Sunday, November 16, 2008

Making our own change

As is our wont, with the election over and the news cycle slowing to a crawl over the transition period, progressives at large and Leftopians in particular are bickering over how best to influence President-elect Obama's agenda in order to push that Overton Window to the left.

My main concern is we're focusing too much on Obama, who doesn't have any real power yet and not enough on the sitting Democrats who are still busily enabling Bush to continue his trashing of the office. But putting that aside, I'm wondering why we're not using the tools we have to make our case directly to the transition team instead of arguing with each other on the blogs. I see a lot of people making lists of priorities but what I'm not seeing is a call to send them to Obama's new website. They have a suggestion box. Why don't we fill it up? If every on-line American sent in their own list, it seems to me we could prove once and for all that America really is a center-left country.

I intend at least to send my own list in and will be posting it soon. In the interim I'm curious about what your priorities are.

Mine include restoration of the rule of law and realigning the checks and balances of the three branches of government. I want the Patriot Act repealed. It hasn't been at all effective in combatting terrorism and has been wrongfully employed in ordinary criminal cases. I want a real FISA overhaul and telecom immunity rescinded so we can find out just how widely our privacy has been breached. I want the declassification of the ordinary public documents that the Bush White House buried. I want the unitary executive theory to be refuted. I want transparency in government spending.

I want the Bush era tax breaks for the wealthy to be eliminated. I want our national infrastructure to be repaired and serious investment in alternative clean energy sources and mass transportation. I want a single payer health plan. I want the media conglomerates to be broken up. And of course, I want an end to the occupation of Iraq, the closure of Gitmo and the use of torture and secret rendition renounced and revoked.

I could go on for much longer yet, so for me, the biggest challenge is to prioritize the list. But how about you dear readers? Maybe you're better at this than I am. What are your priorities?

[More posts daily at The Detroit News.]

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