Monday, May 16, 2011

Democratic Left roundup

 Some good reads from blogs and websites on the democratic left.

Marc Cooper blasts  the "worst of both worlds" in Cuba.

Right Wing Watch notes "Historians Agree: David Barton Is No Historian"

Eric Lee on "Israeli ‘apartheid’ and the ghost of Bayard Rustin"

Christopher Hitchens reviews the letters of Rosa Luxemburg

More evidence that those who think Hitch has become a rightist are, to put it gently, wrong.

Josh Harkinson on Ron Paul's 15 Most Extreme Positions

Guy Molyneux cautions that Obama should resists calls from  conservative Democrats to move to the center.  Instead, he should redefine the debate.

Having signaled to voters that he got the message they sent him in 2010, Obama must pivot and broaden the discussion. Democratic moderates urge the president to seize the political center, which is somewhat akin to telling a baseball team to "score more runs" -- elections are won in the center by definition. But conceding ground and moving to the right is not the only, or best, strategy for capturing the political center. Democrats can also seek to define the GOP as further from the center than the public currently understands. Fortunately, today that simply requires telling the truth. A strong contrast message, with well-targeted attacks on Republican priorities, will allow Democrats to seize the center -- and over time, to redefine where the "center" is.

Taking the fight to Republicans can also bolster the public's perception of the president as a strong leader. In February of 2009, 80 percent of Americans thought Barack Obama was a "strong and decisive leader," but that has fallen to only 53 percent today. Obama has said he aspires to be a transformational president in the mode of Ronald Reagan, but Democrats came to fear Reagan, while no one fears Obama (with the possible exception of liberal Democrats). Obama needs to shatter the Republican conceit that the GOP's agenda is actually popular. That will only happen if he draws a sharp line and proves that more Americans stand on his side of the line.


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