Tom Perez wins DNC Chair

After a nearly 6-hour process, and two ballots, former U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez has won as DNC Chair.

Keith Ellison (left) and DNC Chair Tom Perez

Ellison (left) and Perez

On the 2nd Round of balloting for  #DNCChair:
Threshold to win is 218votes:
235 Tom PEREZ 
200 for Keith ELLISON

I’m seriously disgusted. This will make unifying Democrats more difficult, and will give some #DemExit people – of which I am not one – some final-straw reason to go. The problem, in a nutshell, is that there is no place to go. The Green Party is nowhere hear viability, nor does it have leadership that seems to understand that viability will depend not on running people for executive level positions (president, governor) who are wholly unqualified to serve those positions, but in fact will depend on the unsexy work of electing local people and building a bench, and running non-electoral events in people’s hometowns that let people know what the Green Party is about. Whatever that is.

Perez, accepting the gavel, asked for a suspension of rules to appoint Keith Ellison Deputy Chair.

I don’t want to go too deep on my Saturday – after watching this damn thing for 6 hours – to talk about why this is such a disappointing result. I need to go do something more human right now. But what I’d recommend you read, by way of that, is Glenn Greenwald: Key Question About DNC Race: Why Did Obama White House Recruit Perez to Run Against Ellison.

Short answer: To maintain power at the highest party levels for the Obama and Clinton sectors of the party, and for the paid DNC consultants who have a vested interest in maintaining the DNC status quo.

 

Comments (7)

  1. Joseph

    Without a doubt an extremely disappointing vote. It’s great that he got as many votes as he did but sad that so many Democrats think the status quo is alright. I will say that anyone interested in working on progressive issues outside the Democratic Party should give the Democratic Socialists of America a look. You can still be a registered Democrat and try to work within that party, but a lot of the leftward pressure and ideas are going to come from groups like DSA. It’s clear that in a lot of ways the Democratic Party is impossible to work with, so for those who need an outlet for their progressive energy, check out http://dsausa.org.

    Reply
  2. Bertin Lefkovic

    I wholeheartedly disagree, Rosi. I think that electing Keith Ellison as the DNC Chair would have been the worst thing possible for progressive Democrats.

    After seeing how complacent progressives became after Barack Obama was elected President eight years ago, I feared that an Ellison victory would have produced a similar degree of complacency or would have enabled the Democratic establishment to focus all of our organizing energies on resisting Trump and the Republicans when there is still obviously so much more that needs to be done to reclaim the Democratic Party from the corporatist neoliberals that have stolen it from us.

    Yes, the Demexiters will most likely Demexit as a result of what happened today, but I don’t believe that they represent the core of the political revolution that Bernie Sanders started. I believe that there are still plenty of Berniecrats out there who want to remake the Democratic Party in his image and it is up to people like the Blue Jersey community to provide some leadership in this effort.

    The same brilliant logic that you use above to describe the cluelessness of Greens can and should also be applied to anyone who is clueless enough to think that electing Keith Ellison as DNC Chair would have been the first step towards reforming the Democratic Party.

    If anything, it most likely would have been the last step. Proof of this is the support that he got from people like Chuck Schumer who clearly saw him as a patsy and his candidacy as a way to mollify and pacify progressives.

    And when we get destroyed in 2018, which is very likely considering the fact that the House is still as gerrymandered as it has always been and Democrats will be defending more than twice as many seats as Republicans in a year where turnout will be even lower than it was last year, Ellison and progressives would have been blamed and the DNC would have gone back to business as usual going into 2020.

    Instead, the pressure is on Perez and the neoliberals to produce miracles that aren’t going to happen in 2018 and we have two years to begin organizing and planning our response to their failures.

    The simple fact of the matter is that in the same way that Greens fail by putting all of their eggs in executive baskets, progressives fail by being either unwilling or unable to organize at local, county, and state levels to take over party organizations. This is especially true in New Jersey.

    Progressives need to create alternative organizing structures to the NJDSC and county party organizations that make contested primary elections in this state almost nonexistent and we need to use those organizing structures to help progressives compete for and eventually win Democratic primary elections for both elected and party offices.

    This is the only answer to the question of where can Demexiters go. They can vote for whomever they want to in November, but between November and June, they have to be Democrats and have to be part of the fight to reclaim our party.

    Finally, organizations like PDA, PCCC, Our Revolution, MoveOn, and DFA, who invested so much tilting at the Ellison windmill need to realize that until progressive Democrats take over state Democratic Party organizations and appoint progressives to the DNC, the DNC is not going to be a place where progressives can have an impact.

    Instead, these organizations and their members need to come together to create a progressive alternative to the DNC (and the DCCC and DSCC) at the national level as well as state, county, and local Democratic Party organizations. Between all of them, they have more than enough manpower and muscle to compete with the corporatist neoliberals and their money.

    As much as unity is necessary to resist Trump, now is the time for some disunity. In the same way that the Tea Party movement scared the Republican establishment into being committed to their values, we need to scare the Democratic establishment into being committed to our values.

    Reply
  3. Loretta Weinberg

    I felt completely out of the loop on this election. Until 24 hours before the actual election, I don’t believe anyone reached out to solicit input from grass roots dems at least as far as NJ us cibcerbed, I have no idea what went into their decision and why. Hope the new DNC chair will reach out to people.

    Reply
  4. JKWilson

    Normally, this kind of dialogue is productive, BUT – at this particular moment in history, it has the feel of a family quibbling over what color to paint the house while Godzilla is destroying the house. We need to put our differences aside and pull together to drive out Godzilla before he destroys the house. Then we can quibble over colors.

    Reply
    1. Bertin Lefkovic

      Please tell me, JK, what in particular gives you this feel? Have you not been paying attention to what has been going on within the Democratic Party both here in NJ and nationally for the last few years/decades?

      Our differences are what have defined and will continue to define what the Democratic Party stands for or more accurately has failed to stand for that has brought our country to the point where Godzilla is in a position where he can destroy it.

      Part of pulling together to drive him out is making it clear to the Democratic establishment that 1) they have to be willing to fight him at every turn 2) no capitulations or compromises will be tolerated, and 3) any failure of will on their part will be met with primary challenges in 2018 and beyond.

      This strategy is what enabled the Tea Party movement to scare the Republican establishment into obstructing Obama as effectively as they did and it is the only strategy that will force the Democratic establishment to do the same to Trump.

      The Tea Party movement did not concern itself with who was the RNC Chair, because they knew full well how truly powerless a position this is. Let Tom Perez have it. He and the rest of the Democratic establishment will learn soon enough what their futures will hold if they continue on their current course.

      Reply
  5. Geo Geektress

    At first, I thought that Perez conceded to Ellison, then realized he simply made him Deputy. What is a Deputy? That is my question?
    I then took it as a sign that the Old Guard Dems are warming up to the progressive and that it sends a message of unification. Remember, Trump’s greatest tool is keeping the country divided. Seeing so many Americans hating one another is really disheartening. How did we ever get to this point? The Democrats strength will be its unification. The Old Guard have to compromise as well. I do agree with your article. We have just begun and we need to continue to work harder. Hopefully, 2018 will be a moment for all of us? Anti-trump republicans included.

    Reply
  6. Geo Geektress

    At first, I thought that Perez conceded to Ellison, then realized he simply made him Deputy. What is a Deputy? That is my question?

    Then, I realized what just happened. I took it as a sign that the Old Guard Dems are warming up to the progressives and that it sends a message of unification? It is the first sign of a compromise and I do like what message it sends. Remember, Trump’s greatest tool is keeping the country divided. Seeing so many Americans hating one another on social media is really disheartening.

    How did we ever get to this point? The Democrats’ strength will be a united party. We do have to get the money out of our politics and the Old Guard have to compromise greatly as well. They are going to need Bernie Sanders. That leverage he does have.

    I do agree with your article. We have just begun and we need to continue to work harder. Hopefully, 2018 will be a moment for all of us? Anti-trump republicans included.

    (Note: delete my prior comment. TY!)

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *