A smart party would have found someone not connected to the past primary war. Instead the DNC fight was a bit of a replay of the primary fight. I have pretty firm reasons for preferring Ellison and reasons for suspicion of Perez.
But Perez is an impressive guy, and the policy disagreements aren’t hugely important with a DNC Chair.
Larger picture though, from a Sanders perspective it really wasn’t the most important fight yesterday.
Barack Obama instituted a ban on taking money from lobbyists. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz lifted the ban, and I saw the lobbyists return when I was at the Convention in Philadelphia. I was at one event where Pharma lobbyists were out in force. The very good food and drink was on them.
From the Huffington Post:
Democratic National Committee members on Saturday voted down a resolution that would have reinstated former President Barack Obama’s ban on corporate political action committee donations to the party.
Resolution 33, introduced by DNC Vice Chair Christine Pelosi, would also have forbidden “registered, federal corporate lobbyists” from serving as “DNC chair-appointed, at-large members.”
Lobbyists have only one purpose in life: corruption. They use money and influence to bend an organization in their direction. The cost of this influence to the country can be seen in countless ways.
More broadly though is the mindset that says take the money. This mindset puts money above all else. Money buys advertising after all. In this mindset campaigns are all about advertising: it is all that matters.
What it tells me is the mindset that has led to the destruction of Democratic influence in this country has not changed. Hillary Clinton outspent Donald Trump by many multiples. There are others ways to build organizations, and to raise money.
I want to build a party that is built on the grass-roots, raises money based on grass-roots activism, and puts faith in field organizations.
Part of the reason I think this is important is because I have seen the cost of doing it the other way. We don’t tend to win anyway, and when we do it distorts policy (see financial de-regulation) in ways that impose enormous costs on the public.
The vote yesterday makes me question whether that view is really shared at the top of the Party. In fact, I don’t think it does. It is all window dressing.