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DNC Chair Tom Perez, the Democratic Party’s Grim Metaphor

DNC Chair Tom Perez, the Democratic Party’s Grim Metaphor

Norman Solomon

Sometimes a party’s leader seems to symbolize an enduring malaise. For Democrats in 2018, that institutional leader is Tom Perez.

While serving as secretary of labor during President Obama’s second term, Perez gained a reputation as an advocate for workers and civil rights. That image may have helped him win a narrow election among Democratic leaders to become chair of the Democratic National Committee, with the backing of Hillary Clinton loyalists eager to prevent the top DNC job from going to Bernie Sanders supporter Rep. Keith Ellison.


Watching the Democrat party lurching into irrelevance is sort of like rubber-necking at a car wreck, except that I never wish ill on the victims of a car wreck. This decline has been gathering momentum ever since party insiders threw Henry Wallace out in favor of the user-friendly stooge Harry Truman.


The democratic party only exists as a mythical entity whose purpose is to trick ordinary democratic voters into thinking it cares about their issues. In fact, just like the Republican party, it has its own corporate backers and it is their desires (not the public’s ) that matter in how it plans it’s activities. The purge of Bernie supporters in the party after the loss to Trump is all that mattered. With the equal voice of progressives ejected from the party (winner take all, even though is was a 51/49 vote for chairperson) we can see what’s what – you give all the jobs to the HRC corporate wing, and supress the progressives.

Nobody should be giving any money to these folks. Give $$ only to individual progressive candidates.


Ooh, i see Lurx is about to share his wisdom with us… and tell us to continue our support for the DNC…


To get reform there needs to be a larger movement for campaign finance reform. When it comes to reforming the way the presidential candidate is selected the primary goal should be to do away with the caucuses and only have primary voting. That would increase voter participation and be more democratic. The closed, open, and mixed primaries seem okay with each state choosing the type of primary it wants. There are pros and cons for each type. I don’t like the primaries starting in Iowa and New Hampshire. Those are both mostly white states and are not representative of the country or the states with largest populations. Neither state has a large city. It makes no sense. Particularly since the Democratic Party is mainly a party with its base in large metropolitan areas.

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“Meanwhile, under Perez’s uninspiring leadership, the DNC’s fundraising has been second-rate. At latest report, the DNC had only $6.4 million in cash on hand-”

Wha-? You mean the forty-percent-or-so-of-the-party, registered-as-Democrats small donors that gave 200+ million and huge amounts of their time to Sanders in the primary aren’t giving to the right liberal controlled Democratic Party now?

Geez, that’s really selfish of Democrats’ progressive flank - even if they resigned themselves to voting for the right liberal candidate in higher percentages than any other Democratic demographic. As they always do.

What, do they want a Republican for eight years? Come on, progressives, start giving lots of money and labor to the right liberal faction of the party that used its organizational power to outmaneuver you in the primaries and kicked you in the teeth after!


to hell with the damn dems. We need a strong third-party movement in this country made up of progressives with a strong vision of what we want the world to look like. till then, we are done making a difference anywhere.


Why bother to vote when both sides stink. I gave up on the two party freak show to ever enact anything besides war and greed.


More corporate bribes won’t save the Democrats, on the contrary. Encrypted online voting could.

Direct Democracy

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Excellent brief analysis and irony.

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Agreed (and I think most people here would agree also).


I don’t agree here at all (though I’m not sure what mixed primaries are). I want 50+ (D.C and Puerto Rico should have a say) open primaries. Some things may make sense to vary across states (e.g. water policy in arid states will be different than wet ones). Voting is voting - everyone should have the best system.

Agreed. Many alternatives such as rotating blocks have been proposed. I’m open to which one we pick, but the current one is stupid.

I also want zero superdelegates, paper ballots in all states, RCV in all states.

The question is, do you have any faith in Perez to move us forward to any of these goals or do you oppose him? (as most of us here do - I didn’t know about the Podesta email and debate spin comment in this story - what a jerk)


I think the DNC can’t do that much. Each state’s Democratic committee decides what type of primary to have. The DNC could change the superdelegates. I think the states decide when to hold their primaries so I don’t the DNC can change that. I believe mixed primaries are those where registered Democrats and independents and voters registered with third parties can vote. I think in open primaries even Republicans can vote. To me the closed primaries make the most sense. I think the nominee of the Democratic Party should be chosen by people willing to register as Democrats. I don’t like open primaries because that allows Republicans to vote for the candidate they think is easiest to beat. Why should Republicans be choosing the Democratic nominee and vice versa? I don’t see why you think open primaries are the best system.

The DNC promises to not be so obvious in their cheating next primary election.


I think it sells people short to assume they’d vote for the opposition’s worst candidates, hoping that their preferred candidate would benefit from having weak opposition. What if their preferred candidate DOESN’T win?

I believe most people would understand that voting for the best candidates, regardless of party affiliation, will produce the best results over time (all this assumes we will have dealt with the one-dollar/one-vote campaign finance system and the active suppression of third parties by then).

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This article is one long call for an end to the Democratic Party as hopelessly corrupt, and bought-and-paid-for by rich, powerful interests. Most of the comments above reflect that sentiment, but the crux of the issue is how to end and successfully replace them with a truly progressive party of ordinary voters? I keep pushing for all progressives to rally together under the banner of the only third party with any hope and ballot access of mounting a serious challenge to the current duopoly - The Green Party. We have ballot access (for the moment) in 22 states and DC. This is in jeopardy in several states this year, if we fail to get enough votes in the November general elections. It is vital that progressives rally around, support and run for office as Green Party candidates in those and other states, in order to keep us alive for 2020 and beyond. Many states have changed their rules for new/third parties to make it next to impossible for new parties to gain official status and ballot access, in order to protect the corrupt two-party duopoly. The Greens are totally open to allying with any other progressive groups to use our ballot access to directly challenge the hegemony of the Democratic Party. It is the only way we have any hope of succeeding. Please ally with us. Defeating the duopoly depends on it.


That makes no sense. Why would a Republican vote for the best Democratic candidate? The most logical thing would seem to be people registered in a party should choose the candidate of that party. Why should people who are opposed to that party choose its candidate? Closed primaries make the most sense. That is what my state has and I hope they keep it that way.

And your expertise credentials in politics are what? Why don’t you participate in the discussion on what type of primaries are the best instead of making negative comments. You must have something to add to the discussion. Don’t you have a view on primaries?

I looked up mixed (aka semi-closed) primaries and they mean people registered with a party can vote and independents, but not anyone in a third party (which would be weird if say Greens could vote in a Democratic Primary, but not Republicans).

I am ‘open’ to the idea of closed primaries in all 50 states, but only if it is easy to switch parties right on the ballot on election day. It was well talked about that NY’s closed primary really hurt Bernie Sanders (I think unfairly) as it was a long time before when you needed to switch parties or switch from being independent.

I agree with GuildF312S that most people would vote for the best candidates but if say everyone could vote in every party’s primary each election cycle, I don’t doubt there would be some strategic voting (people organizing online and agreeing that candidate A in an opposing party is the least likely to beat anybody else, so vote for A). There could be that strategy in my system too since sometimes the primary is a slam dunk in your state and your party so you could choose only to sabotage another party. But I am unwilling to consider the NY solution to battle this.

My preferred ideal solution is to to get rid of parties altogether and have everyone who thinks they are qualified and want to run for president go through some sort of hurdle (e.g. petition gathering) and get on a ballot with maybe 20 people on it and then have no primaries and the one general election uses RCV and no Electoral College to pick a winner. I realize that is going to happen anytime soon, so I think open primaries or closed with same day party registration is what I can compromise to. (If I could make deep changes to the US, I’d want to change a lot of other things I think are stupid, like get rid of the existing Senate and replace it with 100 senators that are elected at large over the US in a proportional representation scheme - the house can stay more or less as it is but with someone besides the party in power in control of the district definition).

3rd party.

Lrx has just given us the DNC’s talking points. Oh, he thinks caucuses should be done away with? That would of given Clintonistas the 2008 nomination, not Obama. Same in 2016 with Sen. Sanders, who benefited from caucuses. And, closed primaries like that Clintonista sabotage of NY state? There’s some happy horseshit selling.
Or, the Black Congressional Caucus showing their Corporate colors and supporting HRC way before a vote was cast. They could of at least gotten a black VP by holding of their universal genuflection until the primary season was underway. Now they got Trump for their trouble.
BTW & FYI- Tom Steyer just pulled ( possibly ) $20 million from the DNC, DSCC & the DCCC. You can assume he’s not giving them his e-mail list, either. Sanders didn’t and won’t.
States control their primaries and when enough outsiders form a critical mass of potential positive disruptors to the entrenched status quo, things will change. But it’s a constant battle and money does wear the opposition down, at times.
And, how many bites at the apple do the Greens think they deserve? I think the energy is with the DSA or some new coalition. There’s plenty of open space to fill as the legacy parties continue morphing into The Corporate Uniparty.