Protesters Gathered At DNC HQ 'Roped Off' As They Call for More Debates

Debbie Wasserman Schultz ain't playin' around with Sanders and O'Malley supporters.

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For better or worse, the Republican Party already has two presidential debates under its belt, one in August and two days ago.  They have a debate scheduled every month until February, when they will have three, one on the 6th, another a week later and finally on the 26th.  Two more debates are scheduled for March.

That’s a total of 12 debates in eight months.

Meanwhile, the Democrats aren’t holding a debate until October, something that has the hackles up on Martin O’Malley’s neck:

“Think about it. The Republicans stand before the nation, they malign our President’s record of achievements, they denigrate women and immigrant families, they double down on trickle-down, and tell their false story,” O’Malley said. “And we respond with crickets, tumbleweeds and a cynical move to delay and limit our own party debates.”

O’Malley added, “Is this how the Democratic Party selects its nominee, or are we becoming something else, something less?”

It’s bigger than that.  O’Malley thinks this is actually a move to coronate Sec. Hillary Clinton as the next nominee.

“This is totally unprecedented in our party’s history,” Mr. O’Malley said. “This sort of rigged process has never been attempted before. Whose decree is it exactly? Where did it come from? To what end? For what purpose? What national or party interest does this decree serve? How does this help us tell the story of the last eight years of Democratic progress?”

He did not name Mrs. Clinton in his speech, either, but Mr. O’Malley was asked afterward if he thought the debate schedule had been arranged for her benefit. “Yes, I think so. Don’t you?” he replied.

(Emphasis mine.)

Sen. Bernie Sanders agrees:

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) believes the Democratic Party is using its limited primary debate schedule to rig the nomination process.

“I do,” Sanders reportedly responded when asked Friday whether he agrees with former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s assertion that the debate system is “rigged.” …

“At a time when many Americans are demoralized about politics and have given up on the political process, I think it’s imperative that we have as many debates as possible,” Sanders said in a statement earlier this month. “I look forward to working with the DNC to see if we can significantly expand the proposed debate schedule.”

“Further, I also think it is important for us to debate not only in the early states but also in many states which currently do not have much Democratic presidential campaign activity,” Sanders wrote in a letter to DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) in June.

DNC Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz isn’t having any dissension in the ranks, though.  She’s laid down the law.  Six debates.  That’s it.

Take it or leave it.  And, if you dare defy the party and participate in an unsanctioned event, you’re cut off.  No more debates for you:

“Every day someone is going to say something about my intentions, but I have a party to run,” Wasserman Schultz said. “I have to simultaneously make sure that we’re getting ready to make sure the party is prepared to support our eventual nominee, and at the same time manage a neutral primary nominating process, which I’m going to do. I’ll make decisions that will make some people happy and some people unhappy. I can’t worry about that.”

O’Malley’s lawyer has challenged the legality of the DNC’s “exclusivity clause,” which states that any candidate who participates in an unsanctioned debate will be barred from attending future sanctioned debates.

The former Maryland governor is urging his supporters to rally outside DNC headquarters next week along with an outside group called #AllowDebate that has the same aim.

That was a week ago.  Now, the DNC has gotten the ropes out and dealt with O’Malley’s minions:

The Democratic National Committee roped off a group of a hundred disgruntled Democrats protesting outside party headquarters over what they see as a bias in favor of Hillary Clinton.

Standing behind a taped off line, preventing the protestors from entering the premise of the party’s main offices. The crowd held signs, played bongos and chanted, “Hey Debbie Wasserman Schultz, we’re gonna call a protest to get results!” or “No more GOP hate, we want more debate!”

While the event was organized by the O’Malley campaign, supporters of Bernie Sanders attended as well. Joe Dinoto, a Bernie supporter from Maryland, attended the rally because it “is not in support of any candidate” and he wants to see more Democratic debates, adding that it appears the party is tipping the scales in favor of Clinton.

Indeed. The Bernie 2016 Tesla was there:

No word on how the protest affected Wasserman-Schultz.

The first Democratic debate is scheduled for October 13th at the Wynn Las Vegas. CNN is the host.

Photo Credit: Fortune Live Media/flikr
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