Thursday, June 14, 2018

What Standards Do We Hold Progressive Political Leaders To?


Click on the image to be able to read it

The Progressive Punch Top Ten. Ro Khanna is #1. It's based on votes, just votes. Ro's a friend of mine and early Tuesday I started getting e-mails and tweets aimed at me for supporting him-- not from Republicans but from progressives. Uggghhh, what now? I soon saw that people were freaking out because Ro Khanna had endorsed Joe Crowley, the powerful and corrupt former New Dem head honcho who Pelosi has handpicked to take over from her and who is being primaried by Alexandria Ocasio, a progressive heroine.

Crowley sent out a press release boasting he had been endorsed by some of the top progressives in Congress-- Ro, Mark Pocan and Maxine Waters. Focus turned immediately on Ro. I don't know why; but I was getting comments like "He's dead to me now." Odd when it was Pocan who's the leader of the Progressive Caucus and who's been whipping for Crowley. Maybe it's because Ro is so much more active on social media-- and because he takes chances-- like already endorsing 14 Justice Democrats candidates, more than anyone else in Congress... by far.

If Crowley becomes speaker, he decides which legislation gets voted on and which legislation languishes in committee and dies. What could possibly be more important to a policy guy like Khanna? And he was misled, not really aware that Ocasio was a viable candidate when he endorsed Crowley, a jovial and friendly politician. Crowley has been trolling for progressive support in a big way. "Crowley," he told me, "this Congress has supported Medicare for all, Barbara Lee and my bill to legalize marijuana, and the Workplace democracy act. Mark Pocan will tell you that he has genuinely moved ideologically and works to build consensus for progressive ideas. This term I have enjoyed working with him, and even visited his district on the digital divide."

Long before Pocan was elected to Congress I started following Crowley, the worst Wall Street whore among House Democrats who led the New Dems and created a miserable record, as well as a record of intense corruption. Since first being handed his seat, he's taken $6,957,621 from the finance sector, more than any other House Democrat. Anyone want to guess why they have cultivated him so assiduously?

Aiming for a leadership role, he kind of quit the New Dems and started voting along with the mainstream Democrats. He always had an "F" from Progressive Punch. This year he has a gentleman's "C."

Yesterday Ro endorsed Alexandria, a pretty brave move. He's now the only member of Congress to have done so. This-- below Shane Goldmacher's tweet-- is what he told me Wednesday:
I should have researched Ocasio’s story. She is exactly the type of candidate we should be encouraging, and who deserves a fair chance. She doesn’t come from privilege. She’s working class. She’s Latina. She’s a millennial. Endorsing her is recognizing that the system is stacked against new entrants in politics, that we need more people with her courage to run. She reminds me of my 27 year old self when I took on Tom Lantos against the war in Iraq. I love her bold policies on a jobs guarantee and saying no to corporate money.

The challenge for progressives is how to acknowledge people who change and adopt our policies. We need a broad coalition to pass anything. And at the same time to support new bolder voices.

As a freshman member of Congress, I won’t always get the balance right. But I have tried to do my best consistent with my values and trying to be an effective champion for progressive ideas.

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At 3:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So... Ro endorsed BOTH of them?!?

It's clear that he endorsed the antichrist out of ... loyalty to the party (over to the house, the nation and the people?). But he hears it from progressives and now he tries to have it both ways?!?

Friend or not, DWT, this guy is dead to me.

Look, it's difficult, but when a friend of mine proves to be a pos, I disassociate... immediately. I don't know what others do. But I do know what you do. You waffle and double-down. Part of your immunity to epiphany, no??

Goes for pocan too.

You are what you do. If you DO support the antichrist... you're shit. period.

At 4:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Backing the "ex"-New Dem who will control what legislation gets advanced and which gets sat on only means that the status quo is going to be the way things are. This isn't change. This isn't dealing with the many issues facing this nation. This is neutering any progressive who manage to get past the Party barricades into office.

Anyone who could support the status quo isn't going to get my vote. If I lived in Khanna's district, I'd be back to looking for alternatives and not selecting either of the Top Two with my vote.

At 8:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's just stress what 4:40 stressed which is what DWT WROTE!!!

If Pelosi is NOT the leader, Crowley will be... and HE ALONE will determine what does and does not (ever) get done. And that is without regard to who else is in the house, be they progressive, Nazi or something in-between.

That's tyranny, in case you didn't get the definition back in grammar school.

Down With Tyranny likes the guys who like the tyrant.

That makes this blog... what... IRONIC??

Is there an epiphany here somewhere?

At 6:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To answer the titular question, voters have absolutely no history of holding those who they elect to ANY sort of progressive standard.

Clinton and Obama were both re-elected after refusals and betrayals too numerous to list.
reid, scummer, Pelosi, hoyer and a loooooong list of others enjoy long careers in which they all promised and reneged on all progressive campaign issues. When the party promotes and supports openly fascist, non-progressive candidates and suppresses progressive hopefuls, voters still support the party. DWT still supports the party.

That makes the titular question rhetorical. and ironic.


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