"And there are few signs that Democrats properly understand the dangerous road that the radical left is drawing them toward."
|...the countdown is now at 2 1/2|
#1. Perez wins bid to lead Democratic Party
By Jonathan Easley
ATLANTA – Former Labor Secretary Tom Perez has defeated Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) to become the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee in a blow to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and the progressive wing of the party.
Perez won with 235 votes on the second ballot, with 218 votes needed to reach a majority. Ellison topped out at 200 votes in both rounds of balloting.
The win came after Perez failed to clear the threshold for victory by only one vote on the first ballot, dramatically heightening the tension in the room as the campaigns furiously whipped DNC members to join their side.
It was a dramatic day that Democrats hope will set them on the path toward unity. However, lingering divisions from the primary may be hard to overcome.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and other key figures from the Obama administration supported Perez, who backed Hillary Clinton in the primary.
Sanders and many of his allies backed Ellison, the first-ever Muslim elected to Congress and a star on the left. Several Ellison supporters told The Hill this week that they are unsure if they can back Perez.
The race to become the next Democratic Party leader split along establishment-grassroots lines and in many ways mirrored the divisive 2016 presidential primary between Sanders and Clinton.
Perez, the 55-year-old son of Dominican immigrants and the first ever Latino to lead the DNC, becomes the party’s public face and chief spokesperson in charge of staking out Democratic opposition to President Trump.
“We are united in our love for the Democratic Party,” he said. “The robust discussions that go on in the Democratic Party - we have spirited discussions and then we all lock hands and celebrate our shared interests.”
Prior to serving as President Obama's Labor secretary, Perez was a civil rights attorney in the Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder, who endorsed him in the chairmanship race.
He has almost no electoral experience, save for a successful bid for Montgomery County Council and a failed run at Maryland attorney general, in which he was disqualified over a technicality.
“I recognize I have a lot of work to do and I recognize I have a lot of learning to do,” he said.
As chairman of the DNC, Perez inherits a monumental rebuilding project across the country after years of Democratic losses at every level of government.
And he will also have to go about the work of unifying a fractured party.
While Democrats sought to squash the intra-party divisions that linger from the contentious presidential primary, the campaign to be the next DNC chairman became a proxy battle between the rival factions.
Perez’s win is a victory for centrist Democrats, many of whom were wary of handing the party over to the Sanders wing. But his election risks infuriating progressives, many of whom wanted to see Ellison, an early supporter of Sanders, installed atop the DNC.
There are still bitter feelings among Sanders supporters who feel the DNC — then led by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) — rigged the primary against Sanders and in favor of Clinton. Wasserman Schultz resigned at the Democratic National Convention after hacked emails posted by WikiLeaks appeared to show DNC staffers working to undermine Sanders.
Perez was encouraged by several top Obama officials to run for DNC chair. Obama on Saturday congratulated Perez on his victory and for making Ellison his deputy.
"I know that Tom Perez will unite us under that banner of opportunity, and lay the groundwork for a new generation of Democratic leadership for this big, bold, inclusive, dynamic America we love so much," Obama said in a statement.
Ellison urged his supporters to overcome their hard feelings and unite.
“If you came here supporting me … I’m asking you to give everything you’ve got to support chairman Perez,” Ellison said. “We don’t have the luxury folks to walk out of this room divided.”
Still, in the immediate aftermath of the election, Ellison’s supporters erupted in a chant of "Party for the people, not big money."
Sanders congratulated Perez on his victory, but said “it is imperative that Tom understands that the same-old, same-old is not working and that we must open the doors of the party to working people and young people in a way that has never been done before.”
The progressive grassroots group Democracy for America released a statement calling Perez’s victory "incredibly disappointing" and "another missed opportunity."
Perez’s allies bristle at the notion that he is not a true progressive, citing his work as a civil rights attorney and as Labor secretary.
His victory comes as liberals are still reeling from Trump’s upset of Clinton, and Perez takes control of a party out of power at the White House, in both chambers of Congress, and in a majority of statehouses and governor’s mansions across the country.
There are 33 GOP governors, compared to only 21 for Democrats. Since Obama was sworn into office in 2009, Republicans have gained more than 1,000 state legislative seats across the country.
There is urgency for Democrats to turn things around quickly, particularly at the state level, where legislators will redraw district lines in 2020. Democrats blame GOP gerrymandering in 2010 for their inability to make significant gains in the House. In Congress, the electoral map is unfavorable for Democrats in 2018.
While the out-of-power party typically picks up House seats in an off-year election, Democrats are defending 25 seats in the Senate, including 10 in states that Trump won in 2016.
Like all of the candidates running, Perez has vowed to return the DNC to former chairman Howard Dean’s “50-state strategy,” which is still viewed by many in the party as the gold standard.
Many Democrats blame their losses on a disconnect between the national party in Washington and grassroots liberals across the country and are eager for the new chairman to direct more resources and attention to those on the ground.
A civil war has begun.
This civil war is very different than the last one. There are no cannons or cavalry charges. The left doesn’t want to secede. It wants to rule. Political conflicts become civil wars when one side refuses to accept the existing authority. The left has rejected all forms of authority that it doesn’t control.
The left has rejected the outcome of the last two presidential elections won by Republicans. It has rejected the judicial authority of the Supreme Court when it decisions don’t accord with its agenda. It rejects the legislative authority of Congress when it is not dominated by the left.
It rejected the Constitution so long ago that it hardly bears mentioning.
It was for total unilateral executive authority under Obama. And now it’s for states unilaterally deciding what laws they will follow. (As long as that involves defying immigration laws under Trump, not following them under Obama.) It was for the sacrosanct authority of the Senate when it held the majority. Then it decried the Senate as an outmoded institution when the Republicans took it over.
It was for Obama defying the orders of Federal judges, no matter how well grounded in existing law, and it is for Federal judges overriding any order by Trump on any grounds whatsoever. It was for Obama penalizing whistleblowers, but now undermining the government from within has become “patriotic”.
There is no form of legal authority that the left accepts as a permanent institution. It only utilizes forms of authority selectively when it controls them. But when government officials refuse the orders of the duly elected government because their allegiance is to an ideology whose agenda is in conflict with the President and Congress, that’s not activism, protest, politics or civil disobedience; it’s treason.
After losing Congress, the left consolidated its authority in the White House. After losing the White House, the left shifted its center of authority to Federal judges and unelected government officials. Each defeat led the radicalized Democrats to relocate from more democratic to less democratic institutions.
This isn’t just hypocrisy. That’s a common political sin. Hypocrites maneuver within the system. The left has no allegiance to the system. It accepts no laws other than those dictated by its ideology.
Democrats have become radicalized by the left. This doesn’t just mean that they pursue all sorts of bad policies. It means that their first and foremost allegiance is to an ideology, not the Constitution, not our country or our system of government. All of those are only to be used as vehicles for their ideology.
That’s why compromise has become impossible.
Our system of government was designed to allow different groups to negotiate their differences. But those differences were supposed to be based around finding shared interests. The most profound of these shared interests was that of a common country based around certain civilizational values. The left has replaced these Founding ideas with radically different notions and principles. It has rejected the primary importance of the country As a result it shares little in the way of interests or values.
Instead it has retreated to cultural urban and suburban enclaves where it has centralized tremendous amounts of power while disregarding the interests and values of most of the country. If it considers them at all, it is convinced that they will shortly disappear to be replaced by compliant immigrants and college indoctrinated leftists who will form a permanent demographic majority for its agenda.
But it couldn’t wait that long because it is animated by the conviction that enforcing its ideas is urgent and inevitable. And so it turned what had been a hidden transition into an open break.
In the hidden transition, its authority figures had hijacked the law and every political office they held to pursue their ideological agenda. The left had used its vast cultural power to manufacture a consensus that was slowly transitioning the country from American values to its values and agendas. The right had proven largely impotent in the face of a program which corrupted and subverted from within.
The left was enormously successful in this regard. It was so successful that it lost all sense of proportion and decided to be open about its views and to launch a political power struggle after losing an election.
The Democrats were no longer being slowly injected with leftist ideology. Instead the left openly took over and demanded allegiance to open borders, identity politics and environmental fanaticism. The exodus of voters wiped out the Democrats across much of what the left deemed flyover country.
The left responded to democratic defeats by retreating deeper into undemocratic institutions, whether it was the bureaucracy or the corporate media, while doubling down on its political radicalism. It is now openly defying the outcome of a national election using a coalition of bureaucrats, corporations, unelected officials, celebrities and reporters that are based out of its cultural and political enclaves.
It has responded to a lost election by constructing sanctuary cities and states thereby turning a cultural and ideological secession into a legal secession. But while secessionists want to be left alone authoritarians want everyone to follow their laws. The left is an authoritarian movement that wants total compliance with its dictates with severe punishments for those who disobey.
The left describes its actions as principled. But more accurately they are ideological. Officials at various levels of government have rejected the authority of the President of the United States, of Congress and of the Constitution because those are at odds with their radical ideology. Judges have cloaked this rejection in law. Mayors and governors are not even pretending that their actions are lawful.
The choices of this civil war are painfully clear.
We can have a system of government based around the Constitution with democratically elected representatives. Or we can have one based on the ideological principles of the left in which all laws and processes, including elections and the Constitution, are fig leaves for enforcing social justice.
But we cannot have both.
Some civil wars happen when a political conflict can’t be resolved at the political level. The really bad ones happen when an irresolvable political conflict combines with an irresolvable cultural conflict.
That is what we have now.
The left has made it clear that it will not accept the lawful authority of our system of government. It will not accept the outcome of elections. It will not accept these things because they are at odds with its ideology and because they represent the will of large portions of the country that they despise.
The question is what comes next.
The last time around growing tensions began to explode in violent confrontations between extremists on both sides. These extremists were lauded by moderates who mainstreamed their views. The first Republican president was elected and rejected. The political tensions led to conflict and then civil war.
WE ARE TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
Recently, while slogging through pages of wrath from deranged Trump haters, I spotted a different kind of AP article: “In Venezuela short on food, short of hope.” It was heart wrenching; details of “tens of thousands hungry and starving; a murder rate among the highest in the world and its economy so crippled that the average shopper spends 35 hours a month waiting in line. Citizens and students repeatedly gathered in protest with many killed and hundreds of political prisoners held incommunicado in dungeons. Fear of the government accompanies hopelessness as it becomes ever more repressive. Students flee in droves to other countries, believing change will never come. “
But here is the shocking quote; the sentence that hopefully will awaken every reader to reality!
“Yet even as the country becomes increasingly unlivable, the SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT is even more entrenched ..... and a sense of hopelessness has settled over what was once among the richest nations in South America.” The Socialist government! Absorb that, all who daily foam at the mouth with malice toward President Trump! Then begin taking stock of the government and leadership which has brought our own country to the brink of this same fate. Consider the shambles of our economy, health care, educational system and international reputation; note that almost 50% of our citizens are unemployed and dependent upon the rest who support them. Observe that both our former President and she who “they” had chosen to be our President were mentored by and followed Saul Alinsky, a major proponent of socialism; that both the House Progressive and Black Caucuses are predominantly members of the “Democrat Socialists of America.” Note that this former President has not departed with grace and dignity (like his predecessors) but instead camps out in Washington, along with Democrat Congressional leaders and his “Rasputin”, and formed “Organization for Action”, his ‘shadow government.’ The goal, to discredit, stymie, create turmoil and obstruction so as to salvage his “”legacy” - which is to create our America into a socialist state. Stop for a minute to consider that socialism always, always leads to poverty, slavery, loss of all liberties. And hopelessness.
Think about the fact that our kids in high schools and colleges are being brainwashed into believing that socialism is desirable; nationalism is bad, and directed to go out and waste time demonstrating and rioting when they should be learning how to be grownups and prepare for their future.
I worked for and admired JFK and believe he would be outraged to see his Party turn into a bunch of sneaky, mean spirited, whiny socialists, supplemented by multitudes of paid, black clad, crowbar wielding thugs.
Except for most of the east and west coasts, the words of Donald Trump resonated with the anger of middle Americans at how they have been betrayed by their own government. Instead of socialism, Trump promises to keep America as an independent , free and prosperous nation; to “clean out the swamp” that is our present government. He promises to restore our economy, our health care system; cleanse our educational system of its present shortcomings, including Common Core; to rein in governmental agencies that operate mandating onerous regulations; to appoint Supreme Court Justices and a Federal Judicial system that adheres to our Constitution.
He makes job creation a prime goal so that every American can get a good, well paying job, along with strengthening our military which now struggles with lack of equipment, repair parts and operates at a capacity barely that of post-World War II. He believes all Americans are entitled to freedoms of speech, religion and bathroom privacy; closed borders and the right to insist that those who want to come here will be self supporting and willing to accept our laws, Constitution, customs, government and speak or learn our language. Do we REALLY want to be “re-populated” and brought down ourselves to the level of those we are bringing in?? And in spite of all the noise, obstruction and nattering of the politicians and the press, Trump is steadily moving toward reaching that goal.
So think about this and consider what you want for OUR America. And no matter what the Washington, DSA, and United Nations elite crowd want for us it is still OUR country! But we must be prepared to defend our rights and our President; to give Donald Trump the support and help he needs to move forward. We need to demand that the Pelosis, Schumers, McCains, et al, stop obstructing Trump’s progress and note that as the nation learns more and more, they will be remembered as part of the “Swamp” in the next elections. Socialist, Communist and Progressive are all the same thing. So consider, Americans, and choose wisely! It’s either give our President a fair chance or become an American Venezuela!
East Sandwich, MA