Profiles in Cowardice: Jones in Alabama and Northram in Virginia

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Victories are wonderful opportunities to come together and realize the fight we are all in together against the aligned forces of the Administration, the alt-right, possible collusion from Russia or any other number of undemocratic forces that seek to harm our Republic with continual assaults on the rule of law and our democratic processes of free and fair elections.

Hooray! We won a Senate seat in Alabama for the first time in 25 years and we won the Governor’s house in Virginia.

Sadly, these joyous victories turned to ashes in our mouths fairly quickly as the candidates that were elected have already started to walk away from principles that are inherent in our movement and basic to forging a meaningful future for this country.

Doug Jones stated this morning that he will not call on President Trump to resign for the allegations of sexual assault. That’s right. The guy who called on Franken to resign and ran against an accused child molester thinks its time to leave President Trump alone and work together with Republicans. Not only did he say this absurd statement he also said it is time to get real bipartisan with Republicans because the problems we’re having come down to not working with Republicans enough.

A few days after our entire movement coalesced behind him Jones says it is time to vote with Republicans and leave poor old President Trump alone.

This is the insanity we are working with from some Democrats. If we only try harder for civility and bipartisanship then maybe, just maybe the Republicans will play fair and be nice to us. This has not been borne out by any understanding of history over the last 25 years. Ever since the Republicans took control of Congress in 1994 they have been bad faith actors.

Negotiating with Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell is like negotiating with a mob enforcer over the debts you owe. The vig is always running with these scoundrels and you are always losing ground when you are working with them. They do not care about you or creating a fair compromise, they care about victory and victory alone.

I’m sorry, I am over it. Winning elections is important, but when we elect folks who can’t stand up for the basic principles that we represent like ensuring the Affordable Care Act is protected and fulfills its promise through expansion of Medicaid in all 50 states, then why are we working so hard for these candidates?

Ralph Northram, the new Governor of Virginia has stated that he will not work to ensure Medicaid is fully expanded in Virginia. Perhaps we should have chosen a better candidate in the primary in that state. Northram is on the bipartisanship fever dream too.

The funny thing about Jones and Northram is that they have no chance for re-election. Jones could never get re-elected to that Senate seat, so he is betraying us trying to play some middle ground. Northram can’t even legally run for a second term as they have one-term term limits in Virginia, so his first act is to start running for his next office. Despicable.

What do we do? We have better primaries, where we demand more, not less from candidates. Voters are looking for leadership when they head to the polls in a general election. That doesn’t mean they have mealy-mouthed mushballs for positions. That means they stand up for principles that matter. Healthcare for ALL Americans, a real living wage for ALL Americans, ending the out of control wealth inequality that is destroying this country and fighting to end this flow of unchecked and dangerous dark money in our elections.

Anything less and we’ll end up with more do-nothing mushmouths like Jones and Northram.

 

 

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