It may be difficult to detect unless you squint, but Bernie Sanders is leveraging his stronger than expected campaign into some actual power. First he got concessions on the convention platform committee, and now he’s got his colleagues in the Senate discussing the possible defenestration of DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Democrats on Capitol Hill are discussing whether Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz should step down as Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairwoman before the party’s national convention in July.
Democrats backing likely presidential nominee Hillary Clinton worry Wasserman Schultz has become too divisive a figure to unify the party in 2016, which they say is crucial to defeating presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump in November.
Wasserman Schultz has had an increasingly acrimonious relationship with the party’s other presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, and his supporters, who argue she has tilted the scales in Clinton’s favor.
“There have been a lot of meetings over the past 48 hours about what color plate do we deliver Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s head on,” said one pro-Clinton Democratic senator.
Now, to be sure, if you read on, that article shows that Wasserman Schultz still has the strong backing of some pretty important and powerful players, including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Tim Kaine, Barbara Mikulski, and fellow Floridian Bill Nelson. Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer voice their continuing confidence in her.
That’s the official “on-the-record” position, anyway. But, off the record, the senators (and their senior aides) are more candid.
A senior Senate Democratic aide said, “There’s a strong sentiment that the current situation is untenable and can only be fixed by her leaving. There’s too much water under the bridge for her to be a neutral arbiter.”
Another Democratic senator who supports Clinton said Wasserman Schultz will hurt her chances of rallying the liberal base in the fall.
“We need to get this figured out and come together,” said the lawmaker. “Hillary’s got the nomination. She needs Bernie’s energy. It’s time for her to accommodate. It’s time to pick hard-nosed people to cut through things and figure out a deal.
“They need to know this is their party,” the lawmaker said, observing that if Wasserman Schultz were to be replaced as party leader, young liberals may become more enthusiastic about the ticket.
Wasserman Schultz has definitely become a lightning rod for her performance as DNC chair, but she really should be shunned by all Democrats, including Clinton supporters.
The reason? It has little to do with her role as DNC chair.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, is co-sponsoring a bill along with several other Florida lawmakers that would water down a forthcoming effort to regulate payday lenders, whose high-interest loans, consumer advocates say, often trap the poor in a cycle of debt. The Floridians want the federal government to instead use an approach tried in their state, which consumer advocates say has done little to protect borrowers.
Wasserman Schultz is trying to circumvent new rules that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is getting ready to issue that will protect consumers from predatory lenders.
That’s the alpha and omega of why she should not be the face of the Democratic Party and also why progressives should do whatever they can to force her out.
I don’t dispute that she’s used her power as DNC chair to grease the skids for Clinton, but that alone wouldn’t outrage me all that much since she works at the pleasure of a president who wants Clinton nominated. Power has its perks, and I don’t get overly exercised about seeing the party powers flex their muscles. But I also think it’s completely legitimate to have those power moves come with a giant cost. If you want to put your finger on the scale, that’s your prerogative, really, but you can’t then come and ask the people you’ve screwed over to kiss you and make nice. If Clinton wants party unity now, she’s not going to get a full measure of it with Wasserman Schultz still at the helm.
So, she needs to go for both reasons. For me, since she’s taking the side of payday lenders against Obama’s CFPB, she should be primaried right out of Congress. That’s an unforgivable sin to me. Taking that stance should result in immediate ejection from the host. It’s so contrary to any brand that Democrats should be cultivating that it’s beyond embarrassing. It’s a disgrace.
And someone agrees with me:
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) March 4, 2016
So, I hope the Democratic senators are serious about sacking her, but mainly because she’s representing the worst kind of assholes instead of her most vulnerable constituents. That’s not something Obama or Clinton should want to be associated with, and they already look bad enough for being friendly with her and giving her power.
Just get it over with. Sanders’s supporters are demanding it anyway, as well they should.