The Bush administration had a nasty penchant for trying to bury bad economic news - a nasty penchant that I was intimately familiar with when working on the House Appropriations Committee. One of the most egregious examples of this came in 2003. Here's the Washington Post on 1/2/03:
Forty-five percent of the Democratic base now says they aren't going to vote in 2010 or are thinking of not voting. This is a direct result of Democrats in Congress and the Presidency doing things the base disagrees with or not doing things the base wants to see done. It appears politically stupid to act as they have, and yet, they did. So why?
Even though I favored passing the gutted Senate health care bill, I am heartened by the noise some progressives are making in opposition to it. Without such noise, there would be no hope to improve the bill, or much hope of getting better health care legislation in the future. In keeping with the basic principle of the Overton window, there has to be prominent, public left-wing disagreement with Democratic policy, or else the national political discussion will never move to the left.
Let's face it--from a political, economic and ecological perspective, this past decade pretty much sucked ass. Lots of war, lots of economic downturn, lots of legislative failure and the continued onset of a new, ecological, Malthusian trap. Still, looking at the decade from the grand perspective of human history, there was also a huge positive: the continued development and expansion of the Internet.
There are a few lessons to be learned about the bathroom bomber incident. Here are six lessons that come to mind:
As with David, I'd like to take a moment away from the holiday to highlight a story which I don't want buried.
If I may be so bold, I believe I can sum up, in three main points why progressives are so frustrated right now:
There's a somber mood in Copenhagen on the last day of climate negotiations, with prospects for a strong and fair agreement feeling further and further out of reach.