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I’ll admit I didn’t see this coming. In retrospect, it makes sense, but I guess I was blinded by too much common sense and not enough radical progressive machinations. Reports are coming in that members of “The Squad” in Congress – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib – are endorsing Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination. No word on the fourth member of the new Beatles, Ayanna Pressley. Then again, she’s also the least influential of the radicals in the group.
My money would have been on them backing Elizabeth Warren, but only because I didn’t put much thought to it before. Now, I realize Warren does something “The Squad” hates: She pretends to be a capitalist. Even though she believes in Medicare-for-All, open borders, and several other hyper-leftist pipe dreams, she does so with a false allegiance to capitalism that Sanders has disavowed. Their policies might be very similar, but the way they label it is important. At least it’s important to “The Squad.”
Perhaps a more accurate attribution would be to say labels are important to the Justice Democrats, the far-left organization that’s behind everything radical from the Green New Deal to AOC’s recently unveiled “A Just Society” proposal. And they may also be behind this latest endorsement for reasons (CONSPIRACY THEORIES!) I’ll propose below.
But before we get conspiratorial, let’s state something for the record. AOC and her team allegedly own the mind share of radical progressives. Their brand is one that some believe supersedes Warren’s and possibly even Sanders’s because they are more demographically similar to the target audience – young, rebellious, and “women of color,” as they often say about themselves. If this is true, Sanders should be able to jump up quickly in the polls as a result of these important endorsements.
If not, then their brand is not nearly as developed or powerful as some seem to believe. Now, let’s put on our tinfoil hats…
Bernie and The Squad: Conspiracy 1
Of the two conspiracy theories, this one actually has some plausible supporting facts. The Justice Democrats were bouncing back and forth for a while promoting Warren AND Sanders. On the surface it seemed like they were hedging their bets, but in reality I surmised three months ago that they were shooting for a Warren-Sanders or Sanders-Warren ticket. The timing of this endorsement makes perfect sense in that context because it will theoretically boost Sanders back near the top.
If the Justice Democrats can keep both of them in the running, they’ll have a better chance of staving off Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang, or anyone who emerges in the moderate lane. By keeping both radical progressives in the race, they have a better chance at getting their dream ticket.
As the conspiracy goes, a Warren-Sanders ticket in 2020 would set up a Warren-AOC ticket in 2024 when the Congresswoman turns 35. That’s assuming 82-year-old Sanders will not want a second stint as VP.
That’s also assuming the nation could survive a single term under President Warren. I’d put our chances at 50/50.
Bernie and The Squad: Conspiracy 2
This is similar in reasoning for the first conspiracy theory, but a bit more practical. That’s why it makes less sense for the Justice Democrats to be employing it. They’re cunning, but they’ve never been practical. Otherwise, AOC would never have been their pick in 2016. She’s too much of a wildcard for practicality, but she’s perfect for them in their cunning attempt to take over the Democratic Party.
In this theory, their goal really is to help Warren by keeping Sanders in the race as long as possible to gather voters who may not be inclined to support Warren for whatever reason. Keeping Sanders in now and then having him shift support to Warren later would give her the nitro-boost she’d need at the right moment against whoever leads in the moderate lane.
It’s possible both plays are in mind for the Justice Democrats, but as ideologues I imagine the first theory is the most plausible.
The Justice Democrats don’t think in terms of today. Their strength is in using today to build for tomorrow. This makes them dangerous. If they’re ever allowed to get their candidates in the Oval Office, God help us all.
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