Edwards Avatar 2.x SOLD the 'War onTerror' frame and the war

Regarding the "Global War on Terror"(GWOT frame) show-of-hands question in the first debate for the Democratic nomination, Matt Stoller wrote: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards Shines and an Edwards promoter goes on to explain to us why that frame is so bad (didn't we know this since it was coined first?)

While the current version of Edwards ("Edwards 3.x") is apparently exciting to many in the blogosphere, it turns out that the former avatar of Edwards ("Edwards 2.x") was, as with the war, at the forefront of championing the GOP/neocon frame, "GWOT", as seen in the extensive evidence presented below the fold.

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Philadelphia Mayor: Nutter Rising, and Lessons For Reformers

Last night, instead of watching the debate, I attended the Democratic primary candidate endorsement meeting for the 27th Ward in Philadelphia. With endorsements to be made for traffic court, court of common pleas, city commissioner, register of wills, sheriff, clerk of the court, state superior court, state supreme court, local city council, five city council at large seats, and mayor, the meeting took more than three hours. The city council at-large seats were particularly difficult, since there were six candidates the ward liked quite a bit, but we could only make a maximum of five endorsements (the majority party is allotted a maximum of five at-large council seats in Philadelphia). I would like to personally endorse the four challengers we took the most time to consider, Andy Toy, Marc Stier, Derek Green, and Matt Ruben. If there is any way you can help these candidates, I would strongly recommend doing so. The other two candidates, incumbents Bill Greenlee and Blondell Reynolds Brown, are very good public servants, but I am far more focused on trying to help the challengers to city council seats this time around. It should be noted that these are the six progressive and reformer candidates who have been endorsed by virtually every single progressive and reformer organization in the city in various combinations. The 27th ward seems to be one of those organizations in its own right.

For Mayor, we endorsed Michael Nutter on the first ballot with over 75% of the ward's vote. Now, a new poll was released today showing Michael Nutter to actually be in a strong position for the upcoming primary. Susequehanna polling, April 24-25, 450 LVs:

DateApril 25March 14Dec 06Fav / Unfav
Tom Knox20%22%9%47 / 21
Michael Nutter18%12%12%58 / 16
Chaka Fattah14%17%29%48 / 25
Bob Brady9%13%10%36 / 32
Dwight Evans7%10%12%46 / 17

With leaners included, Nutter draws to within less than one point of Knox. Note that this is a very different result than the recent Survey USA poll, which showed Knox cruising. However, across most polls, Michael Nutter is the only candidate besides Knox who is rising in the polls. Right now, it certainly appears that he is moving into second place, and the last two weeks of the campaign might be Nutter vs. Knox.

From the Susquehanna polling memo:
This poll shows all the movement has gone to Nutter, going from 12 points in the last poll (4th place) to 18% on the current poll which puts him in a virtual statistical dead heat with Knox at 20%. All the other candidates have dropped since the last poll - and the key reason is that Nutter has surged with white Democrats, where he is now in first place at 29% even ahead of Knox at 24%. From a name ID standpoint, Nutter now has the best ratio of favorable to unfavorable name ID while Brady's negatives have shot up, which says to me that Nutter is partly benefiting from Brady's faltering campaign. Among black Democrats, the same trend is showing that even though Fattah continues to lead (at 23%), black support for Fattah and Evans has waned from the last poll while Knox and Nutter have both picked up a couple points, although surprisingly, it is Knox who is finishing second with blacks at 15% (Nutter only has 8%). I think from a big picture standpoint what this poll is telling me is that the black community isn't inspired this time around.
One of the reasons this is so surprising is that Michael Nutter is African-American. It might be the first time, like ever, that an African-American candidate in Philadelphia is winning the white vote. The Democratic primary vote in Philadelphia typically splits along racial lines more than anything else, but this campaign could spell an end to that trend. Or does it? When it comes to pushing himself over the top, Nutter actually faces a problem among African-American voters, where he trails Knox (who is white).

The combination of racial politics and progressive reformer politics in Philadelphia is extremely interesting. If it is true that the African-American community is not very excited about this election, certainly the extreme unpopularity of Mayor John Street (20% approval rating), who is African-American, is playing a major role. In other words, the African-American community might not be very happy with its leaders and representatives in the local political establishment, but isn't thrilled with the existing reform options either. At the same time, it is interesting how the white progressive and reform communities were split between Chaka Fattah and Michael Nutter, not unlike the Obama vs. Edwards split in the progressive blogosphere. However, with Fattah consistently slumping since starting the campaign as the frontrunner, now Nutter seems to be consolidating his support among the white progressive community. However, Nutter still struggles among African-Americans, not unlike early netroots candidates such as Dean, while Fattah is able to at least vaguely stay in the campaign because his African-American support remains decent. In fact, Nutter's early commercials, which seem to be fueling his rise, actually framed him as the anti-John Street reformer, which adds another element to this discussion. Overall, we seem to have a situation where both whites and blacks are unhappy with the Democratic political establishment in the city, but the organizing being conducted to fix the system is itself split along racial lines in much the same way the city has always been split. Further, neither the machine nor the reformers appear strong enough to hold off Knox's millions, which is telling. It is all very convoluted and deserves much, much more discussion. There are lessons here for the progressive movement and the Democratic Party that go far beyond the local level.

The primary is on May 15th. The winners of the primary will all go on to win the general, since Philadelphia is basically a one-party town. I am going to try and have more coverage on both the mayoral and city council campaigns during the next two weeks.

Progressive Movement Causes Record Engagement In 2008 Campaign

This is a follow-up to my earlier argument that, apart from fundraising, the structural underpinnings of the 2008 campaign--frontloading, lots of early attention, and a drawn out pre-primary process--are actually healthy for American democracy. There was so much pushback in the comments, from so many different directions, that I felt a second post would be more helpful than simply responding to every single comment. In short, I am not backing down from my position at all, and in the extended entry I explain why.

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Not There Yet

This is a liberal country that likes liberal leaders, but it's also an angry country frustrated with the political system.  Here's one reason why.  Most polling has the government negotiating with drug companies as incredibly popular.  According to this poll, it was actually the most popular item among the Democrats 100 Hours Agenda, clocking in at 87% approval and only 12% disapproval.  Even the minimum wage is only at 85% approval versus 14% disapproval.

And yet.  There was some promising movement a week ago, and now the Senate looks like it's going to be a dead end.

Democrats signaled that a main post-election agenda item -- giving the government the authority to negotiate for lower drug prices in Medicare -appears headed for defeat in the Senate in a procedural vote scheduled for Wednesday.

"Based on the power of the insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and the closeness they have to the administration and the Republicans, I don't have a lot of confidence," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), when asked about the bill's prospects.

In any case, the White House has threatened to veto the measure.

This proposal has 87% approval and is a fix to an obviously corrupt program pushed through Congress via fraud, and yet it can't make it out of the Senate because of the power of pharmaceutical lobbyists.  Wow.  Just, wow.

This isn't just a Republican problem.  The minimum wage still hasn't gone through Congress, even though it is nearly as popular as the prescription drug bill and has fewer enemies.  Charlie Rangel and Max Baucus, who are both supposed to be working out the minimum wage bill, have started a PAC together to meld business interests and business cash.  I don't get it, in all honesty, seeing as those two were fighting over the minimum wage and which business tax breaks to include.

Anyway, this plus watching the immense skew of large dollar donor cash in the Presidential race over small dollar donor cash suggests that the progressive movement is just outgunned right now.  Legislation is really really hard to move through the system, and we're not at a place yet where we can make that happen.

Soon, though.

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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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