What Have We Learned from this Difficult Year?

I've been saying that this year has been a brutal awakening for those many of us who have worked for years to get a great Democratic President and a reasonable Democratic majority in both houses of Congress.  I expected that we would get a good Healthcare Reform bill,  a Climate Change bill, a Bank Regulation bill, an Immigration bill and a couple other progressive bills by now.  Instead, we are close to getting a so-so Healthcare bill plus a very difficult 2010 election cycle that may end all hope of getting much else done after this year.  

The HCR fight has made clear that we are dealing with an entire minority party that will not play ball.  At all.  Plus a dozen or so of the most unpleasant Democrats at the national level I've ever seen.  The progressive blogs have made the entire process more transparent to people willing to pay attention so we have seen the egotistic, greedy, and/or overly cautious responses from key Democrats to the immense needs of our time.  It has not been pretty and sometimes makes it hard to want to pay attention.

What it has taught me - when I am not frustrated - is that what we are up against is so much more interests ingrained and complex a system than I ever imagined possible.  Apparently I'm not alone.  A couple weeks ago, the Campaign for America's Future co-directors talked about what they have learned from the frustrations of this year in government and made a YouTube out of it.

Here are the four lessons that Robert Borosage and Roger Hickey shared that they have learned in the battle we are fighting for progressive change.  

  1. Change is brutal, and will always be resisted by powerful entrenched forces.
  2. No matter how popular a reform idea is, like the public option, it still faces the buzzsaw of the United States Senate.
  3. Progressives cannot wash their hands of the political process. We have to organize more, independent of the political parties
  4. This is still the best opportunity in 30 years for progressive reform.
These "lessons" make sense to me.  There is a lot to do if we are really going to take this country back.  We have just begun and my suggestion is that we organize more at the local level.  Apparently all these national phone calls are only moderately effective


Yes, this is a very tough fight and it's going to continue to be challenging.

When I hear progressives bad mouthing the campaign, the President, or Democrats all I think is that we need everyone's support at this critical time and they are hell bent on pulling the rug out from under our efforts.

When the going gets tough, friends stick together.


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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Allen published on January 14, 2010 11:15 AM.

Taking the Blinders Off - "Censoring Science" was the previous entry in this blog.

Why I Like This White House is the next entry in this blog.

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