Two or three days ago some Berniebots went after Beto O’Rourke’s partly centrist, somewhat politically incorrect voting record in the House of Representatives over the last four or five years. Ardent supporters of Bernie Sanders are claiming, in other words, that O’Rourke isn’t progressive enough and has been too accommodating to Republican and corporate interests.
The most thorough and agenda-free answer to this, it seems to me, was posted yesterday on Twitter by NBC political reporter Jonathan Allen. He reviewed 167 votes in which O’Rourke went against the majority of Democrats, and found that he’s a reasonably forward-looking moderate-mixed lefty.
Allen: “A fair reading of the votes is that [O’Rourke] isn’t always aligned with the most progressive set in the Democratic Caucus but that he usually is — and that he doesn’t like dilatory votes.”
“Does this mean he’s ‘progressive’ or ‘progressive enough’?”,” Allen concluded. “Not for me to decide. Certainly, each vote will get its vet.
“But it’s fascinating that the first shots of the invisible 2020 Democratic primary are Bernie backers targeting O’Rourke. A fair reading of the politics is that Sanders backers are worried about his pull with progressives and millennials — and that is framed by portraying O’Rourke as a tool of the old Democratic establishment. This fight is just starting, and it will be interesting to watch. It’s easy to dismiss reporting on it as ‘horserace’ journalism, but the way the candidates, their campaigns and their supporters engage in politics is a big part of how campaigns are won and lost.”