I erroneously thought the 'progressive' Democrats or lefties were liberals like me. Even Daily Kos is often referred to a 'liberal' site in the MSM, despite the fact that kos has self-identified as a 'Libertarian Democrat' - which is the topic of his next book. As for the rest of the kossacks, my perception is that the majority are far more centrist than liberal.
On Sunday, Booman wrote about embracing conservatives under the big tent of the Democratic party (and I'm sure he'll correct me if I'm wrong in that summary):
In the long run we need the Democratic Party to be huge. But in order for it to be huge, it cannot be as ideologically pure as it is now. It has to be more nebulous and its appeal has to be populist. That's what I meant when I said I'd like to see a Congress more like the ones under LBJ. No, I don't want to welcome back segregationists. I want to win back conservative values voters by improving their wages, their education, their health care, their pensions, and their environment.
He also hopes for more moderate Republicans so there can be more bipartisan middle ground. That may be ideal (for some) but in the current political climate, it doesn't appear to be very attainable and liberals don't necessarily find that desirable since they'll be stuck with representatives in Centrist Land which invites more Joe Liebermans - not less of them.
Last week, pyrrho wrote a diary about this phenomenon. Here's what he thinks about luring conservatives into the Democratic party:
That is a goal that will fail, again, know why? Because the problem is people like Webb... the problem is conservative ideas themselves. They suck. They are not good for the nation. They claim to be about XYZ, but are really about death, self-destruction, and potholes. It wasn't really just that Stalin didn't get a chance to really try his ideas, Stalinism was bad! It isn't that the Republicans have fallen off the golden path illuminated by the glowing footsteps of Reagan, it's that it FOLLOWED that path, and it leads to ruin, emotional and material.
Of course, since I am a liberal, I agree wholeheartedly.
Which brings me back to my original question: what is 'progressive' politics anyway? Is it the big tent, 'grab 'em where you find 'em' type of ideology to broaden the base of the Democratic party? Is it a movement towards more widespread liberalism? Is it somewhere in between in Centrist Land?
Is Red Dan right when he says:
The views held by liberals are actually MORE popular in this nation than the views held by conservatives or moderates.
It is about time that ONE of the political parties reflected that.
If we do so effectively, we will win MORE seats.
I know that's true in Canada...
So what is 'progressive' politics?