The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the House Democrats’ powerful campaign arm, has just abruptly purged half a dozen staffers. Why? Because they are white.
It appears that no one had anything against these particular staffers ... except for the color of their skin. Although roughly half the committee’s full-time staff (13 of 27) were nonwhite, this was not enough for some Democratic members of Congress. They complained DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos of Illinois had brought in too many white staffers when she won the position. And they put enough pressure on her that she sacrificed her loyal staffers to the god of diversity.
Even if all these staffers ended up with cushy lobbying jobs as a reward for their loyalty, this is still a lot more shocking than people perhaps realize.
There are two possible interpretations of this mass-purge at the DCCC. Either a few Democrats are making a racial issue out of a patronage question, once again knifing each other under the cover of intersectionality, or Democrats are genuinely angry that half the staff at the DCCC are white. As often happens with the Democratic Left, it is difficult to tell just where the insincerity ends and the fanaticism begins.
But either interpretation implies that this is not a party fit to govern.
Nobody wants to see whites take up identity politics or demand a certain quota of jobs anywhere. But that isn't what this was about. This is about an organization that fires people from their current jobs because of their skin color. The insinuation that racist influences led Bustos to choose her staff and pass over better nonwhite candidates marks a continuation of what New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez started when she absurdly accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of racism and sexism.
This firing, and that’s what it is, not a free resignation, sends a message to everyone, and especially to young people of any race who are interested in politics. If an organization is actually willing to fire you from your job just because you’re white, do you really want to be involved with it?
Would you even want to vote for it?
It's not healthy for American democracy that racial groups should turn against one another politically. And the country should look forward to the day when politics are less racially polarized. But according to exit poll data, whites have been increasingly abandoning the Democratic Party in the last 20 years. They voted just four points more Republican than the median voter in the 1982 midterm election, but 18 points more Republican in 2018.
That's still not enough to prevent Democrats from winning, but it already means they can't win in most states without consistently holding together 90% of the black vote and vast majorities with other minority voting blocs.
Do they really think that's a realistic winning strategy in the long run? If so, then this week’s purge might have been a smart move.