The Progressive Convulsions Start

With the announcement that Lieberman is going to give the Democratic radio response to Bush on Walter Reed, it's pretty well confirmed that progressives are shut out of the Congressional halls of power.  First it was Feingold's defunding proposal being poleaxed, then Hoyer winning the Majority Leader contest, then it was Murtha's plan sandbagged by Blue Dogs, then it was Reid allowing Fox News as the anchor for the Nevada Presidential debate, then it was Joe Biden and Carl Levin failing to do anything substantive on Iraq, and now it's a full-throated embrace of Lieberman.  And yes, this was Harry Reid's choice.

From what I understand from talking to a few progressives on the Hill, the freshmen in Congress are being extensively 'trained' by Rahm Emanuel's DLC band of consultants and pollsters, which is one reason they've been silent.  Carol Shea-Porter is an exception, and notice how she was shut out of the DCCC's front line program.  Also notice how our only real specific policy concern to protect our own ability to organize - net neutrality - just isn't really on the legislative radar right now (though this could change).

If you're mad, well, so am I.  But we didn't beat Lieberman, and that was the real test of strength where we went up against both the Democrats, the Republicans, and the lobbyists.  And we consistently gave Democrats a free pass in the first few months after the victory, allowing Rahm and Hoyer to consolidate power.  More to the point, we haven't been around for very long, so our institutional reach is nowhere near as capable as that of the DLC nexis, who have been operating and projecting power since the mid eighties.  My business Democrat friends are happy and very busy, as are my contacts in foreign policy elite circles.  They just love the new Congress.

The reality though is that the centrists, though they are in charge, are exceptionally weak.  It is only an accident of history that they are in power.  They have no real base, and have essentially convinced progressive voters to grab a big cup of STFU while they use their media connections and corporate cash to feel like they are in charge again.  This won't last long, two years at the most.  It's already ending, as the reality of Iraq is looming, most prominently on Hillary Clinton, but really on all of them.  Meanwhile, progressives are beginning to build their institutional capacity to craft policy and market it.

Michael Roston has an important scoop at Raw Story on this.

Consensus-seeking negotiations on a measure that would limit President Bush's troop escalation in Iraq have angered Congressional Progressives. RAW STORY has learned that they are readying a response that will call for a more rapid withdrawal of US troops from America's four year-long war.

A Democratic aide close to the Congressional Progressive Caucus told RAW STORY that some Democrats will push for withdrawal when the next bill on Iraq War funding comes to the House floor.

"There is a plan for a whip operation, to get votes for an amendment that will say that any money spent will go toward a fully funded withdrawal," the aide explained. "We can't support the idea of having a $150 billion Supplemental [Defense Appropriations bill] that gives $100 billion for the escalation."

This is perhaps the first time that the progressive caucus has flat-out said they may derail a bill, which is something that the Blue Dogs and/or the New Dems usually do.  Good for them.  It's going to split the party, but that's a split we can handle.  We should welcome having Democrats put their cards on the table, since that's a nice way of making Iraq a voting issue in primaries, where the public has an actual chance to debate and take action.  If the progressive caucus makes this happen, it would be a serious and important blow to the centrist reign of power.

On the Senate side, Max Baucus may just be the symbol of corporate greed that gets a primary challenge.  He's the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and screwed around with the minimum wage bill until he got tax breaks for business.  Read this article, and it will disgust you.  On every key economic issue, Baucus is a Republican.  That's very out of step with Montana, whose legislature just passed a resolution expressing opposition to the Fast Track authority Baucus loves.

And then there's this.

Max is organizing a big old meeting with a bunch of corporate representatives to discuss fast track. While his staff assure me that the corporate folks are being treated no better than the labor folks were (we're setting the bar awfully low here, guys), I thought this info that landed in my inbox this morning was helpful.

The five main speakers at this Democratic Policy Conference have a decidedly pro-GOP giving history:


    Republicans: $154,385 (77%)
    Democrats: $46,115 (23%)
    Total: $200,500

    Republicans: $174,590 (79%)
    Democrats: $46,410 (21%)
    Total: $221,000


    Republicans: $278,476.55 (89%)
    Democrats: $34,418.45 (11%)

    Republicans: $398,362.44 (84%)
    Democrats: $75,878.56 (16%)
    Total:  $474,241


    Republicans: $88,875 (75%)
    Democrats: $29,625 (25%)
    Total: $118,500

    Republicans: $89,979.75 (63%)
    Democrats: $52,845.25 (37%)
    Total: $142,825

   New York Life

    Republicans: $257,040 (54%)
    Democrats: $218,960 (46%)
    Total: $476,000

    Republicans: $517,951.75 (47%)
    Democrats: $573,053 (52%)
    Total:  $1,102,025


    Republicans: $1,308,060 (78%)
    Democrats: $368,940 (22%)

    Republicans: $1,013,223.96 (71%)
    Democrats: $413,852.04 (29%)

This is the equivalent of having the GOP invite NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and NOW guide their policy on choice.  It just doesn't happen.  But in Max Baucus's world, this is fine, and it's really a simple matter of him wanting campaign donations from business elites.  

Baucus's grip on the Senate caucus's economic policies is quite firm, and Lieberman's grip on the Senate caucus's foreign policy is understated as well.  It's not because Reid and Schumer have to listen to Joe, it's because they want an excuse to do nothing.  They don't need 60 votes to stop emergency funding; the Republicans need 60 votes to pass it without conditions.  This is not a non-binding resolution, this is something the Bush administration needs.

Anyway, as Washington DC centrists fiddle and the Republicans act like sociopathic teenagers, the public (and the netroots) are becoming increasingly angry.  Only Nancy Pelosi and progressives who oppose Bush and this war are liked out in the country at large.  

I'm somewhat at a loss as to how to work on the Iraq issue, and I think many progressives are in a similar situation.  But the reality is that insider negotiating strategies will run into a wall of contempt for us and the public that is unbreakable from the inside.  It's up to us, as it was in 2002, 2004, and 2006, to tear down this wall.  And we will.  They are weak because they are wrong and the public is with us.

Now it's just an organizing problem.

Tags: Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, netroots, progressive movement (all tags)



on the other hand

This is a good use of Lieberman -- finally we have an issue in which he is willing to be critical of the administration.  Why not make use of him?  We are, as you say, stuck with him since he did win election to the Senate.

by John DE 2007-03-02 02:17PM | 0 recs
Re: on the other hand

Lieberman is using us on this point.  

by Matt Stoller 2007-03-02 03:24PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

Also notice how our only real policy concern - net neutrality - just isn't really on the legislative radar right now (though this could change).

Spoken like the entitled prep-school brat that you are.  Net neutrality is the only real progressive policy concern?  Of the top of my head, the three that I care about the most at the moment are single-payer health care, getting out of Iraq, and card-check.  Some other day, I might care about a few other things more, but net neutrality, while important, wouldn't make my top 20.  Only someone who never actually had to worry about anything tangible in their life would say that net neutrality was the only real progressive policy concern.

From what I understand from talking to a few progressives on the Hill, the freshmen in Congress are being extensively 'trained' by Rahm Emanuel's DLC band of consultants and pollsters, which is one reason they've been silent.  Carol Shea-Porter is an exception,

Why don't you call Shea-Porter's office and ask where net neutrality ranks relative to the war and health care if you want to know what a real, elected, policy making progressive thinks.  I doubt she would agree with your priorities.

by Jay 2007-03-02 02:38PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

Spoken like the entitled prep-school brat that you are.

This is a perfect example as to why so many establishment Dems don't have much use for netroots. So you don't like Stoller's priorities, no need to call him a brat.

by Alice Marshall 2007-03-02 03:06PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

Sorry, I wasn't clear in my writing.  What I meant is that the only policy concern that directly impacts the structure of the netroots - net neutrality - isn't on the radar.  I don't mean the other issues aren't important, as you'll notice that Iraq is basically the key issue here.

by Matt Stoller 2007-03-02 03:25PM | 0 recs
a primary challenge to baucus

Doesn't seem like necessarily the best use of resources. Lieberman made sense because we were assured that the seat wouldn't fall into Republican hands. Though Tester demonstrates that a progressive CAN win there, such a victory is by no means assured.

by OtH 2007-03-02 02:39PM | 0 recs
Tester also faced a very damaged Conrad Burns

Removing Baucus would only give the Republicans even more incentive to run somebody like Racicot, who would be a shoo-in against a newbie liberal. In a Presidential year even, where the GOP nominee will steamroll in Montana.

by OfficeOfLife 2007-03-02 03:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Tester also faced a very damaged Conrad Burns

Corruption is bad no matter who it is.  

No corrupt Democrats survive a primary.  That should be the rule.

by Valatan 2007-03-03 05:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Tester also faced a very damaged Conrad Burns

The damage a corrupt Democrat does is far less than the damage from a Republican majority.

by OtH 2007-03-03 12:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Tester also faced a very damaged Conrad Burns

Corruption spreads.  We have to be better than them.  Jim Wright derailed the Dems once.  I don't want it to happen again.

by Valatan 2007-03-03 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

Every cycle more and more of my political donations go to primary challengers.  This time around it'll probably break 50%  By 2010 I wonder if I'll send much of anything to general election candidates.

Losing in CT sucked.  I went there from Massachusetts most weekends in the fall (and many in the summer), and it was all for nothing.  I still wonder how much of the problem was Ned Lamont going silent for 2 weeks after winning the primary and not seeming ready, and how much we were going to get whipped no matter what.

by Go Vegetarian 2007-03-02 02:47PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

It DID suck.  I only went to Lamont HQ once, in August - but it was a bid deal for me, since I drove in from Ohio.  I was overwhelmed in the belief that Ned would win.  Although the loss was bad enough, now having to listen to Lieberwhine is torture to my ears.  I guess I'm beginning to lose my will to care which I know is stupid, but the Dems lack of response is incredibly depressing

by Dyana 2007-03-02 03:35PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

We didn't go silent for two weeks.  This is obviously going to become the conventional wisdom about the race (and already is), but I have to do my best to push back against it where I can.


by Tim Tagaris 2007-03-02 03:38PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

Fine, one week.  But I remember all too well the vacation Ned Lamont took immediately after winning the primary, not the mention him saying that he wanted the DSCC to pick up the tab for his general election run because he'd spent enough money.

Contrast this to Barack Obama, who, the day after he won the primary, embarked on a week long tour of downstate Illinois (= the more white, conservative region which he'd generally lost).

I don't want to come down too hard on Ned Lamont.  After all, he stood up when nobody else would.  But clearly that was a pretty big screw up.

by Go Vegetarian 2007-03-02 06:55PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

WHen you work hard as a novice politicians for several months straight, and then you take a week off, it is understandable. Fatigue does set in. Sure there are mistakes made. But the mistakes to accomplishments ratio is tiny when you consider the Lamont people actually won a primary considered incredibly unwinnable months ago. Just think about the amount of fatigue sets in. No one is a perfect super candidate. It is understandable when a campaign novice like Lamont needed some time to either relax or weigh his options adopting a post primary strategy by talking with the establishment because you needed some sort of sincere effort from the establishment to win the general election. Overall, it was still hell of a campaign when you consider that in early 2006, if you said Lamont could force a primary, then win it by 4-5%, and the lose the general eleciton by 10%, how many people would have bet that Lamont could accomplish all that? So, we know the campaign was overall a good one. It just was naive.

WHat I want to know are some unanswered questions

  1. Ted Kennedy seemed to be one of the few big supporters of Lamont from the establishment. Did he not have any pull over the unions?
  2. Was the black vote really not that overwhelming in favor of Lamont despite a great effort from Maxine Waters?

By the way Go Vegetarian, Obama did not have to overcome some ingrained stubbornness by the voters the way Lamont did. THe establshment politicians and the local papers managed to set in a group think that there was no way they would give Lamont a fair shake. There was this excellent article in the Providence Joural by a Harpers Bazaar guy where he toook a tour of some area where a lot of local Democratic party bigwigs and voters went to a dinner where Lamont was on the list of speakers. Many people actually seemed hostile at the idea that they actually had to consider an alternative to Lieberman. There was no convincing them. One lady was interviewed and said that she was surprised by Lamont, but still wouldnt change her vote. Lamont probably needed another year to get some of the more moderate voters (who tend to follow the establishmnent) away from this kind of inertia.

If the tables were reversed, and Lamont was the incumbent, and the establishment decided to back a newcomer with Lieberman's ideas, no way they could have come close. All Lamont needed was just a little of the establishment support. People like Clinton didnt have to go on Larry King and say Lieberman was fine too.  

by Pravin 2007-03-02 07:25PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

A friend of mine who was the pol dir of a National Union and originally from CN (and a self described socialist) told me that the reason that the CN union folks were not going to back Lamont was because they resented people from out of state telling them that to be "progressive" that they had to support a rich guy from Greenwich who inherited many millions of generational money and lived a very moneyed lifestyle.  You may get mad at this, but there are a lot of working people in CN who have a hard time believing that people who live in Old Greenwich in $12 million dollar house (and have maids who take the bus over each day to make sure things remain tidy)can identify and speak for their concerns.

And YES the Union guy I speak of was and is very anti war.  

by timlhowe 2007-03-03 04:58AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

ut didn't Lieberman and his wife make millions in public life? Did the union guy assume Lieberman was middle class? And didn't Lieberman get a lot of support from out of state bigwigs? WHy did your friend perceive Lamont people as preaching to them from out of state, but not the Lieberman ones? If you look at the public statements, all I saw were attacks on a certain electorate of anti war supporters by the LIebermanites while the Lamont people(not to be confused with independent bloggers who bashed Lieberman) never really attacked voters. One Lieberman guy even questioned the jewishness of jewish voters who would vote for Lamont.

ANd so, is this union friend of yours happy with Lieberman now?

by Pravin 2007-03-03 01:53PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

you are just being argumentative.   you know exactly what i meant and what the union leaders believed.  

and no hes not happy with lieberman now, he wishes that he was a democratic senator. (how'd that happen?) but im sure hes gonna like how he votes on labor issues.

by timlhowe 2007-03-04 07:21AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

Actually I wasnt arguing with you. I was just raising some points that truly puzzle me to understand why people get certain perceptions so we will know how to fight the next battle more effectively. Did your friend think Lamont was going to vote differently on union issues? I don't get it. Your friend raised the rich Lamont issue and that confuses me because Lieberman and his wife have made a ton of money in public life. And I raised the out of state issue because how can your friend feel preached to by out of staters when Lieberman has had a ton of out of staters campaignign for him.

by Pravin 2007-03-04 06:16PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

the majority of fervor and $ for Lamont came from out of state.  besides the war, joe has a consistantly pro worker voting record. if joe has money, he sure as hell doesnt have enough to live large in old greenwich and he sure as hell didnt inherit it.  i personally hate inherited wealth and do not like liberals that belong to exclusive closed country clubs and all that. (i see here people who wish to pretend that was not a major issue - it was)  im serious, but im a leftist...not a progressive...  (I used to be, but it seems that word has been stolen out from under me)

btw, I never had one moment, even during the hysteria in washington, when i was pro war or any bush policy, but i believed going after  joe lieberman was a mistake.

btw 2 - i just heard tonight that my union cn bud got drunk and started spouting off in an anti israel tirade (my bud also considers himself quite the red) at a public party and coulda destroyed his career - except that joe just stepped in to defend him. thats true, heard it around 5.

by timlhowe 2007-03-04 07:26PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

Tim, if inherited wealth is inherently bad, would it be OK to malign Chelsea in the future just because her parents have earned millions? I don't think so. It's not like Lamont was wasting his life away like a Paris Hilton. And Lamont earned more on his own with his own ventures compared to Lieberman and second wife who earned it through lobbyist connections.

I am actually not a lefty. But I do seem to stand up for lefties more than some so called liberals in the party. I do think it is ok to be rich, even if it's inherited though I do support estate taxes for the rich. While Bill Gates may be a lot of things, I do like the way he doesn't just want to transfer the majority of his wealth to his kids.

And I was part of a group that did an audit of Lieberman's donations prior to the primary for MYDD. Guess what. He had the vast majority of his donations from out of state. And he got a lot of out of state money after the primary.

by Pravin 2007-03-05 12:16AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

tax the hell out of chelsea too.  im consistant on being against inherited wealth, like the vast majority of americans who until reagan regularly said in polls that taxes should be used to prevent huge inheritances.

sorry, but id have to see an outside view of those finances to accept that lieberman got more individual $ from out of state.  were you counting govt pacs?

by timlhowe 2007-03-05 02:58AM | 0 recs
Webb could have lost too

Webb was a great example of what Dems could accomplish when you have netroots and establishment doing their share. Take out one of these factots and Webb loses that election for sure against an entrenched guy like Allen.

When you analyze a campaign, you got to analyze it as a whole. There will be positives and minuses not because people are necessarily stupid, but sometimes, people just dont have that superhuman capacity to assess and implement every single thing perfect. As a programmer, I know, when I tackle a complex project, and I am stuck on something, it is not because I do not know how to do it, but sometimes, you are just so overwhelmed, you would wlecome another guy to come and help out a little.

by Pravin 2007-03-02 07:29PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

 You have to understand that while Ned Lamont did make mistakes, ALL candidates make mistakes. The difference is that Ned Lamont, despite being the Democratic Party nominee, was left hanging out to dry by the party bigwigs, and didn't have the infrastructure available to recover from his mistakes.

 The Democratic Party COULD have decided to go all-out to support Lamont, and Lieberman would be a Fox "analyst" today. They chose, instead, to keep the warmonger around. He's convenient to the Dems --  they can point to him and shrug and claim that he's the reason they can't do anything.

by Master Jack 2007-03-03 02:45AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

oh bull!   he didnt win because he couldnt get the votes.  there are no moral victories in politics.  i have one requirement of candidates, if you cant win - dont run.

by timlhowe 2007-03-04 07:28PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

So Gore and Lieberman should have stayed home in 2000?  Who cares if the election was stolen by the Bushies. The Gore-Lieberman team still couldn't get it done. But I guess Lieberman gets a pass from you with his disastrous debate performance with Cheney.

by Pravin 2007-03-05 12:19AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

eh 2 words...nader idiots

by timlhowe 2007-03-05 02:51AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

yet you give a pass to your union friend who voted for a guy who is blackmailing his party and indirectly his own country's national interests despite the fact that the Dem nominee in CT would have voted for not only his union interests but would have voted the right way on national security, his country's interests.

by Pravin 2007-03-05 03:47AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

first off, you created that situation where joe is utilizing his new and special powers and second, lamont's record in the state house re labor issues was not all positive and was considered unacceptable by many unionists...  i wrote before that if joe gave the seat to lamont in 2002 we would still be in this war, in the same situation.  i disagree with lieberman, but its the power of the executive that places us in this situation.  im sorry if stoller or bowers or koss or arianna or you dont understand this.

by timlhowe 2007-03-05 06:16AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

Interesting ...

When exactly was Ned Lamont in the State House?

Cause, ummm, he wasn't.

Thanks for playing,


by Tim Tagaris 2007-03-05 08:23AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

wrong position, same attitude.


"Before running for the U.S. Senate, Lamont was elected and served as selectman in the town of Greenwich, Connecticut, for eight years (two terms), chaired the state investment advisory council. (DID HE BUY A BUNCH OF WAL MART STOCK THEN TOO!) Lamont unsuccessfully ran for a state Senate seat in 1990, finishing in third place. (without the labor endorsement btw)"

from an editorial at cen conn states recorder:

Ned Lamont is not a pro-labor candidate. He is the founder of Lamont Digital Systems, a company which owns and operates Campus Televideo and Gate Networks, a cable system designed for exclusive gated communities. Although L.D.S. is headquartered in Greenwich, for tax purposes its factories are located in Delaware. None of Lamont's employees are unionized. In an August 16th interview with The Wall Street Journal Lamont confessed to being a "fiscal conservative." His net worth is estimated (Lamont refuses to disclose the actual figures) to be about $300 million although most of his fortune is inherited.

FRom CT News:

Connecticut labor leaders  "flocked to U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman's side today at a labor endorsement rally in Hartford. Their message, unsurprisingly, called for party unity and tried to paint primary challenger Ned Lamont as an outsider, though they never mentioned Lamont by name. Significant among Lieberman's union endorsements: UNITE-HERE, a 7,000 member left-wing union with a solid reputation for doorknocking during elections.

"I have a different stance than Joe on the war," said Robert Proto, President of UNITE-HERE Local 35 in New Haven. "It's clear many of our folks don't think the direction we're taking [in Iraq] is right, especially because we have no concrete exit plan. But our culture is to endorse folks who have stood side by side with us."


by timlhowe 2007-03-05 09:40AM | 0 recs
this of course means nothing to greenwich folk

Rated 100% by the AFL-CIO, indicating a pro-labor voting record.
Lieberman scores 100% by the AFL-CIO on labor issues
As the federation of America's unions, the AFL-CIO includes more than 13 million of America's workers in 60 member unions working in virtually every part of the economy. The mission of the AFL-CIO is to improve the lives of working families to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our nation. To accomplish this mission we will build and change the American labor movement.

The following ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

Source: AFL-CIO website 03n-AFLCIO on Dec 31, 2003

by timlhowe 2007-03-05 10:11AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

Tim, you were wrong on the out of state comment. Now you are wrong on Lamont's status in the house.

I will give you the benefit of doubt and I will assume that your proximity to a lot of these people have made you an unwitting victim of disinformation.

by Pravin 2007-03-05 09:37AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start


by timlhowe 2007-03-05 09:43AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

Is this the kind of party unity you preach? And you wonder why the Clintonites are getting so much anger in return. It's one thing to prefer Lieberman over Lamont, but to call him a rich phony in all caps? Even I have given Hillary praise in a few areas in my posts(such as her firsst lady tenure, questioned whether she deserved her heroic rep among African Aermicans but never questioned that she was a friend of AFrican Americans).

And what you brought up says very little about his current legislative record. The fact is people change as they gain more life experiences. I was a lot extremely pro- free trade oriented as a student, but got to modify them as the years passed by. Wasn't Hillary a Goldwater girl at the same time she claimed to have gone to see an MLK appearance(I won't question the veracity for now). So you can't go blindly by something from more than a decade ago. Is there any proof that he actually intimidated people into not joining unions? Should we take Clinton's welfare reform proposals as proof he is not friendly with the poor (I do not).

Newspaper editorials mean very little with me in that state. Show me some concrete ideas espoused by Lamont that would make a union guy put some measly one issue take precedence over natioanl security. Aren't they being as selfish as REpublicans who put incompetence on a lower priority to getting a tax break?

by Pravin 2007-03-05 11:33PM | 0 recs
heres why labor and working people liked him

Rated 100% by the AFL-CIO, indicating a pro-labor voting record.
Lieberman scores 100% by the AFL-CIO on labor issues
As the federation of America's unions, the AFL-CIO includes more than 13 million of America's workers in 60 member unions working in virtually every part of the economy. The mission of the AFL-CIO is to improve the lives of working families to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our nation. To accomplish this mission we will build and change the American labor movement.

The following ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

Source: AFL-CIO website 03n-AFLCIO on Dec 31, 2003

by timlhowe 2007-03-05 10:16AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

my feeling is that he shouldnt have be "primaried".  i have always been against this war...but i did and do believe thar our party should allow dissent.  (we win within a big tent, we lose without it) i also thought it was wrong for joe to stay in after he lost the primary...but...and this is the big stratrgic but...he always indicated - and everyone knew - that he would run as an independent if he lost the primary.  i knew it, the labor (ie smart, experienced political strategists) people knew it, you should of known it.  joe was gonna win, no matter, because it was always his choice and he chose to stay.  lamont got crushed by double digits!  i dont trust the strategic thinking of anyone who advises going into a political battle who didnt see that result coming from the start.

and now stoller is going on all the sites saying that the "netroots" have to start "primary-ing" a slew of elected congressional dems (heretics!) who fall outside of his own sense of democratic orthodoxy.

its a design for disaster.  if it wasnt so dangerous for dems and the majorities and good for the repubs, id like to see him try just to watch it fail.  the arrogance and ignorance of these junior aspiring kingmakers (and crushers)is beyond laughable.  sadly, its too dangerous to our interests to be any fun at all.

by timlhowe 2007-03-05 06:41AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

If you never try, you will never win. Even in the loss, we learned a valuable lesson. Not to count on the establishment guys to chip in when you need their help. This will help us assess the next primary race against a Lieberman type in a better manner and know who not to count on when we need their help. So Clinton should remember this when his wife might need everyone to rally around her in case she wins this primary and not lose us to non votes or third party votes. Like you said, Clinton should know better. What goes around comes around.

by Pravin 2007-03-05 08:06AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

they feel as I do - that nothing will stop the silly and the selfish from going third party - but the numbers will be smalll cause most people realized what a stupid act that is

by timlhowe 2007-03-05 09:08AM | 0 recs
lieberman type?

Rated 100% by the AFL-CIO, indicating a pro-labor voting record.
Lieberman scores 100% by the AFL-CIO on labor issues
As the federation of America's unions, the AFL-CIO includes more than 13 million of America's workers in 60 member unions working in virtually every part of the economy. The mission of the AFL-CIO is to improve the lives of working families to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our nation. To accomplish this mission we will build and change the American labor movement.

The following ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

Source: AFL-CIO website 03n-AFLCIO on Dec 31, 2003 ..

by timlhowe 2007-03-05 10:14AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

Yep, that sucked hard.

I can't imagine the leverage we would have had Lieberman not been such a lying prick.

by Karatist Preacher 2007-03-02 03:53PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

Even though Lamont lost, he made a tremendous difference to the elections.  He got people talking about the Iraq war.  Lieberman won not because Lamont went on a 4 day vacation, but because the Democratic leaders did not campaign for him and the Republicans voted for Joe.  I think they wanted Lamont to lose.  They did not want an agitator in congress.  However the netroots made a difference. We will win a big primary victory again and it will make a difference.  We lost a battle but we will win the war if we are persistent.

Lamont is still speaking out.  Right now our congress critters are being quite cowardly so we need to keep up the pressure.  We are going to be "whipped" only because senators and representatives allow it.

by pioneer111 2007-03-02 07:15PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

A friend of mine who was the pol dir of a National Union and originally from CN (and a self described socialist) told me that the reason that the CN union folks were not going to back Lamont was because they resented people from out of state telling them that to be "progressive" that they had to support a rich guy from Greenwich who inherited many millions of generational money and lived a very moneyed lifestyle.  You may get mad at this, but there are a lot of working people in CN who have a hard time believing that people who live in Old Greenwich in $12 million dollar house (and have maids who take the bus over each day to make sure things remain tidy)can identify and speak for their concerns.

And YES the Union guy I speak of was and is very anti war.  

by timlhowe 2007-03-03 05:01AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

see above.  he lost.  those who talked him into the race without an ability to win f-d up.  there are no do overs in politics.  no moral victories.  if you cant win, dont run. how much did lieberman win by?  10%?  that sir is a blowout and you cannot look for a scapegoat in dc .

lets hope that is attempted again .  more moral victories like that and we'll lose the senate again.

by timlhowe 2007-03-04 07:32PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

Carol Shea-Porter is an exception, and notice how she was shut out of the DCCC's front line program

Carol Shea-Porter was not shut out of the DCCC's front line program.  She declined to participate. q_politics/two2006houseupsetwinnerspassu pdemocratsrsquofrontlineaid

We have enough legitimate issues with Democractic leadership on Iraq, we don't need to make up issues where they don't exist.

by TimSackton 2007-03-02 03:01PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

It's not that simple.  She didn't want to accept their conditions, so she rejected their money.  

by Matt Stoller 2007-03-02 03:29PM | 0 recs
More Shea-Porter:

"I wanted to stay with the kind of campaign I ran before," Shea-Porter told on Friday. The freshman explained her desire to continue her state's tradition of "retail politics," which favors local, door-to-door efforts. "It's really about building trust and relationships."


These factors helped Shea-Porter overcome a gaping financial disadvantage: The $360,000 in total receipts reported by the Democratic winner at end of 2006 was less than a third of the $1.1 million raised by Bradley.

Given that disparity, Shea-Porter said her decision to take a pass on the Frontline program at this very early stage of the 2008 election cycle does not close the door on her accepting DCCC assistance later on. But for now, she said, she wishes to focus on her message "instead of the money."


by Dean Barker 2007-03-02 04:14PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

And yes, this was Harry Reid's choice.

Can we now agree that the Nevada bloggers may have been on to something when they expressed their disapproval or Reid?

by Alice Marshall 2007-03-02 03:04PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start


by Matt Stoller 2007-03-02 03:23PM | 0 recs
The Analogy

Is this becoming the mirror image of the Republican Party and the pro-life movement?  Keep making promises to the base, keep swearing that you're committed to the cause,  offer some nice lip service -- but explain that you just need a little more money and a little more time, because, gosh, you just don't think people can stomach real change quite yet, and the other guys are just being so obstructionist.  But we really, really do support you, gosh.  And can we have some more money?

by Adam B 2007-03-02 03:26PM | 0 recs
Re: The Analogy


except it's not "becoming".

it's been that way for awhile.

by selise 2007-03-02 03:32PM | 0 recs
Re: The Analogy

The right actually get what they want.  Alito and Roberts, for instance, and a general restriction on the practical ability to get abortions, pharmacists refusing to dispense contraceptions, etc.

It's the left that has gotten nothing in 30 years.

by Matt Stoller 2007-03-02 03:34PM | 0 recs
Re: The Analogy

It took then twenty years to get to Planned Parenthood v Casey, when Kennedy and Souter let them down, and another 15 years to get to Roberts and Alito, when they're close to knocking out Roe.  But by and large, Reagan and the Bushes did little to affect the overall legal right.

by Adam B 2007-03-02 03:39PM | 0 recs
Re: The Analogy

Legally speaking, Roe hasn't been overturned.  In most other practical ways, abortions have become much harder to get.  And now contraception is under attack.

Less lawyer, please.

by Matt Stoller 2007-03-02 04:04PM | 0 recs
Re: The Analogy

But the law is what they can get out of the political process.   They've won the Hyde Amendment, parental consent laws, and may win on "partial birth" this time.

You're right that it's gotten harder -- it's about  training more doctors to be willing to provide abortions across America and guaranteeing their safety, and doing away with these awful, phony "crisis pregnancy" centers.

But the specifics of what's happened on abortion don't matter as much as the analogical politics -- do you think conservatives thought in 1972 that they'd still have to have their "marches for life" thirty-five years later?   The Republican Party is to them like Lucy is to Charlie Brown in football.

by Adam B 2007-03-02 04:13PM | 0 recs
Re: The Analogy

Repeat to yourself

Alito and Roberts
Alito and Roberts
Alito and Roberts

They just need one more.

When it really mattered to them, they got what they wanted.

Just one more, and do you think Reid will filibuster another Alito?

ahahahahahahaha hah ha

by Ian Welsh 2007-03-02 07:22PM | 0 recs
Re: The Analogy

At this point...

why the hell would Reid need to filibuster another Alito?  Vote the jerk down.

by Valatan 2007-03-03 04:59AM | 0 recs
Re: The Analogy

 The right has also gotten twenty years of supply-side economics, large-scale privatization, education defunding, union crippling, infrastructure degradation, and, of course, endless war and record military spending.

 I'd say they've delivered to their base quite nicely.

by Master Jack 2007-03-03 02:50AM | 0 recs
Which base?

They've delivered to their business base and the military-industrial complex.  They've delivered to wealthy Americans.  The people who fund them -- those folks have gotten rewarded.

But, I'd argue, the pro-life grassroots base which mobilizes for every election, which provides their soldiers on the ground . . . that's the base which has never obtained the goal it has pleaded for.

by Adam B 2007-03-03 03:23AM | 0 recs
Re: The Analogy

Tend to agree with Adam B here.  Until Bush II, Repub presidents gave the religious right nothing but lip service while servicing their economic base.  Think about most of their SCOTUS appointees - O'Connor, Kenndey, Souter all have abandoned the religious right.  Scalia and Thomas have not but 2 of 5 appointees from Reagan-Bush I was not what Falwell et al had in mind when they helped elect those two.

Bush II has actually stepped up for that base and stuff like Terri Schiavo is part of the reason he is in a free fall.  Iraq is by far number 1 but the other stuff isn't helping him.

by John Mills 2007-03-03 10:33AM | 0 recs
Surprising coming from you

Given that you saw nothing wrong with Rahm's taking out true progressive Christine Cegelis in IL-6. (Think that $4 million he and his network of donors invested in that district couldn't have won us some seats elsehwere?)

And Rahm was working against Christine for a year, trying to find a self-funding candidate, before he finally hit on Duckworth as his way of defeating Christine.

by Jim in Chicago 2007-03-02 06:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Surprising coming from you

Jim, the two things have nothing to do with each other.

by Adam B 2007-03-02 06:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Surprising coming from you

I agree 100%.  There are few politicians on "our side" that I loathe more than Rahm Emanuel.  I just cannot fucking stand him.  I think he's very dangerous to the progressive movement because he neuters it from the inside.

by jgarcia 2007-03-02 07:23PM | 0 recs
Good point

Given the way Rahm has co-opted colleagues such as my own Congresswoman, Jan Schakowksy.

Just the other day on NPR Lynn Woolsey was lamenting our plans to challenge Taucher, saying we would be handing the district to the Republicans if a progressive beat Ellen in the primary. Typical Emanuel thinking: like a district that went 58% for Kerry is suddenly going to turn Repug! Rahm is slipping something into the water up there on Capitol Hill!

by Jim in Chicago 2007-03-03 07:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Good point

Yep, I'm telling everyone that this guy is NO friend of ours and NO friend of progressives.  I am glad some people in Chicago recognize this imposter for who he really is.  Rahm's ambition and ego just ooze from him.  Hopefully, he will let his ego get in the way once too often and get taken down a peg or two...hopefully.

by jgarcia 2007-03-03 08:55PM | 0 recs
Cure worse than the disease?

Matt's right to identify this as the moment when the challenge to the Dems in Congress - in the House, in particular - is taking shape. And that the mobilization of the Progs (if it happens) is a key new element.

How far will they go? If Obey reports out a milquetoast supplemental bill (with waivers attaching to the Murtha Proviso and with nothing in the bill on withdrawal) would they be prepared to vote against it?

The danger I foresee is of a House leadership, battered on all sides of the party (as Matt says, not just from the right), finding itself unable to pass the supplemental bill, losing momentum, and becoming weak and ineffectual.

I'm sorry to say that the woeful handling of the Murtha Proviso itself - especially given the closeness of Murtha and Pelosi gives no great cause from optimism on that count.

by skeptic06 2007-03-02 03:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Cure worse than the disease?

I think that's a likely scenario for the next few years pending the outcome of the intraparty fight.

by Matt Stoller 2007-03-02 03:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Cure worse than the disease?
If Republicans help progressives derail a bad bill, wouldn't that be great?  At this point, I hope the leadership is "unable" to pass the supplemental.  The supplemental, as it stands, is a horrible bill.
A good bill would be a redeployment bill.  The public wants it.  Pelosi and Murtha want it.  It can still happen.  
The progressives have power here.  If the Republicans were smart, they would vote for Emmanuel's horrible bill.  But they're not.  The Republicans' predictable stupidity can be used by the progressives.  Again, I hope the leadership is unable to pass the supplemental.
by McFrederick 2007-03-02 04:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Cure worse than the disease?

To inject practical politics here for a second, Pelosi's end goal is going to be to draft a bill that will garner 218 votes and accomplishes at least some of her goals.  Want to change the outcome, start putting pressure on the Blue Dogs and others that seem to be derailing the process.  

How do you do that - get progressives and opponents of the Iraq War in their districts to start calling their offices and showing up at town meetings.  Nothing spooks elected officials more than hearing from constituents who oppose their position.  

You can bet money that people on the other side of this debate are doing this.

by John Mills 2007-03-03 10:42AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

"If you're mad, well, so am I."

i'm not mad, i'm furious.

"I'm somewhat at a loss as to how to work on the Iraq issue, and I think many progressives are in a similar situation.  But the reality is that insider negotiating strategies will run into a wall of contempt for us and the public that is unbreakable from the inside."

i think this is why some people abandon electoral politics for street politics.

i'm not advocating that - mostly 'cuz i think that we need both working together (and not at odds).  but, damn, it's fustrating...

we need to find a way to harness the rage instead of feeding the despair.

by selise 2007-03-02 03:29PM | 0 recs
Thanks for the straight up assessment

I handed in my resignation at work this Wednesday to leave the middle of August.  I was going to move from DC and live off of my Navy retirement.  But now I'll most probably pick a progressive and help him/her kick some DLC a**.

by lisadawn82 2007-03-02 03:34PM | 0 recs
that's the spirit!

thanks for the inspriration!

by selise 2007-03-02 03:53PM | 0 recs
stacking a house against itself

Pelosi and Murtha are ahead of the establishment on this.  
There is no choice on this, enabling Bush NOW means staying in Iraq for 10 or God only knows how many years.  Feingold is one of the few in the Senate who get it, we have to do the right thing, we have to work to end the war NOW.  The democratic leadership has to stop fearing the loss of the majority by trying to cut the funds to the war.  
The war is an immoral diaster, the American people know this.  Failing to stop the war now will cause it to drag on even if a Democrat is elected president.  It took Nixon 7 years to get out of Vietnam.

American troops are being held hostage by a failed foreign policy.
 For Democratic leaders, especially those in the Senate, to prefer to not do anything that might imperil their majority is foolish and deadly.  What good is a majority that keeps troops in Iraq indefinately? If this is the choice made by the leadership, reinforced by the grotesque selection of Lieberman for tomorrow's response, it will end in diaster.  

The leadership wants us to shut the fuck up, we delivered them the majority because of our fury over the Iraq war, now they want us to STFU.
The Democratic majority will slip away, the republicans are banking on the leadership being overly cautious, this is a Karl Rove electoral ploy.  The leadership is afraid to lose voters if they look like they are "cutting off the troops", and Rove knows Democratic voters will not stand with the leadership if they don't end the war.  Rove is trying to stack a house of cards against itself so that it will fall.  The Democratic leadership is making the wrong choice.  It is up to us to organize and help them see the error of their thinking.

by gasperc 2007-03-02 04:35PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

Certainly, there are reasons for us "progressives" to be disappointed. But, at the same time, aren't we expecting a bit too much from our Democratic Congress right now.

Our format of government does not allow for the passions of the people to be quickly passed into law. Little can be done without the achievement of 60 votes in the Senate. While this does not excuse our members for not fighting for and promoting our agenda, at some point, we must allow our legislators to think and act in a practical manner.

Lets take Iraq for an example. Kos is absolutely correct that Democrats should take up the President's dare and cut funding for the troops. However, we must realize that this proposal is not where the majority of the country is right now, and Bush will veto the legislation. How much effort should we expect our legislators to devote to a cause that is not going to become law??? And that is assuming that even us 'progressives" are certain that an immediate withdrawal is best for the Middle East.

Yes, we should continue to pressure our lawmakers to do the right thing, to recognize the importance of the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, but we must also remain grounded in reality. Change in our government will not happen overnight. If this was 2008 when either Obama, Edwards, Richardson, or even Clinton is in office, then we might have more reason to expect immediate action, but today, let's celebrate what was done - a House working to protect the rights of workers, and the passage of the rest of the agenda we campaigned on. Certainly, the Senate is disappointing at this point, but I expect that once the dust has settled, we will be happy with our Democratic Congress.

by thetadelta 2007-03-02 04:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Let's take Iraq for example

I disagree that the majority of the country isn't there with the defunding, it is all about PR and how the issue is framed.  The Democrats in usual fashion has allowed the Republicans to frame the defunding argument in terms of stranding the troops, so we have this picture of the troops sitting in Iraq with their thumbs out trying to catch a ride home from the middle of the desert.  That is just not the case.  A lot of progressives raise this same argument against defunding.

Let's take Obama's proposal, and I actually heard him on Ed Shultz(SP?)saying that he had problems with defunding, but then I had to ask myself why?

The general gist I get from Sen Obama's proposal is that he wants withdrawal to begin in May 2007, with a complete withdrawal of all combat brigades by March 2008.  There are of course the usual exception for training and protecting America, etc, etc, etc.

I went to Sen Feingold's website and there was a fact sheet on on his Iraq Redeployment Act of 2007 which to summarize it:
a) says no money for new deployment to Iraq (no surge $$)
b) for the troops there now, the Administration has to report to the Congress w/in 60 days of the bill's passage, with a plan to bring the troops safely home within 6 months
c) provides for the usual exception of providing funds to keep enough troops there to train the Iraqis, counter terrorism-ops, salaries, training, equipment and other resources for the troops.

Given my math, Feingold's plan will take about 8 months to implement, Obama's plan is about 12 months in the making.  What then is so unacceptable about Feingold's plan?  If the votes aren't there for Feingold's plan, are they going to be there for Obama's, which seek to accomplish the same thing?

Before the defenders come out and say I am picking on Obama, I expect Hillary and Edwards to use the same talking points about being against the cutting off funds to the troops and seeking a bipartisan sensible solution, yada, yada, yada.

Say defunding and all the candidates run like the wind. We suck at PR.

by Kingstongirl 2007-03-02 05:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Let's take Iraq for example

You are right. All the DEm frontrunners, including Obama, lack enough clarity of thought on this issue. When you lack clarity of thought in knowing how to frame an issue to your advantage, it is a sad thing to witness. Whether that clarity of thought is missing because of stupidity or meekness I do not know.

by Pravin 2007-03-02 07:49PM | 0 recs
We suck at PR...

 ...because we want to.

 The Republicans have out-messaged us for two decades now, at least. The Democrats know this. And they have made ZERO effort to close the gap -- nada, nothing, diddly. It's intentional.

 Point this out to a DLCer, by the way, and he gets VERY touchy and sensitive about this. I did that the other day and got yelled at -- the DLCer couldn't provide any examples of Democrats building their own messaging infrastructure, so he dwelled on my claim that it was "voluntary" (but couldn't really refute it). It's a dirty little secret in the DLC-nexus...

by Master Jack 2007-03-03 02:55AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

Oh for heaven's sake, why all the apoplexy?  Neither the party nor our all-but-brain-dead electorate are going to be reconstituted as progressives in one election cycle.   Not given the last 25-30 years of denial and fear of change.  Yes, of course the war in Iraq should have ended yesterday; fact is, it should have ended before it began.  But this is who we are, collectively, as a people.  All this clamoring by the left netroots that the "American people" are suddenly demanding progressivism is wildly naive.  We are getting there--but changing hearts and minds is a long slog.  This is not an argument for centrism, DLC-ism or the Bluedogs; just a caution against petulance, partly because it's unbecoming, partly because it's a way to squander the power and influence the progressives have actually gained with Democrats in a surprisingly (by historical standards) short period of time.  Better than such teeth-gnashing is just continuing to hold people accountable and shove truth into the face of power at every opportunity . . . doing our research and checking our facts and pushing the envelope.  Of course we are outraged--what else is new?  Our outrage should not be what's on center stage, unless this is really about showcasing our political virtue rather than making political change.  For the record: this WAS a good use of Lieberman, scum bag that he is.

by blossom 2007-03-02 04:57PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

Call me naive, but what I don't understand is where this hole at the core of these "Democrats'" soul comes from, that makes them sell out the party over and over and over, for money and power. Where do people like this come from, what makes them tick, and how dare they call themselves Democrats? I refuse to succumb to the easy cynical explanation, that this is how the world works and we have to just accept it.

The Democratic coalition that FDR built was NOT made of these sorts of sellouts, who of course have always been around but who only in recent decades took over the party. They are NOT the Democratic party, though, because in my book you simply cannot be a Democrat without having a soul, period, end of discussion, and STFU if you disagree. Soullessness, greed, power and the systematic and ideological pursuit of intitutionalized selfishness is what the GOP is all about, not the Democratic party.

I don't know how, but we've got to drive as many of these asswipes out of the party as we can--let them take off their masks and officially become the Republicans that they've always been at heart. If they value their own money and power above all else, then fuck them, and we need to kick them out of the party ASAP. Those who are too gutless to admit what they really are and whom we can't drive off can stay, so long as they know their place and don't obstruct the party's agenda.

Not letting Hillary win the nomination is an important step in that direction.

by kovie 2007-03-02 05:02PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

 Well, I see this in my own corner of the party -- my local Dem Central Committee, to which I was elected a few months ago.

 There are four or five of us (out of twelve) who are committed to progressive change in America and FDR-style good-old-fashioned pro-public Democratic Party values. Then there's a faction -- the holdover leadership, mainly older people -- to whom Central Committee membership is just some sort of community status symbol that allows them to score tickets to conferences and hobnob with the governor and get their name in the papers. This faction doesn't worry much about policy, about the war, about the economy -- it's all just an ego-gratifying perk to them.

 The "idealists" (as we were dismissively called by an outgoing CC member last year) are doing their best to re-orient the local Democratic Party to more productive endeavors. We're in the structure now. It just takes time to turn around the ship, and we need to do it the right way.

by Master Jack 2007-03-03 03:03AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

But, Bill Clinton WON

If I hear someone use that sentence as a counterpoint one more time, i am going to completely lose it.

by Valatan 2007-03-03 05:01AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

What is wrong with you.  Do you actually believe that people like you invented commitment?  I know that FDR lives in the hearts of many Dems, including Senator Clinton.  Hows about Harold Ickes being her closest strategic advisor?  Ive spoken with his mother who is till alive a, she works at people for the american way, she loves Hillary.  Why dont yoy take your condemning attitude and your past Nader vote and consider what damage you do to the people who need help the most when you attack in the slash and burn style that you do.

Is amazing, we have to fight Republicans, the press and people like you - who through your absolute belief that you have `divine secrets and special knowledge' give all the ammunition and comfort to our enemies that they could dream of.  You may have a soul, tin man, my question is do you have a brain?

by timlhowe 2007-03-03 05:11AM | 0 recs
You have no right to call us progressive

This is not a progressive issue, you are cheapening it by labelling it so.

Americans are shut out of the halls of congress. The +American People+ oppose the war by a broad margin.  I am an american.

I am also , as you, deeply dissappointed. Unlike you, I don't need a new label. Lets call a spade a spade, Matt: this is all about special interest group politics and the lobbyists controlling the agenda. Lieberman is paying back the people that spent millions on him, to ensure his corruption - not the people of connecticut.

by heyAnita 2007-03-02 05:25PM | 0 recs
Here's our problem: Rahm

It is my opinion that the single largest impediment to progressive change in Washington - now and in the future - is not Republicans or even Bush, it is Rahm Emanuel.  This guy is fucking dangerous.  And he is an enemy of progressives.  The man is screwing us from the inside and has been handed power on a silver platter...power that he hasn't earned.


by jgarcia 2007-03-02 05:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Here's our problem: Rahm

He has power because he was elected to head the Democratic caucus in Congress, and because he helped Democrats win control of Congress. Freshmen in Congress listen to him because he raised the money and gave the advice that helped them win.

Republicans are a much bigger impediment to progressive change than any Democrat, bigger even than "Independent Democrats".

by souvarine 2007-03-03 06:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Here's our problem: Rahm

i wish everyone understood this

by timlhowe 2007-03-03 09:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Here's our problem: Rahm

I'm sorry you drank the Rahm Kool-Aid.

by jgarcia 2007-03-03 09:48AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

I'm a big believer in making blue districts bluer.  But do we have any Democrats who could reasonably win in MT other than Baucus?  I know I'm using the term "Democrat" liberally, but he's still better than a Republican.  I can see some upside to knocking him out of the chairmanship, but is that worth losing a seat overall?

I hope we get involved in many serious and aggressive primary challenges, but I guess I'd rather see them in areas where our nominees could win the general.  Tester was an amazing candidate running against a caricature of stupidity and corruption... and still barely squeaked out a win in a very Democratic year.  In a presidential year, I just don't see a good way to take out Baucus and hold that seat.

by LPMandrake 2007-03-02 06:22PM | 0 recs
Progress Report

Thanks for the update - or should I say Reality Check - on the state of the progressive movement.  I was starting to think that things were finally going well.  It really is frustrating to see the "Centrist" wing of our party constantly derailing bills and holding things up.

For those of us who have the money, consider making monthly donations to progressive organizations like BlogPac and the Progressive States Network.  It can help create the institutions or "infrastructure" that we need to lean on Dems to do the right thing.

by maddogg 2007-03-02 06:58PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start


  At least you arent sucking up to the DC politics democrats. These democrats lack the courage to confront the real issues....but you know why they lack the courage? because they themselves are owned by the same people that benefit from having bush and company in power.

Having Lieberman, a war cheeleader, deliever the response on Walter Reed should tell us everything we need to know about Reid and Schumer.  They're scumbags! plain and simple.

by AnthonyMason 2007-03-02 07:38PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

 Naming Lieberman to deliver that "response" was a big middle finger to the Democratic Party grassroots, that's for sure.

 But instead of going Nader on us (and I don;t mean you specifically, I mean generally), do the opposite: BECOME the Democratic Party. Get on your local Central Committee. Recruit like-minded friends to do so. Change the party from the inside so that Joe Liebermans become extinct.

 This is what I'm working on.

by Master Jack 2007-03-03 03:06AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

Master Jack, back in late 2003 I made contact with my local county unit so I could get involved with getting Wes Clark elected. It was non-functioning. I ended up in Ohio for the primary but alas, both Dean and Clark were off the ticket. The Dems really pissed me off that day for taking my vote and subverting democracy. I vowed to get my revenge on the party by becoming an officer in it.

Long story short, I returned to MN and got elected as associate chair for my county unit. That was in early in 2005. Been at it ever since and even helped get Tim Walz (MN-01) elected to the U.S. House. My next step is getting elected to the state legislature. I got three years of doing meet and greets but as a regular citizen doing public forums using Frontline's "Living Old" report to get people thinking about our elderly in these small towns where there are few young people and even fewer jobs.

Anyway, you hit upon the one strategy that DOES work. It sure worked for the nutjobs getting people on school boards and city councils and taking over their local parties so that now we have to fight tooth and nail for the soul of our country.

All you wusses that think ANY political party is THE ANSWER to anything are barking up the wrong tree. It's not about label, it's about values and which one's get priority. You can't change values or priorities if you don't commit and work hard for them. No pain, no gain and quitters never win.

That said, I won't be voting for Hillary or Obama IF they are on the ticket. But I am NOT bailing on cleaning up the party or the country.

by NeoLotus 2007-03-04 08:36AM | 0 recs
Do we still want to blame Nader?

You can scapegoat Nader all you want, but when I read things like this article about Lieberman being selected, I do not need any more confirmation as to why I don't need to feel blindly loyal to the Democratic Party and I will still compromise  greatly, but only to a certain extent for the party when it comes to Presidential elections.There are other people like me. I am giving advance warning and using the miniscule leverage my friends and I have, - CHOOSE YOUR LEADERS wisely this primary season or risk another idiotic loss. I will be worse off with a republican, but I am sure as hell not happy with these democrats.  Why do I have to fucking care about the party winning? OK if the party does not heed the lessons of the past, risk being on the defensive against pundits for the rest of this century. Grow some fucking balls. I am going to work for any Lamont like candidates I see in the future. For me my approach to improving this country is like improving the environment. No short term solutions. If idiot voters like those in CT and Dem voters in other states suffer because of another Repblican president, it's becxause they failed in choosing strong leadership for the party. Fuck em.

That part of me that will still root for future  Lamonts is still not jaded. But I could give a flying fuck about the Dem establishment until these newcomers we support get a chance to takeover. They have more to gain than we do when their person gets in power in the White House. I will be selfish too and say I do not give a shit if gays and women lose their rights. I will be fine. If you can compromise with these kind of shenanigans, then I can compromise with a bad supreme court justice being chosen by the next president. Maybe there needs to be a revolution before Dems realize what a dangerous path certain kind of compromises can lead to. You compromise on strategies, but not on basic principles.

by Pravin 2007-03-02 07:45PM | 0 recs
Just venting... for now

OK i am calmer now. But my basic sentiment still lingers. I just do not know how many more of these things I will tolerate. With each passing incident, I just get a little pickier with the choice of Dem Pres nominees I might consider. THis is how you decrease your base. This has nothing to do with ideology.

by Pravin 2007-03-02 07:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Do we still want to blame Nader?
stop"enabling" Nader will ya...he's done enough damage...caused enough poor innocents to be killed, oh yeah . i forgot...bush
by timlhowe 2007-03-03 09:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Do we still want to blame Nader?

"I will be worse off with a republican, but I am sure as hell not happy with these democrats."

Bush=Gore was never meant to be read literally as fact by people who voted third party. I personally did not vote for Nader in 2000. I voted for Kerry in 2004 even though Kerry wasnt in my top 2.

by Pravin 2007-03-03 01:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Do we still want to blame Nader?

Kerry wasnt in my top 200, but I still voted for him, its a team sport and effort.

by timlhowe 2007-03-04 03:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Do we still want to blame Nader?

It's too bad Clinton did not play that team sport when he said it was fine to vote for Lieberman on Larry King.

by Pravin 2007-03-04 06:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Do we still want to blame Nader?

look.  what do you want?  she came out against him and i believe even spoke for the rich guy from greenwich.  they have been friends with Lieberman since they were 21 or so. still clinton did not support him in the general election, he endorsed the rich guy.

did clinton say bad things about lamont? he thought the primary was a mistake.  it seems, as usual, that he was right.

by timlhowe 2007-03-04 07:14PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

Seems to me this is the harvest of Iowa 2004 and the delusion that we could take shortcuts on the road to rebuilding a progressive movement in America.

The Emanuel types saw their moment as well as us, and outspent and outorganized us to make sure that moment was theirs. I agree with you that it will be shortlived, but "short" may be 3-4 cycles. It's going to take time to rebuild the energy that the netroots had going in 2003-04.

I'm worried that the netroots may be too far gone down the road of allying with the Dems and not having been willing to undertake more primary challenges to help break the power of DLC money on the party. It's going to be hell trying to walk parts of the netroots back on this, as many are very deeply wedded to the idea that if we can just get some more Dems elected, all these problems will magically disappear.

And if we can't refocus this movement in the next year or so, then it's going to take a while to rebuild its energy.

by eugene 2007-03-02 09:50PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

I am wedded to getting as many Democrats elected as possible, arent you?

by timlhowe 2007-03-04 03:41PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

Depends. I will tolerate a few bad apples. But if electing democrats comes at a high price of people like Rahm and Lieberman types ruling the party, then no because that is not the kind of party I want to be part of. So i would replace voting in as many good people compared to voting in as many democrats.

by Pravin 2007-03-04 06:19PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start
oy!  whats so complicated about the two party system?  should we not have elected kieth shuler, joe sestak and such?  do you know that rahm's voting record in congress is consistantly liberal?  does all this have to be about personalities?  
its all about the big tent.  electing  a speaker and geting control of the exec branch.  its a team sport bucko.
by timlhowe 2007-03-04 06:57PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

No, I am not.

I think it matters what kind of Dem we elect. Merely electing any old schmoe with a D after their name doesn't solve anything, as we're seeing in Congress right now.

by eugene 2007-03-16 10:50AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

IT's time to stop being the "Good Cop" and return to being the "BAD cop" again as far as the Dem party is concerned. I look forward to being part of Call and write in Compaigns again. Lets show them "THE POWER"!

by eddieb 2007-03-03 02:53AM | 0 recs
These so-called "centrists"

 Has anybody ever challeneged them to explain WHY they are Democrats?

 "Centrism" implies a more-or-less equal balance between the right and the left. But I see absolutely NO indication from these "centrists" that they have any particles of leftism in their DNA -- they're staunchly to the right on all the important issues -- the war, the economy, personal freedom, the Constitution.

 Why don't they just go ahead and join the Republicans, and leave the Democratic Party to those of us who actually and proudly believe in FDR and JFK values? Why do they insist in being Democrats, when they have nothing in common with actual Democrats?

 Again: Why is Rahm Emanuel a Democrat? Has anybody asked him?

by Master Jack 2007-03-03 03:14AM | 0 recs
Re: These so-called "centrists"

jeeze - you think jfk was a leftist? huh. really?  we either hang together or we'll hang seperately...

by timlhowe 2007-03-03 09:50AM | 0 recs
Compared to the "center" today...

 ...JFK was Michael Moore.

 But maybe you can educate me. What are Rahm Emanuel's credentials as a Democrat?

by Master Jack 2007-03-03 10:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Compared to the "center" today...

are you kidding...he was top political advisor to the only serving dem president in the last 30 years. think josh marshall on the west wing.  id say that makes him a dem.

by timlhowe 2007-03-04 07:11AM | 0 recs
"My business Democrat friends"?

Shame on you Matt for unconsciously using the Repiglican pejorative expression for "Democrats."

by fafnir 2007-03-03 03:29AM | 0 recs
Re: "My business Democrat friends"?

that's actually grammatically correct

by Matt Stoller 2007-03-03 03:56AM | 0 recs
Free South Africa Movement

I'm somewhat at a loss as to how to work on the Iraq issue, and I think many progressives are in a similar situation.

Maybe it is time to learn something from the Free South Africa movement. Time to take this fight out of congress and into other areas. Nothing springs directly to mind, but a little Saul Alinsky style direct action seems to be what is needed.

by Alice Marshall 2007-03-03 05:33AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

I think you are getting at something that has been bugging me for at least a month.  The leadership in the Senate seems to want to give only lip service to progressive movement. I wonder if the place to start  dealing with this issue is to identify who is with us and who is against.  I know you have named Carol Shea-Porter and Rahm, Steny and Harry. Lets begin to keep a scorecard.  This will help identify those we need to educate.

by surfk9 2007-03-03 06:49AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

you mean an `enemies list'?   A house divided against itself can not stand....

by timlhowe 2007-03-03 09:53AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

Tim, quite frankly, I have not seen you put a SINGLE post bashing the other side. Where is your balance if you are going to lecture us? At least we do not hide our rooting interest. Can you deny that people like Lanny Davis, Rahm,Carville, Schumer, and the DLC have been picking fights with one part of the party over the last few years? Can you link us to some of your posts where you actually initiated a comment chastising some of those people who have been attacking Lamont, Dean, Feingold types?

by Pravin 2007-03-04 06:23PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

You dont root - you guys vilify and attack!  Im not gonna join in your bashing and reverse cheerleading in order to show you my lefty bonafides.  yes, i support hillary.  but you wont find a post here from me attacking obama or edwards or dodd or joe b. or even lil dennis...not one.  i have written repeatedly that i like all the candidates.  i havent even given my opinion on which ones in my judgement can not win, even though i do have said opinions... i believe everyone has the right to run and everyone has the right to choose....but we cannot destroy our chances because we play the game stupidly or with contempt for each other.

i dont think that lanny davis risks us losing the wh in 2008, but i sure as hell do think that this intense hatred and name calling of the moderate wing of our party sure as hell might. it already provides the msm with plenty of ammo for stories about intercine dem party wars!

rahm is arrogant. i know that better than you, but i sure as heck know what an effective asset he is.  carville can be mean.  he yelled at me one time and i tried to molecularly disappear...but i also know that his team did more research and work on the right wing attack lies of the impeachment time than any other entity in town.  and he was crucial in winning back the wh in 92 when no one expected another dem to ever reside there....possibly ever.  shumer, he recruited (as did rahm) very well this cycle, and votes reliably well and fights back on the tv...good enough for me...lanny davis i got nothing bad to say about him, i like him quite a bit...personally, i know its apopotcy, but I think running against Joe was a mistake.  If you lose, in a way, its always a  mistake.  You should only run if you can win and he was never gonna win.  He lost by double digits...that means wipe out in politics ya know... we have to know who our enemy is - its Bush.  If joe had dropped dead in 2000 and saint (rich inheriting regular guy) ned had that seat - we would still be in iraq with just as many deaths.  if every dem voted against the authorization in do understand that we would STILL be in Iraq dont ya...jeeze!  Bush didnt even listen to Baker and you think hed of listened to the dems in the senate in 02.  (when 92% of the tv news coverage was pro war)

as to dean - i posted a bunch about obamas press guy robert gibbs being a pig for putting out the anti dean osama ad in ia in 04.  i really like howard dean, quite a bit.  feingold votes well, i had a girl friend who worked for him, but i dont know what im supposed to be defending him from, but if he was being attacked, id stand up for him too.

i am a leftist.  i believe in high taxes on wealth, close to full inheritances taxes (sorry Ned)and a bunch of other seemingly marxist policy positions.  but i understand and respect that others will have a different point of view.  the rabid hate for the dlc, to me, seems not only delusional, but somewhat deranged.  not only are folks like bruce reed very nice humans, numbers and history prove that we have zero chance of winning the wh if we dont go after and win votes in the moderate middle.  thats where we can win a nat'l election.  if we abandon voters that differ with us on some issues, we will always, always, always lose.  people who dont understand that are not paying attention.

you cant do any good for anyone if you dont win.  in the chase for the wh - winning is everything.

my worry is that these attacks on the moderates is gonna lose us the election.  it happened in 2000 against gore (do you remember?)and im fearful its gonna happen again.  please explain to me how 2000's Bush=Gore is any different from 2008's Bush=Clinton

by timlhowe 2007-03-04 08:11PM | 0 recs

It is encouraging to read your comments.  You actually "get it".  

Please continue posting.

by marasaud 2007-03-05 11:03AM | 0 recs
Re: timlhowe

thanks bud.  ive been here for just over a week (im injured-damn) and reading some of the absolutes from the main page posters and their echoes is driving me batty...i came here just to say hey to other dems and read about the election and found that its full of "hitlery"comments and threatrs to go "green" and stoller's repative warnings to "primary" dem congress folk...i mean its delusional.  we can only win under a big tent.  this is NOT a lefty country.  anyone who thinks it is nuts or hanging out with a v ery lucky crowd.

to me we fight for people who dont have that privledge.  im a populist it seems, not a progressive.  im worried about the poor bastards that want to work at wal mart (for peanuts - but they need the gig) more than ned lamont having press conferences about the eveils of said company  (even though his family had like $100, 000 of the stock)  hey, nobodys perfect and i wouldnt ever point that out - but hes so f-ing deified her...heck, he inherited $300,000,000!   What the helll does he have in common with me, or you...or anybody...(oh well, he and Stoller are both Ha-rvard boys, many of them love to stick together)

Ive had conversations about my week here and at kos (more here)  ive talked to people who know the guys who run these sites.  im curious what do you think about these sites.  do you think that its building a budding democratic majority?  or do you think it might be jeperdizing (sp?) just that?  are there aother diary sites that are more inclusive...that dont call Senator Clinton "Hitlery" or a corporate whore?

F!  I luv politics.  Ill b e in NH for the primary - always am - but Im feeling deja vu all over again.  2000 sucked.  Gore was attacked the same way by the puritanical left - they called him a liar in a debate and ...welll you know how that played out for the planet....

thanks for saying nice words.


by timlhowe 2007-03-05 11:42AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

I am broken-hearted about this -- about Lieberman speaking and the rest of it too.  I will write a letter to Harry Reid.

But I read your post here hoping that you would suggest action.  And I found the question at the end about how to proceed.  It's a big deal.

We have to take some smart and fast and sustained action. The DLC has the media sewed up and they keep trying to create their own reality.  Which of course has no relationship to poll results on any issue.  I am amazed actually that they keep holding to their false world view.

by syolles 2007-03-03 07:10AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

while its not a bad idea to keep up pressure on democrats, it would also be foolish to expect them to accomplish anything on their own because:

a) they are not very different from republicans, i.e., most are substantially corrupt and mostly looking out for their own interests.

b) all politicians are followers, not leaders. It is up to the people to lead.

Accordingly, the progressive agenda should coalesce around major themes and be promoted outside the political arena (all have equal weight):

* US troops out of Iraq by the end of 2007
Impeach bush, cheney, and gonzalas
* Cforce lieberman out of  the democratic party even if it means losing a technical (as opposed to an actual) majority in the Senate
Start investigations to break up big media
** single payer, universal healthcare

by gak 2007-03-03 07:12AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

My rant to Harry Reid.  (I'll send it to Hillary Clinton as well, with some thoughts about her candidacy.)

There is no more virulent and destructive enemy of Democrats and the Democratic Party and democratic values than Senator Lieberman.
 I cannot understand why you give him and his  DLC gang the power to destroy us.  And you do give it to him.  He is not a Democrat.  He was defeated in a primary election.  Some of you helped to keep him in office so he could continue undermine everything we stand for.  You are living in a bubble.  The bubble wants to keep the war makers in power.
 As a Jew in retirement age, I do not support the DLC-AIPAC world view and the stranglehold they have that keeps you from standing up for sanity, for peace, for our highest ideals.   I am horrified that you are propping them up, and signing on to their anti-democratic belligerence.
 How can you support someone like Lieberman who shows not the slightest respect for you, or for any of us?
I want to ask you to publically apologize to all Democrats for letting Lieberman give a Democratic address today.  Publically apologize to us for this insult.

by syolles 2007-03-03 07:49AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

You guys are maiking progress, so keep at it. And maybe yolu should consider leaving the hissy fits becasue you can't get the impossible to the John Birchers.

by spirowasright 2007-03-03 10:40AM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

so you are now calling moderate dems - which I am not - John Birchers?  Why do I envision Dick Cheyney's evil grin at the thought of you saying this?

by timlhowe 2007-03-04 03:44PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

We have a problem Houston!

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI (Pentagon Whistleblower):"...Congress doesn't like being lied to. However, many in Congress, and certainly in this administration agree, and this is Democrats and Republicans, like the idea that we have gone into Iraq, we have built four mega bases, they are complete. Most of the money we gave to Halliburton was for construction and completion of these bases. We have probably, of the 150,000, 160,000 troops we have in Iraq probably 110,000 of those folks are associated with one of those four mega bases. Safely ensconced behind acres and acres of concrete.

To operate there indefinitely, no matter what happens in Baghdad, no matter who takes over, no matter if the country splits into three pieces or it stays one. No matter what happens, we have those mega bases, and there's many in Congress and certainly in this administration, Republican and Democrat alike that really like that.

Part of the reason I think that we went into Iraq was to reestablish a stronger foothold than we had in Saudi Arabia, but also a more economical, a more flexible, in terms of who we want to hit. If you want to hit Syria, can you do it from Iraq? Of course you can. And now you can do it from bases that will support any type of airplane you want, any number of troops in barracks. I mean we can do things from Iraq. And this is what they wanted. So, yeah, we don't like being lied to. But quite frankly, many people in the Congress, and certainly this administration, when they call Iraq a success, they mean it, and this is why.

We're in Iraq to stay. And can we strike Iran from Iraq?  Well, I don't know if we'll do that next week, but we can... 0070227_pentagon_whistleblower_on_the_co ming_war_with_iran/

by SandThroughTheEyeGlass 2007-03-03 06:58PM | 0 recs
Re: The Progressive Convulsions Start

I work with a group (Hands off the Internet) that has clashed with Matt a few times on net neutrality. Matt has said before that net neutrality is the #1 agenda for the netroots, but it's not -- it's actually #14.

According to Matt, other progressive issues like the war in Iraq, the potential war in Iran, minimum wage, global warming, etc. don't matter. So why should he even bother blogging about them? I think the next time he sits down to start writing about Fox News or Joe Lieberman he should just close the laptop, let the feeling pass, and then get back on track - telling progressives that the only thing that really matters for them is net neutrality.

by Hands Off Across America 2007-03-05 06:36AM | 0 recs


Advertise Blogads