Why Do We Lose? Don’t Blame Nancy!

A few observations regarding Nancy Pelosi:

1. Some progressives don’t want her, not because she’s a bad leader or incompetent, but because she’s old.

2. Not one person rejecting her has questioned her accomplishments, or her abilities.

2. Not one person objecting to her has named an alternative who would be better on MERIT. They simply want someone shiny and new.

This reeks of mysogyny, even as the “Bernie movement” still enjoys significant support.  I suspect many who want to dump Pelosi would welcome another Bernie run in 2020.

But here’s the thing. If we take back the House in November, we better have leadership that knows the ropes. A steady hand at the helm to steer the legislative ship through what will surely be treacherous waters. Because Republicans aren’t going down easy, and they fight dirty.

There will be plenty of new blood entering Congress on the crest of the blue wave. Future leaders will emerge and be ready to assume leadership positions within the next couple of election cycles. That is a very short time. Unless you are impatient.

News flash: we ain’t getting single-payer health care any time soon. That will take years, and multiple election cycles to even get close, with Republicans obstructing every step of the way. The best we can hope for at this time is to put the brakes on the GOP agenda and slow down the backsliding. We will need to take bake State Houses and governorships so we can redraw Congressional districts, or we will be looking at 10 more years of erosion of our democracy by Republican rule.

Why do we lose? Not because of failed leadership, but because conservatives are better at the long game. They’ve been working on this agenda at least since the 1950s. (I highly recommend Bruce Bacon‘s linked essay “America’s Conservative Road to Destruction” for a deep dive on this topic).


Who’s Afraid of Nancy Pelosi -Paul Krugman

That’s Some Crazy-Ass Shit

“Plotters in the deep state tried to shoot down Air Force One and foil President Trump’s North Korea summit. A cabal of global elites, including top figures in Hollywood, the Democratic Party, and the intelligence agencies, are responsible for nearly all the evil in the world. And now Trump is going to fix it all with thousands of sealed indictments, sending the likes of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama straight to Guantanamo Bay.” –Will  Sommer, Daily Beast

This is about as far out as you can get, even for the crazy right. But here’s something to consider. There are folks on the left who fall for all kinds of misinformation & bad, lazy opportunistic “reporting.” They share demonstrably false memes, chain messages, and stories from left-wing outlets that claim to be BREAKING news, but are really just rehashed stories from more credible sources that are repackaged with the kind of left-wing spin designed to attract clicks. These sites are feeding off the legitimate work or real reporters. They dilute real journalism and erode the credibility of the progressive movement.

So before we get too high on our own horses, lets make sure we employ critical thinking and discretion. Because those high horses can make quite a mess.

Credibility is earned. It is a form of currency. If you want it, you have to do the work.



Unity Does Not Mean Homogeneity

“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