I know, I know. It’s election day in America, and Democrats are still fighting about last year. It’s not a great look, but this battle over the past is necessary to secure the future of a party that is more unpopular than it has been in 25 years. Whether the primary was “rigged,” “fixed,” or the Dems just “put their thumbs on the scale,” liberals seem to be united on one thesis: last year’s democratic process was made less democratic by the DNC, and yet we are still fighting over the magnitude of the rigging, and whether it violated any rigging precedent? This is bizarre.
Even the chair of the DNC, who has overseen a party that abandoned progressives in Kansas, Montana and South Carolina in favor of throwing a gajillion dollars at Jon “I will not raise taxes on rich people” Ossoff in Georgia, admits that the DNC tilted the scales last summer.
NEW: @TomPerez says the DNC "fell short" of giving all the candidates "a fair shake" in the 2016 Democratic Primary @TheDemocratspic.twitter.com/51PZQFHxW0— Bill Press (@bpshow) November 7, 2017
I understand Hillary loyalists being defensive about a candidate who legitimately won more votes than her two challengers. What I don’t get is the response of: “yeah the DNC tilted the scales towards (my) candidate, but that’s just politics.” That’s the kind of oligarchic nonsense that’s supposed to only happen in the GOP. Don’t Democrats constantly talk about how we’re better than that? Instead of giving in to our base instincts, we should be thinking about adopting policies that will attract a new wave of voters to our shared cause. Here, I’ll start with three: Medicare for All, legal weed, and a constitutional amendment to ban money in politics.
Former DNC Chair Donna Brazile said that the primary process was tilted towards Hillary more than it usually is towards the establishment candidate. Elizabeth Warren told Jake Tapper that she believed the DNC tried to rig the process for Clinton. Now, the current head of the DNC agrees with those criticisms. To those arguing that the left should pipe down and stop going after the DNC, why isn’t Tom Perez being subjected to that same scrutiny today? Or Elizabeth Warren? If the Democratic Party is going to advance past the worst election loss in history and take the presidency away from our toddler-in-chief, each and every one of us need to re-examine our 2016 errors. A failure of this magnitude can’t solely be pinned on just the DNC, or the Hillary camp, or the Bernie folks—it took all of us. The fact of the matter is that liberalism lost to Donald freaking Trump, and now it’s time for all of us to seriously ponder what liberalism means in an era that’s getting more illiberal by the day.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.