Steven Conn: As midterm elections approach, conservatives seek to return America to the way things used to be. Not so fast, argues historian Steven Conn, unless you really want racial segregation, child labor, voting discrimination, and all the other things that old-time conservatives once supported.
Tom Degan: Those in the extreme right who like to pretend that they’ve cornered the market on patriotism need to be exposed for what they are – ideological snake oil salesmen. All we have to do is open our eyes to see the damage that their thirty-year domination of our political conversation has done to this country.
Randy Shaw: Here’s a thought. What if the progressive media stopped reporting on every silly idea promoted by Sarah Palin and used that time to report on positive actions by the federal government to help people. I get emailed press releases announcing such accomplishments each day, so the stories are out there but are not covered.
Articles by Robert Reich, Anthony Samad, Walter M. Basch, Ron Wolff, Randy Shaw, Ted Vaill, Randy Shaw, Steve Hochstadt, Gary Corseri, Georgianne Nienaber, Tina Dupuy, Sharon Kyle, Seth Hoy, Marian Wang, Ivan Eland, Jasmyne Cannick, Howard Roth, Katherine Smith, Michael Sigman, John Summers, Denis Campbell, Norman Solomon, Peter Dreier, Diane Lefer, Andrea Nill, Joseph Palermo, Jim Fuller, Gautam Dutta, Wais Hassan, and Aqeela Sherrills
Randy Shaw: But progressives believe the public supports more progressive stands (e.g. polls showed strong support for the public option that Obama abandoned), leaving Democrats to fend off charges that they talk about serving the public good but instead serve corporate interests inimical to the public welfare.
Berry Craig: The poll numbers hint at the biggest GOP edge: the U.S. is the most conservative country in the Western democratic world. “Liberal” — which means centrist or center-left in other industrial democracies — is as far left as mainstream American politics flows. The U.S. is the only industrial democracy that doesn’t have a significant democratic socialist or social democratic party.
Paul Hogarth: The anti-incumbent mood is not confined to the racist Tea Parties on the Right – but is just as potent on the Left, where progressives are disenchanted by a President who promised hope and change, only to capitulate to Joe Lieberman to pass a health care bill that requires us to all buy private insurance.
Paul Hogarth: As Gavin Newsom runs for Lieutenant Governor, he would be wise to make the passage of Proposition 25 a central part of his campaign – which ends the “two-thirds rule” for passing a budget. Because there is no better poster child for how Sacramento’s dysfunction has thrown the state off a cliff than Abel Maldonado – Newsom’s Republican opponent.
Paul Hogarth: Proposition 25 was put on by labor unions and the Democratic Party, and political consultant Roger Salazar has been retained. Liberal bloggers and other progressives are skeptical, with some going so far as to claim it doesn’t make sense to get a majority for the budget – if raising taxes we need would still require a two-thirds vote.
Randy Shaw: Holding self-identified “progressive” politicians like Barack Obama accountable for fulfilling campaign commitments actually improves the chances for progressive election victories, as it pressures Democrats to satisfy their base. And as the critical midterm elections approach, ensuring this grassroots base is motivated and mobilizable by holding Obama and Congressional Democrats accountable is even more imperative.
Randy Shaw: The June 8, 2010 election is not the most eventful in recent years, but it will provide valuable guidance for November. In California, the Republican Party will continue its pattern of political suicide by nominating two candidates — Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina — who have almost no chance of prevailing in the fall.
Randy Shaw: while Obama and the Democratic Congress have achieved major gains, there is a entire other range of critical issues — the record military budget, increased troops in Afghanistan, inaction on both comprehensive immigration reform and EFCA, the absence of a major job creation program — where change is missing. This leaves Obama’s “remaking” far less sweeping than Ronald Reagan’s achievement in 1981.
David Swanson: Marcy Winograd is a stand-out. She’s is campaigning against Congresswoman Jane Harman, a wealthy warmonger corporatist who has been caught conspiring against her nation with foreign agents, who suppressed the warranteless spying story until George W. Bush could get a second term in office, and who has referred to herself proudly as “the best Republican in the Democratic Party.” Marcy Winograd, on the other hand, has been a leader of Progressive Democrats of America and has perhaps the smartest and most progressive platform in the country. She also garnered 38% last time, with no help.
Randy Shaw: From an environmental agenda imperiled by nationwide public transit cuts, to a “Jobs” agenda jeopardized by state-induced layoffs, to the lack of full implementation of the President’s prized national service expansion, state budget cuts imperil progressives’ electoral gains of 2008. And no group risks having their expectations more shattered than the students and recent college grads – often described as “the Obama Generation” —whose energy and turnout helped define the 2008 election cycle.
Friday Feedback: Stop kvetching because in 13 or 14 months progressives haven’t gotten all they wanted. What you did get was numerous, immmediate reversals of Bush environmental policy, a pledge to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan in a discernable period of time, the biggest infusion of public works money since the federal highway system was built, and a complete makeover of our nation’s image into something more wholeseome and organic on the world stage.
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.
Wayne Williams: Proposition 15 on the June ballot will change the way we finance election campaigns so politicians stay focused on the job we sent them to do! Prop 15 gets participating politicians out of the fund raising game and back to solving California’s problems.
Lydia Howell: It’s high time for progressives to escalate our own mass movement, to make it loud enough it cannot be ignored. The immigrant rights movement’s recent May Day marches have gotten far more media attention than any peace rallies since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The labor movement needs a jump-start. It’s crucial to have a broad, united progressive counter to the reactionary, racist Tea Parties.
Kevin Lynn: Last weekend at the California Democratic Party (CDP) convention in Los Angeles, Marcy Winograd, Progressive Democratic candidate facing off in the June primary against incumbent blue dog Democratic candidate Jane Harman, through a tremendous grassroots effort was able to push to a floor vote Harman’s endorsement by the CDP.
Natalie Davis: Progressives and right-wingers don’t speak the same language (and the Right insists that everyone speak theirs and live under its rules and worldview). When I resist that, I AM THE BAD ONE. If I get angry at inequality, something obviously is wrong with ME. Of course, I reject that notion wholesale: Each of the two sides sees the other’s view as completely immoral, not merely as “misguided” or “wrong.”
Randy Shaw: After President Bill Clinton signed legislation in 1996 “ending welfare as we know it,” many highlighted this “common sense” solution and criticized progressives for opposing the bill. Soon after passage, politicians and the media said it had not caused the downsides that activists had predicted, ignoring that the law had not been fully implemented. But troubling reports soon emerged.
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.
Is Universal Healthcare still on our radar now that the Obama Administration and congress has passed the healthcare reform bill?
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?