“You maniacs! You Finally did it! Oh damn you all to Hell!”
This was Charlton Heston at the end of “Planet of the Apes.”
But it could just as easily have been progressives everywhere after the Democratic National Committee voted for corporate shill Tom Perez to lead the party over bonafide change agent Keith Ellison.
What the Hell is wrong with you, DNC?
Perez supports the TPP, he’s a friend of the big banks and the donor class – AND he was part of the disastrous, dirty, LOSING Hillary Clinton campaign.
Don’t you get it? We lost against a reality show TV clown, Donald Trump, and you’re just repeating the same mistakes!?
And don’t give me this Russia hacking crap. Yes, they probably helped Trump win by exposing DNC emails. But they were real DNC emails. Democratic operatives actually wrote that stuff.
You will never convince me that it was enough to turn the election. If we had had an actual progressive running (Cough! Cough! Bernie Sanders!) it wouldn’t have mattered.
This was a choice between a corporate candidate and Donald Trump and people chose Donald. F’ing. Trump!
That’s on you.
And what is the first thing you do to fight back? You vote for another corporate Democrat to lead the party to oppose him!?
You maniacs! You Finally did it! Oh damn you all to Hell!
The Democratic Party is all but dead now.
Trump will walk into a second term in 2020 – no matter how terrible he continues to be between now and then.
He could take a dump on his desk in the oval office on live TV and there is probably NOTHING. We. Can. DO!
There is no opposition party.
No one is going to vote for Trump-lite.
This is not an opinion. It is a demonstrable fact. Just look back at freakin’ November!
Almost a million people signed a petition for Ellison. He won the backing of key unions – including the Teamsters, steelworkers, Communications Workers of America, and UNITE HERE. He won the backing of key activist groups including Democracy for America, 350.Org, the Center for Popular Democracy, MoveOn.Org, the Working Families Party, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and others. He was supported by notable progressives like Senator Elizabeth Warren, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Zephyr Teachout, Gloria Steinem, Walter Mondale, and Dolores Huerta ( co-founder of the United Farm Workers). He won over left-leaning publications like The Nation, whose editorial board wrote, “It is Ellison who combines the ideals, skills, and movement connections that will revitalize the party.”
Yet he lost by 35 votes to Perez.
When it came down to the 447 party insiders actually eligible to vote, Perez won by 235 to 200 (not counting abstentions).
If the DNC were a child, I would praise them for making progress. But it’s not a child. It’s supposed to be a national political party that can put up a robust challenge to the neo-facist in the White House!
This is completely unacceptable. And party leaders know it.
That’s why Perez immediately made Ellison his co-chair.
Good try, but too little, too late.
Perez, not Ellison, will be in charge of key decisions about the future of the party. As party chairman, he holds the balance on the makeup of the DNC Unity Reform Commission.
Were you one of millions of Americans who thought the party’s use of superdelegates during the primary was undemocratic? Well this is the commission that can eliminate them.
Sanders and Clinton delegates at the DNC convention in Philadelphia this summer clashed over these issues until Clinton agreed to let the matter be decided later by creating this group. It was a way to avoid a floor debate at that time and unify the party.
Clinton’s team gets to name nine members of the commission, and Sanders’ team gets seven. Now, Perez, as DNC chair, will control three additional votes. For those of you counting at home, that’s a 12-7 majority on the commission for the corporate Democrats. So superdelegates won’t be going anywhere. So if you want a Democratic party that is more democratic and more responsive to rank-and-file Democrats, well you can just stuff it.
Of course, all that’s in the future. How can we know now that Perez and other Democratic leaders won’t commit themselves to reform anyway?
Because of how else they voted at yesterday’s convention in Atlanta.
Before voting for Perez, they actually decided to vote down a resolution that would have reinstated former President Barack Obama’s ban on corporate political action committee donations to the party.
Resolution 33 also would have forbidden “registered, federal corporate lobbyists” from serving as “DNC chair-appointed, at-large members.”
And the DNC said, “Nah. We want that corporate money.”
Just what we need. More corporate donors, more support from big business and the rich – less impact from the working class people the Democrats actually need to vote for them to take back the country!
The Democrats need new blood. The party needs a top-to-bottom reorganization. It needs young people, working class people and minorities. It needs to rebuild county organizations and follow Sander’s $27 average donations.
Consolidating power among corporate donors and refusing to make any real structural reforms is not going to accomplish any of it.
Why did Ellison lose? Short answer: Israel.
Ellison is an African American Muslim who has been a vocal critic of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and continued expansion into disputed territories. His position is well within the party mainstream – even for many Jewish members. More than 60 percent of Democrats agree Israel should stop expanding in the West Bank or else face sanctions. Sanders – a Jew, himself – holds similar views.
However, prominent Clinton supporters spearheaded a smear campaign to deflate Ellison’s candidacy. His most vocal critics were the Anti-Defamation League, mega-donor Haim Saban, and lawyer Alan Dershowitz.
So instead the DNC has picked Perez, Obama’s former Labor Secretary who did next to nothing to help labor.
But Perez was a trusted adviser to Clinton on how to defame Sanders during the primary election.
He famously sent an email to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta published by Wikileaks suggesting Clinton paint her rival as an angry white male candidate with little minority support.
“Emmy and the team have a good plan to attract all minority voters. When we do well there [Nevada], then the narrative changes from Bernie kicks ass among young voters to Bernie does well only among young white liberals—that is a different story and a perfect lead in to South Carolina, where once again, we can work to attract young voters of color. So I think Nevada is a real opportunity, and I would strongly urge HRC to get out there within a couple days of [New Hampshire].”
Like others Clinton staffers, he described Nevada as her “firewall” and was unconcerned about how minorities would feel if they were described in such exploitative terms.
The Nevada caucus was the only decisive victory for Clinton with African Americans, according to entrance polls. However, more Latinos voted for Sanders so the state did not make it abundantly clear that Sanders was incapable of attracting support from people of color.
Despite smears by the Clinton campaign, there was never evidence Sanders supporters were motivated by white male angst. In fact, American National Elections Studies found white identity was more important to Clinton supporters than Sanders supporters.
But Perez’s loyalty to Clinton and other corporate Democrats has paid off.
Trump immediately responded with a tweet literally thanking the Democrats for choosing Perez and increasing his own chances of re-election.
Repeating the same failing strategy over-and-over is not the definition of political success. It is the definition of insanity.
Perhaps one day the Democrats will realize that and run actual progressives for leadership roles and higher office. But by then, it will be far too late.
Every day Trump further erodes our freedoms and social services. Every day he endangers our lives with his incompetence and undiplomatic relations with foreign governments. Every day he breaks our laws, spouts blatant lies and fosters hate and discord.
We simply don’t have the time for the Democrats to get their act together.
It is becoming even more clear that we need a completely new political party organized from the grassroots up and dedicated to progressivism. Whether this can be accomplished in the two years we have before the midterm elections seems doubtful. Whether it can be done in time to stop Trump’s re-election is unknown.
But waiting for the Democrats to get their collective heads out of their asses is an exercise in futility.
The cavalry is not coming. We must all learn to ride.