The Observer - August 2017

"TheDemocratic Partyhasn’t taken any steps to confront this cycle of corruption that is rotting American democracy from within. In fact, the party embraces it, ignoring its connection to the party’s vast losses."

... Part of party leadership’s apprehension to adopt reforms stems from their inability to take responsibility for the party’s losses throughout the last decade. Instead, establishment Democrats blame Sen. Bernie Sanders, his supporters, Jill Stein, Russia, and several other scapegoats. Instead of analyzing their missteps, party leadership affirms it did nothing wrong. Arrogance, entitlement, and insults are the Democratic Party’s fuel. The Democratic establishment writes off those who challenge the status quo. However, if Democrats have any hope of escaping irrelevancy, reform is necessary.

The polarity within the Democratic Party is mischaracterized as “infighting.” There are two sides: those who are fighting to preserve the status quo and those who are fighting to change it. The preservationists hold political power and leadership positions, and they prefer to embrace moderates over progressives. They revere people like George W. Bush and nostalgically yearn for a more palatable system that functions in service to the elite. They refuse to support progressive policies like single-payer health care, saying they are intangible or good only in theory. They remain silent on conflicts like the Standing Rock’s fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline while lobbying firms and corporations profit off such injustices.

The party’s losses have further emboldened these interests to assert their power over the party. In January 2017, a billionaire donor, Stephen Bittel, became the Florida State Democratic Party chair. He has already managed to offend, insult, and ostracize black Democratic leaders in the state. In May 2017, a party insider, Eric Bauman, became California Democratic Party chair. In 2016, he made over $100,000 lobbying on behalf of pharmaceutical companies against a proposition to lower prescription drug costs. A billionaire donor, J.B. Pritzker, is earning party endorsements in his bid to run for governor of Illinois. Pritzker asked former Chicago Mayor Rod Blagojevich, who is currently in prison for trying to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat, to be appointed the Illinois treasurer instead of being given the Senate seat in exchange for campaign donations.

Lobbyists remain top campaign contributors to high-ranking Democrats and the DNC—especially because DNC Chair Tom Perez refused to re-enact the ban on corporate lobbyist and PAC donations that was rescinded to benefit Hillary Clinton’s campaign. These lobbyists have a long record of preventing the Democratic Party from embracing progressive policies and reform. For corporate lobbyists, party lines are blurred—they often pour money into both Republicans and Democrats. ...
Read full report at The Observer