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A Path to the Maryland Governor's Mansion for Ben Jealous

Former NAACP President Ben Jealous has indicated that he will compete for Maryland's Democratic gubernatorial nomination and the right to square off against Larry Hogan in next year's general election. Mr. Jealous faces a daunting task. In order to take on the "deeply popular" Republican, he'll have to beat a slate of other Democrats while likely facing staunch opposition from Maryland's Democratic Party. 

Read the rest of my op-ed here. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-governor-jealous-201...

Fusing Group Identity and Class-Based Politics

In respective post-election “taking stock” articles, Columbia History Professor Mark Lilla for the New York Times and Alex Seitz-Wald at NBC suggest how the Democratic Party can return to prominence. Lilla contends that Trump’s victory should mark the End of Identity Liberalism. Identity liberalism, as practiced by Democrats like Hillary Clinton, consists of appeals to discrete groups identified by race, ethnicity, gender, and sexually orientation. This is a losing strategy, Lilla argues, and must be rejected in favor of one that seeks to attract voters based on shared economic interests and overarching national goals.

Selfish Loser Dems

Establishment favorite neo-liberal Hillary Clinton faced an unexpectedly strong challenge from self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries.  Ultimately, Clinton lost disastrously in November to historically unpopular billionaire Donald Trump who posed as an economic populist. Sanders is now probably the most well-liked politician in America. Under these circumstances, you could be forgiven for expecting a chastened shrunken Democratic Senate minority to unite behind an unabashedly progressive economic agenda, but you’d be wrong.

The Pied Pipers of the Left

With Trump’s inauguration still weeks away, Robert Kuttner of the American Prospect is calling for progressives to begin building a public case for impeachment by “keep[ing] a running dossier [on Trump’s illegal actions] and forward[ing] updates at least weekly to the House Judiciary Committee.” Salon’s Heather “Digby” Parton is echoing Kuttner. It’s a terrible idea.

There is no chance it will succeed. The only way to remove a president is first for a majority of the House of Representatives to vote for impeachment and next for two thirds of the Senate to vote for conviction. Given the extant evidence, neither the Republican House nor the Republican Senate will accede to the wishes of those seeking Trump’s removal.

Taxing Economic Injustice

Shortly after the Presidential election, I urged progressives to focus efforts on improving circumstances for poor, working, and middle-class people in targeted localities and states. At the national level, President-elect Trump and the solidly Republican Congress will not be responsive to our concerns and do not share our values. We will have to fight rearguard actions in Washington to try to preserve what remains of the positive legacies of FDR and LBJ. Opportunities to build on them at the national level are likely to be few and far between.

THE WAY FORWARD FOR PROGRESSIVES IN TRUMP’S WAKE

Apocryphal Chinese curse - May you live in interesting times.

Voltaire - We must tend to our garden.

As the omnipresent sounds and sights of progressives rending cloth and gnashing teeth over the past fortnight powerfully demonstrates, an ignorant, anti-democratic, immigrant-bashing, climate change denying demagogue won the Presidential election two weeks ago. With both houses of Congress in Republican hands, an open seat on the Supreme Court, and 33 states governed by Republicans, Trump's power seems nearly unfettered. How should we respond? One is reminded of the old baseball manager riddle: Question: What's your strategy when you're down 13 runs in the top of the 4th? Answer: Pray for rain.

Bernie would be doing better

Today, Donald Trump would probably beat Hillary Clinton in a head-to-head matchup 538's Nate Silver predicts. Ah but the election won't be held today you reply. Correctomundo.  When the election is actually conducted sayeth Silver, Clinton should squeeze out a 10-point win in the electoral college.

A Plea to my Fellow Progressives

There are a number of excellent reasons progressives should vote for Hillary Clinton for President while the arguments in favor of Jill Stein or sitting out the election do not hold water.

1. If Clinton loses, the progressive cause will be set back for decades perhaps for the forseeable future.

George W. Bush's win in 2000 did grievous harm to our nation. W lied us into a costly destructive war in 2003, slashed taxes on the wealthy thereby ballooning the national debt, and failed to stop the financial crisis. If popular sentiment had prevailed and Ralph Nader had stayed out of the race, it is probable that America would right now be enjoying broad-based prosperity, peace, and would be leading the world towards a sustainable energy future.

The Pence Pick Helps Trump

For the record, I don't think Donald Trump will be the next President. Although a CBS/NYT poll published Thursday shows a tight race and oracle Nate “Tarnished” Silver now gives Trump a 1 in 3 shot at winning, I would argue the racist deadbeat's chances are more like 1 in 4 or less. For one thing, a slew of NBC/WSJ polls released Friday show Clinton with commanding leads in Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia. Of even more consequence is the “hot mess,” in the words of the New Republic's Jeet Heer, that is the Trump campaign. Finally, Silver lost his air of infallibility by his insistence last year that Trump would not be the Republican candidate.

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