Three More Ousted Following Wikleaks Email Release Showed DNC Favored Clinton & Displayed Religious Intolerance

Leaked emails

More heads are rolling at the DNC following the release of hacked email by WikiLeaks, which previously led to the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz (and her subsequently being hired by the Clinton campaign). Politico reports:

With just three months until Election Day and the Democrats’ official party apparatus struggling to right itself from months of dysfunction and the scandal caused by the WikiLeaks email hack, interim Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile cleaned house Tuesday with the ouster of three top officials.

CEO Amy Dacey, communications director Luis Miranda and chief financial officer Brad Marshall are all leaving the organization, the DNC announced Tuesday afternoon, shortly after staffers were informed of the changes in a meeting. The announcement praised all three outgoing officials, but people familiar say the departures were heavily encouraged.

Brad Marshall was the one who sent the email suggesting using Sanders’ religion against him. In addition to being offensive to Jews, this has led some Humanists and atheists to leave the Democratic Party. Luis Granados, director of Humanist Press, wrote:

The Democratic National Committee’s Insult to Atheists

Goodbye, Democratic Party. Unless there is a major, credible act of contrition, right now, I’m outta here—for good.

On Friday, a batch of leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) included a little missive from a Brad Marshall. Marshall is not some clueless underling—he is the chief financial officer of the party and has been for six years now. The gist of the message is to recommend that some unnamed individual, probably Bernie Sanders, be publicly reviled for being an atheist.

Marshall’s first response when this came to light was that the email, which does not mention Sanders by name, was not about him at all, but about a surrogate. “I do not recall this. I can say it would not have been Sanders. It would probably be about a surrogate.”

So in DNC-land, smearing a big shot like Bernie Sanders as an atheist is a no-no, but smearing a mere “surrogate” as an atheist is a cool thing to do.

It didn’t stop there. Marshall’s boss, Amy Dacey, is the chief executive officer of the entire DNC operation. She gave a one-word response: “AMEN.”

As the chattering class erupted over all this, Marshall finally issued a backhanded apology: “I deeply regret that my insensitive, emotional emails would cause embarrassment to the DNC, the Chairwoman, and all of the staffers who worked hard to make the primary a fair and open process. The comments expressed do not reflect my beliefs nor do they reflect the beliefs of the DNC and its employees. I apologize to those I offended.”

In other words, he’s sorry he got caught, even though he didn’t do anything wrong because it was the devil who moved his fingers on the keyboard, not his true self. In fact, the only thing even the devil may have done wrong was to make the primary less of a “fair and open process.” Condemning those who hold certain religious beliefs? Stepping on the neck of the already most disdained group in America? It doesn’t even dawn on Marshall that there’s anything wrong with that…

The Mussolini-wannabe the Republicans just nominated is loathed by most humanists. But there are other options. If you’re a fiscal conservative, Gary Johnson and the Libertarian Party may be appealing. If you’re a fiscal liberal, Jill Stein and the Green Party may be appealing. As far as I know, neither of these parties tries to win friends and influence people by snidely insinuating that so-and-so is a filthy little atheist. Like the Democrats do, with impunity. Until now.

Amanda Scott wrote a similar article entitled Democrats Should Know that Religion Is Not a Litmus Test for Public Office. The Humanist.com also noted that even Ted Cruz has recently expressed support for religious freedom for atheists, although he has not always expressed such tolerance. I’d also add that for politicians on the religious right, religious freedom often means the right of the Christian majority to impose their religious views on others.

The removal of Brad Marshall was a step in the right direction, but this does nothing to remedy the real problem–the undermining of Bernie Sanders campaign and the nomination of a candidate as unfit for public office as Hillary Clinton. Clinton actually has found a way to benefit from this in raising anti-Russian hysteria and connecting it to Donald Trump. While Russia may or may not have been involved in hacking the email, at this point nothing has been proven and this is reminiscent of the run-up to the Iraq war based upon false claims.

DNC Members Respond To PUMA Emails

The internet has proven to be a valuable tool for political fund raising and spreading of ideas, but it also has its negative side. Nut groups create echo chambers which allow them to hear others repeating their irrational ideas, reinforcing these beliefs in their minds. The internet also gives them the ability to spread their ideas. The kooks backing Ron Paul provided the rest of the world with seemingly endless laughs as they flamed boards all over the internet with their irrational (and unfortunately, frequently racist and anti-Semitic) rants. Just when we thought that the Paul supporters might maintain the record for being the nuttiest group on the internet, their position is now being challenged by the PUMA groups, who sometimes even share racist attitudes with the Paul supporters.

As I noted previously, PUMA is an acronym for Party Unity My Ass. This is the slogan of the most extreme Clinton supporters who believe every lie about Obama spread by the Clinton campaign during the race, failing to recognize that these were lies told for political gain which were supposed to be forgotten the minute Clinton conceded. These people actually believe that Clinton received more votes than Obama, that the party machinery supported Obama over Clinton, that Clinton is more experienced and competent than Obama, that Clinton is more liberal than Obama, and that Obama, as opposed to Clinton, was the one who violated the basic principles of democracy in their use of Michigan and Florida. These are people who, despite claims of being pro-women, are willing to see the return of shirt hanger abortions as they support McCain over Obama.

As their delusions include the belief that Obama stole the nomination from Clinton they are emailing members of the Democratic National Committee demanding that there be a roll call at the convention, believing that Clinton would win. They are maintaining copies of their replies in order to encourage further outrage against the Democratic establishment backing Obama, but most people would find them rather amusing. Ben Smith has gathered some of them for our entertainment:

Donna Brazile: “Stop the hate. Not sure if you know, but we are keeping copies of all these emails in the archives. Yes, you are not going to get away with pretending to be for Hillary. She is a leader of the Dem party.”

Former DNC chair Don Fowler: “I must confess a bit of fatigue and irritation with people who continue to carp, complain, and criticize the results of the primary and lay down conditions for their support. The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t establish conditions to recognize the Boston Celtics as NBA Champions; Roger Federer did not demand concessions before recognizing that Rafael Nadal defeated him at Wimbledon.

California DNCer Garry Shay: “The racist bullsh**I have gotten from my fellow Clinton supporters has been enough to make me puke. You have a choice. No one would be forcing you. It is a choice. A choice you will have to live with. 100 years in Iraq if McCain gets elected. Thousands more dead American Soldiers.”

WA Democratic Chairman Dwight Pelz: “Man, you have to chill. Try tennis.”

CA superdelegate Steven Ybarra: “Good for you, when the fascists come in the middle of the night to take you to a concentration camp, remember how you voted. Take me off your whiner list . . .then tell them to stop calling me telling me that they are going to vote for mccain. i am would rather vote for a rabid dog than any Fascist republican like mccain. read the declaration of independence.”

DNCer Ben Johnson: “When God was giving out brains…you thought he said trains…and you missed yours. Who gives a croc what you do, its your business fool.”

AZ superdelegate Carolyn Warner: “GOD WILL GUIDE THE HAND OF JUDGMENT THAT WILL STRIKE YOU DOWN! Do not email us again. Thank you.”

Washington Post Magazine on Barack Obama

The Washington Post Magazine has a lenghty article on Barack Obama. I’ll present one section which deals with Obama’s keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention. I previously posted the text of the speech here.

In early summer of 2004, organizers of the Democratic presidential convention were faced with some challenges, chief among them the fact that no Bush-bashing would be allowed among convention speakers. The Kerry campaign didn’t want to alienate swing voters by speaking ill of Republicans. So the convention needed speakers who could present an upbeat message and still sound compelling.

There were some givens. Bill Clinton would be the prime time speaker Monday night; the third and fourth nights would feature John Edwards and John Kerry, respectively. On Tuesday they wanted a keynote speaker in the tradition of the great keynoters of the past: Barbara Jordan, Mario Cuomo, Ann Richards, “people who inspired hope,” as Donna Brazile puts it, “and not only inspired hope, but laid a framework for the party.”

There were a number of criteria as planners began proposing candidates. Youth was desirable, and freshness, and diversity. “We were trying to think creatively of the next generation of leaders,” says one campaign official. They came up with a list of Democratic governors that included Mark Warner of Virginia, Bill Richardson of New Mexico and Tom Vilsack of Iowa: solid choices, but a list that, as the official put it, “didn’t get us where we wanted to go.” Jennifer Granholm, the photogenic new governor of Michigan, was also on the list. And Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill, who had read some of the coverage following Obama’s primary victory, proposed Obama.

It was an appealing idea. Obama was known to be a speaker who could get a crowd going. He was a Midwesterner from a major industrial state, providing a demographic complement to Southerner Edwards and Northerner Kerry. But these things were also true of Granholm.

(more…)

Gore 2000 Staff Available Should He Decide to Run

The Gore watch continues, today from The Hill which reports that many members of his 2000 team are still uncommitted. This includes campaign manager Donna Brazile, policy director Elaine Kamarck, media strategist Tad Devine, traveling chief of staff Michael Feldman, spokesmen Chris Lehane and Jano Cabrera, and strategists Bob Shrum, Michael Whouley and Monica Dixon.

Many of those who spoke with The Hill gave reasons for not getting involved in the primary race and many stated that they do not expect Gore to run. Most of them also remained out of the 2004 race, while Shrum and Whouley did get involved due to connections to John Kerry. The article really says nothing to answer the question of whether Gore will  run. It is of interest that, should he decide to run, he has potential staff available, giving him the freedom to wait to see how the race shapes up to decide. There is also the question, considering the problems in the 2000 campaign, of whether he would be best off with his old staffers should he run again.

Oscar Win Stimulates Further Speculation of Gore Run

The publicity from last night’s Oscar win has predictably started yet another round of speculation among those who would like to see Gore elected President again. Politco provides a good round up of his recent activity and comments, much of which has already been the subject of posts here and around the blogosphere. They quote Donna Brazile:

“Honestly, this was the inaugural parade we all envisioned,” said Donna Brazile, his former campaign manager. “Gore’s political stock is hot right now. I don’t know if I would cash in now with so many players still on stage. There’s no reason to force him to declare tomorrow. ”

Indeed, Brazile said the former vice president could wait as late as the time states begin requiring delegate slates and statements of candidacy, since he could raise money quickly and much of the campaigns’ budgets are devoted to a long nominating process he would avoid. “This was one of those rare moments, similar to the civil rights movement, when you experience the ground shifting,” she said. “Perhaps it’s not a movement for a presidential run, but a moment for the debate to start for real change on how we live on planet earth.”

Washington Whispers speculated yesterday that Gore could wait to enter the race as he could finance the early stages of a run himself:

If you’re wondering why, despite his denials, Al Gore remains the most talked about nonpresidential candidate, it’s this: His friends think he’s done so well in the private world that he could bankroll the start of his own 2008 bid. “If Al Gore wants to run, he will come with all the means necessary,” says longtime ally Donna Brazile. “Al Gore is someone who can pull it off at half time,” she said. But he’s got competing interests for his wallet: Friends say he also wants to expand his global climate change campaign.

Brazile Predicts Gore Might Enter Race


I heard Donna Brazile on NPR recently saying that she did not believe that Gore was running. (As she was saying the same as Gore, I didn’t consider that newsworthy so I didn’t keep an exact quote or link.) I now find it interesting that she is now raising the possibility that Gore might run:

His former campaign manager, Donna Brazile, strongly implied that possibility while speaking at Moravian College in Bethlehem Tuesday night.

”Wait till Oscar night,” Brazile told an audience of about 100 people at Haupert Student Union. ”I tell people: ‘I’m dating. I haven’t fallen in love yet.’ On Oscar night, if Al Gore has slimmed down 25 or 30 pounds, Lord knows.”

Brazile was also asked about this after the speech:

”I believe [Gore] is ready for this moment,” Brazile said in an interview after her speech. ”He is a good leader. I think he can be one of the few leaders who can bring this country together.”

She acknowledged it will be a tough decision for Gore, noting Kerry’s announcement last week to bow out of the race. Gore believes he is now doing his life’s work, Brazile said. However, she conceded that Gore might be able to do more about global climate change from inside the Oval Office. He has already made an impact by forcing President Bush to talk about the issue, she said.

If an Oscar win would give Gore momentum towards a run, the Nobel Peace Prize might do even more. Gore has the name recognition and support to wait until October to get into the race if he desires. If Gore runs for President, will conservatives attempt to repeat yesterday’s farce and get Rush Limbaugh to also enter the race?