At the Right Conference this time…

Promoted by Jason Springer: Glad you’re there Joey and look forward to hearing more about what’s going on at the conference.

The last two political conferences I went to were the Americans for Prosperity national conference in Pittsburgh–and then the Americans for Prosperity conference in New Jersey last March. As a fat, old, bearded guy–I think I fit in very well with the right wing folks–and that enables me to walk amongst them, eat with them, and ask them questions about their politics. In a way, I feel inspired by Dian Fossey and her experience with the gorillas of Rwanda. She ate with them, walked amongst them, and watch them mate —for more than a year to get a sense of what they were like. You probably saw the movie Gorillas in the Mist. Well, I tried to do everything she did–except watch the right wing mate. But now, I feel more at home.

I drove down from New Jersey this morning to Washington DC to attend the Take Back America conference, which is a gathering of 800 or so progressives–and there is quite a difference from when this group gathered in 2008. Back then, we had a president who strongly favored offshore oil drilling, we were entrenched in a quagmire both in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Americans were very upset about the bailing of the financial industry.. But today, things are different: we have a president who favors offshore oil drilling, we are entrenched in a quagmire both in Iraq and Afghanistan and more Americans are more upset about bailing out of the financial industry. So, for progressives the more things change the more they remain the same.

At this conference, the “Take Back America” was subtitled “The America’s Future Now! Conference.”

Now, with a president who was selected on a progressive platform, the issue for most of the people here was: How do you hold the Democrats and Pres. Obama accountable for the platform that helped him get elected? Especially in an environment with a bad economy and Tea Party people ready to vote all incumbents out of office?

That seems to be the big question that everyone here will be trying to answer over the next 2 1/2 days.  

Comments (10)

  1. deciminyan


    Thanks for your reporting.  Unfortunately, the “progressive” president we have worked for has turned out to be the wimp-in-chief

  2. Nick Lento

    ….the establishment of the Democratic party sold it back to the the corporatists.

    The establishment of the Democratic party used the rhetoric of populism that was so eloquently and passionate voiced at the TBA conferences.  (I attended three of them) and stabbed progressives in the back by refusing to actually IMPLEMENT the legislation and principles that were fought for using the energy and money of ordinary working people.

    I remain optimistic for the future.   Now TBA would be RENAMED and REPURPOSED to TBDP….that’s Take Back the Democratic Party!!!

    Unless our party is TAKEN over by grass roots progressives it will CONTINUE TO LOSE elections that we should have won.

    We should have kicked Christie’s ass in NJ and we should have held Ted Kennedy’s seat in MA.   Without a heart even a big muscular body will collapse….and the progressive movement is the heart of our party……as weak as that movement is… is the soul of our party!!!

    I couldn’t afford to go to this years conference so I hope you can blog a bit about how it’s going!   Thanks!!!

  3. Nora's Tea Party

    Hi Joey,

    I think your problem is the assumption that the “progressive platform” you have in mind is not what the voters were thinking when they elected Obama.

    I think Americans voted for him more because he was black than anything he actually PLANNED to do.   We’re kindly folk at heart and a bunch willing to give the “new kid” a chance.

    Americans hoped for something different and simply got more of the same.    We’re tired of the  the big dogs (blue & red) constantly engaging in a pit fight and Obama’s promise was to end that type of politics.

    Nice promise… unfulfilled.   And everyone just lined up on party lines and continued the head butting contest.

    Good ideas come out of both parties.  But what we independent’s see is that if the Republicans come up with a good idea.. (interstate insurance access, allowing small businesses to group together in an insurance pool, etc.)  the first thing the Dem’s do is shut them out.

    So, the “incumbents” are just playing politics as usual and we’re pretty sick of it.   Seeing as we independents are the ones who PUT Obama in office, it’s our job to fix our mistake by giving the  boot to those who supported policies we don’t like.

    That’s the American way.    And, you do your Blue-Dog no good in our eyes when you call the Red-Dog names (Gorillas?) as it makes you look small.  

    We’er against the government running our lives and against the unions blackmailing our industries out of this country, and our school boards into giving away more than we tax payers can afford.

    Paying over $500/month to the government for the right to live in our own homes is beyond the pale.   We need it fixed.   Will you Blue-Dogs fix it for us?

    All I’ve seen (and point me to another site if you know of one) is the Democrats wanting more government, trying to get rid of the secrecy of the ballot box, and supporting the unions that want more money out of the tax payer (who is broke).

    How is your party going to help us?  WITHOUT raising taxes on ANYONE, rich or poor?  


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