It’s one month out from the first Democratic Primary in New Hampshire and something strange is happening among Hillary Democrats. It is a trend that I find perplexing and self-defeating.
Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. -Sun Tzu
A week ago, I posted the tweet below along with a number of others similar in theme:
Time to stop playing pretty. It won’t work. Time to defeat Bernie.
— Grace Laine (@TAW3333) December 27, 2015
Apparently, this tweet and my sentiments violated the “Vote Blue-No Matter Who” meme circulating among many Hillary Dems. I was roundly reprimanded by several of these folks and Unfollowed by at least four Hillary Dems. It seems I was also Muted by others for breaking the VB/NMW rule.
To be clear, I want Hillary to win. I worked for her win in 2007. And I am committed now.
The reality is that Hillary’s capture of the Democratic nomination is not a foregone conclusion. Pollsters and pundits are predicting she will be the nominee but if we look at 2007, the same was true, and Obama took it.
Smugness on the part of Hillary Democrats is a dangerous thing.
What I find strange is this tendency to condone the Bernie camp and its ugly portrayals of Hillary Clinton and her supporters, and simultaneously condemn a Hillary Democrat who calls out this ugliness.
The rationale for this has been repeated to me so often that it’s reaching cliche status. It goes like this: The GOP want to divide this country. We must all stick together to win the White House.
Of course the GOP want a win. But this belief among some Hillary Dems that the smears on Clinton are not affiliated with the Sanders campaign requires a whole matrix of events. To wit:
- An unknown number of secret GOP operatives have infiltrated the Sanders campaign.
- These same operatives created Twitter accounts years ago and,
- These moles have amassed a following of several hundred to several thousand and,
- These GOP moles are responsible for the ugly attacks on Clinton and Clinton supporters and…
- The Sanders camp is totally unaware of these secret GOP operatives or …
- The Sanders camp condones these moles.
As a logical person, I find this conspiracy theory to be impossibly flawed.
Other Hillary Dems promise that once she captures the nomination, Bernie will generously call for a united struggle against the GOP. This is a dangerous presumption as far as I’m concerned.
Sanders has shown no evidence of loyalty to the Democratic Party. He was a registered Independent for nearly 30 years of his political career. His switch to the Democrats came just before he announced his candidacy seven months ago. He is currently suing the Democratic National Committee (DNC). It’s likely that once he suspends his Presidential run, he’ll switch back to Independent status, and thus have no incentive to gather cred with the Democrats.
However, Progressive media including this oped piece by Joan Walsh, are determined to paint Sanders as someone who is friendly to the Democrats. In fact, Walsh derided Democratic candidate Martin O’Malley for daring to bring up Sanders’ affiliation with the Independent party.
This aversion to confrontation reflects the tenor of the Democratic Party. It’s a play nice modicum of behavior that has screwed the party in Congress year after ugly year. John Dean in his revelatory Conservatives Without Conscience talked about this tendency among U.S. House Democrats at the height of Tom DeLay’s authoritarian rule as Speaker.
“Despite the increasingly flagrant erosion of once deliberative practices, Democrats have refused to complain,” writes Dean. When questioned, one member after another described their reticence as something of as gentleman’s contract. The process – those behind-the-scenes machinations and dirty tricks – were not worthy of publicity, and any outcry would be perceived by the public or by the GOP as whining.
I saw the same dirty tricks, thanks to C-SPAN, when the Republican-run House shutdown the government. I recall Nita Lowey and her politely controlled astonishment as Pete Sessions rewrote an unacceptable budget. Democrats were beginning to raise their voices: Jim McGovern and Chris Van Hollen both took the Floor and denounced the deceptive shenanigans and flawed process. But it was too late.
This same hush-hush courtesy is extended now to insulting Bernie followers and toward the candidate himself. As far as I’m concerned, the Unite Blue strategy is a hoax. We are wasting valuable time in our politeness. And while we preserve this false unity, our opponent is gathering strength. We cannot afford to play nice.