It is easy to dismiss the “Come Together and Fight Back” Tour that this week will take Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez to eight cities in eight states this week as mere political theater. But this tour has the potential to finally begin redefining a Democratic Party that is still struggling with its identity after the disastrous 2014 and 2016 election cycles. That’s a big deal, not just for a party that lacks focus but for an American political process that will alter dramatically—for better or for worse—in the months and years to come.
Political parties change identities over time, as anyone who has watched the sorry trajectory of the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower can certainly attest. Sometimes, parties evolve. Sometimes, parties respond to moral and political demands that can no longer be denied. That was certainly the case for Democrats in the late 1940s and ’50s, when wise members of the party began to recognize the necessity of a clean break with the Southern segregationists who had historically been central figures in the Democratic coalition.
Though many Democrats still do not fully recognize the fact, their party is again at a moment where it must change.
The party of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman began veering in the 1970s toward more centrist economic approaches. By the 1990s, it was swamped by so-called “Third Way” thinking that embraced free-trade fabulism, deregulation of banking and Wall Street, and the cruel lie that there can be some sort of “win-win” compromise between crony capitalism and the common good. It was never true that all Democrats favored centrist economics, but too many leaders constrained the party’s identity with a perceived need to keep on the right side of Wall Street.
The party does need to change. It must become dramatically more militant on economic issues. Democrats cannot simply say “no” to Donald Trump; they must provide a clear and coherent progressive populist alternative to the “billionaire populism” of a president who never was—and never will be—committed to advancing the interests of workers, farmers, small business owners, students, and retirees.
Democrats must also provide a clear and coherent alternative to the “Third Way” politics that weakens the message, and the appeal, of their party. The era of the so-called “New Democrats” and the old DLC (officially the Democratic Leadership Council but, in reality, as Jesse Jackson explained, “Democrats for the Leisure Class”) must be finished—once and for all.
Well I go for away for a weekend and all hell breaks loose nothing changes. Thanks everyone for all the weekend coverage, as I go about my day I’ll go ahead and post what I’m reading and watching in the comments. If it’s a repeat of something already said in another thread, I apologize!
Moments after former labor secretary Tom Perez narrowly defeated Representative Keith Ellison in a battle to lead the Democratic party, the rivals appeared together at a press conference in downtown Atlanta. Pinned to his suit jacket, Ellison wore a blue “Team Tom” button. Perez wore a green “Keith for DNC” button.
The message was clear: the Democratic party would leave the city a united front. But the show of unity papered over anger that had erupted when Donna Brazile, interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, announced that Perez would be her successor.
“Party for the people, not big money!” a group of Ellison supporters chanted from the back of the hotel ballroom. When the jeering subsided and Perez was able to speak, he moved immediately to name Ellison as deputy chairman.
The room erupted in cheers. But the episode did not dispel a sense among Ellison supporters that Democrats had missed an opportunity to change course after years of election losses, especially at the state and local level.
“It looks bleak right now,” said Jean Ross, co-president of National Nurses United. Several members of the union came to Atlanta to cheer on Ellison, wearing their red scrubs.
“We thought we had a real chance to turn this party around. But apparently the old guard is willing to continue a losing streak.”
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) campaigned for Rep. Keith Ellison to be the next Democratic National Committee chairman on Wednesday night, casting the Minnesota Democrat as the new face of a party in need of a dramatic overhaul.
Speaking at the American Federation of Teachers headquarters in Washington, D.C., in an address that was live-streamed by progressive groups across the country, Sanders made the case that Ellison’s liberal vision is the way forward for a party whose ranks were decimated in the November election.
“Now is the time for real change in the Democratic Party, to revitalize the Democratic Party and to bring in people who have not been welcomed in the past,” Sanders said to a packed room of about 100 enthusiastic labor union members donning blue shirts.
“We should not be afraid of new energy and new faces,” Sanders said. “We should welcome and embrace new energy and faces. Now is the time for a chair of the Democratic Party who has a very different vision of the party than those in control today. Now is the time for Keith Ellison to become chair of the Democratic Party.”
Ellison on Wednesday night showed why he is a rising star on the left.
He is a folksy, engaging and natural speaker with a style that rouses his supporters, and he laid out Democrats’ path forward under a President Donald Trump.
“We have got to reset the future of the Democratic Party on a basis of grassroots activism,” Ellison said to cheers. “On the basis of working people striving every day to make a better life for themselves. African-Americans, white Americans, Latino Americans, Asian Americans, Jews and Muslims and Christians and Hindus or people of no faith at all. Folks like you and me. Folks like us need to say the Democratic Party has to be democratic and that starts with getting leadership in there to fight for that.”
More news in the comments. Thanks for sticking through all the technical difficulties!
Nesters, I’m starting a new open thread, with the hopes that our fearless LD is doing well after some surgery. Hope no one minds. News is breaking that the DNC’s CEO and CFO have resigned. From Politico: Democratic National Committee CEO Amy Dacey resigned Tuesday, sources with knowledge of the move confirm to POLITICO. Dacey is the first senior aide to depart in the wake of last week’s dump of hacked emails to WikiLeaks, though she follows the resignation of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz on the eve of the Democratic convention. Other heads rolling at the DNC: Also out … Continue reading →
Happy Saturday friends! What’s happening in the world that is of interest to you? I have lots of DNC email leak stories to share: The Intercept Among the nearly 20,000 internal emails from the Democratic National Committee, released Friday by Wikileaks and presumably provided by the hacker “Guccifer 2.0,” is a May 2016 message from DNC CFO Brad Marshall. In it, he suggested that the party should “get someone to ask” Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders about his religious beliefs. From:MARSHALL@dnc.org To: MirandaL@dnc.org, PaustenbachM@dnc.org, DaceyA@dnc.org Date: 2016-05-05 03:31 Subject: No shit It might may no difference, but for KY and … Continue reading →
Sections Below: Voter Party Registration Switching (NV, CA) New Story Links Voter Suppression Lawsuits (TX, NC, WI) Ohio Election Integrity Lawsuit Multiple CA Local Grand Jury Investigations JAM PAC – National Class Action Lawsuit seeking redress for the fact that the Bernie Sanders Donors and Voters were defrauded by how the DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schultz ran the Dem party primaries – now with OVER 1,000 class members and over 13,000 Voters asking to join the Class Action Lawsuit CA 7-12-2016 SAN BERNARDINO Election Lawsuit Election Justice Resource Links Section Links in the Past Updates: Action Item Links Closing Thoughts … Continue reading →
DNC: Will you be in Philadelphia for the DNC? Fill out this form to let us know about your plans! (End the Occupation) Events: Sunday, July 24, 2016, 6 PM: AFSC Town Hall on Islamophobia Monday, July 25, 2016, 11 AM: US Campaign & AFSC, “Progressive for Palestine: Is the US Ready to Rethink Policy on Israel?” Tuesday, July 26, 2016, 2 PM: Jewish Voice for Peace, Boycotting for Justice: Building Progressive Grassroots Power Tuesday, July 26, 2016, 4 PM: Philly to Palestine Contingent at the DNC Tuesday, July 26, 2016, 9 PM: Arab American Institute, Arab American Block Party Wednesday, July 27, … Continue reading →
Sanders Statement on Democratic Party Platform JUNE 26, 2016 BURLINGTON, Vt. – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders issued the following statement on Sunday on a Democratic Party platform draft: “The lesson of Brexit is that while the very rich get much richer, working people throughout the world are not seeing the global economy and an explosion of technology benefiting their lives. In fact, in the United States the middle class has been in decline for 35 years while there has been a huge increase in income and wealth inequality. Unfettered free trade has made multi-national corporations more profitable and their CEOs … Continue reading →
Jeff Weaver just appeared on MSNBC about the state of Bernie’s campaign and noted the following: The meeting between Bernie and Hillary went well and focused primarily on substantive issues although there was some discussion on process regarding superdelegates, DWS as head of the DNC, etc. Weaver mentioned that they were pleased to see that someone has taken over operations at the DNC although they’d still like to see DWS to step down. ‘We need someone who can unite party. Despite our efforts, there likely would be hundreds booing DWS at the convention,’ Weaver said. Bernie has always stated he … Continue reading →
This week, platform hearings are being held in Washington, DC. The Democratic platform will be finalized and confirmed at the National Convention. You can include your voice by submitting written, video or in person testimony before the platform is drafted and confirmed. Our goal is to make this year’s platform process the most representative and inclusive in history. With that aim, we announced a series of events across the country in the hopes of increasing participation. We are also encouraging people to submit their ideas online. We welcome your input and invite you to contribute now. Please submit all written … Continue reading →
The DNC Vetoed Sanders’ Pick For The Platform Committee When the Democratic National Committee announced that Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont would get to pick five of the 15 people who’ll write the party platform, it was seen as a small coup. But at a news conference today, Sanders revealed that the DNC had actually vetoed his nomination of a key labor ally, and said he was told not to pick anyone else from the labor movement. “What we heard from the DNC was that they did not want representatives of labor unions on the platform-drafting committee,” he said. “That’s … Continue reading →