New Dem chair Perez seeks massive restructuring of the party
Yes, this is exactly like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Democratic Party chairman Tom Perez has asked all headquarters employees of the DNC to submit their resignations as party leadership looks to overhaul staff and restructure the organization.
The move demonstrates just how clueless Democrats are. Their problems are not with the staff or the party organization. Theirs is a problem of perception – that they have no new ideas and lack an ability to communicate with ordinary voters. Those ideas that they are promoting are toxic to voters – illegal immigration, transgender issues, nationalized health care, abortion, and job-killing climate change policies.
The staffing and structural changes they come up with will not address those fundamental flaws.
"This is longstanding precedent at the DNC and has happened during multiple Chair transitions," said DNC spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa. "The process was started before the election of the new Chair. From the beginning, Tom has been adamant that we structure the DNC for future campaigns. Current and future DNC staff will be integral to that effort. Over the last few months, the DNC staff has done incredible work under immense pressure to hold Trump accountable."
Perez is the party's third leader in the past year, which was one of its most difficult on record.
It began with accusations that the DNC favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary, continued with the wrenching exposure of hacked emails and the abrupt resignation of former chair, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and concluded with the shocking defeat of its presidential nominee and a divisive race for the new party chairman.
The grueling experience, which followed years in which many Democrats felt the Obama White House ignored the party organization, has left the DNC with a crisis of confidence and competence.
Now Perez, who spent most of his career in government and not politics, needs to rebuild the beleaguered party, take on President Donald Trump, tap into a unique moment of progressive activism across the country, and replenish the party's coffers.
"I wouldn't wish that on anybody," California Gov. Jerry Brown told Chuck Todd on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday. "I was the Democratic Party chairman in California — it's a miserable job. So, Tom, too bad."
Perez has spent his first weeks on the job in "active listening mode," hearing from Democrats in Washington and in small group meetings across the country before making any big moves.
"What we're trying to do is culture change," he told NBC News between stops of a listening tour in Michigan on Friday. "We're repairing a plane at 20,000 feet. You can't land the plane, shut it down, and close it until further notice."
What good is changing the "culture" when the people who are part of that culture are so wildly unpopular?
That is the great unspoken fact of American politics. Conservatives are hard on the Republican Party–we often denounce our party’s leaders as inept, or worse. But in fact, the Republican Party is riding a wave of historic success. It is the Democrats who are sliding downhill toward oblivion, if present trends continue. Has any major political party in any country ever had such an unsympathetic set of leaders as Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton? Not that I know of.
Hence the “embattled” status of the Democratic National Committee. It will take a lot more than a few staff changes to alter the fortunes of the Democratic Party, but NBC offers no evidence that any major rethinking is in progress.
Not only are the leaders of the Democratic Party unpopular, but they are nearly all septuagenarians. Aging leaders who have been pushing the same far-left policies for decades are not about to embrace the kind of reforms necessary to make the Democrats competitive in large swaths of the American heartland.
And the Bernie Sanders phenomenon is only driving the party farther away from the mainstream. The Democrats appear ready to double down on pushing far-left issues to the fore, with not only Sanders in the driver's seat, but party co-chair Rep. Keith Ellison as navigator.
Progressives also criticized the transition committee’s initial makeup, leading the DNC to add several more members from the left’s ranks.
Earlier this month, Perez held a meeting to discuss the issue with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sanders, both of whom supported Rep. Keith Ellison in the DNC chair race.
Schumer, pointing to Ellison and Sanders, told Perez, “If he’s happy, and if he’s happy, then I’m happy,” according to two sources.
Perez has included Ellison in many of the DNC’s public events so far, but the party’s charter makes no provision for a deputy chair, so Ellison does not have vote on the DNC. That could be fixed by naming the Minnesota congressman to one of the 75 slots the chairman gets to appoint to the national committee.
Ellison’s political director has also been helping to oversee staffing decisions in some key departments in the DNC, according to several sources.
Great. Dems are listening carefully to a radical leftist Muslim congressman to return them to mainstream American values. Good luck with that.
The Democrats can search from here to doomsday and not admit to themselves why they lost to Donald Trump. At bottom, they nominated the worst candidate their party had ever fielded – unpopular; mistrusted; dishonest; and, most importantly, having absolutely nothing to say to the American people. She was going to get elected because her name is "Clinton" and for no other reason. When that didn't work out, they began this current round of soul-searching.
Until they embrace the real reasons for their defeat and continued decline, the American voter will ignore them.