Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dreaming Of A Progressive Tea Party

 "It’s time for a movement of deeper patriots to stand up for the country against this wrecking ball agenda for America."  -- Van Jones

I want to echo an important point Fuzzyone made the other day about how to channel our frustration with the President and his unwillingness or inability to stand up to the Republicans.  Obama and the Democrats, as we seem to lament weekly, have ceded the framing of the debate on the economy to the GOP so that we are talking about austerity measures and how much to reduce the deficit instead of how much more stimulus we need to pump into the economy to create jobs.  This is insane.

Of course, we are still going to vote for Obama in 2012, but as Fuzzyone says, what is critical is that we ensure the election of more progressives to state and federal office.  We also need to unify the disparate groups and individuals who should naturally support a progressive agenda and take back the populist  messaging from the right wing fringe.  In short what we need is a liberal alternative to the Tea Party.

Last week, Van Jones launched Rebuild the Dream, which promises to do just that.  The driving force behind it is "the Left’s collective effort to use grassroots organizing and new media to challenge the rhetoric coming out of Washington and strengthen the middle class."  The goal, is to mobilize the varied progressive forces in the country "under the patriotic umbrella brand of the 'American Dream Movement.'"

Van Jones is brilliant, inspirational and an incredible communicator with tremendous credibility in left/liberal circles.  In stark contrast to Obama and the Democratic Party leadership, Jones is willing to pierce the dishonest and dishonorable nonsense spewed by the right.  As Jones told Rolling Stone, there is a "huge disconnect between what the political elite is talking about in Washington, D.C. – now in both parties – and what ordinary Americans are talking about . . .  . There is much, much more concern about jobs, and much more openness to solving the budget crisis by more balanced means – including raising taxes on rich folks – than D.C. seems to understand."

Here are highlights from Jones's speech on Thursday where he warns about "three 'lies' animating the conservative narrative:  America is broke; Taxing the wealthy is bad for the economy; and 'Hating' on our government” is actually patriotic."


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