Randy Shaw: Obama implemented his “most ambitious immigration initiative” in response to both growing Latino political power and the courageous and inspiring grassroots pressure from young DREAM ACTivists.
Randy Shaw: Gay rights advocates have been far more publicly critical of the President than immigrant rights groups, and have done a far better job of holding Obama accountable for his actions rather than his words.
Norman Solomon: Across the country, alarm is rising as corporate power escalates at the intersection of Wall Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.
Norman Solomon: Demagogues in the Republican Party, and their Democratic allies, will say this is about amnesty and open borders. No matter how many times they repeat it, it won’t be true.
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.
Randy Shaw: In the Beltway, the Obama Administration frustrated key constituency groups and organizations by failing to push for transformative change. In the world where most people live and work, activists were not deterred by Obama’s inaction and instead seized upon the “Si Se Puede” spirit to build successful campaigns for justice.
Obama’s desire to find a common ground was part of his attraction. This is not what most progressives find troubling. Rather, it is Obama’s reluctance to use the vast powers of the presidency to drive the enactment of his top domestic priority that many of his longtime supporters simply cannot understand.
Why are the usual barriers to progressive change falling? Because, as in the 1930’s, we have grassroots movements who are pushing a sympathetic President to the left.
Some activists excited about Barack Obama’s community organizing background forget what this fully means – namely, that he expects groups seeking progressive measures to mobilize their base. Community organizers do not expect politicians to challenge entrenched interests absent grassroots pressure, and President Obama is not about to spend political capital on issues like Afghanistan, the […]
Tom Daschle’s surprise withdrawal today shocked most Washington insiders — after all, Daschle had been a key figure in the Senate, was Obama’s pick for a major role in the new administration, would very likely have done a superb job getting a new health-insurance system enacted, and, probably could have mustered enough votes to be […]