Retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid offered some self-serving criticism of former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz during an interview with Nevada Public Radio on December 21.
“I believe one of the failures of the Democratic Party has been the Democratic National Committee, the DNC, has been worthless,” Reid said, noting that under Wasserman Schultz, the DNC did nothing to help state parties. Reid neglected to explain why he failed to speak up about the DNC’s worthlessness until Wasserman Schultz emerged as a reliable scapegoat upon which to blame the Democratic Party’s demise over the past few years, ignoring that the party’s overall ties to corporate and wealthy donors is what has been rotting it from within.
The DNC has been worthless, and if the race for the new DNC chair is any indication, it will continue to be worthless. Sen. Bernie Sanders endorsed Rep. Keith Ellison for the position. However, Clinton campaign surrogate and former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez has been cozying up the Democratic Party establishment in hopes of winning the most votes from the establishment members in February.
In a recent interview with Huffington Post, Perez swooned over Obama, and refused to support re-enacting a DNC ban on donations from lobbyists and PACs that Wasserman Schultz quietly lifted during the primaries to help Hillary Clinton keep up in fundraising with Sanders’ grassroots campaign. Clinton frequently aligned herself with Obama while trying to distance the president from Sanders as a campaign strategy to solidify establishment support, and now Perez is doing the same.
Ellison, much to the dismay and surprise of Sanders supporters, recently endorsed a billionaire for Florida Democratic Party chair over progressive Dwight Bullard. Stephen Bittel won an initial bid for a Florida Democratic Party committee position after the person who held it resigned. This made Bittel eligible for Florida Democratic Party chair. When confronted with this hypocritical endorsement at an appearance in Detroit, Ellison told supporters not to repeat smears.
Abandoning any hope of holding Clinton accountable for losing the presidential election, on December 22, Ellison tweeted an article titled, “If You’re Liberal and You Think Hillary Clinton Is Corrupt and Untrustworthy, You’re Rewarding 25 Years of GOP Smears.” It would be more shocking if Ellison read the January article he shared, which doubles as a hit piece against Sanders, claiming the Vermont senator could never win a general election, and that the GOP would have eaten him alive.
What rewarded 25 years of GOP smears was the Democratic Party rigging their primaries against Sanders, and anointing Clinton as their candidate, despite her long record of political scandals, an FBI investigation, and an unprecedented partnership with corporations and wealthy donors from both political parties.
As a leaked April 2015 Clinton campaign memo revealed, the plan was to elevate Donald Trump, using the press to legitimize his candidacy. The disconnect from working and middle class voters within the Democratic Party has only worsened over the past few years. It finally blew up in their faces with Clinton’s embarrassing loss to Trump. This recent pandering to the establishment demonstrates no lessons have been learned from the failures of 2016, and that the pro-Clinton establishment would rather maintain its political power and privilege than relinquish it to the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party—even if that means more Trump-style extremism, and fewer Democrats in elected offices around the country.