This train of thought began with Briahna Joy Gray's observations (below) on the OH-11 special election about which I blogged earlier this week. The replies were full of Democratic loyalist trolling, which is typical for one of Briahna's Tweets. After all, she has actively campaigned to get Senator Not a Real Democrat (I-VT) nominated for the presidency. Normally I avoid wading into such an environment; however, the trolling included some abuse of the term "progressive" that I could not leave unanswered.
It chaps my whole nether region when I see centrist, incrementalist Democrats referred to as "progressive." It irks me even more deeply when that leads to McCarthyite tropes hurled at anyone to the left of Nancy Pelosi, as happened later in the thread.
The question in my reply had a twofold purpose:
My reply made no reference to the Green Party itself. But of course my Twitter bio is quite candid regarding my partisan affiliation. So, relevant to nothing in particular, up came the "What Has the Green Party Ever Done?" line of argument. To that I replied (not shown below), "Far more than a single Tweet can encapsulate" and promised to put a complete answer on this site later. Well, more complete anyway, because I'm sure that my bulleted list below leaves out some important achievements.
Millions of Progressive folk across the US literally love Nina Turner, the former Ohio state senator from Cleveland. She's the sequel to Dennis Kucinich, but with badassery to burn. Too bad for Ms. Turner that those millions couldn't all move to northeastern Ohio and cast a vote for her in yesterday's special election for the House seat vacated by new HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge.
Turner finished a strong second in the Democratic primary field of eleven, six points behind winner Shontel Brown. Those millions of Progressives can take some encouragement from her coming so close to victory: A growing percentage of urban POC are tired of mainstream Democrat bullshit and are willing to back someone who takes on the Democratic establishment.
Apart from Brown's endorsements from big-name Clintonites and the money that poured into Brown's campaign in the past month-plus, Turner ran into the same snag that Bernie Sanders did: Like Bernie, she's "not a real Democrat." I put that in quotes because, if the Democratic Party weren't the place progressive ideas go to die, if it weren't abundantly clear that the Sanders wing of the Party is unwelcome there, she would be as real a Democrat as Kucinich, Ron Dellums, Barbara Jordan, Paul Wellstone, et al. However, because she has bolted from the Donkey faction of the Duopoly and hooked up with the emergent People's Party, she can no longer operate on Democrat bona fides.
So, props to Turner for giving it a try. When she announced her run last December, I spurned her strategy of running as a Democrat. But it got her causes and issues the attention they deserve in all levels of national media, not just on Democracy Now! Running third-party, on the other hand, would likely have relegated her to the funny pages.
Now that the People's Party has ballot access in Ohio, Turner (and other fed-up progressives who for whatever reason continue to ignore the Green Party) can run under that banner. Beyond the question of will she or won't she? the more important question now, as I see it, is this: How many of the 33,000-plus votes Turner received will peel off in disgust with the Democrats—and in which direction: People's Party, Green Party, independent, or this-whole-system-sucks-I'm-not-gonna-play-any-more? Corollary to that is whether her nationwide fundraising apparatus will follow her after she quits the Democratic Party cold turkey forever.
While we're getting hypothetical, what if Turner had won the primary and gone on to take the Congressional seat? Once she took her exalted place among The Squad, would she have to kneel before Speaker Pelosi, pick her battles instead of fighting against the current on every issue, take turns being among the Squadsters who either (a) provide the necessary votes for Pelosi's desired outcomes or (b) make fiery, indignant speeches against the corporatocracy?
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.