Just read this story and it has me turning my head inside out as I consider what should be "right" as opposed to what might "work" for the Democratic National Committee in 2017 and the Midterm Elections in 2018: Ellison holds edge in DNC race survey.  In my heart I hold nothing but respect for Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn.) who in a new survey of DNC members holds an edge over former Labor secretary Tom Perez to be chosen to replace Debbie Wasserman Schultz as Chairperson.

I have all kinds of reasons for favoring Keith Ellison:  He's the first Muslim to be elected to the U.S. Congress, and took his oath of office on a Quran that once belonged to Thomas Jefferson.  Along with André Carson of Indiana, he is one of two Muslims now serving in Congress and he is also the first African American to have been elected to the U.S. House from Minnesota.  In November 2016, progressive groups and United States senators, including Bernie Sanders of Vermont, supported Ellison for chair of the Democratic National Committee.  His record after five terms in office is excellent and if he's selected as chairman to the DNC he says he'll resign his seat in congress...All great recommendations... but... and this is what turns my head inside out... he's a Muslim and after 2016 that's like pouring gasoline on a fire.

Tom Perez served as the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice and Secretary of Labor under President Obama.  He's the very successful son of Dominican immigrants, a Roman Catholic and helped the Justice Department take down Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona and took on Texas and South Carolina voter ID laws.  Though he's only held elected office in county council of Montgomery County, Maryland, his civil rights record as a state and federal Labor Secretary and progressive attorney is exemplary.

So the DNC has a choice between an African American Muslim who would almost certainly play into the hands of paranoid Tea Party loony tunes or a Roman Catholic Hispanic.  HRC was the wrong candidate at the wrong time in 2016, there's a good chance that the Bestial Nightmare "45" will completely screw up over the next two years, so who should lead the Democratic Party in the mid-term elections of 2018 and the presidential elections in 2020?

My pragmatic brain says Perez, but my idealistic heart wants Ellison.   This shit makes me crazy.

Views: 210

Comment by Maui Surfer on February 22, 2017 at 5:43pm

As a huge Ellison fan and an admirer of Perez I can without question neither can do what's necessary. So far, the younger guy from Indiana looks best, I could Google him but I'm not, and that is saying a lot. DNC, which blew it epic-ally last year as well as in 68, better wake up immediately and see the only way forward is a complete boycott of all things Confederate for now and until the streets are clear again- hard stop. None of this crew has what it takes, and whoever takes a wrong turn is going to be eaten alive.

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on February 22, 2017 at 5:45pm

Nope.  Perez is Hillary Clinton with a cheezy ass goatee.  He is EVERY bit as thick with Big Banksters and Belt Line Elitists as Hillary ever was and probably screwed over even more people by his lack of actions against big banks (both at Justice AND Labor) then Shillary.

Hell, Keith Ellison is going to have to show real progressive, liberals and independents a whole lot to get us back into the fold, Perez doesn't have a freaking chance and you just saw how well that worked.

P.S.  "Pragmatism" is just another way of spelling "Fuck it! I quit trying!"

Comment by cheshyre on February 22, 2017 at 6:34pm

Eight years of Obama "pragmatism" turned over the WH, Senate and House to the Republicants. The idiot didn't want to "divide" the country by exercising principles like the rule of law. Democrats believe they can stay in power by courting conservatives and rejecting "unrealistic" stands like breaking the corporate stranglehold. Nero actually got elected in the name of doing what Obama failed to do even though his only interest is in burning down the house quicker.

I can't foresee anyone having the guts to actually be for righting the ship as opposed to just being anti-Nero. Any person who fits that bill doesn't hold elected office.

Comment by nerd cred on February 22, 2017 at 7:06pm

Luckily, no one here has a vote so unless you're going to call your electors you might as well not bother stressing about it. And even if you do know who they are and do call, they likely aren't interested in your opinion.

And there's no religious test, you know.

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on February 22, 2017 at 8:10pm

my bet's ellison wins

in other news, i will be phillies bench coach this season

Comment by koshersalaami on February 22, 2017 at 9:43pm

I think the DNC now needs to activate its base more than going after moderates right now. Ideologically, I want someone more Left, and I don't see a serious political disadvantage with going there. His identity as a Muslim means not that much because he's not a Presidential candidate. Head of the DNC is not enough of an electoral issue to worry about. I say Ellison. 

Comment by nerd cred on February 22, 2017 at 11:18pm

I heard someone say on tv today that Keith has turned MN from hard red to blue - not at all  true. He represents Minneapolis and some inner ring suburbs. Minneapolis is solidly entrenched DFL (the party here is called Democratic Farmer Labor.) Greens get more votes here than Rs. Mpls has the biggest Somali population (I think - maybe second) in the country and the biggest Liberian population. Adjacent to Mpls and the 5th district is St Paul and the 6th. Betty McCollum, the 4th rep, is as progressive as Keith (but not Muslim.)

These two districts are the population center of the state and have always been. Before Keith we had Martin Sabo from 79-07. I think we may have had a R mayor since WW2 but it would have been during crazy times. Nope - I looked that guy up and though he was a reactionary he was independent, no party.

The other big population center is Duluth, way up north with the Iron Range to the west. Historically it's a mining area, settled by a lot of Finns and Slovenians and a Communist hotbed at one time. (And I mean real communists, not big mouth pretenders.) The Rs threaten there lately as mining and unions have declined. They elected a R to the house a few years back but he was a tea party freak and only lasted one term.

Rochester, in the south, is also a center, home of the Mayo Clinic. They elected a DFL rep a few years ago, on the conservative side but the district requires it. It was represented for a long time by a R and Tim Walz was elected in large part based on his military history and his strong support for veterans.

There's another DFL rep in the west of the state, an old timey machine pol. If he ever retires I wouldn't be surprised to see a R or an I take the district.

There has been a great deal of movement of Somalis to the city of St. Cloud in the middle of the state, hardcore Bachmannistan territory. Bachmann was replaced by a R stalward named Emmer. I never liked the guy and saw him as a worth successor to Bachmann and rep for the plainsbillies up there. (I'm related to a shitload of them so I know whereof I speak and can say wtf I want about them.) However, following the mall attack by a Somali man, you may have heard of it, he was shot dead by an off duty cop from one of the many Lake Woebegones in that area; following that there was a lot of unrest with hatred and bigotry directed at Somalis. I read about a town hall Emmer held in 2015 where the whites were clamoring for Somalis to be prohibited from settling in St. Cloud (!) and Emmer showed some anger at them, defended the Somalis. That surprised me. This is the best telling of the story I've found and where I first heard about it. It's long but it's interesting.

Emmer then went on to form a Somali caucus in congress with Ellison - this is an example of Ellison reaching out and forming connections where one might not expect and where consensus is that they are most needed now.

Then - our Senators - Franken, Klobuchar, Paul Wellstone, Humphrey, Mondale, Mark Dayton who went on to become our current governor, Eugene McCarthy. Where's the red? We did have that nasty Rod Grams, I wasn't here and prefer not to think about him. One term. We had Dave Durenburger - a very respected R who I voted for. Rudy Boschwitz, R, I also voted for him but mainly because I disliked his opponent. He did one term and defeated by Wellstone, I think. And the weasel faced Norm Coleman almost managed to slither in ahead of Franken but sanity narrowly prevailed.

You did not want to know all this but I started to say that Keith, much as I love him, didn't turn MN blue and my fingers got away from me. Minnesota's a kind of a weird place but it's a little interesting, too, particularly its political history.

Comment by Ron Powell on February 23, 2017 at 5:39am

It's really not about the pragmatic and the ideal. That's a dichotomy that we don't have the luxury to argue.

It's the paradigm that can determine the direction or course of action of a well anchored and well defined organization or entity like a university or a bank.

The debate, argument, discourse, or discussion should be predicated on, and revolve around winning v losing.

The question is transactional not ideological.

If Democrats choose a chairperson that gives the opposition the opportunity to create a distracting opening salvo in the upcoming battles for the electorate and the democratic process, they will handicap themselves by having to argue about shit that is irrelevant to the central question:

What must be done to WIN in the 2018 midterm and in the next presidential cycle?

When you're in a hole, the first order of business is to put the shovel down and stop digging.

When you're engaged in prime time, high stakes politics, the first order of business is to WIN. 

Focusing on anything other than that is bullshit.




Comment by JMac1949 Today on February 23, 2017 at 6:51am

Thanks one and all for reading and commenting.

Comment by Stephen Brassawe on February 23, 2017 at 12:46pm

I have nothing to offer on the subject of Democratic Party politics that could conceivably be of any interest whatsoever other than a recommendation for regular deep breathing exercises. I did very much enjoy reading this, however, JMac. Well done.


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