The Progressive Platform we are building will be a sort of blueprint that we believe all progressives, especially candidates, should follow. It will be our beliefs as progressives, where we stand on various issues, and in many cases, what we believe needs to be done on those issues.
In the first post, the idea of creating a Progressive Platform was introduced. I had posted links to various political platforms, so everyone could get an idea of what we are trying to accomplish. Then you were asked to vote on what planks we should include in our platform.
This week we will briefly discuss planks for our platform.
I'll have more on this soon, but I saw last night's Oval Office address as a speech aimed primarily at more casual observers who need to know the White House is on top of the BP gusher disaster. I wasn't surprised or disappointed in that sense. At the same time, energy/climate specifics -- and clear leadership -- have got to materialize soon. If last night's speech is meant to stand alone, it's definitely not going to cut it, and the White House is missing a critical opportunity. On the other hand, if last night's speech was the first - step in an ambitious ramp - up, that's a different story. I haven't read anything definitive yet one way or the other, so all I can confidently say is that we've got our work cut out for us either way.
With that said, the backlash to Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow's reaction to the speech from some of the presidents staunchest defenders (on virtually everything) is childish and extremely short - sighted.
Threatening to stop watching Keith Olbermann's show is just silly. What are we, five?
Asserting that Rachel Maddow's criticism means that she may be joining the village is truly strange, and not in any way "reality - based."
Communicating honest differences with Olbermann and Maddow, or anyone else, is great. It's healthy. It's in our DNA as progressives. But it shouldn't be done in a way that goes after them for communicating their honest differences with the Obama Administration. Those who resort to this tactic are only going to intensify the gap in the grassroots/netroots between those who believe the president is falling short of what is necessary, at least in part because of his own decisions, and those who are more apt to claim that his approach isn't a significant part of the problem. And that doesn't help any of us.
It's wrong. It's highly counterproductive. Those who are pulling these stunts Are. Not. Helping.
UPDATE: "Fake President" Maddow's gave her own "Oval Office in my mind" address on tonight's show. It was really good.
"Use It or Lose It" legislation fails to reach two-thirds majority.
On June 26th in response to ongoing calls to allow oil drilling off the coast of the United States and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Democratic members of Congress offered "Use It or Lose It" legislation to mandate that oil companies either drill on federal land they have leased or relinquish the right to do so. Currently, oil companies have dormant leases to over 68 million acres in the western United States and Alaska that are available for immediate drilling and exploration that, according to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md) "contains over 100 billion barrels of oil".
While the vote was 223 for and 195 against, it failed to reach the two-thirds majority needed for passage under shortcut parliamentary rules. For the record, all Democratic members of the Pennsylvania delegation voted for "Use It or Lose It" while all Pennsylvania Republicans voted against with the exception of Rep. John Peterson who did not vote.
As We Celebrate Our Independence, It Is Time for Energy Independence.
On Friday July 4th we will celebrate Independence Day marking 232 years since our founding fathers declared that the United States of America would be an independent nation. Back in 1776, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and others showed courage, leadership and vision by drafting the Declaration of Independence creating a democratic government based on freedom and rights for the common people.
Now, 232 years later, we need to see the same courage, leadership and vision from our elected leaders to declare independence again. In 2008, the independence we need to declare is not from tyrannical leaders and an oppressive government but energy independence from foreign sources that have too much control over a product that is so vital to our nation.