Policy vs. Politics

While many in the Democratic party continue to move towards the Right, some are working to get the party back in touch with our progressive roots.

This week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke to a crowd from the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building, and unveiled his 13-point “Contract with America.” Officially called “The Progressive Agenda to Combat Inequality,” the plan was modeled after former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's conservative blueprint with the same name, and it addresses a wide range of progressive economic policies.

However, while Mayor de Blasio joined Senator Elizabeth Warren to lay out their vision for the future, many in the corporate media focused not on his proposals, but on his refusal to endorse Hillary Clinton, or on his audacity to seek a national spotlight.

Rather than discussing the perceived slight, the national media could be focusing on proposals like universal pre-K, paid family leave, and a $15 dollar an hour minimum wage. These ideas are just a few of the policies laid out in a new progressive blueprint for our nation, and they are just the type of proposals that the American people have been calling for.

If we really want to get serious about fighting inequality and ensuring a better future for our country, we have to embrace the policies that make those goals possible – and that starts with actually talking about them.

After his announcement, Mayor de Blasio said, “It's very convenient for a lot of folks in Congress not to act on these issues right now, according to their conventional political assumptions.” He added, “We have to change those assumptions. The only way to do that is at the grass roots. It has to become impossible to ignore the voices of the people calling for change on these issues.”

And, forcing the mainstream media to talk about these policies is the best way to ensure that we can't be ignored. Let's make it clear that we want to hear about more than the political horse race, by demanding more focus on actual policy.


Dave A's picture
Dave A 8 years 2 weeks ago

Mayor de Blasio won with over a 70% majority. Even if his victory had been 99% the corporate media does what it's masters tell them to do. The game is fixed, and any changes will be very hard to come by. We all know now that "Hope and Change" was nothing more than a lie. The next big oil spill will be in the Artic. It should show up really nicely against the white background.

Seattle_Mother's picture
Seattle_Mother 8 years 2 weeks ago

Today NPR cites a scientific study that will be published in the journal Science. http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/05/15/406757551/what-it-takes-to-lift-families-out-of-poverty

The study gives research-based proof that progressive methods of aiding the poor actually do have long lasting benefits. It seems to follow that it costs society less to help the poor out of poverty, than to maintain a system that tolerates poverty. This study can provide support to "The Progressive Agenda to Combat Inequality".

mathboy's picture
mathboy 8 years 2 weeks ago

The main-stream media should be pulling for Bernie Sanders, because he is happy to take any question and wouldn't blackball a reporter. Imagine how much access they'll have when the President isn't afraid to talk to them.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 8 years 2 weeks ago

Democrats that voted for cloture on TPA (H.R. 1314):
CO: Bennet (my senator)
CA: Feinstein
DE: Carper, Coons
FL: Nelson
MO: McCaskill
ND: Heitkamp
NH: Shaheen
OR: Wyden
VA: Kaine, Warner
WA: Cantwell, Murray

The passage of the cloture vote means that there will be 30 more hours of debate, then a vote on actual passage.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 8 years 2 weeks ago

Corporate, profit driven entities do not have ability to percieve humanity

Is that a definition of psychopath behaviour?

They are not afraid of promoting FACISM in your face are they?

They rely on the fact that Americans have no damned idea what it IS, what it means or the black and, indeed bleak outcome that ultimately results from it's rise

Americans helped the fight against FACISIM in many wars... notably WW1; WW2; Japanese

I think general populace America has been duped or dumbed down


Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 2 weeks ago

“The Progressive Agenda to Combat Inequality,”. Why don't they just say socialism. Or wealth distribution. I don't believe for one second America wants inequality. No matter what you do you all live the same that's so un American. A huge part of what America is creating something from nothing. Not creating wealth so the government takes it away and gives it to someone else. Who would bother taking all those risks and all the hard work if that was the case. How many great inventions come from Cuba or China. There is a billion poeple in China, did they invent computers or penicillin? No of course not there is no incentive there to do it. If we follow the large minium wage rule why don't we go further and give all students a min. 85 % on all their tests. It's not fair that some do their homework and get better grades.

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 8 years 2 weeks ago

I believe that for any society to survive, there has to be a minimum amount of socialism in its structure; no society could possibly survive with an "every man for himself" social arrangement.

Note to Kend: There are 1.5 billion people in China; and India just past the 1 billion mark.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 2 weeks ago

Does Kend know that penicillin, computers, the internet, landing on the moon were all "invented" during the socialist reign started by FDR. When Reaganism took over the capitalists just used the inventions of socialism to gather all the wealth for themselves. All the new inventions are coming from socialist Europe. The Hadron Collider comes to mind.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 8 years 2 weeks ago

Only by corporate media suppression of economic truth, the truth Senator Sanders is spreading, has the corp/billionaire class been able to maintain political power, and thus feed their unending thirst for more money and power. If the truth ever reaches the masses, not only is the game over for the Teapublican party, there will certainly be rioting in the streets until political change happens for real.

Hopefully Senator Sanders will highlight the economic systems the Democratic Socialist countries happily have working for them. As a percentage of income, when everything is included, citizens in this country pay just as much in tax as those living in Democratic Socialist countries. However we get half the return on our taxes, no cradle to grave healthcare, no complete college education funding, no living retirement, no updated infrastucture, etc. ....most of our money is being wasted fomenting war and pissing everyone off by blowing up impoverished people in the middle east.

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 8 years 2 weeks ago

America has a poverty crisis that can't be addressed with more trickle-down economics. Since Reagan, who launched the ongoing war on our poor, the overall quality of life in the US plunged from #1 down to #43, and we can no longer adequately compete in the modern world market. Not everyone can work (health, etc.) and there simply aren't jobs for all. The US shipped out a massive share of our jobs since the 1980s, ended actual welfare in the 1990s.

Don't expect Sanders or Warren to address any of this. Their focus, like that of most of the media marketed to liberals, is solely on what remains of middle class consumers and campaign donors. This is obviously an anti-socialist generation, believing that only those who are of current use to the corporate state deserve to survive. If you dig back into the speeches made by both Sanders and Warren years ago, you see that they recognized this. They used to address the fact that it's impossible to save (much less, rebuild!) the middle class without shoring up the poor, purtting rungs on the ladder out of poverty.

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 8 years 2 weeks ago

Socialist? How so? This remains the era of "waving the banner" for the bourgeoisie alone, middle class workers -- the better off (albeit with an occasional pat on the head to the working poor). The last I heard, there are 7 jobs for every 10 people who urgently need one. What should we do about the 3 who are left out? (Note: You can't buy a loaf of bread with promises of eventual jobs.) What about the employable -- the disabled/serious ill? Democrats keep targeting these people, since they aren't middle class workers, significantly worsening conditions for them.

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 8 years 2 weeks ago

Do liberals know that the US achieved its height of wealth and productivity from FDR to Reagan as a result of the policies and programs implemented during this time -- most notably, our poverty relief programs? These actually had an 80% success rate of enabling the poor to work their way out of poverty, serving as rungs on the ladder up. During that era, we opened the doors to higher education and legitimate job skills training to the poor, providing just enough economic stability to enable them to utilize education/skills training.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 1 week ago

DHBranski -- Just because they (Sanders, Warren, etc.) do not talk about specific topics like poverty, do you think they will not support policies to assist those problems?

Do you not think that closing are trade gap will help those in poverty?

Do you realize the most commonly used metric for economic inequality is the comparison of the top 20% to the lowest 20%? That metric has no consideration of the middle class. I will admit for income inequality they often use the Gini coefficient, but I think mostly they are worried about economic inequality.

I have only had two courses in economics (and that was 40 years ago), so feel free to critique everything I say.

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