Friday, May 29, 2009

Fly on little wing

While many progressive and left-leaning blogs also traffic in humor, wit, and even snark, there are a few that are deadly serious, chock full of great issue-oriented writing by very smart people.

One of the top in this category is OpenLeft, and they're having a little fund raiser:
Even during a time when progressives and Democrats are ascendant politically, very few political organizations and media outlets overtly self-identify as left-wing in America. The urge that many politicians, pundits and organizational staff have to apologize for being leftist, or deny they are leftist altogether, is palpable. See, for example, Democrats tripping over themselves to call Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor moderate. While conservative, pro-corporate policies have driven the country into a ditch, being called "liberal," "leftist," and to a lesser degree "progressive," remains a label that most prominent Democrats and advocacy organizations work to avoid at all costs.

Open Left is a rare exception to this rule. We have consistently produced analysis, and organized activist campaigns, with unabashedly left-wing goals. For example:

  1. When the national media was looking for someone--anyone--to articulate a coherent left-wing critique of Obama administration appointees during the transition, they had few places to turn but Open Left.
  2. When others complained about the lack of infrastructure spending in the stimulus, we actually helped increase it.
  3. When, in 2007, Democratic presidential candidates were all claiming they were going to end the war in Iraq, it was Open Left that exposed the reality behind the rhetoric. We forced a national debate over plans to leave tens of thousands of so-called "residual forces". Additionally, we helped produce an alternative policy called the Responsible Plan to End the War, which was signed by several then-congressional candidates, and now-current members of Congress.
Here's what proprietor Chris Bowers says about himself and other main contributors (all true):
Whether it is my polling and demographic analysis, Mike Lux's expansive knowledge of progressive institutions and history, David Sirota's hard-nosed economic populism, or Paul Rosenberg's wide-ranging cultural critique, this is not the sort of thoroughgoing, left-wing, yet still realpolitik, leftism you will find in many other media outlets or political organizations in America.

Seriously, these people are, as Teh Kidz™ used to say, 'The Shit'. They're not just kicking the tires of the progressive car, they're designing the new engine. Help them out if you can, because they deserve it. I'll be sending them some bucks in the next few days. You should too.

On a side note, pretty much everyone who has ever covered Jimi's "Little Wing" has gotten it wrong, including the lovely and talented Stevie Ray Vaughan. How so, you might wonder? The lack of subtleties and restraint. Jimi's setting of the song has softness, and delicacy, and while many of the other versions out there showcase great chops and technique, they still manage to miss the point.

Of course, your mileage may vary (YMMV).