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Justin Krebs's blog
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 08/12/2010 - 9:14am.
President Obama followed in President Bush's footsteps
The President also walked his predecessor's walk
Then with Afghanistan, where the military urges the Prez
President Obama needs to choose a new pair of shoes.
Maybe f he walked a day in the life of the millions
Come out tonight to share your views over some booze,
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 08/12/2010 - 8:06am.
Pundits obsess with elections. Will the Democrats hold both houses of Congress? Will Obama voters return to the polls in the midterms? Do recent primaries send a warning to incumbents -- and if so, what warning: that they should move left, right or center?
Around the country, though, the politically-minded population has had more than election cycles on their mind. They care about the systemic structural issues in the Senate and the temperament of the administration, issues which won't change with a single vote. They are equally obsessed with local transit and neighborhood redevelopment. They exchange book and move recommendations and argue over favorite news anchors and comedians.
These people belong to America's Liberal Tribe: a growing community of people who share attitudes and culture rooted in common values that transcend single election cycles.
And good news America: the liberal cause is growing.
Over the past six weeks, I have had the chance to meet local liberals around the country, as I've toured with my recent book, "538 Ways to Live, Work and Play Like a Liberal." I have been visiting chapters of Drinking Liberally, the ubiquitous progressive social club. What is really remarkable is how much the members of these groups -- separated by city, state and region -- have in common.
They love Rachel Maddow and are getting to love Ed Schultz. They are split over who prefers Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. They know when the local green market is open. Many of them are surprisingly knowledgeable about local beers. They can often tick of local and national bloggers as though they were naming network anchors. They are more familiar with their public transportation options, even in cities with anemic mass transit, than the average barfly.
And yes, their commonalities extend into more conventional politics. They debate whether they are disappointed in the President's resolve, or whether they sympathize for him being hemmed in by a constitutionally-conservative Senate. They are often as versed in the contours of their local races as they are in the contests to send representatives to DC. They know the name "Alan Grayson." They also know the name "Michele Bachman."
I visited groups that were majority senior citizen and groups that were recent college grads. I visited the classic "red state" of Kentucky, the urban liberal oasis of San Francisco, and states Obama tipped over like North Carolina and Indiana. While the accents varied with the beers on tap, many of these cultural-political markers remained the same.
The politicians themselves differ -- a Democrat in Orange County, California, may not offer the same assessment of what it means to be a Democrat as one in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The candidates focus on different issues and hedge their talking points.
The self-identified liberals, though, aren't defined or divided by narrow parochial issues. They may diverge on many issues: limits of gun ownership, best ways to improve public schools, which favorite local industry to invest in. However, they share a larger set of values about investing in common resources, pursuing shared goals, and building diverse, inclusive, sustainable communities that connect them more than any local differences may parse them.
I had a conversation with a woman in Indianapolis active in neighborhood organizing in the city's Near Eastside. What she expressed as their goals, resonated with conversations around the country: improved transit, which is a major effort in DC and Cincinnati; more community gardens, a hot button issue in New York and San Francisco; greater neighborhood involvement in schools, which I heard in Durham and Los Angeles; and the hope to draw more options for fresh, affordable food into the area, which was a conversation in Covington and central New Jersey,
She would immediately feel comfortable at a Drinking Liberally chapter anywhere around the country. Wherever she went, people would discuss Olbermann's latest special comment. They'd laugh and vent about Andrew Breitbart. They'd give recommendations for local movie theaters, music venues and bookstores. They'd share a tasty local beer.
They'd know she was part of their Liberal Tribe, and they'd welcome her home.
As I continue to travel through the midterm elections, I'll report back about our Tribe -- and if I come to your town, join me for a drink.
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 08/05/2010 - 5:42am.
On President Obama's 49th birthday,
A Federal judge threw out Prop 8,
And as heterosexuals wake up today,
Happy Birthday, Mr. President.
Now, let's fight to protect more equal unions
Toast the decision & the future newlyweds
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 07/29/2010 - 8:26am.
A leak in the Gulf that's taken 100 days to plug
A leak in the media about Afghanistan
Meanwhile, an economy that continues to leak jobs
We can stamp & fume and damn the leaks.
Either way, a little leak can lead to big change.
There will be no leaks coming from our liberal libation
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 07/22/2010 - 10:24am.
Nearly two years after the titans of Wall Street
It should've been inevitable but was near impossible
And while there's no doubt the financial industry
The people won.
In the face of new measure, will Wall Street reform?
That may be up to us.
Come out tonight to toast the new reforms
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 07/15/2010 - 8:01am.
The Senate must have been watching the World Cup
Soccer players constantly run, run, run --
The athletes play as much defense as offense
And in both soccer matches & the Senate,
Yet, soccer starts are beloved around the world...
Why can't the Senate learn that tip from the World Cup?
Now, if only we could drown our Inhofe
World Cup may be over, but refill your cup
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 07/08/2010 - 8:45am.
A record heat-wave brings brown-outs & black-outs
As the temperature rises, so do tempers
We're sunstroked as the thermometer tops 100,
The heat was on to deal with serious issues --
Then everyone went on vacation.
I don't blame them for escaping the DC heat.
Beat the heat with cool drinks & warm company
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 07/01/2010 - 10:40am.
We find ourselves so dependent on oil
Our nation's capital is so thick with lobbyists
Our elected reps are so reliant on money
And despite the Tea Party rhetoric,
They were looking to create a vibrant democracy,
Our elected leaders & Supreme Court Justices
Too bad Texas is rewriting history books
Yet around the country, the spirit is alive
Toast our country's birthday & talk national news
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 06/24/2010 - 8:02am.
We've bullied BP, held hearings, pointed fingers,
The Administration says the economy is recovering,
And as violence spikes & strategy falters,
But after his ill-considered comments,
It's great that President Obama relieved him.
Find relief from the heat & respite from the week
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 06/17/2010 - 8:21am.
As the BP disaster continues unabated,
The people of the Gulf want more government action.
Even conservative pundits argue the President
Everyone agrees: America needs Big Government.
This disaster really has changed the country.
Now, if only Obama & the Dems would seize the moment
Take a step away from cable news, blogs & tweets
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