Doubling Down on Denial: the Delusions of Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Disgraced former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz still refuses to admit any wrongdoing on her part as DNC Chair during the Democratic Primaries, despite her resignation in the wake of emails released by Wikileaks proving she did.

“I will be frank with you — if I was trying to rig the outcome of the primary, trust me, I could have,” Wasserman Schultz told VICE News’ Shawna Thomas.

She claimed it was “mind-boggling” for her as to why Bernie Sanders and his supporters complained about the debate schedule during the primaries. But an email released by Wikileaks from Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta confirmed the DNC coordinated the debate schedule to maximize the benefit it yielded to the Clinton Campaign. After only six were scheduled, Sanders’ Supporters helped push the DNC and Clinton to add 3 more, but the Clinton Campaign refused to participate in a debate before the California Democratic Primary. In the 2008 Democratic Primaries, Obama and Clinton participated in 26 debates. Wasserman Schultz defended her debate schedule and claimed it was designed to maximize exposure for candidates, but Politifact rated her claim false, based on testimonies from five political science and communication professors.

In October 2015, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) publicly called for more debates to be added to the primary debate schedule while serving as one of five DNC Vice Chairs. As a result of her dissent, the DNC disinvited her from attending the first Democratic Primary debate. “It’s very dangerous when we have people in positions of leadership who use their power to try to quiet those who disagree with them,” Gabbard told the New York Times. “When I signed up to be vice chair of the D.N.C., no one told me I would be relinquishing my freedom of speech and checking it at the door.” Gabbard would later formally resign from her position as a DNC Vice Chair after the South Carolina Democratic Primary in February 2016 to join the Bernie Sanders Campaign as a surrogate.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz served as Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Co-Chair in 2008. Two days before Hillary Clinton formally announced her presidential campaign, Wasserman Schultz told the Sun-Sentinel, “Secretary Clinton, I think is arguably one of the most qualified people—assuming she announces her candidacy—who have ever run for president. I was proud to support her in 2008. Of course, as DNC chair, I will neutrally manage our primary nomination contest, assuming we have one.” This response, in which Wasserman Schultz fails miserably to contain her excitement for Hillary Clinton’s Campaign, foreshadowed the overt favoritism she exercised for Clinton throughout the closely contested Democratic Primaries.

As head of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz violated the neutrality demanded by the DNC Charter, and fostered an environment that functioned as an arm of the Clinton Campaign rather than an impartial entity meant to promote and ensure democracy in the primaries.

To help tip the scale in favor of Hillary Clinton even further, Wasserman Schultz quietly rescinding a ban on donations from lobbyists and political action committees initially enacted by President Obama in 2008. The decision was an invite for corporate and wealthy influences to take over the Democratic Party and help Hillary Clinton get elected, as Bernie Sanders’ refusal to take any money from lobbyists or Super-Pacs was a staple of his campaign. This rule change gave Clinton an advantage over Sanders, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz enacted the rule change knowing it would only benefit Hillary Clinton.

Wasserman Schultz was a divisive figure throughout the Democratic Primaries, but Clinton was intent on rewarding her loyalty to the Clinton Campaign. Bernie Sanders eventually called for Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation towards the end of the primaries, but negotiations to replace her failed to gain momentum then. CNN cited sources told them negotiations for replacing her as DNC Chair fell through as the Clinton Campaign didn’t want to cause a distraction. They also likely didn’t want to corroborate suspicions from Sanders supporters that Wasserman Schultz was a Clinton loyalist sitting in a position which demanded neutrality.

In June 2016, the Clinton Campaign appointed Brandon Davis, the national political director for the SEIU, as the general election chief of staff for the Democratic Party. Similar appointments are standard after primaries, but the move initially proved beneficial to both the DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, as it shielded her from exposure and freed her to focus on her re-election campaign while she still held the title as DNC Chair. Until the fallout from the Wikileaks release of DNC e-mails, Wasserman Schultz’s job as DNC Chair was safe. Even in the wake of negative publicity from Wikileaks, Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned only to be immediately hired by the Clinton Campaign as honorary chair to Clinton’s 50-state campaign program. In lieu of punishment for overtly violating the DNC Charter, Hillary Clinton rewarded Wasserman Schultz for her assistance in helping defeat Bernie Sanders in the primaries.

During a follow up interview with the Miami Herald after her resignation, Wasserman Schultz had a Freudian slip, stumbling in defending her role as DNC Chair; “”I’m very proud of the primary nominating contest that we won – that we ran.”

More articles by:

Michael Sainato’s writing has appeared in the Guardian, Miami Herald, Baltimore Sun, Denver Post, Buffalo News, the Hill, Alternet, and several other publications . Follow him on twitter: @MSainat1

March 21, 2018
Paul Street
Time is Running Out: Who Will Protect Our Wrecked Democracy from the American Oligarchy?
Mel Goodman
The Great Myth of the So-Called “Adults in the Room”
Chris Floyd
Stumbling Blocks: Tim Kaine and the Bipartisan Abettors of Atrocity
Eric Draitser
The Political Repression of the Radical Left in Crimea
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan Threatens Wider War Against the Kurds
John Steppling
It is Us
Thomas Knapp
Death Penalty for Drug Dealers? Be Careful What You Wish for, President Trump
Manuel García, Jr.
Why I Am a Leftist (Vietnam War)
Isaac Christiansen
A Left Critique of Russiagate
Howard Gregory
The Unemployment Rate is an Inadequate Reporter of U.S. Economic Health
Ramzy Baroud
Who Wants to Kill Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah?
Roy Morrison
Trouble Ahead: The Trump Administration at Home and Abroad
Roger Hayden
Too Many Dead Grizzlies
George Wuerthner
The Lessons of the Battle to Save the Ancient Forests of French Pete
Binoy Kampmark
Fictional Free Trade and Permanent Protectionism: Donald Trump’s Economic Orthodoxy
Rivera Sun
Think Outside the Protest Box
March 20, 2018
Jonathan Cook
US Smooths Israel’s Path to Annexing West Bank
Jeffrey St. Clair
How They Sold the Iraq War
Chris Busby
Cancer, George Monbiot and Nuclear Weapons Test Fallout
Nick Alexandrov
Washington’s Invasion of Iraq at Fifteen
David Mattson
Wyoming Plans to Slaughter Grizzly Bears
Paul Edwards
My Lai and the Bad Apples Scam
Julian Vigo
The Privatization of Water and the Impoverishment of the Global South
Mir Alikhan
Trump and Pompeo on Three Issues: Paris, Iran and North Korea
Seiji Yamada
Preparing For Nuclear War is Useless
Gary Leupp
Brennan, Venality and Turpitude
Martha Rosenberg
Why There’s a Boycott of Ben & Jerry’s on World Water Day, March 22
John Pilger
Skripal Case: a Carefully-Constructed Drama?
March 19, 2018
Henry Heller
The Moment of Trump
John Davis
Pristine Buildings, Tarnished Architect
Uri Avnery
The Fake Enemy
Patrick Cockburn
The Fall of Afrin and the Next Phase of the Syrian War
Nick Pemberton
The Democrats Can’t Save Us
Nomi Prins 
Jared Kushner, RIP: a Political Obituary for the President’s Son-in-Law
Georgina Downs
The Double Standards and Hypocrisy of the UK Government Over the ‘Nerve Agent’ Spy Poisoning
Dean Baker
Trump and the Federal Reserve
Colin Todhunter
The Strategy of Tension Towards Russia and the Push to Nuclear War
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
US Empire on Decline
Ralph Nader
Ahoy America, Give Trump a Taste of His Own Medicine Starting on Trump Imitation Day
Robert Dodge
Eliminate Nuclear Weapons by Divesting from Them
Laura Finley
Shame on You, Katy Perry
Weekend Edition
March 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Michael Uhl
The Tip of the Iceberg: My Lai Fifty Years On
Bruce E. Levine
School Shootings: Who to Listen to Instead of Mainstream Shrinks
Mel Goodman
Caveat Emptor: MSNBC and CNN Use CIA Apologists for False Commentary
Paul Street
The Obama Presidency Gets Some Early High Historiography