The dangers of self-delusion
Nice piece. A better remedy would be to call for ranked-choice voting in future primaries (or better yet, general elections).
Progressives only care about their ego and what they feel will make them morally superior. I know of a campaign volunteer who volunteered with Eliza Orlins, a progressive candidate, because they were a victim of abusive police behavior. When they wanted their concerns heard after being unheard by others, all they got from Eliza was radio silence. When she gets called out on this, she blocks people. Same thing with Yuh Line, she thinks she's morally superior and has a big ego. Maybe these types of 30-40 point losses for progressives will teach them a lesson or at least powerful people won't take them seriously anymore which is deserved.
Great piece, Ross. Thanks for unlocking. You always provide sharp analysis.
Spending money (in the most expensive media market in the country!) and energy to relitigate a primary result between two people who would have nearly identical voting records in the House, with zero chance of actually changing said result, is insanity.
There's a really destructive impulse on the left to blame every defeat on something other than "the voters had a choice and they didn't pick us." Bernie's defeats in 16 and 20, Nina Turner, the NYC mayoral primary, Yuh-Line...coming from a place of denial about your electoral limitations rather than engaging with how to adjust course to surpass those limitations is a recipe for continuing to lose, and eventually cultivating a core of supporters who refuse to believe or accept that you have lost (draw your own parallels on that last point).
I'm not a leftist, but it seems like the left has a >10% at winning this seat -- with 0% of a Republican winning - and given that, I don't understand what's the harm in trying (unless she would be a bad advocate for the left if elected)
Obviously correct. I supposed a decent percentage who want a 3d party candidate do it because they believe “it’s the right thing to do,” ala Ralph Nader for President. The logic of outcomes and practicality was completely lost on those voters.
There are several points that could be made. Using the result to expand ranked choice voting is important the alternative would be to say a primary winner needs to a certain threshold to avoid a run off in a multi candidate race say 35%. Secondly the time to invest in a real challenge is in two years. Goldman will have to prove he is at least a main stream urban democrat if he doesn't act that way we might be sucessful in a head to head challenge. To engage in that challenge now under unfavorable political conditions is a mistake because his victory will make it much harder to challenge him in two years.
Very astute piece. Some on the left trash Barkan for telling the truth. If you want to check if there's a movement talk to the people you work with. Or your neighbors or family. I've found many people on the left are the most optimistic people I know - there's always a sunrise around the corner -- how can there not be? Capitalism is doomed and a benign version of socialism must arise. I remember we organized a meeting and few people showed up - the organizer said "it's too nice out today." The next meeting, on a miserable day, had the same poor attendance. "It's due to how bad the weather is." There's always a way to spin things. .. Norm
Thanks for unlocking this piece, I enjoyed it.
I think that the real issue here is that lefty rhetoric about Goldman is way, way overheated, so running against him is now or never.
Today you can point to his inconsistent statements on abortion and say he's the wrong man for this moment. In two years he'll be an incumbent who's voted for whatever abortion bills Democrats put on the floor, along with 98% of anything else leadership supports. If you go back to this district and try to tell them that they elected a right winger you'll sound insane.
I don't think there's any chance for Niou to win a third party sore loser bid in November, but her odds are better now than they will be once he's the incumbent.
I like this piece, it's very clear eyed about the obstacles. However there is a case to be made to keep whacking at Goldman regardless of odds. The bar has been set at predictions of a 40-point loss; something substantially closer might signal real vulnerability. Keeping pressure on might also pay policy dividends — e.g. moving him on SCOTUS expansion or M4A, make him always worry about his left flank, and not allow him to inflate his negligible mandate by claiming support from 90%+ of the district as an uncontested victory would.
Was Bernie 2016 the last real tractable leftist movement?
Also: I recall tension between Niou and the WFP. Would the NFP even consent to a bait and switch arrangement? It would not say much of the NFP banner if they so casually agreed to such a cynical ploy.