Democrats’ Identity Politics Defeats Establishment Joe Crowley

Crowley
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Democratic leader Rep. Joe Crowley scored 100 percent on the progressive establishment’s scorecard, but he lost his seat to a Latino candidate who touted her anti-establishment economic pitch as often as she described herself as a Latino.

The socialism-and-Latino pitch by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spotlights the growing impact of identity politics which establishment Democrats have promoted via cheap-labor immigration and the outsiders-against-insiders “diversity” strategy. Those new politics are a long-developing danger to many Democratic candidates — and to the party’s share of the middle-class vote.

Donald Trump was elected by mobilizing national opposition to this nation-changing identity-politics trend — and now his chaotic, grinding populist resistance to the establishment Democrats’ marriage of identity-politics ideology with crony capitalism is exacerbating the hidden splits within the Democrats’ raucous caucus of minorities.

Those splits include the divides between Crowley’s New York political machine and the Latino arrivals, between the Democratic-leaning suburbanites who are worried about mass migration and the Democrats progressive activists who yet more immigration, between the Democrats’ union workers and the Democrats’ Wall Streeters, and between Democrats’ real-estate donors and the cheap-labor voters who complain about rising rents.

Crowley’s status as the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House did not save him once she escalated the Democrats’ risky combination of immigration and economic cronyism.

“There is a profound mismatch between the community and its representation,” Ocasio-Cortez told Politico. “What is new about candidates that are not people of color, that are not women, that aren’t working-class, that don’t advocate for progressive policies?”

Vox.com carefully admitted the obvious:

Ocasio-Cortez’s victory is …  the story of how the Democratic Party is getting pulled to the left. It’s also about how it’s not just progressive policies that are reshaping the party, but also people of color.

Journalists noted that Crowley was just too white for his district, which is now 50 percent Latino — mostly American, non-immigrant, Peurto Ricans — and only 22 percent white.

Ocasio-Cortez affirmed this racial claim by posting this comment — “want to unseat these white male incumbents.” — on her Twitter account:

The district is now 50 percent Latino partly because of the post-1965 mass-immigration policies which have imported a low-wage service class for the upper-income professionals, such as the bankers and investors on Wall Street. Wages for this huge service-class are lowered by the mass migration of each new wave of workers, who must live in shared rental housing close to their workplaces because few earn enough money to move up to the middle-class.

Ocasio-Cortez’s mother is a Puerto Rican migrant, and she claims to have briefly worked on immigration issues in Sen. Ted Kennedy’s office. She won by selling herself as a fellow Latino would promote immigration and aid Puerto Rico, and also a progressive who would tax Democratic donors to reduce rents, subsidize mortgages, pay-off students loans, subsidized jobs, provide free work-training, and provide free healthcare.

She wants higher taxes, telling MSNBC that she wants an “economically ambitious agenda”:

She wants to force banks to hand out riskier loans:

She slammed Crowley for his ties to establishment donors:

Her big-spending agenda is popular among poor Latino migrants, who see themselves far outside the existing establishment. She told New York magazine:

I believe that every American should have stable, dignified housing; health care; education — that the most very basic needs to sustain modern life should be guaranteed in a moral society.

You can call that whatever you want to call that. Legislatively, when I knock on a door, the way that it looks like is improved and expanded Medicare for all; it looks like housing is a human right; it looks like a federal jobs guarantee that guarantees a $15 minimum wage, paid family and sick leave, and health care. It looks like tuition-free public college, it looks like the exploration and expansion of federal student-loans forgiveness. When I knock on a door and tell people that that’s the world that I’m fighting for, it’s a no-brainer. In fact, this has almost been a non-conversation actually for voters. I was expecting it to be a bigger deal than it was, and people don’t even bat an eye.

She told New York magazine that her campaign combined racial and economic grievances;

There’s this false notion that you have to separate and choose between issues of class and issues of race. What people do when they say that you need to separate class from race is that they are really just saying that people of color should come second … solidarity across racial] lines is very, very powerful.

Her race-and-ethnicity pitch to Latino migrants was front-and-center on her Twitter account:

She visited the border during the peak of her election campaign to show her support for foreign migrants:

She repeatedly called for the abolition of the immigration enforcement agency, despite the shocking 2016 success of Trump’s pro-American policy:

She upstaged Crowley by demanding that he follow through on his rhetoric that ICE is a “fascist” organization: “Why don’t you adopt the stance to eliminate it?”

She promoted her adopted identity as a “Latinx,” meaning Latino of either sex.:

She used her Twitter account to spotlight people who cited their ethnic or racial identity as a reason to vote for her:

 

This immigration-and-socialism pitch almost worked for another son of immigrants in a nearby district held by African-American Rep. Yvette Clark.

Crowley had rock-solid establishment-left credentials. He scored 12 percent at the Heritage Foundation’s scorecard, 14 percent at a Koch-network scorecard,  100 percent at the far-left Americans for Democratic Action scorecard, and 88 percent at another left-wing scorecard. He was endorsed by pro-abortion groups and environmental groups, and by political groups who represented the pre-Latino wave of Irish immigrants from the 1900s.

But the imposed ethnic-and-civic-diversity forced by the federal government’s cheap-labor immigration policy has a price, and on June 26, Crowley became just another example of an American who lost his job to cheap-labor immigrants. Latino activists are hoping for more defeats:

 

 

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