At the March 7th NM Democratic Party Pre-primary Convention, US Representative Deb Haaland put a big thumb on the scale to keep progressives from serving on the Democratic National Committee that determines party rules, and that is already heavily stacked in favor of corporate Democrats. Two eminently qualified long term Democratic Party devotees were running for the two open New Mexico DNC seats as progressives: Pia Gallegos of Albuquerque and Jay Levine of Taos. Their centrist opponents were Trish Ruiz of Lea County and former Albuquerque mayor Marty Chavez.
by Jerilyn Bowen
For three years now Stephen Colbert’s Late Show has been my much needed nightly dose of sanity in the midst of the Trump madness. Ever since The Colbert Report gave wickedly skewering voice to the resistance during the Bush regime, I’ve seen him as a trusted and valued public commentator. Of late, though, I’ve been taken aback and then shocked by his underhanded and unclever attacks on Bernie Sanders. This came to a head following the Feb. 25th South Carolina debate when Stephen contrived to undercut Bernie’s significant landslide victory in Nevada and well earned front-runner status in the presidential nomination race by running a clip from the debate in which Bernie pointed out that the policies he advocates are already operative in many countries around the world, following which Stephen ended his monologue with a flourish by sardonically commenting that yes, this is true in places like Cuba and Venezuela. As if he didn’t know perfectly well that Bernie was referring to Canada and the socialist democracies of Europe. As if he didn’t know that Bernie has spent his entire adult life opposing authoritarian regimes of all kinds while fighting for humane and just policies in the U.S. If anyone can be said to be a fierce enemy of the totalitarian forces that presently endanger our democracy, it is Bernie.
With the rise of Michael Bloomberg in the polls, the values that have historically defined the Democratic Party are being challenged. Every day we are exposed to more and more of Bloomberg’s racist, classist, and sexist comments and actions, many of which seem to be quite similar to those of the current occupant of the White House. And yet, we hear liberal Democrats say “No one is perfect” as they justify their insistence that this Republican Light is the only one who can beat the Republican Hoax. This kind of hypocrisy sounds so similar to that which we accuse Trump Republicans of. We find him loathsome but he’s our loathsome. A caution to those who say that Bloomberg is the most electable. There are Democrats and Independents out there who still have a conscience and will vote accordingly.
Three progressive groups in New Mexico jointly oppose recent acts by the Democratic National Committee and its chair, Tom Perez, that benefit centrist candidates and hurt working people.
The Adelante Progressive Caucus of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, the New Mexico Working Families Party, and the Central New Mexico chapter of the Progressive Democrats of America criticize the DNC’s change of debate rules and appointments by Perez.
As reported in Politico on Jan. 31, the DNC has dropped its donor threshold for the Nevada debate to be held on Feb. 19. This opens the door for the debate to possibly include multibillionaire candidate and former Republican mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg, who has said he would not accept campaign contributions. The change of debate criteria came after Bloomberg donated $800,000 to a joint fundraising committee of the DNC and state Democratic parties. Yet the DNC refused to change the debate qualifications in December 2019 when a group of Democratic Party presidential candidates, led by Cory Booker, called on the DNC to ease criteria to allow for more diversity on the debate stage. It appears that the DNC is susceptible to big-money influence at the expense of the viewpoints of candidates of color.
by Jerilyn Bowen
As we progressives know all too well, the neoliberal power brokers in the Democratic Party have long been dead set on preventing those of our persuasion from obtaining a decisive voice in the party. Top example: the national party establishment overrode the grassroots uprising of the Sanders campaign in 2016, contriving to prevent Bernie from getting the presidential nomination and thereby throwing the country to the wolves. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by three million but Bernie would almost certainly have done what needed to be done to win in the electoral college as well. Given his demonstrated grassroots support in the industrial and midwestern states that narrowly handed Trump victory, Bernie would likely have taken the White House, bigtime. And we wouldn’t now be living this nightmare the Republican cartel is inflicting on the country.
So what did Democratic Party centrists learn from the avoidable debacle of 2016? That election was theirs to lose and they blew it. Did they then recognize the error of their ways and move to open the party doors to the influx of vital energy coming from grassroots progressives? No, they did not. Instead, following the remarkable and most fortunate 2018 midterm House victories, they moved to circle the wagons to protect their hegemony against the invaders who were instrumental in bringing that victory about. Among other things, under the leadership of Cheri Bustos in 2019 the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) instituted draconian new rules designed to prevent progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Ayanna Pressley (MA), and Ro Khanna (CA) from running for office by denying anyone who challenges a Democratic incumbent the funding they need to hire consultants and vendors.
by Jerilyn Bowen
In a recent interview entitled “Democratic Party Centrism Risks Handing Election to Trump,” as preface to his remarks Noam Chomsky had this to say: I find it psychologically impossible to discuss the 2020 election without emphasizing, as strongly as possible, what is at stake: survival, nothing less. Four more years of Trump may spell the end of much of life on Earth, including organized human society in any recognizable form. Strong words, but not strong enough.
In case you’re wondering, he’s talking about climate catastrophe and the growing danger of a nuclear holocaust.
Our venerable speaker-of-truth-to-power frosts his dark prophecy with this surmise: The Democratic Party, in its apparent determination to kill the left wing, may very well end up ensuring a Trump electoral victory for a second time.
by Jerilyn Bowen
In his bafflement over the role of language in human knowing, twentieth century analytic philosopher Wittgenstein finally concluded that language is a game in which the rules evolve over time through usage practices. As we watch the impeachment proceedings in the U.S. House of Representatives with bated breath, we are witness to a battle between those who adhere to linguistic rules based on conveying a truth that accords with objective evidence and those who violate those rules by weaponizing language into a means of psychological manipulation and deception. In a culture where we are saturated with advertising designed to do the latter, perhaps it’s not so surprising that the longstanding rules of our major means of human communication have been eroded to such an extent that the more unscrupulous among us seize upon an anything-goes approach to public discourse in pursuit of both power and profit.