Beto is the new Bernie

It's not about the policy. It's about the inspiration.

Bernie Sanders as Beto ORourke.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Spencer Platt/Getty Images, PAUL RATJE/AFP/Getty Images)

More than anyone in the still-developing Democratic primary field, the potential candidacy of Beto O'Rourke, the Texas Senate candidate and viral video machine who nearly took down Ted Cruz in last month's election, is already roiling the left.

Last week, a handful of progressive writers came out against him, including Jacobin's Branko Marcetic and The Washington Post's Elizabeth Bruenig, who wrote that "times both call for and allow for a left-populist candidate with uncompromising progressive principles." That inspired a Tweet from Center For American Progress President Neera Tanden that suggested the pile-on was coordinated and that progressives were "worried" about Beto, presumably because he might crowd out Sanders or another ideological progressive. By the end of the day it would have taken detectives hours to recreate the bloody crime scene on Left Twitter. The whole affair was enjoyed by exactly no one.

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