- - Monday, February 27, 2017


Keep turning left and you’ll always come back to the place where you started, or a dead end. Neither result seems to bother the Democrats. The party of Jefferson chose its leader over the weekend, Tom Perez, who prescribes more of what brought the party low. Striking out toward the dead end, Democrats will need more than a wing and a prayer to survive and prosper.

Mr. Perez, a Hispanic who served as President Obama’s secretary of labor, narrowly defeated Keith Ellison, a five-term congressman from Minnesota with roots in the black-power movement of Louis Farrakhan. The vote was 235 to 200, and on a second ballot at the party’s winter meeting in Atlanta. Mr. Perez doubled down on disaster with the selection of Mr. Ellison as deputy chairman, and pledged war on President Trump, whom he described as “the worst president in the history of the United States.” It was the bold assessment that even a fortune teller would avoid, since Mr. Trump has only been president a little more than a month.

Mr. Perez’s elevation to party head is a victory for the Democratic establishment which includes Mr. Obama, who urged him to run for the office. This is the cadre that ensured Hillary Clinton’s selection as the nominee for president, and everyone can see how that turned out. Singing another verse of the same old song is not likely to resuscitate the corpse. He did pledge to reach out to rural America, where Mr. Trump won 2,623 such counties across the nation. Mrs. Clinton won 489.

Mr. Ellison offered only a more radical approach to rebuilding the party. He appealed to the Bernie Sanders wing that filled the hall with chants of “No big money! Party for the people!” He’s most at home in the fog and high weeds of the alt-left, saying things such as, “I think that Donald Trump has already done a number of things which legitimately raise the question of impeachment.” Mr. Ellison’s roots in a movement espousing black “empowerment,” racial separatism and anti-Semitism marks him as the dividing force nobody needs.

Republicans at the Conservative Political Action Conference naturally cheered the hard left turn of the Democrats. Sen. Ted Cruz pointed out that former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s invocation of the so-called “nuclear option” directly enabled several of Mr. Trump’s Cabinet nominees to win confirmation by a simple Senate majority. Not an encouraging augury. The further Democrats venture into the “progressive” quagmire, the more distant they will wind up from the heart of America.

By thrusting their leftist values in the face of average Americans, Hillary and the Democrats were no match in November for Trump backers who want “to make America great again.” Now they have a party boss leading them into another dead end. Republicans have been called “the Stupid Party” for an uncanny instinct for doing the wrong thing. Sometimes stupid is as stupid sometimes does.

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