Democracy Works, Or: What A Funny Joke I Just Told

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s upset primary victory over old guard Democrat Joe Crowley got fired me up. Ocasio-Cortez is under 30, a woman of color, someone with strong left ideological convictions who presented herself as-is to the voters of her district – and the electorate welcomed her with with open arms! She’s proof positive that democracy isn’t always easy, but it can work from time to time.

So why are we talking about her more than two weeks later, with months to go before the 2018 midterms? It’s not anything she’s done, It’s what Crowley hasn’t:

As the New York Times explains, Crowley received the endorsement of the Working Families Party, a group of labor unions and activists that has also backed New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s primary challenger, Cynthia Nixon. But after Ocasio-Cortez’s primary win, Bill Lipton, the state director of the Working Families Party, reached out to Crowley’s team and asked that he vacate the line. Crowley, however, declined. This means he’ll remain on the ballot, which is certainly a curious decision to make!

It’s not like Crowley’s disregard for what voters have clearly said they want is an aberration. Allow me to diagnose Democrats’ real problem: Democrats. When the party had a presidential candidate that excited people, they buried him. Given a choice between the possibility of peace with North Korea and the threat of nuclear war, they put on their tattered hawk costumes and squawk. When Republicans want to further cut funding to social programs, they do their best impression of a fainting goat. The gerontocratic leadership have “sensibly” caved on so many issues there’s a crater where their beliefs used to be.

If the cryptkeepers of the Democratic Party refuse to stop standing against social progress, they may one day finding themselves standing against a wall instead. They’ll be provided with free blindfolds.

Something Approaching Basic Human Decency

Say what you will about Democrats – and I’ve said plenty – but at the national level, the party recognizes if it doesn’t want to alienate its base ahead of the midterms, it can’t support men accused of predatory behavior against women. Hence the “retirements” of Rep. John Conyers’ and Sen. Al Franken. It’s the kind of message they hope conveys “We take women seriously, and we draw the line well before pedophiles”.

And though Franken continues to deny a majority of the eight accusations against him, neither he or any spokesperson would ever brand the women “criminals” like a certain child molester/horse aficionado/future senator.

Well done, Democratic Party. You may be ineffectual, clueless and weak; you may be neoliberal buffoons who did much to exacerbate wealth inequality in this country; you may have resisted socialized medicine in favor of an incrementally less awful healthcare system; you may support awful interventionist military actions, destabilizing leftist governments and drone bombing children; you may be as corrupt as Republican politicians; you may be think a “Black Lives Matter” yard sign is enough to absolve your support of racist police; your spinelessness against the hard right may have moved your brand to the right of Nixon over the years, leaving a bad taste in potential voters mouths – but at least you don’t support a sexual predator.

At least, not anymore.

(Year Zero/Day Three Hundred and Twenty-Two)

I’m With Me

Hillary Clinton here. The servant I pay to read me news stories that mention me in a strong Australian accent — or is she just Australian? I can never remember — anyway, this morning she regaled Bill and I with the most delightful tale I think I’ve heard in a long time.

Donald Trump really wants me to run for president in the 2020 election.

For the record, I’m not interested in re-entering a contest I already won. I’m here to talk about the issues that really matter. The Democratic Party is in dire need of unity in the age of Trump… which I’ll get to in a minute. But first, did you know What Happened has been on The New York Times’ non-fiction best sellers list for four weeks running? Ditto with Amazon. It’s heartening that my version of events has found a wide audience. Campaign debts don’t pay themselves.

I know some of you were angry at my absence in the weeks and months following Donald’s shocking election, as white supremacists and serial abusers expressed their newfound legitimization in often terrifying ways. What you need to understand is I don’t show up when you need me, but when I need you. Self-interest is a rich Clintonian tradition, the roots of which can be traced to when Bill and I first catapulted to the national stage. We will do anything we need to win, abandon any Souljah, crassly yank any emotional lever, even blow a few dog whistles to racists (I still don’t understand how Obama survived the 2008 primaries). We succesfully took over the Democratic political machine (twice!) and you allowed us to happen.

We thank you for your loyal service, and for purchasing the hardcover copy of New York Times best seller What Happened. I promise you I’ll help lead the Democratic Party forward in these interesting times, but I need to air a few mild grievances before proceeding.

America:

You really fucked things up for me, you know that? I haven’t forgotten how you deprived me of my destiny, nor do I think I ever will.

Let me count the ways I’ve been betrayed, and the reasons none of this is my fault.

1) Bernie Sanders, for daring to suppose he could give primary voters a choice.

2) Bernie Bros. It was a deft move to harness the legitimate experiences of women who have dealt with a lifetime of the patriarchy dehumanizing, berating, dismissing and abusing them and turn it against Bernie Sanders supporters. It was the worst, most cynical type of identity politics this side of Richard Spencer and I couldn’t be prouder. Liking socialism is so bro-y, you know? I mean “bro-cialism”. See? It writes itself, and plenty of Democrats are willing to uncritically accept and parrot it.

3) Me, I guess. You do have to appear humble for the small folks, yes?

4) Bernie Sanders again. This monster continues to serve in the Senate to this day, unpunished by Democrats for his treasonous role in getting Donald Trump elected.

5) You. Even if you voted for me, you didn’t vote hard enough.

6) Bernie Sanders.

7) Jill Stein voters. They aren’t technically sexist pigs, but clearly misguided because they took their democratic right to vote how their consciences dictated and wasted it on that hippie.

8) Black Lives Matter. These ungrateful little babies, apparently unaware I was the first historically important woman in the history of the world to be on the cusp of power, made me uncomfortable. I was able to regain the upper hand with a stern lecture, but it was a close call.

9) Bernie Sanders, for engaging with and giving a platform to Black Lives Matter, the aforementioned ungrateful little babies.

10) Donald Trump.

11) Bernie Sanders.

12) Barney Sandler.

13) Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

14) Sanders, Bernie.

What a relief. I should have shared how I really felt on election night! I may have to look into this whole honesty thing. With my soul unburdened, I’m ready to help guide the Democratic Party to a glorious new tomorrow… just as soon as the paperback edition of What Happened comes out.