What Is To Be Done About the State of Our Union?

obama state of the union

Lydia Howell: Nine months after taking office, Obama began slamming the Democratic Party’s liberal/progressive base for daring to notice, much less criticize, his corporate-friendly policies and center-right positions. In the wake of his Simpson-Bowles Deficit Commission, Obama will likely make a sober call for national sacrifice.

Netroots Focus on Better Democrats

Paul Hogarth: Four years after the first netroots convention, the bloggers are back in Vegas – with an eye on the November 2010 elections. Voters still want change like they did in 2006 and 2008, but now that Democrats control both Congress and the White House there’s a real fear that Republicans could benefit.

We’re in a One-and-a-Half Dip Recession

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Robert Reich: The President should stop talking and acting on anything else – not the deficit, not energy, not the environment, not immigration, not implementing the health care law, not education. He should make the whole upcoming mid-term election a national referendum on putting Americans back to work, and his jobs bill. Are you for it or against it?

The Other Lincoln

Robert Illes: But thank you Madame Lincoln for the clarity of the political landscape, and the Democratic Party. This insane healthcare debate is when we knew the “60-vote majority” was useless.

Speaker Pelosi and the Revival of Progressive Politics in America

Randy Shaw: Yet Ronald Peters’ and Cindy Simon Rosenthal’s just-released book, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the New American Politics , shows that Nancy Pelosi played a far greater role than is realized in reviving progressive politics after the disappointing 2004 defeats. Pelosi shaped the Democrats message, framed attacks on Bush and the Republican Party, maintained party unity and then delivered for progressives after becoming Speaker in 2006. Nancy Pelosi is not only the most powerful female politician in United States history, but she may also be the most effective progressive national elected official of her time.

Can Progressives Get Coffee to the Tea Party People?

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Lycia Howell: To be blunt, all but a couple of Tea Party people were unable to express why they are angry in any specific terms.They voice sentiments along the lines that “Obama is ruining the country” or that immigrants are hurting us and some referred to a nasty rap song, “Press One For English,” but they could offer no specifics to back their feelings.

Could 2010 Be a Good Year for Democrats After All?

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Paul Hogarth: With Congress having finally passed health care reform, pundits are saying President Obama has gotten his “second wind” – and the conventional wisdom is being revisited. Could it be the 2010 midterms will be a good election for Democrats, and Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts was just their low point?

Liberals Lose to Fox Party, Corporate Party

Everything-for-sale

Jim Fuller: Conservatives and the nice, polite folks I think of as carriage liberals have no choice but to step out into the cold with the outspoken progressives or go on doing what they’ve been doing for years now – giving their money and their votes to people who despise them and routinely screw them over.

What’s a Real Democratic Majority?

Congress Paralyzed

Paul Hogarth: The filibuster means that progressive legislation requires 72 Senate Democrats – but you only need 54 Republicans to ram through the most awful right-wing agenda. Why? Because “Democrats vote with Republicans significantly more often than Republicans vote with Democrats, making it much easier for Republicans to pass the kind of legislation they want.

Blue Dog Democrats Exposed as Frauds

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Paul Hogarth: many Blue Dogs are in trouble because of health care, and ironically what could save their hide is a public option. Instead, they are left selling a corporate-friendly bill hashed behind closed doors that forces Americans to buy private insurance – which will only make their constituents vote Republican. That’s why so many Blue Dogs are retiring – so they can bail and become lobbyists for the insurance industry.

Survey Results: Go Left, Young Man!

Poll Wars

Dick Price & Sharon Kyle: After riding a euphoric crest of progressive support into the White House last year, President Barack Obama faces a very different challenge going into 2010: Regaining the trust and support of his own political base.

Flares in the Political Dark

Scream

After a year of escalation in Afghanistan, solicitude toward Wall Street and the incredible shrinking healthcare reform, we ought to be able to see that the biggest problem among progressives has been undue deference to the Obama administration.

Obamacare Warring with Itself Over Future Costs

Douglas Elmendorf, head of the Congressional Budget Office

Now is the time for the President to begin twisting arms and knocking heads. To control long-term costs, he’ll also have to take away some of the goodies that have been promised to the health-industrial complex, and maybe even cross Big Labor.

Two Ways to Pay as You Go

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland)

We need to move at least a fraction of the wasteful money in the bloated pigged-out Pentagon to programs that serve useful purposes. This is a progressive and a majority position.

White Supremecist DC Shooting in Post-Racial America

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On June 10th, an 88-year-old white supremecist walked into the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, armed with a rifle, and killed a black security guard before being fired upon and apprehended. As usual, local authorities including the Mayor of Washington, DC used two familiar words that were recently uttered in the murder of [...]

Blue Dog Democrats and Republican Triangulation

pet-republicans

Senator John McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, has served up a devastating critique of the direction the Republican Party has taken recently. “If figureheads like Ann Coulter are turning me off,” Ms. McCain writes, “then they are definitely turning off other members of my generation as well.” She understands that when the GOP’s dominant personalities are [...]

Blue Dogs and Citigroup Fight the Employee Free Choice Act

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Even the “Blue Dog” Democrats should be alarmed about bailed out banks taking billions in taxpayer funds only to lobby against this era’s Wagner Act. I don’t think so. Labor gaining ground was essential to putting the economy back together after the Great Depression and it is essential today. The activists working in favor of [...]

Obama’s Goal: Halving the Budget Deficit by 2012. Really?

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The President’s message on fiscal responsibility — that he’ll cut the current one by half by the end of his first term — is smart politics right now, but it may be dumb politics by November of 2012, and doesn’t make much economic sense regardless. We’re in a deepening recession, in case you hadn’t noticed. [...]

Immigration Inspires Hope, Fear, and Debate Among Convention Democrats

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On the eve of the official nomination of Presidential candidate Barack Obama, the son of an immigrant, some of the leading voices shaping the Democratic Party’s immigration reform platform reveal a mix of reserved optimism and pragmatism. While the Blue Dog Democrats – a group of 47 moderate and conservative Democratic Party members of the [...]

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