Randy Shaw: Activists now must write a new script for the post-2012 election by pushing the President to keep his progressive campaign commitments on taxes, the budget, and, most urgently, comprehensive immigration reform, where the time for action is now.
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.
Paul Hogarth: Democrats are not supposed to run primary candidates against incumbents because it is “divisive” – but it was time to hold Senators like Arlen Specter and Blanche Lincoln (who killed the public option) accountable. 2006 and 2008 were the years that voters picked “change,” and both Senators are the reason such change failed to get traction. Joe Sestak and Bill Halter faced huge odds taking on a Senator in their own Party who had the President’s support, but what they had was disenchanted Obama activists who wanted to see change happen.
Paul Hogarth: It’s natural for progressives to target conservative Democrats like Lincoln who are to blame, fielding primary challenges like they did to Joe Lieberman. But how the Party leadership berates, belittle, and insults these efforts will only make it worse – while a clear anti-incumbent mood is sweeping the nation that threatens to doom Blanche Lincoln anyway.
Nomiki Konst: While Obama has done an admirable job ignoring the Tea Party outbursts and outlandish claims and focusing on moving his agenda forward, Maddow, Matthews, Olbermann, Colbert, Stewart, Cooper, Crowley, Sanchez and Shultz have missed an incredible opportunity to vocalize the progressive agenda while they have the floor. For eight years, progressives were unable to bring their agenda to the table and had to constantly act on the defensive.
Randy Shaw: The Democratic Party is facing a voter revolt because it once again allowed its corporate wing to set its agenda. And while the media blames the left Obama and the Democrats either implement a progressive agenda and shape the midterm elections around populist themes, or face further electoral “upsets” in November.
Randy Shaw: pecifically, activists must employ what I describe in The Activist’s Handbook as the “fear and loathing” approach that has long proved necessary to get most politicians to do the right thing. Activists must make Obama fear the political repercussions of not backing progressive positions, even to the extent that the President comes to “loathe” those creating such pressures.
I don’t recall how or when single-payer was taken “off the table” – except that Senator Max Baucus said it was. Without single payer, progressives focused on the public option – which although a compromise, could have held insurance companies accountable. Everyone knew it was tough and compromise would happen, but we were supposed to be part of that decision.