Please note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect that of Liberal America.
The fight for the soul of the Democratic Party just got a lot tougher.
The Democratic National Committee voted on several key provisions that would set the party agenda going into next year’s midterm elections Saturday. Two of those provisions, however, may be harbingers of trouble ahead.
The first was a vote on whether or not to ban donations from registered federal corporate lobbyists. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) proved during his run for the Democratic nomination that voters are fed up with their voices being drowned out by campaign cash. A massive appeal to Sanders’ platform was his refusal to accept super PAC money in favor of small individual donations averaging $27.
One of the reasons progressives loathed then presidential candidate, former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was because she represented the corporate wing of the Democratic Party that, for the past two decades, has courted banks, investment firms, and transnational corporations.
Despite this, the committee struck down the resolution. According to the Hill:
“They feared it would limit donations from liberal activist groups at a time when the party is in the throes of a massive rebuilding projects.”
In addition, progressive democrats were hoping Sanders surrogate Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) would be the next DNC chair. That did not happen either. Instead, the DNC voted in favor of former Obama Labor Secretary, Tom Perez.
“We are suffering from a crisis of confidence and relevance. We need a chair that can take the fight to Donald Trump. A united Democratic party is our best hope, and Donald Trump’s worst nightmare. We will be there with hope, hard work, and a hell of a lot of organizing.”
Before serving as Labor Secretary under President Obama, Tom Perez was Assistant Attorney General. He served as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, and Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton.
Rep. Ellison, who will serve as Perez’s DNC Vice-Chair, is the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He backed Sen. Sanders in the primary, was the first Muslim elected to congress, and the first Black congressman from Minnesota.
Many progressives are disappointed with this outcome.
They were hoping that after the defeat of Hillary Clinton in November and the Republican retention of Congress, the Democratic Party would be better positioned to eschew its third-way Democratic Leadership Council positions and start returning to its Franklin Roosevelt roots.
Perez could surprise progressives, though, especially with Ellison at his side.
Featured Image: Screenshot Via Twitter.