Tuesday, July 13, 2010


There have been voices of reason calling for an alternative coalition to the regressive Tea Party movement for months now. Something that better represents the thinking, more intellectual progressive majority in our electorate. Sure we've seen smaller groups forming and working on specific issues but they act as fractured as the Conservatives once were. That may change as we head into the election season.

The Washington Post has an article focused on just this effort: In an effort to replicate the tea party's success, 170 liberal and civil rights groups are forming a coalition that they hope will match the movement's political energy and influence. They promise to "counter the tea party narrative" and help the progressive movement find its voice again after 18 months of foundering.

Even the newly formed Coffee Party, with it's desire to engage voters on serious issues without the divisive undertones, have found it hard to work on issues alone. The history of "sibling rivalry" as noted in the article, is well documented and has stalled much of the needed influence in legislation for decades. The "One Nation Coalition" might serve as the adult in the room that sits all the groups down and forces them to work together.

Traditionally, minorities and young voters all but disappear during midterm elections. This is when the WASPs among us have the most impact on general elections. We all know this. Those who wish to keep the country moving in a progressive direction cringe at the thought, while those who pine for the good ol' days of Hula Hoops & Davy Crockett, march to the polls in droves.

What most of us have come to terms with is the idea that the general public, thinks the new President, regardless of which party affiliation, is expected to fix the wrongs of the previous administration during the early years of their first term. Those of us who pay attention, know it takes longer than that depending on what you perceive as wrongs. The party opposite of the President is expected to use that electorate lethargic reaction to it's benefit. For this, I cant blame the Republicans; they are doing a great job heading into November.

What helps them is the sad reality that the jobless rate is 15.4 percent for blacks and 12.4 percent for Hispanics, compared with 8.6 percent for whites.Those who supported Obama the strongest are also the voting base hit the hardest during the very disaster that he inherited. My Republican friends know this and admit, it's just what they need to get at least one of the houses back this fall.

The Post also printed: Liberal leaders see "much of the progressive agenda at risk in this election," said Paul Starr, a professor of public affairs at Princeton University and co-editor of the American Prospect. "There is no choice but for these groups to get together. The historical pattern is that voter turnout falls disproportionately among minorities and young people at these midterm elections, so they are fighting a historical trend."

The effort has a historical parallel in a story that Obama has told on the campaign trail. According to the story, when labor organizer and civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph met with President Franklin D. Roosevelt to press his issues, Roosevelt told Randolph that he agreed with him, but that Randolph should "go out and make me do it."

Lets see if this "One Nation" effort has the impact that they think it will.


Anonymous said...

There are a lot of progressive groups, and I'm on board with a number of them. However, I can see that if they consolidated they would be a more powerful voice for change. Things are too scattered right now. N

Anonymous said...

Lord, politicians act like children. What one party has or does, the other party has to have something better. Both sides do it and it is amazing the amount of energy they waste on it.

Anonymous said...

Hey, "wasps" are the ones that reject theocracy, remember? The founding fathers? The root of protestantism is the rejection of church rule. A little reminder daily to these tea party theocrats is long overdue. Self imposed subordination to gypsy ritualism is the root of the problem here.

Anonymous said...

Tea-baggers and wasps are about as far apart as you can be. Most wasps only see the church at birth, wedding, and death(if at all). These right-wingers are mostly evangelicals and catholics. Neither qualify for the wasp label.

Anonymous said...

Tea party versus progressives--opposing groups fighting, spreading hatred, disgust, and more hatred---wasting time and energy.

In the meanwhile, nothing gets accomplished, no solutions to problems, no intelligent debate, no rationality--just hatred and disgust. Why work together when we can fight?

No wonder the country and society is in a steep decline. Kingston is only a microcosm of what is happening around the nation.

Nice to see intelligent and mature comments here...NOT. Just animosity and the prevalent "we versus they" attitude.

...and I thought we were all Americans.

Anonymous said...

2:47, yes we are all Americans, but the narrative in the press has been from one vocal minority that would like to go back to the Reagan era. It's a vastly different world from when we were just dealing with the Cold War and a well defined enemy.

The voices of progress have been drowned out by those who long for the days of "separate but equal" not "hula hoops" as Mike said. I'd like to think this country has matured since then...maybe not.

Anonymous said...

"We versus they" ?? Time for some remedial english classes.

Anonymous said...

It'll be one nation when we remove the "under god" from it. It's the catholics that started this last round of segregationism. McCarthy is a hero to these looney right-wing thumpers. As long as we allow this giant hole in our constitution, we'll never be united.

Anonymous said...

3:18 pm:

Yes, you are right. I was fairly tired when I wrote my post. If you are sitting at a computer in the middle of the afternoon, sharpshooting people's posts, you need to get a life.

Let me resort to a fine old Anglo-Saxon phrase which everyone seems to understand regardless of their mastery of the English language--"go screw yourself."

Anonymous said...

I agree 2:36, there is nothing more annoying that the grammar police on the blogs. Get a life