Nevada’s Democratic socialists were outraged this month when state Democratic lawmakers from their state voted for a resolution condemning the “horrors” of socialism, and the state party refused to condemn them — one of a number of flashpoints between the progressive left and the more centrist party officials.
The Las Vegas branch of the Democratic Socialists of America took aim at the Nevada State Democratic Party for “oscillated between playing respectability politics and making compromises to the center,” even after a slate of progressives gained power in the state party apparatus.
The group was particularly incensed by a bipartisan vote in the U.S. House of Representatives which condemned the “horrors of socialism” — noting the human rights abuses in places such as Cuba, North Korea, and the Soviet Union. The democratic socialists were not impressed by the vote, or the state party’s refusal to condemn the condemnation.
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“The Party… took no stance when every single one of our elected State Representatives proudly voted to condemn ‘the horrors of socialism,’ and indeed continued to do free messaging for the handful of so-called progressive Representatives who insisted that voting against socialism was necessary for passing a progressive agenda,” they said in the lengthy statement
That, along with a number of other grievances, led the group to conclude that the Democratic Party “is a dead end.”
“It is a ‘party’ in name only; truly, it is simply a tangled web of dark money and mega-donors, cynical consultants, and lapdog politicians. The establishment is Lucy with the football: no matter how effectively socialists organize for power, the establishment will simply pull the football away, using dirtier and dirtier tricks,” they say. “Enough falling for the tricks and even the most dedicated socialist can’t help but give up and play the ugly game. We don’t want milquetoast progressive reformist-reforms; we want socialism. We won’t get it by playing the DNC’s games, and we won’t get it by being a mildly obnoxious thorn in their side, either.”
The fiery statement comes amid an ongoing feud between the progressive democrats in the state and the more centrist machine built by former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
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Politico on Saturday published a deep-dive into the left’s issues in the state after supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., took over the party two years ago.
The outlet reported how even Sanders himself is upset with party chair Judith Whitmer as she faces criticism for allegedly abandoning her progressive principles and failing to build a grassroots infrastructure.
“The senator is pretty disappointed in Judith’s chairmanship, specifically around her failure to build a strong grassroots movement in the state,” a person familiar with Sanders’ thinking told the outlet. “A lot of us feel sad about what could have been. It was a big opportunity for Bernie-aligned folks in the state to prove some of the folks in the establishment wrong. And that hasn’t happened.”
Whitmer, meanwhile, defended her record, saying she was elected to make change and deliver that change within political realities — something she says her critics on the left are not interested in.
“They really did not want to do electoral politics,” she said. “They wanted to work outside of the current electoral system. As the state party chair, I can’t do that. I can’t work outside of the system itself. I represent the Democratic Party. I don’t represent the [Democratic Socialists of America.]”
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She also said the former presidential candidate and democratic socialist firebrand had failed to raise any such concerns to her in person in a face-to-face meeting.
“I think he would have said to me, ‘Hey Judith, I’m disappointed in what you’re doing’ if that was actually a true statement,'” she said.