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Big Primary Wins for Socialists and Progressives Who Ran on 'Popular Demands That Were Deemed Impossible'


A moderate Democrat that replaces a hard right Republican makes a huge difference, except in your stupid fantasyland. They elect new majority leaders in the Senate and a new Speakers in the House, and said leaders determine the floor schedules in their respective chambers. They will occupy committee seats, giving Democrats majorities on committees, making Bernie chair of Budgets in the Senate, and Ron Wyden chair of Intelligence for example. Bernie, Wyden, and a host of other committee chairs will have subpoena power, control hearing schedules, control voting schedules, and control nominations. You do realize nominees and shitty legislation typically don’t make it through committees without chair approval, right? Do you think it will make a difference having Bernie negotiate elements of the federal budget, or Mike Enzi? Yeah, you know the answer.

It does matter, it matters a lot, especially when the other party controls the White House and the Supreme Court.


See, your problem is that you have no factual argument at all. The people you call moderates have been in charge of your party for decades. The data shows decades of stagnating wages, an explosion in inequality, crumbling infrastructure, a huge growth in private debt, a pending environmental crisis, among other things. Your party has also collapsed, is losing support as we speak. The fact is that those moderates share the government with people well to their right, and they are as bad as can be as far as negotiating on policies that are a net positive for a majority of the country. What is fantasyland is thinking that anyone but people in your economic class would welcome a politician not interested in structurally changing anything. You don’t really care about policy, or the impact of those policies. If you did, you wouldn’t be making the arguments you do all the time, and you would be able to wrap your head around the very basic things you feebly argue against. You would have an actual argument worth a damn if the data didn’t show this stuff, if your party hasn’t been so utterly wiped out, if your party isn’t losing support among the public now and even support from millennials because of how bad it is. Your nominee of choice lost to Trump, she was that bad.

“They will occupy committee seats, giving Democrats majorities on committees”

Who is they? Can you show me that actual progressives have willingly been given actual power within your party, especially at the top? Has the DCCC fought, once, for the more progressive candidate? Where is the evidence that your friends in the party will willingly give support to people on the left? Nowhere, and you know it. That is why the invented a position for Ellison after he lost to Perez, and why they gave Sanders the silly position of outreach coordinator, or whatever it is. No actual power. And even if they have, if there is Bernie and a handful of others, and they share a party with people like Schumer, Pelosi, Manchin and the like, and they collectively have to negotiate with people well to the right of center and popular opinion, what will be the outcome?

Besides, this thread is about Democratic Socialists winning. That is something that is new, it does represent a radical break from the past. Look what the DA in Philly is doing, for example. A corrupt, “moderate” Democrat winning means nothing. Again, you couldn’t let people be happy about Democratic Socialists winning, you had to come here and rain on peoples’ parade and mock them, belittle them for caring about things you don’t and holding views to your left. It says a lot about you and your motivations as far as posting here.

“It does matter, it matters a lot, especially when the other party controls the White House and the Supreme Court.”

Well, since your party has no actual coherent vision and doesn’t offer to really structurally change anything in a way that benefits working people, the poor and the environment, what it ultimately means is that your party may, may, be in a position to play (weak) defense against the far right. There is no alternative vision to go on, so going on the offensive is impossible, your party doesn’t stand for anything, there is no logical coherence policy wise, so if all things work out perfectly with the “moderates” still firmly in charge, we might be able to lessen some of the destructive impacts that the right’s policies will cause. That is the best case scenario, managing the decline, slowing it down. I would be so happy to know that my little boys could go to college and not go massively into debt in order to do that. I would be so happy to know that they have healthcare if they get sick, and don’t have to operate in an inefficient wreck of a system dominated by private insurance companies. But that won’t happen, it won’t, unless more democratic socialists win, and it seems that you really don’t want to see that come about.


You make me laugh so hard sometimes. My comment was pure fact. Will we get a new House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader if a moderate replaces a Republican? Answer: yes or no. Will said leaders control the floor schedule? Answer: yes or no. Will we get new committee chairs? Answer: yes or no. Will Wyden and Sanders occupy important committee chairs? Answer: yes or no? Will said chairs control nomination, hearing, and legislative schedules? Answer: yes or no.

If all of those are a yes, then replacing a Republican with a moderate Democrat does matter. By having a majority caucus, you control a chamber. But hey, if you want Mike Enzi negotiating the budget with the Trump administration and not Bernie, be my guest.


If nothing else; what happened to Bernie in the last election, proves your point!


Who gives two shits if you are laughing at me? The only people laughing if your party gets power and remains dominated by the people that the democratic socialists are trying to defeat are large donors and politicians that don’t want the system to change, and don’t want their own power undermined. It is impossible for a person to miss the mark more than you are. All you are saying is that your party will be in a position to appoint people to this or that committee. Great. Now, prove your party is effective at implementing policies that benefit working people once it gets power, show that it is a net positive for working people. You can’t. Your party got lots of power in past elections and we can see that things continued to get worse. It did some decent things here and there, but it also did horrible things that more than negated the positive things it did, and because it is oh so moderate, it fights against structural changes that would help working people and the poor and offers no coherent vision or alternative to organize around. It is, policy wise, an incoherent mess of a party, and usually only wins these days when the Republicans utterly fuck everything up. Then you moderates get power, have no solutions, and we are an election or two away from the far right getting back in. And once again, if you look at the decades long macroeconomic data, you have no case. None at all. If the Republicans get power, things get bad very quickly. If your party led by the type of corrupt politicians your friends in the DCCC support, things get worse at a slower pace. While you are laughing, maybe start looking at the data and start caring about the victims of your moderate party’s policies. And be happy that your party wins in races where 30% of voters bother voting. Who gives a damn about the other 70%? You are too enlightened and high minded to bother with such things. Talk down to everyone to your left, talk down to the victims of this rotten system, dismiss arguments you have no response to (like now), provide cover for people benefiting from the system as is. Typical day for you.


It’s refreshing to see that all of the true progressives mentioned are unequivocal on a “Medicare for All” that is real Singer Payer and all support $15NOW, not the sanitized versions.

Also, please note that all are women.

PS: Paulette Jordan’s website calls for expanded Medicaid and raising the minimum wage in undefined increments, along with indexing it for inflation. She’s clearly much more a liberal Democrat, rather than a progressive.


Unfortunately what happened here proves to be more of the exception and not the rule. Still though I agree that these victories should be celebrated and that running in Dem primaries can lead to progressive wins, even if like I said earlier it is more of the exception at the moment.


Another long screed with only your “facts.” As usual, I guess.

It’s obvious: you don’t want Bernie chairing the Budget Committee in the Senate. You don’t care what institutional control means. You want to yell. You know everything even though you clearly don’t. I state unambiguous facts, doesn’t matter to you.


It’s a start and what progressives should be doing. The neoprogressive apathy and take-the-toys-and-go-home stuff I see here is a loser philosophy. Get the most progressive candidates you can in, and government and parties change. This is what conservatives did with the Republican Party beginning in the late sixties, it’s what civil rights folks did in the Democratic Party beginning in the 40s. These it’ll-never-change arguments are fucking stupid. Change takes time, is typically incremental—yes I said it—and builds upon itself. The Left in this country is its own worst enemy.


While I still don’t agree with that last sentence I think I can see your sentiments. I think the left in some senses is very frustrated with the incremental approach when it seems that whenever Republicans get power they are able to take a much faster wrecking ball approach. It does seem it takes much longer to build something than it does to destroy something.


It does take longer. It took 40 years for the elderly healthcare provision proposed for Social Security to become law in the form of Medicare. It took years for Social Security to cover all the industries it does today. The one part of Bernie’s campaign that really got to me was his revolution talk. Even admist what we regard as a political revolution in the form of the New Deal, compromises were made in legislation that were expanded and built upon in succeeding years. Some of these compromises were things we’d deplore today and dismiss as the worst forms of selloutism.

I also want to make the point parties do change. The evidence for this is from within our lifetimes. The Reagan Revolution happened because conservatives began taking over seats once filled by moderate Republicans. They then flipped Democratic districts in the south held by conservative Democrats. The Republican Party changed as a result. You win elections, and parties evolve. It’s literally the history of political parties.


Yeah, it may take a millennium to build a great city and fill it with priceless history, art and culture. An idiot or government (but I repeat myself) with a multi-megaton H-bomb can destroy it all in a few seconds or less.
*I am a nuclear veteran and know whereof I speak.


When it comes to climate change, we don’t have time. Moderates, or the “center” or whatever you want to call them lack the vision and vigor to do anything. They stand for nothing except the status quo, mindlessly triangulating their incrementalism.

Meanwhile, the planet is going up in smoke. As one of those moderates, it seems your hair is on fire but you never seem to notice. From a policy standpoint, you are comatose.

Keep fiddling, the fire won’t be out in a few years, but our ability to put it out will be foregone. Keep whistling, you’ll soon be past the graveyard. Keep triangulating to keep yourself in power. Keep living your fact-free existence.

Being a moderate means being an enabler of our demise. You and your ilk must bear the responsibility for that.


Even though you have painted a really good picture of what it is like I still probably can never truly imagine what it is like to be such a veteran and I pray that I nor anyone else will have to experience the unleashing of such horrors.


This thread has highlighted urgent problems that have gotten worse with your party in charge.

Your response is to council incrementalism.

Just. Wow.


Please give it a break. This article and thread is about socialists winning, and you are here to point out that the party is still firmly in control of the “moderates”, and to make sure no one is too happy about socialists winning. If you really wanted to see progressive change, which has not happened under the watch of so called “moderates”, you would welcome this news. You, in conversing with another poster, mentioned the WWII era, the New Deal and the Great Society programs. Well, guess what really pushed those compromises? The threat posed by socialists, communists and radical trade unionists, as well as the system performing poorly for most people. It isn’t as if the New Deal was a compromise between the Nancy Pelosi’s or the Manchin’s of the time and the right wing business interests. It was a compromise between Norman Thomas and the Socialist Party, the IWW, the Communist Party, radicalized union members and those interests. It is why Henry Wallace was named as VP at one point, by far the most radical person to hold that position in modern times. There was a reason why Michael Harrington was such an influence on Kennedy and Johnson, and why he was cited by Johnson as a major influence on his “war on poverty”. That is the norm, structural changes largely occurring from without institutions dominated by those in power. You don’t get structural changes by working with moderates, and it is a total lie to say that the Civil Rights or labor movement worked entirely within the confines of the Democratic Party. Like the Democratic Socialists, they sometimes used that party to further their needs, more so when the Democrats essentially adopted a large portion of the Socialist Party’s platform (which EJ Dione noted was the case in a book of his) and they often did direct action and organizing outside of the control of that or any party. The party responded to pressure below, and it had to respond to radicals that wanted structural changes.

You acknowledge that change takes time, but don’t want to acknowledge that the net change for most people in this country has been for the worse for a generation now, in large part because there is no effective opposition to the far right. My data is clear, it is the decades of stagnating wages, the explosion in inequality and private debt, and all the other things I often cite. It is the anger at both parties, the fact that people are increasingly turning away from both parties, the fact that voting has collapsed in recent decades, it is the gap between popular opinion and actual government policy. I could also link the many deals and policies your party has supported that has majorly contributed to that. And I never said that Sanders having some power wouldn’t mean anything, but him having some power in a party still dominated by people you call “moderates”, they would be called right wing in most other countries, isn’t going to accomplish much. Socialists beating your pals in the Democratic Party will do that. And if that doesn’t work, the DSA could just break away once it starts to accumulate enough power, which it might in the coming years.

The discussion here isn’t whether or not I or the left in general are going to pick up and leave if we don’t get our way. That isn’t going to happen. The question is whether or not your party is an actual vehicle for progressive change, and you aren’t making a very good case here that it is, neither is the DCCC, the state party, and those controlling those institutions. What you want to do is come here and tell people that despite the socialists winning, the party is still not theirs, and you want to talk down to and mock people to your left. Stop pretending to come here and to be a friend to the left. It’s nonsense, and no one is going to fall for it. I am done trying to reason with someone that benefits from being so damn dense, like you are.


The Republican party was buried and dead in 2008. The corporate Democrats managed to steal defeat from the jaws of victory and now we have Trump. How has moving to the center worked? Why should we support the Democratic party when we will have limp noodles like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid running Congress? How did they reverse the destruction left by Bush? When Obama said look forward not back, these clowns did nothing to prosecute the folks who had corrupted the system, tortured people, normalized drone killings. When Obama assasinated American citizens with no due process, how did the knucklehead Democrats in Congress respond…crickets? If the Democratic Party doesn’t return to where the American people actually are, I’ll continue to vote Green and Socialist until this mess is swirling down the toilet on its way to the sewer, it doesn’t deserve to exist as it is.


It doesn’t take an h-bomb to destroy cultural history, America managed to clobber Iraq’s historical scene with mostly conventional weapons (and a little DU).


The interesting thing is, when you search the destruction of Iraq’s cultural heritage, it mostly comes up with items about how ISIS or ISIL did it, not so much about the US. Little in the MSM about US crimes.


So, the more I reflect on this, more perturbed I become. First of all, to the best of my knowledge the existing power structure in the Democratic Party has only given lip service to some of the objectives of the progressive community (all the while doing everything they can to frustrate inroads by progressives). They have not ever laid out a plan for “incrementally” achieving universal healthcare or dealing with the jobs export programs they call “free trade agreements” or dealing with climate change challenges or any other of a host of important issues. They don’t articulate any plan or path that gets us from here to there on an incremental (which I read to mean step-wise) basis.

But, more importantly, in what world is it OK to incrementally provide universal healthcare, while millions of people go without it, suffer, die and/or go bankrupt in the process?

In what world is it OK to incrementally address climate change and to not sound the alarm over climate change which threatens our very existence and declare it a national emergency requiring our all-out effort to address it?

In what world is it OK to incrementally address hunger and poverty in our country, while millions (including children) go hungry and suffer malnourisment?

In what world is it OK to incrementally address the export of our jobs to other countries without demanding that they provide safe working conditions and a comparable standard of living to which our displaced workers are entitled?

I could go on, but the point is made. There is a lack of basic humanity when your policy framework of incrementalism allows massive suffering and death, poverty and hunger, lack of shelter, barriers to healthcare, and so on.

In what world is this OK? Apparently, this is OK in your world, but it’s not OK in mine.


As far as the new deal goes. Yep this exactly. The Socialists and Communists were neutralized and then the entire Left slowly strangled by the Democrats. That 40+ percent of Americans do not vote is because they have no party they see as representing their interests and I suspect the overwhelming majority of those that do not vote are people way to the left.

The strategy of the Democrats has been to keep the majority of US Citizens on the sidelines while they themselves move ever further right and shift the definition of what a “Moderate” is so yesterdays Republican is todays moderate. This way they can continue to get those Corporate Dollars.

Just as occurred here in Canada with the Liberal party , the only way to move the Democrats to the left is if there a CREDIBLE threat from the left in the way of a third party. This party not only motivating those that do not vote to vote but also threatening to bleed away those that DO support the democrats. If this bleeding away of support happens faster then they can pick up what they deem “Moderate” Republicans the Party will never gain power again.

The fact is that people that support the Democrats are killing the left. This is why the Democratic party at the top AND its supporters within the electorate and the media always save their greatest vitriol for peoples like Ralph Nader rather then the Donald Trumps.

There a reason the Democrats do not have a strategy of getting that 40+ ercent of Americans that do not vote to vote even as only a small percentage of them doing so could ensure a Democratic victory. It because they do NOT want those people to have a voice or any influence in the party. They would rather they did not vote at all.