Over the past weekend the Democratic National Committee elected a new chairman, Tom Perez. The decision came after a pretty close vote between Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison, Perez narrowly winning majority with 235 votes to Ellison’s 200 votes. After the election, many progressives within the party were upset at the failure to elect Ellison, and the National Nurses United Co-President even accused those against Ellison for running a “Smear Campaign” against the Minnesota Congressman.
What the weekend proved, is that ultimately the Democratic Party is headed in a disturbing direction based on the amount of support Ellison had. Putting this into perspective, the race should not have even been this close in the first place. Ellison has a history that ultimately should have disqualified him. Comments that Ellison has made in the past even included suggesting African-Americans did not have to obey the government because “black people do not live under a democracy” and “you don’t have an obligation to obey a government that considers you to be less than human.”
In addition to what is stated above, the Anti-Defamation League even issued a statement that said Ellison’s past remarks are “…both deeply disturbing and disqualifying.” It is also interesting to note the ADL is a non-partisan organization, and only made this statement because they were concerned about the direction of the Democratic party with Ellison in control.
What’s more interesting is the fact that through Ellison’s campaign, progressives all across the country continued to defend Ellison whenever questions we’re raised about his past remarks concerning Anti-Semitism. Progressives like Bernie Sanders and Shaun King that have taken part in defending Ellison, no matter how serious the matter was.
Democrats that have defended Ellison for his past, have simply lost credibility when they attack politicians like Trump on his past comments. Even when deep concerns came up about Ellison, Sanders continued to support him although his comments deeply contrast everything Sanders is for.
Even though Ellison may have lost the election to be DNC chair, that still does not take away the fact that he got 200 votes in the end and that he is now the deputy chairman, and I think that this is a clear indicator about the direction that the Democratic party is going in. If the Democratic party wants to see results different than we have just seen in the past election, this won’t work.