As a Hillary Clinton supporter, I seem to have caught a few of her supporters off guard recently when I wrote an article expressing my disdain for current DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. I think she’s a terrible leader who’s extraordinarily incompetent, and I feel the party has been a disaster during her tenure.
Sure, while she’s been in charge, President Obama won re-election – but let’s not pretend as if she had much to do with that.
However, what we have seen happen during her time as the DNC chair is Republicans make continued gains in Congress nearly every election. This all culminated in 2014, when Democrats were annihilated just about everywhere. Not only did Republicans score huge victories all across the country in nearly every level of government, but they retook the majority in the Senate for the first time in eight years.
Then during this primary when the party desperately needed a strong leader to help bring the Clinton and Sanders camps together – she typically did nothing but drive them further apart.
Now, I’m not someone who buys into the host of conspiracies that quite a few Sanders supporters believe. I’m sorry “Feel the Bern” diehards, but there’s no “conspiracy” against him. He’s losing the nomination because he’s been crushed when it comes to the African-American vote; he’s losing the Latino vote; and many of his wins have come in very small, mostly white states (often caucuses) that don’t award a great deal of delegates.
Whether you want to believe it or not, that’s why Sanders is losing. The simple truth is a Democratic candidate is probably not going to win the party’s nomination while losing the female vote, the African-American vote, the Latino vote and the overall Democratic vote. Yes, Sanders has done remarkably well and has inspired millions of Americans to support him. Unfortunately for him, his most consistent voting demographic has been younger Americans… mostly white. It’s really not the best mix considering younger voters often talk about voting more than actually doing it, and the Democratic party is extremely diverse. As I pointed out earlier, he’s losing the “minority vote” essentially across the board.
That being said, I am in 100 percent agreement with Sanders when he says Debbie Wasserman Schultz needs to be removed as DNC chair. Some of our reasons for that may be different, but the bottom line is we both agree that the party under her “leadership” has been pathetic.
Over the last few years Democrats had the perfect opportunity to take the reins of this country and usher in a wave of progressive change. Instead, even with as much disarray that’s gone on within the GOP since 2008, the Republican grip on this country is tighter than it’s been in years.
Even as a Clinton supporter, I blame a lot of the issues currently going on within the party on Schultz. While some of it was bound to happen as the primary process became more competitive, she’s done nothing but make things much worse. Every single time an issue has come up this primary where the party needed a true leader to take charge, she’s failed miserably. Not only did she usually not help in resolving any of these issues – but she’s typically just made them worse.
Whether or not some of the complaints from the Sanders side were valid (some were, some weren’t), she should have handled these situations differently as opposed to often being condescending, defensive or outright idiotic. Part of being a leader is being able to read and gauge what’s going on, then responding in a non-dismissive way to at least let both sides know you’re actually listening to them. Just that alone would have made a huge difference during this primary.
Obviously that’s too much to ask with Schultz at the helm. Throughout this primary when the first sparks of a potential fire began to ignite, instead of grabbing a fire extinguisher, she usually reached for a can of gasoline. By the time the DNC’s “leader” was done “handling” a particular controversy, the issue was usually worse.
Now her name is so toxic that about half the liberals in this country loathe her as much as any Republican. Not only that, but because she’s so disliked, I fully believe she’s actually hurting Hillary Clinton because of the past ties the two have with one another. Which only helps perpetuate this idea that the “system is rigged against Bernie” – even though the rules are essentially exactly the same as they were in 2008 when an upstart senator named Barack Obama came from relative obscurity to defeat the overwhelming favorite Hillary Clinton.
The truth of the matter is, if the DNC had a real leader in charge of the party, I don’t believe we would see nearly as much tension, hostility or divisiveness like we’ve seen due in large part to the incompetence of Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
So, I stand proudly alongside Bernie Sanders and millions of others in this country in calling for Debbie Wasserman Schultz to be replaced as chair of the DNC. What this party needs is a true leader who can actually lead the Democratic party forward – not run it into the ground.