Support Your Local Progressive Infrastructure

Mara Liasson of NPR reports on building a progressive movement.

Democrats and the progressive groups that support them have for years looked with envy at the political infrastructure built by conservatives. What they saw was a disciplined apparatus of foundations, think tanks, media outlets and advocacy groups working together to advance a right-wing agenda.

Now, liberal groups have developed a whole new infrastructure of their own — call it the vast, left-wing conspiracy. …

… In the past four years, dozens of new, progressive think tanks, media watchdog groups, publications and grass-roots organizations have been created to amplify the Democrats’ message, and, perhaps, more importantly, oppose the policies of the Bush administration.

I cannot stress how important this is. Right-wing extremism didn’t come to dominate American politics by accident. It happened because many years ago a cadre of wealthy right wingers built a huge infrastructure to muscle everyone else out of the way. This infrastructure not only allows the Right to dominate our national political debates; it also mentors and develops “talent” so that there are always plenty of presentable spokespeople for the Cause who don’t have to get day jobs.

Parts of the new progressive infrastructure you’ve heard of —, Media Matters for America, Center for American Progress. Here in New York, there’s the Drum Major Institute, which is a nonprofit think tank dedicated to fueling progressive ideas. This Thursday, June 21, DMI is holding its annual benefit at Cipriani 23rd Street. This year’s honorees are NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Tavis Smiley.

Last year’s party was a blast, although it’s a bittersweet memory now because Steve Gilliard was there.

Anyway, I appreciate DMI because it focuses on the basic progressive issues that sometimes get lost in the struggle over the war in Iraq — labor, health care, education, progressive immigration policy, etc. The war in Iraq will end, someday, one way or another; but domestic issues are forever. Or at least will be around as long as we’re around. They also provide support and training for area activists through fellowships and internships.

I invite you to cruise around the DMI web site to see what they do. Buy a ticket to the benefit or make a donation if you can. You may be tired of being hit up for money (I need some too, btw). But the fact is that taking back America requires hard work and infrastructure.

Fighting Them There …

Yesterday Brian Ross of ABC reported:

Large teams of newly trained suicide bombers are being sent to the United States and Europe, according to evidence contained on a new videotape obtained by the Blotter on

U.S. intelligence officials said the video was part of “an aggressive and sophisticated propaganda campaign” that shouldn’t frighten us. Instead, we are supposed to be frightened by damnfools with grandiose but unworkable plans to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge. Actually, if U.S. intelligence officials are telling us not to worry, maybe we should worry. Brian Ross continues,

“It doesn’t take too many who are willing to actually do it and be able to slip through the net and get into the United States or England and cause a lot of damage,” said ABC News consultant Richard Clarke, the former White House counterterrorism official.

The possibility of suicide bombers has been at the back of my mind since 9/11. First, because New York (where my children and I live) is the first place they’ll come to. And second, because as much as the nation went off the deep end after 9/11, I don’t even want to think of the insanity that will arise if suicide bombers start detonating themselves in random locations. (Of course, if the suicide bombers concentrate on New York City, the righties will blame us New Yorkers somehow.)

And I know you’re all thinking what I’m thinking — so much for “fighting them there so we don’t have to fight them here.”

Anyway, the alarm brought a quick and decisive response from crack rightie idiocy squads. For example, La Boobala of Atlas Shrugs wrote,

Watch the dhimmicrats blame Bush. “He created the jihadis!” They love anyone or anything that hates America.

Love immigration or hate immigration, you must enforce the borders and get a grip already on who is here and why. This aint no Mudd club, no CBGB, this aint no foolin around. …

… After all, anyone could come over our southern border and then be home free.

Another rightie, Gina Cobb, writes,

By the way, how do you feel about border security now?

I should explain that righties live in an alternative universe in which “evil libruhls” and “dhimmicrats” rule America and are against border security. In our common reality, of course, both parties are all in favor of border security but differ on how it can be accomplished.

Allahpundit finds it remarkable that one man in the video — allegedly the leader of the group bound for Britain — spoke English. Apparently no one outside an English-speaking country ever learns English unless they are up to no good.

Jeff G. writes at Protein Wisdom

And by “U.S. intelligence officials,” Ross presumably means those same folks who believed 911 would never happen, that Islamic terrorism was a phantom threat (cough cough Larry Johnson cough), and who, in a show of political gamesmanship, sent lazy gadfly and CIA house husband Joe Wilson off to uncover the “truth” about Saddam’s nuclear ambitions and connections to terror states.

No, Jeff. The people who thought 9/11 would never happen and who didn’t take Islamic terrorism seriously were “White House officials.” Intelligence officials were the ones desperately trying to get George and Condi and Rummy to haul their heads out of their asses and pay attention to the threat before 9/11.

I have no idea what “cough cough Larry Johnson cough” refers to. I assume that somewhere the righties found an old quote from Larry Johnson saying that Islamic terrorism was a phantom threat, but I googled for this and couldn’t find it. If anyone can interpret this for me I’d be grateful. And it looks like some people still won’t admit that Joe Wilson reported the truth.

Remarkably, Little Lulu — she who waxes hysterical over every phony “plot” the Bush Administration announces — has been silent on this one. Word may have come down from on high to downplay suicide bombers. This worries me.