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Familiar 54-46 intraparty split should humble new DNC chair Tom Perez

Image result for tom perez keith ellison

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Tom Perez, right, and Keith Ellison, left, speak yesterday after members of the Democratic National Committee fairly narrowly picked Perez as the party’s new chair. Perez immediately asked Ellison to be his deputy, and Ellison accepted.

My pick for the new head of the Democratic National Committee was progressive U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, but I probably more or less can live with Tom Perez, who won the contest yesterday — depending upon in which direction he goes (namely, right or left).

Ellison was endorsed by Bernie Sanders and by Elizabeth Warren, and so of course the Ellison-Perez race became a proxy for the Sanders-Warren/actually Democratic wing of the Democratic Party and the Obama-Clinton/center-right sellout wing.

The vote yesterday was close — 235 votes for Perez to 200 votes for Ellison, or 54 percent to 46 percent — so no, the election of Perez, who was President Barack Obama’s labor secretary in his second term and considered to be the more establishmentarian Democrat of the two front-runners for DNC chair, was not a resounding endorsement of the outdated, corporate brand of the Democratic Party that brought us “President” Pussygrabber.

I find yesterday’s vote percentages for DNC chair interesting, because in the 2016 Democratic Party presidential race, actual Democrat Bernie Sanders garnered 46 percent of the pledged delegates (delegates earned in the primary elections and caucuses) to DINO Billary Clinton’s 54 percent.

That’s actually rather stunning, given that Billary already had run for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2008 and that few even knew who democratic socialist Bernie was before he ran for president. (Actually, that Billary lost to Obama in 2008 when Obama had been on the national stage for only four years demonstrated how widely disliked she is even within her own party.)

With Perez’s win yesterday, the establishmentarian, Repugnican-Lite “Democrats” apparently retain their small majority of power over the party.

The question, however, is whether they can have lasting success without the strong support of the other 46 percent of the party. Billary’s loss/”loss” in November certainly suggests that they no, they can’t.

That said, it’s also possible — no, probable — that given the historical unpopularity of “President” Pussygrabber — he is the first president in modern history to begin his term with a net negative favorability rating* — the corporate Democrats, under Perez’s lead, will claim that because Democrats picked up a bunch of seats in Congress in November 2018 (as the opposition party almost always does anyway), this is evidence that their brand of “Democratic” politics actually works when, in fact, they’re just the political beneficiary of the fact that now we have the most-hated new president/”president” of modernity and of the fact that the opposition party almost always picks up seats in Congress in the midterm after a new president/”president” is elected/”elected.”

But let me find some silver lining here: Perez, who had been considered for Billary’s running mate last year and who had the backing of Team Obama, including Joe Biden, is the first Latino head of the DNC.

It’s a victory for Latinos, who increasingly are a vital part of the Democratic coalition and who deserve the increased political representation, perhaps especially now, while they are under attack by the fascist, unelected, illegitimate, treasonous Pussygrabber regime.

But let me find the dark cloud in the silver lining: Unfortunately, even as labor secretary and even after Billary Clinton flip-flopped on it, Perez still dutifully supported the now-dead Trans-Pacific Partnership, which suggests that he’s not as far to the left and as much on the side of the poor and the working class as he should be.

But another silver lining: Before he became Obama’s secretary of labor, Perez was, during Obama’s first term, the assistant U.S. attorney general for the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

That’s a plus, as while the Democratic Party must focus more on the working class and the poor and the insane income inequality that has plagued the nation for decades — Billary’s unpardonable loss of the once-reliably-Democratic Rust-Belt states makes that crystal clear — and must disentangle itself from its and our corporate overlords, it must also keep a strong focus on defending the civil rights of everyone, especially now that our civil rights are under siege by the Pussygrabber regime.

Hopefully, Tom Perez is humbled by the fact that 46 percent of the members of the DNC voted for Keith Ellison** and the politics that he represents. We haven’t seen much humility in the members of the Obama-Clinton coalition thus far — even after Billary’s defeat in November.

Hopefully, Perez’s immediately having made Ellison his deputy chair was more than just political optics; hopefully, it means that Perez knows fully well that the Democratic Party can’t keep ignoring the 46 percent who want it to go in a different direction than it has been for several decades now.

P.S. “President” Pussygrabber characteristically tweeted:

The race for DNC Chairman was, of course, totally “rigged.” Bernie’s guy, like Bernie himself, never had a chance. Clinton demanded Perez!

Why Pussygrabber used quotation marks around “rigged” I’m not sure; I suspect that like much, much, much else that he doesn’t understand, he doesn’t understand the correct usage of quotation marks.

It hasn’t been in dispute that the Clinton camp backed Perez, but there is to my knowledge no evidence of the vote for DNC chair having been “rigged.” I have read and I surmise that plenty of political pressure was applied on the voting members of the DNC to support Perez or Ellison, but “rigged”? I’d have to see evidence of that to give it any credence.

What’s the closest to the truth, methinks, is that the establishmentarians die hard. They hold onto their power for as long as they humanly possibly can. Unseating them takes a concerted, sustained effort — and it takes time.

But it’s hilarious when Pussygrabber pretends to care about Bernie Sanders being mistreated by the Democratic Party establishment, as though corrupt billionaire Pussygrabber truly cares about a democratic socialist.

And, of course, when he isn’t claiming to care about Bernie’s treatment by the Democratic Party establishment, Pussygrabber is referring to him as “crazy Bernie.”

Yeah.

Pussygrabber apparently still thinks that he’s actually going to pick up the support of the Berners. He’s not. Anyone who remotely understands what Bernie Sanders stands for never could give the likes of Pussygrabber a shred of support.

*”President” Pussygrabber’s favorability rating has been stuck around only 40 percent — with more than 50 percent of Americans disfavoring him — for some time now. See here and here.

**To be fair and balanced, Ellison’s only potential weakness for DNC chair, that I can think of, is that he is a sitting U.S. representative. The last chair of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was and still is a sitting U.S. representative, and as chair of the DNC she did a shit job (her resignation in disgrace in July was overdue and was a relief).

Not to say that Ellison couldn’t have handled the two jobs at the same time, but at least Perez will be able to focus solely on being DNC chair and not have to run for re-election every two years.

Some would say that Ellison’s having been the first Muslim elected to the U.S. House of Representatives is a mark against him, especially in the current political climate of bullshit hysteria that the unelected Pussygrabber regime is trying to stoke in typical fascist style, but even as an atheist I have no problem with Ellison being a Muslim. He has shown no indication of trying to shove his own religious beliefs down others’ throats, and so he’s fine by me.

P.S. Since I wrote the above paragraphs, I have read that Ellison had pledged to resign his seat from the House had he won the DNC chairmanship. (This indeed quelled the criticism from the Clinton-Obama camp that he wouldn’t be able to do both jobs, even though they never made that criticism of Wasserman Schultz, of course.)

I have not read that Ellison plans to resign his House seat to be the deputy chair, and I doubt that he will.

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Obama’s failure on NAFTA-like TPP spells potential doom for Billary

Hillary Clinton is joined onstage by her husband former President Clinton after delivering her

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Democrat in name only Billary Clinton is joined onstage by her DINO husband during her official presidential campaign kick-off in New York City yesterday. Billary refuses to say whether she supports the NAFTA-like, anti-middle-and-anti-working-class, pro-plutocratic Trans-Pacific Partnership, because of course she supports it, just as her husband brought us the North American Free Trade Agreement, but such treasonous support is unpopular with actual Democrats. DINO President Barack Obama’s lame-duck failure to get the TPP passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday indicates that the Clinton-Obama brand of politician — the DINO — is headed for long-overdue extinction. Actual progressive Bernie Sanders, who opposes the TPP, has my full support for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

The United States of America has been looking past President Barack Obama for some time now, with talk of who the next president will be having been going on for many months now. Obama is not just a lame duck; he’s a zombie duck.

This (the lame-duck syndrome) is not unique to Obama, of course, and so I am not picking only on Obama; in 2007 and 2008, those of us who are sane were looking far past the unelected and thus illegitimate “President” George W. Bush (to whom I must give credit for being my main inspiration to start blogging way back in 2002).

But one suspects that while even Gee Dubya at least dimly understood that he was a lame duck in his last two disastrous years in the White House, the perhaps-more-arrogant Obama hasn’t yet received the memo.

Obama’s delightfully stunning loss on the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Friday demonstrates that all of us, Democrats and non-Democrats alike, are looking past him. As TIME.com puts it:

President Obama suffered a stunning defeat Friday when fellow Democrats in the House hobbled his push for a legacy-defining Pacific Rim trade deal.

House Democrats used a tactical maneuver to deny Obama the fast-track negotiating authority he needs to finalize that pact, sinking a worker assistance program that’s become a precondition for Democratic support of such agreements. The vote was 126-302.

The path forward for Obama’s trade agenda, his top legislative priority, is hardly clear. “I don’t think anybody knows,” Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), a member of House Democratic leadership, said after the vote. …

It’s heart-warming that DINO Obama’s parting gift to us all was going to be another NAFTA-like, Clintonesque “trade” “deal” that further would decimate the working class and middle class. That Obama was depending on the Repugnican Tea Party traitors to help him push his pro-plutocratic, pro-corporate, anti-populist fast-track “trade” “deal” through the U.S. House of Representatives shines a blindingly bright spotlight on Obama’s dark heart and very apparently reveals, sickeningly, where his allegiances always have been.

But further shitting and pissing on the middle class and working class is not very popular right about now, which is why a President Billary would do that were she to win the Oval Office, I have no doubt, but is why she is promising, like Obama did in his first presidential campaign, hope and change.

Billary isn’t using the actual words “hope” and “change” — since it’s obvious to all of us how that turned out — but she’s essentially giving the same Obama-2008 bullshit message. As Reuters reports:

New York — Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton promised [yesterday] to fight for a fairer society for ordinary Americans, staking out a place on the left to cut off any budding challenge for the Democratic nomination.

In the first major rally of her campaign for the November 2016 presidential election, Clinton touched on many of the issues that energize liberal Democrats. She highlighted her support for gay marriage, women’s rights, income equality, clean energy and regulating Wall Street.

Speaking on New York’s Roosevelt Island, with Manhattan’s skyscrapers as a backdrop, Clinton promised to “make the economy work for everyday Americans, not just those at the top” if elected president. …

By far the front-runner to win the Democratic nomination for president, Clinton nevertheless faces some competition from the left, especially from liberal Bernie Sanders.

The independent senator from Vermont has drawn relatively large crowds at recent campaign events in Iowa, the state that kicks off the party’s nominating contests early next year. …

Well, yeah.

Anyone who has been paying even the slightest attention to Billary’s career of holding titles (first lady, U.S. senator, U.S. secretary of state, etc.) but having pretty much zero accomplishments knows that her sudden, new-found populism is compete and utter bullshit. Her presidency would be a continuation of the lackluster-at-best, center-right Obama administration — at best.

Was it long ago enough that we heard promises of “hope” and “change” to be able to believe Billary Clinton today?

I don’t think so, which might explain why a recent poll conducted by the Washington Post, ABC News and Quinnipiac University found that Bernie Sanders is regarded more favorably than unfavorably by Americans, but that Americans regard both Obama and Billary more unfavorably than favorably.*

I don’t know that Sanders can win the White House; wise men almost never do.

I have been a supporter of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who not only is progressive — an actual Democrat — but is tough and tenacious (a real pit bull with lipstick) and who would fit the bill of being both our first female president and a probably-great and an actually progressive president.

But Warren isn’t running for the White House for 2016, and the closest that we actual progressives have to Warren is Bernie Sanders, to whom I’ve been giving all of the support that I would be giving to Billary Clinton if she were an actual Democrat instead of a Repugnican Lite (and maybe not even Lite).

Again, I don’t know that Sanders could win the White House — it wasn’t nearly long ago enough that Americans allowed the likes of George W. Bush to steal the White House (Al Gore beat Bush by more than a half-million votes in November 2000) — but I am confident that Sanders might beat Billary for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination, especially if he wins in one or more of the earliest voting states.

When Sanders talks about standing up for the middle class and working class, he has his entire political career as a self-identified democratic socialist to back him up on that. (As there is no national socialist party in the United States, unfortunately, I don’t expect the “socialist” thing to be the problem for Sanders that so many say it would be, and socialism is looking better and better to millions of Americans right about now, especially for younger Americans, whose collective future treasonously runaway capitalism has severely jeopardized and for whom the Red Scare is just what it is: a pro-plutocratic, anti-populist propagandist relic of the paranoid, jingoistic 1950s.)

Billary Clinton’s background, by deep contrast, includes having been a “Goldwater girl” — yes, in her youth she supported wingnut Barry Goldwater (the “Goldwater girls” “got to wear cowboy hats,” Billary has said, perhaps while giggling. “We had a sash that said, you know, ‘I voted AUH2O.’ I mean, it was really a lot of fun”) — and having helped, with her husband and the now-thank-Goddess-defunct Democratic Leadership Council, to drag the Democratic Party so far to the right that year after year it becomes more and more indistinguishable from the pro-plutocratic, pro-corporate Repugnican Party to the point that I think of the two duopolistic parties as the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party.

I know my history, which is why I can’t, in anything remotely approaching good conscience, support Billary Clinton — who, of course, hasn’t made her stance on the Trans-Pacific Partership public** because of course she personally supports it (everything in her political history points to that fact) but knows that it’s politically unpopular (rightfully so) to come out in favor of it. Bernie Sanders, of course, publicly opposes the TPP.**

(Billary Clinton is nothing if not a human weather vane on crack; when she coldly calculated in the toxic, post-9/11 atmosphere that voting for the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War in October 2002 would benefit her politically, she did so when she was in the U.S. Senate. [Bernie Sanders was in the U.S. House of Representatives at the time, and he wisely voted against the Vietraq War, as did 21 Democratic U.S. senators, so let’s not revise history to claim that Billary really had no choice; she did.]

When Billary coldly calculated that publicly supporting same-sex marriage would harm her politically, she did not publicly support it, and publicly supported it only after she had calculated that it was safe to do soshe waited until March 2013, for fuck’s sake.

This is a pattern of political behavior that amply demonstrates Billary’s character and that is plain to see once one gets past her bullshit use and co-option of the “Democratic” label.)

I was punk’d by Obama in 2008, when I truly believed that he might actually do his best to enact an actually progressive agenda.***

I wasn’t punk’d by DINO Obama again in 2012 — I voted for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein instead — and I won’t be punk’d by DINO Billary Clinton in 2016.

Instead, I’m on board with Bernie Sanders.

*The Washington Post thought that it was awfully cute to throw in another, online poll conducted by Google Consumer Surveys to add fictional movie villains to the poll, but not only was movie-villain poll an unscientific Internet poll, but the individuals who were polled on presidential wannabes obviously were not the same individuals who were polled online by Google on movie villains, so by smashing the two poll results together into one bogus poll, Washington Post shit and pissed not only all over journalism, but also on the art and science of polling, and further dumbed down public discourse by melding politics with entertainment.

Great job, WaPo!

**Reuters reports today:

Bernie Sanders, the outspoken progressive U.S. senator challenging Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, urged her [today] to take a stand on a big trade deal that has divided the Democratic Party.

Clinton aides appearing on Sunday television news shows said she would not weigh in until negotiations were complete.

Sanders, a vocal critic of free trade, called on Clinton to join labor unions, environmentalists and other opponents of the trade package before it is brought up for another vote this week. Clinton is the front-runner among candidates to be the Democratic Party nominee for the November 2016 election.

“Corporate America and Wall Street are going to bring that bill back,” Sanders said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “If she joins us, we could stop this disastrous deal once and for all.”

Democrats in Congress dealt a blow to President Barack Obama on Friday when they rejected related trade legislation that would have cleared the way for a sweeping Pacific Rim trade deal, despite his personal plea that it was crucial to bolstering ties with Asia.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is shaping up to be a significant test for Clinton as her party has grown more suspicious of the merits of free trade since her husband, Bill Clinton, signed the North American Free Trade Agreement into law as president in 1993.

Clinton has expressed reservations about free trade deals in the past, but she played a central role in trade talks with the 11 countries involved in the TPP as Obama’s secretary of state.

Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta said she would render a judgment when the deal is final.

Gotta love that last sentence (the emphasis is mine, of course): Billary won’t lead on this important issue now, but will wait so see how it shakes out politically, and then, apparently, retroactively will announce that all along she had supported whichever position apparently emerges as the political victor.

And Queen Billary can’t even be bothered to tell us commoners this herself, but has her surrogates tell us this.

***When I walked into my polling place in November 2008, I still hadn’t decided whether I would vote for Barack Obama or for independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader, for whom I’d voted in 2000. At rather the last minute, I cast my vote for Obama, knowing that he was going to win all of California’s electoral votes anyway, and feeling at least a little good about having voted for the nation’s first non-white president.

In 2009 and 2010, while I watched Obama jaw-droppingly squander his political capital by trying to sing “Kumbaya” with the treasonous Repugnicans in Congress — instead of enacting the actually progressive agenda that he’d promised to enact, and which he could have enacted, given that his party controlled both houses of Congress in 2009 and 2010 — I knew that my November 2008 vote for Obama had been a regrettable mistake.

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