Progressives Striking Huge Blows Against Trump -- So Why Is The Democratic Party Abandoning Them?

Progressives Striking Huge Blows Against Trump — So Why Is The Democratic Party Abandoning Them?


While Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s victory in the New York Democratic primary against Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley has been reported and praised constantly, the harsh truth is that she is a rare instance of progressive values triumphing over establishment politics. And it is not because progressive views aren’t popular, but because the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has been working actively to fight these candidates at a time when we need them to beat Trump.

To give some backstory, the DCCC was founded with the intention of raising money for Democratic candidates. In actuality, many contend, it exists to raise funds from wealthy donors to give to Establishment politicians who will continue shilling for Wall Street, while managing to hold enough moderate views to distinguish themselves from their (no doubt worse) Republican opponent. Combined with the antics of the Democratic National Committee, which has been accused of actively working to suppress and smear Bernie Sanders during the 2016 Democratic Primary, the DCCC has been more toxic than helpful.

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As Howie Klein of Crooks and Liars writes, that strategy has continued well into the 2018 midterms, where the DCCC has turned into a petulant child: refusing to support progressive candidates who beat the candidates the DCCC backed. Take Nebraska’s 2nd congressional district: the DCCC supported moderate Ben Ashford, who had previously lost against the Republicans in that district’s 2016 congressional election. They somehow deduced that, this year, he would have a chance of winning in a post-Sanders world. Democratic voters in the area rebelled, instead choosing progressive candidate Kara Eastman. The DCCC’s response? Abandon the district and not do anything to help her.

Readers should keep in mind that being Establishment is not necessarily the equivalent of opposing progressive views; during the 2008 Democratic primary, for example, Hillary Clinton supported implementing a universal healthcare system. What it does mean, though, is not working for the American people, but instead one’s corporate donors. Bernie Sanders has been serving in congress since 1990, but because he does not accept donations from super PACs, he has managed to develop an honest reputation.

Stories like what happened with Eastman are all too common this year because the DCCC is insane, believing that running blue dogs or DINOs is the key to winning. Evidently, these people forget a very famous quote from President Harry Truman, who said: “Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time.”

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In the 1980s, a non-profit corporation called the Democratic Leadership Council was founded to push the Democratic Party towards the center, in response to Ronald Reagan’s strong wins in 1980 and 1984. And with Bill Clinton’s successful campaign in 1992, this seemingly confirmed the truth, were it not for the fact that these moderates failed to realize that swings between the two parties have been occurring since Eisenhower became President, meaning it was inevitable that a Democrat was going to win office, regardless of his/her political views.

This is because neither party has presented a strong enough agenda to secure consistent support from the American people. Obama may have won in 2008/2012, but he did not secure enough support to stop Trump from taking over in 2016. And now we are dealing with a country that is on the verge of becoming fascist with children being imprisoned, tax cuts being given to the rich, net neutrality being gutted, and the Supreme Court set to become conservative for the foreseeable future.

Progressive values like Medicare-for-All, a living wage, tuition-free college, and no super PAC money are the keys to winning back congress in 2018, and the presidency in 2020. But neither of those will not happen if the DCCC continues to pioneer an old tactic that does not work, and will not ever work.

Featured image by Marc Nozell/Flickr

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