Progressive Democrats are coming to grips with a crushing new party rule that bans campaign consultants from working with progressive primary challengers. Our Revolution and Justice Democrats are saying that “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Ro Khanna would never have been elected with this rule in place in previous elections.”
Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley, the only progressives who unseated congressional incumbents in 2018, agreed that they would not have won under these conditions. AOC responded by asking progressives to quit donating to the DCCC.
Young Democrats are also up in arms. The Harvard University Democrats are leading a coalition of 63 Young Democrats campus chapters to boycott donations to the DCCC, including groups based at Arizona State University, Dartmouth College, University of Michigan, UC Berkeley, Indiana University, Spelman College and the University of Virginia.
The DCCC helps candidates with funding, endorsements, communications, member lists and data services. Most importantly, it doles out tens of millions in contracts to favored consultants in a feedback loop designed to protect establishment incumbents — disproportionately old, white and male — in power. Under the new rules, the party will not work with consultants and organizations who support progressive challengers.
These new rules coincide with a deluge of corporate money flowing to the party. In just three months, the DCCC has already surpassed the total amount of corporate donations it received in 2017, putting it on track to more than double its corporate haul this year.
Moreover, the DCCC’s largest bundlers are all connected to Goldman Sachs, UnitedHealth, BP, Novartis and other Wall Street giants who are lobbying against Medicare for all and the Green New Deal. That sheds light on why Democrats stacked this week’s Medicare for all hearing with opponents of single payer.
Turning to our work, I’m happy to report that on last week’s national call, you voted to join the Grand Alliance to Save the Postal Service from the bipartisan privatization campaign. If the Democrats and Republicans succeed in selling off the Post Office, Wall Street will hike prices, end daily delivery, cancel rural delivery and start delivering mail to centralized offices instead of bringing it to your mailbox. We joined the American Postal Workers Union in national rallies this fall and look forward to doing so again as members of the coalition.
You also voted to join youth climate activists in the Last Chance Alliance to decarbonize California and phase out fossil fuels in line with the Paris Climate Goals. California is the fifth largest economy in the world and is feeling the devastating effects of climate change with wildfires and droughts.
Four years after fellow progressives began a campaign to try to salvage the Democratic Party, we are still locked out of power and facing another rigged presidential election. Blocking a progressive nominee will cause millions to stay home and cost Democrats the election. But ask yourself, is the DNC really opposed to that? What really constitutes victory for the corporate parties? Is it defeating Trump, or maintaining the status quo that enriches them?
When history repeats itself and progressives are denied the nomination for a second time, it will provoke a massive identity crisis in the Democratic Party. Bernie’s words from four years ago will ring clearer than ever: there is no such thing as a progressive party that is funded by the oligarchs. Those of us who understand the systemic nature of the party’s corruption have a historic mission over this next year. We have to prepare to enable real change in the face of this inevitable outcome. We have to build the genuine alternative that most American already want and millions will seek when four years of reform produces the exact same result.
Trump is a creation of the Democratic Party. Unless we are prepared to offer a genuinely anti-establishment alternative on the left, people will plunge even more deeply in to authoritarian populism out of desperation with the corporate parties. That’s what we’re seeing in Brazil and other countries.
The Democratic primary will dominate headlines for the next year, but the real revolution is being lead by you, right here in the Movement for a People’s Party.
Founder and National Director
Movement for a People’s Party