True Colors: Bernie Sanders, Our Revolution, and the Racist Left

True Colors: Bernie Sanders, Our Revolution, and the Racist Left

There it is. 

After living comfortably in the shadows for 16 months, "progressive" organization Our Revolution finally had its curtain pulled back on Monday and what was behind the curtain was not pretty. According to a Politico article, Our Revolution is exactly as many of perceived it to be: a petty, vindictive organization, built on self-interests and egos, and pretending to be supporting Democratic candidates but actually having a secretive and selective process that nobody except the top brass care to understand. In short, the organization closely mirrors the campaign of Bernie Sanders, a campaign supposedly driven by progressive values but actually driven by greed and a lust for power. Overall, the findings from the article read like a laundry list of how not to create a revolution: 

Board members and Sanders presidential delegates from 2016 have raised questions about whether the group’s president, Nina Turner, is using her position to prepare for a presidential run of her own, and to settle scores with the Democratic National Committee from 2016.

Two weeks ago, the group’s board of directors nixed Turner’s attempt to install her personal political consultant and friend as her chief of staff, even though the person had no experience in political organizing and had praised President Donald Drumpf repeatedly and attacked immigrants on Fox News.

Monthly online fundraising totals have plummeted to just one-third of the group’s take a year ago, based on an analysis of processing fees reported to the IRS by Act Blue, the tool Our Revolution uses, and verified by several people familiar with its finances. Our Revolution maintains that it’s still running a surplus and that repeat donations are steady.

Amid the poor fundraising, Our Revolution earlier this month filed paperwork to launch a PAC so Sanders can help it raise money directly and so the group can coordinate directly with campaigns.

A founding board member resigned last month, saying Our Revolution wasn’t paying adequate attention to Latino candidates and issues of importance to Latinos.

None of this should be a surprise for those of us who have been paying attention. To begin with, it was often assumed that Our Revolution president, Nina Turner had higher political aspirations, seeing as how her only previous run for statewide office resulted in a massive 25-point loss for Ohio Secretary of State in 2014. Since the early days of Bernie Sanders' campaign in 2015, Democratic Party officials wondered why someone with such a poor track record would take on such a prominent campaign role. The answer, as it turns out, was for Turner to use the campaign and then to use her role at Our Revolution to raise her own national profile and to use that profile to lift up her friends. According to the article, one of the main reasons Our Revolution endorsed frequent Fox News contributor Dennis Kucinich for governor of Ohio was that Kucinich's running mate Tara Samples was a close friend of Turner. This would explain why a supposed "progressive" group would endorse someone with such a horrific record as Dennis Kucinich.  

In addition, former Our Revolution staffer and DACA recipient Erika Andiola offered a scathing Facebook post in which she verified a lot of what Politico reported. Andiola described being forced out of her work due to her advocacy on the DREAM Act and described how Turner replaced her with Tezlyn Figaro, a personal friend of Turner's, who immediately came onboard and began spouting racist and xenophobic language in favor of Donald Trump's policies. In response to these allegations, Turner published a press release late Tuesday afternoon in what can only be described as a non-denial denial. In her statement, Turner said that Figaro's comments were "under advisement" by herself and her Board and that she was unable to comment further on Andiola's charges "given the sensitivity of the matter." Oddly enough, Turner seemed to take the most umbrage with Politico's reporting on her potential run for higher office claiming that charge was "categorically false." 

The truth is that Our Revolution is progressive in name only. It exists to serve itself and to ratfuck the Democratic Party. Why else would you support Fox News toadie Dennis Kucinich rather than former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau head Richard Cordray? Why wouldn't you want to help elect Doug Jones in Alabama? Why wouldn't you campaign for Connor Lamb in Pennsylvania? Why wouldn't you advocate for Ralph Northam as governor for Virginia? If you don't support these Democrats in these must-win races, what exactly do you stand for?  

The answer is that Our Revolution stands for itself only. They are not our friends. Like Bernie Sanders, they are borrowing the Democratic Party in name and using that name to promote themselves and their brand. They are the mirror image of the Trump Administration in that they see government as a way to enrich themselves and their friends. Don't believe me? Look at who has come to the aid of Our Revolution since the Politico article broke. The Young Turks' Cenk Uygur called it a "hit piece" on Twitter. Both Nomiki Konst and James Zogby immediately came to Cenk's aid. Walker Bragman immediately retweeted Konst. Common Dreams published an article by Michael Sainato attempting to discredit Politico's reporting. The damage control by the usual suspects and the lack of any purported factual errors seem to indicate the original article was grounded in sound reporting. 

Knowing all this, the question becomes how to stop Our Revolution moving forward. They've recently injected themselves into prominent gubernatorial races in New York and Georgia, taking on an incumbent Democratic governor in the former and trying to unseat a sitting Republican governor in the latter. As long as money is flowing in, Our Revolution will continue its arbitrary endorsements of both local and statewide candidates and ballot initiatives. Despite its abysmal track record of success, they still see themselves as kingmakers of Democratic Party politics. They honestly believe that their endorsement and their ground game can potentially catapult their chosen candidate or issue straight to the finish line. 

Perhaps the best option would be for candidates to simply reject any sort of Our Revolution endorsement. After all, the organization takes after Bernie Sanders, who also has an atrocious record when it comes to successfully endorsing winning candidates. Knowing what we now know about the organization and its racist and xenophobic views, candidates now have an easy out for refusing their support and Our Revolution's ground game simply isn't strong enough that it could make or break a candidate's campaign. After all, it was OTHER progressive groups that led the charge for Doug Jones, Connor Lamb, and Ralph Northam who all knew just how important getting out the vote was for their campaigns. In the end, the sooner Democratic candidates realize just how toxic Our Revolution is, the sooner we can rid these putrid parasites from our midst once and for all. 

And that time can't come soon enough. 

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