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Posts Tagged ‘progressives’

Was Bill Clinton Clintonian?

September 15th, 2011

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This piece was originally published by The Washington Post.

For Bill Clinton’s detractors, the term “Clintonian” implies reliance on poll-tested political formulations and shifting policy positions. Earlier this year, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) derided President Obama’s rhetoric as full of “Clintonian back-flips,” while the conservative Daily Caller recently taunted Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, calling his varying views on government bailouts “Clintonian.”

To his supporters, however, the term “Clintonian” is the opposite of slick. To be Clintonian means you possess a political philosophy, intellectual integrity and the courage to take on the outdated orthodoxies of your own party. (This stands in stark contrast to today’s leading GOP presidential aspirants, who oppose even minimal tax increases, deny global warming and question the validity of evolution to appeal to a unique slice of Americans known as Iowa caucus-goers.) Read the rest of this entry »

Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks Attack on Progressive Values

January 7th, 2011

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This piece was originally posted on Huffington Post.

As Professor Geoffrey Stone made clear on this site and in the New York Times this week, Congress must be careful not to criminalize conduct that is constitutionally protected and vital to our democratic system, like rooting out and exposing government misconduct. For example, the two Times reporters who uncovered the Bush administration’s NSA wiretapping scheme were properly awarded the Pulitzer Prize; they should not now fear prosecution for their work to expose a classified — but illegal — rogue government operation.

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GOP defense stance carries huge risk

September 21st, 2010

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This piece was originally published in Politico.

Senate Republicans are on the clock.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to bring the 2011 defense authorization to the floor this week will reveal whether Republicans aim to block passage of a military spending bill for the first time in a half-century or whether they are going to put aside gridlock politics and let war-critical measures proceed.
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To keep the 2010 midterms from repeating 1994, Democrats can learn from Reagan

September 20th, 2010

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This piece was originally published in The Washington Post.

“We are going to lose the House and the Senate.”

Those were the opening words of a memo that I faxed to my then-boss, Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), on Labor Day in 1994. Schumer was still in the House, I was his legislative director, and my prediction was based on one overarching idea: The Democratic Party had lost its way. Our national agenda had been hijacked by the parochial agendas of aggrieved special interest groups. And as a result, we were badly misfiring with the middle class.

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For energy reform advocates, lessons from health care

August 2nd, 2010

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This piece was originally published in The Washington Post.

With the United States struggling to recover from a job-killing recession, a Democratic president asks a Democratic Congress to pass sweeping reform of a major sector of the economy. “We can no longer afford to continue to ignore what is wrong,” he explains. “We must fix this system, and it has to begin with congressional action.” The public, however, rejects this plea. The proposal dies in Congress, and recriminations begin. Chastened and disappointed, advocates regroup and seek a new path forward.

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Politics trumps economics on deficit

July 7th, 2010

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This piece was originally published in Politico.

The recovery has hit a wall. In June, the U.S. economy lost jobs for the first time this year. Existing home sales plunged 30 percent in May. Time to pump money into the economy!

But wait. The national debt is projected to jump to 62 percent of the economy by the end of this year. That’s the highest level since just after World War II. Time to cut back!

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