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Faith Matters: Donna Brazile’s revenge with “Hacks”

Rev. Irene Monroe

By Rev. Irene Monroe

Since the election of Donald Trump, most Americans on both sides of the political aisle feel American democracy is under siege. The infighting going on in both the Democratic and Republican camps has cast a pall on the country’s future.

In this environment of our falling Republic, Donna Brazile has written a book titled “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House.”

Brazile, a huge LGBTQ ally, is the former chairwoman of the DNC, is the first African-American to manage a presidential campaign, and a longtime Democratic strategist with the reputation inside the Beltway as “a one-stop shop for fixing sticky problems.”

Amazon depicts “Hacks” as “equal parts campaign thriller, memoir, and roadmap for the future.” But truth be told, Hacks” has detonated a political bombshell with mixed reviews.

“This book is a triumph,” Walter Isaacson wrote. He’s the biographer of New York Times best sellers “Steve Jobs”, “Einstein”, and now “Leonardo da Vinci.”

However, the responses to Brazile’s book resonates more with what Jonathan Capehart, the first openly black gay male and member of the Post editorial board, tweeted: “Gurrrll, what happened? People are mad. By people I mean Democrats.”

“Hacks” has two narrative strands: one story of the Russians relentless hacking into DNC computers. And the other story about the colossal missteps of the Clinton campaign and her tight-fisted one-sided financial control of the party a year before her nomination, revealing sadly how the process was rigged against Sanders.

Brazile’s assertions about the Russian hacking are not being disputed. However, Brazile’s inflammatory “cancer” and “slave” references not only roiled the DNC but stirred up both Bernie supporters and African American voters nervously concerned, respectively.

With Senator Elizabeth Warren concurring that the DNC was rigged in Clinton’s favor, the statement cast a pall over our electoral process honoring fair play.

And, with race being the third rail in this country, Brazile’s statement “I am not Patsy the slave” —referring to Lupita Nyong’o’s character  in “”Twelve Years a Slave” — doesn’t help the DNC, already perceived as racist and cheaters.

I get Brazile’s anger. She felt dissed by the DNC, even though she worked on every presidential campaign from 1976 through 2000. Brazile’s anger about being tethered to the financial control of the party to promote Clinton’s campaign and not promote those on the down-ballot is understood. However, she lodges her complaints in a manner that appears more out of desperation than determination.

On November 14, Brazile came to the Harvard Coop in Cambridge to talk about her book. She spoke to a not-so-rapt audience of Sanders supporters and Clinton die-hard fans.

Brazile may very well be speaking truth to power. However, the tone of the book and the interpretations of events read more like a revenge narrative than objectively reporting the facts in trying to salvage what’s left of this American democracy.

 

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