Oct 2, 2021Liked by Ryan Grim

Don't you think there is a difference between Gottheimer's forcing a vote on a corporate giveaway and losing, and forcing Congress to show whether or not they stand behind M4A?

After all, look at Sinema, who strutted around pretending to support raising the minimum wage and M4A until elected, and then has spent all her time do her damnedest to make sure they never passed?

Thanks for writing this, though. I'm not sure you're right on "force the vote", but you do manage to be one of the few rays of optimism in my reading. I think you're pretty great on "Rising" too!

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Thanks for your insights as always. I was a FTV person but I could see merit in your opinion regarding it. I enjoy your detailed breakdown here and on Rising. Good work as usual.

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God help me, I am in the legislative district whose historic congressperson was the very sane Marge Roukema. Oh my, then we got Scott Garrett - what a complete wuss. So I was actually happy when Josh Gottheimer won. I thought anything is better than Garrett. Of course that is not true. I have to say he's a master at putting a nice-guy face on his corporate allegences. In the beginning of the negotiations on the infrastructure bill, Gottheimer sent out an email to recipients saying their main goal was keeping taxes low for his constituencey. Now, there are some uber wealthy towns in his district, but the majority of them are just plain middle class. Although I happen to live in an upper middle class town (The saying is that our town wants to be like Ridgwood and the next town wants to be like "us". I am a child of the New Deal and a ready made progressive. I responded to Gottheimer: "Sorry Josh,

I'm getting tired of the corporations and their billionaire owners

making trillions on the backs of middle class, working class and poor

people and paying no taxes. And I'm not alone. Its time for them to pay…"

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Thanks again for your dogged, unflappable focus on goals and strategy over “seems-right” tactics. Nuance and complexity remain under-appreciated (or worse, derided) as hard, analytic challenges for progressives, who can thank you for always staying the course. As once attributed to Joseph Heller re: leadership requiring *both* sense and guts: “but the problem is most people with sense don’t have guts, and most people with guts don’t have sense.” I’d only add that much of the left do have both, yet some of the most vocal are often blinded by righteousness to fully sense.

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I was one of those who wanted to "force the vote," knowing it would lose, but desperately needing a demonstration that the new progressives were not the same as the old ones. I now see, because you showed me, that you were right about the timing. You are one of the few journalists who address tactics without like it's all making it must a game. I am a happy subscriber.

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Nice to read about this news focused on the Progressives' evolving strategy. Nice, in particular, that there are Democrats in Congress willing to fight, in an organized way, against all that try to force an "enlightened conservative" agenda. Mainly the Clinton-era New Democrats and their holdouts, the new and old Blue Dogs.

But none of the above does a thing to change the situation for the better, ultimately, because of the Senate.

This might be the counsel of despair, but, sometimes, I get to think: what if, instead of waiting for by now quite unpredictable November 2022 elections, the progressives were to split, form their own (probably with a less provocative name) Progressive Party, and confront the Blue-Dogs Party with the permanent choice of "either get together on this we us and participate in a really broad-minded discussion to get to a mutually acceptable deal, or you'll have no chance to get anything you want"? Coalitions of separate parties, now and then. are effective in some parliaments, here and there.

This is just a fantasy of mine, of course.

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