Saturday, December 24, 2016

Bernie's Revolution Is Winning-- Let's Not Let It Be Derailed By Idiots


Jimmy Gomez

California elected 5 new freshmen this year— all Democrats replacing Democrats: Ro Khanna, who won a primary against Mike Honda, Jimmy Panetta, who took the seat Sam Farr retired from, Salud Carbajal, who took the seat Lois Capps retired from, Nanette Barragan, who took the seat Janice Hahn retired from and Lou Correa, who took the seat Loretta Sanchez gave top when she ran, unsuccessfully, for the Senate. Politically all the freshmen are pretty much like their predecessors. Lou Correa is, by far the most conservative, and like Sanchez, he’s part of the Blue Dog caucus. Hahn and Honda were members of the Progressive Caucus and so are Barragan and Khanna.

All of the California incumbents either endorsed Hillary or stayed neutral. None endorsed Bernie. The Berniecrat House candidates all lost in California: Bao Nguyen to the conservative Correa, Wendy Reed to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Yet it’s hard to deny that Bernie’s Revolution is now one of the more dominant forces— if not the most dominant— inside the Democratic Party. Bernie didn’t do much for the California candidates who backed him. But I was very heartened that he sent out a letter to raise money for Nanette Barragan in the general and helped her raise the money she needed to win.

It didn’t look good going into the home stretch. State Senator Isadore Hall, the corrupt establishment pick, was heavily favored to win. He had it in the bag. Nanette had been getting some help from Blue America, but not enough to cover the expenses for a viable field operation that she sensed would be her shot at winning. EMILY’s List was also helping Nanette but they only raise money that they can get rake-offs and kickbacks from— expensive and nearly useless TV ads, for example— but not field operations. But that’s where Bernie came in. Even though Nanette had backed Hillary during the primary, someone in Bernie’s political operation prevailed upon whoever had to be prevailed upon and they operated the way an effective party should operate— overlooking that the most progressive candidate (Nanette), who basically was campaigning on a Bernie-like platform, had backed his rival— and backed her against a corrupt conservative who serves the interests of tobacco lobbyists, Big Oil and anyone with an open checkbook.

Thanks, in part to the Bernie-financed field operation, Nanette stunned the entire California Democratic Party establishment and beat their candidate decisively. From a weak primary showing that saw Hall best her 40,200 (40.1%) to 22,031 (22%), she came roaring out of the general with a 93,124 (52.2%) to 85,289 (47.8%) win. Hall was so shocked that he went to Washington and insisted he had won and tried voting on internal Democratic Party matters just like the other freshmen. The freshmen responded by electing Nanette one of the co-presidents of the freshman class and electing her regional Democratic whip. Hall disappeared.

All in, Hall had spent $1,900,360 and, thanks to Bernie, Nanette kept pace in the crucial final weeks. Her total spend was $1,815,773. The Cooperative of American Physicians spends money helping right-wing politicians. This year Hall was their second biggest investment ($100,122) after Republican Joe Heck ($299,578).

I’m bringing this up— the Bernie camp’s pragmatic attitude and decisive action— because I want to applaud it and I want too see more of this. If the BernieRevolution is going to take root and become viable within the Democratic Party, they’re going to have to win races with Berniecrats and forge alliances with like-minded progressives, like Nanette Barragan. It pains me when I see Bernie fans rallying behind second-rate candidates based solely on loyalty to Bernie. That’s a prescription for failure.

In the CA-34 race, Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez has exactly the kind of progressive attitude and record Bernie supporters expect from candidates looking for their support. But some of the Bernie backers in the district and around L.A. are bitter than Gomez had endorsed Hillary and have been smearing him as though he were Trump or Paul Ryan. That kind of political immaturity can only have one effect: crimping the revolution— and alienating the likely winner of the race instead of making an ally out of him.

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At 7:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "party" is losing and will likely lose forever as it is currently constituted. Voters don't pick D leadershit... the D leadershit does.

And Bernie is back in his customary position in the leadershit. He's part of the problem again.

There is no "revolution" no matter how many times you say it, it is not so.


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