Killing the Right by The Living End
This one is just a great song, and a sentiment every progressive should get into. Seriously…
Killing the Right by The Living End
This one is just a great song, and a sentiment every progressive should get into. Seriously…
I tried not to use the term “emo progressive” for a long time, but it’s the least offensive thing I can think to call these know-it-all, mostly white, politically doltish clods who tend to throw a monkey wrench into the progressive movement every chance they get. Some progressives are abusing the term, and calling people “emo” who don’t deserve it, but there are many who do. And they have to be stopped.
I am a proud liberal. I have always been a proud liberal/progressive, and I probably agree with even the most progressive people in the country on about 90-95% of all issues. The problem is, they think politics is about wishing, wanting and demanding, and I know for a fact that its about using the tools at our disposal to GET what would make this county a better place. The simple act is, I understand how politics works and I want us to be politically successful, and many liberals seem to be perfectly fine with espousing rhetoric and little more. Hence the term “emo progressive.”
I think it’s laudable when progressives add five progressives to Congress. But if their rhetoric causes so many Blue Dogs to lose, and hand the House over to teabaggers, they’re missing the reality of our politics. Progressives have power if they’re part of a majority. They have absolutely no power if they in the minority. They have to be part of the majority to be effective. That’s why getting rid of Blue Dogs in 2010 wasn’t a positive political move, especially when they were replaced by teabaggers, and gave the GOP a majority. If you were crowing after that happened, you’re not exactly politically astute. Continue reading
There are new things coming on this blog. Beginning this week, we’re going to be doing a daily news podcast, and starting tonight, we’re going to post daily musical interludes, with music we like, and which should mean something to progressives in some way. Told ya… we’re getting better…
First musical interlude is a song that has been one of my favorites since it came out.
Here’s Minority, by Green Day… enjoy…
One thing I’ve been advocating for over many years is that people stop using the word “conservative” to describe the right wing whack jobs who have taken over the Republican Party. These people are not “conservative,” and they are the opposite of “mainstream.” People like Goldwater. Dole and Nixon were conservative. The people who so many liberals refer to as “conservative” now are nothing like that. While I disagreed politically on just about everything those three stood for, the fact of the matter is, they did care about the country and they did care about the people in it. Where we disagreed was on methods for getting to be a great country, not on the need to become a great country.
The current Republican leadership thinks nothing of starting a war with another country and using troops as political tools. A true conservative would never do that. Nor would a real conservative vote to shut down the government to try to repeal a law that isn’t possible to repeal. True conservatives wouldn’t vote 42 times to kill a law that solves a problem, without proposing something more conservative that also solves the problem, And there is no way a true conservative would vote to default on our debt, for any reason, especially a hissy fit about Obamacare. And speaking of debt, a true conservative hates running up the national debt, whereas the current GOP says things like “deficits don’t matter,” and when they’re handled a balanced budget, they immediately cut taxes and explode the debt again.
Extreme far right radicals are not “conservatives, and we should stop calling them that because doing so gives these radicals credibility, at the same time it strips actual conservatives of credibility. Besides that, it’s inaccurate, and we should value accuracy above all. There’s nothing “conservative” about a group of people who want to dismantle most of the government and who favor radical cuts to programs that help people the capitalist system necessarily leaves behind.
In reality, most people share a conservative vision on a number of things, and that includes liberals. In fact, given the classic definition of “conservative,” liberals are more conservative right now. than are the right wing radicals who make up the current GOP leadership We want to preserve the programs we built in the wake of the Depression and World War II, and current Republicans want to destroy them. That actually makes us more conservative than them. So, why do so many liberals refer to these people as “conservative”?
One reason these radical neocons have been able to get themselves elected is because they used to be able to couch their extremist views in terms that real conservatives could accept. They’ve been calling themselves “conservative” for so long, and we have reinforced that for so long, they no longer have to pretend. And in too many ways, we help them in that, by reinforcing their scam as “conservatives.” That’s one reason they get away with so much, and why their views, no matter how radical, get so much airplay with the news media. Calling them “conservative” gives even their most ridiculous views a veneer of credibility, and it makes our job that much harder.
Referring to these people as “conservative” makes them seem mainstream, and they are anything but. Calling Obama a “socialist Kenyan Muslim” is not mainstream, and blocking everything Democrats propose is in no way mainstream, so allowing them to seem as if they share opinions with average Americans is unwise, to say the least. Real conservatives think it’s disgusting that the current GOP has used the filibuster hundreds of times, because they know that doing so could lead Democrats to doing the same thing next time the GOP is in charge. Real conservatives are disgusted with the fact that Republicans in Congress are blocking any and all job creation, because they know more taxpayers means less pressure to raise tax rates. Real conservatives couldn’t care less about gays getting married, and they’re not racists and bigots. Real conservatives favor the separation of church and state. Real conservatives hate the Tea Party, and they think “strict constitutionalists” are insane.
Real conservatives would never leave financial markets completely unregulated, to allow greedheads to take over and steal it at will, and then print money to bail them out. Real conservatism is about entering the capitalist market with eyes open, and taking your losses yourself. Current Republican “orthodoxy” allows “capitalists” to take all sorts of stupid risks with other people’s money, and then demand that government bail them out, while they never pay back the people they stole the money from. How is what happened between 2001 and 2008 “conservative”?
Real conservative also have nothing to do with the “social engineering” Republicans engage in these days. No real conservative would ever demand that government make pregnancy decisions in place of a woman, nor would they decide whose marriage should be recognized by government?
And when did it become “conservative orthodoxy” to use our military to run interference for oil companies, or to attack a country that didn’t serve as a viable threat. Real conservatives would never occupy that country and pillage their resources, and they most certainly would never put our troops in harm’s way, with no clear mission and no clear exit strategy.
One reason you have never seen me use the term “conservative” to describe these idiots is because they are anything but. There is nothing “conservative” about these people, so stop calling them that. Be accurate. Call them right wing radicals, because that’s what they are. One winning strategy for progressives is to always tell the truth.
I am continuously amazed by the sheer number of self-described liberals who constantly describe Barack Obama as a “moderate Republican,” which is a concept as extinct as a dodo bird. They sometimes even compare Obama with Ronald Reagan. Some have even suggested that Obama is to the right of Saint Reagan. It’s really difficult to take that level of silliness seriously, but the fact of the matter is, a lot of the people who say this kind of thing have a very high profile within the progressive media/blogosphere. Unfortunately, because people who say this have no political skills or knowledge to speak of, we have to spend a lot of our time refuting this nonsense, so that we can get the Republican Party out of the majority, and give progressives a bit more power, as part of the majority. Democrats have to win elections and win a majority in all governmental bodies we can manage, and we can’t do that if a significant number of voices on what is supposed to be the smart ideological side are screaming that both parties are the same, or that progressives like Obama are actually not progressive, but rather, very conservative. That kind of rhetoric will not get lots of people out to the polls, and it certainly won’t encourage people who already can’t stand Republicans to come out and vote for Democrats.
It’s also a load of crap. Obama is not a “moderate Republican,” by the current definition of Republican, and you have to be enormously forgetful (ignorant) of politics to think he’s to the right of Saint Reagan. The fact is, we are talking about two completely different times. At the time Reagan took office, the country had just emerged from one of the most progressive periods in our history, followed by an inflationary period unlike any in our history, as well. In 1981, our economy was still largely based on manufacturing. We weren’t at war, and the Soviet Union was already beginning to collapse. Continue reading
There is no such thing as an “abortion” debate.
There is, however, a freedom debate. Who gets to decide whether or not a woman should stay pregnant against her will? Does the woman herself have that power, or should she be forced to cede that power to the government? The current incarnation of the Republican Party thinks their ‘”small government” should be big enough to try, convict and jail all of the women who choose to not stay pregnant.
Welcome to the “land of the free,” GOP style.
But here’s a question I can never get a Republican teabagger, or a Libertarian Republican, to answer:
If we give the government the power to force women to stay pregnant against her will now, don’t we also give them the power to force women to abort once circumstances change? Isn’t that slope quite slippery?
Let’s face it; the entire Republican Party is trying to take away a woman’s authority over her own body. That some of them refer to it as a “holocaust,” or they use imagery designed to make people believe they’re protecting “babies” from slaughter, thefact is, they’re not into protection; they’re into control. Women don’t “attack” the fetus, and they don’t “kill babies.” This is inflammatory rhetoric with no real meaning. In almost every case of abortion, the fetus is incapable of life outside the womb. Some women simply choose not to bring an unwanted fetus to term. No one is “attacking it,” they’re removing it.
Think of this another way: Continue reading
By Request, I’m reposting this again, to remind everyone of just how much damage the GOP has done with their abuse of the filibuster, and to remind some progressives of the major bonehead moves they made in 2010.
Last posted on July 1, 2012:
In addition to the constant trashing of Obama’s actual record with lies and distortions, I’m also sick to death of claims that Democrats “had no spines” and couldn’t pass anything. Republicans held Congress from 1994-2006 and rigged the filibuster rules in 2005, under the threat of killing it altogether. They made it easier for a single senator to hold up a bill anonymously, and they effectively transformed the Senate into a body that requires 60 votes to pass that bill.
The SOLUTION to the problem in 2010 would have been to keep the House, and reduce the number of Republicans in the Senate. Instead, we had the Right Wing crying “Democrats can’t get anything done!” and the Left Wing crying, “Democrats can’t get anything done!” THAT is why Democrats lost so badly last year; instead of offering up an alternate viewpoint, we basically echoed theirs. That’s what drove turnout down, and gave the GOP one of the biggest wins in their history.
Read these and tell me Democrats weren’t trying really hard to make things better. Again; these are bills that were PASSED by the Democratic House, and BLOCKED by 40-41 solid votes in the Senate. Compare these to the complete crap the current Republican-led House is producing, and then tell us again how there’s no difference between the two parties.
We really have to stop self-destructing. Democrats ARE much better than Republicans, the previous Democratic House, led by Nancy Pelosi, DID try like hell to make this country better.
Again; this is a partial list! Continue reading
What every progressive needs to learn is that political things don’t just happen because someone wants them to. They happen when a majority is ready to vote to make them happen.
Back in January, as many of you will recall, I took a lot of heat because I stood up for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his valiant attempt to change filibuster rules. The man worked his ass off to make changes, and he actually got quite a few of them, despite the fact that he didn’t have 51 votes to make them happen. He was able to change the rules, so that Senators could no longer put a blind hold on a nomination – they had to make themselves known – and he also got an agreement from Republicans to stop holding up nominations. This was a crucial deal. He did all of this, despite the fact that he had between 45 and 47 votes, because he was able to convince the Republican leadership that he had 51, which scared them silly. Continue reading
Once upon a time, when I was in elementary and junior high, we took a lot of field trips, mostly to Washington, DC and Philadelphia, although there were a couple of trips that could only be described as “indoctrination” into the wonderful world of nuclear power. The first, when I was about 11, was to Calvert Cliffs, ostensibly to hunt for fossils. But in addition to the fossil hunt, we were taken to a “visitors center” for a nuclear power plant that was under construction. Nuclear power was sold to us as “clean” and “cheap.” Two to three years later, we were taken to Peach Bottom, in southern Pennsylvania. that plant was already open, and they had a really elaborate visitors area, complete with cartoons and colorful brochures explaining to us kids that nuclear power would save us from all of that smoke pollution emanating from coal and oil-fired plants (they had a point at the time, frankly).
The indoctrination didn’t really take, but I didn’t really think about nuclear power until 1978, when I was living in Los Angeles and I started protesting the profoundly stupid concept of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, which was located within a few miles of two fault lines. Yes, I said TWO. Between 1978 and 1983, I was involved in a number of protests with the Abalone Alliance, and I was even arrested twice. In 1979, the Three Mile Island disaster woke a lot of people up, and the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, which rendered a large portion of Russia (then the Soviet Union) uninhabitable, made it clear that nuclear power was too risky. Unfortunately, it took the Fukushima disaster in Japan two and a half years ago to quite possibly kill the concept of nuclear power once and for all, although it will take a long time – and a Congress and state houses with as few Republicans who are beholden to the nuclear lobby as possible. Continue reading
Sometimes, when I look at the self-described “progressive blogosphere,” I wonder if they realize progressives won in 2012. I know they don’t realize we lost big in 2010, or that it was their fault, because they keep doing the same things over and over. It’s tiresome to hear crap like “Obama’s no progressive,” or the obnoxious “Obama’s really a moderate Republican.” Anyone who says that just doesn’t know what s/he’s talking about. This is why progressives have been losing ground since the 1960s, and why the far right has hung onto power for 33 years, against all odds; there is a small, but significant group of liberals who think they’re geniuses politically, and that everyone else who doesn’t think as they do is just “stupid.” It’s roughly the far left equivalent of the Tea Party.
Obama is as progressive as he possibly can be. Unfortunately, most who have chosen to define “progressive” for us have no idea what the word means. Being “progressive” does not mean you agree with a static set of “beliefs” based on issues that few people actually care about. Being obsessed with things like climate change and drones at a time when most people are worried about jobs and the economy makes YOU out of touch, not everyone else. In fact, if you remove the right wing from the government, and start creating jobs a la Clinton, then you’ll remove a lot of the distractions and more people will be more receptive to climate change and drone discussions. And let’s be clear; the fact that others have different views on issues that you, personally, have decided are defining issues for liberals doesn’t make you more “progressive” and it doesn’t disqualify them from the ranks of “progressive.” There is no static definition of liberal or progressive. The very concept that there might be is basically the liberal version of “Tea Party-think,” and that should have absolutely no place in progressive politics. The definition of “progressive” differs widely, and it necessarily has to be different in New York or Los Angeles than it is in Montana or rural Alabama. Politicians represent their constituents. Continue reading