The Democratic Party establishment has responded to Hillary Clinton’s election loss the same way they would have responded had Hillary Clinton won, by changing absolutely nothing. Clinton’s overt embrace of wealthy donors and establishment figures from both political parties repelled thousands of voters toward third parties, voting for Trump, or apathy.
This trend embodied by Clinton’s candidacy has resulted in Democrats losing over 900 state legislature seats and failing to recoup majorities in both houses of Congress. Instead of figuring out how to reconnect with working and middle class voters across the country, Democrats are handing the keys of the party directly over to wealthy billionaire donors while attempting to maintain the facade they care about the common voter.
Despite formal complaints, a lawsuit, and ethical concerns, billionaire donor and close ally to former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Stephen Bittel was elected by the Florida Democratic Party establishment to serve as its new Chair on January 14. Next weekend in Florida, billionaire donors will gain even more ground in the Democratic Party at a private retreat hosted by Clinton propagandist David Brock, where each candidate for the new DNC Chair will participate in a forum to woo support from the Democratic Party’s donors.
David Brock became notorious after his attacks on Anita Hill, who accused 1991 Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, and passed a polygraph test in addition to testifying in front of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Thomas was confirmed anyways, and David Brock became rich off a book he wrote smearing Anita Hill. In 2001, Brock admitted he based the book on lies, part of his transition from Republican hit man to Hillary Clinton’s propaganda henchman.
Now that Hillary Clinton’s machine has broken down, Brock is depending on bundling his donor network with that of billionaire George Soros’ Democracy Alliance to push back against the direction Bernie Sanders and his supporters want to pull the party in, away from wealthy donors, with the support of the Democratic Party establishment. The DNC has allowed Brock’s Super-Pac, American Bridge, to develop strategy for a “Trump War Room,” and the next DNC Chair will likely be chosen by billionaire donors at the private retreat Brock is hosting under the distraction veil afforded by Trump’s Inauguration Ceremony.
If Democrats want to constructively hold Donald Trump accountable and recoup, they need to disavow themselves from David Brock’s incompetence. Relying on smear campaigns, propaganda, and hyperbolic attacks, in an attempt to portray a stark contrast between Republicans and Democrats will backfire as it did for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election. The Clinton Campaign, David Brock, and the mainstream narrative focused their campaign on manufacturing outrage toward Donald Trump rather than try to make meaningful connections with working and middle class voters, especially in areas like the rust belt that have suffered increasing economic anxiety over the past decade.
David Brock won’t be a part of any viable solution for the Democratic Party. As Bernie Sanders Aide Michael Briggs said during the Democratic Primaries, Hillary Clinton, “should be ashamed of her association with Brock.” The same goes for the Democratic Party if they continue to provide Brock a platform and network to perpetuate his awful ideas and strategies along with out-of-touch wealthy donors.
“Their top-down approach to politics — a service model animated by an unwavering belief in their own superior intelligence — leaves us defenseless in the face of Trump and the right-wing forces he’s empowered,” wrote Alex Press for Jacobin in November. “Their existential dread of radical change renders them suspicious of precisely the policies that could unite workers of all races and blunt Trump’s appeal. In short, the rich can’t save us.”