"Nevada's Democratic Party belongs to the socialists now."
March 9, 2021 1:33 PM   Subscribe

 
They make a very strong point for the victors.
posted by srboisvert at 1:38 PM on March 9 [22 favorites]


Guess Nevada won't be getting rid of their caucus now.
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:44 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


.
posted by guiseroom at 1:52 PM on March 9


The Harry Reid machine has been very effective, though. We need more like them in states like Nevada, not fewer.
posted by kickingtheground at 1:57 PM on March 9 [10 favorites]


The mass exodus of party staff, despite the rhetoric around unity, wasn’t a shock, Whitmer told The Intercept. “We weren’t really surprised, in that we were prepared for it,” she said. “But what hit us by surprise and was sort of shocking is that for a slate that claimed that they were all about unity, and kept this false narrative of division going on throughout the entire campaign — in fact they kept intensifying that — that’s what was surprising about it, was the willingness to just walk away, instead of working with us.”

[...]

Whitmer’s predecessor, former Clark County Democratic Chair Donna West, said Whitmer did not try to bridge gaps within the party. She “does not listen to others’ opinions and really take those on board,” West said. “I found that working with her could be really difficult, that she doesn’t really collaborate well, and doesn’t work to build consensus.” West resigned last summer.

A former Nevada Democratic Party staffer, who requested anonymity to speak freely, told The Intercept they quit out of a belief that Whitmer hadn’t built relationships across the party as Clark County chair and was at times unfairly critical of the state Democratic Party. “I knew I couldn’t work with her and watch her destroy the years of hard work so many operatives put into making our state party the best state party in the country.”


Argh! It's frustrating seeing two groups of people whose sides I'm on, probably 90% at least, who can't cooperate and build relationships.
posted by LSK at 1:58 PM on March 9 [9 favorites]


Really frustrating to see democrats fighting against progressives, it's hard enough fighting off conservatives and redcaps. Wish democrats would move closer to the people, rather than fighting against them to maintain a shitty, failing hegemony. Democrats only win because the opposition is grossly, absurdly, inhumanely worse in every facet. Maybe they could try winning with another strategy, like being good and serving the voters best interests.
posted by GoblinHoney at 2:07 PM on March 9 [73 favorites]


From a distance it's easy to read this as totally ideological, centrist vs. leftist, when the quotes suggest conflicts that are maybe more interpersonal (though the personal is always political these days, too).

However, to the extent that it's ideological, maybe it's not such a bad thing for staffers who don't believe in a political project to go away, rather than be hostile and stick around. (E.g., look at the internal attempt to kneecap Corbyn in 2017 by right-wing Labour staff.)

It would be nice, and materially beneficial, if the centrists welcomed the leftist winners and backed them rather than quit, but if that can't happen for whatever reason, a clean slate might be the second-best outcome.
posted by Beardman at 2:28 PM on March 9 [22 favorites]


One state down, 49 to go.
posted by Foosnark at 2:34 PM on March 9 [42 favorites]


You hate to see the people who are the best at winning lose to the people who can't win.
posted by Reyturner at 2:45 PM on March 9 [18 favorites]


When I was calling folks to GOTV in Nevada, I spoke to various memorable folks, but two who immediately jump to mind were the young guy whose position was “yes, I’ll vote for Biden but I’m going to do absolutely nothing else, I’m burned out and depressed after trying to make Bernie happen”, and the old guy who absolutely despised Biden and Harris (and used some very nasty language about her) and the entire rigged DNC that had kept Bernie out. Anecdata is anecdata, and I spoke to plenty of other folks who were happy to get out to vote, but those two def. jumped out. There are Nevadans who want something new, for certain.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:07 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


Anecdata is anecdata

You can tell us your experiences without trotting this out! It's OK!
posted by thelonius at 3:23 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


Well, it'll be interesting to see what the DSA folks actually do with some power now that they have it... and whether they can do better in the next election cycle than the Reid machine did in the past.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 3:25 PM on March 9 [16 favorites]


Argh! It's frustrating seeing two groups of people whose sides I'm on, probably 90% at least, who can't cooperate and build relationships.

The callous response is that the first group espouses 90% of the same thing as the second but is only interested in passing the portion of that 90% that doesn't impact entrenched capital.
posted by Ferreous at 3:31 PM on March 9 [26 favorites]


So, let me get this straight. The liberals in control of the Democratic Party tell Bernie supporters/socialists to stick with the team. They do so. The team nearly loses the presidential election and gets smoked in many of the down-ballot votes. Then, when, the socialists win an internal race, the liberals say, "fuck you guys and the horses you rode in on." Is that about it?
posted by No Robots at 4:17 PM on March 9 [70 favorites]


The callous response is that the first group espouses 90% of the same thing as the second but is only interested in passing the portion of that 90% that doesn't impact entrenched capital.

My gut response to this is, from reading this article I get the impression that the source of this particular schism seems likely driven by the socialists not being good at coalition-building. When you do have 90% of positions in common, it takes an awful lot of being bad at coalition-building to get people to say things like what Donna West is quoted as saying. When you're coming with a strong, popular position, the people you agree with 90% should be the easiest people to work with, not the hardest.
posted by LSK at 4:42 PM on March 9 [7 favorites]


Jon Ralston is the figure who probably knows the most about Nevada politics in the state or country. He wrote this: Say goodbye to the most effective Democratic Party in the country

He also has a tweet thread that points out some issues with the national reporting.
posted by General Malaise at 4:46 PM on March 9 [9 favorites]


Weird MY gut reaponse after reading it is that the people in positions of power really didn’t want to give up that power, even though they lost it fair and square and threw a little temper tantrum on the way out. Maybe if they built some coalitions with progressives when they were in power, they wouldn’t have gotten kicked out.
posted by youthenrage at 4:48 PM on March 9 [45 favorites]


From the above-mentioned Jon Ralston piece:

That’s why they pulled $450,000 from the party shortly before the balloting this weekend and why all of the key staff has resigned. For them, unlike many who voted Saturday, this is not a game.

Which I don't really understand. What's why? He seems to be saying that these en masse resignations cause harm to the party ("say goodbye"), yet is simultaneously supporting them?
posted by splitpeasoup at 5:16 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


My gut response to this is, from reading this article I get the impression that the source of this particular schism seems likely driven by the socialists not being good at coalition-building.

Uhhhhhhhh ... ... ... To me, it just looks like what the progressives have been saying for forever: The centrists want everyone to be unified and support the party right up until they aren't in charge of the direction the party is going; at which point they blame the progressives for making the party unwelcoming and forcing the centrists to leave.

Good grief.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 5:18 PM on March 9 [72 favorites]


Blue no matter who, unless that who is to the left of Hillary Clinton's 2016 platform.
posted by Ferreous at 5:28 PM on March 9 [11 favorites]


I really try not to get involved in the Bernie-vs-establishment arguments because I have both sides in my head and in my values all the time anyway. But boy without being familiar with local Nevada politics much at all Jon Ralston is doing an excellent job of making me hate his side.
posted by traveler_ at 5:30 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


The democratic party's messaging for ages has been to work within the system, that if you want to move the part to the left you do it via primaries and party structure but when left leaning democrats have done this they've shown their entire ass. That messaging was complete horseshit and cover for maintaining neoliberal control of the party.

See: blacklisting vendors who work with primary challengers to incumbents by the house democrats, but then Pelosi endorsing Kennedy over Markey and justifying it as "well that's the senate"
posted by Ferreous at 5:43 PM on March 9 [37 favorites]


When you're coming with a strong, popular position, the people you agree with 90% should be the easiest people to work with, not the hardest.

I guess how much sense this makes depends on what you think of Freud. Personally, I think it makes a lot of sense that one group would be bitterly opposed to another group that's moving to take control of their combined direction, especially when opinions about that direction is the main difference between them.

I'm still a little surprised with how quickly Republicans abandoned all pretext and hitched themselves to the racist nationalist wagon as soon as they saw where it was headed, but maybe it's easier to ditch your morals and go with the flow when you don't really have morals to begin with.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:54 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


When you do have 90% of positions in common, it takes an awful lot of being bad at coalition-building to get people to say things like what Donna West is quoted as saying.

Having 90% of stated positions in common is not the same thing as having 90% of actual goals in common, and I do not believe that Democratic politicians (not voters, politicians) actually align 90% with socialists.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:02 PM on March 9 [20 favorites]


That Ralston article is a masterclass in being a dick.
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:07 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


There's really no way to interpret this besides them being willing to do what they can to throw winnable races to the GOP, hurting the people they're ostensibly representing in the process, to prove that these crazy leftists are the real problem in the democratic party.
posted by Ferreous at 6:12 PM on March 9 [6 favorites]


Ralston was also the main source of the lie that Bernie supporters threw chairs at the 2016 Nevada state Democratic convention. Worth recalling here, perhaps.
posted by mediareport at 6:50 PM on March 9 [21 favorites]


So, let me get this straight. The liberals in control of the Democratic Party tell Bernie supporters/socialists to stick with the team. They do so. The team nearly loses the presidential election and gets smoked in many of the down-ballot votes. Then, when, the socialists win an internal race, the liberals say, "fuck you guys and the horses you rode in on." Is that about it?

No. The team *won* the presidential election by millions of votes, along with the Senate, and is now busy implementing the most aggressively progressive program of any Dem administration in the last half-century.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 6:51 PM on March 9 [14 favorites]


Which I don't really understand. What's why?

I don't know any of these people from Adam's off ox and am not endorsing this viewpoint, but Ralston is saying that the new leadership are hopeless fuckups swept in because they're doing leadership selection through caucuses, and that the old establishment machine left to set up a parallel organization to do the boring grunt work of winning elections that they think the new leadership either won't bother doing or will fuck up.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:54 PM on March 9


A little thread by Ralston on a few details in the article from The Intercept linked at the top:
This @theintercept story by @ryangrim and @akela_lacy pretty well captures what happened over the weekend. But I must (well, I want to) point out a few things that made me laugh.
The lede talks about @alanamounce quitting. Two weeks ago DNC had announced she was becoming its political director, a plum spot. (Rest of the staff DID quit after the chair election.) And then there is this laugh-out-loud quote from @keenankorth about how the race was won:
Korth claimed that the organizing infrastructure that enabled the Berniecrat takeover was “in large part through the campaign in 2018 for Amy Vilela.” In large part! Vilela got 9% in a primary for Congress and finished third. 9%! Also, Korth worked for her, a relevant fact!
Finally, can’t let this go as to why Reid brought the early caucus here: “His reasoning was simple: He wanted presidential candidates to have to take a position on whether nuclear waste should be stored at Yucca Mountain.” Um, no. Nothing to do with Yucca.
Reid knew the argument that Nevada was a diverse state made sense. But more than that, Reid knew that if NV became an early state, we would become much more important, candidates would suddenly come here and we would…matter. Guess what? He was prescient. And the rest is…
posted by Going To Maine at 7:01 PM on March 9


No. The team *won* the presidential election by millions of votes, along with the Senate, and is now busy implementing the most aggressively progressive program of any Dem administration in the last half-century.


Doesn't address the fact that they're walking off the job after their faction lost.
posted by Ferreous at 7:05 PM on March 9 [11 favorites]


So, let me get this straight. The liberals in control of the Democratic Party tell Bernie supporters/socialists to stick with the team. They do so. The team nearly loses the presidential election and gets smoked in many of the down-ballot votes. Then, when, the socialists win an internal race, the liberals say, "fuck you guys and the horses you rode in on." Is that about it?

No. The team won the presidential election by millions of votes, along with the Senate, and is now busy implementing the most aggressively progressive program of any Dem administration in the last half-century.

More neutrally, the “team” here is the state NV party. Perer Ralston’s snippy article, it has:
  • made NV go blue in four presidential elections
  • elected two Democractic senators in prior cycles.
  • Won three of four huse races
  • Won both houses of the state legislature
  • Won “five of six constitutinal officers”
The nationwide democratic performance in the 2020 Senate and house wasn’t as good as it was hoped, but it’s hard to lay that at Nevada party’s feet, since it did just fine.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:09 PM on March 9 [13 favorites]


As mentioned above, "blue no matter who" always seems to be a one way street, and it's progressives being told to suck it up and vote for people who are center right at best, but when it's the other way, suddenly you have a lot of folks deciding the GOP fits them better. For the people up and quitting their positions, it makes me suspicious of their commitment and motivations, though Mounce becoming political director at the DNC is, sigh, so fucking dispiriting.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:21 PM on March 9 [33 favorites]


The real secret to what we did is deep community organizing. Everywhere is different and will present different challenges and opportunities. Get to know the landscape of your local politics and organize around those specific conditions.
Conversation

Las Vegas DSA
@LasVegasDSA
it's true, look at the cities that elected socialist mayor's circa 1910- 1917.
The solidarity of those who walked off cannot be dismissed outright. I'd venture it's a party/career thing. Mind, this is state machine not a vast populist shift like in a mayoral race...but. what's interesting to note is the backlash and power consolidation opposing socialism besides didn't the article mention DSA backing the progressive? Did they formulate it?
interesting stuff.
posted by clavdivs at 10:13 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


If the Reid machine is uniquely filled with a bunch of Professional Election Winners, as some of you seem to think, how did they let the party fall into the hands of some socialist upstarts? They've been at it for an election cycle or two, and the centrist wing is going to take their ball and run home angrily because they're losing, then have the gall to talk about who is and isn't playing nice?

If the centrist wing is interested in building coalitions, they shouldn't do things like, say, loot the organization as they all vacate it. If they're interested in building coalitions, doing something like that, especially after a democratic election took place, would not be helpful, to put it mildly.

The progressive wing of the party spent a ton of time and resources building power in NV--getting involved in the primaries, registering voters, working with unions and labor organizers, etc.--and this is the result of that. If the Reid machine would rather blow everything up than work together with the people doing the work, so be it.

It was already difficult for me to make the case to other socialists or the type of people who join social democratic organizations like the DSA, that we should engage with the party. The opposing view--that we should form a viable national 3rd party rather than waste time and money propping up the corpse that is the Democratic Party--is a lot more convincing suddenly. Now, even if I was interested in arguing on the Democratic party's behalf, making such a case would be impossible.
posted by davedave at 11:06 PM on March 9 [18 favorites]


My guess as to what happened here is this: the staffers of the Centrist Democratic NV party were either told directly or knew that if they worked with/for the progressives they would never have a job outside of the progressive caucus again. This is what the Dems have done more than a few times in the past! Look it up.

I do not hate the centrist Democrats, but I wish they would learn to do several things:
* build coalitions with the Left instead of punching to the Left. Teaming up with the Left would get votes.
* figure out that they need to, you know, Give the People What they Want if they are to stay in power. It is quite obvious now that there is the money for universal healthcare, that it would be a good idea and that it would save a lot of lives. And would get votes.
* get better at their jobs. they are living on the sweat and toil of people that fight to get them into office. They need to fight for those people once they are in those offices. So that they will vote for them.

But I'm just a silly Socialist. Have been since the 80s. I would love to vote for a candidate that represented my views (which I believe to be the views of a very large number of people:) a government that works for all people, not some wealthy subset.

We live in an effictive four party country now -- you can only rule by coalition. The DNC has attempted to build a center/right coalition since Clinton didn't actually win a presidential election that way (Perot was a spoiler,) and it doesn't work. The stronger, more sustainable coalition is center/left plus Left. But Wall Street doesn't like that. The extent, in my mind that the DNC doesn't pursue this coalition (which would get them more votes for sure) is the extent to which they are owned.
posted by n9 at 11:58 PM on March 9 [28 favorites]


If the Reid machine is uniquely filled with a bunch of Professional Election Winners, as some of you seem to think, how did they let the party fall into the hands of some socialist upstarts? They've been at it for an election cycle or two, and the centrist wing is going to take their ball and run home angrily because they're losing?

I dunno if the Reid machine is uniquely filled with election winners, me, but it does seem to have been filled with people who were good at winning (general) elections (in Nevada). At least going by the Ralston article, the takeover of the party infrastructure by more left-leaning elements is kind of a reversion to the norm, and going by the Intercept article it seems like it’s the machine’s work that has created the conditions for the DSA takeover. From this immense distance seeing then all bug out is quite disheartening, and certainly doesn’t bode well for everyone playing nicely on into the future. On the other hand, it also feels weirdly early to see what this will all mean - after all, most of the relevant offices are all currently held by Ds. Will the state party start trying to primary itself?

The opposing view--that we should form a viable national 3rd party rather than waste time and money propping up the corpse that is the Democratic Party--is a lot more convincing.

It’s so weird to see the Democratic Party described as a corpse entirely outside of left politics, as if it didn’t control the House, the Senate, and the Presidency, or wasn’t in the middle of passing broadly popular legislation, or as if the most a prominent leftist Congresswoman wasn’t in the DSA, or as if Bernie wasn’t getting Democratic votes. (Or, for the purposes of this article, as if the Democrats didn’t control Nevada, or as if Whitmer’s rival for party leadership hadn’t backed Bernie.) Heck, the Republican Party is arguably in a much, much weirder place than the Ds, and our ex-President is trying to retain control by convincing people to donate to his outsider Republican PAC instead of to the RNC. The DSA seems like it’s in an amazing spot these days to take over state-level operations -like it just did!- and throw money at candidates it likes. These are far, far easier tasks than cooking up a new political party, getting on all the ballots, and making it take off. The DSA has elected Democrats; the Green Party has failed to do anything and is a reviled joke.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:03 AM on March 10 [15 favorites]


Also, re "No. The team won the presidential election by millions of votes, along with the Senate, and is now busy implementing the most aggressively progressive program of any Dem administration in the last half-century."

I really, really take issue with this and I have to say that there is a great deal of evidence that this is simply not true. The media is saying it loud and clear, NYT and Washington Post and, of course MSNBC are proclaiming this widely. But I see no evidence of a progressive platform. We are bombing, we are not changing course in Foreign Policy in general, we are still anti-union, anti-labor, we are still underfunding our very unequal schools, we are still backing corporate health care... there are kids in cages, Gitmo is not closing. A pile of (reversible) executive orders is fine, yes, but this is not a progressive agenda. People are saying it is. It is designed to look like one if you squint (and don't really care,) but this is HRC's centrist, Corporatist platform and there isn't a progressive voice that I can think of that hasn't been highly critical (and depressed) about the direction of the Biden administration that very nearly lost the election.
posted by n9 at 12:05 AM on March 10 [18 favorites]


To rephrase the original comment: what Dem administration, in the last half century, has had a more progressive platform?

Just because this is indeed the most progressive start to an administration in a long while does not mean that it’s time to be content.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:28 AM on March 10 [7 favorites]


No, no, it is precisely now, nearly two months after their accession, that it is most essential for the new administration to be content and rest upon their laurels and accomplish nothing further, despite the fact that literally no Democrats—inside the administration or out—want this or plan to do it.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:05 AM on March 10


the Biden administration that very nearly lost the election.

Where do you keep getting this from? Biden won with a typical-to-large vote share. Only two presidents have had a bigger win since Reagan - Bush Senior, and Obama's first win (but not second).
posted by Dysk at 1:09 AM on March 10 [6 favorites]


Reminder the The Intercept is the private mouthpiece of a billionaire. They are not interested in helping the Democratic Party won elections, they have spent their existence running a circular firing squad that already cost us the Supreme Court.
posted by interogative mood at 1:19 AM on March 10 [4 favorites]


there isn't a progressive voice that I can think of that hasn't been highly critical (and depressed) about the direction of the Biden administration that very nearly lost the election.

No true scotsman has supported Biden.
posted by benzenedream at 2:33 AM on March 10 [3 favorites]


Reminder the The Intercept is the private mouthpiece of a billionaire.

Buddy if you don't like to see "mouthpieces of billionaires" wait till you see this democratic party I've been hearing about. I mean did you even see the speakers at the DNC this year

Sometimes I think Democrats would sooner "unify" with an increasingly brutal and batshit Right Wing than with socialists.
posted by windbox at 4:08 AM on March 10 [19 favorites]


I mentioned this on a different thread but if the Dems united behind some coherent progressive policies (universal healthcare, increasing the minimum wage, student loan forgiveness, decreasing the cost of post secondary education/training, drug decriminalization, etc) they'd never want for control of Congress or the White House again.
posted by drstrangelove at 4:25 AM on March 10 [5 favorites]


One is forced to conclude that they don’t actually WANT those things.
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:32 AM on March 10 [16 favorites]


One is forced to conclude that they don’t actually WANT those things.

Alas, yes.

There is obviously a lot of corporate money influencing the DNC but I've known plenty of reasonably well-to-do Democrats who will bleat the usual line about "how are we gonna pay for it?" when it comes to any program that will help regular people yet remain silent whenever billions are spent on a fighter plane or bombing campaign.
posted by drstrangelove at 4:36 AM on March 10 [5 favorites]


the Green Party has failed to do anything and is a reviled joke.

A reviled joke? To most people I know, the Green Party is perhaps a failed electoral project to be sure but the "reviled" ones are the Democratic leadership who perpetuate suffering for the enrichment of their core constituency of arms dealers, HMOs, and financial firms.
posted by dusty potato at 4:45 AM on March 10 [3 favorites]


whenever billions are spent on a fighter plane
Trillions.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 4:59 AM on March 10 [1 favorite]


Where do you keep getting this from? Biden won with a typical-to-large vote share. Only two presidents have had a bigger win since Reagan - Bush Senior, and Obama's first win (but not second).

Biden won via taking at least one of the following three: Georgia, Arizona, and Wisonsin. He ended up winning all three and the total margin in all of those states combined is, iirc, <50,000 votes.

He only had a 50,000 vote lead with a major recession, clusterfuck pandemic, naked corruption, scandal a day, and the guy he was running against using family connections to run everything.

Couple this with the CPAC poll where only 55% of attendees want trump but 85% want Trump Fash Policies run by someone who isn’t an ineffectual garbage fire and you may see why people are concerned that this is not a turning point to a brighter tomorrow but a blip on a downward collapse.
posted by Slackermagee at 5:15 AM on March 10 [23 favorites]


"Where's the Popular People's Front?"
"He's over there."
"SPLITTERS!"
posted by panglos at 7:34 AM on March 10 [6 favorites]




socialists not being good at coalition-building. When you do have 90% of positions in common, it takes an awful lot of being bad at coalition-building to get people to say things like what Donna West is quoted as saying.

The most radical progressive reform allowed by Democratic party centrists in the last 30 years has been forcing people into paying huge amounts for pretty shitty health insurance that only kicks in for health catastrophes. You can't really build a progressive coalition on that kind of centrist quicksand.
posted by srboisvert at 8:10 AM on March 10 [7 favorites]


Restoring baseline rights to unionize that have been stripped away (by DNC officials as well as GOP) is pro-labor, you could argue. Yes, labor interests want this bill passed. Show me something that starts to repair the damage that NAFTA did to labor, or that gives labor something that they had not already gained and lost. And of course it would be best to count this chicken when it passes to make sure that the intent was there to actually pass it. Just because something is the "most" done in X years (when worse than nothing has been done) does not make a progressive platform. It makes at best a centrist one. At worst it is cynical window dressing. But by all means keep on keeping on. I guess 1995 status quo is the new Progressive agenda. I didn't get the memo.
posted by n9 at 8:20 AM on March 10 [2 favorites]


You can't really build a progressive coalition on that kind of centrist quicksand.

Actually you can. The ACA is really popular and the GOP became less popular when they threatened it. Coalitions can get built around really popular things.

I know that people think that ACA was too incremental a change, but I personally appreciate being able to actually get and afford insurance despite having a chronic health condition. That part is pretty great. For people like me, it was a massive improvement over the status quo. When people dump on it, I always wonder "do they not know what it was like before...?"
posted by Jpfed at 8:22 AM on March 10 [17 favorites]


He only had a 50,000 vote lead with a major recession, clusterfuck pandemic, naked corruption, scandal a day, and the guy he was running against using family connections to run everything.

I think that goes to show just how badly the electoral college distorts everything rather than Biden's unpopularity. The WOW counties in Wisconsin, solidly Republican affairs, didn't flip to him but voted for him at a rate not seen since Truman.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 8:26 AM on March 10 [5 favorites]


Dems will keep getting plowed under in the majority of state houses and if you say they're doing a bad job they will point to their national popular vote margin, which gets you no actual power, as a dismissal.
posted by Space Coyote at 8:48 AM on March 10 [3 favorites]


Biden won via taking at least one of the following three: Georgia, Arizona, and Wisonsin. He ended up winning all three and the total margin in all of those states combined is, iirc,

This second paragraph seems to be in tension with the first: Biden won the popular vote by more than seven million. It’s quite true that he eked out an electoral college win by a hair, but that isn’t a comment on his policies - more on the badness of the electoral college. (OTOH, I’d love to see a solid left presidential candidate argue in the next round that they can increase the margins in those states.)
posted by Going To Maine at 8:50 AM on March 10 [2 favorites]


the Green Party has failed to do anything and is a reviled joke.

A reviled joke? To most people I know, the Green Party is perhaps a failed electoral project to be sure but the "reviled" ones are the Democratic leadership who perpetuate suffering for the enrichment of their core constituency of arms dealers, HMOs, and financial firms.


Fair enough - realistically, in my circles, the Green Party is probably just seen as a safe vote in a safe state and something that costs the Ds election margins in close states. OTOH, I’m not sure that the Democratic committees even rate much of a mention -let alone revulsion- in most of their minds.

Still, I think the point stands: the DSA is better off co-opting the Ds -which it is successfully doing- than it is trying to go its own way.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:00 AM on March 10 [3 favorites]


Georgia:
Dem: 2,474,507
Rep: 2,461,837
Lib: 62,138

Arizona:
Dem: 1,672,143
Rep: 1,661,686
Lib: 51,465

Wisconsin:
Dem: 1,630,716
Rep: 1,610,151
Lib: 38,333

Third-party clown voters gave Biden the win, LOL

And the Dems the Senate by forcing the GA run-off for Perdue's seat.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 9:35 AM on March 10 [5 favorites]


Bernie won the Nevada primary by organizing labor and Latino voters. I am hopeful that this change over means more tactics like that and less tactics like focusing on large donors.
posted by tofu_crouton at 9:36 AM on March 10 [4 favorites]


What the DSA ought to do is push for more third party-friendly electoral reforms such as ranked choice voting, followed by relaxed ballot-access laws and lower qualifications for public matching funds. Not only would it reduce spoiler effects, it would make third parties slightly less hopeless. Of course, third parties actually winning the presidency are impossible unless the U.S. moves towards a more parliamentary system or at least get rid of first-past-the-post, but if Greens or actual DSA candidates get elected at local or state levels, it would mean all of their energy and fervor are not for naught, and they could participate in coalitions with Democrats. On the conservative side, ditto for the Libertarians and whatever's left of the Constitution Party.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:22 AM on March 10 [1 favorite]


DSA candidates are getting elected at local and state levels.
posted by tofu_crouton at 10:25 AM on March 10 [4 favorites]


Okay, true. And there are some Greens getting elected as well. I just mean simple electoral reforms can help get more third party candidates elected while reducing the chance of spoilers.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:28 AM on March 10


What the DSA ought to do is push for more third party-friendly electoral reforms such as ranked choice voting, followed by relaxed ballot-access laws and lower qualifications for public matching funds.

This would be a good thing to do, and a good reason to continue taking over Democratic state parties given the number of voter suppression efforts by Democrats against third parties.
posted by Cezar Golescu at 11:01 AM on March 10 [5 favorites]


Holly Otterbein in Politico: “Pro-Sanders forces finally get their revenge”
The toppling of the state party has been years in the making. Whitmer, who was chair of the Clark County Democratic Party until stepping down this month, said she contacted the DSA two years ago about filling seats in the central committee, which is the body that elects the party’s officers. Sanders’ political operation also sent texts late last year to the senator’s supporters to encourage them to run for those seats in Las Vegas’ Clark County, the most populous county in the state, said several sources familiar with the effort.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:33 AM on March 10


Historically, any 'socialist' attached to a party name has been defeated. There are exceptions, one is Bernie. Though some may see it as a label and not an ideological opposition to capitalist systems of inequity.
Common knowledge that many Early unions shed that label but pick/choose Ideological tenets; fair wages, working conditions, etc.
interesting historical stuff going on, I'll venture a year of Covid will prove that workers perhaps might address older issues with a better postion to bargain but not strike per say. More has been done at the discussion table then strikes in the last 20 years as they underline the need to discuss.
posted by clavdivs at 12:21 PM on March 10


A reviled joke? To most people I know, the Green Party is perhaps a failed electoral project to be sure but the "reviled" ones are the Democratic leadership who perpetuate suffering for the enrichment of their core constituency of arms dealers, HMOs, and financial firms.

The Green Party in the US has routinely been involved in Republican funded electoral fuckmuppetry since 2000 and Saint Ralph himself. This year the Greens helped the GOP delay the release of mail-in ballots in key states liike Pennsylvania by allowing themselves to be used as a catspaw over an issue stemming from their own incompetence (turns out that if your vice-presidential candidate moves during an election, you are obligated to inform the state election commissions when getting signatures to get on the ballot.)

So yes, the Green Party here is a reviled joke because of their conduct.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:34 PM on March 10 [16 favorites]


Indeed: the Greens ran a candidate who has never won any office (and he's tried!) in 2020. If that's the best you can do, don't run anyone. Throw your org behind the best incremental option instead. Running Howie Hawkins was an act of contempt.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:44 PM on March 10 [3 favorites]


I can't imagine why the DSA wanted to take over the Nevada party when things like "Running a candidate in an election" are viewed with contempt by the party of "pragmatic, realistic centrists"
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 12:53 PM on March 10 [1 favorite]


I can’t imagine why the DSA wanted to take over the Nevada party when things like “Running a candidate in an election” are viewed with contempt by the party of “pragmatic, realistic centrists”

This actually seems to get at a deeper issue with all these articles, at least to an outsider like me: none of them really make it clear what Whitmer will do that’s different from what Segerblom would have. Obviously there are some interpersonal tensions here -see the quotes in The Intercept about about Whitmer- but all of the articles are light on the no doubt dry-and-hard-to-interpret positions that will be impacted by this change.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:19 PM on March 10 [4 favorites]


Bernie did extremely well in Nevada during the primaries. It makes sense that the party would want to continue with more of that, and more of the organizers who helped him win the primary. The way this played out seems contentious, but I don't think gesturing at broad national trends is necessary to explain it in this case.
posted by tofu_crouton at 2:08 PM on March 10


there isn't a progressive voice that I can think of that hasn't been highly critical (and depressed) about the direction of the Biden administration that very nearly lost the election.

Have you heard of a progressive voice named Bernie Sanders?

He's all in on the American Rescue Plan. I quote:

“We have just passed the most significant piece of legislation for working families in the modern history of our country.”

And this phrase I keep seeing, "nearly lost the election" -- most people refer to that as "winning the election".
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 3:18 PM on March 10 [7 favorites]


More broadly, n9, it seems like your argument is that because there are still a whole lot of problems Biden and Dems haven't solved in his first 2 months, this indicates that they're not solving any problems at all, and that their progressive achievements thus far are fraudulent.

They just passed massive, highly popular, highly progressive legislation that will improve the lives of tens, if not hundreds, of millions of people. If you think that's fraudulent, look at what Bernie says about (see links in my previous comment). They've already taken dozens of progressive actions on climate, on the environment, on civil rights, on LGBTQ issues. It doesn't require squinting to see any of this -- it requires squinting NOT to see it.

People who trumpet what they *haven't* done, and ignore all they have done, are speaking either from a position of ignorance or bad faith.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 3:32 PM on March 10 [7 favorites]


We just passed a 1.9 trillion dollar covid bill that contains the most significant anti-poverty measures since FDR and yet we’re still having to hear from self declared socialists about how terrible the Democratic Party and Joe Biden are. It depresses me how willing so many are to parrot the talking points of folks like Chappo Trap House without actually looking at what was just passed by the Democrats.
posted by interogative mood at 3:45 PM on March 10 [11 favorites]


Depresses me that you think the democratic party is so great that not only are you willing to do unpaid PR shilling for them, but you actually expect other people to go around doing the same
posted by windbox at 4:14 PM on March 10 [5 favorites]


(turns out that if your vice-presidential candidate moves during an election, you are obligated to inform the state election commissions when getting signatures to get on the ballot.)

It's for this reason that I believe any change in a voter's registration information should result in them being stricken from the voter rolls.
posted by Cezar Golescu at 4:26 PM on March 10


It's for this reason that I believe any change in a voter's registration information should result in them being stricken from the voter rolls.

Wow, that's some shitty false equivalence. There's a vast difference between voters and candidates looking to be placed on the ballot, and it's not an injustice to require the latter to submit an affidavit with their petition and signatures detailing the change. Furthermore, trying to defend the Green Party playing catspaw for the Republicans in their attempt to disenfranchise people is why people wind up wondering what the endgame is for progressives who do so.

Depresses me that you think the democratic party is so great that not only are you willing to do unpaid PR shilling for them, but you actually expect other people to go around doing the same

You want to ignore the fact that the ARP, for all of its flaws and compromises, is a bill that is going to make a material difference in the lives of a lot of people at the lower end of the socioeconomic scale - and that fact is something worth talking up, go ahead. But the rest of us aren't obliged to join you there, and if your strategy is to shame us, you can fuck off with that. There's a reason why "Democrats are the same/just as bad as Republicans" isn't selling anymore.
posted by NoxAeternum at 4:59 PM on March 10 [3 favorites]


So yes, the Green Party here is a reviled joke because of their conduct.

Still bitter that here in Montana, it turned into a literal Republican front organization that was sanctioned for violating our election laws. It really stings to have your own actual values used by a dirty tricks squad.
posted by traveler_ at 5:04 PM on March 10 [10 favorites]


You want to ignore the fact that the ARP, for all of its flaws and compromises, is a bill that is going to make a material difference in the lives of a lot of people at the lower end of the socioeconomic scale - and that fact is something worth talking up, go ahead.

This is an interesting time. I feel like I'm seeing who in my circles is actually a progressive -- i.e., really interested in social and economic progress, and capable of recognizing and supporting it when it comes along -- and who is just permanently committed to their cynical narratives, even to the point of refusing to acknowledge when good stuff is happening, if it might mean having to even slightly revise their assessment of politicians they've previously written off.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 5:11 PM on March 10 [15 favorites]


Depresses me that you think the democratic party is so great that not only are you willing to do unpaid PR shilling for them, but you actually expect other people to go around doing the same

It seems less about shilling (on either side) and more about acknowledging the real wins by progressives. Joe Biden hasn’t been legislating more leftishly because he loves doing so - he’s doing it because progressives made him! This is what winning looks like. And it isn’t winning on everything, but it’s winning on something. It’s nice to take a partial W while the other side goes nuts about Dr. Seuss and is trying to introduce some doomed legislation to repeal the estate tax. Like, I dunno. If the COVID bill isn’t a win for progressive values, what would a win look like instead?
posted by Going To Maine at 5:22 PM on March 10 [13 favorites]


There's a vast difference between voters and candidates looking to be placed on the ballot, and it's not an injustice to require the latter to submit an affidavit with their petition and signatures detailing the change.

They faxed it instead of providing an original copy. You can die on the hill of that being a legitimate reason to block a party from the ballot if you want but it's the same dotted Is and crossed Ts justification to used to strike voters from rolls. It's one of the reasons taking over state parties is so important, ending the antidemocratic lawsuits regularly pursued by Democrats to suppress voters.
posted by Cezar Golescu at 5:39 PM on March 10 [1 favorite]


Congressionally Democrats passing progressive legislation doesn't change the fact that the Nevada Dems took their ball and went home because they lost to the left arm of the party.
posted by Ferreous at 5:46 PM on March 10 [4 favorites]


It does not! But the discussion seems to have also moved in more general directions.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:00 PM on March 10 [1 favorite]


Mod note: Of which, I'm going to encourage folks to head back to the notional topic of the post and if there's not more to say about that, that's fine. We don't have any particular need to argue the same swirling vortex of general national Dem/left/etc factionalism for the nth time; I recognize most of the usernames and most of the arguments in here from previous go-rounds and I'm guessing most of the vocal folks involved do, too.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:18 PM on March 10 [2 favorites]


When the incoming team says they are going to kick you off the field — or in this case “we were going to fire them all anyway” — not sure if “taking your ball and going home is a choice.

It will now be on the newly elected Democratic Socialist leaders to show they can win state elections. I’m skeptical that they will be able to put together a winning coalition; but I hope they can
posted by interogative mood at 7:09 PM on March 10 [3 favorites]


When the incoming team says they are going to kick you off the field — or in this case “we were going to fire them all anyway” — not sure if “taking your ball and going home is a choice.

Hold up, where is that quote coming from? Who said the incoming leadership were planning to fire the staffers?
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:09 PM on March 10 [3 favorites]


The staffers allege this to be the case in The Intercept. Whitmer denies it, but was also unsurprised by the departure. Just a very acrimonious split.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:28 PM on March 10


Congressionally Democrats passing progressive legislation doesn't change the fact that the Nevada Dems took their ball and went home because they lost to the left arm of the party.

As long as they show up to the general I don't care if establishment Democratic party members are dancing naked around a campfire praying to Amon in trying to get a Democratic candidate elected. They'll do whatever they think is right, so will we.

The problem is when we on the left take our ball and go home it usually means staying home from the general muttering about the lesser of two evils. Fight in the primary, come together for the general. As long as both sides do that I'll be a happy camper.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 8:58 PM on March 10 [3 favorites]


The prime reason for The Intercept to exist (even without Greenwald) seems to be drawing circles so progressives know which way to fire
posted by benzenedream at 9:01 PM on March 10 [2 favorites]


This is a noteworthy story, though. I just want to know what it actually means. Come on, Vox and NPR, come through with those explainers!
posted by Going To Maine at 9:18 PM on March 10 [2 favorites]


Depresses me that you think [x] is so great that not only are you willing to do unpaid PR shilling for them, but you actually expect other people to go around doing the same

This is just next level. I'll remember this line for next time anyone praises something and I want to make them feel bad.
posted by Dysk at 12:46 AM on March 11 [7 favorites]


I just keep coming back to this story and I still can’t see it any other way than “how dare these pinko bastards have the audacity to run? Don’t they know they’re not allowed?” Like, what were they supposed to do? Leftists are told over and over that splitting off into a third party will destroy the country by handing it to the Republicans, so they must work within the Dem party system - but when they successfully work within the system and actually win, they are branded as unreasonable idiots who will run the party into the ground and the “actual, real, deserving” Dems will not even make a good faith effort to TRY to work with them.
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:14 AM on March 11 [19 favorites]


Exactly, showbiz_liz.

They're damned if they do, damned if they don't.

Someone mentioned earlier that the term "socialist" is basically a toxic brand but is that because Americans are viscerally opposed to the actual policies put forth by democratic socialists/socialists or because the media has brainwashed them into thinking "sOcIaLiSm bAd"?
posted by drstrangelove at 4:25 AM on March 11 [3 favorites]


Someone mentioned earlier that the term "socialist" is basically a toxic brand but is that because Americans are viscerally opposed to the actual policies put forth by democratic socialists/socialists or because the media has brainwashed them into thinking "sOcIaLiSm bAd"?

Depending on which poll you look at, the percentage of support for Medicare for All varies but it is always very popular. And Bernie was extremely popular in Nevada. M4A and the Bernie campaign are the electoral pushes that DSA is most known for. I think the evidence shows us that voters in Nevada do not have an issue with socialist goals.
posted by tofu_crouton at 7:12 AM on March 11 [3 favorites]


none of them really make it clear what Whitmer will do that’s different from what Segerblom would have
Here are their websites:

https://www.judithwhitmer.com/

https://www.tick4nevada.com/

edit: this article has some more detail on the transition.
posted by davedave at 2:52 PM on March 11 [1 favorite]


Every time one of these threads happens I once again despair that US can't have a multiparty system. It would take, somehow, both parties splintering at once to prevent spoiler parties, which, I just don't see how that happens.

But we wouldn't have to fight among ourselves like this if we could all just vote for the particular flavor of socialism/progressivism/etc. that we subscribe to rather than argue about who is and who is not a true Scotsman, and then leave it to the parties to form coalitions. Here in the Netherlands they're about to have a national election, and with 37 parties on the ballot, we'll know afterwards exactly how many people are pro-labor versus socialist versus socialist/environmentalist versus pro-European liberal versus.. well it's a long list. And centrist leaning and right leaning folks will also know how they divide up.

In the US, no one knows. In my social bubble I know of no one who is not very left and very progressive, and that makes it hard to imagine people being centrist, much less right-leaning. And US elections only tell me how many right leaning people there really are around me (well.. were around me before I moved), not how many ultra-progressive versus mildly democratic folks there are. The DSA has been doing the only reasonable thing you can do within this system and putting out progressive candidates within the Democratic party, but really they should be able to build their own party with their own platform and have their power shown clearly in the voting booth by running against other democrats, and being able to exercise that power in coalition-forming within a majority Democratic government made up of small leftist parties. Rather than us squabbling blindly amongst ourselves. Well.. I can dream.
posted by antinomia at 3:10 PM on March 11 [4 favorites]


Relevant to allowing parties to splinter: Center For Election Science. They are getting approval voting on the ballot in multiple cities. If you hate the two party system, help them out - being far left shouldn't aid fascists by defeating centrists.
posted by benzenedream at 6:04 PM on March 11 [3 favorites]


America is not the only country to op-opt socialist agenda and re-label it. As America is still, in puff-effect a republic, democratic in nature.Integration of the socialist party has Historically been a struggle. Many are on ballots, for over 100 years...The unions have integrated many, ironically, government workers have unions. But when socialists became popular, in representation, a hundred years ago, the working conditions were markedly different, a few capitalists even out did the regulations about worker safety, sanitation like Ford. Of course there was the Harry Bennett soap dispenser.
The label progressive is different 100 years ago as it is today. for example Mitchell Palmer. Quaker, Democrat. Labeled a progressive for opposing the APL, a informant and harassment organization. But his other actions are power driven concern for capitalist interests. Fitting that Fitzgerald wrote: "An artist is someone who can hold two opposing viewpoints and still remain fully functional."
posted by clavdivs at 4:42 PM on March 12


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posted by cortex (staff) at 7:23 PM on March 13


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