Responding to comments made by DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz about the Bernie Sanders campaign’s response to the Nevada Democratic State Convention, campaign manager Jeff Weaver accused the DNC leader of “throwing shade” on his campaign from the very beginning.
The clash between the Democratic establishment and the Sanders campaign has intensified in recent days following the debacle at the Nevada convention earlier this week. For those who need a breakdown of what occurred, and why many Sanders voters are angry, here is Cenk Uygur from the Young Turks to explain:
The Nevada Democratic Party, however, rather than address the grievances of Nevada Sanders delegates and supporters, deflected the criticism by launching a formal complaint against the Sanders campaign, accusing them of “violent” behavior at the convention. These claims, however, are questionable. For a thorough explanation of how overblown these accusations actually are, pending more substantial evidence on behalf of the Nevada Democrats, here again is Cenk Uygur:
It is important to note, however, that the Sanders campaign categorically condemns all forms of violence. Both Weaver and Sanders himself have made this explicitly known in their statements.
Wasserman-Schultz, however, does not seem to think this is good enough. She states:
‘With all due respect, when there is a “but” in between condemnation of violence generally, and after the word “but” you go on to seemingly justify the reason that the violence and intimidation has occurred, then that falls short of making sure that going forward this kind of conduct doesn’t occur in the future.’
Weaver sees Wasserman-Schultz’s statements as indicative of a larger pattern of bias against the Sanders campaign that’s been occurring since the beginning of the primary cycle, citing strategically limited debate scheduling on weekends and the campaign’s revoked access from its own data for a brief period of time, among other things. Weaver had this to say:
‘Look, I gotta say it’s not the DNC. You know, by and large, people at the DNC have been very good to us. Debbie Wasserman Schultz really is the exception.
‘It’s been pretty clear almost from the get-go that she has been working against Bernie Sanders — I mean, there’s no doubt about it — for personal reasons.
‘Believe me, there was tremendous pressure inside the party structure for her to relent. I don’t really know what her motivation is, but it’s been clear there’s a pattern of conduct from the beginning of this campaign that has been hostile to Bernie Sanders and his supporters and she’s really become a divisive figure in the party.’
Some Democratic officials are increasingly worried that Sanders supporters will behave “violently” at the Democratic National Convention in July. Sanders himself believes that these fears are unfounded, stating in his response:
‘That is nonsense. Our campaign has held giant rallies all across this country, including in high-crime areas, and there have been zero reports of violence. Our campaign of course believes in non-violent change and it goes without saying that I condemn any and all forms of violence, including the personal harassment of individuals.’
Accusations of violent behavior are not unique to Sanders supporters. A notable Clinton surrogate, Wendell Pierce, was recently arrested and charged for assaulting a man and a woman during an alleged argument about Sanders and Clinton. Does this mean that Clinton supporters are inherently violent? Of course it doesn’t. It’s equally absurd to imply if the roles are reversed.
To be clear on this matter, every presidential candidate in an election year is bound to have supporters who cross the line with unlawful behavior during overly impassioned political bouts. This doesn’t excuse anybody from doing it, as it is categorically wrong to inflict unnecessary violence to make a political statement, no matter what it is. But implying that one side is uniquely violent without a substantial base of evidence linking the campaign to direct, consistent incitements–beyond anecdotes or isolated, exceptional occurrences–is also wrong and unfair. Hillary Clinton’s press secretary, Brian Fallon, seems to be in agreement here:
‘There’s been state party conventions happening quietly without much notice across the country. This was really the exception, not the rule. So we don’t think it’s a harbinger for Philadelphia.’
Featured image via Getty.