On Thursday, I published a reproof of Pieter Friedrich, a religious fundamentalist who, in a series of subreptitious tweets, accused me of conspiring with Tulsi Gabbard to videotape a fake campaign rally wherein an actress would ask a question about Gabbard’s financial ties to the RSS. I prefaced my essay with an expression of distaste for the business—needed, but distasteful—of exposing the fatuity of my fellow journalists, the vast majority of whom are paid to proliferate and reinforce the propaganda of the American Empire: we must disassemble their multilayered mendacity, but it is so much more rewarding to produce our own independent content. Alas, forty-eight hours after the fall of Mr. Friedrich, another fabulist emerges from the smoggy bog to deepen the pollution of the corporate media: Lisa Lerer, a writer for The New York Times and a woman embalmed within her inextricable connections, and morally bankrupt loyalty, to the Democratic Party establishment.
Early Saturday morning, the Times published Lerer’s essay: “What, Exactly, is Tulsi Gabbard Up To?” Titled less as a question than as a declaration, Lerer’s piece is the latest in a voluminous store of letters in which writers express their dyspeptic concern that Gabbard is fostering disunity in the Democratic Party. The charge, articulated as clumsily by Lerer as it was by Aaron Rupar and Molly Jong-Fast, is that Gabbard has profaned the moral sanctity of the Democratic Party by questioning the integrity of the Party’s presidential primary process. Most conspicuously and controversially, she has condemned the polling system—its criteria as well as its execution—whereby candidates are invited to or excluded from televised debates. Her criticism ought to be utterly uncontroversial, rooted as it is in demonstrable fact, but the party establishment takes umbrage with her sacrilegious skepticism, and it has sent its rottweilers in the corporate media to overwrite her message.
However, Gabbard’s most recent challenge pertains not to the polling system, but to the delegate system in the state primaries and caucuses. For all of the inexorable attention paid to polling in the media, there is suspiciously slight “official interest” in the delegate tallies, likely because a serious examination of such would reveal the sickly undemocratic principles of our so-called democracy. The delegate system, a term that is more than incidentally authoritarian, achieved popular interest in the summer of 2016, when Bernie Sanders netted far fewer delegates at the Democratic National Convention than his performances in the primaries and caucuses would suggest. This nonplussing inversion, further complicated by WikiLeaks’s invaluable revelations that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was conspiring against Sanders from the start of his presidential campaign, led to calls for intraparty reform.