“voters in Missouri or West Virginia are not the same as voters in Queens. So no, Sens. Claire McCaskill and Joe Manchin do not have to support the abolition of ICE. If they have policy disagreements with Ocasio-Cortez, fine. If Democrats focus on winning and manage to take control of both chambers, they will have difficulty reconciling the views of progressives and centrists. That’s the kind of problem the party should want to have, rather than its problem of utter powerlessness.
“What Republicans fear when they see the likes of Ocasio-Cortez is the rise of a new generation in the Democratic Party. They fear that Trump’s outrages have opened new political space on the left, and that this space is being filled by smart young men and women who have fresh ideas — and who don’t mince words when expressing them.” -Eugene Robinson, Newsday 2017-07-03
I have argued that Democrats should be pragmatic and work to gain every seat they possibly can. I have argued that candidates like Conor Lamb or Doug Jones may be the best we can hope for in the districts/states they represent, and that the greater good is ultimately served by making sure we regain a majority. The same holds true when voters elect a candidate that carries the banner of democratic socialism in a district that will support such political ideology.
This is what the “Bernie wing” of the Democratic party often fails to understand, or at least acknowledge, even as their hero persistently refuses to be a part of that party.
I believe Democrats should elect the most progressive candidates possible, wherever and whenever that possibility presents itself. In NY14, it’s Ocasio-Cortez. In PA18, it was Conor Lamb. Those are the hands we have been dealt. Let’s play them with as much skill and guile as we can muster, and remain united as a party toward the immediate goal, taking back the House.
First stop the bleeding. -cc