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Ruth: Shocked, shocked by Brazile book revelations

By Daniel Ruth | Times columnist
Published: November 7, 2017 Updated: November 8, 2017 at 08:09 PM
FILE - This July 26, 2016 file photo shows former head of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile speaking during the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Brazile says she considered replacing Hillary Clinton as the party‚\u0080\u009A\u0080\u0099s presidential nominee with then-Vice President Joe Biden. She makes the revelation in a memoir being released Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. This is according to The Washington Post, which obtained an advance copy of the book. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, file) NYPS202

Hereís a fast-breaking political bombshell for you.

According to a new book by former Democratic National Committee interim chairwoman Donna Brazile, the fix was in last year to scuttle any hope Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had of winning the partyís presidential nomination.

No! Really! Itís true!

You may now go back to sleep.

As earth-shattering scoops go, revelations the DNC laid an anvil on the scales of fairness to benefit former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over Sanders ranks somewhere between who won the World Series and what color is an orange.

In Brazileís "tell-all" literary effort, titled Hacks, the long-time political operative details a deal between the Clinton campaign and the DNC, which at the time was chaired by Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, that gave the Clinton camp de facto control over the party. This had to be a bit like staging a coup to rule over the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.

Brazile assumed leadership of the DNC train wreck after Wasserman Schultz was forced out of the job in the wake of revelations Russian hackers had infiltrated the partyís computer systems.

"Had I known this (the Clinton deal), I never would have accepted the interim chair position, but here we were with only weeks before the election," Brazile wrote.

Oh please. Brazile would have taken the DNC job with all its internal morality-challenged finagling, banking on a Clinton victory and the potential for a high-level administration job.

This is Washington, after all. Itís not a Dominican nunnery.

It must have dawned on Sanders he was not exactly the favored son in the primary battle with Clinton, especially after Wasserman Schultz started scheduling televised debates at 4:30 a.m. Saturday mornings on the Knitting Network. Too subtle?

Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain once famously said that "politics ainít beanbag." And Sanders found himself running against a figure who collects fractured knee-caps for the fun of it.

Does anyone doubt if Sanders had been able to wrest financial control of the DNC to further his political ambitions, he would have made sure Clinton would not get so much as $100 to print bumper stickers?

For Brazile, who seems to have been a Washington insider since Franklin Roosevelt was in knickers, to go all Little Bo Peep on everyone by insisting she was aghast at the Clinton campaignís heavy-handed efforts to control the DNC is at best wilfully naive.

It was Brazile who was fired from a commentator gig on CNN after those same Russian hackers revealed she had supplied the Clinton campaign with information regarding possible questions to be asked at various town hall meetings and debates.

One of the more implausible claims by Brazile was her threat to replace the Clinton ticket after the candidate fainted during a 9/11 tribute event in New York City. Brazile suggests she had the power (insert a chortle) to replace Clinton and her running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, with Vice President Joe Biden and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.

Imagine being a fly on that blood-stained wall had Brazile attempted to jettison the first woman to ever win a major party nomination for president.

Itís been a year since Donald Trump won the presidency. And yet Democrats still continue to do what they do best ó whine about what might of been instead of focusing on what might be. Talk about beating a dead donkey.

Clinton improbably lost to Trump because she was a lousy candidate who ran a lousy campaign. She regarded her nomination as a coronation, her election as a matter of Manifest Destiny and her Democratic Party blue collar/working class base as all locked up for her.

Over the past year, Democrats have spent their time spitting out inane slogans, pretending their political future is bright just as long as they continue to rail against the excesses of Trump.

But foils donít win campaigns. Ideas do. And having candidates who can clearly articulate messages do, too.

Brazile has burned quite a few bridges within the Democratic Party. She is likely finished as a consultant ó until the next time the party needs her.

Outrage is always a relative term in Washington.