News & Politics

Obama the Moderate? White House Waffling on Hard-Left Muslim as DNC Chair

(AP Photo/Molly Riley)

We live in interesting times. The presidential election made strange bedfellows, throwing wrenches into long-established coalitions in both major parities. People who have long been adversaries have suddenly found themselves in common cause for or against one candidate or another. Roles have often been reversed, as conventional wisdom has been challenged.

That effect has continued since the election. After their crippling defeat, national Democrats have wasted no time considering how to resist and eventually run against Donald Trump. For the parties most hard-line leftists, their top pick for DNC chair has been Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison. As an African-American and the first Muslim elected to Congress, Ellison offers an optical contrast to the president-elect.

Even so, a noteworthy player questions whether Ellison would be right for the job — the Obama White House. From the New York Times:

Some Democrats, in Obama’s orbit and beyond, believe that elevating Ellison would amount to handing the party to Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s primary opponent, and his liberal followers.

 Ellison was a high-profile backer of Sanders’ presidential campaign, and Sanders has been rallying support for Ellison’s DNC bid. He ignited new controversy this week by saying the party needed to “go beyond identity politics.”

As a resident of Minnesota and an active member of the Republican Party in that state, I can attest to the fact that Ellison stands as one of the most radical elected officials of the Democratic Party. The Obama White House is right to be concerned, because Ellison will surely double-down on the shrieking leftist rhetoric which many observers believe handed the election to Trump.

That said, it’s odd to consider the Obama White House in the role of moderate. Yet that’s clearly the case here. There seems to be some awareness, however slight, that the country as a whole does not track with the extreme progressive agenda favored by Sanders supporters.