Liberals and Progressives Have to Avoid this Devastating Trap the GOP Fell Into

president-obamaIt seemed as soon as the 2012 election results were finalized, the loosely tied together alliance of liberals, progressives, independents and even a few Republicans came unraveled faster than Karl Rove could come up with bizarre scenarios and explanations as to how Romney would somehow still win it all. Before the last ballot was counted, the infighting broke out once again as people tried to establish their more-liberal-than-thou credentials, and the Northern Democrat vs Southern Democrat civil war flared up again like a temporarily contained wildfire.

Now we’re past the 2013 elections and headed toward the midterms in 2014. If you’d like to keep track, here’s a countdown clock. All 435 seats in Congress are up for a vote, plus 33 Senate seats, 38 governor’s mansions (none more prominent than Wendy Davis’ campaign in Texas), as well as 46 state legislatures.

In addition to all of these, there’s a number of ballot initiatives nationwide, some with very far-reaching consequences – like Tennessee’s proposed Constitutional amendment which states the right to abortion is not protected by the state’s Constitution. Or there’s North Dakota’s Measure 1, which would amend their Constitution to state that life begins at conception. This would set a precedent for possibly outlawing abortion statewide, and perhaps yet another review of Roe v. Wade at the Supreme Court level like Casey v. Planned Parenthood in 1992.

Some aren’t as controversial as abortion rights or politically sexy as Wendy Davis but are important nonetheless. Take for example the Louisiana Artificial Reef Development Fund Protection Amendment, which may sound boring, but it keeps Bobby Jindal from using money designated for our artificial reefs for other purposes – such as funding religious schools or flying around the country to campaign for GOP candidates.

The religious right, the Tea Party and establishment Republicans are in an all-out civil war right now following the outcome of the 2013 cycle in which Tea Party-backed candidates lost in extremely conservative districts in both Alabama and Louisiana. Yet Virginia just barely went blue, despite having GOP candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General on the ballot who ideologically rivaled the Taliban for crying out loud.

What’s the point that I’m trying to make? The point is that infighting and trying to be more ideologically pure as if it was a political contest will probably be the death of the Republican Party as we know it, and we shouldn’t fall into the very same trap that the GOP finds itself in now. We should be using this opportunity to appeal to (and not alienate) those moderates in 2014 and beyond – the same people who’ve been alienated by the likes of Rick Santorum and the other radicals who pulled the GOP ever closer to going over the cliff into political irrelevance. This is not the time to rest on our political laurels or stroke our egos about how we’re “more liberal” or “more progressive” than others. This is not a contest – this is the future of our country that is at stake.


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  • capt

    Why hasn’t there been more reporting on Karl Rove vs Anonymous during the 2012 election and that being the reason he was freaking out on the Ohio returns(he thought the fix was in).Also what about the last minute patch to the Ohio tabulations software?

    • Debby Berg

      I don’t know but I have to say I would have given my eye-teeth to be a fly on his shoulder when Romney got his ass kicked.

      • Jim Bean

        Polls now show Romney got his ass kicked because Obama effectively lied. I’m still searching for the consolation in that.

      • emeraldeyes24

        If your allusion is to the ACA, the president did not lie and he still hasn’t lied, what he stated during the campaign is technically so.. as it is laid out in the legislation. Consider though that Insurance companies are, sadly, still part of the mix and they have sullied the mix – they have been in a Deal with the Devil Republicans for decades in a Quid Pro Quo arrangement, you grease my palm and I, the lawmaker, will make sure that only laws are passed that benefit you, Mr. Insurance Guy. This, without any compassion whatsoever for Joe and Jane Average! And it continues to this moment with all of the dirty tricks that the Republicans have undertaken to undermine the ACA. No, the president never lied, in the interest of time he simply didn’t give as much detail as he should have as he made sometimes 5, 6 and 7 stops a day – but that doesn’t negate the Republican politicians and the Insurance company subterfuge that has gone on. Republicans are desperate at this point with the website in Turbo mode handling 50,000 hits a minute and yesterday a million hits in 1 day! People desperately want healthcare who don’t have it and others will receive cheaper healthcare. In Vermont, they have passed Single Payer – everybody in, nobody out!! That train is coming barrelling down the tracks and nobody and no amount of sabotage is going to stop it because the American people see the clear advantages – both financial and emotional – to them and their families!

  • Jim Bean

    With all the scenarios that were conjured up, who could have guessed that the actual tipping point for Romney would have been the absence of Obama’s lying?

  • Steve

    I want
    to believe that we the people will vote and make a statement this time…but I
    have little to no faith in that happening. We are lied to from every which way
    imaginable, and then we have to figure out what truths out there don’t have all
    the facts. I sure don’t have the time everyday to keep up with everything. I
    try just to keep my wits and to help stem the regressive measures that the
    Taliban (Republican Tea Party) vehemently fight for. I do speak out on
    Facebook, at work, and in public, in hopes that I can enlighten at least one
    person. I hope I’m wrong about my doubts and all the Republicans in congress
    are fired. I hope the Democrats don’t go crazy with power either if they win
    back the House. I have hope, but it’s not much and not eroded enough to give