When accusing the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign of colluding during the primaries, suspicious Progressives often cited the odd debate schedule as proof. While in the end there were nine debates, originally only six were scheduled. These debates aired late in the evening, on holiday weekends, and began months after their Republican counterparts, all of which had a negative impact on ratings. In fact, these choices were so odd, it almost seemed as though the DNC wanted as few people watching the debates as possible. Of course, initially these accusations were dismissed as the paranoid delusions of sexists and tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists. This would have continued to be the case had Wikileaks not made the e-mails of John Podesta public, providing concrete evidence of what many had suspected.
A series of messages, dating back to February 2015, show Mo Elleithee and Anita Dunn (the DNC’s communications operation), discussing the debate schedule along with the Clinton campaign. From these e-mails two things are made clear. First, that the Clinton campaign had a hand in setting the debate schedule. A schedule that called for debates to begin late, not occur between the “busy window” of the Iowa and South Carolina primaries, and that would allow for “the later debates to be cancelled if the race is for practical purposes over”. Second, that all parties knew these decisions would unfairly benefit Secretary Clinton and actively sought to manipulate the decision to give the appearance of neutrality.
Dunn is on record, prior to the leaks, defending the schedule in an interview with Bloomberg’s John Heilemann. In response to petitions for more debates, Dunn argued that six debates was a “good number” and that extra debates did not contribute to Pres. Obama’s primary victory. She further claimed that the other candidates would have many other outlets and opportunities to reach the national audience in the absence of debates. However, as one reads the e-mail in its entirety, it becomes painfully clear that this schedule was implemented to favor Clinton as the most well-known candidate.
The messages between the two organizations acknowledge that other candidates desired both an earlier start to the debate cycle and more debates overall. A request that those in the e-mail found unsurprising. However, the grievances of the other candidates were ignored when setting the debates. The e-mail further reveals that plans were discussed to make this debate schedule appear more neutral given how obvious it was that it favored Secretary Clinton. Both Elleithee and Dunn agreed that the debate schedule should be released prior to the formal entry of any other candidates as to “strengthen their hand” against the criticism that might result from it. However, the information in these e-mails is less of a revelation and more of a confirmation.
Any person paying even cursory attention to the primary debate schedule could see that something was wrong. Thus, in the wake of these leaks, it is impossible not to feel an odd mixture of vindication and impotence. On the one hand, we were absolutely right, if not too naive in how corrupt we assumed them to be. On the other hand, there is the frustration of finding yourself pointing to the corruption of the DNC only to be met with a refusal by many to acknowledge the importance of an event that occurred at a point in time before a date they have arbitrarily chosen. To be simultaneously right and ignored. Personally, I find myself reminded of the saying “just because I am paranoid, does not mean people are not following me”.
We were called paranoid, Bernie bros, immature children, and a host of other names meant to make caricatures out of us. I will admit, many people are more mature than I am. In fact, I would say that most people are. So allow me to do two things. The first, to make an immature declaration of “Ha! I told you so!” The second, to share the conclusion I have drawn from the massive amounts of leaked information. To me, the depth and breadth of the collusion that occurred have proven one important thing: That there existed a “Hillary or Bust” Movement within this election from the start.
Despite the liberal establishment’s cajoling, finger wagging, and playing the mature adult at those who refuse to vote for Secretary Clinton. For all of their talk regarding how immature, reckless, ridiculous, and irresponsible it is to not vote, or god forbid to vote for a Third Party candidate. How everyone who does not vote Clinton is just going to put Trump one step closer to the Oval Office. For all of the venom spat towards an amorphous group of “Bernie or Busters” who have no formal leadership, organization, charter, or funding apparatus and exist as little more than a series of groups on social media sites. The DNC, its leaders, and its apologists have the nerve to do all of those things even after being revealed as little more than a formal Hillary or Bust movement.
Furthermore, while I find the goals and methods of Bernie or Busters, if they are not voting at all, counterproductive, I find the goals and methods of the Hillary or Busters frightening. The implications of what they are willing to do and ignore in order to have their way are dangerous to the functioning of a society that has democracy as one of its core governance strategies. Sadly, this is not even a rash position they adopted as the result of an perceived injustice or a grievance with the fairness of an election outcome. This was their proactive, calculated agenda from before this election even began in most people’s minds.
In truth, this is an organization, as the leaks have shown, that manipulated a primary election to favor one candidate over the others. They did so despite at various times during that primary asserting that they were a “neutral” party. They perpetrated a fraudulent election to gaslight the public. All in order to manufacture consent and bolster the perception of public support for a candidate whose unfavorability is record-breaking. By all accounts, her own team do not even personally believe her to be the best individual for the job, calling her instincts “suboptimal”, despite all her experience.
The fact that she was so unappealing to the general public, for a wide range of issues from the corrupt Clinton Foundation, to secret Wall Street speeches, to casual racism, was known to them. However, further leaks prove that their machinations did not stop at controlling the Democratic Party’s primary. The Clinton Campaign also sought to influence the Republican Primary to elevate the craziest and least qualified candidates, referred to as “pied piper candidates”, to the position of nominee. The goal being to have Clinton face off against either Trump, Cruz, or Carson with the hope being that she would be able to win the general election by being the “lesser evil” when compared to an extreme conservative.
There has never been a better indictment of why the “lesser of two evils” brand of politics simply does not work, than this election. It is the first time that we have proof of a party and candidate actively seeking to take advantage of that voting mentality. To literally create a more evil candidate to be compared to, with callous disregard for the consequences should that evil get loose. Thus, if Trump is the Republican Party’s Frankenstein monster, then the Hillary or Bust Movement is Igor.
To put it plainly, they had a plan. A dangerous, reckless, and selfish plan. One that involved putting a candidate forth who could not even garner the votes of the individuals theoretically most receptive to her positions (aka the Democratic Base) against a candidate who appealed to the most virulent elements of the United States (aka the Republican Base). They needed her to win the primary election by a large enough margin to make her viable in the general election. Why? Simply because that was the easiest, if not only, path to her victory. As we have just found out, one aspect of this plan was a manipulation of the debate schedule. So for all the talk of the recklessness of Bernie or Busters in bringing America one-step closer to a Trumpocalypse or Trumpageddon or a DysTrumpian future, I am forced to reverse that accusation.
The information that has been released has proven that the Hillary or Bust Movement’s desire to “Stop Trump” or “Trump Hate” or “TRiUMPh” only ever extended as far as the establishment remaining in power. If they truly desired to stop Trump, they would have allowed a fair election or nominated the candidate who, as polls indicate, did best against Trump in the general election. Instead, they manufactured, or sought to manufacture, a general election where voters would be forced to decide between the establishment choice and someone unqualified to be the assistant manager of an Arby’s.
They were completely willing to put Cruz, Carson, or Trump one gaff-prone, scandal-ridden politician away from the White House. They then have the nerve to point to the group of people who they disenfranchised to accomplish this and call them reckless and immature. The unmitigated gall that it takes to essentially start a fire and then charge the American populace their vote to put it out is staggering. Not to mention the unchecked entitlement complex to not understand why people might feel the inclination to sue the DNC, much less not vote for their candidate, after the organization violated their own legally binding charter which guarantees their neutrality. The Hillary or Bust Movement’s recklessness is paralleled only by its criminal indifference to the values of a democracy.
You may have noticed that at some point I started referring to the DNC, and its allies, as the “Hillary or Bust Movement”. This is for two reasons. The first is that I do not see the fundamental difference between the DNC, the Clinton Campaign, the liberal MSM/intelligentsia as it pertains to this issue. The second is that I simply refuse to refer to any organization that has been proven itself to be so corrupt as the “Democratic” Party. It just feels wrong to say and write. Ultimately, if this primary election has convinced me of one thing, it is the need for the establishment of a literal Language Police. A social service agency assigned to forcibly take words away from organizations that abuse their meanings and put them into care.
(Featured photo courtesy of wikipedia.org)