Wednesday, February 01, 2017


Even if you're paying attention to the race for Democratic National Committee chair, you may not have heard of one candidate who's now out of the race and won't be missed:
The Democratic National Committee is kicking a candidate out of the chairmanship race after he told The Hill that Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) should not be the party’s next leader because he is a Muslim.

In a Jan. 5 email to The Hill, Vincent Tolliver, a former House candidate in Arkansas, said that Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, should not be chairman because of Islamic positions on homosexuality.

“His being a Muslim is precisely why DNC voters should not vote for him,” Tolliver wrote. “Muslims discriminate against gays. Islamic law is clear on the subject, and being gay is a direct violation of it. In some Muslim countries, being gay is a crime punishable by death.”

“Clearly, Mr. Ellison is not the person to lead the DNC or any other organization committed to not discriminating based on gender identity or sexual orientation,” Tolliver continued.
Where to start? With the fact that the Christian Bible says that gay sex is punishable by death, and no one says we should prevent Christians from running for DNC chair? With the fact that Ellison, although he was married to a woman for 25 years and they had four kids, is now the vice-chair of the Congressional Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Caucus? With the fact that Ellison made this adorbs video in 2013, when same-sex marriage became legal in Minnesota?

But Tolliver wasn't a very promising candidate even before this failed attack. Take a look at his genius marketing strategy for the party, which is included in a "Letter to DNC Voters and Fellow Democrats" that appeared at the Huffington Post on January 17. All emphasis is in the original:
I propose we use the following four Grassroots tangibles to Recruit, Redefine, Reimagine, and REBUILD the Democratic Party: (1) Cell phones, (2) Earphones, (3) Music, and (4) T-shirts/Jeans.


Nowadays everyone has a cell phone and many (especially the coveted 18-35 demographic we should aggressively recruit) listen to music through earphones wherever they are (i.e. home, school, work, car, truck, bus, tractor and other various farm equipment, 18 wheeler, train, airplane, mall, neighborhood, walking jogging, running, gym, restaurants, etc.). So, why not use cell phones and music to help in our efforts to rebuild the Democratic Party from the ground up? It’s simple. It’s easy. And it makes a lot of sense.


Everyone has a pair jeans and a t-shirt. Adding t-shirts/jeans to the cell phones and music component will help with our identity issues and also assist with branding the Democratic Party. As part of our Grassroots movement, we will encourage the wearing of t-shirts/jeans.

Further, we will encourage new recruits and experienced Democrats alike to write DEMOCRAT (in crayon, color sharpie, blue markers, paint, or whatever is available) across the tops of t-shirts. Below DEMOCRAT should be “I love” and below that should be a personal musical favorite. For me, it could be Dolly Parton, Beyonce, Metallica, Kendrick Lamar, Aretha Franklin, Barbara Streisand, Taylor Swift, Adele, Outkast, Tim McGraw, Jay-Z, etc.

It doesn’t really matter who you musically love. What matters is the t-shirt begins the conversation which begins the work, which promotes and REBUILDS the brand -- the Democratic Party.
Wow -- a fascist was about to enter White House and this guy was talking about T-shirts and crayons. The party gave him the hook? Good.


Nefer said...


Okey-dokey. Sure. Crayons.

Belvoir said...

So, why the hell is the DNC election for chair/leader being held at the end of this month? Trump's election on Nov. 8th should have been a five-alarm fire, and I find it crazy that they couldn't speed this shit up instead of waiting almost four months to get their goddamned act together.

I don't care whatever "DNC rules" were in place, the Republicans are currently shredding rules left and right in the Trumpian onslaught, every day a new disaster and siege. WHERE IS THE STRONG UNIFIED DEMOCRATIC PARTY OPPOSITION? Right now, when we need it. The DNC is staggeringly incompetent and useless. This is wartime, and they are fiddle-faddleing around, and no offense to this estimable blog and its wonderful author, I don't care about this guy. Why the DNC is such a lame and goony and ineffectual failure is something I need to research.

It's not like the GOP/RNC hasn't been a tightly-run threat and menace for twenty years or more. The DNC not only has failed to counter that obvious threat, to match the opponent, they are so flailing and weak.

HOW is it that Republicans own nearly all the governorships, the statehouses, local power, in arenas where it really matters? Did the DNC really try to compete there? Debbie WS seemed to be putting all the eggs in one basket counting that HRC would win. Good going, Deb!

Sorry for the rant, I am just so disappointed at the organized Democratic Party right now. There seems to be no plan, no future political stars being cultivated. All I see is incompetence and delay and squabbling. While the Republicans are absolutely devouring and monstering our entire government, nation, and world standing as I type.

Belvoir said...

Edit: " I don't care about this guy." means Tolliver, not the great Steve M. I read here every day and truly appreciate the crisp, smart and intelligent takes on things. You were right to be wary that Trump might win, when most of us were dubious. That's keen intuition, not to be forgot. Anyway, thank you Steve, I appreciate what you do, best to you.

Steve M. said...


main street liberal said...

You are unusually perceptive, Steve, but have missed the larger issue here.

The first clue is that Tolliver- who would have picked up maybe one, two, votes if he chose to bribe DNC voters- appears to have been removed by chairperson Donna Brazile, who actively supported Mrs. Clinton for the nomination instead of assuming the proper role of remaining neutral.

The second clue was Joe Biden's endorsement of Tom Perez for DNC chair, reinforcing the party establishment's fear that the economic progressive Ellison would be elected. The primary impact of the statement of Tolliver, had he remained in the race, would have been to provoke a backlash in favor of Ellison. His election would not amuse the neo-liberal powers in the Party.

The proper- and more effective- approach would have been to delegitimize the fellow by debunking his claims, as you otherwise did in your approach by laying out the support the Minnesota Representative has demonstrated toward the gay community. By so doing, the Party could bear witness to the concept that individuals must think for themselves and not blindly accept the interpretation of cultural values of the more intolerant adherents to their religion.

Instead, the sound we hear is of the cork on the bottle of champagne Tom Perez is opening.

We can as Democrats shut up our opponents by suppressing their speech, as the destructive Brazile prefers. However, Trump, Bannon, Conway et al. already are going down that road, and it is not a pretty sight.