While establishment Democrats and Clinton-ites spend their days endlessly blaming Vladimir Putin, Bernie Sanders, James Comey, progressive journalists, and the mailman for Hillary Clinton‘s loss in November, the Democratic Party is about to lose to President Trump again.
As voting for the DNC chair takes place on Saturday, former Obama Labor Secretary Tom Perez has been elevated by the usual establishment suspects, receiving former VP Biden’s endorsement and Obama-world members’ endorsement behind the scenes.
As my The Young Turks colleague Nomiki Konst showed, Perez is highly skilled in regurgitating talking points that mean nothing.
And like Clinton––WikiLeaks revealed he was actively trying to help discredit Sanders among minority voters during the Democratic Primary––Perez is a prolific fundraiser, having hoarded $825,000 in donations for the DNC Chair race, according to Politico.
Politico dubiously reported 73 percent of his donations came from small-dollar donors contributing $200 or less, citing a “source.”
Translated for the non-corporate-media-expert: that source was from the Perez campaign, spinning $200 dollar donations for DNC chair as “small-dollar.”
According to OpenSecrets.org, Perez has also reeled in big-dollar donors (well, big-dollar for a DNC race):
The period from Dec. 12-31, which Team Tom’s year-end report covers, didn’t bring any donations of that size — but there were two gifts of $20,000 each from Stephen Cloobeck, founder and chairman of Diamond Resorts International and a prolific donor to the Democratic party, and Hasmit Popat, founder and CEO of Hascor International Group, a metals and minerals firm based in Texas.
But therein lies the problem: Perez is that same old record, spinning that same song you’ve heard too many times.
His rhetoric about “mobilizing the grassroots” sounds lovely; his cardboard-corporate-Democrat-cutout talk about fighting Trump sounds lovely too.
But then there’s his record. As The Intercept reported, Perez, like the president he worked for, talked a tough game about holding bankers accountable, but in practice served as their BFF.
When Rep. Maxine Waters asked Perez to hold off on granting a waiver to UBS, Barclays, J.P. Morgan, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, and Citigroup to handle pension funds—since they had all played fast and loose to rig foreign export markets—Perez said to hell with the people, my banker bosses need me!
He also granted an exemption for a major Clinton hedge fund donor to save millions on investment taxes.
Party of the working people!
If that kind of heroic leadership doesn’t inspire you that Perez is your guy to fight the Donald, maybe his love affair with job-killing trade deals will get it going.
The former Labor Secretary was a huge proponent for the TPP, which if passed (in one of the rare positive things President Trump has done, he killed it), would have served as NAFTA’s brother from another mother, sending millions of more American jobs to foreign countries with cheaper labor.
Let’s not forget: Trump’s vigorous anti-trade position is one of the crucial (and actual lucid) policy positions he rode into the White House with, winning him crucial votes in blue-collar Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
And the Democrats’ answer to lead its party is the guy who championed the TPP?
So on Saturday, when 447 voting members of the DNC choose between Perez and actual progressive Keith Ellison, hopefully they allow for a rare moment of dollar-less-sense.
With the Bernie Sanders-led-progressive movement exploding around the country and the minorities who made up the Obama coalition springing to their feet in protest of Trump, Ellison is the man for the moment.
A strong progressive with a proven track record for mobilizing actual grassroots support among blue-collar, older, and younger voters.
Most importantly: he’s no friend to Wall Street, the exact street the Democratic Party desperately needs to speed off of.
Establishment pundits give Perez the slight edge. Hopefully, the DNC members look at the catastrophe they just produced in November and try something new.
If not, it’s another victory for the reality-TV president.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.