Thoughts about Donna Brazile By Richard Sale


Notes on Brazille

Her book about how the Clinton campaign purchased the Democratic National Convention deeply disturbs or it should have. President candidate Hillary Clinton purchased the DNC and it became a creature used to advance her interests to the detriment of other competing interests in the Democratic Party.

First things first.

When thinking about politics, we should remember a few truths. First of all, the mind of each of us abhors groups.  It doesn’t want to join, to collaborate, to become a part of, to participate in or to have its unique outline be painfully fitted into the gross mass, giving up its integrity in order to be used for deplorable purposes dictated by others.

Politics is a region where cliques vie for favor, using any means necessary. Lies, distortions, misrepentations – all are employed with abandon.  People who resort to such things always believe that once the goal is obtained, those dishonest actions, the appeals to ignorant prejudice and vulgar greed will be reformed and not repeated.  But that never happens. Honesty is like virginity. Kept intact, it has a worth without price.’ Once list, it tends to stay lost. All politics depends on lying, and liars are almost impossible to reform. The only thing that holds them back is fear of discovery. Politicians worship false gods. They worship mean, little rapacious, unscrupulous idols. They bow down before the Golden Calf, they breaking faith.

Political efforts are directed at obtaining a certain end. That end is supposed be and must be, a worthy one.  A worthy end serves certain ideals: charitableness, generosity, a lack of vindictiveness, restraint on using force to obtain your goals.

For me, politics is something that prevents ordinary people from minding their own business.  There are so many elements in our life to grasp, to understand, to elaborate and master, and politics diverts us from our genuine ambition to master worthwhile things, things that build the soul and the understanding.

Of course, each of us uses whatever mind we have. But more and more all of us are experiencing the feeling that our power of attention is being weakened, that our reason is under attack, that our integrity is being ignored or made irrelevant because politics distracts the unwary and appeals only to the most gullible, weak-minded sides of our nature. One has to ask which of us is so erudite, to learned, so knowledgeable that he or she is able to pronounce on matters of such matters of such baffling complexity as politics poses today.  Remember too, that there is no political party that has not puked up the very principles that got it into office or raged and tried to undermine the nation it pledged to protect.

Hillary’s most notable quality, aside for her love of amassing power. Is her slyness. Some people go at things in a straight line. They don’t bend, and they don’t trade. They carry their principles hard and clean all their lives.  Yet integrity has no place in politicians’ public lives.  Integrity can’t be bought. It can only be made manifest in honest actions and thoughts.

But, by habit and inclination, Hillary goes by the backdoor, using the back staircase.  She praises virtues and hopes to get glory by pretending she has them, but the attempt never rings true. There is something in her tone, her bearing and manner that always gives a little glint of ruthlness. She is one of the great dissemblers in the Western World.

 So she buys people who will be of use to her.  If they don’t tell, she buys the people above them. In personality like hers, you get compliance by threatening punishment or withholding favors. It pays to remember that every election is a feast of the unprincipled. By that, I mean people who are addicted to shady shortcuts, to dubious and underhanded dealings in order to achieve their aims run free.  Conscience, I was told as a small boy, is “the still, small voice.” In our age, that seems quaint. Today, power belongs to the ruthless and unprincipled, those eager to be bought, recruited, paid to pretend rather than be honest and straightforward.

Politics embraces these false principles. If you don’t tell the truth, you escape the consequences by lying. If you haven’t been caught red handed, you haven’t been caught. As long as it sounds like the truth, you might as well use it as the truth.

I cannot rest my eyes on Hillary’s face today without feeling a certain grim exultation, a sense of victory, believing that in her case, the false didn’t triumph over the true. That the unfeeling, the callous, the unscrupulous, meant to fool and mislead us, ended up fooling her. She has always finds herelf compromised by some stealthy, dubious under-the-table dealings that will advance her interests in defiance of her conscience. She has no friends, only accomplices. Those things are repulsive. They make you gag

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40 Responses to Thoughts about Donna Brazile By Richard Sale

  1. DianaLC says:

    Well said. It is far too late that people are finally seeing the “real” Hillary. I saw it first when she lied to the families of those killed in Benghazi. I had been giving her some benefit of the doubt in regard to her lecherous husband, thinking she just wanted to be faithful and keep her marriage together. (What a Pollyanna I can sometimes be.)
    I saw her in person at a campaign rally in my town when she was running against Obama. I had already been totally turned off by Obama and could not understand how so many people felt he was such a great person.
    At the rally for Hillary the crowd was largely women. They wanted so desperately to have a woman win the presidency in their lifetimes–many were older women. That was the major thing they saw in her, her femaleness.
    What they didn’t see was the truth, that females can be as underhanded and untruthful as men. I have to admit that I gave her some grace simply because she was female and I, as a female, had my own tales to tell about how I had been discriminated against in the workplace because of my femaleness. I still had her “women’s’ rights are human rights” speech in my mind.
    The Democrats ended up with a very phony incompetent ideologue for all things anti-American as their POTUS and a self-serving phony woman as their SOS.
    With so many people in our electorate unable to read character very well, I wonder if it’s possible for us to elect people with all the right personal qualities of honesty, sincerity, intelligence, hard work ethics, etc. to political office.
    I’ve always thought I could read character–especially after teaching in public schools for so long. But, I am often totally embarrassed by the politicians I have thought were good and true and righteous who turned out not to be any of those things.
    I am left only with the hope that my prayers to God will help me when I fill in those circles on the ballot. And I still always do vote. Someday I may do as others I know do: just not vote because they believe all politicians are corrupt phonies.

  2. different clue says:

    When I vote for or against any officeseeker, I am trying to decide who will do “less harm” to my interests and basic survival imperatives. If it seems like one of them might advance an agenda I wish to see advanced, I will vote for that officeseeker. If it seems like only a countable visible protest vote will get someone’s attention, I vote for a protest-candidate.
    Even if I find zero candidates worth voting for or against in any one election, I still find referendum or initiative items on the ballot worth voting about.

  3. JohnH says:

    Watching Hillary promote her book, whose purpose seems designed to rehabilitate her image, gives me the queasy feeling that she has not given up. Watching some major media outlets try to distort and downplay Brazile’s charges only increases my discomfort.
    Hopefully Brazile’s charges will finally put and end to the Clinton dynasty. If not, we can look forward to their trying to game the system, perhaps via a brokered convention, so as to give Hillary yet another shot.
    That would be the last thing that the Democratic Party, Democrats and the public need. Rather, they need to make their selection process more open and democratic and welcome new, younger blood into a party that has become sclerotic, dysfunctional, and uncompetitive.

  4. bks says:

    We all knew the nomination was wired for Hillary. So what? It’s not like the constitution says anything about political parties. Sanders never even declared himself a member of the party (he was consistently “Independent” on his “official” Senate website). But I’m sure the Democratic Party welcomes serious analysis of a failed candidate who, BTW, is not currently in office, nor seeking office.

  5. kao_hsien_chih says:

    I’m not sure if Hillary Clinton’s main flaw is a simple lack of principle (applies to both of the Clintons to some degree, but applies more to her than Bill).
    Successful politicians bend principles and make deals with any and everyone as necessary. It’s part of their job description. In this sense, the best politicians are those who have no scruples about shaking hands even with the Devil, as long as they can get things done for the people whom they represent.
    What I dislike about Hillary Clinton is that she is not an unprincipled champion of the people whom she is allegedly representing. She cites principles and refuses to shake hands of the people whom her backers dislike even when there are important things that could be done on their behalf if she does bend her principles. She always seems bend her principles, however, if there is money or power for her grubby fingers at stake. So, principles if that means having to serve the people. No principles if serving herself is at stake. Seems like a caricature of an awful politician to me.

  6. different clue says:

    The Clintonites, especially the Clinton Family, will try to get their little Demon Hellspawn Chelsea into politics to keep The Family relevant and to restore those vast revenue streams into the Clinton Family foundation.
    This should be prevented by all legal means.

  7. JamesT says:

    Sid Finster
    Professor Jordan Peterson, who teaches psychology at the University of Toronto, agrees with you and has a great story to illustrate the point:

  8. DianaLC says:

    As I wrote, I always vote. And, yes, I feel it’s my during to vote in those “issue” elections.
    Since I was a public school teacher, now I always vote for School board members who are less likely to listen to the CEA and to be open to charter schools and schools of choice.

  9. David E. Solomon says:

    People always told me that I was very negative. My reaction was invariably that I was not negative, simply realistic.
    Have you gotten a similar comment over the years?
    In any case, once again, a very nice, well thought our piece.

  10. steve says:

    The one good thing about the last election is that it means neither Bill nor Hillary will ever run again. Now, they should just go away.

  11. JohnH says:

    Keep your fingers crossed! Hillary, despite her words, is showing no signs of giving up…

  12. Laura says:

    ad hominem anyone?

  13. Thirdeye says:

    Part of me hopes you’re right so Hillary can treat us to the entertaining spectacle of her flopping out in the primaries. IMO she’s more likely to be discouraged from running because of deteriorating health (which by all measures should have kept her out last time around), but mainly because she was the candidate who lost the unloseable election. She’s as damaged as Humpty Dumpty. Most likely, she will be presented as The Martyr Of 2016 to anoint some other neoliberal shark with identitarian appeal.

  14. ambrit says:

    I first saw the “real” Hillary Clinton when she basically botched the health care reform agenda. Whitewater, from earlier, I had given her the benefit of the doubt about and blamed on Bills’ “greed.”
    The entire Bill and Hillary Saga can be presented as an example of “Making A Deal With The Devil.” (The Devil always comes out ahead.)

  15. Stonevendor says:

    “Honesty is like virginity.” Oh, no. We must always strive to remain honest.

  16. YT says:
    All about tribes (an opinion from a humorous Viet Nam vetern).

  17. For me, the most revealing story about Hillary Clinton was her connection to “The Family” – a right-wing religious group with high-ranking members of Congress and connections to warlords and drug kingpins worldwide.
    You read this sort of thing and it becomes clear that Clinton has no limits in her lust for power.
    Hillary’s Prayer: Hillary Clinton’s Religion and Politics
    The Fellowship (Christian organization)
    Progressives can’t trust Hillary Clinton: What’s behind her bizarre alliance with the Christian right?
    Worse Than Fascists: Christian Political Group ‘The Family’ Openly Reveres Hitler
    ‘Family’: Fundamentalism, Friends In High Places

  18. Donald says:

    I didn’t read your links, but have heard of the family. I never knew what to make of it because it seems so bizarre.

  19. Donald says:

    While I agree about the Clintons— both of them—any pleasure I could derive in their loss is canceled by the fact that Trump won. I am not a believer in the good old days, but both our political parties seem like hollowed out husks. I don’t think it was always this bad.

  20. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Very good.
    I see that Iran is not the only country in which religious kitsch is so beloved by the electorate.

  21. Peter AU says:

    80% of the human population feel safety in a group, a part of a mass. They rarely question group think, unless times become extremely hard, but even then, they are still blinded for some time by their previous groupthink, like moving from a bright light into the dark..
    It is interesting watching a large mob of sheep. When the mob is running, very rarely does one or a few stay in the lead. When they find themselves in the lead because others in the lead have dropped back, they they slow their pace to drop back into the safety of the mob in the belief that all the other sheep know where they are going. A small mob of sheep, less than ten or so is often harder to handle as they tend to think for themselves more.
    From what I can see, a large percentage of humans tend to run like large mobs of sheep, as they all believe the others know where they are going.

  22. different clue says:

    Ad hominem maybe.
    A fervent desire to prevent the rise of yet another Bush-style Political Crime Family most definitely.

  23. Oilman2 says:

    Look, I may be a rube, but I never thought of Hillary Clinton as anything other than a really stupid woman. When she backed philandering Bill in the famous “cigar incident”, I wanted to vomit. To see her come out and trash the other stupid women who got taken in by Bill was even worse. It isn’t that the pair of them have no moral compass, it’s that they cannot even spell the word ‘moral’.
    Having read quite a lot of Samuel Clemens works, it isn’t news that politics in the past millennium have been abysmal. What Richard says is too true. In another blog the subject was democracy and freedom. The short answer most people came up with is: while we may live in a democracy, it is only because it seems to be the best of some really crappy ways to be governed.
    I’ve traveled a lot, and everybody on the planet hates their governments – the only exceptions are people who work for these same governments. Dunbars Number says we can only maintain about 150 friends and associates – knowing that and expecting some guy to represent you in the face of raining bribes and scams in government is just stupidity. And we all know our (s)election system is too pricey for anyone to play in unless they sell their soul for the initial money – step one for folks wanting to change things is to sell their principles; it is the price of admission. Ergo, change ain’t gonna come by (s)elections.
    At this point, I would happily take Texas with a tinhorn dictator over being in this Union – at least the dictator has to behave or he gets taken out. Dictators must please their people or they get ousted – our permanent political class has set it up so they cannot get outed for much besides death or exposing their genitals on TV. There are ZERO consequences for public officials, other than shame. And you can all see how well shame worked on Clinton(s) and many others outed for their theft.

  24. Peter AU says:

    Australian politicians in a so called democratic society…
    MH17 First announced by our great PM of the day, The Mad Monk, not directly accusing the bad ruskies but insinuating.
    Malaysia gets on to the blower to the people that control the area and go to pick up the victims remains that the Torez fire brigade and a large number of local volunteers had collected plus the black boxes. Along with a couple of Dutch officials they collected the victims and blackboxes, only being fired on by the ukies to prevent the train going through Donesk
    Meantime our exceptional FM is doing big things in the UN, our pre-eminant monk is telling us those bad ruskies are not letting us in and the victims bodies are left laying in the sun.
    Our great FM scored a major victory in the UN by pushing through a resolution that stated – “Yes indeed, whoever shot down MH17 was very naughty”.
    Australian officials had to sit with their feet up in Kiev, swilling beer waiting waiting for those nasty ruskies to let them into the crash zone.
    Eventually, around the 30th the EU succumbed to US pressure and introduced sanctions against Russia. The same day Ukraine passed a law allowing Australians to take guns to the crash site, and those nasty ruskies finally allowed them in.
    But as luck would have it, just after the law was passed Ukraine pushed a suicidal armoured column up through Torez and fighting commenced in the crash zone. Bloody Russians.
    Those nasty ruskies on 8th October even tried to bring in a UN resolution that UN enforce the ceasefire around the crash zone. Sneaky bastards.
    You know… Not one Australian politician made waves about this. Although they didn’t make a difference, at least some dutch politicians made waves.
    It is absolutely sickening that every Australian politician went along with the MH17 crap.
    Where is their loyalty? To the US based hegemon?

  25. richard sale says:

    Thank you, David.

  26. richard sale says:

    Well said.

  27. LeaNder says:

    I am with you Laura. Without further ado, although strictly it might be worth reflecting.

  28. richard sale says:

    I think that’s true. Well said.

  29. LeaNder says:

    Richard, it reminded me of this:
    Conscience, I was told as a small boy, is “the still, small voice.” In our age, that seems quaint.
    Ich bin klein, mein Herz ist rein, soll niemand drin wohnen als Jesus allein.
    Catholic player for children. Via Google translate:
    I am small, my heart is pure, no one shall live in it but Jesus alone.
    We’ve met in this larger theoretical context before, if you bothered about reader response in ‘The Athenaeum”.
    how easy is it to transform this idea to a rather complex world beyond childhood? Even if we leave the ancient or classic center of consciousness out? Arbitrarily moving into a world of the stronger versus the weaker, a world with more and more loopholes for some and not so many for the rest?
    Does Clinton serve as the best image of the enemy in this context? Really?

  30. Oilman2 says:

    @ Peter AU
    You have the same problem with your democracy that we do – too much money and no accountability, no consequences for their greedy behavior. They are, one and all, bought off by my country where we have a friendly banking house simply print the money from thin air to do so…

  31. richard sale says:

    I do not always vote. My wife does, but I always remember the little old lady in New England who, when asked if she voted replied, “I never vote. It only encourages them.”

  32. Bill H says:

    As in Obama and McCain going to Los Angeles to be interrogated in the Temple by Reverend Rick. I was utterly appalled that either one of them would submit to such a humiliating “religious test” of their fitness for the highest office in the land, including the ritualistic sequestration during the other’s period of interrogation.
    And then Obama invited Reverend Rick to participate in his inauguration. Gack. If his vote to immunize the telecoms did not tell us who he was, that certainly should have.

  33. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Richard Sale,
    Thank you for this essay. Your description fo La Clinton and her coterie seem appropriate for the orcs of Mordor just as well: “… no friends, only accomplices. Those things are repulsive. They make you gag.”
    Will the decent ever win this fight?
    Ishmael Zechariah

  34. Thomas says:

    “Will the decent ever win this fight?”
    Yes, the process is unfolding before our eyes. In explains the ill-disciplined thrashing about by the, as Lavrov undiplomatically called them, effin morons. Almost like a beast in its death throes.

  35. Terry says:

    A good read on human groups and the shutdown of higher brain functions in groups –

  36. Human beings are mammals, and mammals are herd-creatures, so there you have it. Human beings need something to belong to and something to believe in, and they may be willing on occasion to sacrifice everything else for that.

  37. kao_hsien_chih says:

    There’s an old tradition of “honest graft” in American politics. Essentially, it means a lack of principles on the part of a politician that serves the interests of the people is no vice and the invocation of the principles so that the politician can serve him/herself is the ultimate vice. Plenty of American politicians have been dirty, dishonest, backstabbing, and otherwise terrible people. Yet, for the most part, they have been honestly dishonest, so to speak–they have generally been faithful and effective representatives of their people. Their “dishonesty” generally did not get in the way of serving people, and, often, they were dishonest in honest service of their peoples.
    The thing that characterizes Hillary Clinton at her core is that she’s always principled when she wants to avoid serving the people whom she is allegedly representing and she always bends principles when it comes to serving herself. The ultimate caricature of “dishonest graft,” if you will. It’s not just dishonesty that makes Hillary repulsive. Everything she does, she is doing it only for herself. Even this would not be too much of a problem if her goals coincided with that of the people at large..except they don’t.

  38. Waldpyk says:

    Know this
    Your voice runs deep
    even for those in darkness
    Thanks you

  39. LeaNder says:

    Kao, I dislike Hillary. Deeply in fact. I had my more arbitrarily questions/suspicions about the Global Initiative, randomly. …I consider her an opportunist. Many issues, single issue: Iraq war vote. Strictly that would have been the single most important issue for me as US voter. But concerning this vote, what exact percentage of US politicians would I have to consider dishonest along these lines?
    Essentially, it means a lack of principles on the part of a politician that serves the interests of the people is no vice and the invocation of the principles so that the politician can serve him/herself is the ultimate vice
    Good standard rule. On the surface. But how do you judge that? By the outcome? Reagan and the Fall of the USSR? How many members of congress and senate voted pro Iraq war, how many US citizen supported it. Were the ones that supported it ‘dishonest while serving their people’?
    Their “dishonesty” generally did not get in the way of serving people, and, often, they were dishonest in honest service of their peoples.
    Serving their people? How would we judge that? Based on what theories?

  40. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Great points, about how to judge honest dishonesty vs. dishonest honesty in practice. I don’t know. In the past, the proof was in the visible results: whether it’s big, like the New Deal, or small but tangible, like local bridge or road paving. Now, no one really does that sort of thing. Instead, everything is, at least from the perspective of the citizenry, abstract and distant. I think this is the fundamental problem–we can believe or disbelieve anything these days, because we can’t really measure anything in a manner that make sense to us, and most of us (defined very broadly) suspect that a lot of what we see is just dirty tricks and half truths put up to disguise some hidden agenda that operates at our expense…and we are probably right to suspect that. (People talk of metrics, of data, of statistics…but all too often, they are just abstract numbers, detached from the voters. Not saying that they are useless, but someone should really find ways to make whatever’s underlying them actually talk to the real people–not repeat them as end-all-be-all the way “wonks” are wont to do.) Not suggesting that I have an answer to this challenge or anything.

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