In the middle of a promising primary season for progressives, establishment Democrats and the media are increasingly going on the offensive against challengers from the left. A recent article in Politico called “Bernie’s Army in Disarray” alleges that Our Revolution, the organization founded by Bernie Sanders, is “flailing,” “operating primarily as a promotional vehicle for its leader” and “has no major wins.”
The Politico article presents conflicting narratives. It portrays Our Revolution as toothless and inept on the one hand, but also as an existential threat to the Democratic Party on the other. If the former is true (as many in the dominant media have alleged of the organization and of Sanders) it is worth asking why power brokers in the Democratic Party feel so threatened by it. If the latter is true, then the group is functioning as it was designed: to build a down-ballot revolt to fundamentally change the Democratic Party and pivot it away from neoliberalism.
Some of the criticisms raised about Our Revolution are legitimate causes for concern. Two board members have recently resigned: Lucy Flores quit over concerns the organization ignored issues important to the Latino community and vice chair Catalina Velasquez quit days after the Politico article, citing the organization’s decision to hire Tezlyn Figaro, who has made offensive comments as recently as 2017.
“For the past month, we have been fighting divisive narratives targeting immigrants and pinning us against other oppressed peoples,” wrote Velasquez in a letter posted on social media. “I have faced this with little to no support from the organizational leadership.”
Figaro previously told Fox News that undocumented immigrants were “coming into the country and getting benefits that Americans do not get,” a dubious statement often made by anti-immigrant Republicans. Figaro has apologized, though if…