India Walton, a black woman who identifies as a democratic socialist, defeated the incumbent party insider in this summer’s Democratic primary election for the Buffalo mayoral race. Rather than accept the outcome and support their own candidate, New York’s Dem establishment has done everything it can to avoid doing so. Party leaders refuse to endorse her. She was kicked out of a party event. They even played along with a Republican-backed campaign to get her defeated opponent on the ballot as an independent. And now state Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs compared her to David Duke, the Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard who once won a primary in Louisiana.
Is it a requirement that if someone wins the Democratic primary they must always get the democratic endorsement of these people? And that’s a question I would answer no, it’s not. Let’s take a scenario, very different, where David Duke remember him, the grand wizard of the KKK, he moves to New York, he becomes a Democrat, he runs for mayor in the city of Rochester, which is a low primary turnout [note: Buffalo’s primary turnout was consistent with previous years] and he wins the Democratic line. I have to endorse David Duke? I don’t think so.
Hopeless and disheartening, to say the least. To anyone with a progressive or left-leaning bone in their body, what possible use is there in voting for a party that would compare its own candidate—a black woman—to one of America’s most notorious and despised racists as part of a campaign to stop people voting for her?
The Democratic Party’s preferred constituents are corporations, wealthy donors and an all-but-imaginary political center, and it lives in mortal fear of being seen to support even center-left causes that mainstream media pundits might cast as too radical.
But remember that the party is also a job club. There is no greater crime there than depriving one of its made men their sinecures. For another example of this, see the weirdly insistent campaign to find a prestigious appointment for former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who helped cover up the police killing of a child.