Day: December 29, 2012

“The Progressive Professor” Favorites In The US Senate, 113th Congress!

With the new Senate coming in on January 3 for the 113th Congress, this author and blogger has decided to indicate who his “favorite” members, those he has real respect and admiration for, and expects great things from for the next two years. The following list is not ranked, but simply a list of the top ten by state alphabetically! At the end, though, the author will list the two Senators he most admires, who he sees as tied for BEST! So here goes!

Tom Harkin of Iowa
Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
Al Franken of Minnesota
Sherrod Brown of Ohio
Jeff Merkley of Oregon
Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island
Bernie Sanders of Vermont
Tim Kaine of Virginia
Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin

Seven of the above are incumbents, while Warren, Kaine and Baldwin are newcomers to the US Senate. And seven are men, while three are women.

And my favorite Senators of this group would have to be a tie between:

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, true heroes in my mind!

Notice that FIVE of these Senators come from the Midwest (both from Minnesota, and Wisconsin, Iowa and Ohio).

Three come from New England–Massachusetts, Vermont and Rhode Island.

One comes from Virginia and one comes from Oregon.

And both favorites are New England neighbors.

This is the true progressive in action, with the Midwest, the area of progressivism in the past century, and New England as the areas of dominance, but with Oregon and Virginia adding admirable members to this select group!

The author invites commentary on this entry!

Progressive Victories In 2012

As the year 2012 comes to an end in the next few days, it is worth looking back to what progressive victories there have been in 2012.

The clear cut victory of Barack Obama is an event still reverberating in the emotions of this blogger, and the strong belief that the Obama coalition is solid, and will carry beyond him and affect politics over the next one to two generations! Any Democrat who is nominated for President in 2016 would be the favorite to win the White House, as the nation becomes more “blue” in states such as Arizona, Georgia and Texas.

The likelihood of the US Senate staying Democratic is also a conclusion from the events of 2012, as it was truly miraculous that every seat was retained, three gained, and only Nebraska lost to the Republicans in 2012. While 2014 again will see more Democratic seats (21) up than Republican seats (14), the odds of the Democrats losing a net total of six seats and losing control is extremely unlikely, and the possibility of gaining more seats is also very likely with the Republican party turning ever further to the Right politically, and further alienating the rapidly changing demographics of the country.

The biggest surprise of the year was the decision of Chief Justice John Roberts, a Bush II appointee, to back ObamaCare, guaranteeing its survival and success despite many barriers past, present and future. This was the most important decision of the Supreme Court in a long time, in the sense of its long range impact on the nation!

The great progress of gay rights and gay marriage was a wonderful event, with the likelihood of gay marriage being upheld by the Supreme Court, at least in some limited fashion, by June of next year.

The rise of the prominence and numbers of women in politics was exciting, and the true star of the year in that regard was Elizabeth Warren, the newly elected Senator from Massachusetts, who could become a Presidential possibility very quickly.

The massive contributions of Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton make them the two best decisions on personnel that President Obama made four years ago, and they have had an extremely positive effect on the historical record and reputation of Barack Obama.

The power of wealthy millionaires and billionaires to control the politics of America suffered a smashing defeat, an event thought unlikely after the Citizens United decision of the Supreme Court in 2010.

The reactionary and hateful agenda of the far Right, both politically and religiously, also suffered a great repudiation, and proved once again that optimism and progress win out over fear and regression, as long as the American people become engaged and involved in the agenda, and realize the threat to the great progress made in the past 80 years by the New Deal, Great Society, and the many political, social and economic reforms brought about by forward looking Democrats and Republicans in Congress, and by the leadership of Presidents of both parties who saw the need for more government intervention and regulation–including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Notice that Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush are not included in this list, as they both set back the concept of fairness and equity that all of the other Presidents, including some Republicans, made part of their agenda, to the dismay of the right wing forces in America!

So 2012 has been a triumph in many ways for progressivism, liberalism, and the goals of the Left in American politics to make a society of justice, equity, and compassion!