The same could be said of today’s battle over the DNC and the push to install a loyal technocrat like Perez. This reluctance to cede control comes despite the fact that Democrats have lost over 1,000 state legislature seats since 2009. There is no case for Perez that cannot be made for Ellison, while Ellison is able to energize progressives in ways that Perez cannot. The question that will be answered on Saturday is whether Democrats have more urgent priorities than denying power to the left.
That view, one must grant, is deeply cynical of Democratic leaders. But — besides fearing the wrath of Saban — what else can explain why they were so eager to recruit someone to block Keith Ellison?
If the plan to sink Ellison succeeds, the message that will be heard — fairly or not — is that the Democratic Party continues to venerate loyalty to its oligarchical donors above all else, and that preventing left-wing influence is a critical goal. In other words, the message will be that the party — which to date has refused to engage in any form of self-reckoning — is steadfastly committed to following exactly the same course, led by the same factions, that has ushered in such disaster.