Tag Archives: Antonio Delgado

In Praise of Vote Shaming

After putting in several days with the thousands (yes thousands) of volunteers canvasing for Antonio Delgado in the hard fought NY19th congressional district, it occurred to some of us that the best use of our time time- that which was most likely to put the Democrat over the top- was to switch tactics.

The Green Party candidate in NY 19 was polling at over 3% in the week before the election. As has been the case for Greens for at least a decade, votes for him would accomplish few positive results if any-surely nothing in terms of building the infrastructure of a viable alternative third party.(1) They would have only one ultimate effect which would be to help “the most dangerous organization in human history” to maintain control of congress. Our convincing a few might make a small but possibly significant difference in the outcome, or so we hoped.

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My Delgado Endorsement (Part 2)

So that’s the endorsement.  Now, as promised, comes the self-critique which being applicable to myself is by definition of no general interest.  That said, it is worth discussing in that my specific circumstances are fairly typical in at least one important respect of my rough cultural, social and economic class.  In particular, those in our class position have a particular set of privileges and among these is being able to make political choices and to publicly express them without too much concern for the consequences of doing so. These include, as some of us have chosen, radical politics.

It is, of course, never easy to make sacrifices-to take positions which challenge those with real economic, social and political power which is what if means to be a radical, after all. However, it is much easier to do so if one has resources which can cushion their impact. By resources I mean that in the most material sense, namely, access to capital: not income but accumulated wealth-both personal and family-which can be drawn on if, for example, one is fired from one’s job due to expressing one’s political beliefs, or isn’t hired in the first place. Of course, no one likes living on the margins, but the cost of being a “luftmensch” can be born by those with resources. Those who don’t have these can’t make the sacrifice and will rarely make it.

Continue reading My Delgado Endorsement (Part 2)

My Delgado Endorsement (Part 1)

I’m going to couch my endorsement of Antonio Delgado in the form of a moderate self-critique. Before I issue it in part 2, I’ll put on the table what I told a canvasser for Delgado months ago and have repeated to anyone who’s asked since, including to Delgado himself. And that is that anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of politics should have an inherent distrust of a candidate fitting Delgado’s profile: a white collar criminal defense lawyer from a notorious union busting firm whose multimillion dollar war chest was overwhelmingly acquired from the finance sector including massive contributions from Goldman Sachs employees and other unsavory corporate entities. Based on Thomas Ferguson’s golden rule of politics, I fully expect that Delgado’s tenure in office will be largely responsive to these interests.

This will not be an issue so much in his first term. Should he be elected, Delgado can be expected to vote party line on whatever initiatives the Democrats pursue to scale back the Trump  juggernaut. Where the rubber will meet the road will be in 2020 should a progressive Democrat representing the Sanders wing of the party take the presidency. The first hundred days initiatives will be key, with congressional votes on Medicare for All, banking reform, higher taxation on upper incomes, repeal of the carried interest deduction, maybe even (my own personal hope) the initiatiation of a wealth tax.

It is reasonable to assume that Delgado’s votes will reflect the views of those who financed his campaign. And that will mean a “no” on most if not all of these. In other words, he and others like him will, as the saying goes, “dance with those who brung him.” The likelihood that he will change partners is small if history is any guide. The result will be the failure of the progressive agenda in 2021.

This will, however, send a message, now stronger than ever, that the neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party will need to be displaced.

Based on that, if the progressive wing has developed the kind of organizational infrastructure necessary to do so, all candidates fitting this profile will receive primary challenges in 2022. Delgado is likely to be one of these and I will be pleased to support and work for whoever his challenger is. We should be working to recruit him or her now.

At the moment, however, it should be all hands on deck for Delgado. I therefore strongly endorse not only voting for him, but working with as much enthusiasm as possible for his campaign, as I myself am doing.

On Voting and Responsibility: The Green Temptation in NY 19


A recent WAMC debate between the candidates in the closely contested New York 19th congressional district was a surprise in that, according to many of my friends from across the political spectrum, it was won by a candidate few had heard of, the Green Party’s Steve Greenfield.

It is likely, even certain, that some of those impressed by Greenfield’s performance will support him at the polls next week thereby taking votes away from the Democrat Antonio Delgado to the benefit of the Republican John Faso.

One outcome, however, is certain: whoever wins, it won’t be Greenfield who will acquire no more than a small fraction of the total votes.

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NY 19 From the Left: Who to Vote for and Why


A few of my Hudson Valley friends who read my political postings have asked for my choices in the upcoming Democratic primary in Northern Dutchess County.

I’ll be happy to provide them in the following, albeit at the end. You’re welcomed to skip to them but I hope that you will consider engaging in what I regard as a more important conversation than who we pull the lever for on June 26: how one should negotiate this and other biennial and quadrennial “electoral extravaganzas”, as Chomsky refers to them.

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