Tale of Two Democratic Women
Since the Civil Rights Movement, the Democratic Party has fancied itself political the home of minorities and women. This has been especially true for Women of Color. A place to speak your political truth and reach heights unseen for Black people since the end of Reconstruction. A counterweight against the forces that wanted to turn back the clock to a darker American era. Essentially, the anti-GOP.
Enter the Democratic Leadership Council. Democratic up and comers Bill Clinton and Al Gore among others used the DLC to move the Democratic Party to the right. They were chasing the corporate dollars while shedding labor and Civil Rights allegiances. The buy-in was Wall Street deregulation; Welfare, Telecommunications, Criminal Justice reforms and NAFTA. The nation has yet to fully recover.
Nowadays, People of Color are still more numerous in the Democratic Party. But, expectations are much lower than in the past and rightfully so.
In this environment, we have the two women that are the subject of this article: Former DNC Chair and Florida Rep Debbie Wassermann Schultz and Former State Senator Nina Turner.
Debbie was by all measures, a horrid Democratic National Committee Chairperson. The Dems were hemorrhaging seats in Congress and being pummeled at the state level under her leadership. In 2016, the race for the White House the DNC had one job – Keep it fair. They had one job. Debbie and company failed miserably. Ultimately, DNC leaked communication revealed that Debbie’s team was nothing more than an arm of the corporatist Clinton campaign. This was a clear violation of their own bylaws and a subversion of the democratic process.
On the other side of the 2016 Democratic divide, we have Progressive firebrand, Nina Turner. Nina was a Clinton surrogate until she moved over to the Love Train. She was nothing less than astounding. Courageous truth-teller that found “heart and soul” agreement with the Sanders campaign. Morally upstanding and honest throughout. In addition, she never lowered herself to nasty remarks or repeating unconfirmed rumors that seem to compose a major part of our politics. She is an anomaly in American politics – an incorruptible, Progressive brawler. I mean “brawler” in the sense of a tireless fighter that is unwilling to quit no matter the odds.
Neither were allowed to speak at the Democratic National Convention. The chasm between how these two women have been treated since is instructive. While Debbie was provided a cushy landing courtesy of the Clinton campaign, Nina has been cast into the political wilderness.
The lesson here is that the honest broker has no value. If you do not bow and scrape to the agenda you put your future at risk. This is how the Clintons wield and maintain power in DC- carrot and the STICK. The carrot is for political insiders that play along and the STICK for those that do not fall in line. They have perfected the art of hippie-punching. Honed over the decades by political henchmen like Bruce Reed, Rahm Emmanuel, David Brock and others. Now we see the Clinton tent is now the home cast-off neocons and cold war nostalgia.
Just a note of caution to #ImWithHer:
Bush era neocons and assorted ne’er-do-wells that are jumping ship are not leaving because of Trump’s +
— Michael Graham (@BLUpfront) August 8, 2016
For all the talk of intersectionality and progressivism, it seems only to extend to full-throated allies. Hence, not very big tenty. It is all being enabled by Trump Fear even as his campaign implodes. Still, there is only a single-digit space between Hillary and the Donald. While it says much about the state of our politics, that lead is likely to open up by the end of the month. That gap will become insurmountable. Barring a “live boy/dead hooker” revelation in the Clinton camp, of course.
Nina’s name was floated as a potential VP pick for the Green Party. She decided to stay in the Dem party and fight for change from within. If you read my writing, you know that was music to my ears. Though Nina is unlikely to read this, I wish her nothing but the best in all things she pursues. Her voice was a light in the darkness for many of us. She gave us sustenance when we needed it most. Always positive and uplifting in the cesspool we call American politics. She has earned my utmost respect.