Lauren Niedel is currently the Deputy State Coordinator of the RI Progressive Democrats.

10 responses to “The colossal failure of the DNC and the Clinton machine”

  1. ellen

    I think the error in this analysis is the assumption that Clinton was qualified. Clinton was experienced but not qualified. All of her experience demonstrated her lack of qualifications. She blundered endlessly. She confused what was good for her with what was good for ordinary people. She engaged endlessly in shady arrangements. She never listened. She never looked. She never learned. She and the DNC stole the nomination from Bernie Sanders, who would have won.

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  2. salgal

    One of the best autopsies I have read so far. The DNC, pooping hubris, thought they ruled the world and entitled Dems believed them. For a group of highly intelligent people, they fucked up royally. Bernie Sanders would be writing his inaugural speech right now if the mainstream Democratic party had more of a clue than they had of ego.

    The DNC and their ilk actually thought THEY were better equipped to pick the nominee than who the American people had rallied behind. And I believe that they thought that even though Clinton had no popular appeal, people would vote for her simply because she wasn’t Donald Trump. Now THAT’S a winning strategy.

    The only silver lining here: Sometimes things have to fall apart before anything can go forward.

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  3. Johnnie

    If you try and make the Democrats into something they are not, you will end up being more like what the Democrats actually are.

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  4. Barry Schiller

    There is a need to honestly examine why Clinton lost, indeed the progressive side has been losing in diverse places such as Britain, Poland, Spain, Australia, Argentina, Israel, Turkey, soon France too and more, can’t blame all that on the DNC.
    Clinton got the nomination because she got millions of more votes than Sanders, mainly due to African-Americans.
    Clinton was the victim of decades-long smears, and what is sad is that so many on the left joined in, and wasted their votes by write-ins or for the silly Jill Stein, leaving others to decide the election including the bigots, polluters and their allies who were not divided and are now celebrating. Those who helped Trump win by trashing Clinton need to look in the mirror to see who shares responsibility for the Trump debacle, they have a lot to answer for.

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  5. Randall Rose

    I checked the vote results. 3rd parties didn’t cost Clinton the election. The gap between Trump and Clinton’s vote totals in key states was too large for 3rd parties to make a difference. I looked at all the people who voted for alternatives to Trump and Clinton in Pennsylvania and Florida. If these people had been required to choose solely between Trump and Clinton, Clinton would have had to outscore Trump by a margin of more than 66% of them to compensated for the gap between Trump’s and Clinton’s vote totals in Tuesday’s election results. That’s so extremely unlikely that it’s not worth thinking about. Among the people who voted for alternatives to Trump and Clinton, the largest share went to libertarian Gary Johnson. I tried assuming that all the Jill Stein voters would have had Clinton as their preference over Trump, and all the Darrell Castle voters would have had Trump as their preference — then Clinton would have had to win the Johnson voters by a margin equal to more than 2/3 of Johnson’s totals. Highly unlikely, since voters who were undecided in the days before the election tended to be more likely to vote for Trump than to vote for Clinton. And in any case, many Johnson voters, as well as some Stein voters, would have preferred not to vote if Clinton and Trump were really the only choices. So 3rd parties did not cost Clinton the victory in Pennsylvania and Florida. Given that Clinton wasn’t going to win Pennsylvania and Florida, her only way to get an electoral college majority would have been to win some other state where she had even more of an uphill climb with 3rd-party voters, as I found by checking the vote totals. So, I know a lot of Clinton supporters like to automatically blame 3rd parties, but the facts just don’t bear it out.

    That said, Jill Stein proved to be not that skillful in getting votes anyway. She got only 1.3% in liberal Rhode Island, coming in fifth (well behind “Write-in”), even against two very unimpressive major-party candidates. I think we can write off the current incarnation of the United States Green Party as an electoral force. Not against 3rd parties in future, just saying that the Green Party, as it exists here and now, isn’t what’s needed. Friends of the Earth were right in their criticism of the Greens when they endorsed Clinton:
    https://medium.com/@foe_us/now-is-not-the-time-to-go-green-party-67191b72545

    Thanks Lauren for these great points.

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  6. Greg Gerritt

    Randall shows his usual cluelessness about politics. The Green Party tripled its vote in RI. Friends of the Earth has a track record of cluelessness about politics as well.

    The real problem for the Democrats is that they continue on the Wall St Meds and Eds economic development strategy which leaves 90% of the population behind. Until we have an economic development strategy based on food security and housing for all the gentrifiers win and the Democrats look like fools.

    The Green Party is the only party that is actually a party of resistance. Do we do it well enough. Nope. But we do it better than anyone else has been able to in the US for 80 years. If you can do better, do it, but given Randall’s willingness to sell out his allies, and no one else’s willingness to start a progressive third party we shall continue to go forward.

    And given that Jill Stein ran an excellent campaign and really focused on the issues that are important to Americans, The Green Party expects to continue building. Throwing stones is easy, building a new party is the hardest thing to do in American politics within the rigged system. Every Green party member is willing to let others lead the work, but no one else has shown any gumption in building a new party besides us. Given how Randall sold out the anti survellience network a few years ago, I take his comments on American politics with the grain of salt they are worth.

    And Barry Schiller’s comments are Sierra club wishy washiness and zionism mixed together.

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    1. Randall Rose

      Look, I know it can hurt if someone’s friendly enough to tell you you can do better. And Greg, I respect you even when you’re throwing personal criticism at me. But I wasn’t criticizing you as a person. I wasn’t even saying the Green Party is hopeless. Like Friends of the Earth, I’m friendly to the idea of a third party, and like them, I want to be open to a future incarnation of the Green Party (or some other new party) which could do better. The fact is that when Stein’s Green Party candidacy got 1.3% in liberal Rhode Island running against with two extremely flawed major-party candidates, and “Write-in” got 2%, it shows that the current incarnation of the RI Green Party is missing something.

      I hope you’ll listen to the many pieces of friendly, constructive criticism given by Friends of the Earth in the piece I linked to, as well as by others — you didn’t respond to them specifically now, but maybe you will later. I don’t find it plausible when you insist that Jill Stein ran an excellent campaign — her improvement since 2012 seems like she just benefited from the weakness of the major-party candidates. As you know from our conversations, I was poised to encourage people to pay attention to what Stein said at the “Free and Equal” debate on October 25, but she decided to skip that debate instead. The Green Party is currently far below its 2000 peak. Maybe it can recover, but it needs to learn and be willing to accept potential criticism. I don’t accept the policy of blaming everyone else when the Clintonites have been doing it over their failed campaign, and I don’t think it’s the act of a friend to accept that from the Greens either.

      Your claim that I sold out “the anti surveillance network” is completely false. I’ve been one of the people who helped keep that group going (we’ve been doing more than just anti-surveillance work in fact), and you left it. You’re entitled to disagree with my choices if you want, I’ll just ask you to be fair. And I do appreciate that building a new party is very hard, and honor you for doing it, but if I think things are getting sidetracked I’ll say so.

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  7. Barry Schiller

    Greg, are you getting a bit unhinged (guilt for knowing your politics contributed to Trump’s election?) with comments “Randall showed his usual cluelessness” and “Barry Schiller’s comments are Sierra Club wishiwashiness and zionism mixed together?”
    Not a good idea to start personal insults.
    Zionism?? What has that got to do with this? But if “Zionism” means Jews have rights in their historic homeland then I am proud to be counted in.
    Sierra Club wishiwashiness? Insulting allies is also a bad idea. I’m also proud to be a long time Sierra Club member. One reason for this is that to my knowledge, the Sierra Club is the environmental organization that does the most to have member input into policy. Admittedly, a lot of their major accomplishments are in its historic homeland, California!

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