Brandon Davis, new general elections Chief of Staff at the DNC, replaces Debbi Wasserman-Schultz in the day to day operations, while she retains the title of Chair. So, was she "ousted?"
Photo supplied by Brandon Davis to DailyKos.
Over 100,000 people signed petitions calling for DWS to be replaced as chair of the Democratic National Committee. And Bernie Sanders made her removal one of his major requests of Hillary Clinton in their discussions about ending his campaign.
Why? Many people, including me, felt that everything about the primary conditions (from scheduling of debates to superdelegates) favored Clinton and put a challenger at a disadvantage. Others felt that she has not been effective as a party leader. Others cite her close ties to big money interests, especially the disgraceful pay-day lending industry. She may have been good for a Clinton coronation; but that's not what transpired in the campaign.
Wasserman-Schultz definitely does not -- and cannot -- represent the more progressive party that Bernie Sanders' has brought about. Just consider for a moment that she has taken big campaign contributions from pay-day lenders, then opposed the bill that woukl have imposed rather mild restrictions on that type of loan, which sometimes add up to 300% interest rates and trap people into ever-increasing loans to pay off prior loans. [Last week, after it became a hot issue in her re-election campaign to keep her seat in the House, she reversed her stand and said she opposed that bill. Too little, too late, Debbi.]
So what does it mean that she retains the title but is removed from running the show? Actually, this is the usual protocol once the nominee has been chosen. Howard Dean explains that it's exactly what occurred when he was DNC chair and Barack Obama became the presumptive nominee. Dean retained the title but turned over the reins of day to day operations to someone chosen by the Obama campaign. As explained by "kos" of DailyKos: "It wasn't an antagonistic move. It
simply meant that the presidential campaign and the DNC had to be in
sync, and the best way to manage that is to have people from the same
team in charge."
As to retaining the title, DNC Chair is an elected position, voted on by the DNC after the election. If the nominee becomes president, their choice is usually ratified. If not, it's up to the members. So what has happened with DWS, on the surface, is standard procedure in the nominee picking a chief of staff to run the general election campaign for both the candidate and the party.
On the other hand, by most accounts, Wasserman-Schultz has not been an effective chair, and she has antagonized large numbers of Democrats, not just the Sanders supporters. As to choosing who leads the campaign, it was Clinton's choice -- just as it was Obama's choice in 2008 -- and she could have asked DWS to do it. She didn't. Further, Clinton's choice of a labor union political director is a nod to the more progressive tenor of the campaign. So, if DWS's being sidelined also allows people who wanted her out to feel vindicated, so be it.
Beyond all that, Brandon Davis, 38, seems to be an excellent choice. He is the national political director for one of the largest unions, the Service Employees International Union. He has also been political director for Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO). He is considered to be a talented, rising star within the party, with particular understanding, because of his own background, of urban poverty and racial issues. Described by "kos," who has known him and his work for years, he is "fantastic . . . smart, energetic, passionate, and [amazingly] competent."
The study's author said that: “Marginalized students are feeling very frightened, especially Muslims and Mexicans. Many teachers use the word terrified.” The children are "echoing Donald Trump's rhetoric. . . . Bad behavior has been normalized."
More than half of the teachers reported an increase in "uncivil political discourse," and more than a third have observed "an increase in anti-Muslim or anti-inmigrant sentiment." One North Carolina teacher reported Latino students carrying their birth certificates and social security cards to school, fearful that they might be picked up for deportation. One student anxiously asked every day: "Is the wall here yet?”
In high school students, chanting "Trump, Trump, Trump" has become a way of expressing hatred. Joe Enriquez Henry, head of the Iowa chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said: “Those in the white community with a racist slant are now jumping on the bandwagon using the name Trump and the phrase Make America Great Again to tell people of color, especially Latinos, you are not welcome here.”
The study's author said that Trump seems a perfect candidate for seventh-grade boys. "They like his loudness, rudeness and brashness." With some, it seems to be just a "shiny new object. It’s his celebrity.” But there is real concern about the impact on the Latino children, being constantly told that they don't belong. All the talk about "Build a wall" to keep them out implants the idea that "they have a toxic identity that needs to be walled off."
And all of these observations were before the tragic shooting in Orlando and the subsequent intensification of anti-Muslim, xenophobic rantings coming from Trump and other conservatives. It will only increase now. And it will not be lost on the children.
Let's hope this backfires on Trump and on all the spineless Republicans who have climbed on his bandwagon and now wish they hadn't. The fear is that it will go the other way, that it will become a firestorm instead of a backfire. Especially if there are more terrorist attacks. ISIS would rejoice over a Trump election. What great recruiting propaganda for them; what a vindication of their claim that 'America hates Islam.'