Progressive wing of the DNC shaken up in an act signaling a move away from Sanders
The Democratic National Committee’s Chairman Tom Perez sent shock-waves throughout the Democratic Party and the realm of politics in a move that signals what he wants the party to look like going forward. Perez stripped 75 members of the committee of their “at-large” status, members who were either Bernie Sanders or Keith Ellison loyalists and replaced them with members who are Clinton campaign veterans or lobbyists.
This also brings about an end to the forced and hamfisted efforts to get Perez’s and Sanders’ politics to reconcile within a shifted and currently shifting political landscape. A landscape which has seen, among other things, the election of Donald Trump on a wave of white supremacist populism and the election of many Black leftists over the last few months. This serves to beg the question of if the Democratic Party is paying attention to its surroundings.
It has been rather well-documented that the Democratic party’s has shifted towards the right over the last few cycles, and this latest move perhaps puts a capstone on those movements, cementing the Democratic Party’s lack of vision and imagination for the forthcoming election battleground that will be the midterm elections. Perhaps the Party still thinks that not being Trump or not being the Republican Party is going to be enough to win back the trust of some voters who have abandoned them. Time will tell if that idea and strategy is the correct one.
What is going to be difficult is convincing the voters who were already skeptical of those kinds of neo-liberal policies and practices that the Democratic Party is not going to sell-out the majority of its base in order to try and appease a fraction who did abandon the Democrats to vote Republican.
James Zobgy, one of the 75 stripped of his seat told NBC News, “I’m concerned about the optics, and I’m concerned about the impact […] I want to heal the wound of 2016.”
Alice Germond, another stripped official also told NBC, “It is quite unusual for a former party officer who has been serving on the D.N.C. for forever to just be left out in the cold without even a call from the chairman […] So I assumed it had something to do with [my] support for Keith. I understand that I fought very hard for Keith Ellison. And I understand that to the winners go the spoils.”
DNC spokesman Michael Tyler has gone on record to try and spin the appointments, citing them as a win for diversity: “This year’s slate of at-large DNC member nominees reflects the unprecedented diversity of our party’s coalition […] This slate doubles millennial and Native American at-large representation, provides unprecedented representation for our allies in the labor community, and increases the presence of Puerto Rican at-large members at a time when the Trump administration refuses to take responsibility for the millions of Americans who are still suffering through a major humanitarian crisis.”