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.

Ten Fun Facts: The Democratic Party

As we experience the consolidation of power by fascist forces, it’s tempting to want another Obama moment – to believe once again that change is possible, that this country isn’t just a racist, prison-happy exploiter (spoiler alert: it is). But maybe we should give pause to hoping for that liberal electoral savior:

1.The Democrats are just as willing as the Republicans to employ patriotic hysteria to unify their base.

The Marine General John Allen (retired) gave a speech that would be the envy of any nationalist leader, stating “with [Hillary Clinton] as our commander-in-chief, America will continue to lead in this volatile world… Our armed forces will be stronger. They will have the finest weapons and equipment. They will have the support of the American people, and the American military will continue to be THE shining example of America at our very best.”

So this dude is a former commander of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was a central player in wars that have been defined by torture chambers like Abu Ghraib prison, terror in the form of “night raids” and random murder of innocent civilians, rape of women, bombs and drone strikes that keep millions of people living in a state of constant fear. Hillary Clinton personally picked Allen to be the speaker that introduced her acceptance speech.

USA, USA! Chant the Republi…I mean Democratic Party.

2. The Democratic Party is Cool with Attacking Non-Believers

Remember Bernie? Remember Debbie Wasserman-Schultz? Yeah, Debbie and the right-wing Dems thought it was cool to attack Bernie for being an atheist. Even though the obvious manipulative behavior of Wasserman-Schultz and other corporate Democrats was exposed, they’ve faced no real accountability from their own party, even while publicly admitting that they chose Clinton long before the primaries had begun. Though Senator Sanders did call for their resignation, we’re still waiting for those resignations at the time of publication.

3. Hillary Clinton and her neoliberal buddies not just voted for the invasion of Iraq, they campaigned for it inside the Democratic Party. Oh yeah – they also supported those messy Bush era policies that led to the atrocities at Abu Ghraib.

4. Institutional Democrats have increasingly become hawkish. I bet you didn’t know imperialism can be intersectional as well! It’s important to note that the institutional Democrats can be every bit as pro-war as the most right-wing zealot.

5. Democratic pundits like Van Jones have and will continue to legitimize Trump. Fuck Van Jones. In case you missed it, Van Jones pointed out that because Trump is capable of demonstrating human emotions he is now a valid president. “He did something tonight that you cannot take away from him. He became president of the United States.” Van (the one time radical leftist turned corporate democrat) now seeks to find common ground with the Trump administration. Let us know how that works out for you, Van.

6. The Democrats have no fucking clue how to fight the fascist coup that has taken place. They have offered some clever opinion pieces, but beyond rhetoric, they’re willing to work with this new president as though he was just another president. Sad.

7. Rachel Maddow’s fun rants and softball interviews with democrats can be entertaining sometimes, but her latest ratings stunt promoting her tax exposing “gotchya!” moment for Trump that turned out to be boring as fuuuuuuuck is not a real strategy for taking down the bloated white guy club that is running the White House.

8. The Democrats, specifically the Clinton’s and the “New Democrats”, are the primary originators of mass incarceration. Think mandatory “three-strikes-you’re-out” laws which resulted in American becoming the largest prison population in the entire world.

9. Chelsea Clinton is getting Variety’s lifetime achievement award for her heroic lifetime work of being a Clinton. Because this is probably a move designed to move her closer to public office, we’re going to assume the Democrats also love political dynasties.

10. Thomas Jefferson was one of the founders of the Democratic Party. He was also was into capturing and enslaving human beings. So progressive and far-sighted! And while not participating in crimes of historic proportions, he also pontificated on the intricacies of miscegenation laws. So that’s creepy.