Employees express anger during meeting We find the silence of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus... deafening."
By Guy Benson
Setting aside the whole Squad debacle the chairwoman of House Democrats campaign arm which had a very good cycle in 2018 is trying to beat back an insurrection within her ranks over the issue of diversity.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is in full-blown turmoil.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairwoman Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) was set to make an unplanned trip to Washington from her district Monday amid an outcry from top black and Latino lawmakers over a lack of diversity in the campaign arms senior management ranks.
Bustos sudden return to D.C. just days after Congress left for a six-week-long August recess comes as aides and lawmakers are calling for systematic changes to the DCCC the partys main election organ.
POLITICO reported last week that black and Hispanic lawmakers are furious with Bustos stewardship of the campaign arm. They say the upper echelon of the DCCC is bereft of diversity and it is not doing enough to reach Latino voters and hire consultants of color.
In addition several of Bustos senior aides have left in the first six months of her tenure including her chief of staff a black woman and her director of mail and polling director both women.
In the most dramatic move so far Texas Reps. Vicente Gonzalez and Filemon Vela told POLITICO Sunday that Bustos should fire her top aide DCCC executive director Allison Jaslow.
Much of the tension and emotion boils down to unvarnished identity politics or at least thats how the sniping is being framed. I have no special insight into what else may be driving these conflicts but professed anger over skin color is the rhetorical terrain on which these skirmishes are being fought:
The DCCC is now in complete chaos" the pair said in a statement to POLITICO.
The single most immediate action that Cheri Bustos can take to restore confidence in the organization and to promote diversity is to appoint a qualified person of color of which there are many as executive director at once. We find the silence of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on this issue to be deafening."
In response to the outcry Bustos has agreed to participate in diversity and inclusion training for DCCC employees. An August training had previously been scheduled for just staff... Bustos return to Washington comes on the heels of an emergency all-staff meeting Friday after the POLITICO story published.
Jaslow cried as she assumed blame for the lack of diversity in the DCCC according to multiple people in the room... Some employees expressed anger during the meeting that the campaign arms executive and deputy directors are not people of color.
What strikes me as I read this story is that there do not appear to be substantive complaints about the success or effectiveness of the DCCC under Bustos. The midterm cycle produced a blue wave of gains after all.
There are some complaints mentioned in the Politico report about a vendor blacklist (with the DCCC refusing to contract with firms that are helping any challengers defeat incumbents) but in terms of explicit demands the majority of the quotes in the piece involve people making demands about the skin color composition of the team.
As Ive written before this is the world Democrats have created for themselves:
Since POLITICOs initial report multiple Democratic lawmakers privately questioned the DCCCs claim that 13 out of 27 senior staffers are racially diverse saying only a few of those are actually working in the upper ranks of the campaign arm.
During the call Saturday several staffers demanded an immediate restructuring" of the senior DCCC leadership team to make it more diverse.
Meanwhile over at the DNC a reminder that things arent going terribly well:
One suspects that Democrats will start marching to the same beat sooner or later as the task of defeating President Trump will overwhelm all other simmering internal tensions.
At moment that time evidently has not yet arrived.
Ill leave you with a word of caution for Republicans tempted to gloat over Democratic dysfunction: I cannot recall a less functional national campaign than the Trump 2016 effort which got vastly outspent and out-organized. And won.
Sometimes the national mood and the desire for change can overcome traditional institutional factors. There will be an exceptionally strong desire on the center-left to dislodge and replace Trump.
That passion should not be underestimated.
Guy Benson a Fox News contributor and Political Editor for Townhall.com is co-author of the 2015 book End of Discussion: How the Lefts Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate Manipulates Voters & Makes America Less Free (and Fun). Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.