#1148 Understanding the past to rebuild for the future (Democratic Party)

Air Date: 11–28-2017

Today we look at recent revelations about the conduct of the DNC during the 2016 campaign, a new Democratic Autopsy report that strives to shine light the failures and opportunities for the party and the recent election wins and what they can tell us about a path forward

Show Notes

Ch. 1: Opening Theme: A Fond Farewell - From a Basement On the Hill

Ch. 2: Act 1: Elizabeth Warren NAILS What's Wrong With The Democratic Party 'Hold This Party Accountable' - Majority Report (@MajorityFM) - Air Date 11-04-17

Ch. 3: Song 1:  Vengeful - Warmbody

Ch. 4: Act 2: BOMBSHELL: Donna Brazile Admits DNC Rigged Primary Against Bernie - @theyoungturks - Air Date: 11-03-17

Ch. 5: Song 2:  Steamer - Arc and Crescent

Ch. 6: Act 3: Voters Reject Republican Candidates as New “Autopsy” Report Finds the Democratic Party in Crisis - @DemocracyNow - Air Date 11-08-17

Ch. 7: Song 3:  Rotisserie Graveyard - Doctor Turtle

Ch. 8: Act 4: Autopsy: An Analysis of What Went Wrong with the Democratic Party in 2016 - @TheRealNews - Air Date 11-17-17

Ch. 9: Song 4:  Passionate Ending - Soft and Furious

Ch. 10: Act 5: How to Fix the Democratic Party - @DavidPakmanShow - Air Date: 11-17-17

Ch. 11: Song 5:  Homegrown - The Pine Barrens

Ch. 12: Act 6: You Can Transform the Democratic Party via @JusticeDems @DemSocialists & @TheDemocrats - Best of the Left Activism

Ch. 13: Final comments on Corruption 101 and what we’re actually protecting when we make rules against it

Closing Music: Here We Are - Everyone's in Everyone

(Additional music from Blue Dot Sessions & Free Music Archive


Read the report: Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis

Get involved with Justice Democrats (or become a candidate!)

Get involved with Democratic Socialists of America (or become a candidate!)

Get involved in your local Democratic National Committee chapter (or become a candidate!)

Written by BOTL Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

Produced by Jay! Tomlinson

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Showing 3 reactions

  • Jay Tomlinson
    commented 2017-12-02 14:26:52 -0500
    Sorry to hear that John. I didn’t feel that my introductory comments were either half-hearted nor half-apologetic, I thought they were simply a very important clarification that needed to be made so as to avoid people like you getting hung up on the choices of words themselves. As someone who, as you point out, tries to be careful with language, I don’t personally have a problem with the terms “rigged” or “money laundering” to describe what happened during the primary as long as what is meant is that the scales were tipped rather than 100% fixed and that money was moved around in a way made legal by Citizens United in order to circumvent existing campaign finance laws. To me, there’s not a much better term to describe it. It was legal money laundering in the same way that nearly all money in politics is a form of legal corruption.

    As you know, the format of the show handcuffs me a bit when it comes to the opinions that end up being expressed. The clips I chose for this episode went through the same painstaking process as every other episode, the difference being that there simply were no clips available that said exactly what I wanted to say in exactly the way I wanted to say it. Had I been producing my own commentary on all the topics covered I would have gone out of my way to make my points without being inflammatory because I think it’s a tactically better style of communication when trying to convince people of an argument. As it was, I was stuck with the clips available and so I went out of my way to address the problem at the beginning of the show.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t find any clips (with the small exception of the Majority Report clip that I led the show with after my comments) that made the points I wanted to make without using terms that I knew would be inflammatory. The other content available on the subject was people bending over backward to assure their audiences that the DNC did essentially nothing wrong, that the Clinton campaign was completely in the right to demand that strings be attached to the money they gave and that the even with all of the major decisions for the organization being made through the Clinton campaign it had no effect on the election and should, therefore, be completely excused. I found this alternative narrative as stomach-turning to listen to as I think any ardent Clinton/Democratic supporter may find it to hear terms like “rigged”. So, I had no choice but to try to spit the difference.

    Fixing the DNC and the Democratic party is one of the most important tasks ahead of us right now and I agree that language matters with dealing with the issue. I did what I could with the restrictions I had during the main part of the show but I’m curious, did you stick around and listen to my final comments? Because my conclusion was that none of those accusations of election rigging nor money laundering really matter, it’s only the perceptions created by those actions that are the real danger.
  • John Kozlowski
    commented 2017-12-02 07:15:12 -0500
    I have donated to the site for several years but regretfully feel that I can no longer do so. This was so disappointing, jay. The use of loaded language such as “rigged” and “money laundering” and the general unreasoned tone was beneath you. I believe even you sensed this in your half hearted and half apologetic effort to take the language back in the intro and body but words have meaning, especially for one as careful as to language as yourself. Every democratic presidential candidate that has been through the Republican smear propaganda machine has absorbed the stink. You know better. Or you should. Of course Hillary had real flaws and the DNC more so but no sense of balance, proportion, and, worst of all, arguments of passion and one sided talking points over reason. Pieces like this are part of the problem for progressives, not the solution. The next election cycle will tell whether this new progressivism was fueled by idealism or was merely a fig leaf to conceal other rawer motives.
  • Steve Seidler
    commented 2017-11-29 10:03:01 -0500
    I think I agree with much of what’s in the Democratic Autopsy report, but I have reservations. While I like many of Bernie Sanders ideas, and I always hoped he could steer the Democratic Party further left and keep us honest in our values, I do not believe he himself was the candidate who could beat Trump (or possibly any Republican) in 2016 and no amount of admittedly justifiable criticism of Clinton’s methods really changes that. Sander supporters often cite his higher popularity polls as proof he could have beaten Trump, but those polls were not based on him actually having to face off against Trump, head to head, in debates or having to respond to the oppo research the RNC surely would unleash on Sanders had he been the nominee. Sanders supporters seem to believe Trump really didn’t go after Bernie because he couldn’t; because Sanders was somehow “pure” and unassailable. We know from years of experience that Trump never shies away from going after even the best of people; Birtherism anyone? The reason Trump went relatively easy on Sanders was strategic: it was an easy way to chip away at Clinton without getting his own hands dirty and it worked.

    Then also, to me, there was the problem of Sanders running as a Democrat while also, however noble his intentions, trashing that same party…a party that yes, is severely flawed but also a party he needed inteact in order to win and also to have any chance to pass his agenda. If Sanders had beaten trump and become president, how did he intend to actually pass his agenda through a hostile congress formed, in part, by Sanders’ unwillingness to support the down-ticket Democrats he would need present and supportive of him in congress? As a voter, I felt I was never given an actual game plan by Sanders regarding how he would get things passed, other than a vague notion of pressuring congress by having constant massive street protests across the country.

    The fact is, while it’s true the DNC was in no way ready to properly welcome and support Democratic Socialism as a viable stance, Democratic voters themselves were not yet ready to embrace it either. Part of the road forward is, as suggested here, to reform the DNC….and also the Democratic electorate…so that someone like Sanders can actually win in the future.
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