Democratic Socialists Won in Nevada. Then All the Democratic Party’s Staffers Quit.
Why would Democrats rather lose to Republicans than win with socialists?
The general election may be over, but smaller, local elections are still taking place around the nation. While I have certainly grown cynical about the ability to achieve fundamentally necessary change through voting, stories regarding electoral politics still manage to pique my interest and one coming out of the state of Nevada happened to be one of them.
Akela Lacy and Ryan Grim with The Intercept reported that on March 6th, a number of progressive candidates backed by the local chapter of Democratic Socialists for America, or DSA, swept all five leadership positions. Judith Whitmer was now chair of the Nevada Democratic Party. In response to the loss, Alana Mounce, the party’s executive director sent her an email announcing that she was quitting, along with every other employee and consultant. It’s also certainly worth noting that having expected the loss, they moved $450,000 out of the party’s accounts and into the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, claiming they will use the money to help Catherine Cortez Masto get re-elected.
To top it all off, they are all going to be taking a severance package.
Frankly it’s difficult to even know where to begin when considering how revealing this entire story is when it comes to the culture within the Democratic party, and how they approach politics in general. That said, I find the removal of the $450,000 from the party’s account to be the most telling aspect of the entire story.
I’m not sure how much more clear the Democratic party could make it that they would rather lose to the GOP than win with progressives. Funny, isn’t it, how they spend years responding to any leftist goals or critiques with the same reactionary calls for unity in the face of the Republican party, and then they do this? Considering they were expecting the loss enough to remove $450,000 from the party’s account beforehand, one might wonder why they did not instead use the opportunity to reflect, analyze what the progressives had done to win, embrace their ability to resonate, and grow. Instead, these staffers decided to quit out of spite and leave.
The thing is, this has been a long time coming, too.
The growing rift between the Democratic party machine in the state of Nevada carefully built by Harry Reid has been at odds with the new, emerging leftist movement in the state since Bernie Sanders first ran for President in 2016. After his landslide victory there in 2020 left MSNBC pundit Chris Matthews so rattled he compared it to the fall of France in World War 2, the state was clearly ready for a new approach. Now, because their “team” didn’t win, virtually every single employee on the Democratic Party’s payroll in the state of Nevada decided they would rather quit than be a part of a new, clearly successful movement. Not only that, they did as much as they possibly could on their way out to ensure that these new progressive leaders would struggle to succeed.
Just imagine if the shoe had been on the other foot.
Personally, I genuinely hope this sort of thing happens elsewhere. What’s stopping Democratic socialists from engaging in this type of electoral, arguably wonderfully hostile takeover of the party at local levels across the entire country? Of course, ranked choice voting should also be at the top of the priority list, but while we’re at it why not give the Democratic party a run for their money as well? If staffers with more loyalty to the Democratic establishment than the policy goals of their base would rather leave than actually fight, then goodbye, and good riddance.