After months of whining, backstabbing, and sniveling by people who think bashing Obama is the best way to redirect America on a progressive path, the result has been a demoralized and disaffected electorate that is easy polemical pickins for the malicious fascists who got us into this mess.

We have 48 hours to not just save the Health Care bill, but probably the future of this country.  By November, the momentum from a Coakley loss will so fire up the blind, deaf, and far too dumb fascist scumbags in the TeaGOP, that many progressives  will be cursing the day they ever let a little impatience and disappointment with Obama be fashioned into an outright apathy orgy.

Just smarten the fuck up, liberals. After 30 years of neglecting politics, and cashing the checks from our corporate paymasters, we have built ourselves one rickety, piece-of- shit  bus heading for a train-wreck of a future.  Blaming the elected bus driver for that collective #FAIL is just immature and self destructive.  We should be working with the driver we elected, and forcing him to do (much) better. We should not be walking off the bus and stepping into heavy traffic.  The GOP is an 18 wheeler with most of the media, money, and power behind its rolling thunder.  If you think we stop that juggernaut with Kumbaya elections every few years, you're in need of reeducation summer camp.  But it's winter, and we haven't got the time for that.

2008 was ONE election.  If someone believed that one election could redirect all these years of abuse, then THEY are the real problem.  Obama was given one of the worst set of conditions that any president has ever inherited. And selling him short before he can fix any of it, is just inviting the GOP to come back to power and fuck us so far up the ass you'll need to gargle with battery acid to rid yourself of the taste.

Regardless of what got us here, we have to tread water until progressives can hope for enough good developments that we can undo some of the Fox-fed hysteria about government, health care, and most of the disasters the GOP has left for Democrats to pay for.  But that's going to take a long time. In the meantime, you can help by spending the next two days…

VOLUNTEERING FOR COAKLEY.  If you haven't done anything until now, this is your chance to make a difference.

Organizing For America If not a member, sign-up. You will find phone scripts and all sorts of tips for how you can help.  — More specific ways you can volunteer, including of course, donations.


In March of his year, the Seattle Times ran this story about the battle over "Progressivism vs. Liberalism.

With "liberal" out, what's left? Progressive

Mary Helms, 54, whose family raises peanuts and cotton in Dothan, Ala., said she knew what a liberal was: "Someone who doesn't have very good morals."

And a progressive? "I don't really know anyone who says he's a progressive," Helms said. So she has nothing against them.

As the quote suggests, the article is a good overview of the issue, if not a very scientific survey of the popular usage (and implications) of the labels.

I have always thought it was a mistake to abandon the word 'liberal," merely because conservatives relentlessly trashed it for decades.  What, they're suddenly not going to do that with a new label? Of course they are.  Already, Rush Limbaugh refers to "Progressive liberals."  So sure, perhaps "progressive" is less tainted now, but once the left starts using it routinely, the right will attack it just as routinely as they hammer away on liberal now..

Some feel "liberal" was always too heavily skewed toward issues of personal liberty, and not towards applying government in the interests of forward progress. I am sympathetic to that argument to a point, but not completely convinced. And even if it has some merit, I don't know that it's enough rationale to overpower the emotional connection that generations of liberals have had with the word.  Like my parents and grandparents before me, I've always been proud to be a "liberal," and was never thrilled about giving it up merely because the enemy used their massive media and social clout to tarnish it. And I don't care much that "Teddy" was a progressive, ok?

For me, liberal is a perfectly useful word, and the long tradition of liberal thought and liberal figures  requires a lot less explaining than the shorter (and much fuzzier) tradition of "progressives."

If it really helps the cause to junk it, fine. I am just not convinced it does that yet, and I get a little annoyed that there has been this faceless, nameless advocacy effort over the past 10-15 years to make "progressive" the new plug-and-play word for liberal. It's not very liberal to have an unknown elite making that decision.

I voiced this very concern back in April when I strongly advocated that #p2 be an umbrella  social media hashtag with no particular group or mission aligned with it. It would simply represent the progressive/liberal movement as a whole, acting as a clear channel–or hailing frequency–where any important message or news item could make it into a liberal's social mindspace. 

While that mission is still vital, I felt at the time that the Progressive community might end up going back to its liberal roots, rendering the tag obsolete or quaint. And since progresivism is often seen as a subordinate idea to classic liberalism, #L2, or something like it,  might have had a longer half-life.  Sadly, a lowercase  "L" is just not very forceful in a Twitter feed, and many people would type it instead of the uppercase variant. So for that reason alone, I opted to drop the whole argument. I probably shouldn't have. Stuff happens.

Anyway, the discussion will no doubt go on, probably for generations. It would be nice if something happened to force us to use one or the other in a uniform way.  As it stands, we seesaw back and forth from one to another, often a dozen times in a single conversation.  We have enough fights on our hands just trying to package our messages effectively. We just don't need to be sparring over the labels we slap on them.

If you know of writings on this subject, please post as a comment below, and I will include it in a future reading list.