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Even FDR said "Make me do it."
Q: [W]hile the Democratic Party has moved left on issues like pot and gay marriage, a lot of people are saying the neoliberals have taken over the Democratic Party.

Kos: I actually think some of the most excitement coming from the Democratic Party are people like Elizabeth Warren, who are actually more progressive on economic issues than any democrat I’ve seen on the scene long time. Link

Back in the day, the founder of this site wrote about his concern regarding the "silo-ization" of progressive activism. He meant he was concerned that progressives were becoming single issue, without commitment to the entire progressive project and the coalitions necessarily required to achieve progressive objectives. (In particular, this came up with regard to NARAL endorsing pro-choice Republicans.)

Today, Dalia Lithwick and Barry Friedman ask, "Have progressives abandoned every cause save gay marriage?" (See also Scott Lemieux's excellent response.) It strikes me at first blush as a very unfair question. But these are good writers and thinkers. Let's read what they have to say:

For those of you on the progressive merry-go-round, at least one brass ring is firmly within reach. The Supreme Court’s opinions in the pair of marriage equality cases decided last week have given the gay community— and all progressives who helped and cheered—much of what reasonably could have been expected. [...] But before you go all happy-dance, though, put your Champagne down for a second, because these decisions raise a profound question: What’s left? Not only as in “what’s next?” but more importantly as in “what else should the left stand for?”  While progressives were devoting deserved attention to gay rights, they simultaneously turned their backs on much of what they once believed. This raises a critical question: what does it even mean to be left anymore? [Emphasis supplied.]
Okay. So far so good. But it does seem issue-oriented rather than objective-oriented. I prefer my progressivism to be about achieving goals, not about particular fights. (Yes I understand they are intertwined but I like to start with the goals before I get into the specific issue fights.) But let's continue our reading below the fold:

[D]id you notice that, on the way to this victory, the left, as a movement, seemed to abandon almost everything else for which it once stood? That while gay marriage rose like cream to the top of the liberal agenda, the rest of what the left once cherished was shoved aside, ignored, or “it’s complicated” to oblivion? Stipulate: Gay rights is an unequivocally just cause. But this win, however deserved, addresses no more than a small fraction of what the left once believed essential.
Huh. I'm not sure why celebrating the win means forgetting about everything else. Indeed, at least at this website, much of Sunday was devoted to a big loss at the Supreme Court, the gutting of the Voting Rights Act. I don't understand this accusation:
Progressives could have pushed marriage equality without ditching all the causes and ideas on which their movement was founded.  It’s not like anyone in the gay community ever asked them to abandon the rest of their agenda. But progressives did.
They did? When did that happen? At Netroots Nation, "the rest of the agenda" was front and center it seemed to me.

I think it is true that much of the progressive agenda has been muted, but not by progressives, but rather by most politicians, particularly those of the Democratic Party. The essential messages of justice, fairness and liberty have been overwhelmed by tribal politics in many instances.

And it is not a easy balance for the progressive. We understand the political alternative—tea party Republicanism—is horrible. So striking the right balance between pragmatic politics and progressivism is not always easily done.

Do we need to? Of course. But I found Lithwick and Friedman's rhetorical scapegoating of gay rights to be unseemly and rather off putting.

I agree with their message—let's continue the fight for all progressive goals, but I deplore the method—scapegoating gay rights. There should have been a better way for these able writers to make their points.

Originally posted to Armando on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 11:25 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  there was a lot of money... (9+ / 0-)

    Put into the marriage equality fight. That's why it received the attention it got. Rich gay people made a concerted effort to fight for marriage equality after the miserable mormans spent a lot of money to undermine the marriage equality fight in California. It takes money and a singular focus on an issue to make substantial change happen.

    Next up marijuana. Rich pot heads like Bill Maher saw what the marriage equality folks did and hired the same guy who led that fight.

    I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

    by jbou on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 11:35:10 AM PDT

    •  Money was important (17+ / 0-)

      but it was not the only thing.

      There are lesson to be learned from a movement that went from being use to mobilize GOP voters in the 2004 Presidential election to winning 9 years later.

      •  gay people got pissed (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        claude, Armando, FarWestGirl

        And focused on fighting on a state level for what they wanted. They hired a very good organizer and he went to work fighting to turn things around. It was the money and the narrow focus on marriage equality that helped win this fight. Marriage equality was a tangible goal that could be reached and it involved a game plan the right wingers developed to change things on a state level.

        I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

        by jbou on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:08:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It was a VERY well run fight (8+ / 0-)

          Lobbying, fund raising, general PR, framing, and a nice loud voice...iow very visible demonstrations. A rare, and winning, combination.

          The gay rights movement has an impressive package, so to speak.

          Let's do the same thing on, well....everything else. Use this as a model, I think is the point, and it is a good one.

          •  We use it as a model though (11+ / 0-)

            Putting aside the fact that this fight isn't over, the model they used cannot be used for things like environmental issues or economic issues because the model requires large amounts of support from the wealthy and that just isn't going to be the same for these other issues. There's never going to be a wealthy person who comes out as really being poor, or affected by the environment. It was a great model but I don't see how it can be moved to some other issue. It was the model of single issue campaigns.

            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

            by AoT on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 01:34:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well ok put it this way (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              devtob, lotlizard

              For things to change as we would all like it will take one of three things:

              Masses, like Egypt, of 'poor' people in the streets. (Some of the middle class is now poor too, to swell the numbers and rep to their friends)

              An infusion of money from everywhere we can get it. It all depends on people being involved, including rich people. It's America, if we can't get money, fuggedaboutit.

              We win the House and then we will still have to eert massive pressure on the new Pols.

              All three of those have elements that make them unlikely. But without at least one or two of those things happening there won't be massive change.

              Iow, something has to change, money, boots/street, or politics as unusual,....before things can change.

              •  Other than the money thing I agree. (4+ / 0-)

                But if the money is the key then we may as well give up on economic reform because it won't happen.

                What that means is identifying the issues that affect a large cross section of the population that we can organize around, simple as that. And they have to be an immediate issue rather than global warming, for as big of a problem as that is.

                If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                by AoT on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 02:41:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Income Inequality (7+ / 0-)

                  It's at the heart of everything.

                  We need a new context in which to frame it. And I think if 'it' were presented correctly a fairly good chunk of rich people would contribute.

                  A context and a solid achievable goal, and more context.

                  Which is where we are back to the subject of the diary, lol.

                  •  If we get the rich people involved (7+ / 0-)

                    then they're going to present us with a bullshit plan that won't solve the problem. They have pushed for solutions that work for rich people and make minor tweaks in the system. If we do that we'll be right back where we started and it'll all happen again in twenty or thirty years. We need a people based movement that isn't run by the rich like other movements have been.

                    If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                    by AoT on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 03:17:56 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  you presume that all rich folks (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      mad cat

                      are antiprogressive. I'm not sure that's true-- but then again, I'm not a rich person so maybe my view is uninformed. My sense is that at least some portion of those newly wealthy recognize their good fortune in life has been due to the boosts provided by, say, Pell grants, and also recognize that the ongoing costs and consequences of global warming are going to threaten not only their present prosperity but that of their heirs.

                      In short, I think that some degree of class warfare is in order if only to make the obvious point that the uber-wealthy owe some debt of gratitude and recompense to the citizens of the country that made their fortunes turn so very sunny. But I would caution against labeling "the rich" as enemies of progressive political ambitions. While not a predominant theme, I like to think that a truly progressive political and legislative agenda truly has the potential to "lift all boats" (contra to the republican's false promises and policies) and nothing could motivate our potential base supporters more than leaving that aspirational goal out there as a carrot at the end of the stick. Without it, all we are left with is the rightist caricatures of the progressive movement as closet socialists intent on effecting a program of forced income reallocation from "the makers to the takers".

                      "It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important." Martin Luther King Jr.

                      by Arabiflora on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 10:23:55 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  It's not about them being progressive (0+ / 0-)

                        or not. It's about what long term solutions they are willing to accept in large numbers. I'm not saying we should shun them, I'm saying that having a plan that relies on them, as the GLBT plan did, will end in failure.

                        If they're willing to be class traitors then I welcome them, but we can't expect large numbers of them to do so. And even then, we need to make sure that they don't get more say in what we are working toward than other people involved.

                        If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                        by AoT on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 09:04:48 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  If we're to overcome income inequality (0+ / 0-)

                    it means building an independent culture of solidarity among the working people that would look askance at the money of the rich.  That money would immediately appear to take the form of Jonestown kool-aid to the sort of mass movement necessary to defeat the growing hegemony of capital.

                    "You may very well think so, I could not possibly comment." ~ Francis Urquhart, pragmatic political philosopher

                    by ActivistGuy on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 08:07:15 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  Nope. It's gotta be income inequality. (16+ / 0-)

      Front and center.  We've GOT to break the Wall Street stranglehold on the Party and change some laws and policies.

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

      by zenbassoon on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 11:54:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that may be... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Armando, AoT, boofdah, congenitalefty

        but we don't have rich benefactors backing that fight. You read about the marriage equality battle and draw your conclusions on how to fight for an issue you care about. Money, focus and of course timing all come into play.

        I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

        by jbou on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 11:58:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly, if marriage equality is the model (13+ / 0-)

          then income inequality is never going to succeed because it can never get the broad support of the upper class the way that gay rights has. Look at HRC naming Dimon to it's board. How is that not a slap in the face to workers? And the idea that HRC, which is the biggest organization in this fight, is going to support any other movements is absurd.

          But I've been ringing this bell for a while and no one really wants to hear it.

          If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

          by AoT on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:24:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So it's not a model for other issues? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            enemy of the people
            •  I don't think it is (12+ / 0-)

              It's a unique situation in many ways. I mean, we can't really have a national campaign of people coming out as being poor, or in a union, or whatever. That alone changes things. And the organizations involved in gay rights were rather often very much about their issue and their issue only. To the extent that HRC purposely excluded trans people from laws that protected gay people.

              Certainly, there are plenty of progressives who do have across the board support for these sort of things, but how many people that fought for marriage equality are just going to drop out now and not fight about voters rights? I know people who have fought this fight and refuse to talk about economic problems. The whole thing basically consisted in empowering organizations that were top down through activism and then those organizations getting the credit when the victory came.

              How many progressives fully supported HRC despite their horrible politics? I saw plenty of support for them here. And obviously there are plenty of other folks who are going to keep on fighting, but it's terribly convenient that the first in what is suppose to be a long line of victories came as a victory that helps white dudes.

              I'm just very skeptical about this whole "we'll totally help once we win our thing" plan. That has very much been the definition of focusing on one thing at a time.

              If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

              by AoT on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:47:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Then we need to keep thinking (4+ / 0-)

                about how to win on the other issues.

                •  Debt is one thing that is a commonality (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  congenitalefty, Mimikatz, mad cat

                  and something that we are often "in the closet" about that is closely tied to class and also has a lot of shame around it.

                  Maybe that's a starting point?

                  If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                  by AoT on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 02:24:20 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Losing Single Payer (4+ / 0-)

                    Really set us back.  Can anyone defend the 55+ Medicaid Clawback?

                    And what's so reprehensible about ObamaCare is that they force you into Medicaid. No options if that's how the eligibility plays out; if you want to risk a piece-of-crap policy so you can pass on your house to your kids, you can't do that. Yet another path to downward mobility! Of course, this only applies to the poorest, ObamaCare being ObamaCare.

                    NOTE Yet one more reason why single payer Medicare for All is the only fair solution.

                    Read through the comments and discover the clawback is the legacy of Bill Clinton with VP Al Gore breaking a tie to pass it.  Health care is no longer discussed other than occasional fluffing with ignores the real problems such as above.
                    •  it isn't lost yet (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      shaharazade

                      states are looking at it. The Oregon legislature just voted to study it.

                      ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

                      by James Allen on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 08:12:21 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Expand the VA and use it as a model (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      splashoil

                      Ongoing conditions are a big part of the rising costs of healthcare and the VA mostly deal with that. When funded well and run well they have a good success rate. The southwest region is a one of the best and people there know it so it would go over well. I'd bet a lot of people in the south probably have a decent opinion of it too.

                      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                      by AoT on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 08:16:00 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Women's Issues (10+ / 0-)

                  Women are getting more and more pissed.  Pissed about having their basic right's invaded.  It's mostly about birth control and abortion, but it has to do with power, control, and punishment of people who can be scapegoated.  Same basic abuse and bullying that underlies income inequality, voter suppression and racism, workers rights.  Women come in all colors ages and income brackets and they are getting more and more pissed and they can band together for a more just society, bringing along their male relatives and friends.  That's where I think the synergy is right now.  I live in Ohio and you should have seen the unlikely alliances between people that resulted in the annihilation of SB5.  People were PISSED and they got out, got together and kicked Kasich's ass (and a lot of them were Republicans, including some of my relatives, I was stunned).  There's that same energy potential brewing in response to the Republican war on women I think.    

                  •  exactly. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    jbsoul, congenitalefty, AoT

                    and it isn't all about Hillary as i think someone suggested above.  it's about "us" everyday women.  we are in year three of a coordinated attack via the states thanks to the teabaggers.  

                    so yeah, speaking specifically and generally, women are 'in.'

                    "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

                    by kj in missouri on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 05:28:38 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  The win we need is to get the money out of (0+ / 0-)

                  political campaigns. Having to count on wealthy benefactors that are sympathetic to an issue isn't going to do much for the issues in which the wealthy feel unaffected.

              •  The Middle Class are hurting too though (5+ / 0-)

                If we can 'radicalize' a decent percentage....

              •  Why not? (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Armando, AoT, FarWestGirl, mightymouse
                [W]e can't really have a national campaign of people coming out as being poor, or in a union, or whatever.
                And isn't that was OWS was, in part, all about?

                Don't most of us know and love someone who is poor or who is a proud union member or who has been hauled into a not-always-just legal system or is a non-believer or muslim or disabled or female or has had an abortion or is transgendered or old, etc.? I could be a "knower" or a "knowee" in more than one of these categories.

                What I can't honestly be is untouched by any of these people because I am the 99%,  as are most progressives.

                Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

                by mikidee on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 01:22:13 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I had a thought about getting poverty declared a (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mikidee

                  disability to move poor people into a protected class.

                  Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
                  ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

                  by FarWestGirl on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 02:25:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Partially because being poor is something (0+ / 0-)

                  that has some obvious class differences. Perhaps union people too. But it's very different than coming out as gay. In those cases it's a matter of people who are otherwise incredibly close to you learning something. Poverty is very visible already in this society.

                  If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                  by AoT on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 02:30:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  A whole bunch of white dudes? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT

                Come on now.

            •  It probably isn't (12+ / 0-)

              Andrew Cuomo, for example, pushed through a gay marriage bill in NY while adopting an economic platform that's well to the right of his father's.  GS getting a Coporate Equality award from the HRC and Chevron being the premiere sponsor of SF's AIDS Walk aren't transferable to other causes.  I can't quite see Chevron sponsoring a 350.Org event.

              Except for affirmative action, last week's key SCOTUS  decisions were basically all 5-4 rulings that were decided by 1 man.  Kennedy stuck w/ the GOP party line on 5th Amendment takings and on the VRA.  He broke w/ party orthodoxy on DOMA and Prop 8.  By doing so, he was able to burnish his credentials as a moderate while gutting voting rights and land regulation.

              It's not complicated.

              Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

              by RFK Lives on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:53:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I think there were special circumstances which (6+ / 0-)

              basically centered around the Republicans first promoting the idea of gay marriage as a threat - which caused people to initially reject the idea - but the because the GOP just couldn't stop talking about it and were so extreme about it - people started to to think it through and say "who the fuck cares?  why shouldn't they be able to marry?"  

              That evolution in thinking gave the gay marriage activists an opportunity that I just don't think they would have ever had without the GOP going to such extremes.

              It is possible that the outright affronts against minorities and women will start to build momentum not just within activist circles, but to spread amongst a broader coalition - I think that we've already seen that on both fronts to a degree.

              But I am not so sure that activists working on poverty, income equality, and social safety net issues will be able to take advantage of GOP (and Democratic) affronts in the same way.  Mostly because no one is using the lead hammer to try to do the wrong thing on those issues (most of the action is more subtle in peeling back the social safety net onion); partly because there are complicit Democrats; and partly because those issues are believed to be complex (not that they really are, but most people are now convinced that they are than used to be).  

              The stark "right and wrong" of government action with respect to those issues are no longer as clear in the average American's mind.  

              Also seemingly less structured and uniform are the beliefs about those traditionally Democratic issues within the ranks of the Democratic Party which is a problem that I think probably aligns with the authors's thesis in the article you cite.

              I still think that it is ironic that most people in this country would not have even thought about whether or not gay people should be allowed to marry prior to their rolling out that cynical political ploy to drive their devoted to the polls in 2004.  Now a majority do think that it should be a right and that's all because they were in a perverse way that only the GOP could deliver given the opportunity to think about the concept.  If you beat up an underdog too mercilessly in America, there is a high probability that that underdog will eventually be perceived as a hero worth helping.  I think that this irony is quite sweet and I am very happy that gay rights have been advanced.

              •  I think that the LGBT movement (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                inclusiveheart, shaharazade

                baited republicans into that fight. They clearly positioned themselves on the other side of the culture war years ago and have been baiting the right ever since. Most of that baiting actually consisted of just being themselves in public, but it was enough. Perhaps baited is a bit much, but when you look at the language the right used it was certainly how they saw it. How to repeat that in other cases I don't know.

                If you beat up an underdog too mercilessly in America, there is a high probability that that underdog will eventually be perceived as a hero worth helping.
                Indeed.

                If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                by AoT on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 02:50:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't think they baited anyone actually. (4+ / 0-)

                  We know from accounts that came from within the Republican Party that the concept of gay marriage as a "threat" was created and initiated by Karl Rove in a cynical ploy to keep his Bible thumpers engaged and active in the Republican Party.

                  I remember when it first started to hit the news that we were all going to be "protected from gay marriage" by the Republicans and I remember laughing out loud because of DOMA and because there was no place in this country where gay people could legally marry at that time.  It was more fictitious threat fodder from the GOP.

                  That opened the door for gay folks to ask why not; and for most normal people to come to think "well that's silly."

                  •  Don't forget how Republicans (0+ / 0-)

                    allowed gay marriage to go forward in Massachusetts in 2004, when they had the power to stop it.  Preserving the sanctity of marriage was less important than using it as a club to beat John Kerry with.

                    Thanks, Republicans.

                    The Constitution is a suicide pact.

                    by happymisanthropy on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 09:29:11 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  I want to hear it!! (7+ / 0-)

            It's safety net and civil liberties for me.  The marriage equality folks ran an outstandingly successful non-partisan campaign in our state and I applaud their victory.  Had they not proved successful, the DFL would not have had the confidence to pass the legislation.  So the movement came before the party.  I think that's what we may need on the economic issues.  

            The Democratic Party will not lead on economic issues and Hillary will probably be on the wrong side of almost all of them.  So let the movement begin!

      •  That's what the Left is always about (26+ / 0-)

        Restoring the balance between People and Money.  The forces of oligarchy never stop fighting, and perpetually gain ground if they're not resisted just as hard and just as determinedly.  Progressives and liberals around here seem to understand that very well.  The problems happen when the Democratic party leadership forget this need, and abandon the fight.  

        Our fights around here are almost always about whether Democrats in office are doing enough to move a Left agenda or not.  So to Lithwick and Friedman, I'd say progressives have the same agenda we've always had.  We just don't always have a party at our back in fighting it.  We're not the ones forgetting; our side in the Beltway are.

        We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

        by Dallasdoc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:11:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's gotta be the environment (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        high uintas

        Front and center. We're in a race against time to stop the human race from making inalterable changes to the environment -- changes which will have the most profound impacts and destroy progress made on other fronts, including poverty.

        Our habitable climate and our once abundant drinking water.  Both in danger of disappearing forever.

        Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

        by FischFry on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 07:42:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shaharazade

        and I've never smoked the stuff and really don't give a shit about the issue inherently, but legalizing marijuana will have a positive effect on a lot of low income people, in particular a lot of people who would otherwise be going to jail if we don't do it. It's not my first priority, which is reducing economic inequality, but it is a step in the direction of fighting injustice.

        ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

        by James Allen on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 08:11:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  SCOTUS ruled (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Armando, jbou, FarWestGirl, lotlizard

      that states allowing same-sex marriage could continue to allow them, right? So the same principle should apply to marijuana, right?

      States rights and all that conservative stuff.

      "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

      by cotterperson on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:02:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Love is not finite & (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Armando, happymisanthropy, lotlizard

      with all the people in a tent like ours, we can address each and every silo.

      Here's the latest and greatest since the NSA UnConstitutional Snooping, the secret TPP "free trade" for sociopath corporations treaty that actually allows for participants to be ABOVE THE LAW.

      Fun times for the Patrick Henrys in every silo!

      See more here:

      http://www.bradblog.com/...

      Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

      by Einsteinia on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:03:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How can anyone represent The People w/ this setup? (0+ / 0-)
        Grayson's email announced that, due to pressure in the form of 10,000 comments submitted in opposition to the TPP, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) "finally let a member of Congress — little ole me, Alan Grayson — actually see the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership … a large, secret trade agreement that is being negotiated with many countries in East Asia and South America."

        Grayson reportedly told an audience recently that he was allowed to "see exactly one document in his office in early June with the provision that no one on his staff can be there and that he can’t take any notes and he only has a limited time in which to view the document."

        The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ☮ ♥ ☺

        by lotlizard on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 11:26:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Grass? Really? Ahead of climate, war & poverty? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      genocideisnews, barkingcat

      You're dismissing everything the authors say to move in a more trivial direction than the one they decry. Sure, I think it sucks that people are in jail for smoking weed. That should be fixed, but it can't be the next crusade. We've got bigger fish to fry.

      Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

      by FischFry on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 07:38:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Legalize grass, and a lot fewer AA's go to prison. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FischFry

        The War on (Some) Drugs funnels African-Americans into the prison system, stigmatizing them for life, in an extremely discriminatory way.

        The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ☮ ♥ ☺

        by lotlizard on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 11:30:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That was implicit in my reply (0+ / 0-)

          I said it sucks that people are on jail for smoking. Yes, that does hit African-Americans more. 10x more, or even more than that in some cities. It should change. I'm just saying that if we're looking for the next oxygen-sucking political crusade, that can't be at the top of the list.

          Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

          by FischFry on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 05:47:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Friedman can't stop thinking about the gays. (7+ / 0-)

    Another marriage ruined!

    Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

    by Bob Johnson on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 11:39:12 AM PDT

  •  It's the writers who are too focused. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    p gorden lippy, cotterperson, Armando

    Somebody point it out to them, ok?

    "Oh, yeah - there WAS that NSA thing too.  Ok, two issues."  Ok, DOMA and the Voting Rights Act things also.  Ok, but only four...right?  Oh yeah and there's...."

    Warren/3-D Print of Warren in 2016!

    by dov12348 on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 11:39:26 AM PDT

  •  Lile Woody Allen's character in "Hanna . . . (10+ / 0-)

    and her sisters". He can't let himself be happy about not having cancer for more than 30 seconds. He's dragged right back back into the spiritual cesspool by his ever-present angst.

    Let us be happy and backslapping for our wins, and resolute to keep up the fight for our losses. On this site, there was no lack of anger and resolution over the VRA gutting. DOliver in particular had some inspiring words on the subject.

    Rolling up sleeves, ready to re-fight the Civil Rights Movement, the Women's Movement, and happy for the GLBT community members who can now join society as equals - at least in many places, at least for now.

    Eternal vigilance means you get to be happy sometimes, even while painting signs for tomorrow.

    Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

    by p gorden lippy on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 11:40:21 AM PDT

  •  Wholly disagree with Lithwick & Friedman (18+ / 0-)

    The left did not abandon other issues.  As you note, many politicians did.  More importantly, those who set agendas as worthy of public discourse -- i.e., the media -- abandoned other issues as ones that might conflict with their owners' interests, their advertisers' interest, their cocktail party givers' interests.

    The Left continues to fight for climate science, for transparency in governance, for civil rights, for economic leveling, for freedom from surveillance, for women's rights, etc., etc.  It's just that those don't appeal to the powers that be not just in DC but also in corporate boardrooms.

  •  It worked with marriage equality nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, TomP

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 11:42:51 AM PDT

  •  Sorry for the moving target (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, cotterperson

    in terms of the post.

    Was adding some stuff to make it prettier and all that.

  •  we need to put economics front and center (10+ / 0-)

    because with economics comes the climate issue - at least it does when JOBS are framed right. Along with protecting what remains of the safety net we can chip off some of the other team's base. Stop triangulating Social Security and scaring seniors. Start standing for something concrete, literally. Rebuild for a 21st century infrastructure. It's grey, it's not sexy, it's not culture war to anyone but small government think tank wonks, done right we can start to move away from the industrialism that is running out the ecological clock. (how fast? who knows. better safe than sorry). China has high speed rail, we don't. Germany has a social safety net far beyond ours. We need more local control and a securities transaction tax (in coordination with the EU). Sound like we have ideas and not just phrases.

    We'll win the culture war on momentum alone. The left of center has to have a vision for where the country should go besides "not crazy". The further left of the left should stop litmus testing their allies on whatever their pet causes are (I know, good luck with that). Here's hoping someone out there is taking offense at the phrase "pet cause" because this wouldn't be a left comment thread without some poutrage.

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 11:45:00 AM PDT

    •  Are you kidding--not sexy? (6+ / 0-)

      Maybe in 2007 it wasn't sexy, or even 2008, but since the crash, anything that involves decent-paying stable jobs is the ultimate in sexy. To voters, anyway.  Additional benefits such as getting us off fossil fuels or rebuilding schools, bridges, roads, rails, just gives a nice warm civic glow on top of the delight at actually finding paying work and feeling that someone in your society actually gives a shit that you're sinking.

      This is plenty sexy, if framed rigt.

      Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:00:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  stay away from "help the environment" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Armando, claude

        Try to be the grey, boring, technocratic Democratic Party of the 21st century. It's all about JOBS, and the purely economic values of doing the right thing. This is purely for the percentage of the right that will buy the more expensive product if the cheaper product is labeled "help the environment" but will buy the cheaper product if it's not.

        Don't rub their noses in the fact that us hippies have been right all along about the ecological consequences of industrialism.

        If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

        by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:06:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm having a hard time figuring out (3+ / 0-)

          if you mean this or if it's snark.

          I am a big fan of the Green Jobs meme, and feel that the only reason it didn't work is because it requires that the government, or somebody, spend money to create said Green Jobs, and the 1% doesn't wanna, and the government doesn't wanna do anything that upsets the 1%.

          Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:12:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think jgnyc is talking tactics. (4+ / 0-)

            Doing green jobs without calling it that.

            If I read this correctly, I understand the point, but it also empowers the Right to demonize "green" the way it demonized "liberal."  I would like to keep our terminology and keep its meaning and vibrancy, toward the day when those terms will be ones that all want to claim as their home.

            •  but why fight that fight? (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Armando, dance you monster, AoT, lotlizard

              It's about winning elections near term. Liberal got demonized because the Dems decided to triangulate right as the Reaganauts decided to take no prisoners. And, of course, the Civil Rights victories which tribally pissed off a large portion of the frankly racist white working class.

              Nothing wrong with "green" (unlike "the 1%" which I think is a real negative) but stay away from it appearing that the hippies are winning by making it seem we're forward looking economic warriors and of course there's a green component because it's good for business and the Chinese are doing it (they sort of aren't but they do have faster trains) and the Europeans are doing it and if we want to BRING AMERICA INTO THE FUTURE tm we have to do everything possible - and that requires maximizing our industrial management strategies (read - cut down on waste and pollution).

              If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

              by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:43:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I get your point, really. (4+ / 0-)

                Your approach works better in the short run.  Mine is aimed at the longer run, to reclaim ground we've been losing.  We're about to run out of ground and vocabulary on our side, and for a change I'd like to see us push the other side on its heels, not beg them for a dance.

                •  I don't believe it works better in the short run. (5+ / 0-)

                  We've been trying and trying to placate "the other side" and we've gotten exactly nothing out of them. Nothing that involves money, that is.

                  They don't care what words we dress it up with. They want all the money and resources, and they want us to have none. It really is that stark. It took me 26 years of activism to finally realize it, but that's really where they're at.

                  Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

                  by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 01:16:44 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's not placating "the other side" (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kj in missouri

                    it's making common cause with them. Writing off the entire Republican base is counter productive. Some of them are religious or ideological dead enders, some of them aren't.

                    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

                    by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 02:40:35 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Will they vote for money to create jobs? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      happymisanthropy

                      Will they vote for the necessary climate protections that will secure our food and water supply? Will they vote for putting Wall St back behind a wall of laws that keeps them from wrecking the world economy?

                      That's what needs to be done to secure our future, that and trade agreements that don't destroy our workers and businesses.

                      Things are too dire now. People who don't want to get on board with the basic things necessary to our survival are not people that it's any use to make common cause with. That's what I mean by "the other side." And actually, I believe that there are both Reagan Democrats and Republicans who would get on board with all those things. The ones who won't, well, we've been chasing them long enough.

                      Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

                      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 06:28:28 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  sort of (0+ / 0-)

                        >Will they vote for money to create jobs?

                        If pitched correctly yes. More sell the voters on a vision, a Way Forward, putting America Back to Work.

                        > Will they vote for the necessary climate protections that will secure our food and water supply?

                        No. The Republican tribe will not at least I'm very doubtful.

                        > Will they vote for putting Wall St back behind a wall of laws that keeps them from wrecking the world economy?

                        Sort of. I think mainstreet is ready for a transaction tax but I doubt any House candidates next year will bring it up. Hope I'm wrong as it's a moral high ground winner.

                        If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

                        by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 08:12:13 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  Frankly, I think the American people would be (6+ / 0-)

                fine with green jobs as long as they exist and pay a decent living wage, because the American people would be fine with any job as long as it exists and pays a decent wage. It's not a problem of framing; it's a problem of no one being willing to pony up the money to create the jobs, for a variety of reasons.

                In other words, whether you frame it in a way that they can say OMG the hippies are winning or whether you frame it like an Archie Bunker screed, in the end it doesn't matter: in the end you will need money to create those jobs, and money to create jobs ain't on the menu unless there is some specific reason for it (such as:  the powerful want Keystone XL to go through; Keystone XL can't go through without pipe being laid; therefore somebody has to lay the pipe; therefore there have to be about 1,000 temporary jobs).

                Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

                by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 01:15:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  the government can print money (2+ / 0-)

                  See: Keynes, John

                  The problem is breaking the ideological gridlock. The other sides' base has been convinced there's an economic rational for the divide but their strength is from the culture war. The solution is in the history books under FDR

                  If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

                  by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 02:43:58 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yeah, but it's not just Republicans who are (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    congenitalefty, Noodles

                    keeping this from happening. It's most of the Democratic party too. The ideological gridlock extends from center-left types like my congressman, Chris Van Hollen, all the way over to Paul Ryan. And it's worth considering the wealthy who are standing behind them influencing the conversation. FDR does have the answer, but FDR and the New Deal and Keynes are all verboten--at least as much in our party as anywhere else. And Obama is leading the way on that.

                    How do you intend to deal with that? Is your idea that you will sell the Reagan Democrats on Keynes and thus pressure the Democratic party back in the right direction?

                    Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

                    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 06:38:05 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  jobs jobs jobs (0+ / 0-)

                      Just keep saying jobs jobs jobs and assume we've won all the culture war stuff. We haven't, there's miles to go, but take a page from the extremist right book and declare victory via settled moral high ground. Then say jobs. Don't mention Keynes, mention FDR if a candidate is feeling it. Obama's not running again. Shift the discussion to jobs all the time.

                      If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

                      by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 08:04:50 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  I'm refering to a recent study (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Armando, AoT

            no link sorry too lazy and harried but it was on the front page around here - that showed there was a reverse effect with light bulbs. If conservatives were just shopping just on cost effective they chose a certain light bulb, if the bulb was (accurately) labeled 'better for the environment' or 'save the planet' etc ... they bought the other one. The tribal tug of not giving the hippies any victories outweighed self interest.

            Another thing, and this has always been flame bait but here goes: retire the "one percent" thing. It was only ever preaching to the choir and some of us always found it annoying and not good meme starting. As Krugman pointed out the math points more at the .01 percent, a friend says it's about the 26 percent who got theirs and are afraid of losing it, and "Wall Street" says it much better. Remember the goal here is to chip off some of the right wing working class base (and I understand the phrase "working class" is not good advertising). Because without a significant electoral presence we'll never get anything real accomplished and without breaking through their tribal barriers the numbers are too depressing to realistically contemplate.

            If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

            by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:38:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, the right wing working class (6+ / 0-)

              seems to have gotten the idea that the government and the banks are working together in a corrupt way that screws over the working man.

              The 1% works fine for me--not with every audience, of course, but no meme works fine with everybody.
              It says something real, and people grasp it.  And I'm not sure what you mean by preaching to the choir, when there was a pretty eclectic group of people out at those encampments and events--everybody from Ron Paul supporters to left-wing Democrats to socialists to independents who weren't particularly political (in their minds anyway) but who had just lost their homes or their jobs.

              Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 01:19:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I've watched Reagan Democrats laugh about it (0+ / 0-)

                all night long. "We are the 99 percent" when Occupy, for better or worse, read to them (and me FWIW) as the usual suspects.

                > Ron Paul supporters to left-wing Democrats to socialists

                See above. And there's nowhere near enough of that demographic to sway elections.

                If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

                by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 02:46:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  well, when the Reagan Democrats lose (5+ / 0-)

                  their houses, they might feel differently about people trying to help them save their houses. Or maybe not.

                  But we've been chasing "the Reagan Democrat" since they voted for Reagan, mostly by trying to sound conservative. And I don't see that at the end of the day that that's put us in a good position, as progressives. We have less power than we've ever had.

                  I suggest advocating for the preservation of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the creation of jobs, and making Wall St stop messing with people's mortgages--and hopefully bringing them to justice under the law. And hammering those points and sticking to them. If the Reagan Democrats don't come on board for that, they won't come on board for anything.

                  Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

                  by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 06:13:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  exactly (0+ / 0-)

                    > advocating for the preservation of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the creation of jobs, and making Wall St stop messing with people's mortgages

                    And stop there. We win the culture war stuff anyway down the road and reap maximum benefit from it already. Don't balance the budget on the backs of America's seniors. That's a message that could get into the weeds next year.

                    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

                    by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 08:08:13 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  that said, on *specific* issues (6+ / 0-)

              like trying to sell lightbulbs to people, I don't mind dropping pro-environmental stuff off the label. But selling people lightbulbs is different from selling them politicians or policies.  We've tried since 1988 to sell them politicians and policies by muting anything that sounds like it could be a hippy or be related to a hippy, and it has landed us in the shit, pretty much, economically, ecologically, and politically.

              Also, it ain't 1988 anymore, and I don't see the point in seeking to please the people whose influence is dwindling because too many people alive now couldn't care less about hippies because hippies are some weird thing their grandparents used to be--or because too many people now couldn't care less about Communism or Socialism as a bogeyman, because the Cold War ended 24 years ago--or because there are a lot more black and brown people being born than white people. Historically and demographically, this particular ship has sailed. Hippie-baiting isn't a threat anywhere except within the Democratic party, where it's used as a way to keep lefties in line. Outside, where the voters live, most of them don't give a damn.

              what they do give a damn about is decent-paying jobs, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, healthcare and, if they have kids, education.

              Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 01:28:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  because I don't think waiting another 15 years (0+ / 0-)

                for the hoped for demographic shift is a good idea.

                I think the left of center could get on the street (not the idiot or far left mind you - I mean the style of the current elected Progressive caucus) with more moral credibility on economic issues now, I mean for 2014.

                If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

                by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 02:49:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  as one of "us hippies" (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Armando, jgnyc, mightymouse

          who were "...right all along about the ecological consequences of industrialism.",   I have to agree.

          don't always believe what you think

          by claude on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:18:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Look, fwiw, I wish this were true. (6+ / 0-)

            But the hold-up is not in the opinions of the American people, though their opinions are not great on this issue; the hold-up is where the money is. In a capitalist system, it requires money to make these kinds of changes, to create green jobs, etc. The money is in the control of people who have no interest in investing the money in any jobs, much less jobs that will change our energy economy.  Trying to win by placating folks with a nice non-hippy message is not going to work. I know this because we've been trying it for twenty years--what do you think the cap-and-trade thing was supposed to be? It's a goddamned market, like a stock exchange, where carbon has a freaking price put on it, and guys in suits buy and sell the right to burn carbon as a commodity. Does that sound like Woodstock to you? It was designed as a business-friendly, industry-friendly mechanism. Emphatically not hippy.

            So, API and AEI, and all the other Koch-funded organs just made it into a hippy thing. It became a left-wing fringe socialist hippy destruction of our way of life because they said so.  It was the same with Romneycare, btw. And so it goes.

            Unless you intend to change the media in a fundamental way, you can't win that fight that way. You can't win by trying to dodge the term "hippy" like a bullet. "Hippy" will be whatever they want it to be. Kind of like "terrorist."

            Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 01:41:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Whatever truthful message works. But it... (7+ / 0-)

          ...should not be forgotten that plenty of Democrats, plenty of progressives don't put the environment high on their priority list unless it connects with jobs. Getting the message across that the environment and the economy are not too separate entitites would help, but too many folks who are good on other important matters on the progressive agenda just don't get that.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:31:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jgnyc, AoT, mightymouse

            No need to hide the jobs light under the environmental bush.

            this reminds me of the criticism I would receive for arguing that torture is not effective.

            I was told that should not matter.

            I responded but for the politics is does.

            •  Armando, as long as the jobs materialize (7+ / 0-)

              and are at a good living wage, and as long as people are trained to do them so they can actually get these jobs and earn the decent living wage, it won't matter if I call them "Purple Fandango Tutu" jobs.

              The environment is not a bush. You're buying into this whole notion that the problem is that our choice of messaging is "too hippy" or "too left." There are two reasons this is wrong: 1) the American people want good jobs with decent wages, pretty much no matter what, and 2) the media will make whatever you call your policy, project or politician into something "too far left," no matter what. If Romneycare didn't teach us that, I don't know what will.

              Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 01:46:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  How about if we torture (0+ / 0-)

              Republicans until they give us good jobs?

              "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

              by bryduck on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 09:03:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  21st century industry will be "green" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Armando, kj in missouri

            because it's really good for business. And, initially, a jobs program. Rather then being the Greenpeace eco-warriors our programs should be boring really good ideas that just happen to lower the carbon footprint because it's good for the business at hand.

            We have an INNOVATION GAP with the Chinese (not really but sell the sizzle not the steak). They have faster trains, they are jump starting solar because the government is investing. Let's Rebuild America for the 21st Century (tm)

            Grey candidates in suits talking jobs for American families might chip off some of the other side. Because if we don't chip off some of the other side we're waiting around to see if all the demographic optimism comes true for the next decade. The ecology is non-linear and, I hope, more resilient than worst case scenarios, but ocean acidity is worrisome near term and carbon, fossil fuel, fraking etc are going to take a long time to restructure. Sooner is better for a post industrial America and we have to break through the tribal barriers or it won't be sooner.

            If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

            by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:50:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We'll see. One big problem is that we've just ... (10+ / 0-)

              ...wasted four-and-a-half years during which upgrading our dilapidated infrastructure with green replacements could have been accomplished with cheap borrowed money thanks to the Fed's downward pressure on interest rates, something that  (despite the first quarter's 1.8% annualized GDP growth) seems destined to no longer be the case.

              The idea of bolstering the economy with green jobs is not exactly new. We were talking about this in the late '70s. And by "we," I mean that literally in this case. I was then at the Solar Energy Research Institute (now NREL), and we often noted that the new industries coming from renewables would provide lots of good jobs and a thriving export market if the United States was the leader in the field, which, at the time it was even though solar cells and wind turbines were primitive and incredibly expensive by today's standards.

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 01:30:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  yeah the low interest rates are a missed moment (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kj in missouri, Noodles, lotlizard

                Although to the entrenched interests that may be a feature not a bug as when the civic will comes together they'd rather have it financed at higher rates.

                Green jobs isn't a new idea. I was bringing it up in the context of focusing electorally on jobs - with the green along for good business - instead of the security state or culture war issues. Obviously the blogosphere can walk and chew gum at the same time  but the imagery of common sense technocrats makes more sense to me than crusading culture and economic warriors. Granted that's exactly the image that the bland center and center right of our party work but I think/hope progressives could get more mileage down ticket as we may have slightly more moral credibility with Jane Thevoter not that that's a very high bar.

                If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

                by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 02:37:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  The tribal barriers we have to worry about (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              congenitalefty

              aren't the conservative voters as much as the people who control the big money that needs to be invested in the changes.

              Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 01:47:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Agree, they're linked (0+ / 0-)

            Back in the day, Veep Al Gore made a good casefor that.

            "If you can't take their money, eat their food, drink their booze and then vote against them, you have no business being in DC."

            by Betty Pinson on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 08:21:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Save the environment -- water, land and air (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lotlizard

          I wouldn't say "help the environment." Say it's a fight to preserve the future. Not a better future. Any future.

          We're literally using up our drinking water supplies. For me, this might be the worst aspect of fracking -- not the risk of inadvertent contamination, but the deliberate contamination of millions of gallons of water for each fracked well. I'm sure we can put scientists to work on synthesizing new water or finding a substitute.

          Also, we're destroying our oceans and overfishing, but I guess that can wait -- even if it means fishermen, fish product workers and fishmongers will all be out of work in a generation.

          Land? Garbage everywhere. We have to stop producing so much waste, because we're practically out of room to dispose of it.

          Air -- skipping past the health effects of pollution, lets just focus on saving the world for future generations. So, they can have jobs, too.

          There are solutions and, in fact, many of the steps we need to take on one aspect are steps we need to take for the other problems, as well. We need to stop producing so much GHGs in producing nitrogen-rich fertilizers and pesticides that are destroying our health and our water and oceans. We need to stop producing so many GHGs that are making farming almost impossible anyway. By eating local we can dispense with a lot of wasteful packaging....and we can start composting on a wide scale to produce fertilizers naturally, provide cover for soil to reduce GHGs, and reduce waste.

          Then, of course, there's the alternative energy sources, which will be less polluting, use less water, etc....and maybe provide reliable income and power for agriculture.

          And, all of these will offer jobs...but, I  gotta tell ya, that shouldn't be the best way to sell these things. The pitch has to go like this:
           

          "We've doing things the wrong way, and the good news is we now know there are better ways to do these things. We have run out of time to hide our heads in the sand.

          Our scientific understanding may be new, but the general ideas aren't new wisdom unknown to past generations of Americans and greatest leaders.

          People have resisted the promise of the new, greener economy, out of fear for their future...their economic future. FDR understood this -- that the thing we have to fear most is this fear, because it's crippling us. The only thing we have to fear about the future is no future.

          That's what we'll have if we keep pretending we can produce energy the old way, without regard to the consequences. That's what we'll have if we don't develop smarter uses for our water supplies, for disposing of our waste, if we don't take our role seriously as G-d's steward for the planet, and all the creatures on it. Because our ultimate prosperity and even our survival may rest on how well we do that job.

          We can't continue to live as we did when there was one or two billion people, most of whom were living in pre-industrial culture. We can't live as we did when fossil fuels were so abundant that our supplies were much bigger than demand and the resources seemed they would last forever...not as we did when we didn't know that burning fossil fuels to generate electricity and other power was sowing the seeds of a future climate calamity. We can't continue to consume as thoughtlessly we did then, or to dispose of our waste as thoughtlessly as if we believed there were no consequences.

          The thing is we can maintain the same quality of life, if we just live more consciously and conscientiously.

          The planet is at 7 billion people and possibly heading to 9 billion...and the third world is industrializing faster than we ever did here.  It's in everybody's interests that we find ways to use the Earth's resources more intelligently. If we lead the way in this effort, we might be the ones to benefit the most economically, but we will all benefit for having saved the planet's resources for our children and their children's children.

          It's going to take a collective effort. We can't have free riders -- not in other countries, and not here, either, because they're going to sink this effort for all of us.  We, as a nation, as a civilization, and as a species - we have reached a tipping point, Either we find the proper balance, or we're all going to slide into the abyss.

          Our fates are linked...intertwined. We have to work cooperatively to win the future for everyone. That's something the Founding Fathers understood when Ben Franklin said "We must all hang together, or we will all surely hang separately."

          This is a time of unprecedented peril to the environment that sustains us, but the solutions are within our power and within reach. All we have to do is agree to change our path away from the abyss, and to embark on this new course where the future will be just as bright as the past has been.

          Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

          by FischFry on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 08:30:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Leadership is a big part of the problem (7+ / 0-)

    Or, at least, the lack of it.

    Too often our elected leaders lack the will or the cajones to aggressively push a progressive agenda. They tell us that now is not the time, that the Senate rules don't allow it, yadda, yadda.

    We are told that the only way we can achieve anything is to elect 60 senators and a majority of the House. If we don't have bulletproof majorities, we just have to accept defeat.

    I have no doubt that we will be told soon that there is no way to do anything about voting rights. And climate change? Dream on.

  •  Good post, but it seems to me that (6+ / 0-)

    the overall question is a bit narcissitic.  Progressives with a capital P would do better working on issues instead of fixating on themselves.  That said, I agree with Kos and you generally on this issue.  There also are times when part of a coalition disagrees on an issue.  The smart thing to do is disagree with respect and work together when one can.  Dkos comment threads, however, often lose themselves in narcissisitc wars that accomplish little.  

    I like Dkos, but I wonder whether it is very useful anymore.  It helps raise money in elections, and that matters.  

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 11:48:21 AM PDT

  •  I think it's clear that they're not trying (10+ / 0-)

    to scapegoat LGBT rights, merely saying that there are only a very few progressive issues that still get any play at all. LGBT rights is one of them. Apparently, for now, women's issues are too. Probably because you can work a lot on both LGBT rights and women's rights without ever touching the question of money.

    Anything that involves a progressive attitude toward money in all its forms:  wealth, jobs, wall st, taxes, debt--is automatically verboten in DC, amongst Democrats as well as Republicans, unless you are talking to an increasingly tiny number of Democrats:  Marcy Kaptur, John Conyers, Alan Grayson, come to mind on the House side, Bernie Sanders, who isn't a Democrat, Elizabeth Warren, and possibly Sherrod Brown and Sheldon Whiteouse on the flip side.

    These authors are noting the strong rightward shift of the Democratic party that happened in 2010. Not that plenty of rumblings of it were not present before;  the adoption of a Paygo system under the economic conditions of the time revealed a lot.  But in 2010, almost all the Democrats fell in line and started echoing what some people call neoliberal and others call Chicago school talking points. (Me, I just say it sounds like Reagan, except with Social Security cuts on top as a kind of whipped-cream-and-cherry.)

    Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 11:57:45 AM PDT

  •  Have to disagree (12+ / 0-)

    I don't think they are scapegoating gay rights.  We're over the moon about the victories on equality.  

    But it's not scapegoating to acknowledge that the progress on equality is sometimes used as a way to play down the other staggering losses we've had, and sell outs.  That's not scapegoating. That's just being honest and clear-eyed.

    This administration has, IMHO, timed things (particularly DADT) in such a way to bolster enthusiasm for the party and to smack down criticism of the president, or basically throw a guilt trip by accusing people who were upset with other policies as being not sufficiently happy for the LGBT movement.   That is the thing that's not fair.

    Neoliberals, like the neocons in some ways , are happy to give on social issues, as long as they don't affect the pocketbook fo the 1%. We should get the progress on those critical social issues for free, because it's the right thing to do for a Democratic administration, not as a trade off on critical economic and foreign policy issues.


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:07:19 PM PDT

    •  Not seeing it (0+ / 0-)

      I think the language is pretty clear in its accusation  that "progressives" gave up on everything EXCEPT gay rights.

      •  What has been pushed other than that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Armando

        recently. It certainly feels like there's been no real push for anything but gay rights. I can't think of much else that's gotten attention and movement in the party. Maybe it's the failure of the party to act on anything that gives this impression. Along with the support of charter schools by some groups that have been considered progressive, I might add. Who counts as progressive matters a lot in this discussion.

        If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

        by AoT on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:38:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "Progressives" have been effectively muzzled (5+ / 0-)

        Partly it's because the Progressive Caucus will not oppose the first African American President on significant economic and civil liberties issues.   I think the deadly cynical establishment party can't wait to put HRC in office because they figure she'll get the same pass due to gender.  

        Progressives are allowing themselves to be played on ALL sides of identity politics game be it LGBT, race, ethnicity or gender.  

        •  Agree. I don't think it's a stretch to say that (0+ / 0-)

          … post-Powell-memorandum corporate America fingered identity politics as a way to tie up and/or divide progressives using their own philosophy and psychology.

          Progressives are allowing themselves to be played on ALL sides of identity politics game be it LGBT, race, ethnicity or gender.

          The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ☮ ♥ ☺

          by lotlizard on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 12:15:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  See (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lady Libertine
      While progressives were devoting deserved attention to gay rights, they simultaneously turned their backs on much of what they once believed. This raises a critical question: what does it even mean to be left anymore?
      That is a very unfortunate paragraph and it also is false imo.
      •  I don't see it (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Armando, tardis10, lotlizard

        I respect your view on it but I'm just not interpreting it the same way as you are.  I think they are giving it equal weight, but wondering if progressives have given up on other critical issues.  Armando, we have people here who said nothing about the wars and drone program, supported cutting Social Security, etc. and a bunch of other things we both are aware of.  It's really valid to question where we stand as a movement, particularly on issues that we were strong on during the Bush years but now, crickets.


        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 01:13:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm inclined to agree... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Armando, AoT, joanneleon, happymisanthropy

      I've made the argument that gay rights is one of the few issues on which we've made traction only to stop and wonder whether it makes me seem dismissive of lgbt rights or insensitive.

      I hope not, and have tried to be careful when I discuss this, but we should ask ourselves whether the dems can win any other fights? Or maybe whether other movements within the democratic party need to replicate the methods of the gay rights movement?

      Rec'ing diary for discussion.

  •  whenever pundits discuss "the left," (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, AoT

    that's a good time to stop paying attention.

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:12:53 PM PDT

  •  Progressives have certainly abandoned any (4+ / 0-)

    efforts at ending wars and U.S. imperialism.  In fact, now that they're the biggest cheerleaders, there is no chance of ending wars and U.S. imperialism.   Progressives will stand and cheer with as much enthusiasm as the conservatives did under Bush while the drones bomb and "humanitarian" wars are fought.  
    Gay marriage and pot legalization are issues society in general recognize must be changed, they're not necessarily progressive issues.  So big deal.  What else?  Nada.

    "America is the Terror State. The Global War OF Terror is a diabolical instrument of Worldwide conquest."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:45:10 PM PDT

  •  I gave a speech years ago (6+ / 0-)

    About the siloing of issues. There is a better approach than the exclusion promoted by Lithwick and Friedman (which is really nothing more than stuffing an issue they don't personally care about into a silo):

    Remember "Red Rover, Red Rover, send Tommy right over"? Tommy gets into running position, then comes barreling across the field, aiming for the spot between the two weakest kids on your team—the spot where he thinks he can split your team apart.

    That's what politics is like. If you want to hold up against the other team, you need to create bonds and hold on tight—no matter how big a guy they send across. The team that wins is the team with the consistently strongest connections.

    One of the things that the right wing has in its favor is a well-connected network.

    The “left” has nothing comparable. As a matter of fact, the best term I can think of to describe the left is “silos.” A silo keeps every grain contained and away from the other grains in the other silos. Sometimes a few grains will spill out and mix with a few grains from another silo, but overall, the grains remain separate. As long as we remain disconnected, or only weakly connected by incidental overlap, we'll be at a disadvantage.

    It's time to open the doors, push the grains out into the yard, and start stirring. Think about this: what do you see and hear on the TV and radio? What's in the newspaper? What do you hear when you're listening in on a conversation in line at the grocery store? What you see and hear these days is the result of a strong network: the same words, carrying the same messages, everywhere you turn.
    That is the power of connection. In the great game of Red Rover, the other side is holding on tight.

    Is this connected messaging so important? Does it really matter? I say it does. In studying behavior modification, researchers discovered that it takes 7 to 10 tries for a modification message to sink in. If your message isn't heard at least 7 times, it may not stick. If your message is heard at least 10 times, it probably will stick.

    So we need a way to create a cohesive message that represents “the left.” But how do we do that when there are so many issues of great importance out there, it seems overwhelming—even hopeless? How do we pick the right one? When you look at all that's happening, it's like we’re an aging golden retriever, chasing an infinite supply of tennis balls, being thrown by a pitching machine. No matter how high we jump or how fast we run, we just can't seem to catch all the balls. We're facing an unjust war against an innocent population, the removal of human rights from women, potentially deadly global climate change, the economic race to the bottom, the destruction of social security, medicare, and public education, the return of debt slavery—these are just a few of the things we're up against, none of them trivial.

    When you look at them all, there seem to be too many to overcome. I believe that's one of the reasons why we tend to “silo.” It's much more comfortable when you're hanging out there in your silo, with all the other wheat. It's easy to get along with all the other folks who believe wheatiness is the most important thing to talk about. After all, as far as the wheat can see, wheat is where it’s at. In the wheat silo, corn is not discussed, because corn is relatively unimportant.

    But, here's the killer—each silo sends its own message to market. You don't hear any corn-related messages from the wheat or wheat-related messages from the corn. Corn news stays corny, wheat news stays wheaty. When asked about corn, the wheat scoffs. When asked about wheat, the corn is dismissive. And the overall message—the message of the farm—is lost, because there’s no consistency.

    I want to ask everyone here to step outside of your silo for a minute. Forget, for just a minute, whatever issue is most important to you. Think about one other issue that you don’t believe is as significant as the one you feel is most important.  See if you can list three ways in which that issue IS significant.

    What was the point of that exercise? Because it’s important to remember: every issue—every grain crop on our metaphorical farm—is important to the farm; every issue is significant in some way. If one crop or another fails, the whole farm loses as a result.

    OK, so what is the farm?

    It’s those groups working for government of, by, and for the people; and against government of, by, and for the privileged. It’s the groups working for a livable planet, with breathable air and safe drinking water, where climate change will not wipe out millions; and against those who would trash the earth forever in exchange for personal gain today. It’s the groups who work for the rights of other
    human beings, and against those who would oppress or subjugate others for personal benefit. In short, it is the groups who believe in people.

    In a real farm, there’s a reason to keep the grains separate—as a matter of fact, it’s crucial to keep them apart. In the great game of Red Rover we call politics, however, silo-ing creates weakness.

    We need to look at and recognize each other as vital parts of the whole operation.

    Look around this room. Every person you see is a vital part of the larger whole, no matter which issue they think is most important. We need to listen to each other. Even if you think someone else’s priorities are totally skewed, listen, because the issue of most importance to the other person has significance to us all. We must step out of our silos, reach out to one another, interlock our arms, and refuse to let go—no matter how big Tommy is, how fast he’s running, or how loudly he may growl with determination.

    Remember this: Even if our silos stand apart, our fate remains one.

    We gain strength by creating bonds. We all stand stronger when we get together and hold on tight. Even if you don’t support my particular issue, and I don’t support yours, we—you and I—must support each other.

  •  so, i've read the diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    congenitalefty

    and all of the comments to date.  and i'm confused.  what exactly is this discussion about? i've throughly enjoyed reading it, but i'm not sure where it landed or what we were aiming for, exactly.

    if we're talking about coming out of our silos, connecting our issues and building off the DOMA win, my small suggestion would be to create connection around the word/concept of "rights."   (it would have the added benefit of tying in with some entitlement memes.)

    gay rights
    voting rights
    women's rights
    ....
    the right to clean water
    the right to clean air
    the right to safe bridges
    the right to safe roads
    the right to ... (infrastructure) (jobs, environment)

    just an off-the-cuff suggestion for framing.

    "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

    by kj in missouri on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 05:22:59 PM PDT

  •  I didn't see a misfocus (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    Amongst progressives, I think that this was mostly media misfocus and cowardice amongst Dem leaders who let voter caging and electronic ballot corruption happen so widely. And I blame state level party operatives especially. Voting rights and open source, noncommercial voting software must be a key objective now.

  •  Platitudes (0+ / 0-)
    The essential messages of justice, fairness and liberty
    If your "essential message" could be used by any political party to describe their positions, it's a platitude, not a platform.

    Those who ignore the future are condemned to repeat it.

    by enigmamf on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 07:52:29 PM PDT

  •  Red State Reform Repubicans. (0+ / 0-)

    It has to happen. Even in the deepest red states, the demographic realities of American life are at work. Even there, the young are less religious and more open to others than their elders. Even there, White dominance is on a demographic decline.

    Unless the Democrats face a credible threat, electorally, from their left, we need Republicans to retreat from ideological orthodoxy and refocus on helping to shape better governance of our people. See my recent diary on this idea.

    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." John Kenneth Galbraith

    by LeftOfYou on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 08:09:46 PM PDT

  •  Much of the progressive agenda has been muted... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, MrWebster
    but not by progressives, but rather by most politicians, particularly those of the Democratic Party. The essential messages of justice, fairness and liberty have been overwhelmed by tribal politics in many instances.
  •  we're about a lot more than marriage (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    genocideisnews, lotlizard

    to begin with we are, by far, the most heterogeneous population within the progressive movement. L, G, B, T and Q are very different groups and that's only part of it. We are every race, religion, ethnicity, social class and regional variation..... and we have taken on each others issues.

    and while we have been fighting for equality, we've been taking care of vast numbers of hiv infected people straight and gay, rich and poor, burying our friends.

    and electing progressive officials, straight and gay

    and fighting for a world where LGBTQ youth are not driven, by straight society to suicide, drugs and homelessness

    and so on in so many ways, fighting for the right to choose, for example. Ask yourselves where the choice movement would be without us.

    and these comments are all just off the top of my head in a few minutes, so..... explain to me why I should not be offended by the topic.

    lbe assured that we know in our bones that there is much more than marriage. We're doing it.

  •  Solidarity (0+ / 0-)

    The LGBT marriage equality success make us stronger.

    If we abandon our allies and their issues, who will defend us and ours?

    by Bryce in Seattle on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 09:12:29 PM PDT

  •  have not seen alot of dairies on the student loan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lotlizard

    Elizabeth warren seems to be the only person in the fight to not raise interest rates on student loan debt. this seems to me to be a progressive issue, i do not the article scapegoated gay rights, but simply pointed out the fact other things are going on and being ignored

  •  As always, there are very important issues right (0+ / 0-)

    legislative update provided by Representatives Bobby Powell and David Kerner

    here at home. Our State legislators are out and about informing us about the new awful laws being proposed by our Republican Governor and his minions.
    Here in West Palm Beach our Deomocratic clubs are meeting to discuss these issues, so find a club near you and go find out what's in store:
    Our club is hosting this meeting:

    When: Tuesday, July 9th

    6:30 PM

     Where: Ambrosia Restaurant

    1603 S Dixie Hwy

    (across from the Norton, 1/2 block south)
    West Palm Beach, FL 33401
    (561) 833 - 8280

    Free Parking - Great Food!
    (come for dinner or just the meeting)

    map at:  www.wpbdems.org

  •  It's sad... (0+ / 0-)

    .....that a politician who insists that oversight of existing laws and the return of a few old ones is considered progressive.

    The GOP jobs plan is to manufacture outrage.

    by Doug in SF on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:15:51 AM PDT

  •  Gay marriage doesn't threaten economic power (0+ / 0-)

    For Democrats who want to side with corporatocracy, gay marriage is an issue that appeals to the left side of the party without alienating Big Money contributors.

    On the other hand, really delivering on their promises on the Employee Free Choice Act would have discomfited big donors.

    Perhaps moving the needle on social wedge issues is easier than challenging the power of the 1%.

  •  "endorsing pro-choice Republicans." (0+ / 0-)

    And how'd that work out for ya?

    The modern Democrat is one who promotes old GOP ideas and calls them progressive in comparison to new GOP ideas.

    by masswaster on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:40:42 AM PDT

  •  "It's not like anyone in the gay community... (0+ / 0-)

    ...ever asked them to abandon the rest of their agenda. But progressives did."

    So how exactly did Lithwick and Friedman "scapegoat" gay rights? Pointing out that Democrats are largely useless is so self-evident, I can't believe anyone would find it controversial.

    Great example: GOP tries to cut food stamps by $20 billion. BOOOO! "Progressive" alternative supported by Dems "only" cuts program by $4 billion. Yay?

  •  Liberals have abandoned the poor, near-poor (0+ / 0-)

    The fact that the Democratic Party can even talk about Grand Bargains involving cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Food Stamps (SNAP) is because liberals no longer have an intense commitment to the poor and near-poor. The poor/near-poor are taken up as an abstract cause to make us feel that we're the good guys, fighting the Snidely Whiplashes of the GOP. But few liberals have personally experienced extended poverty (college doesn't count, since it's clearly a pathway toward prosperity) or spent time in a peer situation with the poor. They just don't have the passion for social justice that past generations of liberals did.

    Consider that the Democratic Party could have indexed the minimum wage for inflation. Instead, they use it as an issue to rouse the base. No one who had been through poverty would consider that as a political tactic. They would just fix the problem.

    The Democratic Party could have done single payer. This would have been a major breakthrough in reducing the misery of poverty. There's not many things worse than avoiding a doctor when you are very ill because you're afraid of bankrupting your family. Although the ACA will probably reduce uninsurance, it will leave over 20 million uninsured. In southern states, the poor may actually lose Medicaid coverage, thanks to the evil that the Republican Party has embraced. But this could not have happened without some Democrats having no clue what it means to be poor.

    The Democratic Party utterly failed to put together a jobs program in 2009. These are desperately important in poor neighborhoods during recessions. They help to keep young people on track for participating in the workforce. Again, this would have been a priority if liberals had made it one.

    The biggest tell that the Democratic Party is not what it used to be: it could have passed public campaign finance. That step would be the single most important way to level the playing field, so that rich and poor have equal political power. But the Democrats are, almost to a person, focused on serving wealthy donors, so public finance never happens.

    There are always bad people. But what makes for bad times is when the good people have no passion.

    On the bright side, bad times can bring out that passion.

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