Reds On The Rise
November 13, 2018 9:22 AM   Subscribe

 
The year the Democrats met the democratic socialists

Crystalized this morning when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined a sit-in of young members of Sunrise Movement in Nancy Pelosi's office demanding substantive action on climate change.

Pelosi issued a lukewarm statement, refused to meet with them personally, and called in the Capitol Police to make arrests.

Corporate Democrats, we are coming for your heads.
posted by ryanshepard at 9:45 AM on November 13, 2018 [29 favorites]


So, how well did Democratic Socialists Of America backed candidates do in the midterms anyway?

It's hard to assess this question if only their wins are mentioned, and their loses are ignored! (One would think Jovanka Beckles et al would at least get a thank you in a DSA press release on the election, but evidently electoral losers must never be mentioned...)

In any event, the only public data set I've seen that tracks both DSA wins and loses (although it is not updated with last week's results) is the one here.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 9:48 AM on November 13, 2018 [8 favorites]


DSA candidates did well in bright blue districts, which is good. It moves the needle to the left and there's no excuse for running moderate Democrats in safe blue districts.

But in competitive purple districts, DSA candidates lost. The notion that all Democrats need to do is run DSA candidates in competitive districts so disaffected lefties will come rushing home and sweep them to victory is not supported by the evidence in this election.
posted by JackFlash at 9:59 AM on November 13, 2018 [17 favorites]


While Democrats succeeded in taking back a slim majority in the House of Representatives

It's probably going to be about 35 seats, that's not particularly slim.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:05 AM on November 13, 2018 [13 favorites]


ryanshepard: "Crystalized this morning when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined a sit-in of young members of Sunrise Movement in Nancy Pelosi's office demanding substantive action on climate change.
"

A bit ironic, since Pelosi is the one who pretty much single-handedly got the House to pass a climate change bill when she was last Speaker, and had already planned to set up a special climate change committee come January.

Perhaps they would like to cross the Hill and sit in McConnell's office.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:08 AM on November 13, 2018 [24 favorites]


Perhaps they would like to cross the Hill and sit in McConnell's office.

The Democrats' corporate-friendly, slow timeline, effectively meaningless efforts on climate change to date are, quite obviously, nowhere near sufficient to address the looming civilizational threat it represents. And it's fatuous to suggest petitioning a Moloch's idol like Mitch McConnell over this.
posted by ryanshepard at 10:12 AM on November 13, 2018 [25 favorites]


So...given the House can't do anything on it's own, and given that Pelosi already has done more than, well anyone, to try and get something done, what was the point of sitting in *her* office? At least sitting in McConnell's office would highlight that the Republicans are actually the sticking point here.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:18 AM on November 13, 2018 [25 favorites]


There are also different degrees of action. For example, I would be perfectly happy to destroy the economy to fight climate change. Others would only try to fight climate change if it doesn't hurt their bottom line.

Personally, I think taking every action possible to support and make noise about doing as much as possible is desirable. Go AOC ♥
posted by ragtag at 10:19 AM on November 13, 2018 [4 favorites]


Noisy Pink Bubbles: "It's hard to assess this question if only their wins are mentioned, and their loses are ignored!"

On this point, I think a couple of things are true:

1) More DSA people are getting elected.
2) They are helping pull the party left.
3) This is a good thing!
4) It's still important to look at where the DSA is succeeding and failing, and figure out how to replicate success and address weaknesses.
5) Because - as much as you might like it to be - the DSA's message is not so self-evidently awesome that you can you just sit back and win everything.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:38 AM on November 13, 2018 [14 favorites]




> It's hard to assess this question if only their wins are mentioned, and their loses are ignored! (One would think Jovanka Beckles et al would at least get a thank you in a DSA press release on the election, but evidently electoral losers must never be mentioned...)

Talking about the Jovanka Beckles loss is super complicated, though, because it requires pointing out the lengths to which mainstream dems are going to block DSA candidates: her opponent, Buffy Wicks, got an endorsement from Barack Freaking Obama.

For a state assemblymember seat. Barack. Obama. A rock-solid democratic-forever state legislature seat in a solidly blue state, and literally the biggest possible name in national-level Democratic Party politics gets involved to keep out the DSA candidate.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the current DSA strategy is to be kind of quiet about this sort of thing, in order to avoid accusations of fracturing the Democratic Party coalition. Which seems like a reasonable tactic, all things considered.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 10:55 AM on November 13, 2018 [6 favorites]


Perhaps they would like to cross the Hill and sit in McConnell's office.

It is within the realm of possibility that Dems can be shamed into changing their positions. That is definitely not the case with Republicans.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 11:04 AM on November 13, 2018 [8 favorites]


For a state assemblymember seat. Barack. Obama. A rock-solid democratic-forever state legislature seat in a solidly blue state, and literally the biggest possible name in national-level Democratic Party politics gets involved to keep out the DSA candidate.

the fix is in, surely! back me up, wikipedia
Her background is as an American political strategist who is credited as one of the architects of Barack Obama's grassroots organizing model.[1] She previously served on the senior staff of Obama's 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns and as Deputy Director at the White House Office of Public Engagement.[2][3]
yes, only Obama's blood oath to Centror, the God of Centrism, can explain this endorsement
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:05 AM on November 13, 2018 [27 favorites]


FWIW,Obama endorsed about 40 state legislative candidates (plus lots of other downballot state races).
posted by Chrysostom at 11:09 AM on November 13, 2018 [8 favorites]


Pelosi issued a lukewarm statement, refused to meet with them personally, and called in the Capitol Police to make arrests.

Here is Nancy Pelosi's tweet regarding this direct action. And then here is her short statement. Do you have a link that shows that Pelosi or her people called the Capitol Police?
posted by NoMich at 11:10 AM on November 13, 2018 [9 favorites]


@NancyPelosi: We welcome the presence of these activists, and we strongly urge the Capitol Police to allow them to continue to organize and participate in our democracy.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:13 AM on November 13, 2018 [7 favorites]


called in the Capitol Police to make arrests.

Lying about Pelosi is not a good look for so-called leftists.
posted by JackFlash at 11:15 AM on November 13, 2018 [17 favorites]


In another article: When she addressed the protesters, Ocasio-Cortez said that the objective of the protest was to support Pelosi’s quest to tackle climate change. In an interview with The Intercept, she said that what Hammil said “is absolutely true, and so what we’re really doing is we’re trying to galvanize that into a priority.”

This isn't the thread for it but I would love to here a logical argument against Pelosi as Speaker that shows an understanding of what it is the Speaker actually does.
posted by asteria at 11:16 AM on November 13, 2018 [9 favorites]


Correct me if I'm wrong, but the current DSA strategy is to be kind of quiet about this sort of thing, in order to avoid accusations of fracturing the Democratic Party coalition. Which seems like a reasonable tactic, all things considered.

Maybe. I just think it would be a basic point of courtesy for the organization backing her to publicly say in one way or another "Thanks for the effort, Jovanka, even though unfortunately we came up short." And issuing an election statement that is silent on anything negative that happened just seems fundamentally dishonest. It's weird to me that losing candidates immediately become persona non grata to the DSA.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 11:27 AM on November 13, 2018 [3 favorites]


Some Democrats Who Voted to Deregulate Wall Street Got Wiped Out in a Setback for Bank Lobbyists

(Though Stabenow, Tester, Manchin, and Kaine were all reelected.)
posted by homunculus at 11:34 AM on November 13, 2018


So, here is a statement from Rep Ocasio-Cortez on twitter regarding today's events at Pelosi's office.
posted by NoMich at 12:19 PM on November 13, 2018 [1 favorite]


I just think it would be a basic point of courtesy for the organization backing her to publicly say in one way or another "Thanks for the effort, Jovanka, even though unfortunately we came up short." And issuing an election statement that is silent on anything negative that happened just seems fundamentally dishonest. It's weird to me that losing candidates immediately become persona non grata to the DSA.

I don't think this is really accurate. Note that Jovanka Beckles is still featured as the cover image on the Twitter page for East Bay DSA, and the most recent statement on their website about the election includes her name as a heading, says the votes are still being counted, and congratulates the campaign for having "changed East Bay politics forever." How is that "persona non grata?"
posted by contraption at 12:22 PM on November 13, 2018 [5 favorites]


From the twitter thread in response to Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet statement:

Pelosi announced this 5 days ago, but ok.

She also created the committee originally, but ok.

On mobile so can’t fact check, but like...damn, dude, that is a dumb, dumb, dumb look.
posted by schadenfrau at 12:24 PM on November 13, 2018 [4 favorites]


(oh and the picture for the statement is of a Jovanka Beckles canvassing crew holding a big Jovanka Beckles cutout, with Jovanka Beckles kneeling in front of it wearing a Jovanka Beckles shirt. Really just erased her from the record, didn't they?)
posted by contraption at 12:34 PM on November 13, 2018 [4 favorites]




For a state assemblymember seat. Barack. Obama. A rock-solid democratic-forever state legislature seat in a solidly blue state, and literally the biggest possible name in national-level Democratic Party politics gets involved to keep out the DSA candidate. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the current DSA strategy is to be kind of quiet about this sort of thing, in order to avoid accusations of fracturing the Democratic Party coalition.

I don't think Obama endorsed Wicks to "keep out the DSA candidate." Wicks and Beckles were both great candidates, and Obama knows Wicks personally. His and other major dems' support for Wicks (including literally every mayor in the district) does not constitute a neoliberal conspiracy, as some more bitter folks have attempted to paint it. The race was a healthy thing for the 15th district, and the disagreements between Wicks and Beckles, especially over housing policy, got a lot of people thinking and talking about important shit. I count the race as a win for the DSA and for anyone who wants a revitalized grassroots left, even if the DSA-endorsed candidate lost.
posted by andrewpcone at 1:04 PM on November 13, 2018 [4 favorites]


How is that "persona non grata?"

Thanks for the links. The EBDSA's statement is much better than national's, no question.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 1:36 PM on November 13, 2018


Based on the language from East Bay ("waiting for all the votes to be counted") I wouldn't be surprised to see them and national both release additional statements once the result is truly finalized. That race is a foregone conclusion, obviously, with a 10-point spread between candidates, but it does seem like a good idea to change the norms and stop calling races before the votes are all in.

One thing that did strike me as odd was national's willingness to trumpet the successes of candidates who had the endorsement of local chapters, but not the national organization. My chapter helped get a couple people elected to local office, and national had banners up on social media promoting their wins right away, without a word to us about it. I thought if national policy was to stay out of local endorsements for most races, they'd at least check in with the locals before making statements.
posted by contraption at 2:18 PM on November 13, 2018


I am delighted we have both DSA and Nancy Pelosi. Good cop/bad cop, inside game/outside game - call it what you will, but given the current realities in D.C. (does it need to be repeated that Republicans control the Senate, White House, and Supreme Court?), the combination of progressive pressure from outside and ruthlessly pragmatic (or pragmatically ruthless) gamesmanship inside the Capitol will lead to the best long term success for a progressive agenda.
posted by PhineasGage at 3:06 PM on November 13, 2018 [3 favorites]


Here's Paul Krugman's well-argued ode to Nancy Pelosi...
posted by PhineasGage at 3:06 PM on November 13, 2018 [1 favorite]


There's always going to be some tension between the Democrats and the DSA (and other Left-leaning Independent parties) because they're in competition for the same voters. But it's worth remembering that The Competition is not the same thing as The Enemy.
posted by AdamCSnider at 5:08 PM on November 13, 2018 [2 favorites]


You could try reminding the hundreds of Dems attacking AOC on twitter that.

The whole "why are you attacking our people" shtick is just so nonsensical. We all know the Republicans aren't going to do anything, and don't we talk about the DSA as taking the party leftwards? That's what this protest is doing.

The Democrats are not democratic centralists, to my understanding. Yet there's been pundit after pundit telling AOC to sit down, mind her manners and respect her betters. Cracking wise about how foolish she is for visiting the protest instead of setting up a secret meeting to petition Pelosi.

Maybe part of the reason people elected her is because they'd like to see some action and public affirmation of beliefs, rather than backroom wheeling and dealing? Maybe if she acted like any other corporate Dem, she'd lose a lot of her support?
posted by AnhydrousLove at 6:09 PM on November 13, 2018 [5 favorites]


Here's just a few takes from people on twitter.

Also, Pelosi may be on the same 'side' when it comes to elections and Trump, but she's also an avowed capitalist. She's been very clear that she will not see the Democratic party dally with socialism. So unless I'm missing something about the DSA, there's a pretty big reason they shouldn't be considering themselves friends.

That struggle can't be put off, because it's what we're witnessing in the response here. Go read the criticisms - 90% of them are a variation on the paternalistic, condescending "Young lady needs to learn how things work around here". If AOC is worth any of the faith the left is putting in her, she knows how things work, and she's at least in part rejecting that formula.

A formula that time and time again has not worked, and definitely not for young non-yt women. One that clearly redirects the energies and passion of the newly elected and their supporters to a party-line following, unambitious state of complicity and shreds anyone who steps from that line.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 7:21 PM on November 13, 2018 [3 favorites]






given that Pelosi already has done more than, well anyone, to try and get something done, what was the point of sitting in *her* office?

She's a women in a leadership position. Of course they're going to be screaming for her head. Note that they didn't do anything at Schumer's office.
posted by happyroach at 12:39 PM on November 14, 2018 [3 favorites]


90% of them are a variation on the paternalistic, condescending "Young lady needs to learn how things work around here".

So you're saying she doesn't need to learn how things work around there?
posted by bongo_x at 1:14 PM on November 14, 2018


So you're saying she doesn't need to learn how things work around there?
Do you think they're earnestly saying "She doesn't need to learn how things work around there", or is this intended to be a witty gotcha?
posted by CrystalDave at 2:45 PM on November 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'm saying the criticisms of are honest and directly related to her actions, but they are often framed with far too much projection.
posted by bongo_x at 3:28 PM on November 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


For the people who are upset at AOC for attending a protest in Pelosi's office, and at other Pelosi critics: would it change your opinion if the protests and public criticisms were attempts to wring policy concessions out of her before making her Speaker, rather than attempts to prevent her from being the Speaker? Would that be an acceptable tactic for someone who has real ideological differences with her but understands that she's the only real choice?
posted by contraption at 8:20 AM on November 15, 2018


Maybe part of the reason people elected her is because they'd like to see some action and public affirmation of beliefs, rather than backroom wheeling and dealing?

I personally think people are being too hard on Ocasio-Cortez, and it's clear that much of the criticism of her is based in misogyny and/or ageism. BUT, there is no evidence to suggest that her election represents some massive shift in what Democrats want across the country. Ocasio-Cortez received 100,044 votes in a deep-blue district, which was 78% of the votes cast in that district. So I think it's dangerous to suggest that her election has wide-reaching implications for Democrats in general.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 11:03 AM on November 15, 2018 [3 favorites]




Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore clothing, a journalist tweeted about it, and the Internet pounced. "It was the latest example of the unusual level of scrutiny that Ocasio-Cortez, 29, has been subjected to since her insurgent victory jolted her to the forefront of the discussion about the future of Democratic politics."
posted by homunculus at 9:06 PM on November 15, 2018 [1 favorite]




AOC seems to drive the right crazy the way BHO used to.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:02 PM on November 16, 2018


Interesting LGM take on AOC, Pelosi, and pulling the Dem caucus left.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:27 PM on November 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


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