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Wither Goes the DNC?

By Dick ConoboyOn Feb 25, 2017
• In Bellingham,

In the introduction to Dante Alighieri’s Inferno he describes the entry to the gates of hell over which is written “Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate”, meaning “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.” So should the same sign now hang over the doors of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) whose members just elected as their chair, Tom Perez, who replaces the temporary chair, the party’s hack-in-chief Donna Brazile, who was in turn brought in to replace, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz after she was outed as the DNC’s saboteur-in-chief of the Bernie Sander’s campaign. Hopes for reform are now effectively dashed as Tom Perez, selected over a field with a few promising newcomers, takes the helm assuring that the neoliberal clique of the party remains in charge. Perez, a so-called progressive, was a staunch TPP and Clinton supporter which should tell us where the party is now going….nowhere. Had the membership really been fixed on remaking the DNC, they would have gone for the likes of the 35 year old former Mayor of South Bend, Pete Buttigieg, an openly gay Afghanistan veteran. But the corporate shills controlling the party carried the day…and the money, effectively committing collective political suicide. Glenn Greenwald tells us,

“So in Tom Perez’s conduct, one sees the mentality and posture that has shaped the Democratic Party: a defense of jobs-killing free trade agreements that big corporate funders love; an inability to speak plainly, without desperately clinging to focus-group, talking-points scripts; a petrified fear of addressing controversial issues even (especially) when they involve severe human rights violations by allies; a religious-like commitment never to offend rich donors; and a limitless willingness to publicly abase oneself in pursuit of power by submitting to an apology ritual for having told the truth [about the party’s nomination process being rigged]. (”Tom Perez Apologizes for Telling the Truth, Showing Why Democrats’ Flaws Urgently Need Attention”, The Intercept, February 9, 2017)

As I turn my head from this disconcerting news about the entrenched DNC, I find Paul Street on Counterpunch writing about the hypocrisy of a Democratic establishment “who work themselves into a lather about right-wing neoliberal policy when such policy is advocated and conducted by Republicans but who remain creepily silent when it is carried out by their own preferred major capitalist party.” Unless this gets fixed, the Democrats will go nowhere as the selection of Perez suggests. Street continues,

“On ‘social media,’ I have been admonished not to “late-shame” young left-leaning liberals who have come to oppose policies advanced by Trump that liberals did not oppose under Obama. It’s sound advice, I think, but this isn’t about late-shaming. It’s about double-standards and hypocrisy. I’m not talking about folks in their late teens and early twenties here. What, really, are we on the actual Left supposed to say to senior liberals and progressives who have shown again and again that they simply won’t get serious about criticizing and opposing a corporatist, Wall Street-captive, neoliberal, militarist, and imperial presidency unless that presidency is headed by a Republican like George W. Bush or Donald Trump? The partisan double-standard they have demonstrated again and again makes them dubious allies in the struggle for peace, justice, democracy, and environmental sanity.”

So if you are looking for the Democrats to pull us out of this catastrophic mess, good luck and get ready. BOHICA*


*Bend Over Here It Comes Again

About Dick Conoboy

Writer • Member since Jan 26, 2008

Dick Conoboy is a recovering civilian federal worker and military officer who was offered and accepted an all-expense paid, one year trip to Vietnam in 1968. He is a former Army [...]

Comments by Readers

Michael Chiavario

Feb 28, 2017

Dick, it saddens me to read your piece. Even though I was a Ellison supporter(he is vice chair of the DNC now) and I was dissappointed that he didn’t win, I have not succumbed to the Republican pushed notion that the Democratic Party is synonymous with whoever is the chair of the DNC. It doesn’t work that way.

How it works is this: Local folks join the Party and make it the organization that corresponds to their vision. Then they take that vision to the State and ultimately Nationallevel. They elect (from now on ) progressive candidates who are not afraid to say that a left progressive agenda is what will work to fix our national and local ills, as polls of the electorate show. Perez will be pushed to the Left, just as the Berniecrats pushed the Party’ platform to the left in ‘16.

Mr. Ellison, a Black man of the Muslim faith, has consistently won his Minnesota district by wide margins. He came very close to winning the election for Chair. Tom Perez chose him as his vice chair. And You say, Dick, that Perez spells the death of the Party? You should know that Democracy is participatory and not a product of elites.

I call on all progressives to stop bashing the Democrats from the safety of their personal intellectual pulpits and get involved at their local level and help to build a winning organization. By the way, even the old Party actually won the last National election by 3 million votes and would have won more other seats had it not been for a successful campaign of Republican rich elites to enact crooked districts and voter suppression laws. 

Let’s get out there and organize with Democrats to defeat  the real elites: the Ruling Class who bought the crooked electoral system that we have now. Take back our Democracy with Action, not cynical rhetoric.

 

 

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Scott Wicklund

Mar 03, 2017

This struggle was all about control.  Obama desperate to show corporate moguls and banksters he can kill our dreams for a better life.  “Bernicrats pushed platform to the left” a cruel canard which did not convince the Electoral College.  This is little doubt had HRC won TPP would have been signed by lame duck Obama.  Single Payer nah gonna happen.  I hope at least some will read Thomas Frank’s Listen Liberal.  The Scottsman Mark Blyth accurately predicted the outcome.  Democrats are doomed across the board when no positive platform is offered in lieu of firing the absurd Russia blame cannons.  There is little doubt where HRC was headed.  Dick keep hauling the trash!  Maybe re read Gullivers Travels.

 

 

 

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David Camp

Mar 05, 2017

Dick - a quite restrained piece. The campaign against Ellison was engineered by Obama and the Clintonites on behalf of large donors who found Ellison unacceptable. The Democratic Party grants a veto to its corporate funders - which is exactly why Michael Chiavario’s prescription will result in more of the same corruption. Why else is Democratic Party membership at an all-time low of 25% of the electorate (republicans are at 28% - which means the plurality of voters refuse to support either party)? Every family in America could have saved money on prescription drugs from Canada - but our Democrat Senators obeyed the pharmaceutical cartel and put the kaybosh to this threat to Pharma profiteering on the backs of sick people. 

Why would anyone want to volunteer for a Party that sees them as useful idiots to be kept down in favor of  pandering to the plutocrats? Thanks to the Clintonite Dems and their sellout triangulating ways we now have President Trump, whose Hey-Rube however fake actually addresses the concerns of citizens. Instead the Democratic Party tells us what we can’t have and blames us for their failure.

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Dick Conoboy

Mar 06, 2017

Michael,

Ellison was the canary in the coal mine.  A mere indicator, a bellwether if you like but I hate to mix metaphors. :-)

 As for true democracy in the US, it has been dead for quite a while but not enough people recognize that the corpse is getting a bit ripe.

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David Camp

Mar 06, 2017

@Dick - true democracy is not dead wherever the citizens’ initiative process is available - recently, the only way to overturn sclerotic and corrupt policies such as the criminal prohibition of cannabis.

It’s the federal apparat that is captive to moneyed interests - including the hierarchies of both political parties - yes Ellison’s defeat at the hands of donors working through Obama and the Clintonites is a useful example of the corruption of the Democrats’ central committee.

Another example is the takeover of the Presidential debate process by both parties working in concert to fire the League of Women Voters and control the process. Did you watch the debates? A sham and a disgrace - led by Tokyo Rose Blitzer, traitor to democracy, a carney and a showman and a sellout, a propagandist for a corrupted power structure. And now we have President Trump, who unlike the Clintonites, understood the deep discontent of the electorate and pandered to it with a highly competent and unusual campaign. But the Democrats’ donors preferred to lose with their candidate than win with Sanders, who was totally unacceptable to the oligarchic class that controls the Democratic Party.

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Dick Conoboy

Mar 06, 2017

Michael,

And this yesterday on Truthdig from Chris Hedges about sums it up… [bodling mine]

A genuine populism, one defined and often articulated by Bernie Sanders, could sweep the Democratic Party back into power. Regulating Wall Street, publicly financing campaigns, forgiving student debt, demanding universal health care, bailing out homeowners victimized by the banks, ending the wars in the Middle East, instituting a jobs program to repair our decaying infrastructure, dismantling the prison system, restoring the rule of law on the streets of our cities, making college education free and protecting programs such as Social Security would see election victory after election victory. 

“But this will never happen within the Democratic Party. It refuses to prohibit corporate money. The party elites know that if corporate money disappears, so do they. The party’s hierarchy, pressured by Obama and the Clintons, elevated Tom Perez over Keith Ellison—whom a major donor to the party, Haim Saban, condemns as an “anti-Semite” because of Ellison’s criticism of the Israeli government—to head the Democratic National Committee. They will press forward repeating the same silly slogans and trying to use the now ineffective Force choke on their political enemies. They may have lost control of the Congress and the White House and hold only 16 governorships and majorities in only 31 of the states’ 99 legislative chambers, but they are incapable of offering any meaningful alternative to neoliberalism and empire. They are devoid of a vision. They can only moralize. They will continue to atrophy and enable the consolidation of an American fascism” 

And, no David, I did not watch the debates.

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David Camp

Mar 06, 2017

Dick - I watch teevee (and the debates) from time to time (usually when I’m in a hotel room) for the same reason the Russians used to read Pravda - I know it’s propaganda, I know its the party line lies, but it’s useful information on what the liars want the great unwashed to believe.

That the same people and institutions that marketed the invasion of Iraq with filthy lies (NY Times; CNN; Washington Post; MSNBC) are now desperately trying to foment a conflict with Russia and smear and destroy Trump makes me a bit optimistic that Trump can’t be all bad.

Interesting times.

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Dick Conoboy

Mar 06, 2017

David,

I am pretty sure the hotel porn channel is as informative as a presidential debate.  :-)

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Nancy Grayum

Mar 15, 2017

Late to this discussion, but had this on the back burner:  

In 2004 Washington State established primary elections for presidential candidates. The Democratic party in Washington State has refused to honor the results of the state primary, and instead, holds caucuses to assign delegates to the state and national convention. Having participated in caucuses, and being told that’s the process, most don’t bother to cast votes in the meaningless presidential primary.

 In 2016 Washington State Democratic caucus results totaled 19135 for Sanders and 7136 for Clinton. Clinton won the primary, which didn’t count.

The Democratic party used superdelegate votes at the national convention. Our own elected federal officials—Cantwell, Murray, Larsen—and every other Democratic Member of Congress from Washington State, plus state-level party leaders, including Governor Inslee all thumbed their noses at our caucus results. They had already endorsed Clinton themselves and voted to nominate her instead of the candidate chosen overwhelmingly by the people of this state.

Along with Perez,  the DNC also voted to accept corporate contributions. This is not a party of the people. The DNC gave us Donald Trump. I agree with Dick, to me, the Democratic Party is a dead donkey. 

 

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Dick Conoboy

Mar 18, 2017

Thank you, Nancy.  Of course, I agree!  :-)+

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