The Democrats had a chance to seize the progressive energy of their left wing and make Keith Ellison the chairman of the DNC in February. Instead, the existing power structure barely held on and picked former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez. Other than his loyalty to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, there was really nothing to recommend Perez for that particular position—as a speaker, he was dull as dishwater, cowardly, and deeply uninspiring. He had very little organizing experience. As a leader, he had zero chance to spearhead the reinvigoration of the party after the disastrous tenure of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
Almost from the start, his presence at the top of the party apparatus doomed them to irrelevance. It was also a giant middle finger to progressives—Perez entered the race after Ellison, supported by the Obama wing, and it felt very much like a rebuke to the upstarts and a way for the failure dinosaurs to maintain control of the party. If members across the country had a vote, Ellison would almost surely have won. In almost every way, Perez was not the man for the job.
So, hey, you’re not going to believe this—despite the way Trump has inspired more political awareness and resistance on the left than we’ve seen in decades, the DNC fundraising numbers from July are abysmal. Under Perez’s watch, they raised just $3.8 million, which is the lowest monthly total since 2007. In other words, the guy is already worse than Wasserman-Schultz. Remarkable.
And even the party’s biggest supporters are starting to get it. Per The Hill:
As the party undergoes a facelift after last year’s disastrous election, some DNC members and fundraisers say Perez hasn’t done enough to improve fundraising or build enthusiasm since taking the helm in February…
“A lot of us feel like there’s nothing exciting, nothing invigorating coming from that building and particularly from Tom Perez,” said one top Democratic bundler, who complained that the DNC chairman didn’t even coordinate the first meeting for fundraisers until several weeks ago.
And the numbers, it should be noted, are more disastrous than even that one extra disastrous month would indicate:
During the first half of the year, the DNC raised $38.1 million, while the RNC brought in $75.4 million. And while the RNC had nearly $45 million in the bank, the DNC had less than $7.5 million.
The crazy thing is, everyone else is raising money! Congressional Dems are raking it in on anti-Trump sentiment alone, so a guy like Perez should have it made in the shade. Instead, even as he sows the fertile soil of American politics, he reaps nothing but dry dirt. It’s not just bad leadership—it’s inexcusable. Tom Perez is a boon to Donald Trump.
There’s a simple truth at play here. As one anonymous Democrat told The Hill:
“Donors in particular will follow the activism and energy. If Perez was able to show this was a new and invigorated Democratic Party by opening up a dialogue and demonstrating how the party has changed, I think things would be different.”
Yeah, duh. There’s energy out there, the DNC chief needs to seize it, and Perez is entirely incapable of that relatively easy feat. It was an enormous mistake to elect him in the first place, and every day that he remains in charge augments that original sin.
Fire Tom Perez. Fire him now.