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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer
Finally, the Democrats admit it wasn’t the Russians, James B. Comey or sexism that brought Hillary Clinton down. We are now told by journalists, leading Democrats, and even a former Democratic presidential candidate, that it was the inept dysfunction of the party itself, Hillary, and her abused and frightened team that has reduced them all to irrelevant, vapid political busybodies.
The poor sops. For such a long time, they told us they were beset by evil Russians, a dastardly FBI director, and that ubiquitously hideous misogyny. Such drama and international intrigue. But we now know the Democratic Party’s woes are not, at all, akin to a James Bond movie. Alas, they’re more like the “Gong Show.”
The other week, Hillary Clinton made much of a book she’s working on that, she attested, pins the blame for her failure on the Russians, Mr. Comey and sexism. Sadly, someone beat her to the real story and actually reports the truth of the matter.
In “Shattered,” authors Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes spoke with more than 100 people involved with the campaign, which they describe as “miserable even before it started.” In great detail, they describe a dysfunctional campaign, disconnected candidate, and campaign teams wracked by infighting.
In a review of the book, Entertainment Weekly noted, “Although ‘Shattered’ is filled with examples of bad decisions and mishandled crises, it posits the Clinton campaign’s main failure was Hillary’s inability to explain ‘her motivation for seeking the presidency.’ “
Oh, so it was her fault? That’s going to leave a mark. Unless, of course, Mr. Allen and Ms. Parnes are actually Russian agents. Or working for Mr. Comey. Or maybe they, too, are souped-up misogynists being paid by the Koch Brothers. Or something.
The blame game, however, is now so dead, even Sen. Bernard Sanders and new leftist leaders of the Democrats are admitting in public that the party is in trouble.
On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Mr. Sanders was blunt: “Well, I think what is clear to anyone who looks at where the Democratic Party today is, that the model of the Democratic Party is failing,” he told host John Dickerson. “Clearly, the Democratic Party has got to change. And, in my view, what it has got to become is a grass-roots party, a party which makes decisions from the bottom on up, a party which is more dependent on small donations than large donations, a party, John, that speaks to the pain of the working class in this country.”
Fascinatingly, Mr. Sanders recognizes it’s the party itself that is the problem, but then inexplicably goes on about changing the decision-making process and how they get their money, still refusing to admit that after eight years, we didn’t want any more of what liberals were selling.
The Democrats’ problem isn’t cosmetic; rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic wouldn’t have kept her from sinking. Mr. Sanders’ comments offer up a shocking revelation: The Democrats still don’t understand what happened in 2016, and they have no idea how to adapt.
The issue isn’t about “bottom up” decision-making, it’s the fact that they can’t even begin to address the economic and national security issues that matter most to Americans. Mr. Sanders pandering about their party needing to “speak to the pain of the working class” of the country is also an insult.
It was the Democratic Party and then-President Barack Obama that inflicted that pain on every class of Americans. And yet here is Uncle Bernie trying to pretend the Democrats have been dropped onto Earth from Mars, really, really outraged about whoever it was that set this country on fire.
Rep. Keith Ellison, the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, made his feelings clear about who’s responsible for the destruction of the party itself. He blames Barack Obama. At a University of Minnesota event he noted, “Barack Obama could have been a better party leader. … Given that we lost a lot of statehouse seats, governorships, secretaries of state, his true legacy is in danger. I think he can’t say that he wasn’t part of those losses. … He’s really good at getting himself elected. … Your legacy is not a building that he’s going to construct in Chicago housing his presidential papers.”
Finally, someone in the party is admitting the obvious, even if it was cautiously stated: Mr. Obama destroyed the party while creating his own cult of personality. This is so obvious, Josh Earnest, Mr. Obama’s former press secretary and now a contributor at MSNBC, said this: “What Deputy Chairman Ellison just said is true. Barack Obama didn’t run to be a party leader, he ran to be president of the United States.”
But then Mr. Earnest admitted this disaster was on Mr. Obama’s mind because, “There are consequences for this deterioration of Democratic strength all across the country for the president’s legacy.”
This was a perfect summation of the inept malevolence of Mr. Obama, the man. His enablers and sycophants admit that only Mr. Obama matters, and in their scramble to “fundamentally transform America,” he may have damaged the United States, but in true malignant, narcissistic fashion, his lasting legacy is the destruction of the Democratic Party.