Democratic leaders must respect insurgent progressives

first_imgDemocratic National Committee members met last week to discuss proposed changes recommended by the Unity Reform Commission that was formed in the wake of the 2016 primary to make the nomination process more open, fair and inclusive of insurgent campaigns and their supporters.A vote on the proposals could come as early as this week, but there is a sense among those close to the debate that the party is unlikely to embrace the sweeping reforms that progressives are pushing for. Obviously, the establishment is accustomed to winning these fights, even if doing so has caused it to lose elections in the past.But when insurgent forces are mobilized and a new progressive infrastructure is beginning to rise, Democrats should not revive a doomed strategy of excessive caution and deference to the permanent consultant class.They may well never win in Texas or other similar places by quashing the passion of those who have been roused in this past year. Katrina vanden Heuvel is editor and publisher of the Nation magazine and writes a weekly column for The Washington Post.More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation During the early-voting period, Democrats turned out at more than twice the rate they did in 2014, dwarfing Republican turnout and helping establish a new state record for early voting in a non-presidential election.As Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, warned at a recent gathering of Republicans, many Democrats would “crawl over broken glass” to cast a ballot this year.For his part, Cruz’s favorability is underwater, making his reelection far from a safe bet.He faces a legitimate threat from Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who is waging a grass-roots campaign and outpacing the right-wing incumbent in fundraising despite O’Rourke’s refusal to accept PAC money.O’Rourke has energized progressives by rejecting the failed establishment strategy of running toward the center, instead taking bold stances on a host of issues, including abortion rights, gun control and health care.Recent polling shows O’Rourke trailing Cruz by just single digits.Looking farther down the ballot, Democrats have pickup opportunities in three House districts that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016. Each race has attracted a competitive Democratic field.Reflecting the national trend of progressive women running for office, each race features at least one female candidate with a realistic chance to win the nomination.These chances for flipping seats aren’t unique to Texas.Across the country, including states and districts that Democrats have written off in prior elections, sustained grass-roots energy is boosting the party’s prospects.Yet there is also serious cause for concern, as some Democrats seem intent on sapping that energy in an attempt to reassert control of the party. In late February, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), House Democrats’ official campaign arm, infuriated progressives by clumsily inserting itself in the primary in Texas’s 7th Congressional District.Although it’s not unusual for party committees to pick sides in primaries, the DCCC took the extraordinary step of publishing opposition research against Laura Moser, a progressive, pro-choice woman who has been a leader in the resistance to Trump. Categories: Editorial, OpinionThe midterm elections have kicked into gear as Texas voters headed to the polls for the first statewide primaries of 2018.In years past, the races would have mattered little to a national Democratic Party that consistently fails to compete in the state.But this year feels different because, in many ways, the dynamics at play in Texas are emblematic of what is happening — for better and for worse — all over the country.On the one hand, there are genuine reasons for optimism.Despite the state’s heavy Republican tilt, President Donald Trump’s low approval rating among Texans has contributed to a huge enthusiasm gap in favor of Democrats. In 2017, Moser drew national attention when she created Daily Action, which enables subscribers to receive a text message every morning with a political action to take that day.But the DCCC disingenuously condemned Moser as a “Washington insider,” a particularly rich attack considering the source.The cheap hit revealed how actual Washington insiders often work in the shadows to undermine progressives.The Intercept recently highlighted a number of primary races in which the DCCC and allied groups have taken sides based on wrongheaded views of candidates’ viability that largely come down to their ability to raise money.Also disheartening is that there are several cases of Democratic women attempting to thwart strong female candidates whose opponents are less progressive but more connected to donors.There is evidence suggesting that Emily’s List, which works to elect pro-choice women, has endorsed candidates (including one of Moser’s primary rivals) on the strength not of their progressive values but of their fundraising potential.Tensions between the party and the progressive movement are threatening to bleed beyond this year’s midterms into the 2020 presidential race.last_img read more

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Not happy with Spectrum’s actions

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion We’ve been customers of Time-Warner Cable for 40-plus years, now known as Spectrum. We have cable, internet and telephone services in a package “deal.” Our monthly bill has increased by approximately $17 per month, and we aren’t happy with this significant increase. There are others we have spoken to and they, too, aren’t happy.To get new subscribers, Spectrum advertises (for new customers) a very low monthly “entry deal” for approximately $29 per month. I’ve called them to ask if they will work with their loyal long-time customers, many of whom are senior citizens. But they are adamant and won’t consider working with me to reduce my bill. Spectrum’s services aren’t like the old Time-Warner services. My telephone sometimes takes longer than previously to make calls, the dial tone takes longer, and often I have to hang up and redial the number.My television cuts out often, and we have to wait for picture and voice to return. My next step will be to call the state Public Service Commission and the office of Attorney General. I’m not sure if that will help, but I’m giving that a try.Douglas N. McFadden [March 28 letter] asks if anyone else has these same issues. Yes, we do. How many other customers are experiencing these same issues?I’m not happy with Spectrum — more money in their pockets with services that are substandard.Mary CaterRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

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Strong American women this week

first_imgThis week, three women exemplified all that is good about America, as well as standing tall for their gender.Barbara Bush was, and will be, a role model for all generations of Americans who remember and hope for a return to more civilized culture; Nikki Haley, who stood her ground against the misogynistic idiots surrounding Trump when she asserted that she didn’t get “confused” and wouldn’t accept the put-down by Trump’s lackeys; and Tammie Jo Shults who, under the most stressful circumstances, saved more than 140 passengers on her plane. Coolness under stress. I want her to pilot my next flight.I’m hoping that the men and women of our government will take notice and represent us with the same valor as these three women.JOHN KARLNisakayunaDon’t fall forMore from The Daily Gazette:Niskayuna girls’ cross country wins over BethlehemEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationPuccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

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Reasonable gun regs block by NRA

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion The NRA is the strongest lobby group in the United States by buying votes from elected representatives and threatening reprisals against those politicians out of step. Almost every sensible gun regulation (like restricting gun ownership from those on the no-fly list) is opposed by this extreme stand against common-sense gun control measures.This may eventually cause a strong backlash severely restricting all gun owners.Does the Second Amendment, written in the age of muskets, really mean that every civilian should be able to own all of the weapons necessary to fight against today’s government troops? Would any AR-15 high-capacity, high-volume owner or group of owners be able to competitively fight against one of today’s Army or Marine infantry squads — which have the support of tanks, helicopter gunships, artillery, fixed-wing planes and all the other high-tech weaponry? Of course not.So does that mean the Second Amendment allows civilian ownership of full-auto machine guns, tanks, artillery, helicopter and fixed-wing gunships? No.Stephen AndersonCharltonMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsPolice: Schenectady woman tried to take car in Clifton Park hours after arrest, release in prior the…Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation The biggest threat to civilian ownership of guns for target shooting, hunting and self defense is the National Rifle Association (NRA). Yes, that’s right, the NRA. Here’s why. The NRA leadership, instead of representing America’s gun owners, is primarily representing gun, ammo, and after-market gun manufacturers in a no-holds-barred shutdown of any thoughtful gun regulation.last_img read more

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Take real action to stop school shootings

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion I worked in schools for 42 years, so I know a bit about schools, kids and everything education. Quite frankly, I really don’t care why the shootings are happening anymore. It could be gun-control laws, style of weapons, age restrictions, clip size, mental health or lousy parenting. To quote Rhett Butler, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” anymore.We need to stop the political rhetoric every time there’s a school shooting. The left runs to the need for gun control, while the right starts waving around the Constitution. They are both useless. No law is going to stop school shootings. If the laws against murder don’t work, it’s daft to think that a law about gun purchases is going to stop the carnage. We have developed a way to protect airports and sports arenas. We need to do the same thing with schools: Limit access doors to the schools; have metal detectors at all points of entry;  and have an armed staff member at all points of entry. These steps will deter potential shooters. Another piece of paper in Washington will not.Dr. John MetalloSlingerlands More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Cuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccineGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more

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Soho and Covent Garden offices: Multinationals move in

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John D Wood dismisses Pope

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Delancey in talks with Ken over Docklands skyscraper

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London boroughs west – Talk of the towns

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Fund chiefs lean towards certainty of property

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