NLeft-wing progressives are furious with establishment Democrats in the state after they voted in favor of a House resolution to “condemn the horrors of socialism,” setting up a showdown between the far-left of the party and its more centrist officials.
The Las Vegas chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America hit out at the state’s Democratic Party, blasting officials for failing to censure members of the Nevada House after the four lawmakers voted to denounce “the horrors of socialism” in countries like Cuba and North Korea. The LVDSA cited the state party’s silence, along with a handful of other grievances, as evidence that the Democratic Party has become a “dead end.”
THE HOUSE APPROVED THE RESOLUTION CONDEMNING THE “HORRORS OF SOCIALISM”
“It’s a ‘party’ in name only; really, it’s simply a tangled web of dark money and mega-donors, cynical consultants and bogus politicians,” LVDSA officials wrote in a statement. “The establishment is Lucy with football: no matter how much socialists organize for power, the establishment will simply walk away from football, using increasingly dirty tricks. It’s enough to fall for the tricks and even the most dedicated socialist can’t help but give up and play the ugly game.”
The statement comes after the House resolution received bipartisan support in the House, passing by a vote of 328-86 with 109 Democrats joining all Republicans in advancing the measure. All four members of the Nevada House, Democratic representatives Mark Amodei, Steven Horsford, Susie Lee and Dina Titus, voted in favor of the resolution.
Las Vegas Democratic Socialists lamented the vote and specifically criticized the Nevada Democratic Party for not condemning the lawmakers’ votes. In response, the LVDSA declined to endorse any candidate in the upcoming election for a new Nevada State Democratic Party presidency, noting that the list of progressive candidates has not been able to differentiate itself from traditional Democrats.
“Re-election is now looming. The positions of the former Progressive Slate do not differ significantly or materially from those of their opponents, nor do their general tactics,” the group wrote. “We cannot offer this list our organizational support, either on paper or through organized action, despite the fact that some of the board members remain members of the DSA.”
The refusal to endorse a candidate is the latest in a feud between progressives and centrist Democrats in Nevada since the far left took over the state party more than two years ago.
LVDSA members made a clean sweep, securing all Nevada Democratic Party leadership positions in 2021, marking a significant victory for progressives and setting the stage for a transformation of the state Democratic Party, a transformation that progressives say it never happened.
Instead, socialists who were elected began to face accusations of abandoning their progressive principles amid re-election challenges.
“As the term progressed, we saw the ostensibly progressive coalition move further and further to the center, making administrative and policy decisions more in line with the corporatists we pledged to defeat than the grassroots organizers who pushed the opening win.” LVDSA wrote. “As socialists, we do not believe that the shift to the right is a moral failure of leadership; we’ve seen the same thing happen time and time again when socialists enter Democratic Party politics. The corrupt, corporate-fueled machine (and its aide-de-camp, the media) is a moderating force, even for the proudest leftists.”
The group specifically targeted Nevada Democratic Party Chairwoman Judith Whitmer, who won the seat in 2021 after running as an NVDSA affiliate. Critics have accused him of failing to build a grassroots movement in the state, a criticism reportedly shared by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who had a heavy hand when it came to ‘elect progressives to the state Democratic Party.
“The senator is quite disappointed with Judith’s presidency, specifically her failure to build a strong grassroots movement in the state,” a source told Politico. “A lot of us feel sad about what could have been. It was a great opportunity for Bernie-aligned people in the state to prove some of the establishment people wrong. And that hasn’t happened.” .
Whitmer defended her tenure as party chairwoman, noting that Sanders has never approached her with concerns about her leadership. In addition, Whitmer argued that she has spent the past two years focused on making politically realistic changes, something far-left progressives have been unwilling to do, she said.
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“They really didn’t want to do electoral politics,” he told the outlet. “They wanted to work outside the current election system. As state party chairman, I can’t do that. I can’t work outside the same system. I represent the Democratic Party. I don’t represent the Democratic Party. [Democratic Socialists of America.]”
Whitmer is up for re-election on March 4, when the state central committee will choose its next chairman. He will face Rep. Daniele Monroe-Moreno, who has been endorsed by a slew of Democratic state senators, House members and other state officials.