The Epic Failure of Democratic Socialists on Primary Night
Something happened on the way to the future for Democrats on Tuesday night. The democratic socialists swallowed a large dollop of reality and proceeded to choke on it.
Every single Democratic primary candidate endorsed by the party's celebrity socialist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, lost. They not only went down to defeat, most of them were slaughtered.
Cortez held a whirl-wind tour of the U.S., stumping for Abdul El-Sayed for governor of Michigan, Fayrouz Saad in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District, Cori Bush in Missouri’s 1st District, and is backing Congressional candidate Kaniela Ing in Hawaii.
El-Sayed lost his bid for the Democrat nomination for governor to 51.8 percent to 30.5 percent, according to numbers published by the New York Times.
Saad came in fourth in the five-way race, capturing only 18 percent of the vote.
Cori Bush lost her primary to William Lacy Clay, 56.7 percent to 36.9 percent, the Times results show.
Ouch. That hurt.
To make matters worse for the socialists, their demand for purity on the issues is getting in the way of smart politics.
El-Sayed’s defeat may have been the most noticeable loss for Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders, but the defeat of Brent Welder in Kansas is far more politically significant. Welder, a former Sanders 2016 campaign staffer, hoped to carry the Democratic banner in Kansas’ 3rd congressional district. The largely urban district is a top party priority, one of a handful of Republican-held seats that Clinton won in 2016.
The Berniecrat left desperately wants to convince naysaying political veterans (and annoying political pundits) that a democratic socialist platform holds the ticket to victory in heartland districts like this one—so much so that Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez gave a full-throated endorsement to Welder over another compelling and fairly liberal candidate in Sharice Davids.
She’s a lesbian Native American, professional mixed martial arts fighter and former Obama White House Fellow. But Davids exhibited a bit too much of an incrementalist streak for some progressives, arguing that single-payer health insurance is not realistic in the short term and supporting free community college instead of promising to make all college debt-free. Negating the stereotype that the far left puts “identity politics” above all, Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez backed the white guy.
Ms. Davids only backed 90% of the socialist agenda and was therefore unworthy to receive the support of the radical left. So much for socialist solidarity.
What last night's results should teach the democratic socialists is that it takes an enormous amount of hard work to build a movement. Media stars like Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders believe their own press -- that all they have to do is open their mouths and a fully mature political movement will magically appear. They are the "future." They are the prophets of the New Age. Their arrival on the political scene heralds the dawn of a new day for America.
It's a shame that the voters don't see it that way.
Yes, those pesky, deplorable voters. Maybe someday, Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders can figure out a way to run the country without them. Until then, I wish them luck.