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What Progressives Can Learn from Arkansas | The Nation

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Nation in the News

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What Progressives Can Learn from Arkansas

Senator Blanche Lincoln’s narrow victory over Lt. Gov. Bill Halter in the Arkansas primaries has raised questions about the political fallout facing Democrats come November—most notably, a growing tension between labor unions and the White House. On The Ed Show, host Ed Schultz remarks there is “an appearance the White House doesn’t even respect labor." As Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel, says, “no question the White House is divided.” But the Arkansas primary revealed a growing progressive movement and the need for progressives to continue building power.

“I think whoever said something about how labor lost—flushed money down the toilet in Arkansas drew all the wrong lessons,” says vanden Heuvel. “I think we saw in a very tight race a pro-corporate incumbent nearly got beat. And she became a kind of born-again populist as part of a movement of labor, of net roots activists, of community groups, of faith groups, of environmental groups.  And that is what we need to focus on.”

—Clarissa León

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