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Irrational Opposition of Justice Democrats by Progressives

The Justice Democrats is an organization that has been set up to carry out the ideals of progressivism that is stated in their platform, as well as electing congressional members that are progressives and not corporate democrats like Cory Booker.

The organization understands that their main enemies are clearly the Republican party and the Corporate Democrats who receive hundreds of thousands of dollars from corporations and banks. However, there is quite the unexpected foe that the Justice Democrats now faces.

The new opposition that could not have been foreseen is a certain group of people who call themselves progressives and share about 80 percent of the same goals policy wise, supported Bernie Sanders vehemently in the Democratic Primary, but yet now oppose the Justice Democrats who are trying to continue the message that Bernie Sanders has passed.

The main proponent of this opposition is led by a YouTube channel called Sane Progressive, in which she often makes videos pushing progressive ideas and exposing Republican and Corporate Democrat fallacies. Debbie Lusignan from The Sane Progressive claims that “If you can’t vote them out, you can’t vote them in”. She explains that because of the massive election fraud that occurred in the 2016 Democratic Primary, in which Bernie Sanders faced systemic and institutional biases, there is no way to vote anybody into office in the Democratic Party because they will cheat to make sure that you can’t win.

Debbie also maintains a grudge against Bernie Sanders for not addressing voter fraud live in real-time during the Democratic Primary, and she exclaims that Bernie Sanders shouldn’t be the influence for the organization because he is not the best person. She also believes that there should be a movement that strays away from the Democratic Party and form a new party.

Kyle Kulinski of Secular Talk, one of the founders of the Justice Democrats, has made quite a few responses to the progressives who constantly criticize obstructively, rather than constructively. He has responded by saying that while there were massive biases during the 2016 Democratic Primary, Bernie Sanders is still a sitting senator, which is what the goal of the Justice Democrats is. He says that Bernie Sanders being a current sitting senator is proof that electing congressman is not impossible, but instead just a challenge. He has also said that they chose not to start a new party, but instead take back the Democratic party because there are too many systemic biases against third parties that would make it nearly impossible for the Justice Democrats to succeed and push their ideals.

While Kyle and others have founded The Justice Democrats that has a platform that has organized thousands of people and is fully funded by the people to retake power from the Corporate Democrats who continually vote against the American people’s priorities, Debbie has failed to provide an alternative or explain why an alternative that already exists is better.

Is the criticism from these progressives who agree on at least 80% of the points of the platform obstructive or constructive? Clearly, this is obstructive criticism that is detrimental to the progressive movement to get people elected into congress who represent the people of America and vote to help improve the lives of the American people in a time where neoliberalism has failed to defeat Donald Trump. While an example of constructive criticism would be to insist upon adding prevention of election fraud to the platform, claiming that “you shouldn’t donate a dime” to the Justice Democrats campaign is not.

Over a hundred thousand people have already signed up in support of the Justice Democrats movement, with hundreds of thousands of dollars already in donations from the American people. Currently, with our collective ideas and contributions both financially, verbally, and ideologically, the Justice Democrats is the best chance to retake power in the government to represent the people of the United States of America, rather than the Corporations and banks.

Until Debbie provides a better alternative or provides constructive criticism rather than obstructive criticism, she should not stand in the way of the currently rapid growing movement of the Justice Democrats that seeks to reform the current state of our government and bring the power back to the power to the people of the United States of America.


Written by Sahil Habibi

Sahil Habibi is the host of The Progressive Voice on YouTube, which airs segments dissecting the news daily. Follow Sahil on Twitter @ProgressVoice.

Sahil is a Writer for Progressive Army.


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  1. I understand the infighting among progressives and the variations found among different progressive groups, but I really think that the best way to fight is through coalition building. It’s my belief that a unifying umbrella network that connects all of these groups would serve us in the next elections or to dismantle systems of inequality when elections don’t work.

    So, while Sane Progressive and Justice Democrats disagree about approaches to replacing or reforming the system, they can unite when necessary and when their views overlap. Imagine if Democratic Socialists of America, Green Party, Justice Democrats and progressive networks and orgs like BLM, NoDAPL, 350.org, Greenpeace, Our Revolution, etc. were able to pursue work important to them and unite when individual members feel its relevant or necessary.

    There’s already a great deal of overlap between these groups. With a formal network or umbrella organization, they could be called to action and united. When Sane Progressive and other Berniecrats don’t want to support the Democratic Party at all, they can pursue their own agenda. When they are protesting Cory Booker’s bullshit, they can unite.

    • Terrific comment! And fantastic piece by the author! Excellent points, all.

      Sane progressive is really into election fraud. Great! Needed. Not really sure why she can’t make that a huge part of her time; really work on this. Not sure what other groups doing what they think is a good strategy has to do with that effort.

  2. There’s a lot missing in the Justice Democrats, starting with an attempt at learning what ‘platform’ issues the progressives, you’re complaining don’t just jump on your bandwagon, see as essential elements for the future. Start with economics. Dump Friedman. Operating as if we’re still on the gold standard is already killing people. Neo-liberal economics is complete fail. 40% of all jobs will be robotized in 20 years. We’ll be evacuating people from some of the most expensive real estate on the planet in ten. Start with economics.

    • I completely agree in every way regarding the essential task of attacking Milton Friedman *specifically*, since there is a cult of personality surrounding him, yet his ideas simply do not work, and even in their heyday were a suboptimal solution to the problem of inflation. Neoliberalism is the Emperor’s New Clothes of the far to extreme right which is becoming more and more normalized.

  3. how about instead of saying irrational….because there is a real rational behind the opposition…getting JD to commit to additional transparency and inclusiveness in their process. There’s a direct Soros fella on the leadership board, and that alone has some folks spinning their eyeballs…that should be addressed… not called irrational.

  4. If it’s impossible to get Bernie-esque ppl elected, then how were we able to beat Chris Matthew’s wife, how did Jayapal win, how did Nannette Baragan win? How did 2 state dem parties and 2 county dem parties get taken over by Bernie ppl? How did we beat an est. incumbent in RI’s state legislature? How come 55% of ppl backed by OR won their races?

  5. I think one of Sane Progressive’s main points is missed in this post. That is, that the danger of funds going to the co-optation or derailment of the truly Progressive movement is real. To which Lusignan proposes direct giving to the candidates. Sounds reasonable to me. Establishment Democrats can pose as Progressives and say all the right words, promise all the right things, and receive funds that go into the shoring up of the shaky Democratic Establishment. That’s certain not anything I’m interested in supporting.

  6. Obviously, I support Justice Democrats, but SaneProgressive does have some valid points. A media company, any media company, acting as a fundraiser or primary mouthpiece for a political movement is a conflict of interest, by definition. The background of individuals behind any political movement is a valid concern.

    What I do not understand is this knee-jerk reaction to any criticism whatsoever to attack any voice that expresses concerns. The better approach would be for The Young Turks or Secular Talk to invite SaneProgressive on their show and hash out those concerns.

    If you want to be a big tent progressive movement, then be that. Otherwise, how is this any different than the DNC’s rejection of progressives? How is it any different than the Tea Party movement that was funded and driven by the Koch Brothers?

  7. The main issue here is a complete lack of trust. We donated to Bernie and not only be was cheated, he didn’t stand up and denounced it. I don’t need Debbie to tell me not to donate, i came to that conclusion ask by myself, she is just pointing out the obvious. I will support individuals who’s policies i agree with, but first i am going to Google the hell out of them and make sure that are not fake or recycled progressives. I also donated to Obama and wish i could have that money back.

  8. #ProgressiveOrBust means just that. If Democrats run corporatists against Justice Dems or a Berniecrat by another name, progressives need to make it clear to every Democrat in that Congressional District that unless the progressive wins the primary, they will be either writing in the progressive where allowed or voting for a progressive 3rd party alternative.

  9. I support the Justice Democrats. It’s time to rebuild and Bernie is the one for that, he’s doing a good job of bringing the established Dems into line with a more progressive platform and I think also in the matter of their couscious and not being beholding to special interests. The other group seems to be into holding a gruge and sour grapes. Not trying to be mean, it’s just how I see it. Experience counts for a lot, especially since they’ve seen the light via what’s been installed in the W.H. and they’re fighting their asses off for democracy. They look up to Bernie and he can keep them in line.

  10. Why do we need another progressive organization that promises to primary corporate Democrats with Progressives? A bunch of them already exist. Unity is the path to victory, not fragmentation.

    Why don’t we just all get behind Our Revolution or Brand New Congress? Aren’t they doing the same thing as the new Justice Dems?

    BTW, in addition to those relative new groups we have a bunch of others who have been doing the same thing for 10 years or more including Progressive Democrats of America (which started pushing Bernie to run as a Dem back in 2014), Democracy for America, Bold Progressives, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Working Families Party (not a real third party by a satellite of the Democratic Party, but it works to elect progressives over corporate Dems.) United Working Families, and several union affiliated groups. I won’t even mention Move on, okay I did.

    The point is how does further fragmenting the progressive electoral movement lead to success?

    • There are a number of advantages to Justice Democrats (regular PAC) over most of those organizations:

      1. It is directly affiliated with Brand New Congress, so no fragmentation in that regard

      2. It is a PAC, so there are strict donor limits, at least within the context of the broken campaign finance system in the US

      3. Many of those are 501(c)(4) organizations which doesn’t address big donors directly

      4. While some are 501(c)(3) organizations (which is even more pure than a PAC), those have disadvantages towards supporting electoral campaigns directly

      5. While it clearly backfired, having Cenk Uygur and Kyle Kulinski promoting them significantly helped the organization grow when MSM and others are strongly hostile to most progressive organizations (I suspect the only reason why they are not overtly hostile to Indivisible is all of the verbiage of “Resistance” and similar…)

      6. It explicitly stated a takeover of congress as their goal, with a clear platform. Some of those groups occasionally or even regularly endorse candidates that would not meet those standards

      That being said, I think that the Justice Democrats have a number of issues that have limited their appeal (I am concerned that they didn’t even try to build up a grassroots following at rallies /marches, and their internal management is undemocratic) and even may make them less effective at accomplishing their stated goals, so I don’t take them to be a panacea, and still support many other groups, including ones that you noted.

  11. No, our opposition to “Justice Democrats” is not irrational. This same thing has been tried for 30 years, over and over again by multiple groups, and has failed each time, just as it will now. You’re not going to “take over” the Democratic Party. The rationale behind that statement can be found by examining the Democratic Party charter and bylaws. After the 1972 election, the Democrats revised all of that to put “safeguards” in place to PREVENT any attempt at a takeover by “grassroots activists.” In short, the deck is very much stacked against this effort. And instead of wasting time, energy, and money on a fool’s errand of tilting at windmills, what we need to be doing is building up the Green Party of the United States, which is the Progressive Leftist party in the US with the most members, the best name recognition, an established infrastructure and apparatus, experience for over 35 years with getting on the ballot, and therefore, the best potential to replace the corrupt Democratic Party. Anyone who keeps buying into the “hope” for reform of the Democratic Party is the one who is irrational, not those of us who know the history and … oh, yeah, have extensive training in Logic, like myself.

    Irrational? Projection.

  12. Have lots of parties and change the world. Coalesce at the right time behind the right candidate. There is no need to argue divisively. At such time that it is evident who you agree with the most, rally around that candidate. I am not interested in internal power struggles for attention. I want to hear from everyone who can express a progressive point of view and who understands all of us are in this together and only if we are unified at the important moment can our ideas move forward legislatively.

  13. This piece is nonsense. The Sane Progressives puts forth legitimate criticism and it’s spun here as ‘obstructionist’? That’s exactly what a Democrat would do, try and refocus an issue so it becomes about personality and not substance. Her point of view is valid and attention should be paid to what people do under a progressive umbrella. What next your going to suggest we all “get in line”. Debbie has every right to take a closer critical view of both TYT and JD.

  14. Irrational? In-fighting? This is not in-fighting, this is an attempted corporate takeover. Ro Khanna is a corporate stooge who has his own SuperPAC run by Ash Chopra, his campaign fundraising chair. There is no smear campaign, just terrible excuses for journalists shilling for the corporate candidates.

    The fact that Kyle and Cenk are claiming to be objective and neutral is a farce. The whole thing is even backed by Zack Exley, who also isn’t exactly neutral.

    Justice Democrats is an arm of Brand New Congress, which magically had $250,000+ appear overnight and they claim is “all small cash contributions” with no donor information attached. Sketchy.

    Money out of politics means money out of politics, not “the perception that this is bad removed so we can continue to raise millions of dollars but act like it’s OK now.”

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SPLASH! News for January 9, 2017

Irrational Opposition of Justice Democrats by Progressives