Robert Borosage

Robert Borosage is co-director of the Campaign for America's Future and co-editor of The Next Agenda: Blueprint for a New Progressive Movement and Taking Back America: And Taking Down the Radical Right.

Recent Articles

Super Committee of Doom

Meet the 12 congressmen who are going to try to save America.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)Sen. Patty Murray
One thing is clear -- the prospects for a destructive "grand bargain" have gotten better, not worse. Congressional leaders in both the House and Senate have now named the 12 appointees to the congressional Super Committee charged with finding $1.2 trillion in deficit savings from some combination of increased revenues and cuts to Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid. A deal that could be very damaging to the most vulnerable in society may be closer than anyone suspects. As one would expect, the Republican nominees support deep cuts in entitlements and, as signatories of Grover Norquist's infamous anti-tax pledge, oppose raising taxes. Of the Senate appointees, freshman Senator Pat Toomey is the most zealous conservative. Senator John Kyl, part of the leadership team, and freshman Rob Portman, George Bush's Office of Management and Budget director, are also very conservative. Both support privatizing Social Security, and Kyl, for his part, preaches the voodoo supply-side nonsense...

The Emerging Center-Left Majority

Conservatives dismiss the notion that this election represents the solidifying of a center-left America. A new poll shows they are wrong.

This article has been corrected . The scope of Barack Obama's sweeping victory hasn't yet registered in much of the media. Conservatives and Republicans have responded to defeat with one constant refrain: they can take solace in the fact that America is a "center right" nation. That reality means defeat is only temporary, its causes largely transitory. The losses this time are attributed to Bush's many failures, from Iraq to the economy (the explanation varies from faction to faction). But election 2008 was not simply a testament to the remarkable candidacy of Barack Obama, nor a product of Bush's catastrophic presidency. Rather, the results suggest that this may not simply be a change election but a sea-change election. An extended election-night survey undertaken by Democracy Corps and the Campaign for America's Future suggests that we may be witness to the emergence of a new progressive majority, that contrary to conservatives' claims, America is now a center-left nation. The...

Populism Rising

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton may be neophyte class warriors, but their populism is more than just rhetorical -- and must be, if the Democrats are to win the election and govern successfully.

"The oil companies, the predatory student loan companies, the insurance companies, and the drug companies have had seven years of a president who stands up for them. I intend to be a president who stands up for all of you." The last ad of the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, the populist battler from Minnesota? Not quite -- it's a Hillary Clinton ad in Ohio. The candidate Fortune magazine hailed as Wall Street's favorite is even more populist on the stump. Or consider this riff: "We need a president who will listen not just to Wall Street but to Main Street." The reason, the speaker warns, is that powerful special interests have taken over Washington. "It's a Washington where decades of trade deals like NAFTA and [like with] China have been signed with plenty of protections for corporations and their profits, but none for our environment or our workers who've seen factories shut their doors and millions of jobs disappear -- workers whose right to organize and unionize has been under assault...

Conservatism Itself

Bush didn't fail because he betrayed conservatism. He failed because his administration was the most conservative of modern times.

"We have to recognize that this was a defeat for Republicans, not for conservatives," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich summarized the 2006 Republican election rout. Republicans, George Will echoed, "were punished not for pursuing but for forgetting conservatism." Conservatives now react to the debacle that is the Bush administration with two general strategies -- denial and disavowal. Conservatives are cutting and running from George W. Bush, blaming him for straying from the conservative gospel, and invoking, by contrast, an iconic Ronald Reagan as exemplar of that faith. But the spin won't cover the reality. Over the first six years of the Bush administration, conservatives largely had their way. With Bush and Karl Rove pursuing a political strategy of feeding their base, Tom DeLay ramrodding the conservative majority in the Congress, and the corporate lobby enforcing discipline, movement conservatives set the course of the country -- with catastrophic results. Each of the...

Rejecting the Right

One swallow does not a summer make nor one election a new era. But some significant new realities that emerged from 2006 merit attention. First, clearly, this was a sweeping victory. Democrats had to overcome the Republican advantages in incumbency, gerrymandered districts, money, and mobilization, and to do so in the midst of a wartime presidency. And they did. Those who suggest that Democrats should embrace a small-bore agenda, seek bipartisan compromise, and temper their efforts to hold the executive accountable are listening to Beltway pundits, not to the voters who put them in office. This victory is grounded on a growing isolation of conservatives and the Republican Party they control. Conservatives now argue, as Rush Limbaugh pronounced on November 8, that “Republicans lost last night, but conservatism did not.” Voters “punished” Republicans, George Will wrote, “not for pursuing but for forgetting conservatism.” All factions chant this mantra in unison even as they open fire in...

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