Yeah, So, That Donna Brazile Piece

Donna Brazile has shared an excerpt from her upcoming book, titled Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House, with Politico under the breathless headline: "Inside Hillary Clinton's Secret Takeover of the DNC."

It is, to put it mildly, a curious piece, given that it reports information that was long ago publicly reported as though it's shocking news:

Further curious is Brazile's villainization of Hillary Clinton for solving the DNC's financial problems and imposing discipline, and further curious still her decision to leave enormous space for the inference that Clinton's agreements with the DNC are somehow "proof" of primary rigging.

That is simply not the case.

Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, saved the DNC, a Democratic institution, with money raised from Democratic donors, and wanted to make sure it was used to elect Democrats.

Bernie Sanders isn't a Democrat.

Bernie Sanders also had his own fundraising agreement with the DNC, which he chose not to use, because he preferred his own fundraising strategy, famously associated with his ubiquitous $27 rallying cry.

All of that is fine. None of it is illegal, nor unethical. None of it should even be controversial. It certainly doesn't amount to a "secret takeover of the DNC."

To be abundantly clear: I have no problem with Brazile disclosing mismanagement at the DNC. Frankly, I believe it's an important discussion to have, especially when there is legitimate debate about the efficacy of the organization altogether, as party institutions, for good or ill, have increasingly taken a backseat to powerhouse individual fundraising (and personal branding).

My concern is with the framing of this piece, which is designed for maximum appeal to people who believe there was "rigging," despite the fact that none of the facts here actually support that narrative.

Brazile's name has been trending all morning on Twitter, and a perusal of tweets quickly reveals how the piece is being used precisely to empower conspiracy theories about the DNC, Clinton, and rigging. Why Brazile would be so careless (at best) or deliberately stoke those flames (at worst) is not entirely clear to me, but I certainly can't conceive of a good reason for it.

My concern is that this will be used as leverage to force the replacement of primaries with caucuses, which are not only antidemocratic but will allow Russia to infiltrate and influence the primaries.

Forget social media. Russia can have actual human beings walk into caucuses and sway voters to their preferred Democratic candidate. Which will surely be the one they've determined they can most easily destroy in the general.

That seems a pretty high cost to pay for airing the DNC's dirty laundry and throwing Clinton under the bus.

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