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Liberals Cheer As Congress Pulls Obama Left

It's Like Deja Vu All Over Again

Oh yeah. This will work out well:

In the last few weeks, we’ve seen:

- Senate Democrats publicly press Obama to make the economic recovery package far more robust.

- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi publicly challenge Obama to be bolder on taxes.

- Congressional progressives challenge the Obama administration – against its wishes – to include bankruptcy reforms in the economic stimulus package.

- House Appropriations Chairman Dave Obey (D-WI) tell the administration it’s stimulus package is too small.

- Transportation Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-MN) expose how Obama’s push for tax cuts is crowding out transportation infrastructure funding

- A bipartisan House coalition make one of the new Congress’s first votes a statement of opposition to the Bush-Obama bailout for Wall Street, and for much stronger bailout oversight.

- Progressive Democrats, joining with the blogosphere and outside progressive movement, push a House amendment to boost infrastructure spending in Obama’s stimulus proposal…

Rep. Peter DeFazio took to MSNBC to hammer – in very specific terms – the free market fundamentalists in the Obama administration he says are harming the new president…

Suddenly, we have a Congress pushing the executive branch to be more progressive – and that’s a big deal…

If, as I said in my last newspaper column, we’re going to close the gulf between the rhetoric of hope and the real action of change, it will be through our work continuing to create the conditions for this new dynamic to thrive. The bolder the Democratic Congress, the more it can reject czarism and reassert its constitutional role, the more likely the White House will be to embrace more progressive policies, and thus the more likely those policies will be legislated into law. That, IMHO, should be one of the basic formulas we are all working off of, as it is one of the most simple paths to concrete results.

Sirota is thrilled because it’s been years since we saw a Congress pushing a Democratic President to be more ‘progressive?’ He’s right on that score of course. I haven’t seen that since 1993, when Bill Clinton shifted from being a middle-class tax cutter, welfare reformer, and crime fighter, to a stimulus-backing, gun-controlling, proponent of gays in the military. If I recall correctly, it was only after 1994 that ‘progressives’ were marginalized.

Well, clearly times have changed. I mean, the American people crave bigger government, right?

What could go wrong?

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