Monday, August 15, 2016

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz finally agrees to debate primary opponent -- on Sunday at 8:00 AM !!!

Tim Canova is a college professor who is running against Debbie Wasserman-Schultz for the Democratic nomination to represent their south Florida congressional district, which DWS has held for 17 years.   Canova is a progressive who has Bernie Sanders' endorsement and backing.   He accuses DWS of being bought by the payroll lending corporations (that charge exorbitant interest rates to people who don't quite make it paycheck-to-paycheck) and by Wall Street interests.   There's good evidence that she receives large donations and favors their interests.

In addition to her congressional seat, President Obama nominated Wassernan-Schultz to be chair of the Democratic National Committee following his 2012 re-election.   However, things had gotten so bad that he reportedly wanted to replace her last year, but told insiders that he didn't want the controversy she would create if they tried to get her to leave.

So once Hillary Clinton became the presumptive nominee, they installed a Clinton person at the DNC as the campaign chairman.   This is the usual procedure;  once there is a presumptive nominee, that person chooses someone to move into the DNC to coordinate the campaign and replace the DNC chair as day-to-day campaign manager.   So they were going to just let that takes its course. 

But then the Russian-sourced email hacks of the DNC exposed something egregious enough to give Obama and Clinton the excuse to force DWS to leave.    She dug in and clawed her way into insisting that she would resign, but not until the end of the convention, wanting to preserve her right to preside.    The first day, however, at a breakfast meeting with a group of delegates, she was badly booed.   This foretold what would happen if she walked onto the stage at the convention.   So she was finally persuaded not to appear (reportedly it was "resign or be fired" from Obama himself that was required).

But in addition to that business about the email hacking, I have opposed her for several other reasons, along with her political tilt toward the financial industry:
   1.  According to DNC staff members' private communications to sources, she has been a bad administrator.    Staff morale was reportedly so bad that they celebrated when she was forced to resign on the eve of the convention.  Sort of -- "Ding, dong;  the wicked witch is dead!!" -- kind of celebrating.

   2.  She ignored the 50 state strategy that Howard Dean had put into place when he ran the DNC, which seems largely responsible for the failure to challenge the Republicans' dominance in local and state offices which, indirectly through redistricting and gerrymandering, also let Republicans dominate the U. S. House.

   3.  She has been (believably) accused of using DNC staff to help her congressional re-election campaign.    When confronted with this, she not only did not deny it, but she rationalized it, saying that the staff knew her and her policies and they just naturally wanted to help.  But that help came (probably ordered by her) in using DNC resources to track her opponents' campaign events, an offense that would be illegal if proved.

   4.  She terribly mismanaged the 2016 primary campaign as far as running a fair and balanced organization to help both Clinton and Sanders.   It was obviously tilted to Clinton, especially in the scheduling of debates:   the few she did scheduled were set at times to ensure small audiences (opposite major sports events, weekend nights, etc.).  In addition, she placed hurdles in the way of the Sanders campaign re getting voting lists, data bases, etc.

   5.   Now that she has a primary opponent in Tim Canova, she had refused to debate him -- which would have required her to answer these charges -- claiming that she didn't have time to debate.   Politics finally compelled her to relent -- and she agreed to one debate at 8:00 an on Sunday morning on a local Miami tv station.

I watched the first part of the debate streaming online, but had technical difficulties that prevented my seeing the rest.   That's OK.   I saw enough to confirm my strong opposition to her re-election.   Here's what did it:

In defending her performance as DNC chair, she spoke about working for the 2012 Obama campaign and helping him get re-elected.   Then she said she was very proud of helping set the stage for the nomination of Hillary Clinton in 2016.  [WHAT ???]

She said it and moved on.   Neither the moderator or Tim Canova picked up on that bombshell -- at least not in the portion that I saw, which continued for at least 10 minutes after that.

Let me emphasize:   The job of the DNC chair is to be the executive and the spokesperson for the Democratic Party.   As such, the chair is supposed to be neutral and offer the party's support equally and fairly to all candidates for the nomination.    Bernie Sanders had legitimate complaints that he was not being treated fairly.  At one point he had to threaten a lawsuit to get access to voter data.   And now, seemingly completely unwittingly, DWS with a straight face flat-out admitted as much.   Did she not even understand her job?   Or was she just blindly partisan?   Or corrupt?

Would more help from the DNC have changed the outcome?   Probably not.  But that's not the point.   In a democracy, shouldn't the "Democratic" party at least be . . . well, democratic?


No comments:

Post a Comment