‘The DNC should be ashamed of itself, because it really is a slap in the face to folks who were asking for reform…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Top allies of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., a leading contender in the Democratic presidential primary, slammed the Democratic National Committee and its chairman, Tom Perez, for putting former Hillary Clinton advisers in prominent positions on the committee.
The DNC announced this week that former Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta will both have seats on the DNC’s rules committee.
The Sanders campaign sought to have Frank removed from this role in 2016, describing him as an “aggressive attack surrogate for the Clinton campaign,” but the DNC rejected Sanders’s request.
Likewise, Podesta was intimately involved in the DNC’s attempt to stonewall Sanders’s 2016 campaign. One of his hacked emails from 2016 revealed that he asked a Democratic strategist where to “stick the knife” in Sanders, who was running against Clinton at the time.
The fact that the DNC chose both Frank and Podesta prove that the Democratic establishment has learned nothing, said Nina Turner, the national co-chairwoman of the Sanders campaign.
“The DNC should be ashamed of itself, because it really is a slap in the face to folks who were asking for reform, and if the DNC believes that it’s going to get away in 2020 with what it did in 2016, it has another thing coming,” Turner told Status Coup.
“It’s very disappointing to see Chairman Perez build a list of this magnitude,” Turner continued. “It also shows a lack of understanding about what the grassroots asked for post the 2016 election. It is an embarrassment.”
The DNC is intentionally choosing a “very small number of appointments of allies to Sen. Sanders, said Yasmine Taeb, a DNC member who attended the 2016 convention as a Sanders delegate.
“The appointments also include individuals that are outright hostile to Bernie Sanders and his supporters,” Taeb added. “It’s not the message the DNC should be sending to the grassroots right now when we’re all working aggressively to defeat the racist in the White House.”
The DNC, however, has defended its decision to appoint Frank and Podesta, arguing that those two delegates represent a very small fraction of the 187 members who will eventually serve on the committees.
“Our rules require the DNC chair to make a small fraction of appointments to three standing committees for the convention, and these appointments reflect the rich diversity of our party,” DNC national press secretary Brandon Gassaway said in a statement. “The remaining appointments will be made based on each state’s election results.”
Both Podesta and Frank are white males, although Frank adds “diversity” as a member of the Jewish and LGBT identity groups.
This DNC decision is just the latest example of the Democratic establishment’s uncertainty in regard to Sanders and his growing momentum among progressives.
Former President Barack Obama has pledged to step in, should it appear that Sanders will get the nomination. And Clinton, herself, was criticized for recent comments that “nobody likes” Sanders.
Several establishment groups are also scrambling to create an “organized effort” to prevent Sanders from winning the nomination, according to Matt Bennett, co-founder of the Democratic group Third Way. But some fear that an intentional effort to stonewall Sanders could unintentionally make him a martyr.
“People were laughing at Trump when he came down the escalator and they kept laughing at him for way too long, until ‘holy crap’ he’s winning primaries,” Bennett told Politico. “What I fear is one will emerge too late, as with what happened with Trump.”