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.
John MacMurrary: Exactly how much the Kochs have spent to make America over into their image of a Libertarian paradise may never be known outside the company and the foundations the family controls. Current Federal tax law permits anonymous personal donations to politically active nonprofit groups. But what can be gleaned shows spending somewhat north of $200 million since the late 90s alone.
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.
Obama still has time to deliver for his base. But this will require activists and constituency groups to ramp up public demands for such a course, rather than thinking they are helping the progressive cause by making excuses for a president whose inspirational words about social transformation have not been matched by actions.
Averting the Greater Depression Nationalizing Banks and Industry: Why Capitalists Hate Socialism –Anthony Asadullah Samad Why We’re Not at the Beginning of the End –Robert Reich CSI Bailout, with William K. Black —Bill Moyers It Is As Bad As The 1930s –Charley James Blame It All on Unintended Consequences –Joyce Appleby Why You Should Work [...]
Although progressives have already won two major victories – the stimulus package and the budget – and a reversal of a number of Bush anti-environment policies, most activists are focused on the troika of universal health care, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), and comprehensive immigration reform. Having asked activists across the nation over the [...]
Avoiding the Greater Depression New York, City of the Poor. This city that never sleeps, and others, will experience economic and social death without a vibrant middle class and viable opportunities to earn a living. –David A. Love The Magical Mystery Majority Budget. The bills passed, the Republicans threatened to sue, the Governor announced he [...]
Despite all of the economic history of the past 30 years, the traditional media is brushing off its favorite bogeyman – the budget deficit – to defeat and/or scale back President Obama’s progressive budget, education, and health care agenda. The New York Times warned in a front page story on March 21 that a new [...]
As President Obama follows a $800 billion recovery act by proposing nearly $700 billion for universal health care, and financially ambitious programs for energy independence and education, the United States is experiencing 1935 all over again. That’s the year that followed huge Democratic gains in the 1934 election, and which saw Congress enact the two [...]
by Randy Shaw – As Barack Obama’s Cabinet fills with Clinton Administration veterans, some are raising concerns why no “movement progressive” has been selected. Hillary Clinton’s appointment as Secretary of State galvanized fears that Obama’s cabinet is unduly “centrist,” a concern amplified by the daily parade of predominately white male Clinton veterans in the “possible [...]
The 150 Democratic Party activists who gathered for the 56th Annual California Democratic Council convention this past weekend in Fresno certainly had sky-high hopes about their party’s chances in the November elections—but they had their fingers crossed behind their backs, as well. The woeful George W. Bush Administration—certainly the worst in living memory with its [...]