You can’t beat Republicans, argues Drew Magary, if the core of your party’s banner is carried by the same breed of monster.
By now, we’re at the point with Harvey Weinstein where everyone who has ever come into contact with him has issued a statement saying either A) he harassed them, or B) they had NO IDEA that Harvey Weinstein, legendary Hollywood bully, could potentially be a serial sexual predator. Ben Affleck was surprised. Matt Damon was surprised. And most tellingly, Weinstein’s chums in the Democratic National Party were surprised. That goes for Hillary Clinton (“shocked and appalled”), and President Obama (“disgusted”), whose teenage daughter interned at Weinstein’s company.
Already, active Democrats like Elizabeth Warren and Al Franken have promised to give back whatever money Weinstein donated to their campaigns. That’s all well and good, but it’s a superficial solution to what REALLY plagues the Democratic party, and hamstrings their already limp attempts to get their shit together. While Clinton and the like may truly not have known the depths of Weinstein’s depravity, they certainly had an idea of who he was. Rumors about Weinstein’s behavior have been public since 2001, and his reputation as the kind of man who screams at anyone who dares cross him proceeds those more damning rumors by years and years. It’s not unfair to assume that someone who so relishes power might wield it in horrible ways. Weinstein was an open shitbag, and the DNC still let him be a champion of the party.
And he is hardly the only nasty character the DNC has done business with. During the 2016 campaign, Clinton let then-Sacramento mayor and fundraising whiz Kevin Johnson introduce her at a campaign rally, despite multiple women coming forward earlier that year accusing him of sexually abusing them. Legendary moron Anthony Weiner needed MULTIPLE sexting scandals before the party finally ditched him, but not before letting him drag the entire Hillary 2016 campaign into the gutter. Former PA governor Ed Rendell once openly mused to a reporter covering him how she might be in bed. And you already know the escapades of Bill Clinton, who remains a standard bearer for the party despite having a having a history of alleged sexual misconduct that Republicans have feasted on for decades.
So perhaps NOW would be a good time for party leaders to take a good look at exactly where their money is coming from. Because the top of their donor food chain sure seems to include the kind of officious pricks you’d find stuffing millions into GOP coffers. If you’re looking for a concrete example that Democrats are lousy at putting their lofty ideals into practice, you’d have a hard time finding a better one than Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein was a rich white chauvinist who brought the Guns of Navarone on anyone he could exploit, anyone who even lightly contested his ability to do as he pleased. Does this sound like the kind of man who could ever have REALLY helped right the kind of social injustices and inequality Democrats have sworn to remedy?
“If Hillary Clinton and Co. really WERE surprised by Weinstein’s actions, just how goddamn sheltered are they? You cannot address the sufferings of your base if you exist orbits away from them.”
In fact, it’s telling that, in Weinstein’s initial public statement regarding the scandal, he desperately attempted to deflect scrutiny onto both the NRA and President Trump. That is no accident. That’s Weinstein trying to say, “Hey look I know I did some naughty things, but those guys are the REAL bad guys.” While Weinstein may be unique in the appalling breadth of his offenses, he’s hardly the only lecher on the cocktail party circuit who thinks talking a nice game about liberal causes gives him tacit permission to get handsy with anyone nearby. This party’s ties with Hollywood remain strong, despite the fact that you and I know that industry has a great many Weinsteins, who take advantage of the fact that Hollywood people rarely speak out about abuses because everyone is a freelancer and you never know who you might end up working for, or with. You can’t beat Republicans if the core of your party’s banner is carried by the same breed of selfish bastard.
I’m well aware that winning any political campaign requires both money and certain moral compromises. If you only took money from nice people, you’d have no money at all. But one of the reasons that Democrats continue to blindly insist upon civility from a blatantly corrupt Republican party is because they’ve already glad-handed such supposedly civilized monsters on the fundraising circuit. And for what? Did Weinstein’s money really help them win anything of consequence in 2016, or did the prominence of his ilk only telegraph to voters that the party didn’t REALLY give a shit about the disadvantaged? And if Hillary Clinton and Co. really WERE surprised by Weinstein’s actions, just how goddamn sheltered are they? You cannot address the sufferings of your base if you exist orbits away from them.
Years before he became our eternal national nightmare, Donald Trump was a DNC donor. Like a lot of rich assholes, he found it shrewd to donate to both sides of the aisle as a way of currying favor with whichever party happened to control the levers of power at the time. Like Harvey Weinstein, Trump made little to no effort in hiding his desire to take liberties with the opposite sex. And while Trump may have crossed over and embedded himself in layers of wingnut madness since, the DNC party apparatus that once so gladly took his money is still in place. Donald Trump could still be a Democrat today if he felt like it, which makes you wonder if the Democrats are really Democrats at all.
The Roots of Trump’s Prejudice
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