Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Comment: Did US voters grant progressive mandate?

There are different interpretations of the landslide Democratic victory in yesterday's US elections.

New reports indicate that President-elect Barack Obama may be looking to select a "center-right" cabinet headed by led by Rahm Emanuel as potential chief of staff. One Democrat even declared that Obama would be careful not to appoint "liberals" but would stick to "safe" selections.

Progressives may have taken heart when Obama mentioned FDR's "New Deal" in last night's victory speech. They claim that the Democratic victory yesterday is evidence that America wants a progressive agenda.

They also note that progressives won some highly important ballot issues yesterday. Not all of them though. Gay marriage bans, for example, were approved by voters in California and Florida, both states were Obama won. The newly-elected president himself has said that he supports gay civil unions but not marriage.

Voters in Nebraska passed an initiative banning affirmative action, but a similar measure in Colorado is still too close to call.

Colorado and South Dakota voters both rejected proposed bans on abortion in their states.

On the animal rights front, voters in California overwhelmingly approved a measure requiring "free-range" raising of chickens and pigs; while in Massachusetts they passed a ban on dog racing. The latter state also voted to decriminalize marijuana in small amounts, while 13 other states voted to allow the herb's use for medical purposes.

Times Online

A Progressive Mandate — ‘Now Comes The Hard Part’
Think Progress, DC - 8 hours ago
A mandate for progressive change exists. In a memo released today, the Center for American Progress Action Fund writes, “Obama ran on the most progressive ...
Note to Democrats Atlantic Online
Barack Obama says America has changed after historic win
No time for Nader: A letter to Nader McKinney voters Columbus Free Press

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