Well, it was a nice break from political writing, but It wouldn’t be right for me to stay silent on Nina Turner’s election. Despite the fact that Trump has been out of office for over half a year, it doesn’t feel like much has changed. The fact that Biden hasn’t been following through on his campaign promises probably has something to do with it. I also suspect that Manchin and Sinema preventing the repeal of the filibuster, while several states are stripping away basic human rights also has something to do with it. It’s almost as if Trump was merely the symptom as opposed to the disease itself.
It does not feel like much has changed because we’ve only delayed the spread of fascism instead of stopping it. At the rate we are going, we can expect to lose the House again in 2022, and it will happen because the Democratic party won’t get anything done. Contrary to what brunching liberals will tell you, Ossoff and Warnock won their elections because they ran on stimulus checks and at least pretended to be progressive. You know, the same stimulus that was reduced by $600.
If Democrats do nothing while the country is in crisis, then we can count on yet another nail biter election in 2024, regardless of how cartoonishly evil the Republican nominee is. The plus side is that the left has been making some progress in dismantling the neoliberal establishment. Despite the 2020 Election being far from the Biden landslide that we were told it would be, we still saw a number of progressive victories against establishment Democrats. In addition to sending electing Marie Newman, Jamaal Bowman, Mondaire Jones, Teresa Legar Fernandez, and Cori Bush to congress, there was also a wave of progressive primaries on various state and local levels.
We have even seen a few Green Party candidates run competitive races for Baltimore and San Jose council, and Baldwin Park California even elected a Green Party Mayor. This shows that, while we are still far off, that the seeds for a viable third party are being planted. And let’s not forget about the entire Neveda Democratic Party quitting after Democratic Socialists won every seat. And most recently, we have seen progressive India Walton win her race for Mayor of Buffalo New York, and we are still waiting on the results for the New York City Council races, a number of which have progressives in competitive races. The point is, progressive momentum isn’t slowing down.
To top this all off, Nina Turner is currently dominating the Ohio 11th Congressional District Special Election. I’m sure that Nina Turner needs no introduction to most lefties, but for the uninitiated who don’t pay attention to politics and are only reading this because they know me for talking about video games or some shit, Nina Turner is the President of Our Revolution, and was the former Ohio Senate Minority Whip, the 2014 Democratic nominee for Ohio Secretary of State, and the National co-chair for the 2016 and 2020 Bernie Sanders campaigns.
Nina Turner is also somewhat of a rarity in regards to leftist political figures. She’s rare in that she has a wealth of political experience, yet is known for refusing to capitulate to or back down to corporate Democrats. To provide an idea of what kind of legislator she was, she introduced legislation in 2012 to put regulations on men’s reproductive health as a political statement against attempts to restrict access to contraception and abortion. Under this proposal, men would have needed to receive a notarized affidavit from a sexual partner, consult with a sex therapist, and receive a cardiac stress test before getting a prescription for erectile dysfunction. In 2019, she infamously compared voting for Joe Biden to ‘eating half a bowl of shit.” All I can say to that is, “fucking based!!!”
In yet another rarity for progressive insurgents, Nina Turner went into this race as the front runner, and the most recent poll had her with a 35 point lead over her closest opponent, Shontel Brown. This naturally has lead to the Democratic establishment panicking, and doing what they usually do when we are in danger of electing someone competent to office. Their first move was to get the Queen of Evil herself… I’m referring to Hillary Clinton, not JK Rowling… to endorse Shontel Brown.
At first, it may seem like it’s yet another case of the establishment not realizing that the average American has a higher opinion on AIDS infected hemorrhoids than Hillary Clinton, but it is more likely that Clinton’s endorsement is meant to serve as a signal for every corporate donor and special interest group to back Shontel Brown over any of the other corporate Democrats in the race. Since then, Shontel has been backed by a whose who of corrupt, corporate Democrats, including Josh Gottheimer, David Trone, Brad Schneider, Pete Aguilar, Joyce Beatty, and most recently, Jim Clyburn. On top of this, the Democratic Majority for Israel, a right wing Super PAC of Pro-genocide war hawks, has launched a six figure ad buy against Nina Turner.
This may sound like a lot, but we might be feeling more confident in Nina knowing that she raised over $930,000 in the month of June alone, and it’s entirely possible that a good chunk of it was in response to Clinton’s endorsement. I don’t know if any other progressive in a congressional race has managed this aside from AOC AS AN INCUMBENT!!! Nina has a higher chance at winning this race than either AOC or Jamaal Bowman had at winning their first primaries, and keep in mind that the latter two won in landslides.
That being said, the primary isn’t for another month, which means that a lot can change in that time. I’m sure most of us remember what happened to Bernie in 2020, so it would be unwise to underestimate establishment Democrats. We have no idea what types of dirty tricks or smears they will throw at Nina, so it’s best not to grow complacent. Getting Nina Turner elected to congress would be even bigger than electing someone like AOC precisely because Nina Turner is far more aggressive in her progressive advocacy.
A number of leftists, myself included, have become disappointed in AOC’s recent ineffectiveness in getting progressive policy in place. Her lack of effectiveness comes from the fact that she’s too vocal in her criticisms of Republican colleagues for them to want to work with her, yet she’s not aggressive enough to call out her Democratic colleagues and has gone along with some questionable policies. And to be fair, I don’t think she’s wrong to believe that her Republican colleagues are a bunch of fascists after she was at risk of being killed in an insurrection brought on by many of those same colleagues. It’s just that the Democratic establishment has more than one defense mechanism in place against outsiders. In addition to trying as hard as possible to keep genuine progressives out, they also will use every sleazy and manipulative tactic they can in order to corrupt the few who get in. There was a time when Nancy Pelosi was in favor of Single Payer health care, but that time is long gone.
It is because of this that the establishment panics when someone who will fight them at every turn is elected. This was seen last year when The Young Turks host and Justice Democrats co-founder Cenk Uygur ran for congress, and was met with some absolutely grotesque attempts at smearing his character. However, it will be much more difficult for them to keep Nina Turner out the same way they did Cenk. Given that AOC has already helped steer the overton window significantly to the left on a number of issues, one can only imagine how much of an impact Nina Turner will have once elected. There is a reason that a number of leftists want her to run for President in 2024.
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