Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Must reading for progressive Dems

American Prospect is bringing, in installments, an important paper by Ruy Texira and John Halpin. Michael Tomasky, TAP's editor describes it this way

John Halpin of the Center for American Progress Action Fund and Ruy Teixeira of CAP and the Century Foundation (and co-author of The Emerging Democratic Majority) undertook research on the state of the Democratic Party and progressive politics in America. Their chief concern: To get to the bottom of the question of why so many Americans don’t have a firm sense of what progressives and the Democratic Party stand for today.

The result of their efforts is this paper, The Politics of Definition: The Real Third Way. The paper can be read in part as a 2006 answer to The Politics of Evasion, the landmark 1989 study by William Galston and Elaine Kamarck, which described a more centrist politics and helped lay the groundwork for Bill Clinton’s ascendancy (and which they updated last year in The Politics of Polarization).

Part I looks at the basic problem facing progressives and the Democratic Party -- the “identity gap” faced within many specific voter groups -- and then surveyed electoral areas of Democratic and progressive strength.

Part II discusses areas of Democratic and progressive weakness.

I'll post links to Parts III and IV when they are available. There's already a vigorous discussion of the paper underway and sure to be more.

Keep your eyes open. Happy reading.

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