Ohio’s 11th Congressional district is a safe Democratic seat that encompasses the Democratic enclaves of Cleveland and Akron. It’s about as safe a Democratic seat as any in the country, but for the last few months, it has been a war zone.
The war was between liberal Democrats and bat-guano crazy Democrats. Nina Turner was a former co-chair of Senator Bernie Sander’s presidential campaign and was heavily supported by several members of the Squad, including Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, who personally campaigned for Turner in the district in late July, as did Sanders.
Shontel Brown was the establishment’s choice. She supported Joe Biden and was endorsed by Democratic Party kingmaker House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn who saved Joe Biden’s skin in 2020 with his endorsement in the crucial South Carolina primary.
Far-left money poured into Ohio, raising the stakes for both sides. The primary was portrayed as a test of strength for the party’s radical wing, which had not performed up to expectations in 2020.
It looks like 2021 isn’t going to be much better.
Brown started to catch up to Turner last month, after House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) endorsed her, and after Democratic Majority for Israel’s PAC ran ads warning that Turner could undermine the Democratic agenda. Brown’s campaign emphasized that she had worked to elect Biden; the PAC’s ads reminded voters that Turner had cast a protest vote against the 2020 Democratic platform and had compared the choice between Trump and Biden to eating a full bowl or half bowl of human excrement.
Yes, the gloves were definitely off in Ohio.
“We knew it was coming, because of my experience with Sen. Sanders,” Turner said in an interview. “We tried to plan accordingly, and we really came in honestly on the issues themselves. Medicare-for-all, increasing the minimum wage, canceling student debt, environmental justice, racial justice, all the things I’ve been working for.”
After the crack about excrement, Turner still supported Biden as “a partner, not a puppet.”
Turner and Brown closed the campaign with a flurry of attacks, with one ad from Turner citing a potential probe into Brown’s contracting on the county council, with an image of jail doors slamming to suggest that Brown could end up in prison, while Turner’s surrogates attacked Brown for the donations she or her supportive PACs had gotten from Republicans.
“Why is it that the drug companies and the insurance companies and fossil fuel industry and Wall Street and people who supported Donald Trump are pouring millions of dollars into this campaign to defeat Nina Turner?” Sanders asked. “They know that when she is elected, she is going to stand up and take them on in the fight for justice.”
Most Democrats would rather have both the justice and the money. Brown played that angle and was leading by six points with just a few thousand votes left to be counted.
The radicals are used to setbacks and, as we’ve seen, will bide their time. They know that their day is coming. Their allies in the educational establishment are molding and shaping young minds, preparing them for the day when the revolution will be successful and America will be transformed.
Most of us hope not to be around when that happens.