Home | About | Donate

The Pragmatic Left Is Winning

The Pragmatic Left Is Winning

Michelle Goldberg

On Tuesday, Rashida Tlaib, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, won her primary in Michigan, and she is now overwhelmingly likely to become the first Muslim woman in Congress. In a referendum, people in Missouri voted 2 to 1 to overturn an anti-union “right to work” law passed by the Republican legislature. In an upset, Wesley Bell, a progressive city councilman from Ferguson, Mo., effectively ousted the longtime St.

1 Like

Winning the center and moving the momentum to the progressive left-of-center is a hard slog. In the words of Joe Manchik, " For 3 million light years my fellow travelers in the Green Party have been trying to establish a colony on what is called Planet Earth. I thought this time my magic slippers would prevail and… ".
Well, what can ya’ say to that irrefutable logic?


I would not equate the Democratic Socialists of America with the Green Party. I think the DSA is clearly against capitalism and wants to replace it with socialism. It supports socialism for the means of production. However, it hopes to get there slowly, almost by stealth perhaps. It supported John Kerry for president in 2004. Certainly nobody would mistake Kerry for a socialist and he seems clearly to be part of the center left wing of the Democratic Party. So the DSA is creeping toward socialism. It is now supporting candidates in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Whether it ever reaches the point of supporting candidates who are opposed to capitalism and want state-controlled means of production remains to be seen. The Green Party seems to focus on candidates not taking money from corporations, always advocating something just to the left of whatever Bernie Sanders is advocating, focusing foreign policy largely on support of Palestinians, and in general promoting an isolationist foreign policy. While it seems to have no role in obtaining power, it serves as a home for leftists who cannot bring themselves to vote for Democrats.


I’m not in the least surprised to find that this hit piece was writen by a columnist for the New York Times. A sure sign of bad faith is her trotting out, for the umpteenth time since it was debunked, the canard that “Nader gave us Bush.”

It’s her kind of “pragmatism” that led directly to the primary defeat of Bernie Sanders, and thus to the Electoral College win by our Game-Show-Host-in-Chief.


The right will red bait the DSA. Since its platform sucks, attack is all the right has. They will liken DSA to failed communist countries.

DSA and Social Democrats should stress their identity with Scandinavian governments. Most voters know that these countries have the best governments, social democracies all.


This feel-good kinda shallow piece is similar to the last from this author. A soft-sell of supposed DP “progress” that in many ways masks opposition to change from entrenched DINO sellouts. To paraphrase brother Malcolm "sticking a knife in a man’s back nine inches and then pulling it out six inches is not “making progress”

Just think what “the left” could accomplish if the Clinton/Obama/DLC-DNC corporate tool wing was not sabotaging and under-funding progressive left candidates while supporting corrupt, war-hawks, Mayors who close 50 inner-city schools, HR 676 health care sabotage, fossil-fuel scamers…etc, etc, etc (read Menendez, Pelosi, Feinstein, Emanuel, Schumer, the “New Dems” and Blue Dogs, et al. or Selling-out to for-profit health care, taxation give-away’s to the ultra-wealthy & corporations, the endless for-profit war machine.and war-crimes, corporate/banker/wall street greed, etc, etc.

The entrenched DINO wing, and its utterly failed BS “strategists” are still pushing complicity, collusion, and craven betrayal of many (most) issues the “left” and independents and thinking Americans - the 99% - support. (Not to mention support for illegal Israeli expansion and war crimes, and the Yemen genocide - silence equals complicity!)

Universal not-for-profit single payer (with no BS profit-weaseling) HR-676, restoration of fair progressive taxation on the wealthiest and corporations, non racist Immigration reform, free or subsidized public education, environmental priorities & protection, clean/green energy…and so much more!

How about the 38 DINO war-machine tools that voted with R’Cons for $716 billion for the obscene Pentagon/war budget? Nary a peep from the “party” or Clinton’s "Uncle"Tom Perez…yeah, now that’s not the Dem Party in disarray…


Are you talking about a hit piece on the Green Party? If so, I believe and is my opinion that she is exactly right as his Ralph Nader. Worked for Ralph here in Portland Oregon where he got 10,000 people at a rally and lost and did not get the Green to become available for being part of the debates et al and still haven’t. They don’t know how to build is why I quit the green party.

1 Like

Six of the candidates Ocasio-Cortez supported won, but somehow, much of the MSM keeps spinning the myth that all the people she supported lost.


Wow. You are sounding like a latter-day, “threat-of-creeping-socialism”-style Joe McCarthy there, my dear LRX…


The MSM is almost as willfully blind to change as the NY Times and the GP. In the words of Joe, " we came, we voted, they giggled until they counted all 1140, or so, votes. "

They don’t know how to overcome the collusion among Ds, Rs and the corporate media to prevent third parties from gaining any traction.


Greens are less professional.
Blues and reds are more professional. One could as easily say more mercenary.

I’ll go with the amateurs until the pros clean up their game, thanks.

I do hear tell of people within the party calling themselves socialists and progressives. That’s nice. I have yet to find anyone within the party addressing its corruption.

Some people just arrived, and I am willing to wait–but not to assume. I am also willing to compromise. I voted Democrat for over 35 years, and it was a compromise every time. But getting peevish with third parties does not make a platform. And what is “practical” to some political candidate need not be practical to anyone else, let alone me. Insofar as Democrats have been practical in that left-baiting HRC sense over the last quarter-century, it has been by pointedly ignoring anything and everything of interest to me.

I am encouraged by the victories of Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib. So it is a real cold douche to hear these candidates backed in this way. Goldberg does not show enough sense about the impracticalities of being co-opted or voting for a co-opted candidate to even bother to address them here. Were these candidates better known and with longer track records, I might willingly dismiss this characterization. After all, the candidates are not responsible for what Goldberg might decide to write about them. But for the moment, it appears that the forces waiting to deflect the socialist and progressive impulses towards the Democrat and Team Blue appear the most in evidence.

What does practical mean to Michelle Goldberg, I wonder, since she uses the term. Does it not mean that these candidates are willing to vote big Blue against their consciences and against their constituencies? Does it not mean that they are willing to look the other way with respect to party corruption?

Hopefully it does not. But if not, we ought to see sparks before long.


How exactly did the brand of pragmatism attributed to the author led to the defeat of Bernie Sanders? Was it not mainly Hillary’s cheating pals that ‘led’ to Bernie’s loss instead? Your astonishing claim puts the ‘Nader gave us Bush’ version of history (which at least can point to the Florida numbers) to shame, for its utter lack of foundation.


Not to answer for Guild, but here are a few ways:

  • Said “pragmatism” was the main part of HRC’s public campaign.
  • Said “pragmatism” was likely a motive for HRC’s cheating “pals,” who did indeed take the candidacy
  • Sanders participated in this “pragmatism” when he endorsed Clinton on the heels of the theft, ruining his chances of any further upset in 2016 and probably beyond.

I’d have voted for Bernie Green or Blue or Independent. I won’t vote for him to endorse the military right. Part of the trouble with this “pragmatism” is that it does not work.


Ain’t it great that you can pretend it’s not true?

1 Like

Thanks for voting for democrats for so many years. Yes, compromise is involved. No one is perfect, but democrats are the preferred choice 99% of the time. 3rd party is a wasted vote nearly all the time, and sometimes much worse than that.


i’m a cynic, but I’ve recently come to believe that most Americans are a combination of ignorance, stupidity and self-gratification.

Oh, I don’t know. Might be fake news. Where’s the remote? Ah! Next to the beer. NASCAR’s on…

I’d have to disagree vehemently with your take on Democratic Socialism. Never at any point have any of the leaders like Mr. Sanders made any suggestion or implication that classical socialism is their objective. You seem to have picked this statement out of thin air for whatever motives you may have.