Now that Barack Obama’s second term is coming to an end, the question is — who will fill his shoes as the leader of the Democratic Party? Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison would like the job — and is officially seeking to become the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Journalist and newspaper editor Caroline Glick has pointed out that “When a party is out of power, the party chairman is also treated like its formal leader, and most active spokesman.” Congressman Ellison is the head of the fringe left-wing Democrats’ Progressive Caucus, and he enjoys the support of incoming Senate minority leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, outgoing Senate minority leader Harry Reid, Barack Obama, and Sen. Bernie Sanders is said to be “enthusiastically supporting him.”
In many ways Ellison is the perfect guy to take over after Obama. The parallel between the two men began to be noticed back in 2008. In late October of that year, the National Review’s Andrew McCarthy wrote a two-sentence blog post titled, “Striking Parallels: Keith Ellison & Barack Obama.” In it, he linked to an article by Minnesota attorney and political commentator Scott Johnson posted at Powerline, as well as to author and columnist Diana West’s comments on Johnson’s article.
So who is Keith Ellison? It’s easy to learn a great deal about him since he has been controversial even before he was elected as the first Muslim-American to Congress. Getting lost in the research is also easy, and what follows only touches on some of the highlights of his career.
Scott Johnson wrote that he felt “a slight sense of deja vu” while watching Obama’s rise. Johnson, like Ellison, lives in Minnesota and wrote a lot about Ellison before and after he got elected. Johnson watched how the press was constrained by political correctness because Ellison was a Muslim, just as they were when reporting about Obama, the first African-American major party nominee for president.
“Ellison’s self-identification as a member and leader of the Nation of Islam (NOI) remained one of the deep secrets of his 2006 campaign,” Johnson writes. While Ellison has since left NOI and expressed criticisms of NOI leader Louis Farrakhan, Obama’s long-time pastor Jeremiah Wright has “no such reservations regarding Farrakhan.”
According to Johnson:
[Wright] has an enduring relationship with Farrakhan that goes back at least as far as their joint trip to visit Col. Gadaffi in 1984. In casting his lot with Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ, Obama found the useful Christian analogue of the Nation of Islam.
Johnson noted several other similarities, here is just one:
In seeking their respective nominations, both Ellison and Obama found support among Hamas and friends. The Hamas-related support for Ellison and Obama is indicative of the melding of the left with Islamist forces at home and abroad.
Since his name as been floated to chair the DNC, the conservative press has been working to remind their readers about Keith Ellison’s bio. To say the least, he doesn’t have any fans at Front Page Mag or National Review or the Weekly Standard or at the Powerline Blog. You can peruse some of the headlines on this page.
One of Scott Johnson’s latest articles opens with this:
The ascent of Keith Ellison to the possible leadership of the Democratic Party is a fateful event. Here is a man who was an active local leader of the racist and anti-Semitic cult known as the Nation of Islam until some time past his first attempt at political office as a Democrat, yet who has never acknowledged, accounted or apologized for his activities and expressed beliefs on behalf of the cult. Rather, as I recounted in the Weekly Standard article “Louis Farrakhan’s first congressman” (2006), Ellison has explained them away with lies and deceptions.
Caroline Glick, writing at the Jerusalem Post on November 17, said that the Democratic Party “has two basic options”:
They can move to the center and try to rebuild their blue collar voter base that President-elect Donald Trump captivated with his populist message. To do so they will need to loosen the reins of political correctness and weaken their racialism, their radical environmentalism and their support for open borders.
The second option is to go still further along the leftist trajectory that President Barack Obama set the party off on eight years ago. This is the favored option of the Bernie Sanders wing of the party. Sanders’s supporters refer to this option as the populist course.
For the Democrats, such a populist course will require them to become more racialist, more authoritarian in their political correctness, angrier and more doctrinaire.
Caroline Glick noted that “Antisemitism, like hatred of police and Christians, is a necessary component of Democratic populism.”
She also made these points:
- “As Johnson reported, aside from engaging in anti-Jewish propaganda and actively promoting antisemitic messages and leaders, decades before the Black Lives Matter was formed, Ellison was a prominent defender of murderers of policemen.”
- “After the September 11 attacks, Ellison likened the attacks to the Reichstag fire in 1933, intimating that the al-Qaida strike was an inside job. He then agreed with an audience member who said that ‘the Jews’ gained the most from the attacks.”
- “As a member of Congress, Ellison has been among the most hostile US lawmakers toward Israel. He has close relations with Muslim Brotherhood-related groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America. Both groups were unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism funding trial, implicated in funding Hamas and al-Qaida.”
- “Ellison, a supporter of the antisemitic BDS movement, has libeled Israel by likening the Jewish state to apartheid South Africa. Under his leadership, we can expect for Democratic politicians to veer even further away from Israel and to embrace the slander that Zionism is racism.”
The Democratic Party sure knows how to pick ’em, eh? The current DNC chairman, Donna Brazile, was caught providing Hillary Clinton with the questions that were going to be asked at the presidential debates. Her predecessor, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, would forced out of the job when the Wikileaks emails revealed that she had been Hillary’s gal, rigging the primaries to doom Bernie Sanders’ campaign.
Keith Ellison as DNC chairman, of course, would be an entirely new low should he win the job.