by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
The Russian Conspiracy theorists have not yet toppled Donald Trump, but they have neutered much of the Sandernista wing of the Democratic Party. Keith Ellison lost the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee to another warmonger, and quickly joined in ganging up on Russians. “The DNC contest scenario was politically identical to last year’s presidential primary race, with Keith Ellison taking up the role of Bernie Sanders’ sheepdog.”
Keith Ellison: Sheep-dogging Through Trumpland
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
“Many of the pseudo-insurgents had swallowed the poisoned pill of neo-McCarthyism.”
Keith Ellison, the Black congressman from a two-thirds white district in Minnesota, took his defeat for Democratic National Committee chairman with equanimity. “I trust Tom Perez,” he said, referring to the Obama-Clinton favorite who swamped him on the second ballot, in Atlanta, this weekend. Ellison decreed that his supporters, comprised mainly of Bernie Sanders campaign veterans, should accept the futility of resistance to the party’s new and browner version of the old guard. “If they trust me, they have to trust Tom Perez. There's a lot of action but it has to be channeled into the Democratic Party."
Ellison accepted Perez’s offer of the DNC’s deputy chairmanship, and the two exchanged campaign buttons to seal the deal. Ellison’s bloc, which had angrily erupted in chants of “Party for the people, not big money!” when their losing votes were tallied, soon quieted down. The Democratic and corporate media hackery expressed great relief that there had not been a “replay” of the bitter left-right primary elections split in the party. But in fact, the DNC contest scenario was politically identical to last year’s presidential primary race, with Keith Ellison taking up the role of Bernie Sanders’ sheepdog, herding the pretend-Left of the party into a harmless gaggle and then eagerly embracing corporate leadership at the conclusion of the charade.
“There's a lot of action but it has to be channeled into the Democratic Party."
This time, it was even easier than last summer because, in the interim, many of the pseudo-insurgents had swallowed the poisoned pill of neo-McCarthyism, draining their “movement” of all moral authority. After all, if one believes the Big Lie that “the Russians” and their suborned collaborators at Wikileaks were the evil, outside force that had fatally weakened Hillary Clinton year’s long campaign, then the Bernie phenomenon was tainted, too. If Donald Trump’s presidency is mainly the product of a Russian disinformation and destabilization operation, rather than voter rejection of the corporate status quo, then it is the duty of every patriotic Democrat to avoid further rancor within the party, and to unite against the common foe in the Kremlin and his “puppet” in the White House. Which is precisely what Keith Ellison did, in Atlanta, joining with Tom Perez in calling for an investigation of the Trump campaign’s alleged dealings with Russians.
John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, has been absolved. Wikileaks documents showed Podesta had early in the campaign urged Democratic operatives and cooperative media to boost Donald Trump’s candidacy, in the belief that far-right Republicans would be easier to beat. Logically, Trump owes Podesta for at least a portion of the $2 billion in free media publicity he received at the start of his quest -- gifts from the same media corporations that ignored Bernie Sanders’ campaign as long as they could, and would later blame Vladimir Putin for Trump’s success. It now appears that the bulk of Bernie’s supporters have now also bought into the Russian Conspiracy Theory, rendering their intra-party insurgency moot.
“If one believes the Big Lie that ‘the Russians’ and their suborned collaborators at Wikileaks were the evil, outside force that had fatally weakened Hillary Clinton year’s long campaign, then the Bernie phenomenon was tainted, too.”
“We’re all going to continue to be united in our values,” said Perez, crediting the party’s “big tent” for his victory. Under Clinton, the “big tent” swelled to bursting with corporate establishment Republicans and virtually the entirety of the national security (deep) state, who saw Trump as a clear and present danger to “free trade” (global corporate dominance), U.S. regime change strategies (“humanitarian” military intervention) and standing up to the Russians (encirclement and constant provocations to war). Although it was never clear that Trump would actually oppose any of these aspects of U.S. “exceptionalism” (imperialism), he had strung enough suggestive words together, often enough, to cause a panicked realignment -- more like a destabilization -- of the U.S. ruling class. The goal was to make mere contact with Russians grounds for suspicion of treason.
The game plan may yet bring Trump down. It has surely blunted whatever inclinations he may have had towards lessening tensions with the other nuclear superpower. But, the now full-blown McCarthyism that was birthed in Hillary’s big nasty tent has scored an easy victory over the phony Left in the U.S., which has neutered its (never-vigorous) self.
Keith Ellison is right. If the Sanders folks trust him (“There's a lot of action but it has to be channeled into the Democratic Party"), they should trust Perez, and Clinton, and Obama -- and the CIA, the NSA and the FBI.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].