Notes on the New Populism

By: Sunday June 22, 2014 4:00 pm

Classic left wing parties are missing the boat today, almost to the point of irrelevance, because the traditional “working class”, which was their power base, has been largely fragmented and is now practically powerless as the enormous “reserve army of labor” that globalization provides means that the worker´s principal weapon, withdrawing their labor, is no longer effective, increasingly even in skilled or jobs requiring higher education: if an American legal assistant is expensive, get an Indian lawyer in India to do the paperwork at a tenth the price per hour. But this has a certain “death spiral” effect.


The Electorate is Diverse; We Need a Policy Framework to Match That

By: Wednesday November 7, 2012 11:35 am

It’s pretty obvious that what set President Obama to a re-election victory begins and ends with a new electorate. Obama won less of the white vote than Michael Dukakis. He still won the election, because America looks different than it did in 1988.

Me, Finkelstein & Occupy: Next Time a Revolution, Not a Peasants’ Revolt

By: Thursday October 4, 2012 4:04 pm

We are the 90%.

Reluctantly and with all respect to ’99%’ as a galvanizing slogan, but somehow sloganizing the conflict as between the 1% and the rest of us too conveniently avoids most of the real class conflict that controls U.S. politics.

Chase Banker Unburdens Himself With Lament for Industry Predatory Lending

By: Thursday December 1, 2011 8:20 am

Most of what James Theckston describes is familiar – the financial incentive (and pressure from his corporate parent) for lenders to sign up subprime borrowers, even to those who qualified for prime loans; the racial and ethnic biases exposed by preying on the weak or uneducated; the unfairness of bailing out those Wall Street banks and doing nothing for the homeowners whose lives were ravaged.

Take Back the American Dream Conference: Building Off the #OccupyWallStreet Movement

By: Monday October 3, 2011 2:00 pm

The Campaign for America’s Future expected their conference to be a launching pad for an American Dream Movement that would be a counterpart to the Tea Party, a left populist movement that would branch out across the country. But it found itself overtaken by the #OccupyWallStreet movement.

Late Night FDL: Uh, Where Are You Going with Our Banner, Mr. President?

By: Friday September 23, 2011 8:00 pm

Whatever else it may be remembered for, last week will likely be noted in political circles as proof that populism, rather than patriotism, is the last refuge of… well, of “compromise”-loving Democrats whose poll numbers have taken a recent beating.

Democrats Lining Up in Support of More Populist Obama Stances

By: Tuesday September 20, 2011 6:07 am

The biggest problem with the White House’s definitional strategy on the American Jobs Act was that Democrats didn’t really give it the full-throated support it needed to draw that contrast. By the end of last week, the White House was circling the wagons on that, and Democratic leaders stepped out to say that the jobs plan would have the support of the caucus. But those initial grumblings really hurt the unified message.

Are we on the way toward the same problem with the deficit reduction plan delivered today, similarly designed to draw contrast between taxes on millionaires or cuts to vital programs? So far, this looks a bit better.

MA-Sen: Warren Officially Announces

By: Wednesday September 14, 2011 9:30 am

I see this as an opportunity to test a legitimate anti-bank populist message against a real opponent. Massachusetts may be a blue state, but Scott Brown has a 54% approval rating and will have scads of money to tout his record and distort his opponent’s. He’s already doing some of that, playing the role of faux-populist with New England Cable Network, pretending that he “worked very hard to make sure that banks didn’t act like casinos with our money.” The history is clear. He single-handedly watered down the Volcker rule to almost nothing, mainly to protect Mass Mutual and other state banks. He has been the recipient of hundreds of thousands of dollars of big bank largesse. This anti-bank claim he’s trying to make is untenable. And Warren knows it.

Wisconsin: Walker Vulnerable to Recall, with 59% Disapproval Rating

By: Thursday July 14, 2011 3:20 pm

We’re in a four-week sprint to recall elections in Wisconsin, and it’s not entirely clear how it’ll all turnout, though Democrats seem to have at least a plausible chance of getting back the state Senate. The success or failure of the recalls will determine whether the Democratic-labor-progressive alliance decides to go after the big target – Scott Walker, with a recall in 2012. New poll numbers out today show that Walker would be vulnerable to the challenge.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Jamie Court, The Progressive’s Guide to Raising Hell: How to Win Grassroots Campaigns, Pass Ballot Box Laws, and Get the Change We Voted For

By: Sunday November 14, 2010 1:59 pm

Don’t Hope– Get Mad and Do Something!

The Progressive’s Guide to Raising Hell might struck you first, as it did me, as a sort of ‘path not taken’ over the past political cycle, but its also a path forward. Jamie Court understands the political landscape, exactly what happened, and how it could have been avoided. This is not a book that wallows in being right, but instead focuses on where to go next. Ballot measures play a large role. Many of the activists here, having just come out of activist participation in the Marijuana initiatives, will gain from the insights of this book.

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