Brazile Memoir Spurs Calls for Democratic Committee Reforms
Numerous Democrats are calling for party reform in the wake of publication of bombshell excerpts from Donna Brazile’s memoir. Brazile, former chair of the Democratic National Committee, writes in her upcoming book that she uncovered “the cancer” of Hillary Clinton’s “control of the party.”
Rep. Keith Ellison, currently the deputy chair of the DNC, expressed his concern in a statement released Friday. He joins fellow progressives like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., in advocating reform.
“Donna Brazile’s account cannot simply be dismissed,” Ellison states. “We must heed the call for our party to enact real reforms that ensure a fair, open and impartial nominating process in elections to come.”
Read his full statement below:
JUST IN: Deputy DNC Chair Keith Ellison says “Donna Brazile’s account cannot simply be dismissed” in statement calling for reforms pic.twitter.com/vVio7snvaB
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) November 3, 2017
Meanwhile, new aspects of the memoir are coming to light. The Washington Post, which received an advance copy of the 288-page book, shares explosive new details about Brazile’s time in the DNC during the 2016 election.
“Former Democratic National Committee head Donna Brazile writes in a new book that she seriously contemplated replacing Hillary Clinton as the party’s 2016 presidential nominee with then-Vice President Biden in the aftermath of Clinton’s fainting spell, in part because Clinton’s campaign was ‘anemic’ and had taken on ‘the odor of failure,'” the Post states. “Brazile writes that she considered a dozen combinations to replace the nominees and settled on Biden and Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.), the duo she felt most certain would win over enough working-class voters to defeat Republican Donald Trump. But then, she writes, ‘I thought of Hillary, and all the women in the country who were so proud of and excited about her. I could not do this to them.’ ”
The Post also shares passages from the book in which Brazile describes passionate fights with Clinton staffers—interactions that had racial implications:
Brazile alleges that Clinton’s top aides routinely disrespected her and put the DNC on a “starvation diet,” depriving it of funding for voter turnout operations.
As one of her party’s most prominent black strategists, Brazile also recounts fiery disagreements with Clinton’s staffers — including a conference call in which she told three senior campaign officials, Charlie Baker, Marlon Marshall and Dennis Cheng, that she was being treated like a slave.
“I’m not Patsey the slave,” Brazile recalls telling them, a reference to the character played by Lupita Nyong’o in the film, “12 Years a Slave.” “Y’all keep whipping me and whipping me and you never give me any money or any way to do my damn job. I am not going to be your whipping girl!”
The latest excepts are likely to further infuriate Democrats who see the memoir as divisive and badly timed. Others accuse Brazile of stirring controversy in order to sell her book. Indeed, the divide between supporters of Clinton and supporters of Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primaries is re-emerging, as Sanders supporters largely view Brazile’s account as vindication of long-perceived unfairness in the Democratic Party.
Others, however, see it as indicative of a much broader problem in the two-party system. Andrew O’Hehir writes for Salon:
Brazile’s revelations have obviously provided new ammunition to Sanders supporters who perceived the 2016 Democratic contest as rigged, not to mention more fodder for tweets about “Crooked Hillary” by crazy old guys, including the one in the Oval Office. But to return to the principle mentioned above, I think that’s missing the point: Bernie vs. Hillary was never the central issue, and it definitely isn’t now. The extent to which virtually all discussion about left-liberal politics and the Democratic Party’s future devolves into vitriolic disputes about those two candidates, or into circular arguments about “social justice” and “economic inequality” (as if those things were opposed or categorically distinct), is itself an index of Democratic dysfunction. …
Both sides in the Democratic Party’s current faction fight, as I see it, are in denial about the true nature and scope of the problem. Sanders-style progressives long to purge the old guard and build anew, rebranding the entire party as a social-democratic enterprise dedicated to single-payer health care, a $15 minimum wage and higher taxes on the rich. Clintonite moderates, meanwhile, maintain that the Trump presidency, Republican hegemony in Washington and widespread social discord are rogue events that perhaps didn’t really happen and in any case do not reflect on their strategy of policy-wonk triangulation or their record of repeated and humiliating defeat.
This “Demo-catastrophe,” O’Hehir concludes, “cannot be swept under the carpet in the name of winning a House majority in 2018.”Your support matters…
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