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Restore the Wetlands. Reinforce the Levees.

Posts Tagged ‘liberalism’

In Defense of Liberalism and Good Government

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

“Work as if you are in the early days of a better nation.”Alasdair Gray

We were delighted to see President Obama’s fiery, fightin’ spirit Friday as he swung into Elyria, Ohio, in full campaign mode with his “never stop fighting” speech. You go, O.

But, listen, populist rhetoric alone won’t do it. Democrats—and the White House in particular—must take strong actions (take stands, build support, gather coalitions, and cast votes). Be specific and firm about health care and banking reforms. Don’t be so vague, aloof, and passive. Stop letting opponents frame the debate. Take strong action. Grab them bankers by the throat. Make ’em gasp. (See the example of JFK vs. U.S. Steel in 1962 in Frank Rich’s column “After the Massachusetts Massacre.”)

In our last post we urged Democrats to be boldly populist and fight for the ordinary voters. We called on Democrats—and independents and any elected officials who want to make this a better, internally stronger nation—to speak up for the positive role of government. It is imperative to counter the conservative/Republican con job about government’s being “the problem” (as Reagan famously accused, though Jimmy Carter had done the same before him—thanks a lot) and give definite examples of how the public benefits from good government.

To start with some good talking points, the message is well summarized in the following passages from our friend Joe Conason in his bestselling book Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth (hailed by Paul Krugman as “must reading for anyone who wants to understand America today”):

“. . . remember that America in the twentieth century was built on liberal policy, from the Progressive Era through the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the GI Bill, and the Great Society. The modern economy—a private enterprise system that relies on government safeguards against depression and extreme poverty—is the legacy of liberal leadership, from Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson to Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson. . . . Conservatism in power always threatens to undo that national progress . . .

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Senator Kennedy’s Letter to President Obama

Friday, September 11th, 2009

LNW_Obama-Kennedy-250x193Below is the text of the letter from Senator Edward M. Kennedy referenced by the President in tonight’s address to a Joint Session of Congress.

May 12, 2009

Dear Mr. President,

I wanted to write a few final words to you to express my gratitude for your repeated personal kindnesses to me – and one last time, to salute your leadership in giving our country back its future and its truth.

On a personal level, you and Michelle reached out to Vicki, to our family and me in so many different ways. You helped to make these difficult months a happy time in my life.

You also made it a time of hope for me and for our country.

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