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Why Donna Brazile's Story Matters – But Not for the Reason You Might Think


Why Donna Brazile's Story Matters – But Not for the Reason You Might Think

Matt Taibbi

Everyone knew the primary was rigged. The real question is: Why did they bother, when they would have won anyway?

Donna Brazile, then-interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, is seen on the floor of the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa., on the final night of the Democratic National Convention, July 28, 2016, at which Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton addressed the crowd.


One of the better decisions in my life was at eighteen when I first registered to vote as an independent, a status that I have kept to this day. Washington was right to warn the new nation against the establishment of political parties. Their problems are legion.


Right on Matt Taibbi again! I noticed you changed some wording from the first coverage coverage of this I read. You wrote here something about the “leaked/hacked DNC tapes…”. My first reading was the “hacked tapes…” revealing that Brazile was still pushing the Russia-did-it mantra. In that article (by Politico), it mentioned that Donna Brazile was still on the DNC payroll.

Actually, I haven’t trusted Politico for some times so no matter what my point was when I started writing this, I really honestly don’t give a damn about the Democratic Party in any way, anymore.

But I trust Matt Taibbi…and decry what US politics have become and how too much of the public accepts the warpage.


Even Donna Brazile said the primary wasn’t rigged. Of course Sanders started out with a tremendous disadvantage. He was running against probably the most well known woman in the world and he had little name recognition in the US. It is hard of progressive to understand what Sanders was up against but unlike the vast majority of Americans they knew who he was and appreciated his views. I think he started at 3%. It took quite awhile before he became well known. Of course, when he wound up in pretty much a tie with Clinton in the Iowa primary then people began to really take is candidacy seriously. And when he easily defeated Clinton in New Hampshire people began to believe that he could actually win. Then the question was would Clinton’s firewall in the South hold up. Sanders campaigned in the South and made claims he was gaining ground with blacks. But Clinton’s firewall did hold up and she took a commanding lead. But a couple months later Sanders won a number of Western states and seemed to be gaining enough momentum to possibly overtake Clinton and the question was raised whether Clinton’s Northeast firewall would hold up. And it did so he won the nomination. After the big vote in the Northeast Sanders had close to impossible pathway to victory. Sanders clearly did not lose because of rigging. He lost because Clinton proved to be the more popular candidate among Democrats. The Democratic Party chose Clinton to be the nominee by going to the people as the system was designed to do.


“Why not welcome Sanders and the energy he undoubtedly would (and did) bring into the party, rather than scheme to lock him and others out?”

Because that energy was building behind his message. It was not Sanders who was the danger. It was his position and ideas.

“This is when establishment Democrats began to openly lose faith in democracy and civil liberties and began to promote a “results over process” mode of political thinking.”

Um, I don’t think so. What are Superdelegates if not an anti-democratic measure against the masses choosing wrongly? What was the function of the Clinton-Gore Democratic Leadership Council if not to wrest power to steer the party platform from the rank and file Dems and hand it over to wealthy funders? Last year was not the beginning. The Democrat party has been steering hard away from democracy for decades.

“Primary challengers are increasingly seen as reprobates who exist only to bloody the “real” candidate. So they should be kept down and discouraged whenever possible.”

Outside-the-box primary challengers have long been seen as a threat to the corporate-compliant party position. Only approved candidates may compete. It is better for the continued oligarchical funding of the party to lose with a Republican-lite position than to win with a popular candidate who could threaten to impede or derail the train of wealth going to the top.


The point of the Brazile story isn’t that the people who “rigged” the primary were afraid of losing an election. It’s that they weren’t afraid of betraying democratic principles, probably because they didn’t believe in them anymore.

A reflection of this “the hell with principles, do what it takes to win” thinking is the entire party’s almost maniacal adherence to a “no litmus test” policy when it comes to backing candidates. Even Sanders and Warren have defended this position in their “anything but a Republican” zeal .

Yes, there has to be some flexibility as to the issues when backing a candidate as a matter of political reality, but when the party avoids any enforcement or adherence to core beliefs expected from candidates, you get the current Democratic party that stands for … what? Polls show that even large numbers of registered Democratic voters aren’t sure. Moreover, the no litmus test to back candidates claim is simply not true. The party almost automatically backs the candidates who can raise the most money.


Laughing out loud now! Clinton won because she had the super delegates lined up before the contest began. That was the rigging that really took place. The party didn’t go to the people, it marginalized them with an insider game.

Clinton was a lot things, but popular she was not and is not. She was and is one of the most disliked and distrusted politicians on both sides of the aisle.


And this would be the same Donna Brazile who fed the debate questions to the Clinton team but not anyone else? Yeah, she sounds like an impartial judge of fairness.

“Of course Sanders started out with a tremendous disadvantage. He was running against probably the most well known woman in the world”

The world didn’t get to vote in the Dem primary. And being well-known does not automatically translate into being popular. Hillary’s negatives started out high and only got higher through the primary.

“Sanders clearly did not lose because of rigging.”

There was clearly rigging, cheating, and voter disenfranchisement. All you are claiming here is that Hillary could have won without it. That may be. But the fact she would resort to dirty underhanded tactics, especially if they weren’t needed, just adds to the list of reasons why she didn’t deserve to win.


Hillary’s obsession with Russia was one of many reasons why I refused to cast a vote for her and instead voted 3rd party (in a Blue State). Trump is as horrid as can be, but at least he hasn’t blown us to smithereens yet as HRC would have done had she won…we would already be at war with Russia with her at the helm. She is using this time to garner support for war with Russia and it is surprising how many have fallen right into the trap of believing the Russia hype rather than focusing on her many misdeeds that deserved exposure by anyone who could.


Your comment makes it clear you either didn’t read the article or are engaged in another effort to deflect and distract.

Either way, I am saddened by your party first, democracy last position.


Excellent rebuttal! Only the most naive and sophomoric could not see that the DNC fix for HRC, was in from the start when she had the super delgates. AND IT HAS BEEN REPORTED that she offered to pick up an estimated $ 24,000,000.00 in DNC DEBT!


Don Debarr and Joe Lauria on the Russiagate story



Thanks again Matt,

Your views are always spot on.

The Democrats outright rigging of the primary is certainly a valid reason for distrusting them, however, an even more sinister reason for vilifying these unethical and corrupt creeps, is the answer to the question, “Well, if emails were not hacked and the story the Democrats are supporting about the Russians is just a diversion, what really is the truth about how the emails came to leave the DNC?”

And, if the emails were ‘leaked’ by a certain young DNC staffer, who saw how the organization he was working for was intentionally fucking Bernie Sanders chances of running a campaign free of DNC negative involvement, who paid to have that young man murdered?

Answer that question truthfully and the Democratic Party may just blow up completely.


The super delegates played no role. Clinton won a majority of the pledged delegates. The supper delegates have always supported the candidate with the most pledged delegates. In 2008 many switched from Clinton to Obama because Clinton lost the race for pledged delegates. I could see the super delegates come into play if the people elected someone as far away from the political norms as Trump. Remember this is political party and a political party can run any nominee it wants. There is no law that says a political party has to have popular voting and follow the outcome. The dominant role of the primaries in the way candidates are nominated today comes from party rules. It should be obvious even to the most loyal Sanders supporter that the main reason he lost is that he did poorly with blacks. He had nearly zero name recognition with blacks in the beginning and generally Clinton won the black vote by margins of something like 9 to 1. I think blacks comprise about a third of registered Democrats and in some southern states are the majority of registered Democrats. Sanders also did not fare well with Hispanics. Now there really is no “Hispanic vote.” People who are called Hispanic do not think of themselves as being Hispanics but identify with their country of origin. So there really are groups as Mexicans, Cubans, etc. and there are differences in the way these groups vote. In any case, to be competitive Sanders had to do well with whites in the various types of elections held and do well with independents and do well in caucuses. He did accomplish that but it wasn’t enough. He lost by about 400 pledged delegates, far more than Clinton lost by in 2008 where the super delegates still went along with the way the people voted.


I like Taibi’s work. And respect his writing. But isn’t the gist of this article (quoted below) a bit useless? The Dems have betrayed their principles long long ago, when they made deals to exclude third party candidates from the duopoly. What’s less democratic than that?

“The point of the Brazile story isn’t that the people who “rigged” the primary were afraid of losing an election. It’s that they weren’t afraid of betraying democratic principles, probably because they didn’t believe in them anymore.”


Russia is not her obsession - that would mean she is making an honest mistake. Russia, is her calculated scapegoat - and a reflection of her arrogant under-estimation of the intelligence of the rest of us.


Well, that’s a non sequitur, but logical fallacies aside, if you’re going to spew this nonsense, at least get the facts straight. To win the nomination, a candidate needed 2,382 delegates. Clinton earned 2,205. Without superdelegates, Clinton couldn’t capture the nomination.


After this year-plus of madness, it almost seems too much to hope for that the question of who was paid to murder Seth Rich will be answered truthfully. Thank you for putting it out there.


If LRX cannot seem to see that the whole convention in Philly was not fixed, maybe he should talk to some of the Bernie delegates like I have!


Yeppers, she is disliked almost as much as the prictator – I truly do not feel at all bad for not voting for either one of them.