“The blue wave is coming. It is coming in 2018.” “A Democratic blue tide.” “Blue wave.” “Big blue wave.” “A wave, maybe a tsunami, the way things are going.” “You’re going to see a blue wave this fall.” With internal rifts between progressive and centrist candidates, the party is arguably at Point Break. And the stakes to take back Congress in this year’s midterms couldn’t be higher. So do the Democrats have a plan to win, and can they bring both the centrist narcs and the uncompromising idealists – the Johnny Utahs and the Bodhis – together in order to ride this wave? In other words, is it time to say to Nancy Pelosi, “Vaya con diosi”? America. The home of Six Flags, 31 flavors, 101 Dalmatians and two political parties. And that means a party like the Democrats has to represent a sh*t-ton of people. The Democratic Party is known as a “big tent” party. Not to be confused with its opponent, the Circus Tent party – that’s because of the elephants and the clowns. The Democrats’ tent is more of a bitterly contentious farmers market. You’ve got the corporate kombucha next to the socialist baked goods. And things get testy. “We said sourdough, not Stalin, Jan!” And now that some totally unexpected districts are turning blue in special elections, many progressives are hoping their bold platforms will win them midterm primaries. “What we need is community reinvestment in these areas. We can start with a better healthcare system, like Medicare for All.” “We need healthcare for all. We need public education. We need to take care of our veterans.” “We already have a wall. So instead of building another wall, why don’t be we build up working families, why don’t we build out the middle class?” Wait a minute, what's happening. Brown people talking about rebuilding the middle class? Weren’t they supposed to just stick to identity politics? Someone call CNN. Yeah hi, Jeff? There's been a glitch in the matrix. In fact, this new crop of progressive congressional candidates includes a whole lot of people of color, young people and women. And they’re challenging the more mainstream Democrats with proposals like publicly funded elections that remove corporate influence, tuition-free college, universal healthcare … and other radical schemes to join the rest of the developed world. Because in fact, stats show that Americans do want those kinds of policies. A majority of Americans think that money plays too big a role in campaigns, that the government should provide healthcare coverage and that public universities should be free. But you wouldn’t know that from asking some of the current Democratic leadership. Especially when it comes to an idea like Medicare for All, which they are either openly against or are adept at skirting. “Will you co-sponsor Senator Bernie Sanders’ Medicare-for-All bill?” “Not at this stage.” “Well, look, Democrats believe that healthcare is a right for all, and there are many different bills out there." “Do you feel like the move for Democrats now is to make single-payer a plank in the 2018 platform?” PELOSI: "No. I don't. I’ve been carrying around single-payer signs probably before you were born, so you know, I understand that aspiration.” “And that aspiration comes from the heart ventricle, which I ripped out when I turned 35. I put it on my birthday cake with a candle and made a wish for the status quo!” Also, haven’t we heard this kind of cynicism before on single-payer healthcare? “People who have health emergencies can't wait for us to have some theoretical debate about some better idea that will never, ever come to pass!” Man, she’s like a centrist Gandalf. “YOU SHALL NOT PASS … … healthcare reform. I've tried." It’s hard to believe that, after losing to a slogan with hair a caramel that fell on the barbershop floor a donut made of baloney … whose own party would rather retire than continue to support him, that Democrats are still afraid to leave the moderate center. To move away from Clintonite corporatism and toward the days of FDR. I mean, much how worse could you lose after losing to Donald J. — Ivanka. Ivanka would be worse. "As the first girl president, I'm issuing an executive order to make tipping manicurists … optional." A lot of the pragmatic, incremental change approach that centrist Dems take comes from, of course, their funders and campaign managers. Like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, known as the DCCC, or the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. The two are consultant programs for participating party members, who play a role in their financing and their policy, and also the reason you get three escalatingly urgent fundraising emails a day with subject lines like: “Francesca, I’m asking.” “Francesca, I’m serious.” “FRANCESCA I WILL LITERALLY VOMIT IF YOU DO NOT OPEN THIS EMAIL.” Corporations like Goldman Sachs and GE are donors to the DCCC, and leaked memos showed that these corporations demand Democrats take more moderate stances on things like Wall Street regulation and single-payer healthcare. The DCCC even sent out an email after the Las Vegas shooting that told Democrats “DO NOT politicize” the tragedy. But don’t worry, the DCCC does put donations towards political ads that speak to what Americans truly care about. [dogs whimpering] What? You’re trying to get people to vote by showing whimpering puppies, what do you– awwwwww god it's so cuuuuuute [high pitched squeal] And maybe the DCCC is feeling the heat from the progressive wing this midterm cycle, because they’ve gone so far as to do something they haven’t done before: Go after other Democrats. They actually attacked a progressive running in Texas’ Republican-held 7th district, releasing opposition research against her. "Democrats nationally, the DCCC came into this race and basically tried to destroy this candidate, Laura Moser. Now, what she had said a couple years ago, she got interviewed, she didn't want to live in Paris, Texas, she said she sooner would have her teeth pulled without anesthesia. That was her quote.” That’s their gripe with her? Who wouldn’t sacrifice teeth to live in a better town – especially since once she wins, there’ll be free dental. Now, of course, Democratic leadership, consultants and donors all want to win. So you can understand why they would want to support the candidate they believe is the strongest. But does “strongest” only equal the person with the best ability to raise money? Or does it include laying out some kind of political vision? Because the candidates the DCCC are backing against progressives don’t seem all that solid, and definitely not that inspiring. Like Elaine Luria from Virginia, who actually voted for the Republican she’s trying to unseat – twice. Meanwhile, her progressive primary challenger is elementary school teacher Karen Mallard, who is running on universal healthcare and a $15 minimum wage. And while both believe in gun reform, Mallard is not f*cking around. Just look at what she did to her own AR-15. “We didn’t want this gun in anybody else’s house, either. So today we’re going to destroy it.” [table saw noise] Damn. That is how you stand up to special interest groups. Imagine if candidates who got money from the pharmaceutical industry did the same: “This industry has been putting opiates in our homes for far too long. We don’t want these drugs in our house, or anybody else’s house, either.” [off-camera laughter] Or top Democrat Joe Crowley of New York’s 14th District, who’s been in Congress since 1999 and has taken money from the real estate and the investment and securities industries. He’s now being challenged by this 28-year-old, who might have a shot at beating him. “The Democratic Party is supposed to be the champion of the working class. We need proper infrastructure, we need proper jobs, we need healthcare, we need free public college tuition and vocational education.” Crowley, meanwhile, had this to say about those who criticize the Democratic Party and its lack of opportunities for new candidates. Wow. You know you’ve been in power too long when you don’t realize how condescending you sound. “Do they even understand what voting is?” “Do they know that the majority wins?” “Do they even know how to give a non-specific answer to a very specific policy question?” But even though DCCC bias is real, at the end of the day, the voters will decide the winners. And many feel like leading Democrats haven’t done much to regain their trust after the 2016 loss, as these voters told MSNBC. “I feel like, instead of having a plan, [they’re] putting out fires. Instead of fighting for something, we’re resisting. And this resistance has to turn into governance, so that we have something to vote for instead of something to vote against.” “Show of hands: How many of you the think Democratic establishment is doing a good job right now? One tentative hand.” Yes, but, as per Democratic delegate rules, it is a superhand. So … worth 10,000 hands. Even Senator Dianne Feinstein, who’s running for reelection this year, failed to get the California Democratic endorsement. Nipping at her heels are two progressives. Maybe that’s because when confronted by her constituents, she responds like this: “Take a stand. It’s so easy!”
“We need leaders in office.” “Young man, I have made more stands in my lifetime than you are old, by far.” Get 'em Dianne, way to take a stand against … taking stands! That smug defensiveness is also echoed by Feinstein’s House counterpart, Nancy Pelosi, as she explains why she should be House speaker if and when Democrats regain control of Congress: “Why don’t you think you should step aside?” “Because I’m a master legislator. I’m experienced in terms of knowing the institutional memory of the Congress.” OK, but experience isn’t the only factor, Nancy! I mean, the guy who invented the car still shouldn’t be allowed to drive when he turns 90. Look, I’m not saying that holding the Democratic tent together or winning elections are easy. Nor that leaders like Pelosi, Schumer, Feinstein and Crowley haven’t done real work and dealt with mountains of sh*t. But the argument that they should stay because they understand the political machine is a bogus one. ’Cause if the machine isn’t working for the people, then you’re just gatekeeping the Death Star. And though the infighting can sometimes be counterproductive, political differences and plurality should be part of any healthy democracy. Just not always a part of a healthy internet. I’m looking at you, BernieWouldaWonWarrior and StillWithHer87. Cool it. So whether or not they win or lose, progressive challengers are continuing to have an impact on powerful Democrats. And maybe in November we can all climb on that surfboard and ride the blue wave … not just away from the sinking ship, but towards land. Thanks again for watching Newsbroke, I'm Francesca Fiorentini, follow me on Twitter. Also subscribe on YouTube and follow us on Facebook. And let us know if you are voting in the primary eleciton they're all different dates, they're coming up, look them up! Register, make sure you are out at the polls. Let us know the most interesting candidates you've come across and why you're voting for them. And we will see you next time. See you next time.