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Galindez writes: "Let's fast forward to July 25th. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is introduced as the chair of the Democratic National Committee. Nearly half the room is booing loudly. Is that how the Democratic Party wants to open its 2016 convention?"

Chair of DNC Debbie Wasserman Schultz. (photo: Getty)
Chair of DNC Debbie Wasserman Schultz. (photo: Getty)

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Should Resign as DNC Chair

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

26 May 16


et’s fast forward to July 25th. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is introduced as the chair of the Democratic National Committee. Nearly half the room is booing loudly. Is that how the Democratic Party wants to open its 2016 convention?

The solution is for Hillary Clinton to find another role for Wasserman Schultz. Larry Sabato, a well respected political science professor from the University of Virginia, thinks Schultz could be the liaison to Congress for the Clinton campaign. That would allow Bernie and Hillary to agree on her successor before the convention. There are plenty of qualified Democrats that both campaigns could agree on to help unite the party.

One such Democrat is the courageous congresswoman from California, Barbara Lee. Lee was the only member of Congress to vote against giving President Bush a blank check to wage war on those responsible for 9/11. She has remained neutral during the entire nominating process and is respected by supporters of both candidates. Wasserman Schultz appointed Lee to the platform committee.

Turning the chairmanship over to Lee would be another step in making Sanders supporters feel welcome in the party. It would be a victory that the movement behind Sanders could use to inspire people to stay engaged and not feel totally discouraged. As I’ve said in past articles, Berniecrats are not sheep that can be herded into another politician’s camp. Their support must be earned.

The Case Against Wasserman Schultz

It is not a just few disgruntled senators shooting the breeze or the Sanders campaign blaming Schultz for their current situation. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been losing support in the DNC for quite some time. She has often been at odds with President Obama. In 2013, when the President was thought to be considering replacing her, media reports indicated that she was ready to fight to keep her post. Some went as far as saying she was prepared to claim that Obama was anti-woman and anti-Semitic.

According to Politico, “Throughout her time as chair, Wasserman Schultz has turned off colleagues, other top Democrats, and current and former staff for a management style that strikes many as self-centered – even for a politician – and often at the expense of the DNC or individual candidates or campaigns. Many top Democrats, including some she counts as supporters and friends, privately complain about her trying to use the DNC as a vehicle for her own personal promotion, and letting her own ambition get in the way of larger goals.”

That article came out in February of 2015, so I am not raising anything new here.

The Sanders campaign has been Wasserman Schultz’s most vocal critic, saying that Sanders will not reappoint her as chair if he becomes the nominee. The campaign is even raising money for her opponent, Tim Canova. Sanders’ campaign manager Jeff Weaver told CNN, “We can have a long conversation about Debbie Wasserman Schultz just about how she's been throwing shade on the Sanders campaign from the very beginning, It's not the DNC. By and large, people in the DNC have been good to us. Debbie Wasserman Schultz really is the exception.”

It isn’t just the Sanders campaign that feels this way. Martin O’Malley, speaking at the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting last year, blasted Wasserman Schultz’s decision to allow only four debates before the early voting states.

“Four debates. Four debates? Four debates, and four debates only we are told, not asked, before the voters in our earliest states make their decision. This is totally unprecedented in our party history. This sort of rigged process this has never been attempted before.”

O’Malley received enthusiastic applause from DNC members.

He continued: “Whose decree is this exactly? Where did it come from? To what end? For what purpose? What national or party interest does this decree serve? How does this help us tell the story of the last eight years of Democratic progress? How does this promote our Democratic ideas for making wages go up and household incomes go up again, instead of down?”

“How does this help us make our case to the American people? One debate in Iowa? That’s it? One debate in New Hampshire? That’s all we can afford? And, get this – the New Hampshire debate is cynically wedged into the high-point holiday shopping season so as few people watch it as possible.”

When O’Malley finished his remarks he turned and gave an awkward handshake to a clearly rattled Debbie Wasserman Schultz as the crowd and DNC officers gave him a rousing applause.

Later in the day, DNC officials called for a vote on more debates. His motion was immediately ruled out of order by a defiant Wasserman Schultz, who said the decision was hers and hers alone. Well, not exactly – she claimed that she had consulted the vice chairs before announcing the debate schedule and new rule that would exclude anyone from the DNC-sanctioned debates if they participated in an unsanctioned debate. That claim created another firestorm, when at least two of the vice chairs said they had not been consulted. When rising star Rep. Tulsi Gabbard publicly complained that she was not consulted and called for more debates, Wasserman Schultz publicly disinvited Gabbard from attending the first debate in Las Vegas. A few months later, Gabbard resigned from her position at the DNC and endorsed Sanders.

Gabbard was not the only DNC official to complain. Another vice chair, former Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak, said Debbie Wasserman Schultz was making statements that were “flat out not true” and threatening the 2016 race.

“I have serious questions,” Rybak said. “And it’s not just about the debates. The fact of the matter is some time in a month or two before the convention, somebody is going to win or lose. It’s going to be essential for the leader of the party to be able to say to everyone, look, it’s been fair, we need to now, let’s all pull together. That’s what Democrats want. I think the only thing that’s going to mess that up, frankly, is that I don’t think the Chair, right now, is in the position to be that peacemaker who builds that big tent for all of us.”

The Case for Wasserman Schultz

American Crossroads (Karl Rove’s super PAC) said Wasserman Schultz's management has led to electoral gains for Republicans and more tension among Democrats.

“Congresswoman and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has played a critical role over the past several years in the massive Republican gains we have achieved at the state level, in the U.S. House of Representatives, and in the U.S. Senate,” Crossroads president and CEO Steven Law said in a statement.

"Wasserman Schultz’s leadership has also been a catalyst for the emerging civil war in the Democratic Party this year, ensuring that their nominating process will drag on far longer than that of Republicans,” he added.

The statement was part of the Republican PAC’s endorsement of Debbie Wasserman Schultz in her primary battle.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz is poorly positioned to unite the party. If she is the chair during the convention, the first round of boos will come at the opening gavel. Let’s act now and replace Debbie Wasserman Schultz with a unifier and not someone so divisive. Hmm ... Bernie? Didn’t John Kerry make Howard Dean the party chair?

Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador's slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush's first stolen election. Scott will be spending a year covering the presidential election from Iowa.

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