Apparently there is some sort of problem with Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her damn national committee. Many Democrats are calling for her to step down and for more reasons than one.
First and foremost, they blame her for a debate schedule that includes only six debates, claiming that so few debates puts the lesser known candidates at a distinct disadvantage. In addition, the timing of the debates would seem to make some of them less likely to be seen by the general public giving an advantage to Hillary Clinton who gets more free exposure from the mass media.
Of the four debates that are actually scheduled, three of them are on weekends and one of those is on the Saturday before Christmas. No date exists for the other two debates.
Both Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley have referred to the debate process as rigged. (You can sign the Sander’s petition to the DNC to increase the number of debates here.)
To bolster the claim that there is something rotten outside Denmark the anti -Debbie Wasserman Schultz crowd points to the fact that she was a co-chair for Clinton’s campaign in 2008 and is firmly in Hillary’s pants suit pocket, an image that made even writing it difficult.
Worse yet is the “exclusivity clause” she has instituted. This is the crème filled center of Lil’ Deb’s policy cupcake that states that any candidate who participates in a debate not sanctioned by the DNC – that is not sanctioned by her – will not be allowed to participate in one that is.
Add to all this the claims that the DNC has done a terrible job raising money under this woman and rumors that she plans to pack the invitation-only debates that are scheduled with Hillary supporters and it’s not hard to see why calls for her to step down are mounting. Oh, yeah… and she has repeatedly tried to get the DNC to pay for her wardrobe.
It turns out that Howard Dean, the previous chair of the DNC has taken credit for the idea that there should only be six debates. The timing of those debates and the “exclusivity clause,” however, he places squarely on Lil’ Deb’s marshmallow shoulders, and he has called for the “exclusivity clause” to be eliminated.
Short of her stepping down, the only way to get rid of this woman as DNC Chair is for President Obama to remove her, something that, at least so far, he has been unwilling to do.
The DNC does have other members. The DNC web site lists five Vice Chairs, two of whom have already called for more debates. Both R.T. Rybak, past mayor of Minneapolis, and Maria Elena Durazo, have publicly stated that they believe more debates are appropriate. This has had no more effect on Lil’ Deb than the people chanting for more debates and drowning her out at the New Hampshire Democratic National Committee meeting. Apparently, the DNC Chair holds complete power in matters of Democratic policy.
Other vice chairs are Donna Brazile, former campaign manager for Al Gore, Representative Tulsi Gabbard, a female combat veteran from Hawaii, and Raymond Buckley, a prominent New Hampshire Democrat and member of the DNC since 1999. So far these vice chairs have apparently not publically made their opinions on the debate matter known.
There is good reason to think that it won’t make much difference if they did since Lil Miss Nutty Bar seems to have complete control.
There may have to be another solution.
Trying to define what constitutes a presidential debate isn’t as easy as you might think. Usually a presidential debate is held in a large, public venue. The last Republican debate was held at the Reagan Library. The DNC does not list the venues for the four scheduled Democratic debates, although they do list cities and sponsors.
In every case that I am aware of (except for the Republican kiddie table debates) the candidates at a presidential debate stand or sit together, in real time, in front of a live audience and are presented questions by a moderator or moderators who have worked out rules for the proceedings ahead of time.
That’s pretty much the way it has always been done and that should pretty much define the DNC sponsored debates for this election cycle.
But today’s technology changes the way information is disseminated, doesn’t it.
Bernie Sanders and the other non-ordained Democratic candidates want more debates as a way to get more face recognition and as a way to get their ideas out to the American people. But aren’t there other ways to do that?
We’ve all seen political candidates interviewed on cable television. Sometimes they are in the studio and sometimes they are somewhere else clear across the country. And, apparently, you can interview as many people as you can cram television monitors in the studio so the viewers can see them.
Hey! Rachael Maddow! Want to blow Bill O’Reilly’s ratings numbers right out of the water? Invite Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Lincoln Chaffee, Lawrence Lessig, Jim Webb, and Hillary Clinton to be interviewed on your show at the same time. They don’t have to be in the studio. They don’t have to be in the same state. There will be no large venue. There will be no live audience. You’ll interview the candidates and if they respond to each other, well, isn’t that the way your interviews with multiple people always play out? Lil’ Deb can’t say it’s a presidential debate because it isn’t – it’s just a TV interview; the candidates will say they participated because it was an interview, and the majority of the democrats out there will agree.
Chances are that Hillary won’t agree to participate. Fine. Do it again. Do it several times. Hillary will come around. When other candidates are being given free air time to expound on their platforms, she can’t afford to sit it out. But if she does, all the better.
Everyone wins but Lil’ Deb. And what’s she going to do anyway? If she refuses to allow all other candidates to debate Hillary at the DNC debates, who is going to tune in on the Saturday before Christmas to watch Hillary Clinton debate herself?
This all hinges on two things: 1) We can convince someone like Rachael Maddow (and therefore MSNBC) to do it, and 2) All of the non-Hillary candidates agree to participate. If you can’t get all of them, it won’t work.
But that’s what social media is good at, right?
Bernie Sander’s rise in the polls is directly attributable to the internet and social media support. Maybe we can solve the debate problems as well. Not so sure? The conventional wisdom stills says Bernie Sanders can’t win – and here you are reading this!
You’ll need these twitter accounts to get started:
@Maddow, @Berniesanders, @Martinomalley, @lincolnchafee, @lessig2016, @jimwebbusa, @hillaryclinton
If you want to try to convince the vice chairs of the DNC to speak up in favor of more debates:
@chairmanbuckley, @donnabrazile, and @tulsipress
And if you are a masochist or glutton for failure, @DWStweets and @RepDWStweets should get you ignored by Miss Devil Crèmes herself.
Educate your friends.
Enough is Enough.