Wasserman Schultz departure unites Dems
© Anne Wernikoff

The Democratic convention gets out of the starting gate with a rousing start today with Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersButtigieg defends appearing on Fox News: Many Americans don't hear Dems' message Buttigieg: The future 'is personal' for me Donald Trump, president for life? We need term limits now MORE (Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenButtigieg jokes about holding town hall same night as 'Game of Thrones' finale Buttigieg defends appearing on Fox News: Many Americans don't hear Dems' message Warren offers to help Twitter user with her love life MORE (Mass.) poised to make speeches Monday that will lift Democrats out of their seats and with Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDe Blasio pitches himself as tough New Yorker who can take on 'Don the con' From dive bars to steakhouses: How Iowa caucus staffers blow off steam Warren policy ideas show signs of paying off MORE and Sanders delegates united on a progressive platform, the campaign to defeat GOP nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' MORE and their desire that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) depart the scene as quickly as possible.

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Let's begin with the Wasserman Schultz affair. I have been calling for a change in the leadership of the DNC long before the current email fiasco. It was outrageous that Wasserman Schultz deliberately scheduled the debates to occur at the time when the audience would be the smallest. Obviously, this was designed to limit the audience for Sanders to deliver his brilliant and passionate message of progressive populism — a message I repeatedly urged all Democrats to support, regardless of the candidate they favored.

Obviously, the DNC under Wasserman Schultz tilted the playing field against Sanders from the beginning. This was wrong and bad politics for Democrats. It is wholly unacceptable for any national party committee to take sides during the primary process.

The DNC email imbroglio was the latest straw and guaranteed to end the tenure of Wasserman Schultz as chair of the DNC. The sooner, the better! The email disclosures and her removal as DNC chair vindicated Sanders's long-held position. Good. And kudos to Sanders, who has handled the DNC matter with great tact and honor and drove home to his supporters the urgent need for Clinton to defeat Trump in November!

The highlights of the first day of the convention will be the speech of first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama to headline Essence Festival Obama shares tribute to Michelle to celebrate Mother's Day 111-year-old woman gets free tickets to see Michelle Obama book tour MORE, the powerful keynote speech by Warren and then the dramatic speech by Sanders. Warren and Sanders are scheduled to speak in the most prime-time of prime time tonight. This is a sign of the influence and importance of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and the huge influence of both Sanders and Warren.

As I wrote in my convention column in The Hill today, "Why Warren masters Trump," the speech by Warren will bring the convention audience and Democrats around the nation to their feet, and the speech by Sanders will similarly be a golden moment in the campaign that will thrill the souls of progressives and presage the future of the Democratic Party.

While Clinton chose Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineMontana Gov. Bullock enters presidential race Bullock hires senior staffers ahead of likely presidential run Senate fails to override Trump's Yemen veto MORE (Va.) as her running mate — a good man, but not my first choice or the first choice of liberals — he will do a solid job as candidate and vice president. Clinton, to her credit, met Sanders more than halfway in a platform that may be the most progressive platform in the history of the Democrats. From free public college education to a new version of the Glass-Steagall Act to increase regulation of Wall Street, Sanders achieved many of his major goals in the platform.

I predict that when all is said and done, Sanders will also achieve end to superdelegates as we know them today — which in my view is long overdue.

As for Wasserman Shultz, the email fiasco was outrageous, but not surprising. Some of the content of those DNC emails was dastardly and revolting and her coming departure from the DNC is a victory for Sanders and all Democrats who want a better party.

It is ironic that while Wasserman Schultz became a divisive force within the party, her departure will become a unifying force. It is also ironic that the issue of whether people helping Vladimir Putin and Russia were sources of the leaks will now become a major issue against Trump. The net effect of the leaks may well be a negative for Trump, who will have to explain the mutual praise that he and the Russian strongman have exchanged.

For now, stay tuned for the must-see speeches of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. They speak for the conscience and future of the Democratic Party, while Debbie Wasserman Schultz will soon represent the past.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Chief Deputy Majority Whip Bill Alexander (D-Ark.). He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at brentbbi@webtv.net.


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