In three days we’re going to have a moment of truth.
With the election of the next national Democratic Party chair on February 25th, it’s going to be either Business as Usual for the Democratic Party or a confirmation that it needs to start moving in a different direction.
Whatever the result, it’s not looking too good for a new direction in the state of Massachusetts.
Most sentient creatures know that the Massachusetts Democratic Party has an honesty problem. The last three House Speakers all had felony convictions. National DNC bigwigs like Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Donna Brazile likewise have had serious honesty problems. It may not come anywhere close to the filth and kleptocracy of the GOP, but this is a party in need of a whole lot of soap.
I have written before about the DNC Chairman’s race, and as much as the debates have had a gentlemanly tone, let there be no doubt whatsoever that this most certainly is a proxy war between party centrists and progressives. The leading candidates are Keith Ellison, a Black Muslim Congressman endorsed by (among many) Bernie Sanders; and Tom Perez, a Hispanic Labor Secretary and civil rights attorney with Clinton and Obama connections. Both men are decent-enough guys, but Ellison has promised to make the most changes to the DNC and, without a progressive direction, I just don’t see voters having compelling reasons to trust the DNC again.
Those from the Green, independent, or Berniecrat worlds have some idea of the mendacity of a party that couldn’t even help Americans get lower cost drugs because so many Democrats were in Big Pharma’s pocket. The 2016 convention exposed the Democratic Party’s corruption and lack of democracy, and the Presidential election exposed a lack of strategy and the absence of a coherent message for working class voters.
Next week 447 Democratic delegates are going to choose between Ellison, Perez, and a few latecomers. Those casting their ballots from Massachusetts are a subset of the same DNC superdelegates who got us into this mess in the first place, so don’t look to them to vote for change.
It’s going to be more Business as Usual. At least in Massachusetts.
The nine Bay State delegates selecting the next DNC chair are: Virginia Barnes, at-large delegate from the Teamsters; Gus Bickford, chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party and principal at Factotum Productions which does political consulting; Kate Donaghue, publisher of the Democratic Dispatch; Deb Goldberg, Massachusetts treasurer; Debra Kozikowski, vice-chairwoman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party and publisher of ruralvotes.com; Thomas McGee, Massachusetts state senator and former party chairman; David O’Brien, political and communications consultant with Northwind Strategies who formerly headed up Duval Patrick’s PAC; James Roosevelt, Jr., co-chair of the party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee and FDR’s grandson; and Susan Thomson, anthropology professor, musician and somewhat of a Renaissance woman.
Of the nine, all but Barnes, Roosevelt, and Thomson were pledged Clinton superdelegates in the 2016 Presidential primary. After the primaries, Sanders-proposed reforms were rejected by most of these nine superdelegates.
So — after the vote, brace yourself and try not to scream too loud.
Going forward it is CRITICAL that Massachusetts Democrats begin organizing at the town and ward level to get rid of Business as Usual Democrats. It’s going to take some time before the terms of these superdelegates and their self-perpetuating jobs expire.
But when they do, a new base of new Democrats needs to be ready.