Autopsy: The​ ​Democratic​ ​Party​ ​in​ ​Crisis

After the recent revelations by former DNC interim-Chair Donna Brazile in a Politico Magazine op-ed that Hillary Clinton took over the Democrat Party in order to insure her nomination as the Democrat candidate for president the DNC is burning. Brazile wrote:

I had promised Bernie when I took the helm of the Democratic National Committee after the convention that I would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process, as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers and posted online had suggested. By September 7, the day I called Bernie, I had found my proof and it broke my heart.

Brazile revealed in Politico that the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary for America had entered into a “Joint Fund-Raising Agreement.” The agreement — signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias — specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.

Given this confirmation that the DNC rigged the primary election it is interesting to review a 34-page After Action Report done by a group of progressive Democrats titled “Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis”.

The research for the Autopsy was provided by Action for a Progressive Future, a 501(c)(4) Social Welfare Organization. Action for a Progressive Future runs the website. The task force members who did the Autopsy are:

The introduction​ ​to​ the Autopsy begins with this paragraph:

After a train wreck, investigators scrutinize the causes. A rigorous inquiry — not content to merely point fingers at external forces — takes an unflinching look at what occurred. Bringing to light the preventable problems is central to making significant improvements for the future. With such an approach, we can and must learn from electoral tragedy by evaluating the policies, actions and priorities of the Democratic Party.

The Autopsy focuses, “[O]n some of our party’s most crucial flaws, fissures and opportunities. During the 2016 general election, the party experienced a falloff of voter turnout and support among people of color, the young and the working class. Much of our report concentrates on assessing the Democratic Party’s approach to those demographic groups.”

The Autopsy notes, “Since Obama’s victory in 2008, the Democratic Party has lost control of both houses of Congress and more than 1,000 state legislative seats. The GOP now controls the governorship as well as the entire legislature in 26 states, while Democrats exercise such control in only six states…. Despite this Democratic decline, bold proposals with the national party’s imprint are scarce.”

The report accuses the DNC of refusing “to renounce, or commit to end, its undemocratic practices during the 2016 primary campaign that caused so much discord and distrust from many party activists and voters among core constituencies.”

The Autopsy blames “corporate power” for the DNC loss, stating, “Corporate domination over the party’s agenda — and, perhaps more importantly, the perception of corporate control over the party’s agenda — rendered the Democrats’ messaging on economic issues ideologically rudderless and resulted in a decline in support among working-class people across racial lines.”

The Autopsy concludes with:

Revitalized progressive populism — multicultural, multiracial and multigenerational — means fighting for genuine democracy. Outmoded narratives and facile calls for “unity” must be replaced with a new vision of politics that is explicitly inclusive and participatory. The party must learn how to speak a populist tongue that is in sync with real advocacy for a clear agenda, putting public needs above corporate profits. An imperative is to find common political
denominators that are inspirational and practical, cutting across demographic lines while building foundations for social advancement and a humane future.

Finally, in a letter published on to DNC Chair Tom Perez Karen Bernal asks:

1) What are the DNC’s plans to further accelerate its gear-up of staffing to fight against the multi-front assaults on voting rights that include voter ID laws, purges of voter rolls and intimidation tactics?
2) How can we assure fellow Democrats that the DNC has committed itself to scrupulously adhering to its Charter’s requirement to be evenhanded in the presidential nominating process?
3) What is the status of decision-making as to the voting power of superdelegates at the 2020 Democratic National Convention?

The DNC is in big trouble. It is like a row of burning porta potties and none there to put out the fire. Midterm election 2018 will be the proof in the pudding.

Corruption, sex scandals, fraud, money laundering, identity politics, a move toward socialism do not bode well for Democrats and their candidates.


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