The Democratic Party descends into 'civil war' after Clinton's loss

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President-elect Donald Trump's unforeseen election win over Hillary Clinton has ignited immediate infighting inside the Democratic Party, with progressive members lashing out at the establishment wing for failing to defeat one of the most flawed Republican presidential candidates in a generation.

"There is no question there is a civil war taking place inside the Democratic Party," said Cenk Uygur, co-founder of The Young Turks, a progressive internet-based commentary program.

"And the progressive side is going to win."

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Inside both Trump and Clinton's NYC election night events
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Inside both Trump and Clinton's NYC election night events
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 8: Men walk backstage at the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's Election Night event at New York Hilton Midtown in New York City on Nov. 8, 2016. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: A screen is positioned in front of buildings ahead of Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's election night event outside the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center November 8, 2016 in New York City. Clinton is running against Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump to be the 45th President of the United States. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
Workers iron a US flag as they prepare the US map shaped stage for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's election night event at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York on November 8, 2016. Eager voters crowded into polling stations to choose a new US president Tuesday after a wild and bitter contest between the billionaire populist Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the Democrat seeking to become the first woman to win the White House. / AFP / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - NOVEMBER 8: Trump campaign paraphernalia is seen behind a velvet rope at Donald Trump's Election Night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City on Nov. 8, 2016. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
A supporter wearing a cape watches Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's election night rally in the Jacob Javits Center glass enclosed lobby in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A Trump supporter waits for the Trump rally to begin at the Hilton Hotel during the U.S. presidential election in New York City, New York, U.S. November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: Preperations take place before Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown on November 8, 2016 in New York City. Americans today will choose between Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as they go to the polls to vote for the next president of the United States. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Supporters cheer as they watch election returns during Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's election night rally in the Jacob Javits Center glass enclosed lobby in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
People begin to arrive outside the Jacob Javits Center for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's rally in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
People watch elections returns during election night at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York on November 8, 2016. US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will hold her election night event at the convention center. / AFP / DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
A 'Make America Great Again' sign is displayed ahead of an election night party for 2016 Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump at the Hilton Midtown hotel in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Fifty-one percent of voters nationally were bothered a lot by Trump's treatment of women, while Democrat Hillary Clinton's use of private e-mail while secretary of state was troubling to 44 percent, according to preliminary exit polling as voting neared a close in some states. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: A supporter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends the election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown on November 8, 2016 in New York City. Americans today will choose between Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as they go to the polls to vote for the next president of the United States. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Supporters celebrate during Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's election night rally in the Jacob Javits Center glass enclosed lobby in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
NEW YORK CITY - NOVEMBER 8: A Donald Trump supporter takes a picture of the press pen at Republican presidential nominee Donald Trumps election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City on Nov. 8, 2016. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
A supporter holds a sign at the election night rally for U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, New York, U.S., on November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
'Hispanics For Trump' signs sit on a table ahead an election night party for 2016 Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump at the Hilton Midtown hotel in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Fifty-one percent of voters nationally were bothered a lot by Trump's treatment of women, while Democrat Hillary Clinton's use of private e-mail while secretary of state was troubling to 44 percent, according to preliminary exit polling as voting neared a close in some states. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: A supporter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump cheers during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown on November 8, 2016 in New York City. Americans today will choose between Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as they go to the polls to vote for the next president of the United States. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: Eva Pearson of Long Island, NY holds her hands to her face as she watches voting results at Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's election night event at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center November 8, 2016 in New York City. Clinton is running against Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump to be the 45th President of the United States. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is projected on a screen on election night at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center November 8, 2016 in New York City. Clinton is running against Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump to be the 45th President of the United States. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Woman hold ups up boxing gloves while cheering during an election night party for 2016 Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton at the Javits Center in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Fifty-one percent of voters nationally were bothered a lot by Republican Donald Trump's treatment of women, while Clinton's use of private e-mail while secretary of state was troubling to 44 percent, according to preliminary exit polling as voting neared a close in some states. Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Two women chat ahead of Republican Donald Trump's election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 8, 2016. Millions of Americans turned out Tuesday to decide whether to send Democrat Hillary Clinton to the White House as their first woman president or to put their trust in Republican maverick populist Donald Trump. / AFP / Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Guests watch a screen proclaiming Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as winning the state of Illinois at the election night rally at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, U.S., November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump watch news reports as results come in during election night at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 8, 2016. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were running neck and neck Tuesday in early results as polling stations closed in the eastern United States, with the world waiting anxiously to see who will win the historic White House clash. A deeply divided electorate of about 200 million Americans were asked to make a momentous choice between electing the nation's first woman president, or handing the reins of power to a billionaire populist who has upended US politics with his improbable outsider campaign. / AFP / Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
A guest reacts as she watches results on a television screen during Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's election night rally in the Jacob Javits Center glass enclosed lobby in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
A man reacts to returns at Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's election night rally the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, U.S., November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Adrees Latif
Marvin DeLeon (L) of Washington County, NY, cries as he stands in the overflow crowd for Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's election night rally at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, U.S. November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: Supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump watch early results during the election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown on November 8, 2016 in New York City. Americans today will choose between Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as they go to the polls to vote for the next president of the United States. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump watch news reports as results come in during election night at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 8, 2016. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were running neck and neck Tuesday in early results as polling stations closed in the eastern United States, with the world waiting anxiously to see who will win the historic White House clash. A deeply divided electorate of about 200 million Americans were asked to make a momentous choice between electing the nation's first woman president, or handing the reins of power to a billionaire populist who has upended US politics with his improbable outsider campaign. / AFP / Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump watch results unfold on a TV screen during election night at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 8, 2016. / AFP / Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump react to unfolding results during election night at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 8, 2016. / AFP / Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Supporters of US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton watch elections results during election night at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York on November 8, 2016. / AFP / DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Supporters of democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton react to early poll results during election night at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York on November 8, 2016. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman weeps as election results are reported during Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's election night rally in the Jacob Javits Center glass enclosed lobby in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
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Progressives have long felt disaffected from the Democratic Party, often arguing elected officials cater to special interests and regularly compromise their values to work with Republicans across the aisle.

But Trump's electoral triumph has shattered the Democratic Party, bringing out venom that bubbled to a breaking point during the campaign. Last summer, WikiLeaks published hacked emails exposing top members of the Democratic National Committee. Those emails showed that party officials were actively working to help Clinton secure the nomination, while simultaneously sabotaging the campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who became a progressive hero in a stunning outsider run of his own.

The outrage was enough to force then-chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign. Donna Brazile was promoted from vice chair to interim chair of the party, temporarily pacifying progressive concerns.

Debbie Wasserman SchultzJustin Sullivan/Getty Images

But, following a stunning defeat Tuesday night, progressives are once again up in arms. They contend that the Democratic Party has allowed corporate interests to dictate its policy agenda for far too long, resulting in major losses like the one to Trump.

"It's so obvious, I can't believe they can't see it," Uygur told Business Insider. "The Democrats have become the establishment party. And people hate the establishment."

Clinton "represents the establishment," he added. "She looks like and acts like she's from The Capitol in 'The Hunger Games.'"

The most immediate battlefield for the anti-establishment war is over who will be selected as the next Democratic Party chair. Progressives have consolidated around Rep. Keith Ellison, a reliable liberal from Minnesota, while former party chair Howard Dean represents a more establishment minded candidate.

On Friday morning, Ellison received a significant endorsement from likely future-Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. But to progressives, the move from Schumer did not seem sincere. Instead, they argued, it was one done in an attempt to maintain power.

"Chuck is a very smart guy," said Nomiki Konst, a Democratic strategist, former Sanders surrogate, and host of "The Filter" on Sirus XM. "He has to be a senator. He has the responsibility in the Senate to make things work, and he knows probably half the Hillary supporters were much more progressive."

She added: "I think he knows he has a responsibility to follow the trend — otherwise, he would have a riot on his hands."

Bernie SandersJustin Sullivan/Getty Images

Konst has offered a number of suggestions to Democratic Party leadership on how to initiate reform.

The Democratic strategist suggested barring consultants and lobbyists from being members of the DNC, implementing a union membership quota, and eliminating superdelegates, Democratic Party leaders and elected officials who can vote for their candidate of choice during the primaries.

"I would call for emergency elections," she added. "This is crisis level — get rid of these vice chairs. A lot of these vice chairs are really bad people."

Ryan Williams, a former deputy national press secretary for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign, said what is taking place inside the Democratic Party is perhaps worse than what happened when President Barack Obama defeated the Republican nominee in 2012, while Democrats retook the Senate and made gains in the House. Now, after Tuesday's shock results, Republicans have control of all three branches of government.

"They are in a dark place," he said, adding, "It's very difficult to go from a party being in control of the White House to being cast into the wilderness. The White House is the glue that holds the party together. You have a set leader. Right now, the Democrats have no set leader."

Both Konst and Uygur said progressives will absolutely fight for control of the party while the vacuum is open.

Establishment Democrats, including leaders like Schumer, should not feel their positions are secure, Uygur said.

"We are going to rip you down," he warned, speaking of the Democratic Party establishment. "I have no use for them. I don't know what to tell them other than we are going to beat them. I don't want their help. I know what their incentives are. They want the money. Almost anything else is a trick."

The political commentator predicted that in a week progressives should win the DNC chair fight and "firmly establish in the voters' mind — and in Washington's mind — that the progressives are right and the establishment was wrong."

"Having said that, the empire will strike back," Uygur anticipated, adding that progressives were more than ready for what he called the "long war" ahead.

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