Tom Perez Elected Head of DNC

Kiss that party goodbye. From the Wall Street Journal:

Former Labor Secretary Tom Perez was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee Saturday, giving the party an establishment leader at a moment when its grass roots wing is insurgent.

Mr. Perez defeated Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison and four other candidates in a race that had few ideological divisions yet illuminated the same rifts in the party that drove the acrimonious 2016 presidential primary between Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Perez fell one vote short of a majority on the first vote for chairman, with Mr. Ellison 13 votes behind him. The four second-tier candidates then dropped out of the race before the second ballot. On the second ballot, Mr. Perez won 235 of 435 votes cast.

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  1. Altandmain

    Somehow, I think most people knew that this was going to happen.

    There’s a good chance that Trump will end up being a 2 term president and that 2018 will be a disaster for the Democratic Party on the scale of 2010, 2014, and 1994. Meanwhile, they will surely blame the voters and especially the left, which is what they always do when they don’t win.

    I think that we should keep in mind that the US is a plutocracy and that at this point, the Democrats aren’t even pretending to be a “New Deal” party for the people anymore. Perhaps its existence always was an outlet to contain and co-opt the left. At least now, the message is naked: the left is expected to blindly obey, but will never be given leadership positions.

    In other words, the left is not welcome. I think that it is time for people to leave.

    The only question at this point is, how hard is it going to be to form a third party? I don’t see the Left as being able to reform the Democrats very easily. It may be so corrupt as to be beyond reform.

    1. Carla

      The time to leave the Democrat party was when Obama turned healthcare over to the insurance and pharma industries in 2009.

      If it were easy to form a third party it would have been done by now. But then again, if it were easy, perhaps it wouldn’t be necessary.

      1. WheresOurTeddy

        or 1993 when NAFTA was passed and FDR started his 23-years-and-counting spinning in his grave?

        1. sgt_doom

          At least 1993, although the ideal time would have been after the Coup of 1963, but unfortunately too many were still clueless than. (Had more than five people and Mort Sahl ever bothered to read the Warren Commission Report — where Lee Oswald was “positively ID’d by a waitress for the murder of Officer Tippit:

          W.C.: So you went into the room and looked at the lineup, did you recognize anyone.

          Helen Louise Markham: No, sir.

          And there you have it, gentlement, a positive ID! And the rest of the so-called report was even worse . . . .)

        2. Oregoncharles

          (Patting self on back) That’s when I left it. God, was it really that long ago?

          And responding to the earlier part of the string: no, it isn’t easy to form a “3rd” party; and yes, there already is one. Just might be time to stop nit-picking about it and help. (In Oregon, there are about 6, two of them right-wing.)

          Kshama Sawant, who is a socialist not a Green, is hoping (I think that’s the exact word) to put together a Left coalition. I think the Green Party could be sold on that – for one thing, we would be much the largest portion. Certainly I could, as I’m pretty tired of spinning my wheels.

          Remember, according to Gallup, the Dems are now down to 25% affiliation (Reps at 28 – the first time they’ve been higher, I think because they won the election.) Independents are the plurality by a wide margin. Something’s going to give, and we should try to get ahead of the parade. It could easily get really nasty.

          1. John Merryman

            The problem with third parties is the same with the math of this ballot. If Perez was one vote shy the first time, that means he only picked up 18 votes the second time. So all the other candidates mostly split the opposition. I’m sure if the democratic establishment felt the need, they would form a few front parties.
            People, you are just going to have to wait for it to blow up and after that, coalesce around one cause; Public banking and money as a publicly supported utility.
            It took a few hundred years to recognize government is a public function and drop monarchy.

            1. energizer wabbit

              Beats me how anyone thinks “public banking” will change anything. In a capitalist system, banks are banks. They chase the highest return. That’s not where the public interest (qua people) lies and never will be. And “government is a public function” so long as it serves its mandate: to make return on capital investment function smoothly.

              1. Jim Young

                Public Banking must be an option, like Postal banking has been in other countries. Credit Unions have become our fall back after Glass-Steagall was repealed since we no longer trust those who seek concentrated private profit over member or public owned financial entities that return the “profits” and benefits to those of us who do not want to allow non-fiduciary intermediaries access to our assets.

                I want a better way to follow what I consider the German tradition of “Investing” in lower risk productive enterprises, than what I consider more English type “Speculation.”

      2. Tomonthebeach

        For those of use who never were in the Democratic Party, this choice ensures that many of us will be looking for another party. The DNC just gave us the same choice as the last election – Corrupt establishment or Fascism. The distinction these days is not worth pondering.

        1. SpringTexan

          Unfortunately the deck is too stacked against a 3rd party in US. This article is good on that and on why playing nice with Democrats is also no good:

          What people are doing right now with Donald Trump’s GOP — forcing town halls, making a ruckus, holding everyone accountable — has to be the model for progressive change in American politics. Doing this stuff inside the system isn’t going to work. Forming a party around ideology or ideas isn’t going to work. Wearing the system down is all that works.

          1. Jim Young

            We’re trying, going to 2 to 4 events a week, starting with the Women’s March in Riverside, meeting others from many other groups to see what we could do next.

            The next event, 7 days later, was the Unity Action Expo in San Bernardino (45 groups), followed 3days later by the League of Women Voters moderated “Protecting Our Mountain Waters” meetings (at least 4 organizations, 500 or so people), since, to us, it involved at the very least adjusting Nestle’s water extraction in conditions that threaten a critical wildlife corridor, which is broken off at times but has still been viable enough as a last refuge for some species to get them through the droughts.

            Two days later we met with multiple groups to consider how to get more voter participation, with suggestions including Ranked Choice Voting, Fair Representation (from, and

            A bit about Vote Smart:
            It was described as a good start where the candidates or others can list all sorts of stuff they claim to support, but also has a section on their actual votes so there is away to compare what they say to what they do. An encouraging peek at their extraordinary rules (in the About Vote Smart section):
            An Extraordinary Organization Has Some Extraordinary Rules

            No one can join Vote Smart’s board without a political opposite. People as diverse as
            former Presidents Carter and Ford, former Senators McGovern and Goldwater, former Governor Dukakis, former Congresswoman Ferraro and current Senator McCain have served on Vote Smart’s board, supporting the efforts of Vote Smart’s students and volunteers, and ensuring balance and strict impartiality in Vote Smart programs and services.

            Vote Smart refuses financial assistance from all organizations and special interest groups that lobby or support or oppose any candidate or issue.

            Vote Smart operates much like the Peace Corps — of the over 5000 people who have come to help by working at Vote Smart, ninety percent received no pay and those who did received only minimal salaries to cover basic living expenses.

            Unlike other organizations, Vote Smart strictly protects its members and supporters.
            We never sell or provide names, addresses, or other contact information of any supporter or contributor to anyone, at any time, for any reason.
            The next Saturday we attended an auditorium, standing room only, swearing in of the Progressive Democrat candidate who had 1/4 the funding of $6.1 million spent in behalf of
            the establishment Democrat ($117.32 for each of the votes she received in the losing effort forr a seat in the lower house of the California legislature). That race saw $7.6 million spent on behalf of the candidates in a State, territory, or D.C. lower houses of the legislature (of which there are 5,549 seats in lower houses and the few unicameral legislatures).

            If all races were like that one, $42.2 billion would be spent on such state lower house seats.

            We won one race against Citizens United unlimited spending, who else beat the big money candidates? I see a lot more people starting the grass roots efforts to do the same to get those who represent real people, on issues that real matter to us.

            We did it with Bernie Democrats who will not long be denied a place in the party I see as going through something like the Whigs as a anti-Jackson party before losing it’s way with the Kansas-Nebraska Act letting a new coalition party start taking over the O for Opposition coalition designation that marked them at the beginning of the 34th Congress.

      3. SpringTexan

        Good article on DNC chair race:

        Before this gets turned into another thing where the establishment Democrats posture as the reasonable adults victimized by the assaults of those left-wing baddies, let’s just be very clear about what happened here. It was the establishment wing that decided to recruit and then stand up a candidate in order to fight an internal battle against the left faction of the party. It was the establishment wing that then dumped massive piles of opposition research on one of their own party members. And it was the establishment wing that did all of this in the shadow of Trump, sowing disunity in order to contest a position whose leadership they insist does not really matter.
        The establishment wing has made it very clear that they will do anything and everything to hold down the left faction, even as they rather hilariously ask the left faction to look above their differences and unify in these trying times. They do not have any intent of ceding anything — even small things they claim are mostly irrelevant — to the left wing.

        1. Nuggets321

          isn’t in nice to see the Dims being so effective when it comes to threats to its establishment ways?

    2. Another Anon

      Reform may become possible only when the money spigot dries up.
      At some point, the oligarchs may simply decide its not cost effective
      to finance such losers. With no money, there are no rice bowls and so the
      professional pols and their minions will either wither away or seek a new funding
      model which may make possible a different politics.
      I think it will take well under a decade to see how this plays out.

      1. L

        At some point, the oligarchs may simply decide its not cost effective to finance such losers.

        Unless having a monopoly on both the winners and losers ensures a total control over the political system.

        1. Patricia

          What is the cheapest way for oligarchs to maintain power in a pseudo-democracy?

          If there is enough conflict among them, I suppose they’ll continue to put money into both parties. Otherwise, why not just let one of the two slowly die? Electoral theatre is expensive.

          1. Jason

            Electoral theatre is expensive.

            The scary thing is that it’s NOT expensive, compared to the size of the economy. As long as there’s enough at stake for large companies and ultra-rich individuals, they can very easily buy two or even several parties.

            (This is not to disagree with your main point, which is that they may let the Democrats die.)

            1. Patricia

              But why bother with that extra bit, if it can instead be spent on a second or third bolt-hole?

              But I suspect you are correct because the citizenry will revolt fairly quickly after the illusion completely dissolves. It’s worth something to put that off for as long as possible.

            2. MG

              Yes it is when a very competitive Senate race is now $50M as a starting price tag and to run a viable Presidential campaign will likely be $1B as a floor in 2020.

            1. Patricia

              There’d still be ‘choice’ since we plebs would continue quixotically financing this/that with our cashless dollars (while they filter, oh say .30 of each, for the privilege).

              At least, perhaps, until we finally get our sh*t together and genuinely revolt. How long will that take?

              1. witters

                The farce willl go on. After all, while the actual popular sovereignty expressed in voting might be minimal, and the information environment itself largely a corporate construction, its gives a concrete, personal, representation of popular sovereignty, and in so doing – and whatever the despondency of its voters and the emptiness of their choice – legitimates or “mandates” whatever it is the government does, and however corporate friendly it might be. And it may be – with its Private Public Partnerships, and revolving door from the corporate to public office (and back) – very corporate friendly indeed.

                If this is the case, then the “China Model” is not, as some think, the ideal neoliberal political model. Explicitly authoritarian rule is, from the start, problematic in terms of popular sovereignty. If a corporate-friendly authoritarian regime is to avoid this, it has but one option. It must deliver economic growth that is both noticeable and widespread, and so do what neoliberal theory claims, but neoliberal practice isn’t much, if at all, interested in providing.

                We may well be in the midst of making a choice here…

                1. Altandmain

                  At least the China model provided growth unreal living standards from the desperate poverty that most Chinese were living in a generation ago.

                  It is certainly not without flaws. Corruption, inequality, and pollution are big problems.

                  That said,the US is following the corruption and inequality pretty well. With the Republicans and other corporations in control, they will surely make sure that pollution follows.

                  Actually it will be worse. The Chinese model ensured that China built up a manufacturing sector. It followed the economic growth trajectory of Japan after WW2 and later South Korea. The neoliberals won’t do that.

                2. Patricia

                  Which ‘we’ is that? I suspect we are well past the time when people like you and me can make that choice. 40-50 years past.

              2. b1daly

                By “revolt” what do you actually mean? Armed overthrow of the existing power structure? Or political revolt, forming a new party? Breaking the US up into smaller countries?

                I’m having hard time imagining a radical restructuring of power in the US. Nor does it strikes me as particularly desirable, as my observation is that the new power structure is often just as bad as the existing one. But now has to deal with governing a fractured society.

                1. Patricia

                  Whatever would be required to create necessary change. A series of actions emerging from a plan, ever-intensifying until the system-as-it-is has no more power.

                  Do you think hundreds of millions of people should continue to let themselves be trashed? That sort of thing never lets up but only increases over time.

                  This situation is not unlike spousal abuse. The most dangerous time for the abused is when the she/he decides to leave. And the after-effects usually land her/him in poverty but also peace and self-respect.

        2. Kurt Sperry

          Yep, in a duopoly it is necessary to own and control both halves–even a perpetually losing one. That is cheap insurance against nasty surprises. American political parties and politicians are cheap as hell to buy in any event. Gazillionaire couch change can control entire parties.

          1. L

            Agreed, this is why even the soviets maintained a permitted show of opposition if only to keep people distracted.

        3. Steve Ruis

          Oh, c’mon. The money spent to provide an illusion of democracy is chump change compared to the billions they are reaping from having bought the government. The plutocrats are not trying to effect change really, they like it pretty much as it is now. The purpose of the two parties is to distract us from what is really going on. The only plutocratic interest in what they do is fueled by perverse curiosity of what their new toy can do.

      2. steelhead23

        Anon, I hope you are right. Somewhat lost in the news was the vote NOT to ban corporate donations to the DNC. To me, that is at least as telling as Ellison’s loss. The Clintons may be gone, but their stench remains.

    3. reslez

      I think we need to accept the strong likelihood that there will be a corporatist-dominated Constitutional Convention by 2025. First on the agenda: a constitutional amendment that requires a balanced federal budget. The globalist elites will slam on that lever to destroy what remains of the economic safety net. “Balanced budgets” are very popular with the deceived public but such an amendment will end general prosperity in this nation forever. Imagine what else they’ll outlaw and ban and 1860 doesn’t feel so far away.

      1. Fred1

        What surprises me is that Establishment Ds make no effort to defend themselves from attacks from the Left. It’s like they don’t care: no leftward movement on policy. They just call Bernie and the Brodudes names. What Sanders did to Hillary is a proof of concept. The most powerful Establishment D is mortally wounded by an attack from a no name senator from Vermont. This can be used against any Establishment D. The Brodudes initially may not have wanted to burn it down, but they now know they can. So what are the Establishment Ds doing to defend themselves?

      2. JerseyJeffersonian

        Closer and closer it comes as the Democrats have let state after state come under one-party Republican rule while unjustifiably preening themselves for their “moral rectitude” (while yet continuing to assist in looting the joint for a small percentage of the take…). That party has come to play their part in cementing the injustices and inequalities into place. Witness Obama, not only sitting on his hands when action against palpable injustice was needed, but actively collaborating in rigidifying the rotten structure. The quintessential globalist, authoritarian, war-loving Democrat, the only kind permissable, vide Perez.

    4. neo-realist

      There’s a good chance that Trump will end up being a 2 term president and that 2018 will be a disaster for the Democratic Party on the scale of 2010, 2014, and 1994. Meanwhile, they will surely blame the voters and especially the left, which is what they always do when they don’t win.

      If Trump doesn’t deliver the manufacturing jobs to the “undesirables” like he promised, if he dismantles ACA and leaves poor and working class “undesirables” to the wolf of some sort of privatization scheme health care w/ vouchers or tax breaks, if backtracking on financial sector reform leads to another economic meltdown, and if he and Bannon get another war, which metastasizes into asymmetrical warfare all over Western Europe and the US, then Trump’s ability to get reelected is in serious jeopardy to say the least, no matter how lame the democratic challenger is. Bush’s meltdown gave us a Black President for christs sake.

      On the other hand, the down ticket races could continue to be the usual disaster for the dems unless they do a major reshift in their campaign strategies outside the blue states that includes strong populist economic messaging and pushing a strong safety net w/ a public option for health care (assuming the GOP wipes out ACA.)

      1. nippersdad

        There are a lot of “ifs” there that are looking like “wills” at the moment. He is playing true to type and delegating policy to whomsoever flatters him best whilst jetting off to Mar-a-Lago for a game of golf with his business buddies. With the exception of killing TPP (maybe?) and no immediate European conflicts with Russia, this is what I would have expected from him and, more importantly, Pence. The true believers seem to be getting their way, thus far.

        That said, I wouldn’t discount the power of his ability to deflect blame for the consequences of his actions. For the most part, those who voted for him truly believe that everything is someone else’s fault, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

        1. witters

          ‘For the most part, those who voted for him truly believe that everything is someone else’s fault, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.’

          And the vast majjority of those who voted against him! See the topic of today’s post.

          1. nippersdad

            This is true, but don’t you think the standards are different? At the moment nothing is either Parties fault, according to their leadership, but the reactions of both Party’s base has been far different to date. Dems have been comparatively unsuccessful blaming Muslims, leftists and Russians for their problems whereas that is, and always has been, red meat for Republicans. Any stick to beat someone with just doesn’t work as well for the Democratic Party. Claire McCaskill calls Bernie a communist and is vilified for it at the time, so now she is whining because her seat is at risk in ’18? What did she expect when she knew, at the time, that she was alienating half the Party by so doing?

            Dems are losing because they have the misfortune of not having more Republicans in their electoral base, however hard they have tried to include them in their “Big Tent” leadership. Republicans actively fear their base, and would never make such an egregious political mistake.

            1. Matt

              I thought all of the candidates for the DNC Chair were really bad. Even the ever so popular Keith Ellison. This guy once advocated for an entire separate country to be formed comprising of only African Americans. Just curious, how “tolerant” and “inclusive” would the immigration policy be for that country if it were ever created? What would the trade policies be in that country? Would they let a white owned business like Wal-Mart move into a black neighborhood and put the local black owned businesses out of business? Keith Ellison is nothing more than a hypocrite every time he criticizes Donald Trump’s policies and advocates for his impeachment.

              The entire Democratic party is falling apart. They are trying to get elected because of their race, sex, and/or religion. Instead of trying to get elected based on the content of their character and their message. I truly believe the main reason Keith Ellison was even considered for the DNC Chair is because he is black and a Muslim.

              The party rigged the primary against Bernie because they felt it was time that a woman became president instead of a man. Some democrats even called Bernie a white supremacist.

              This identity politics is killing the party.

                1. Irredeemable Deplorable

                  The God-Emperor’s vision is crystal clear:

                  “@realDonaldTrump: The race for DNC Chairman was, of course, totally “rigged.” Bernie’s guy, like Bernie himself, never had a chance. Clinton demanded Perez!” – Twitter


                  How about that new Clinton video, sure looks like she is going to run again in 2020 – please, Hilary, you go, girl!

      2. Dugless

        The corporatist “third way” democrats are hoping for Trump to implode so that they can get back into the White House. They really don’t think that they need progressives since it is undoubted in their opinion that Trump will certainly be fail on his promises and be unelectable in 2020 and they will be back in power. And they may be right but the dems still will have lost most of the states and many localities. It will be more of the Obama/Clinton wing at the top with all the “professional” hangers on facing down a Republican congress until the system collapses.

      3. Brad

        That’s clearly what the Perez/Nate Coln Dems are banking on. Metro-suburban class alliance of multicultural service workers and their secular Republican employers nonplussed by Bush-style Trump clusterfark. Heard no “strong populist message” out of Perez’s mouth in the DNC debates. Anything the Dems do there will be to elect more Blue Dogs to strengthen the conservative wing of the party and push the Sanders people back to the margins. That’s all they care about right now.

        But it’s a completely passive strategy that is at the mercy of the Republicans. For “what if” President Bannon lays off the coke and, like Obama, doesn’t do stupid?

        The only real hazard the Trumpistas face is the timing of the next recession. And that will depend on part on the Fed. The rest is: don’t start a war, just leave ACA sit there.

        The Fed, the Fed, it all comes down to the Fed in the next 4 years. Has Bannon studied up on Jackson’s Bank War?

      4. Oregoncharles

        I was just at a “Community Meeting” with Rep. Peter DeFazio – one of the more progressive Dems. Huge turnout, again. Questions were more challenging than the ones to Wyden. Amazingly old audience – where are all the Bernie millennials?

        Toward the end, I asked him (1) what he thought had happened to the Democrats over the last 8 disastrous years; and (2) whether he saw motion to fix the problem.

        He responded with a passionate statement of progressive ideas, so I guess that answers #1; but he didn’t answer Pt. 2 at all, really, which is a negative answer. He had actually been pretty critical of the party in earlier answers, and we had just learned that Perez would be chairing the DNC.

        I was wearing a Green Party T-shirt, which I’m sure he recognizes. Oddly, both the first and last questions were from local Greens: the first, from the former city councillor who runs against him on a regular basis; and the last from my wife, about the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions movement. Time was limited, and we lined up for the microphones.

      5. Lord Koos

        The wars won’t matter to people as long as the propaganda is good enough (perhaps a helpful false flag incident as well) and as long as there is no draft. It’s all about whipping up the patriotism… we’ll see if that still works.

    5. P Walker

      The Democratic Party has always about “left containment.” Their entire existence isn’t about winning at all. It’s about allowing establishment rule, which is why even when Democrats are elected the forward march into corporate rule continues unabated.

      Burn it.

      1. ger

        Since the coming of the Blue Dog Clintons, the Democrats have not run against the Republicans.They have run against the left side of the Democrat Party…..and have lost every Democrat political position all the way down to dog catcher!!

    6. fresno dan

      February 25, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      Neither party is worth a bucket of warm spit – and both parties pay no attention what so ever to the vast majority their members, or the vast majority of the citizens. And neither party can be reformed. IMHO, the only question is if any new party constituted would be infiltrated and undermined from within before it could do anything.

    7. BeliTsari

      A series of storms was coming through, so I was tuning-around on TV, to find weather & stumbled upon coverage on MSNBC (the onliest way I’d ever end up there). The yammering bobble-head referred to actual lifelong Keynesian Democrats as “the FAR left.” I simply assumed I’d tuned into FOX, since there’s about 3 affiliates where I’m working. She kind of sneered the whole story. Why don’t they just use CGI? Smart TV’s, selfie cams and biosensors could ensure the viewer’s attention; gauge reactions & report potential dissident proclivities?

    8. MG

      This seems very much like a kneejerk reaction. Your assuming the economy doesn’t go into recession by then which increasingly seems less and less likely as well as the GOP Congressional leadership or Trump showing much skill in executing their legislative agenda. A lot easier being the guy who chants out about how the guy in charge sucks and another entirely when they suddenly become the person in charge.

      Unless Trump starts to deliver on jobs and meaningful wage growth, there will be inevitable backlash in 2018 at him and the GOP. It is going to be increasing when the rank and file American realizes that the GOP House tax plan goes for essentially a 20% VAT to be implemented on imported goods while they get a whopping income tax cut of 1-2%. Average American is a rube but eventually this will start to sink in as to just how short changed they’ll be if it largely passes wholesale.

      1. Adamski

        What if they do tax cuts for the rich without Social Security / Medicare cuts? What if they don’t do much about Obamacare and don’t lose votes that way either? And if the recovery continues, the labour market will tighten.

        1. dcrane

          Yes, and what if they *do* continue to put on a big show against “illegals” and allegedly unfriendly Muslim immigrants? And tinker just enough with NAFTA to claim a symbolic “win” against Mexico? This could be potent stuff.

          If the Democrats haven’t managed to come up with a candidate people can really get behind, it will be even easier for incumbency to pull Trump over the finish line again. Many Republicans who wouldn’t vote for Trump this time “because Hitler” will have observed by then that the country survived Term I, and they’ll get back in line, because Republicans always come home. The Democrats seem to think that since the election was close, all they need to do is run Obama V2 (Booker), thereby re-juicing the lagged African American turnout and putting a D back in the Oval Office. I think that ship has sailed now. If Trump truly bombs, then sure anyone will beat him. But as of now I’m not confident that he will simply fail and the numbers may only be more difficult for the Ds in 2020.

    9. Teleportnow

      I seriously doubt Trump will be a one term president. DNC elections notwithstanding. If there’s no “there” there in the, according to Trump, utterly nonexistent Russia scandal, why hide from the press? Take the questions. Call for an investigation himself. Nothing to hide? Quit hiding.

    10. Irredeemable Deplorable

      Best news I’ve heard today. High fives all around.

      As an oponnent of every Democrat and every Democrat “policy”, I am overjoyed. Carry on.

      Trumpslide 2020 t-shirts are already on sale, I’m ordering one.

  2. Burritonomics

    Given very recent history, this is no surprise. Unfortunate, and I expect to see “resistance” activities nudged even more toward the same weary mainstream DNC tropes.

  3. Vatch

    Well gosh, Alan Dershowitz just breathed a huge sigh of relief!

    As for me, I probably have elevated levels of stress hormones. I need to visit my “happy place”.

  4. aliteralmind

    They also voted down a motion to stop big money and lobbyist donations.

    This is just another big fuck you to the progressive wing of the party. It’s time to board the ship and start a mutiny. And if that doesn’t work, sink the ship and build a new one.

    1. WheresOurTeddy

      “This is just another big fuck you to the progressive wing of the party.”

      The message is undeniable: You’re not welcome here. Thank you for your votes, thank you for your money, shut up, no you do not get to pick the candidate, Debbie and Donna did nothing wrong, no we are not getting rid of superdelegates, no we are not refusing corporate money, no you cannot have even a Clinton-endorsing kinda-progressive as Chair, no to free college, ‘never ever’ to universal health care, ‘we’re capitalists here’, and Haim Saban’s opinion matters more than millions of BernieCrats because money.

      The ship be sinking.

      1. integer

        and Haim Saban’s opinion matters more than millions of BernieCrats because money.

        “I’m a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel.”
        Haim Saban

        The D-party’s biggest donor is a one-issue guy, and that issue is Israel… but Russia!

        In March 2008, Saban was among a group of major Jewish donors to sign a letter to Democratic Party house leader Nancy Pelosi warning her to “keep out of the Democratic presidential primaries.”The donors, who “were strong supporters of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential campaign”, “were incensed by a March 16 interview in which Pelosi said that party ‘superdelegates‘ should heed the will of the majority in selecting a candidate.”The letter to Pelosi stated the donors “have been strong supporters of the DCCC” and implied, according to The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, that Pelosi could lose their financial support in important upcoming congressional elections.

        Poor ol’ Haim must be soooo pissed that Clinton lost again. Hahaha.

      2. integer

        I wasn’t planning on commenting for a while but ended up leaving a comment here a few minutes ago and it disappeared into the ether. Probably something to do with the one of the links I included. No big deal.

    2. Altandmain

      Basically they are bought and paid for by the special interests of America and indeed foreign ones too.

    3. kimsarah

      Re: “It’s time to board the ship and start a mutiny. And if that doesn’t work, sink the ship and build a new one.”

      That ship has passed, at least the first part.

  5. L

    I stopped being a Democrat a few years ago. And I have not donated for some time. Yet I still receive constant requests for money to keep the consultants in airline miles. Every so often I think that perhaps it might be time to “come home” or at least that they aren’t so bad anymore.

    Then they go and do this.

    At this point I see no reason to keep the ossified corpse of the Clinton Machine Democratic party going. It is clear that the last thing they want to do is listen to actual voters to decide their direction. All they have is the faint hope that Trump will be so godawful that everyone will love them again.

    But then that was Hillary Clinton’s campaign strategy…

    1. Vatch

      If your state requires you to register as a Democrat in order to vote in the Democratic primary, I recommend doing so. Then you can vote for outsiders in the 2018 and 2020 primaries. If your state has an open primary system, you don’t have to taint yourself with official membership — just request the appropriate primary ballot and vote.

      1. hreik

        This is my dilemma. In CT, you have to be R or D to vote in primary. I left the D’s after the CA primary b/c I was so disgusted. I’ll see what candidates are looking like when the time comes and make my decision then.

        The leadership of the D party is just clueless.

        1. lb

          I deregistered as a Democrat in CA today after 17 years (though I was already pretty much out over the past few years, I let this be the final straw opposite inertia). The CA “top two” system for general elections only puts the top two vote-getters from any party during the primary on the ballot, ostensibly switching the election to one largely determined during the primary, by primary voters.

          The California Democratic party allows those voters registered as not specifying a political preference to vote in the Democratic primary, so I might still end up voting among the various options, especially if someone like Brand New Congress puts up a real candidate here or there. During the 2016 primary, the D-party anti-Sanders shenanigans were evident even in CA. In some areas, unaffiliated voters who wanted a D-party ballot were misled or required to very strictly repeat a specific phrase, or they were given ballots with no effect on the D-party primary. I expect to have to be very careful to request and obtain the correct ballot in advance. (Let’s hope that the slow takeover at lower levels within the state makes this less necessary).

          It’s going to be a long, hard slog on the left, whether occasionally peeking inside the tent or building something cohesive, not co-opted and effective outside the tent (where it seems the D-party has necessarily pushed many).

      2. Katharine

        But whatever you do, make sure you know your state’s election law in advance, especially deadlines for registration changes, which may be earlier than you expect.

    2. nippersdad

      “All they have is the faint hope that Trump will be so godawful that everyone will love them again.”

      Well, that and Nancy “we know how to win elections” Pelosi promising the Earth for votes to regain their majorities, again, only to then take all of that off of the table and start the cycle over again.

      I really don’t know how many times one can go to that well; we have seen this play before. Seems like an awful lot of people have caught on to the tactic at this point. Were that not the case, HIllary would probably be happily bombing Russia by now.

      1. Biph

        The Dems are set up pretty well for 2018. Both Trump and Hillary are deeply unpopular and Hillary won’t be a vote driver for the GOP in 2018 and Trump will be for the Dems. There are a bunch of important States with Gov races and whatever happens the next 20 months Trump and the GOP will own completely, they wont even have a recalcitrant legislative branch to point the finger at.
        I always figured whoever won in 2016 was set up to be a one term POTUS. Best case scenario for Trump is that we tread water for the next 2-4 years and I don’t think that will be enough get him a 2nd term although it might be enough to staunch GOP losses in 2020. If he gets gets into a messy hot war, fumbles a major natural disaster or sees an economic downturn in 4 years we’ll be talking about the impending death of GOP.

        1. nippersdad

          Those scenarios sound a little rosy considering the types of people we are talking about. They can take a lot of pain as long as someone else is feeling it more….and there is always someone else. If they cannot find a demographic to blame they will invent one; see the historic hatred for ObamaCare and the raucous town halls now defending the ACA; they don’t have to make sense.

          Also, too, Dems are defending more incumbencies in ’18 than are the Reps., and the Republican Party has the machinery already in place to reduce the voting public down to just those that are more likely to vote for them. Just create a riot at a voting precinct, for example, jail whomsoever you want and take their stuff as is now foreshadowed in Arizona. They would love that stuff; “Beat those hippies!” And, after the Democratic Primaries, the Democratic Party will be in no position to take the high ground.

          No, even if all that happens, I think the predicting the death of the GOP is way premature.

          1. Biph

            His fans will vote for him, a lot of the the people who voted for him as the lesser of two evils will be demotivated to vote or will vote Dem as a check on him and this who voted for HRC as the lesser of two evils will be motivated. At best his popularity right now is about where GWB’s was after he tried to privatize SS and just before Katrina and the public’s view on Iraq flipped for good. I think 2018 will look a lot like 2006. Hate and spite will be on the Dems side in 2018 and those are great motivators.
            Trump may have deep support, but it isn’t very broad. He didn’t win an 84 or even an 08 sized victory.
            There is a reason the party in power does poorly in off year elections and Trump is the least popular newly elected POTUS in modern history.

            1. Nippersdad

              I see your rationale, but then I look at Kansas and Wisconsin. Doubling down has never hurt them for long.

            2. dcrane

              It would be helpful to know, also, how many who normally vote Republican abstained or went 3rd party rather than vote for Trump. Maybe it wasn’t that many (since Trump did get more votes than Romney after all), but many of these people will be voting for Trump in 2020 unless he completely tanks. It’s never a good idea to underestimate the party loyalty of GOP voters. Beating Democrats is the Prime Directive.

        2. Daryl

          I think the problem is that Republicans are much better at actually winning elections. How many seats can the Democrats actually regain? Keeping in mind that midterm voters skew older/Republican in any case.

  6. der

    “We lost this election eight years ago,” concludes Michael Slaby, the campaign’s chief technology officer. “Our party became a national movement focused on general elections, and we lost touch with nonurban, noncoastal communities. There is a straight line between our failure to address the culture and systemic failures of Washington and this election result.”

    The question of why—why the president and his team failed to activate the most powerful political weapon in their arsenal.

    Obama’s army was eager to be put to work. Of the 550,000 people who responded to the survey, 86 percent said they wanted to help Obama pass legislation through grassroots support; 68 percent wanted to help elect state and local candidates who shared his vision. Most impressive of all, more than 50,000 said they personally wanted to run for elected office.

    But they never got that chance. In late December, Plouffe and a small group of senior staffers finally made the call, which was endorsed by Obama. The entire campaign machine, renamed Organizing for America, would be folded into the DNC, where it would operate as a fully controlled subsidiary of the Democratic Party.

    Instead of calling on supporters to launch a voter registration drive or build a network of small donors or back state and local candidates, OFA deployed the campaign’s vast email list to hawk coffee mugs and generate thank-you notes to Democratic members of Congress who backed Obama’s initiatives.

    Republicans, on the other hand, wasted no time in building a grassroots machine of their own—one that proved capable of blocking Obama at almost every turn. Within weeks of his inauguration, conservative activists began calling for local “tea parties” to oppose the president’s plan to help foreclosed homeowners.

    Thomas Frank: “The even larger problem is that there is a kind of chronic complacency that has been rotting American liberalism for years, a hubris that tells Democrats they need do nothing different, they need deliver nothing really to anyone – except their friends on the Google jet and those nice people at Goldman. The rest of us are treated as though we have nowhere else to go and no role to play except to vote enthusiastically on the grounds that these Democrats are the “last thing standing” between us and the end of the world. It is a liberalism of the rich, it has failed the middle class, and now it has failed on its own terms of electability.”

    And so it goes, unless. The ruling class, the professional class D&R, the upper 10%, those who make more than $150 thousand, win no matter who sits in the Oval Office or controls all 3 branches, both look down on their respective bases, the deplorables. Taking a page from the TParty to fight harder, tougher, longer, louder and make Perez move left.

    1. a different chris

      People like to have stable decently paying jobs. But:

      >our failure to address the culture

      They will never get it, will they?

    2. Oregoncharles

      “The rest of us are treated as though we have nowhere else to go and no role to play ”
      And so far, they’re right. At least, very few are going there. A lot are staying home, but that doesn’t accomplish much.

  7. Arizona Slim

    Take heart. One of my friends is a long-time progressive Democrat. She ran as a Clean Elections candidate and was elected to the Arizona legislature last November. She has never held office before.

    It can be done.

        1. SpringTexan

          Agree, Big River Bandido. She should share with progressive Democratic primary challengers to those sorry Democrats only. Not that anyone at the DNC would ever listen anyway.

          But good for her!

    1. Will S.

      Kudos to your friend! I think progressives fighting for places in the state legislatures has to be our first step, especially with the census/redistricting looming…

      1. Carla

        Where do you live? 2/3’rds of the states have Republican governors and 66-70 percent Republican state legislatures. They have already been gerrymandered and are very likely to remain this way for AT LEAST a generation.

        I live in Ohio. Democrat state legislators can do absolutely nothing. Not that this particularly bothers them. They collect their $60,000 salaries — not bad for a VERY part-time position– regardless.

        1. readerOfTeaLeaves

          I’m guessing that you failed to mention — in addition to salary — per diem, plus payments into the state retirement system? I’m guessing that $60,000 is only the top part of the iceberg; best to look under the waterline to get the whole picture?

        2. Daryl

          Sounds a lot better than Texas, where legislators are paid $600 a month, thus ensuring that only the independently wealthy can be legislators.

    2. HotFlash

      Congratulations to your friend, and thanks to her for her service. If you tell me where to donate, I will happily do that, too.

      To neo-realist February 25, 2017 at 4:51 pm

      Your friend should share her script for success w/ the DNC leadership.

      Hello/hola/etc. The DNC has that script, they don’t care, and IMHO AZSlim’s friend should stay as *far* away from the DNC as possible.

        1. Arizona Slim

          And she is on the Interwebs at Powers for the People dot-net. (Using my phone to post. Need to learn how to copy and paste a link.)

      1. neo-realist

        They had Howard Dean, and a script for 50 state success and tossed it. Yeah, I guess they at least should hold Perez’s feet to the fire to make him go lefty populist on the ground, if he doesn’t, toss him and fight them.

  8. Katharine

    Brand New Congress just got out their fundraising email in response to the election:

    The DNC just elected a chair who is pro-TPP, against single-payer, against tuition-free state universities and has no desire to transform our economy in meaningful ways. A chair who thinks the status quo is ok. It’s a clear indicator that they’re confident in their agenda, a confidence exemplified in the words of Nancy Pelosi who believes that Democrats “don’t want a new direction”.

    Not badly put.

    1. Carla

      From the BNC web site. This looks good:

      Our Goal

      Elect a Brand New Congress that works for all Americans.

      We’re running 400+ candidates in a single campaign to rebuild our country.

      Add Your Name

      Join us if you believe it’s time to reset our democracy.

      Please enter a valid email.
      Please enter a valid zip code.

      80% of Americans agree: Congress is broken. Both major parties have proven time and time again that they are either unwilling or unable to deliver results for the American people. But we have an alternative. We are recruiting and running more than 400 outstanding candidates in a single, unified, national campaign for Congress in 2018. Together, they will pass an aggressive and practical plan to significantly increase wages, remove the influence of big money from our government, and protect the rights of all Americans. Let’s elect a Brand New Congress that will get the job done.

      This list of sponsors DOESN’T:

      Washington Post
      Wall Street Journal
      The Huffington Post
      The Daily Beast
      The Nation
      The Frisky
      Boing Boing
      Roll Call

      No. Uh-uh. Time for BNP : Brand New Party!

  9. jopac

    Well I for one am relieved he’s the new chair. I won’t have to think there might be hope and change in the corp. owned demodog party. I’ll celebrate with a glass of whine later.

    Arizona Slim, Thanks for the good news in AZ. It was tried in my part of Calli but dnc did everything they good to elect repug instead of a real progressive.

    Time to get firewood into the house

  10. baldski

    In order for real representative government to appear on the American scene, two things have to happen:

    1. Corporations have to be declared non-persons.

    2. Money is declared not equal to speech.

    Why do we have the situation we have now?

    Two decisions by the Supreme Court. Santa Clara vs Southern Pacific RR and Buckley vs. Valeo. So, who is the real power in our Government? The Judicial.

    1. Roger Smith

      Thank you so much for this post!! I saw a video on the 1886 case in high school and was disgusted. In passing time I forgot the specifics and have been trying to locate that decision since. I kept thinking it was in the 1920s/30s

    2. TheCatSaid

      I’d add No. 3: Ranked preference voting. (Majority wins or run-offs do not cut it.)
      In this case, if choosing among 4 candidates, and I rank all 4 of them, my first choice gets 4 points, my second choice gets 3 points, etc. If I only rank 2 of them, my first choice gets 2 points, my second choice gets 1 point. If I only rank 1 person, they get 1 point.

      Try this out on anything where you’ve got 3 or more options, in a group of any size. It’s amazing how much better the group consensus will be reflected in the results.

      You can vote your genuine preference without concern for “spoilers” or dividing the opposition.

    1. Aumua

      And good riddance.

      Seriously though, I kind of like this little game we play here, where we act surprised or shocked or something at the Democratic Party’s complete lack of integrity. Like there was ever any question that ‘they’ might do the right thing. I honestly don’t know about you guys, but I decided a long time ago that the Democrats and Republicans were just two tentacles of the same vampire squid or whatever, so.. why the outrage and/or disdain? cause it’s diverting I suppose.

      1. Bugs Bunny

        Hail to the chief of the *burn*

        I guess I forgot how dumb the Dems were. Lucy and the football, I’ll never learn.

  11. Ottawan

    Hold on to your negative prognoses, you’d be amazed what modern technique can do with a corpse.

    They are clearly betting on Donnie blowing himself up and taking the Repubs with him. They are betting on looking less-dead in the aftermath.

    1. WheresOurTeddy

      “After he’s burned the castle to the ground, who’s going to rule the ashes? That’s right baby, US!”

    2. LT

      The Democratic Party will never let the Republican Party go down. Haven’t we figured that out yet?
      The only way to get rid of the Republican Party is to get rid of the Democratic Party.

  12. WheresOurTeddy

    As usual, Greenwald sheds some light:

    “He is clearly an anti-Semite and anti-Israel individual,” pronounced Saban about the African-American Muslim congressman, adding: “Keith Ellison would be a disaster for the relationship between the Jewish community and the Democratic Party.”…

    … “I’m a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel,” he told the New York Times in 2004 about himself…
    …he attacked the ACLU for opposing Bush/Cheney civil liberties assaults and said: “On the issues of security and terrorism I am a total hawk.”…

    Dear Leftists Who Haven’t Got The Message Yet:


    1. Annotherone

      We’re not welcome anywhere it seems – and that has to be flippin’ ridiculous in a country of this size and diversity! Could there be a better time for the Democratic Socialists to expand and come forth ? Cornel West at the helm, to begin – perhaps persuading Bernie to join him.

  13. NotTimothyGeithner

    Who will Team Blue blame for Senate losses in November 2018? Tau Cetians? Game of Thrones ending?

    1. Octopii

      From what I see already around the interwebs and comment sections, it will be blamed on the lefty radicals who are fracturing the party by resisting the borg. And Sanders. And Cornel West. Etc… Etc…

      1. MDBill

        Right. The people who refuse to play on their team any longer. The neoliberal arrogance and sense of entitlement is just staggering.

    2. freedeomny

      You know – it almost doesn’t even matter. The Dems will get corporation donations…just in “case” they win. They really aren’t terribly motivated. It’s like being a salesperson with no sales goals.

      On another note – The Turks guy (Cent? can’t remember his name) said that it was time for a third party on his twitter account. Nina Turner “liked” it. I found that a little hopeful.

  14. LT

    The Democrats obviously can’t wait for that constitutional convention by the sadist wing of the Republican Party. The sooner it can no longer have any loopholes that cause any interpretation outside of corporations rule, the easier it will be for Democrats. No more worrying about doing good things for those pesky people.

  15. George Phillies

    The United States already has third parties. There is no real need to start another one. The Libertarian party is the radical antiauthoritarian center. The Green Party ought to be adequate for progressive Democrats. There is also a far-right christian theocrat Constitution Party.

    1. Carla

      As a registered Green, I am very sorry to tell you that the Green Party is not adequate. And I have no reason to think it ever will be.


      1. Isolato


        I’ve voted forJill twice now (and contributed moderately). She seems intelligent, well-spoken, progressive, passionate, everything we would want a candidate to be…and nothing. If there was EVER a year to have broken through 5%…sigh. So what’s the problem?

        1. Adam Reilly

          The problem is that there’s widespread election fraud. You could see it in the Wisconsin and Michigan GE recounts and the Illinois Democratic Party Recount. The reality is that we don’t have any trustworthy vote totals. Maybe Jill did a lot better (or maybe she didn’t), maybe Hillary actually beat Donald (or maybe she didn’t), maybe Bernie won the primary (okay, that one really isn’t a maybe to me since it’s very clear that Hillary used tricks to move IA and NV into her corner- which would have been fatal if she didn’t, the CA, NY, AZ, PR, and RI primary debacles, DNC collusion…etc).

          Here are two videos that really helped me understand that this fraud is likely widespread:

          Short video on the Wisconsin recount:

          Long video on the Illinois recount:
          –>The “good” part starts at minute 24. The underlying point becomes clear really quickly if you want to just watch a small portion, but the speaker who comes on around the hour mark is excellent.

          Election Justice USA also had a great summary. There’s a reason many places in Europe still do manual, verifiable counting. Voting security, even more than money in politics, is the biggest barrier to having a legitimate Democracy. Unfortunately, that may be even more difficult than money in politics, which at least could theoretically be altered by Congress to cover the whole country at once.

    2. Massinissa

      What Carla said about the greens. Also, the Libertarians are basically into neoliberalism. Theyre ok on social issues, but they aren’t a real answer either.

    3. neo-realist

      My hope is that the #Notmypresident millennials take the next steps from Trump needs to be resisted and work for longer term gains and political power by getting active in local politics/down ticket races and local democratic party organizations to in effect bum rush the dems and make it the party that it wants the country to be.

      Love doesn’t conquer all, Corporate lobbyists do. Organize for power, win elections, work for change.

  16. PH

    I think most people here are seeing what happened, but wrong about the impact.

    Head of DNC is not a good place to organize primary challenges, and that is what is needed. DNC head is mostly just bag man for corporate money. Not that much power but some visibility. Bernie guy gets in, and there are constant questions about loyalty to the party and big tent and being fair to blue dogs. And then questions of competence if not enough money is raised or not enough elections won. No winning likely.

    Losing suits us better. Establishment is against Progressives. Fine. The war is on. Find primary challengers, and get them elected.

    In my view, that has always been the only way forward.

    1. LT

      Find primary challengers, even if they have no chance of winning. Even in districts stacked against them…turn money in politics into the wealthy’s biggest weakness. Make the ROI in elections too expensive to achieve.

    2. Big River Bandido

      I agree with you that losing this worthless race serves our long-term interests better. This is war and clarity is always an advantage. Easier to fight them from a clear outside position.

      However, we have not the resources or the power base (within the Democrat Party) to mount effective primary challenges. If that party is to be a vehicle for change, we will have to take it away from them starting at the lowest levels — local party offices — and gradually work our way up.

      As we move up the chain, we purge all the deadwood.

  17. Outagamie Observer

    At this point, perhaps progressives would have more luck joining the Republican Party in hopes of “reform” or “changing the platform”. They would probably have more luck than with the Democrats. As for 2018 and 2020, the congressional Republicans will have no incentive to defend congress or the Presidency. They would rather have Democrats to blame things for than have to deal with President Trump (whom they detest).

  18. ChrisAtRU

    Einstein’s definition of #Insanity immediately comes to mind.

    We’ll see what #BernieCrats, #DSA and others can do at the grassroots level. Their (continued) #Resistance to the #corporatistDem structure is even more important now.

    But gawd, WTF are establishment Dems thinking?

      1. Oregoncharles

        That’s just what Rep. DeFazio just said – even though he himself wins by ridiculous margins in a “swing” district (the closest win for Hillary inthe country, he said) by being a progressive’s progressive.

        He’s living disproof of his own point.

    1. RickM

      I was a card-carrying member of DSA when it was DSOC! Long time ago. Time to start paying dues again, even from the political wilderness in which I find myself. Way past time, actually. The problem with waiting for the Democrat Party to hit bottom is this: There is no bottom to this abyss.

      1. nick

        As someone doing DSA organizing I’ll say that we will be thrilled to have you on board again. Interest is quite high among the Bernie youth, so the seats are full but experience, generational diversity, and gas money are in relatively short supply!

        1. Adar

          Perhaps from lack of organization on their part? After the election my husband registered to join the DSA, and sent them money. Three months later, no acknowledgement of any kind, not even a dumb membership card. Not that the Democrats ever sent anything but requests for cash, but we expected better.

    2. polecat

      WTF are esablishment Dems thinking ………?? ……. OF ??

      $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ ……

      did I miss anything … ?

  19. Dikaios Logos

    The Washington Post’s headline:
    “Tom Perez becomes first Latino to lead Democratic Party”


    1. ChrisAtRU

      Yes, because that meaningless #IdPol nugget (if it’s even true) is supposed to overcome his worthlessness as a progressive.

    2. Benedict@Large

      It’s OK. They let Ellison be play chairman. The Identities are pleased.

      BTW: Perez was born in Buffalo, NY, and Wikipedia lists his nationality as American. The WaPo headline is bullcrap, intended to distract readers from the real issues, and promote the Clinton wing to Latin Americans, an identity group that certainly would benefit more from the Sanders wing.

  20. manymusings

    @neo-realist, @biph

    Bush’s meltdown did give us a Black President — but after 8 years, not 4 years. During the election I too thought whichever candidate won was poised to be a one-term President, but there’s a big condition: there absolutely must be a compelling competing narrative, and a defined counter-platform. It doesn’t matter what calamity results from a Trump-led-monopoly-republican federal government if they still dominate the narrative and the opposition is still just “resisting” (or has an incoherent laundry list). It’s overly-optimistic to think the Rs will own bad outcomes, or that those in power ever necessarily do (if that were so, neither Bush nor Obama would have been re-elected).

    I’ll hand it to the dems, I thought they’d string things out. I didn’t think they’d let it be this obvious, this quickly, that the counter force won’t come from the democrat party. None of us thought it would, but maybe we thought they’d at least throw some dust in the air to try keep us guessing for a while.

    The challenge for the Left remains organization and focus. The clarity delivered by the democrat party is helpful. No need to debate reform, that’s been answered (at least for now). The democrat establishment has nothing to do with the Left. It is not the opposition per say but might as well be (think of it this way: an opponent would refute your work, try to tank or sabotage it; the democrats invite you over to steal it, mess it up, fail, blame you, and invite you over again, huffing that their own work is “essentially the same anyway” but insisting that they be in charge).

    It’s time to own the Realignment. One part of that is making a clear break from the democratic establishment in terms of agenda, priorities, solidarity, identity. Not just a quibble among the like-minded; a divorce. We are only serving its interests if we don’t. Case in point, the linked article echoes the common refrain that between Perez and Ellison “ideological differences are few…”. No, no, a thousand effing times no. That is wrong, and attempts to fit in or make common cause with the dem establishment only validate the self-serving Unity/Look Forward narrative whose purpose is obscure what’s really at issue and at stake.

    And the corollary to cutting losses on the dem establishment is the second part — building the realignment, which means finding and creating common cause where it’s been latent or non-existent. A compelling, competing narrative must be a counterweight not just to Trump’s blame-deflections, but to the drivel spewing (at least as subtext) from the establishments of both parties. The key is not to try make the Rs own the outcomes on their watch; it’s to make the Establishment own them, and to make Trump own that he is the Establishment (or that he caters to it).

    Everything else is secondary. Elections up and down the ballot (local, state and federal) may force decisions on voting for a party, but which party prevails is not important — it is incidental, relevant only if it serves the cause, not vice versa. The Left needs to be clear on the realignment, stop talking to and about parties, and take up common cause and concern where we can find it. I have a feeling that the Left is less defined and determined than we imagine, because we aren’t really testing it yet. Illusions about the democratic party are gone. And that’s a good thing.

    1. neo-realist

      It doesn’t matter what calamity results from a Trump-led-monopoly-republican federal government if they still dominate the narrative and the opposition is still just “resisting” (or has an incoherent laundry list). It’s overly-optimistic to think the Rs will own bad outcomes, or that those in power ever necessarily do (if that were so, neither Bush nor Obama would have been re-elected).

      If Trump owns a narrative on a brick and mortar foundation of higher unemployment in the battleground states, devastation of lives from another financial meltdown (Bush had already stolen the second term prior to it), devastation and death from a potential free market solution to health care–“here’s a voucher, go chose the best deal cause it’s all about giving you your freedom”, and war that may end up being brought to the shores of Western Europe and the United States killing a whole bunch more than 9/11, it would be pretty difficult to come back and sell the medicine show elixir a second time. Promising a whole lot and delivering less than zero, I don’t know if the “deplorables” will get fooled again by his fake populism when he comes back for their votes in four years when they’re still unemployed, underemployed and in greater debt and or bankruptcy from increased medical care costs. I’m not saying this as a affirmation of neoliberal democratic people running for the presidency, but that a whole lot of nothing incumbent running on a world of shit that he’s created is vulnerable to a candidate who may be a whole lot of nothing with less baggage.

      And Trump would potentially be running on a bigger pile of poop that he’s added to the domestic and foreign fronts of Obama and Bush. O and B brought us to the precipice of the cliff, but Trump incompetence GOP ideologue arrogance can drive us off the cliff.

      1. manymusings

        We may be pointing at different parts of a continuum — how bad things are in four years relative to Trump promises, and why people believe things are so bad. We are likely closest on how bad things could be — I agree, the stuff Trump ran and won on is likely to be much, much worse — but I think I’m less inclined to see that as handing him electoral defeat in 2020. Of course it’s always easier/better to be able to run on something delivered. And less-than-zero can and by logic should tank a President. But the why is important — especially when the electorate basically doesn’t trust any of these clowns. No one really expects anything from Washington, and is used to things getting worse. If Trump can deflect and maintain his message — cast blame on various faces of the establishment, the democrats, media, eventually even the republicans — I don’t think he’s inevitably or even likely undone. I’m not saying nothing will ever catch up with …. just saying it’s not guaranteed. There are a lot of factors, but I think here’s actually my main thing: it depends less on “holding him to account” or pointing at failures or making him own things, and more on advancing a coalition with a compelling voice, coherent platform — and not about party. In the end, pinning failures on Trump only succeeds if there’s a concrete and appealing answer to “compared to what.” Trump just won against The Establishment, and the classic establishment move is to point giddily at failures and mis-steps, and say here’s where you can donate, and thanks for your vote. A successful opposition has to do better.

  21. UserFriendly

    Is it too late to change my mind and support a Syrian no fly zone? I want this country to fail. I want it to stop existing. I absolutely hate everything about america. I want Both Clinton’s and Obama’s heads on a plate. If Bernie doesn’t announce he’s creating a new party then I’ll just be sitting around thinking about the best way to undermine this shit hole of a country.

  22. Tom Denman

    The Democratic Party no longer stands for anything at all (witness its recent conversion to McCarthyism). Its actions are motivated by no purpose save its leaders’ self-enrichment.

    A political party without a raison d’ˆtre is little more than a walking corpse and there is nothing to be lost by leaving it.

  23. stillfeelintheberninwi

    Though sad about the outcome of the DNC chair race, I think PH is right, DNC chair is probably just about raising the corporate $$. I’m sticking with the Tip O’Neil strategy, “all politics is local.”

    I joined the D party in 2014, mostly because I thought I had to get involved and help remove Scott W from the governor’s mansion. What I saw was lethargic and not very welcoming. Couldn’t get anyone to train me on how to canvas. I offered over and over to do data entry, web, social media.

    In the summer of 2015, I got involved with a local issue and we WON. 8 people (no other Dems) and we stopped a bad deal the city was about to make. We did petitions and spoke at council meetings. Wrote op eds, did radio interviews, put up yard signs.

    Through that I met an organizer from a progressive group and I told him that I was thinking of running for local office. He introduced me to the bare facts of how to run a campaign and put me in touch with another progressive group that runs candidate training seminars. I went to one of those seminars. I was listening to Bernie too:) His positive voice was a great inspiration. By the end of 2015, I knew I would run for the county board. All our local races are non-partisan and often uncontested. The incumbent would be running for her third term.

    The local election is held during the spring Presidential primary. I live in Wisconsin. My area is completely red. The election I could best model from was the 2012 and Rich Santoruim won my district. I had access to the VAN as well and could see that Republicans dominated my district in this election. (It voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012) I planned my campaign based completely on meeting the voter at the door and listening. Turnout is usually pretty low, 30%. I figured 50 hrs at the doors would do it. Interestingly, almost every person I talked with didn’t even know who represented them on the county board. It was surprisingly easy, the only stress was the heat of the Presidential primary and how that would bring unpredictability to my race.

    Happy news, I won. More Happy news, I got involved with recruiting and helping people run for local office. We’re at it right now. School board, city council. This is where it begins and this is where the ball has been dropped in Wisconsin. The Republican party has used the local offices very effectively to build their bench. What the Dems didn’t do was build the bench.

    In Wisconsin, this is so easy because the vast majority of the local offices are non-partisan. When someone asked me what party I was with, I would just say, “this is a non-partisan race.” That was the end of that part of the conversation and we were on to something else. The other thing about the local elections is that very few people actually run a campaign, so if you do, you will win. Your name is the only name they will know.

    I now have connected with other people in the state who are working on this strategy. It is going to take a while, but we will build the bench and take back the state. It isn’t going to happen overnight.

    I went to the first local Our Revolution meeting today. I was impressed. The organizer had exactly the same thought – we are going to fill the county board with progressives. Stuff is going to happen. We’ve got the people, that is what we need locally, not $$.

    If only the Democratic party could see, they need to train up and use their people. Forget the big $$$.

    1. Jean

      This is an inspiring story. The “silver lining” in these times is that people are taking their anger and disappointment and doing something about it at an actionable, local level. I went to a local assemblyman’s town hall meeting yestesrday that had hundreds more attendees than were planned. The natives are restless.

    2. David

      I, too, am in WI and running for city council. The only reason I’m willing to do so is *because* the local offices are nonpartisan – I am quite disillusioned with national politics and both parties. At least locally some good can be done. DC is irredeemable.

      I will likely be using the WI open primary to vote for whichever candidate the DNC opposes, not that it will matter. If nothing else, I will feel better.

    3. neo-realist

      Congratulations, Bravo. You should touch base w/ the DNC. Advise them of your formula for winning, specifically the sorely needed bench building.

      1. SpringTexan

        as though they’d be interested!! lol.

        he should go on doing exactly what he is doing and hurray for him!

  24. John k

    Taking over the dem party, starting with local races, will be a very long struggle. Generations. Particularly considering candidates trying for dem nom will be attacked by corp dems tooth and nail.
    The greens are very disorganized. So What? Take them over and organize them. This is doable, and with somebody like Bernie leading the charge you could pull in half the dem party plus indies and win elections in 2018… doesn’t take that much support to win elections in three way races, look at GB.
    and then be viable for pres in 2018.

    Bernie has to give up on dems if he wants to move the needle. Perez win might just be that extra middle finger that gets him off the dime.

    And trump tweet painfully on target…

  25. landline

    The forces of capital own both parties in a two party system. They will never give up either of them. Socialists, Social Democrats, Democratic Socialists, even progressive liberals and….must look elsewhere. Anything else is fruitless.

    St. Bernard had his chance. He blew it. Time to move on from him and MoveOn and the like.

  26. voteforno6

    Apparently, Valerie Jarrett was whipping votes on behalf of Barack Obama. That man really does have quite an oversized ego, even for a politician.

  27. Otis B Driftwood

    And so the DNC has learned nothing from the past election cycle and the repudiation of neoliberalism here and abroad. Confirms my decision to leave the party.

    They’re pathetic and hopeless.

  28. Jen

    Observations from the western border of the Granite State:

    I decided to attend a local democrat meeting because the candidate I supported in the D primary for governor (Steve Marchand – he lost) was the keynote speaker. When I received my copy of Indivisible, and saw that one of the working groups for the night was focusing on “Fake News,” I almost decided to stay home.

    But I didn’t. Steve was great. He, counter to the message of “we must play defense; we cannot offer positive alternatives,” in Indivisible, repeatedly told us that “we cannot beat something with nothing.” He spoke extensively about local organizing, and about appealing to all voters on the issues. He got a very enthusiastic response from the 100 or so people who turned out for the meeting. Our governor has a two year term, and while Steve said that he was not running for anything at the moment, he’s clearly laying the ground for a 2018 run. He’s getting out in front of every local Dem group, and doing meet and greets all over the state. Good for him.

    We have a Berniecrat, Josh Adjutant, running for state party chair. He may not win, but he too, is out meeting with groups all over the state and getting his name out there. He narrowly lost a bid for state rep in a deeply republican district to a Free Stater, who hasn’t shown up for a single vote since being elected. Last week the Free Stater resigned, and now there will be a special election. Josh is running again. He’s likely to win this time.

    After hearing that Perez won the DNC chair, my knee jerk reaction was to say the hell with it. However there are no viable third party options here, and the people who voted for Perez all come from the state party.

    What I noticed among our Dem group, was a real desire to work on issues and develop a positive counter message.

    So I’m going to get more involved and fight from within. I joined the “fake news” group, pushed to focus on policy, and volunteered to chair the group going forward.

    1. SpringTexan

      Great report, Jen. That’s encouraging. Thanks for what you are doing.

      We can support good individual Democrats and office holders and good primary candidates, but with absolutely illusions about sorry sorry party and its resolute determination to continue hippie punching.

      Makes me sick when they go on about Russians and conflict of interest and ignore things that affect everyone’s lives, and that’s what they plan to do.

  29. Benedict@Large

    As I have been saying for years now, the ONLY purpose of the Democratic Party today is to crush its own left wing. Denying this at this point is a fool’s errand.

    Given this, how can any member of this same left ever justify another vote for any candidate this Democratic Party sponsors? You do not overcome such hostility by electing its representatives.

    Does that mean you has to vote for people like Donald Trump? Unfortunately, it does. If you don’t, you are not playing at the same level they are, and they will beat you until the cows come home. These are the people who do not cede power. These are the people it must be taken from.

  30. Foppe

    Guess I should’ve posted this here instead:

    “What all people have to realize,” said Stuart Appelbaum, a labor leader from New York and Perez supporter who brought the chair process to its end Saturday afternoon by calling for the results to be accepted by acclamation, “is the real form of resistance is voting.”

  31. Winslow R.

    “Mr. Perez fell one vote short of a majority on the first vote for chairman, with Mr. Ellison 13 votes behind him. The four second-tier candidates then dropped out of the race before the second ballot. On the second ballot, Mr. Perez won 235 of 435 votes cast.”

    Hmmm, so
    1st round Perez 217, Ellison 204, second-tier 14 votes total

    2nd round Perez 235, Ellison 200

    So Ellison actually lost 4 votes in second round.

    Possible explanations?

    Dems canvassed, knew Perez would win but didn’t want it to look like Ellison had no chance so had 4 Perez voters initally vote for Ellison.

    I’m sure there are less reasonable explations that might be closer to the truth.

  32. Knute Rife

    The Democratic establishment knows what its job is: maintain the Democratic Party as the Washington Generals for the benefit of the Republican Globetrotters.

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