Opinion

Flipping off Trump won’t win back the White House, California Democrats

Outgoing chair of California Democratic Party: F*%! Donald Trump

John Burton, outgoing chair of the California Democratic Party, stood before thousands of Democratic delegates at Saturday’s general assembly and asked the crowd to join in as he sad "F@!$ Donald Trump" and shoved his two middle fingers into the
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John Burton, outgoing chair of the California Democratic Party, stood before thousands of Democratic delegates at Saturday’s general assembly and asked the crowd to join in as he sad "F@!$ Donald Trump" and shoved his two middle fingers into the

Which of the “D” words would you use to characterize the actions of California Democrats at their state convention in Sacramento over the weekend?

Disgraceful?

Deplorable?

Dysfunctional?

Sadly, there’s no wrong answer here.

The state party that brags about leading the “resistance” to President Trump only succeeded in demonstrating to independents and Republicans across the nation that Democrats don’t have their house in order.

For starters, John Burton, the party’s outgoing state chairman told delegates Saturday, “Now, all together, F--- Donald Trump!” and followed with a two-handed, middle-finger salute to our nation’s 45th president.

We would not have been surprised if delegates down on the floor had dropped F-bombs and flipped off Trump. Try as party leaders might to script convention events, delegates are a bit like cats — impossible to herd.

But when juvenile behavior such as Burton’s — the undisputed Johnny Foulmouth of California politics — comes from the dais, it damages the Democratic Party brand. That’s because the statements of party leaders — unlike those of delegates — bear the imprimatur of party policy.

Juvenile behavior on display at California Democrats’ state convention won’t win any converts.

Besides being disgraceful, deplorable and dysfunctional, the California Democratic Party is hypocritical, too. How many times have state Democratic leaders called out Trump for his early morning Twitter rants? How many times have they criticized the president for his name-calling? Too many to count.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, the hyperventilating didn’t end with Burton.

RoseAnn DeMoro, as always full of fury at establishment Democrats, riled up members of her California Nurses Association and led them on yet another march, this time to the Sacramento Convention Center. There, they booed Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and many others deemed uncut from the socialist Bernie Sanders mold.

If Democrats hoped to bring anyone new into the fold of “resistance,” they failed miserably. Intra-family squabbles aren’t private anymore. They’re shared on Twitter, and regurgitated by fringe media outlets that offer right-wing groups their own narrative.

To voters in Midwestern swing states, absolutely critical to winning back the White House, the leaders of this bluest of blue states appeared every bit as crazy, as bitter and as divided as Breitbart has been saying they are.

It’s not a good look.

Time and again, swing state voters have said they want politicians with an economic plan that’s relevant to their lives. Instead, what California Democrats offered at the convention was more chest-thumping about Trump and squabbling over the pipe dream of universal health care.

The dysfunction did little to establish the united front that’s needed to best Republicans in the 2018 or 2020 elections. And it did nothing to inspire wider confidence in the party.

The Democrats’ weekend convention was a lost opportunity and a complete waste of time — unless you’re someone whose idea of leadership is shouting the F-word and demonstrating, like a fourth-grader, you possess the digital dexterity to flip the bird.

Editor’s note: Editorials from other newspapers are offered to stimulate debate and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Tribune.

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