Just to preemptively shut down any “this weekly series hasn’t had an update in over a month” comments, read the Pink Tsunami pieces I posted since then. Those are you updates. Those pieces take a lot of work and I have my limitations. Hell I was suffering some pretty heavy burnout from those alone and was worried I’d have to can The Weekly Bern. While I may not be able to get a piece out every week, The Whenever the Hell I Feel Like It Bern just doesn’t roll off the tongue as well.
And speaking of Bern out, I think we need to talk about the man himself. Recently he started kneecapping his delegates by telling them they can’t say mean no-no words about corporate Democrats. Some revolution this is, ain’t it? While Bernie has played an important roll in this mass movement, it does not change the fact that we don’t need him in order to get what we want.
Despite his betrayal, I’m still keeping the name “The Weekly Bern” because his campaign was never about himself, it was about all of us. And for that reason, it is important to remember that we didn’t fail him, he failed us! He failed us by dropping out early, by refusing to call out Biden’s cognitive decline or his rape accusation, and by refusing to criticize the Democratic establishment. Despite everything the Democratic establishment had done to stop him, he could have won this if he was willing to take a risk for the sake of the people. Unfortunately all those years in DC must have weakened his resolve.
We already saw how fast DC is able to corrupt progressives, so frankly it’s a miracle he even got this far to begin with. Before we decided to cancel Bernie or anything, I think it’s important to keep in mind that we don’t know what goes on behind the scenes or anything. For all I know, there could be some Mafia like shit where they say that Bernie’s wife will have an “unfortunate accident” if he goes too far. Or maybe they have some very bad dirt on him that they will release that could completely ruin his reputation. We’ve already seen how far these scumbags will go to protect their donors, so is it really out of the question that they’d pull something like this?
So that begs the question of how we fight back if they will continue to wrap any progressive we elect around their fingers? Well, I already answered this in the last piece where the answer was to keep voting out corporate Democrats, keep staging protests and general strikes, and to keep up the pressure. After Bernie came this close, there is no turning back. While we may not be able to take the Presidency, there are still down ballot races.
Yes, I know, you heard it all before. We keep seeing every down ballot progressive getting fucked over as well, so how do we combat this? Unfortunately we are unlikely to see corporate Democrats voted out en masse during this cycle. If anything, we will need to think of things from a strategic perspective. While AOC and Bernie may be convinced that they can work within the system itself, it we can still rest assured that a lot of our problems would be fixed if the entirety of congress was filled with people like them. So I think it is important to continue to vote based on policy, and only take willingness to challenge the system into account when there is a progressive who expresses that desire.
What I’m getting at here is that the more progressives we elect, the more diluted the influence of the corporate Democrats becomes, and the more likely we get someone ballsy enough to call out Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer directly (that is assuming they don’t engage in the previously mentioned Mafia shit). We already had a candidate like that earlier this year with Cenk Uygur, and we already saw that they were even more desperate to keep him from winning then they were for Bernie. We all know he’s going to run again in 2022, and he’ll likely do better that time.
But for now, I think we should talk about our more recent victories. We recently had primaries in Nebraska and Oregon. Oregon had some small victories with the progressive candidate for Portland Mayor potentially making it to a runoff with the incumbent (the results aren’t fully in yet) in addition to a few progressive victories in District Attorney races. But the biggest victory came in Nebraska, where Justice Democrat Kara Eastman won her primary with 61.8% of the vote, and with almost twice as many votes as she received in her 2018 primary run.
I’ve already mentioned in my piece how significant this victory is for the progressive movement given that she’s currently polling better with independents than the Republican incumbent, this could very likely lead to a progressive movement in Nebraska AND be a serious nail in the coffin of the idea that progressives can’t flip red seats. It is also worth remembering that we are still earlier on in the cycle than we were when AOC won her primary in 2018 (more so in terms of the elections that occurred rather than by the amount time passed). Despite this, we have arguably accomplished more than we did in 2018 already.
While getting rid of Joe Crowley was undoubtedly a huge victory for the movement, the only other incumbent that was successfully primaried was Mike Capuano, a Congressional Progressive Caucus member whom Ayanna Pressley is only a slight improvement over, and the other two Squad members took the standard politician route of waiting for an open seat then winning without any serious challenge. While Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are major figures in the progressive movement, they would have made it through regardless.
In this election however, we have already successfully primaried someone worse than Crowley, but with less influence on the party overall, and we are set to flip a Republican seat, and Republican incumbents are inherently worse than even the most conservative Democrats. On top of this, there’s still the possibility of us getting more through those doors.
Given how many elections have been pushed back to the month of June, there are going to be a fuckton of races to look out for. I’m deciding to stick to just the June 2nd races since there are still a lot more states to cover, and I’m undecided which state the next Pink Tsunami piece will be on. But I think it’s safe to say I don’t have enough time to cover these June 2nd states.
Perhaps the most vital state will be Iowa, since it’s the only June 2nd state where a progressive Senate candidate has a genuine shot at the nomination. Thus far, Kimberly Graham has scored the highest favorability rating in the only neutral poll despite her funding be significantly dwarfed by her corporate opponents. Unfortunately, more recent polls that are likely handled by establishment Democrats list neoliberal Theresa Greenfield with a huge lead, which is concerning given the tendency of normie Democrats to vote for whoever establishment media tells them is popular.
Kimberly Graham – Donation Link
My home state of Pennsylvania has Pro-Life Democrat Mike Doyle being challenged by progressive candidate Jerry Dickinson, in addition to progressive challengers Skylar Hurwitz and Sarah Hammond running for the Democratic nomination to take on Republican incumbents Brian Fitzpatrick and Lloyd Smucker respectively and Luisa Sonnek is running on a write-in campaign for the nomination to take on Mike Kelly.
On top of that, there is a slew of progressive challengers mounting primary challenges to Establishment corporate Democrats in what has been dubbed The Progressive Pennsylvania Project. I’d highly recommend giving the linked piece a read if you want to know more about these challengers. Given the 2018 victories of Sara Innanmorato and Summer Lee (both of whom are up for re-election and the latter of which has an establishment backed primary challenger), I think it’s safe to assume that progressives could very well make some significant progress in my home state.
Jerry Dickinson – Donation Link
Skylar Hurwitz – Donation Link
Sarah Hammond – Donation Link
Luisa Sonnek – Donation Link
Kyle Boyer – Donation Link
Bill Brittain – Donatio n Link
Nikil Saval – Donation Link
Summer Lee – Donation Link
Jessica Benham – Donation Link
Emily Kinkead – Donation Link
Rick Krajewski – Donation Link
Lastly, there are the Indiana primaries which has a slew of progressive candidates running for House seats. Most notably, we have 2018 Democratic Nominee for Secretary of State Jim Harper, who has secured the endorsements of Our Revolution, Brand New Congress, and of 2020 Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson, as well as the 2018 Democratic nominee for Indiana’s 2nd Congressional district, Pat Hackett (who is attempting a rematch against Republican Incumbent incumbent Jackie Walorski), the Rose Caucus endorsed Carlos Marcano, 2018 Democratic nominee for Indiana’s 6th district Jeannine Lee Lake (who is attempting a rematch against Republican incumbent Greg Pence), the Marianne Williamson and Blue America endorsed Jennifer Christie, transgender rights activist Veronikka Ziol, and US Marine Corps Veteran Dale William Dorris.
Anyway that should wrap up this week’s edition of The Weekly Bern. As an aside, I would like to mention that I had a few paragraphs written about Teresa Legar Fernandez and how she’s polling ahead of the rest of the crowd and will win and how that’s great… but then I found out she’s taking Dark Money. So it seems like at best, she’ll just be another Katie Porter. Granted she’ll still be an improvement over Ben Ray Lujan, but ehh.
Anyway let’s hope at least one of these candidates wins.
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