Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A New Blog to Advance the Conversation among Progressives

Mike Lux, a consultant for progressive organizations, today announced the creation of a new blog, OpenLeft.com, to advance the conversation among progressives. OpenLeft is not yet active, but will be launched next week. He will be joined by two of the leading progressive bloggers, Chris Bowers and Matt Stoller, who previously blogged at MyDD. In August 2005, they published "Emergence of the Progressive Blogosphere: A New Force in American Politics," the first report on the role and potential of the netroots in progressive politics.

In his article, he expresses their intention to bring together his expertise within the Democratic Party and establishment with their experience of blogging and organizing to contribute to the formation of a lasting progressive movement and majority.

This is very similar to what we refer to in our report as "movement-electoral strategies," and what Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) call their "inside-outside" strategy. Likewise, Bill Domhoff also considers the transformation of the Democratic Party into a more progressive organization as the best option progressives currently have. It is striking how similar these approaches are. An In These Times article in May, "Dancing Into the Majority," reported primarily on how PDA, but also other grassroots organizations are making progress in working together with the Democratic Party. The current editorial of The Nation, "Get In It to Win It," suggests a similar approach.

Here is how Lux articulates his credo and approach (in excerpts):
We are all strongly committed to building a strong and progressive movement and an enduring progressive (not just Democratic) majority. We are all weary of politics as usual and an elite political establishment that cares more about staying comfortable and less about really making most Americans' lives better. We are all believers in the ground-up and democratizing movement-building power of the netroots, and are excited about the innovative strategies of that movement. That unity in terms of values and mission will make OpenLeft.com a powerful place to do movement-building and strategic initiatives. (...)
I have always believed that the progressive movement needs both kinds of folks. I am convinced that when big changes have happened in American history, it is at the intersection of dialogue between insiders and outsiders, between the sympathetic people inside the party structure and the outside movement beating impatiently on the door, between blunt and angry agitators and diplomatic bridge-builders. (...)
When progressivism fails, it is a failure of both the party insiders and the movement -- political leadership that is too comfortable with the status quo, outside movements whose organizing is lethargic, and bad strategy for both. That is the story of the last three decades. Fortunately, things are beginning to change, and OpenLeft.com wants to be at the center of that conversation: how can the progressive movement best rebuild and revitalize ourselves? How should progressive institutions change? How should Democratic politicians make their party both more strategically effective and better at delivering on the things that will really make a difference in the lives of their constituents? Those kinds of questions, and more, with honest and open dialogue about what the answers are, will be discussed daily at OpenLeft.com.

We are happy to find so many references to strategic considerations, and are looking forward to participate in the conversation on how best to transform the Democratic Party into a more progressive and more powerful organization.

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