Wednesday, December 03, 2008

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

INDEPENDENT VOTERS
  • Scapegoating the Social Right (RAMESH PONNURU, National Review) Avlon is mistaken in thinking both that all centrists are social liberals and fiscal conservatives and that all people who talk about “the center” have this type of voter in mind.
  • Record Turnout for Harvey Milk March (Beyond Chron: San Francisco's Alternative Online Daily News) The recent passage of Proposition 8 calls into question whether the campaign bothered to learn how queers defeated Prop 6 thirty years earlier. A cautious, poll-driven campaign that kept gay couples out of the limelight de-sensitized the subject – allowing the other side to scare swing voters with emotional appeals about “the children.” In stark contrast to Harvey Milk sticking his neck out by campaigning across the state, SF Mayor Gavin Newsom was reduced to campaigning in “safe” areas – not willing to step out of his own comfort zone to engage the opposition.

PRAGMATISM/IDEOLOGY
  • Barack Obama: Pragmatist or Liberal? How About Both? (US News & World Report/Thomas Jefferson Street blog) I'm getting a bit tired of hearing about how Barack Obama's cabinet choices thus far have reflected a pragmatic approach to governing, rather than a liberal one. That's rather like saying that my lunch today will taste like chicken, rather than like purple.
  • Shifting Landscapes: Obama & The Movement (By Max Uhlenbeck, Source: Left Turn, ZNet) Obama was able to accomplish this feat by building a coalition ranging from the far left to the center-right, and by utilizing a variety of new technologies (blogs, YouTube videos, social networking sites) to raise a record three quarters of a billion dollars, much of which was re-invested in staff and organizing infrastructure.


CENTER-LEFT
  • 2008: An extraordinarily ordinary election or an historic shift? (Politicker ME) That's the real lesson of the 2008 election: For the first time since Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, a credible case can be made that the United States is now a center-left country instead of a center-right country. moderate voters, by far the largest slice of the American electorate, chose Barack Obama by a 60 percent to 39 percent margin.
  • The Real Rivalry In the Team: The Cabinet vs. The Campaign Promises (David Sirota, Huffington Post) In fact, there already is - it's no accident that the conservative noise machine from Karl Rove on down is praising Obama's appointments, and effectively creating that rightward pull. If there isn't similar progressive pressure now, don't be surprised if the debate - and thus the policy - starts slowly creeping right.

BOOK REVIEW
  • The American Way of Strategy: U.S. Foreign Policy and the American Way of Life by Michael Lind: A Pragmatic Book for a Pragmatic Time (TPM Cafe) Regardless of where you fall on the progressive-idealistic/republican liberal-instrumental spectrum, it's clear that we desperately need to shift to a much more intensely pragmatic way of reasoning about democracy as a function of our national security goals.
  • The evolution of American liberal internationalism (By Michael Lind, TPM Cafe) Both of the elements of traditional liberal internationalism -- the norm of nonintervention and the idea of a concert of all great powers, democratic or otherwise have been rejected by many self-described liberal internationalists since the end of the Cold War.

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