Republicans celebrated the end of abortion rights, Speaker of the
House Nancy Pelosi led Democrats in the singing of “God
the Capitol steps. Other than fundraising
the Supreme Court decision and telling people to vote
the Democrats seem to lack both a short-term and long-term strategy.
one person recently tweeted,
“My roommate described Republicans as the mass shooter and
Democrats as Uvalde cops, and I can’t get it out of my head.”
Party leadership is weak, out of touch and not up to the job at a
crisis moment in America. The Democrats need new leadership, and
establishment Democrats are working hard—but not against the
Republicans who are taking away our rights. Democratic Party
leadership seeks bipartisanship with white nationalists and works
overtime to undermine progressive Black candidates and destroy other
dynamic candidates of color the party needs to survive and thrive.
face a midterm blowout if they fail to change course and channel the
rage of their base over the loss of abortion rights, voting rights
and other issues. Meanwhile, the party is protecting lackluster,
stale and sometimes corrupt moderates at the expense of progressive
Black and brown candidates. Democrats are not reading the room, and
a few days after the leak of the draft Supreme Court opinion
overturning the right to abortion in Roe
v. Wade, Speaker
Pelosi and Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn campaigned for Henry Cuellar.
Cuellar is a pro-NRA, anti-abortion Texas lawmaker whose home
was raided by the FBI
is under Department of Justice investigation for corruption, and who
barely beat his primary challenger, Jessica Cisneros—a young
progressive Latinx lawyer.
Nina Turner tweeted,
“Henry Cuellar was one of three Dems who voted against banning
high-capacity magazines…Democratic leadership went out of
their way to campaign for him…Shameful.”
Akela Lacy reported in The Intercept that other key
members of the Democratic leadership,
including Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and Democratic Caucus
Chair Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) supported Cuellar.
watching the erosion of our fundamental freedoms in this country.
This isn’t a drill,” Cisneros told Lacy, calling
Democratic leadership supporting Cuellar an example of cognitive
dissonance. “Urgency is important, and Democrats need to pull
out all the stops to fight for us.”
is a powerful lawmaker who helped Biden win the presidency, yet whose
district in South Carolina is one
of the poorest in America.
If “we are going to run on Medicare for all, defund the police,
socialized medicine, we’re not going to win,” said
Clyburn, who reportedly received over
$1 million from
the pharmaceutical lobby over a decade—far
outpacing his colleagues.
an interview with the San Antonio Report downplayed
the significance of abortion, Clyburn
the Democratic base. “Does this issue carry more weight than
voting [rights]? I don’t think so,” Clyburn said. “I
think restoring the Voting Rights Act is a much weightier issue than
this.” Even after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs
v. Jackson decision
v. Wade weeks
later, Clyburn called the decision “anticlimactic.”
oil companies, tech
pro-Israel lobbyists, Trump supporters and others who have not helped
the Black community have poured money into PACs to beat progressive
Democrats, particularly Black women and other women of color, in
favor of more moderate, pliable and corporate-friendly candidates.
example, super PACs funded by the American Israel Public Affairs
Committee, or AIPAC have relied on racist
and sexist ads
attack progressive women candidates of color and progressive Jewish
candidates. AIPAC—which has supported dozens of Republican
lawmakers who deny
Biden won the
2020 election—has spent millions against Summer
New York, Nina Turner, Jessica Cisneros and other progressive
candidates who support Palestinian human rights.
establishment Democrats and their funders spend time and resources
neutralizing progressive Black candidates and members of “The
Squad,” they promote bipartisanship
with Christian fascists
worship a white Jesus wearing a red MAGA hat, with an AR-15 rifle in
one hand and a hangman’s noose in the other. The GOP faithful
wake up each day thinking of new ways to destroy multiracial
the Democratic Party have a plan to restore voting rights, give women
their rights back, rein
in the Supreme Court
possibly impeach some justices, including the several who lied under
oath and the one whose wife tried to overthrow the government? “We
are witnessing a judicial coup in process,” Rep.
on the unfolding constitutional crisis. “If the President and
Congress do not restrain the Court now, the Court is signaling they
will come for the Presidential election next.”
about expelling the insurrectionists who still work in the Capitol?
At the last minute, Biden supports removing
the Senate filibuster
v. Wade, but
what’s the strategy? Will he apply the Johnson
after Lyndon B. Johnson and his tactics to persuade lawmakers to pass
civil rights legislation—and strongarm stubborn and corrupt
senators who are holding us hostage such as Joe Manchin and Kyrsten
are in a war
don’t realize it. They are scared to take any bold action that
will protect and energize their base, for fear of losing Republican
voters they’ll never get, or angering a GOP that must never
hold office again because they almost seized power by violence and
would never leave office if they ever regain power. And unlike
do not fear their base
Black and brown voters, poor
and low-income voters
others, and perhaps that’s part of the problem.
of their own shadow, Democrats are afraid to wield power when they
control the White House, the House and Senate, while Republicans
fight for what they want with absurd and unpopular policies and
said, “this country needs a strong
and we do, not a cult, but a strong Republican Party.” What
Democrats steering a sinking ship fail to understand is the country
needs a Republican Party that is no more, and maybe even a reformed,
multiparty system that is responsive to the needs of the people.
is a crucial part of the answer, but voting in a new generation of
political representatives that is bold, responsive and accountable,
and not acting as if we live in the 1970s or 1980s. The complacent
Jamelle Bouie described the Democratic establishment in the New York
Times—must make way for folks with a sense of urgency and
resolve, and a plan.
must change, and either the Democratic Party doesn’t know what
it is doing, or even worse, it does. In any case, it isn’t
working. During the Obama years, Democrats lost over
1,000 state and federal legislative seats.
The strategy of promoting lackluster, milquetoast, bought and often
white moderate politicians at the expense of younger and inspiring
candidates of color who represent our interests is a problem. And the
Democrats’ deer in the headlights approach during a moment of
existential crisis is a bad look.
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