I endorsed Shahid Buttar's primary challenge to Nancy Pelosi in 2018, and I'm proud to do so again for the 2020 primary, especially as Pelosi has allowed herself to be played by Trump on American concentration camps and mass ethnic-cleansing raids.
Pelosi's deep connections to the American ruling class has means her fundraising is unparalleled, but she lacks the broad support that real progressives like AOC have found in their districts. She may have won 17 races, but she's also happy to sabotage health care reform and the Green New Deal, and, not coincidentally, these acts of sabotage translate into billions for her backers.
By contrast, Buttar — a human rights cyberlawyer turned EFF community organizer — has a slate of AOC-aligned, progressive policies that will change the lives of everyday Americans for the better, and might just help maintain the habitability of the only known planet in the universe capable of sustaining human life.
Buttar's been profiled in Jacobin just as the #ShahidVsPelosi hashtag has started trending. With primaries looming, I'm glad to see him back in the race, challenging the do-nothing, billionaire-friendly Pelosi from the left.
Winning a primary in San Francisco won't be an easy fight. Pelosi has near-unmatched fundraising capabilities and has served seventeen terms in the House. Buttar himself unsuccessfully ran against her last year, finishing sixty points behind. But as her capitulation in the Senate draws ire even from within her own party, conditions seem ripe for change. The hashtag #ShahidVsPelosi has exploded in popularity in the past few weeks, with prominent figures on the Left like Linda Sarsour and Medea Benjamin endorsing the campaign.
Although DSA hasn't yet decided whether to endorse Buttar, his policy platform includes support for Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and an end to mass surveillance — all of which are key issues for DSA, and all of which differentiate him from Pelosi. While the odds are stacked heavily against him, his run will be a test of the salience of these issues for San Francisco Democrats.
Meet Shahid Buttar, Pelosi's Left-Wing Challenger [Natascha Elena Uhlmann/Jacobin]