Skip to main content

(cross posted at my.firedoglake.com and docudharma.com)

I've long been struck by the ineffectiveness of activists in the US, at least when they oppose plutocratic agendas. And I've also been dismayed by the continuing failure to organize voters along progressive lines. For some issues, like healthcare, the "progressive" viewpoint is actually mainstream.

It's clear to me that, while corporatists and banksters have all the democracy-corrupting infrastructure, already in place (think K-Street) that they could possibly desire, progressives do little to create countervailing democracy-enhancing infrastructure. They do not effectively organize, and thus grow their political muscle, at least with respect to specific progressive issues (like healthcare).

The Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) is an organization (that I belong to, even though I've never been a Democrat) that has a progressive agenda, and that I have praised as "sticking to it's guns". I don't believe that PDA could properly called a member of the "Veal Pen", though in many respects it behaves as timidly as any veal pen group. (See my comments here, here, and here.)

On July 10, 2009, I posted the following on a live blogging event at OpenLeft, of Representative Donna Edwards.

What are progressive lawmakers doing to help build up a progressive movement? (4.00 / 1)
I just finished listening to a Gary Null program  where he was talking about various issues where the Obama administration was up to what I will describe as considerable evil (food safety, Holder being given "dictatorial" powers to declare, e.g., anti-war protesters as terrorists, etc.). The progressive movement is too weak to roll back the increasing enslavement of the public to corporatist agendas.
Which makes me wonder why progressive Congress persons, such as yourself, do not play a bigger role in inspiring and organizing citizens to grow the progressive movement. Right now, the progressive movement is not effective in getting large numbers of Donna Edwards' and Dennis Kucinich's elected to office.

As an example of opportunity lost, consider Rep. Kucinich. There are 3 members of the board of the Progressive Democrats of America who worked for, or on behalf of, Kucinich. Yet, he wasn't clever enough to use his '15 minutes' of Presidential candidate fame to draw attention not just to himself, but to the PDA. The PDA might be 10x larger today, than it is, had it been 'advertised' by Kucinich during the 2008 campaign.

Well, that's water under the bridge. But the question remains: What are you, Kucinich, and other progressive members of Congress doing to grow the progressive movement. You do agree, don't you, that you need 'reinforcements' in Congress?

What Congress critters GROWING the progressive movement could look like (0.00 / 0)
As an example of how progressive Congress critters could help grow a progressive movement: Every third Saturday, all progressive Congress critters will congregate in the same US city. They will first spend 3 hours doing grassroots recruitment - in malls, door-to-door, etc., in cooperation with local progressive groups. They will be recruiting not for the Democratic Party, but for PDA and other progressive groups. Secondly, they will afterwards meet in the same large auditorium, for a rally. The grassroots and rally activities will be filmed, and posted on the internet, to inspire activists in all 50 states. Cost of admission to the rally? Participation in the grassroots recruitment activities.  
They should not be focusing on specific issues (like single payer or strong public option health care), but rather using progressive issues that are currently being legislated as cases in point, which underscore the need for a progressive movement. The point is you don't just want people to focus on a single issue or two, but rather organizing to move Congress in a progressive direction, on a long term basis.

I never got an answer...

I really don't know what, if anything, Donna Edwards is doing to grow the progressive movement. My best guess is that she's doing absolutely nothing in this direction, in spite of the weakness and small numbers of "progressives" in Congress. If anybody has any information, one way or the other, please report that information as a comment to this diary. I took a look at her Congressional website, and saw nothing in this vein.

Inquiring minds would like to know.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site