With persistence and strong convictions, insurgents can change a political party. Galvanized by the war and disgusted with weak-spined party leaders, rank-and-file Democrats may at last be ready to bite back.
Among the sweetest victories of 2005: Social Security reform has been blocked, pressure to withdraw from Iraq is growing and progressive activists are making progress on local, state and national issues.
George W. Bush's plan to privatize Social Security is dead, thanks to a
remarkable mobilization by progressive groups. Much can be learned from
the way The Campaign for America's Future, labor unions, MoveOn.org and
others worked together to inform citizens and arouse opposition to the
Progressive groups that mobilized for the 2004 elections are
now dismissed as failures. But though they were unable to defeat Bush,
grassroots activists are creating waves across the country. They may be
the ticket to Republican defeat and the creation of a new movement.
With his campaign to eradicate poverty in America, John Edwards has
shed his Clinton Lite image. But to truly redefine the Democratic party
and win the 2008 presidency, he has a long way to go.
Liberals need to find a means to bridge the gap between Americans'
belief in liberal solutions and their willingness to trust liberals to
The attempt to fashion a distinct Democratic identity was temporarily
halted when Elaine Kamarck and William Galston published a self-serving
call for Democrats to move to the "center." But nearly every Senate
Democrat voted for a raise in the minimum wage, a clear move exclusive
to the party.
Power and the Idealists clings to the notion that the Iraq War was
waged for humanitarian ideals, while At the Point of a Gun
documents the inner torment of humanitarian interventionists who,
without forgetting Rwanda and Bosnia, have gazed into the Iraqi abyss.
It's a tight race, but if Tim Kaine becomes the next governor of
Virginia, Democrats gain what they desperately need to win back
Congress: a big win in a Southern state.
Progressives lack a common set of that tie a movement together. But
they can build on conservatives' proven strategy of slowly creating a