27 June 2018

A couple of political observations

The biggest news from yesterday's Democratic primaries was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's surprise victory over establishment heavyweight Joe Crowley in NY-14.  A socialist who refused corporate donations and whose platform is uncompromisingly progressive, Ocasio-Cortez won by a 15-point margin despite being out-fundraised more than ten-to-one.  This mostly reflects the fact that she was a much better fit for the district, which is urban and heavily Latino.  Its voters have spoken, and spoken clearly.

This creates a test for the party establishment.  They need to make it clear that they will support the candidate the primary voters chose.  That might seem like a forgone conclusion, but remember that the DCCC, at least initially, failed to extend support to Kara Eastman, another progressive candidate who defeated the establishment's choice in NE-02 last month.  We can't afford to have anyone playing those kinds of games when their preferred candidate doesn't get nominated.  There's too much at stake.  It's true that NY-14 is so solidly Democratic that Ocasio-Cortez will almost certainly win even without DCCC support, but that's not the point -- the leadership needs to demonstrate that it supports the "big tent" and recognizes that winning as many seats as possible is more important than getting exactly the candidates it wants.  She represents the wave of the future and the kind of candidate that enthuses the party's real base, which is critical to its success, especially in an off-year election.

Crowley himself has firmly endorsed Ocasio-Cortez, as is proper.

Trump noticed the result and made an idiot of himself, as was predictable.

The other significant news of the day was that Oklahoma legalized medical marijuana in a referendum, 56% to 43%.  Oklahoma is a very red state -- it's the only state in which Obama didn't win even a single county in either 2008 or 2012.  If marijuana can win there by 13 points (granted only medical, not recreational), it's clear which side of this issue has the momentum.  Marijuana is fully legal in nine states and DC, and is decriminalized or legal for medical purposes in the majority of the country:
Jeff Sessions is not going to drag us all back to the days of Reefer Madness, whatever he may think.  The Democratic party needs to get fully behind the fight for marijuana decriminalization nationally.  It, too, is the wave of the future, and this ludicrous outdated prohibition is a prime driver of unjust mass incarceration.  In referendum after referendum, the people have led; the leaders should, at least, follow.


Blogger Kevin Robbins said...

Thanks for the Trump tweet on Ocasio-Cortez's out of the blue victory. Of course, Crowley's loss was all about Trump. Everything is.

In upstate NY we chose a solidly, phenomenal candidate to take on Elise Stefanik in Tedra Cobb. She not only has great bona fides but is a force of nature in person.

27 June, 2018 08:31  
Blogger Adam said...

We need more just like her

28 June, 2018 06:46  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Kevin: Glad to hear about Tedra Cobb -- I assume you'll be posting about her?

Adam: We'll get them. Trump has energized a lot of new people to go into politics.

28 June, 2018 07:24  

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