During the last couple of weeks, I've spoken to Democratic Party clubs and other activist groups from Santa Rosa and San Rafael to San Mateo County and the East Bay -- some chartered by the state party, others affiliated with Democracy For America or Progressive Democrats of America, still others with no partisan affiliation.
In the process, I've listened to hundreds of pointed questions and deeply felt comments. And I can tell you this: Many people at the progressive base of the Democratic Party are getting very upset with the direction of the Obama administration.
While they haven't forgotten that we need to do all we can to defeat Republican candidates in November, it's painfully clear that progressives must build grassroots political power -- to move the White House and Congress away from current policies.
Policies such as escalation of war in Afghanistan; tepid responses to the global warming emergency; massive bailouts to Wall Street; huge new federal subsidies for nuclear power; feeble job-creation programs, heavily reliant on GOP-style tax cuts and credits for businesses; disregard for habeas corpus and other basic civil liberties; "healthcare reform" largely crafted by the insurance, pharmaceutical and hospital industries . . .
A few days ago, responding to President Obama's latest embrace of Wall Street, the Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman wrote in his New York Times blog: "How is it possible, at this late date, for Obama to be this clueless?"
Sad to say, the title of my article this week -- "Dollars for Death, Pennies for Life" -- was not hyperbolic.
The major military offensive that the Pentagon launched on Presidents Day weekend in southern Afghanistan made me think about young refugees who I met at a miserable camp in Kabul last summer. I wrote about one of them in an article titled "A Little Girl in Kabul."
I hope you'll take a couple of minutes now to click and watch some rare and stunning footage of Senator Wayne Morse as he spoke about war and congressional responsibility -- at the outset of escalation of the Vietnam War -- in ways that are not being heard today on Capitol Hill.
I'd be surprised if Senator Morse doesn't move you. His spirit is still with us.
Please share with others.