The wrong time to start a fight, and the wrong fight to pick

So the Bernie Sanders campaign is mad as hell and not taking it anymore. “It” being the alleged pro-Clinton bias of the Democratic National Committee. And they have a point: the DNC has made some decisions that favor the front-runner. But c’mon, what do you expect from a party that believes it has a strong, electable candidate with deep roots in the party versus a self-described political insurgent?

Of course the party is going to favor the “stronger” candidate. For that matter, it’s unseemly for the vanguard of a “political revolution” to start whining about the unfairness of the establishment. That’s what you expect from the establishment, and that’s why you’re fighting them.

Besides, it’s not like the DNC has done anything horrendous. Yes, the debate schedule is too limited, which has turned out to be a tactical error, ceding the spotlight to the Republican circus. But the truth is, debates don’t swing elections unless a candidate makes an absolute fool of him- or herself.

Beyond all that, two points:

— The Sanders camp is in the wrong on the data-breach issue, and is trying to change the subject.

— This is the worst possible time to pick a fight.

Details after the jump.

Point 1. The Sanders camp has acknowledged that they trespassed on Clinton’s proprietary database, but they’re deflecting blame to the software vendor for creating the security breach. Which, yes, the vendor left the door open — but that doesn’t make it all right to go inside and take some stuff. It’s still theft.

Josh Uretsky, the fired Sanders staffer, admits that he tiptoed through the Clinton tulips, but offered a curious take on the home-invasion metaphor:

Uretsky said the situation was as if, “Somebody leaves the front door open and you left a note inside the front door saying, ‘You left the door open.’ And then maybe you went and checked the side door, too, to make sure that door was closed.”

Nice story, but no.

Audit logs show that during a 40-minute span that began at 10:40 a.m., four Sanders staffers sifted through the Clinton campaign’s data and conducted 25 specialized searches, according to a person familiar with the breach. The most valuable information obtained, the source said, were lists of individuals the Clinton campaign has identified as its most hardcore supporters across 10 states, as well as lists of those individuals whose support for Clinton is wavering, and could therefore be convinced to support Sanders instead. …The source estimated that the data was worth millions of dollars of investment by the Clinton campaign.

Sorry, but that’t not my idea of “check[ing] the side door.” That’s my idea of stealing stuff.

Point 2. The campaign season is seriously heating up. After the holidays, there will be a scant month left before the primary season begins. The Sanders campaign seems to be sputtering a bit, in part because the candidate has maintained an oddly limited schedule in recent months. There are valid reasons for this: Sanders had minor surgery in early November, and he is actually trying to fulfill his duties as a Senator. But this campaign is fueled by Sanders’ personal appeal. He’s the one who fires up the crowds and attracts the millions of small donors.

But I digress. The main point is, the Sanders campaign doesn’t have time to dick around. It needs to settle with the DNC and regain access to the party’s voter database. The last thing they should do is enflame the situation with talk of a lawsuit.

And the DNC has offered a simple, reasonable way to end the affair: show that the stolen Clinton data has been deleted from Sanders’ files. That should be painless, especially since the campaign continues to insist it didn’t take anything of value.

The Sanders campaign needs to step back, take a pill, and make nice with the umpire — even if they think the ump’s been squeezing them on balls and strikes. To paraphrase Bernie’s most memorable debate lines, “The American people don’t give a damn about our relationship with the DNC. So let’s put this behind us and get back to discussing the real issues we face.”

Was that so hard?

4 thoughts on “The wrong time to start a fight, and the wrong fight to pick

  1. Faith Biggs King

    Flat out disagree. No, I don’t think we should all just nod and take it that the DNC is trying to throw the primary to their bestest, most favorite gal ever. Not my expectation that things work that way. Curious that as Clintons ratings for honesty and trust remain at, what, half that of Sanders, Debbie W/S decides to blow-up a security breach (created in part by software problems the DNC has known up and didn’t address) into gigantic accusations of “theft”. The staff are fired, everybody knows damn well Sanders is no Nixon (no Clinton for that matter) – but let’s just try to throw some of that distrust/dishonesty stuff over on Sanders! Why not? Cuz an awful lot of people still say they distrust the “stronger” candidate. Funny that the DNC decides to issue summary judgment of execution to the Sanders campaign right after he lands two major endorsements and hits the two million mark in donations. I see this backfiring on Clinton. First she takes Sanders comment about “shouting” (from an earlier debate question on gun control) and whines like a good ‘un that she’s the subject of “sexism”. Ple-aze. She knows full well Sanders made that same statement in the past and it had nothin to do with her. Or her gender. But she runs with it. Whip up the vagina-Americans, why not? Sanders graciously and humorously gives her a pass on debate-gate on national t.v. Huge gimme. Class act all the way. He could have joined the howlers. He didn’t. He knew the issue was a distraction and he is going to fight her on the merits. Now Clinton gets her chance. Sanders staff do some unauthorized, bozo-dumb stuff, look at voter data, they get caught. They get fired. If there is anything they “took”, it’s being given back. Clinton knows Sanders is no “thief” – but she whistles for her Party minions anyway. And the DNC minions respond. They deserve to be sued.

  2. Dave Katz

    Fun booze-drinking game for the debate tonight: For every candidate on the stage who’s a founding member of the Democratic Leadership Council, take four drinks for every current DNC chair chosen out of that cadre. For every candidate on the stage who shared sleeping accommodations with a president who gutted Glass-Steagall and muscled the Commodities Modernization Act through in his last minutes in office, thereby virtually guaranteeing the global financial crash of 2008, take five drinks. For every candidate on the stage who voted for the Credit Card and Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005, which loosened rules for corporate bankruptcy and the wealthy–second homes no longer attachable, for instance– while simultaneously removing student loan debt from any possibility of relief in bankruptcy court, take six drinks. For every candidate on the stage who called the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership deal, hatched in closed-door session by 600 corporate lobbyists while every elected representative save the President was barred from the deal’s negotiations, the “gold standard” of trade deals, take seven drinks.

    Ladeeez and gennelmun, this here’s your Leadah. For. The. Democratic. Party. Nomination!

    22 pops into the game, climb into your car blind from drink and just floor the gas pedal as soon as you clear the driveway. Might as well.
    We’re so f*ckd.

  3. newzjunqie

    Had my fill of Bernies’ seething rants and rhetoric. Janes corrupt loan deal, tight-lipped silence of former volunteers & colleagues of both, including others who will not go on record unless identity hidden speak volumes. Faux outrage directed at “Wall St bankers” and press who don’t “ask substantive questions” a load, if he dared to engage by ignoring the unsubstantive and interjecting own talking points I could respect that.

    But he can’t do that as it would risk exposing paper-thin resume and unable to answer the “substantive questions” revealing he is not ready to run the country. Would be dufficult to pull that outrage for the middle class shtick plus obligatory temper-tantrums with world leaders and political opponents who are not as dumb as some of his followers.

    Finger-wags and screams at press refusing to answer questions, shuts out VT media – then cries and whines about “media blackout”. Sorry bellicose-boy ya can’t have it both ways. Bad idea to drive away press esp in home state, ignored by the homz don’t look good.

    Following all good Marxists and revolutionary playbook by galvanizing starry-eyed, idealistic & naive youth who don’t fully understand how the world works, this time promising utopia of free college and health care, top wages for unskilled workers with campaigners even setting up in dorms until asked to leave.

    No need to scream and yell, makes these politicians appear as tyrants, and I don’t trust them.


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