Hillary Clinton's recent plea for Party unity has been severely undercut by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz (D-FL). Clinton made the bald claim that "there's much more that unites us than divides us." The Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) exposed those remarks to be nothing more than empty rhetoric.
As we observed in explaining why Veterans for Bernie endorsed her primary opponent Tim Canova, "Wasserman Schultz has turned an ostensibly neutral DNC into an adjunct of the Clinton 2016 campaign." At that time, we pointed to the DNC chair's underhanded efforts to rig the nominating process by severely constricting the number and timing of debates. We also pointed to her "intolerance for dissent and an autocratic proclivity to silence those with whom she disagrees."
Last August, the DNC and the Clinton campaign initiated their effort to rig the nominating process via a joint fundraising effort known as "The Hillary Victory Fund." That agreement, which ostensibly would provide funding for 33 state parties, was both designed to evade individual political contribution limits and to insure the support of super-delegates in those 33 states. To date, under the terms of The Hillary Victory Fund, "the state parties have served only as a pass-through for their share of the funds" to the DNC and Clinton campaigns.
Super-delegates, or what Salon's Ben Norton aptly described as the "unelected party nobility," are the antithesis of the democratic aspirations of the Sanders-led political revolution. After the backroom deals that led to The Hillary Victory Fund agreement -- and long before the first vote was cast in the Iowa Caucus -- the Clinton campaign boasted that it had already secured 1/5 of the delegates needed to secure the nomination.
But it is one thing to rig the 2016 nominating process. It is quite another to rig the Convention so as to prevent future democratic reforms. Yet, that is precisely what has now occurred.
Clinton super-delegates have been appointed to head the Convention's Committees. And, importantly, Wasserman Schultz failed to appoint so much as even one Sanders delegate to the all-important Rules Committee.
This insured that the Rules Committee will not submit a proposal to the floor of the Convention to put an end to the undemocratic super-delegate process. It also prompted a May 5 letter in which Bernie observed:
If we are to have a unified party in the Fall, no matter who wins the nomination, we cannot have a Democratic National Convention in which the views of millions of people who participated in the Democratic nominating process are unrepresented in the committee membership appointed by you, the Chair. That sends the very real message that the Democratic Party is not open to the millions of new people that our campaign has brought into the political process, does not want to hear new voices, and is unwilling to respect the broader base of people that this party needs to win over in November and beyond.
When asked by The Young Turks' Cenk Uyger what he would do if he lost and was asked by the Democratic Party to persuade our political movement to vote for the establishment candidate, Bernie observed that it would would be more appropriate to ask what the Democratic establishment is willing to do for our movement?
Are they going to welcome into the Democratic Party the working class of this country and young people? Or is it going to be the Party of the upper middle class and the cocktail crowd and the heavy campaign contributors, which it significantly is right now.
From Wasserman Schultz's Convention Committee rigging, we now have our answer. A Clinton-led party will be democratic in name only. It will espouse the revolution's rhetoric but has every intention of remaining the agent of an oligarchic status quo.
Veterans for Bernie