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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:18 PM
Original message
"progressives" versus "liberals"
it would be easy to dismiss this discussion as nothing more than a game of semantics ... some dictionaries even say the terms are synonyms ... and that's fine ... we could stop right there and do no further analysis ... or, we could use the terms to differentiate between two different views within the Democratic Party ... the article below by David Sirota chooses the latter path ...

the distinction he makes is that liberals support government programs, largely through spending programs, to "subsidize" those in need of government support ... the focus, as Sirota defines it, appears to be one of bringing a better standard of living to those who can't afford it ...

progressives, at least in this model's definition, support the liberal approach but go a step further ... progressives equally focus on the inequities of competition that enable certain players in our economy to exploit weaker players ... for example, progressives call for a windfall profits tax on big oil ... progressives might push back against the "free market" right wing to demand accommodation in some form from the pharmaceutical industry ... the focus goes beyond programs for the poor or middle class to make the wealthy and powerful play by the rules ...

rather than discussing whether we are just playing semantics, let's try to focus a discussion on these two different philosophies ... it really doesn't matter what terms we use to make the distinction ...

it's time for the Democratic Party to fully endorse what Sirota calls "progressivism" ... the Party has failed for too many years to make the distinction to the American people between being "anti-business" and anti-abusive business ... some commercial entities, and industries, have grown so large and powerful that their interests no longer align with the national interest ... it's time we used the power of government, i.e. the collective power of Americans embodied in their government, to put an end to corporate conduct that does not serve our country and its citizens ...

this could be a major plank in the Party's platform and it could go a long way to building some unity between center and left ...

comments ??


read the full article here ...

To put it in more concrete terms - a liberal solution to some of our current problems with high energy costs would be to increase funding for programs like the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). A more "progressive" solution would be to increase LIHEAP but also crack down on price gouging and pass laws better-regulating the oil industry's profiteering and market manipulation tactics. A liberal policy towards prescription drugs is one that would throw a lot of taxpayer cash at the pharmaceutical industry to get them to provide medicine to the poor; A progressive prescription drug policy would be one that centered around price regulations and bulk purchasing in order to force down the actual cost of medicine in America (much of which was originally developed with taxpayer R&D money).

Let's be clear - most progressives are also liberals, and liberal goals in better funding America's social safety net are noble and critical. It's the other direction that's the problem. Many of today's liberals are not fully comfortable with progressivism as defined in these terms. Many of today's Democratic politicians, for instance, are simply not comfortable taking a more confrontational posture towards large economic institutions (many of whom fund their campaigns) - institutions that regularly take a confrontational posture towards America's middle-class.

We can see a good example of this hesitation from Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) in his "health care to hybrids" proposal. As the Detroit News reports, Obama is calling "for using government money to relieve Detroit automakers of some of their staggering health care obligations if they commit to improving fuel economy by 3 percent a year for 15 years."

Here's the thing - we all want to see autoworkers' health care preserved, and we all want to see better fuel efficiency standards for cars. But is this really the road we want to go down as a society? I'd say no. The fact is, the auto industry should be forced to produce more fuel efficient cars through higher government fuel efficiency mandates, without taxpayers having to bail out the industry. It's not like those mandates would be asking the industry to do something that doesn't make good business sense - demand for higher fuel-efficiency cars is skyrocketing.

Paying off corporations to do what they already should be doing sets a dangerous precedent - it sends a message to Big Business that they can leverage their irresponsible behavior into government handouts. In this case, the auto industry would be leveraging its refusal to produce more fuel efficient cars and preserve its workers' health care into a giant taxpayer-funded subsidy.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. I don't really care if I am called liberal, progressive, or a
pissed off old geezer who wants to run a pitchfork through these power thieves in DC!!

Call me a CAB, whatever it takes to take the country back!!!
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
2. He nailed it on the head -
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 02:34 PM by Armstead
I think liberals represent altruism and fair play in the sense of helping those in need.

Progressives believe in reducing the NEED for altruism, by encouraging economic policies and values that are based on broadening the basic benefits of the economy.

In terms of government, progressives also believe that action shold deal with systemic problems. A liberal answer is "Heating costs are too high, so we need to provide subsidies to the poor." A progressive answer is "Heating costs are too high, so we need to reduce the ability of the energy companies to rip the public off."

As an extension of that, IMO, progressives see the world in larger terms than just government and politics. For instance, supporting models of business that are more inclusive in terms of worker/owner structures and management.

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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. "ripping off the public"
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 04:17 PM by welshTerrier2
Sirota did not address this in his article but i think this issue cuts far beyond the economic interests of the American public ... i think it extends to the core ideals of our democracy ...

economic justice and fair play is certainly worthy of Sirota's focus ... but ultimately, what sits at the core of this issue, is that our elected officials have become complicit in sustaining the status quo ... corporations, using their money, their power and their army of lobbyists, hold way to much power in the halls of our government ...

rather than representing the best interests of the American people and the bests interests of the country, our government has enabled our democratic institutions to become infested with "special interests" ... they have long ago forgotten that the only truly "special interest" is the best interest of the American people ...

and this extends to foreign policy as well ... we send our military all over the globe at enormous cost in lives, money and national prestige to procure and protect commercial oil interests ... perhaps one could argue that such commerce is valuable to Americans ... but the motivations for such activity are commercial at their root and this should not be the function of government ...
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. He did address it in less colorful terms...
From OP: "To put it in more concrete terms - a liberal solution to some of our current problems with high energy costs would be to increase funding for programs like the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). A more "progressive" solution would be to increase LIHEAP but also crack down on price gouging and pass laws better-regulating the oil industry's profiteering and market manipulation tactics."

That's what I meant.

Charity is a great thing. But a better thing is to have a society that does not require charity......Obviously that's an unattainable ideal, but the goal should be to move in that direction, rather than accepting the abuses heaped on the public by the status quo.
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. "he did address 'it'"
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 04:53 PM by welshTerrier2
the "it" i was trying to address was in this statement i made:

corporations, using their money, their power and their army of lobbyists, hold way to much power in the halls of our government ..."

as you described in other terms in your earlier post, there's a difference between 'addressing' the symptoms and curing the disease ...

i think the disease is the corruption of our government and it's failure to make the American people their highest priority ... Obama's call for to "pass laws better-regulating the oil industry's profiteering and market manipulation tactics" is a great idea but fails to address the ultimate cause of the disease itself ...

in that context, i don't think, colorful language or otherwise, that he "addressed it" ...
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. I think the difference is one of degree or interpretation
Setting aside the specifics of his specific proposal, Obmaa proposal is somewhere between what would be considered "liberal" and what would be considered truly "progressive."

I suppose the step beyond more regulation would be for the government to actively replace the oil companies -- or at least be an alternative that drives the market which they would have to follow.

The possibility or merits of wholesale change like that is open to interpretation and debate.

But in the general context of your original question, I think the fact that government has been so corrupted is at the heart of all of these positions. The difference is in the way they look at how to correct that.

Liberals would say that regulation and some initiatives aresufficient. Someone who might be called liberal/progressive would advocate for a more assertive role in protecting the public interest, while a progressive who is further to the left might see some variation of socialistic action as the answer.

But then the labelling starts to get complicated. However, I believe all shades would acknowledge that the basic problem similar.

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AlGore-08.com Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
3. Interesting, seems to be a way to reframe/defuse the DLC wars
By casting the difference not as "Progressive" vs. "Moderate/DLCer" but "Progressive" vs. "Liberal" - - which makes it easier to find common ground. Also, focusing on economic issues, rather than social issues (choice, gay rights, the war), aids finding common ground.

That to one side, his points about "using government power to make large institutions play by a set of rules" are excellent...
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BL611 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
4. Back in the 40's and 50's
"liberal" was equated with the new deal and anti-communism most notably with the ADA, "progressives" were though of as closet communists or fellow travelers of communists, funny which one the Republicans went after...
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. small and medium sized businesses
republicans have done far too well convincing little mom and pop, and medium sized business, operations that Democrats will push policies that will hurt them ...

Democrats can talk about supporting "capitalism" and supporting programs and laws that will help stimulate these businesses ... they need to differentiate between commerce that benefits the country (jobs, services, innovation) and commerce that has so much power due to wealth and size that it hurts the country (anti-environmental lobbying, dangerous pharmaceuticals, price gouging, exporting jobs, etc) ...

that's the argument the Democratic Party has failed to win for more than 25 years ... it's killing us ... we don't need to be socialists and communists just because we want our largest corporations to stop abusing the American people ...

we cannot allow the unrestrained push for profits to corrupt our government's primary responsibility to act in the best interests of the country and its citizens ... fear of negative political labels should not make our Party hesitate to fight for economic justice ...
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. They have also done a great job convincing people that everybody
will become a millionaire someday and that voting Democrat will hurt them in this eventuality.
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:18 PM
Response to Original message
6. Dou you have a link for Obama's proposal.
The link in Sirota's editorial does not work.

For the rest, I agree with Sirota on that and I wished the Democrats become a little less afraid at the idea of making big companies do what is right.

But what do we do of those Democrats that are not even liberal. (I wonder how many democrats are going to vote against Kennedy's amendment for an increase of minimal wages or for Enzi's version of it).
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. try this ...
this was the best link i could find on the subject:
http://obama.senate.gov/press/050921-obama_praises_us_a...
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. So he proposes that the government pays to help the car industry
do what good management should have them do 20 years ago: invest in new technologies?

Put a tax on SUV and they will rush producing these low-energy cars. For the rest, I am all for a national health insurance. This is the only thing that will help bring this country to a decent level of healthcare for all.

I definitively agree with Sirota.
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. what frustrates me, and i think the Party's "left" ...
the more unstable the Middle East becomes, the more money big oil makes ... it really is that simple ... the price of an oil barrel goes up due to regional instability and profits for big oil rise ...

Democrats have supported things like CAFE standards and windfall profits taxes ... but overall, as a core theme, as initiators of a national dialog, and as fighters for economic justice, they just are not getting the job done ...

when "the left" accuses the Democratic Party (e.g. Clinton, Kerry, Clark, Bayh, Warner, Dean and others) as being "corporatists", i suspect this is a major underlying reason why ... the Party seemed to take a stand when Katrina-related price gouging was the issue ... sticker shock at the gas pumps was an easy political target ...

but corporate excesses, including an imperialistic foreign policy for corporate benefit, need to be battled against ... we cannot sit around and comment only on the most visible abuses like gas prices ... we need to go much further and talk about how these corporate excesses have infiltrated our political institutions and corrupt our government processes ... the "anything for a buck" crowd has a strangehold on Washington ... there will be real political risks for taking on these powerful, anti-American forces ... but if we don't, the status quo of corruption and "profits before people" will never change ...

bold leadership and telling the American people the truth is what is called for ... if Democrats play it safe, they are turning a blind eye to the economic injustices and truly deserve the "corporatist" label some ascribe to them ... in the end, the mission should be to further the best interests of the American people ... that's the winning ticket even if there are short-term risks ... in the end, the best policies make the best politics ...

i, for one, would rather lose fighting for justice than win just to win ...
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. You got it
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 04:54 PM by Armstead
I consider myself a moderate, but in the present climate I'd be tagged as "left."

I am so pissed off with the Denmocratic Party establishment because they have ignored so many things that defy common sense.

One glaring example is mergermania. Over the last 30 years most industries have gone from at least having aenough of a mix of competators of differinhg sizes to be described as a competative free enterprise system into a monopolistic mess.

Over the last 30 years, the American economy has been distorted by mergers and acquisitions into an oligarchy in which most industries have been winnowed to a few giga-big corporate monsters.

That's bad. It shouldn't have been allowed to happen, and the Establishment Democrats should be ashamed of themselves for not standing up against it....They continue to ignore it now, even though it still is going on.

(I am excluding those Democrats who have fought the good fight on that front. But they should have been the position of the Democratic Party, instead of being treated as a minority wing.)

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Adelante Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
16. Maybe you can explain
This is somewhat off-topic, from a different article, but it has me confused. Do you understand how Sirota could have drawn this conclusion about Hillary Clinton and progressives? I don't see it.

October 17, 2005
Partisan War Syndrome
The left falls victim to a debilitating affliction
By David Sirota

-snip-

But then, even an issue as critical as Iraq can be subverted by the hallucinations that come from Partisan War Syndrome. As just one example, take progressives constant genuflecting anytime Sen. Hillary Clintons (D-N.Y.) name is mentioned. She is forever portrayed as a champion of the left, with everyone whos anyone in politics assuming that she will have rock-solid support from the Democratic base despite her loud and continuing support for the Iraq War, and rather quiet Senate record on other progressive issues. The assumption speaks volumes about a base with an ideology so afflicted by a haze of hallucination that it believes the best politics even in such a polarized environment are those that avoid contrast.

-more-

http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2354 /

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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. IMO Hillary is a chameleon
I've heard her make some speeches that sounded very progressive and kick-ass right on.

But aty other times her positions and actions could have come from a moderate Republican.

Her stance is like a cloud, constantly morphing. One day a champion of the people speaking like a liberal Democrat. Then a corporate politician who says that everything would be swell, if we could only put Democrats in charge of the same machine.

That's what is both her poltical strength -- but also why she is so damn frustrating.
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Adelante Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Do you think this is true?
"progressives constant genuflecting anytime Sen. Hillary Clintons (D-N.Y.) name is mentioned."

I don't see it.
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. No, I think that part is exagerated
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 05:42 PM by Armstead
Some do though.

Some have the opposite reaction.

I think his point, though, is that we look less at what a person actually stands for and advocates than how they areplaced in the overall political map.

He used Hillary as an example of a politician who sometinmes stands against what many progressives stand for, but who is accepted as a "frontrunner" because she is called a liberal or progressive Democrat.

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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #19
27. i do see it ...
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 07:32 PM by welshTerrier2
i think many who don't follow the issues as closely as many here do believe Hillary is a progressive or liberal ... and i don't think most make any distinction between the terms ...

in fact, i doubt many could tell you anything about Hillary other than how she wears her hair ... and that's true for many who think themselves progressives or liberals or whatever ... there's no there there ...

i hear things like "it would be great to have a woman candidate who's so liberal" ... i ask: "why do you think she's 'so liberal'" ... 99% have no answer but they still see themselves as progressives or liberals ...
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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:24 PM
Response to Original message
17. I think it's still semantics.
I've heard GOPers claim to be progressive. Until Sirota is universally proclaimed the definer or until his definition is universally adopted. The best possibility might be as you suggest to make it a plank so that at least we Dems could point to a common message.
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. I disagree -- although the terms get used in diffeent ways
There are conservatives who call themselves progressives, and the corporate culture uses it too.

But the underlying question is important in both general and specific terms. We have to acknowledge the difference and understand what it's based on if we are ever to figure out how to unify.
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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. So, what do you disagree with? N/T
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #24
31. I disagree with your dismissing it as mere semantics
I don;t think Sirota or anyone should be the arbotor to define what is Officially Progressive.

But I do think he did a good job of spelling out the basic differences.

There really shouldn't be a difference between a moderate, liberal and a progressive, except perhaps in degree. If that were the case then this would be a linguistic excersize.

However there are some basic differences. There really is a distinction to be made between dealing with symptoms and root causes.

Energy, for example, should not be cast in terms of "aiding the poor." Instead it should be cast as keeping energy affordable for everyone and preventing profiteering.

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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. the jargon is unimportant; the difference in philosopy is not
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 05:51 PM by welshTerrier2
it's immaterial whether we want to toss around terms like liberal or progressive ... they're just words ...

what is important though are the differing views in the Party and whether we do or don't address them ...

i think all would agree that corporations in America wield a huge amount of influence over both domestic and foreign policy ... on the right, some might see that as a good thing to stimulate the business climate ...

but in the Democratic Party's "big tent", i think we are not so monolithic ... and i think our differences and our inability to address them have led to problems for us ...

"traditional liberals", and again, the term used to define the view is unimportant, focus on repairing the damage to our weakest and poorest citizens with some form of subsidy ... federal programs provide housing or medical coverage or heating oil "welfare" ...

but others, while supporting these programs, place much greater emphasis on the inequities that exist in our economic systems and our institutions ... rather than just "repairing the victims", they seek to restrain those at fault for causing the inequities by unfair practices ...

you might think of the distinction as one of differentiating between the results of inequity versus the causes ...

"the left" sees a system of government being in bed with mega-corporations ... they see a government that has been sold to the highest bidder ... they see a government that puts "special interests" ahead of the interests of the country ... they see "traditional liberals" as enablers for this system of corruption ... they label them "corporatists" ... and they see the crime of these corporatists as tolerating the abuses of mega-corporations and merely putting bandaids on the damage they do by handing out a few bucks to those who are the most explicit victims ..

the "traditional liberals", at least in Sirota's article, perhaps would see the "left" as socialists who are opposed to good old American capitalism ... they acknowledge that capitalism sometimes does not provide a "minimal safety net" for every citizen and are willing to take some minimal remedial action to raise up the weakest and the poor ... historically though, they have not been willing to tackle that which is a systemic cause of these societal problems in the first place ...

again, the terms and the jargon are unimportant ... but we, as Democrats, must urge our Party leaders to address this divide ... it's very real and it leads to disunity ... we have all watched the republican controlled Congress cater to the whims of mega-corporations ... we've seen Big Pharma cheat their way to a win on the Medicare bill; we've seen rollbacks of important environmental safeguards and we've seen the damaging control of Big Oil as they demanded a war for oil in the Middle East ...

Democrats are at a cross-roads right now ... they have been disturbingly quiet ... they have not spoken to their own constituents to make these mega-issues a part of our Party's internal dialog ... instead, they tweak and calculate like political mechanics that think a good political strategy will trump good policy for the country ...

things have to change if the country is to survive and if the Democrats hope to regain their majority status ... until we put good policy and economic justice as a higher priority than perceived political pragmatism, both are unlikely to occur ...
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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Maybe I don't know what I am.
I am a liberal and I do believe we should right wrongs. I have always been a firm believer in equal opportunity. Help can only get a person so far, opportunity gives them a chance to use help and move themselves forward. Such things as affirmative action are used to make sure the help and opportunity are directed to those who have been victimized by circumstance. I still question how or why Sirota is the one to define these terms.
What I see lacking is leadership. We need someone who is willing to speak to these issues without fear. I think there are a few that meet this standard. The larger problem, I think, is the lack of a forum for this speech along with a lack of interest by a majority of Americans. The GOP has the media and the churches. In the churches they have a weekly audience who are already motivated and need re-enforcement less than convincing. I think a lot of Dem pols see the success of the GOP and only try to mimic it. Look at the admiration for Clinton. He was really a centrist and had a life history of pragmatism.
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. "lack of a forum for this speech"
man does that hit the nail on the head ... that's one of my favorite issues ... i really think the country, and also the Democratic Party, needs a major infusion of democracy ... it's bad enough that so many of our citizens are turned off and don't vote or participate in the process ... but it's really bad when institutions like our political parties don't give them adequate forums to express and exchange their ideas ...

as for some of your other points, i don't think Sirota is "the one to define these terms" ... he's providing his opinion on how different people in the Party view the issue of corporate power and its effect on our citizens ... i think he's done a great service raising this important issue; it doesn't mean anyone has to agree with him ... he claimed no such authority ...

i think, from what you wrote, that Sirota would classify you according to his definition of a "liberal" ... you focused your remarks primarily on "those who have been 'victimized by circumstance'" ... those Sirota would label "progressives" would agree with your views but would take it the next step ... they would also want to focus on who was doing the "victimizing" and they would call for changes that would make it harder for the "victimizers" to do what they've been doing ...

where you seemed, if i understood you correctly, to focus on the results of victimization, Sirota would argue that progressives would also focus on the causes of victimization and on punishing or restraining the victimizers in some way ... again, the terms are completely unimportant ... where you put your focus is what this discussion is all about ...
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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. The "victimizers" are the hardest target.
They own the media. They own 99% of the GOP. They own over 50% of the Dem power structure. They are Shrub's base the haves and the have mores. I am overwhelmed by the fact people can see him say that and feel that they are represented by the GOP. Wallmart is one of the best examples. They are looked on as a success story and even local pols of al flavors fall over themselves to open a store in there domain. Attacking Wallmart in many locales is like tearing a picture of the pope in half.
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. amazing, isn't it ???
what kills me is how many people get suckered into believing that the GOP is serving even their selfish economic interests ... why can't more people see that powerful, greedy corporations and their largest shareholders are manipulating our government to serve themselves?

and this can't continue much longer, either ... with massive deficits and a lack of economic planning, it's only a matter of time until the "recovery bandaids" become unable to cover the wounds that have been inflicted ...

I keep trying to encourage Democrats to respond to this urgent call ... our country is in desperate shape ... the times call for bold, heroic measures and as you've said, real leadership ... some think i'm attacking Democrats when i criticize them for not showing some political courage and taking on the entrenched corporate powers ... i'm not attacking them; i'm trying to wake them up ... we NEED their help ...

and i understand your views on people and their naive love for Walmart ... it's really sick ... a recent cartoon video I saw showed how today's Walmart customers will become tomorrow's Walmart floor sweepers ... American's aren't stupid; they just haven't been told the truth about the risks that face our economy ... if they understood the impact of their actions, perhaps they would make different choices ... it's our job as political activists to teach our elected leaders and the American people about the risks we face as a country and what changes in policy are needed to make things better ...
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:05 PM
Response to Original message
25. The term "liberal" has been demonized; many "progressives" help this
Liberals aren't necessarily tax and spend believers in big government, they're those who accept the need to correct wrongs in society and find a way for all to be included in the process. Doing so lessens personal crisis and has us all pulling with the same stroke.

I say this again: most of you who distance yourself from the term "liberal" are cowards who've been successfully bullied by the assholes of the right, and you justify this by many excuses. For the forces of greed and selfishness to terrorize decent people from accepting a morally good and politically effective label of "liberal" shows the weakness of the cowed. You're the weakest of the weak.

This is even worse when dealing with the term "class warfare"; that should be met on the field of battle and crammed down the throat of the oligarchic scum that THEY'RE fighting class warfare. John Edwards is right and was right back in 2001: there is a concerted effort to shift the tax burden away from wealth and onto work. Those with money are gods, and those who work for a living should sacrifice to them on a daily basis; those who believe in this want only wages to be taxed.

Regardless of whatever excuses people use to justify identifying with the term "progressive" over "liberal", they are mostly defeated and spineless suckers who tacitly admit that they're failures. The right laughs at you, and you give them endless ammunition with every excuse and evasion.

It's tiresome and disgusting.

Take it from a Liberal, dammit.
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #25
32. I think you may be interpreting terms differently
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 11:23 PM by Armstead
Progressive is sometimes used as a cop-out form of conservatism, or as a term to avoid the "liberal" label.

That's a frequent cause of confusion, because the term gets used in many different ways.

But I think in terms Sirota is using, progressives are what might be called "ultra liberals" or "left progressives" in another context. The kind of progressive I think he is referring is contrasted to liberalism in a "more so" sense.

I proudly consider myself a liberal. But I also consider myself to be a progressive, because I don't think mainstream liberalism goes far enough today to acknowledge and deal with the root causes of economic/social problems.

This is from the article above:

"Let's be clear - most progressives are also liberals, and liberal goals in better funding America's social safety net are noble and critical. It's the other direction that's the problem. Many of today's liberals are not fully comfortable with progressivism as defined in these terms. Many of today's Democratic politicians, for instance, are simply not comfortable taking a more confrontational posture towards large economic institutions (many of whom fund their campaigns) - institutions that regularly take a confrontational posture towards America's middle-class."
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
29. Hey...so far...whatever Sirota says this Democrat stands up and calls
:patriot:

Too tired tonight to get into what you say...but, it's because I agree with what you say...and don't need to add to it. :-)'s
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sadiesworld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 08:07 AM
Response to Original message
33. kickeroo
:kick:
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