Thursday, February 19, 2009

Obama meets with who????

so I read that the Obama's had a sit down with progressives, and asked them to help support "big progressive" ideas, and I liked the first part.....
“The gist was, `We’re gonna need people out there telling the story of the stimulus and telling the story about how much we need big health care reform and clean energy and green jobs,’” the attendee says.

but then I spit coffee all over my computer at this:
Among those on the guest list: Labor leaders Jimmy Hoffa, Gerry McEntee and Andy Stern; MoveOn’s Eli Pariser; Sierra Club’s Carl Pope; Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richardson; and Joe Solomonese of the Human Rights Campaign.

Maybe Eli and Joe could be characterized as progressive, but Carl, Jimmy, and Andy???

on the question of what is a freakin progressive, I recommend this piece by nate silver @ 538...he discusses two distinct strains in progressive thought, what he calls rational and radical progressives:
...Rational progressivism tends to be trusting, within reason, of status quo political and economic institutions -- generally including the institution of capitalism. It tends to trust these institutions because it believes they are a manifestation of progress made by previous generations. However, unlike conservatism, it also sees these institutions as continuing works in progress...
Radical progressivism is more clearly distinguishable from "conventional" liberalism and would generally be associated with the "far left" -- although on a handful of issues such as free trade, it may find common cause with the "radical" right. Radical progressivism embraces the tradition of populism and frequently adopts a discourse of the virtuous commoner organizing against the corrupt elite. It is much more willing to make normative claims than rational progressivism, and tends to view conservatism as immoral and contemporary American liberalism as amoral (at best). Its project is not reform but transformation.Rational progressives sometimes regard radical progressives as impractical, self-righteous, shrill, demagogic, naïve and/or anti-intellectual. Radical progressives, in turn, regard rational progressives as impure, corrupt (or corruptible), selfish, complacent, elitist, and too quick to compromise.

I don't suppose there were too many "radical progressives" invited....


wobblie said...

My boss was apparently on the guest list, as well.

Notwithstanding the ambiguity of political labels, I'm pretty happy with that guest list for now - although, apparently US Chamber of Commerce people were there, taboot.

gabbagabbahey said...

so what's unprogressive about an environmental organisation?

it's a weird label you have. seems to me it's either self-congratulatory (we're so progressive!) or redundant (what left-wing political position since the 19th century hasn't aimed towards progress?). and what's with the 'rational'/radical distinction when the term 'moderate' would surely work just as well?

obviously, this problem stems from the US failure to develop a proper European multi-party, left-right spectrum political system.

(just my €0,02)

lex dexter said...

"obviously, this problem stems from the US failure to develop a proper European multi-party, left-right spectrum political system."

A-fucking-Men, gabba.