Sun Jun 3, 2012, 07:06 PM
WillyT (72,631 posts)
Progressive Faith Renewed By Recall Vote - John Nichols/CapTimes
Progressive faith renewed by recall vote
JOHN NICHOLS | The Capital Times
Robert M. La Follette
Last Saturday, when my mom and I drove into the valley where our ancestors settled more than a century and a half ago, we were greeted by a huge “Barrett -- June 5” sign. Hand-painted with care, in Wisconsin red and white, and displayed in front of a farmhouse on the turn that leads into Wyoming Valley, it was a powerful reminder that June 5’s Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election has its roots in the rural regions and small towns of the state.
That’s where the progressive movement of a century ago took shape. This was the movement for which my great-grandfather and his friend John Blaine campaigned in Boscobel and Blue River, in Lone Rock and Spring Green and across the farm country of Grant, Lafayette, Richland and Iowa counties.
It is the progressive movement that gave Wisconsinites the power to hold elected officials to account with the recall. Robert M. La Follette spent the better part of two decades campaigning to add the recall power to the constitution, and he did so for a reason.
“The recall enables the people to dismiss from public service those representatives who dishonor their commissions by betraying the public interest,” argued La Follette.
There was an element of moralizing in what La Follette said, and that was what his rural backers wanted.
Elected officials weren’t supposed to campaign on one set of themes and govern on another. They weren’t supposed to “divide and conquer” the state. They weren’t supposed to collect $500,000 checks from billionaires, and gather most of their campaign money in other states. They weren’t supposed to have criminal defense funds.
Those were the sorts of abuses that the progressives of a century ago thought about when they campaigned to amend the constitution to allow for recall elections. They did not worry so much about high crimes and misdemeanors -- there were prosecutors and courts to deal with those issues. They worried about what La Follette referred to as “the money power, and the extremes to which crooked politicians might go to satisfy campaign contributors.”
“By the recall, a faithless public official may be retired without waiting for the evil to be fully consummated,” said La Follette.
13 replies, 2287 views
Progressive Faith Renewed By Recall Vote - John Nichols/CapTimes (Original post)
|rhett o rick||Jun 2012||#5|
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|woo me with science||Jun 2012||#8|
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|woo me with science||Jun 2012||#10|
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Response to WillyT (Original post)
Sun Jun 3, 2012, 08:22 PM
HereSince1628 (35,010 posts)
2. Everytime I see that picture, I think Martin Sheen sure looks a lot like Bob
And this nation could really use a movie that makes a hero of a guy fighting for Progressive causes.
Response to WillyT (Original post)
Mon Jun 4, 2012, 12:03 AM
rhett o rick (54,151 posts)
5. To be clear, it's progressive that are fighting the good fight not the "everything is fine"centrists
It's past time for the "please dont demand too much" crowd to bow out. We have been getting the shaft for 30 years and you have been accepting it as better than Hitler. Get out of the fucking way. It's time for the progressives to kick ass and fight for our freedoms that you let slip away while you were playing footsey with your friends on the other side of the isle.
Let me remind you that progressive are democrats. And I am sick and tired of compromise. I want my freedoms back and willing to fight for them.
If you think the Patriot Act the MCA, domestic spying and indefinite detention are not so bad, then you are the problem.
Response to rhett o rick (Reply #7)
Mon Jun 4, 2012, 09:45 AM
woo me with science (32,139 posts)
8. Don't ever apologize.
Last edited Mon Jun 4, 2012, 10:36 AM - Edit history (1)
Don't ever apologize. It needs to be said, because this tolerance for Republican policy from people in Democrat suits is killing this party and this country.
We need an opposition to corporate fascism and neocon policy, and the Third Way have taken it as their role to mock and sabotage and kill that opposition from within. We have seen it with Occupy and with opposition to austerity budgets and union busting and the police state. And now the slaughter of innocents by drone.
I think many Democrats liked the idea of a big tent and denied to themselves what the Third Way really is: staunch defenders of Republican policy in all matters relating to economics and war and the police state, identifying themselves as Democrats to infect the party with corporate/right wing ideology. I think Democrats naturally want to be inclusive and welcoming, but had no idea just how far the Third Way cheering and activism for Republican and neocon policy would go, and just how ugly it would get.
Well, we see it now, don't we? The cheerleading of Bushco-like policy now extends up to and including the drone slaughter of innocents for the corporate war machine. We lived through Bush. We remember these hideous arguments and these attitudes from the Freepers then, because Democrats stood against them in unison and decried them together. Now we are told they represent the "moderate" faction of the Democratic Party.
Keep saying what you said, loudly, because our party matters, and we are deep, deep trouble as a nation. It is impossible to solve a problem without first acknowledging it.