In the wake of 3rd Congressional Democratic Party candidate Marie Newman’s appearance on Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers, the race continues to get national attention.
Incumbent Dan Lipinski, who has appeared only once with his challenger, got to take a shot at the progressive wing of the Party in Today’s Chicago Tribune.
He accused Newman of fomenting a Tea-Party of the Left.
By the way, we also invited Lipinski to appear on the radio with us, partially because FCC rules suggest it and partly because we would like to challenge his positions on a women’s right to choose, his opposition to labor’s call for a $15 an hour minimum wage and his less than stellar views on Gay and transgender equality.
He has not called us back.
“Lipinski said Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election represented a failure of Democrats to demonstrate the party’s classic values,” wrote the Chicago Trib.
That analysis stands in the face of reality.
Challenged by democratic socialist Bernie Sanders, Hillary won with the backing of the centrist corporate wing of the Democratic Party. She was all about the Party’s so-called classic values.
Even though she won the popular vote by 3 million voters over Trump, her campaign was an organizational mess, ignoring states with large numbers of labor voters.
They responded in kind by ignoring her.
Since Trump, electoral opposition and activism has been energized, and not by the Democratic Party’s “classic values.”
Is Marie Newman a representative of a Tea-Party Left bogeyman?
My impression after her appearance on our radio show and podcast is that Newman is a main stream progressive and certainly no metaphorical bomb-thrower.
On the issues, she stands close to where the Democratic voters in her multi-racial, multi-national working class district stand.
If her GOTV organization is effective, she can win.
The Times piece asks the question, what does it mean to be a Democrat?
We asked Marie Newman the same question.
She said that she thought that there were probably at least ten different wings in the Democratic Party.
It is Lipinski who, at best, represents just one of those wings. He is one of those Democrats who often seems indistinguishable from a Republican.
When Representative Daniel Lipinski, a conservative-leaning Democrat and scion of Chicago’s political machine, agreed to one joint appearance last month with his liberal primary challenger, the divide in the Democratic Party was evident in the audience that showed up.
Mr. Lipinski’s outnumbered supporters were the diminished lunch-pail Democrats that once dominated his Southside district. Those of his rival, Marie Newman, came from the party’s ascendant coalition — young progressives and women like Elizabeth Layden, a Patagonia-clad teacher who explained her opposition to Mr. Lipinski in blunt terms.
“Because he’s a dinosaur, ’cause he’s a phony, ’cause he’s a Republican who claims to be a Democrat,” said Ms. Layden, 49, who has been making phone calls and knocking on doors to help unseat Mr. Lipinski, a seven-term House member, in the primary race this month. “Hello, women’s rights, and hello, my reproductive rights. Get out of my uterus.”
I don’t know about that “lunch pail” stuff either. Those are code words for white workers and represent a racist appeal. The workers on the southwest side, those union members who came north to work in the mills and stockyards, who carried a lunch pail, were never all white
Who they really mean are those who owed the Party because of patronage.
SEIU is a strong backer of Newman while the Chicago Federation of Labor, more aligned with the old Democratic Machine, is hanging on to Lipinski.
“It’s a test of the new movement versus the old Chicago machine,” reports the Chicago Sun-Times
The heavily Democratic district was drawn by House Speaker Mike Madigan D-Chicago, also the chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois, to protect Lipinski. A big chunk of his vote comes from what’s left of the Chicago machine wards: 11, 13, 14, 19 and 23. But in the 2016 March primary, Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton in this district and Newman is trying to harness this potential pool of newly engaged Democrats.
Rather than protecting the interests of working families, Lipinski’s main classic value has been defending Lipinski and the Democratic Machine.
In spite of sowing fears of a fantasy Left Tea-Party (which may or may not be an actual good idea), March 20th may see the end of Machine control of the Illinois 3rd Congressional District.