Where do you see yourself in ten year's time? (Not geography, but professinal and personal).
Still writing in some capacities, but either tied to a non-profit lobby group or maybe in some kind of elected capacity. To tell you the truth, I'm very open to a number of different areas... and I view the next 5 years of my life to be the testing ground to figure out exactly what I want to do.
Since there does seem to be some differences within the Democratic party, have you ever given thought to the need for a newer "Progessive" party ?
A third party would likely be electoral poison for us, so I'd rather just do our best to make sure true progressive priorities are the core of the Democratic Party. We still have a long way to go, but our movement is having a lot of success thus far, especially given the infancy of its resurgence.
do you feel that the Democratic party should be more like the republican party, in that they are extremely united on almost all issues, or do you like the fact that Democrats tend to, you know, discuss things and hold educated opinions on issues rather than blindly supporting something because that's what they've been told to do from the party.
Whew! I love softballs. Recently, there's been a lot of talk about the philosophy of conservatives vs. those of people who tend to be either liberal or progressive. There's a totalitarian aspect to today's rising conservative movement that I think is rather dangerous - and fundamentally different than Democrats. The Democratic Party - and even the progressive movement - is far more willing to discuss the issues and be a "big tent" party. Is it something I'm always thrilled about? No. However, I'll take it any day over the we're-right, you're-wrong attitude of many conservatives across the country. There's always room for disagreement and truly a diversity of opinions adds something to any movement.
Ahh, screw the softballs. And screw the big tent.If Democrats stand for everything, they stand for nothing. So the question is, what do Massachusetts Democrats stand for? What are the non-negotiable common points of agreement?
Well, just because there's a "big tent" doesn't mean there isn't something that the majority of Democrats aren't going to come around. One of the important aspects of a "big tent" strategy isn't so much to get all the DINOs you can in Massachusetts... they do no help to us whatsoever here. However, it helps on the national level if we can elect people in places where it's otherwise very hard to get. However, even within the compass of a "big tent" there are progressive policies I expect everyone to honor. For example, small d democracy - a respect for the actual populace. It's something "big tent" democracy like Jon Tester and Jim Webb get - even if they aren't particularly liberal. Furthermore, there should be no discrimination written into the constitution. That said, I'm very much in favor of challenging entrenched, DINO Democrats like we did with Joe Lieberman, especially in states where we can win. That way, we can help get our progressive ideas passed and make sure we're a force to be reckoned with. In Massachusetts, progressive should rule the school - and be in favor of getting rid of the marriage-banning amendment once and for all, closing unfair corporate tax loopholes, honoring a committment to education at all levels and making sure that we give people the boots they need to strap to get themselves out of trouble. We need to make sure everyone has all the basic tools, from health insurance to access to quality education.
Question: The EntrenchedI don't understand the history very well and I should. Why was Finneran so entrenched? CPPAX amoung others was involved in a multi-year effort to replace legislators loyal to him. Very little progress was made. Finneran, too, got lots of negative press. It was like having a great ball of ick atop one's head that couldn't be pulled off.Today, things are a bit worse. DINOs cannot be tagged as Finneran supporters. So they are even more entrenched.If we cannot brand them, can we offer an alternative brand?Ryan, tell us the way out.-KBusch
Finneran had so much power for a multitude of reasons. First, he really pulled the strings - both in terms of campaign dollars and pork, not that he allowed much of that. Second, he had a wrath if he was crossed. My legislator tried to stand up against him on campaign finance reform, refusing to go along with repealing it. Finneran stripped his committee chair and sent him packing to what was more of a closet than an office. Lastly, once he accumulated his power, it was that much harder to get rid of him because he could singlehandedly pass or kill bills. Yet, I disagree that things are worse. We have a progressive Governor on our side now - and a growing number of progressive legislators. The entrenched will desperately claw on anything to hold onto their power, but if we keep on trucking we'll get there. It's going to take a while and mean we need to replace the DINOs and corrupt - and we've already seen some of that. Replace enough of em and the last one's holding on may just change to stay in power.
Smacking headYes, you're right. I forgot about how Finneran was able to use his power to punish and how ugly that result was.I look forward to future editions of Ask Ryan Anything-KBusch
hmm... could be a good Monday ice breaker. The mind is always fuzzy on a Monday... plus, these questions make me think of things I either haven't thought of in a long time or don't normally do, so that's always a bonus.
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