Thread. In 2016, when Bernie dominated Hillary in West Virginia, a lot of people on the left seemed to view it as the incipient realization of a dream: a united multiracial working class ready for socialism. 1/x
2/x it was nothing of the sort, of course, as any analysis of the data could have told you. According to CNN exits, 40% of those voters thought Hillary was "too liberal" and they voted overwhelmingly for Bernie anyway.
Those voters weren't "ready for socialism" any more than they were ready for a woman president in 2008 when Hillary dominated Obama. It's just that in 2008, they hated the black guy even worse. It's like how Republicans in CA voted for De Leon over Feinstein. Lol? Well done. 3/x
4/x nevertheless, because of that misinterpretation, many on the left have been trying to pursue and rekindle that, even as the events of the subsequent 5 years have put the lie to this idea over and over again, which was only based on a futilely optimistic misinterpretation.
5/x so there's been an effort to coddle and not offend them so as not to disturb this imaginary incipient foundation of united working-class consciousness, even though that foundation doesn't exist and doing so puts people at odds with overall progressive policy.
6/x but the sad part about it is, a "united working class" isn't an end in and of itself. it's only a means to an end, and the end in question is progressive political outcomes.
7/x and it's going to be much easier to achieve that end by building a majority coalition of people who already agree with you most of the way, even if they're not necessarily working-class, than it will be to convince your most die-hard opponents simply because they're WC.
8/x this is a democracy, after all! But because Marxist theory stipulates, with some nuance, that united working class consciousness is the only methodology, you have a lot of people intentionally choosing the vastly harder path to a majority coalition...
9/x while denigrating and attacking those who simply want to build a majority coalition to enact progressive policies, even if that means building it with "PMC shitlibs" instead and getting them on board with progressive economic policies, which is a much easier lift.
10/x of course, anyone who has studied the history of Marxism/socialism/communism knows full well that cultural ties, nationalism, etc. have inhibited a united working class consciousness from the very beginning, and that has stymied both economic reform and anti-war organizing.
11/x and we're not in the 19th century. It's okay to some of those ideas go in support of building a majority coalition that can enact change right now, instead of intentionally picking the hardest road because Marx said that's how to do it.
12/x because, when we build that majority coalition and enact progressive policies, that will help the WWC too. And if they're still voting culture over pocketbooks despite what we do, then that proves the point. And if economic determinism is right and they join us, then, great.
13/x but, upshot here: it's okay not to center them in coalition-building efforts, because right now, they're the people who want to be in a coalition the least, and they have a history of wanting to destroy coalitions if it means sharing with others.

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More from @DanteAtkins

4 Dec 20
I've had a lot of work to do for the past couple of days, so somehow I just now saw that Betsy f'ing Devos called free public college "a socialist takeover of education." Now, Betsy Devos is 62 years old, so...ok, boomer. You just made me mad. THREAD.…
Let's talk about what we did for the baby boom generation as a matter of public education policy. I'm best versed in California, so I'm going to use this as the example, but you could tell similar stories about most states. So, IN CALIFORNIA:
In 1960, California recognized that there would be a looming higher education crisis, so we developed what was called the "Master Plan for Higher Education" and codified it through appropriate legislation. Here's what the Master Plan for Higher Education did:
Read 13 tweets
2 Dec 20
Matt Yglesias can tweet that "defund the police" is austerity all he wants, but let's actually explain the policy for a bit.
1) police departments as currently constructed are a) an inefficient use of public resources, and b) kill people for no reason.
to put this in terms that anodyne policy wonks will understand, sending four armed men with guns to kill someone for selling loose cigarettes on the street is "an inefficient use of public resources"
Read 7 tweets
14 Nov 20
The reason you can't talk to a lefty/Dem from any faction is because nobody's theories got validated and nobody really got what they wanted. a small thread.
1) Warrenites like myself are disappointed that even if we do win both Senate runoffs in Georgia, the chances of ending the filibuster, adding DC/PR as states, etc. is extremely low with Manchin as the majority maker. Besides ending Trump, that was our main motivating factor.
Plus, the narrowness of Biden's win in the EC--like, 100K votes across a handful of states making the difference between winning and losing--lends itself to open question whether Warren could have won, given sexism in the electorate. We're not blind to that.
Read 10 tweets
2 Nov 20
HERE'S WHY WE PHONE BANK: I had two amazing phone calls in Texas on the @AOC and @BetoORourke bank. One: an elderly Black woman tried to visit an early voting site this weekend and it was closed, so she thought voting was over. I told her what was up, gave her her polling place,
@AOC @BetoORourke told her the requirements, and told her to back her car with her friend and go get it done. She woudn't have shown up without that call, and that call could be the difference between zero votes and 4-5 votes.
A few calls after that, I had a conversation in Spanish with someone who wasn't thinking about voting because it didn't matter in Texas. I convinced him to get out there because this year, TX was close, so if there's one election in TX to show up for, it was this one.
Read 5 tweets
20 Sep 20
If you're still deliberating about whether you think McConnell will try to move a nominee before the election or during lame duck, you don't understand what the fight is about. He will try to move it before the election because that's what this is all about. 1/thread
Trump has said repeatedly that he wants results that night, and that ballots counted after are fraud. His allies like Ted Cruz have said that they need 9 justices to resolve election disputes in a potentially contested election. 2/x
Meanwhile, Trump has done everything he can to drive a bifurcation between Democrats voting by mail and GOP votes in person on election day, and there's a reason for that. 3/x
Read 8 tweets
20 May 20
Let's talk, for hopefully the last fucking time, about the lie that Warren "pivoted" on Medicare for All, a lie expressed by David Sirota here. A thread. 1/x
The difference between Warren's approach and Bernie's approach was one of strategy, not policy. Bernie believed at as President, he would be able to lead massive rallies to browbeat Mitch McConnell and Joe Manchin into passing a single, standalone, M4A bill. 2/x
Warren did not believe this was possible, and preferred an approach that would disempower insurance companies by taking away their customer base and channeling more and more people onto public insurance before banning private insurance within four years. 3/x
Read 10 tweets

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