Internal battles go beyond GOP

Internal battles go beyond GOP

Is Hillary Clinton headed for a hot seat hosted by angry Democrats?

Much of the news media's focus since the November 2016 presidential election has been focused on internal strife within the Republican Party.

That's hardly surprising given President Donald Trump's largely non-ideological brand of politics, his prodigious appetite for conflict and his willingness to target fellow Republicans with the same incendiary rhetoric he fires at Democrats.

All presidents are hot copy. But Trump provides the news media a daily raging inferno, particularly as it relates to the considerable internal discord with the GOP that's on daily display.

That won't change anytime soon. But with the number of warring parties increasing — now it's the Democrats — news reports will be focusing on angry Democrats who are starting to lay blame for their loss on party nominee Hillary Clinton and her inner circle.

Democrats, in their seemingly endless grief and rage over losing what should have been an unlosable election, have directed most of their anger at Trump, suspected Russian collusion and the Electoral College.

But that's started to change now that former Clinton confidant and longtime prominent Democrat Donna Brazile has taken direct aim at Hillary Clinton and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. She charges that the DNC under Wasserman Schultz worked actively with Clinton to undermine the campaign of Clinton's top rival, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The disclosures, which are included in Brazile's new book, prompted another top Democrat, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, to charge that the DNC under Wasserman Schultz "rigged" the nomination process for Clinton and against Sanders.

Brazile's book is titled "Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House." The Washington Post last week ran an excerpt in which Brazile made a number of charges of collusion between Wasserman Schultz and Clinton. The most basic of them is that the DNC was effectively controlled by the Clinton campaign. Brazile used the word "cancer" to describe Clinton's impact on the DNC.

"If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead. This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party's integrity," she wrote.

Brazile is not the first Democrat to chastise Clinton for losing to Trump. So has former Bill Clinton pollster Stanley Greenberg, who has complained bitterly about Clinton's failure to address the concerns of white working-class voters in three traditionally Democratic states — Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Convinced those three states would stick with the Democrats, Clinton and Co. ignored signs of trouble and spent their time and money elsewhere.

It is, of course, not unusual for members of the losing party in a presidential election to engage in bitter recriminations and soul-searching in the aftermath of defeat. But what is unusual is for prominent Democrats to be publicly critical of the Clintons.

They just have too much influence within the party to take on in a public fight. Or, if Brazile's calculation is correct, they once had too much power but no longer do.

It seems obvious that Brazile isn't worried about the risks posed by her apostasy. Indeed, her charges are certain to set off a spirited debate within the party about what went wrong, why and how to fix it.

If so, that makes two parties struggling with political reality. But only one has the White House.

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