• on a comment on WTF? over 7 years ago

    And I suppose that means that they couldn't go to some other network, like MSNBC, ABC, CBS? I mean, it's not like your choices here are CNN, FOX, or nothing.  Hell, even CSPAN might be an option, since it is a presidential debate.

    I'm sorry that the NV Democratic Party hasn't gotten the memo, but Fox News is officially radioactive, at least in the Democratic Primary. They were FOOLS to even THINK about working with Fox in today's environment, much less agree to this.

  • This is just an organizational comment, but I think that that chart you posted here would be more helpful if you arranged the candidates by the PVI, ie from "easiest PVI district" to "toughest PVI district". An alphabetical arrangement by state is nice and all and SEEMS "organized", but in this instance it doesn't really add anything toward what this data was compiled for, as it doesn't really prioritize in an easily accessible way who in the list is most in danger, based on the PVI of their district(and who needs the most help). Sure, you can comb through the list and find this yourself given some time and effort, but a PVI ranked list would make that sort of analysis much more easy to determine at a glance.

  • comment on a post Game On over 7 years ago

    I have news for him--the Catholic League--not Edwards--will decide what the debate will be about, and it won't be about the nation. It will be about the glaring double standard that colors the entire conversation about bigotry.

    You mean how "Catholic" organizations are allowed to criticise and defame, for example, gay people but aren't open to being criticized themselves?

    Quite aside from that, I think its pretty arrogant to claim that the all-powerful Catholic League will determine the debate in the Democratic primary. I think Edwards just told them "no". They apparently don't like being told that.

  • No, the importance of this is that this is a test of the progressive credentials of every candidate, Edwards in particular. It is an opportunity, provided by the right, to prove their mettle to us. Edwards has been presented the real test and opportunity, and as the current leading candidate among progressives (if only by a hair or two over Obama) I think that that is more than appropriate.

    Edwards has been given the opportunity to prove that he, like Howard Dean, will take the fight to the Right and won't be manipulated by them. As John Kerry's running mate in 2004, he has to prove to us voters that he will handle any rightwing smearjob swiftboating attempts differently than Kerry did. This is also his opportunity to demonstrate whether he truly has learned anything since his 2004 campaign, as he claims.

  • on a comment on New Edwards Blogger Thread over 7 years ago

    Well, obviously, it is a bigger story now, and we are paying apt attention. Indeed, it seems to be snowballing.

    If he lets this fester to a nice boil and THEN does the right thing, then its a bigger story, causes a bigger impact, etc etc.

    Now, that takes some Sun Tzu strategem to come up with, and if that's what ultimately happens, then wow. However, I'm not confident that Edwards or his campaign is quite so cunning. I'll be happy for him to prove me wrong.

  • on a comment on Waiting To Hear From Edwards over 7 years ago

    Well, none of those enemies or opposing candidates forced Edwards to say what he said about Iran. And, ultimately, the responsibility for firing these bloggers, if that is what happens, will be his, and he gets to bear the consequences for it. Does it help opposing campaigns? Sure. But that has shit to do with the price of tea in China.

  • on a comment on Waiting To Hear From Edwards over 7 years ago

    Nothing in there is beyond the blogospheric pale.

    "Wingnut Christofascist Base"? What lefty bloggery HASN'T said something of the sort?

    "repeatedly used profanity" in the BLOGOSPHERE? Oh heaven forbid! Excuse me while I clutch my pearls.

    Used vulgarity while discussing the sacrosanct church doctrine of Immaculate Conception? A little iffy on that one depending on what she said, but just generally speaking, when did church doctrine become elevated above criticism, even of the vulgar sort?

    This is most definitely has all the marks of a faked-rightwing-outrage tempest in a teapot.

  • comment on a post Waiting To Hear From Edwards over 7 years ago

    I disagree on your point that online support for Edwards will go "hard" one way or the other.

    I agree that if he drops the bloggers and caves to the Right, it will go hard in a negative direction.

    However, if he DOES support the bloggers, I think he might get a relatively minor bump, but Edwards (particularly after the Iran flap) still has plenty to prove and I doubt seriously that it will end the Edwards/Obama competition in Edwards' favor. Sure, he might get some positive kudos in his poll rankings, but I doubt if it will be as "hard" a shift as you suggest. Rather, it will only serve marginally improve his ranking in the status quo.

  • One thing i think is interesting to note is that there are some niche areas that the progressive blogosphere does not fill.  For example, two Democratic constituencies (women and glbt) are represented in the list above. But what about other core Dem constituencies, such as African Americans and Labor? Part of the problem on the former is the low number of minorities currently participating in the blogosphere. But Labor? I realize that many blogs cover race and labor issues, and all the blogs cover these issues to some extent or another, but as far as specialization goes, there is some room for a few niche blogs to make some headway, I think, in the same way that AmericaBlog has for GLBT issues and FireDogLake has for women's issues. FireDogLake also has a lot of pro-labor content, so perhaps that's being covered even though that isn't a particular focus.  Also, Steve Gillard is pretty well-known on the minority side, but I would call him a major blog in the same sense that the other niche-community blogs are.

    Also, I think that part of the blogosphere stagnation problem (and the minority participation problem) relates to internet access. States with less access are less likely to have a well-developed blogosphere. Also, though the internet is becoming more universal, I'd stop short of saying that EVERYONE has internet access. This also puts a limit on possible traffic, which will always be a crosssection of total internet users. It may be that given the current pool of users, the progressive blogosphere has reached a "saturation level". Encouraging universal (or at least increased) access would certainly help the progressive blogosphere's traffic, bottom line, and diversity composition since it would increase the pool of total users.  

  • This is a very important point.

    Since Lieberman was rejected in the primary, he can no longer give any Bush plan a "bipartisan" imprimatur. As a frontpager at DKos recently noted, you can't speak for Democrats if you don't win your primary.

    Thus, even though we lost the general, Lieberman has been somewhat neutralized as a weight on the Democratic Party brand. The fact that the official Democratic leaders in the House and Senate and the legislation they put forth now set that brand only serves to further entrench this dynamic. Individual personas and picking off individuals for "bipartisan cover" are more important when you are in the minority than when you are in the majority.

    Still, it is nice to be able to avoid headlines like "Bush surge proposal draws bipartisan support" because of Joe Lieberman and McCain working together on it.

    And really, what was our beef with Lieberman? that he undermined the democratic party at pivotal, key moments on key issues and gave this administration cover for some of its worst policies. That aspect of Lieberman's place in the national discourse has been effectively neutralized by his primary loss. His power has been lessened. He'll no doubt throw wrenches in our future plans on some important votes since he's still there, but he's not the symbol he once was.

  • comment on a post 50 State Blog Network over 7 years ago

    As a progressive mississippian, I was disappointed (though unsurprised) to see that my state doesn't have a statewide blog. I've considered starting one before, even came up with a possible name: MississippiBlogging (playing off the "mississippi burning" phrase). Anyway, would be interested in doing this for my state, assuming I can do so and still, you know, work my day job. can contact me at: sun_god_79 AT yahoo DOT com

  • comment on a post What is progressivism today? over 7 years ago


    In part, we progressives identify with the class wars fought by the progressives of the past. They fought against entrenched economic power for the benefit of the popular good, like child labor laws and whatnot. They also instituted electoral mechanisms for battling such entrenched power, such as with referendums, initiatives, direct election of Senators, etc. Our concern with today's corporate power and the erosion of labor rights, as well as our concern for the integrity of the right to vote and our electoral processes (see electronic voting, felons voting rights after release from prison, etc). Thus, in many respects we can identify with the progressives of the past because our present concerns echo theirs.

    But, I think a key distinction for TODAY's progressives is that we also in part identify as being part of the opposition to what we perceive as a REGRESSIVE reactionary power from the Right. Thus, if they are regressive, we must be "progressive", no?  Our enemies, to some degree, have therefore helped define us.

    I also think that "progressive" is used to generally denote someone who supports Enlightenment political structures and social principles, in particular with regard to personal sovereignty over one's thoughts, body, sexual behavior, and personal expression. This is the lefty ideological position that became the consensus of those on the left during the 60s. I don't think you can be 'progressive' today without also supporting abortion rights and gay rights. In this sense, progressive IS the same as "liberal". But, those who identify themselves as progressives as opposed to "liberal" do so because they are PROUD and do not see their values as something to be ashamed of or as something to triangulate against. In a sense, adopting 'progressive' as a descriptor for this is buying into the "liberal as an epithet that is synonymous with being weak/indecisive" meme perpetrated by the Right. Thus do 'progressives' distinguish themselves as a subset who see themselves as having the courage of their convictions, the backbone to support those positions, and the strength of will to lead and advance those positions. Thus, in a sense, "progressive = liberal + backbone".

    Taken together, that is what I think of when I think "progressive". Hope it helps.

  • Mostly, we have not succumbed to the vices that decapitated the Movement in the 70s.


    And those 'vices' would be what, in your opinion? I ask out of interest regarding how you think the previous movement failed?  When you say "decapitated" it makes me think of killing JFK, RFK, and MLK. But, those were all 60s, not 70s, and weren't what I'd call self-inflicted 'vices'. So, to what, exactly, do you refer?  Sex, drugs, and rock and roll??  ;-)

  • I agree...and disagree.

    I think that one charismatic leader would have some very real benefits for the movement, as far as cohesiveness and mass organization goes. Dean didn't win, but his leadership did provide something to us and our movement through the prism of his primary campaign.

    That said, lefty leaders who actually start making an impact have a general tendency to get shot or, more recently, die in freak plane crashes. So, maybe its a good thing not to give our enemies a particular face to aim at and cause us all to get dispirited with the loss. Not that assassination is inevitable. But, lack of a leader DOES keep the Right from having any particular point to aim its guns. Its much harder to stop us en masse. The problem, prior to the internet, anyway, was that such "en masse" organization wasn't feasible/possible without some leader.

    All that to say, a leader would probably be a good thing, if he can survive.  Short of that, we've adjusted our organizations to be able to function without the charismatic leader to keep us together. That's a good advancement.  Still, I don't think progressives will ultimately gain the whitehouse or triumph culturally without such a leader to pull in the rest of the country.

  • comment on a post Some Initial Observations on the Dirty Hippy Meme over 7 years ago

    Unlike the 1960s left, this movement is not about experience or cultural transformation, it's about politics and institutional reform.

    I think you are to intent on discussing our differences to the point of overlooking a core and key similarity. The values of todays Left, both online and off, have been shaped by that 1960s experience and the "cultural transformation" that came with it. Some questions that help illustrate this:

    How many leftists are anti-gay? How many among the netroots are opposed to abortion rights? How many progressives thing that the Drug War is a "good idea"?  How many among us believe in separation of church and state as a prerequisite for freedom of religion? How many of us think its okay to call people 'macaca'?

    While I'm sure there are individuals here and there who identify with us who defect on one or two of those issues, on the whole, people who are part of our current movement share or have adopted the principles and values at the core of that 1960s cultural revolution. God, guns, gays, acid and abortion. We might be a bit divided on the gun issue to some extent, but on the other four there is a generally broad liberal consensus that has developed on these issues since the 1960s. In the sense that, if we were to come to power, those values would be embodied and enacted in the laws that we would support and pass. That accomplishment would represent the political institutionalization of values and principles that first gained voice and currency in the crucible of the 60s. That is why the "liberal from San Fransisco Nancy Pelosi" is such anathema to the right: even though she herself may not be for gay marriage, her ascension to a position of power represents the ascension of that "liberal, west coast" worldview that thinks things like gay marriage is okay.  Think about it: if this congress passes immigration reform, do you think this congress will leave intact provisions that are discriminatory against gays who have foreign-born spouses/partners? I doubt it. And that's just one example, on one issue.

    This is why the right and the political elite now oppose us so vociferously. Our positions on these issues have solidified at a place that is diametrically opposed to the conservative's positions. Indeed, what you think on those issues pretty well defines which side of the Liberal/Conservative line you fall. And that's not even getting into issues of war and peace and the justifiable use of force (at home and abroad), which I would submit is also another key difference in our thinking.

    While you are correct that we are something entirely new, we are also built upon (and are a  product of) the old. Our organization, ideas and strategies are all new. But our values, our overall struggle for justice--those things have not changed in the slightest. Rather, our current endeavor is to prevent the gains made during the 60s from being reversed (see abortion, labor rights) and to advance the cause where and when we can (see gay marriage, separation of church and state). Our 60s forebears may have eschewed electoral politics, particularly after the 1972 defeat. It is unfortunate. But, I think the country and the larger culture eventually has made its way to coming around to our positions on many if not all of these issues in the interim, or at least have reached a point that they aren't horrified by them. The gay rights movement had only just BEGUN in 1968-69, and was itself an expression of the larger sexual revolution in progress. We've come a long LONG way since then. Its definitely not McGovern/1972 anymore as far as where the mainstream culture is at right now, despite the fact that the pundits seem to think it is 1972 indefinitely and forever, as far as the viability of lefty-political values are concerned. But the political reality has changed quite a bit since then, as has the electorate.

    My point is that we are different insofar as we aren't the same exact people doing the exact same things for the exact same reasons. But we are the ideological descendants of the 60s radicals, the cultural inheritors of Enlightenment social and political thinking regarding fairness, the just use of power, and the common good. Those underlying principles are what ultimately bind us together as a cohesive cultural movement/entity. We are simply the newest generational manifestation of those old radical 60s ideas.


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