File this to things that are totally predictable but will still fill you with rage: HuffPost reported on Friday that the Democratic National Committee will vote on a proposal to reverse its ban on accepting donations from fossil fuel companies, which they adopted just two months ago. The proposal was reportedly introduced by DNC chair Tom Perez.
The language of the proposal, which was posted by the site, is entirely too much: It’s titled “Resolution Reaffirming the DNC’s Unwavering Commitment to Workers and Unions in Industries that Power the American Economy, and Expressing the Democratic Party’s Appreciation of their Profound Contributions to Our Party, Our Nation’s Economy, and Our Way of Life.” It’s framed as a measure to support those everyday fossil fuel workers who just want to donate to the DNC, even going so far as invoking the Janus ruling to try and justify the change. It also notes that “tens of thousands of union members work in industries that rely on traditional energy sources or live in regions where traditional energy sources are the primary economic driver.” You know, those coal miners who just love the Democrats.
The proposal does not mention climate change. Meanwhile, firefighters and other workers are dying fighting the huge wildfires raging in California, fires which are absolutely linked to climate change, in a state that just had its hottest month on record, ever.
After the story was published, HuffPost reporter Alexander Kaufman tweeted that a DNC spokesperson disputed his story’s characterization of the proposal as a “reversal”:
To be clear, the ban from two months ago stated the DNC would reject “corporate PAC contributions from the fossil fuel industry that conflict with our DNC Platform.” Today’s proposal, on the other hand, says the party (emphasis added):
“gratefully acknowledges and will continue to welcome the longstanding and generous contributions of workers, including those in energy and related industries, who organize and donate to Democratic candidates individually or through their unions’ or employers’ political action committees.”
The ban only prohibited donations from corporate fossil fuel PACs, not individual donations, but acknowledging that fact would make it harder to pretend this is about workers and not just collecting fat checks from fossil fuel companies.
Corporate political action committees are indeed funded by donations by workers, though of course the biggest checks come from the highest-paid employees. Corporate PACs are a huge source of donations for federal candidates: They’ve donated more than $120 million to House candidates since the beginning of 2017, with two-thirds going to Republicans. PACs can donate $15,000 annually to a national party committee like the DNC. Last year, the DNC voted down a proposal to reinstate a rule banning donations from all corporate PACs and lobbyists.
I hope the checks are worth continually eroding the faith of regular Americans and party activists who believe, not without justification, that the party is beholden to corporate interests. Shit like this is why people don’t trust the Democrats even when the only other national party is stuffed to the brim with fat old racist white guys whose campaign message is basically We Are Going To Crush Your Bones Into Diamonds To Pay For Our Yachts And You’ll Like It.
The Democrats do not deserve to win, but if they don’t, we’re all even more fucked than we are already.