The Democratic Party in Crisis

Read the complete Autopsy:


After a train wreck, investigators scrutinize the causes. A rigorous inquiry -- not content to merely point fingers at external forces -- takes an unflinching look at what occurred. Bringing to light the preventable problems is central to making significant improvements for the future. With such an approach, we can and must learn from electoral tragedy by evaluating the policies, actions and priorities of the Democratic Party.

In the wake of the November 2016 election, the Democratic National Committee chose not to do a public “autopsy.” Overall, the party’s national leadership has shown scant interest in addressing many of the key factors that led to electoral disaster. Instead, the main emphasis has been on matters that the Democratic Party and its presidential nominee had little or no control over -- an approach that largely obscures the party’s role in its own defeat.

Rather than addressing topics beyond the control of the Democratic Party (whether FBI Director Comey, Russia, misogyny of some voters, etc.), this Autopsy focuses on some key factors that have been significantly under the party’s control. While in no way attempting or claiming to be comprehensive, this report focuses on some of our party’s most crucial flaws, fissures and opportunities.

The Autopsy task force:
  • Karen Bernal is a three-term Chair of the California Democratic Party's Progressive Caucus, as well as a member of the CDP's Executive Board. She served as Co-Chair of California's Bernie Sanders delegation to the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

  • Pia Gallegos is a longtime civil rights attorney and current Democratic Party ward chair and State Central Committee member in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

  • Sam McCann is a communications specialist, researcher and writer based in New York City. He currently works at an international NGO.

  • Norman Solomon is co-founder of, an online activist group with 1.3 million active supporters in the United States. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2008 and 2016, and was the national coordinator of the Bernie Delegates Network in 2016.

News Conference at The National Press Club (11/2/2017)

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