News Release

Disputes Behind Democratic Party’s “Unity” Push

The Democratic National Committee has released the roster of its new “unity commission.” The Hill newspaper reports that the panel is “made up largely of supporters of former Democratic presidential primary rivals Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders now tasked with healing the party’s divisions.”

Basic issues remain unresolved for the Democratic Party. The following policy analysts and activists are available for interviews:

ROBERT BOROSAGE, borosage [at] ourfuture.org
Borosage writes a weekly column for The Nation magazine and is a senior advisor of People’s Action.

“For all the urgent pleas for unity in the face of Trump, the party establishment has always made it clear that they mean unity under their banner,” Borosage wrote in a recent article. “That’s why they mobilized to keep the leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Representative Keith Ellison, from becoming head of the DNC. It’s why the knives are still out for Sanders and those who supported him.”

Borosage commented that “Democrats are in the midst of a major struggle to decide what they stand for and who they represent.” And he added: “Part of that is the debate over a bipartisan interventionist foreign policy that has so abjectly failed.”

KAREN BERNAL, nekochan99 [at] hotmail.com
Bernal is former Chair of the California Democratic Party’s Progressive Caucus. She was Co-Chair of the Bernie Sanders delegation from California to the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Bernal said today: “As we work to nurture a generalized solidarity among Democrats against a Trump agenda, the reckoning between Bernie-inspired forces and the more neo-liberal wing of the party appears on the horizon like a rising sun on a clear day. There will be no clouds to hide behind and no truths will be avoided, because the ‘Berners’ won’t allow it — nor should they.”

She added: “Those of us who supported Bernie have worked long and hard inside and outside the party to find ourselves at this tipping point. Now an important task lies ahead of us: to be the resistance within our own party. It’s not enough to be against Trump. As we undertake the Herculean effort that will be required to get our party in an ideological order we can work with — and with no guarantees that it will succeed — it goes without saying that we can hardly be a force to be reckoned with if we value a superficial ‘go along to get along’ approach over deeper and more meaningful truth-telling.”

NORMAN SOLOMON, solomonprogressive [at] gmail.com
Solomon is coordinator of the activist group RootsAction.org, now with 1.5 million active supporters online. His books include War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.

In a new article, “The Democratic Party’s Anti-Bernie Elites Have a Huge Stake in Blaming Russia,” Solomon wrote: “Top party officials seem bent on returning to a kind of pre-Bernie-campaign doldrums. The new chair of the Democratic National Committee, Tom Perez, can’t bring himself to say that the power of Wall Street is antithetical to the interests of working people. That reality came to painful light this week during a live appearance on national television.

“During a 10-minute joint interview along with Bernie Sanders on Tuesday night, Perez was a font of exactly the kind of trite empty slogans and worn-out platitudes that oiled the engines of the dismal Clinton campaign. While Sanders was forthright, Perez was evasive. While Sanders talked about systemic injustice, Perez fixated on Trump. While Sanders pointed to a way forward for realistic and far-reaching progressive change, Perez hung onto a rhetorical formula that expressed support for victims of the economic order without acknowledging the existence of victimizers.”

Solomon is IPA’s executive director.