After narrowly surviving a primary season that exposed deep fissures on the American left, the Democratic Party is now reaping the contentious harvest sewn by their own biases. The day before the Democratic National Convention was set to begin in Philadelphia, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was pressured to step down amidst an email leak that showed clear favoritism to the eventual nominee, Hillary Clinton.
“I know that electing Hillary Clinton as our next president is critical for America’s future,” said Wasserman Schultz in a statement. “I look forward to serving as a surrogate for her campaign in Florida and across the country to ensure her victory. Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish those goals is to step down as party chair at the end of this convention.”
Not only will Wasserman Schultz be stepping down, she has been removed from the convention schedule as a speaker. Hillary Clinton’s camp is desperate to present a picture of party unity, even as thousands of protesters gather outside the arena to let the DNC know what they think of their rigged primary system.
The email leak is being blamed on Russian hackers, and the effects of the leak have been devastating for a party trying to deny that it had its thumb on the scale in the primaries. Bernie Sanders’ supporters have said for months that the DNC was against his campaign from the beginning, and several of the leaked emails seemed to confirm that suspicion. One email even had party officials musing about exposing Sanders as an atheist to give Clinton an advantage in West Virginia.
Strangely enough, the Clinton campaign is hiring Wasserman Schultz as an unofficial campaign advisor, which only strengthens the notion that all of this was planned from the outset.
While Sanders has pledged his unconditional support to Clinton as she heads into a general election against Donald Trump, many of his fans say that they will not be joining him. They see her as just another corrupt politician – one who will betray progressive causes if it means securing herself more power.
For the duration of the campaign, Sanders, Clinton, and other top Democrats have waved away the idea of Sanders supporters defecting to Trump in the fall. But as the resentment grows against the Democratic establishment, they may find themselves surprised one last time before being kicked out of the White House in November.