Waiving the Rules for Old Glory

We proclaim our oatriotism by waving flags; perhaps we need to do more reading of history and the Constitution.

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Stop David Brooks!: TR was a LIBERAL

David Brooks tries in his column today to do something I've warned about before. He tries to claim Theodore Roosevelt as a conservative, which he most definitely is not. TR was a liberal, period. I've written about the need to claim liberal Republicans as our own. This is crucial for us as we frame American history as a march, however uneven, toward the triumph of the progressive values we share, and progressivism as being rooted in American history going back two centuries (rather than simply being seen a deviation from 'traditional values' that cropped up in the oft-[unfairly] derided 1960s). Why is this important? Because progressivism has been a winner in the big picture since 1776, and we need to portray it as being a winner. Doing so makes it more likely that progressivism will continue winning. Winners win. Losers lose. It's that simple.

See more after the jump.

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How The GOP's American History Lies Feed Christian Nationalism

Because of recent opposition GOP Congressman Randy J. Forbes's new House Resolution 888 (co-sponsored by 23 other members of Congress), which showcases many of the most common American history lies currently in circulation, I thought I'd re-post my following analysis of how such fake history can pave the way for Christian Nationalism. We're well on the way : a 2007 poll from the First Amendment Center showed that  65% of Americans believe the founders intended the US to be a Christian nation and 55% from that poll thought the US Constitution establishes the US as a Christian nation. [NOTE: I've placed the onus on the GOP on the basis of my colleague Chris Rodda's preliminary study of Congressional debates over the last decade. Chris tells me she's found extensively citations of  history lies by Republicans but only one, so far, by a Democrat.]

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Experience is not a prerequisite for being president

(cross-posted at Daily Kos)

Experience seems to be a fairly big buzz word when it comes to selecting nominees for president, especially on the Democratic side as of late. It's one of the chief reasons that Senator John Kerry was our presidential nominee in 2004 - he had long-time governmental experience (20 years as of then) that gave him the supposed national security background needed to take on Bush. Howard Dean was criticized for not having it, and then-Senator John Edwards was just finishing up his first term in electoral office of any kind during the 2004 race. In 2008, experience in national politics is something that the top tier of Democratic candidates - Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Barack Obama, and Edwards - all lack. Though not many in the netroots (or the opinion polls, either) endorse the second tier - consisting of Governor Bill Richardson, Senator Christopher Dodd, and Senator Joe Biden - have far more experience, and this is sometimes cited as a reason for supporting them.

So, to get an idea of whether experience is a useful barometer, I took a look back at all of the past presidents in America's history. Below the fold is a list of presidents, from most years of experience in an important elected statewide position (e.g. governor) or an important federal position (e.g. ambassador, Congressperson, etc.):

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My list of American history's 25 greatest progressives

Based on their achievements, actions and impact, from presidents and Founding Fathers to suffragettes and abolitionists.

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Diaries

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