They’re Just Not That Into You
There are currently two feuds dominating the Left—Jimmy Dore vs. AOC in “The Brawl Over Medicare-for-All” and various segments of the Left vs. The Squad on its vote to re-elect Pelosi as Speaker of the House.
If you want/need better evidence of the futility of the Left, it would be hard to find. There’s a huge ongoing dispute over whether “The Squad,” a group of about 6 elected officials (hell, throw Sanders and Markey in there and make it 8) out of 535, should force Congress to have a vote on socialized medicine to put everyone on the record, and another argument over whether to vote against the incumbent (and politically inept) speaker of the house. Social media is still in in an uproar over these issues with “support AOC” and “The Squad is dead to me” opinions seeming to alternate in frequency and intensity.
The Left continues to be hung up on electoral politics, despite not just its shortcomings but clear inability to make any kind of effective change. One would think that two Sanders campaigns, the latter blowing through $180 million, the Clinton and Obama maneuvering to kill him off politically, the attacks on AOC and her cohorts by the Democratic leadership, AOC’s big defeat for a seat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, constant scapegoating of The Squad, “Defunding the Police,” and “Socialism” by establishment Democrats since November 4th, and so on would convince the Left about the futility of its efforts. There’s not an issue with voting, per se, but once you’ve cast the ballot, it’s time to move on and begin movements, organize, go into the streets.
But, like Charlie Brown kicking the football that Lucy’s holding, they go back for more. Sure, we all know how hapless Liberals are, but sadly it looks like self-described radicals and even people who claim to be Socialists are in the same camp—bitching about the Democrats and obsessing over electoralism.
No one will convince people not to vote or get involved in electoral politics, much as it might be a useful experiment. But people on the Left need to realize that voting is a tactic—and that means a vote for Biden against Trump was a tactic too, which was okay—and it’s not sacrosanct. And we’re at a juncture now where it’s clear, or ought to be, that voting and electoral politics—like forcing a floor vote on M4A—is so far from the kind of effective action that we need, especially amid a pandemic and an economic crash, that it’s a big drain of valuable time and resources and no way to attain or increase any political credibility.
So, yeah, let’s just step aside from the Democrats, from The Squad, from electoral politics all together. There’s a little more space on the margins to organize and do direct action and create community political groups with Trump out, but it has to start now. The needs are great, the time is short.
It Doesn’t Matter
At an elementary level—like most lefty hysterics about the actions of elected officials—these disputes just don’t matter, they’re a big “so what!” So many Liberals and the Left think the politics of symbolism will make or break them. They live in a world in which they believe that public actions by small groups will help or harm their causes.
Antifa? A gift to the Right….
Impeachment? That’s going to only help Trump ……
Punching Nazis? Makes us all look bad; we should be nonviolent…..
“Defund the Police”? Toxic, snappy words that will just turn people off…..
Tagging Pelosi’s and McConnell’s houses? Childish behavior that will create negative public perceptions of us…..
Here’s the thing….. It doesn’t matter. Antifa was crucial in the summer rebellions and even got decent media play. Impeachment had no bearing on Trump’s future or the election. Punching Nazis inspired some young anarchists, pissed off some older Lefties, and in the end it meant little if anything. The movement to defund the police angered a lot of people for whom optics or “toxic words” is their only politics, but you could have called it the “Free Ice Cream and Whiskey If Cops Kill Fewer Black People” program and it still would have been trashed. Left scolding has no particular virtue and when people are in the streets, literally risking their lives, they deserve support, not reprobation.
The likes of Spanberger, Lamb, Ruy Teixeira and the CAP clan, and Democratic talking heads have always, and will always, deride the Left for its language and action. The Democrats have spent about a half-century now waging an aggressive internal campaign against anything to the Left of corporate shills like Biden, Dick Gephardt, Gary Hart, Mike Dukakis, Pelosi and so many others.
So what are the politics of this Dore v. AOC uproar? What’s the political calculus? If you force a vote, you can put people on record, that’s it? But the Democratic Party’s already made it clear that it’s against M4A, amid a global pandemic that’s exposed the utter failure of the U.S. healthcare system. Biden said he’d veto it if it came to his desk (which is even more telling because he could have punted on the questions since there was always zero chance of that happening). So it doesn’t matter. (Continue to page 2).