One of Hillary Clinton's top allies, writer and strategist David Brock, will begin a two-day conference of Democratic lawmakers and liberal organizers in Washington on Monday morning with a fiery call to arms and demand for an independent audit of the party's 2016 efforts.
“Hillary’s loss has exposed a collapse of power for the Democratic Party,” Brock is set to tell a gathering hosted by the State Innovation Exchange, according to a copy of his remarks provided to The Washington Post. The exchange, known as SiX, is seeking to help Democrats regain power in the states by serving as a hub for strategy and training.
“The truth is, our party faces a crisis of competence at all levels,” Brock is set to tell the group. “Progressive politics in America is an organizational disaster.”
In his speech, Brock calls for party leaders to appoint an independent commission to audit the work done by Democrats up and down the ballot this cycle, and to publicly release the results of the report. “We can’t have a coherent or effective road map forward unless and until we have a mutual understanding of what happened last cycle, and an accepted conclusion of where we can do better and how,” he will say, according to his prepared remarks.
Brock, chairman of the Democratic super PAC American Bridge and founder of Correct the Record, a super PAC that coordinated with Clinton's campaign, does not offer any observations in his speech about whether such big-money groups played a role in her defeat, but calls for super PACs to be part of the audit.
Despite his call for a party-wide audit, he takes a decidedly unapologetic tone overall, saying the left should “resist the impulse toward hyperbolic reactions and knee-jerk over-corrections.”
In his speech, Brock notes that he hasn't moved beyond the “anger phase” of grieving, leveling blame for Clinton's loss on a host of outside players: FBI Director James B. Comey, the media, the Russians, fake news and Facebook. He denounces President-elect Donald Trump, saying his “path to power ran straight through the Kremlin,” and accuses him of running an anti-Semitic campaign. And he predicts the incoming administration will be rife with scandal.
“Trump is off-the-rack impeachable,” Brock says in his prepared remarks.
Brock hopes to use the event to rally donors to attend a summit in south Florida during inauguration weekend in January, when he says liberal leaders will lay out plans for rebuilding a power base in the states.
“We can’t waste time mourning,” he plans to tell the group. “We need to organize.”
Top party leaders including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr., Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) and Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn.) are addressing the two-day meeting hosted by SiX, the first major gathering of Democratic lawmakers from around the country since last month's elections. Leaders of the group are hoping to harness a sense of urgency on the left to drive more investment into the states, where Democrats have suffered steep losses in governor's mansions and legislative chambers.
“I have been in state and local work for more than decade, and I’ve heard a lot of lip service paid,” Nick Rathod, executive director of SiX, said in an interview. “This is the first time I’ve seen a level of seriousness by donors and funders about state and local strategies. People understand what they've been putting their money behind has led us to this place, and hasn’t worked.”