In a closely contested race, on Saturday the Democratic National Committee selected labor activist and Obama administration cabinet member Tom Perez to be their chairman over progressive favorite Rep. Keith Ellison.
In a piece titled “Why did Keith Ellison lose the DNC race?,” David Weigel of The Washington Post explores the dynamics of the race and the efforts of hard-left activists (called “writers” in the article) as they push back against the old guard. It was all quite interesting, until I got to Weigel’s claim that a “persistent smear campaign cost Ellison votes.”
I’ve seen a number of progressives accuse Jewish critics of Ellison of waging a “smear campaign,” yet they offer nothing to back up this contention. They simply dismiss the accusations … well, because. To smear someone is to damage his reputation by false accusations. In public debate, at least, critics of Ellison are noting his words and deeds, all of them legitimate concerns.