Despite being somewhat hastily organized (since the very first meeting of the TCDSA for Bernie subcommittee was a mere nine days before the debate) a sociable event to watch the second Democratic Party 2020 presidential debate was a pretty big success. Attended by approximately 80 people, many of whom were non-members, not very active members or very recent members, it was a great opportunity to practice organizing conversations. After a frantic scramble and a few false starts, the committee settled on Lake Monster Brewing Taproom for the venue. The event was advertised through the usual social media channels and personal boosts from DSA members. Additional draws were the Debate Watch Bingo, the food truck, the TCDSA swag, the camaraderie and, of course, beer. Shout out to Anand who is chairing the new committee, and J Hath and Josh K who did a lot of the venue scouting and other event planning. (And anyone else who was beavering away unnoticed in the background.) The venue turned out to be very amenable, as we took up the back third of the large space and had a huge TV with cable, captions, and decent sound.
In terms of the debate itself, even more than the previous night (with ten different candidates) it was really the I’m Just Like Bernie Sanders Except Younger and Not A Socialist Show. There were a few food fights that broke out (on the show, not among us!). Someone said “The American people do not want a food fight,” but I hollered back at the screen “I want a food fight!” (I really prefer chaotic neutral in my TV viewing.) The next day water cooler convo was all about Kamala Harris saying she did not consider Biden a racist and then pretty much calling him one. He did not handle that well, not surprisingly. His polling took a hit, and Harris’s took an upturn, although many people think it was a sneaky tactic. Sanders himself, the reason we were all there, did OK. He was, as ever, just himself.
I want to close with a pitch for members to join the TCDSA for Bernie 2020 committee. You don’t have to be an Electoral Branch member. We especially need more women, as I am currently the only one, and it’s lonely. This is a fun committee and a great learning opportunity on many levels. We need people with a variety of skills and contacts with a variety of communities, as well as newbies eager to learn. Our major efforts will be canvassing, tabling, political education, and other grassroots base building such as small informal meetings and house parties. We are doing an “independent expenditure” campaign which means meticulous records of time and money spent (another learning opportunity, the intricacies of electoral financing laws.) Political education from the committee will include canvassing skills, data management (the VAN), and working within the DFL, ie precinct caucus training and precinct captaining. Please check us out – no commitments.
– Deb R.