Friday, January 11, 2019

How Would A President Sherrod Brown Run The Democratic Party? Like A Corporate Clown Act


-by Tim Russo

Let me tell you about one of my favorite hangovers.

As one of the landed gentry of the Ohio blogosphere’s glory days, my weakness (and finest work) was always internal Ohio Democratic Party coverage, especially the selection of state chair. I made something of a career covering the Ohio Democratic Party’s two most recent elections of a state chair; in 2005, and 2014, plus all the mind blowing corrupt buffoonery in between. Ohio Democratic Party is a gift that never stops giving.

My experience with Sherrod Brown during the 2005 chair “election” that made Chris Redfern ODP chairman is still legendary, preserved here in a 2008 James Renner front page feature for Cleveland’s local alt weekly. Let’s leave it there, shall we? Let’s talk the next one.

The 2014 ODP Chair "election" was precipitated by a comically catastrophic statewide ODP meltdown, led by Ed FitzGerald, for whom ODP cleared the primary for governor (as usual). That summer, it emerged FBI lawman Ed FitzGerald had been driving his car without a license for 10 years. The ensuing wave against Ohio Democrats (which I covered for the now defunct Cleveland Leader) even took out then ODP chair Chris Redfern, who lost his own house seat. Redfern resigned as ODP chair election night, November 4.

By the next day, Sherrod Brown had decided who would be the next ODP chair. So on Nov. 5, I wrote my first Leader piece on Brown’s choice, Dave Wojtanowski. I am 100% certain my Leader piece on Wojtanowski was the only coverage that day that went beyond "Sherrod endorses Woj". Not one single media outlet in Ohio bothered to report that, SURPRISE turns out Wojtanowski was a “both sides” statehouse lobbyist in Columbus for 20 years who donated money to as many Republicans as Democrats. Cherry on top, Wojtanowski owned some two bit rinky dink "online organizing" consulting firm, no doubt created as a vessel for that sweet bipartisan "consulting" cash. After I disgustedly hit "pubish," I could almost hear every Democrat in Ohio start googling "David Wojtanowski."

Then, I got a good drunk on. I’d begun diving into the CSU masters program I’d fought like hell to get into, and was feeling pretty self actualized. But like any good drunk, alas... melancholy. I could not believe I was still writing, for no pay, about yet another scandal at the Ohio Democratic Party, after yet another electoral meltdown, and no one would give a flying fuck. Passed out on my friend’s couch after a bar crawl, during which I'm sure I let fly like Mussolini from the balcony at various Wednesday night revelers, waving my arms like an embryonic hipster Lenin. Bring me a shot!

The next morning, hungover like a dog, roaming the streets of Collinwood on Cleveland’s east side with my friend hunting for coffee, a text hit my pocket.

"woj is out"-- my Leader piece had scared Wojtanowski into oblivion. Woj ran like a terrified rabbit out of the race. Sherrod was on the hunt for a new chair!

"…THEY PULL ME BACK IN…" I kept muttering over the coffee. Over the next month or so, I went straight back to full overdrive ODP coverage. By the end of 2014, Sherrod Brown had gone through another endorsement/pullout cycle, with yet another corporate tool. This time, it was Cleveland law firm Thompson Hine’s featured "outsourcing attorney" Sharen Neuhardt, who clung to Sherrod’s endorsement for a couple weeks (but I ran for Congress! As a Dem!) as she went down like the Hindenburg.

All of which is how heir to a Proctor & Gamble fortune David Pepper became the current ODP chair. I suppose I could have hounded Pepper into oblivion too for the Leader, and some other corporate stooge could be ODP chair today! But quite frankly, it became too much work, too much blowback, for too little money, which has always been zero, just to uncover what should be reported anyway by the people who are paid to report it.

Bottom line-- Sherrod Brown as a political party leader is a buffoon of such comic proportion, it almost doesn't matter that Brown reversed his position on Glass Steagall the week before the 2018 midterms. Sherrod's presidential campaign will look precisely like his dalliances the last 25 years in ODP's cess pit of rigged game oligarchy, which means it will go nowhere, slowly.

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At 10:33 PM, Anonymous zeeman said...

Sherrod. First Dem Sen (progressive?!) to endorse Clinton over Bernie back in the day had me concerned about his future which is becoming the now.Last but not least, this guy has a voice that mimics (raspy) that of Alex Jones, at least on a intellectual level. He won't be going anywhere. Nuff said.

At 10:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew there were problems with Sherrod Brown (IIRC, in 2004). I recall a rather promising Ohio candidate who wanted to run against Brown in the primary, only to be very roughly shoved aside by Ohio Party officials so that Sherrod (just WHAT kind of a name is that, anyway?) could win the nomination unopposed and keep his powder dry for the general election. "But he's a progressive!" can't the excuse. I'm still waiting for the proof, Ohio democraps.

While Brown is far from the worst US Senator on the roster, he isn't going to win my vote for President in the general - not that I think he'll get there. Someone will take him down, and much easier than he might suspect.

At 2:39 AM, Anonymous Bernblu said...

While I'd vote for Brown in the general he has little chance of getting any traction at all with Bernie running. I think he got bad advice from his wife who was very friendly with Hillary. Probably they were hoping for the VP call that never came. Hillary probably would have won if she had picked a stronger union guy like Brown but out of touch Hillary had no freaking idea what she was doing.

As it turned Brown's one chance was to back Bernie in 2016 and then take over the progressive movement if Bernie backed out in 2020. It would have taken more courage or ideological commitment than Brown could ever muster. Anyway, low key midwestern types don't do well in presidential politics. So, whatever is said about Brown's meager chances apply to Amy Klobuchar, who is more conservative than Brown.

At 3:29 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

I have watched Brown a few times on MSNBC. He is a totally uninspiring speaker who sounds like he has marbles in his mouth. He also says a lot of words without saying anything meaningful. He is certainly not concise or eloquent and he does not seem to get to an actual point. He is annoying to listen to.

Not a good choice for Prez candidate just from the above, let alone from any policy standpoint.

At 7:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah Hone. He kind of avoids lying by not actually saying anything. axelrod is like that. a lot of democraps are like that. Pelosi too.

but then there was obamanation who did say shit... and all of it was lies. but he looked and sounded sincere... and that is all that the left electorate cares about. they never insist that anyone actually DOES what they say they want to do.

and the cluster fuck of a shithole continues swirling the bowl.


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