In a piece authored by Donna Brazile and published on Politico, the Democratic operative, conflicted CNN and ABC political analyst, Hillary Clinton debate question supplier and cheat, and former chair of the Democratic National Committee makes numerous sensational allegations about the corruption of her party, her party’s 2016 Presidential candidate, and the nomination process. I don’t mention Brazile’s various anticredentials that mark her as a denizen of the very bottom of the political slime barrel to discredit her revelations, which seem, based on what we already know, mostly plausible. No, I do it it to put Brazile in perspective, and to provoke consideration of what this perspective tells us.
She is spectacularly unethical, unprincipled and untrustworthy, and this is just another chapter in her disgusting saga. Yet two news networks have, for decades, presented her to its viewers as an honest, objective analyst to help them understand their government.
Among the headline-sparking claims in the Politico article:
My predecessor, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, had not been the most active chair in fundraising at a time when President Barack Obama’s neglect had left the party in significant debt.
Debbie was also a serial liar and an apparent idiot. What kind of party would leave itself under the leadership of such an individual?
Officials from Hillary’s campaign had taken a look at the DNC’s books. Obama left the party $24 million in debt—$15 million in bank debt and more than $8 million owed to vendors after the 2012 campaign—and had been paying that off very slowly. Obama’s campaign was not scheduled to pay it off until 2016. Hillary for America (the campaign) and the Hillary Victory Fund (its joint fundraising vehicle with the DNC) had taken care of 80 percent of the remaining debt in 2016, about $10 million, and had placed the party on an allowance.
In other words, Hillary bought the party mechanism, which became a sham.
Debbie 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.
Ethics Alarms had several posts raising the issue of the DNC’s unethical efforts to rig the nomination for Clinton, and pointing out Wasserman Schultz’s obviously disingenuous denials.
[Gary Gensler, the chief financial officer of Hillary’s campaign] described the party as fully under the control of Hillary’s campaign, which seemed to confirm the suspicions of the Bernie camp. The campaign had the DNC on life support, giving it money every month to meet its basic expenses, while the campaign was using the party as a fund-raising clearinghouse.
“Wait,” I said. “That victory fund was supposed to be for whoever was the nominee, and the state party races. You’re telling me that Hillary has been controlling it since before she got the nomination?”
Gary said the campaign had to do it or the party would collapse.
“That was the deal that Robby struck with Debbie,” he explained, referring to campaign manager Robby Mook. “It was to sustain the DNC. We sent the party nearly $20 million from September until the convention, and more to prepare for the election.”
My ultimate decision that I could not vote for Hillary Clinton was rooted in the emerging evidence that the Democratic Party she led was (and is) hostile to a fair and open democratic process. One of those pieces of evidence was Brazile misusing her CNN position to surreptitiously help Hillary.
This victory fund agreement, however, had been signed in August 2015, just four months after Hillary announced her candidacy and nearly a year before she officially had the nomination.
That sham I just referred to was put in place more than a year before the election.
By September 7, the day I called Bernie, I had found my proof and it broke my heart.
Yes, two months before the election (at least), Donna Brazile knew that she was part of a fraud on the American people and a plot to undermine our democratic institutions.
I urged Bernie to work as hard as he could to bring his supporters into the fold with Hillary, and to campaign with all the heart and hope he could muster. He might find some of her positions too centrist, and her coziness with the financial elites distasteful, but he knew and I knew that the alternative was a person who would put the very future of the country in peril. I knew he heard me. I knew he agreed with me, but I never in my life had felt so tiny and powerless as I did making that call.
Thus Bernie endorsed and became part of the lie. Nice.
When I hung up the call to Bernie, I started to cry, not out of guilt, but out of anger. We would go forward. We had to.
Rationalization # 25. The Coercion Myth: “I have no choice!”
When people say they had to behave unethically because they had no choice, it is almost always a lie. What they mean is that they didn’t like the choices they had, and taking the unethical option involved less sacrifice, less controversy, less criticism, less effort…in short, less courage, than doing the right thing. Ethics often requires pain; if making the ethical choice was easy, there would be no need to practice being ethical. You may decide that doing the right thing is too costly or requires more personal misery than you can bear—a lost job, a ruined reputation, financial capacity, punishment for breaking with tradition or rules—sometimes that is a reasonable choice. But you still had a choice, and you are still accountable for the choice you made.
None of this should surprise anyone who was paying attention and who wasn’t so blinded by Hillary fervor (Why? WHY?) that they were in denial over the obvious corruption surrounding her. Brazile’s self-serving (but still self-damning) account just makes the sordid tale even more vomit-inducing. Brazile, who is already thoroughly exposed as a hack, a conspirator, a cheat and a liar, now adds venal turncoat and metaphorical rat-leaving-a-the sinking-SS Hillary to her resume of shame.
Donna has a book coming out! What a coincidence!
Who is so gullible as to believe this despicable woman? I don’t believe for a second that she worked as closely as she did with the Clinton campaign and the party and only discovered all of this in September. Meanwhile, she was posing as an “insider” who could tell CNN viewers what was really going on. Except either she didn’t know, which means she was incompetent, or she did, which means she was withholding vital information the people had a right to know and that CNN had led viewers to believe she would tell them.
Here is Ann Althouse’s reaction to the article:
I’d like a neutral outsider, a respected prosecutor, to investigate whether this was criminal. I’m not accepting Brazile’s self-interested assertion. It was bad, really bad, she keeps saying, but — magically — it was not criminal. My impression of campaign finance law — and I’m not an expert — is that many things that don’t even seem wrong have been criminalized. Brazile has it the other way around.
I told Bernie I had found Hillary’s Joint Fundraising Agreement. I explained that the cancer was that she had exerted this control of the party long before she became its nominee. Had I known this, I never would have accepted the interim chair position, but here we were with only weeks before the election.
And yet you’re only telling us all this a year later. Brazile wants us to see her as a victim…
But then, that’s Donna Brazile.