News Headlines for Independent Voters 8/26/09

News Headlines for Independent Voters 8/26/09


Hello everyone! After a vacation in the Heartland, here are some highlights of news for independent voters from the past week or so:

Independent Voters

  1. Who’s Got the Power? Progressives find themselves outmaneuvered on healthcare reform. (By David Moberg, In These Times) More importantly, longer-term possibilities have been created by the failure of the Bush administration, the narrowing Republican base, the economic crisis, the shift of independent voters toward liberal Democratic views and the demographic trends favoring a growing progressive bloc of voters.
  3. NOTE: For a good companion piece, see Jackie Salit’s “How the Independent Movement Went Left by Going Right” — an analysis of the shift of independents from the days of Ross Perot to the election of Barack Obama, a shift that progressives need to know about — and embrace.
  4. Tulsa Independent Voters a Growing Voice (By CHARLES CANTRELL, GTR News Tulsa) According to Perkins, pragmatic, creative, successful solutions to local problems are better achieved in an environment free of the parameters set by political party affiliations.
  5. The Democrats Should Stick Together On Health Care Reform (The Chattanoogan/Opinion) Most of the independent voters who voted Democratic in the last election voted for: removal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, a public health plan option, increased education spending, and accountability in government.
  6. The Ant and the Grasshopper Revisited (Talk Talk by Fred Newman and Jackie Salit, Newman: But things much closer to home are run by the government. The government decides whether we can drive a car or not. Salit: Or sell liquor or give someone a manicure. Newman: There’s enormous government involvement. The controversy is fundamentally about what our values are. But no one’s allowed to talk about that. You’ve got to talk about concrete, practical things….

Open Primaries

In 2008, there were 33 open primary states in which independent voters could participate in the presidential primaries and caucuses. In these states, 2.7 million independents voted for Barack Obama, giving him the margin of victory to secure the Democratic Party nomination. Party insiders (both Republican and Democratic) are attempting to eliminate open primaries and reassert their control of the electoral process. Sign the letter to President Obama in support of Open Primaries

Mayor Bloomberg 09

Mike Bloomberg — the independent candidate for Mayor of New York City

  • Puerto Rico Gov. For Bloomberg (Liz Benjamin, Daily News/Daily Politics)
  • Bill Thompson: Contender? (New York Magazine, By Jacob Gershman) Six strategies to beat Bloomberg: Again, Mike Bloomberg, the post-partisan plutocrat and technocrat, liked but difficult to love, is opposing a Democratic-machine candidate with a built-in ethnic base but little fund-raising prowess, whose campaign message revolves around painting the mayor as out of touch….

On the Blogs

  • Independent strategist Jackie Salit talks about where the independents are today Jackie Salit on WLRN Radio (Michael Drucker, The Independent View) link to audio
  • Measuring the independence of independents (Guest Post by d.eris of Poli-Tea, The Hankster) With the ranks of self-identified independents swelling across the country, and, hence, renewed media attention devoted to the group as a bloc, a number of recent studies and commentaries have questioned received notions of the independent voter, arguing that ‘the independent voter’ is little more than a myth.
For more news for independents, see The Hankster

  • kranky kritter

    I clicked through on the first link to the story that progressives have been outmaneuvered on healthcare reform.

    For starters, it was sanctimonious and fawned on progressives’ views (“…there’s no question universal national healthcare is the best solution…” etc.)

    But the really rich and comical irony is that if you read the piece, you’re left with no doubt why progressives get “outmaneuvered” so often. It’s because they are clueless about the basic mechanics of democracy. I look at the current state of this attempted healthcare reform, and this much seems clear:

    There is insufficient consensus across the broad range of proposed solutions to the various problems that compose the issue.

    Progressives seem continually unwilling to swallow the obvious fact that it is a question of NUMBERS more than a question of TACTICS. If enough Americans and their reps agreed with the progressive view, tactics would not really matter.

    But progressives seem so sure they are just about 100% right. Thus their interpretation of the outcome is always that everyone would see the light if only the other side wasn’t mean and unscrupulous. Progressives really need to stop thinking that everyone else just needs to come to their senses and agree with the progressive viewpoint, and then everything will be great.

    A substantial portion of the American people and the US congress do not currently want what progressives think is best. For the sane, that means compromise is required. And yet the article concludes by suggesting that progressives be uncompromising, and gird for a long fight. Take the ball and go home. In the meantime, Americans can apparently just keep suffering along. No half loaves. No incremental improvement, I guess. All or nothing.

    I can’t imagine a BETTER way for liberals, progressives and the democratic party to lose the support of moderates and independents. Not to mention the support of suffering blue collar Americans who would hungrily devour a single slice of bread.

  • Nancy Hanks

    Hi kranky — btw good handle! — i really agree with much of what you have put forward here. I would also hope that you look at the recommended companion piece by Jackie Salit, “How the Independent Movement Went Left by Going Right”, a seminal investigation of the history of the recent independent movement —

    IMHO, we can’t afford to get stuck in the partisan bickering that the 2 major parties and the MSM feed off of. It behooves all voters, particularly independents, to look beyond the partisan shills and seek out the more independent voices!

    Thanks so much for your comment!