Seattle Rejects Socialism. Kentucky Embraces it.

Sadly, in rich, liberal Seattle, Amazon did what they couldn’t do in New York City. While the results aren’t final yet, they appear to have defeated pioneering democratic socialist Kshama Sawant. I lived in Seattle in the 1990s. These days I don’t think I’d recognize it.

Wednesday afternoon’s ballot drop has improved vote totals for nearly all of Seattle’s progressive candidates, but no candidates swapped positions, and Council Member Kshama Sawant remains over eight percentage points behind Amazon-approved District 3 candidate Egan Orion. The council’s closest race in Downtown’s District 7 has narrowed, with only 20 votes separating the Amazon-approved candidate and labor’s candidate.

Here in rich, liberal New Jersey, the Republicans picked up seats in the state Assembly and the loathsome Jon Bramnick held on to his spot as minority leader.

Mike forgets to point out that a Chris Christie-aligned dark money group is also in the 21st district, trying to help Jon Bramnick by running negative ads against his opponents. I’m not sure what the knock on the ads against Bramnick are. He is, in fact, a staunch supporter of the NRA, and he did, in fact, vote to cut funding from women’s health programs, including cancer screenings. But I agree with Mike that this is a very competitive district, which will come right down to the wire.

In Kentucky it was different. Right-wing, Republican asshole Matt Bevin ran on an explicitly anti-Sanders, anti-socialist, anti-AOC platform and lost.

The socialist future doesn’t lie in rich, culturally liberal places like New Jersey or Seattle, but in working class “red” America, that place where poor people really get screwed. Defeating Trump won’t be about “Russia” but about issues that actually affect working-class Americans. Democrats take note.

But it’s also wrong to assume Bevin’s loss was just about him. His defeat was a defeat for some of the core issues in the Republican Party. Bevin is politically toxic because for four years he aggressively pushed a pretty standard conservative agenda. He signed laws to mandate ultrasounds and require that health care providers show patients pictures of fetuses before performing an abortion. The state passed conservative labor laws, including a “right to work” policy to undercut unions, and repealed the prevailing wage, which guaranteed public works employees base salaries. Bevin allowed charter schools to come to Kentucky while proposing cuts to public schools.

At the center of Bevin’s agenda were two big policy pushes that came to define his tenure: cuts to Medicaid and cuts to retirement benefits.

An interesting analysis.

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