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Fri Jul 7, 2017, 10:24 AM

 

Charlie Pierce calls-out Mark Penn (& Clintonism)

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a56163/mark-penn-democrats/

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There's another recent addition to the list of Questions No Sensible Person Would Ask, thanks to the Thursday edition of The New York Times.

"What's Mark Penn Thinking About Things These Days?"

In his latest iteration of his life's creative work, tentatively entitled Searching for Sister Souljah, Penn demonstrates the timely grasp of the political zeitgeist that enabled him to lead Hillary Rodham Clinton to the presidency in 2008. No kidding. If this guy gets within 10 city blocks of your campaign headquarters, call the local hazardous waste unit immediately. Call the guys who pull pythons out of the plumbing in Florida. Call the River Monsters dude. Anything to keep this walking pile of terrible advice at a safe distance. Mark Penn's counsel should never be taken internally.

(snip - lots of quotes from Penn showing him to be Republican-lite at best, and batshit racist barking corporatist mad overall)

Finally, proof positive that Penn fell unconscious during 1993 and never woke up. He missed the battle over the stimulus plan in 2009, and that was at the tail end of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. He missed eight years of nearly unlimited obstruction. The "issue" has been hijacked by the president*, but the policy hasn't been. He has proposed nothing, and the budget proposed by both his administration and the Republican congress goes backwards on this issue.

Come to think of it, Barack Obama's presidency doesn't figure into Penn's calculations at all. That can't be an accident. There's more code in this column than you would have found in Los Alamos in 1945. All of the issues that Penn advises the Democrats avoid also happen to be issues of significant importance to the most reliable Democratic voters of all: African Americans-and other minorities, women, and all the combinations thereof.

Mark Penn had his Sister Souljah moment. He never got over it.

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Pierce does a good job of showing how the DINO-corporatist wing of the political consultant class intends to continue to take the Democratic base for granted, thus further eroding Democrats' chances of electoral gains and true policy progress. Penn & his ilk should crawl under a rock in shame.

-app

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Response to appal_jack (Original post)

Fri Jul 7, 2017, 10:39 AM

1. I can credit Hillary Clinton as an alert caring person who is not trapped in a 2008 time warp bubble

Mark Penn, no. The influence of those like him on Hillary has caused her nothing but trouble. Hopefully she has left him, and his viewpoint, far behind her by now.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Reply #1)

Fri Jul 7, 2017, 10:43 AM

2. He hasn't been an advisor since '08. But at DU any opportunity to smear HRC can't be passed up.

In skimming the article Pierce's biggest beef is with Bill.

At any rate NOBODY in the Dem party will listen to Penn. failed consultant.

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Response to emulatorloo (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 7, 2017, 10:55 AM

3. The fights over Trade Agreements, etc. indicate otherwise.

 

I'd be happy to consign Penn to the dustbin, but his influence still leaves a mark. True closure on his influence would be shown by advocating for unions and environmental groups to have a seat at the table during the very beginning of future trade agreement negotiations, further protections we lost when Glass-Steagal was repealed, an end to all private prisons, a complete cessation of the War on (some) Drugs coupled with a comprehensive tackling of addiction as a public health crisis, robust citizen oversight of police departments, true public infrastructure projects, and single payer health care.

This is low-hanging fruit that the Democratic base wants and the national Party should seize. The influence of Penn and his ilk are the only logical reason why it is not happening yet.

-app

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Response to emulatorloo (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 7, 2017, 10:55 AM

4. For that reason I regret that Pierce included that swipe. It serves no useful function

The positions that Hillary took in 2016, both in the primary and in the General, bear little resemblance to what Penn is calling for there. In many cases they represent a 180% difference from what Penn is advocating for. I do think it important to counter the political line that Penn took in his original OP, and Pierce does do so with this. Penn did publish in the NY Times, not an obscure publication. He should be taken to account and rebutted. But unless Hillary now defends Penn - and I am confident that she won't - using the term "Clintonism" is simply divisive. That is not what she stood for. Debunking Penn's views on their lack of merit serves a purpose. Making it about Hillary now does not.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Reply #4)

Fri Jul 7, 2017, 11:50 AM

5. Clinton did miss the zeitgeist of 2016, unfortunately.

 

During a moment of anti-establishment fervor, Clinton ran as establishment a campaign as possible. That may have been inevitable given who she is, but it also reflects the continued influence of Penn and similar Democratic consultants. My larger point though is that given the choices HR Clinton made in 2008 and since, even a future reinvention of herself as more populist or less establishment is probably impossible. Thus, my own mention of 'Clintonism' in the OP.

And to head-off the inevitable counter-argument, yes, Clinton did win the popular vote. However, for her to have gained the White House, she needed to win it by more, and particularly in certain states.

-app

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Response to appal_jack (Reply #5)

Fri Jul 7, 2017, 12:45 PM

6. Sorry, a predatory capitalist like Trump is about as Establishment as it gets.

In my humble opinion the zeitgeist of 2016 was to make the terms "establishment" and "status quo" completely meaningless.

Is a women's health organization that's constantly under seige by Republicans and constantly smeared by rightwingers "establishment"?

Of course not, yet planned parenthood was excoriated here as "Establishment" and folks at DU posted stuff from virulently anti-Abortion websites to smear them.

Now that Trump and the Republicans are in charge they're getting defunded, which is exactly what I expected.

Is a predatory racist sexist capitalist who constantly stiffed his workers "anti-status quo"? Nah that's pretty much business as usual.

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Response to emulatorloo (Reply #6)

Fri Jul 7, 2017, 02:12 PM

7. Campaigns are about perception more than reality, always.

 

I agree with you 100% that the anti-choice, anti-women ideology and actions of Trump & other Republicans are reprehensible manifestations of the worst sort of patriarchal establishment. I hope that in the future, a Democratic candidate can and does articulate a vision during the campaign that results in a compelling win and then a truly feminist administration.

-app

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Response to appal_jack (Reply #7)

Fri Jul 7, 2017, 02:23 PM

8. Our job as Democrats is to cut through that kind of bullshit.

Our Candidate did articulate a vision, and as you know voters who were most concerned with the economy and jobs voted for her.

Unfortunately it is very difficult to get our vision past a cable news media that's fixated on conflict/melodrama rather than policy.

I remember in '04 how they showed Bush's best soundbytes and left his idiocy on the cutting room floor. Meantime they'd show footage of Kerry with no sound, while they inaccurately summarized what he said.

This year was worse because of the devolution of social media like twitter and Facebook, which had a sewage pipe of fake news filling them with anti-Democratic and Pro-Trump propaganda from around the world.

The typical strategies we used to have to get the truth out to people, like letters to the editor of newspapers seem so antiquated after 2016. I'm frustrated so much, have no idea how to move ahead

Nonetheless I do have optimism about 2018, and I'm looking forward to a strong charismatic Dem nominee in 2020.

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Response to appal_jack (Original post)

Fri Jul 7, 2017, 03:44 PM

9. Chares Pierce finds himself in violation

of DU's TOS and must be banned.

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