Clinton SuperPAC Founder Who Fueled Attacks Against Bernie Sanders: Don’t ‘Poison’ 2020 Primary
Democratic Party consultant David Brock contends supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders are determined to “poison” the 2020 presidential primary with attacks like they did during the previous election.
In a column for NBC News, Brock wrote, “Berniecrats seem determined to dust off the same destructive playbook this time around.”
Brock is upset that award-winning investigative journalist David Sirota reported on former Representative Beto O’Rourke’s congressional voting record and campaign contributions. Establishment Democrats like Brock cannot stand the fact that people might scrutinize a potential presidential nominee months before the Democratic Party is able to anoint them, like they did with Hillary Clinton.
The hypocrisy of Brock’s column is staggering. He was involved in pushing some of the more dishonest attacks and rumors against Sanders.
Brock, a prominent Democratic Party consultant, founded the SuperPAC, Correct The Record, which helped the Clinton campaign respond to statements about Clinton.
He was involved in boosting a campaign that spread the following attacks and rumors:
— Misrepresenting Sanders’ role in the civil rights movement to alienate potential black supporters, particularly in southern states
— Claiming Sanders thought President Barack Obama was “weak”
— Suggesting Sanders’ plan for single-payer healthcare would “dismantle Obamacare”
— Spreading fake news that the Sanders campaign intended to commit voter fraud in Iowa
— Promoting the idea that “Bernie Bros” were out to spread lies and sexism with the approval of Sanders himself
— Suggesting Sanders supported Minutemen vigilantes who attack immigrants in order to turn off potential Latino supporters
— Claiming Jane Sanders, Bernie’s wife, had palled around with Sheriff Joe Arpaio because she went on a tour of the infamous Tent City jail
— Fabricating the idea that Sanders voted against and opposed bailing out auto workers
— Pushing the false notion that Sanders voted to deregulate financial markets in 2000
— Insisting Sanders promised a “positive campaign” without attacks, as Clinton campaign surrogates regularly attacked him
— Labeling Sanders a “single-issue candidate” because of his fierce advocacy against Wall Street and income inequality
— Promoting the idea that Sanders ran as a Democrat solely for “media attention”
— Baselessly insisting Sanders was unelectable against a Republican presidential nominee
Early in the primary, Brock demanded Sanders release his medical records to prove he was fit to serve as president. That prompted John Podesta, Clinton campaign chairman, to urge him to “chill out.”
Brock appeared in an advertisement, where he claimed Sanders acted like “black lives don’t matter.” At the same time, a dossier was pushed by individuals tied to the Clinton campaign that smeared Sanders as a communist sympathizer.
He developed a “digital task force” called “Barrier Breakers 2016” that manipulated the language of intersectionality and “engaged” with Sanders supporters. He believed this was necessary because female supporters of Clinton were “subject to intense cyber-bullying and sexist attacks from swarms of anonymous attackers.”
This task force also pushed out information to Sanders supporters that was intended to “encourage” or coerce them into supporting Clinton.
Sanders supporters apparently had no way of knowing if they were targets of Brock’s task force. People who were part of the information operation were under no obligation to declare that they were working for the SuperPAC to discourage or suppress political speech on social media.
It bolstered the perception that Sanders ran a uniquely sexist campaign, when any political campaign has its share of problems with misogyny, while obscuring how Clinton supporter could be vicious.
One Clinton supporter told a Sanders supporter to give up her “woman card” because her support for Sanders showed she “sucked” at being a woman. When actress and model Emily Ratajkowski expressed her support for Sanders, she was told to shut up and go back to being a hot woman. She was even asked to show her tits because that is the “spirit” of socialism.
Where were the “Barrier Breakers” in 2016 when people like Ratajkowski needed to be defended from these cyber bullies?
Brock notes in his column that the Clinton campaign believed he was alienating Sanders supporters through his work at Correct The Record. They did not like how he attempted to push back against what he described as the “left-wing anti-Clinton brigades.”
Yet, he apparently would do it all over again. He writes, “That head-in-the-sand posture was ultimately self-defeating.”
Brock is part of a political class that believes Clinton bears no responsibility for losing to President Donald Trump. It was FBI director James Comey, Russia, WikiLeaks, “fake news” operations, Jill Stein, the millennials who backed Sanders, sexism on social media, and bias in the U.S. media that unfairly led to Clinton’s defeat.
The Clinton campaign’s acts enabled the rise of Trump. The campaign clung to failed corporate Democratic policies, which devastated the United States for the past decades. The campaign ran a lousy data operation and believed states they lost, like Wisconsin and Michigan, were safe.
Instead of grappling with the weaknesses Sanders exposed during the primary, they treated Sanders as someone who was “unrealistic,” a “hapless legislator,” an “Obama betrayer,” and a socialist independent, who was not a real Democrat. The campaign was constantly smug toward millennials, including young women, who were drawn to Sanders over Clinton.
Yet, somehow, Brock and various pundits who made a name for themselves attacking Sanders supporters remain fixated on the “ugly campaign” that Sanders waged. They display a complete lack of maturity, an intolerance for fierce democratic debate in presidential elections that involves invoking identity politics. This serves to reinforce a corporate status quo.
History can repeat itself. If David Brock has his way, Democrats will not learn anything from 2016. They will attack voters, who do not support their preferred candidates, and if the Democratic nominee loses to Trump because of depressed turnout, they will blame everyone else but themselves.