Saturday, January 23, 2010

2010 Gets Off To A Nightmarish Start For Progressives

I recently noted that the past decade drew poor reviews. Is the dawn of 2010 a time for renewal and optimism? If one is of the liberal, Democratic persuasion, this year and decade has gotten off to a disastrous start in the very first month. At the risk of inspiring schadenfreude in conservative readers, consider what has happened:

1. Scott Brown won the senatorial election in Massachusetts. Armed with the undemocratic filibuster, Republicans can block health care reform. What was on the brink of passage is now on life support. Since this legislation was Obama's chief domestic priority, its potential failure can only weaken his presidency. In addition, Brown's victory is already energizing Republicans heading into midterm elections.

2. The Supreme Court's ruling rejecting corporate campaign spending limits sets the stage for the unprecedented corruption of our democracy. As Jonathan Alter states, "If Exxon wants to spend $1 million (a bar tab for Big Oil) defeating an environmentalist running for city council, it can now do so." This is particularly disastrous for Democrats, as noted by The Washington Post: "[The ruling] is seen as particularly helpful for Republicans because of their party's traditional bonds with industry groups and its strong opposition to financial regulations proposed by the Obama administration."

3. Though not as critical as the two events cited above, Air America Radio, a progressive media outlet that countered Limbaugh and his ilk, will cease broadcasting. Air America presented a platform to talented voices on the left who continue to broadcast: Rachel Maddow, Thom Hartmann and Randi Rhodes.

True progressives are too patriotic to give up in despair. One must, however, acknowledge that we're in for a wild and challenging ride as the new year begins. If you're a liberal Democrat, you may be advised to hold on to your hat–and, at times, to clutch your stomach.


Tim Gunter said...

It's nauseating to see this pin-up model elected to the Senate and see the SC give the go-ahead for big corporations to give all they can and desire supporting political candidates. And with Air America, where can you turn to? WAOK - Atlanta? Al Sharpton, anyone?

Jeff Tone said...

Tim: The following article from Liberaland suggests some progressive stations you can stream online: