Jim Lardner

Jim Lardner is a journalist and political activist.

Recent Articles

On Beyond Howard: Let’s Think About Bigger Things than a Schultz Candidacy

Our real challenge is to come out of 2020 with a progressive government.

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz shakes hands after speaking in Seattle. I t’s been fun, the Howard Schultz blowback. Sources close to Schultz say he was seriously unprepared for the experience of being called an egotistical billionaire asshole by just about everyone he had not hired to help his presidential candidacy boot up. Perhaps the response will lead the Starbucks founder to decide he is not our great national savior after all. I join with many others in wishing him a speedy journey to that conclusion. That said, I suspect there is a warning here not just for Schultz but for us, his critics. To begin with, we should watch out for the danger of thinking small—of approaching the 2020 election from a place of fear. Behind the anti-Schultz mobilization lies the nightmare of another close contest in which victory is undone by the combination of third- and/or fourth-party candidates and a less than ideal Democratic nominee. Memories of 2000 and 2016 make...

What the Democrats Must Do First

Absent radical reform of our politics, they’ll always be at a disadvantage. So will we.

AP Photo/Carolyn Kasterr House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, joined by from left by Representatives John Lewis, Eric Swalwell, Joyce Beatty, Kathy Castor, and Joe Kennedy, speaks to media at the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill. T he midterms are over and my newsfeed is filled with pronouncements on what the Democrats should do next. Go bolder. Go centrist. Be inspirational. Be careful. Nominate Beto. Nominate Sherrod. Draft Michelle. So many opinions. So many reactions. One of my reactions is, Hold on a damn minute! Before we plunge into all these testy debates, could there be a more immediate question on the table? More immediate and more unifying? The first order of business for Democrats and progressives, it seems to me, is to advance a serious clean elections/clean government agenda, and do all we can to make democracy reform a front-of-mind issue for voters, office-holders, candidates and the media. That project should be at the top of their To Do list for three...