Remember the Justice Democrats? That’s the group that was pushing not only Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez but other upstarts seeking to primary incumbent Democrats who were deemed insufficiently progressive. More recently, the “primary everybody” movement has come under fire from party leaders, leading to the DCCC declaring open season on any politicos who assist such efforts. This doesn’t seem to have diminished the zeal of AOC and her friends one bit. In fact, it may have backfired. The Justice Democrats have now launched the “DCCC Blacklist” and they’re signing up rebels who want to ignore the marching orders of the DCCC and keep the primary efforts alive.
Alexandra Rojas is the executive director of Justice Democrats and she explains what they’re trying to do.
“We’re building a network of alternative infrastructure to help progressive candidates find a path to Congress and create a Democratic Party that fights for its voters, not big corporate donors. The Democratic Party establishment is sending a signal that they are more afraid of people like Ayanna Pressley and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez winning primary challenges than conservatives like Henry Cuellar who vote with Trump nearly 70% of the time.”
Notice who they are taking a shot at in their blacklist announcement. They call out Texas Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar who has represented one of the safe Dem seats in Texas for almost two decades. But keep in mind that a “safe” Texas seat for a Democrat generally involves being a bit less to the left than San Francisco. Cuellar has previously described himself as “a moderate-centrist” or as a “Conservative Democrat”
That makes him a prime target for the blacklist and the new breed of socialists taking over parts of the Democratic Party. But at the same time, if you replace a guy like Cuellar on the ticket with some new clone of Bernie Sanders who spouts off about that wonders of socialism every day, well… this is still Texas we’re talking about. You might want to be careful what you wish for.
You could see this effect being replayed in any number of districts if the Justice Democrats have their way. It was ham-handed and foolish for the DCCC to essentially put a bounty on the head of any campaign staffers who agree to work for primary challengers. It should rightly make their own base angry because it limits the choices of their own voters in the primaries. But this blacklist plan by the Justice Democrats could quickly swing the pendulum back too far in the other direction and the Democrats may wind up shooting themselves in the foot. (Assuming you can find one willing to admit they own a gun, that is.)