Democrats may control the White House and both houses of Congress, but
how are liberals doing? According to liberal pundits, American liberals
-- meaning both the leftward wing of the Democratic party and the self-identified 20 percent of Americans
-- aren't effective enough in U.S. politics. Why?
- Liberalism Is Dead For the cover story of Harper's, Kevin Baker announces
that, by the end of President Obama's first year, "No other president
in our history has so thoroughly spurned his political base in so short
a time." Accusing Obama of serving conservative generals and bankers
over the liberals who elected him, Baker dismisses the
counter-arguments that "Republican obstructionism" or "an essentially
conservative nation" are to blame. Long-besieged liberals have given in
to "the state known as learned helplessness," he says, and have not
been pushing Obama hard enough. This "hapless fatalism" has crippled
liberalism as we know it, which must be rebuilt:
There is no
longer any meaningful reformist impulse left in our politics. The idea
of modern American liberalism has vanished among our elite, and simply
voting for one man or supporting one of the two major parties will not
restore it. The work will have to be done from the ground up, and it
will have to be done by us.
- Libs Have to Learn Negotiation Liberal blogger Matthew Yglesias explains
that liberals can't credibly negotiate on, say, health care reform,
because everyone knows that reform is "something progressives really
want to do." However, wavering moderates can credibly negotiate because
everyone believes they're willing to walk away. Yglesias says liberals
should find issues for which "the tables are turned and progressives
may be willing to go along but centrists are the eager ones." This would finally give them some negotiating power with centrists, who have proven more skillful.
- Libs Don't Push Obama--Just Pretend Liberal blogger Chris Bowers asks,
"Why do conservative Democrats hold more sway over the party's policy
than progressives?" Bowers says Congressional liberals come from areas
that are highly enamored with President Obama, so they expect their
representative to support the president. The White House sees every
liberal attempt at pressuring Obama as a bluff, and so far they've been
proven absolutely right.
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