evidence...whatsoever" that the Democratic primary was "rigged." She assailed President Trump on Twitter for "trolling" and "misquoting" her on this score. One small problem...
No matter whose side you're inclined to take in this brouhaha, it's quite clear that some Democratic heavy hitters are no longer afraid to cross the Clintons in a big way -- or even to pile on Obama a bit. It also seems likely that Democrats' internecine warfare isn't going away anytime soon, even if some in the media would prefer to wish it out of existence. (If you think it's ugly now, just wait and see how things start to look if Ralph Northam manages to blow the gubernatorial race in Virginia tomorrow). Democratic Party honchos can point to internal "reforms" and tout "unity" task forces until they're blue in the face; a large segment of the left-wing base will remain incensed about the Clinton coronation and the sordid side deals that helped rig the system in her favor, regardless of how one wants to parse out or reframe what happened. I'll leave you with a case in point: