News Release

What Killed the Democratic Party?


In “What Killed the Democratic Party?” in The Nation, William Greider writes: “The Democratic Party lost just about everything in 2016, but so far it has offered only evasive regrets and mild apologies. Instead of acknowledging gross failure and astounding errors, the party’s leaders and campaign professionals wallowed in self-pity and righteous indignation. The true villains, they insisted, were the wily Russians and the odious Donald Trump, who together intruded on the sanctity of American democracy and tampered with the election results. Official investigations are now under way.

“While the country awaits the verdict, a new and quite provocative critique has emerged from a group of left-leaning activists: They blame the Democratic Party itself for its epic defeat. Their 34-page ‘Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis’ reads more like a cold-eyed indictment than a postmortem report. It’s an unemotional dissection of why the Democrats failed so miserably, and it warns that the party must change profoundly or else remain a loser.”

There will be a news conference about the Autopsy report on Thursday morning at the National Press Club. In addition to authors of the Autopsy report, the news conference will feature Donna Smith, executive director of Progressive Democrats of America.

The complete report as well as an executive summary and sections by subject are available at

Among the task force members who prepared the report available for interviews are:

Gallegos is a civil rights lawyer and progressive Democratic activist based in New Mexico. She wrote the “Democracy and the Party” section of the Autopsy report.

McCann, a New York-based communications specialist focused on issues of justice, wrote the section “Race and the Party.”

KAREN BERNAL, [in D.C. Wednesday]
Bernal chairs one of the largest caucuses in the California Democratic Party, the Progressive Caucus. She wrote the section on social movements and co-wrote the section on the future of the Democratic Party.

Solomon is co-founder of and former national coordinator of the Bernie Delegates Network. Solomon wrote the war section of the Autopsy report and co-wrote the “The Future” section with Bernal.

Solomon is also the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.

Research for the Autopsy report was funded by Action for a Progressive Future, the organization that sponsors RootsAction, which currently has 1.3 million active supporters online nationwide.