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This Week: How to Save the Democratic Party. Plus: Clash in Cairo. | The Nation

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Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Politics, current affairs and riffs and reflections on the news.

This Week: How to Save the Democratic Party. Plus: Clash in Cairo.

SAVING THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. “American progressives and principled liberals need to face an essential truth,” writes L.R. Runner. “The Democratic Party, as now constituted, is no longer an agency for realizing their ideals.” Runner, a regular contributor writing under a pseudonym, opens this week’s forum on “How to Save the Democratic Party” and how to transform it into an organization capable of bringing about desperately needed progressive change. Joining the discussion, among others, are Congressman Keith Ellison, co-chair of the the Congressional Progressive Caucus; historian Michael Kazin; NAACP president and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous; and Councilman Brad Lander, co-chair of New York City’s Progressive Caucus. I hope you’ll take a look at Runner’s piece here and that you’ll join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook. And for more on the left media, the Democratic Party, and President Obama, take a look at Dylan Byers’s article for Politico featuring interviews with Nation voices like Chris Hayes and Ari Melber—and I talk to Byers about fighting for progressivism in the long-term.

CLASH IN CAIRO. Nation Institute fellow Sharif Abdel Kouddous reports from Egypt this week where thousands of supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi battled around the presidential palace; seven people were killed and more than 670 were injured in the violence. Protests erupted over two weeks ago when President Morsi issued a constitutional decree that would place him above judicial oversight. “The decree united Morsi’s fractured non-Islamist opposition and sparked some of the largest street demonstrations in Egypt since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak,” writes Kouddous. Read Kouddous’s report here to find out more. And watch as he reports live from Cairo on Democracy Now! where he says protesters were using the same kind of language against Morsi as they had against Mubarak.

GUNS, VIOLENCE, & THE NFL. When Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher committed suicide after killing Kasandra Perkins last Saturday, Bob Costas drew fire for pointing to a problem of “gun culture” in the United States on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Our sports editor Dave Zirin published an interview with Costas asking him to respond to criticism that a sports show wasn’t the “right forum” for a discussion on guns. “I’d say close to 100 percent of those who feel that way do so simply because they disagree and didn’t want to hear the particular thing I had to say,” Costas told Zirin. Read that interview here, and also take a look at Zirin’s article on murder, suicide and the NFL. Jessica Valenti weighs in as well in her piece “Kasandra Perkins Did Not Have to Die,” arguing that the media made excuses for, even lauded, Jovan Belcher, hesitating to call what happened domestic violence. “When the media reports domestic violence murders as random tragedies—or when individuals say the perpetrator must have ‘snapped’—they enable a culture of violence against women,” writes Valenti.

PROGRESSIVES PUSH CUOMO. The Wall Street Journal took note of my blog from last week, in which I called for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to push for a Democratic majority in the State Senate. “Liberal critics such as the Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel and MSNBC host Chris Hayes have warned that Cuomo’s neutrality could hurt campaign finance reform, marijuana decriminalization and an effort to raise the state minimum wage.” Read my piece here, and take a look at Chris Hayes’s critique of the governor—and what’s at stake for progressive reform in New York.

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