Wednesday, August 05, 2020

For Progressives-- Wins, Losses And The Road Forward


Start calling her Congresswoman Bush

Last night there were two gigantic progressive wins-- both in Missouri. After a decade of dogged and vicious Republican opposition in the state legislature and from the governors, the state's voters passed a Constitutional Amendment to give health care to nearly a quarter million of the state's poorest citizens (people earning less than $18,000 annually) through Obamacare Medicaid expansion, making Missouri the 38th state to adopt it. Thanks to massive popularity in St Louis, the amendment passed 52-48% statewide, with right-wing governor Mike Parson continuing to lie that the state can't afford it-- even after a credible study from the Institute for Public Health at Washington University, found that providing health care for more people would actually save the state money. Since the federal government will match 90% of the costs of the newly eligible-- down from 100% had Missouri decided to be part of the program from the beginning-- that state will save about half a billion dollars a year in federal income taxes because residents pay into the system that funds Medicaid expansion without getting the benefits of that expansion."

The other huge progressive win in Missouri was Cori Bush defeating corrupt Congressman Lacy Clay in their St. Louis congressional race:

Cori, a nurse, a Black Lives Matter activist and Berniecrat was great news on a night when other movement activists didn't around the country didn't fare as well. Clay raised $740,525 compared to Bush's $562,309 but a massive $150,000 I.E. on her behalf from Justice Democrats evened the playing field.

The biggest disappointment was that Blue Dog and "ex"-Republican Tom O'Halleran in Arizona managed to avoid being ousted by another Berniecrat and movement activist, Eva Putzova, who won the districts's biggest and bluest county, Coconino, but was dragged down by the more conservative counties that backed O'Halleran. With 94% of the votes counted, he won 34,095 (58.65%) to 24,037 (41.35%). This was Cori's second try against Clay-- and Eva's first try against O'Halleran. I expect she will try again.

In Michigan, Rashida Tlaib handily beat back a challenge from corporate shill Brenda Jones, with a 2-1 landslide. And in the southwest district, with all precincts now counted, voters have chosen the progressive state legislator, Jon Hoadley over garden variety Democrat Jen Richardson-- 52.3% to 47.7%. Hoadley is in a good position to beat Trump enabler Fred Upton in November.

In Washington state, progressives lost their congressional runs against right-of-center incumbents Rick Larsen and Derek Kilmer and in WA-10, conservative Marilyn Strickland seems to be beating progressive Beth Doglio for first place for the seat opening up after Denny Heck's retirement. It looks like they will square off in November-- with a sharp contrast between a progressive and a conservative.

This morning, Roots Action, led by Berniecrat Norman Solomon, announced that his group has launched a grassroots campaign aimed at "swing voters on the left," to persuade Bernie supporters and other progressives in swing states to "Vote Trump Out-- and Then Challenge Biden."

The Vote Trump Out swing-states initiative will include a highly-targeted social-media program and other digital outreach, utilizing messages from national and state progressive luminaries-- people who are widely respected on the left in ways that establishment Democrats are not. The campaign will urge progressives in the dozen battleground states to vote for Joe Biden rather than sit out the election or cast a third-party protest vote. Directed heavily toward young people, the effort will be entirely independent of-- and often in opposition to-- corporate Democratic leaders.

The RootsAction campaign has assembled a group of national endorsers who are likely to be persuasive to progressives on the fence about voting for Biden. They include: Ady Barkan, Medea Benjamin, Leslie Cagan, Noam Chomsky, Marjorie Cohn, RoseAnn DeMoro, Barbara Ehrenreich, Daniel Ellsberg, Bill Fletcher Jr., Jim Hightower, Rep. Ro Khanna, Jamie Margolin, Annabel Park, Linda Sarsour, Winnie Wong and James Zogby.

The #VoteTrumpOut campaign will assert that-- while President Trump is unfailingly immune to progressive persuasion or protest-- the fight for a full progressive agenda (ranging from major climate initiatives and anti-racism to universal healthcare, free public college and taxing the wealthy) would have the potential to win some victories with Biden in the White House.

The campaign’s mission statement declares: "We are not going to minimize our disagreements with Joe Biden. But we’re also clear-eyed about where things stand: supporting the Democratic nominee in swing states is the only way to defeat Trump... If Biden wins, we’ll be at his door on day one, demanding the kinds of structural reforms that advance racial, economic and environmental justice."

Renowned linguist, author and political activist Noam Chomsky contributed this comment to the initiative: "I live in the swing state of Arizona, and I’d vote for a lamp post to get Trump out." Chomsky is featured in a campaign-launch video [above].

"Our organization fought fiercely in the primaries for Bernie and against Biden," said cofounders Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon. "But the general election is far less about Biden than it is about Trump-- the most dangerous president in modern U.S. history, who opposes virtually every policy and principle that progressives are fighting for."


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At 9:38 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

Corporate Democrats have been put on notice they can be defeated in the primaries congratulations Cori. 🎉

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Noam Chomsky is absolutely right. I've been saying this for 4 years. It no longer matters who the Democratic candidate is. We are at the cross-roads of Democracy and fascism. "You don't vote for, you vote against. It doesn't matter how I feel. It doesn't matter whether you like Biden or not. That's your personal feelings; irrelevant, nobody cares about that. What we care about is what happens to the world. We have to get rid of Trump."

That isn't going to be easy. He will use whatever levers of force he can to stay in office, and millions of his followers are primed to destroy the Constitution and the rule of law to prevent him from being stripped of power. Whether we like it or not, this is a Civil War, and we had better win. Or else organized human society will simply not survive. That's not an exaggeration. It's just a grim, meat-hook reality.

At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:17 speaks wisely.

Trump is doing all he can to push many people off the voting rolls with the Senate leaving town as the eviction bans ended. No address, no ballot. You can bet that the local GOP officials are gathering up as much information as possible regarding those evicted to challenge their right to vote.

Trump is also seeking to destroy the Post Office. Where the hell are the "Democrats"? Holding the coats of the GOP lest they get dirty?

This is why they won't get my vote either, because since Biden has already promised that "nothing will fundamentally change" that means Trumpian politics will remain the theme of the Federal government.

Should these electoral suppression efforts fail, a little Beirut-style blast is very easy to arrange. Tim McVey and Terry Nichols managed to make a big boom without a lot of experience, and who would check up on the DHS ordering a ton or three of ammonium nitrate? This would give Trump his Reichstag fire and the excuse to declare martial law and suspend (once and for all) the Constitution.

What is coming is no longer avoidable, and it will be bloody and painful. There is no guarantee the nation even survives.

Now go die for profit.

At 7:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and biden will do what exactly different? A vote for biden and democraps is also a vote for fascism.

you are demanding we vote against fascism by voting for fascism?

Given the previous article about the decidedly fascist democrap party platform, a more accurate title would be: For progressives-- losses and the constant road backwards.


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