Monday, November 21, 2016

Victory Lapse


By Jeff Simpson 

Hillary Clinton just finished what could be one of the most epic, incompetent, political campaigns in History.  One of the more controversial things that the Hillary Campaign did was enter into "fundraising" agreements with numerous state parties called the Hillary Victory Fund.  

There was much concern and outrage amongst people who were not party insiders. From local media, to the Bernie Sanders campaign, realized something was wrong and started questioning.   This did not lead to the campaign rethinking what they were doing, but instead banded together with the DNC leadership to attack Bernie Sanders personally.  

With a massive disinformation campaign, mixed with personal attacks on the most vociferous the fervor was brought to a slow simmer.   In Wisconsin, Martha Laning DNC chair, felt the need to issue a statement: 

From Martha Laning, chair of the DPW, for an explanation. A number of incorrect stories and blogs have been posted about our participation in a fundraising Victory Fund – and it is very important to me that we correct the record.Last year, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, along with 32 other state parties, entered into a joint finance agreement with the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign to raise funds that help to support state parties and Democratic candidates in 2016. We have offered, and would gladly partner with Sen. Sanders as well if he is interested in creating a similar joint fundraising agreement. These funds have helped us to maintain a top-notch state voter file, work with the DNC to combat the effects of Photo ID, hire critical coordinated campaign staff, and begin to build the infrastructure for our turnout efforts in the fall. These funds are not being used to support any one particular presidential candidate, and in fact, by helping to update our data and address legal issues around Photo ID, they are helping all candidates in Wisconsin.
Much has also been made about us sharing portions of these funds with the DNC. The DPW regularly partners with the DNC on a wide range of projects and efforts. In fact, over the last two years the DPW has received nearly $200,000 from the DNC to help us build our state party infrastructure. We will continue to work with both campaigns, and with the DNC to do everything we can to support our great Democratic candidates up and down the ballot in 2016, and beyond.
If you have any questions about this, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
If you would like to contact either Martha or Kory, below is their contact info:
Chair Martha Laning:; (608) 255-5172
Executive Director Kory Kozloski:; (608) 255-5172
Much has also been made about us sharing portions of these funds with the DNC. The DPW regularly partners with the DNC on a wide range of projects and efforts. In fact, over the last two years the DPW has received nearly $200,000 from the DNC to help us build our state party infrastructure. We will continue to work with both campaigns, and with the DNC to do everything we can to support our great Democratic candidates up and down the ballot in 2016, and beyond.If you have any questions about this, please don’t hesitate to contact me.If you would like to contact either Martha or Kory, below is their contact info:Chair Martha Laning:; (608) 255-5172Executive Director Kory Kozloski:; (608) 255-5172

Unfortunately, using hindsight, that did not turn out to be the case.  It turns out the partnership was not much of a partnership after all.  Especially in major battleground states, that used to be solidly blue and turned a dark shade of red.     

As we see from Huffington Post

A similar situation unfolded in Wisconsin. According to several operatives there, the campaign’s state office and local officials scrambled to raise nearly $1 million for efforts to get out the vote in the closing weeks. Brooklyn headquarters had balked at funding it themselves, arguing that the state already had a decent-sized footprintbecause of the labor-backed super PAC For Our Future and pointing out that Clinton had never trailed in a single poll in Wisconsin.The campaign’s state office argued additionally for prominent African-American surrogates to help in Milwaukee. “There are only so many times you can get folks excited about Chelsea Clinton,” explained one Wisconsin Democrat. But President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama didn’t come. Nor did Hillary Clinton after the July Democratic convention. She would go on to lose the state, hampered by lower turnout in precisely the place that had operatives worried. Clinton got 289,000 votes in Milwaukee County compared to the 328,000 that Obama won in 2012.“They had staff on the ground and lots of volunteers, but they weren’t running a massive program because they thought they were up 6-7 points,” said the aforementioned senior battleground state operative.In politics, much like anything else, victory has a thousand fathers and defeat is an orphan. A senior official from Clinton’s campaign noted that they did have a large staff presence in Michigan and Wisconsin (200 and 180 people respectively) while also stressing that one of the reasons they didn’t do more was, in part, because of psychological games they were playing with the Trump campaign. They recognized that Michigan, for example, was a vulnerable state and felt that if they could keep Trump away ― by acting overly confident about their chances ― they would win it by a small margin and with a marginal resource allocation.
A strategy of winning by a small margin, shows how their first, last and middle priorities were winning the Presidency for Hillary Clinton and the down ballot and Senatorial races were never a priority.  

But wait there is more!

There was incredible incompetence from the Top.   Chuck Schumer, who was recently named Senate Majority Leader. came up with this strategy:

 Back in July Chuck Schumer summed it up: “For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.”From this theory and strategy flowed a deeply flawed set of tactics, and a badly fumbled get-out-the-vote (GOTV) effort.
Or not!  Hard working Democrats all over the country, gave money they did not have, and valuable time to the Democratic Party to have them ignore the working class, and focus on Republicans.   Now they have less money, no protections and a more solidly Republican Government than ever before in their lifetime.   At least Chuck Schumer got a promotion.   

It was not just there, it was the political guru's and consultants who know more than the local grass roots.   In Wisconsin, former Executive Director of the WISDEMS, Jake Hadju, who helped oversee three straight losing elections, was in charge of the Hillary campaign here. His superior efforts, along with the Hillary "Victory" fund and help from the ADCC and SDCC led us to a drubbing at the hands of the WISGOP.    

However, incompetence at the top is not unique to WI(emphasis mine):

Writing in the Huffington Post last week, Becky Bond and Zack Exley, both veterans of the Sanders campaign, noted: “Volunteers for the Clinton campaign in Pennsylvania, Ohio and North Carolina,” working from computer-generated lists, “have reported that when reminding people to vote, they encountered a significant number of Trump voters. Anecdotal evidence points to anywhere from 5 to 25 percent of contacts [being] inadvertently targeted to Trump supporters.”
So much for those brainiac, glued-to-the-screen whiz kids. They lacked nouse, street smarts, soul, real-world experience, a grip on reality.
Another thing not unique to Wisconsin, is that the Democrats like to blame everyone but themselves when they lose yet another election.    

In his first remarks since WikiLeaks began releasing thousands of his hacked emails, John D. Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, said Tuesday that Russian intelligence officials intent on swaying the election to Donald J. Trump had been responsible for the illegal breach into his account.
“I’ve been involved in politics for nearly five decades,” Mr. Podesta told reporters aboard the Clinton campaign plane. “This definitely is the first campaign that I’ve been involved with in which I’ve had to tangle with Russian intelligence agencies,” he added, “who seem to be doing everything that they can on behalf of our opponent.”
Without verifying the authenticity of the emails, Mr. Podesta said that he had spoken with the F.B.I. “as a victim” of hacking.
About Poor Mr. Podesta's victimhood:

But what we do know, thanks to digital forensics of the hacked emails, is that Podesta clicked twice on a not-so-sophisticated fishing email asking for his password. We also know from the same emails that John Podesta lost his cellphone in a taxi on January 19, 2015; and that his password was “p@ssword.”
With leadership like that, the rest makes sense.
While Christian Parenti, came to this conclusion about the Hillary Clinton campaign, it could easily be applied to the DNC, and the WISDEMS, the ADCC and the SDCC.   

A point for the Left in all this: the DNC’s ideas are not only bad because they don’t advocate the social-democratic redistribution we would like to see — they are also bad because they don’t work at a purely technical level.
Their arrogance and contempt for the working class produced a flawed political theory, which in turn produced a bad strategy, which in turn produced a tactically inept ground game.
Too busy congratulating themselves and concurring with each other, the Clintonites couldn’t even get the rudiments of the campaign correct.

The question now is, where do we go from here?  Did we learn anything from the Hillary Victory Fund and how they played the state parties like a fiddle?  Have we learned that there are too many careerist in politics who care more about their next paycheck than winning an election.   That just because your dad/mom have been in politics, give big money or are famous, does not mean that you have the competence to win an election.   Will the Democratic party learn from their mistakes and start standing up for the middle class and the working poor in this country?   

If the two weeks since the election are any indication, the answer is no.   We have yet to see a single resignation from the DNC or the WISDEMS, or anyone to take even a semblance of  responsibility for the massive losses on election day.  There has been enough of passing the bucks in the last two weeks, to fill Gringots.    

As Peter Barca made clear recently, elections only have consequences for some of us!  

For the rest of us though, who will be fighting and suffering from GOP policies for the next few years, it is time for us to start taking 2018 seriously.   The work to win the next three elections starts now.

I know its a small club, and people like to not let outsiders in, and give each other jobs but things have advanced beyond the small club pettiness we have witnessed the last six years.   

We need to get people on board or out of the way.  It needs to happen now!  


  1. I wish we knew if the DPW was truly salvageable or not. I'm trying to stay optimistic, but it's sure tough these days. Today's federal court ruling on Wisconsin's gerrymandering gives a glimmer of hope.

  2. This used to be a decent site when Capper was in charge. Unfortunately it has moved extremely left with Jeff given free will to post. Lets quit implying that Sanders was the better candidate. He was not. He might have excited the certain elements of the party during the primary but still would not have turned out the vote for of certain constituencies that Obama did. It is beginning to look more and more like Obama was the exception to the rule than what can be expected in the future. Does anyone truly think a 74 year old socialist that made his career in Washington was a better candidate against Trump? Trump won because people wanted change, the same reason Obama won. Obama promised to transcend politics and then proved to be as partisan as any other president. I don't fear Trump, I fear his followers. I also fear those who cannot comprehend that Trump won under the rules that were established well before he decided to run. I will await the hate from the left in response from my comment.

    1. One of my favorite things is when someone who declares themselves independent/moderate/pragmatic completely rips on me and then points out that disagreeing with them constitutes hate. It really helps cement yourself as the one who can think objectively in this country. Comngrats.

      As David Sirota points out

      The thing is only a handful of people in AMerica would have lost to Trump and the Dems picked the one most likely to do so.

      I also find it funny that you say Obama was partisan.