Thursday, November 10, 2016

Battle For The DNC - Where Are New Mexico Dems?

(Update: Bernie Sanders is circulating a petition that urges the DNC to choose Keith Ellison as its chairman. Howard Dean is also interested.)

The (a) battle for the soul of the Democratic Party (see post below), the (b) battle over the narrative of why Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton and the (c) battle over who will head the Democratic National Committee (DNC) are all running along parallel paths.

The narrative promoted by the mainstream media and Democratic Party establishment, both of which are heavily invested in identity politics, a narrative established before the election, really, is that uneducated white working class racists came out of the woodwork to vote for Trump, despite evidence that paints a different picture -- i.e., Trump's supporters were actually more affluent than Clinton's, and many white working class voters who came out for Barak Obama voted for Trump this time, which lends credence to the argument that the election was about class, not race.

There's also turnout. It may have been the main thing that swung the election. Hillary got 8 million fewer votes than Obama did last time, while Trump got about the same amount as Mitt Romney did. These two charts break the turnout down somewhat.

Keith Ellison, the Black Muslim congressman from Minnesota who supported Bernie Sanders and is one of the most principled and left leaning Democrats in congress, is being promoted by some on the left to be the new DNC chair. During the election campaign the DNC under Debbie Schultz worked actively to undermine the candidacy of Sanders and to promote Hillary Clinton. There was a lot of circumstantial evidence for this during the primary that later was confirmed in the leaked so called "Podesta emails" from the email account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

Connor Kilpatrick is the editor of Jacobin magazine. Park Slope is an upscale neighborhood in Brooklyn and home to such Democrats as New York mayor Bill deBlasio, who backed Clinton. Park Slope is known both for being very liberal and for being a highly gentrified neighborhood where working class people can't afford to live any more.

I don't expect a favorable outcome to this struggle. A case in point is New Mexico. There were actually some bright spots in the election for Democrats, such as the election of the first Latina to the US Senate, and there were other significant "down ballot" victories which are being used in places like The Nation magazine to talk about what direction the Democratic Party might go from here, but in New Mexico, the flood of emails I was getting from our Clinton backing, conservative Democratic establishment before the election -- i.e. from party headquarters, Tom Udall, Ben Lujan, Martin Heinrich and Michelle Grisham -- has ceased entirely. When leadership, inspiration and new ideas are most needed the state's Democrats are on their own.

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