The Democratic Party is shedding leaders at the state level parties, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ backers are moving aggressively to seize those posts from Maine to Nebraska, and presumably points in between. Politico reports that Bernie backers are ready to contest leadership positions andit’s already known that Sanders is planning to leverage his community organizer outreach program with 6,700 Americans who’d like to run for office to reshape the Democratic Party from the ground up.
This is the political revolution we need.
The goal is to replace party officials in states where Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton during the acrimonious Democratic primary with more progressive leadership. But the challenges also represent a reckoning for state party leaders who, in many cases, tacitly supported Clinton’s bid.
“I think the Bernie people feel very strongly that they were abused, somehow neglected during the primary process and the conventions,” said Severin Beliveau, a former Maine Democratic Party chairman who supported Sanders in the primary. “In Maine, for instance, where Bernie got 70 percent of the caucus vote, they are emboldened and in effect want to try to replace [Maine Democratic Party chairman] Phil Bartlett, who supported Clinton.”
In Wisconsin, Democrats are quietly predicting that the party chair will face a challenger who will hold incumbent chairwoman Martha Laning to account for why Clinton lost the state. Laning cast her vote as a superdelegate for Clinton — in a state where Sanders won the primary by a wide margin.
Bernie Sanders has been campaigning nationally to re-orient the Democratic Party’s agenda via op-editorials and interviews in the wake of this week’s disastrous election. At this year’s convention, Sanders and his followers converted a razor thin electoral disadvantage into the most progressive party platform Democrats have ever ratified.
While Clinton supporters were busy buying the biggest electoral disaster money can buy with the checks from their shadowy billionaire donors, Bernie Sanders’ political revolution was staring them in the face at state and national Democratic Party levels. In the wake of this year’s election, the Clinton’s triangulation strategy and network of acolytes failed miserably to rally the party on down ticket races, in state Governor’s races and Senate campaigns, presenting the American left with its most resounding defeat in decades and putting everything the Obama administration has achieved at risk.
Equating possession of money with political results is a logical fallacy, and the Clinton supporters who believed in a money machine to carry the day will wake up to find that people still vote in elections and you must support political solutions that empower people to win elections.
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition