The Clinton Campaign: A Cancer on the Democratic Party
In a recent article for Politico, former interim chair of the DNC Donna Brazile revealed what she called "proof" that Hillary Clinton and her campaign had taken steps to rig the nomination process in their favor. Under a joint fundraising agreement between the campaign and the DNC:
"in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings." (Politico, November 2nd, 2017)
Essentially, while the DNC was in debt towards the end of the Obama Presidency, the Clinton campaign and its super PAC offered to pay off its debt in exchange for control of the party's fundraising, strategy, and capital. This created two clear advantages for the Clinton campaign, the first of which concerns donation limits. The contribution limit for individuals to a Presidential campaign is $2,700. The limit for individuals to a party organization is $353,400 (spread out across various states). By controlling party finances through her campaign and super PAC, Clinton was able to solicit donations far larger than Sanders and his team, essentially using the DNC to launder donations of a size far larger than they were permitted to take. Second, Clinton had clear control over the party's messaging (through installing a communications director of her choice) and fundraising, both of which have incredible influence over the allegiances of party voters. As early as September of 2015 (before she had even announced her candidacy), she was in control of the DNC, undoubtedly orienting its resources to increase her chances of receiving the nomination. In September of 2015, almost 10 months before she had "earned" the nomination, the DNC was tacitly supporting Hillary Clinton under the guise of a democratic process.
There is one acceptable response to revelations of this sort, and that is disgust. Yes, Hillary Clinton would have been a far better President than Trump, and yes, she might have been better than Sanders, but she is clearly afflicted with the same moral bankruptcy that she accused almost half of the "deplorable" Republican party of harboring. By being dishonest about where donations were going, manipulating supposedly equitable party resources before she had a right to them, and then decrying Bernie supporters who were disaffected by her win, Secretary Clinton exhibited a startling willingness to prioritize her own success over the franchise of Democratic voters and the integrity of the election process.
In my mind, this news is the last straw; no longer can anyone attribute all of Hillary's loss to sexism, xenophobia, or ignorance (even though they shouldn't have done so before). The Clinton campaign made a conscious choice to change the messaging of the Democratic party from economics and change to identity. She was a tone deaf candidate, not relatable, an average debater, and an ineffective communicator. And worst of all, she may have permanently damaged the Democratic party by lying to its voters, using their money without their knowledge, and cheating them out of their franchise. If she had stuck to her moderate policy guns, addressed the fears of working class Americans disaffected by the Obama presidency, or at least listened to those who advised her late in the campaign that her strategy wasn't working, perhaps the GOP would not control every branch of government, and perhaps the Democratic party would not be in shambles.
Shame on you, Secretary Clinton. You have let all of us down.