Progressives Taking Charge

The President has shown a talent for slowly but surely moving public opinion in the right direction on crucial policy points, then inexplicably giving those points away to his political opponents for little or nothing in return. According to last month’s Gallup poll, for example, only 20% of Americans want Congress to reduce the deficit solely through spending cuts, while the overwhelming majority favor some mix of taxes and cuts, and an additional 7% support tax cuts alone. This was President Obama’s stated position, the one thing he said he would stand by, yet the deal he ultimately signed off on included zero revenue increases.

The President long ago convinced Americans that the Bush-era tax cuts should be allowed to expire, either for those making more than $250,000 per year, or for all taxpayers. Yet the President caved on this proposition during the lame duck session of Congress, and again in the debt ceiling debate.

So now we’re waiting on a deficit “Super Commission” likely to be packed with conservative hardliners, and a process in which the President promises, once again, that increased taxes for the wealthiest among us must be part of the mix. But the stakes are high. And the default outcome—in the likely event that the commission cannot agree—is across the board cuts that would devastate Americans hardest hit by the recession and bury the prospects for job creation and recovery.

We can hope that the third time will be the charm. We can wring our hands and expect to be sold down the river. Or we can take action to make sure it’s a real fight, with or without the President’s resolve. That course, the right course, will require innovative ideas, aggressive organizing, and a powerful narrative that has been lacking from the debate so far.

Fortunately, progressives have already launched several efforts that are crucial to winning the fight. The Congressional Progressive Caucus (many of whose members opposed the debt deal) led a jobs tour around the country, proposed a Progressive Budget, and is calling for job creation as a top priority, including in budget negotiations. The Congressional Black Caucus has its own jobs initiative and has vowed to push back against harsh, cuts-only approaches.

From the Rebuilding the American Dream movement, to the Home for Good Campaign, and beyond, activists are taking to the streets, to Facebook, and to the halls of power in their call for an opportunity society, including an opportunity budget.

Just as crucial will be telling our story, a story that inspires the base, persuades the undecided, and marginalizes our opposition. It must be a story rooted in shared values of opportunity, and economic security, and the idea that we’re all in it together. It must identify corporate misconduct, inadequate regulation, and wrongheaded economics as the forces that got us into this crisis. But it must focus overwhelmingly on positive, pragmatic solutions that enable Americans to get back to work and rebuild their dreams, as well as their assets. Hardly a fringe message, research and experience show this fits well with what everyday Americans already believe.

Armed with ideas, organizing, and a compelling American narrative, we can win not only the budget and deficit fights, but the fight to restore our economy and expand opportunity into the future. It would be nice to have the President in the lead in this fight, but we may have to pull him along behind us.

Why Blacks Need A New President

“There was an expectation, particularly among African Americans, that the first African-American president would at least be vocal about feeling their pain,” Blow said last week on MSNBC’s Hardball. “I think that has not been the case. The president has given a couple of speeches and he has been very heavy on the stick and not very heavy with the carrot… Just in the inability for him to commiserate with that group of people, people feel a bit deflated… He said he’s not going to focus separately on African-American issues at all. That let a lot of people down.” - Charles Blow

As we begin the second half of President Obama’s first term I think it is important for black Americans to access what having the first black President has meant in terms of their overall well-being. As someone who has stated and understands that President Obama is not the President of black America but of all America I understand the limits of his influence. My concern though is that with the rising tide of the teabaggers and the constant push back provided by Limbaugh and Beck saying the President is racist against white people this President will actually do less for black Americans than a liberal white President would do. Why? Because a white President would not have to defend his support for black issues as some sort of undercover reparations or be afraid to discuss black issues in public.

It’s funny but having the first black President has been a dual edged sword. On the one hand we have been given the boost to our pride of finally achieving the highest office in the land and that black folks have all the skills necessary to overcome centuries of racism and on the other hand we have a President who can barely use the word black in public for fear of agitating the racist who will be agitated no matter what he says. The thing about those who accuse this President or any successful black man of being racist is that no matter what these men do it will be twisted to fit the real racists scenario. It is similar to what I hear all the time when I discuss publicly the subject of how blacks are undermining their own success through black on black violence, absentee fathers, and the lack of education being a priority in our community. There are those that say that the racists will use this as fuel for their already racists views.

But think about that for a minute. These folks are going to misconstrue any information they find to fit their narrative and by us being afraid to discuss these issues it only hurts our credibility not theirs. So by this President not being willing to stand up publicly and do what other white Presidents have been willing to do (namely discuss the disproportionate effect this economy has had on black folks and seek specific remedies) it sort of makes having a black President a liability, not an asset. This is not to say that the President should specifically seek to develop policies that only benefit blacks, but I think it is important for him to at least acknowledge that there are unique differences and issues that affect black communities and black people.

For me one of the biggest criticisms I hear concerning this President by black people is his inability to articulate or even acknowledge these differences. This may be due in large part to the style of this President who is seen as more detached and rational than empathetic and perceptive. When Bill Clinton said, “I feel your pain.” He touched a nerve in the American psyche that could not be reached with cold impersonal data or a logical recitation of the facts. There are times in this country and in a way I suppose every nation that the people want to believe that their leaders understand their personal daily struggles and their uncertainties. I believe that this President has the capacity to do it, but does not have the personality type to do it. I believe that if he tried it would come off as feigned and counterfeit. Somehow this President has to reach out to black folks and let them know that his being the first black President has some real benefit in their daily lives besides this sense of pride. Pride is important and God knows we need all of the positive male role models we can get, but pride only goes so far, it doesn't pay bills or hire people.

At some point we need answers to a criminal justice system that is marginalizing our communities by strapping our young men with felonies in many cases before they are even eligible to vote and sentencing them to a life of poverty. We need answers to an inner city education system that has been allowed to become more impoverished and darker because we have allowed suburban districts to opt out as our cities expanded. We need answers to a shrinking manufacturing base that once created a pathway out of poverty for those who were either unable or unwilling to go to college. We need answers to the redevelopment of our urban neighborhoods that will not just plaster over the decay and condemn these neighborhoods to stay what they are but create new and vibrant neighborhoods that people will want to live in.

The problems we face are huge and no one is expecting this or any President to be able to overcome decades of neglect with some magic wand. However, sometimes it is important to just get an acknowledgment that you are not being taken for granted and someone can identify with your struggles. There is no benefit to having someone in office that looks like you if they are going to ignore you. I understand that this President has given a great deal of access to black folks in the media and has hired a number of blacks to high level positions, but the truth be told I haven’t heard this President use the word black in public since his campaign speech on race. It would be a shame if our first black President were not allowed to speak to the very people who understand him the most for fear of alienating the people who understands him the least.

But unlike previous presidents, Obama doesn’t need to win over the CBC in order to pick up support in the black community. Polls show that 96 percent of black voters view him favorably — a number the CBC members probably can’t match themselves...“I think if you look at the polling, in terms of the attitudes of the African-American community, there’s overwhelming support for what we’ve tried to do,” said Obama. - Politico

The Disputed Truth

Two Interesting Differences from 1994

In light of the Massachusetts Senate elections, which Republican Scott Brown won by a narrow but clear margin, I have been comparing the 1994 congressional elections to those coming up this year. In particular, I have been conversing with some old friends – people who were actually there in ‘94, reading the newspapers and watching the news.

These conversations eventually came to the subject of two intriguing factors that were apparently quite important in 1994 but almost totally absent today.

The first involved the length of Democratic dominance in Congress. In 1994, the Democratic Party had controlled the institution for forty years with an alliance of Southern representatives and the party’s modern strongholds. This long stay-in-power had built a reputation for corruption and ethnics problems; scandals worsened the perception. Apparently, the media talked almost continuously about this subject. The possibility of a Republican-controlled House, for the first time in two generations, gripped the Beltway.

The second involved the growing power of the Congressional Black Caucus. Since the advent of the Civil Rights movement, increasing numbers of black representatives had been elected to the House. Once elected, these congressman enjoyed practically life-long terms, given the black population’s heavily Democratic lean.

Eventually, due to seniority, black representatives began taking important positions on committees (something that is still the case today). By 1994, the public started taking notice and Republicans began airing the issue – adding the insinuation of unseemliness. My friends report that the media also talked quite a bit about the strong influence wielded by the Congressional Black Caucus.

Today, there is practically no discussion over these two subjects. Democrats have only controlled the House for four years this time. The issue of the Congressional Black Caucus has also dissipated as racial appeals have become less powerful, perhaps best symbolized by the election of President Barack Obama.

This does not mean, of course, that Democrats will maintain control of the House in November. If congressional elections were held today – taking into account the Massachusetts result – a Republican take-over would constitute a very likely possibility. As long as unemployment remains 10%, this state of affairs will continue.

--Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

 

 

Congressional Black Caucus getting more Toxic

More toxic political garbage from the Congressional (FOX) Caucus

I guess African American bloggers will be called "Liberal Activists" again as we continue to report and post on the stupidity of the Congressional FOX Caucus.

Let's go backwards a number of months when twenty-six members of the Congressional Black Caucus signed letters and sent them to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (DN.Y.) and former Sen. John Edwards (DN.C.) urging them to reconsider their decisions to skip the event.

The CBC also known as the Congressional FOX Caucus claimed the debates will be an opportunity to "help educate African Americans and others on key issues of national policy. Whatever!!

Hat Tip: Afro-netizen.com and dnA for the list of CBC members who signed the letter.

Well, the Congressional Black (Fox) Caucus leadership is dropping more (excuse the language) toxic political poop on America's black communities, and based on African American blogger comments we not feel'n good about it.

Unfortunately, Sen. Joseph Biden, former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel, and Rep. Dennis Kucinich have agreed to join in on the poop event. Many African American bloggers, thought it may be over, the CBC would give up.

It's not over as far as the Congressional Black Caucus is concerned. As reported by politico.com, prometheus6, Jack and Jill Politics and others, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick who seems to be acting like a FOX Network propaganda "stool pigeon" says, We're moving forward no matter what! We're definitely having a debate in Detroit in September," said CBC Chairwoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, who serves on the institute's board and represents Detroit in Congress.

Chairwoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (MI)
"We may change the format. We might have more than just the presidential candidates," she said.

But she is not alone, there are more stool pigeons dropping poop on the black community. Check out Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), head of the CBC Institute, who said he still held out hope that he could convince the front-runners to attend. He preferred not to dwell on the idea of a lonely stage with Biden, Kucinich and Gravel lobbing bombs at their absentee rivals.

"We're still working to get the other people to reconsider," Thompson said. "Their decision to make Fox News the issue is not a good idea. Whether you agree or disagree with [Fox], they have a viewership."

AAPP: Ok, Let me be clear, this guy Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) may be powerful in the House of Representatives, but I'm with the American public regarding congress. This guy's statement about Fox, proves he is a moron.

This guy is still in denial that Obama, Clinton and Edwards are not attending the FOX/CBC debate, even though he and the other CBC Fox News supporters are "fair and stupid" regrading this redneck shindig. We can all expect Jesse Jackson, Sr., to be there smilin' for the cameras'.

"I Guess Bennie (yes-um FOX) Thompson has gotten very comfortable to those Mississippi rednecks like racially divisive Klan supporter Trent ( the United States would have avoided "all these problems" if then-segregationist Strom Thurmond had been elected president in 1948) Lott.

As Jack and Jill Politics points out, "The CBC's defense of their partnership with conservative propaganda outlet Fox News Channel is becoming increasingly absurd."

Skeptical Brotha was so right back in May of this year about the majority of the CBC selling out to Fox Noise Channel.

African American bloggers such as The Reid Report and many, many others have been concerned for some time about the CBC's DUBIOUS FRIENDS.

We should all remember how and why Kucinich, Joe Biden, Mike Gravel attended the FOX debate when we get into that voting booth. I'm not saying vote for or against a person just because of one position or stand, but I don't think we should forget who stood with black folks, and who stood against and pooped on black folks all in the name of exposure, instead of integrity.

In the meantime, I'm getting some type of poop off (not and endorsement of the product) to fight against the Congressional Fox Caucus, and the candidates who support their efforts to poop on black communities. Because I don't like poop. I Don't l know anyone who does like poop, let alone "Toxic Political poop."

oops... there is one group that does. As a clear example: The Congressional FOX Caucus. But as they say poop happens! Can the CBC spread that toxic political poop around to some other group?

I'm tired of it. What about you?

http://aapoliticalpundit.blogspot.com/20 07/07/cbcfox-debate-and-black-bloggers.h tml

There's more...

Jefferson: CBC decide on a minstrel show, it seems

To judge from the delay in the corporate response, perhaps the CBC needed some persuasion to get their folks in line.

But was there ever any doubt as to the result?

From the CBC site:

Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI), Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) released the following statement on the indictment of Congressman William Jefferson.  

"The charges against Congressman William Jefferson are serious and warrant thorough deliberation. The law of the land entitles every citizen to presumed innocence until the court of law deems otherwise. We trust the merits of the case against Congressman Jefferson will be examined in a court of law and not the chambers of public opinion."           

There's more...

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