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DNC Vice-Chair Punished for Calling for More Presidential Debates

by Thomas A. Hawk, published

For those concerned about the state of our political discussion, or better yet, those who have turned their heads the other way because politicians don't seem to care about having a real conversation, there are fundamental issues that you should be paying attention to.

The Democratic Party, in the national narrative, holds itself out to be the party of inclusion and diversity. In the news, they gloat about how tribal and sophomoric the Republican Party has become. So, at whatever level there is truth to this sentiment, voters should understand that the Democratic party, a private corporation with a private charter, takes protecting its private interest in institutional self-preservation very seriously.

There are few things more important to the quality of civil discourse and the education of our electorate than the presidential debates. But, as the New York Times reports, the Democratic Party seems much more interested in protecting its party unity than offering the people a more democratic discourse:

Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, a vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said she was disinvited from the first Democratic presidential primary debate in Nevada after she appeared on television and called for more face-offs. Ms. Gabbard confirmed on Sunday that her chief of staff received a message last Tuesday from the chief of staff to Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the national committee, about her attendance at the debate. A day earlier, Ms. Gabbard had appeared on MSNBC and said there should be an increase beyond the current six sanctioned debates...   “When I first came to Washington, one of the things that I was disappointed about was there’s a lot of immaturity and petty gamesmanship that goes on, and it kind of reminds me of how high school teenagers act,” Ms. Gabbard said in a telephone interview on Sunday night. She said she would watch the debate in her district in Hawaii, which elected her to her second term last year.   “It’s very dangerous when we have people in positions of leadership who use their power to try to quiet those who disagree with them,” she added. “When I signed up to be vice chair of the D.N.C., no one told me I would be relinquishing my freedom of speech and checking it at the door.”

Read the full story from the NY Times here.

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