The Bradley Effect-As in Bill Bradley

The polarizing debate about race and gender in recent weeks between the two Democratic front runners has obscured an even bigger divide among the Democratic electorate

From Marie Cocco at Real Clear Politics

The deepest division in the Democratic primary campaign until now has not been between blacks and whites, though we are likely to see stark evidence of that in the upcoming South Carolina primary. A fault line already is visible between upper-income, educated whites and those with lower incomes and less education. The upscale voters have gone with Obama, the downscale with Clinton.

Obama's major difference with previous "wine-track" candidates is the strong support he's getting from African Americans - Gary Hart managed in 1984 to get 0% of black voters - which in alliance with professionals and the more highly educated primary voters might be enough to win the nomination. But in the general election, winning back low-income and working class nonblack Democratic voters will be key -- and that means he will need to develop a more populist, "bread and butter" platform before November.

Obama's soaring rhetoric and appeal for "hope" mean a lot less to (working -class voters) than solid campaign proposals that address their day-to-day concerns. Bill Clinton faced media ridicule for his numbingly detailed plans. But voters didn't get the joke. They saw practical solutions they liked. This is a big reason Hillary Clinton now mimics the approach.

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John Sweeney: "We will pass the Employee Free Choice Act"

John Sweeney, President of the AFL-CIO, said 2 years ago:
"Today, the Employee Free Choice Act has 208 co-sponsors in the House, including 10 Republicans, and 42 in the Senate -- and we will pass it while George Bush is in office."John Sweeney at National Press Club 1/18/2006

Since then the EFCA, which adds penalties for labor violations, has passed the House, but has stalled in the Senate over a Republican blockade over a small change in "card check" organizing campaigns and has been abandoned by Democrats and Unions until 2009.

Currently employees can optionally organize or decertify a union using signature cards instead of secret ballots. Business groups only want to be able to decertify unions using card check, calling organization by signature cards "undemocratic" and condemning the entire EFCA as "Orwellian named." If the Republican position sounds like a double standard, thats because it is.

Sweeney and his Democrat allies in the Senate could easily shift the debate to just enforcing current labor law. Instead, they are letting the Republicans have a free ride this November by keeping the general public confused about technical aspects of forming a union.

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Why John Edwards wins in a landslide

Many polls now have shown that John Edwards typically is the best general election candidate against any Republican opponent. And John Edwards supporters (such as myself) have made note of this as part of his appeal. But some might argue that these trial heats are merely an illusion based on people liking Edwards's sunny disposition or even his wonderful wife, and that once he was actually in the general election, people would turn away from him as a flawed candidate. I don't believe this is true and I actually think his general election poll numbers grossly underestimate his actual strength were he to go up against any Republican in 2008. Here's why.

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Creative Class Progressivism - Is this what we want to be?

Chris wrote in his Drinking Liberally post:

In addition to overtly political and media-oriented work conducted with progressive interests in mind, the progressive movement is also part of a social movement. It is connected to the growing dominance of "creative class" values within much of American culture, and to the rise of a new structure of the public sphere based not on mass membership institutions but upon self-starting, micro-targeted social networking. Contemporary progressivism has become more than just about our political beliefs, but also about the way we conduct many other aspects of our daily lives.

I was completely floored. Aren't we supposed to fight for the least among us and to empower them? To define an entire movement as reflecting the values of high-income, largely white, urban professionals seems antithetical to the world I want to live in. Moreover, to then claim, as I often read on this site, that the same movement is fighting for some sort of "general" liberalism, free from interest group politics, is astounding.

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Bloggers and Labor: We Need Each Other

Cross posted from DailyKos

In labor's heyday -- the 1940s and 1950s -- as post-war Americans built the middle class, there were thousands of reporters who covered labor full-time. Today, there are only two full-time labor reporters at metropolitan newspapers in the United States -- Steven Greenhouse of The New York Times and Stephen Franklin of the Chicago Tribune.

This is why labor needs bloggers. This is why the Teamsters are on YouTube, MySpace, Flickr, Kos and MyDD. Because while the MSM prattles on about Britney's shaved head, and Anna Nicole's body, hundreds of cases of unfair labor practices and other incidents of worker injustice would otherwise go unreported.

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