|Politicians are winning liberal hearts and minds on social issues, while at the same time embracing a corporate political agenda based on ever-greater wealth for the few and increasing austerity for the many.
Let’s be clear: The term “social issues” is not used dismissively. These are human rights issues which speak to our core values of personal freedom and social justice. But are these just causes being exploited by corporate-backed politicians?
The answer seems to be yes.
Politicians in the “liberal Kansas” school are increasingly outspoken on issues like reproductive choice and gay marriage, while at the same time continuing to promote their corporate economic agenda. Many, if not most, of them are so-called "centrist" Democrats from the Bill Clinton wing of the party. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Democrat turned Republican, is also a prominent member of the “personally liberal, economically conservative” clique.
They’re not alone. I’ve known more than a few corporate leaders and Wall Street executives, and most of them were quite liberal on social issues too. It makes sense, when you think about it. When your goal is money, you’re not likely to care what people do with their bodies – as long you get their wallets.
That’s the “liberal Kansas” strategy in a nutshell.
Frank considered the “Kansas” phenomenon a liberal political failure, and he was certainly right about that. He also derided the centrist Democrats as “criminally stupid” for “pushing the party to forget blue-collar voters and concentrate instead on recruiting affluent, white-collar professionals who are liberal on social issues.”
That’s also correct, if the Democratic Party ever wants to win consistently and build a working majority. But it’s beginning to look as if, at least where its base is concerned, the Democratic “Kansas” strategy is working. It seems that most of party’s rank and file is happy to let this rightward economic shift continue, as long as its leaders say the right things about social issues.
Democrats campaigned on populist themes in 2012 campaign. But as soon as the election was over the party’s leaders returned to what Frank described in 2004 as “endless concessions on economic issues, on welfare, NAFTA, Social Security, labor law, privatization, deregulation, and the rest of it.”
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2009—The Angel Of Death?
|If you wondered whether Randall Terry, founder of the extremist anti-choice group Operation Rescue, had reached the depths of classless behavior when he applauded the death of Dr. George Tiller, the answer is no. According to Think Progress, Terry is planning a twelve-city tour:
"… intended to convince senators that "[t]o refuse to filibuster [Sotomayor] is to bow in abject obedience to the Angel of Death."Let's leave aside the insane ramblings from Terry that are included in his promotional flier for the tour and ask the obvious question: Will any Republican Senators or GOP talking heads be willing to step up and denounce this kind of garbage? Or will they continue to save their outrage for late-night comedians?
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