Riding the Anti-Immigration Wave: Short- and Long-Term Political Implications

latina voter

Seth Hoy: Can the Republican Party (once the ‘Party of No,” then the “Party of Hell No” and now the “Party of Papers Please?”) really afford to further alienate the fastest-growing U.S. voting bloc—Latinos?

Will Marcy Winograd Pull a Sestak?

Marcy Winograd and Jim Hightower

Linda Milazzo: In Kentucky, political neophyte, libertarian extremist, and Tea Party enthusiast, Rand Paul, clobbered the hand-picked candidate of Senator Mitch McConnell, the most powerful Republican in Washington. Both election results send an earsplitting message to the leadership of America’s two dominant parties, warning that: ‘Your choices, endorsements and power don’t matter. We’re electing who WE want.’

Go Loco? or Go Local…

leftwing politics

Brad Parker: Sideways is the new direction for this bundle of believers, these frustrated yet sunny souls. Status quo has wrapped its stony fingers around the electoral apparatus of each ardent constituency. We are in a stall, a dead calm sea. And the natives are restless, very restless. But before we muster up the courage for a new direction, let us take a deeper look at the state of the State.

This Week in the LA Progressive: 2 May to 8 May 2010

With articles by Robert Reich, Joseph Palermo, Charley James, Randy Shaw, Nomiki Konst, Rev. Irene Monroe, Mario Solis-Marich, Anthony Asadullah Samad, Georgianne Nienaber, Andrea Nill, Tracy Emblem, Wayne Williams, Cathy Cockrell, Tina Dupuy, Ron Wolff, Tom Degan, Shamus Cooke, Michael Sigman, David A. Love, Sharon Kyle, Bob Letcher, Robert Illes, and Ivan Eland

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.

Reclaiming Our Hope

Nelson Mandela

Paul Loeb: It’s been a frustrating time since November 2008, but our challenge is to spend less time bemoaning our disappointments and more energy engaging with ordinary citizens the way so many of us did a year and a half ago. If we give people enough ways to act on our present crises, we never know how history might turn.

Extremism in the Defense of Librium

Rep. Michelle Backman (Rep. Stillwater, Minnesota)

Tom Degan: On the one hand the latent threats of violence and intimidation that underlies the actions and speech of the Tea Party crowd is enough to make any clear-thinking person seriously alarmed about the direction the lunatic fringe of American politics seems to be headed. On the other hand, these people are just so damned funny! We’re talking Ambivalence City here! Part of me wishes them to go away and the other part would mourn their loss if they ever did. Let’s face it: These assholes are the best thing to happen to progressive politics in this country since Eleanor Roosevelt.

California Fair Elections Kickoff

Campaign cash

Wendy Block: It’s impossible to eliminate money from politics, and there’s no reason to. But release candidates from huge campaign contributors and the special favors that follow victory, and you’ll see miracles after every election.

End the Filibuster and Pass a Lot of Stuff

Joseph Palermo: The Democrats must pass a lot of legislation before the midterms or they’re going to be very sorry. Soon enough, given the Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, we’re going to see campaigns where our choice for U.S. Senator will be between the “Doritos Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips” candidate and the “Pepsi/Pizza Hut/KFC/Frito Lay/Taco Bell” candidate. Former President George W. Bush is raking in the bucks speaking at the National Grocers’ Association. First he defiled the presidency by getting John Yoo to turn the Justice Department into a law factory for monarchical presidential powers, now he shares the stage as an inspirational speaker with Terry Bradshaw. Our elections are about to become a satirical skit that Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report did a long time ago.

Obama, Never Mind FDR, How about JKP?

James K. Polk, 1795-1849, 11th President of the United States, 1845-1849

Robert Illes: Anyway, I’ll take a kickass Obama for four years than a watery Obama for eight. Yes FDR is a good model, but the real lesson of getting things done may be the obscure guy who came along precisely 100 years earlier.

Uncle Joe, Uncle Norman, JFK and Me

John F Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe

Charley James: Families with any luck whatsoever have a relative who is larger than life, a genuine character that leaves behind a trail of remarkable anecdotes that celebrate a life well lived. Mine was doubly blessed because we had two, Joe and Norman.

Rediscovering Principles — But Which Ones?

Matthew Spalding

Ron Wolff: Appointed judges, intellectual and political elites, mainstream journalists, bureaucrats, and Europeans — the customary targets of conservatives — fall victim to his keyboard. He almost equates property rights to the means of pursuing happiness, totally ignoring reams of evidence to the contrary. (As we know from last week’s article, nobody expects a correlation any more between belief systems and evidence.)

Holiday Shopping 2009: The Customer Is Always Right!

Art Torres

Brad Parker: If our former Chair of the CDP was correct, that the Democratic Party is a business, then it follows that it is also just another in the current line of American businesses that can’t or won’t Stand & Deliver on its Goods & Services

What Was the Top News Story of 2009

New Year 2010

Ten years ago, the story dominating the headlines was Y2K. In 2009, according to Yahoo, the story that dominated in terms of searches online was — wait for it — Michael Jackson’s death! Not the economic meltdown, not the healthcare debate, not even the inauguration of the first black president of the United States!

That’s Just The Way It Is

Blue-Dog

I believe that the only hope we can believe in is our Progressive Plan for the future. Let us, as Democrats and citizens, disenthrall ourselves from the old tired notion that “That’s just the way it is” and imagine, create and promote a new way – Progressive.

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.

Name That Decade: the ’00s, the Whatever Decade

Hopelessness

Great pessimism during economic busts is as characteristically American as great optimism during boom times. The oh-ohs’ whateverism is less fleeting and thus more dangerous. A culture of denial, disengagement, dissociation is dysfunctional. We need a culture of engagement and responsibility, even with all our traumas, distractions and high-tech toys.

What Would a Space Invader Think?

Giant-Leap

I’d love to see an intelligent creature from outer space slap a few people in the face and say “Wake up! You are destroying each other and the planet! Use your mental capacities for something more meaningful than voting for the next American Idol!”

2009: The Year Change Fell Prey to Backroom Deals

Poltics

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.

The Right’s Bogus War on Christmas

Baby-xmas

What’s in a greeting? With Ramadan, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice and Christmas all going on this time of year, one would think that an all-inclusive seasonal greeting emblematic of our nation’s religious diversity would be embraced by us all with two simple words — Happy Holidays! However, the season’s greeting is the ongoing chapter in [...]

Forty More Days

James Carville

As long as the Democratic leadership insists on being directed by the supposed wisdom of this advice, they will continue down their present path to an electoral train wreck next November as bad or worse than the one they suffered in 1994, when they played their cards the same way.

Obama Ignores Community Organizing Lessons

yes-we-can

When Barack Obama backed a Senate health reform plan that differed radically from prior proposals, he ignored the lessons he learned as a young organizer on Chicago’s South Side. Obama once knew that it’s wrong to bypass the community’s agenda to strike a backroom deal, regardless of its superior terms. Obama also understood that failing to consult with the community disempowers the base, and discourages people from participating in future organizing campaigns.

Memo to Washington: We Are Not a Conservative Country

2008 Presidential Election results -- adjusted by population

“Can we have a new Senate for Christmas,” asked blogger Joan McCarter yesterday at Daily Kos. “This one is broken.” It’s time for politicians to stop hiding behind an inaccurate, outdated and dishonest view of America. We are not conservative!

Obama Becoming Clinton I Feared

Obama-Clinton

The American people who voted for “change” did not merely seek a return to the Nineties – or else they would have nominated Hillary Clinton. Obama stood to become the most progressive President in over 40 years, and yet his Administration has little to show for it.

Obama’s Right Turn

Obama-Army

When President Barack Obama took office, many activists and organizations saw their role as mobilizing the public support necessary to enable him to implement progressive change. After Obama’s September health care speech this strategy appeared to be working, but the President has since ignored the progressive base and taken a sharp turn to the right.

Government’s Dead; Now What?

Thomas Jefferson, by Rena LaCarla

If all information is controlled by the corporations will they spew propaganda to distract and convince the masses how lucky they are and how they need to be good consumers? Will entertainment continue it’s decent to the lowest common denominator because it sells corporate products?

Activists Giving Obama a Pass

Obama2bush

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.

How the Vice President Can Serve as the President’s Most Unbiased Adviser

mondale_biden

Biden’s questions may have reflected his misgivings about America’s effort in Afghanistan. But his prodding also demonstrated the unique ability of a vice president to help ensure that presidential decisions are based on a full consideration of competing perspectives.

The White House Party Crashers: Now the Conspiracy Really Begins

Crashers

I’m sure this is something President Obama will be mindful of from here on out. Was it truly a “mistake” or the beginning of another conspiracy?

Lobbying (Not Again!)

Lobbyists

I have a suggestion for members of Congress: if you don’t know what you’re talking about, keep silent until you’ve done some real homework. And don’t expect the self-serving statements of hired guns to always represent the truth.

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