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Complaining about Hillary’s campaign book is a huge waste of the progressive movement’s time

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Hillary Clinton’s book tour for What Happened officially starts next week, but already it has prompted mounting coverage fanning the Democratic Party’s unhealed Hillary-Bernie split from 2016.

There is a larger takeaway, however, that should rattle Democrats as they look ahead. Their party remains leaderless—or at the very least, its leaders are not doing much to heal the cause of those splits, so they could easily be provoked today.

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Instead, Democrats and progressives are mostly getting woe-is-us coverage. Take one Politico.com report this week, which noted every Democrat they reached groaned, ducked or evaded commenting about its chosen excerpt, in which Hillary blamed Bernie for her loss.

“Oh God,” “I can’t handle it,” “the final torture,” were former campaign staff comments. Reporters, who are supposed to know better and cover serious issues, also griped about “yet another return to the campaign that will never end.”

All of this rue is missing a critical point. The Democrats have not faced their party’s behaviors that split their base in 2016. These cut as deeply as the philosophical divide pitting its we-hate-corporations left against its we-work-with-corporations centrists.

If Democrats are going to get past the Hillary-Bernie divide, it’s not just a matter of looking ahead, as Sanders counseled. The party has to create a path where its factions can fairly compete for top posts and nominations, win and lose alternatively, and go on to fight another day. That hasn’t happened. Instead, as seen in most Clinton book coverage, old wounds are resurfacing.

What’s missing is leadership that prioritizes making the party more democratic—as exemplified by making its elections and voting fairer. After 2016, a DNC unity commission was created to address issues Sanders raised, from party rules to its political agenda. So far, that panel has not signaled that change is coming. The DNC’s super-delegate system to choose its presidential nominee remains. Some state parties, like in California, use a similar system, which contributed to a Berniecrat candidate for state party chair losing a close race after insider appointees, not elected delegates, voted. The California contest ended in a lawsuit.

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Other anti-democratic features remain. Key state parties, like in Iowa and Nevada, are still wedded to their ineptly run caucuses, where among other things, popular vote totals are not released. Not every state holding a primary, like New York, allows independents to vote for its candidates. Last winter, when running for DNC executive director, Tom Perez said the party “rigged” the nomination for Clinton, words he was forced to retract. The party that publicly poses as the defender of voting rights hasn’t fixed its rigged terrain.

Democrats are not taking a hard look in this mirror, but if they did they might save the party from itself. What’s missing is a way forward, starting with more democratic practices inside the party. That’s what’s absent in the What Happenedcoverage.

Some pieces, such as a Thomas B. Edsall analysis in the New York Times, hint at this underlying tension and its ongoing impacts. He notes how 2016’s shadow includes ongoing fights between Bernie and the DNC “over such matters as control of valuable donor lists and demands for a more progressive agenda.”

ADVERTISEMENT

But Edsall also throws fuel on the fires dividing the party.

“There is good evidence that defections by Sanders’ Democratic primary voters on Nov. 8 played a decisive role in Trump’s victory,” he wrote this week, citing the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, the most comprehensive post-election study in the nation. He extensively quoted Nina Turner, the former Ohio state senator who is now president of Sanders’ offshoot, Our Revolution. In August, Turner bluntly described the DNC “as ‘dictatorial,’ ‘arrogant,’ ‘pompous,’ ‘superficial,’ ‘tone-deaf,’ ‘tone-dead,’ ‘out of line,’ ‘insulting’ and ‘absolutely insulting.’”

ADVERTISEMENT

Every faction is afllicted and aggrieved, but what can be done to bridge these divides? There may be no such thing as a united Democratic Party anymore, just as there seems to be no such thing as a united Republican Party. But in our system of government, we still need majorities and super-majorities to pass laws and veto legislation. That means the Democrats and the progressives will not be able to win and govern unless they can find new ways to work together.

Hillary Clinton’s book tour for What Happened officially starts next week, but already it has prompted mounting coverage fanning the Democratic Party’s unhealed Hillary-Bernie split from 2016.

There is a larger takeaway, however, that should rattle Democrats as they look ahead. Their party remains leaderless—or at the very least, its leaders are not doing much to heal the cause of those splits, so they could easily be provoked today.

ADVERTISEMENT

Instead, Democrats and progressives are mostly getting woe-is-us coverage. Take one Politico.com report this week, which noted every Democrat they reached groaned, ducked or evaded commenting about its chosen excerpt, in which Hillary blamed Bernie for her loss.

“Oh God,” “I can’t handle it,” “the final torture,” were former campaign staff comments. Reporters, who are supposed to know better and cover serious issues, also griped about “yet another return to the campaign that will never end.”

All of this rue is missing a critical point. The Democrats have not faced their party’s behaviors that split their base in 2016. These cut as deeply as the philosophical divide pitting its we-hate-corporations left against its we-work-with-corporations centrists.

If Democrats are going to get past the Hillary-Bernie divide, it’s not just a matter of looking ahead, as Sanders counseled. The party has to create a path where its factions can fairly compete for top posts and nominations, win and lose alternatively, and go on to fight another day. That hasn’t happened. Instead, as seen in most Clinton book coverage, old wounds are resurfacing.

ADVERTISEMENT

What’s missing is leadership that prioritizes making the party more democratic—as exemplified by making its elections and voting fairer. After 2016, a DNC unity commission was created to address issues Sanders raised, from party rules to its political agenda. So far, that panel has not signaled that change is coming. The DNC’s super-delegate system to choose its presidential nominee remains. Some state parties, like in California, use a similar system, which contributed to a Berniecrat candidate for state party chair losing a close race after insider appointees, not elected delegates, voted. The California contest ended in a lawsuit.

Other anti-democratic features remain. Key state parties, like in Iowa and Nevada, are still wedded to their ineptly run caucuses, where among other things, popular vote totals are not released. Not every state holding a primary, like New York, allows independents to vote for its candidates. Last winter, when running for DNC executive director, Tom Perez said the party “rigged” the nomination for Clinton, words he was forced to retract. The party that publicly poses as the defender of voting rights hasn’t fixed its rigged terrain.

Democrats are not taking a hard look in this mirror, but if they did they might save the party from itself. What’s missing is a way forward, starting with more democratic practices inside the party. That’s what’s absent in the What Happenedcoverage.

Some pieces, such as a Thomas B. Edsall analysis in the New York Times, hint at this underlying tension and its ongoing impacts. He notes how 2016’s shadow includes ongoing fights between Bernie and the DNC “over such matters as control of valuable donor lists and demands for a more progressive agenda.”

ADVERTISEMENT

But Edsall also throws fuel on the fires dividing the party.

“There is good evidence that defections by Sanders’ Democratic primary voters on Nov. 8 played a decisive role in Trump’s victory,” he wrote this week, citing the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, the most comprehensive post-election study in the nation. He extensively quoted Nina Turner, the former Ohio state senator who is now president of Sanders’ offshoot, Our Revolution. In August, Turner bluntly described the DNC “as ‘dictatorial,’ ‘arrogant,’ ‘pompous,’ ‘superficial,’ ‘tone-deaf,’ ‘tone-dead,’ ‘out of line,’ ‘insulting’ and ‘absolutely insulting.’”

Every faction is afllicted and aggrieved, but what can be done to bridge these divides? There may be no such thing as a united Democratic Party anymore, just as there seems to be no such thing as a united Republican Party. But in our system of government, we still need majorities and super-majorities to pass laws and veto legislation. That means the Democrats and the progressives will not be able to win and govern unless they can find new ways to work together.


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Florida sheriff ordered his officers to not wear face masks — and then banned the safety gear

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A Florida sheriff ordered his officers to not wear face masks -- and banned the safety gear from his office -- even as the southern US state has hit record daily coronavirus death tolls.

Sheriff Billy Woods, of central Florida's Marion County, emailed deputies Tuesday to tell them of the new mask prohibition, according to local paper the Ocala Star Banner, citing the message.

"My order will stand as is when you are on-duty/working as my employee and representing my Office – masks will not be worn," the email read.

The sheriff allowed for certain exceptions, including for officers who work in prisons, schools, hospitals or with people suspected of being infected with the virus.

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Fast-moving brush fire north of Los Angeles has prompted mandatory evacuation orders for some 500 homes

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A fast-moving brush fire north of Los Angeles prompted mandatory evacuation orders for some 500 homes on Wednesday as firefighters battled the flames that had burned 10,000 acres by early evening, authorities said.

The Lake Fire erupted at around 3:30 pm (2230 GMT) near Lake Hughes, about a 90-minute drive from Los Angeles.

Rapidly-spreading flames had scorched some 10,000 acres (4,050 hectares) within a little more than three hours, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

"Multiple agencies are battling a brush fire near the Lake Hughes area in the Angeles National Forest," the department said in a tweet.

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‘Trump should know how to be in public with a woman who publicly humiliated him’: Trevor Noah jokes

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"The Daily Show's" Trevor Noah couldn't help but notice President Donald Trump's confusion during the Q&A of his daily coronavirus press briefing. Trump was asked about Vice President Joe Biden's pick as Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his running mate. In his attacks on Harris, Trump seemed to be spending more time defending Biden than he did attacking him.

Trump claimed the reason he was surprised Biden picked Harris is that she was "very very nasty to Joe Biden," he said she was "probably nastier even than Pocahontas," his nickname for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). "She was very disrespectful to Joe Biden."

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