April 23, 2012
Where's the plan?
I can't recall when the word "liberal" became, in essence, a four-letter word, but it happened and we who call ourselves "progressive" are a bit timid when using the liberal label. Fox News loves to use the word because it sends a message without the need for a lengthy explanation. Some fought back: I recall one button saying "I am a proud L," but it was not much of a fight.
There was a deliberate plan by the right to condemn "liberal" to the ashcan of history. Right-wingers told the nation that liberal meant "tax and spend," it meant "big government," it "opposed small business" and "religion" and went to the back of the bus. The same people who altered the meaning of liberal changed the name of the Democratic Party to "Democrat" Party. No Republican worth his salt calls it the Democratic Party--no siree, it is the Democrat Party.
And there is "right to life" (who could oppose the right to life?). There is "Right to work." Again, who could oppose a right to work? They are clever. When ALEC was exposed, the sponsors did not cower in the corner. They came out slugging. The "liberals are jealous" that ALEC exists at all! The message was hey, it is a free country, if you want a liberal ALEC build one! (Wisconsin has COWS, but most states don't.)
I must admit that there is some truth to the rejoinder.
Once upon a time, the Democratic Party and liberal professors set the agenda. University professors did the research, created the social compact, passed unemployment comp, Medicare, Medicaid, workers' comp, and on and on. Liberals made life possible for migrant workers, created Pell grants, but that was then and this is now.
Today, a more timid Democratic Party tends to linger in the corners while the music plays. Instead of developing big new plans for the nation or the state, the party leaders play the game of "Find the Dollar." In this game, Democrats speak of social justice while searching for the campaign dollars with an out-stretched palm. They are incredibly asking the enemies of social and economic justice to fund campaigns for people who will expand the social compact. They call on Wall Street for help and even to the Chamber of Commerce. Why in the world would GE fund a progressive Democrat?
Democrats seem afraid of being labeled radical environmentalists so they talk about "Cap and Trade" and get behind the huge XL pipeline while the climate warms up and we face a disaster in the world as sea levels rise.
Lots of liberals argue that if our side had more money we cold compete. Well, unions spend a lot of money and the grass roots do as well, but most of it goes to the owners of TV stations and printers. When the election is over it is a return to normal instead of building a serious ALEC on the Left. Often it is back to the same ol' same ol'.
Where are the big plans?
Citizens United is reality. Yes, we must fight to reverse it, but in the meantime we need to build a house that will withstand some inclement weather.
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There is ALICE (American Legislative and Issue Campaign Exchange) the left's answer to ALEC. It has been around since 2004. The founder of COWS also began ALICE.
The subject of ALICE came up yesterday at a meeting Mike McCabe was speaking at in Wausau. The question was should the left or progressive side have a similar "bill mill" in operation. His answer was no. He based that answer on information at the kids.gov site which says in so many words on laws are to be created from the people the legislators are elected to represent.
Makes sense to me.
-Codyworks | Rhinelander, WI | April 23, 2012
-nonheroicvet | Disgusted, WI | April 23, 2012
Never did like "liberal" or "conservative." Both are overused. Prefer "tolerant" and "intolerant" for this seems to be the case.
-Pietr Haikuu | Hurley, Wisc. | April 23, 2012
Tolerant and intolerant? Now thats hilarious. You obviously don't read this blog or the comments here. The sand hill crane hunt comments are just full of tolerance and non stereotypical comments about hunters. Some real lefty tolerance in that one.
-VJJ | Wi | April 23, 2012
The two biggest problems with the Dummycraps is that their message in response to the GOP seems to be "me too, just less so" and they cannot shed the myopia of interest group politics and develop a message and narrative that appeals to the whole.
Dealing with gay issues, race issues, this issue, that issue is fine but you need stuff that will also grab the old base of the party, the Reagan Democrats. Going half Republican and saying "me too, etc. etc." won't do it. They are voting for real Republicans now.
The party often seems to be a caucus of caucuses but has no real image left except that of being out of touch, too smart for its own good, and being condescending to those who do not agree. If people have an alternate opinion they are stupid. Look at the egg head in chief. President Professor talking about people clinging to their guns etc. Your latest batch of anti-hunting responses on this site is a perfect case in point. I know lots of hunters and fishermen who vote Democrat but they are really sick of the arrogant jerks jumping down their throats.
Of course as long as the WisDems are run by the professor class and the political consultant experts who have never been on the ballot themselves don't expect things to get any better.
Admit it. The GOP may be wrong on policy but they sure as hell beat the pants off of Dummycraps on consistent message and the ability to win. To paraphrase Ayn Rand. In any argument, no matter which side is right, it is the most consistent side which will eventually win.
-Griebnotz Doerkpfester | (Glad) I Escaped, WI. | April 24, 2012