In this writer’s opinion, Bernie Sanders is a fantastic candidate. Hillary Clinton is a fantastic candidate. Martin O’Malley is a fantastic candidate. The Democrats are extremely lucky to have such progressive, intelligent, forward thinking individuals seeking the nomination for President of the United States.
That’s the beauty of the Democratic Party; we are not a one size fits all party. Generally, liberals embrace our differences and we welcome open debate without rancor or opportunism.
The GOP clown car on the other hand has been in shambles with itself as candidate after candidate tear each other apart up and down the debate stage and off the debate stage. Democrats, luckily, are not like this.
However, an unfolding event is making the Democratic base look worse than the commentators on Infowars.
Bernie Sanders’ campaign, a campaign built on transparency, fairness, individual donations, and sheer energy the likes of which has never been seen, messed up. Four Sanders campaign staffers, including the National Director of Data Josh Uretsky, accessed, reviewed and saved confidential voter information that belonged to the campaign of Hillary Clinton.
A fluke in the patch system by the DNC’s vendor allowed the data to be viewed by anyone else in the system for approximately 30 minutes. During that 30 minutes, three staffers discovered the confidential data, took their findings to Josh Uretsky who allowed them to continue, then once they were finished told the vendor of the glitch.
According to the Associated Press, “A summary of computer logs shows that four aides to Sanders’ presidential campaign accessed proprietary voter data compiled by Clinton’s campaign and some of the aides saved the voter information, according to a person familiar with the data logs and the breach.”
So not only did they access it and pore through it, they saved the data for themselves.
Once the rest of the Sanders campaign caught wind of what had happened, they immediately fired Uretsky, calling his actions “unacceptable.”
So the campaign knows that these individuals took advantage of a technical failure to access information that was not theirs. The campaign knows that those actions were “unacceptable” and worthy of firings. The heads of the campaign, including Sanders himself, handled this exactly as it should have been handled. Kudos to them for upholding their promise to be a campaign that is fair, honest and open.
The problem lies not within the Sanders campaign (at least not at the top tier level), but with its supporters. Ever since the story broke late last night, the Sanders supporters have come out in full swing with every accusation in the book: the DNC purposely did this, the vendor was intentionally sabotaged, the Sanders campaign was set up, Hillary Clinton and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz are in cahoots, the list goes on and on.
Never mind the fact that the Sanders campaign has confirmed that the four staffers took advantage of an opportunity to illegally acquired confidential information, the supporters want to deflect any blame from their grassroots campaign and blame the big bad Clinton campaign. The problem with the Bernie Sanders Campaign is not Bernie Sanders, he’s great; it’s his supporters’ hate for Hillary Clinton.
Sanders campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, is threatening to take the DNC to court over its punishment, which is the denial of important voter information available to all campaigns. Whereas the punishment does not fit the crime at all, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at who Weaver blamed for the whole ordeal: the DNC. Weaver contends that it is the “mishandling” of data from the DNC that is at the heart of the issue.
Actually, no, it’s not. At he heart of the issue was a group of political opportunists that took advantage of a blip in the system to get what they wanted. If someone leaves their car door open and unattended, does that mean someone has the right to take it for a spin? Yes there was a glitch, but the staffers took advantage and were dishonest until the information proved fruitless to them. Then they reported the issue.
No, the punishment does not fit the crime, but the Sanders camp (some) and their supporters refusal to take responsibility for the actions of their campaign is striking. It’s not their fault, it’s Hillary Clinton’s fault, it’s Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s fault. They can do no wrong, and everyone is out to get them.
This issue will drive a wedge within the party — and quite possibly even split it — if we don’t all just accept responsibility, toss aside the outrageous conspiracy theories, all come together to get the DNC to lessen the punishment and move on.
Featured image via Wikipedia