I like Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison. He seems like a smart, capable, stand-up kind of guy. He also seems like a viable candidate for Chair of the Democratic National Committee, a position which he’s now seeking. And as with any other candidate for DNC Chair, he needs to be properly vetted first, to make sure there’s nothing significant the Republicans can use against him later. But the sudden explosion of whining and claims of conspiracy from the alt-left, simply because people within the party want to vet Congressman Ellison before anointing him, tells me that we still have a problem.
I consider myself neutral in the DNC Chair race. Keith Ellison is a viable candidate. So is Secretary of Labor Tom Perez. So are the four or five other people who have thrown their hat in the ring. The election isn’t until late February, and I don’t intend to endorse anyone until I’ve heard each candidate present their specific plan for taking on Donald Trump and the Republican Majority for the next two years, and for winning the 2018 midterm races. But already, problems around Ellison’s candidacy are emerging. Specifically, the alt-left purist progressives are outraged that it isn’t simply being handed to him.
Ellison became a favorite son of the alt-left when he was the first Congressman to endorse Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary race. He did it in the right way, keeping his message unified, doing nothing to try to tear down Hillary Clinton, and then immediately getting behind her once she won the primary race by millions of votes. But because Ellison is now one of the anointed deities of the alt-left, they want him to simply be crowned as DNC Chair.
It turns out Ellison has a long history of tax liens and suspended licenses and other things that would certainly be used against him by the GOP if he becomes DNC Chair. How big of a liability are these issues? That’s debatable.
The controversies appear to have all taken place prior to the year 2000, and were ultimately the doing of his wife. Much of it is already publicly known, so it’s not as if any of it necessarily disqualifies him. But these are the kinds of things that need to be weighed and discussed before picking the next leader of the Democratic Party, particularly at a time when the party’s future is at a historical crossroads.
But because Ellison being vetted like a candidate for high office should be vetted, the alt-left – more specifically the alt-left propaganda sites that have been turning the left against itself for years – are now trying to turn Ellison into some kind of persecuted messiah. It’s the same crap they pulled whenever anyone on the left dared to question whether any of Bernie’s harmless but weird personal history might have become a general election liability if he’d won the primary. You just don’t dare challenge the notion that any of the alt-left’s designated messiahs might actually be a less-than-perfect human.
For instance, alt-left propaganda site The Ring of Fire, which spent the entire Democratic primary season propping up Bernie Sanders like a messiah while dishonestly trashing Hillary Clinton for street cred, is now insisting that it’s “unfair and crooked” of Democratic leaders to dare examine Keith Ellison’s long strange history of past legal infractions. In fact these propagandists are so insistent upon Ellison’s messiah status that they’re actually demanding that Tom Perez step down, despite his own strong resume and broad popularity, out of respect for Ellison’s candidacy.
Why exactly is every other qualified candidate in the Democratic Party supposed to get out of Keith Ellison’s way and hand him the DNC Chair role on a silver platter? That part isn’t explained, of course. Because in the minds of alt-left purist progressives, the leaders they anoint are so obviously perfect, their supporters don’t even need to justify that perfection. The above linked “Ring of Fire” article dives so deep into alt-left nuttiness that it goes so far as to compare the Democratic Party to the Russian government, simply because it won’t rubber stamp Ellison’s candidacy, even though he’s facing several opposing candidates who are also qualified.
To be clear, Keith Ellison isn’t the problem. If he wins the DNC Chair election fair and square after being properly vetted in the kind of manner any candidate should be vetted, then I’ll be first to get behind his efforts to take on Trump and the GOP. After all, this should be a time for unity. But looking at the manner in which the alt-left is now trying to anoint Ellison at all cost, just as fanatically and dishonestly as they tried to anoint Sanders at all cost, it’s rather clear that these “Bernie or Bust” types didn’t learn a damn thing from all the damage they caused – even though their antics directly helped install their worst nightmare Donald Trump as President.
Keith Ellison needs a voice in the Democratic Party. So does Bernie Sanders, regardless of how sore Hillary Clinton’s supporters may be at him for his late primary season antics. Simply put, legitimate progressives need to be brought on board with the party. We need all sane hands on deck. But these alt-left fanatics, who think every normal thing that ever happens is a massive conspiracy against them, and who care more about proving their own purism than they do about achieving any of the left’s real world goals, need to crawl back into whatever sewer they came out of. And frankly, I’d like to see Congressman Ellison assure the rest of us that he’s not beholden to these alt-left ghouls who seem to worship him. Because while he wants to save the party, they want to kill it. If you enjoy Daily News Bin, consider making a contribution: