Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Progressives Won the Mid-term Elections, Says the Institute for Policy Studies

I came across what I thought was a rather counter-intuitive story, but had to admit that in some respects the progressives are correct when they claim that things are now better for them, albeit I strongly suspect this is only a momentary condition.

You see, Karen Dolan, who is a staffer at the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank that has large sway over congressional Democratic policies and the Obama administration, wrote this story claiming how it was the moderate Democrats (the Blue Dogs) that were largely decimated in last week's elections.  Indeed only three  of the over eighty progressive Democrats lost their seats.  (Thankfully the egregious and dishonest Alan Grayson (D-FL) was one of those three.)

Now these remaining progressives are all pretty much from hard core deep-blue districts where fear of tacking further to the left is non-existent.  Indeed, it would likely help them further entrench themselves in congress were they to do so.  And, considering the fact that they have nothing to lose now by advocating even further left policies and don't have the conservative or moderate Democrats to deal with in trying to moderate their voice, I strongly suspect you will see an even greater polarization of our congress and even more extremist left-wing legislation being proposed, particularly in the lame duck session of congress before the new congress is sworn in come January.

The scary thing is that these progressives are advocating that President Obama issue executive orders and govern by fiat on any issues that they cannot get through the Republican controlled House of Representatives.  Look for the battle to be fully joined and to become even more intense. 

This is  the choice we Americans will have to make in 2012.  Which way do we want the country to go?
I am optimistic for the first time in a long while that we are headed for the right decisions on the matter.

Below, is an excerpt of the posting by Karen Dolan from the Institute for Policy Studies website.

As touching as it was to see Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) choke up over the retelling of his hard-knock life story of having to be a waiter in his dad's bar, tears are not so attractive on the faces of Progressives this morning. Did we all miss the news flash? PROGRESSIVES WON! Two significant exceptions are of course the tragic defeat of Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) and the sad loss of principled Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL). But, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus in the House Democratic Caucus at over 80 members, emerged virtually unscathed, losing only three members.

By contrast, the conservative Blue Dog Democratic caucus was more than sliced in half from 54 members to only 26. Further, of the 34 conservative Dems who voted against Obama's Healthcare Reform, a mere 12 won re-election.

Dead weight gone. Good Riddance. The blame for the stalemate to come can now fall squarely where it belongs...on the anti-progressive, anti-democratic, anti-populist Republican members of Congress.

Our work is now finally beginning. The veil of a happy Democratic governing majority is finally lifted. We didn't have it then; We don't have it now. But what we do have now is a more solidly progressive bunch of Dems in Congress and a president presumably less encumbered by the false illusion that playing nice will get him a date with the other team.

Let's thank Grayson, as well as Reps. John Hall (D-NY) Phil Hare (D-IL) for their principled time in office. Let's get Feingold on the ticket as Obama's runningmate in 2012. Let's throw our support unabashedly behind the Congressional Progressive Caucus and let's push Obama to finally do the right thing through as many Executive Orders as we can present to him.

People...Progressives WON!!! Republicans are all over the map. They're a mess and won't be able to wreak the havoc they seek. We should be energized. We must be energized. Too much is at stake. The road ahead isn't so bad as long as we have the big picture and the fighting spirit spurring us on. Progressives will be the heroes in 2012. Let's make Obama one too.

Congressional Republicans better hold the line and stick to what they promised because they will indeed have a fight on their hands until 2012.


S.W. Anderson said...

If, as I expect, Republicans do "go right back to what we were doing before," in Boehner's words — obstruct everything Obama tries to do, deny desperate people jobless benefit extensions, demand tax cuts we can't afford by borrowing more, funnel more and more money and advantage to their rich and already advantaged campaign contributors — there's a good chance that enough independents and dispirited Democrats will show up in 2012 to re-elect Obama and vote a lot of right-wing extremists out. I can only hope and pray.

For now it's too soon to tell.

T. Paine said...

Your typical mischaracterizations aside, I do agree that if Republicans go right back to legislating like they did during the Bush administration, they will indeed lose independents and dispirited Democrats in the 2012 elections.

They will also be savaged by conservative voters and be replaced with conservative candidates that will do the will of this majority center-right nation.

In the meantime, the GOP better be blocking anything progressive that further harms our nation and sending legislation to Obama to put this country back on the right track. They need to make him veto bills to cut spending, repeal Obamacare, repeal their poorly named financial reform, and return the unused stimulus money to paying down debt. This will prove and put him on record that he is out of touch and not going in the right direction for our country.

Dave Splash said...

It's not a question of "if" the Republicans will go back to their Bushie ways, it's a question of when. They've already ruled out an earmark ban which was a signature issue of the tea party.

What's that expression of George W's? Fool me once...shame on me. Fool...me...you...I won't get fooled again.

I think it applies to the folks who think the Republicans learned anything after their failure and the near-destruction of the US economy.

S.W. Anderson said...

Paine, based on your response above, I will say one thing for you: you are consistent. You get everything wrong. ;)

T. Paine said...

Splash, I have to admit that I loved the Bush quotation! :)

Anderson, PLEASE! You must elaborate, sir. What precisely have I gotten wrong, because I just don't see it, buddy. ;)

free0352 said...
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