Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced that she will resign after the Democratic National Convention, AP reported. Earlier today, Bernie Sanders demanded her resignation after nearly 20,000 DNC emails were released by WikiLeaks that showed she and others in the DNC had a clear bias against Sanders. The emails reveal deep dislike of Sanders’ campaign on the part of many Democratic party officials, along with overt efforts to help Clinton’s campaign despite DNC rules requiring the party stay neutral. Now, the Democratic party has announced that Wasserman Schultz will not be speaking at the Convention, although she may still gavel in and gavel out each session. Bernie supporters say this isn’t enough.
Here’s what you need to know.
Supporters Want More than a DWS Resignation
Debbie Wasserman Schultz will be resigning after the Convention and will be replaced by Donna Brazile, who also had an email showing dislike for Sanders that was leaked. Sanders said Sunday morning that he believed Debbie Wasserman Schultz should resign:
I asked and demanded Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation many, many months ago and I state that again. I don’t think she is qualified to be the chair of the DNC. Not only for these awful emails which revealed the prejudice of the DNC, but also because we need a party that reaches out to working people and young people and I don’t think her leadership style is doing that.”
But for Sanders’ supporters, a resignation is a good start, but it just isn’t enough.
Sanders supporters have been saying all through the primaries that they suspected the Democratic party was not being neutral, as their rules require, but were promoting the Clinton campaign. DNC emails released by WikiLeaks (which you can read in this story) show clear bias on many staffers’ parts, and even plans to float stories to the media about Sanders’ campaign being “a mess” and plans to attack his religion in the hope that he would drop a few points in the polls. Emails also showed the DNC leaking Sanders’ campaign documents to reporters.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz was at the center of much of this, but she wasn’t the only one. Even her resignation won’t be enough for Sanders supporters who say the entire process was rigged. Some supporters still believe Clinton’s campaign was involved somehow:
Clinton Praised Wasserman-Schultz and Is Giving Her an Honorary Position on Her Team
Adding salt to the wound, Clinton praised Wasserman Schultz in a statement released to the public after DWS’s resignation was announced. Clinton praised her and called her a longtime friend and offered her an honorary position. Her statement said, in part:
I want to thank my longtime friend Debbie Wasserman Schultz for her leadership of the Democratic National Committee… I am grateful to Debbie for getting the Democratic Party to this year’s historic convention… There’s simply no one better at taking the fight to the Republicans than Debbie–which is why I am glad that she has agreed to serve as honorary chair of my campaign’s 50-state program to gain ground and elect Democrats in every part of the country… I look forward to campaigning with Debbie in Florida and helping her in her re-election bid… because as President, I will keep fighters like Debbie in Congress…”
The statement was definitely salt-in-the-wound for Sanders supporters, who were encouraged by Sanders to sign up to run in local, state, and federal Democratic campaigns around the country. Sanders is supporting Wasserman Schultz’s competitor for Congress, Tim Canova.
Tampa Bay reported that President Barack Obama was also praising Wasserman Schultz. “For the last eight years, Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has had my back. This afternoon, I called her to let her know that I am grateful. Her leadership of the DNC has meant that we had someone who brought Democrats together not just for my re-election campaign, but for accomplishing the shared goals we have had for our country.”
Many Bernie Supporters Aren’t Interested in Calls for Democratic Party Unity
Bernie Sanders endorsed Clinton and called for unity in the party to make sure Donald Trump is not elected. But many Sanders supporters say that they see the signs of collusion in the Democratic party and concerns about possible election fraud as being just as bad as a potential Trump presidency. Bernie Sanders supporters still want a Sanders nomination, and many are even more firmly in the #NeverHillary camp now. On Reddit, one Bernie supporter wrote:
Here’s the thing. If you roll over and vote for Hillary, you’ll be taken for granted in future elections. The DNC will know that, despite your protests, you will fall in line and vote for whatever corrupt corporatist candidate they choose.”
Meanwhile, Clinton’s campaign has announced that the DNC leaks were Russia’s attempt to get Trump elected. Sanders supporters aren’t buying it:
Or they’re seeing an interesting twist on the news:
Many supporters are staging a movement they call #DemExit, where they are leaving the Democratic party by the hundreds and even thousands.
Others are planning to vote for a third party candidate, potentially Jill Stein or Gary Johnson. On Reddit, one person wrote:
I think everyone for the most part agrees that our two party system is horrible. The only way that will change is if people vote their conscience. I always say if not now, when?”
Still others have joined Trump’s campaign to try to keep out establishment politics. On Reddit, one Bernie supporter wrote, “I’m starting to lean more toward Trump every day. And I really hate that I feel that way.” Another responded: “Well I’d much rather have an *** president than an unindicted criminal any day of the year.”
Still more are joining protests at the Democratic convention, where they will march and rally to have their voices heard. Bernie Sanders is speaking on Monday at the DNC and many of his supporters want him to rescind his endorsement and run third party. This isn’t likely to happen, since his main goals lately have been ensuring Trump isn’t elected and pushing for progressives to join the Democratic party in other elections. But many of his supporters are prepared to throw their vote behind another candidate. Whatever happens, it appears the Democratic National Convention will be anything but boring.
Read more about the DNC and protests below: