This is why the Democratic Party needs a radical overhaul


Glenn Greenwald paints a portrait of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the awful head of the Democratic National Committee, that explains why, as long as people like her dominate the upper echelons of the Democratic Party, it can never embrace a truly progressive agenda.

She is widely perceived to have breached her duty of neutrality as DNC Chair by taking multiple steps to advance the Clinton campaign, including severely limiting the number of Democratic debates and scheduling them so as to ensure low viewership (she was co-chair of Clinton’s 2008 campaign). Even her own DNC Vice Chairs have publicly excoriated her after she punished them for dissenting from her Hillary-protecting debate-limitations. She recently told Ana Maria Cox in a New York Times interview that she favors ongoing criminalization for marijuana (as she receives large financial support from the alcohol industry). She denied opposing medical marijuana even though she was one of a handful of Democratic legislators to vote against a bill to allow states to legalize it, and in her interview with Cox, she boasted that her “criminal-justice record is perhaps not as progressive as some of my fellow progressives.” She also excoriated “young women” – who largely back Bernie Sanders rather than Clinton – for “complacency” over reproductive rights.

In general, Wasserman Schultz is the living, breathing embodiment of everything rotted and corrupt about the Democratic Party: a corporatist who overwhelmingly relies on corporate money to keep her job, a hawk who supports the most bellicose aspects of U.S. foreign policy, a key member of the “centrist” and “moderate” pro-growth New Democrat coalition, a co-sponsor of the failed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which was “heavily backed by D.C. favorites including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the music and motion picture industries” and which, if enacted, would have allowed extreme government and corporate control over the internet.

In 2012, at the height of the controversy over the “kill list” that The New York Times revealed Obama had compiled for execution by drone, she said in an interview she had never heard of it and mocked the interviewer for suggesting such a thing existed. In 2013, she demanded that Edward Snowden “should be extradited, arrested, and prosecuted” because “jeopardized millions of Americans” and then called him a “coward.” “The progressive wing of the party base is volubly getting fed up with her,” declared The American Prospect last week.

However, a progressive Tim Canova, a professor at the Shepard Broad College of Law in Florida’s Nova Southeastern University, is challenging her for her congressional seat in the August 30 primary election. Greenwald interviews him and says:

This year, however, Democrats nationwide, and in her district, have a choice. For the first time in her long Congressional career, she faces a primary challenger for the Democratic nomination. He’s Tim Canova, a smart, articulated, sophisticated lawyer with a history of activism both with the Occupy movement (he’s against the Wall Street bailout for which Wasserman Schultz voted and the general excesses of big banks and crony capitalism) as well as a steadfast opponent of the Patriot Act (for which Wasserman Schultz repeatedly voted).

He has worked with former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson against the Drug War and private prisons; worked with the Sanders campaigns of the past; and was a former aide to the late Sen. Paul Tsongas. He is an outspoken advocate of the Ron-Paul/Alan-Grayson sponsored Audit the Fed bill, and a vehement opponent of the Trans Pacific-Partnership Trade agreement. And he has vowed to run a campaign based on small-donor support, calling Wasserman Schultz “the quintessential corporate machine politician.”

I hope Canova can successfully ride the anger against Schultz and unseat her. His message is clearly inspired by Bernie Sanders and that would send a strong message that her kind of politics is no longer wanted.

Comments

  1. Broken Things says

    a smart, articulated , sophisticated lawyer

    Its a good thing he’s articulated. So many lawyers are just stiff.

  2. says

    n general, Wasserman Schultz is the living, breathing embodiment of everything rotted and corrupt about the Democratic Party: a corporatist who overwhelmingly relies on corporate money to keep her job, a hawk who supports the most bellicose aspects of U.S. foreign policy, a key member of the “centrist” and “moderate” pro-growth New Democrat coalition, a co-sponsor of the failed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which was “heavily backed by D.C. favorites including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the music and motion picture industries” and which, if enacted, would have allowed extreme government and corporate control over the internet.

    In summary: she is an exemplar of today’s Democrats, an embodiment of everything that the party has stood for since before Bill Clinton was elected.

  3. says

    And, it should be noted, she is one of the huge reasons why Bernie Sanders is getting so much attention from registered Democrats. We want a REAL liberal as a candidate, not just another damned “progressive only because the Overton Window has shifted hard to the right” DINO.

  4. says

    Of course it makes sense that the people who run the parties would attempt to suborn their process from the inside. After all, they’re managing an organization that specializes in suborning the national political process. One should expect only corruption and more corruption from such people – why is anyone surprised?

  5. Knight in Sour Armor says

    She’s a classic style Republican masquerading as a Democrat. We need more Republicans like her.

  6. lorn says

    This is one of the reasons Democrats fail: The US government, that multilevel structure that reaches from small towns, to major cities, states and the three branches of the federal government are all dominated by Republicans and people appointed by and beholding to Republicans. State an local governments: executives, legislators and judiciaries, are mostly GOP run. The US legislative branch is mostly Republican. A strong majority of state and federal judges were appointed by Republicans. The Supreme court is dominated by conservatives with octogenarian liberals barely holding the line.

    Democrats are now so much an underachieving minority that we feel we have done something if we can hold on the the presidency and, perhaps, have a shot at a majority in the US senate. The Democrats and our causes have been getting their asses kicked for almost fifty years. Our main constituencies and causes are compromised and unsupported. We watch them being picked off one by one. Unions are a shadow of their prior glory. Planned Parenthood is under daily attack. ACORN is gone. Voting rights are no longer a mandate, barely an issue.

    Losers on their way to being able to hold our convention in a telephone booth. It is all turning to shit and here we are, deciding if Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a woman who was in the political trenches fighting the good fight before most of the people here were born, is sufficiently Democratic and liberal to be allowed to come into the clubhouse.

    I agree, the Democratic party needs to reform itself. We need to start taking the issues seriously enough to decide that winning offices and delivering for constituencies is more important than ideological purity. You have to work with the crooked timber you are given.

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