‘knowing that some of my friends would dislike it’

Let’s unpack Donna Brazile, who like most of Clinton’s staffers has been using her ex-boss’s victory as her entire resumé for years, agreeing to be in a book intended to launch Mark “I Masturbate To My Subordinates” Halperin back in to the mainstream:

Because there’s something more going on here than just Donna deciding that her friendship with this filth pig is worth more than the women he assaulted, and it’s particular to the Clinton Democratic Generation who are running around all mad right now that nobody’s listening to them about the future of the party.

I don’t know what kind of friends Donna has, but when mine tell me things like, “you are doing this thing and it’s dumb” or “your behavior is problematic” or “knock this off, asshole” I tend to … listen to them. They’re my friends. I respect their opinions and experience and understand they love me and have my best interests at heart even when I am doing my best to set my whole life on fire.

So if all my friends were like, “why would you choose to deal with this disgusting jerk” I would take that as a caution, not an endorsement. But Clinton Democrats, who saw their ex-boss and themselves rewarded by the national press for shitting non-stop on their own base and their own beliefs, see criticism from fellow centrists and liberals as validation.

My friends hate this, therefore it has value! My friends are advising me not to do this, so full speed ahead! My friends are hosting an intervention, therefore I’m on the right track with this whole heroin thing!

And you can trace an entire generation lost to pointless triangulation and political calculation that people will value you more for being contrary than being, you know, right, back to this impulse to go against the grain, because mavericks and bucking trends and new and different and etc. Never mind the grain is fine and maverickness is less valuable than, say, competence.

They’ve always been like this because when they were coming up “Democrat” meant losing loser who loses, and “liberal” meant hippie pussies spitting on troops. The only way to win elections in the face of that was to be a Democrat but not one of THOSE Democrats, you know, the ones who suck. How do you do that? You pick a random Dem and you shit on them, or you pick a policy central to your party’s existence and you kick the crap out of it on TV.

This is the environment Donna thrived in and she thinks she’s still in it because it worked once. That everyone involved in that victory was immediately enshrined in our national media (looking at you, Stephanopoulos) seems to them like proof it’s the right way to go. It explains everything about our national discourse, about what Democrats have refused to stand for in the past 30 years.

Democratic support for welfare reform. For increased policing and incarceration. For tax cuts for the rich, for pointless foreign wars, for refusing to punish war criminals and tax cheats, for Joe Lieberman’s VP candidacy and subsequent invitation onto every TV in the land to trash the few people who got it and fought back.

So when Donna’s friends say she’s making a bad decision — like when they said she shouldn’t go on Fox— where the rest of us would hear a note of caution, she hears the kind of approbation she’s always received, and thinks their condemnation is praise.

It was never really defensible but at one time in the past it was effective. Now it’s neither. It’s just sad.

A.

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