Yesterday’s elections have provided a great example of the futility and fecklessness of the Democratic Party not even one year into the Biden Administration. In Virginia and Buffalo, the Democrats undermined their own agenda and sold out the people who voted for them in November 2020, and now you can be sure they’ll go looking for scapegoats rather than be self-reflective. In the end, it’s more proof that electoral politics, while a tactic that can be used productively (like getting rid of Trump), is wholly inadequate to actually fix the various systemic crises we face and to make a better world.
Notes On the State of Virginia
Ronald Reagan once infamously said “facts are stupid things,” and that’s more true than ever. But still, it’s useful to discuss the reality of what happened in Virginia yesterday.
We’re seeing a ton of post-mortems blaming “the left” for McAuliffe’s dismal defeat–it’s on Sanders, AOC, etc. for not “compromising enough” on the BBB bills, while Carville blames “woke politics” for the Democratic disasters.
Here’s what’s real. It’s not a “left” bill, it’s Biden’s original plan, one that was strongly popular when announced last winter, and it’s only half of that now in fact. The “left” didn’t kill it, The Squad, despite some rhetoric about it, always fell in line. It enjoyed big support but that waned over time because nothing got done. That’s on Manchin and Sinema, and hence Biden, but not Sanders, et al.
Family leave and reduced med prices are hugely popular, yet Manchin etc. has killed them without any real resistance from the White House. And today Manchin is invoking the Virginia results as vindication for his support of GOP politics and absolving himself for sinking any real bill that might help people in need rather than take care of oil companies and oligarchs.
I’ve followed the VA race a bit the past couple months, and the polling there showed McAuliffe in trouble weeks ago. And the polling also showed a high level or dissatisfaction or anger with the failure of Biden and the Dems to do anything, such as actually enact programs that big majorities of Americans supported. Significant numbers of voters who chose Biden last year either didn’t vote or opted for Youngkin because the Democrats have done nothing. So the fingerprints on this defeat go all the way to the White House.
Yes, Youngkin’s bullshit about Critical Race Theory and a teenaged boy being traumatized by Beloved didn’t help, but the reality is that McAuliffe and Dems, lived up their status as the #WashingtonGeneralsofPolitics, and never really took that on in a strong way.
Liberals love to be on the defensive and love to be victims so they can blame others for their failures rather than be held accountable for being so elitist, condescending, and inept.
And maybe most importantly, McAuliffe is an old, recycled Clintonian hack as well as a Carlyle Group alum. In 2016, the thumping Jeb Bush took in the GOP primaries should have been a canary in a coal mine for all politicians, but only Trump seemed to get it. McAuliffe was Clinton’s main money guy, and is a corporate lackey all the way. The Dems almost suffered the same fate in New Jersey, where Phil Murphy, a mega-rich Goldman Sachs executive, barely won reelection in a state where Dem registration outnumbers the GOP by over 1 million voters. The Dems are still living in 1992, or 2008 if I want to be charitable.
They have no new blood, no new candidates, no new ideas. They keep putting out the same lineup even though they look more like the 62 Mets than the 98 Yankees. They live for “moderation,” which means constant right-wing drift without any benefits for the people–the working class and poor–they claim to represent.
I’m sure liberal hacks like E.J. Dione, T.B. Edsall, and the fetid Ruy Teixeira will be gloating “I told you so” that the left killed McAulliffe, but Neera Tanden fanboys don’t have a clue. Despite the rhetoric of reform, the Democrats haven’t done anything meaningful since 1/20/2021 to indicate they actually care deeply about the interests of working-class or poor people, and we saw the consequences of that yesterday at the polls.
Shuffle Off to Buffalo
In Buffalo, India Walton, a self-described democratic socialist, won the Dem primary against the incumbent Byron Brown and would have cruised to victory in the general election.
But Brown won yesterday as a write-in candidate.
How did that happen?
As soon as Walton won, the NY Dems began a huge attack on her and supported and coordinated Brown’s write-in campaign. It was an inside job by the Dems.
The GOP embraces the craziest and most dangerous people in politics. They have QAnon members and sex offenders in the U.S. House of Reps, and they’re fine with it.
The Corporate Dems meanwhile actually reject the will of their own voters and defend and remain loyal to people who are enemies of those voters.
Upon minimal reflection it’s not surprising that the Dems lost Virginia and stabbed their own candidate in the back in Buffalo, and you can expect 2022 to be bloodbath and Trump 2024 seems more likely each day . . .
Electoral politics is a tactic, but as a solution to the crises we face, it’s a dead end. Organize autonomous communities, start mutual aid groups, start or join a union, go on strike, union or not, and get into the streets to put pressure on politicians, the business community, the schools, and any other group that has any kind of power–you know, like the Right has for decades now.
It’s been clear for a loooooong time that the Dems aren’t gonna save you and the GOP is simply going to double down on its cruelty and ignorance because there’s no real opposition to stop it.