Purging party

Via Politico:

JONATHAN KARL review in WSJ of "Roosevelt's Purge," By Susan Dunn (361 pages, $27.95): "In 1936, Franklin Delano Roosevelt trounced Republican Alf Landon by 24 percentage points in the popular vote and won the biggest electoral landslide in American history. ... Yet the popular president soon found that all his political capital wasn't worth much in Congress. 'Just nine months after Roosevelt's landslide election, opposition in his own party had grown assertive, militant, and confident -- and the New Deal had come to a standstill,' writes Susan Dunn ... Ms. Dunn, a professor at Williams College, delves into a fascinating and overlooked aspect of the FDR presidency: Roosevelt's brazen effort to assert control over his own party in the summer of 1938. ... All of the Democratic senators targeted by FDR coasted to victory in their Democratic primaries. ... In the general election, Roosevelt didn't fare any better. Republicans picked up eight Senate seats and nearly doubled their numbers in the House. ... He would never again attempt to intervene in a party primary. He had learned a lesson that needs re-learning from time to time: Political purges are more effectively done by the voters, not by the power brokers in Washington."

This looks like a great book, and those last lines above certainly relay the CW of DC. But hasn't Jim DeMint, in 2010, turned all of that on its head? I look at what the conservative DeMint has done over the past year, from a caucus of 1 or 2 in the Senate, and wonder when, if ever, we will see such a move by a progressive Senator.

In a recent political panel that Chris Bowers and I were on, at the AMP summit, he addressed the question of why there are not more primary challenges, and why for those that there are (Lieberman, Halter), they are met with hostility from the DC establishment. His basic point was that a pragmaticism prevailed as the dominating ideology at the base of the democratic party, as oppossed to a conservatism that exists at the base of the Republican party.

It got me thinking about the progressive label, and the lack of meaning it has for the Democratic party. I can identify three different strands of it:

Pragmatic Progressive-- incremental approach, traditional, status quo.

Liberal Progressive-- establishment, identity and issue politics.

Libertarian Progressive-- individual and collective, radical approach.

Just reflecting on my own political involvement, its been the case that I have worked for politicians that are in the first group, while I try to fathom the thinking of the second group. Mark Warner is a pragmatic progressive, and Crashing The Gate was an attempt to move outside traditional liberal identity and issue politics via partisanship. I think its time to get more radical, and move outside the box.

OK, I won't attempt to tie the post together, it moved into a different direction than I anticipated at the onset. The nice thing about blogging is that that it doesn't matter, so there you go.

Tags: (all tags)



Lol. Here's a joke for you.

Q: Why do you find blondes staring at a can of frozen orange juice?

A: Because it says "Concentrate".



by Trey Rentz 2010-10-13 10:31AM | 0 recs
RE: Lol. Here's a joke for you.

Sorry Trey, this is not Comedy central and your joke is chauvanist offensive to woman and most of all not funny!

by Ed beckmann 2010-10-13 11:07AM | 0 recs
just say liberal

Or skip the progressive label and educate people about liberal policies. People use the label "progressive" when they want to blur the political differences between liberals and centrists. The DLC's think tank was the Progressive Policy Institute, it was cover for appealing to both liberal and conservative Democrats. Chris Bowers uses the term to reconcile the conservative economic interests of the "Creative Class" with the liberal economic interests of the Democratic base, and I suspect your preference for "Libertarian Progressive" is a similar attempt to blur the differences between that base and a more libertarian online audience.

Don't coddle the libertarians, their political philosophy is infantile. Show them that liberal policies are better than conservative policies, and that we are all in this together. 

by tib 2010-10-13 10:31AM | 2 recs
RE: just say liberal

In priciple I agree, but in reality the word Liberal has been defamed to such a degree people are literally afraid to be associated with it. Hence the rise of the title Progressive which has been widly accepted and people are begining to associate with hit who would have opted to call them selves independents or conservative. The proof of what I say is the Ongoing and concerted effort to Villify the term "Progressives" by none other than Glen Beck. He never uses the word Liberal because he recognizes the emergence and acceptance of the term Progressive and want to turn people against the term.

by Ed beckmann 2010-10-13 11:02AM | 0 recs
Libertarian Progressive = Oxymoron

To me these these terms are like mixing fire and water they simply don't mix. Correct me if you can but Libertarians don't believe in Govt for anything other that the most basic services.  They would defend privatizing Fire depts, Police, All infrastructure, No Inviormental protection, No Education dept etc. Now Progressives reject  everthing the Libertarians believe in. True Progressives believe in a Government, Local and National that must be an active force for public good on all levels. To claim the mantle of Libertarian Progressive  is like claiming your are a Political Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde. I suggest those claiming this moniker are either ill informed or are making a politically motivated attemp to create the possiblity of some kind of mutual alliance between the two opposites.

by Ed beckmann 2010-10-13 10:36AM | 0 recs
RE: Libertarian Progressive = Oxymoron

Like being a natural-law humanist?

by the mollusk 2010-10-13 11:12AM | 0 recs
RE: Libertarian Progressive = Oxymoron

Sorta like the guy who got the nomination by running as the Anti-war candidate who then escalated the war in Afghanistan? Politics is full of fuzz if you are looking deep enough.

There are plenty of meetings of the end. For example, both sides would oppose the bank bailouts, both sides would oppose the occupations of Iraq/Afghanistan, both sides would audit the Fed. I'd say that's a pretty good start.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-10-13 02:34PM | 0 recs
"Didn't have it in him"

"Governed from the center".

"Not ready for the big-time".

"Just another pretty face".

"Should've elected Joe Kennedy".

"Let down virtually every constituent".

"Not willing to confront his own party".

"Republican landslide made him a one-termer". (Well, two-termer).

"Polarized the country like no other President before him".

Have I missed anything?

by the mollusk 2010-10-13 11:11AM | 0 recs
RE: "Didn't have it in him"

We better hope Obama is a one-termer, because him getting a second term would completely destroy the Democratic party. 

by Kent 2010-10-13 06:22PM | 0 recs
FDR vs DeMint

Consolidating a power center vs Assembling a power base. Americans are justly wary of any one person having to much power.

by Judeling 2010-10-13 11:29AM | 0 recs
RE: FDR vs DeMint

Good point, we'll see how it progresses.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-10-13 02:30PM | 0 recs
Destroying the Democratic Party?

I think I'll take the chance that Obama brings some "harm" to the Democratic party in lieu of the certain harm that would come to the entire nation if one of the teabagger Republicans were to win the presidency in 2012. I'll take his insults as long as we don't elect the party that would like to take us back to the last century. In other words, I'll take continuing progress over radical reactionarianism any day.

by mcarnes 2010-10-13 07:52PM | 0 recs
RE: Destroying the Democratic Party?

It will be a hell of a lot more dangerous if they win Congress.  Congress controls everything. 

by Kent 2010-10-13 10:24PM | 0 recs
RE: Destroying the Democratic Party?


Remember, this is Kent you're talking to. This is MyDD, where self-hating liberals and Obama-hating Democrats meet and greet.
And this is a midterm election campaign, where most of the time the opposition behaves badly and gets punished with a trip to Disney World.

I used to come here all the time until they started going off the deep end with the negativity (hence the user name).

by spirowasright 2010-10-16 04:51PM | 0 recs


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