Garden Grove mayor Bao Nguyen will be hosting a “political revolution” event next week aimed at furthering the Bernie Sanders campaign through congressional, US Senate, and state and local races. While I’m delighted there’s finally some serious attention to all elections for progressives to engage and elect Democrats, I remain convinced Bernie Sanders isn’t the guy to lead this effort simply because he has never lifted a finger in this effort before he ran for president.
The Bernie camp is still steadfast that party unity means Hillary Democrats have to somehow bend over backwards to accommodate them. If you read Carole Levers account of the Democratic Convention over at the OJ blog, you’d have to believe that someone the Clinton people bugged her hotel room (seriously?). It didn’t matter that Clinton adopted significant chunks of Sanders’ platform into her campaign, it was about being disruptive. There were still some Bernie delegates who insisted the nomination was wide open because superdelegates couldn’t vote until the convention. Bernie is all that matters and for those still carrying his torch, I’ll remind them he still isn’t a Democrat…he remains an independent. If you want to influence the Democratic Party platform Senator Sanders, join the party (if you were holding your breath waiting for him to release his tax returns, you’d be dead by now).
Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen was an early Sanders endorser and is still on the bandwagon (as are a number of other prominent Democrats in OC). And that bandwagon increasingly reminds me of Ralph Nader voters who played a strong role in defeating Al Gore in 2000. We can blame Florida, evangelical gun nuts in Tennesee who turned the state red an didn’t cast ballots for Gore, and the Supreme Court, but had Gore won 8,000 more Nader voters in New Hampshire, he would have taken those four electoral college votes in the Granite State to 270 and the presidency. We would have avoided George W. Bush altogether.
So what I’ll refer to as the “suicide wing” of the Democratic Party, from an article in The Observer linked to below, got for voting for Nader was Citizen’s United, 9/11, war in the Middle East, tax cuts for the rich, massive budget deficits and massive debt needed to prevent a national (and global) economic meltdown. Bernie’s supporters remind me of an odd combination of Nader voters and Trump supporters. Mainly, it’s a refusal to acknowledge that lasting political change happens at a slower pace than many would like. The gay marriage debate is a perfect example. It took years to change hearts and minds and while discrimination against this community certainly still exists, there’s a dramatic sea change today — marriage equality being an amazing reality. There’s still more to do to eliminate discrimination against the LGBTQ in housing and the workforce, but its more a question of when and not if.
Here’s the note Bao sent to supporters:
If you’re like us, you know that the Political Revolution isn’t over by a long shot. We’re fighting every day to get progressives, including Mayor Bao, elected to every level of government! That’s why we’ve decided to host a livestream watch party and organizing kickoff for Bernie’s new organization, Our Revolution. Come join us on August 24th so we can start the next phase of the Political Revolution!
Where: Garden Grove Community Center
11300 Stanford Avenue Garden Grove, CA 92840
When: Wednesday, August 24th, 6pm – 8pm
Click below to register on BernieSanders.com:
The Bao Nguyen for Congress Team
Silly me. I though we had a political revolution when Barack Obama was elected in 2008; progressives stayed home on election day in 2010 helping the GOP retake the House and the Senate which is why we have gridlock in DC today.
An article in the Observer last week spells out exactly what I believe:
The failure of a significant portion of the progressive left to understand that a united front is needed to advance their treasured causes is maddening to Democrats. In a nation in which fewer than one-third of those surveyed identify themselves as liberals, it remains necessary for Democrats to win moderates to attain majorities in elections. But the suicide wing of the progressive left consistently complicates matters by threatening to withhold its votes when Democrats make the necessary compromises to win. And if Democrats cannot win, progressives cannot advance their agenda. It’s that simple.
Some of the most passionate progressives often fail to understand that progress is a process. There’s no silver bullet, and it takes many elections over a sustained period of years to build the kind of momentum and majorities for the changes they want to see. By shooting the Democratic Party in the back at pivotal moments, such as the 1968 and 2000 presidential elections and the 2010 midterms, they have continually derailed their own train. But then, it does seem that the farthest reaches of the far left are far more comfortable when they can “fight the power” rather than fight for power.
It’s time to unite behind Hillary Clinton and it’s time to back Democrats for office. The change the far left wing of the Party wants can only happen if Democrats are elected.