The dust is starting to settle after a crazy primary night in NY's 14th district, in which longtime Congressman and high-ranking Democrat Joe Crowley lost in a primary to Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. With all the takes flying about, we wanted to add our perspective and debunk the myths about the results.
1. Ultra-liberal candidates are now going to win everywhere.
It is easy to get caught up in the excitement, when a self-proclaimed socialist wins a congressional primary, but NY-14 was hardly a trend. This is an extremely blue district that voted for Hillary by over 60 points. What happens here has little-to-nothing to do with the swing districts Democrats need to win. Having the right candidate for the right district is what is important.
2. The establishment of the the Democratic Party is in trouble.
Yes, a high-ranking Democratic Congressman lost in a primary, but there are several reasons to doubt far-reaching implications. For one, this district had changed over the years, becoming increasingly Latino. Second, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez simply outworked Rep. Crowley. Candidates who hit the doors and talk to more people will be more successful. This is less of a critique of the establishment than a lack of effort by a single candidate.
3. Joseph Crowley is still running.
There has been reporting since the loss that Crowley’s name will still appear on the ballot in November on the Working Families Party line. Many people unfamiliar with NY voting believe this is some sinister plot to keep Ocasio-Cortez from winning, but it is not. NY election law makes it incredibly complicated for names to be removed from the ballot. NY-14 is solidly blue and there is very little chance that this will interfere with a Democrat winning the general election. It is fine to disagree with the law, but there is nothing the candidates can do about it now.
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What We're Reading
This week Eric is recommending Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment.
"The practice of politics can be a bit intense. There are many outlets available to us, some healthier than others. This book dives into how Buddhism broadly and meditation specifically can help. Wright is a passionate writer and his ideas jump off the page. If you are interested at all in this topic, I can't recommend this book enough. In the preface Wright includes this quote from the Dalai Lama: 'Don't try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a better Buddhist; use it to be a better whatever-you-already-are.' Wise words."