Global Independent Analytics
Max J. Schindler
Max J. Schindler

Location: Palestine-Israel

Specialization: Politics

Is Hillary rigging the Democratic Party against Bernie?

Despite the hype of millennial supporters who contend that Sen. Bernie Sanders can win the Democratic presidential nomination, it's highly unlikely.Especially when the party is dead-set against you.

With the Democratic National Committee, its apparatus has become an arm of the Hillary campaign.

Its head, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was one of six campaign co-chairs for Hillary Clinton in 2008. She has helped stack the primary debate schedule on Saturdays when fewer potential voters could watch new candidates such as Bernie Sanders. (Most people are watching college football then.)

There were only four DNC debates before the first primary, all but one on the weekend. (The exception was Sunday night's debate, right before a federal holiday).

The short lineup points to “Schultz-led DNC's efforts to undercut any non-Clintons.” A number of journalists and pundits, both right-leaning and centrist, have argued that “this schedule gives candidates fewer and less-watch opportunities to upend Clinton.”

Of course, the DNC has denied this.

There's also the unpleasant fact of how the DNC head made her decision for fewer debates unilaterally, while Schultz's deputies called for more debates.  (In response, Schultz disinvited from the debate a few DNC vice chairs. That led to one deputy demanding her resignation.)

And last month, Schultz's DNC momentarily cut access for the Sanders campaign to its crucially valuable voter database after allegations emerged that the Sanders campaign had inadvertently accessed data meant only for the Clinton campaign.

Squabbles over voter data is the tip of the iceberg for the frosty relationship between the Sanders campaign and the DNC.

Sanders' lawsuit against the DNC for cutting access to the database is still ongoing, as of the middle of January. On the flip side, the Clinton campaign is quietly transferring money to the DNC to help with its Southern operations, reported the right-wing news site, Breibart News.

One candidate is funding you while the other candidate is suing you. Doesn't sound like a difficult choice for party bigwigs.

The DNC's apparent bias extends all the way down to the grassroots and state level. While Sanders sues the DNC and Clinton funds the group, local and state Democratic groups commonly offer the Clinton campaign use of its office space. In contrast, Sanders rarely receives offers to use state or county Democratic Party offices.

As Vice News reported from early primary state Nevada last month:

With its walls papered with Hillary Clinton signs, and the seats carefully arranged for the Hillary for America ribbon-cutting, it was hard to tell where the Democratic Party's office ended and the Clinton office began. There were a few signs referencing Obama and the Affordable Care Act, but as far as I could tell, there weren't any that mentioned the two other Democrats running for president. And sure enough, both the Carson City Democratic Party and Hillary for America's Carson City field office list 502 E. John Street,

(…)At the time, it struck me as curious that the local Democratic Party—particularly one in a key early voting state—would allow a primary candidate to run a campaign from their office, sharing resources and space in a place where caucus voters might come with the expectation of balanced information on all of the party's candidates.

It is no secret that party leaders have been throwing their weight behind the Clinton machine.

Long before any voter casts a ballot in a state primary or caucus, most party heavyweights will have already endorsed Clinton over Sanders, with the secretary racking up the support of 338 superdelegates to Sander's 11. Another 400 superdelegates remain uncommitted.

In order to win the Democratic nomination for president, a candidate must garner at least half of all delegates, or 2,383 of 4,764 total. 15 percent are “superdelegates,” or party officials who may vote for any candidate. The rest are allocated in primaries and caucuses.

Officials who have endorsed Hillary include more than 100 members of congress, several governors and four Obama cabinet members. Even Howard Dean, the former DNC chair of former governor of Sanders' Vermont, has endorsed Hillary.

Sanders can only claim the support of two Democratic congressmen, and the former DNC head in the late '80s.

The DNC's institutional bias is bad and predictable, thanks to the Clinton husband-and-wife team with its deep ties to party elites.

Despite the obstacles that the Democratic Party is throwing in Bernie's way, is there a way forward for the democratic socialist from VT?

Possibly.

Superdelegates can change their endorsements (Obama was able to persuade a few to switch from Hillary in '08).

But that’s very unlikely, given the hostility of the Democratic Party, its officials and its machinery against Sanders.

(By the way, this image from Sunday's debate sums up the frenemy relationship between Sanders and the DNC's Schultz, as the two tersely shake hands with no eye contact).

 

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