Recently on the MSNBC morning program called Morning Joe, anchors Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski made a rather compelling case that the Democratic Party establishment, especially Democratic National Committee Chairwoman (DNC) Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, had been trying to sabotage the presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders since “day one.”
It is no secret that Schultz is a supporter of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, nor that she has used her position as head of the DNC to help her preferred candidate—scheduling primary debates at off-hours and regularly criticizing the Sanders campaign in the media. At one point, she even tried to permanently ban the Sanders campaign from accessing the Democratic Party’s voter database before backing off after legal threats and bad publicity.
But the Morning Joe team went even further, raising questions as to whether or not party officials have interfered in the elections themselves with suspiciously early calls in Iowa and Kentucky by Clinton supporters, who also serve in government.
The relevance of that often-repeated charge has only been amplified by the recent debacle in Nevada, where Clinton supporters in charge of the state party bent and broke rules to help the Clinton campaign.
Last night, during a speech in Carson, California, Senator Sanders responded to the sabotage campaign by explicitly warning the Democratic Party establishment, saying:
“The Democratic Party is going to have to make a very, very, profound and important decision. It can do the right thing and open its doors and welcome into the party people who are prepared to fight for real economic and social change. That is the Democratic Party I want to see…
I say to the leadership of the Democratic Party: Open the doors, let the people in! Or the other option for the Democratic Party, which I see as a very sad and tragic option is to choose and maintain its status quo structure, remain dependent on big money campaign contributions and be a party with limited participation and limited energy.“
Of course, the people currently in charge of the party are, by definition, part of the status quo. So maybe it should not be a surprise they are trying to stop Senator Sanders from prevailing. Yet such open shade-throwing is unlikely to endear many Sanders supporters to a party that will need them in November and beyond.
It is worth noting that after Sanders made his warning to the Democratic Party establishment, a chant began reverberating throughout the 11,000 person-filled building: “Bernie or Bust.”