Although superdelegates in the Democratic Party don’t cast their vote until the Democratic National Convention, the majority of them flocked to line up behind Hillary Clinton before the Democratic Primaries really began. As DNC Vice Chair Donna Brazile said in 2013, “if Hillary Clinton gets in the race, there will be a coronation of her.” The coronation was effectively halted by Senator Bernie Sanders, whose more progressive agenda and rallying call against big money corrupting politics has resonated with millions of Democrats and Independents across the country. His surge in support was obstructed by the Democratic National Committee in every possible way they could get away with.
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz served as co-chair to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign, so it was already highly unlikely she would be able to maintain impartiality in the race. Ms. Wasserman Schultz’s poor leadership has come under scrutiny throughout the Democratic primaries, from rigging the debate schedule, inciting a lawsuit from the Bernie Sanders campaign over access to voter database files, and colluding with the Hillary Clinton campaign through a joint fundraising committee, the Hillary Victory Fund, which has recently been accused of violating campaign finance laws. The fund has also been linked to essentially buying off the support of superdelegates as the Clinton campaign gets to decide where and how much money goes to support State Democrat Parties.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have remained close in terms of support from voters throughout the primaries, but the disproportionate amount of super delegates supporting Ms. Clinton in contrast to the support from voters, especially from states where Bernie Sanders won an overwhelming majority of the vote, signals the election is in part, rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton. DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz slipped up in a media interview and admitted, “unpledged delegates exist really to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grassroots activists.”
One of the most telling signs the super delegate system and the Democratic Party is under the thumb of Hillary Clinton’s Democratic Machine is the silence from Senator Elizabeth Warren in choosing to endorse a candidate for president. Supporters on both sides have argued the silence is a victory for their candidate, but given her similarities to Senator Bernie Sanders and her political career embodying much of his platform, the silence is arguably most attributed to fear of retribution from her own party.
“I’m still cheering Bernie on,” Senator Warren said in a March 2015 news conference. After Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard took a bold career risk in resigning from her DNC Vice Chair position to support Bernie Sanders, some were expecting Senator Warren to join the fight as well. Much to their disappointment and frustration, she has not, but if she did and Ms. Clinton wins the nomination, Senator Warren’s rise to stardom in the Democratic Party would be effectively over.
Rumors Senator Warren would run for president this election term will likely be repeated in either 2020 or 2024. In her first senate term, Senator Warren has often been found in tandem with Senator Bernie Sanders rallying against corruption and corporate influence in politics or vetting nominees appointed by President Obama when other Democrats remain complacent in blindly following the leadership.
Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign offers an opportunity to change the face of politics and fight against the money and wealth which have corrupted it, from the inside. If Senator Sanders does not win the nomination, Senator Warren still offers an opportunity to reform the status quo, which will be strengthened by Hillary Clinton as she has immensely profited off wealthy and corporate interests throughout her political career. Senator Warren offers the chance for Democrats to elect a female president while maintaining the populism of Bernie Sanders’ campaign.
The entitlement of Hillary Clinton supporters’ “it’s her turn” rhetoric has contributed to resentment of the Democratic Party establishment, one that has not been open to considering new ideas or rallying support from progressives and independent voters. Instead, the Democratic Party has been abrasive towards anyone unaccepting of Hillary Clinton’s coronation. Senator Warren has a prominent voice in the Democratic Party, but it would be effectively silenced if she campaigned for Bernie Sanders against Ms. Clinton and Bernie Sanders didn’t win the nomination. Senator Warren’s effectiveness in the Senate and as a politician unfortunately relies on working within the system, and garnering support from her Democratic colleagues. She chose not to put that in jeopardy, similar to the reasons why Bernie Sanders chose not to initially run a negative campaign despite recent criticism arguing if he started off illuminating Hillary Clinton’s fallacies, the Democratic primaries would have tipped in his favor.
What the criticism fails to mention is if Bernie Sanders began his campaign off negative, he would have been smeared by the media and the Democratic establishment as an enemy of the Democratic Party. In a rigged and corrupt Democratic Party, dissent, especially done overtly, is castigated until silenced. What the calls for corrupt Democrats, such as Debbie Wasserman Schultz, to resign or be replaced are all about is getting money out of politics. The rigged campaign finance system is the root source of the gridlock in Congress. Money doesn’t care about party lines. Both Democrat and Republican parties benefit from its influence. Until this is changed, no meaningful public policy proposals will be able to pass legislation.