Generally, when you see criticism of DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz cropping up, it’s coming from Republicans and conservatives. And why not? There’s plenty of fertile ground for going after her. But this month she’s facing an uprising on her own left flank. As the Daily Caller reports, supporters of Bernie Sanders have started a petition drive trying to oust the Florida congresswoman from her perch just as the primary voting is about to begin.
In just five days, nearly 27,000 people have signed a progressive advocacy group’s petition calling on the Democratic National Committee to remove its chairwoman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, from her position due to her support of 2016 hopeful Hillary Clinton.
RootsAction alleges the Florida congresswoman has skewed the Democratic primaries in favor of the former secretary of state.
“In addition to her recent attempt to deny the Bernie Sanders campaign access to its own voter files, Wasserman Schultz has tried in other ways to minimize competition for her candidate, Hillary Clinton,” the Washington-based group wrote in the petition. “She has done this by scheduling very few primary debates, and scheduling them at times of low TV viewing.”
The disgruntled activists are complaining about “corporate and/or incompetent moderators” in the Democrat debates. (Wait.. I thought we had a copyright on that, didn’t we?)
For the most part, RootsAction seems to exist for the very specific purpose of attacking Hillary Clinton and supporting Bernie Sanders. Their home page is still prominently featuring a call to remove Debbie Downer. If you’re bored, you can follow that link and sign their petition, but would we really want to? I tweeted something about this story yesterday, thinking that it was unlikely to have any real impact but, hey… it’s worth a shot, right? But as several folks pointed out to me almost immediately, why get rid of her? Her bumbling handling of the DNC’s affairs is probably one of the best, free assets that Republicans have going for them. Her interviews on cable news are endless sources of amusement and make the Democrats look completely frivolous.
But more to the point, I can’t imagine the Democrats dumping her right now. We’re at a rather pivotal moment in the election cycle as voters get ready to go to the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire. Firing their most high profile surrogate and battle commander on the eve of the fight would send a terrible message to their base and give an even stronger impression of a party in disarray. If there was a time for the Democrats to rid themselves of this albatross around their necks it would have been last spring or summer before all the declared candidates were lined up.
Unfortunately for the DNC, this may turn out to be their only opportunity for quite some time and they’ll almost surely let it slip away. A group like RootsAction is going to collapse as soon as Sanders is chased from the primary field and that will likely be right after Super Tuesday, whether Bernie is willing to “officially” bow out or not. After that it will be business as usual with a national effort to drag Hillary Clinton over the finish line, and ditching her biggest cheerleader in the party leadership simply won’t be an option.