Democratic National Committee Deputy Chair Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) ejected a Bernie Sander supporter while he was trying to hold a press conference yesterday. The heckler demanded to know why the Democratic Party was not listening to the base, specifically on the issue of health care. Yes, there were questions about why haven’t we pushed for single-payer yet.
“Why don’t the Democrats pass the single-payer program?” asked the heckler. “Why did they take Bernie Sanders out of the debates because he was talking about single-payer and Glass-Steagall? And now you guys want to go on and on about the Republicans. Democrats are as much to blame. At least the leadership, okay” he added.
Ellison tried to continue with his remarks, but when it became clear that the heckler would not be quiet, he called security to have him removed from the room.
“Can somebody call security?” he says.
It just highlights another instance, where progressives, whether it is a lone soldier or a platoon, are trying to drag the Democratic Party more to the left. In California, the Democrats are starting to eat each other when the state legislature killed a single-payer initiative. The Democratic-controlled legislature passed the State Senate, but the State Assembly shelved it, noting that there were no mechanisms in the bill to pay for the $400 billion program. The result has been a furious backlash from progressives, some of whom have lobbed death threats at state legislators.
The Democratic unity tour in April, which was co-headlined by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), was marred by heckling and boos of newly elected DNC chair Tom Perez. To make things more awkward, the man who is stoking the most enthusiasm for liberals isn’t even a member of the Democratic Party. At the California Democratic Convention, Perez was also booed.