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Socialist candidate rolls Democrat heavyweight in primary

Written By: - Date published: 8:11 am, June 28th, 2018 - 44 comments
Categories: elections, International, Left, us politics - Tags:

This is one of those stories that will bring a smile to even the most hardened left winger.

In New York the fourth ranked House senior democrat, someone tipped as a possible next speaker in the House of Representatives, has lost a primary to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a young Latino woman who has a decidedly left wing policy platform and who describes herself as a Socialist.

Her policy platform was clearly not only popular but very progressive.

And her campaign video was outstanding:

She described the campaign very simply but very evocatively in four simple tweets:

She was a Bernie Sanders supporter and clearly has been influenced by his politics and his world view.

She refused to accept corporate money for campaigning purposes and was outspent by her opponent by a factor of ten.

And she won.

There is more detail from the Guardian (h/t Sanctuary):

Just one year before Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unseated a powerful 10-term New York congressman to have a chance at becoming the youngest person in Congress, she was mixing cocktails at Flats Fix tacos and tequila bar in Manhattan.

“Women like me aren’t supposed to run for office,” Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old progressive and member of the Democratic socialist party, says in a campaign ad.

But, at the urging of progressive activists, Ocasio-Cortez not only ran – she won.

Her victory is part of a larger story of a Democratic party in revolt. A wave of first-time female and progressive candidate are storming the ramparts of an establishment that has not only seen its power recede at every level of government – but also failed to keep Donald Trump out of office.

In an interview on cable channel MSNBC this morning she said. “Our campaign was focused on just a laser-focused message of economic, social and racial dignity for working-class Americans, especially those in Queens and the Bronx.”

Her win was all the more remarkable for having been outspent by Crowley during the campaign by 10 to 1. “I started this race out of a paper bag. I had flyers and clipboards and it really was just nonstop knocking on doors and talking to the community,” she said.

She did not hold back on criticising her opponent.  Again from the Guardian:

“We’ve got people – they’ve got money,” she said in a campaign ad, adding: “It’s time we acknowledge that not all Democrats are the same.”

Ocasio-Cortez ran a grassroots campaign, blanketing the borough with canvassers who pounded the pavement and courted young, black and Latino voters who make up the constituency.

She argued that Crowley was out of touch with the working-class people of his district and was beholden to Wall Street and corporate interests.

Last week, Crowley sent a Latina surrogate to debate Ocasio-Cortez, citing a scheduling conflict. Ocasio-Cortez ridiculed the decision, accusing him in a sharply-worded tweet of sending someone with a “slight resemblance to me”.

“The way the Queens Democratic party machine has worked, they operate on a politics of exclusion,” Ocasio-Cortez told WNYC after she launched her campaign.

And she is hard line on global warming.  From the Huffington Post:

Ocasio-Cortez outlined plans to transition the United States to a 100 percent renewable energy system by 2035. It’s a goal hailed by environmentalists as the last best hope of staving off the most catastrophic effects of human-caused planetary warming, and it’s one already adopted by a coalition of mayors representing 42 percent of U.S. electricity use and representing major cities such as Atlanta and St. Louis.

What sets Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal apart is her plan to meet the target by implementing what she called a “Green New Deal,” a federal plan to spur “the investment of trillions of dollars and the creation of millions of high-wage jobs.” Though the slogan harks back to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1930s New Deal program of infrastructure spending and labor reforms, she compared the program she envisions to the tens of billions of dollars spent on armaments manufacturing and the rebuilding of Europe after World War II.

“The Green New Deal we are proposing will be similar in scale to the mobilization efforts seen in World War II or the Marshall Plan,” she told HuffPost by email last week. “We must again invest in the development, manufacturing, deployment, and distribution of energy, but this time green energy.”

Crowley took the defeat remarkably well and played Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” for Ocasio-Cortez at his election night gathering.  Pure class.

 

44 comments on “Socialist candidate rolls Democrat heavyweight in primary”

  1. dukeofurl 1

    Its seems Alexandria is more representative of her electorate including on major issues.
    Crowley while having a senior post as House Democratic Caucus Chair since 2017 has only been in Congress since 2013.

    • joe90 1.1

      New York’s 7th district rep from January 1999 until January 2013, and then redistricted to 14th.

  2. Sabine 2

    Justice Kennedy resigned.

    the US is pretty much fucked for a long time to come.

    The Trumpistas can now undue everything they did not like going back all the way to 1850’s where black people were owned, and women and children were chattel.

    Good times.

    Never say that both sides are the same.

    Congrats to Ocasio-Cortez. She did well. But ultimately it will change nothing. Its the Supreme Court that has the power, and it is now stacked conservative.

    • esoteric pineapples 2.1

      Supreme Court Judges are selected by whichever President is in power so every starts with progressives winning elections. It’s a long road but the only road.

      • Sabine 2.1.1

        Do you know why Gorsuch was seated?

        Because when Anotinin Scalia died, Mitch McConnel and his republican Congress refused hearings on the Candidate proposed by Barack Obama.

        so Presidents in powers only seat a Judge if their republican counter parts lets them.

        And the Supreme Court is now a very conservative majority. But its all good, right, its only the wimminz, People of colour, non heterosexuals, workers, etc that are gonna suffer a bit. I mean, really who needs an abortion. Or a right to privacy, or birth control, or or or. It is good tho if you are a rich white evangelic land owner/business type with economic anxiety. Then you are a winner.

        Gorsuch and who ever else is going to be seated will form that court for the next fourty years.

        Good grief. Non so blind as those who don’t want to see.

        • Siobhan 2.1.1.1

          While you’re not wrong, the thing is something needs to happen.

          And the first step will be having the Democrats going with an agenda and a Leader that appeals to working class Americans.

          The first hurdle will be how the DNC run with Ocasio-Cortez’s victory.

          I notice Hillary…who is still being paraded around town as an important player in ‘The Resistance’, and who bangs on about Women claiming their rightful place, is deafeningly silent on this victory of not only a woman but an Hispanic woman.

          Infact given the supposed sea change brought about by #metoo , and the fact Ocasio-Cortez is a millennial..all the things the Left are supposedly celebrating in politicians, not to mention the mad person racism taking hold in America, you would think (if you didn’t know them better) that the DNC would be splashing images of Ocasio-Cortez around like mad.

          Where’s the unity??

          https://edition.cnn.com/2017/05/15/politics/hillary-clinton-resistance-onward-together/index.html

          • Sabine 2.1.1.1.1

            Maybe you should ask the people who call a women like me a ‘liberal corporatists’ and ‘lame’ and such about Unity.

            • Siobhan 2.1.1.1.1.1

              I must admit I do not know about your particular situation, but personally I recommend ignoring that sort of personal name calling.

              My own comments were strictly and exactly what I said…why on earth are the main women of the DNC, like Hillary, not publicly and very loudly celebrating this step forward for women? Questioning silence is not the same as name calling. And after all the talk about ‘Bernie Bros’ and how Bernie supporters are such ‘lads’, we have a female Bernie supporter flying high…YES…I for one am happy. Very happy for this small, but significant victory and what it means for the ability of genuine, non corporate funded movements.

            • rhinocrates 2.1.1.1.1.2

              Yeah, he’s one of those: https://www.vice.com/sv/article/yvekng/how-to-spot-a-brocialist-the-guys-with-righteous-politics-but-dodgy-attitudes-to-girls

              View at Medium.com

              The sort who dismisses anyone with concerns that don’t affect him as practising “identity politics” and “distracting” and therefore unworthy of admittance to his treehouse. Apparently the “true left” is an exclusive club, the smaller the better, and somehow they’re meant to achieve more this way.

              You should take failing the purity test as a badge of honour. It means you’re talking to a range of people with real life experience, not your collection of yodelling cacti.

            • rhinocrates 2.1.1.1.1.3

              … unless you’re a member of the Judean People’s Front of course – then you’re really beyond the pale.

          • dukeofurl 2.1.1.1.2

            What main women of the DNC like Hilary ? She has never held a leadership position in DNC

            “The DNC is composed of the chairs and vice-chairs of each state Democratic Party committee and more than 200 members elected by Democrats in all 50 states and the territories. ”

            Fancy that …’elected Democrats’…who would have guessed

            • Siobhan 2.1.1.1.2.1

              If you think Hillary has no power or influence in the DNC and all facets of the Democratic Party then..I don’t know…and as for ’elected Democrats’…well, the thing is the Democrats are very good at making sure the ‘right’ people get elected.

              Thats why this result is such a gob smacking result.

              It simply wasn’t meant to happen.

              Like when various South American and Middle eastern countries vote in the ‘wrong’ person and the America moves in.

        • Gosman 2.1.1.2

          The law around Abortion can be handled via the democratically elected members of each State rather than by the courts. Are you claiming you don’t think enough representatives can be convinced of the benefits of a more liberal Abortion approach?

      • Siobhan 2.1.2

        Indeed. And its funny that we are having to mourn the loss of a Reagan appointment!

        “Kennedy sided with the conservative majority in a number of important cases, including upholding President Trump’s restrictions on travel from largely Muslim countries and striking down a California law that required pregnancy centers to tell women about abortion availability.” and if we are worried about the legitimacy of American democracy and elections…”allow the purging of occasional voters from the rolls”

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/politics/supreme-court-2017-term/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.90445596fa7a

    • dukeofurl 2.2

      Republicans only have 51 votes at present, as McCain hasnt voted this year because of illness.
      Touch and Go really
      Not all Republican senators are hardline Trumpists.
      If he wants it done quickly he will have to chose a more centrist judge than he would like.

  3. esoteric pineapples 3

    It was personal too. Lawyers associated with Crowley were running a racket to extract huge fees by forcing families whose members died without a Will to take their case to court to claim their inheritance. Her family were one of the victims after her father died without a Will.

  4. esoteric pineapples 4

    Good comments for any progressive to hear at in the video below at 8 minutes 50 seconds.

    “I think it means that there is a path. It is possible. IIt is hard, it is uphill. We did it alone and we did it with a ragtag group but we were able to pull through. We were able to make this happen. Stick to it, even if it feels like it is failing, and see it through to the very end. Do not give up.”

    • AB 4.1

      “We did it with a ragtag group…”

      Ragtag-ness may be the essential quality.

      “Not knowing that our blunt
      Ideals would find their whetstone, that our spirit
      Would find its frontier on the Spanish front,
      Its body in a rag-tag army”
      Louis MacNeice (Autumn Journal)

  5. Matthew Whitehead 5

    Describing Ocasio-Cortez as a Sanders supporter is a bit like describing James Shaw as an Ardern supporter: there’s a kernel of truth there, but it’s incredibly misleading.

    She is a member of the DSA, which is an organization that is further left than Sanders is, and supports the abolition of capitalism, so she’s a pretty fire-breathing progressive. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/6/27/17509604/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-democratic-socialist-of-america

    It was a good primary night for Justice Democrats in general, as Ben Jealous (former NAACP president) also won his primary race for Maryland governor. (it was misreported as Maine governor elsewhere IIRC)

    This victory is already being compared to the time when Eric Cantor lost in a Republican Primary, as her opponent was considered the #4 Democrat in the House- (largely on the extent of his fundraising capability) basically, this is an indication that no establishment Democrat is completely safe.

    Amusingly, establishment Democrats are painting this as if the party failed to support Crowley sufficiently, which is simply not true. He lost despite broad official backing.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      She is a member of the DSA, which is an organization that is further left than Sanders is, and supports the abolition of capitalism, so she’s a pretty fire-breathing progressive.

      I like her more and more.

    • Gosman 5.2

      “The abolition of capitalism” – LOL

      What does that mean when it comes down to it? The Soviet Union spent 70 plus years suppressing Capitalism and it came roaring back almost immediately as soon as the laws were repealed.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1

        Only for the new robber barons.

        • Gosman 5.2.1.1

          Everyone is following the dictates of the market in Russia now Draco. It is not a pretty version of Capitalism but everyone is dealing with it.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1.1

            capitalism != the market

            Capitalism = private ownership. Specifically, private ownership of pretty much everything by a few.

            Marx said everyone should be paid the same because his vision of communism still used a market.

      • Matthew Whitehead 5.2.2

        Read the article I linked and you might actually find out, Gosman.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      Going through the links on that Vox article and it seems that democratisation of the workplace and means of production was tried and worked – until the capitalists killed it.

      So much for capitalism being the best system. It’s not – it’s just the most aggressive and destructive.

  6. roy cartland 6

    A welcome glimmer of hope. Could it cause a positive domino effect, relight the fire?

  7. Sanctuary 7

    Lessons galore for NZ Labour, if it’s ears were not painted on.

    and

    “…What the institutional Democrats who closed ranks around Crowley until his dying breath can’t understand is that there is no place, any more, for action to not match rhetoric. Not any more. You can’t wave the progressive flag, as Crowley had begun to, and vote for the Iraq war, the Patriot Act, and take gobs of cash from Wall Street.

    You don’t get to do both. You don’t get to be the Democrat who sells out the working class in the name of a mythical idea of moderation that only serves those with money and power…”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/27/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-future-democratic-party

  8. Cemetery Jones 8

    Good platform, minus the silliness about abolishing ICE.

    • dukeofurl 8.1

      ICE is in effect a Federal police force roaming the country side seeing if anybody ‘walks like an immigrant’ and stopping them. Roadblocks, buses, you name it.

      It is NOT the Customs and immigration officials you meet at the border which consists of
      Transportation Security Administration Security checks on passengers and carry on luggage

      U.S. Customs and Border Protection who do normal customs processing, agriculture checks and patrol the borders themselves ( USBP)

      Citizenship and Immigration Services Who do the office processing of immigration maters

      Abolishing ICE would NOT leave US borders unprotected as the above agencies show

      • Cemetery Jones 8.1.1

        “Abolishing ICE would NOT leave US borders unprotected as the above agencies show”

        And yet…

  9. saveNZ 9

    Good on her!

  10. Bill 10

    I don’t have the time to dig out the links at the moment. But for anyone interested, “The Intercept” has run a few pieces on a number of ‘grassroots’ candidates challenging the (for want of a term) “Democratic Machine”.

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn’t the first successful challenge. I doubt she’ll be the last.

    • Adrian Thornton 10.1

      Also check out The Real News who have been doing plenty of good coverage of the progressive Democrats….
      https://therealnews.com/

    • adam 10.2

      How dare you, how dare you point out this socialist message of hope happening, when there is trump.

      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >

      The above comment is sarcasm, which I know is hard for some, but I hope this extra little note here helps you cope.

      • Bill 10.2.1

        Not sure there’s any point in snarking at any quasi-religious attitudes some appear to exhibit around anything merely labelled “Democratic”, Adam.

        Explaining that Trump is not a “standalone” incarnation of the Devil and that he stands on a platform provided by both Republicans and Democrats; has had extra Presidential powers afforded him because of votes coming from both Republicans and Democrats – it needs explained/pointed out, and not just taken as read when confronting some of the more conservatively minded liberals who might like to look on themselves as progressive or left when they aren’t swinging and gouging at anything progressive or left.

  11. Adrian Thornton 11

    Check out the debate between Cortez and Crowley, he comes into it completely unprepared and obviously quite certain that he is the MAN, I don’t think he thought quite the same after the debate.

    Isn’t ironic that The Guardian do a positive piece on Cortez, considering that they were the rag that undermined both Bernie and Corbyn in their campaign runs ( and continue with Corbyn)…lets see how positive they are when a Socialist Democratic alternative has an actual chance of being in power…not very would be my guess.

    I am loving the muted response from the DNC establishment…it really gives my day a nice little boost, nothing better than seeing the neoliberal cancer in left politics getting it’s treatment.

  12. rhinocrates 12

    “Latina”, not “latino”. It’s as fundamental as mistaking Mr for Mrs/Ms or “Herr Angela Merkel.” “Latinx” is increasingly coming into general use as the genderless usage.

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