Democratic Party Purges Progressives And Makes Lobbyists Superdelegates

The Democratic Party is further demonstrating that the do not represent the left, and have no serious interest in doing so. NBC News reported on the purge of progressives by the DNC:

A shake-up is underway at the Democratic National Committee as several key longtime officials have lost their posts, exposing a still-raw rift in the party and igniting anger among those in its progressive wing who see retaliation for their opposition to DNC Chairman Tom Perez.

The ousters come ahead of the DNC’s first meeting, in Las Vegas, Nevada, since Perez took over as chairman with a pledge this year to unite a party that had become badly divided during the brutal Bernie Sanders-Hillary Clinton 2016 primary race.

Complaints began immediately after party officials saw a list of Perez’s appointments to DNC committees and his roster of 75 “at-large” members, who are chosen by the chair.

The removal and demotion of a handful of veteran operatives stood out, as did what critics charge is the over-representation of Clinton-backed members on the Rules and Bylaws Committee, which helps set the terms for the party’s presidential primary, though other Sanders and Ellison backers remain represented.

Those who have been pushed out include:

Ray Buckley, the New Hampshire Democratic chairman and longtime DNC official who ran against Perez for chair before backing Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn. Buckley lost his spots on the Executive Committee and DNC Rules Committee.

James Zogby, the president of the Arab American Institute and prominent Sanders backer, is no longer co-chair of the Resolutions Committee and is off the Executive Committee, a spot he has held since 2001.

Alice Germond, the party’s longtime former secretary and a vocal Ellison backer, who was removed from her at-large appointment to the DNC.

Barbra Casbar Siperstein, who supported Ellison and Buckley, was tossed from the Executive Committee.

If the Democratic Party is to be taken seriously by the left it also must end the policies designed to determine their nominees, including superdelegates, front loading southern states, and making rules changes to benefit their preferred candidate–as they did in 2016 to essentially rig the nomination for Hillary Clinton.

The rigging of the Democratic nomination for Hillary Clinton was also exposed in the email released by Wikileaks, with Clinton recently launching an attack with bogus charges against Wikileaks which were debunked per a post yesterday.

Rather than eliminating superdelegates, as some Democrats have called for, they have made matters worse. Bloomberg reports that the Democrats plan to name lobbyists as superdelegates, confirming many of the charges against the party from the left:

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 the parent company of Fox News, according to a list obtained by Bloomberg News. At least three of the people worked for either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders in 2016 while also casting ballots as superdelegates.

This is exactly the wrong thing to do to give the left any confidence that the party will have a fair nominating process in the future. It also provides further evidence for the criticism that the Democratic Party is indebted to corporate money and is unlikely to behave all that differently from the Republicans.

Much of this is probably motivated by the desire of party insiders to maintain the status quo and their own power. This is also probably also partially motivated by misguided ideas as to how to compete with the Republicans, despite having repeatedly lost elections over the past decade by turning into a Republican-lite party and refusing to stand up for principle.

Of course the Republicans also remain open to charges of hypocrisy and political cowardice as many of them remain silent about the actions of Donald Trump. Matt Bai discussed how Republicans remain silent while “Donald Trump’s presidency imperils the future of his party” in a column today which is also critical of the Democrats.

Voters for neither party are really served by the leadership and insiders in their party who are more concerned with keeping their jobs than serving the voters.

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9 Comments

  1. 1
    Bob says:

    The two main American political parties are nothing like the parties of other countries with parliamentary governments. They don’t represent political philosophies.

    The Democratic Party doesn’t represent the left and never has. It’s a private organization devoted to winning political offices. As such it seeks to represent the political “center”, wherever it might guess that to be. It’s best seen as a coalition that changes over time. The same is true of the Republican party. In many ways the two parties have switched places since the 1960’s.

    Those left of center can choose to cooperate with and influence the Democratic party apparatus (the days of liberal Republicans essentially ended in the 1980’s) to get what they can. The alternative is to operate through extra-governmental organizations. The latter strategy has not worked well over the years. A better one would be to take some of the ideas used by the Tea Party types on the other side and fight to make the Democratic party more left-liberal.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    It is rather sad (considering how confused much of the Tea Party movement is) but true that the left might benefit from using some of the strategies of the Tea Party. 

    The parties are definitely based upon winning as opposed to promoting philosophies–even more so with the Democrats. However this hasn't worked even if judging by winning elections considering how many elections the Democrats have lost over the past decade. 

  3. 3
    Bob says:

    Republicans haven’t done any better. There is almost nothing about the current party that could be considered philosophically conservative. Edmund Burke and even Barry Goldwater or William Buckley would consider current Republicans an illiberal freak show.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Republicans are winning elections. They are certainly not anywhere near an Edmund Burke or Barry Goldwater conservative, and many are now the types which William Buckley tried to get out of the conservative movement. While not conservatives in that sense they do come closer to Democrats in at least pretending to present a philosophy. Of course they are often quite hypocritical about it, such as with deficits being bad when Democrats are in office and fine when Republicans are in office. 

  5. 5
    Bob says:

    I agree about the more successful pretense, but am not sure it’s going to turn out well for Republicans. They’ve made conservatism meaningless and created a base that’s politically delusional and largely at war with other branches of the party. Their reliance on advertising techniques, wedge issues, culture war and politicizing *everything* paved the way for Trump.

    Too similar an approach won’t work for Democrats. They generally believe in good government and can’t afford to be cynical. The triangulating, corporatist Clintons should serve as a lesson. It’s going to be interesting to see who emerges as party leaders.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    The Democrats need to really stand for something, but not crazy ideas like the Republicans, and not in a hypocritical manner like the Republicans.

  7. 7
    Bob says:

    Republicans hypocritical? Nah, they sincerely believe in fooling yahoos to benefit themselves and their donor class.

  8. 8
    Jane Oberg says:

    when are Bernie supporters going to try to compromise and influence Democrate’s platform instead of acting like Republicans in my way or you are the enemy – Trying to Win 100% or disagree is not the way of most Democrats – so angry with people happily running down a party they don’t want to join they want to dominate and deride like Trump does the Republicans – get your own party if you don’t like ours – Tired of this attempted Hostile Takeover 

  9. 9
    Ron Chusid says:

    That is hardly how Bernie supporters are acting. It is the Clinton Democrats, now Bernie supporters, who are acting like Republicans. The fact that Jane can make such a bizarre statement shows how out of touch with them. Her statement of “get your own party” also shows why the Democratic Party is failing.

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