Tag Archives: progressive

It’s An Election Year. If You Don’t Vote, Don’t Complain

What always manages to astonish me about various “politically aware” people is their failure to recognize that there’s an election every year in many parts of this country.  They seem to believe that only the presidential election years matter, or if they’re stretching a bit, the even year House races.  Yet it’s the “off year” elections that have more impact on people’s daily lives which are ignored.  This year, many states are having their local elections.  We’re going to be selecting mayors, and town and county officials, along with (in some states) judges.  Various propositions will be on ballots, which will  impact your local and state taxes as well as its direction.  All the things which you tend to take for granted:  Street lights on; road plowed; water and sewer systems work; police and fire departments are there; and what the schools are like will all be determined by who gets elected.

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Practical Politics For The Left

A couple of news stories on the political front attracted my attention a while back.  The first was that Ashley Judd decided not to challenge Mitch McConnell in 2014, leaving the presumptive challenger as Allison Lundergran Grimes.  This has predictably set off wails from various of the Left.  The second story was from South Carolina, where Elizabeth Colbert Busch is running against Mark Sanford.  This is causing some excitement because she’s Steven Colbert’s older sister, and Mark Sanford went from being known as a conservative favorite as Governor to being known for “hiking the Appalachian Trail” in Argentina.   There’s some “practical lessons” in both of these candidacies, that various “lefter than left” people won’t learn.

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Purists Are Lousy At Governing

The political news that’s got various pundits buzzing is that Jim DeMint is resigning from the Senate to take over the Heritage Foundation.   While he’s been in the media a lot, often portrayed as a powerful voice for the conservative movement, there’s one thing that should be highlighted:  He wasn’t a very good Senator.

South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint accomplished very little in the Senate in the traditional sense: He wasn’t a legislator, has no signature laws to his name and has never been part of any major bipartisan negotiations.

After 8 years as a Senator, he’s built himself a reputation for being a pure conservative, and recruited other conservatives to run for Congress, pushing the Republican Party to the far right.  He was very good at that, but he wasn’t doing the job he was elected to do.  But, he was … pure!

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The Problem Was Shallow Roots

There was an article over on the Daily Beast about the decline of the netroots. David Freedlander interviewed the usual people in putting this together, and it’s interesting reading.

Now, however, the Netroots, which were once thought to do to the political left what evangelical Christianity was supposed to do to the professional right, are 10 years old. In that time they vaulted Howard Dean to within a scream of the presidency, helped Democrats take both houses of Congress and several statehouses across the country, and gave the party what many in the movement believed to be some much-needed spine.

But with another critical election two weeks away, politicians, political operatives, and even the bloggers themselves say the Netroots are a whisper of what they were only four years ago, a dial-up modem in a high-speed world, and that the brigade of laptop-wielding revolutionaries who stormed the convention castle four years ago have all but disappeared as a force within the Democratic Party.

The people interviewed gave their take on “what went wrong,” which they attribute to a diverse set of causes.  What made it interesting to me was how they – and the reporter – missed the obvious conclusion.

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Greenwald and Digby Miss The Point About Kucinich

Digby has a post up touting Glenn Greenwald’s paeon to Dennis Kucinich, and adding their own two cents to the mix.

It’s dispiriting, to say the least, that such a stalwart liberal losing his office is celebrated with even more gusto than the defeat of your average Blue Dog, but there it is.

Reading through those posts, you might think that the seat switched to a Republican.   You’d have to look hard and long to figure out that he lost a primary to another Democrat!  Yes, you don’t see Digby mention it at all, and Greenwald mentions it in passing and then proceeds to ignore it.  Instead, they spend a lot of words bemoaning what a great progressive voice Kucinich is, and how it’s awful that “establishment Democrats” are happy that he’s gone.  They attribute it to his “wackiness,” but Angry Black Lady points out the real reason: It’s not his wackiness, it’s his fecklessness.   In terms of “effective” and “reliable,” Kucinich was not a “good progressive.”   But that’s not all they missed.

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