Everything old is new again, but the Democratic National Committee may need to borrow a dictionary from somebody and look up the word “hypocrisy.” As we discussed yesterday evening, former Labor Secretary Tom Perez was narrowly elected to be the new DNC chair. (Shortly thereafter, he made some attempt at offering an olive branch by getting the assembled members to suspend the rules and declare Keith Ellison as vice chair. ) The new top dog of the party wasted no time in setting the tone for his stewardship. In a moment which would almost certainly come back to haunt him if anyone was interested in holding Democrats accountable, Perez broke out a golden oldie which had previously been used to bash Republicans over the head for several years. (WaPo)
“Someday, they’re going to study this era of American history,” Perez said after his win. “They’re going to ask the question of all of us: Where were you in 2017 when we had the worst president in the history of the United States? We will be able to say that the Democratic Party led the resistance and made sure this was a one-term president.”
Wait a minute… I thought that walking in the door and immediately declaring the purpose of your party to be ensuring that a new president would only serve one term was a bad thing. Didn’t I hear that somewhere? Oh, that’s right… I heard it from virtually every cable news outlet and major newspaper since 2012. But back in January we already discussed the fact that there’s an even more raw bit of irony to be considered every time the subject comes up. Even the Washington Post fact checker was forced to concede that the Republicans never actually said this “as soon as Barack Obama was elected.” In fact, Mitch McConnell said it during an interview with The Nation two years later on the eve of the midterm elections.
Mitch McConnell said that during an interview that he did with the National Journal on Oct. 23, 2010, almost exactly two years after Obama won his first election. The date should also be conspicuous because it was only a couple of weeks before the mid-term elections. McConnell was one of the top ranking members of the party out of power and he was trying to rally the conservative troops to get out and vote. (An effort he was tremendously successful at, as you may recall.) Also, in the very next answer he gave in that interview he said that if Obama pulled some sort of Clintonian shift to the middle and came up with some policy items where the two sides could meet half way, “it’s not inappropriate for us to do business with him.” And in the next answer answer after that he specifically said that he didn’t want Obama’s presidency to fail… he wanted him to change.
You can go back and check the C-SPAN tapes, but I’m pretty sure that Tom Perez had not officially been the chairman of the DNC for more than 120 seconds before he promised to make Donald Trump “a one term president.” And he wasn’t going to stop there, either. Did you happen to see his response to the president’s admittedly snarky congratulations on twitter?
— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) February 25, 2017
“Your worst nightmare?” Apparently the ground rules have been established. Despite spending years claiming that the Republicans “never gave Barack Obama a chance,” and were simply trying to obstruct them, the Democrats have chosen a new leader who has shamelessly adopted not only the same tone and tenor, but began his term by literally doing precisely the same thing they had falsely accused Republicans of for years.
If the media exhibited 1/10 the same level of fascination with the DNC Chairman that they did with Reince Priebus over the past few years, Perez would have a lot to answer for. It’s not as if he hasn’t had his fair share of scandals already by the way. Jeff Dunetz has a rundown of Tom’s history with investigations, memory failure and mendacity. We probably won’t be hearing much of that around the Sunday morning roundtables, but it’s worth putting a bookmark on that subject for now.