Hillary Rodham Clinton may be the inevitable Democratic Party presidential nominee.
It’s not a done deal just yet, given Sen. Bernie Sanders’s big wins this weekend in Washington, Alaska and Hawaii. Clinton, though, still has the big lead in delegates and the primary campaign is heading into more Clinton-friendly territory.
But here’s the thing, according to Bill Moyers (yes, that Bill Moyers) and Michael Winship: She remains captive to the big-money interests that are poisoning the political system. It’s time for Clinton to stand up, spit into her palms and then do what she needs to do, they say, which is call for the immediate resignation of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
They ask a valid question: Is she the candidate of the past or of the future?
If it’s the latter, then she needs to demonstrate it. Forcefully.
These two figures — Emmanuel and Schultz — represent what’s wrong with the Democratic Party, say Moyers and Winship.
Emmanuel’s tenure as mayor has been rocked by controversy. The shooting death of an African-American teenager, Laquan McDonald, went unreported for months. Laquan was shot to death by Chicago police while he was strolling down the street. He presented no weapon; his hands were in the air. A cop shot him multiple times dead in the street.
Emmanuel then took responsibility for the shooting, given that he’s the mayor and the chief of police answers to him.
But before he became mayor he was a three-term Illinois congressman and White House chief of staff for President Obama. He is soaked in corporate money. Emmanuel, Moyers and Winship write, “chaired the fundraising Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (calling on his Wall Street sources to get in on the gravy by electing so-called New Democrats over New Deal Democrats), and soon was back in the White House as Obama’s chief of staff. There, he infamously told a strategy meeting of liberal groups and administration types that the liberals were ‘retarded’ for planning to run attack ads against conservative Democrats resisting Obamacare. Classy.”
He’s a longtime ally of Hillary and Bill Clinton, which is why he continues to loom so large on the Democratic Party landscape.
Schultz is just as tainted by money, say Moyers and Winship, who write that “she embodies the tactics that have eroded the ability of Democrats to once again be the party of the working class. As Democratic National Committee chair she has opened the floodgates for Big Money, brought lobbyists into the inner circle and oiled all the moving parts of the revolving door that twirls between government service and cushy jobs in the world of corporate influence.”
Of the two essayists, Moyers — of course — is the better known. He’s an East Texan who came to prominence during the Lyndon Johnson administration, where he served his fellow Texan as White House press secretary. He then went on to become a fixture on public television.
The Sanders campaign has lit a fire all by itself with the candidate’s call for reform of the political financing system. His sole aim is to finance presidential campaigns solely with public funds, while seeking to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling that unleashes corporate donors.
Moyers and Winship make the case fairly persuasively that Hillary Clinton is too wedded to the deep-pocketed donor class that they say has corrupted the political system.
She well might want to consider seriously what these men are suggesting, which is to cut her ties to the past and demonstrate that she’s the Democratic Party’s best hope for the future.