Friday, June 30, 2006

Progressive Update--06/30/2006

A friend shared an article by Boston College political science professor Alan Wolfe in Washington Monthly, titled “Why Conservatives Can’t Govern” which can be found at The Cliffs Notes version notes that conservatives don’t believe in government, but worry about what government led by liberals would achieve, and so are committed to leading (and destroying) government. Wolfe cites 3 obvious examples of current conservatives’ hallmarks of breaking government: FEMA, Medicare, and Iraq. In each case it is hard to fathom how the mission could be f***ed up more than by this Administration. He notes that conservatives have been in the awkward position of leading institutions whose very existence they feel are illegitimate, and this is clearly a recipe for disaster.

Wolfe goes further to say that when liberals lead government, while they enjoy the fruits of power, they also try to use government to solve problems. Conservatives work to ‘build a political machine in which business and the Republican Party can exchange mutual favors; business will lavish cash on politicians (called campaign contributions) while politicians will throw the money back at business (called public policy).


On Saturday, July 29th, we will have 100 days before the November 7th election. I am hosting a Democrat Reunion, and I would welcome you to attend. I am hopeful that several candidates will stop by. Please RSVP at . (If you don’t live near Newark, you can use the site to find an event near you.) I need everyone who plans to attend to RSVP, so the state Democratic Party can prepare a personalized packet for each attendee. It will include information that you can use to contact 100 households, 33 in person, 33 by phone, and 33 by mail (with the hundredth thrown in somewhere). My Reunion will be held from 1-2pm on Saturday July 29th at Barksdale (Handloff) Park. You will be able to take your list and begin to contact voters that day and in the days ahead, going door-to-door in your own neighborhood, making calls, and writing notes. This is a national event, and it requires your help. It’s time to step up to the plate and help get the country back on track. Please sign up!

Liberals typically talk, write, read, and act freely, but give hesitantly. Campaigns require money, for mailings, signs, ads, and staffing. Please find one or more campaigns that matter to you, and give not only your time but also your money to help the campaign succeed. My last posting, from late May, included emails and websites for many Delaware races. I won’t repeat them here, however you can find them at my blog You can of course also give to the national or state Democratic Party (or to political action committees such as MoveOn.

In the coming weeks I will obtain training and materials for letter writing to voters in Southeastern PA, to help the campaigns of two US Representatives and one US Senator candidates. When I know more I will pass it on.

I will also be looking for opportunities to go door-to-door in Chester County, again to help those same candidates. Again, when I know more I will pass it on.

If you live in Delaware, you can contact Kristin Dwyer ( at the state Democratic Party headquarters, to find out how you can help Democrats in Delaware. She is very helpful


If you are like me, and occasionally flustered by the constant barrage of Conservative-Speak (war-on-terror, cut-and-run, etc), I encourage you to occasionally go to which offers constructive, frames to use. I like the ‘stay and pay’ alternative to ‘cut and run’. They suggest focusing on the Waste in Iraq, an invasion which is horribly planned and executed by the Administration, and a tremendous Waste of our country’s assets (financial and human). The State Department in mid-2001 created a map of countries with active Al Quaeda activity. Guess which country wasn’t on the map—Iraq. We don’t have a War in Iraq, we have a Waste in Iraq. If the President and Congress cared about our soldiers, they would develop a strategy of intelligently deploying them.

I also like the rejection of the frame ‘war on terror’. Jeffrey Feldman (FrameShop author) celebrated Senator Russ Feingold noting that Presidents see themselves as protecting the Constitution, while Rulers see The Constitution as a challenge to their authority. That’s powerful. Yesterday the Supreme Court affirmed that the President, even in the time of a so-called-war, is not above the Constitution.

Let’s work on a simple campaign cry for November. How about: “Republicans, You Failed Us: in Iraq, with Katrina, and with Medicare—Step Aside!”

Keep the faith, and we will be able to make some strong progress this fall, with your help!