Purge at the Democratic National Committee
Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, purged several longtime officials, most of whom had supported DNC vice chairman Rep. Keith Ellison in his bid for the chairmanship.
The officials were replaced by Hillary Clinton supporters, riling the progressive wing of the party and demonstrating that the Democrats are in no position to take advantage at the ballot box of any GOP dissension.
Complaints began immediately after party officials saw a list of Perez' appointments to DNC committees and his roster of 75 "at-large" members, who are chosen by the chair.
The removal and demotion of a handful of veteran operatives stood out, as did what critics charge is the over-representation of Clinton-backed members on the Rules and Bylaws Committee, which helps set the terms for the party's presidential primary, though other Sanders and Ellison backers remain represented.
At least one of those ousted officials, Alice Germond, served on the DNC since the 1980s. Another, James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute and a prominent Sanders backer, had served on the party's executive committee since 2001.
Perez appears to be solidifying his position at the expense of Ellison, whose vice chairmanship was forced on him by Sanders supporters.
The moves exposed a rift in the partnership between Perez and his deputy chair, Ellison, who have publicly broadcast their "bromance" since Perez tapped the lawmaker for the post in a show of unity after their hard-fought race earlier this year for the party's chairmanship.
"I'm concerned about the optics, and I'm concerned about the impact," Zogby said of the changes. "I want to heal the wound of 2016."
"I understand the chair can do as he pleases, but still, it's all just very disappointing," Buckley said.
Germond has been on the DNC since the 1980s.
"It is quite unusual for a former party officer who has been serving on the DNC for like forever to just be left out in the cold without even a call from the chairman," said Germond, who was a vocal Ellison backer for DNC chairman. "So I assumed it had something to do with myself support for Keith."
"I understand that I fought very hard for Keith Ellison. And I understand that to the winners go the spoils," she added.
That may be. But the DNC, in announcing the purge, made all the right noises about improving "diversity":
"This year's slate of at-large DNC member nominees reflects the unprecedented diversity of our party’s coalition," said DNC spokesperson Michael Tyler.
"This slate doubles millennial and Native American at-large representation, provides unprecedented representation for our allies in the labor community, and increases the presence of Puerto Rican at-large members at a time when the Trump administration refuses to take responsibility for the millions of Americans who are still suffering through a major humanitarian crisis."
Now that all the races have been carefully tabulated and the spots divvied up, where does that leave the party? It leaves the Sanders-Warren wing of the Democrats out in the cold. The radical left has been somewhat sidelined in favor of the slightly less radical left. The party still needs its energy and activism, but as far as controlling the agenda and governing the party, those roles are still left to the "establishment."
The dissension in the ranks of Democrats is, in some ways, even more of a hindrance to the party's electoral chances than the GOP civil war. That it has gone largely unreported means that the media will once again probably be "surprised" on election night when Democrats fail to wrest control of either the House or Senate from Republicans.