On the Upcoming CDC Elections
Like Danzig playing a quinceañera, some combinations of people and roles are wildly inappropriate.
Thus, we find ourselves approaching the Columbia Democratic Club Board Elections, which are occurring on Wednesday, May 12.
I was once quite pleased at the prospect of Jake Burdett assuming the position of CDC President. Here was a young, decidedly Left activist on the come up who, in conjunction with the Board and membership, could help get the Party ready for what is likely to be a brutal election cycle.
And I appreciate someone who pushes the Overton window, even if the elected officials bristle about it, because public officials need to be held accountable. And f#$% their comfort levels. And if you think I am talking about you, I am.
As presidential historian Richard Neustadt famously noted, “presidential power is the power to persuade.” Now, the CDC presidency is not the same as being the “leader of the free world” (need I say this?). Verily, the former title and 99 cents won’t get you a cup of coffee at Mad City. But the principle holds – and Jake Burdett is simply out of persuasion capital.
I have heard all sides of the controversies that have occurred over the past several months. There is no one blameless although I tend to assign more responsibility to the person sitting behind the “buck stops here” desk sign. Ultimately, it is that person who needs to find a way to work with others in a productive manner. There is an inside game and an outside game, and too much of the former was taking place in full public view via social media. This was, and is, not helpful.
Colloquially speaking, the Left gets screwed over when “party unity” is the order of the day. Policy-wise, we are expected to swallow whatever measures the right of the party (and their establishment media outlets and financial backers) deem necessary. And we are expected to fall in line (see Joe Biden 2020), which most inevitably do with varying degrees of enthusiasm.
But faced with a Republican party committed to an ethno-nationalist agenda and heading into the midterms where, historically, the party that does not hold the White House gains seats, at the risk of invoking yet another cliché, the Stakes are Too High. And yes, this applies at the local level too.
As a whole, I am not particularly pleased with most of the County Council. As a private citizen, this is fine. Having a “very particular set of skills,” I know I can express this displeasure in a way which will be heard – in primaries and general elections. However, I know these abilities are not conducive to being a team player. I don’t believe that Mr. Burdett, in his current capacity as CDC President, gets this…or he is choosing to ignore that facet of the gig. The job of the CDC is to help build the Democratic party locally. The abilities to collaborate, and persuade, are essential. Hack and slash, particularly directed against one’s own side, is not a critical attribute for a CDC President…organization is.
So, I encourage all of my friends, acquaintances, and yes, comrades to vote for Cynthia Fikes for President along with the rest of the #TakeBackOurClub slate. I simply believe that they are better equipped to get the Party ready for the battles to come.
Frankly, I think Jake is better off being a consultant/lightening rod for a progressive campaign or cause. I look at the Fikes et. al. slate and I see people with a deep commitment to the Party and a willingness to do the heavy lifting, in a collegial and respectful manner, even if some are - in their heart of hearts - Clintonian New Democrats.