Ocasio-Cortez slams DCCC for blacklist rule targeting progressive primary challengers

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at last weekend's SXSW festival. Screen capture by SXSW via YouTube video

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) fears the rise of progressive primary challengers so much that they passed a rule blacklisting consultants who work with them to defeat incumbents. And Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is not amused.

The reason why Democrats were able to achieve a 40 seat pick-up in the House of Representatives during the 2018 midterm election and become the majority party is because progressives like Ocasio-Cortez stepped up to challenge sitting Democratic lawmakers and defeat them.

Indeed, Ocasio-Cortez is one of many progressives who successfully challenged sitting Democrats who all too often sided with corporations and big banks and the fossil fuel industry instead of representing the people who voted for them.

Without these freshmen lawmakers, Democrats would not have generated near as much excitement during the election, excitement that can carry them to victory in 2020 if they don’t do something stupid like they did this week.

In an effort to prevent primary challenges so incumbents can hold onto power, the DCCC passed a rule blacklisting vendors and consultants who work with primary challengers, thereby gaming the system to guarantee the status quo and make sure there are no future upsets by better candidates who want change.

Ocasio-Cortez responded to the rule on Saturday by blasting it as “divisive and harmful to the party” and called upon small-dollar donors to stop contributing to the DCCC in protest.

She not only talked the talk, she walked the walk.

This new rule is antithetical to our democratic values, values that Democrats are supposed to support and protect. If a new candidate is able to unseat an incumbent in a primary, it’s because the incumbent failed to do their job and listen to people who demand change. The DCCC should welcome such challenges, not suppress them. Embracing progressive ideas is what made the Democratic Party great and it can be great again if it does so again. This new rule, however, turns off voters, especially a base of voters Democrats desperately need if they want to take back the Senate and the White House in 2020.

The DCCC needs to reverse this rule if they want to maintain the wave of energy that swept Democrats to victory last year.

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