Sunday, February 26, 2017

The New Democratic National Committee Chairman

It's Tom Perez.
Although Keith Ellison and several other candidates for the post of Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman fought the good fight, the 447 members of the committee, who voted yesterday (the vote was not scheduled for today, as I had stated earlier), chose a party insider who has been loyal to the establishment and is seen to be friendlier to wealthy donors and to the Clintons than to the millions of people who backed Bernie Sanders and the dozen or so of us who were for Martin O'Malley.  (O'Malley, who made Perez his Secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation when he became governor of Maryland, wouldn't back Perez for the DNC chairmanship.  That should tell you something.)
The Democrats could have gotten someone new and fresh  - alas, South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg withdrew at the last minute - but chose instead a political hack who is seen, according to journalist Glenn Greenwald, as "a reliable functionary and trustworthy loyalist by those who have controlled the party and run it into the ground."  Indeed - he blindly supported Hillary Clinton (that's the only way you could do it - blindly) in the 2016 presidential primaries (and O'Malley was clearly getting even by supporting Buttigieg, not that it mattered), and he's pretty much at Bill and Hillary's beck and call.  In fact, he advised Hillary Clinton during her 2016 primary campaign, and he suggested that she paint Sanders as the "white candidate" to build and shore up her support among minorities.  And isn't it weird that Hillary Clinton herself would put out a video message of resistance to Donald Trump on the eve of the DNC chairmanship vote to convince us that she's still relevant?  (She wants to run for President again.) 
Oh yeah, on a separate vote, a resolution that would have banned "registered, federal corporate lobbyists" from serving as at-large DNC members was rejected.  Money talks, and the people walk.
Although Perez made Ellison his deputy chairman to quell angry progressives and promised to go after the working-class and rural and exurban voters who backed Trump in 2016, most liberals realize that the Democratic Party no longer represents their interests (and hasn't since the Vietnam War ended) and are ready to bolt the party.  There have already been calls for a convention to found a new party . . . similar to the calls for meetings in Michigan and Wisconsin in 1854 that led to the Republican Party, which quickly supplanted the Whigs and recruited ex-Whigs Abraham Lincoln and William Seward, as well as the Frelinghuysen political dynasty in New Jersey, among others.  And the Huffington Post has been circulating a petition to make it happen.
I predict that Perez's elevation to the DNC chairmanship is going to accelerate a mass exodus from the Democratic Party and cause the first major change of the nation's two-party system in 160 years.  Any Democrat currently eyeing a White House run in 2020 will have to make a decision whether to stay with the old party or join the new one.  All Democrats now have to understand that they should either lead, follow, or get out of the way.  
We all know what the DNC chose to do. :-(
(Some good news: Stephanie Hansen won the state Senate special election in Delaware.)

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