DNC chair voting happening now

… and you would be forgiven for wondering when this primary will ever end.

Most of the attention has fallen to Keith Ellison, an early endorser of Bernie Sanders and therefore the favorite of that wing. Tom Perez is seen as the stalking horse of the “Obama/Clinton wing”, which still seems like a strange hybrid. And then there’s the exceptionally well-spoken young mayor of South Bend IN, Pete Buttigieg.

They’re all saying the right things. They all plan to build up the party from the very local levels, to compete everywhere across the country. This is good and necessary and everyone professes to agree on that.

The party — progressivism generally — needs to establish and burrow in at the cultural level, more widely than it has heretofore. This ought to be possible away from big, multi-cultural population centers. Anyplace where people want to come together to build better schools for themselves; be able to see doctors when they need to; breathe easy and drink water without fear; and get paid a decent wage — these are places that a progressive message ought to be at home. Anytime we blame intractable geographic/cultural differences for electoral defeats, we know that actually we just stopped trying. People aren’t all that different. The amazing display of Indivisible protests around the country shows that.

The party still suffers from a cruft of lobbyists, consultants, and big-money grabbers. In practice it may well end up that the consultant class sucks the money out of those efforts on behalf of TV buys for “high-profile” races. The big-money/quick fix mentality needs to be resisted. You’ve got to start with people.

As a tactical matter I’m pulling for Ellison. I have little insight into the actual organizing/strategic merits of him vs. Perez. But there’s nothing obviously disqualifying about him, he says the right things, his background is relevant, and many Sanders supporters would view it as a good will offering. The Bernie faction has the energy and organizing juice. I’m more than happy to let Ellison channel some of that. And structurally it works as a marriage-of-state — a way to seal the end of hostilities.

Enough. Let’s let the future happen already.

Recommended by jconway, fredrichlariccia.


76 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. This race and frankly all our primaries should be IRV

    Iowa Dems just elected their chair via IRV and it enables the eventual winner to claim a true majority and consensus and it discourages negative campaigning and the acrimony that results. Had IRV been used in our last primary it would’ve substantially reduced the acrimony. I’m worried whichever chair we end up with will disappoint a large part of our party, and this solves for that as well. It would help 2018 candidates to train their fire on Baker rather than one another.

    • There's a runoff...

      …just not an instant runoff or ranked choice, or rather there are multiple ballots with a majority required. For our last state party chair’s election the third-place finisher in a three-way race had the good sense to withdraw so the second ballot would guarantee a majority.

    • Last primary?

      Are you referring to presidential, because only two candidates really contested it anyway (and no I don’t think IRV would have significantly improved the chances of O’Malley, Chafee, or Webb)? If you mean MA’s last gubernatorial you might have a case.

      • I just re-read your comment...

        …and your last sentence seems to indicate gubernatorial, but your penultimate sentence appears to be about national chair.

        • Both

          For Democratic primaries at all levels and for internal leadership contests. I was unaware DNC and state chair were already real runoffs which amount to the same thing.

          For governor-it would’ve likely made a difference in the 2014 contest. I also think the First Middlesex Suffolk special and the CD5 special were primaries where the nominee won with just around a quarter of the total Democratic electorate selecting.

          For President I think it would help to standardize it so it’s a primary every time and award delegates proportionally to the vote. This ensures every vote in every state is counted the same, eliminates caucuses which favor insiders over new participants and working parents, and let’s the party and it’s members decide. I don’t think it makes a difference for 2016-but the 2020 field is going to be masssive and I want our nominee to have a majority of primary voters supporting him or her.

          • Second paragraph probably easiest to fix.

            It would require a change in state law, though. As for president it’s always a tug of war between state law and party rules, though I recently read a book about the development of primaries and IIRC SCOTUS ruled that the Call to Convention was the supreme document in these cases, but I don’t know if that is still valid case law.


    Tom Perez was just elected DNC Chair on the second ballot by a vote of 235 to 200 for Keith Ellison.

    His first act was to nominate Congressman Ellison as Deputy Chair.

    Now let’s unite behind our new leadership team and go kick some Republican ass to win back Congress and State Houses up and down the ballot next year.

    Onward to Victory !

    Fred Rich LaRiccia

    • The whining on Facebook...

      …from the Bernie or bust wing of the party is unbelievable. For the record, 435 members duly elected or appointed to the DNC by pre-established rules just cast public votes for Chair, and as you note the runner-up was immediately appointed deputy in an effort to unify the party. Not sure what specific objections some progressives have against someone who served as Obama’s Labor Secretary. It wasn’t that long ago many progressives were pushing him as a possible running mate for Clinton.

      • Please

        It’s not whining and it’s coming from the progressive wing of the party. Or do you want them to just shut up and get in line? How did that turn out in 2016?

        • There's nothing progressive about

          the NeverClinton Stein voting BernieBros.

          • The overwhelming number of Bernie voters

            voted for Hillary, many of them among her most diehard volunteers after the primary.

            Your reduction of Bernie supporters to that is offensive, and helps no one.

            • You say that like it's a fact.

              However, the NeverClinton Stein voting BernieBros voted for Stein.

              • Yes, and about 90% of Bernie supporters voted for Hillary

                but you described JohnTMay’s comment about “the progressive wing of the party” as

                NeverClinton Stein voting BernieBros

                You know…. “like it’s a fact.”

                Which is either a smear, delusion or lie.

                • It's a fact.

                  That the NeverClinton Stein voting BernieBros voted for Stein.
                  There’s nothing progressive about whining about Bernie getting beat, smearing Clinton for beating him, or handing Trump the election.
                  Following that up by whining about Ellison getting beat, and smearing Perez for beating him?
                  The Pouting Wing of the Democratic Party needs to decide if they want to help beat the Republicans, or not.

                  • It appears you want to grow the democratic party

                    by insulting everyone who disagrees with your views. (And I’ll hold my comment on what I think about those views…)

                    Here’s the bottom line: Do you want to win, or do you want to lose in ways that appeal to your self-righteous indignation?

              • Which proves what exactly?

                If you’re going to argue that Stein cost Clinton the general than that’s an argument for moving the party to the left. Using your logic, if Sanders is the nominee than Stein has zero traction since her supporters would’ve voted for him in the primary (resting on a rather large assumption that registered Greens and Green leaners bothered to participate in a major party primary in the first place).

                I would add to that the actual evidence of substantial overlap between Trump and Sanders counties in 5/6 swing states that flipped to the Republicans as proof he would’ve been more competitive with whites without college degrees in those specific states also justifying a more populist strategy.

                • Is it?

                  If you’re going to argue that Stein cost Clinton the general than that’s an argument for moving the party to the left.

                  Or is it that so many, convinced by decades of right wing talking points and months of smears from Bernie, decided they’d rather have Trump than Clinton? You may remember the “no difference” rhetoric. People who were happy with a Trump win aren’t making an argument for moving the party to the left.

                  • So which is it

                    Bernie voters who supported Stein cost Clinton the election or people who moved the party to the left? These are mutually exclusive arguments. You can’t say the left of Clinton Voter cost her the election by bolting from the while simultaneously alienating swing voters. I’ve seen conservatives like Michael Barone and Howie Carr make that argument, but it’s not a particularly good one.

                    You didn’t answer my question above. If Stein voters are what cost Clinton the election, isn’t that an argument for nominating a more Bernie like candidate next time to bring them in the tent?

                    • Reward Stein voters, Comey, and Putin?

                      If Stein voters are what cost Clinton the election, isn’t that an argument for nominating a more Bernie like candidate next time to bring them in the tent?

                      The NeverClinton Stein voting BernieBros should be rewarded for self-harming tantrums? No. Ignorance should never be rewarded.

                  • "smears from Bernie"

                    Like when he said ‘enough about the emails?’

                    Bernie ran a clean campaign. As did Hillary. Both were exemplary in that regard.

                    There was some heated passion in the grassroots among supporters of both sides, like there always is in campaigns, and occasionally it got ugly.

                    But that’s not on the candidates.

                    And how is re-litigating the primary helping anyone, again?

                • some nuance

                  if you look at the numbers in the overlapping districts that Bernie performed well in the primary and Trump did in the general, there weren’t many Bernie voters voting for Trump. That was actually very rare.

                  What there was, on the other hand, was a larger-than-average number of people in those districts who turned out for Obama that didn’t turn out for Hillary. So, definitely some Bernie voters who stayed home.

                  Meanwhile, the conservative people in those districts showed up in higher than average numbers.

                  So, the problem isn’t that liberal working class voters went for Trump, it’s that their numbers were depressed, while Trump’s conservative working class numbers surged in the same areas.

                  Your populism concerns aren’t unjustified, but I think it’s important to understand the complexity there, so at least people know that we didn’t really ‘lose’ voters in these districts, at least not for good. That said, another Hillary Clinton or John Kerry type candidate may not be the best bet to get them back out.

                  Interestingly, Hillary’s numbers surged in a lot of Republican districts, particularly in more economically prosperous areas. It shows that Trump’s brand of white nationalism is toxic in a lot of middle class/upper middle class areas, which bodes well for a House campaign… and, if we can find a candidate who can get Obama-level turnout among democratic-leaners in working class districts and maintain Hillary’s performance in traditionally GOP districts that skewed much bluer, Democrats could make a huge comeback in 2020.

                  Here’s hoping…

        • You can be disappointed your guy lost.

          I actually didn’t have a strong opinion on this race, but it’s no excuse to bolt the party as many on FB are threatening to do. After all, Perez got Ellison to be deputy and I can think of no better solution.

          • I personally think it's time that

            progressives take over the party with the aim of utterly destroying the corporate wing, and then salt the corporate wing’s earth….

            but I cannot blame anyone for leaving the party over this. Not a single person.

            Not after Perez’s candidacy only emerged after one of the party’s biggest billionaire funders took issue with Ellison’s then almost universally supported candidacy, with a horrific smear campaign against Ellison that quickly followed.

            And what did Perez think about that smear campaign, or other party leaders in his corner? Crickets.

            I didn’t hear one word from them decrying that, even as Perez benefited from it.

            Ellison had record numbers of petition signers and unanimous labor support, with endorsements ranging from Elizabeth Warren to Chuck Schumer (!). It was a the kind of broad coalition for a chairmanship campaign this party has literally never seen before, at least in my memory.

            477 party insiders in a smoke filled room had a difference of opinion, and apparently they matter more.

            And more than enough of those 477 who backed Perez were registered lobbyists or party vendors, and should not have been allowed to vote at all — at least until *every* democrat gets to vote who would like to vote. It’s 2017, we can do that now.

            • Yes

              Perez seems like a good guy, but there really is no compelling reason for his candidacy compared to Ellison. If he’s just as progressive, then why run? Of course, the answer is clear. He was pushed to run by the corporate wing of the party to make sure the DNC wouldn’t get too radical.

              I don’t really have an issue with Perez individually, but I am pissed about how this went down – especially right after a vote to continue accepting lobbyist money.

              To me this is a very disappointing development. I hope I am wrong, but compared to all available options this is a vote for the losing status quo more than any other.

              • That's a fair reason

                Especially when you link it to the lobbying issue. It’s an awfully small hill to die on in terms of leaving the party (good luck with that-trust me) or withholding financial support. That said-it was an awfully small crumb to throw Bernie’s way and the Perez backers really underestimated how divisive his candidacy would become. Anyway, Ellison got over it and will have an active role (which means we keep him in Congress!). I hope this a controversy in a fortnight.

              • I don't know if financing party campaigns is transparent...

                …but I would really like some elaboration or evidence of this Perez is a corporate lackey line we’re hearing. I thought I recalled he was actually one of the more progressive members of the Obama Cabinet.

                • posted more about that on the thread below

                  but, to be clear, I never said Perez was a corporate lackey. That is putting words in my mouth. I said he won in part because of corporate lobbyists who were DNC members.

                  Adding to what I posted in my comment in the thread below, though, Lee Fang, an investigative reporter for The Intercept, tweeted a partial list of just some corporate lobbyists who are DNC members and backed Perez. I will copy and paste them, along with clients/industries they or clients represent.

                  Tonio Burgos, Pfizer
                  Joyce Brayboy, Goldman Sachs
                  Marcus Mason, Lockheed Martin & Boeing
                  Maria Echaveste & Alice Huffman, pharmaceuticals
                  George Norcross, insurance. (He’s also a Mar-A-Lago member…)
                  And even Donna Brazile, though she doesn’t list her clients.

                  That is by no means an exhaustive list.

                  And, to again be clear, I’m not making a value judgment on those who are lobbyists. There are many good ones, and I respect the work lobbyists do — even lobbyists for industries I may not support.

                  I just think they should do their work outside the official party apparatus. It’s too large a conflict of interest for lobbyists to be members of the DNC (or state committees).

            • Of course they matter more.

              The members of the Democratic National Committee elected the Chair of the (wait for it!) Democratic National Committee – oh the scandal! This is the first I’m hearing of a smear campaign and Ellison immediately embraced (I think even literally) Tom Perez. What was the substantive difference in their candidacies anyway? What I heard was mostly proxy fighting not necessarily grounded in reality. I’ll also need you to back up your allegation that they are just a bunch of lobbyists. I’m not aware that any of the MA delegation are, and yes, I realize we are just one of 50+ “states”. The DNC members are duly elected or appointed in accordance with the charter ultimately by people elected directly or indirectly. If you want more say in who they are, run for Democratic State Committee.

              • 477 mattered more than the million people who

                signed the petition to elect Ellison, or the unanimous backing he had from labor?

                Good luck building a party with that attitude, Chris. It’s this kind of reason the Democratic Party is losing huge numbers of members a year, over 1000 state legislative seats, Governor’s offices, Congress and the Senate.

                When people don’t have a real say in the party, it’s hard to get them to believe in it — and invest in it. And if we’re not investing in it, we’re not able to build the party at the grassroots level — and become competitive at district and county levels again.

                I’ll also need you to back up your allegation that they are just a bunch of lobbyists.

                I didn’t say all of Perez’s supporters were lobbyists. But, yes, enough of them were to make the difference (along with DNC members who were also vendors of the party, which is such a horrific conflict of interest).

                Jaime Harrison was a career lobbyist running for Party Chair. When he dropped out and supported Perez, his 27 supporters went with him. As I understand it, many of them were also lobbyists or closely associated.

                Also, critically, the DNC had the opportunity to vote on a ban of of corporate lobbyist dollars. It failed narrowly, over the loud objection of Ellison backers. That shows where Perez backers really were.

                And, for the record, I don’t have an issue with lobbyists. There are good and bad lobbyists.

                But I don’t think they should be allowed to hold status in the party above the level of town/ward committee.

                (And my feelings on that x1000 on party vendors — love them, they do great work, but should be no where near elected positions within the party apparatus at the state or national level.)

                If you want more say in who they are, run for Democratic State Committee.

                It’s wrong to suggest I should have to be on some committee to have a say on my party chair, even if that committee is DSC. It’s 2017; we can easily arrange for ways to give a vote to anyone in the party who wants one. We should look for ways to empower our members — and feel like they’re a part of the party — instead of cordoning things off.

                The obscure caucus to get to a obscure caucus to get to a caucus to vote in a caucus or convention model that we run the Democratic Party on is arcane, and is no longer necessary. By design, it’s exclusionary. We can do better.

                (In fact, I wrote a diary about that just a few hours ago.)

                • Qualified uprate

                  I think you raise a lot of valid criticisms that should be heard and we absolutely need to reform the entire primary process as well as the party structure to be more inclusive. Dan Cohen had a great piece in Commonwealth a few years ago proposing reforms to the Mass Dems specifically similar to these lines.

                  I think an online primary for Democratic leaders is a terrible idea-as the U.K. Labour Party can attest to. It’s unclear to me if you were proposing a direct election, but surely there are other reforms that reward insiders who do a good job and have lifelong commitment to the party while constantly keeping it inclusive and open to new people.

                  And 6 6′s for this alone:

                  The obscure caucus to get to a obscure caucus to get to a caucus to vote in a caucus or convention model that we run the Democratic Party on is arcane, and is no longer necessary. By design, it’s exclusionary. We can do better.

                  • For crying out loud!

                    Any adult citizen can register to vote.

                    Any qualified voter can register as a Democrat.

                    Any registered Democrat can attend for caucus and run for delegate in their town or ward.

                    Many Dems who meet certain affirmative action criteria can apply for delegate.

                    Any registered Dem can run for town, ward, or state committee in their respective jurisdiction. (Most local committees have vacancies they would love to fill, and even if they don’t you can be an associate member pretty much by showing up and expressing interest.)

                    Technically any registered Dem in the state can run for DNC, but I’ll concede DSC members have a huge advantage there.

                    I acknowledge we can always do better communicating these opportunities, but caucuses at least are required to be publicly posted, and of course can be found on the website. The process is designed if anything to be inclusive and I wish people who should know better would understand this.

                    • Hate to break it to you, but

                      Any registered Democrat can attend for caucus and run for delegate in their town or ward.

                      This is not actually true.

                      If I’m a student away at college, I can not attend my local caucus.

                      If I’m sick, I can’t attend my local caucus.

                      If I have a work obligation, I can’t attend my local caucus.

                      If I’m Random Joe who doesn’t know what a Democratic Town Committee even is, or that one exists, I can’t attend my local caucus.

                      So this, with all due respect, is just not true:

                      The process is designed if anything to be inclusive

                      In fact, it would take a lot to think of a way for our party to be more exclusive in 2017, when there are so many tools available to make the process more open and bring people more in — and so many voters (young voters especially) who will NOT join in the process UNTIL we employ those options.

                    • College is easy.

                      I was in college in DC the first year I was a delegate. I was unable to attend caucus and thus applied for youth add-on, which I got.

                      We do our best with times, requiring evenings and weekends, and we do get working class people. I see nothing wrong with them being attended by those who can make that commitment. Many years the rule is that if you can’t attend you can inform the chair of your interest and be nominated if there are available slots.

                      As for knowing, I have always said we can do better in that regard, but OTOH the information is out there. I found it when I was getting started and others can too.

                    • Not everyone is like you

                      I have a ton of friends getting politically active for the first time and they had no idea about these party structures or how they work. I actually was able to get a decent audience to explain how town committees work at my high school reunion and my friends in Cambridge are in the Cambridge Progressive Democratic City Committee and similar groups-but I think the answer to the question “can we do more/better outreach?” should always be “yes”.

                      You’re truly in a bubble if you think this process is easy and anyone off the street can do it-a bubble that blinds you to how out of touch and irrelevant our state party is to the lives of the average voter. I strongly encourage you as someone with influence who wants the party to do better to reach out more and be inclusive rather than insist anyone who says it’s too hard.

                      Here’s an idea-explain how this works on BMG in a post to the laity and put your teacher hat on. Maybe this can be a guide that eventually goes on thr website. Right now there’s nothing for those not already in the know.

                    • I'm happy to try...

                      …though it would mostly be see this link, and that link, etc., and am happy to answer specific questions. It’s just that I come to this with no special powers or a connected family or anything like that. As with every other beginner I knew absolutely nothing at first, so I went looking. I truly don’t understand the not everyone is like you line.

                    • Right you knew nothing at first

                      As do the vast majority of people who are just tuning into this stuff. What did you find helpful on your road to self education and how can you point others in that direction? That to me is a more productive conversation than “it was easy for me, it will be for thee”.

                      And I say this as a fellow civics, history and politics junkie who neveretheless found the whole caucus thing super confusing and arcane. I imagine my friends who are asking me how the Supreme Court confirmation process works would also find it rather daunting to understand. So maybe a 101 is a good idea?

                    • THE CAUCUS PROCESS WORKS

                      At my Wakefield Democratic Caucus on Saturday I sat in the back row next to a ‘stranger’. We introduced ourselves. He told me he and his wife had recently moved into town from Boston and he had been a Bernie Sanders volunteer. He didn’t know anyone at the meeting and asked me how the delegate selection system worked and I explained it to him.

                      He was surprised and thrilled when I spontaneously nominated him to be a delegate and thanked me profusely.

                      ” Persuade the persuadable. Activate the persuaded. ”

                      Fred Rich LaRiccia

                • Well, no

                  It’s wrong to suggest I should have to be on some committee to have a say on my party chair, even if that committee is DSC.

                  It’s not wrong, because, by serving on a committee, you’re participating in the party. People who vote Democratic, while we love them, are not doing that.

                  I still think your idea is worth considering, but the current system is not necessarily wrong.

                • Do 535 members of Congress...

                  …matter more than the 300+ million people in the US? How often have we been frustrated by the issues where polls show people agree with us, yet Congress doesn’t go along (gun control comes to mind)? I don’t want to take the thread off on a tangent, but suffice to say I’ve never been a small-d democrat.

                  • That's an argument against small r republicanism

                    And an artificially small House of Representatives that over values rural
                    voters on a nearly 20 to 1 basis. Gun control isn’t working precisely since Congress is so skewed away from being representative that what a majority
                    Of voters think on that issue is totally irrelevant to what policies the government will pursue.

                    • That's the result of gerrymandering, not republicanism.

                      Also, would probably be ameliorated by publicly financing campaigns.

                    • Yes and no

                      The Senae gives a huge advantage to gun control opponents since Wyoming has as many Senators as California. I’m just pointing out your analysis of that particular issue is totally backward-we’ve discussed Senate reforms elsewhere and are largely in agreement.

                    • gun rights gay rights

                      The constitutional right to own a gun or marry who you want are two sides of the same coin.

      • Thanks for the downvotes, guys.

        Your Honor, they have proven my point, and I respectfully rest my case.

        • if you don't want downvotes

          maybe don’t call people who have strongly held feelings about things ‘whiners?’

          • I will when they are being unreasonable.

            Remember, I started by referring to Facebook, on which someone said even Elizabeth Warren was unacceptable because she herself was too wealthy to truly represent the people (FDR, anyone?). Ellison and Perez got together quickly and seem to be genuinely friends, so certainly their supporters can make it work.


    saying to the assembled DNC members : ” We don’t have the luxury to walk out of this room divided.”

    Our new Deputy Chair is a real class act.

    Now let’s get focused and kick these Trumpist bastards back under the rock they crawled out of.

    The DRAGON has awaken !

    Fred Rich LaRiccia

  4. Needlessly Divisive

    I actually thought both were able and was initially for Ellison until Pete blew me away with his vision. I got really tired of how their civil and constructive debate became another proxy battle for the last primary by some of their supporters. Rye has a point that he was recruited to run late by folks needlessly worried about Ellison, and friends in and wished he ran for Governor, but I’m sure he’ll be a marked improvement over his predecessor.

    • a half up-rate

      A half up-rate because Wasserman Schultz was so awful. She allowed the DemLegCC to whither, killed the 2016 debate schedule and could not even hold her own state.

      I have high hopes for Perez but have a special fondness for Ellison. Perez was my choice for HRC’s VP. Anything that drives the DNC to activism gets my backing. I might even start giving money again.

    • 'marked improvement'

      Here’s the thing, though.

      The direction the party is going has been crushing in aggregate.

      Sometimes we’ve had competent people steering in that direction (which has had some good luck slowing the losses) and other times we get incompetent DWS type leadership, to disastrous effect.

      And any chance Perez may have had to bring the party together and be that technocratic, competent leader (even if going in the wrong direction) is probably going to be knee-capped because the corporate wing decided to wage holy war against Ellison and the Bernie wing, and dropping nukes in an unprecedented smear effort for a party chairmanship campaign.

      I’m still sure the anger from Trump will still propel us to a small uptick in the next election cycle, even if I doubt it will be what it could be, but this isn’t going to be the kind of change the party needs to truly turn the page going in the future.

      And we’re at Existential Threat levels of trouble here, both as a party and country.

      The corporate wing of the party needs to be obliterated if we’re going to have any chance at reversing things. It really does. They’ve been screwing up our party and country for 40 years. It’s time to send them back to Mordor.

      • Last paragraph

        A million upvotes for your last paragraph.

        I don’t know why that is so hard to understand. And in this case, those people are the ones who backed Perez and slandered Ellison.

        • Which I'd cancel with as many downvotes.

          Never been a fan of Ryan’s foot-stomping, and this exclusionary in a way antithetical to our values. They have a place in our party and have done a lot for us.

          • Like what?

            What good have the corporate interests done for the Democratic Party and this country?

            Seriously, please answer this.

            • Hm

              They’ve won the popular vote for president all but one time since 1992.

              sabutai   @   Sat 25 Feb 9:07 PM
              • No they didn't.

                First of all, Democrats have lost the popular vote twice since 1992.

                Secondly, we’ve won the popular vote in spite of the corporate interests. And we can know that because we’ve lost *literally everything else.*

                1000 state legislative seats in 10 years.
                A large majority of Governor’s offices.
                Most county races, in states that have them.
                Most judicial races, in states that have them.
                The House.
                The Senate.

                And, of course, the corporate wing won the democratic primary and lost us the general election to the most dangerous man to have ever won the nomination of a major party.

                The party’s populace is inclined to vote for Democrats. We’ve very bad at giving them reasons to come out. And that’s all the corporate wing.

                • correction

                  That last paragraph should start “The country’s populace.”

                • one more correction

                  Sab is right about the popular vote. I had a brain fart.

                  But we’ve lost 3 out of 5 Presidential elections since 2000. Winning the popular vote but not the election isn’t helpful, as undemocratic as that is.

                  Also, the popular vote matters in midterm election years too, and we’ve lost a bunch of those.

                  If we can’t build a party that can win midterm elections, we don’t have a bright future — and this direction the corporate wing has sent us on has done particularly poor in those years.

              • Yes but

                A strong case can be made that was despite the corporate wing of the party rather than because of it. We could also add the lowest number of statehouse and governorships not to mention holding a Congressional majority for just 4 of those 24 years to that same list. Relying on cultural liberalism alone to win elections has effectively made our party an urban one. Even within blue states like IL and NY the party is effectively dead downstate or upstate.

                I drove the length of the I-57 today and saw nothing but Trump signs south of Kankakee (with Champaign being the lone collegiate exception). Some of our best Democrats came from rural areas (Truman, LBJ, Rayburn, Yarborough, Church, Harris not to mention McGovern) we have been largely shut out of since Reagan. Kansas is imploding and there is simply no Democratic Party on the ground to speak of capable of taking advantage of that.

                Now this isn’t me shitting on Hillary. She had a populist agenda committed to lifting up rural and Rust Belt communities (see the transition from coal). There just wasn’t an effective grassroots campaign structure capable of bringing that message directly to voters door to door. Charley is absolutely right we should be leery of the consultant class relying on big data corporate advertising rather than person to person conversions which are the single most effective way to campaign.

                Perez and Ellison both said they were committed to this strategy. I think Pete was a better choice for a broad based worker mobilization strategy but perhaps Perez can pursue both/and with his strong connections to the labor movement and minority rights groups. We need them both to win.

              • Won the popular vote

                Can we please stop “bragging” about this? Where has it gotten us? We’re a minority in the House, the Senate, or governors are mostly Republicans and Trump is in the White House…..but “we won the popular vote”.

                • It gives us the political wind.

                  It’s a key reason, I think, that there has been so much “Resistance”. In a government that is supposedly of, by, and for the people this discrepancy is a YUUUGE deal.

                • It gets us intelligent conversation

                  We’ve won the majority of the Senate vote and the majority of the presidential vote consistently.

                  The problem is that our system skews the vote so badly that one can question its democratic legitimacy.

                  But by all means, keep up the circular firing squad.

                  sabutai   @   Fri 3 Mar 6:34 PM
          • my values

            are that we support people’s civil rights, the environment, labor rights, access to high quality health care and policies that enable families to make enough to not only just squeak by, but save.

            I believe these values are broadly shared among democrats.

            My values do not include providing room for corporate wingers to infiltrate our party to try to block our party’s efforts on these broadly-shared issues (and to disastrous effect at the ballot box).

            I’m sorry if that makes me mean, but these issues are life or death for me and my family in very literal ways. So if thinking my family members and I have a right to decent health care and a living wage and that we should have clean air is “foot stomping,” then I will gladly stomp my feet louder.

            • Does Perez oppose those values?

              I think that’s where Christopher was directing the foot stomping comment. Ellison is going to be a powerful Deputy Chair. My guess is Perez is a full time fundraiser while Ellison focuses on rebuilding the grassroots campaign structure. Which is exactly what we need to do. If done more like a co-chairmanship they can play to one another’s strengths. I strongly doubt Ellison accepted a face saving consolation prize.

              My only beef with Perez is that he turned down what was a winnable MD governors race for the most thankless and currently useless position in Washington right now. And if he’s going to get nothing but grief from the Sanders wing he won’t last long. I think we owe him a fair shot at righting the ship.

              • Some of them, yes.

                ie, TPP.

                Beyond that, though, my only personal problems with Perez is centered around the fact that he allowed his campaign to be manufactured simply because the corporate wing of the party could not accept Ellison. (And that Perez did not denounce the smear campaign against Ellison loudly and often.)

                And my real problem with the situation has nothing to do with the candidates at all, and everything to do with the fact that the corporate wing of the party could not accept anyone else having leadership of our party — that someone from the Bernie/Warren wing of the party had to be stopped at all costs.

                • TPP is irrelevant-but your second point is fair

                  TPP was dead no matter who won in November and it ceases to be an issue today.

                  Your second point is a fair summary of why you and many Sanders supporters are upset by this. Like I said above-Perez running was needlessly divisive and was always going to be viewed fairly or not as a proxy for the primary. But the process to elect him was fair and Perez seems to recognize that he has as much healing to do internally as he does with independents who swung elsewhere and with minority voters who sat it out.

                  His elevation of Ellison to essentially a co-chair position is proof of this. And I suspect Ellison would’ve made a similar gesture. It’s also worth noting some Sanders supporting labor unions who’ve backed Ellison in past races went for Perez this time to reward him for a strong record at DOL. A marked improvement over DWS who was not only from the corporate wing but was grossly incompetent at her job.

                  • Perez union support?

                    I really don’t even know what you’re talking about.

                    Ellison’s support with unions was as close to unanimous as it gets.


                    • I'll retract that

                      Though my broader point is this was not fundamentally a policy disagreement but a process one. I think you can agree with that. So my hope is that Perez leans on Ellison to reform the process to make it more inclusionary and to rebuild the grassroots infrastructure into a 50 state apparatus. He was already rhetorically committed to this as a candidate for chair and his elevation of Ellison is a first deed that backs up his word.

                    • yes, of course,

                      and Perez will have plenty of opportunities to make it clear he’s listening, and I hope he succeeds.

                      I just think it’s okay that people get to be angry for one night, and express their concerns.

                      That people have may provide more incentive for Perez to expend a greater effort, and place a check on the corporate voices in the party who think they have their man.

                    • '" DO YOU HEAR THE PEOPLE SING ? "

                      Do you hear the people sing ?
                      Singing a song of angry men ?
                      It is the music of a people
                      Who will not be slaves again !
                      When the beating of your heart
                      Echoes the beating of the drums
                      There is a life about to start
                      When tomorrow comes !
                      LES MISERABLES
                      We local Democrats celebrated the election of delegates to our state convention on Saturday along with the election of our new DNC Chair, Labor Secretary Tom Perez, and Deputy Chair, Congressman Keith Ellison.

                      Onward to Victory in 2018 !

                      RESIST !

                      Fred Rich LaRiccia

                    • Well

                      The nation’s largest union didn’t endorse, but hey, a narrative is a narrative. I probably would have voted Ellison over Perez, but the difference is only significant to those who are looking for differences…

                      sabutai   @   Fri 3 Mar 6:38 PM
  5. Is there a reason to care about this?

    So far it’s just about cranky cranks and their spleen about “Bernie Bros.”

    Change is not going to come from the DNC, if it is going to come.

« Blue Mass Group Front Page

Add Your Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Sat 29 Apr 7:12 PM