According to the San Jose-Mercury News, Cenk Uygur, anchor and CEO of The Young Turks, may challenge incumbent California Senator Dianne Feinstein in next year’s primary. Uygur cryptically said to his viewers on yesterday’s broadcast, “Don’t miss the show next week. Interesting. Just don’t miss it. I’ll leave it at that.” TYT cohost Ana Kasparian is also considering jumping into the already crowded primary, so whether or not she and Uygur would both enter is up for debate.
Uygur, a former Republican-turned-Democrat, has been a target several times on The Daily Banter, and regular readers of this site need no introduction to him. He certainly needs no introduction to us, as every time we run a piece like this, he puts out a video saying that nobody cares what we think before spending fifteen minutes insulting us. His main schtick is to take down mainstream Democrats because they’re not as progressive as he is, fashioning litmus tests for them, and further trying to divide them with his new initiative, Justice Democrats. He also bitches about getting kicked off airplanes.
TYT has recently had it out for Senator Feinstein for the usual boilerplate reasons they have it out for any politician not named Bernie: she takes money from donors, she “never knew a war she didn’t love,” she hasn’t endorsed single-payer healthcare, blah blah blah. After she announced she was running for re-election, TYT correspondent Emma Vigeland posted a video criticizing Feinstein for saying on Face the Nation that no law could have stopped the Vegas shooter. Vigeland conveniently ignored that four days prior to that interview, Feinstein announced legislation banning “bump stocks,” the device which allowed the Vegas shooter to turn his weapons into automatic devices.
Feinstein already has a strong primary challenger in California State Senate President Ken de Léon, a fifty-year-old son of a Guatemalan immigrant who passed legislation making California a sanctuary state this year. The combination of his progressive views and endorsements from progressive groups makes De Léon appear like a natural for a Justice Democrats endorsement, but spokesperson Corbin Trent dismissed him, claiming his candidacy “seems too much like a campaign for political purposes and not enough like a campaign to promote policy.”
There is little reason to think that, if Uygur were to (god forbid) become a Senator, he would surround himself with reasonable, fair-minded people. Look at the cronies who populate his network: Jimmy Dore, David Sirota, Nomiki Konst and Jordan Chariton are all among the most egregious peddlers of disinformation on the left, turning people against “the establishment” for no reason other than because they’re “the establishment.” This thinking may fit in on a high school campus, but it has no business in politics, where compromise and the ability to play a long game are essential to accomplishing goals. It is why Dianne Feinstein has stuck around for so long – this excellent profile from Mother Jones this summer paints a picture of a woman undeterred by her detractors, with the political savvy to advance progressive legislation and the thoughtfulness to admit to her mistakes.
Cenk Uygur, obsessed by ideological purity and unable to engage in reasonable dialogue, has no business running for Senate, especially against a woman like Feinstein. Hell, he has no business running for dogcatcher. If we are to take back the House and Senate in 2018, it will involve shutting down people like him, who make perfect the enemy of good.
Jeremy Fassler is a writer and journalist living in Brooklyn, New York.