But first . . . watch what Fox News is saying about our president.
It’s barely a minute. Watch!
And now . . . a few words on the election of DNC officers to be held in Atlanta Saturday .
There are nine, all elected to four-year terms.
By far the most important is the chair.
(The other eight get voted on in this order: Treasurer, Secretary, Finance Chair, Vice Chair for Voter Participation and Civic Engagement, and three generic vice chairs. The final vice chair spot automatically goes to the president of the Association of State Democratic Chairs, who will be elected separately by his or her fellow state party chairs.)
We have a whole slew of really excellent candidates.
That’s how I see it: not that there’s one right choice and all the others are bad.
That’s not how Henry Kujawa sees it. He writes:
I would like to strongly urge you to vote for SAM RONAN for DNC Chair. I’ve been listening to interviews with him, and it is very clear to me, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that HE is the best possible hope for the future of the DNC. He is EXACTLY what the party desperately needs, if it is to continue to survive AT ALL as a viable political entity.
I wrote Henry back to ask whether he’s listened to our other candidates as well, because it’s hard for me to imagine doing that and coming away certain that any one of them is “beyond any shadow of doubt” the best — let alone the only good — choice.
What about Pete Buttigieg (watch!), the 35-year-old mayor of South Bend, Rhodes Scholar, Afghanistan war vet (BOOT-edge-edge — say it four times fast and it begins to flow), endorsed by five past DNC chairs including Howard Dean?
Or the other openly gay candidate, New Hampshire state party chair Ray Buckley (watch!), who’s guided his state to a terrific record of wins, four times elected President of all the state party chairs by his colleagues? He’s not young, but boy is he passionate and boy does he ever know his stuff.
Except that Ray has just thrown his support to Keith Ellison, the choice of Bernie Sanders, Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, MoveOn.org, and multiple union leaders. He, too, knows about grassroots organizing and winning elections, having taken his congressional district from Minnesota’s lowest turn-out to its highest. Watch! He will give up his seat in Congress if elected chair.
And what about Tom Perez, who put himself through Brown on the back of a garbage truck, earned joint graduate degrees at Harvard, worked with Ted Kennedy and the Justice Department to fight for the downtrodden, and, in his years just ended running the 17,000-employee Labor Department, was one of the Obama Administration’s very most effective Cabinet secretaries (just ask Joe Biden!), fighting alongside Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, among others, to advance the rights of workers.
Or South Carolina state party chair Jaime Harrison? (Watch!) Wait – he’s just endorsed Tom Perez. Or my old pal Jehmu Green? (Watch!) Or Sally Boynton Brown? (Watch!) Or election-protection Peter Peckarsky, an MIT grad whose senior thesis Ted Kennedy once placed in the Congressional Record? (Watch!) Or Robert Vinson Brannum? (Watch!)
It’s likely to come down to Perez, Ellison or Buttigieg — and I would be thrilled to work with any one of them.
Admirable for their passion but not helpful for saving the world, in my view, are ultimatums like this one from Michael C.:
Dear DNC Establishment Party,
I was a lifetime Democrat until this past election cycle and witness the horrible destruction of a party that I supported and put my blood, sweat, and tears into, win or lose. 2016 however, was the last straw with the DNC, crushing the Progressive mantle. As a result, I and hundreds of thousands #DemExited. In fact, I convinced a great many myself to:
- never vote for another Democrat again.
- leave the Democratic Party unless the DNC re-organizes with a Progressive mantle
- encourage friends and family to leave the Democratic Party unless the DNC and Congressional leaders change
- never come back to the Democratic Party.
- and to never donate to the DCCC, the Party, or a Democratic Party candidate ever again.
For Democrats to win in 2020 they MUST either reform the Party or I/WE will push for an aggressive #DemExit until the “Corporate/Elitist Establishment” decide to make the necessary leadership and party CHANGES.
You can CHANGE with the times or you can continue turning a blind eye and being the PROBLEM. You MUST CHOOSE either truly supporting progressive philosophies or end up destroying the Democratic Party by remaining the “Party of WALL STREET”!
Hey, Michael —
What were the principal differences you saw between the Bernie policy positions and Hillary’s, and with what parts of the Democratic platform did/do you disagree? I ask to try to better understand why you think the Democrats are insufficiently progressive and why your energy would go into tearing it down rather than building it up.
Same questions on all the folks currently running for DNC chair (and the other officer positions). It strikes me that whoever wins February 25 will be quite wonderfully progressive and light years better than the Republican alternative. No?
Thanks for taking the time to offer your perspective.
Or this from Lisa P, in Virginia, who voted for Jill Stein. She is also supporting Sam Ronan, but would accept Keith Ellison.
. . . I am NOT OKAY WITH ANY OF THE OTHER CANDIDATES FOR DNC CHAIR, and should one of them prevail I would consider myself more firmly estranged from the Democrats and their future candidates. The level of mistrust the DNC and the Clintons have earned is quite high, and it’s time for the party elders and insiders such as yourself to take the necessary steps to repair that trust, starting with voting for one of the above progressive candidates this coming weekend. . . .
Thanks, Lisa. Unless you were absolutely certain Virginia would go for Hillary, it strikes me as awfully reckless to have voted for Stein. We got Trump because of passionate, idealistic people who said the heck with the Supreme Court for the next 30 years, if it’s not Bernie, I just don’t care. I’ll stay home. Or vote for Stein. Or Johnson. Or even for Trump, “to send a message.”
And now you’re saying it about Sam or Keith (both of whom ARE great, you’re right about that).
Those idealists who voted for Nader gave us Bush and the war in Iraq and the Scalia Court that made it easier for Trump to win . . . and a good bit else. (Pushed mankind past the point of no return on climate change?)
I get the appeal of adamant idealism, but I’ve always thought the true idealist does what’s necessary to move the world toward her ideals. Nader voters gave us Bush, who moved the world exactly backward.
Idealists who refused to vote for Hillary (though she was strongly endorsed by Bernie and they shared virtually all the same goals and platform positions) gave us Trump/Pence/Bannon and all that will entail.
I would have said the same of anyone who failed to vote for Bernie, had he won the nomination.
That said, I appreciate your input and, of course, strongly share your goals. We all do.
And lots more, but you get the gist.
People are upset.
They should be upset.
(As Trump’s sister is alleged to have said when a friend asked why she didn’t live in Trump Tower: “Have you met my brother?”)
Even Fox News is becoming upset. I refer you again to the minute at the top of this post.
But the solution is not to attack each other or expect the one perfect savior. It’s contributing our effort and resources — and enthusiasm — toward a massive 2018 turn-out that turns state legislative chambers and Congress blue.
That won’t solve all the world’s problems. But it’s the necessary first step. And we have some terrific people running to lead the charge.
Quote of the Day
A penny saved may be a penny earned, but it's one boring penny. A penny invested, on the other hand, bounces around. It gets bigger one day, smaller the next. A bit player in the drama of global finance, that penny buys a guy a balcony seat in the theater of macroeconomics.~Susan Stewart
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