February 2, 2017

Winter Is Here For The Democratic Party

One of the most prominent examples of the growing Democratic civil war has been the race for DNC Chairman. The two frontrunners, former Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN), stand as proxies for the growing battle between the establishment and the grassroots of the Democratic Party.

This week, two separate developments put that divide front and center once again. First, while the AFL-CIO has endorsed the extremist Ellison, a fifth union affiliated with the AFL-CIO has now endorsed Perez:

“A fifth AFL-CIO-affiliated group broke with the labor giant on Thursday to back former Labor Secretary Tom Perez over Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) in the race to be the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC), which counts 80,000 members nationwide, said that as Labor secretary, Perez fought to implement a rule to limit worker exposure to a chemical compound that was causing debilitating and deadly diseases among the union’s members.”

The divide in the labor movement is especially significant because they are one of the core interest groups in the shrinking Democratic Party.

Unfortunately for Democrats, the divide among unions, is also mirrored in the splits between major Democratic politicians. Yesterday, former Vice President Joe Biden endorsed Perez. In a manner of minutes though, Biden’s endorsement was met by a statement from Ellison supporter Bernie Sanders, calling the endorsement an attempt by the party establishment to stop Ellison:

“That gave Mr. Perez a high-profile endorsement, but it fueled the perception that he is a favored by the party establishment and drew a blunt response from Sen. Bernie Sanders, the leader of the party’s progressive wing who has backed Rep. Keith Ellison for DNC chair. ‘In terms of the next chair of the DNC, however, the question is simple: Do we stay with a failed status-quo approach or do we go forward with a fundamental restructuring of the Democratic Party?’ said Mr. Sanders…”

The growing divide in the Democratic Party is one of the major reasons why the Democratic Party is out of power to an extent not seen since the 1920s. Given recent events, it’s likely to stay that way too.