Donna Brazile, vice president Al Gore’s former campaign manager, must be truly desperate for money and attention. Since she was kicked out of her last gig at CNN as a political analyst for allegedly giving Hillary Clinton a leg-up against Bernie Sanders just before one of their crucial primary debates, not much had been heard about, and from, Brazile. I suspect Brazile probably got sold by some too-clever-by-half agent on the idea of a book on the ugly primaries between Clinton and Sanders last year, on how the former secretary of state allegedly “rigged” the contests against her septuagenarian opponent. After all, there’s an old saw which says anything on the Clintons sells like sex.
But here is the problem: Brazile’s offering, excerpt of which she published in Politico on Thursday, has nothing to it; it’s all refurbished garbage. As anyone with a memory will tell you, her effort is all revisionist history ginned up to rile Sanders supporters, attract Clinton ridicule from the Right-wing ecosystem, and (you guessed it) offer President Donald Trump recycled material for a couple of scorn-laden tweets at Clinton. The overall result of it all, of course, is a boost to her forthcoming book.
Brazile’s hunger for rehabilitation, money and attention has goaded her into creating a tempest in a teapot. But as Howard Dean noted in a tweet yesterday, “Turns out the memo Donna spoke about applied only to the general election. If so then this memo is standard operational procedure for 15 years.” Dean should know because he once headed the DNC, and he had also been a presidential candidate. Fox News and the vast Right-wing media celebrated the red meat gift from Brazile with fanfare nonetheless. I’d be shocked for words if they didn’t exploit the windfall.
But Democrats who should have dismissed it as a nothing-burger, instead teamed up with the Right in a shouting contest as to who could be more adept at raking Clinton over the coals and splitting the Democratic ranks down the middle on the eve of a crucial gubernatorial election in Virginia. Defending Brazile’s decision, the insufferably cantankerous Nina Turner, for example, sparred with Hillary Rosen, a Clinton supporter, on CNN on Thursday. She even brought race into the issue as if that really mattered: “The fact is,” said Turner, “that you have someone like Donna Brazile, who was the first African-American woman to run a national campaign… The fact that she’s pointing this out means that this is serious and that there’s absolutely a crisis in the city.” Speaking to Jake Tapper on CNN on the same day, Senator Elizabeth Warren replied “yes” when asked by the television host if she thought the 2016 primaries were rigged by Clinton against Sanders as alleged by Brazile. It is heartbreaking to note that someone of the stature of Warren is also capable of vending that spurious notion that is potentially damaging to the political and cohesive weal of the Democratic Party. Dean should have the kindness to send Warren a copy of the memo mentioned above.
What does Brazile gain from this stupid venture? How does throwing Clinton under the bus help her rehabilitate an image she so dishonorably tarnished at CNN? By the way, how does re-igniting an old feud help her party make gains in the coming elections after the terrible defeat it suffered at the last election owing, in part, to the divisions that were inspired by Sanders’s utterly negative campaign against Clinton? Before she embarked on her project, did Brazile pause a second to consider the large-scale rigging Russia engineered against Clinton on behalf of her general election opponent? Which was worse and worthy of more concern, that which she has alleged against Clinton, or the one being currently investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller III?
May that day never come when Trump is re-elected to a second term. But if that happens, I’ll understand it did because we have in the Democratic Party folks who, motivated by money, attention and utter lack of judgement, do not care a whit if the house burns down. I expected more from someone who once managed a national presidential campaign.