During the first presidential debate, President Joe Biden said that he is the Democratic party, yet the decisions of the Democratic party are influenced by circles other than the president himself.
Some may perceive Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the most powerful woman leader in the House leadership of the Democrats, as most of the Democratic Congressmen are inspired by her ideology.
Others complain that Democrats have not seen even a single Black woman on the House leadership team of the Democratic party in the last four decades, and the control of the Democratic party is not in the hands of women.
Not only this, but the men’s influence in the party can also be seen from the fact that when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) mentioned that Democrats lost the elections due to the poor digital election campaign, her claims were vehemently rejected by the powerful faction of the party.
During the election campaign, the six entities that spent a lot of money contributing to the Democratic party funding mostly enjoyed the signing authorities in most of the party’s matters.
Who has the control of the Democratic party, and who has the least say in the deciding matters? Let’s have a look.
The Big Six: The Purse of the Democratic Party:
Democrats invested almost $1.4 Billion to win the 2020 presidential election. As a matter of fact, money speaks, and the one who controls the money has the highest say in the day-to-day affairs of any entity.
The same was the case with the Democratic party. The following six entities played their role in collecting the funds for Democrats and have the greatest say in the affairs of the party.
|Entity||2020 Election Budget|
|Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee||$290,590,440|
|House Majority PAC||$137,930,847|
|Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC)||$244,302,533|
|Senate Majority PAC||$254,078,492|
|Democratic National Committee||$395,553,417|
(Source: Federal Election Commission)
Now let’s consider the powers of these entities in the Democratic party.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, or, as it is called, DCCC, is the body that is entrusted to win the House races for Democrats.
In this way, every Congressman or Congresswoman is in debt to this body in one form or another. Nobody can go against the decision of this body, or they will lose the election.
Even the process of submitting the nomination for the top job of DCCC is vague, and hence this body can only be controlled by the selected ones.
If we look at the House Majority PAC and Senate Majority PAC, they are authorized to win the House and Senate seats for Democrats, respectively.
In this regard, they collect funding to run advertisements in favor of Democratic candidates or opposition to the Republican candidates.
Their power in the Democratic party can be analyzed from the fact that there is no rigid accountability mechanism in these bodies, making them two of the most influential bodies in the Democratic party.
The case of Priorities USA is also the same, as the body enjoys the same protocol and authority as the House Majority PAC and Senate Majority PAC.
The Real Power House of the Democratic Party:
As discussed above, the money of the Democratic party comes from the six big entities that, in return, exercise control of the party.
As each entity is dealing with millions of dollars, the power in the hands of these six entities is also unimaginable. Every Democratic leader has to settle their terms with these leaders, as they are officially responsible for campaigning for them. Over time, the Democrats have also realized the importance of these men, and most of the time, the president himself appoints people to these positions whenever possible.
Others are elected officials. This time Biden has selected a man of color, Jaime Harrison, to lead the party chair of the Democratic party, which is a promising sign considering Biden’s promise that he will promote inclusiveness in the country.
If we look at the list of the brains and the invisible power of the Democratic party that exercises the authority in the party, we find the following names.
- Sean Patrick Maloney, Chairman Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
- Abby Curran Horrell, Executive Director of House Majority PAC
- J.B. Poersch, President Senate Majority PAC
- Jaime Harrison, Party Chair of the Democratic Party
- Guy Cecil, Priorities USA Action Chairman
- Gary Peters, Chairperson of Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
Are Progressives Really as Powerful as People Think?
The progressive faction of the Democratic party may enjoy power in theory, but when it comes to policymaking, their opinion is rarely being entertained in the Democratic circles.
The same progressives were vocal in favor of defunding the police and promoting socialism in the country, but their voices are often ignored.
Similarly, AOC was too vocal about the importance of the digital election campaign of the Democratic circle.
Had all the above-mentioned six bodies wanted, they would have pursued the digital election strategy to win more seats for Democrats, but they exercised their authority over the progressives, which suggests that the progressives still have a long time to go before establishing their influence in the Democratic party.
Democrats House Leadership Team: A Pipe Dream for Women of Color:
Kamal Harris won the vice-presidency, yet no Black American woman has been included in the Democrats House leadership team.
The current caucus team of the Democrats’ House has once again been elected without a woman of color, and the surprising thing is that this is not a new case. No women of color have been included in the said team for almost four decades now.
The interesting thing is that the same team evinces that diversity is the most important strength of the team, yet they fail to elect the most vulnerable sections of the American society.
And the Democrats themselves are aware of this issue. While talking about this racial discrimination, Rep. Karen Bass said,
“I think it’s something that absolutely needs to be addressed.”
(Rep. Karen Bass)
Nancy Pelosi: A Woman with Control of the Democratic Party:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has emerged as one of the most powerful women of the Democratic party. She became the Speaker of House for the fourth time.
The rise of Kamala Harris may push Nancy Pelosi to the second position of the most powerful woman, yet her influence in the party is increasing with every passing day.
Her influence in the party can also be seen from the fact that despite Biden’s signal of unity with the Republicans, she led the second impeachment of Donald Trump, which is a promising sign with respect to the non-concentration of power in the Democratic party.
The authorities of the president are one of a kind, and he may enjoy the sweeping powers in most of the matters. But the hidden powers are exercised by various elements that sometimes become so vulnerable that they try to concentrate all the authority in their own hands.