I do not believe the progressive movement is adrift. Both policies and polls tell me the left is right, the right is wrong, and there is a progressive majority in America.
The hippies had it wrong, wrote Canadian intellectual Robertson Davies. The rising age of Aquarius would not be an age of peace, free love and cheap dope. It would be an age of Titans. Giants will roam the earth again while the rest of us descend back to the murky swamp. Then there is Arnold Schwarzenegger, a virtual titan astride the white horse in the magnificent photo by Annie Leibovitz.
Though he is working hard to a deal, perhaps Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) should know there's always a good escape route. This was sent to me by the chief of staff to a House Democrat:
Late in the 18th century, the neoclassic English architect Benjamin Henry Boneval Latrobe was commissioned by the state of Virginia, at the suggestion of Thomas Jefferson, to design one of the world’s first penitentiaries, in Richmond, Va.
According to the constitutional historian Garrett Epps’ new book, American Epic: Reading the Constitution, “Latrobe succeeded so well at the commission that he was then hired to design the U.S. Capitol.”
The coincidence of events is remarkable.
Public approval has collapsed for the Republican Party, the Tea Party, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Republicans employing extremist tactics to impose crushing pain and economic danger upon Americans.
Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) should allow votes on clean bills to fund the government, end the shutdown and end the danger of a GOP-induced default that would cause a GOP-induced economic crash. The public verdict is in. The Republican Party is guilty as charged.
The fiasco must end. The government must be reopened. The financial crash must be avoided. The inmates must no longer be allowed to run the asylum by Republican leaders. The obsession against ObamaCare must end.
The Hill reports today that, oh no, House members have to reuse their towels at their gym! Gosh, do they have to bring their own soap too?
Let's talk some politics. As a depressing and despicable week comes to a close, the scoreboard for the week is clear. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (California) and House Democrats have hit the jackpot: They look strong, principled, of capable of regaining control. Pelosi looks like a leader and stateswoman, while House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) looks inept, disingenuous and weak after the worst seven days of any Speaker in many years.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) looks like a fighter, and if Republicans take the big blame for the fiasco, which seems overwhelmingly likely, Senate Democrats come out of the mess looking stronger.
Harry Reid blasted them Wednesday. I blasted them last Thursday in my column. America is blasting them in polls showing that approval of the Tea Party has fallen to record lows. In fact, Obama's approval rating towers above the Tea Party's. Public approval of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (California) is well above the Tea Party's.
Republican Party leaders and top GOP donors can top off their bad week with even more challenging news: Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) is now the top contender among possible 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls, jumping 8 points since July, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey.
The Cruz-ade, as I called it in my column this week, to defund ObamaCare or shutdown the government has taken the Texan to new heights in only two months since he began pushing for something he knew could not be achieved. Money has been raised, along with his profile, and ObamaCare is right where it was before, save for a few delays the administration — not Republicans— has imposed.
Regarding my new column, Banana Republicans 2013, here is the inside: The smartest Republican strategists, major Republican donors, and even some Republican leaders in Congress (whom I criticized) privately agree with me.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is the best thing that has happened to Democrats since "Brownie" handled Katrina for Bush 43, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is playing him like a violin. Let him talk, and the more voters who hear Cruz, the better for Democrats.