Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar is a pillar of the local Democratic Party — he’s backed Nancy Pelosi in leadership contests, his siblings both hold county-wide office in his hometown, and he’s won seven terms in the House, easily triumphing over token Republican opposition.
He’s also the No. 1 target of the Justice Democrats, a left-wing group whose mission is to drag the Democratic Party left by making life miserable for incumbents like Cuellar in safe blue districts — threatening them with progressive primary challengers.
The small-donor-funded group supported a once-unknown primary challenger, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who became a Democratic Party superstar after she crushed longtime Rep. Joe Crowley in New York. They’ve already named Cuellar as a 2020 target and are vetting possible recruits for a race against him, but they’re hoping over time to build a larger slate of AOC-like challengers. The group is seeking not just progressive candidates but ideally those who are young, diverse, and actually from working-class backgrounds, rather than typical politicians, to remake the Democratic Party in Congress.
As the group’s communications director Waleed Shahid put it, their mission is “replicating the success of New York 14.”
If they can pull it off, there’s real reason for establishment Democrats to worry. The Tea Party deployed the same strategy during the Obama years and profoundly changed the Republican Party. The agitators didn’t need to take on every Republican in Congress, they just needed to pick off a few to send the entire conference running scared.
The Tea Party analogy pisses me off, because the tea party was never about policy or achieving any goals- the tea party was a racist reaction to a black president backed by big money guys who just wanted to continue fleecing the rubes. Justice Democrats, o nthe other hand, are the progressive wing of the party doing everything the way things should be done- advocating for their issues (which I support), and doing it within the party through the existing party rules. They aren’t, like many idiots (JILL STEIN) agitating from the outside, throwing their hands up in despair, and both sidesing us into oblivion.
If you don’t like the idea of primaries, you basically don’t like the idea of democracy. No one owns a god damned seat, and if you’re a shitty Democrat in a safe Democratic seat, you better start acting like a Democrat or start polishing up your resume so you can get a consulting gig or a seat on a hedge fund board.
*** Update ***
Judging by the comments in response to this post and the multiple texts from Adam, apparently I blew it on this post and am dead wrong. My heart is in the right place! I’ve asked Adam to write a rebuttal explaining the many ways I am wrong.