DNC Chair Race (2017)

DNC Chair Race, 2017, Democratic Party

On Friday, February 24, 2017 the Democratic National Committee’s 447 members who vote on the next party chairman. I am not a Democrat, but I consider myself a liberal (or progressive) and I have a vested interest in the 2017 DNC Chair Race. As an independent voter, I am someone the party needs to reach.

We had a Democratic president for eight years but we don’t now. It’s time for American voters to pay closer attention to what is going on in their country. Many liberals were asleep at the wheel for the past eight years. This past election illustrated why we should always hold our elected officials accountable, whether we voted for them or not.

Right now, the Republican leadership, emboldened by Trump’s ascension to the presidency and Republican majorities across the country, is intent on catering to the far right. Their policies have serious implications for 99% of Americans, world affairs, and the environment. As part of a growing resistance, voters are now starting to take them (and uncooperative Democrats) to task over a number of their policies.

The DNC Chair Race is not just about the direction of the party. While many parts of the part are mostly autonomous, the DNC coordinates efforts for national elections and who we elect will set policy across the country.

On that note, I wanted to take an in-depth look at the race itself and any surrounding issues. This was originally was going to be discussed in parts for my New Roundup, but there is so much information that it made more sense to make this into an informational mega-post, with editorials.


Table of Contents

Current State of Democratic Party

  • DNC Leadership Since 2011
  • Debbie Wasserman Schultz
  • Donna Brazille
  • Brock Turner
  • Hillary Again?
  • Democratic Party Rift

DNC Race

  • How It Works
  • The Candidates

Editorials

  • Why the Democratic Party Should Dump Brock
  • What’s Wrong with the Democratic Party Leadership
  • Who I Support for DNC Chair and Why

Current State of the Democratic Party

Before we can figure out where we’re going, we should first look at where we’ve been.

Over the past 8 years, the Democrats have lost governorships, legislatures, and congressional seats. They’ve lost over 1,000 seats across the country. Could this be blamed on the DNC? Recent history provides us the answers.

DNC Leadership Since 2011

While there is some important history to look at since the Clinton Administration, a crucial part of the DNC’s history occurred around 2010. But for the purposes of keeping this as simple as possible, I want to look at the DNC leadership since 2011.

Perhaps I will discuss 2010 as part of a larger discussion on President Obama’s legacy.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

After the Democrats recorded record losses in Congress during the 2010 midterm elections with Tim Kaine as DNC chair, President Barack Obama ultimately chose Debbie Wasserman Schultz to take Kaine’s place.

When Debbie Wasserman Schultz came to power, the Democratic Party had lost 65 seats in both houses of Congress, but the party would make some gains 4 years later. Wasserman Schultz, the first Jewish woman to be elected to Congress from the state of Florida, helped Obama exploit the gender gap in the 2012 general election. That election was relatively good for Democrats, who made up some ground in the House and retained their majority in the Senate.

But by September 2014, many in Democratic circles had lost faith in Debbie Wasserman Schultz as DNC Chair. She had made a series of flubs and many people were concerned that she wasn’t really focused on the wellbeing of the party. (And they were on the verge of losing the Senate, as well).

Fundraising Under DWS

In mid-February 2016, it was announced that the DNC was rolling back the restrictions on federal donor money. The ban on the contributions was introduced by Barack Obama in 2008. The rollback was done a couple of months in late 2015.

Many saw the change as giving Hillary Clinton an advantage in her presidential campaign.

  • Hillary Clinton set up a joint fundraising committee with the DNC called the Hillary Victory Fund*. The committee raised $26.9 million through the end of 2015. It received contributions from large donors (who could each give up to $366,100) and Clinton’s campaign was to share funds with 33 state Democratic Party Committees. By the end of 2015, most of the funds donated to the HVF came from corporations and labor unions, who each donated $100,000 or more.
  • Sanders also set up a joint fundraising committee, but it had raised just $1,000 at the time the article was posted.

Also, reform advocates, like Fred Wertheimer, were adverse to the rollback; they argued it was out of touch with voter concerns about the effect of donor money on politicians and political organizations.

In actually, the Democratic National Committee was in debt since Obama’s election. He had transferred the debt from his campaign over to the DNC since he was now the head of the party. The DNC needed to raise money fast and the limits on lobbyist funds didn’t help, although it was important to get rid of lobbyists’ influence on (party) politics.

* Additionally, Hillary Clinton would go on to raise over $1 billion during her campaign. Less than 1% was given to the party.

The Question of Neutrality

By the time DWS was forced to step down, the email leaks were just beginning and there were numerous allegations that the primary was rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton. And that is the elephant in the room (no pun intended).

There were unshakable allegations that the Democratic Party leadership rigged the primaries. While many Democrats and liberals scoff at the notion, these allegations must be addressed.

For one thing, Debbie Wasserman Schultz was part of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign.

Secondly, there were fewer debates. In 2008, there were 20 debates. In 2016, there were only 9 debates.

Third, from numerous emails, it was clear that DWS was not neutral in the democratic primaries. She emailed Chuck Todd in order to put pressure on the Morning Joe panelists because they negatively criticized Clinton. When there were allegations that Bernie voters were throwing chairs in Nevada (which were later disproven), she immediately sided with the narrative and blamed the Vermont senator.

Fourth, the southern primaries were front-loaded on the schedule.

Additionally, DWS could not be partial as DNC chair in her own reelection campaign.

During the presidential primaries, there were problems with the NGP VAN system, which was a paid voter data service the Democrats were using. A Sanders staffer briefly had access to voter information from Clinton’s side. He was fired, but there was a vulnerability in the system that would allow candidate to access another’s voter data. Sanders’ campaign was blocked from using the service for a period, putting his campaign at a disadvantage.

DWS would later do the same thing to Tim Canova, another Democrat who challenged her in the Florida primaries in 2016.

Donna Brazille

Donna Brazille is a former Democratic strategist and panelist for CNN. From 1999-2000, she served as former Vice President Al Gore’s campaign manager.

Brazille, 57, has served as Interim DNC Chair twice. Her first go at the position lasted from April 5 – May 4, 2011. She is currently serving as the interim chair once again, in place of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, whose term ended on July 28, 2016 amid controversy.

Donna Brazille is not without her own controversy. When emails from John Podesta and the DNC were leaked by WikiLeaks, there was on email where Ms. Brazille told Jennifer Palmieri that she Brazille) got CNN debate questions in advance. It looked like Brazille may have given Clinton a question about the death penalty ahead of the debate. Brazille didn’t take part in that debate.

In other emails, it was clear that Brazille sided with Hillary Clinton. In one email, she denigrated Sanders’ supporters. In another, she was celebrating Clinton’s primary victories, saying, “It’s time to stir.”

In November, a day after the 2016 election, a younger DNC staffer excoriated Brazille. In the confrontation, verified by several party members, the staffer took Brazille and the leadership to task for the direction the party was headed. There was also the thinly veiled jab at the generational gap.

In the eyes of many, the party establishment (which includes Brazille) is out of touch and the past election is proof of it. Additionally, many bemoan the placement of former Hillary Clinton campaign staff to DNC positions and the party’s continued association with David Brock.

Democratic Party Rift

Above, I mentioned the allegations against the DNC and DWS.

As a portion of the left will attest, there were numerous voter irregularities that conspicuously favored Hillary Clinton.

In New York and California, there were voter purges and some people had their party affiliations changed from Democrat to Republican, effectively locking them out of closed primaries. Particularly in Brooklyn, where Bernie Sanders was born and raised and where he was gaining a noticeable amount of support, more than 100,000 voters were knocked off the rolls.

Now, not everyone will attribute the above to malfeasance. Others do and those allegations will not go away without being fully addressed. But that’s not the worst part of the rift (for the party).

As the above allegations are being ignored, people who have dissenting opinions about other issues within the party are being mocked.

As a result, people who identified as Democrats are dumping the party. Dump Dems Day occurred in late July 2016 and more people are considering leaving the party.

The worst thing an organization can do is turn away people who want to help it. General apathy by those that organization wants to reach is also detrimental.

So, what are the Democrats doing about this?

Brock Turner

In case you don’t know, Mr. Brock is a muckraker who was once part of the “Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy” against the Clintons. He owns Media Matters. Brock also runs American Bridge, which has a Trump War Room.

In January, David Brock (who refers to himself as a journalist, author, and Democratic political activist) wrote an open letter to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

This is how the letter starts:

From the snow-filled days of door-knocking in New Hampshire, to November’s devastating result, the 2016 presidential election was hard-fought and heartbreaking. On the Democratic side, we had two leading candidates who each articulated a vision of an inclusive, prosperous, vibrant American democracy. On the other side, we had Donald Trump, the most corrupt and least qualified man ever to seek the presidency.

It’s no secret who I supported. I was one of the most visible and vocal advocates of Secretary Hillary Clinton. Many others backed you, Senator Sanders, with contagious zeal. At times during the Democratic primary, I was criticized for being too aggressive in my support for Secretary Clinton — and rightly so. Looking back, I recognize that there were a few moments when my drive to put Hillary in the White House led me to take too stiff a jab. I own up to that, I regret it, and I apologize to you and your supporters for it.

Brock when on to praise Bernie Sanders for the senator’s public service and advocacy of the free press.

Summarizing the Letter

Brock mentions that he runs a SuperPAC and argues that the Democrats must have them if the Republicans do.

Brock goes on to talk about fake news, which leads him to complain about the coverage during the 2016 election. As I heard from many Clinton supporters, there was uneven coverage. As Clinton’s emails received so much coverage, little coverage was given over Trump’s financial and ethical scandals.

It certainly didn’t help that Trump received $2 billion worth of free coverage early on. At one point, cable networks focused on an empty podium instead of *cough-cough* covering Bernie Sanders at one of his rallies *cough-cough*.

The Messages from the Letter

Brock said “we need you” to Sen. Sanders at least three times in the letter. Brock was pleading to Bernie to help the Democratic Party.

Brock briefly steers his letter toward Bernie Sanders’ supporters.

Where the corporate media gave us Trump, we need your voice; further, we need the passion of your supporters.

Brock then directly addresses Sanders’ supporters.

Now, if I may, let me speak directly to your supporters: If you voted for Senator Sanders, you almost certainly realize that Trump is a very real threat to our way of life, our shared values, and our constitutional democracy. We are all now small-d democrats. What was said in the heat of a campaign cannot drive us apart in the face of such an overwhelming threat.

From my view, as a trusted consort of the DNC leadership, Brock represents the general thoughts of the party establishment. Many Democratic leaders are torn over what to do with Bernie Sanders. On one hand, they want to incorporate his fundraising strategies and receive the support from Sanders supporters. On the other hand, many party leaders resent Sanders and what he represents.

Brock’s Recent Consultations with the DNC

During the week of January 22-28, 2017, Senate Democrats gathered in Sheperdstown, West Virginia in order to figure out how to talk to Trump voters. Turner played a role in these proceedings.

The series of sessions — which was not open to reporters — is critical for 10 Democrats in the Senate, since they will be up for reelection in 2018 and they’re in states Trump won during the 2016 presidential election.

On Thursday, January 26, the draft schedule was as follows:

  • Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) moderated a session with Trump voters.
  • Political Operative David Brock, Center for American Progress CEO Neera Tanden, and Priorities USA CEO Guy Cecil spoke during a session called “Hold Trump Accountable.”
  • Former Gov. Steve Behear (a Democrat), Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Sen. Michael Bennett (D-CO) spoke during a session geared toward “speaking to those who feel invisible in rural America.”

Furthermore, the Democrats were in West Virginia to work on midterm election tactics and to figure out a way to define themselves and the new Republican President.

  • For instance, Senators Elizabeth Warren (MA), Tim Kaine (VA), and Joe Donnelly talked about “Triangulating Trump,” by which they would try to find a way to go around Senate Republicans and work with Trump on certain issues, like infrastructure, outsourcing, and trade.
  • Senator Diane Feinstein (CA) was there to prepare Democrats for the fight against Trump’s Supreme Court pick.

DNC Chair Race Nuts and Bolts

There is a lot to consider in this DNC Race, but let’s look at the basics.

What the DNC Is

From Vox:

The Democratic National Committee is the closest thing there is to a permanent organization representing the national Democratic Party, and its main overall goal is to help Democratic candidates get elected across the country, from president on down.

The committee’s fundraising is used to pay staffers, organize in states, pay for ads, and directly fund state party organizations. The DNC raised over $264 million in the 2016 election cycle.

The DNC also sets rules for primaries in the party and plans the party’s national convention, which happens every four years. Delegates can change party rules at the convention.

How It the DNC Chair Race Works

Generally, when a Democratic president is in office, he hand-picks the next DNC chair (if he so desires). Obama picked Tim Kaine to lead the DNC in 2009 and replaced Kaine with Debbie Wasserman Schultz in 2011.

In other terms, the next DNC is voted on and the people running have to appeal to the voters, which in this case in only 447 party leaders. Those members are chosen by state chapters of the Democratic Party (70%), by national Democratic groups, and by the current or acting DNC chair.

The next DNC chair is not the only thing that will be decided. Eight other leadership officers will also be chosen. All those positions will be won by the persons who garner majority votes (224 out of 447).

This is how the vote breaks down:

  • State party chairs and vice chairs1 account for 112 of those votes2;
  • 208 votes go to states based on population and Democratic vote totals3;
  • 48 votes go to various national Democratic groups (like the Young Democrats of America, but the other 9 leaders of the DNC each get a vote);
  • Democrats Abroad get 4 votes (since there are eight, they each get half a vote);
  • And the DNC chair chooses up to 75 people/groups to receive votes.

Notes

  1. In some states, instead of a vice chair, the vote is given to the next highest ranking officer in the state of the opposite sex.
  2. The votes comes for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Each chapter receives two votes.
  3. States like California and Texas get 20 and 10 votes, respectively. Most other states get only two votes.

The Candidates

Here’s a full list of the candidates still in the race:

  1. Sally Boyton Brown
  2. Robert Vinson Brannum
  3. Pete Buttigieg
  4. Keith Ellison
  5. Jehmu Greene
  6. Peter Peckarsky
  7. Jaime Harrison
  8. Tom Perez
  9. Sam Ronan

For the most part, this is a two-man race. Keith Ellison emerged as the early front runner. In December 2016, he met a stiff challenge by Tom Perez, who was then President Barack Obama’s Labor Secretary.

Raymond Buckley, the New Hampshire Democratic Party chair, dropped out of the race last week. He quickly threw his support behind Keith Ellison.

Sally Boyton Brown

Sally Boyton Brown, DNC Chair Race, 2017, Democratic Party

Sally Boyton Brown is the Idaho Democratic Party executive director. She took over that position in 2012; she had previously worked as interim director and communications director.

Other previous experience:

  • Worked on campaigns.
  • Spent 13 years in child care; she started her own company in child care.

Boyton Brown thinks she represents the change the DNC needs, name because she has fewer ties to party establishment leaders.

I think we need someone who knows how to manage people and processes along with that.

She credits her experience in child care for helping her develop managerial skills:

I always joke and say if I can control a room of 100 toddlers, 100 Democrats is really not an issue. But I mean that quite seriously.

With kids, we don’t try to change them, we just take the kid that’s in front of us and figure out how we can do what needs to be done. With kids, it’s getting dressed. With Democrats, it’s, ‘How do I get money, get on message, how do we all get on the same page so that we can move together?’

Boyton Brown wants to serve as a bridge between the progressive and moderate wings of the Democratic Party. She thinks this can be done by creating DNC working groups that are built around collaboration and consensus building. She implemented this idea during her tenure in Idaho.

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg, DNC Chair Race, 2017, Democratic Party

Pete Buttigieg, 34, has been the mayor of South Bend, Indiana since 2012.

He graduated from Harvard. He was a Rhodes Scholar and served as a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve.

Buttigieg is seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party. He won office in an increasingly red state.

Buttigieg (Pronounced: BOO-tə-juhj), considered entering the race for DNC chair around December. He said he was considering running with an eye on the direction on this country. He said the Democratic Party needs to reach out more to people in communities like South Bend, “where working people are looking for economic fairness.”

Robert Vinson Brannum

Robert Vinson, Brannum, DNC Chair Race, 2017, Democratic Party

Robert Vinson Brannum is the Veterans Committee chair of the NAACP’s Washington, D.C. branch.

In late January, Brannum wrote an Op-Ed piece for The Huffington Post revealing why he wants to be the next DNC Chairman. Among the things he wrote:

  • He said he wants to “be a strong advocate for the righteous values and principles of The Democratic Party.”
  • “Democrats care about issues such as jobs, homeland security, economic justice, human dignity, safe environment, equal rights, young people, veterans, affordable housing, quality public education and health care.”
  • He said people “must know the Democratic Party is open to new ideas.”
  • Democrats and the Democratic Party want to protect the rights and improve the quality of life for all Americans.
  • “Democrats cannot become political spectators sitting on the dock of the bay waiting for President Trump’s regressive initiatives and Republican Party ideas to fail.”
  • He says he will work toward Democratic Party unity.

Keith Ellison

Keith Ellison, DNC Chair Race, 2017, Democratic Party

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, a 53-year-old Detroit native, was the first Muslim elected to Congress in 2007.

Ellison jumped in the race for the DNC chairmanship in November 2016. He was quickly endorsed by Bernie Sanders and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer endorsed Ellison sometime later.

At times, Ellison has been critical of Obama’s policies, particularly on free trade and Obama’s handling of banks during the financial crisis that began in 2008.

Keith Ellison was an early supporter of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential election. Ellison now has the support of Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren for DNC Chair.

Ellison also won early support from a number of labor unions, including AFL-CIO, which is the largest federation of unions. (However, the AFL-CIO was waiting to see whether Tom Perez would run.)

Ellison is the target of a smear campaign. He has been criticized for his views on Israel. He was also called out for supporting Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan years ago. Ellison has since denounced Farrakhan.

Ellison has also been called out for saying that identity politics it not what lost the democrats the election. He said speaking to the white working class and “people of color” should not be mutually exclusive things. Also, he insisted that the party needed to talk more about social security and better wages.

Ellison also criticized his party for being out of touch with people in the “Rust Belt,” a term he said should be abolished. Specifically, he pointed to the failed strategies of the Democrats to ignore traditionally blue states, like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, which surprisingly all went red this time around.

Ellison said that as DNC Chair, he would make sure the party did more to listen to the people and campaign in more areas in order to build lasting relationships. There would be “a lot more work for everybody.”

Jehmu Greene

Jehmu Greene, DNC Chair Race, 2017, Democratic Party

Jehmu Greene (Texas), a Democratic strategist, a former FOX News analyst, and the former president of Rock the Vote.

Greene entered the race for DNC chair in mid-January. She quick her job at FOX News shortly before putting her hat in the ring.

In the email announcing her candidacy, she said:

“After an historic year and devastating losses up and down the ballot, it is women who are stepping up to protect the rights and freedom of every American. We are organizing, taking action, and marching to demonstrate our opposition to the next administration’s hurtful, hateful policies. It is critical that the debate over the future of the Democratic Party reflects this energy — transforming the party and the country cannot be done without us.”

Peter Peckarsky

Peter Peckarsky, DNC Chair Race, 2017, Democratic Party

Peter Peckarsky is an attorney who was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After graduated from high school in Milwaukee, he went on to earn S.B. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Political Science from MIT. Peckarsky earned his law degree from Case Western Reserve University.

Peckarsky describes himself as “a long-time Democratic progressive activist.” He has worked with the Late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy against the Anti-Ballistic Missile system. Peckasky also consulted with the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and the Director of Navel Intelligence.

As a lawyer, Peckarsky has worked on cases involving election law, patents, trademarks, and other trade matters. He touts his work for voter protection and election protection issues. He has worked with state Democratic parties to put lawyers in vulnerable voting districts and took part in numerous court cases to contest results.

In 2006, two co-authors and Peter published an article in which a Republican director of a county board of elections in Ohio admitted that an electronic vote counting system included many votes never lawfully cast in the total vote count reported for the 2004 Presidential election in his county.

As DNC chair, Peckarsky says he wants to go back to grassroots and to foster transparency. He wants to give back funding to state and local chapters of the Democratic party and to build relationships with voters.

Jaime Harrison

Jaime Harrison, DNC Chair Race, 2017, Democratic Party

Jaime R. Harrison is the South Carolina state party chair. He’s held that position since 2013.

Harrison grew up in Orangeburg, South Carolina, where he returned to teach. He was a first-generation college graduate. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Yale University and his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center.

Jaime Harrison is also called a rising star in the Democratic Party. He once served as the director of floor operations and counsel for Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC). And Harrison was one of the speakers on the first day of the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

One area of concern is Harrison’s ties to John Podesta. In SC, Harrison joined the Podesta Group, a lobbying firm. Many voters want the Democrats to steer away from lobbying money.

Harrison entered the DNC chair race around November 14, 2016. He was the third overall candidate.

Harrison says he wants to bring the party back to a community organization and grow the party’s base. He wants the party to talk more about the issues that affect “people’s daily lives.”

Tom Perez

Tom Perez, DNC Chair Race, 2017, Democratic Party

Tom Perez (Maryland) was the U.S. Secretary of Labor (2013-2017). He entered the race on Thursday, Dec 15, 2016.

Perez says he wants to change the party’s organizational structure and tactical strategy, but not its platform. He also said people need to listen more and to more people. He wants to grant more power to state and local Democratic Party organizations, no matter if the state is red or blue, and to carry out a 12-month strategy for elections.

Perez also said the party needs a message based around economic opportunity. But that’s not enough. The party has to do a better job of communicating that message.

Perez also mentioned voter suppression, which include policies like voter ID laws. The messaging is important but it means little if voters are kept from the ballot by unscrupulous means. The DNC needs to find a way to protect American’s right to vote, especially in black neighborhoods, which are often victim to gerrymandering and the restriction of polling places in Republican-led states and districts.

Additionally, Perez did not rule out accepting contributions from federal lobbyists. However, he said he wanted to adapt Bernie Sanders’ fundraising model to the party.

Perez’s supporters include: President Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Joe Biden, the International Association of Firefighters, and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (the largest private-sector union in the country).

Last week, Perez said he had 180 of the 224 votes needed to win the race.

Sam Ronan

Sam Ronan, DNC Chair Race, 2017, Democratic Party

Sam Ronan (Ohio), 27, is an activist and an Air Force veteran.

Ronan’s immediate family emigrated from Germany. Ronan, whose father served as a soldier in the United States Army and whose mother was a dentist’s assistant, was 6 years old upon his arrival to the United States.

Ronan grew up in Lancaster, Ohio, where he graduated High School with honors. Ronan scored Suma Cum Laude on the National Latin Exam while he was in the ninth grade. During his senior year, Ronan took part in a foreign exchange program with the Rotary International Organization.

Ronan was accepted to attend Wright State University but after the Great Recession hit, he enlisted in the United States Air Force in November 2009. During his five-year stint in the AF, he traveled to Japan and Little Rock Arkansas, and earned his Associate’s Degree in Applied Sciences.

Two years after the government shutdown in 2013, Sam Ronan was compelled to run for office. In 2015, he wanted to enter the race for Ohio’s 15th Congressional District in his home town, but that ultimately didn’t pan out. In 2016, he was encouraged to run for the seat in the 62nd Congressional District, but he was told that the DNC would only support the top six candidates.

At a recent debate, Ronan never shied away from the topic of the Democratic primaries. As mentioned above, many voters feel that the primaries were rigged. Ronan say that should be addressed head-on.


My Editorials

I was originally going to use one of these editorials this Sunday, but I realized it needed to be for this post. Also, I realized I needed editorials for at least 3 areas. You might disagree with me here (if you I haven’t bored you), but the comment section is open.

Why the Democrats Should Dump David Brock

David Brock should be castigated and abandoned by the Democratic Party establishment because there is no real place for him.

If you want to know why many people distrust Hillary Clinton, you can start with him. Although many people who mistrusted Mrs. Clinton can talk about her policies as a cause — and those are perfectly valid reasons, provided the person speaking has done their research — many of the irrational hatred toward Hillary Clinton stems from the work of Brock and others.

David Brock later joined the Clintons’ cause and muckraked for them. He even founded the Correct the Record SuperPAC, which employed Internet users to troll forums and other websites to counter any and all negative opinions of Mrs. Clinton.

If I told someone Vladimir Putin did that kind of stuff, they might be appalled. The fact is he does, and I honestly see CTR as having some things in common. I know Putin is far worse, but still …

Another fact is Brock’s efforts did not help Hillary Clinton in the long run. His efforts ultimately hurt her because they played into the public’s mistrust of her. One should not need to hire trolls to energize one’s base, especially if those efforts do nothing to grow that base.

The fact that the Democratic Party is consulting with Brock is concerning. It shows that the DNC establishment is tone-deaf and unwilling to listen to the “working class” and the younger voters and progressive wings of the party. It would behoove the party to listen to these voters because they need more people who can speak these voters with an eye on the wellbeing of the American public.

What Is Wrong with the Current Party Leadership

In the absence of a viable third (or fourth) party to really put pressure on the Democrats and Republicans, the Democrats appear to be the best option for progressive grass-roots efforts to be taken to a national level. However, many people with a vested interest are being pushed away or ignored.

Since the Reagan Administration, the Democrats have tried to run as centrists with a huge focus on capitalism. While those things aren’t necessarily bad, the Democrats have focused on those things at the expense of ignoring and outright mocking their progressive base.

The support Bernie Sanders had (and still has) was less about him and more about his platform. So when he endorsed the candidate many people felt didn’t really care to talk about the most pressing issues weighing on the minds of voters across generations his supporters didn’t follow him.

Contrary to belief, Sanders doesn’t have a bunch of blind followers. It was always about the issues. This issue has played out in the 2016 election and it is but one reason the race was even close in the first place.

Furthermore, this dismissiveness has manifested itself in the DNC race. This is not the way forward if the Democratic Party wants to gain seats in Congress and retake the presidency.

The Democratic Party leadership needs to do two things. One, it needs to embrace the progressive wing of the party and not just try to co-opt its energy and (fundraising strategies). Two, the party needs give people something to aspire to. Many of us already know where we stand with respect to Trump’s positions. Instead of focusing so much on him, though, party leaders need to show people the path forward.

As it stands now, the Democratic Party frustrates many voters, including myself.

What Really Frustrates Me About the Party

I am frustrated with the party because it wants to harness the energy of Sanders’ supporters without doing the work and without understanding why a contingent of Democrats preferred him over Hillary Clinton. I explained this above, but the general problem is that the leadership want to co-op Bernie Sanders’ movement, instead of cooperating with the people in it. Platitudes wear thin, and actions speak louder than words.

I am frustrated that the party leadership refuses to take an introspective look. The house is burning but they refuse to recognize it. Obviously, they are doing something wrong if they lost a presidential election to the most disliked candidate in history and they lost over 1,000 seats over the past decade. What the leaders are doing right now is analogous to a child plugging up their ears with their fingers and humming to himself.

I am frustrated because the party keeps pushing people away. How can it be inclusive if it tells people who “aren’t real Democrats” to shut up? They shun “ideological purity,” but what’s that?

I and many other are frustrated because we care. It’s not that we want the party to fail. We want its act together, but at times we’re convinced that the party would rather lose to people like Trump than to hand power over to progressives and to allow younger voters to get involved. They have to get involved some time in order to the party to survive.

Why does the party establishment push people away? All you have to do is follow the money. And money doesn’t guarantee electoral success.

I would hope the leadership proves me wrong but the results of this race will say quite a bit.

Why I Support Keith Ellison (or Sam Ronan) for DNC Chair

I disagree with the current leadership in the party and I feel that a truly progressive plan is the best option for Americans today. But the Democrats need the right leadership in order to institute such a plan.

Tom Perez has the support of many in the DNC establishment but he wants to keep the status quo and he runs from the tough questions. He speaks in platitudes and offers no real solutions to move the party forward. Also remember it is the status quo is what lost the Democrats the 2016 presidential election, both houses of Congress, state legislatures, and governorships.

From what I’ve heard them say so far, Keith Ellison and Sam Ronan actually want to help the party and bridge gaps.

Ellison wants to be in touch with the progressive wing of the party and has more foresight than most of the other candidates. He recognized the political surge behind Donald Trump, for one thing.

Sam Ronan also recognizes the type of political climate we’re in, yet he goes farther than Ellison to address the problems in this party. However, Ronan is a long shot since he doesn’t have the history within the party and he entered the race late.

Tom Perez talks about inclusion and diversity, but Ellison lives it and it comes more naturally to him. He supported Bernie Sanders’ primary run, supported Hillary Clinton after her nomination, and refuses to push away party members and independents. While I am concerned that Ellison walked back on his position to ban lobbyist and corporate money for fundraising, I am more confident that he will welcome new ideas to help the DNC and is willing to avoid the conflicts of interests Debbie Wasserman Schultz had.

Keith Ellison isn’t the perfect candidate, but based on the level of his support and his positions, he is, in my opinion, our best option.


Works Cited

Brock, David. “Dear Senator Sanders: I’m with You in the Fight Ahead.” Medium. 10 Jan 2017. Web. <https://medium.com/@DavidBrock/dear-senator-sanders-im-with-you-in-the-fight-ahead-ffd42ae989bb#.wb0lnzuag>.

Center for Responsive Politics. “Fundraising Overview, 2016 cycle.” Open Secrets. Web. <https://www.opensecrets.org/parties/totals.php?cycle=2016&cmte=DNC>.

“Democratic National Committee: Top Industries, 2016 Cycle.” OpenSecrets.org. Web. Retrieved 15 Jan 2016. <https://www.opensecrets.org/parties/indus.php?cycle=2016&cmte=DNC>.

Dumain, Emma. “S.C. Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison launches bid to run DNC.” The Post and Courier. 14 Nov 2016. Web. <http://www.postandcourier.com/news/s-c-democratic-party-chairman-jaime-harrison-launches-bid-to/article_50890026-aa95-11e6-9b34-978901f0470d.html>.

Everett, Burgess. “Democrats hold lessons on how to talk to real people.” Politico. 25 Jan 2017. Last Updated 26 Jan 2017. Web. <http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/democrats-real-people-lessons-234198>.

Hamburger, Tom and Kane, Paul. “DNC rolls back Obama ban on contributions from federal lobbyists.” The Washington Post. 12 Feb 2016. Web. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/dnc-allowing-donations-from-federal-lobbyists-and-pacs/2016/02/12/22b1c38c-d196-11e5-88cd-753e80cd29ad_story.html?utm_term=.5a7942c997e0>.

Kamisar, Ben. “Idaho’s Boynton Brown pitches herself as outsider in DNC bid.” The Hill. 29 Dec 2016. Web. <http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/312040-idahos-boynton-brown-pitches-herself-as-outsider-in-long-shot-dnc-bid>.

Peckarsky, Peter. “About.” Peter Peckarsky for DNC Chair. 2017. Web. <https://www.peter4dnc.com/about>.

Peckarsky, Peter. “Platform Overview.” Peter Peckarsky for DNC Chair. 2017. Web. <https://www.peter4dnc.com/platform>.

Prokop, Andrew. “How the DNC chair election works.” Vox. 23 Nov 2016. Updated 15 Dec 2016. Web. <http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/23/13703720/dnc-chair-election-rules-members>.

Strauss, Daniel. “Analyst quits Fox News, jumps into DNC chair race.” Politico. 13 Jan 2017. Web. <http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/jehmu-greene-enters-dnc-race-233580>.

Strauss, Daniel. “Indiana mayor weighs DNC chair bid.” Politico. 13 Dec 2016. Web. <http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/democratic-chair-buttigieg-mayor-232532>.

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9 thoughts on “DNC Chair Race (2017)

  1. Yes, I have many thoughts on this subject. Many you may not particularly like.

    First of all, I think it is ridiculous for ANYONE to be an independent when so many states do not allow independent voters to cast their vote in the primary elections. That alone is reason enough to make a decision on one party. It doesn’t mean you have to vote for that party all the time, but it does give you more opportunities to select candidates. In my state of Florida (And the state I grew up in Ohio) that is the case, and therefore, independent voters have zero say in electing our final candidates. THAT is a foolish choice.

    As a retired teacher who always covered the election process every February (along with our study of the Presidents and Black History month), I would discuss this with my students. I told them if they wanted to have a choice they should do their research, find out which major party best represents their ideals, and register as a party member. Then when it is time to vote, research like crazy every candidate running and vote for the person best qualified on all the issues.

    Let’s face it: You can ALWAYS vote for whomever you choose, but you NEVER have a say in your selecting the candidate you want if you are an independent. Therefore, I take issue with someone who is an Independent making comments about either major party if you cannot commit to one or the other. To me, that is a cop out. It is like saying you either haven’t done your research, studied history, or you don’t give a damn.

    I am a registered Democrat.

    Before I retired I lived down the street from Debbie Wasserman Shultz. I watched her battle cancer. Her children, when they were little, would come trick or treating at my home every year. She would visit the school where I taught and always was aware of what my county’s needs were as far as education was.

    I saw her countless times sick as dog at our local Publix (food store) with a bandana on her bald head during her chemo treatment. She was always courageous, fought for our community, our schools, our seniors, women, our minorities, worked hard at the local Temple and for ALL Floridians. She was (and is) honest and fair.

    She got a bad deal at the DNC and I blame Sanders. Debbie was made a scape goat for his ego. He ran as a Democrat but didn’t register as one until late in the game and before he was a Democrat, he took total advantage of all the perks of the party and decided to tell the DNC, (many members I know personally and can swear to their loyalty and honesty).

    And he made demands after he lost California when he was NOT the winning Democratic nominee. Who does that???

    I remember BS from the 70’s and 80’s when he was an egotistical male chauvinistically reporter. He ALWAYS had a huge ego and he was never particularly involved with women’s rights.)

    I believe his bad behavior influenced the negative fallout on DWS. She behaved with class and never ever did I hear her personally say anything negative about Senator Sanders in regard to the DNC when he was making absurd demands after he lost the Dem. nomination.

    I personally know several people who were involved in creating the agenda for the convention and his demands were outrageous, he was mean spirited, and DWS was a class act. That convention was NOT biased in favor of HRC.

    She won fair and square and because BS did not get the votes that he wanted he put up a stink, which he would not have done had Hillary been a man.

    DWS was and is an amazing politician with heart. And Sanders tried to ruin her name. He also did his best to do the same to Hillary and in my opinion is just as responsible for her loss as Trump is.

    Had Bernie stayed as an independent that all would have been fine, but he did not. As an independent you have no loyalties. But once you run as a Democrat than your loyalties and commitments have to go with your party since they are paying for you and he let our party down and split it apart.

    I liked Bernie the Independent. But I did not care for Bernie the fake Democrat who ruined out party. So I see things a totally different way. And since I personally know, good honest people who worked very hard and by the book to do every right, I can say that the DNC was honestly and ethically run.

    As a very, very liberal Democrat (Who BTW thinks Bernie is great in Congress and needed there. He is a terrific career politician. THAT is his calling.)

    I have mostly voted Democratically, but always look at the issues and research each candidate before I vote in any election. When HRC lost in 2008, before I voted for Obama I liked Mc Cain very much and might have voted for him if he had not signed Palin onto his ticket. However, I supported Obama and grew to admire and respect him immensely. I campaigned for him twice and also for HRC.

    Getting back to my point, which is, we can always have an independent point of view. But being one on paper to me is a huge waste of time and keeps you from making important decisions during elections. It is like being in a relationship for decades without getting married or making that commitment. And you let down your country when you do not vote in the primaries. MOST states do not allow you vote in them as an Independent!! So how are you helping your country get the best of the best by not voting????

    I voted for a Republican Charlie Crist for Governor of Florida because he was the best person running and did the most for education and the arts, and because of choices he made about education which was against Bush at the time, the GOP dropped him like a hot potato. He used good sense and was dropped by his party so he switched.

    As a Democrat, I can still vote for anyone I choose to vote for but at least I have made a choice, worked for the Democratic Party during elections and understand the process of how democracy works. I do not think most independents do that or get that involved and therefore many (not all) make poor decisions because they just can’t be bothered. The two times in my life I voted for a third party I learned that doing so was disastrous for our country and I would never do it again. Those and non-voters are the people who gave us #45. And I am angry that we have an idiot at the helm.

    I think you are being harsh and quite frankly wrong about your assumptions of the Democratic Party. Many millennials were turned off by the Democratic Party simply because they were young and did not do their research into history. In fact because they had no real causes any more, like my generation had (their friends were not being drafted or dying daily in Vietnam), they decided to rebel against both major parties. Not for any good reasons that I saw, other than that they felt Hillary reminded them of their Mom. And they took freedom for granted. For women to vote for a misogynist still sickens me.

    I asked my youngest son, who is in his 20’s and a registered Democrat, why so many kids in age bracket were for Bernie. He, BTW, thought Bernie did not do his homework and said his math didn’t add up regarding colleges and Wall Street, etc. My youngest son is highly gifted and sat down one time and did a chart and explained it all to me. If only he were in Congress!!!

    But he is a creative soul who is in the film industry and his father died while he was in college. He is a very gifted young man who had multiple academic scholarships and knew only by studying hard would he be able to stay in college. He could not lose his scholarships. He told me that most of his friends who were his age were spoiled brats and had never had any real responsibilities or hardships. They drank, partied, and played video games during college, had their parents pay for everything, and didn’t know anything at all about real life or how difficult it could be.

    As a kid who had to work, deal with his father dying from pancreatic cancer while he was in college, maintain a high GPA to stay in school, he graduated magna cum laude and went to work in his field two weeks after graduating college. He bought a home at the age of 24. (He saw me lose mine during the end of the Bush admin.’s housing crash because of hospital bills for his father BEFORE Obamacare (the ACA) allowed for pre-existing conditions to be covered. So he was a kid with the wisdom of an adult. He voted for Hillary Clinton.

    When our FL Gov. took away the tax incentives for the arts and destroyed the film industry down in Florida, he sold his home, made enough money to buy another one in Atlanta where he got into the Director’s guild and works steadily up there. He is only 28 years old. My other son is 43 and is registered as an independent and this year he finally changed that status to make sure he could vote for Hillary. He registered as an Independent in High school to rebel because against his parents, because as two teachers, we were Dems. And so he had to make a statement of sorts. But he got tired of never being able to vote in the primaries. THIS election, now that he has 3 kids it was too important because he was afraid of Trump.

    I guess I think your commentary today is biased. I had to stop reading and didn’t get quite to the end because your post made me angry. I think your conclusions are wrong. If anything I think after Trump won the EC and HRC won by 3 mill. votes the Democratic party is stronger than ever. My former students are writing me all the time saying how silly they were voting for a 3rd party candidate. Or not voting for HRC because up until now they didn’t know what losing their rights would mean. They are all changing from independent to Democratic status. So the Democratic Party will rise and be stronger than ever. It is the party that stands for truth and justice and for ALL people. And remember, this country is about WE THE PEOPLE. Not just the top one percent.

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    1. Yes, I have many thoughts on this subject. Many you may not particularly like.

      That’s why I left the comment section open. I won’t shy away from disagreements and I appreciate that you took the time to tell me where we disagree.

      First of all, I think it is ridiculous for ANYONE to be an independent when so many states do not allow independent voters to cast their vote in the primary elections. That alone is reason enough to make a decision on one party. It doesn’t mean you have to vote for that party all the time, but it does give you more opportunities to select candidates. In my state of Florida (And the state I grew up in Ohio) that is the case, and therefore, independent voters have zero say in electing our final candidates. THAT is a foolish choice.

      Let’s face it: You can ALWAYS vote for whomever you choose, but you NEVER have a say in your selecting the candidate you want if you are an independent. Therefore, I take issue with someone who is an Independent making comments about either major party if you cannot commit to one or the other. To me, that is a cop out. It is like saying you either haven’t done your research, studied history, or you don’t give a damn.

      If an independent is voting (which I did), they care. And I was able to take part in primaries for the last three elections. However, I concede that I am not allowed to take part in all the primaries in off-years.

      I have considered changing to Democrat, if only to have more of a say in those nominations (and to stop getting an inordinate amount of political mail from candidates I wouldn’t vote for anyway). But why should I have to if primaries are paid for by tax dollars? Shouldn’t they all be open to the public, then?

      Regardless, as an observer, I will have an opinion on the parties based on their leadership and the policies their members push forward, especially when those policies impact American citizens. They’re fair game.

      She got a bad deal at the DNC and I blame Sanders. Debbie was made a scape goat for his ego. He ran as a Democrat but didn’t register as one until late in the game and before he was a Democrat, he took total advantage of all the perks of the party and decided to tell the DNC, (many members I know personally and can swear to their loyalty and honesty).

      And he made demands after he lost California when he was NOT the winning Democratic nominee. Who does that???

      I believe his bad behavior influenced the negative fallout on DWS. She behaved with class and never ever did I hear her personally say anything negative about Senator Sanders in regard to the DNC when he was making absurd demands after he lost the Dem. nomination.

      Do you remember how ugly the primaries got with Obama and Clinton in 2008? The race was so close between the two that they had to keep going until the last state. Both factions were at each other’s throats, and there were the PUMA’s (Party Unity My A**) for Hillary.

      But somehow, Mrs. Clinton conceded the nomination four days after the California primaries. Why? It was understood she and Obama made a deal. That deal most likely resulted in her tenure as Secretary of State. Granted, she had far more experience and clout within the party, but she and Obama had to come a deal in order to foster party unity as soon as possible.

      Now, Clinton and Sanders had to make a deal, too. He didn’t ask for a position in a prospective Hillary Clinton Administration, but for platform items.

      We will disagree on Sanders, but I refuse to attack DWS personally. From your experience, she is a very good person, but there were complaints about her as DNC Chair in 2014 from those inside the party. That’s what I found from my research.

      I think you are being harsh and quite frankly wrong about your assumptions of the Democratic Party. Many millennials were turned off by the Democratic Party simply because they were young and did not do their research into history.

      Can I offer another perspective? Many young people today are angry at the Democratic Party because they want the party to be more aggressive in the face of Republicans.

      Right now, their resistance to Trump’s cabinet picks is largely symbolic, but most of these nominees should not be supported by the Democrats at all. There have been some D votes for people like Jeff Sessions (who rightfully lost out of a judgeship in 1986 because of his poor civil rights record), Steve Mnuchin (the Foreclosure King), and Rex Tillerson (who has ties to Russia). There’s no excuse for that.

      And some question how the Democrats allowed the Republicans to threaten filibusters when the Democrats had large majorities in both houses of Congress.

      That’s frustrating for people who care and want the Democrats to put forth policies that help the American people without the obstructionism. Now, I like what Elizabeth Warren was able to do to get the Consumer Protection Bureau established (and she amazes me from time to time), yet it’s under threat now. We need more people like her to keep an eye on the good of the people, but be a little more aggressive.

      I guess I think your commentary today is biased. I had to stop reading and didn’t get quite to the end because your post made me angry. I think your conclusions are wrong. If anything I think after Trump won the EC and HRC won by 3 mill. votes the Democratic party is stronger than ever.

      By its very nature, the commentary will be biased. But I didn’t say anything I did to be mean spirited. I just believe the party needs to relook at the 2016 election and the past 30 years and figure out what it needs to do to get back those lost seats and help the American people. I think Keith Ellison would be an excellent choice to do that.

      The truth is, the Democrats have lost 1,000 seats in state legislatures and over a dozen governorships since 2009. How did that happen and how can the party fix it?

      BTW, who would you like to lead the DNC?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You bring up some very good points that make a lot of sense. My recollection, however, was that Hillary bowed out of in 2008 much earlier, but I’d have to research it to get the facts correctly. It was a tighter race than Sanders and Clinton but she bowed out when she she knew she couldn’t win, which I respected her for. I don’t know about dealings before hand. I think Obama knew he’d get her supporters’ votes if she was given an important position. Politics as usual. I have felt for a long time the Dems have been too politically correct in the face of right wing conservatives. But I think inexperience with young voters and living in an entitled world where social media has made them lazy in finding facts and not doing research did not help in this election. I also think non voters and millennials learned just how much their votes count. And I believe there has been a dumbing down of America brought about by tea party extremists who have made science and facts the enemy. Hopefully we can impeach Trump and get back on track.
        I get angry, certainly. I spent the late 1960’s fighting for equality for women and people of color. I fought to end the war, and to find now myself in my late 60’s having to fight those same battles again is frustrating. I’m marching and protesting all over again so my grandchildren can have a better world. Obama took us so much further and I had hoped We would finally have a woman in the White House. But to go backwards now on so many societal gains is disheartening. That’s why voting becomes like a heavy weight fight. It matters. Our freedom and our democracy depends on every vote and on making sure reality tv stars stay on television and out of Washington. Thanks for writing your post and opening up the discussion.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Unfortunately, you will find “entitled” people in each generation. They exist in mine (millennials) but they also exist in older generations, as well.

          But I have also seen and communicated with a lot of bright, energetic, hard-working, socially conscious youngsters. There were many people like that who worked for Clinton and Sanders this past election. There were many young people who got out the vote, raised funds, and phone banked for Sanders. Without them, he wouldn’t have gotten as far as he did.

          Many of our young people are angry, but not just because the people they wanted to see elected failed to hold public office. Nope. From what I have seen, heard, and experienced myself, there are 2-4 issues that are most pressing: the environment, employment, health care, and student debt.

          Sanders addressed the last three more than anything and Hillary Clinton addressed social issues more than anything. You can see from here, there was a natural disconnect.

          The fact is Hillary Clinton struggled with younger voters. She struggled as a politician because, from her own admission, she wasn’t a natural politician like her husband and Obama were. She’s a policy wonk and one of the smartest people in the room, but she needed someone on her team to help her bridge generational gaps, strengthen her message, and accentuate her natural strengths.

          She also needed to talk more about those three issues I mentioned. She made concessions on the minimum wage and had a limited plan for reducing student debt and that was a good start. But she needed to talk about employment more than anything, especially in “Rust Belt” states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

          I know you have reservations about Bernie the presidential candidate, but from where I stand, he wanted to help the party. The “infighting” over the party platform was an attempt to get the party to appeal to the left at a time when more people and more Democrats identified as liberals. He still wants to help the party and more importantly, help the American people.

          Basically, I feel the Democrats need to appeal more to their liberal base, which includes younger voters. From there, they can appeal to moderates and even pull in some conservatives by promoting popular policies.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. You can if you wish but you don’t have to. I just didn’t want you to think my grammar was off. My arthritis is an issue today and instead of hitting edit I posted it without rereading it. When I saw my typos I was mortified. Lol. And I can’t seem to be able to edit from my phone or iPad.

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  3. I think many people your age feel like you do. And while I felt HRC did all those things, I did not see the disconnect but that could be a generational thing. My biggest issue was that once BS lost, the protocol was that you move on to the winner. I was deeply upset when HRC lost on 2008. It took me a good two months to move on and vote for Obama. Bernie did not give his fanbase a long enough time to grieve their loss. And then at the DNC he got angry with them for not understanding the simple principal of politics. That you support the winning candidate to defeat Trump. Had he won the numbers that Clinton did after California, I would have gladly voted for him. Just like I voted for BO. People have to grieve. They were passionate about Bernie. Understandably broken after he lost to HRC. But the fact of the matter is he was always a career politician. He has been since the early 80’s and he wasn’t going to give that up. He seemed surprised that his base didn’t get that and move on. The problem was he didn’t explain that soon enough. Had he done so a lot of his supporters would have been less disillusioned and hurt. Like the Rolling Stone song says, “You can’t always get what you want”. I can relate, I was crushed when Obama beat Hillary and considered McCain because I was mad at Obama. But I grieved and moved on because I had time to do so. Bernie’s biggest mistake was not making it clear as he was losing states, that above all else if he lost they needed to support Clinton. He didn’t. And being an independent he didn’t have that Democratic allegiance to party. He hurt the Democrats. Too little too late. That being said, I understand why his supporters loved him. But, as someone my age, I had heard 30 years of the same rhetoric with Bernie so it wasn’t new to me. But it was new and exciting your generation. I get that. Hillary had a large group of younger voters (both my sons supported her from the get go and most of my former students.) But yes, she did struggle with many younger voters. But I blame that because Bernie never really was a party guy. He should have run as an Independent and then I wouldn’t have been angry with him. I was upset because he ran as a Democrat and then wasn’t loyal to the party. To me, once he did that, he owed it to those of us who are Democrats . He ran as a Democrat, but still behaved as an independent, which would have been fine had he run as one. That messed up the Democratic party big time. Bernie is Bernie and like I said before. I love him in Congress and always loved his ideas. I just felt like he was a great Senator . Not the guy I wanted as President. However had he won California and gotten the votes to beat Clinton I would have voted for him. I don’t think the disconnect was as great as you think. But the backlash of mistakes made got us a bigoted narcissist in the WH and now we are fighting for our basic rights like it was 1865 again. Had Bernie gotten out earlier, given his supporters time to grieve, then the outcome would have been different. He wouldn’t have been the woman I wanted, but he would have been a heck of lot better than Trump and he is after all a career politician. He understands diplomacy and he truly cares about the common man. Hillary always did. I remember her in the 80’s. You have to know that she is only a year older than I am. She and I fought the same social battles for equality. You grew up with freedoms we had to fight for. So she always had your interests in mind. Bernie was a man. He always had those rights too. A different frame of reference. And now we are here fighting for freedom of the press and the rights for women to have control over their own bodies and for minorities to have a place in this society….. scary.

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