Sat, Jun

Oh Lord, the Democratic Establishment Rides Again!


EASTSIDER-Just when I was going to do a column on Neighborhood Councils, the National Democratic Party struck again! I just don’t understand how their politically correct and morally bankrupt pandering is supposed to gain them election victories. 

According to all the recent television/cable talking heads, it looks like the Kristen Gillibrand, Cory Booker wing of the party is being touted as the “next great thing” to save the Democratic Party. Well, good luck with that. 

For those with any memory, Kristen Gillibrand was the hand-picked Hillary Clinton candidate chosen to take out a real progressive democrat, Caroline Kennedy. When Obama made his devil’s deal to appoint Hillary as Secretary of State, then-Governor David Paterson proudly announced his appointment of Kristen to fill the vacant seat. 

An upstate New York (read: not-so-liberal) Democrat, she originally ran to the right to get elected in New York’s 20th Congressional District. As stated in The American Conservative,  

“Gillibrand won her upstate New York district by running to the right: she campaigned against amnesty for illegal immigrants, promised to restore financial responsibility to Washington, and pledged to protect gun rights.” 

Of course, now she’s all PC and helped railroad Al Franken out of the Senate for conduct unrelated to his tenure as a U.S. Senator. Rock on, Kristen. 

As for Cory Booker, who recently signed on to Bernie’s Medicare for All bill, do not be deceived by the token gesture. He is not a Bernie person. He is another establishment Dem, just like Kristen Gillibrand. In fact, last year he voted against an affordable drug proposal made by Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar. 

Going back to when he was Newark NJ’s Mayor, he was wired into Silicon Valley and used the connections to run a startup, as well as rechanneling their money into Charter Schools.   

And before he became a pretend progressive, in 2014 he won the top recipient of Wall Street Money award. 

I guess this is Chuck Schumer/Nancy Pelosi’s answer to winning back the Senate and the House.  

So Why Am I So Revved Up? The Unity Commission. 

As I wrote a few weeks ago in this column about the Establishment Democrats expanding their false gods to California, it seems clear that on a national level, there is no real burying of the hatchet or coming together and singing Kumbaya. Remember, after winning the vote to run the DNC, Perez quickly co-opted Keith Ellison as his deputy, thereby muting him as a source of opposition, and allowing the DNC to claim that all was well. It wasn’t. 

Prior to the recent Unity Commission meeting, Vanity Fair reported, “D.N.C. Chair Purges Dissenters in Surprise Shake-Up.”  

The move, as chronicled in the article, included demoting Ellison/Bernie folks, and “appointing a slate of 75 new members that include Clinton campaign veterans, lobbyists, and neophytes.” 

With this background, the Unity Commission met a week or so ago, and made proud pronouncements as to all the wonderful changes they are making, as reported in BuzzFeed.  

Well golly gee, hot damn! Except, as also reported in the article: 

“Still, that doesn’t mean the proposed changes are guaranteed. There’s still a months-long somewhat complicated process ahead before a final vote in 2018...” 

If you read the comments to the BuzzFeed article, it’s clear the internecine war is far from over. 

Finally, for me, a very recent article in NakedCapitalism of Real News coverage of the last Unity Committee Meeting was the last straw. I am linking it here because it contains both a video and a transcript of their coverage. 

The discussion is with Norman Solomon, a California delegate and Co-founder of RootsAction.org.  

He details the very antidemocratic moves by the DNC. At the same time, he makes it clear that the much-maligned Bernie types still want and intend to work within the framework of the Democratic Party. 

The Takeaway 

To put it in perspective, I am constantly amazed at the war (yes, war) over who would run the DNC after it imploded in Clinton’s loss, and after it was detailed in Donna Brazille’s Hacked. The fight between the establishment candidate, Tom Perez, and Keith Ellison was epic. 

As reported in The Hill, the DNC had to resort to an unheard of second round of voting for the position, and they had to abandon electronic voting for technical reasons. As a result, “they would go to the back-up plan of hand-counting paper ballots instead…That meant there wouldn’t be a master list of who voted for who.” 

The recent revelations about the DNC using their much-ballyhooed Unity Commission as a cover to again trash the Bernie wing of the Democrats just got me going again. 

Somebody needs to put the Democratic Party together again, and it seems to me that the current old power junkies like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi aren’t getting the job done. Witness their surrogate Perez’s actions. 

Like many former Bernie Sanders supporters, let me be clear. I believe that the democratic party needs candidates who are grass-roots and bottom up. Not Establishment-created designees, like we have -- courtesy of the DNC -- such as Kristen Gillibrand and Cory Booker, etc. Same for the California Democratic Party’s carpetbaggers I recently highlighted.  

That’s how you build an actual platform, based on input from the troops, not the top. You need a platform to be more than “anybody but Trump” to win elections. Please. 

Remember, once upon a time our government worked because there was a large political center comprised of democrats and republicans who wanted to represent their districts and take care of business. It was OK for there to be individual variances based on the nature of each district because that’s what those voters wanted.


(Tony Butka is an Eastside community activist, who has served on a neighborhood council, has a background in government and is a contributor to CityWatch.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.


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