While attention is focused on what Donald Trump is doing to the Republican party, whether he is splitting it into two, transforming it into his own image, leading it into the ditch, or successfully channeling all the racist, sexist, and xenophobic impulses that seems to be quite widespread in the nation, there are some interesting goings on within the Democratic party.
On the one hand, it looks like the neoliberal, establishment-backed head of the Democratic National Committee Tom Perez is putting the old hacks into positions of power and squeezing out supporters of Bernie Sanders and deputy chair Keith Ellison.
On Thursday, four long-serving DNC officials who had backed Ellison’s bid to be DNC chair were removed from their positions. Ray Buckley, James Zogby, and Barbra Casbar Siperstein were bounced from the executive committee, and Buckley was also taken off the rules committee, on which he served as well. Alice Germond lost her at-large appointment.
The fight grew more personal Friday morning, when BuzzFeed reported on rumors circulating that pro-Ellison forces were trying to take three black women — Donna Brazile, Minyon Moore, and Leah Daughtry — off of the at-large committee.
IT ALL HARKENS back to the 2016 primary, in which critics of Hillary Clinton were routinely told their opposition was rooted in sexism and, somehow, racism as well. Now as Sanders and Ellison backers jockey for influence on the key committees, they are once again being told, in so many words, that they are bigots.
Yet the three Ellison backers removed from the key committees are themselves a diverse bunch. Ellison, of course, is African-American, Muslim, and represents a working-class district, while Barbra Casbar Siperstein is transgender, Zogby is Lebanese-American (and Catholic), and Buckley is gay.
The Democratic establishment want to maintain their cozy ties with Wall Street and lobbyists while the Sanders-Ellison wing wants to run on an insurgent platform against the wealthy.
The Democratic Party this week plans to name 75 people including lobbyists and political operatives to leadership posts that come with superdelegate votes at its next presidential convention, potentially aggravating old intraparty tensions as it struggles to confront President Donald Trump.
The new members-at-large of the Democratic National Committee will vote on party rules and in 2020 will be convention delegates free to vote for a primary candidate of their choice. They include lobbyists for Venezuela’s national petroleum company and for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., according to a list obtained by Bloomberg News.
At least 10 of the other superdelegates chosen by Perez have in the past been registered federal corporate lobbyists, with their most recent filings ranging from late last year to nearly a decade ago.
The DNC seems to be finding it hard to raise money, even as Democratic candidates individually are raising a lot more than their Republican counterparts.
Congressional Democrats are whipping their GOP counterparts in fundraising heading into the 2018 elections, a key sign that a wave election may be building.
In both the Senate and House, Democrats are pulling money hand-over-fist in many of their most important races, according to campaign finance reports recently filed with the Federal Election Commission. Many Republicans are struggling to keep up — including some key incumbents in both chambers.
That trend is causing heartburn for many Republicans, who worry their chances of losing the House are growing due to President Trump’s unpopularity and Republican voters’ frustration with their failure to pass major legislation.
One big exception to this pattern: The Republican National Committee is wiping the floor with the Democratic National Committee, a major concern for Democrats as they head into a crucial midterm year. The RNC has $44 million in the bank to the DNC’s paltry $7 million.
This is hardly surprising. Why would anyone want to give money to the DNC when it keeps the same old people and pursues policies that don’t benefit the party’s base? Some Democratic figures even suggest that the party should get more cozy with Wall Street, not less. Sure, what could go wrong with a strategy of becoming even more like Republicans?
If Democrats continue their policy of pretending to care for the majority of the population and that forms their base (women, LGBT, minorities, working people, the poor) while actually serving the interests of their wealthy donors, they are doomed to suffer more defeats at the hands of awful Republicans like Trump.