November 7, 2017
On November 4, DNC Chair Tom Perez published a blog post promising transparency and changes ahead of the 2020 Democratic Presidential Primaries. His rhetoric offered little to no action. Instead, he offered more empty promises from a Democratic Party structure that has lost the trust of millions of Democratic Party voters. The Democratic Party’s future hangs in the balance under Perez’s leadership, and it looks bleak given that the only solutions he’s rendered are meaningless platitudes.
“At all times, I will follow the rules established in the Charter and Bylaws of the Democratic Party, not least of all as they pertain to the selection of our nominee for president of the United States,” Perez wrote. Following those rules of neutrality are overtly contradicted by the current system in place that allows the Democratic Party super delegates and donors to decide the nominee before a single vote is cast. From these super delegate endorsements, rank and file voters generally follow along. In the book “The Party Decides” (2008), written by four political scientists of super delegate endorsements between 1980 to 2004, their study found that “early endorsements in the invisible primary are the most important cause of candidate success in the state primaries and caucuses.” While promising neutrality and calling for unity, Perez and party leaders have pushed back on calls to abolish super delegates as a mechanism for party elites to predetermine nominees.
Perez claimed that he will embrace and welcome progressives into the DNC and Democratic Party, but has done everything in his power to ostracize them. “I will work with our DNC members and progressive partners to ensure that the 2020 process is transparent, accountable, and representative of the will of rank-and-file Democrats,” he wrote. Except, Perez has made an effort to ensure that progressives don’t have a place in the DNC to work with him. His DNC appointments overtly left off representatives from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party in favor of lobbyists, consultants, and party insiders who helped run the party into the ground over the past decade. The past failures of the Democratic Party should not be rewarded with promotions or doubling down on failed ideologies. Perez has opted to ignore the drastic losses that Democrats have suffered, pretending that party establishment leaders have done nothing wrong.
The attempts made by Perez to unify the Democratic Party have backfired, as he’s offered no concessions, nor enacted any reforms that progressives have called for. Instead, Perez has hoped making appearances with Keith Ellison and Bernie Sanders would manufacture unity without having to take any action to do so. Perez claimed, “ I knew that repairing our party’s structural flaws and healing the deep divisions among our supporters would not be easy. While we’ve made remarkable progress since last November, we still have a long way to go.” His reference to remarkable progress isn’t provided with any evidence to substantiate it, because none exists. The DNC’s brand remains tarnished from former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s tenure, its debt continues to mount, and the Republican National Committee continues to out fundraise it every month.
The recent revelation of how the DNC operated in 2016 should serve as a wake up call to Tom Perez and the Democratic Party establishment that they can’t risk losing more voters by continuing to uphold a system that favors party elites over people. Tom Perez has demonstrated he has no intention to uproot that system.
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