Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s entrance into the presidential race is not only indicative of the growing fervor to take out Donald Trump next year.
It is indicative of how divided the Democratic party still is, even after it backed centrist Hillary Clinton over progressive Senator Bernie Sanders in 2016, resulting in the embarrassing defeat that catapulted into the White House the most unqualified individual ever to pursue it.
And if it makes the mistake nominating another corporate moderate again this time, we can say hello to whatever horrors are predicted with a second Trump term.
Unfortunately, it appears today as though that may happen.
Earlier this year, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) instituted a new policy prohibiting more than 100 political firms from contracting or recommending to House of Representatives candidates consultants, vendors, polling firms, strategists, and operatives seeking to unseat incumbents.
It is no coincidence this came two months after progressive New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, and Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley were sworn in on Capitol Hill after last year’s “blue wave” that saw scores of progressives win state, local, and federal elections all over the country.
Rep. Pressley tweeted:
If the DCCC enacts this policy to blacklist vendors who work with challengers, we risk undermining an entire universe of potential candidates and vendors – especially women and people of color – whose ideas, energy, and innovation need a place in our party (6/x)
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) March 30, 2019
Barack Obama warned Democrats not to engage in the circular firing squad, yet he privately told advisers in 2016 he would intervene if it appeared as though Bernie Sanders threatened to clinch the nomination away from Hillary Clinton.
“Even as we push the envelope and we are bold in our vision, we also have to be rooted in reality. The average American doesn’t think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it.”
The circular firing squad has begun.
Fortunately, it might be backfiring.
As New York magazine reported:
“It’s far from clear that the DCCC’s policy will even succeed on its intended. The small-dollar donor armies that have freed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from the burden of fundraising—and filled the coffers of Bernie Sanders’s nascent 2020 campaign—aren’t going anywhere. And neither are progressive interest groups like NARAL Pro-Choice America, which backed Marie Newman’s attempt to oust pro-life Illinois Democrat Dan Lipinski last year. The DCCC can’t eliminate the demand for political operatives who are willing to assist left-wing primary challenges. And by limiting the supply, the Democratic establishment threatens to give a monopoly to its most ideologically committed adversaries, and thus, accelerate the growth of upstart firms like Grassroots Analytics and Data for Progress.”
The Democratic party of today is not the Democratic party of the early 1990s when it shifted its focus away from Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society toward more a corporate-friendly agenda following the 1980s’ Reagan revolution.
Even before Donald Trump descended that Trump Tower escalator in June of 2015 to declare in a racist anti-immigrant screed he was running for president, the political sands were shifting.
People had figured out nothing was going to structurally change with the economy, environment, education, healthcare, or campaign finance as long as we kept coddling transnational corporations with tax breaks, subsidies, deregulation, and anti-worker trade deals even Democrats at times supported.
This is what fomented the Occupy Movement, which segued right into the rise of the progressive movement that allowed a septuagenarian Democratic Socialist from Vermont the voice he always had to project Americans’ discontent with being shut out of the democratic process.
Most Americans want public colleges and universities to be free or at least debt-free.
Only the fossil fuel industry and the shills lying for them deny the exigency of climate change. The entire world has recognized we are on the precipice of a climate apocalypse and wants governments to begin taking aggressive measures to address it. The United States is the only developed nation dragging its feet.
The list goes on.
So, here we are.
But a caution: Let’s not get bogged down in a false equivalency.
Voting Democratic is still better than voting Republican. The idea they are the same is an absurd fallacy.
The Democratic party is still the party of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, healthcare, civil rights, marriage equality, public education, unions, and criminal justice reform.
Just look at how many bills the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives has passed since taking back the majority in January.
The Republican party, by contrast, is the party of tax breaks for the ultra wealthy, deregulation, environmental degradation, voter suppression, xenophobia, Islamophobia, unregulated gun possession, anti-women’s reproductive choice, and “Christian” evangelicalism.
But the Democratic party has a lot of soul searching to do if it has any sincere intentions of defeating not just Trump but Trump-ism.
Donald Trump will be out of the White House sooner rather than later.
Who comes after him, though, may not be so inept or buffoonish.
As you read this, future Republican politicians are out there learning from the fascist rhetoric and policies Donald Trump has dumped into the GOP mainstream.
Some are already in Congress right now.
Only true progressives can defeat them.
And only true progressives can wrench us back from the brink of neo-fascism, like FDR did in the 1930s and forties.
As Sen. Bernie Sanders’ speechwriter David Sirota stated in his Bern Notice newsletter:
“[Michael] Bloomberg is primarily motivated by a desire to stop Bernie and his working-class movement.”
“Bloomberg began floating the idea of a presidential bid in 2016, just as Bernie was beginning to gain momentum in that race. At the time, Bloomberg disparaged Bernie and his campaign’s challenge to Wall Street.”
Let’s not make the same mistake.
Do we really want Trump for another four years?
It’s only the fate of our republic at stake.
Image credit: en.wikipedia.org