Progressive? Not me, I’m liberal and proud!

Progressive? Not me, I’m liberal and proud!

: Who went to the committee meeting that decided that liberals should be called progressive now?

Well, I can guess who went. And so I know why I wasn’t invited. But I would have liked to have gotten the memo… so I could complain about it (and piss off the committee once again).

What wimpery. What balllessness.

It’s as if liberals are ashamed of being liberal. It’s as if we bought the conservative mantra that it’s a bad word. It’s as if we, too, started to believe it was a bad word and so they changed the word. It’s as if the party believes it can win elections if it just changes a word. If that’s the case, why not go all the way: Rename the Democratic Party. Any ideas?

This hit me as I read many of the links associated with my recent dustup with the Progressive Boys Club wanting to drum me out. I kept seeing the word “progressive” everywhere.

That’s the name of an insurance company (or is it an auto-body shop?). It’s the name for a a long-ago movement from a different world. It has the unironic sound of a newspeak chant. I don’t like it.

I’m not afraid to stand up and say I’m liberal (and I’m disappointed in the liberals who are… as well as the liberals who don’t want me to call myself liberal).

So maybe that’s the solution, boys: You be progressive. I’ll be liberal. And proud.

: LATER: See Chris Nolan, liberal.

  • monkeyboy

    Maybe that section of the party wants “progress”, that includes speech codes and America First? That hardly seems liberal at all.

  • Tom

    That memo has been out for 10 years…. And to be honest , if you want to play the name game, much of the presidents agenda is much more in the classical liberal tradition than those that oppose him are.
    Of course there are things that he is conservative about, but the things that his administration (outside of the useless FCC) are fighting for are classically liberal. He has increased spending in Education, fought for changing the status quo in the world to empower the people to be free. Sounds like the Progressives are the conservatives…
    My 2 Cents

  • tim

    jeff, don’t you realize we’re “framing” evertyhing now? haven’t you read the latest snake oil salesman to the Democratic Party, George Lakoff, who claims all we have to do win again is change the words we use? has nothing to do with policy. just words. it’s magic!
    remember that bugs bunny cartoon where he’s being chased by a vampire in a haunted castle, and reads a magic words book at bedtime, and everytime he says the magic words, the vampire turns back into a bat?
    hocus pocus!
    and then YAY, we’re electable again.

  • It wasn’t enough that the term liberal was degraded over the years, now it’s been debased, to progressive.

  • It has been 10 years. I remember hearing it first out of the mouths of the editors at The Nation Magazine, where I interned in 1995. Clinton was President, and the Democratic Party Elite were shopping the word around, seeing if it stuck, kind of like Jesse Jackson flipping the script on “black” to “African-American.”
    I remember thinking “WTF”?! I applied to be an intern at a “Liberal” amagzine and now this. No one ever mentioned how ridiculous it all sounded, changing the name of “The Movement.” It was vaguely 60s, almost “Situationist.”
    I always wondered how that worked. Did the editors of The Nation, The New Republic and Democrats in Congress and Clinton’s caninet meet up at some Georgetown dinner and all vote with raised hands that being a “Progressive” was better than being called “liberal”? If so I wasn’t invited, Whatever. You’ve got to blame Gorge Bush I for so successfully demonizing “the L word” (The other one that doesn’t involve sexy women).

  • gunther

    This ongoing series has gone long past the point of idiocy.
    Color me confused. First you complain because ‘some people’ object to the fact that you call yourself a liberal, when you claim that you are one. Now you complain when that same group (supposedly) doesn’t want to call themselves liberal, when you think that they should. There’s a punchline in here for anyone who can be bothered to come up with it, but I can’t waste time trying to be clever when faced with such an absurd premise.
    p.s. – The ‘progressive’ meme that you refer to isn’t gaining popularity because librals are afraid to refer to themselves as such. It’s because the term ‘progressive’ has connotations involving reform and challenging the status quo that have a certain appeal to voters that terms like ‘liberal’ or ‘liberalism’ lack (at least that’s the theory). Conservatives have certainly gotten a lot of mileage out of attacking the ‘liberal elites’ that supposedly run the country. Calling oneself a progressive is a way of nullifying the tactics that conservatives have used successfully for so long. I mean, who can object to progress?
    p.p.s. – For a real example of how meaningless these terms really are, one of the main political parties in Canada is called the ‘Progressive Conservatives’. Try wrapping your head around that.

  • Franky

    Progressive denotes to me something more radical and left than liberal. From your comments, Jeff, I think of you generally as center, or perhaps a fraction to the left of center. I don’t see the problem in that, but I don’t really see how a discussion of progressives would have much relevancy to you. (of course as others have noted it is an entirely self-serving label that I for one don’t and won’t use).
    Whether these labels are stupid or not (they are), they are the common currency of conversation. If someone is described to you as a conservative then you will have some idea of what they believe in and what they oppose. Of course only the dullards will always fit in just one label, whether it be liberal or conservative, but these labels will give some idea of the individual’s thinking.

  • WJA

    The problem with the term “progressive” is exactly the same problem with the term “moral majority”– they imply that the political opposition is against progress and morality. It’s a dishonest, thuggish rhetorical trick when the right does it, and liberals do themselves no favors when they adopt the same tactics.

  • The proof is, as they say, in the pudding…
    Here is what Jarvis claims are his liberal credentials….but lets see what his record is///
    I am dying to vote for Hillary Clinton.
    but just try and find a blog entry praising Hillary Clinton, or taking his asshole buddies like Hewitt, Hindrocket, and Reynolds to task for trashing and lying about Senator Clinton. So, although Jarvis may claim to support Hillary Clinton, there is scant proof that he really does so.
    : I vote Democratic in local races in my corner of New Jersey, when they have the guts to run.
    but when has Jarvis ever blogged about local democrats, and how his readers should support their local democratic candidates? Jarvis claims to support local democrats, but you never see Jarvis making a point of blogging about party building, which is the first step in empowering “liberal Democrats”. Instead, you see him constantly trashing the grassroots movements that are working to rebuild the party.
    : I am pro-choice.
    yet when was the last time you saw Jarvis blogging about choice, and the radical right’s anti-choice agenda? Not a word out of Jarvis about the GOP’s consideration of the “nuclear option” — changing Senate rules of over 200 years standing in order to force through radical right judges who want to overturn Roe V. Wade. Jarvis claims to be pro-choice, but he is far more critical of those who take an activist stand in support of a woman’s right to control her own body than he is of his asshole buddies like Hewitt who demonize those who support choice.
    I opposed the Bush tax cuts.
    yet when was the last time you saw Jarvis blog about the destructive impact of Bush’s tax cuts and the massive deficits they are creating? Indeed, Jarvis has virtually ignored the Social Security issue, which is ONLY an issue because of the massive Bush deficits. Jarvis may claim that he opposed Bush’s tax cuts, but you don’t see him taking on his asshole buddies like Reynolds and Hindrocket when it comes to economic policies and Bushco’s lies about Social Security.
    I am against school vouchers.
    yet when was the last time you saw Jarvis blogging about the dangers of the voucher programs, and the importance of public education? Jarvis claims to oppose vouchers, but he is virtually silent on the issue.
    I am for gay marriage and quit the Presbyterian Church over its bigotry against gays.
    yet, when was the last time you saw Jarvis take on Bush’s exploitation of homophobia for political gain? When was the last time you saw Jarvis criticize Hewitt for his barely disguised gay-bashing? Jarvis may claim to support gay marriage, but except for making fun of Dobson’s stupid SpongeBob Squarepants comments, he doesn’t have a lot to say about the campaign of hate and divisiveness that his asshole buddies Hewitt, Reynolds, and Hindrocket engage in.
    I am for universal health care.
    but have you ever seen Jarvis blog on the subject? Hell, Bush just submitted a budget that makes massive cuts in Medicaid, cut that will give state governments no choice but to shut off medical coverage for hundreds of thousands of working poor Americans…. but Jarvis didn’t blog about that. Jarvis may claim to support universal health care, but when it comes to mentioning how Bush and the GOP are doing their best to eliminate medical coverage for the working poor, Jarvis remains silent.
    I fight for free speech in America and elsewhere.
    except when that free speech is being exercised by people like Kos, Alterman, Cole, or anyone else who doesn’t support the murder of tens upon tens of thousands of Muslims on “humanitarian grounds”. That’s right, Jarvis claims that his support for the Bush administration’s policies of death and torture for Muslims is, according to him, “humanitarian”.
    Jarvis can claim to be a liberal, and can claim to support all sorts of liberal policies. And I can claim to be the King of Siam. And there is just about as much evidence that Jarvis is a liberal as there is that I am descended from the Thai royal family.
    Hell, at least I don’t make a point of trashing the Thai royal family in public.

  • tim

    not enough framing going on here, folks. better get with it, or we might lose again!
    magic words & phrases!

  • Paul Brinkley

    I’d always associated the term “progressive” with good things. Specifically, with positive reform. To me, progressivm is the Honest Left, the people who say there’s some bad stuff, we think it’s absolutely bad as opposed to relatively bad, and here’s why we think so, and here’s how we’d fix it. We only want to change it to the extent we believe it’s bad, so if you disagree, state your case; we’ll listen. Et cetera.
    To me, progressive reminds me of Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, and JFK, all of whom I admire.
    It does bother me that there may be an attempt to “steal” this meaning.
    For what it’s worth, Jeff, I’ll always identify you with the good progressives, like Marc Cooper and the aforestated three.

  • deb

    Just out of curiosity, can a church be bigoted for preaching what THEY believe the bible says?

  • tim

    you guys gotta see this pic from the supreme court ten commandments case at my website,

  • Deb: Um, yes. Next question?

  • Derek

    Jeff, I agree with much of what you write. And I despair at the loss of compromise in the physical world and the blogosphere (as if the two can be separated).
    But I feel like every time liberals (yes, I am one and use the term and have stark differences with so-called progressives) offer a bipartisan hand, they pull back a stump.
    Look at AARP (slimed now on SS after compromising on Drug Benefits). And John Kerry—who ran a most civil convention in August, esp. compared to the shrill demonization of anything liberal in the GOP convention. Kerry’s reward: he was accused of being a traitor.
    Sean Hannity has a prescription for fighting evi…and liberalism. Ann Coulter suggests talking to liberals (when you must) with a baseball bat.
    So what do you say, Jeff, to a liberal who’s wary of reaching out a hand these days? It’s not like the negativity on the right side is costing them elections, right? Why won’t scorched earth work for us? Why shouldn

  • Clem

    Call me liberal or progressive. Either is a compliment.

  • Progressive is pretty positive, when you consider that the shrubbery is being tagged as neocons. I surely don’t favor neoliberal. And I think that the green party has coopted populism.
    Liberal looks better and better. I have to note that it’s being used with a small ‘l’, anyway. I agree with Jeff. Be proud of what we are.

  • except when that free speech is being exercised by people like Kos, Alterman, Cole
    Rubbish. I hate it when people play the “free speech” card in order to stifle free speech. It’s such a vile tactic. Jeff can criticise whoever he wants. And you can criticise Jeff. End of story.

  • Has it truly come to this?
    A quarrel over who is liberal/progressive, and which term should be used?
    The Entheomaniac in the White House and his Myrmidons on Capitol Hill are laughing.

  • Gary Johnston

    The GOP has people like this too – the Club for Growthers and Fundies who deride the moderates all the time. They practically impaled Arlen Specter on their pitchforks last year.
    So … who gives a shit if people disagree with you and grouse about your dedication to the “movement”? Such is the fate of non-idealogues. Just suck it up and support the party that you can mostly agree with.

  • “Sean Hannity has a prescription for fighting evi…and liberalism. Ann Coulter suggests talking to liberals (when you must) with a baseball bat.”
    Does the name Michael Moore ring a bell? Molly Ivins, Sy Hersh, Kitty Kelly? You know, it would help if people stop being so pretentious. To claim that the left ran a “decent” campaign is the hight of hypocrisy.

  • Paul Brinkley

    Yeah, what Gary Johnston said.
    Derek: I think the main problem is, we didn’t see things the same way. You see Kerry fighting a civil campaign; we see all the 501s. We see big-tent GOP politics; you see Ann Coulter. It goes on and on.
    I’m detecting a cherry-picking pattern in political debate. Side A brings up something shameful on Side B. Side B – oh heck, let’s say the “moderate faction” of Side B – secretly agrees it was not their finest hour, but there’s a combination of the disbelief that such misbehavior exists on Side B, the urge to not admit anything in the face of Side A’s bloodthirsty hounds, and the indignance at Side A’s assumption of moral high ground given the intransigencies on -their- side. So instead, Side B brings up the shames of Side A. And the situation repeats itself in near perfect symmetry.
    I often wonder to what extent we should start distancing ourselves from our own extremists. Mr. Jarvis has dove into that with gusto. He’s getting castigated for it, which kinda proves a fourth force against Side B admitting any shame: Side B’s own hounds will turn on it, and now Side B is fighting on two fronts.
    Side A could probably help the mods on Side B out by offering a little carrot, and admitting the parts of B that they like. Side B could do likewise. There’s some of that going on already. I’m wondering how it’ll all play out, but I suspect that the first side to take the carrot approach will win this round.

  • Paul,
    but just try and find a blog entry praising Hillary Clinton
    12/30/2002 – : The great thing about the right-wing demonizing Bill Clinton is that they only ended up beatifying his Mrs., Hillary Clinton — or at least making her sympathic and human. They set her up for her Senate victory. They set her up for her run for the White House.
    Laugh if you will. Ignore it if you try. But the Hillary bandwagon is starting to roll.
    A week ago, she topped a Time/CNN poll of possible Democratic candidates for the presidency.
    And now a Gallup poll says she is the most admired woman in America (edging Mrs. Bush and Ms. Winfrey).
    Sure, some people hate her. But they’re going to hate her no matter what — and their hatred only endears her to Democrats.
    But plenty admire her, clearly. Many sympathize with her. And many actually agree with her (every damned time they have to deal with idiotic, wasteful, even deadly practices by insurance companies and doctors).
    Could it be Condi Rice vs. Hillary Clinton in ’04 or ’08?
    but when has Jarvis ever blogged about local democrats, and how his readers should support their local democratic candidates?
    October 18th, 2004 –
    Tom Watson (the American) agrees and says that Jason “targets uber-blogger Jeff Jarvis, reliably centrist and stubbornly (even annoyingly) on the fence so far, as emblematic of NJ voters Kerry needs.”
    Technically, I’m not on the fence. I’m soft.
    Tom prescribes a dose of Clinton Viagra: “So saddle up Bubba, and get him to NJ.”
    Bubba: Let’s lunch.
    yet when was the last time you saw Jarvis blogging about choice, and the radical right’s anti-choice agenda?
    October 26th, 2004 – There are so many issues that matter to our daily lives that I do not want in the hands of a right-wing court — many having to do with strict interpretation (how’s that for spinning?) of the separation of church and state as it affects efforts to legislate one side’s morality regarding abortion, homosexuality, marriage, science, and religious freedom. This is the wisdom of the founding fathers; this is how they get us to think past just one issue. Ideology matters and it matters most for the Supreme Court.
    yet when was the last time you saw Jarvis blog about the destructive impact of Bush’s tax cuts and the massive deficits they are creating?
    June 24, 2004 – George Bush (following in the footsteps of Reaganomics) made a politically cynical tax cut when he came into office, cutting taxes but not cutting spending and instead borrowing so he could cut those taxes. He gave away money to voters, money he didn’t have. He borrowed money from our children to pay us to curry favor with us. That is political cynicism at its worst; it’s one of my big problems with Bush.
    yet when was the last time you saw Jarvis blogging about the dangers of the voucher programs, and the importance of public education?
    January 8th, 2005 – : On Today just now, Armstrong Williams — the conservative pundit who was paid by the Department of Education to flack for No Child Left Behind — tried to explain what he did and then he tried to set a world record for how many times he could apologize in three minutes.
    He said, “Pundits and commentators should be held to the same standards as journalists” Well, yeah. Well, duh.
    But it’s too late. He screwed up and it’s all the more amazing because it would have been so easy not to. It’s all about transparency.
    And it is an object lesson for bloggers.
    yet, when was the last time you saw Jarvis take on Bush’s exploitation of homophobia for political gain?
    December 21st, 2003 – : Daniel Drezner shows why a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage won’t get off the ground. Thank goodness, a constitutional amendment is extremely difficult to enact. Threatening one is usually the last, desperate act of a hopeless movement.
    : Update: Chris Geidner fisks the NY Times story that says a poll finds “strong support” for a gay marriage ban. [via Atrios]
    but have you ever seen Jarvis blog on the subject?
    July 8, 2004 – I can’t wait until Hillary is president. We will get health care reform then. Just as Bush the younger finished Bush the older’s job in Iraq, I hope Clinton the Mrs. will finish Clinton the Mr.’s work — and her own work — in health care.
    except when that free speech is being exercised by people like Kos, Alterman, Cole, or anyone else who doesn’t support the murder of tens upon tens of thousands of Muslims on “humanitarian grounds”. That’s right, Jarvis claims that his support for the Bush administration’s policies of death and torture for Muslims is, according to him, “humanitarian”.
    This is silly. Nowhere does Jarvis advocate suppressing anyone’s speech on the Left. I may disagree with Jarvis’ belief that the War in Iraq was a good thing, but I have not suffered any ill repercussions as part of his extended commentariat because of my views. Similarly he will link to and engage with his liberal critics rather than attempting them to silence them without a debate. Granted, he can get a little hot under the collar on certain issues, but I thought righteous indignation was supposed to be a good thing, Paul!

  • What’s funny, Jeff, is how you get attacked relentlessly in these comments by both the ultra-right wing for being too liberal and by the ultra-left wing for being too conservative. It seems anathema to them that you could actually have opinions on both sides, depending on the issue, and that there would be nothing wrong with that. I don’t understand when politics became a fight to the death all-out war and that if you don’t agree with President Bush on everything he ever did or said, you are a bad American. (Or vice versa for liberals who are supposed to oppose everything he ever did or said).
    I used to consider myself quite conservative until I started reading the hatred and Bible-thumping vitriol being spewed in these comments by fellow so-called conservatives. I find myself way to the left of them on a lot of issues all of the sudden and agreeing with the “liberals”. Which is not something that I ever expected to happen.

  • Derek

    Yes, Paul Brinkley, I was cherry picking—you’re right to say that each side does this too much—but I was making a point. That point was that Jeff Jarvis claims that Liberals will lose if they pursue trash-the-other-side tactics.
    Liberals may counter Coulter with Moore, and on and on. But I don’t think Jarvis explains see why the right wins and the left doesn’t with these tactics. The debate is toxic, granted, and each side should be willing to compromise. But how is “unilateral” compromise going to lead to the left winning?

  • It seems anathema to them that you could actually have opinions on both sides, depending on the issue, and that there would be nothing wrong with that.
    The biggest problem with having just two parties that so completely dominate politics in the USA is that the overwhelming majority of voters probably have to compromise on at least ONE issue to vote for a particular party. For example, I support gay marriage but oppose abortion. I oppose the death penalty but support gun rights. I imagine there’s a LOT of people like me out there.

  • Liberals may counter Coulter with Moore, and on and on. But I don’t think Jarvis explains see why the right wins and the left doesn’t with these tactics.
    I really wonder if either side really “win” with those tactics. At the very least, thay may win some, but lose others. Maybe Moore simply lost the election MORE than Coulter lost it for the Republicans. He is certainly much more famous than Coulter.

  • Kat

    Jeff is in good company. Any Liberal with any sense thinks like Jeff does–it is the lunatics who don’t appreciate his honesty–because that is exactly what Jeff is when he criticizes the crazies–brutally honest….and the kosites, the Olivers,the pondscum Coles,the Wacky Ward Churchills, and the radicals at Democratic Underground can’t stand honesty–they prefer conspiracy theories and outright lies and they need to feel superior.
    Victor David Hansen sums ‘them’ up:
    {You are a life-long Democrat, a classicist and an old-style farmer skeptical of big business, yet after September 11 you

  • The word has a definition, and ‘they’, didn’t come up with it. It shares its Latin root, liber, with liberty. Liber means free. Liberal is suitable for a free person, and that suits me.

  • WJA

    I think the best strategy is not to abandon “liberal”, but to take a page from Rove (choke), and amend the term. About a third of the US identify as conservative, but it has a negative connotation with the third or so who comprise the political center who agree with conservatives on some issues, but not others– and more than that, are just put off by conservatives’ antagonistic, callous attitude.
    Rove’s solution? “Compassionate conservative”. Leave aside the discussion about whether the term is an honest one, for a moment– it was definitely effective.
    Alternately, the term I’d propose is “hard-nosed liberal”. Someone with liberal principles who isn’t afraid to amend them with practicality, or fight for with military force. The cool thing is, “hard-nosed liberal” is a term that appeals to a much wider group– liberal hawks, centrists, even moderate Republicans. A hard-nosed liberal has at least a fighting chance against a compassionate conservative.

  • Chris Josephson

    I recall reading that the people considered they had bought and paid for the Democratic Party. They feel they own it, and want to shape it into something different, and they believe better, than it is today.
    I bet much of what we see happening on the net and in the blogs is the result of some people trying to make the Democratic party ‘theirs’. (Throw out the dead ideas and dead wood.)
    Interesting article in Rolling Stone about the power struggle within the Democratic Party:
    The Online Insurgency
    (found via Drudge)

  • “: Who went to the committee meeting that decided that liberals should be called progressive now?”
    Jeff, this has been going on for the past 20 years at least. I have hung out in “progressive” circles, and I’ve been watching it.
    It’s a good thing. It means that us pro-democracy pro-free market-with-a sane-safety-net types can reclaim the term “liberal.” We just need to alert the NRO and Redstate and Insta crowd, and the terminology will change within a month.

  • Paul Brinkley

    I’m inclined to agree with MisterPundit: the situation was probably a case of Moore losing the election more than Coulter lost it. We could argue as to why that was, or even IF that was, but I would leave it at that, the point being, I didn’t like Moore’s tactics, but I didn’t like Coulter’s, either.
    Derek: I should probably have paid more attention to your voiced genuine curiosity – in response to that, I’d say, “that’s a debate”. There’s probably hundreds of points that could be made on both sides of why mudslinging should or shouldn’t work. Personally, I suspect that at the end of the day, most of America saw -both- sides as being thoroughly filthy, and trying to dress either side up wouldn’t have convinced them by the time November had rolled around. Instead, they decided on other grounds.
    With that said, the high road should always be better than the low road, all other things being equal. However, while Kerry himself may have been fairly civil in his personal campaign, I would argue that that wasn’t enough. He needed to not only be personally civil, but also denounce the tactics of people like Moore, Dowd, Kos, etc., and – and this might have been too much to overcome – have disavowed his actions during and after his presence in Vietnam. I say this knowing full well what it could have done to his image in his supporters’ eyes, but that’s just my hunch: in the sum, it hurt him.

  • donut

    It is simple. They don’t want to use the word ‘liberal’ because they don’t want the movement to be associated with liberty and liberation.
    Donut, from the Treo

  • cagy

    Anyone watch Hardball well Chris said something I thiught he would never say he said that President Bush Would really need protected because of the courages stands he has taken
    who would have thought he would ever give Bush any credit

  • Kat

    Well, liberty and liberation aren’t exactly a liberal thing–if it was up to Liberals, Saddam would still be conducting public hangings and the Taliban beating up women,and terrorists would be minutemen, oppressed and downtrodden millionaires.
    I prefer the ancient definition for liberal–meaning morally unrestrained; licentious.

  • sbw

    You’re not a “liberal”. You’re Jeff Jarvis. You take positions on issues that are sensible to you, regardless of the label. And you don’t care what other people call you when you do it. Lighten up. Laugh. Move on.
    Remember Martin Balsam as the uncle,Marty (?), in “Thousand Clowns”. I may not be this or that, but I am the best Marty that ever was. Cue the marching music. Hold your head up. And march out.

  • Jim S

    Kat, thank you for proving that the pathological hatred evinced by the far right represented in the media by people such as Coulter and Hannity is far from uncommon in the ranks which explains why the Republicans win with it. It appeals to people such as yourself. Once you said that the liberals you’d grown up with were bigots. Look in a mirror if you want to find one today.

  • Derek

    Paul Brinkley makes excellent points and I appreciate the civil tone (compare to Kat above, for instance). I’d like to believe that Moore lost more than Coulter lost. Maybe so. I think Kerry might have denounced the antics of his party’s fringe (though GWB never really called on the Swift Boat Vets to stop slinging mud at a fellow veteran).
    But it seems equally arguable that dirty politics consistently works for the right. (qv Rove and mentor Atwater and their mentors in Nixon WH.) And if this is the case, doesn’t it make sense to argue that more effective dirty tricksters might be what the left needs? It might be sad, we might not like it. But Red Baiting on the one side and TR-style populism on the other have a long tradition in American politics, as Karl Rove has demonstrated. Seems to me you ignore this fact at your own peril.

  • Jersey exile…
    thanks for doing all that work, and proving my point. Jeff may claim to support all sorts of “liberal agenda” stuff, but as you can see by the dates on the posts that you cited, they are certainly not a priority for him.
    Jeff’s real agenda, at least as far as it can be discerned from his blog, is obvious. (in no particular order)
    a) trying to justify his support for the killing of tens upon tens of thousands of Muslims (for “humanitarian reasons, no less)
    b) Free Speech (for which I do applaud him)
    c) trashing Dean, anyone who supports Dean, and anyone he considers too “liberal”
    to me, that is not the portrait of a “liberal”, but a portrait of a right-winger with pronounced libertarian tendencies on the issue of the first amendment.

  • Derek

    And yes, Jim S. dead on—as long as the rank and file of GOP think (for lack of a better word) and talk like Kat, then expect more mud and brainless unpatriotic invective; the GOP needs the red meat to shore up its base. The question Jarvis raises, importantly, is how to appeal to the middle, shaky Republican voters and peel them away from the Kats of the world. Shouldn’t be too hard, either….

  • richard mcenroe

    Jersey Exile

  • dries

    lukasiak, ask your doc to up your pill intake. your “bush derangement syndrome” has to be medicated ASAP.
    jeff is hardly a “liberal’ or a “progressive”. whatever that means on 02/02/05. guy is a democrat with keenly working brain, able to criticise republicans & to disagree with lemmings on democratic side.

  • tim wg

    Another overused term is centrist and moderate.
    Centrist is often used by Democrats as if they are middle of the road. They are not.
    I’m not sure how Centrist is compared with Moderate. They are about the same.
    Democrats who call themselves Centrists and Moderates mean they are not loony leftists, but sometimes they are lying. It goes hand in hand with the “Progressive” label.
    I prefer simplicity. Just state your position on any issue and I’ll decide if you’re left, right, liberal, conservative, or crazy.

  • Faramin

    Your comments are good reasons why Jeff doesn’t like you. Obviously it is because you expose his hypocracy very well.
    Jeff has shown that he can easily become “righter” than “rights”, despite what he claims.

  • Kat

    Derek, a better strategy for you would be to peel the lunatic fringe from your ranks, before you worry about appealing to Republicans. As long as you protect the likes of Moore, KKK Byrd, Ward Churchill, Kos and his kidz,etc. you don’t have a hope in hell of attracting any self respecting Republican. Your only hope are the Jarvis types, but he isn’t a real liberal, is he.:):):)

  • EverKarl

    All hail paul_lukasiak, King of Siam!
    Can’t get more progressive than that!

  • “That’s the name of an insurance company”
    Actually, that’s not a coincidence– the owners are self-declared “progressives”.
    Someone better than me at web-snooping can probably find verification, I think.

  • EverKarl

    BTW Jeff,
    Why don’t you blog more often on the evils of partial term abortion? Or getting prayer back into public schools? Or racially profiling Arabs, so we can chuck them in camps? Or applauding the tenure of John Ashcroft? Or on how the Swift Boat vets had it exactly right? Or on Sen. Byrd’s background as a member of the KKK? Or how Oliver Willis is like kryptonite to stupid? Or how Kos is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Well, okay, maybe not since sliced bread, but since Howard Dean, who is the greatest thing since sliced bread?

  • All hail paul_lukasiak, King of Siam! Can’t get more progressive than that!
    geez, Karl, this was actually funny!

  • I just want to make my position clear:
    I am not a liberal. I am not a conservative. I am not a progressive. I’m not even a transgressive.
    (I know it’s hard right now and we’re under a lot of stress, but that’s my team and I’m sticking with with them – win or lose, right or wrong.)

  • h0mi

    Centrist is often used by Democrats as if they are middle of the road. They are not.

    As is the term “moderate”.

    your “bush derangement syndrome” has to be medicated ASAP.

    I think he’s suffering from Jarvis derangement syndrome now.

  • Modern Man

    Definition of a liberal: Someone who should be supporting democracy in Lebanon and Iran but won’t because he’s afraid his friends won’t like him.
    Defnition of a progressive: Someone who can’t remember what Lenin did to Bukharin.

  • h0mi

    “That’s the name of an insurance company”
    Actually, that’s not a coincidence– the owners are self-declared “progressives”.

    The opportunity to earn a profit is how the competitive free-enterprise system motivates investment to enhance human health and happiness. Expanding profits reflect our customers’ and claimants’ increasingly positive view of Progressive.

    I’m not so sure about that.

  • richard mcenroe

    Modern Man

  • Kat

    Nancy Soderberg to Jon Stewart:
    “as a Democrat, you don

  • Jeff B.

    Erm…hate to be jerk, but Stalin did it to Bukharin. Lenin died over a decade before.

  • Jeff’ Konscience

    Jeff hearts Hugh Hewitt.
    Jeff really hearts Powerline.
    Jeff really really hearts Glenn Reynolds. (“B-roll, hourly” — does b = butt? because that’s where Jeff is taking it.)
    Now, how many times does Jeff say anything nice about anyone in that part of the blogosphere left of Rick Santorum? Once in a blue moon. That’s all. Jeff is a liberal in the same sense that W is for free speech.

  • “Progressive” is a euphemism for “kinda like the Sovietski Soyuz, but without the gulags and with a sharply reduced number of deaths.” I’m only slightly exagerating; many “progressives” would call themselves “socia|ists” if they were honest about it.

  • Eileen

    Neoprogressives = masters of the Art of Invective. They are currently being schooled by their chosen leaders of the day: Dean, Byrd, Moore, etc. These people don’t do anything of substance. They merely call people names, repeat the same tired lies and lines to the point of inflicting Chinese water torture, and foment anger (mostly among themselves).
    I guess, Jeff, if you aren’t willing to call Repubs evil or Nazis you’ll never make the neo progressive club. You have to spout the party line of invective because being liberal without hate speech attached just ain’t good enough any more. The Dems are at war with Repubs, fellow Dems who don’t talk the talk and democracy in general (righto Lonewacko).
    God only knows what tactics they’ll resort to as democracy continues to spread throughout the ME. Implosion appears likely.
    The Dean Scream no longer sounds just maniacally joyous; it has ‘progressed’ to a much uglier howl of hatred. The neoprogressives’ hate train is doomed to derailment. I’ll throw flowers over the cliff after them, and (continue to) wish them well. Hatred is sad, really.

  • Texan

    Real definition of progressive: Jacks or better.

  • Patrick

    I think American “liberals” are right to find a new label for themselves. “Progressive” is OK with me, or, in the internationalist spirit of the recent death penalty decision, they might want to consider “social democrat.” In any case, when those folks leave off with “liberal,” then “classical liberals” can stop qualifying their liberalism all the time and re-appropriate their word.

  • Jim S

    To the people posting junk criticizing Jeff’s blog for being too far to the right I’d like to say that you really need to chill out. Some of these posts are shrill, nasty, inaccurate and just completely obnoxious. You have the right to say it, others (including myself) have the right to criticize it. Being a left wing version of Kat or J. Peden does no one to the left of Rush Limbaugh a favor and just generally makes every Democrat look bad.
    I’ve been reading it for a few months now and Jeff mostly tries to deal with issues of the media, be it entertainment or news and how it interacts with politics and society. Do I have that right, Jeff? What would I like to see him discuss? It seems to me that there is virtually no real investigative reporting any more. In addition the media by and large is so burned by being accused of being liberally biased that they do nothing any more when a conservative politician says something in public that is blatantly contradicted by facts or when there is some other problem with it. Isn’t that a viable question for this blog?

  • Dear Jarvis:
    Please defect.

  • TomK

    Don’t fight it. If they want to relabel themselves, that’s to your benefit. That bunch is going to have to go at some point anyway, so it’s best that they identify themselves clearly. As soon as they do, you can better excise them from the party and get on with the very important business of rebuilding the loyal opposition.
    We need two valid parties in this country, and right now the Democrats have been hijacked by maniacs, and are not holding up their side of the deal. Historically speaking, it’s just about time for one of the two parties to undergo a major upheaval. Let’s get it overwith already, OK?

  • richard mcenroe

    Jeff B

  • EverKarl

    Thanks, paul.

  • Gawd, what a bunch of foamers.

  • Seriously, I doubt anyone cares what you call yourself–progressive, liberal, whateva.
    But, in terms of national politics, the word is poison. Not only on the right, but also the left. Liberal now connotes aged East-coast Caucasian elites sitting around spouting the same rhetoric as they did in the 70’s. That’s not reality, but that’s the perception, which is more important.
    Also, the fact is that the United States has made up its mind. There is no longer any doubt — the United States is a very conservative nation. There no longer is a fight between the liberals and the conservatives–the conservatives won. “Liberal” means the opposite of conservative, and therefore the opposite of “electable.”
    The Democratic party needs to break the liberal/conservative dichotomy, in favor of progressive (you know, favoring progress in areas like science, education, health care) vs. reactionary (the goal of the rightwing is to turn back the clock on everything from social security to abortion to evolution).

  • Off your rocker

    To Paul Lukasiac
    You never fail to amaze me. Why is it that you constantly refer to “the killing of tens upon tens of thousands MUSLIMS”? Why are you trying to make it about a religion, when I assume that you are intelligent enough to know that its not? I think that you know the United States is not persecuting anyone on the BASIS of religion, so why try and make it about something its not? No one in the US ever said “We’re gonna go kill all the Muslims” However, various Muslims have said, “It is our duty to kill Americans”. There is no dispute, however, that the majority of those currently involved in combat/terrorist action against the United States are indeed Muslim. The United States is not at fault, however, for combating those groups. Should we not because they are muslim? You do such a dis-service to all involved, all the time, by spreading your anti-Bush, anti-US nonsense. I, along with many others, will never understand you. Do you live in the US?

  • No Child Left Behind has been called by the NY Times editorial board “the most progressive piece of education legislation since compulsory schooling.” Policy wonks agree, and so do many parents and scholars.
    But the teachers unions and other “liberl” supporters of the Democrats disagree.
    Where do you stand?

  • HA

    Those who label themselves “progressives” are really Marxists. They want government to use its coercive power to seize resources from disfavored groups and redistribute these resources to favored groups. That is the “progressive” agenda.
    This is not liberal. It is anti-liberal and stands in direct opposition to the Englightenment liberalism this country was founded upon. Consequently, Marxists who reject the liberal label are just being honest.

  • HA

    I’d like someone to explain to me what is “liberal” about the following:
    1. Abolition of free speech through speech codes, McCain-Feingold, and judges who censor religious speech from the public domain.
    4. Abolition of self-defense rights though gun control.
    5. Abolition of property rights through government transfers of property from one private party to another.
    6. Abolition of freedom of association by denying access to public resources for groups like the the Boy Scouts who don’t conform to politically correct dogma.
    7. Abolition of equality before the law through affirmative action and the progressive tax code.
    8. Abolition of free market economics through government regulation.
    9. Abolition of individual liberty by endowing group rights that have no basis in the Constitution.
    10. Abolition of Constitutional government itself by giving unelected judges the power to make law.
    I could go on.
    This isn’t liberalism. This is government of the elites, by the elites, for the…well, who exactly are they running the government for? It sure as hell isn’t the people anymore.

  • “Alternately, the term I’d propose is “hard-nosed liberal”. Someone with liberal principles who isn’t afraid to amend them with practicality, or fight for with military force.”
    I’ve been using “liberal hawk.” I have a Liberal Hawk social group in NYC. There are even some social conservatives hanging out with us calling themselves Liberal Hawks! It’s catchy!

  • JennyD:
    The original NoChildLeftBehind program has been revealed, by among others, the Dallas Morning News, no less, to have been justified by massive cheating by individual teachers and administrators in underperforming schools. These school personnel have been shown to have manipulated test results to keep their schools from losing government funding. In some cases, answers were obliterated and right answers written in to make individual scores of passing grade. In other cases, teachers checked wrong answers, even more than once, until students chose the right answers. In other cases, teachers gave out right answers during testing.
    In some cases, schools in non-English speaking areas or very impoverished areas which had no hope of achieving test scores to show they had not ‘been left behind’, and therefore were doomed to lose funding, showed student test score improvements from last to first place.
    At present in Texas where the system was hailed by the presidential candidate as proof the NCLB program works, schools throughout the state are being investigated for massive manipulation of test results.
    It’s a really innovative program, for sure. Teach teachers to cheat, that’s innovative. The fact that school work is being ignored in a vast program of seeking pubic funds is a travesty, and that’s pretty innovative, as well.

  • Derek

    “I sit corrected. But I blame the media; I mean, I know who Hitler is because everybody tells me he’s just like George Bush, but what do we really know about this Stalin guy except that he inspired Frida Kahlo to scribble on people’s walls?”
    Wow, that’s funny! This guy should get a cable show! I mean, comic genius!

  • richard mcenroe


  • Otis Wildflower

    Screw progressive.. The appropriate term is: