Leaders of the groups organizing some of the first outbursts of direct action in response to Trump’s surprise election are making plans to take to the streets through January’s Inauguration and beyond. In frantic behind-the-scenes phone calls, text messages and Slack chats, they’re also planning to channel the energy unleashed last week into electoral politics, starting with Democratic primaries, to build what one organizer called a “tea party of the left.”
“Our big goal is to support primary challenges against those Democrats who negotiate with Donald Trump,” said the organizer, Waleed Shahid, a veteran of Bernie Sanders’ campaign who is working for a group called AllofUs, launched in September. The approach mimics that of the tea party, which has used insurgent primary bids to unsettle establishment Republicans and drive the Republican Party rightward.
“It gave people in the Republican Party who are upset with the establishment an identity,” Shaid said. “You could be a tea party Republican. We think there’s a lot of power in that.”
Progressive groups are planning to combine that tactic with direct actions like marches and sit-ins to more seamlessly merge an anti-Trump protest movement with electoral politicking.
Already, AllofUs — which draws organizers from the environmental group 350.org and the Occupy movement — has organized a candlelight vigil at the White House on Saturday and a Monday sit-in at Sen. Chuck Schumer’s office that resulted in 17 arrests. Another organizer for the group, Max Berger, said it was in the process of planning additional mobilizations over the next several months. And in recent days, the group’s leaders have participated in informal talks with unions and other standard-bearers of the progressive left about orienting their efforts toward Democratic primary challenges while maintaining protests.
Among the groups eyeing a stepped-up role in primaries are 350.org’s political action wing and National Nurses United, which backs Rep. Keith Ellison’s bid for chairman of the Democratic National Committee and is convening its board this week in Washington, where its members will participate in a Thursday afternoon rally with Sanders on the Capitol grounds. “Time for faux progressives to get out of the way,” said the union’s executive director, RoseAnn DeMoro. “Change is the only thing that will save that party.”
I don't think these guys are going to get much traction, or get much action, frankly. I figure voters will get rid of DINO Dems like Joe Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp, Jon Tester and Joe Donnelly pretty quickly in 2018.
Of course they'll be replaced by Republicans, but we haven't gotten that far yet. I'm sure states like West Virginia, South Dakota, Montana and Indiana will come around to far left Democratic candidates when presented.
You know, just like Russ Feingold in Wisconsin.