Photo Credit: David Shankbone via Flickr
Democratic Socialists Occupy Wall Street, September 17, 2011

First, the media are full of reports on the distress of many Democrats in purple states who say their party’s failure with blue color and Latino voters has to do with its inability to push back the GOP’s portrayal of democrats as Socialists, as did Representative Donna Shalala of Florida, who lost her seat in a Hispanic district, according to a NY Times report. As did Representative Vicente Gonzalez, a Democrat from South Texas, who said, “Defund police, open borders, socialism — it’s killing us.”

Republicans made incremental gains with voters of color in a campaign in which Joe Biden’s two main agenda items were: I am not Trump, and I am against systemic racial injustice.

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Now, on their path to self-destruction, national Democrats are looking on with horror as a group known as Democratic Socialists of America, led by renowned politicians such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan), is launching attacks to establish a bridgehead in the NY State Assembly and the NY City Council.

On Saturday, the Democratic Socialists of America endorsed six candidates for City Council, including Tiffany Caban, who in 2019 lost by a hair her primary bid for Queens County’s District Attorney; as well as Adolfo Abreu from the Bronx; Jaslin Kaur from Queens, and Michael Hollingsworth, Alexa Aviles, and Brandon West from Brooklyn.

There are 51 seats in the City Council (3 of them held by Republicans), so even if all six DSA candidates win, they won’t be able to establish a Marxist government just yet. But Socialists are also converging on both NY Statehouses: on Nov. 3, five DSA candidates have won their races: Jabari Brisport in the Senate, and Phara Souffrant Forrest, Marcela Mitaynes, Zohran Mamdani, and Emily Gallagher in the Assembly.

Now, even a partial win in the City Council would provide a pulpit for the enemies of Israel. According to the NY Post, the DSA platform in the council will seek to defund the police, decriminalize prostitution, raise city income taxes on the wealthy, limit charter schools, give illegal immigrants the right to vote, eliminate tax breaks for developers, and support the BDS movement against Israel.

According to the NY Post, DSA lawmakers in the city council will be “discouraged” from visiting Israel.

The DSA made strides in the US House of Representatives this election: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) and Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) were easily re-elected in the general election, after winning their primaries. Cori Bush (MO-1) and Jamaal Bowman (NY-16) defeated incumbents in their primaries and went on to easily win the general elections in their deep-blue districts.

If the DSA will be good enough to discourage Tlaib from visiting Israel, we’ll support their wise decision.

DSA candidates lost their bids in West Virginia (WV-2), Mississippi (MS-1), and California (CA-12).

There was one DSA attempt to get into the US Senate: in Tennessee, Marquita Bradshaw won the Democratic nomination for the 2020 Senate election in an upset with the endorsement of the Memphis-Midsouth chapter of DSA, and after her primary victory by Tennessee DSA chapters in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Middle and Northeast Tennessee. She lost the general election against Republican Bill Hagerty (who won 62.2% of the votes).

Altogether, more than 30 DSA endorsed candidates were elected in sixteen states in November 2020, including five in Pennsylvania and seven in New York. Notable victories were in West Philadelphia, where Rick Krajewski beat the incumbent of 35 years, and in New York City, where an entire slate of five candidates was elected to the statehouse and the state senate (see above). All DSA incumbents were re-elected, with the sole exception being Jade Bahr who lost her race for the Montana House of Representatives.

Dozens of DSA members and affiliated candidates won their races for local offices, most notably Nithya Raman, endorsed by the national DSA, who won her race for Los Angeles city council in district 4, and Janeese Lewis George who won her race for Washington, DC city council ward 4, after beating incumbent Brandon Todd in the primary.

Dean Preston was re-elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. José Garza was elected as district attorney for Travis County in Texas. Gabriella Cázares-Kelly was elected county recorder in Pima County, Arizona.

Earlier in 2020, DSA-endorsed candidates were elected to city councils in Sacramento, California, Burlington, Vermont, and Madison and Stoughton, Wisconsin.

Could we interest you in contacting your local chapter of Nefesh B’Nefesh? Just saying…

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.