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Democrats should listen to Brazile -- not silence her

Ruben Navarrette Jr. on

SAN DIEGO -- It didn't take long for white liberals to start attacking Donna Brazile.

From its portals in media and politics, the vindictive left is in battle mode now that Brazile -- a longtime Democratic strategist who became the first African-American to run a presidential campaign when she managed Al Gore's bid for the White House in 2000 -- has spilled the beans about how broken our political system really is.

Having served as interim chair of the Democratic National Committee during the final innings of the 2016 election, Brazile ought to know.

In her explosive new book, "Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House," she reveals a secret agreement that turned the DNC into a wholly owned subsidiary of Hillary Clinton's campaign. The Democratic front-runner handed over about $20 million to help get the DNC out of debt. In return, she got control of the inner workings of the organization, which is supposed to be neutral in the primaries. This included decisions about when to schedule debates, who should fill key posts and how messages should be shaped.

Clinton's challengers for the nomination -- Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb, Martin O'Malley, Lincoln Chafee, etc. -- never had a chance. The fix was in.

When Brazile was recently pressed by ABC News' George Stephanopoulos -- himself a Democratic loyalist who helped elect Bill Clinton president, worked in the Clinton White House, contributed to the Clinton Foundation, and joined in regular strategizing calls with top Democrats well into his conversion into a newsman -- to say whether she thought the Democratic primaries were rigged, she responded that she found "no evidence" of that.

But Brazile strikes a different tone in her book, insisting that the agreement ensured that Democratic primary battle wasn't a fair fight and that it "compromised the party's integrity."

Meanwhile, there is little integrity to be found in the graceless attacks on Brazile by liberals. In recent days, the Democratic Party insider has been called a "liar," a "kook," a "traitor" and worse. She has even be compared to -- gasp! -- Donald Trump for allegedly trafficking in rumors about the fragility of Hillary Clinton's health.

About 100 former Clinton staffers and other Democrats signed an open letter saying that Brazile's claims are "troubling" and "puzzling."

Ground zero for the attacks is CNN -- which ironically used to think highly enough of Brazile that it employed her as a contributor.

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