Donald Trump is gleeful at the prospect of getting reelected, and it’s all because of a choice made by Democrats.
The election of the Democratic National Committee’s chair was constructed as a re-litigation of the Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders contest. In some ways, this is certainly true. After Hillary’s resounding and largely predictable defeat, Berners were looking to take the party in a new direction with Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, a Sanders supporter who predicted Trump’s ascent.
As Nathan J. Robinson of Current Affairs writes:
In an era where Democrats are losing incredibly badly at every level, they needed someone who could motivate people and them to organize. They needed someone who would harness the force that led to Bernie Sanders’ massive rallies, an enthusiasm that Hillary Clinton could never generate. With a significant segment of those people seeing their candidate yet again blocked (this time by an even more absurdly undemocratic process, in which ordinary party had absolutely no say), it’s hardly likely that Perez will be able to energize those same forces. Electing Ellison was essential because it could have kept more left-wingers from quitting the party in disgust, and helped bring back some (much needed) robust grassroots organizing.
Now, progressives in the party are further alienated. Good luck getting them to vote for Democrats. No matter how many people may have insisted that Ellison/Perez wasn’t a replay of Sanders/Clinton, it’s impossible to deny that in some ways it was. The progressives needed to receive some kind of gesture. And they have received one: an enormous middle finger.
Instead of reinvigorating the party with Ellison, neoliberal Democrats recruited former Labor Secretary Tom Perez to run against him. Ellison lost to Perez, and no one could be happier than President Donald Trump.