Oct 19, 2017
Sparking concerns that party leadership is making the same mistakes that have rendered them increasingly powerless and without an inspiring vision, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is reportedly carrying out a massive staff shake-up in which veteran progressives are being purged and "left out in the cold."
"I'm concerned about the optics, and I'm concerned about the impact."
--James Zogby, Arab American Institute"This doesn't bring the party together, it deepens the divide at a time we need all hands on deck," James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute and prominent Sanders supporter who was ousted from the DNC Executive Committee, wrote on Twitter Thursday.
According to Alex Seitz-Wald of NBC News, Zogby is hardly alone.
"[S]everal key longtime officials have lost their posts" since the staff changes began," Seitz-Wald writes, a fact that many have interpreted as "retaliation for their opposition to DNC Chairman Tom Perez."
"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," Seitz-Wald added.
Some of the other prominent progressives who have been shifted to less influential positions or removed altogether include:
- Barbra Casbar Siperstein, the first transgender DNC member who backed Rep. Keith Ellison over Perez in the race for DNC chair;
- Ray Buckley, chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party; and
- Alice Germond, former DNC secretary.
Germond, who was removed from her role as at-large member, told NBC that she assumed her ouster "had something to do" with her support for Ellison.
"It is quite unusual for a former party officer who has been serving on the DNC for forever to just be left out in the cold without even a call from the chairman," Germond said. "I understand that I fought very hard for Keith Ellison. And I understand that to the winners go the spoils."
"The DNC and party leadership truly do not give a shit about progressives outside of their use as deflection."
The massive staff shake-up came just ahead of the DNC's Fall meeting on Thursday in Las Vegas, where members and party officials will gather to participate in meeting and "training sessions."
When Perez emerged victorious over the progressive favorite Ellison in the race for DNC chair, many argued that the party is deadset on pursuing a failed strategy that places the priorities of out-of-touch party insiders over those of the grassroots base.
News of the DNC's staff changes sparked similar criticism from organizers and commentators, who argue that Democrats are resisting the changes necessary to bring the party back from the political wilderness.
"I'm concerned about the optics, and I'm concerned about the impact," Zogby concluded. "I want to heal the wound of 2016."
Others expressed similar feelings of dismay and outrage on social media:
\u201cDNC shake-up, longtime party officials ousted https://t.co/fKN1xscb80 via @nbcnews. This is a small tent party which caters to elitists.\u201d— Levi Sanders (@Levi Sanders) 1508420417
the dnc and party leadership *truly* do not give a shit about progressives outside of their use as deflection.https://t.co/g6zTAxrgvZ
-- mmmm breeens (@isikbreen) October 19, 2017
We're optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.
We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter counts.
Your contribution supports this new media model—free, independent, and dedicated to uncovering the truth. Stand with us in the fight for social justice, human rights, and equality. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.