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Ash writes: "The 'new' candidates at the core of the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives were decidedly, disproportionally Progressives."

Texas High student Senior Paisley Allen poses proudly with her 'I voted' sticker. Midterm elections ended at 7pm on November 6th. (photo: Holland Rainwater)
Texas High student Senior Paisley Allen poses proudly with her 'I voted' sticker. Midterm elections ended at 7pm on November 6th. (photo: Holland Rainwater)


It Was Progressive Energy That Fueled the Democratic Wave

By Marc Ash, Reader Supported News

12 November 18

 

he “new” candidates at the core of the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives were decidedly, disproportionally Progressives. Demographically and ideologically the charge was led by women, minorities, and LGBT candidates, the common thread being an ability to convey progressive values successfully to voters in blue, red, and purple districts alike.

The marquee issue for the Democrats was Bernie Sanders’ signature issue from the 2016 presidential campaign, healthcare – specifically, healthcare for all. In fact, it was a Bernie-style campaign game plan: forget about the barriers and talk to the voters about the issues that make a difference in their lives.

This is a win for Progressives as much as it is an affirmation of the progressive platform.

There has been and will be a lot of talk about whether Nancy Pelosi should continue to be the House Democratic leader. The time for a change may be at hand or not, depending on who else emerges as an option, the viability of the challenger being the key. Regardless, it must be someone who embraces what is clearly the future of the Democratic party and the will of the voters. Progress for the country.

This of course will almost certainly run contrary to the interests of many powerful and influential donors to Democrats and Republicans alike. The healthcare industry will be foremost, as meaningful healthcare reform and expansion must necessarily include a diversion of some of the enormous profits the healthcare industry enjoys into a public option that comforts and saves the lives of millions.

The defense and weapons industries will likewise come under ramped-up and well-deserved scrutiny as the bewildering scope of military spending becomes the subject of long overdue public and Congressional debate.

Perhaps of greatest importance during this election cycle was that mother of all progressive issues, voter suppression, which at long last came in from the cold and took its rightful seat at the table.

This unavoidably leads to a broader discussion and battles over money in politics, which will likely be the defining issue in 2020.

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Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, and is now founder and Editor of Reader Supported News.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.


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Comments   

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It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

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Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+10 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-11-12 11:49
I completely agree -- the energy of the Demo party is coming from progressives, esp. the new and younger group which is focused on women. The old guard, like Pelosi, needs to gracefully step aside and make way for the new. This is how Democrats can begin to move toward the 2020 elections.

And Marc is right about the real backward pulling force is the party's major funders. They've spent a lot of money building the corporate anti-progressiv e democratic party. It is time for them to go as well.

There's good reason to be optimistic about the democratic party. The gains in 2018 were small, but they were gains. We are a long way from the tipping point but at least the direction is now clear. Clear to all, that is, except for the NYTimes which has been poo-pooing the progressive wins.
 
 
0 # John Cosmo 2018-11-12 14:09
I really want to share Marc Ash's opinion and enthusiasm, but I'm not seeing it and not feeling it. It wasn't so much a "blue wave" as "blue seepage" and not terribly significant. At this point in time the leadership of the Democratic Party isn't really serious about advancing the kinds of progressive causes and issues that our nation needs and want and it shows in the election results.
 
 
+3 # economagic 2018-11-12 15:45
I would agree with "blue seepage," but it being the first example thereof in literally decades I think it IS--or has the potential to be--terribly significant.
 
 
+8 # economagic 2018-11-12 15:54
Please let us have no more talk of "public options" or "buy-ins." Any framework of that sort is not merely a delay but a serious obstacle to genuine universal health care coverage. Let us NOT adopt Mr. Obama's negotiating style, to lead with one's best offer then negotiate DOWN from there. There has been much talk since last Tuesday of the need for aggressive or muscular action by the new majority. If it is to mean anything at all it has to mean ALL of the major threats to the planet as a whole (nukes and climate disruption, and I would add growing anger, violence, and self-centeredne ss worldwide), and also threats unique to this country, so far behind the more civilized nations in health care, labor rights, and political and economic equity.
 
 
+6 # lfeuille 2018-11-12 17:17
It was a blue, i.e. Democratic, wave. The number of house seats and governorships flipped puts it in "wave" territory. The senate map just did not allow for a wave there, but it's not over yet and could get better though it is not possible to gain the majority there.

But blue wave does not equal progressive wave. There were hints of a coming progressive wave, but it has not arrived quite yet. Most, but not all of the energy behind it was progressive but groups like Indivisible, which is really pretty middle of the road played a big role as well. This election was mostly about preventing fascism from consolidating it's grip on government, not about enacting the progressive agenda witch of course is anti-fascist, but also much more than that.
 
 
0 # Robbee 2018-11-13 11:55
Quoting lfeuille 2018-11-12 17:17:
It was a blue, i.e. Democratic, wave. The number of house seats and governorships flipped puts it in "wave" territory. The senate map just did not allow for a wave there, but it's not over yet and could get better though it is not possible to gain the majority there.

But blue wave does not equal progressive wave. There were hints of a coming progressive wave, but it has not arrived quite yet. Most, but not all of the energy behind it was progressive but groups like Indivisible, which is really pretty middle of the road played a big role as well. This election was mostly about preventing fascism from consolidating it's grip on government, not about enacting the progressive agenda witch of course is anti-fascist, but also much more than that.

- this is nearly an excellent analysis, BUT! -

"The senate map just did not allow for a wave there, but it's not over yet and could get better though it is not possible to gain the majority there."

just as the "senate map" landslide of dem senators elected with barak running in 2012 prevented a senate wave 6 years later in 2018 ...

the "senate map" landslide of repuke senators elected without barak running in 2014 will allow a senate wave 6 years later in 2020 ...

if a dem prez nominee runs an outstanding, progressive campaign in 2020, the "senate map" predicts a blue wave! including, quite possibly, a dem senate!
 
 
+3 # librarian1984 2018-11-15 19:04
I was really disappointed by Emily's List, which played a major role in undercutting progressives in the primaries.

The progressive wave was stymied by the establishment. They, unfortunately, are our first obstacle.

OTOH, millennials really care about climate change, guns and healthcare, they love progressive policy, they are the largest demographic in US history -- and they are now old enough to vote.

If we want to shift left we need to help them register to vote.
 
 
-1 # Robbee 2018-11-13 11:34
Quoting John Cosmo 2018-11-12 14:09:
It wasn't so much a "blue wave" as "blue seepage" and not terribly significant. At this point in time the leadership of the Democratic Party isn't really serious about advancing the kinds of progressive causes and issues that our nation needs and want and it shows in the election results.

- in michigan national campaigns dumped alot into ad buys

one woman drew alot of interesting ad bucks

among many remarkable ads, elissa slotkin noted that she refuses all corporate funds!

O U T S T A N D I N G !

meanwhile rncc ads declared that "nancy pelosi" was pumping millions of bucks into elissa's campaign?

if true, the dncc pumped millions of bucks into elissa's campaign!

if true, the dncc invests in progressive campaigns!

some day dems should study elissa's remarkable ad campaign, and, along the way, the dncc's role, if any, in funding it, if at all, and any other, if any, progressive campaigns?

above john contends that "the leadership of the Democratic Party isn't really serious about advancing the kinds of progressive causes and issues that our nation needs"

without assuming what we set out to prove, that dems are beyond persuasion, robbee inquires - are any "establishment" dems becoming serious about advancing the kinds of progressive causes and issues that our nation needs?

does anyone know any dncc funding facts? dare anyone respond?
 
 
+4 # Benign Observer 2018-11-12 19:08
We frequently hear that the Democrats intend to go after Republican moderates and suburban moms.

How exactly do they do that? I don't see them on Fox. How are they trying to reach these people?

Trump won 52% of white women, while Stacey Abrams, in Georgia, got about 97% of blacks but only 25% of whites. What the hell is wrong with white people, and how do we reach them?

How do we whites talks to other whites about voting for minority candidates?
 
 
-1 # Robbee 2018-11-13 12:39
Quoting Benign Observer 2018-11-12 19:08:
We hear that Democrats intend to go after Republican moderates and suburban moms.

How exactly do they do that? How are they trying to reach these people?

Trump won 52% of white women, while Stacey Abrams, in Georgia, got about 97% of blacks but only 25% of whites. What the hell is wrong with white people, and how do we reach them?

How do we whites talks to other whites about voting for minority candidates?

- this is, if not THE great question, one great question of our time ...

if i follow how bernie addresses it, he tells whites that an equally-protect ive economy floats all boats, makes all workers, even white workers, better-off?

to the fact that whites don't get bernie's message i point to white privilege!

to explain how whites have so much more than blacks and latinos, live in better neighborhoods, so forth, whites have to expiate their guilt over centuries of extreme practical advantages? discrimination?

whites do so by telling each other that they work harder and have better cultural values! as whites? no shit?

it gets ingrained like all life-long echo chambers!

i respectfully suggest that the next time you talk to whites about voting for minority candidates, you ask them -

"do you know any blacks (or insert "latinos") who don't work hard?"

most likely they will be stumped! - because they personally know no one of that skin-tone who does not!

that's your starting point!
 
 
+3 # Benign Observer 2018-11-12 19:49
Here's an excellent Intercept article that supports Ash's point. It's long but talks about the 2016 genesis of activists, candidates and small-donor fundraising. (ActBlue, which had raised $2 billion in its first 14 years, raised another billion in the last ten months -- something that really bugs the GOP.)

But the best section is toward the end, What Third Way?, which confronts claims by neoliberal centrists that they outperformed progressives. Everyone should read that, and use it to argue for 2020.

The article also makes the point that Sanders supporters and Clinton supporters pretty much want the same policies -- it's the politicians we support who differ.

Life After Trump: How Donald Trump Saved the Democratic Party From Itself

https://theintercept.com/2018/11/05/democratic-party-donald-trump-election/?
 
 
+2 # Wise woman 2018-11-13 13:38
Thank you, BO for your informative comments. My question, is that small number of white women voting for women of color universal or just in Georgia? Southern women might still be influenced by old fears and prejudices especially if they are not highly educated plus their similar husbands upon whom they are dependent.
 

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