In the immediate aftermath of their drubbing on November 8, and following Hillary Clinton’s career-ending injury, the Democrats faced the question every rebuilding team faces: Who is the quarterback of the future?
DNC interim chairperson Donna Brazile is not the answer. She’s still undergoing the concussion protocol, after a helmet-to-helmet collision with WikiLeaks in October, following their interception of her email. They discovered that Brazile, a longtime DNC strategist and LGBTQ activist with ties to CNN, had used her media connections to pass debate questions to the Clinton campaign.
Brazile had taken over the starting role in July at the Democratic National Convention, after WikiLeaks revealed that then-DNC chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz had chop-blocked avowed socialist Bernie Sanders to secure the nomination for Clinton. Booed as she exited the locker room, Wasserman Schultz announced her resignation and was duly rewarded by the Clinton campaign with the job of “50 State Program Chair.” She’s a free agent now, but she’s out of the running thanks to too many unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties.
Enter Keith Ellison, a black, pro-abortion, pro-gay-marriage Muslim from Minnesota, who magically emerged on the Day After as top draft prospect for the DNC chair. His statesmanship and strategic brilliance are vouched for by zero accomplishments on the field of play, besides being Keith Ellison (see description above), a walking constellation of special-interest groups.
Unfortunately, special-interest groups are by definition and temperament not team players. They are better at padding their stats than at winning games.
After nearly being guaranteed the position in November, Ellison was penalized by his own teammates in the media when they discovered—to their surprise and horror—that Muslims make statements that some would consider antisemitic. In fact, it turns out that this (the Jew-hating) is even characteristic of practitioners of Black Lives Matter Islam, the sort commonly associated with Minister Louis Farrakhan.
Raised Catholic in Detroit, Ellison converted to Islam while in college, defended Farrakhan as a student social-justice warrior, then followed the well-trod path away from the Nation of Islam and toward a more benign and respectable black Sunni version—the sort that CAIR praises. The veteran Sunnis seem content to tolerate the black Sunnis, perhaps because they don’t trumpet the naughty parts of the Koran and conduct Scientology audits as Farrakhan does. Many of these black American Sunnis adopt a politically pro-choice position on various thorny social and moral questions, content to let the kafirs face the judgment of Allah.
Of course, some Democrats aren’t satisfied with winning an intramural scrimmage. Alan Dershowitz understands that the number-one goal of rebuilding a team is to win championships, and said so in a piece published by FOX News. “Keith Ellison is, by all accounts, a decent guy,” Dershowitz writes, “who is well liked by his congressional colleagues. But it is hard to imagine a worse candidate to take over the DNC at this time.” Why? Because identity politics is what lost them the Big Game in the first place. You will not win back those white working-class voters by making the face of your party the man known for swearing on the Koran when he became a U.S. representative, for “berating the United States” after the manner of Jeremiah “God Damn America” Wright, and for his “sordid past associations with Louis Farrakhan.”
The problem for Team Donkey, however, is bigger than that. Keith Ellison’s own person represents the impossibility of the left’s synthesis of opposing ideas and interests. Democrats gasped at the very notion that Trump would extremely vet Muslims before letting them into the country, then tried to turn this into a broader guilt-by-association play against Trump that painted him as a rich bigot who hates everyone. They called the same play with regard to illegal Third World immigrants, feminists, and Black Lives Matter activists: Trump’s opinions about these identity groups prove that he hates you. Defense wins championships, but only if you can score.
The Democrats need more than a quarterback; they need a new team and a new playbook.