This is what I want to see more of. A progressive socialist clobbered a party Democrat in New York. And she did it by focusing on progressive issues.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old Latina running her first campaign, ousted 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th congressional district on Tuesday, CNN projects, in the most shocking upset of a rollicking political season.
An activist and member of the Democratic Socialists of America, Ocasio-Cortez won over voters in the minority-majority district with a ruthlessly efficient grassroots bid, even as Crowley — the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House — outraised her by a 10-to-1 margin.
Look at the shocking message she has sent: Ocasio-Cortez beat Joe Crowley campaigning on Medicare for all, guaranteed jobs and abolishing ICE.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 28, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, ran on issues well outside the mainstream of the Democratic Party, including health care, the environment and criminal justice.
Wait. Those are issues “well outside the mainstream of the Democratic Party”? That just goes to tell you how fucked up the Democrats have become. No wonder they struggle to win elections, when they always strive for Republican Lite candidates rather than aspiring to something genuinely good.
Also, Ocasio-Cortez was working as a waitress a year ago. She was an unknown, ignored by all the major newspapers, and she had far less money than the opposition. She won because of her agenda. This agenda.
When did that become “well outside the mainstream of the Democratic Party”, and if it is, why should I ever vote for a Democrat? I want that to become the Democratic Party platform. I suspect that there are a lot of people who would be surprised to learn that the Democrats think those are foreign ideas.
While they’re absorbing that agenda, could they also add support for labor unions to that list? And reproductive health? That thing is just the start.
Reginald Selkirk says
Too conservative. I think our top priority should be to save democracy. Her 9th point “Clean campaign finance” is only a part of that; there is more to do. We need to get rid of gerrymandering. It is clear the Supreme Court is not going to do it for us.
Honestly, I don’t see how you possibly read that article and came away with that ‘OMG This is so outside the mainstream Democrats’,
Ocasio-Cortez argued that a single government insurer would guarantee that every American has insurance, while giving the government greater purchasing power to reduce health-care spending costs overall. Crowley also signed onto the House bill supporting Medicare for All, but did so after his challenger and after more than 100 House Democrats had agreed to co-sponsor the legislation.
There are 193 Democrats in Congress right now. Well over half of them signed onto the Medicare for All bill. That’s not ‘out of the main stream’.
Mark Pocan has introduced a bill to Abolish ICE http://thehill.com/homenews/house/393938-dem-lawmaker-introduces-bill-to-abolish-ice
Three Senators have introduced bills to provide a job guarantee.
These are not nothing, The Democratic party has consistently supported unions and the right to choose. Those issues are not failing because WE didn’t support them well enough, they’re failing because WE DON’T VOTE OFTEN ENOUGH.
More than 40% of registered voters stayed home in 2016. This is a midterm election, I expect that number to be higher.
Crowley lost because he didn’t take her seriously. He blew off the debates, and hardly campaigned at all.
It’s fair to point out that “well outside the mainstream of the Democratic Party” is the characterization of today’s Washington Post, which is hardly the crusading newspaper that some of us can remember from the Watergate era. A majority of Democrats will agree with most of the points in Ocasio-Cortez’s platform. Party leaders are well-advised to pay attention to John F. Kennedy’s remarks from the presidential campaign of 1960:
Ugh, I forget that this commenting system doesn’t support blockquotes. My second paragraph up there is a quote from the washington post article that you linked.
I agree with the other commenters that the claim that all this is “well outside the mainstream of the Democratic party” is highly dubious. The universal jobs guarantee is pretty radical, but many Democrats have embraced Medicare for all, her basic positions on immigration, campaign finance reform, investment in sustainable energy, and basically most of that agenda. Note that she seems to have avoided mentioning regulating the financial “industry” and there are some other items I don’t see there but there are plenty of Democrats in congress who would endorse most of that list, in some form. Whether a Democratic congress would actually pass the relevant legislation is another question but I don’t think Elizabeth Warren or Chris Murphy or Richard Blumenthal would have a problem with most of her positions. A lot of that is in fact in the Democratic platform.
brucej randomly asserts:
What I mean by
<blockquote>blockquote</blockquote>is as illustrated, what the blockquoted-quote means I have no idea.
Given the demographics of the district, that Crowley lost isn’t surprising. It just took a primary challenge to reveal that. I don’t think having debates would have changed the outcome at all.
Please provide citations to the dummie party’s national site for those positions which are not “(well) outside”…
This doesn’t sound like someone who is at odds with the Democratic Party:
Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says
It was noted by MSNBC pundits that there was a low voter turnout, and NY primaries are not held all at once. The gubernatorial democratic primary with Cuomo/Nixon will be held later.
It baffles me how things that are common in a large number of countries, are too far outside of mainstream in the US.
Reading through her list of platforms, they all seem like no-brainers for a healthy society (although while the part about taxing Wall Street seems like a good start, but the real money is probably in other corporate interests). How in hell did this become an extreme position?????
chigau (違う) says
<blockquote>paste copied text here</blockquote>
Here is the link to the official platform of the national Democratic party. As you can see, Ocasio-Cortez is pretty much right in the sweet spot. Maybe she’s more willing to say so than some other candidates, but read it. Most of what you want is in there.
PZ Myers says
My sarcasm made me unclear. What’s most shocking is that our Elite Media are taken aback by a progressive party platform, and are surprised by it. It’s not surprising that the Democratic Party has been chasing Elite Media approval & has been downplaying their progressive roots.
Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says
Is it that the Democrats have been downplaying it, or that the media are just not covering it?
Marcus Ranum says
Ooh, look, white supremacists’ worst nightmare.
Heh heh heh good.
cervantes@14 and poopyhead@15, Thanks for clarifying ! (One thing I did not see in teh dummies’s
platformlying verbiage was abolishing Ice.)
The Gruaniad points out (Democrats see major upset as socialist beats top-ranking US congressman), Ms Ocasio-Cortez “defeated Crowley after hitting the incumbent on his ties to Wall Street and accusing him of being out of touch with his increasingly diverse district.”
Al Jazeera quotes MoveOn’s Matt Blizek (Democratic primary: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ousts Joe Crowley) as saying “These results are also a shot across the bow of the Democratic establishment in Washington: a young, diverse, and boldly progressive Resistance Movement isn’t waiting to be anointed by the powers that be.”
Speculating, if there really is a difference here, it is that Ms Ocasio-Cortez actually intends to seriously try and do the things she’s listed, which is not an accusation I’d ever make of either teh dummies (in general) or teh thugs (ever!) — and is broadly the points made in the above quotes.
Reminds me of when Loretta Sanchez knocked off “B-1 Bob” Dornan in Orange County (the CA one). Sanchez was, by the way, the other candidate in the 2016 Senate race to replace Barbara Boxer, and was beaten by Kamala Harris. While I voted for Harris, it was a rare election where I considered *both* candidates quite good and would not have had the slightest qualms had the race gone the other way.
The current Democratic platform was written before Orange Julius took office, and obviously long before the abuses by ICE. So the idea of abolishing ICE had not occurred to anybody. Of course immigration and customs enforcement are necessary functions so what she’s really talking about is reorganization.
well that worked correctly? let me try that again.
That may be putting the best face on things.
It is hard to know for sure but I hope it has been mostly just a publicity/image thing that deep down it is progressive ideals . that the democratic party leaders hold The appearance is that they rarely seem to actually take it to the mat. there seems to be an element of shame in taking a stand for real positive social social change being way to quick to compromise on issues leaving the impression that they are running away from their true stated convictions.
Porivil Sorrens says
It’s a good start, I’d like us to get the overton window shifted to the point where Ocasio-Cortez is considered far right.
I would rephrase that subject line. It’s awesome that a 28-year-old recently employed as a waitress can have her voice heard, because she’s making sense. The shame is that our so-called leaders have no clue.
Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says
*gasp* you mean when allegedly-progressive people actually show up at the fucking polls and vote for candidates whose platforms, even if not perfect, more closely align to their values, they get better results?
Ice was formed in 2002 from (parts of) the INS and others. The INS long had a poor reputation with, as a notorious example, so-called “raids” on workplaces and (until the 1980s?) people’s homes. The people they(INS) questioned / detained in those raids were largely selected on the basis of appearance (racial profiling). The constitutionality of the raids and the profiling was always highly questionable. As a result, using the creative definition of “abolish” as “reform”, abolition of the INS has been suggested since decades before the new millennium. Ice continued in a similar vein, and apparently stepped-up their dubious actions under Obama.
I concur one hears “abolish Ice” much much more very recently than formerly, or ever heard “abolish INS”, but calls for deep reform have been around for decades. Ice is not even mentioned in teh dummies’s
platformlying verbiage, albeit the raids problem is briefly mentioned, (put in since Rule 1 is “Don’t trust a politician”, and Rule 2 is “See Rule 1”).
Akira MacKenzie says
I’d say around November of 1992 when the Democrats decided that a centrist, womanizing, redneck, huckster from Arkansas could win elections better than actual liberal candidates.
Remember, we don’t have a socialist party in this country. We have two capitalist parties, one only slightly less odious than the other.
I have to quibble with the characterization of Clinton as being a redneck. If that is supposed to be a way of using his sothern birth as being the same as being a redneck it fails. Bill Clinton may be a lot of things but there is little of it that I could be considered without having redneck mean almost nothing.
other than simply a hate term
Susan Montgomery says
Yeah, what was that about not voting third party in the next post? And, although this new firebrand stuff is pretty refreshing, maybe you might have got down with it, like, about three years ago?
Mike Smith says
She had me at abolish ICE.
The Democrats are not liberal. Never were. It is that silly de facto two party system of yours that forces liberals to join party with their nemesises.
Susan Montgomery, #29
Depends on the election in question.
In the 2016 presidential elections, Hillary Clinton was obviously the correct choice. Those who could have voted and didn’t vote for her fucked up.
I love how a progressive grassroots candidate working with a progressive grassroots group(justice dems) got elected and I’ve already seen comments from this thread downplaying her and the work she did. It’s easy to whine on a comment thread, I wonder how many of these same people have ever put any effort in beyond showing up to vote every four years. Shut up and get out of the way, Cortez and the JD will actually get shit done.
She has relevant post secondary experience as well.
The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs) says
To those saying “it’s totally mainstream for Democrats to want to abolish ICE”: in the press conference immediately after touring that child detention center, the Democratic Party leadership said that ICE were “public servants”, called for an “Immigration Czar” to cement policy, and said that America is “the greatest country in the world”. This comes after Obama used ICE to deport a record number of immigrants, and after both Obama and Clinton voted for the Secure Fence Act (which was basically Trump’s Wall before it was a wall.) Obama explicitly refused to defang ICE because he believed (as Trump supporters do) that we need to make life so unpleasant for child asylum-seekers that their parents would rather keep them where they would die. If the Democrats had tried to tone ICE down, rather than ramping it up, Trump would not be able to do any of this shit and it would be a non-issue.
What is happening right now is very obvious: the Democrats have noticed (to their surprise because they don’t care what the base wants and have spent so long coasting that they no longer have any clue what it might be any more) that some of us actually care about immigrants because they are human beings. As with the anti-war protests of 2006 — which similarly took them by surprise, they were perfectly happy to go to war — they are now trying to co-opt the anti-ICE movement to get more of their own useless brethren into Congress. As soon as they accomplish this, as with the anti-war movement, they will refuse to take action. They’ll probably even nominate a candidate for president in 2020 who is as bad as Trump on immigration, but less noisy about it, the same way Obama was as bad as Bush on war but willing to denounce it during his campaign. If you are still supporting the Democratic Party, you are being played for a fool.
Susan Montgomery says
In an allegedly free democratic country, is there really a “correct” choice? Why have elections then?
FWIW, I supported Gary Johnson. And I feel exactly zero shame in saying so. I could have indulged my conscience and accepted someone who views my human rights as a bargaining counter (and there’s an email floating around where Secretary Hillary explicitly scotches a policy that would have benefited trans* immigrants because “FOX News would have a field day”) but, ultimately I gave my vote to a hippie anarchist rather than validate the passive appeasement of the Democrats.
And you know what? If these are the choices we’re presented with, this country deserves President Trump.
Yeah, but you know what? Not all people in this country deserve Trump.
As Mano Singham here at FtB points out, the dummies are already trashing Ms Ocasio-Cortez, and the Israelis will not be far behind (The reverberations of Ocasio-Cortez’s win).
He didn’t discuss what Putin’s sites farcebork and twittering will do. A peek at RT (which I won’t link to) suggests they haven’t yet decided their propaganda, being split between her alleged socialism and teh dummies’s preference for large corporate donations. Clearly, Putin intends to install yet another presumably-owned thug since an obviously-bribeable dummie does not seem to be available.
Susan Montgomery says
@37 You’re right. And that is on the head of everyone who enabled and excused Democratic complacency over the last 10 years.
Mrdead Inmypocket says
Solid victory for a more progressive agenda within the Democratic party. Hopeful sign of things to come perhaps.
This comment may sound bitter… well it is. But’s it’s not directed at you. I understand and generally agree with your point. Sadly, for me, that just makes it worse when I think of the future that’s coming for America’s children.
I have to counter that while yes not every single person in the US deserves Trump, the vastly overwhelming majority of Americans over the age of 35 absolutely deserve Trump.
I became a serious activist and demonstrator the first time the Republicans committed treason to elect their candidate. (Ollie took the fall, but Ronnie did the crime.) I demonstrated, I was tear gassed, I marched at the Washington Mall and while I was there I personally tried to lobby my Senators and Congressman. There were lots of us. We had media. We were shouting out that America was being betrayed and our voice was there for the hearing. No one cared.
The next time the Republicans stole an election, at least not through treason this time, I made the decision to do everything i could to get out. I went back to college, got an IT degree, got a job and played by the System, doing my time, become someone that other countries would want. I willingly entered the Matrix because the only way out was to shut up and play the game completely for my own selfish ends. Become what i despised because by the rules of the game that was the only way to escape. I saw the people out on the streets shouting the danger. I heard them. But i didn’t care. Again, no one else did either.
And now the Republicans have done it again, and again adult Americans do nothing; waiting for someone else, mostly Mueller, to save them.
None of this is new. This has been building for 40 years and with the exception of a very, very few, adult Americans across those decades have sat on their asses and let it happen.
But I’m out. I live under a Labour government and a political system that can police itself. I live in a place where I have actual Rights. I live where I’m free.
Am I bitter? You betcha. I had to flee the Land of the Free to have freedom. So please forgive me if I look back now and say: I told you so. They told you so. Lots of people told you so. And America didn’t listen.
Now the whirlwind is here for reaping.
Gosh. Thanks. Some of us were there then and are still here now. I’m glad you ran away and left the others that needed you behind. We can do without you, you worthless, selfish coward. It’d be nice, though, if you could refrain from taunting us about it, though.
I regret responding as I did. I apologize. However, not all of us who are fighting have the option of running off and living a better life somewhere else. Some of us have children, or have parents, or partners, or friends, or other people we are responsible for. Some of us even feel responsible for people we have never met. For us, running away isn’t even a consideration. We fight because we have to win.
For you to come here and mock those suffering for deserving their suffering, particularly when many of the suffering weren’t even alive when the plot began, is infuriating. It is very difficult for me not to hate you when I read that. But, you did fight. You fought as long as you could. I appreciate it. Seriously, it was the right thing to do and it had an effect. When we win, you will be partially responsible for the victory. I understand being bitter. I really, really do. Let it go. If you’re done fighting, okay. Please don’t make it harder for us.
Susan Montgomery, #39
In the presidential elections in November of 2016, there was a correct choice. Generally in presidential elections there’s almost always going to be a correct choice since it becomes a binary choice between Republican and Democrat, but the 2016 election was extremely easy to choose in, and plenty of people still couldn’t get it right.
In an allegedly free democratic country, the correct choice is for the candidate who supports freedom and democracy, and the incorrect choice is for the racist, sexist, ableist, authoritarian, egocentric, thin-skinned bully.
Well you should feel enormous shame. Your characterisation of Johnson as a “hippy anarchist” is ludicrous, as this survey of his political positions makes abundantly clear.
Sorry, something went wrong with my intended link@46. Here it is.
@KG: So basically, Johnson is “Fiscally Conservative, But Socially Liberal,” right? In other words, useless.
The problem with people like Susan Johnson is “BUT I WANT MY PERFECT CANDIDATE NOOOOOOOOWWWWW!!!!”
Instead of biding their time and working the lower elections and primaries to try and steer the change. So, yeah, fuck you Susan Johnson, you WERE the problem in 2016!
Susan Montgomery says
49 You are the one who decided to settle for evil. Not me, so please bear that in mind. Okay, okay, it was the lesser evil, you say. You wanted someone who was aware of and tolerated sexual impropriety and you got it. You wanted someone who took large sums of money from unsavory governments and you got it. You wanted someone who could not stick to a principle or value, who could not say something and then say the opposite without missing a beat, and you got it. You wanted someone who supported harsh treatment for undocumented immigrants (including transit camps and cages), even to the point of sending whole families back into nightmarish circumstances and you got it.
You got the evil you wanted. Only without the sugarcoating to soothe your bourgeois guilt.
Susan Montgomery, #50
So there was an election, and we knew that both options that had any chance of winning were going to be ‘evil’ – they were going to do harm to people.
And some people said “let’s try to make sure we have the ‘lesser evil’ – the option that will do LESS HARM to the most vulnerable people in our society”.
And you thought “Who cares? Less harm to poor/non-white/disabled/LGBTQ people, more harm, it’s all the same to me. I’m not going to take any kind of action to try to reduce the harm that is inflicted upon these people”
And now somehow you think that makes you superior to people who held their nose a put a tick for Clinton?