• Tue. Jun 22nd, 2021

mccoy.ventures

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An ‘Army of 16-Year-Olds’ Takes On the Democrats

He said he welcomed the change. If it makes consultants nervous, Mr. Rubin added, it’s meant to.

“People who say, ‘I can’t control it, I don’t understand it,’ well, that’s the whole point — you can’t control it,” Mr. Rubin said. “If you’re good on the issues they care about, they’re going to be with you. If you’re not, they’re not.”

That became clear last week when the Markeyverse went on the offensive.

Their target, this time, was Mr. Markey himself, who on Tuesday had put out a carefully worded Twitter thread on the mounting violence in Israel, apportioning some blame on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides.

This was a disappointment for many of the young progressives, who had been hoping for a sharp rebuke of Israel, like the ones that came from Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren, or from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Though Mr. Markey’s voting record on foreign policy was no secret — he voted to authorize the occupation of Iraq in 2002, for example — it had faded into the background in their embrace of his candidacy, which focused heavily on his record on climate. Now, the group chats and Slack channels that comprise the Markeyverse were flooded with emotion, disappointment and betrayal.

“It’s horrible to watch, and it’s disappointing,” said Emerson Toomey, 21, one of the authors of Ed’s Reply Guys, a Twitter account that helped establish Mr. Markey as a progressive star.

Ms. Toomey, a senior at Northeastern University, was computing, with some bitterness, the “hundreds of thousands of hours” of unpaid labor she and her friends had provided to the senator. It made her question the compact she had assumed existed, that, in exchange for their support, he would accommodate their views on the issues that mattered.

“Maybe he just said those things to us to get elected,” she said.

They had shifted into full organizational mode, circulating a letter of protest that, Ms. Walsh hoped, could induce Senator Markey to revisit his positions on the conflict.