The DNC Leadership has Become and Existential Threat to its Own Party

The Progressive Cynic

© Josh Sager – February 2016

Large organizations live or die based upon the quality of their leadership—this is true whether you are talking about governments, corporations, political parties, or even religious groups. If incompetent leaders manage to take over even a high quality organization, they can end up running it into the rocks (i.e. the Titanic was an amazing ship…the captain was less so).

New DNC logo

I will not be getting into the partisan side of the Democratic infighting between the Hillary and Bernie wings of the party. That said, the surprisingly heated primary fight for the 2016 presidential nomination has exposed glaring problems in the leadership of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) that threaten the long-term integrity of the Democratic Party. If this is not addressed, there is a very real danger that voters will either be discouraged with politics in general, or be more susceptible to the faux populism…

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HILLARY – “The Chameleon”

 

During her two campaigns for the presidency, 2008 and 2016, Hillary Clinton has ‘”changed her “positions” to “blend in with the voters” just as a chameleon changes its color to blend in with its surroundings.  Hillary has used “smear” tactics on Obama in 2008 and Bernie Sanders in the current campaign.  Hillary and her supporters have made many false and misleading statements about Obama in 2008 and about Sanders in the current campaign.  Obama and Sanders chose to run on the issues and have never “attacked” Hillary as she has them.  This is one of the big differences between the candidates.  The following are the facts I have gathered about Hillary Clinton, “the politician” since the beginning of her political career.

Hillary was active in the Republican Party as a young woman.  She campaigned for the Republican candidate, Barry Goldwater in 1964.  Barry Goldwater was against the “Civil Rights” act.

She became a Democrat in 1968.  She married Bill Clinton in 1975.  He had a “rising” political career and became president in 1992.  Hillary was not just the wife of a politician, she was “his “partner” in all aspects of his political career, including the presidency.

During Bill Clinton’s presidency, Hillary agreed with him on bills signed and actions taken.  It was at this time they began to develop ties and “do favors” for Wall Street and the “Democratic establishment”, expecting “favors” from them in return.  Since Hillary uses the Bill Clinton presidency as part of her campaign (“fully truthful” or not), it is only fair that other accounts of his presidency be stated as well.

During the first term of Clinton’s presidency Clinton passed the “Don’t ask Don’t Tell” policy and the ratification of NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement). Hillary headed a task force on a health care reform act to provide universal health coverage.  The bill failed and because of the controversy surrounding it, Republicans took control of both houses of congress in 1994.  I believe this is probably why Hillary is so against Bernie’s health care plan.  She equates it with her own failure. She is still living in the ‘90’s.

After this, Bill Clinton veered to the right in his policies.  Rather than becoming an “FDR” president for the people, he adopted the “Republican point of view.”  Clinton passed trade deals to benefit the corporations that shipped U.S. jobs overseas. Clinton also cut investment taxes for the rich. Clinton signed a measure that decimated the federal welfare program.  Clinton signed a crime bill that led to a never before major increase in federal and state prison population.  Hillary’s campaign has accepted contributions from two major prison lobbyists.

What the Clintons did for Wall Street is common knowledge but not talked about much “outside the beltway”.  Bill Clinton brought members of Wall Street into his administration and signed the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act.  A law which had kept Wall Street and the big banks in check for years.  Not one of these men have ever admitted any responsibility for their part that led to the 2008 global financial crisis. This set a precedent for the “Democratic Establishment” that allowed not only the Clintons, but every member of a Democratic administration, every Democratic member of the U.S. congress and down the line to continue the economic destructive policies and make millions while doing it.  Since Bill Clinton’s presidency, Bill and Hillary have become wealthy working with Wall Street and big banks.  They have never considered prosecution of any these financial criminals!  Now, thanks to Bernie Sanders the “cat is out of the bag”.  As a political maneuver Hillary is now going along with Bernie saying “we have to do something about this”.  Her feeble attempt at telling the voters what she tried to do about this when she was a U.S. Senator amounted to “I told them to stop it.”

Hillary said she would consult with Bill on foreign policy issues.  Bill Clinton’s foreign policy regarding the American military mission in Somalia failed as well as his failure to do anything in the face of genocide in Rwanda.  Bill Clinton did nothing about the USS Cole attack that killed seventeen and wounded 39 sailors. Bill Clinton had U.S. soldiers forcibly remove a child, Elian Gonzales, from his family in the U.S. to send back to his father in Cuba.

Bill Clinton’s policies have yet to be judged fully by historians.  However, because of Hillary’s candidacy, it has opened the Clintons “Pandora’s box” to the American people.  The true nature of the Clinton presidency is becoming clearer than ever before.  The ‘Democratic Establishment” is still beholden to the Clintons as shown by their organizations and it’s minions choosing Hillary to be the Democrat candidate for president.  The Clintons have “courted” the MSM as well and they too, are part of the Hillary campaign.  Not only that.  Many members of the Democratic establishment have publically attacked Bernie Sanders credibility as well as using “smear tactics” against him. Bill Clinton called Sanders a “sexist”, dishonest and a hypocrite in one of his campaign speeches!  Their daughter, Chelsea Clinton lied about what Sanders health care bill would do to the ACA.  It’s “all in the family”!

The “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” continues.  Hillary and Obama were the presidential contenders in 2008.  Obama became president and appointed Hillary as secretary of state in 2009. Bill Clinton gave a speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention supporting President Obama and Vice President Biden.  In November, 2013, President Obama gave Bill Clinton a special award, the “Presidential Medal of Freedom.  This is the highest honor given to civilians.  Although Obama hasn’t said “I endorse Hillary Clinton”, he has made enough “transparent” comments recently that certainly “imply” as much.

Even without Bill & Chelsea Clinton, Hillary’s campaign is full of lies, misinformation and bad judgement. According to Hillary, her “foreign affair” experience qualifies her for the office of president. Yes, she traveled a lot and met leaders of foreign countries.  However, she accomplished nothing to make America safer from terrorists.  She did not negotiate any “peace agreement between any two warring countries.  She did not change any of the human rights conditions in any of these countries.  She left the post on February 1, 2013.

Hillary’s “judgement calls” on other serious foreign policy issues are no better than the one she made when she voted for the invasion of Iraq.  She continues along the same line as Republicans when it comes to getting the U.S. involved in war in the Middle East and putting U.S. military troops in these countries. Her policy is get rid of the dictators and promote democracy in these countries. She agrees with her advisor, Henry Kissinger, a questionable former secretary of state.  She advised President Obama to get involved in Libya.  She also advised Obama to get involved in Syria. One of Hillary’s “I did this” statements, according to Jeffrey Sachs at Columbia University, “was a total misrepresentation of what she actually did. Hillary said that “at the core of the Security Council’s resolution is an agreement I negotiated in June of 2012 in Geneva, which set forth a cease-fire and moving toward a political resolution…..”.  In fact, Jeffrey Sachs wrote “Clinton’s role in Syria has been to help instigate and prolong the Syrian blood bath, not bring it to a close.” Sachs continues “In 2012, Clinton was the obstacle, not the solution, to a ceasefire being negotiated by UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan.  It was U.S. intransigence – Clinton’s intransigence – that led to the failure of Annan’s peace efforts in the spring of 2012.  Despite Clinton’s insinuation in the Milwaukee debate, there was no 2012 ceasefire, only escalating carnage.  Clinton bears heavy responsibility for that carnage, which has by now displaced more than 10 million Syrians and left more than 250,000 dead.”.

There are other “foreign policy” misrepresentations of what she actually did, Hillary claimed she was the one who started the Iran nuclear agreement, even though she was against it until congress was for it.  Hillary’s “I did this” must be scrutinized vigorously! A former Obama top military intelligence official, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former Defense Intelligence Agency head said “Clinton should withdraw from the race”.

So far in this campaign, Hillary has given many misrepresentations of what she has done, what Bill Clinton has done as president and why she is qualified to be president of the U.S.  Her campaign tactics are the same as they were in 2008.  Only, rather than Obama, they are now being directed at Bernie.  In fact, one of her “tactics” is to build a wedge between Bernie and Obama. She “gushes” her admiration for Obama and talks about the things he has done for this country.  Even those she disagreed with him on.  Gone are the days of “smearing Obama”.  She is “using” Obama to get the African American vote.  If any African American wants the truth about the Clinton’s treatment of African Americans all they need to do is read the articles published  by a respected African American woman, Michelle Alexander. She tells the “truth”.

Hillary said she agrees with Bernie about getting money out of politics. However, the DNC chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a relentless supporter of Hillary, has recently ended Obama’s ban on federal contractors donating to the party.  Bernie’s funding comes from the millions of American citizens who support him.

Hillary has the entire political, Wall Street, corporate world and media establishments behind her.  Bernie has the millions of American citizens who support him.  Hillary’s economists say “No, you can’t” and Bernie’s economists say “Yes, you can”!

 

 

 

MSNBC DEMOCRATIC DEBATE

This was a good debate and informative for the voters, not only in New Hampshire, but the whole country.  Each time Bernie and Hillary do these debates, the American people learn more about each one of them.  That is what democracy is all about.

Other than a few unnecessary “gotcha” questions, the moderators, Rachel Maddow and Chuck Todd, did an acceptable job.  However, it was very apparent to viewers that throughout the debate, they allowed Hillary to use much of the debate time for all her long rebuttals. This took away the time for other questions that could have been asked.

Bernie answered questions in a direct manner.  He reiterated his beliefs as to what should be done for the American people and how he was going to do this.  He never once interrupted Hillary on her long rebuttals.  He complimented Hillary and made note of the issues they agreed on and, stated a very clear difference on others.  He explained how Wall Street is controlling our political system and the economy as well.  He told how he would deal with Wall Street if he was president. He told of his concern for the lower and middle class of America and the disparity in treatment of African Americans. He elaborated on how all the free trade agreements passed have hurt the American worker.  He is for trade, just not “free trade agreements”.  He is concerned about those who still cannot afford health care. He also pointed out he was on the “Obamacare” committee and helped President Obama get it passed and had no intention of “doing away with it” as Hillary suggests!  Bernie was asked by one of the moderators about Hillary’s comments that he was not in agreement with President Obama’s policies.  His reply was he helped Obama with passing many of those policies and that was untrue.  Chuck Todd accused Bernie of never giving a “foreign policy’ speech and asked him  what help he would get on this.  Sanders told Todd that wasn’t true and where he had given that speech.  Bernie also told Todd, as a member of congress he knew many people to consult with on “foreign policy”.

When Hillary became very defensive and accused Bernie of “attacking her, “impugning her credibility”, etc. (on the issues of Wall Street, the term “establishment”, and, the term “progressive”), Bernie explained the difference between a “moderate” (something Hillary had previously said she was) and a “progressive” (which she now calls herself).  He did not back down on the fact Hillary made a lot of money in her speeches to Wall Street and how Wall Street caused the 2008 recession.  Hillary bragged about all the endorsements she has received from Democrats in congress, the Obama administration, Democrat governors and politicians in many states, etc.   Bernie used few words to comment on that saying “they are the establishment”!  He agreed the “establishment” endorsed Hillary and that was o.k.  He went on to say how many millions of ordinary American citizens support his campaign and why.  Hillary had no rebut to that!  Bernie kept “his cool” but was firm anytime Hillary attacked him (and yes, she did attack).  He gave perfectly reasonable replies to all her accusations.  He not only got all his points across but remained a gentlemen to the end!  In his closing statement he said his candidacy for the presidency is to help the American people regain their rights as American citizens and get rid of the “money” that is ruining it.

Hillary took a lot more time to explain her positions and her ideas about what needs to be done for this country. That is a common trait of being a politician many years.  She agreed with Bernie on what has to be done for the country. I found it interesting that in this debate she took every chance she could to describe herself as a “progressive”.  Hillary’s “pat” answer to how she would accomplish these goals was “I have a plan”.  However, she never explained what that plan was, how she could make it work if she was president or how to fund it.  As I wrote in the previous paragraph, she was on the defensive much of the time with her blah, blah, blah rebuttals.  Hillary also interrupted Bernie just as he began to  reply to a question by the moderator!  That was extremely rude!  Particularly when, as I said before, she was given as much time as she wanted for rebuttals. At every opportunity Hillary “bragged” about how she and President Obama were in agreement and how much she supported him.  Hillary explained why she was for TPP before she was against it but didn’t sound very convincing.  Hillary’s defense of all the money she made with speeches on Wall Street, Hillary said “that’s what they offered” and how past Secretaries of State did it also.  She inferred it was a common practice among “high level politicians”.   Once again, she said she was the first one who imposed sanctions on Iran.  This has been proven to be a false statement.  In Hillary’s closing statement she told the audience she is the best candidate to win the nomination and the choice comes down to who has the best policies and who “people believe will make these policies” as president.

Now that the DNC has “sanctioned” more debates as Bernie requested, these debates should get better with each one.  The more we hear from each of them the more we are able to determine which one to vote for.  There is much more to come!

HILLARY CLAIMS VICTORY – BEFORE VOTE COUNT DONE!

 

No one can say it wasn’t an interesting night for the Iowa caucuses!  Other writers can give their take on the Republican side of these caucuses.

The most interesting action taken by a candidate was before the vote count was even completed.  Hillary had 49.9% of the delegates and Bernie had 49.6% of the delegates.  However, Hillary “felt the need” to claim victory before it was over!  There is still doubt it is.

To me, this is a typical Hillary political maneuver!  “Get ahead of the game”!  Maybe she thought this would “influence” the caucus that hadn’t finished yet. This was ‘shameful’ and could possibly backfire on her.  Even a prominent journalist said this was not a good thing to do.

There has been much talk and many articles written on the “coin toss” part of this election.  What I found is the “uncertainty” of who actually won is still out there.  According to one writer, even “Sam Lau, a spokesman for the Iowa Democratic Party, said the state party does not track all of the coin flips!  According to Lau, it was Sanders who fared better in the games of chance!  The Vermont Senator won six of the seven coin flips – a fact that underlines how incomplete the available data remains, and the likelihood that a full accounting of all the coin flips on Monday night would yield a more even result than initial reports suggested.”

The Iowa Democratic Party didn’t give Hillary Clinton the “thumbs up” signal until later Tuesday. Even then, they are admitting there are possibilities Sanders won!   Talk about “complicated”! These were county caucus deciders, not for the state.  As Harry Enten stated,   “These ties are not for statewide delegate equivalents.  They are for county delegates.  Those are different, and not nearly as big a deal.”

I read where the Democratic Party and CBS are involved in a joint investigation into the whole issue.  CBS will not say anything at this time.

This is going to be a very busy week for Hillary and Bernie.  Starting with a Town Hall on CNN Wednesday.  On her Tuesday evening program, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC stated the MSNBC debate on Thursday is still on even if it means just she and Chuck Todd will be the only ones there!

Oh!  The thrill of it all!