In the general election last year, Hillary and her Wall Street cronies expected progressives to embrace Hillary, just as progressives have supported centrist and neoliberal Democratic nominees for decades. They believed progressives had no other option, as the Greens were a joke and Trump was the Republican.
Many progressives assumed that the Democratic leadership would make serious overtures to the Sanders wing of the party in the wake of the repudiation of Hillary Clinton and the loss of the opportunity to retake the Senate. The race for chair of the DNC was thought to be indicative of the future of the party, and the measure of the value of the progressive wing of the party to the Democratic leadership.
Those who thought the Democratic leadership would put other than one of their Wall Street hacks into the chairmanship of the DNC were deluding themselves. The Democratic leadership will never willingly surrender power. They will only give way to reform and reason when forced to do so.
As monumental a task as reforming the Democratic party poses, it is the only reasonable option open to the progressive movement.
Unlike progressives, corporate Democrats are not driven by morality or ideology. They are driven by self interest, the quest for political power, and personal greed. Because they have no moral or ideological compasses, they will always embrace the most expedient courses of action. Under the current paradigm, that usually means acting in service of Wall Street, Big Oil, the banks, corporate lobbyists, etc.
The good news is that corporate Democrats are a tiny minority of the party.
The bad news is that they make up almost all the leadership in the party.
Corporate Democrats, properly referred to as Wall Street hacks, were responsible for rigging the 2016 primaries to deny Bernie Sanders the nomination. They adopted a platform which repudiated most of Bernie’s positions. The nominated Hillary Clinton, who basically flipped off progressive Democrats and Sanders voters.
Trump won the presidency because the Democrats nominated a flawed candidate. Stein performed abysmally because the American electorate refuses to support minor candidates in general elections.
Looking forward, establishment Democrats hope to nominate one of their own Wall Street hacks in 2020. And #DemExit types reject any suggestion that they help takeover the Democratic party.
Trump beat Hillary because Blue Collar Democrats in the Rust Belt broke with the Democrats to give him Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. If Trump can hold those voters, he will be re-elected in 2020.
The only hope of defeating Trump in 2020 is by the Democrats nominating a progressive. Wall Street Democrats are dead set on preventing that.
#DemExit is playing right into the hands of the Democratic establishment. The Democratic party is controlled by Wall Street and big business lobbyists because they own Democratic incumbents. In turn, those Democratic officials control the party leadership. There is no mystery as to who controls the party, or how they do it.
And the key to changing control of the party is simple, albeit difficult.
The key is removing incumbents from office.
We can primary incumbent Democratic hacks with progressives. And we can work to defeat Democratic establishment types in general elections.
It was just such a strategy which put the right wing in control of the Republican party.
And that same strategy can put the left in control of the Democrats.
In practice such a strategy requires that progressives primary as many Wall Street hacks as possible. The test is simple. We run Berners against those who supported Hillary over Bernie in the 2016 primaries.
Further, progressives must work to defeat Wall Street Democrats in general elections, electing Republicans in their places.
Most Congressional and state legislative districts have been gerrymandered for the advantage of the incumbents’ parties, leaving a relatively few seats that can reasonably be impacted by concerted progressive efforts in general elections. But those few Congressional seats, if denied to the Democrats, can assure that they cannot regain control of the House so long as the party is under the control of Wall Street hacks and Clinton sycophants.
The Democratic leadership is a House of Cards. It is totally dependent upon the power of incumbency. While the upper echelons of the party are recipients of lobby largess, those in the precincts, wards, and county committees are influenced only tangentially by establishment priorities. Most rank-and-file Democrats are politically progressive. Few are corporate apologists. Most support those candidates who emerge from the primaries. The mortar we must target are the incumbent Wall Street hacks.
The left wing of the Democratic party has advanced candidates over the years, but has docilely fallen into line behind the establishment candidates when our candidates were defeated. To wrest control from the establishment requires that we do not go peacefully into that dark night
We must not only target Wall Street hacks and Hillbots in primaries, we must do what has never been done before: we must vote Republican before voting for corporate Democrats.
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