The finger pointing and recrimination continues inside the Democratic Party as the reality of a looming Donald Trump presidency sinks in. And not all of it has to do with what went so spectacularly wrong with Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. The entire Democratic primary claimed a lot of victims, including the loss by Bernie Sanders and the ouster of former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Usually you hear Sanders supporters blaming Debbie for rigging the game against him, but in an interview with Vice News, she attempts to turn the tables, claiming that Bernie used her as a scapegoat. (Real Clear Politics)
DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I will be frank with you. If I was trying to rig the outcome of the primary, trust me, I could have — there are so many things that we, not I, we could have done to enhance the campaign of one candidate over another…
It was mind-boggling to me that he was complaining about the number of debates. Because, things were going just fine [for him]. I think the Sanders campaign began to aggressively find a scapegoat to turn the attention away from mistakes that they made. And they did so successfully. But that’s okay.
Perhaps I’m a bit fuzzy on the definition of “scapegoat” but we don’t generally associate it with accusing someone of something they actually did. The details which emerged from that torrid affair went well beyond the fact that DWS scheduled the Democrats’ debates to be few in number and in time slots where the Home Shopping Network would give them a run for their money in the ratings. They were playing games with the campaign donations as well. Liberal outlet Daily KOS reported back in April that large dollar donations were effectively being laundered and flushed back to the DNC, primarily to Clinton’s benefit.And let’s not even get started on the Donna Brazile cheating scandal. If Debbie didn’t know about that (a dubious proposition at best) then the most we could say is that she was criminally incompetent rather than simply complicit.
But let’s take DWS at her own word. Clinton was always doing better with the party regulars while Sanders was bringing a surge of independent voters into the fold. Back during the heat of the primary, Debbie went on the record saying that if she’d had her way, none of those pesky independents would be voting at all. (The Hill)
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said if it was her decision, she would scrap open primaries and only allow voters registered as Democrats to participate in primaries.
“I believe that the party’s nominee should be chosen — this is Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s opinion — that the party’s nominee should be chosen by members of the party,” the Florida lawmaker said during an interview with “MSNBC Live” on Monday, according to The Washington Examiner.
So who precisely is the “scapegoat” in this situation? Bernie Sanders accused the chairwoman and the rest of the DNC leadership of having their fingers on the scale in Hillary’s favor. Now that she’s been shown the door, Debbie is trying to pin the blame on Bernie. The Wikileaks revelations made it all very clear, and DWS probably shouldn’t be bragging about how she could have rigged the primary “if she’d wanted to.” That page is already written in the history books and Sanders has a very legitimate gripe. But in the end, he wound up with a very senior spot in the Senate leadership and she’s out in the cold. Perhaps there was a small sliver of justice for Bernie after all.