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Progressives Must Fight With—and In—the Democratic Party

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/06/25/progressives-must-fight-and-democratic-party


Just getting into office is not enough. These Progressives being elected also need to start being strategic and stand up to Pelosi and the corporate wing of the Dem party which means none of that writing strongly worded letters bullshit anymore. No more apologizing left and right everytime they say something the Establishment doesnt like or rolling over and falling in line behind “mama bear” Pelosi and merely being keyboard warriors, like AOC and Omar and Tlaib and Khanna, who just like to talk about resistance and what is wrong with the system, but then just shut up and line up behind Pelosi and vote yes on nearly all her horrendous policies.

No more playing nice with entities that hold our movement in contempt, sabotage us and kick progressives in the teeth and humiliate them every chance they get.

So while i am excited these progressives are being elected into office, I dont remain hopeful that they will actually wiled and use that power, like the tea party and the Freedom Caucus did on the GOP side, to coerce these corporate stooges into taking some real action for the people. The last thing we need is another wishy washy Bernie type who, after all is said and done, just falls in line behind a rapey corporate lackey who said he would veto medicare for all and endorsed him without having secured serious and meaningful concessions upfront.

Getting there is only half the battle, the real one starts on the day you take office. And somehow I dont thin any of these progressives have it in them to truly stand up to the corporate wing of the party.


AOC is the only Congresscritter to call foul on CARES legislation corporate welfare, and provide serious push back to Pelo$i on a number of issues.

It is refreshing to see her cream her bankster funded DINO opponent in this week’s NY primary.

If AOC isn’t what the future of the Democratic Party looks like, there won’t be a Democratic Party in the future. It really IS that simple.


Just today I received a letter from Madame Speaker Pelosi requesting donations to the DCCC. It began “Dear Friend,” which was the first lie, followed by a bunch more. Sorry Nancy. Let them eat superdelegates.


My wife gets funding solicitations from Pelo$i and I get them from Obama. During the winter they are good for starting the wood stove in the morning. During summer they get recycled.


another hit piece by Kaylie-senpai wanna join my „terrorist“ group Kaylie? yes? no? no! it’s a no then, i knew it you’re NOT into „terrorism“ haha just kidding, just kidding… i’ve become disillusioned with politics but i’ve become hunted by things i shouldn’t know and therefore unable to give up but enough about that.

now that was Laura Flander’s level of gritty grit… i think what you’ve aptly described as keyboard warriors might become a new style of progressive „politics“ i.e the keyboard warrior will perform performances for the twitter left or youtuber like Joe Rogan err he sorta moved away from youtube into a sweet 100 million deal with a certain „app“ based platform, but enough about the internet.

to me it feels like progressive america has fallen into its own shadow… progressive america can (obviously) still produce new stars but hardly anything the establishment has to fear, i also feel progressive america fails to create anything of wordly importance err the progressive stars certainly failed to deliver a mmm certain worldliness for their people… to me it feels like spotting the very obvious when i say: the grand mmm alliance around Noami Klein (and other stars) is trapped and they try to jump out of their trap, with a new project every few month but it just doesn’t want to take off… Greta, Extinction rebellion, multiple consequent call for internationalism and a call for a new new deal every few weeks, but none of the stars produced anything even remotely relevant — for the world outside of america — it’s super depressing.

Tliab and Pressley didn’t exactly defeat the party establishment.
They replaced – by d-party standards – two progressive stalwarts.

As for Eliot Engel and other warmonging corporate Democrats, Solomon’s advice over the years has been to vote for them anyway because they’re the LOTE. Now that we have 40 years of voting LOTE to look back on, Norm, how has that been working out?


What is that saying “The Democratic Party is where progressive movements go to die?” I think this year has shown that off quite well. No progressives need to fight against the party from the outside or we will continue to be co-opted. We don’t have time to play by their rules.


The House Progressive Caucus is pretty much useless because the Blue Dog and Third Way/Problem Solvers Caucuses are where the real power lies in the d-party House delegation.

The progressives always give in to the demands of center right power in Pelosi’s caucus because the center right members represent those precious swing districts without which Nancy is not Madame Speaker. Nancy protects their electoral chances by making sure nothing progressive ever comes up for a vote – because her own caucus will vote them down. So roughly 50 center right House Dems control the agenda while reps like Ro Khanna flail and make empty demands from the sidelines.

It’s even worse in a crisis, when “bi-partisan solutions” like the CAREs Act need to be passed on a time sensitive basis. Then the most blatant corporate giveaways sail through Congress and we learn about how Nancy and Chuck got steamrolled by Mitch and Mnunchin after the fact. Of course, “after the fact” is a relative term – anyone paying attention knows that Nancy and Chuck will roll over and play dead as a predestined outcome.


To be fair to Solomon, he has always advocated voting for the most progressive person in the primary regardless of perceived strength in the general. And I’m pretty sure I’ve heard him backing voting progressive third party as first choice in places that have RCV (Maine only as far as federal elections). He is of course an inside strategy person and many of these people (of which I was one, now I’m weighing my options) typically advocate voting D in the general.

Oh and I’m super stoked about Bowman after reading the Jacobin interview and I’m looking forward to a Booker McConnell showdown.


The more progressives we get in office the stronger they will stand. They did not have the power to confront Pelosi, you have to be realistic and strategic. Every single progressive who put to pasture a corporate dems will eventualy change things.

These comments are not productive although I like most of the sentiment of Kylie. Be patience, democracy take work and all of us particpating. Don’t shoot our progressive messengers.


Like I asked, how has that worked out?

Also, has Booker been announced the victor? I thought the mail in ballots hadn’t been sorted out yet?


It hasn’t worked out as well as I would like hence the “weighing my options”.

I heard Bookers count went above as predicted. It might not stay that way I realize so “looking forward” was wrong phrasing. Optimistic about seeing such a showdown is what I should have said (whereas tue evening I had already given up - not knowing the particular counting dynamics).


To Norman Solomon:
Are you nuts…??


Forget “standing up to Pelosi.” Replace her. I’m pulling for Shahid Buttar.


That nonsense about California speaks the truth about the Democratic Party as well as any of the crap the Party has served for the last 50 years or so. The Party is decidedly unDemocratic, is thoroughly corrupted by big money, and will never again be the party of the people. It’s that simple.

These so called progressive representatives Mr. Solomon speaks of will have about as much clout in Congress as those already in place. Collectively, they accomplish one thing - they help keep progressive voters in the fold, just like Bernie Sanders or, for that matter, just like Mr. Solomon. That’s it.


Norman if you really believe that, then stop sheepdogging us into voting for whatever corporate democrat they put on the ballot.


The party will continue to suffer as the country suffers under the rule of the proprietary vote counting software. As our voting systems are inherently insecure and unprotected from manipulation, like rats in a maze we will continue to be misdirected away from the cheese of a secure vote count as we wallow in the mire of fraud and broken dreams. The systems used for counting votes at the primary level are the same Microsoft based / vendor " secret software " proprietary voting systems used in the general. No amount of paper ballots or audits will cure these machines. We MUST parole ourselves with open source /paper ballot election systems capable of conducting free and fair elections without inside or outsider interference.


I know the article, and all comments to this point, are about Democratic Party progressives in Congressional races. Some of the comments are enthusiastic, very many skeptical about what good it will do. As to the latter sentiment, it’s rightly pointed out that progressives aren’t numerous enough to represent any real power bloc, and, likely in part due to that, they roll over too easily / often to the corporate establishment Dem leaders’ agenda.

Fair enough. Yet I want to point out that all of this puts too much emphasis on the candidates and elected officials, and ignores the fact that most real change has to come from the grassroots. If progressives in Congress aren’t numerous or strong enough, it’s in large part because they’re largely alone - likely perceiving that they have no choice but to yield. Sure they can cast protest votes now and then; but the fact remains they have very little power and political capital.

On the other hand, we’ve already seen what concerted public focus and protest have done to at least get the ball rolling on (at a minimum) some legislative attention (from municipal to federal) on long-overdue policing reforms and even fundamental questioning about policing- its tactics, reflection of systemic / institutionalized racism and other abuses, and funding - even extending to the reconsideration of police departments’ very existence.

Just imagine if such a movement might arise with an expanded scope: a pro-democracy movement; demanding, peace and justice (i.e. economic, environmental AND social justice). While such a broader movement is not without risks, as from a lack of coordination and synthesis of messages and the dissonance therefrom, or from conflicting agendas (and sadly, ego conflicts), the upsides are enormous.

In any case, I think it a big mistake to put so much of our energies, and especially our hopes, into electoral fortunes. I believe the progressives - and that includes Sanders, regardless of the collective disappointment at his premature withdrawal and refusal to fight the Democratic establishment’s collusion in blocking him - must be willing to organize using our only real collective power- the powers of our principles, ideas, and most importantly in terms of impact - the collective economic power of the 99%. The latter of course means our influence over markets and labor and tax collection. Demonstrating those powers, of course, will bring attempts at suppression - but with commitment and a willingness to sacrifice- comforts, security and even lives, ultimately, the people would prevail.

It would take a bit of careful, democratic deliberation, but it would not be too hard to create a platform of principles and demands that would incorporate the common interests and objectives, and which would probably find resonance within not only progressives but within many disparate segments of the public. In other words, it would be a genuine, progressive populist uprising.

Without such a movement and grassroots pressure, I suspect we’re still at the stage of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. With climate destabilization (alone) soon to make most of our issues moot, we simply don’t have the luxury of waiting for a progressive cadre of legislators to save our hides.


yeah…i would close that hope chest if i were you. Pelosi isnt going anywhere. The idiots in her district have been supporting her corrupt ass for decades despite her being useless. And in a way she does serve her district well: they are all rich, well paid who appreciate diversity and lip service - exactly what Pelosi offers. The only way Pelosi is going to leave that seat is when she is carried out after having passed on the job from old age. It is sad but the truth. I wish Buttar stood a chance but he doesn’t.

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