Monday, February 27, 2017

The DNC election must have been a big deal for some people, but not as many as the commentators seem to think

Maybe it's just the circles I happen to travel in, but I have seen a lot more backlash against the backlash against Tom Perez than I've seen of the actual backlash. I just don't think many people really care that much about who leads the DNC. Even among political junkies, most that I know seem to have viewed the race as I do, as a contest between two candidates with extremely similar views meaning that either outcome would not make that much of a difference.

Among few people I know who actually felt strongly about the race, those concerns were all based on the assumption that Ellison was not sufficiently pro-Israel or that he was a secret antisemite. I don't need to get into the charges and counter-charges of that debate here (it is moot at this point anyway), but I always thought the antisemite argument was pretty weak and the extent of his support of Israel irrelevant when talking about his qualifications for a job that has no foreign policy component to it (DNC chair mostly just fund raises for the party and coordinates national electoral strategy).

But apparently there were people out there somewhere who used the race as a reprise of the Sanders-Clinton primary fight. I guess they thought that Ellison's victory would have put the Sanders wing in charge of the party as opposed to the Clinton-based status-quo as represented by Perez. But if that's the case, it just goes to show how little substance there is between the two perceived wings of the party. Sure, Perez supported Clinton and Ellison supported Sanders during the primary, but I am hard pressed to find any issue those two disagree with. Also Perez is not a die-hard Clintonista. He really is an Obama person, having served as his Secretary of Labor (and did a great job in the opinion of this labor lawyer).

That said, I do not think there were many people who viewed the race through the Clinton-Sanders lens. As I mentioned, none of the people I know were reading the race that way, even among my friends who were die hard-Sanders supporters in the primary and who never really warmed to Clinton, they did not seem to care that much about the DNC election. Even among highly political people, I just don't think the vast majority were reading much into this race.