Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Liberals Taking Back Their Swagger

Carrie Budoff Brown at Politico through Common Dreams:
After years of cajoling and pulling and booing their leaders, progressives will head into the general election with a Democrat who has adopted their agenda on energy, trade, health care and the Iraq war, Borosage said.

"They didn’t start with that agenda, but they ended up there," he said. "Part of it is because of the leadership of John Edwards, part of it because of the mobilization of progressives in this room, and part of it because of the needs of the country."

Progressives may be feeling good — even cocky — these days, but speaker after speaker also reminded those gathered for the three-day conference of a lesson learned from the 2006 election. The sharpest criticism was directed at the Democratic-controlled Congress for failing to follow the left-leaning agenda Democratic liberals believe helped remove Republicans from control of Capitol Hill.

"We have to be willing to challenge legislators, no matter what party they are from and no matter who holds the majority," Borosage said.

They must move forward "as an independent progressive movement, not as an arm of the Democratic Party," he said, demanding that the next president do what is promised during the campaign.

As part of the effort to hold candidates accountable, the Campaign for America’s Future will announce a major initiative Tuesday in which several groups, including the AFL-CIO, will spend more than $350 million this year to register and mobilize progressives.

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