The Democratic National Committee just spit, not only in President Obama’s face, but in the face of everyone who voted for him because of his promise for change. What could they possibly have done that is so bad? Aren’t Democrats all supposed to be on the same team? In theory, yes, but the DNC apparently decided otherwise.
It was revealed yesterday — Friday — that the DNC reversed the restrictions that were put in place during President Obama’s 2008 run, in which he promised to do away with all special interest money from lobbyists and political action committees. The DNC has quietly — so quietly that, until Friday, almost no one knew about it — decided that they no longer need the rule that Obama inspired. Of course, there was no formal announcement following this decision, because the DNC clearly knew exactly what they were doing and knew that there would be consequences.
To clarify, it was once, and now is again, perfectly okay for special interest money to help influence and decide the Democratic nominee. Some people have suggested that this new policy reversal would be beneficial to Hillary Clinton’s fundraising efforts, giving her more of an advantage over Bernie Sanders in the 2016 election.
While this change is good news for lobbyists and political action committees, it has left a lot of other people, like those who voted for President Obama because of the original change, for example, very unhappy, to say the least. Robert Reich, who was the Secretary of Labor under Clinton, just found out about the rule reversal, and he is not happy. He posted the following statement on his Facebook page last night:
‘To my mind, this is the worst aspect of insider-dominated crony capitalism – the rigging of our system by big money. It’s exactly what Americans are reacting against in this election. It’s precisely what the movement to take back our democracy and economy from the moneyed interests is all about. The DNC appears to be nothing but [a] siphon for more corruption.’
Reich is not the only person to be upset. Longtime reform advocate Fred Wertheimer told The Washington Post:
‘It is a major step in the wrong direction. And it is completely out of touch with the clear public rejection of the role of political money in Washington.’
Before now, the rule reversal, which apparently was introduced during the last couple of months, was apparently known about by only a few leading lobbyists in Washington. Is it merely a coincidence that this rule was changed just as Bernie Sanders, whose campaign has been entirely funded by individual donors, has started to gain momentum in his campaign for president?
Whether or not the change was intended to hinder Sanders’ campaign, one thing is for sure. This change is almost certainly going to increase tensions between the DNC, Sanders, and his supporters, who have already accused the DNC of trying to prevent more primary debates and tilt the race in Hillary’s favor. If we know one thing about Bernie and his followers, it is that they will not take this change lying down.