by George Rasley, CHQ Editor
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chairwoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) has been facing growing criticism from Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Hispanic Caucus members who charged that the DCCC lacked diversity and was, in essence, a bastion of white privilege.
“There is not one person of color — black or brown, that I’m aware of — at any position of authority or decision making in the DCCC,” Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) said according to reporting by multiple news outlets. “It is shocking, it is shocking, and something needs to be done about it.”
The predictable result of Rep. Fudge’s charge of lack of diversity in racial composition at the DCCC was a Stalinist-like purge of white staffers at the Democrats’ main congressional campaign committee just as candidate and donor recruitment should be shifting into high gear.
According to reporting by Breitbart’s Hannah Bleau, DCCC executive director Allison Jaslow; Jared Smith, the communications director; Melissa Miller, a top DCCC communications aide; Molly Ritner, political director; Nick Pancrazio, deputy executive director; and even Van Ornelas, the DCCC’s director of diversity were all out in a matter of hours.
But there is another angle to the story that Ms. Bleau reported but did not fully develop; the growing reality that within the Democratic Party color is ideology.
As Ms. Bleau reported, back in January when she was elected to head the DCCC, Bustos received criticism from groups such as the Justice Democrats who said she needs to support more progressive policies.
“We do not support Cheri Bustos as leader of the DCCC,” said Justice Democrats spokesman Waleed Shahid. “Bustos has not supported progressive policies like Medicare for All, free college, a Green New Deal, or ending private prisons and immigration detention facilities.”
Justice Democrats also criticized her for receiving campaign funds mostly from corporate political action committees and not small donors, according to USA Today.
The high tensions at the DCCC mirror the bigger power struggle between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-12) and the far-left members of the “Squad” – Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Ilhan Omar (MN-5), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), and Ayanna Pressley (MA-7) – who aim to move the Democrat Party farther left in terms of ideology and self-imposed race-based quotas.
Prioritizing diversity in race, sex, class or other markers among the party’s staff (and lawmakers), over talent and experience, is a Far-Left folly that has become a growing imperative in all decision making for Democrats.
Concerns about the DCCC’s staffing diversity finally boiled over after the organization implemented a new policy about consultants earlier this year, reported Li Zhou of VOX. That policy, which initially started as a diversity initiative, barred campaign consultants — including advertising firms and direct mail companies — from working with candidate who was challenging a current House incumbent. Those who did so would be blacklisted from other jobs with the DCCC.
Ms. Zhou reports Bustos had framed the policy as a means of protecting current members of the Democratic caucus, but it’s been widely perceived as an effort to limit new “progressive” voices in the House. Because of this, the policy is seen as actively restricting the candidacies of women and people of color, prompting backlash from numerous progressive groups.
As Vox’s Tara Golshan previously reported, many prominent House progressives are among those who have taken issue with the policy, especially because they won by challenging incumbents themselves.
Ocasio-Cortez is one extremely notable example. She beat out Joe Crowley, a New York Democratic Party boss who had even been tapped as a possible successor to Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Another is Rep. Ayanna Pressley, who beat out old time Boston Democrat Mike Capuano.
Both Pressley and Ocasio-Cortez, with the support of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, called the DCCC’s decision a “divisive” policy and an effort to “blacklist” groups.
“If I waited my turn, I wouldn’t be here,” Rep. Jahana Hayes (CT-5) also previously told the New York Times while discussing the detrimental effects of the vendor policy. “There is a gatekeeper mentality that sometimes can diminish new ideas.”
Blacklisting vendors who work for primary challengers is nothing new in DC politics – the Republicans tried it against vendors who helped Tea Party challengers in 2010, 2012 and 2014 and have more quietly tried it against other anti-establishment candidates since, to considerable grassroots backlash.
However, the Democrats’ “Monday Massacre” is the first time we’ve heard of where the blacklisting had this “color is ideology” aspect to it.
Of course we are happy to see the Democrats in disarray just as they should be gearing up to close the deal with top 2020 recruits, however, there is something very disquieting about a national political party that aspires to govern the country engaging in a race-based purge of its top staff. Such a blatantly racist act should serve as a warning to all Americans of what is to come if Democrats ever control all three branches of the federal government.