Progressive Democrat Newsletter 277
Interestingly, when Clinton was President and Republicans took the House the stock markets went up worldwide on the assumption that gridlock will be good for corporations. This year when Obama is President and the Republicans took the House the stock markets went down worldwide. MAYBE investors are starting to realize how bad Republicans are for the economy.
One VERY key thing to note is this: 94% of the Progressive Caucus won re-election, compared to only 47% of the Blue Dogs. That should be a clear lesson for us and our politicians.
I already began putting together my first post-election newsletter before the election had even happened because win or lose or draw, it is clear what we must do. This newsletter began in 2004, right after Bush, one of the worst Presidents in American history, won re-election, condemning our country to four more years of lies and mismanagement. I knew in 2004 that it would take organizing, hard work and careful planning to reverse the damage the Republicans were inflicting on our country. So I started right after the election in 2004, as did many activists in groups like Wellstone Action, Progressive Magority, Democracy for America, etc. and the hard work we starting in 2004 in the aftermath of a lost election paid off in 2006 and 2008. Paid off big time.
Almost everyone expected 2010 to be a backlash year. It is the exact same pattern as in Clinton's first two years. The attempts to push a bold agenda by a fresh, eager President with a clear mandage stymied by obstructionist Republicans and timid Congressional Democrats leading to too little change too slowly and a lingering Republican/Bush recession. Two years later Clinton, a bit more timid in his programs but also more savvy, turned things around and won re-election easily as the economy turned around.
Obama had almost no chance to turn the economy around in two years after the huge mess Bush left. I knew that the moment Obama won and I strongly suspect Obama knew it too. He also, like Clinton, was hindered by obstructionist Republicans and timid Congressional Democrats. He knew 2010 was going to be a loss and now he has two more years to turn the economy around. Also, unlike Democrats who always seem to be able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, Republicans began planning in November 2008 how to win in 2010. This election shows the fruits of such planning just as 2006 and 2008 showed the fruits of progressive planning begun in 2004. Now you and I have to start NOW to plan for 2011 and 2012 if we want to push the Republicans back.
About that "Tea Party." No...they weren't anything special this year. They merely were the same Republican branding that Gingrich did in 1996 funded by largely the same big business interests. They were slightly less successful than Gingrich. But they were no different and offered NOTHING new to America, merely the same old warmed over and failed trickle down policies that Republicans have been offering since Harding, Coolidge and Hoover. The teabaggers (their term, not mine!) didn't do all that well, and really represented nothing but another branch of the Bush Republicans. If anyone tells you they are somehow different, don't buy it. The same money funded Bush's run for office as funded the teabaggers and the same big business, multi-national CEO interests were represented by both Bush and the teabaggers.
I focus this week on some interesting perspectives on what the Republican wins mean for real Americans, particularly on Americans whose voices are not always heard.
In the lead up to the election I have been focusing on a nearly 50-state strategy pushing, in collaboration with groups like TheBallot.org, INDN List, Progressive Majority, VoteVets.org, etc., for particularly good candidates and highlighting local slates in as many states as I could. In many ways I have been surprised where my highest impacts have been.
The area where I got the most hits were the Tampa, Florida area, particularly April Griffin's race for school board (April won!!). I seem to be one of the main sources of info for people for that race. You're welcome April! (Not sure she needed my help, but I was glad to help!)
I also got many hits for my coverage of the California Propositions (we successfully defeated Prop 23...other results not as good overall) and for my coverage of candidates in the Silicon Valley (Jerry McNerney, a wind energy engineer, won!!) and Orange County (Loretta Sanchez, one of my favorite Blue Dogs, won!) areas of California. I also got lots of hits from South Dakota, particularly for my coverage of Bob Pile for School and Public Lands Commissioner (Bob lost but from what I can tell my coverage was about the ONLY coverage he got), and in Arizona (Raul Grijalva seems to have won). I got a huge amount of hits from both Seattle, Washington (Patty Murray won) and Austin, Texas. Some of this seemed to come from a robot in Seattle covering what I wrote about Austin for some strange reason, but some seemed to be Washington State interest in my coverage of Washington State races and Austin interest in my coverage of Austin. The Austin included two school board races that were particularly critical: Judy Jennings and Rebecca Bell-Metereau (sadly both lost meaning American school textbooks will continue to be dominated by right wing, anti-science extremists). I was told that at times my coverage of these two races kept them in the news during down periods, which is bound to have helped. I also got a surprising number of hits from Georgia interested in my coverage of Georgia races. I did see interest in my Nevada, Illinois, Colorado and Pennsylvania coverage, but not as much as these other areas.
I will be looking to see how my endorsements did overall as things unfold. So far, looking only at the higher profile races, my endorsed candidates did better than average for Democrats this year, though sadly we lost some of America's best members of Congress. The extremely intelligent and competent Russ Feingold, Alan Grayson, Bill Foster and Tom Periello all lost and I really want to emphasize that it really is America's loss that these fine gentlemen will no longer be in Congress. For Tom Perriello and Bill Foster in particular there is no real reason for true, honest conservatives to oppose them because they were Blue Dogs. But unlike Blanche Lincoln (who NO ONE will mourn losing) they were smart Blue Dogs who both conservatives and liberals could like. Their losses to right wing extremists are among the worst, and stupidest, losses of this year. Alan Grayson and Russ Feingold were also wonderful members of Congress, but they were more solidly partisan and liberal, so conservatives I suppose would have reason to be happy that they lost. But Perriello and Foster were excellent Congressional Reps by pretty much any standard, liberal or conservative.
My goals for this newsletter now are precisely what they were in 2004: re-energize and organize progressive Democrats for a comeback in the next year, two years, four years. We don't win by giving up. We only win if we keep trying. THAT is how this newsletter started--as a repository of inspiration, ideas and tools to keep trying and to build up towards a win. And that is how this newsletter will continue.
I will now retrench and retool the newsletter. I will cut out some states I focused on during the election but never really had a regular readership or kept up with the content much. Other states I will keep an info page for but only occasionally update. And I will update all the pages where I have a regular readership and possibly even expand with some new pages for those high readership area. We have come a long, LONG way since 2004. Yet history is not just progressive...it is also cyclical. I feel we have come a long way and yet in some ways are right where we were in 2004. Now is our chance to build towards new victories not just against the obstructionist, intolerant, extremist Republicans but also, where necessary and practical, against timid, weak Democrats.
In memory of Paul Wellstone, in honor of Alan Grayson, Tom Perriello and Bill Foster, in honor of Russ Feingold...we will keep fighting. Believe me I will keep fighting for what I know is right.
Finally, I really think it is critical to remind my readers of a book that has been out there for some time that really is REQUIRED reading for ANY Democrat running for office or any Democrat who is pushing a genuine, progressive agenda. That book is The Political Brain by Drew Westen. It is perhaps the BEST analysis of how Americans vote and why, and how Democrats can, by being both honest and passionate, can win elections. Anyone out there either running for office, working on a campaign or writing about Democratic values, READ THIS BOOK!!!
Here is this week's newsletter:
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Latest from Current TV
Welcome your freshman class of climate deniers
Republicans Screw Native Americans
Secretary of State Project: Election 2010 Results
California Focus: Green Power Switch
Orange County, CA Focus
Silicon Valley Area, CA Focus
Los Angeles, CA Focus
San Diego, CA Focus
Southern California Grassroots Alliance
TAKE BACK RED CALIFORNIA
California 11th District Focus: San Joaquin, Alameda and Santa Clara Counties
CALIFORNIA FOCUS: Blogs, Stonewall Democrats, Alternative Energy, Groups and Events
Washington State Focus: Green Power Switch
Seattle/King County, WA Focus
Thurston County, WA Focus
WASHINGTON STATE FOCUS: Blogs, Alternative Energy, Native Vote, Groups and Events
Florida Focus: Green Power Switch
Tampa/Hillsborough County, FL Focus
Orange County, FL Focus
Broward County, FL Focus
Pinellas County, FL Focus
FLORIDA FOCUS: Blogs, Equality, Alternative Energy, Groups and Events
New York Focus: Green Power Switch
Manhattan, NY Focus
Brooklyn, NY Focus
Queens, NY Focus
Bronx, NY Focus
Suffolk County, NY Focus
Rochester, NY Focus
New York 19th District Focus: Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, and Westchester Counties
NEW YORK STATE FOCUS: Blogs, Alternative Energy, Groups and Events
Michigan Focus: Green Power Switch
MICHIGAN FOCUS: Blogs, Food Co-op, Native Vote, Alternative Energy, Groups and Events
Wisconsin Focus: Green Power Switch
WISCONSIN FOCUS: Blogs, Biodiesel, Alternative Energy, Groups and Events
Austin/Travis County, TX Focus
Houston/Harris County, TX Focus
Dallas County, TX Focus
Texas 10th District Focus: Bastrop, Lee, Burleson, Washington, Austin, Harris, Waller Counties
Texas 15th Congressional District Focus: Hidalgo, Brooks, Duval, Live Oak, Bee, Jim Wells, Karnes, DeWitt, Goliad, San Patricio, Refugio Counties
Texas 21st District Focus: Travis, Kerr, Real, Bandera, Kendall, Comal and Blanco Counties
TEXAS FOCUS: Blogs, Alternative Energy, Groups and Events
Nevada Focus: Green Power Switch
Las Vegas, NV Focus
NEVADA FOCUS: Blogs, Progressive Majority, Food Co-op, Alternative Energy, Groups and Events
Colorado Focus: Green Power Switch
Boulder County, CO Focus
Larimer County, CO Focus
Douglas County, CO Focus
COLORADO FOCUS: Blogs, Food Co-ops, Veterans for Peace, Native Vote, NJDC, Alternative Energy, Groups and Events
Pennsylvania Focus: Green Power Switch
Lancaster Co. PA Focus
PENNSYLVANIA FOCUS: Blogs, Alternative Energy, NAACP, Groups and Events
Illinois Focus: Green Power Switch
Cook County, IL Focus
ILLINOIS FOCUS: Blogs, Reform Illinois, Food Co-ops, Alternative Energy, NAACP, Groups and Events
Virginia Focus: Green Power Switch
Charlottesville/Albemarle County, VA Foucus
Stafford County, VA Focus
Hanover County, VA Focus
Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania County, VA Focus
VIRGINIA FOCUS: Blogs, Food Co-ops, Energy and Agriculture, NAACP, Groups and Events
Arizona Focus: Green Power Switch
Maricopa County, AZ Focus
ARIZONA FOCUS: Blogs, Food Co-ops, Alternative Energy, Native Vote, NAACP, NJDC, Groups and Events
Georgia Focus: Green Power Switch
Atlanta, GA Focus
Coweta County, GA Focus
Fayette County, GA Focus
GEORGIA FOCUS: Blogs, Alternative Energy, NAACP, Groups and Events
Minnesota Focus: Green Power Switch
MINNESOTA FOCUS: Blogs, The Minnesota Project, NAACP, Drinking Liberally
New Jersey Focus: Green Power Switch
Passaic County, NJ Focus
Sussex County, NJ Focus
Warren County, NJ Focus
NEW JERSEY FOCUS: Blogs, Food Co-ops, NAACP, NJDC, Alternative Energy, Groups and Events
North Carolina Focus: Green Power Switch
North Carolina Focus: NC-5 District Focus (Stokes County, Statesville, Surrey County, Iredell County, Watauga County, Yadkin County)
NORTH CAROLINA FOCUS: Blogs, Biodiesel, Alternative Energy, NAACP, Veterans for Peace, Groups and Events
Tennessee Focus: Green Power Switch
TENNESSEE FOCUS: Blogs, Groups and Organizations, NAACP, Biodiesel, Food Co-ops
Kansas Focus: Kansas behind in wind power...WHY???
KANSAS FOCUS: Blogs, Biodiesel, NNACP, Food Co-ops, Groups and Events
Iowa Focus: Green Power Switch
IOWA FOCUS: Blogs, Food Co-ops, Alternative Energy, Sustainable Agriculture, Groups and Events
Oklahoma County, OK Focus
South Carolina Progressive Network