Back in February we wrote a parallel piece on the future of the DNC, based in part on our observation that night of the debate on CNN for DNC Chair Person. We had argued then that Jehmu Greene, whose fire, smarts and passion made her a natural choice for the DNC Chair position, was the best candidate for the role. Today, even more so than ever, we still hold that same view.
It is hard to tell whether the DNC’s current lack of political cohesion, is an indication the DNC will not be able to successfully parlay the restive mood of the public seen in (voter frustration, women’s marches, Russian investigations) into a dynamic voting bloc come 2018, even as the political climate heavily disfavors Republican policies. With the ascendancy of Tom Perez as Chair of the DNC, the DNC has been on a misguided reconciliation tour with Senator Bernie Sanders. We feel this is an error in tactical political judgment for the survival of the DNC and will only serve to elevate Bernie’s platform and not that of the DNC. Recently the DNC requested that both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders turned over their voters’ registration lists. Hillary obliged, but Bernie disagreed on the grounds that many of “his voters” do not necessarily share the views of the DNC party and he did not feel the need to upset them. Patience, Bernie never said he was a democrat, he ran under the democratic ticket against Hillary as an independent candidate. We know that Bernie refuse to describe himself as a registered Democrat, although he typically votes with the democrats in Congress on critical issues. Bernie’s campaign against Hillary might have captured voters’ resentment and anxiety, but his campaign was far from inclusive or heterogeneous as Barack’s 2008/12 campaigns. Bernie unfortunately is no progressive inclusionist.
The Democrats recently had an opportunity to capture republican held seats in both Kansas and in Georgia. Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff came close to stealing victory from the Republicans in the recent 6th District Congressional election held in Georgia. The democrats can only be inspired by the tremendous support and voter turn-around they’ve seen in both Kansas and Georgia that are typically solid republican stronghold. But the party may come crashing down on the democrats from the least unexpected ally, Bernie Sanders. Bernie thought it politically smart to attack Ossoff a registered democrat, by questioning whether Ossoff is a progressive. While Bernie’s focus should be doing everything possible so Ossoff can beat the Republican candidate Karen Handel in a June run-off, Bernie still has no idea who he is supposed to be supporting and that his 2016 campaign already ended. And herein lies the issue with the DNC coalescing around Bernie Sanders. The Bernie movement wasn’t a movement at all but a campaign slogan than many assumed to be a movement. Bernie being a proto-progressive extolling a socialist agenda, had mischaracterized the pillars of progressiveness to his advantage. Bernie might have been a progressive candidate to young “Ivy league” educated white males, but he was never a true socialist or progressive for all people. In a year-old interview in The Atlantic, Bernie was asked “whether he was in favor of reparations for slavery .” He responded with two points  No, I don’t think so. First of all, its likelihood of getting through Congress is nil.  Second of all, I think it would be very divisive. Note that the question was not about whether he believed it would pass congress or whether it would be divisive, the question was whether he was in favor of it. He then pivoted to the benign liberal position disguised as progressive rhetoric by invoking “making massive investments in rebuilding our cities, in creating millions of decent paying jobs, in making public colleges and universities tuition-free.” Granted the article goes on to explain in greater detail Bernie’s position on reparations and racism, as “Sanders’s anti-racist moderation points to a candidate who is not merely against reparations, but one who doesn’t actually understand the argument.” To be fair, Bernie does support reparations, just not for black slaves, as when he co-sponsored the “Holocaust Rail Justice Act” a bill to help survivors and families sue France’s national railway company, SNC, for reparation (see Andrew Joyce’s article in Fusion.net here).
With a democratic base that now believes the DNC has become a lackey for “Wall Street” and no longer appeals to the middle class or to the wider American populace. People that have been long time Democrats are now asking whether their votes over the last 40 years have really made a difference in how they are living. Blacks especially and women in particular should be wondering whether the “so-called progress” over the years have really made their lives better and perhaps question how the Dems might have taken their loyalty over the years for granted. This is not to say the republican party is any better, but as a matter of progress, one should always question the here and now and assess the value and quality of that progress.
The democrats cannot afford to lose both the House and Senate in 2018 as that would have a dire impact on potential investigations into the Trump administration. Establishment individuals like Perez and Bernie lack the will to ruffle the establishment feathers and would rather pander to familiar political mechanics that have caused the demise of the democrats to lose both the house and senate over the years. Where are the millennials and women who are the future of the party? Instead we’re seeing a tour of the same-old-same-old wrapped in flowery rhetoric as if people want to hear how good the future will be without even offering a smidgen of substance.
The DNC cannot move forward with the same play book seen in the last 40 years, Women and Millennials are the key to the party survival and continuance. As Jehmu’s response the night of the DNC Chair debate, eloquently captured perfectly the current mood of the political movement in our country and that is “We need to have a gender parity moonshot, we cannot continue to live in the expectations of the past and that millennials are not the future of the party they are the NOW of the party.”