Has Democratic Socialism already peaked in the 2018 election cycle? Not only has it peaked, Politico reports, it might have already begun to collapse. Despite the popularity of Bernie Sanders on the Left and the emergence of hard-Left progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrats espousing their agenda and receiving their endorsement have all had the same experience … losing:
Two years after his defeat in the 2016 presidential primary, the Vermont senator has amassed a growing string of losses in races in which he has intervened. Beginning last year, Sanders-backed candidates faltered in an Omaha mayoral race and a nationally watched House race in Montana.
Then came Rep. Tom Perriello’s loss in Virginia’s gubernatorial primary, and in June, the drubbing in Iowa of Pete D’Alessandro, a top adviser to Sanders during his 2016 Iowa caucus campaign. Cathy Glasson, endorsed by Sanders’ successor group, Our Revolution, fell short in Iowa’s gubernatorial primary, as did Peter Jacob and Jim Keady in two New Jersey House races. Dennis Kucinich lost in Ohio.
It didn’t get any better this week. Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez made a joint appearance for Brent Welder in Kansas, who went down to defeat on Tuesday. So did fellow Medicare-for-All progressive Abdul el-Sayed in Michigan, who got a lot of national press out of Sanders’ endorsement. Fat lot of good it did him:
Sanders did even worse in Michigan, where he and Ocasio-Cortez campaigned aggressively for Abdul El-Sayed, who was trampled by more than 20 percentage points in the Democratic primary for governor. Sanders rallied supporters in Detroit over the weekend. El-Sayed, a 33-year-old physician, was seeking to become the first Muslim governor in the nation.
El-Sayed lost to former state Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, the favorite of the Democratic establishment.
One measure of strength in an upcoming presidential primary is the impact of a candidate’s endorsements, Politico’s David Sider notes. On that metric, Sanders has failed miserably. Rather than demonstrate that his movement has a broad reach across the electorate, Sanders has instead demonstrated that’s a fringe movement even within the Democratic Party.
It probably doesn’t help that his partner in this effort, Ocasio-Cortez, has been busy sticking her foot in her mouth in every national-TV appearance. Thanks to her flights of fancy and flat-out fibs, people have paid attention to the financial and economic contradictions inherent in the Democratic Socialist agenda and philosophy. And what they’re seeing looks pretty ugly, not to mention unworkable.
This raises another question, however. Did Democratic Socialism ever really have any traction? Or was Bernie Sanders just the only alternative to a truly horrible candidate in the 2016 Democratic primary? These results certainly suggest the latter.