We have previously discussed how the Democratic establishment has held on to power despite the disaster in the last presidential election. The Democratic leadership and members were virtually unanimous in guaranteeing the nomination for Hillary Clinton despite the clear anti-establishment mood of the electorate and Clinton’s record negative polling. By the end of the campaign, the Democrats were largely arguing for an anti-Trump vote rather than a pro-Clinton vote. Despite the loss to the least popular presidential candidate in history, Nancy Pelosi and various other Democratic leaders have tightened their grip on power. The establishment then fought off a challenge from Bernie Sanders supporters and elected close Clinton ally Tom Perez to lead the Democratic National Committee. Now Perez has moved to fill high-ranking positions with establishment figures and Clinton allies. Among them is Donna Brazile who lied about her violation of DNC rules in sharing debate questions with Clinton. While the DNC staff rallied around Brazile, others saw Brazile as the very embodiment of the rigged primary and the hard-wired Clinton support in the media. Her unethical conduct led to the termination of her CNN contract, but Perez now wants her on the DNC rules committee.
At the ironically named “DNC Unity Commission” meeting in Las Vegas, Perez circulated his list of appointments and nominations to DNC positions, which was leaked to the media. Sanders people found themselves outside of high-ranking positions in favor of lobbyists and insiders associated with the establishment.
The appointment of Brazile will be particularly galling for many activists who view her as one of the architects of the election disaster — and someone who lied to the media in the wake of the scandal. It will be hard to show Sanders’ supporters that the party has changed when these same figures reassume control over key positions. Yet, as the DNC continues to struggle with failing contributions, they are doubling down on establishment. These figures have succeeded in deflecting criticism of their key role in electing Trump with the selection of the candidate with the least chance to defeat him in an anti-establishment election. It is precisely the tactics used so unsuccessfully in the election, Now, with the opposition to Trump growing, they are returning to their prior positions in the hopes that voters will focus on their hate for Trump as opposed for their disdain for the Democratic establishment.
The risk is considerable for the party. They seriously miscalculated with Clinton in the last election. While she received more votes that Trump, many felt that other candidates would have easily prevailed against him. For critics, this move will reaffirm the view that the party elites are primarily concerns with their insular interests and their own self-preservation and self=perpetuation.
What do you think?