Tom Perez, the Democratic Party’s Grim Metaphor

Tom Perez’s lackluster first year as head of the Democratic National Committee provides a metaphoric glimpse into the waning influence of the Democratic Party as a whole, explains Norman Solomon.

By Norman Solomon

Sometimes a party’s leader seems to symbolize an enduring malaise. For Democrats in 2018, that institutional leader is Tom Perez.

While serving as secretary of labor during President Obama’s second term, Perez gained a reputation as an advocate for workers and civil rights. That image may have helped him win a narrow election among Democratic leaders to become chair of the Democratic National Committee, with the backing of Hillary Clinton loyalists eager to prevent the top DNC job from going to Bernie Sanders supporter Rep. Keith Ellison.

Democratic Party leader Tom Perez

Perez’s leadership of the DNC during the last 11 months has been mediocre at best. The problems go far beyond administrative failings, lack of inspirational impacts or shortcomings in fundraising. His mode of using progressive rhetoric while purging progressives from key DNC committees reflected a pattern.

At the top of the DNC, the Clinton wing’s determination to keep the progressive base at arm’s length has not abated — while, at the same time, the DNC proclaims its commitment to the progressive base. The contradiction exists because of Democratic Party priorities revolving around corporate power.

To align the DNC with a grassroots base that is notably more progressive and has enormous energy to challenge Wall Street and the oligarchy, it would be necessary to welcome that energy instead of trying to keep it at bay.

Rhetoric aside, the DNC leadership is hardly oriented to challenging the corporate domination that imposes so much economic injustice. Some disturbing indicators of the current chair’s orientation can be found in his Obama-era record as an assistant attorney general as well as head of the Labor Department.

“Before Tom Perez was Labor Secretary granting waivers to indicted banks, he was at the Justice Department not prosecuting Steve Mnuchin for illegally foreclosing on active duty troops,” financial specialist Matt Stoller pointed out in a recent tweet.

A former budget staffer on Capitol Hill, Stoller wrote an investigative report last February for The Intercept that laid out in detail how Perez refused to confront the criminal actions of large banks and their top executives during his eight years at the Justice and Labor departments. Stoller noted that “the reluctance to take on Wall Street has been a hallmark of the modern Democratic Party — and has served as an electoral headwind up and down the ticket.”

And, Stoller wrote, Perez “represents the finance-friendly status quo that has relegated Democrats to minority status.”

During the electoral tailspin of 2016, Perez was all in with Clinton’s battle against Sanders. On Feb. 5, 2016 — just after Clinton had squeaked through the Iowa caucuses — Perez sent an email to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, looking ahead to the imminent primary in New Hampshire and caucuses in Nevada. Reporting that “I was in NH on Sunday and Nevada on Monday and Tuesday for HRC,” Perez offered advice on how to counter the Sanders campaign, such as trying to promote a narrative that “Bernie does well only among young white liberals.”

Perez closed his email memo to Podesta with a reference to the next Clinton-Sanders debate: “Let me know how I can be of further assistance. I believe I am heading to Milwaukee next Thursday to help with debate spin.”

These days, two years later, Perez is publicly voicing strong support for the recommendations of the DNC’s Unity Reform Commission, which has called for some important steps toward a more democratic Democratic Party — including a 60 percent reduction in unelected superdelegates for the 2020 national convention. Yet we don’t know what Perez is privately saying to fellow Clinton loyalists on the Rules and Bylaws Committee that is now very slowly taking up those recommendations.

Perez had seen to it that this key committee would be bereft of Sanders supporters. There are signs that the committee is slow-walking the recommendations toward a watered-down morass — which progressives should demand must not happen.

While, in recent days, progressive outrage has been rightly focused on the cave-in of Democratic “leadership” in the Senate during the brief government shutdown, the stasis of the DNC sank further into the shadows when the Rules and Bylaws Committee adjourned a two-day meeting on Jan. 20. It appears that even the compromise reforms painstakingly hammered out by the party’s Unity Reform Commission for the better part of 2017 are in jeopardy.

In short, the corporate power structure of the Democratic Party, institutionalized in the DNC, has not given up on blocking efforts to reform the party and how it chooses a presidential nominee. One of the key battlegrounds will be over the compromise reform proposal to eliminate three-fifths of the superdelegates at the party’s national convention; these were entrenched Democrats who lined up behind Hillary Clinton by the hundreds for the 2016 nomination before a single vote was cast by the masses in a primary or caucus.

Meanwhile, under Perez’s uninspiring leadership, the DNC’s fundraising has been second-rate. At latest report, the DNC had only $6.4 million in cash on hand, while the Republican National Committee had $39.8 million cash on hand. Last week, a Vice article quoted a “Democratic official who has worked with Perez” as saying: “Tom is just really miserable in the job, which is part of why it’s not going well. He hates the fundraising and says no to so much of the fundraising even though they are obviously not in good shape financially.”

You’d think that with so much at stake and such a big hole to dig out of, Perez would be concentrating all his labors on being DNC chair. But last year, in late summer, Brown University announced that Perez would be spending the full 2017-18 academic year as a “senior fellow” at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. “Throughout the year, Perez will engage with students, faculty, and visitors,” the university said. He “will lead a study group in which students will engage in open-ended discussions and free-flow give and take with leading figures in American politics.”

The university said that Perez would be meeting with the study group at Brown “for an hour and a half seven times this [fall] semester,” and he “will hold informal lunches and office hours.” A spokeswoman for Brown University confirmed to me this week that Perez is continuing this role through the spring.

That the Democratic National Committee tolerates its chair frequently shuttling to Rhode Island to teach a college course while the Democratic Party is supposed to be going all-out to defeat Republicans this year tells us a lot about the quality of the current DNC leadership.

Norman Solomon is the coordinator of the online activist group RootsAction.org and the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He is the author of a dozen books including “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” Solomon was a member of the independent task force that wrote the recent report “Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis.”

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54 comments for “Tom Perez, the Democratic Party’s Grim Metaphor

  1. Hank
    January 25, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    “In short, the corporate power structure of the Democratic Party, institutionalized in the DNC, has not given up on blocking efforts to reform the party and how it chooses a presidential nominee”

    I am not sure any amount of fundraising/ flag waving/ Clinic rhetoric could bring back a significant number of progressives who realize the Republicrat Party does not represent their interests.

    • Nancy
      January 26, 2018 at 11:24 am

      You’re right. Only suckers would fall for this phony, weak rhetoric. The Democrats have shown us time and time again who they are and who they represent. We should believe them.

  2. David G
    January 25, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Fully agree about Perez. From what I’ve seen, he’s also a soporific presence on TV who oozes compromise and futility.

    Face it, the Democrats on the national level would rather lose than go against their paymasters. They’re probably going to have a pretty good 2018 and 2020 because of you know who, but they won’t do anything with the mandate, like in 2008, and the Republicans will still be waiting in the wings to resume full-scale predation once the anti-Trump mojo wears off.

    • January 25, 2018 at 6:37 pm

      I wouldn’t be so sure the Dems will do well in 2018. We think it is obvious that the country as a whole is shocked, disgusted, and ready to dump Trump. But we think that because the media does this narrative 25 hours a day, 8 days a week, 53 weeks a year non-stop.

      But the same media in 2015 and 2016 had similar narratives about Trump, which they believed and most folk believed until some beyond their control event, like a primary or an election, showed it wasn’t the case. After the 2016 GOP convention they had nothing to prove their narrative wrong until November and they had so ingrained this narrative into the populace that the Democrat leaning populace were in shock when the election proved it wrong.

      Now it’s been almost 15 months of nothing to disprove this narrative. But that doesn’t mean it is anymore true than it was before.

      Trump’s base is as invigorated as before. The Democratic base that appears invigorated, turning out for Women’s marches in pussy hats, isn’t really as what it was when he was elected- and that base was not able to keep him from being elected. I’m sure all the folk who put on a pussy hat will vote against him. But it maybe that enough more folk to win won’t with the Democrats being the horrid party they seem determined to remain.

      • Zachary Smith
        January 25, 2018 at 7:24 pm

        But we think that because the media does this narrative 25 hours a day, 8 days a week, 53 weeks a year non-stop.

        The billionaires are spending some serious money backstopping Trump. Yesterday I was on the road and flipped on the radio to try to find something – anything – worth listening to. One station had a smarmy-voiced young man praising the tax cuts and claiming that ALREADY American was beginning to see investment from businesses and growing employment. Very next station had a woman saying the same thing about the utterly wonderful tax cuts. As you say, this is bombarding people all the time.

        The essay about Perez seems about right. A genuine Hillary-bot busily purges progressives, and makes all kinds of promises which it seems quite unlikely he’ll try to redeem. And all this as a part-time job he doesn’t even like.

        I gave more money than I could really afford to Kerry in 2004, and the DNC has my name and address. During the Obama era the DNC would telephone and ask for $100. No? The begging would drop a level, then drop again at every rejection. At the end the person on the other end of the line would ask for $5. I do believe they’d have accepted $1, for they didn’t need the money – Big Everything was supplying that – but they needed a lot of small donations to “cover” for their being in bed with Big Everything.

        I read today Kerry is sniffing at 2020. Screw him and the horse he rode in on. He’s just another one of the frauds, and that’s proved by both his 2004 campaign and his “service” with Obama. Not another dime for the DNC either.

        • January 25, 2018 at 8:47 pm

          Right… the one segment of the media not controlled by the centrist, Anti-Trump, corporate narrative is A.M. talk radio. Listening to that gives us an idea of what is the mind set with the Trump base.

          But most cultural liberals and centrists don’t ever listen to that. I do on long car trips because talk helps it go faster and there is no alternative talk at all and I like to know what those folk’s narrative is.

        • John A
          January 26, 2018 at 5:45 am

          On my very first trip to the US, in the early 80s, I was walking past the Empire States building in New York. Some guy came up to me, jammed a paper stars and strips flag on a pin into my lapel (unrequested), and launched into some spiel that I barely understood a word of. At the end of which he asked for 10 dollars. No. 5 dollars. No. 1 dollar. No. Finally in exasperation, he demanded ‘a quarter for the flag’. When I say I didn’t even ask for that, he angrily snatch the flag back and stomped off. The whole episode amused me.

          • rosemerry
            January 27, 2018 at 4:28 pm

            My one and only visit to the USA (and my last, I am sure) was in 1967 and I remember the soldiers all over the place, the talk of Vietnam War, and the very limited topics of conversation as everyone thought they lived in the best country in the world.

      • January 27, 2018 at 10:44 am

        at l87 7rt607t- m

        Here in Wisconsin, the “pussy hat people” intentionally skipped the heart of liberalism (Madison) last weekend and instead went to places like Milwaukee and Green Bay. While the majority of the people attending the rallies were white, a great many of the invited speakers were young women of color and the focus was on GOTV activities. Thats the sort of thing that has the potential to be more effective than “he’s so bad you’ll have to vet for us” strategy the DNC is only too happy to try again. As some may know, we had a special election a little over a week ago where a progressive female candidate won a traditionally Republican area of Norther Wisconsin after being significantly out spent. While it’s hard to say what will happen in the gerrymandered district occupied by Paul Ryan, his most likely challenger Randy Bryce has raised quite a bit of cash. In any case, it may be that the solution to the DNC and Hillary dead enders will be local politics carried out by local progressives and people of color who have formerly sat out the process. Might be a good time for people who spend hours on the internet to shut the computer off and go defeat the Republic-Crats. Definitely only give money directly to people you personally support rather than to the party. Think about alternates to using the party machinery-when I went to the labor temple and outré local Democratic party offices to help recall Scott Walker I was surprised to see how arrogant and just plane ineffective the people that were running the show were. Nothing like calling people listed as “strong Democrats” only to find that not only were they nothing of the kind, but by their own reports, had telling Democratic phone bankers that for years.

        Will, Commisar of ZOG

    • Jessejean
      January 29, 2018 at 2:41 pm

      David, I love your observations about Perez’s “soporific presence”. My niece says he is proof that zombies really do walk among us. She’s 30. Thus, I take slight exception to your hopes for 2018 and 2020: running against the Cheeto as one’s only platform does not impress the 30 somethings. They want programs, agendas and plans. The DNC has none of those. It has lots of money grubbing appeals for the worst of the worst–Misery Claire, Oily Heidi, Amiable Amy, but nothing substantive. And in the meantime, people will start seeing more money in their take-home pay, thanks to the damn Dems not going to mat over the tax “reform”. I hope I’m wrong and that you’re right, but I’m pretty sure the Clinton Machine will be able to snatch defeat from victory this Fall, because opposing T-rump is a sure money raising scam.

  3. jo6pac
    January 25, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    I for one have no problem with perez not being a full time leader. I’m sure Hillary’s minions can do the job of collecting money from the demodogs puppet masters. The demodog party is nothing but a fund raising system for the clintons and their friends.

  4. Clif
    January 25, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    Between the Council on Foreign Relations, the FBI, DNC, and the media’s capitulation on Russia I can’t believe anyone even mentions Trump as a source of declining American leadership. The least of our problems.

    • Jessejean
      January 29, 2018 at 2:50 pm

      Clif–excellent! Maybe the only “good” thing about T-rump is that his blatant corruption exposes all corruption as citizens struggle to reclaim our country and its constitutional values. I’m there.

  5. Taras 77
    January 25, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    The dimocrats are a toxic waste dump-until they decide to purge the party of the clinton stench, they are going nowhere. they have long since abandoned the working class, groveling for funds from the bigfoots.

    They “may” make some electorial progress in 2018, certainly not sure about 2020 with the rumors of the loser kerry, or even worse pervert biden-ugh! Any progress they make, however, would be because of toxicity of the gopers, who I’m not sure can govern.

  6. January 25, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    Okay, so why continue to waste so much time, money, and effort propping up a dead political party that refuses all change? Since the Democrats prefer to lose to Republicans than let actual liberals take control, let the party die and concentrate on building the Greens up into a force to be reckoned with. You can’t make a corpse rise up and walk. It’s a fool’s errand, and we are officially out of time for taking baby steps to reform.

    • Skip Scott
      January 27, 2018 at 8:38 am

      Michael-

      You’ve got it exactly right. It is time to make the Greens a real National Party. The Dems are completely unredeemable. How many times do average Joes have to get screwed before they see the light. All we need is a candidate with enough charisma that they can’t be ignored by the MSM. Once we hit the 15% threshold for the debates, all the regular folk who have watched the Dems sell out time and again will flock over to the Greens. Game over for the corrupt two party system, and hello to a real populist progressive movement.

      • rosemerry
        January 27, 2018 at 4:36 pm

        If only the alternative possibilities of the miserable 2000 and 2004 POTUS campaigns had been given reasonable publicity and large numbers had voted for then-green candidate Ralph Nader, the United States would have become a country to be proud of. His policies were good, his record excellent, but the two-Party (or one with two right wings as Gore Vidal said) system gave him no hope of exposure to the public despite his fame as a reformer.

        • Skip Scott
          January 27, 2018 at 4:54 pm

          Ralph Nader is a great guy, and I agree with his policy proposals, but I don’t really think he has much charisma. And I think he’s too old at this point. Also I think the percentage of people who have grown entirely disenchanted with the establishment has grown considerably since he ran. After Clinton’s eight years and Obama’s eight years of warmongering and globalization, and the utter decimation of the middle class in the US, and the Student debt crisis, etc. etc., I think the time is ripe for the Green Party. In my opinion Bernie blew it big time. He had a lot of momentum, and should have taken Jill stein’s invitation after the wikileaks exposed the corruption of the DNC. His promise to support the democratic primary winner shoulld have been null and void, as it was predicated on a fair fight. His backing of Hillary completely destroyed my faith in him. Now the Greens need someone young with a lot of energy, and possibly star power, to make them a mainstream party, and put an end to the false choice of globalizing warmonger from column A or column B.

    • January 27, 2018 at 10:51 am

      Right after you rename the greens the Farm/Labor party (to erase the stench of Dr. Stein) and purge that party of the nut bags

      • Skip Scott
        January 27, 2018 at 11:35 am

        Will-

        Could you elaborate on “the stench of Dr. Stein”? And maybe describe what it is about certain Green party members that makes them “nut bags”. Or are you just here to antagonize without offering any substance, aka “troll”.

  7. Jessejean
    January 25, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    This guy is such a clown. He’s going to follow his nose which is firmly planted up Obama’s butt and snatch defeat from victory in this Fall’s elections. Geeood!

  8. Leon Field
    January 25, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    NO ONE asked me if I wanted this party shrill to be my party leader, or has EVER asked me, a 75 year old ex-Democrat, what I would like. They have their head in the sand and as long as they operate the same old same old, millions like me won’t come back, no matter how bad Trump is. I won’t bother to vote at all.

    • January 27, 2018 at 10:53 am

      I guess instead of being asked, you might want to get out of the house and *tell* them what it is you want….You could even *demand* it.

      Will,Commissar of ZOG

    • Jessejean
      January 29, 2018 at 3:05 pm

      Leon, I’m only 73 so maybe my gag-reflex isn’t as well developed as yours, but I wonder if you have considered Bernie and Our Revolution as an alternative to not voting? I’m biased because I love that guy, and my Senator, Jeff Merkely is a Bernie supporter, but I really support his program too. It’s basically FDRs program which gave me every opportunity I had growing up to be a strong citizen. (Until that Oik Clinton ruined it). And 70% of polled voters agree with his platform and would vote for him. I know he makes extremists on both sides crazy but that’s a good thing–we need a leader that appeals to the Great Middle and leaves room for the extremes to push their agendas from the edges, not occupy the White House. Anyway, look for Our Revolution sponsored candidates in your area and see what you think.

  9. johnnieandroidseed
    January 26, 2018 at 3:48 am

    I gave up on the Democratic Party after they used racist fear mongering to undercut Jesse Jackson’s candidacy in the 1988. I thought they might start offering up candidates to bring me back into the fold in 2018 and 2020 but, with Obama-Clinton-Holder still running things, that will be a no go. The Origami Party, all they do is fold, fold, fold.

    • Brother Doc
      January 26, 2018 at 2:55 pm

      “Obama-Holder-Clinton still running things…” And Pelosi. Don’t forget her. The right wing has now replaced Hillary with Nancy as the woman they love to hate. Someone needs to say, “Nance, why not get out of the way and off the target ramp. Let some new enthusiastic and fresh faces come forth. And new ideas.”

    • Virginia
      January 26, 2018 at 4:08 pm

      I just learned recently from a documentary how really great was the Jesse Jackson candidacy and how he, too, was subject to “primary rigging.” He would have been a great president. He certainly achieved much in his life. I remember his joy and tears (on TV) when Obama was elected, and I can only imagine his disappointment in that administration. Thanks for this reminder, johnnieandroidseed. Hang in there. Let’s keep trying. Never vote for any incumbent is a way — the way — to set term limits, though the office for President is a different thing.

      • Bill jones
        January 29, 2018 at 3:46 am

        Thanks for the laugh, I do like well done satire. Please play again soon.

    • January 27, 2018 at 10:54 am

      Yes, very prudent to sit it all out.

  10. Rob
    January 26, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    I am a lifelong Democrat who is disgusted with his party. Whenever I get a fundraising call from some official party group or committee, I decline to make a contribution and explain that I do not trust the party’s leaders and most likely will oppose the candidates that they support. Instead, I will contribute to individual candidates who best reflect my own progressive values. When I first took this approach, the solicitors on the other end of the line would invariably try to persuade me of the importance of my supporting the party. Now they simply thank me for my time and hang up. I think that is a sure sign that they are hearing the same response from many other people.

    And yet, the pro-corporate leaders refuse to accept that the time has come for them to exit the stage. As long as they retain their jobs and please their paymasters, the rest of the party can go fuck itself. Even the massive electoral butt-kicking in 2016 did nothing to change the dynamic. If there were a viable alternative party, I would get behind it, but seeing none at this time, I will work to change the Democratic Party from within. It will be a very steep hill to climb.

    • Gregory Herr
      January 27, 2018 at 12:20 am

      A Sisyphean task, to be sure.

    • January 27, 2018 at 10:56 am

      This!!!!

      Also send them their postage payed surveys with this information and consider taping the letter to a brick,since after all, “postage payed”

  11. Mark Thomason
    January 26, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Democrats are in the middle of a fight, to either replace the Clinton faction, or to die and be replaced. I had hoped this would go with Hillary’s loss, but it is lingering. It may be that the Republicans must win one more time to finally kill off the Clinton faction. The one thing that is sure to me is that the Clinton faction is far past offering anything but something-for-clinton.

  12. January 26, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    A lot of us who’re children of the New Deal reject the pseudo Democratic Party of today as being
    a political Trojan Horse that’s pregnant with fascism. Our answer to the Clintons & their followers
    is: never!
    KA

  13. cmp
    January 26, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    The news cycle is predominately dominated by useless continuous trash about the sitting President’s personality. .. This isn’t at all by mistake.

    Who we vote for, matters. Who we support, matters even more. But at the end of the day, it’s still the system that is broken. .. And, that isn’t by mistake either.

    I think that their needs to be a coordinated Worldwide nonpartisan movement where the actions for getting money out of government is rooted in the voting precincts – on up. It don’t matter what Party we are affiliated with, just find out who the Precinct Committee people are in your Precinct that is with each of the Registered Parties in your State. Meet with those PC’s, explain your position about money in politics, and ask them if they will introduce you in meeting with their respective District and County Chairs to talk about money in politics and what can be done about it.

    Again, we are taught to talk endlessly about the personality of the President. Meanwhile, chances are that if we go over to our Local City Hall on up, we will find the exact same disease of money addiction in government. .. 85% of Americans polled, say they want money out of politics. .. And our chances are much more effective of actually treating this disease if we are working with our neighbors at the Local levels.

    For example, I received an email from Public Citizen last Sunday. They are starting with Citizens United. I will share a portion of it:
    ~ “… it’s easy to lose sight— but our constitutional amendment movement to overturn Citizen’s United has done absolutely extraordinary things since the court handed down its decision in 2010:
    * With Nevada approving a resolution this year, 19 states have passed resolutions or the equivalent supporting a constitutional amendment. That’s half the total we need to win approval!
    * More than 750 cities and towns across the country have approved resolutions.
    * In 2014, we won majority support in the U.S. Senate for an amendment.
    * Thousands of people turned out to protest Citizens United at the Democracy Awakening demonstration in Washington, D.C., in 2016, and tens of thousands have participated in similar protests and actions around the country.
    * Millions of Americans have signed petitions calling for an amendment. “~

    ~~~~~

    In other related news:
    I received an email yesterday from Dennis Kucinich and he is running for the democratic nomination for Governor of Ohio.

    Also, to follow up on Norman’s article of January 16th, titled ‘Why Senator Cardin Is a Fitting Opponent for Chelsea Manning’, the Maryland State Board of Elections now shows one Libertarian candidate, and four Democratic candidates, of which now includes Chelsea Manning. Curiously, Ben Cardin and no Republicans have yet to file of their candidacy’s for the U.S. Senate seat within the State.

    • Bob Van Noy
      January 26, 2018 at 7:46 pm

      Thank you as always cmp. I continue to be impressed by your passion about the upcoming election cycle. I want to encourage you to keep up your comments as CN places articles regarding the election. So you know, I’m a New Deal believer who wishes FDR had been able to enact healthcare before his death. I’m proud to say that I’ve never missed an election cycle in a long life of voting and, I’m sad to admit that I’ve been on the losing side more often than I care to review. I voted purely Democratic up until the Clinton, Perot, Bush cycle where I chose Perot because Bill Clinton was clearly, for me, Slick Willie. From that point on the Democrats were never even centrist much less progressive as we entered the “Third Way” era of Clinton/Blair. Voting from that point became a no win scenario for me but I still believed that the insanity was temporary. Bush II woke me up and I realized that Corruption Rules…

      I suspect that the Democrats will continue to self destruct but I like your thoughts about picking candidates to support across the country and making small donations directly to the candidate and not to a Party apparatus. Both parties have lost their way but the democratic party is particularly inept.

      Also please go back to our last conversation for a note I left you. Thanks.

      • cmp
        January 27, 2018 at 12:59 pm

        Hey Bob!
        You know so very well that the process has been rigged and stacked against any one who will stand on the position of the Left. All of my life, I have felt like it is hunting season, and we are the only species that is allowed..

        Thank you so much Bob!!! .. I tried it last Tuesday. I will try it again right now. (..SMILE..)

    • geeyp
      January 27, 2018 at 4:11 am

      We could definitely need Dennis Kucinich as our President. The fact that he is running for Governor of Ohio shows a glimmer of hope. I’ll take it.

      • cmp
        January 27, 2018 at 12:47 pm

        Hey geeyp!
        Yes! In every Dem Presidential Primary where Dennis was a candidate, he is who I campaigned and voted for, and I was also simultaneously working the Greens.

        But in 04 – 08 debates, with all of Dennis’s 2.5 nano seconds that they would afford him to be heard, he was always so, right on target and, so direct. Every time, it was so great to see the faces of all those other imposters on the stage. Will you ever forget, “..I voted against the Patriot Act – because I read it..” or, “..Impeach! ..Don’t wait.. Impeach Now!!”

  14. Abe
    January 26, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Tom Perez was one of Hillary Clinton’s most outspoken surrogates and remains a pro-Israel Lobby stalwart.

    Israeli-American billionaire media mogul Haim Saban is the largest single funder of both the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign. In 2002, Saban wrote a $7 million check to underwrite the DNC’s headquarters building in Washington, DC.

    Saban openly admits that his number one priority is influencing US policy in Israel’s favor. In a 2015 letter to Saban, Hillary Clinton vowed “to make countering BDS a priority” if she won the presidency.

    Before being appointed by Obama to lead the Department of Labor, Perez was assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. He collaborated with the Anti-Defamation League and its Washington counsel Michael Lieberman in that job and as a former staffer for the late Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy.

    While campaigning for the position as chairman of the DNC, Peres pandered to Jewish groups. Repeatedly referring to his past work with ADL, Perez said that he had long ago “memorized” the Jewish rights group’s mission statement, which he called “timeless.”

    Perez also lauded “one of my heroes, Shimon Peres” or “Uncle Shimon, to me.” An Israeli politician, Perez served both as ninth President of Israel (2007 – 2014), and twice Prime Minister of Israel, as well as Interim Prime Minister, in the 1970s to the 1990s.

    During the DNC Chair debate, one of the moderators asked Perez if Democrats should support the BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – movement as long as Israel “is in violation of UN Security Council resolutions” and, if not, “what kind of nonviolent movement for Palestinian independence should the party support?”

    “I don’t support the BDS movement because I think if you look at many of the things that have been said by that movement I think they’ve been very destructive,” Perez responded. He then gave a stock answer about the need for a “two-state solution,” providing no hint of how to get there in the face of Israel’s determination to prevent it.

    Journalist Zaid Jilani attended a January 2017 event where Perez was speaking and politely but repeatedly asked him about Israeli human rights abuses, which had been in the news that week because of new demolitions by the IDF of Palestinian homes.

    Perez ducked the question: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_cDNaNWnkU

    While it certainly is no metaphor, the pro-Israel Lobby stranglehold on both Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Republican National Committee (RNC) is grim indeed.

    • Joe Tedesky
      January 26, 2018 at 5:36 pm

      Abe what would we do without you. This information about Perez is all new to me, but you solved that problem, didn’t you?

      The Democrat’s are back at their old selves, trying to pull the wool over the voters eyes. We all should just quit voting all together, and quite legitimizing their stupid elections. If enough of us, were to merely not show up, and if the voting population were below 10% then the world community would not recognize our election, or elections.

      Thanks again Abe, you are always a bucket full of good information. Joe

  15. Virginia
    January 26, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    The Democrats went for neither Keith Ellison or Tim Ryan for key positions. They lost these opportunities for progress, lining up behind old positions. Normally I don’t say things like this but, …should they be called Dimwitcrats? Most would agree it was discouraging. I believe they really think the American people were behind them then and that they still are in their multi-conspiratorial efforts to unseat Trump.

  16. Paul G.
    January 26, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    What is more depressing and disgusting than Trump?
    It the lack of real opposition represented by the pathetic, wimpy DNC; which chooses to cling to the loser methodology that chose and ran that vicious war monger and influence peddler. A candidate who wasted hundreds of thousands on so called consultants while ignoring some of the most important electoral states. A candidate who was so full of herself she thought she was entitled to the White House. And now her bots are running around with their bobble heads spinning trying to blame the Russians for their own incompetence and breathtaking stupidity. We are living in a truly failed state.

    I am tending to agree with the comment that the Dems rather lose than upset their paymasters. Guess what Dem dummies; Wall Street prefers the Repugnants.

  17. Contisertoli
    January 26, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    The DNC is so firmly insulated in their own little world that they are, once again, going to cede the advantage in the upcoming mid terms to the GOP.

    A group of feckless dupes only concerned with staying in power rather than actually helping the masses.

  18. January 26, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    But not voting does nothing, makes no statement, that’s what lots of people do, they don’t vote, Joe. Better to get mass support for a third party, even if press tries to squash it. We cannot count on any politicians for change, it’s got to come from the grass roots again. Interesting comments, y’all!

    • irina
      January 26, 2018 at 9:22 pm

      Our only real vote is with our wallets, at tax time. And the system is set up so that it’s very difficult to protest
      how those dollars are spent, due to withholdings. There are ways to divert tax liabilities into escrow accounts,
      where the funds are held until either released by the taxpayer or seized by the IRS. The purpose of such
      escrow accounts is to demonstrate that the taxpayer is not averse to paying (reasonable) taxes and is not
      illegally spending those funds — but the taxpayer is protesting HOW those tax dollars are spent.

      It’s been estimated that only 10% of taxpaying citizens would need to divert their tax dollars into escrow
      accounts before the IRS found itself completely unable to keep up with the diversions and collapsed of
      its own accord . . .

    • mark
      January 26, 2018 at 11:14 pm

      48% didn’t vote last time, compared to the 52% who voted for Trumpenstein, Hitlery, and the green idiot.
      By my reckoning that makes them the biggest party.
      120 million did the right thing and didn’t vote, compared to the 52%/ 130 million sheep who voted for the Repugnants and the Dimmocrats.
      I’d like to see nobody vote.
      If nobody would vote for these a***holes, not even their dogs, it would cut them down to size.
      In Britain we had a 3rd party for years, the Liberals, and they were even worse than the other two.

  19. Michael the future constituent
    January 26, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    Please run for Congress again. Huffman is not horrible but needs a fire under his feet from a strong left challenge instead of a non race against Dale again.

  20. January 27, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    I read most, not all the comments, some 40 or so, and once again conclude Consortium’s audience is the most intelligent and informed group I’ve found anywhere.

    So my comment has to do with the DNC’s –what appears to be official party network, MSNBC. These so-called “progressives” are the ones formerly owned by weapons manufacturer GE, and forbade real progressive candidate Dennis Kucinich from the Dem, primaries in 2008, in Las Vegas!

    They also field a cast of NWO darlings, Rachel Maddow (Cecil Rhodes $cholar), Mikka Brzezinski, (Zbigniew’s daughter, Trilateral “Rockefeller” Commission), Andrea Mitchell, wife of Fed. Reserve Allan Greenspan. This network allegedly fired Ed Schultz because he began speaking against TPP and other globalist/bankster supra-national trade agreements, and regularly have Richard Hass, head of Council of Foreign Relations, on so we can hear his globalist/corporate perspectives.

    I recently heard of this network as MSDNC, and that sound about right. No wonder the ridiculed Bernie Sanders and were smuggly overconfident Queen Hillary would assume her rightful inheritance as world’s most powerful human, especially after her loyal service to the international oligarchy.

    So instead MSDNC must take a LOT of the blame for Krusty the Clown becoming president. But they don’t take any blame instead they reprimand real progressives for not voting Hillary and hope we’ve learned our lesson.

    Great detailed article, by the way.

  21. CitizenOne
    January 28, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    With the stock market bubble continuing to inflate, the Dems are muted and can only hang around and pretend they’re busy doing something. Now more than ever their stayed hands bound by their paymasters remind them every day not to bite the hand that feeds them.

    Joseph Goebbels stated that an ideal state of control was one which had ostensible diversity which concealed an actual uniformity.

    In a “democracy” consisting of two ostensibly diverse parties which conceals one actual party, one party always acquiesces allowing the dominant party to get its way.

    The logic implies knowledge of history. Historically nations were ruled by a king or emperor in a one party system. That allowed the people to eventually rise up as in our revolution against a single entity. In a democracy, hope springs eternal. The end of the long dark tunnel is within sight. Election season is a time for renewed hope and promise for the citizens.

    However, as required by the one actual party controlled by the money powers, the seeds of defeat must be sewn into the fabric of the loser party from the very top of its leadership. They must take every action to shut out true contenders and keep the shills of Goldman Sachs holding the reigns.

    If the current administration is bound for one term expect many “democratic” contenders from the ranks of the shills to ante up for nomination. The worse the current administration behaves, the easier the guaranteed votes for some hand picked candidates come.

    In other words, they have you coming and going and laugh all the way to the bank every election.

    We have the best democracy money can buy. It does not represent American Citizens. It represents wealth and power. It is a sham democracy where the primary role of democrats is to provide the charade and keep out anyone not in on the big secret that they are merely puppets dancing to the purse strings.

    We have a corporatocracy which is heading toward a fascist state as all right wing governments eventually succumb to. Mussolini defined fascism as corporatism because it was the merger of corporate and state power. Economic fascism states that corporations are the generators of all wealth and therefore the governments purpose is to support them. Government care of citizens is secondary and largely left to the corporations who provide employment.

    Economic fascism also holds that corporate profit is the sole possession of the shareholders but since they create all wealth they must be preserved in times of economic downturn. Therefore all corporate losses are to be distributed among the citizenry who must pay

    If this sounds eerily similar to the current events such as the bank bailouts and the endless arguing about the imminent threat of creeping socialism trotted out on every news show think then about the complete lack of perspective about creeping fascism.

    You can find any person on the street who will tell you straight up that the democrats are a joke and that they are on the same team as the republicans. The situation demands a carefully controlled propaganda state.

    Again going back to Goebbels his notion was that the truth would reveal the lie and therefore the truth needed to be suppressed at all costs. He argued therefore the truth becomes the greatest enemy of the state. Hence the omission of the “F” word.

    What is happening now with the DNC and what happened before under Debbie Wassermann Schultz is predictable given the underlying state of our government. Their job is to keep anybody out that wants to reveal the truth.

    So much damage has been done to our democracy by the actions of the right to cripple our democracy and make elections a Fait Accompli for republicans who represent all the wealth and power which increasingly is concentrated in the hands of a few that it is not clear given all of the levers they hold whether a real politician who dares speak the truth can ever win.

    Perhaps Abraham Lincoln was correct in his nightmare visions.

    “I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”
    —U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864
    (letter to Col. William F. Elkins)
    Ref: The Lincoln Encyclopedia: The Spoken and Written Words of A. Lincoln
    Arranged for Ready Reference, Archer H. Shaw (NY, NY: Macmillan, 1950)

    It is not a new phenomenon either. It has happened many many times before the current gilded age. Many ages and countries have all felt the control over their worlds by the money powers.

    The money power preys on the nation in times of peace, and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces, as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes.

    Abraham Lincoln

    A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the Nation and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the world – no longer a Government of free opinion no longer a Government by conviction and vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men….

    Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the U.S., in the field of commerce and manufacturing, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.

    Woodrow Wilson – In The New Freedom (1913)

    The fact is that there is a serious danger of this country becoming a pluto-democracy; that is, a sham republic with the real government in the hands of a small clique of enormously wealth men, who speak through their money, and whose influence, even today, radiates to every corner of the United States.

    William McAdoo – President Wilson’s national campaign vice-chairman, wrote in Crowded Years (1974)

    If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them, will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

    Thomas Jefferson

    The system of banking [is] a blot left in all our Constitutions, which, if not covered, will end in their destruction… I sincerely believe that banking institutions are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity… is but swindling futurity on a large scale.

    Thomas Jefferson

    I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a monied aristocracy that has set the Government at defiance. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs.

    Thomas Jefferson

    … To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition. The incorporation of a bank, and the powers assumed by this bill [chartering the first Bank of the United States], have not, been delegated to the United States by the Constitution.

    Thomas Jefferson – in opposition to the chartering of the first Bank of the United States (1791).

    We have stricken the (slave) shackles from four million human beings and brought all laborers to a common level not so much by the elevation of former slaves as by practically reducing the whole working population, white and black, to a condition of serfdom. While boasting of our noble deeds, we are careful to conceal the ugly fact that by an iniquitous money system we have nationalized a system of oppression which,though more refined, is not less cruel than the old system of chattel slavery.

    Horace Greeley – (1811-1872) founder of the New York Tribune

    When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.

    Frederic Bastiat – (1801-1850) in Economic Sophisms

    The powers of financial capitalism had (a) far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank…sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world.

    Prof. Carroll Quigley in Tragedy and Hope

    In a small Swiss city sits an international organization so obscure and secretive….Control of the institution, the Bank for International Settlements, lies with some of the world’s most powerful and least visible men: the heads of 32 central banks, officials able to shift billions of dollars and alter the course of economies at the stroke of a pen.

    Keith Bradsher of the New York Times, August 5, 1995

    The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is eager to enter into close relationship with the Bank for International Settlements….The conclusion is impossible to escape that the State and Treasury Departments are willing to pool the banking system of Europe and America, setting up a world financial power independent of and above the Government of the United States….The United States under present conditions will be transformed from the most active of manufacturing nations into a consuming and importing nation with a balance of trade against it.

    Rep. Louis McFadden – Chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Currency quoted in the New York Times (June 1930)

    Nothing did more to spur the boom in stocks than the decision made by the New York Federal Reserve bank, in the spring of 1927, to cut the rediscount rate. Benjamin Strong, Governor of the bank, was chief advocate of this unwise measure, which was taken largely at the behest of Montagu Norman of the Bank of England….At the time of the Banks action I warned of its consequences….I felt that sooner or later the market had to break.

    Money baron Bernard Baruch in Baruch: The Public Years (1960)

    The Federal Reserve Bank is nothing but a banking fraud and an unlawful crime against civilization. Why? Because they “create” the money made out of nothing, and our Uncle Sap Government issues their “Federal Reserve Notes” and stamps our Government approval with NO obligation whatever from these Federal Reserve Banks, Individual Banks or National Banks, etc.

    H.L. Birum, Sr., American Mercury, August 1957, p. 43

    [The] abandonment of the gold standard made it possible for the welfare statists to use the banking system as a means to an unlimited expansion of credit…. In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holdings illegal, as was done in the case of gold…. The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves…. [This] is the shabby secret of the welfare statist’s tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the ‘hidden’ confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights.

    Alan Greenspan in an article he wrote in 1966.

    Thanks for pointing the sad state of the DNC out in the article. Every little bit of truth helps. My enthusiasm about looking forward to the democrats eventual retaking control is somewhat less than looking forward to a long term weather forecast for endless gray skies and continuous (one party) reign.

    • EuGene Miller
      January 30, 2018 at 11:31 pm

      Thank you for sharing the comments of these historic men.
      Knowledge is power. We will prevail.

  22. Jack
    January 28, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Just think of the energy the author of this piece and also Bernie Sanders & Nina Turner have put into fixing the Democratic Party over the last year. And here we are. What a terrible waste of what was “our” revolution. Instead of harnessing the energy of a generation to create something new, Bernie announces if he runs it will be within the Democratic Party, undercutting what young socialists and other true progressives are trying to accomplish and harnessing them to this dying carcass of a party — while saying nothing about the corruption. What a horrible waste..

  23. John
    January 29, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    The DLC 3rd way establishment still has its claws deeply imbedded in the party … supposedly the DLC is no longer .. I haven’t bought that nonsense – they do everything it seems to not represent us .. and has been deftly described in so many comments here they’d rather lose forbtye corporate cash than move the way the populace wants and win … the Dem establishment, like Perez, will do 0 to go for the jugular like the republicans always do .. people see that and say “see republicans are strong, Dems are weak” and the uninformed populace who doesn’t identify with either party year to year will vote for the one who seems to have a direction -Dems don’t know how to message and don’t care to embrace those who would garner them wins with a message like Bernie’s … & we regular people and small businesses will be left again to pay upwards in a feudalistic fashion most of our taxpayer dollars to corporate welfare

  24. EuGene Miller
    January 30, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    “Can’t we all get along.”
    The people who define the brand of the Democratic Party establishment
    don’t really have much in common with many (if not most) elected Democratic
    officials. They have an accommodation based on the fact that the former
    cohort provides the money to finance the campaigns of the latter.

    The tension between these two divergent cohorts has increased since 2016.

    Some elected local and state Democrats have warned the beltway
    brand-forging cohort that the “Russian-gate” media campaign has not
    motivated the ranks. It may have even alienated many Democratic voters.

    The deterioration of the accommodation between the brand/fund-raising
    cohort and the elected Democratic officials may present an opportunity
    for progressives.

    You may recall that the Sanders campaign raised an enormous war-chest.
    Democratic incumbents need money to finance their campaigns.
    They can seek an accommodation with the agenda of one or the other
    of the donor cohorts, either the traditional high-finance big donors and
    their brand (which is crumbling) or the cohort of $50 donors who
    financed the Sanders campaign.

    2018 presents an opportunity for progressive candidates to demonstrate
    that __ they can raise money __ enough money to compete and win.

    An ideal demonstration would be for the Kucinich campaign to motivate
    the ranks of $50 donors, and then win the primary and general elections
    for governor of Ohio.

    That would demonstrate to local, state, and national elected Democrats
    that they don’t need the brand/beltway/big donor cohort that has
    consistently failed to win elections. Winning matters.

    The immediate challenge for progressives in 2018 is to prove that
    they can raise money for election campaigns.

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