Gonna be a reckoning – between the transactional Dems in office & the Dems grassroots

Just a follow-up from Thursday’s Statehouse testimony. Quick-touch on yesterday, then what’s coming.

Yesterday: Leaders ran both sessions of discussion simultaneously – which sure looked like they were trying to dilute the impact of the rally and the crowd that showed up to testify against them. Excellent people spoke. And nailed it. Over and over. And outclassed the electeds Democratic electeds stubbornly poised to shove their crap idea home. That’s why they had a little nutty right there in the committee room. Lordy, this is national news now, and they’re on the wrong side of their own mess.

Newark’s Ron Rice, who ran off the line for Congress (CD10) in 2012 

Here’s why you unnerved them. Sue Altman nailed it. Watch, below. First she dispensed with Sen Scutari’s embarrassing name-calling (others did too). Then she laid out for them – politely, sweetly, devastatingly – that this is not a good time for Democratic power players to act too big for their britches. Why? Because the resistance energy from fighting Trump went into grassroots groups, not the Party – because the Party didn’t know what to do with it. And now, we’re mustering together and shifting focus to the state. To them. To structural things that need to change. To fixing what’s wrong with NJ politics. And oh lord, then she schooled them on how to be better Democrats, who live our values. Who do the right thing because it is the right thing. Yeah. Like that. And like this: In the fallout of yesterday, former Newark councilman Ron C. Rice, who I know from progressive organizing, said a big thing that we all know, but some of our elected Democrats don’t know yet:

“Mark my words, there needs to be a reckoning between the transactional Dems in elected office and the Dems grassroots.” 
–  Ron C. Rice

Hell yes. We’re gonna make it fun. And let me just add that if you’re the kind that gets all bolluxed up in some imagined argument between resistance and revolution, let me assure there’s room here for everybody. Now: Below, Sue Altman of South Jersey Women for Progressive Change schools her some Democrats. Neatly.

Audio: imperfect (high ceilings). Message: dead-accurate. Volume slider bottom right of screen.

Comment (1)

  1. Bertin Lefkovic

    AMEN, Rosi! The simple fact of the matter is that we have to change the political culture in NJ. Primary elections should not be a punishment or a threat. They should be an accepted and expected part of our democratic process.

    This redistricting bill would never have been considered if electeds had to govern knowing that every time that they ran for re-election, they had to win both a primary election and general election. The same is true for the minimum wage increase that won’t be worth $15/hour by the time most workers get it much less those who have to wait five more years.

    Every elected official in the state should have to win a credibly contested primary election and general election. There are some parts of the state like Essex and Hudson Counties where a Democrat will never lose a general election and there are some parts of the state like Sussex and Warren Counties where a Republican will never lose a general election.

    The difference between Democrats and Republicans in this respect is that movement conservatives had their Tea Party movement and it changed the nature of the Republican Party and eventually produced a Presidential nominee and President in Donald Trump. It still remains to be seen in the progressive grassroots can have a similar impact on the Democratic Party.

    If so, 2019 would be as good a year as any to start. While (Who knows how many?) Presidential candidates start running around the country doing their best impression of Bernie Sanders, it is my hope that here in New Jersey instead of allowing ourselves to be divided, we come together in 2019 to lay the groundwork for whichever (hopefully Bernie Sanders but I am willing to keep an open mind if it isn’t) progressive standard-bearer survives the early months of the 2020 Presidential election process and is competing with Cory Booker (assuming for a moment that he is still in the race) for NJ’s not insignificant bounty of pledged delegates.

    Delegate districts are organized by paired legislative districts. Bernie Sanders was fortunate enough to get a larger percentage of the pledged delegates than his share of the popular vote, because so many of the Democratic primary election voters who reliably vote the party line are heavily concentrated in our state’s urban centers, which is the power base of the state’s political machines and the further away from those urban centers one goes, the more open to alternatives to the party establishment the voters get. But this too can change and it will have to change, because Cory Booker will be much harder to compete with in NJ than Hillary Clinton was.

    This is why we need to run our own line of Assembly, county, local, and county committee candidates everywhere in the state in 2019. We need to challenge both our best friends and our worst enemies and if our best friends are truly our best friends, they will understand why we need to do this. And maybe our worst enemies will realize that they brought this on themselves and not want to be our worst enemies anymore.

    Unless the Dan Bensons, Valerie Vainieri Huttles, and Andrew Zwickers want to run on our line in 2019 and the Democratic establishment chooses to let them run unopposed, which is unlikely, they should embrace a primary election challenge as the accepted and expected part of our democratic process that it should be and recognize that it will make them better candidates, the Democratic Party a better political party, and our government at every level more responsive to all of the people that it exists to serve.

    I apologize for my verbosity, but even though I do not have a hysterika, the Greek word for uterus, which I learned earlier today is the origin for the word, “hysteria”, I am as capable if not moreso than any woman at becoming emotional. As I was typing this, I learned that Monday’s vote on Senator Nick “hysterical” Scutari’s gerrymandering bill has been cancelled and as excited as I am for the victory, as temporary as it may be, for progressives and everybody else who believes in good governance, I hope that it inspires us all to continue the fight and to fight even harder in 2019, 2020, 2021, and beyond. It is the only way that we will achieve the kind of progressive change that our world, country, state, and communities most desperately need.

    I thank you all for everything that you do.


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