Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I was listening to Democracy Now this morning, with host Amy Goodman interviewing progressive writer John Nichols on the state of the U.S. Senate races. Nichols described two Democratic opponents of Republican incumbents, Jeff Merkle in Oregon and Al Franken in Minnesota, as waging particularly progressive insurgencies, being against the war in Iraq, the FISA compromise, the Wall Street bailout, etc. Except that in the campaign ads being run by Merkle and Franken that Democracy Now selected for our edification, and which Nichols responded to, didn't mention any of those progressive issues. Instead, Merkle and Franken both played up the issue of--wait for it--middle class tax cuts. I know Obama has made this a staple of his message, too, so in this sense it's not surprising. But it's a little disconcerting to have supposedly progressive campaigns and candidates, when the environment for progressive change has probably never been greater, largely playing on the GOP's "tax cut" field.