It’s fun to watch the pendulum of politics swing.

There was much fanfare earlier this week over the Democrat primary election victory in New York’s 14th  Congressional District.

A first-time candidate – a 28-year-old community organizer – beat out a powerful 10-term veteran.

The veteran, Rep. Joe Crowley, was the chairman of the Queens County Democrats and touted an impressive liberal record. Crowley’s name had been bandied about as a likely replacement for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House in the event the Democrats retake  the House in November.

According to published reports online, he was the first member of the House Democratic leadership to sign on in support of "Medicare for all." He also was a vocal advocate for immigrant rights.

Long story short, he was no moderate.

Nonetheless, he lost his bid for an 11th term to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an avowed Democratic Socialist who ran on a platform of Medicare for all, free college for all and the full abolition  of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The weekend before the election she traveled to an ICE?detention center in Texas.

She tweeted this:

The child detention camps are here - I confronted the border officers myself.

Using their names, I told them exactly what they are responsible for.

One of them made eye contact with me.

I spoke directly to him.

I saw his sense of guilt.

We can dismantle this.


So a liberal congressman lost a primary election challenge from a ultra-liberal millennial socialist.

Apparently, the guy just wasn’t quite liberal enough for his district, which, by the way, voted like, 80-20 for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump.

I wondered what a Democratic Socialist stands for, so I started Googling.

The Democratic Socialists of America website had a wealth of information, but I kept looking because I wanted a something more succinct.

I then found an article on by Jeff Stein that, I believe, summed it up pretty nicely.

What does DSA believe in?

Like most socialist organizations, DSA believes in the abolition of capitalism in favor of an economy run either by “the workers” or the state — though the exact specifics of “abolishing capitalism” are fiercely debated by socialists.

“The academic debates about socialism’s ‘meaning’ are huge and arcane and rife with disagreements, but what all definitions have in common is either the elimination of the market or its strict containment,” said Frances Fox Piven, a scholar of the left at the City University of New York and a former DSA board member.

In practice, that means DSA believes in ending the private ownership of a wide range of industries whose products are viewed as “necessities,” which they say should not be left to those seeking to turn a profit. According to DSA’s current mission statement, the government should ensure all citizens receive adequate food, housing, health care, child care, and education. DSA also believes that the government should “democratize” private businesses — i.e., force owners to give workers control over them — to the greatest extent possible.

But DSA members also say that overthrowing capitalism must include the eradication of “hierarchical systems” that lie beyond the market as well. As a result, DSA supports the missions of Black Lives Matter, gay and lesbian rights, and environmentalism as integral parts of this broader “anti-capitalist” program.

“Socialism is about democratizing the family to get rid of patriarchal relations; democratizing the political sphere to get genuine participatory democracy; democratizing the schools by challenging the hierarchical relationship between the teachers of the school and the students of the school,” said Jared Abbott, a member of DSA’s national steering committee. “Socialism is the democratization of all areas of life, including but not limited to the economy.”

DSA does have a history of members who were more likely to consider themselves “New Deal Democrats,” more interested in creating a robust welfare state than in turning the means of production over to the workers. But David Duhalde, DSA’s deputy director, says the “overwhelming majority” of its current members are committed to socialism’s enactment through the outright abolition of capitalism.

This reminds me a lot of what happened on the right with the Tea Party back in 2012.

The Tea Party movement began after the election of Barack Obama. Remember the Tea Party’s 10-Point “Contract From America?”

1. Protect the Constitution: Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does.

2. Reject Cap and Trade: Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumers prices, and weaken the nation's global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures.

3. Demand a Balanced Budget: Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax hike.

4. Enact Fundamental Tax Reform: Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words – the length of the original Constitution.

5. Restore Fiscal Responsibility and Constitutionally Limited Government in Washington.

6. End Runaway Government Spending.

7. De-Fund, Repeal, and Replace Government-Run Health Care.

8. Pass an "All-of-the-Above" Energy Policy: Authorize the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources.

9. Stop the Pork: Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a two-thirds majority to pass any earmark.

10. Stop the Tax Hikes: Permanently repeal all tax hikes.

Some Tea Party members also took far right views on social issues, too.

Remember when Dick Lugar ran for re-election to a seventh term but was defeated in the primary by State Treasurer Richard Mourdock. It was like 60-40, not even close. Then Mourdock, a darling of the Tea Party, lost to Democrat Joe Donnelly in the general election.

A fairly conservative elder statesman lost his seat to a challenger from the right.

That happened in several races across the U.S. that election cycle. Conservatives lost in the primary because they weren’t conservative enough.

Of course, there’s no chance the 14th District in New York will elect a Republican over Ocasio-Cortez, so the analogy doesn’t completely hold, but it seems to me Democrats are experiencing a challenge from the left just like Republicans experienced a challenge from the right.

Should be interesting to see how it plays out.

One thing is sure. If we get enough Tea Party types and socialist types in Congress, nothing will ever get done.