The Brooklyn based political organization Working Families Party (WFP) endorsed Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s candidacy for president of the United States yesterday.
The WFP supported Sen. Bernie Sanders during his 2016 bid for president which I’m sure many took as a sign that the group was moving further to the left and would be focused on electing truly progressive Democrats moving forward.
This, of course, turned out not to be the case.
The nomination of a more moderate Democrat like Elizabeth Warren comes off as an odd move considering the progressive group has mostly been abandoned recently by moderate Democrats including unions, the New York Democratic political machine, and Governor Cuomo (who they endorsed for governor in 2014) is seeking to eliminate their abilities to show up on a ballot.
Although WFP did support progressive Cynthia Nixon’s 2018 gubernatorial campaign the group made the critical error of endorsing Queens political boss Joseph Crowley over Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York's 14th congressional district Democratic primary race that same year. They did this because they’ve been reduced (as I’ve said before) from being a real up and coming political force to not much more than a glorified canvassing/consulting group which relies on the patronage of Democratic machine campaigns for survival. Joseph Crowley ruled Queens politics with an iron fist and if the WFP were to go against him they’d lose a huge source of their funding.
There have been many WFP betrayals of progressives over the years including their 2014 endorsement of Andrew Cuomo and their refusal to endorse WFP member Zephyr Teachout over the more moderate Democrat Letitia “Tish” James during the 2018 New York Attorney General election.
Most of WFP’s remaining support comes far-left activist types who are known for their devotion to Bernie Sanders as well as their strong suspicions of Elizabeth “capitalist to my bones” Warren. I can only imagine this decision will further diminish the group (even though it may be a monetarily profitable move).
Responses to the announcement on Twitter were not positive, to say the least:
I have to assume that you give greater weight to the votes of your leadership. Regardless - not following or supporting you from this point on. We've seen your true colors: just another faux-progressive group that turns "centrist" when they get a little mainstream traction.— Mykaela Gray 🌹 (@MykaelaGray) September 16, 2019
Sanders's base is overwhelmingly diverse & hails from a working class background. He is the most pro-labor candidate in the democratic primary field. I am shocked that an organization that claims to espouse his values has gone the other way to endorse a former republican.— Bernie Wrote the Damn Bill 🌹 (@gillsterein) September 16, 2019
So, I called it. @workingfamilies @NelStamp tried to call the process fair, but the writing was on the wall. Endorsing Warren over SANDERS, the guy who has been doing what you claim to care about for decades, puts you in the realm of unserious. So gross. https://t.co/zDT38fz9Ku— Jenna (@MomForProgress) September 16, 2019
I heard the board got a signal from big donors that those donors would only fund a WFP IE if it was for Warren. It is what it is, we know Bernie continues to have the biggest base of support among working families, and that he is the best for our working families.— Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa🌹 (@CDRosa) September 16, 2019
WFP has 50,000 members and only 10,000 or 20% cast ballots thru the online portal. Leadership, some 50 people, had 50% of the vote and membership the other 50%. So each "leader" had 200 votes compared to members' 1 vote. If everyone voted that would have been 1000:1. Democratic? pic.twitter.com/3IHkNl2Wd8— Information Superhighwayman (@evald_larsen) September 17, 2019
And finally, Twitter user Adam Baltner summed up this mess quite well:
Taking solace in the fact that this move is much more likely to delegitimize and destroy the WFP than to actually help the Warren campaign. https://t.co/yUQiW1mNoz— Adam Baltner (@schaumahaltmal) September 16, 2019
Image Via Twitter