Socialists did pretty good yesterday; Democrats pretend it didn't happen
DNC chairman Tom Perez phoned MSNBC to gloat minutes after establishment candidate Ralph Northam won the Virginia Governor's race.
Perez proceeded to name-check Elizabeth Guzman and Hala Ayala, the first Latinas ever elected to the House, but then Hayes asked him about another candidate—one who’d barely received any national attention throughout the campaign. “There’s also, I believe, a Marine veteran who identifies as a democratic socialist who, if I’m not mistaken, is running competitively with someone in the House GOP leadership,” he said. “The House GOP whip might lose to a socialist Marine veteran? Is that actually happening?”
It was indeed. Democrat Lee Carter, a red-haired, 30-year-old Marine veteran from Manassas, won a remarkable nine-point victory to oust Delegate Jackson Miller, a deep-pocketed Republican incumbent who serves as House Majority Whip. Carter ran openly as a socialist—he and his supporters crooned the union anthem “Solidarity Forever” after their victory—and he won with almost no institutional support from the state Democratic Party. The Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Patrick Wilson reported last month that party leaders “abandoned” Carter after he declined to report campaign metrics like the number of doors he’d knocked and the amount of money he’d raised. Carter told Wilson he “ceased reporting to the House caucus after multiple information security lapses in which confidential information that we reported to the House caucus was leaked outside of the party infrastructure.” But he also said the party leaders “wanted a bit more editorial control over my messaging than I was comfortable with.” Wilson wrote that “Democratic Party leaders were not eager to discuss Carter, preferring to promote other candidates.” In fact, Wilson called Carter “the kind of rogue candidate that gives an apparatus like the Democratic Party of Virginia a fit.”
That is just plain f*cking awesome. Neither the Republican, nor the Democratic establishment wanted him. No one took him seriously.
The socialist still won the biggest upset of the day, and the Democrats want to pretend it didn't happen. Just like Republicans.
Miller, the Republican candidate, naturally didn’t see Carter’s socialism as part of a proud American tradition. After largely ignoring him for most of the campaign, he sent out mailers comparing Carter to Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong.
...At the same time, Carter was happy to talk about socialism when asked. “If you’re to the left of Barry Goldwater, Republicans are going to call you a socialist anyway, so you may as well just own the label,” he said.
Note to GOP: The Cold war is over.
It looks like Republicans yelling "Socialism! Ahhhh!" is not working any better than Democrats yelling 'Racism! Ahhh!"
Both parties have overused and misused the labels until people no longer care.
— Annie Shields (@anastasiakeeley) November 8, 2017
So in summation their points on him:
-Unpopular people don't like the idea
-Wants to give everyone healthcare
I thought this was meant to be an attack ad
— ALTON (@8ALTON8) November 8, 2017
Carter worked well with his local Democratic Party throughout the campaign, but acknowledged the state party was a different story. “On the state level, it is a bit more strained,” he said. “The corporations I’m actively attacking fund the state party. It’s obviously going to create some tension.”
Carter's victory was the highlight yesterday, but it wasn't the only victory for socialists.
At least 12 candidates endorsed by the DSA, the country's largest socialist organization, won races Tuesday and at least 13 candidates endorsed by Our Revolution, the group started by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., also won. Many of the DSA-endorsed candidates were endorsed by Our Revolution and vice versa.
Other winners backed by DSA and Our Revolution include Seema Singh Perez, who was elected to the Knoxville, Tenn. city council; Brian Nowak to the Cheektowaga, N.Y. town council; Tristan Rader to the Lakewood, Ohio city council; Charles Decker to the council of Ward 9 in New Haven, Ct.; Anita Prizio to the Allegheny County, Penn. council; and J.T. Scott and Bew Ewen Campen, who were both elected to the city council in Somerville, Mass.
Instead of running candidates in third parties, the strategy for Our Revolution and DSA has been to elect progressive candidates in an effort to push the Democratic Party left.
"Absolutely, we definitely want to primary neoliberal Democrats," said Maria Svart, the DSA's national director.
The progressive insurgency is gathering momentum.
One last note, yesterday was a good day for marijuana legalization too.
Phil Murphy, the incoming governor, campaigned on marijuana legalization.
Ralph Northam, who just got a raise from lieutenant governor to the state's top job, made marijuana decriminalization a centerpiece of his campaign, often putting the issue in stark racial justice terms.