James Carroll's Christmas Story

I just had to draw this to people's attention:

THE SINGLE most important fact about the birth of Jesus, as recounted in the Gospels, is one that receives almost no emphasis in the American festival of Christmas. The child who was born in Bethlehem represented a drastic political challenge to the imperial power of Rome.

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So what's all this about the DLC?

I've been one of those who thinks of the DLC as representative of what's wrong with the Dem party. Shortly after the election, however, it occured to me that I had no idea what they were actually promoting, except what I'd heard from other people. So I went and signed up for their newsletter.

The next day, 11/5/04, they sent me this:
"Our political system is bruised and perhaps broken, leading to campaigns that are expensive, negative, intensely partisan, full of dirty tricks, and tilted for no good reason to a handful of "battlegrounds." We need to champion election reform to ensure a reasonably uniform set of rules for how Americans register, vote, and have their votes counted. We need redistricting reform to avoid the growing phenomenon, in both the U.S. House and many state legislatures, of politicians choosing voters rather than voters choosing politicians. We need open primaries to enfranchise independents and break the grip of organized special interests on the nominating process and the parties. And yes, we need another and more effective round of campaign finance reform and ethics reform to break the toxic cycle that lets people like Tom DeLay hustle lobbyists for campaign cash and even jobs for Republicans in exchange for access to the legislative process. While we can disagree on the details, there is no principled reason for Democrats to oppose any of these reforms, since Republicans will always have an advantage in a system that puts a premium on the ruthless exercise of institutional and financial power."

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Politics are not enough to win back America

I'm seeing lots of ideas -- many of them good -- on political tactics to create a resurgence in Blue America.

"We need a unifying vision.""We need a reform platform.""We need Blue-state redistricting.""We need to shift control to the state parties.""We need to tape the DLC's mouth shut."

Any and all of these might help the Democrats gain ground. Or they might not. Fundamentally, however, they're not going to solve the problem.

The problem is that progressive issues can't get anything like a fair airing in the major media.

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