What is wrong with the Democratic Party? Or, rather, what’s wrong with its elites? Why don’t they get it? Why do they keep screwing up?
Case in point, the Party, and particularly the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), has repeatedly backed state and local candidates who don’t have the support of the communities in which they are running, apparently because the DCCC doesn’t think that mere voters are bright enough to know who to vote for.
The Intercept’s Ryan Grim details exactly such a debacle in New York State in his article, National Democrats Created A Competitive Primary In New York, Infuriating The Local Party. It seems that in Syracuse, New York, the national party loved Juanita Perez Williams, who has all the right demographics and buzzwords. Grim quotes Meredith Kelly, a spokesperson for the DCCC, as saying that “Juanita is a Latina, an accomplished veteran and prosecutor, and has deep roots and support in the Syracuse region…”
All of which was true, except for the “deep support” part. Williams was so unpopular that when she ran for mayor she didn’t even win in her own neighborhood.
But that didn’t phase the DCCC. When the Congressional race started to gear up, says Grim, Syracuse’s Democrats rallied around “Dana Balter, a professor of public policy and a leader of one of the largest local Indivisible chapters.” It was an open and shut case. Balter was who the voters wanted.
But not the DCCC. Again quoting Grim, “In a last-minute reversal that has local Democrats incensed, Perez Williams, with the help of the DCCC, launched a paid canvassing operation in early April to attempt to collect enough signatures to land on the ballot …”
In other words, the primary suddenly turned into a horse race with the people’s candidate on one side and a shit load of DCCC money on the other.
Oh, and just as an aside, this isn’t the only case of the DCCC pulling this kind of stunt. It has done much the same thing in Texas.
In a word, what the hell? What doesn’t the National Party get about all this? What is it about democracy that the Democrats don’t understand?
One thing is clear, however. After this kind of behavior, and after the way the Party treated Bernie supporters, it is clear that we are not dealing with a friendly power here. The national Democratic Party is far, far better than the GOP, and we have to do everything we can to assist in the effort to turn Congress and the White House blue.
But when that’s done…
It will be time to confront the Democratic Party with its own failings.