Tom Perez’s election as DNC party chair yesterday was a big disappointment to Progressives who had hoped the Democratic Party would choose not only a new chairman but a new direction. Lost in yesterday’s party proceedings in Atlanta was another vote. This one concerned taking money from superPACs. The DNC voted to continue doing business as usual. Donald Trump tweeted that this was a good day for both Perez and the Republican Party, and he was right. The Democratic Party just seems incapable of helping itself.
After the vote, Perez and runner-up Keith Ellison, who will become vice-chair of the party, swapped campaign buttons. Both are decent men, and both represent a party that — like it or not — is the only serious entity standing between a vulnerable American public and the billionaires salivating over ending regulation and what’s left of the Social Contract and American democracy.
For Progressives now is not the time to succumb to temper-tantrums and despair. The DNC delegates who voted for Perez and for superPACs are the same ones, for the most part, who committed to Clinton and sandbagged Sanders. This election was not a surprise. The terms of these Clinton and Obama holdovers will eventually end but the Democratic Party will remain. Progressives are now beginning to make gains in the DNC in states like Oregon and California, and it is a matter of time before this happens in our own state.
The Democratic Town caucuses are coming. Show up. Run for a slot. You will be given a minute or two to tell your fellow Democrats who you are and what you stand for. Tell them you’re a Berniecrat. Tell them you want and end to Big Money and Superdelegates.
If the party does not reform itself long before the 2018 midterm elections, it will be replaced, and many of us will be changing party affiliation.
Patience only extends so far and the clock is ticking.