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Progressive Activism: What Works

While progressives have had some successes around the edges, it’s largely been Sherman’s March to the Sea for the corporate agenda during the Clinton-Bush-Obama years. Nothing progressives have achieved can compare to NAFTA, the lucrative wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush tax cuts, and the bank/insurance industry/PhRMA bailouts. Now Congress is preparing to dismantle the New Deal, selectively defaulting on Treasury bonds issued to the Social Security trust fund — targeting American senior citizens in this sudden compulsion to reduce the deficit.

I only know of one action that has really caused Obama to reverse course dramatically and relent on something he didn’t want to do — and that was when Dan Choi, Jim Pietrangelo, GetEqual and other LGBT activists gave the finger to their veal pen overlords (and the members of Congress who handle them), publicly heckled and embarrassed Obama, and chained themselves to the fence of the White House.

The White House response may not be sufficient, but the pressure is working.

photo: Pam’s House Blend

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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