Monday, April 18, 2016

Is Clinton Hoping the Same Dirty Politics That Beat Her in '08 Will Win For Her Now?





In 2008 the Democratic primary campaign between Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama and the convention that followed in Denver  was probably the dirtiest and most dishonest Democratic political campaign since the days of Boss Tweed who ran the Democratic party establishment in New York in the 1850's and rigged just about every election.

The Democratic National Committee and its hierarchy including Nancy Pelosi and Donna Brazile also did everything they could in 2008 to try and thwart Hillary Clinton's run for the nomination against Barrack Obama.

No one knows better than Clinton how underhanded the DNC and Democratic Party establishment can be. They tried to tie her hands behind her back, pressured her to back off  on her attacks against Obama and asked her to "tone it down"(sound familiar?) so intent they were in getting Obama the nomination they didnt want Clinton to do or say anything that could damage Obama in a general election. 

In the end the DNC with help from a compliant news media railroaded Clinton out of the nomination at the convention with Clinton playing the good soldier and willing to go along. Tactics very similar to what the DNC and Clinton are trying to do now to Sanders and have been threatening to do at the convention in July.

Clinton's payback was Secretary of State and the promise that it would be "her turn" the next time Democrats were to choose a nominee. She agreed. And Obama and the DNC have been trying to make good on those promises.

Unlike Clinton though who went along with the charade for a price, Sanders will not and has refused to back off or tone down his campaign and never will. Especially since he has been showing he is the stronger candidate. Which has rankled many in the Democratic party establishment who are realizing Sanders, unlike themselves and 90% of the politicians out there, is a different animal, will never compromise his own integrity for anyone and actually means what he says.

That the Democratic party establishment is in the tank for Clinton is beyond question. David Gergen pointed out as much back in February when he said it was "obvious". It's Clinton's payback for being a team player in 2008 and agreeing not to contest Obama's nomination at the convention. And so Clinton is counting on the same dirty politics that went against her in 2008 working for her now. Clinton and the backroom Democratic establishment's problem is Bernie Sanders.

How underhanded can the Democratic establishment  be? In 2008 the DNC  invalidated and disenfranchised 1, 600,000 Democratic voters in Florida and Michigan using as an excuse the fact that two party chairman in both states moved up their primaries to dates not sanctioned by the DNC in violation of DNC rules. For that,the DNC said they were invalidating the elections and would not count the votes of 1,600,000 Democrats nor seat their elected delegates.

Since when do you penalize 1,600,000 Democratic voters who had nothing to do with DNC rules for the supposed transgressions of two people? Since polls in both states showed Clinton destroying Obama in both elections and ultimately did just that as the elections took place anyway.


A compliant news media making the nomination of Obama as the first black president a priority to make themselves look noble after 8 years of bowing and scraping to George W Bush happily went along and refused to count Florida and Michigan in their delegate and voter totals even though the elections were legitimate. The effect was to make Obama's lead and  popularity look much bigger than it really was.


Sound familiar? The DNC is playing a similar game now for Clinton but in reverse, instead of taking votes away, drumming up 469 super delegates who for the first time in the history of the Democratic party suddenly had an overwhelming urge to declare their love in February and March, something that has never happened before, even though their declarations dont actually count as votes, can be changed and officially don't mean a thing now.  Other than to cosmetically make it look like Clinton has a bigger lead than she really has, something her manipulative and dishonest campaign people keep trying to use. It's nothing but dirty campaign tactics aided and abetted by the DNC given that super delegates havent cast a real vote in 32 years and DNC rules are clear that any declaration before the convention doesnt count for a thing.

 But like in 2008, a compliant herd like news media insists on including these fabricated totals instead of  showing Clinton's real lead which as of this writing is 217 delegates making their claim of invincibility and inevitability with 700+ delegates more to be won look stupid.

That there was this outpouring of super delegates from states where primaries had yet to take place as well as in states Sanders crushed Clinton is Debbie Wasserman-Schultz as chair of the Obama controlled DNC trying to do what she can to rig the nomination for Clinton as per Obama's marching orders by trying to create phony expectations.

What's worse is super delegates in states like Washington where Sanders crushed Clinton so badly he reduced her to a Lyndon LaRouch-like non-entity, every super delegate in that state, as per their marching orders have declared for Clinton completely disregarding the will of the voters in their own state.Which will without a doubt come back to haunt them if they ever make good on their larceny.

The only purpose for super delegate declarations now has been to con lazy, ignorant non-thinking herd-like news media types who are too lazy to find out the rules, to make it look like Clinton's lead is bigger than it really is. The DNC and Clinton campaign want this for two reasons: try to hold down Sanders vote by making it look like he didnt have a chance and in turn hold down his fundraising ability. But they have seen that their old style dirty politics isnt working with Sanders or his voters on either score. But it has another purpose as well. To grease the skids if they think they have to steal the nomination for Clinton at the convention by trying to make it look as if its been inevitable all along.


The problem is Bernie Sanders and his message, his own personal integrity and magnetism and the enthusiasm and dedication of his supporters which Clinton cant match has changed everything and the best laid plans of  journalistic mice and corrupt deal making politicians.

Sanders and his voters and supporters have made  it impossible for the DNC, Clinton and Obama to do what they thought they would do and may still try to do much to the peril of the Democratic party-- rig the nominating process for Hillary Clinton to fullfill the promise of pay back for 2008.


Part of that payback was the South. Clinton and some patronizing news media types try to view Clintons wins in the South as somehow evidence of Clinton's superior popularity over Sanders  with "diverse" voters. Media types like Dana Bash at CNN and others like to use the word "diverse" when they don't mean diverse at all, they mean African American. Why they don't say so is a good question. Sanders crushed Clinton in Hawaii and that state is only 24% white. 



Regardless, Clintons big wins in the South had nothing to do with Clinton or her popularity. It was all Obama. To paraphrase Elizabeth Warren in another context, Clinton didnt do that on her own. She had a lot of  help. And that help was in the person of the first black president.

There is politics and then there is the truth. The politics say Clinton gets to keep those Southern votes and delegates. The truth is she wouldn't have gotten them were it not for Obama's endorsement . And she knows it. Which is why you hear her praising and defending Obama and his policies even though in '08 she called him a liar and not qualified even to be Vice President. It's the price she has to pay to get the endorsement and the DNC  going into the tank for her. Its the price she is paying for dishonest superdelegate declarations that are not actual votes to con a gullible news media.It's inside Democratic politics at its sleaziest for all to see.



Had Obama endorsed Sanders he would have certainly won the South as decisively as Clinton did. It was Obama and his popularity getting out the African American vote for Clinton through the largely African American Democratic party establishment in the South  in states where African Americans vote in numbers that are 5-6 times greater than in the rest of the country that was responsible for Clinton's victories.

Which was also part of her payback and promises made in not contesting the 2008 nomination at the convention. Those states that went for Clinton in the Democratic primaries in the South were states that belonged to Obama not Clinton. They are no real reflection of Clinton's strength either in the Democratic party, the South or in a general election.  Take away the 369 delegates Clinton won in southern states she lost to Obama in '08 and are all Obama and she is trailing Sanders in delegates and votes substantially. Which makes her bragging about "Ive gotten more votes than anyone" more than disingenuous. Take away Obama's endorsement and you take away those votes. And delegates.

Even if the case were made that had Obama been neutral they would have split the vote and delegates Sanders is still beating Clinton handily.

One of the more amusing moments for people who recognized it, was watching Clinton and Jim Clyburn of South Carolina embrace warmly with big hugs at a rally for Clinton before the primary. Amusing because in 2008 Clyburn absolutely destroyed Clinton with attacks that undid her completely in South Carolina and won the state for Obama in a landslide. The attacks were completely dishonest but so severe and effective it left Bill Clinton bitter and angry at Clyburn. And he let Clyburn know it.

It was seeing those two embrace warmly and Clyburn's big bear hug at the behest of Obama that was a reminder that except for the rare politician like Sanders and a Joe Biden and a few others,even some Republicans too, most of  these people are missing some DNA the rest of us have. And so much of what we see in politics is just an act.  Clyburn's embrace of Hillary Clinton and the get out the vote effort for Clinton in the South was just part of the script. When its clear to anyone that everything going on with Sanders, his voters and supporters is 100% genuine.

But the Clinton and Democratic party establishment script has fallen flat on its face everywhere else in the country. The compliant, foggy brained news media has tried to write it off as Sanders having a problem with " diversity"when Sanders wins by landslide numbers in states outside the South where the African American population is closer to the 12% that it is in the rest of the country. But it ignores the reality that is obvious for anyone who has seen a Sanders rally where younger voters of all races are wild about Sanders and are not going to follow marching orders from any politician black president or not. It also ignores Sanders support from people like Spike Lee, Cornell West, and Harry Belafonte, three African Americans who have more influence and credibility than any number of black politicians outside of John Lewis. Because Sanders is generating the kind of enthusiasm among younger voters 45 and under regardless of race that Clinton and no other politician can match.

It has flummoxed the Clinton campaign and the DNC.

Their desperation has been obvious. Neither Clinton nor the DNC ever expected the response Sanders is getting  on his ideas, and his integrity. And all the screaming, yelling and dirty tricks by Clinton and her surrogates is having no affect on Sanders voters. That and a little thing called democracy has been making life difficult for Clinton and the DNC and their plan of simply handing Clinton the nomination. Sanders and his supporters are wrecking the cronyism and backroom promises that were made and that Clinton expects and the Democratic party establishment is trying hard to deliver. And it's not succeeding. Clinton has not only had a rude awakening its turned into a nightmare called Bernie Sanders.

But they are not giving up. The problem is what they might be contemplating could bring down the Democratic party and that is a rigged, fixed convention.  Clues to that come from things Clinton and her spokesman have been saying lately in the face of her losing 8 of the last 9 primaries and caucuses and by margins that make her look like a political afterthought.

After these landslide Sanders wins, some by as many as 60 points, we hear things put out by the Clinton campaign like "there is zero chance Hillary Clinton wont be the nominee" and "we'll have it wrapped up before the convention". Statements that seem to be saying to Sanders voters, dont waste your time the fix is in and winning primaries isnt going to matter.  Statements from Wasserman-Schultz like "we'll have a presumptive nominee before the convention"  which one might say is pretty presumptuous, tends to re-enforce the idea that they're trying to set it up for Clinton to put in the fix.

Are they really that stupid?

Are they stupid enough to think they could get away with it? It would be the Democratic party self destructing to the verge of extinction in November if they succeeded in pulling off a robbery that gave the nomination to Clinton when it was clear Sanders was the better and more popular candidate. No Sanders voters would ever vote for Clinton or any other Democrat on the ticket in Nov. It would be a wholesale Democratic slaughter.

To show that the potential for that kind of stupidity and dirty politics is there in the Clinton campaign Jeff Zeleny of CNN had reported that Clinton and her people were discussing going after Sanders in a strategy called " disqualify, destroy and worry about unifying the party later."  Worrying about unifying the party later shows how oblivious they are  to reality. There would be no unifying the party. If Clinton and the DNC dont understand Sanders or his voters and what they are about, if they think they are dealing with just another politician and his voters will go along with Clinton the way Clinton voters went along with Obama, then they dont understand the truth:  that Clinton is a candidate who represents values Sanders voters despise. So before the DNC tries to pull anything they better wake up. It's not an idle threat.

 In February 2010, nine months before the 2010 mid term elections  I suggested in another article, when it became obvious that Obama was going to try and sell out the public option as part of healthcare reform by caving in to pressure from the health insurance companies, that if Democrats let him get away with  it they could "lose big"  in the 2010 elections. It was a bold prediction since only 2 years before Democrats were elected to congress with the biggest congressional majority in 60 years.

But led by Pelosi, Democrats went along with Obama dropping the public option from the healthcare reform bill after it had passed the House and they were wiped out in the 2010 elections suffering the worst defeat of any party in 80 years. They eventually lost control of both houses of congress for the same reason.

The same thing will happen if they are stupid enough as to try and rig the convention and nominating process to hand the nomination to Clinton. Clinton would get wiped out  in November and so would down ticket Democrats. And no argument they are contemplating making now would get Sanders voters to vote for her. If Clinton or the Democratic party think they can scare Sanders voters into voting for Clinton by yapping about abortion, the Supreme Court or how bad Trump would be they are not just short sighted, they are blind and whistling passed the graveyard.

Clinton, her Wall Street money ties, her exposed  dishonesty,the lies and positions she is constantly reversing to suit the political climate, hiding her speech transcripts from voters and all the assumptions that can be drawn from that is everything Sanders voters despise about politicians. If the Democratic establishment were to fix it for her to win in an undemocratic way, Democrats all over the country would be finished in November.

 So "worrying about unifying the party later" isnt going to get very far. Because if that happens it will be clear that the DNC and the Clinton campaign's idea of "will of the people" has more in common with Imelda Marcos and Marie Antoinette than FDR. And with her $21 million in Wall Street speeches Clinton probably has the shoe collection that can match Marcos too.

In 2008 Nancy Pelosi in trying to drum up super delegate support for Obama publicly said super delegates were "obligated to vote for the candidate who won the most pledged delegates"  in primaries. That was Obama by a mere 65 delegates. But in August when it looked like super delegates were deserting Obama after a series of misstatements and gaffes that called his ability to be president into question, super delegates 3 days before the roll call vote were deserting Obama for Clinton.

Thats when Donna Brazile announced publicly, " if super delegates decide this nomination I will quit the Democratic Party".Super delegates never voted.

This is being written before the New York primary. If Clinton were to lose it would for all practical purposes end her candidacy. If she wins but its close, single digits, and delegates are virtually even, the fight goes on with Clinton trying to make a flimsy case for her nomination trying to make more of a single digit win that really would show her weakness not strength given Sanders is his home state beat her 86-14.

Either way neither candidate is going to end the primary campaign having won the number of pledged delegates required by DNC rules to get the nomination. If the DNC and super delegates, especially from states Sanders wins and has already  won and won big, try and pull a fast one at the convention, ignore the voters and rig the nomination for Clinton, it would do well to keep in mind what Donna Brazile said in 2008. Because if Brazile can threaten to quit the Democratic party if super delegates interfere with the nomination, so can Sanders voters. And they will.