The Revolutionary Struggle Is A Fight Between Movement And Inertia


16-12-20 08:12:00,

There’s a feud on the American political left right now which (as usual) breaks down more or less along the lines of center-left “Bernie in the primary, Clinton/Biden in the general” progressives angrily opposing a push towards meaningful change from those further to the left.

It all started when comedian and lefty commentator Jimmy Dore made a video arguing that House progressives should refuse to re-elect Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker unless she puts Medicare for All to a floor vote. Dore’s argument has been endorsed by many high-profile voices on the left, and it has also been attacked as self-defeating and unreasonable by many others. I won’t name names in the latter camp because I personally avoid left-infighting like it’s a crazy ex boyfriend, save to say that among them is the most prominent progressive in the House of Representatives, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Problem w/ this idea is that there isn’t enough thought given to step 2.

The Dem votes aren’t there yet, and with a razor-thin margin the Dem NOs are margin.

So you issue threats, hold your vote, and lose. Then what? If you want to know who’s opposed look @ cosponsor list

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 12, 2020

One common argument against Dore is that by pushing AOC and other House progressives on this issue he is in some way demanding that they do something that will damage their political careers, the unspoken premise being that progressive politicians will be retaliated against by the Democratic establishment if they actually try to advance progressive policies. None of them ever seem too keen on discussing the massive, outrageous implications of such a situation or why it should not be fought tooth and claw by the left instead of accepted and complied with.

I haven’t seen any convincing arguments why Dore’s suggestion should not be implemented, but I have seen many strong arguments for why it should, like this one for Current Affairs by Briahna Joy Gray or this one by Rising‘s Krystal Ball. The pandemic and a Democrat-controlled House presents a once-in-a-century opportunity to shove hard toward getting Americans the same healthcare rights afforded to everyone else in every major country on earth and forcing all House Democrats who oppose it to expose themselves to their constituents instead of passing the blame to the Republicans.

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