Friday, December 18, 2015

No Greg Sargent, Bernie, not the DNC Needs to Act Fast

He is wrongly framing what's happeing with the Bernie team and the DNC:

"It’s being widely reported that the Democratic National Committee has suspended Bernie Sanders’ access to its voter data after a software snafu allegedly allowed a Sanders staffer to view the Hillary Clinton campaign’s own proprietary data. As many accounts have noted, this represents a serious blow to the Sanders campaign."

"We need more detail to understand exactly what happened here. But one point that can be made right now is that the DNC needs to restore Sanders’ access to the data as quickly as possible."

"The degree to which the Sanders campaign should bear the blame for what happened remains unclear. The Sanders campaign claims that the data breach was the fault of the vendor that gives campaigns access to the data, which (the Sanders camp argues) erroneously dropped the “firewall” that protects each camp’s data. The Sanders camp also notes that it fired the staffer responsible for accessing the Clinton info. That fired staffer has now told CNN that he did not attempt to take Clinton data and was merely trying to determine how badly the Sanders camp’s data had been compromised by the fallen firewall."

But while I agree we certainly want Sanders' access to be restored as soon as possible, the key word is possible. It all depends on the Bernie team giving a full accounting of what happened as soon as possible and, importantly, what this accounting is. I mean how fast access can be restored depends crucially on just what happened and how deep it went.

"On the other hand, multiple accounts say that as many as four users associated with the Sanders campaign may have accessed the Clinton data. The Sanders campaign does not deny this; it says that those staffers did so at the behest of their boss, the staffer who has been fired. As you can see, our knowledge of what happened is pretty murky right now."

Right so this already sounds more serious-you had a whole department at it even if at the behest of the boss. 

I agree it should be restored soon but still it depends how fast the Bernie team explains-and what they explain. 

"The current state of play is now this:"

"The DNC has told the Sanders campaign that it will not be allowed access to the data again until it provides an explanation as well as assurances that all Clinton data has been destroyed."

"Having his campaign cut off from the national party’s voter data is a strategic setback for Sanders — and could be a devastating blow if it lasts. The episode also raises questions about the DNC’s ability to provide strategic resources to campaigns and state parties."

"It is understandable that the DNC is demanding a full accounting from the Sanders campaign, since the DNC should get to the bottom of what happened, so that the campaigns can have confidence in the security of voter data. But, based on what we know at this point about what happened, preventing the Sanders camp from accessing voter data for any meaningful length of time is not tenable."

To say it's 'not tenable' sounds like the burden of proof is on the DNC to show that it's not being unfair to the Bernie campaign. I disagree with the framing. It's on the Bernie campaign to show what happened, why it happened, and how deep this went.

"Making this appear worse, it comes after the Sanders camp had one of its very best days of the campaign, announcing two million contributions and major endorsements from a leading labor union and progressive group. It comes just before the Democrats are set to debate on Saturday night, in a gathering that is expected to attract fewer viewers than this week’s GOP debate did, due to poor debate scheduling that already has Clinton’s rivals asking whether the DNC is gaming the process to benefit her. (I think that charge is largely unfair, but it’s true that the Clinton camp did lobby the DNC early on for a lower-exposure debate schedule, and the DNC was to some degree sensitive to the Clinton camp’s demands.)"

No doubt, some Bernie supporters will use the 'optics' to make baseless claims that the DNC is being unfair to Team Bernie. But beyond optics there are facts. The quicker they are gotten to, the faster this can be resolved.

P.S. The Bernie endorsements are good ones for him but let's not exaggerate-neither were a surprise. The Democracy for America Alliance is pretty Left wing. Bernie is the first candidate it has ever endorsed-even President Obama didn't' meet its Left wing strictures.

There is still some good news for Hillary. A new poll has her up nationally by a two to one margin.

"In addition, Clinton has secured extraordinary support from Democratic lawmakers for her candidacy. An outright majority of Democratic senators and members of Congress have endorsed Clinton’s candidacy, unprecedented in modern nomination cycles. Just two of Sanders colleagues have endorsed his candidacy."

"The latest shift in focus to terrorism and national security after terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino plays to Clinton’s strengths, though a plurality of Democrats still say the economy is the most important issue to them. More than six in 10 (64 percent) of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say Clinton would better handle the threat of terrorism. That compares with 26 percent who give Sanders the edge."

"Clinton also leads Sanders by 17 percentage points on which candidate is closest to them on issues and by 13 points on understanding people’s problems, with results little changed from October."

"Honesty represents Sanders’s clearest opening against Clinton. The poll found that 44 percent of Democrats say he is more honest and trustworthy than Clinton while 38 percent choose Clinton over Sanders. Among Democrats who currently support Clinton, only 6 in 10 say she is the more honest while about 2 in 10 choose Sanders and the rest rate them similarly or have no opinion."

"Demographically, Sanders’s support is concentrated among liberal and white Democrats, but The Post-ABC poll finds his advantage among both groups has fallen in the past month."

"In November, Sanders led Clinton by a 21-point margin among Democratic voters under age 40, but the new poll finds younger Democrats splitting between him and Clinton. Among liberal Democrats, Sanders now trails Clinton by 22 points, expanding from a 7-point edge in November. It is not clear why those numbers have shifted."

It's pretty clear why to me-Dems are getting behind Hillary. They want to let the GOP be the ones with the draw out primary this time. We Dems are very thoughtful.

For that matter, a new Boston Herald poll has the race between HRC and Bernie in NH at basically a tossup. That's good news for her as this is the one state he is most likely to win.

Overall, the Dems are the party falling in line whereas the GOP is falling in love. This is one change I'm happy to see. 


  1. Thanks for the extra information on the Sander's thing. What I heard during my 2 mile commute this morning on the radio (on the "On Point" NPR program) wasn't that detailed. But what I did hear didn't sound fair to Sanders.

  2. I think that a lot of folks are going to feel sorry for Bernie for what you might call the David and Goliath effect. In this case he's David and she is Goliath and therefore everything is seen through the lens of being fair to him rather than her.

    But in reality both David and Goliath have to play by the same rules assuming they're running for office.

    1. I agree about playing by the rules: however, it may be to the Clinton campaign's advantage to do everything they can to get this situation resolved quickly (even if that means staying out of it completely), just so that this incident isn't used for right wing propaganda against her later on. They don't need any more "Clinton doesn't play fair" memes being put out there.

    2. It's the DNC behind this not Hillary. I mean get it done quickly as possible sure but no more quickly than possible.

      Again, if it were Hillary's team that was charged with hacking HRC's data nobody would be saying let's get this over with quickly. Then the DNC would be criticized for getting it done too quickly of sweeping something truly awful the Clinton campaign had done under the rug

  3. O/T: Mike, did you see this?:

    I'd like to see Trump promise to "Bomb the shit out of Agrabah!!!" at his next campaign rally.

    Here's the cycle I'd expect: pointy headed media fact checker types will get in his face that Agrabah is a fictional nation from a Disney movie. Trump will dispute it and "stick to his guns!" calling media people "scum" and "human garbage" for trying to lie. Perhaps he'll drop a complimentary reference to Putin having "scum journalists" killed, and imply that's a good idea. His support will swell in the face of this peevish fact based attack from Trump-alternate-reality haters in the media, and he will further solidify his prospects for the nomination.

    1. See, the best part is that his competitors will be tempted to criticize him for this blatant detour from reality (all except Ted Cruz of course), and this will back fire on them, because Republicans don't like reality: they prefer the fantasy world that Trump paints for them. Plus they see "strength" in sticking to his guns in the face of whatever it is: Statistics, evolution, geology, cosmology whatever! Fuck reality, we prefer our fantasies!!! HOW DARE YOU RY TO TAKE THEM AWAY: We have a right to them! ... You disgusting, slimy scummy faithless liberals!!! Crawl back under rocks... you all sound like fags!


      I swear, we're seeing Idiocracy happening, but 500 years early.

  4. Here's a better one:

    Donald Trump 41 percent
    Rick Santorum 34 percent
    Chris Christie 33 percent
    Jeb Bush 31 percent
    Ted Cruz 30 percent
    Marco Rubio 30 percent
    Rand Paul 27 percent
    Carly Fiorina 24 percent
    Mike Huckabee 18 percent
    Ben Carson 13 percent
    John Kasich 11 percent
    Prospective Republican voters 30 percent

    Hahaha! I have to say, I'm a little surprised that Ben Carson supporters were only at 13%. I figured they'd be in the 70% or higher range. Maybe it's the bombing they're opposed to: not the non-existence of Agrabah (i.e. perhaps the number who believe Agrabah exists is in the 70% or higher range).

  5. I recall seeing a Howard Stern episode in which he brought some strippers in and gave them a jeopardy like quiz, but with way easier questions. Some were complete morons, but some did OK. Most were on the uninformed end of the spectrum. I recall one sequence in particular where he asked the same stripper how many states there are. I forgot what she said, but whether she was right or wrong, the answer was revealed in the end. Then he asked how many senators each state gets. Same story: so now it's established: 50 states, 2 senators per. Then came the big moment: "So how many total senators are there then in the US?"... she got it wrong. WAY wong! They went through the logic of it several times before he gave up and told her the answer.

    I'd love to see him update this and put Trump supporters up against the strippers. Maybe he could have a special category for strippers who are also Trump supporters!

    Might as well have some fun with this as our nation (well armed with thermonuclear weapons) descends into full idiocracy zone. I can't imagine we can avoid WWIII for more than another 25 years or so at this rate.