Any close watcher of the sausage-making in Washington and Raleigh has witnessed first-hand the general impotence of progressive voices. From where I sit, they are largely irrelevant, having not much impact on agenda-setting, and even less on actual public policy.
Someone wrote a while back that progressives in both the North Carolina and US Senate would have much more clout if the two chambers were more evenly divided. A big Democratic majority, the writer argued, means that small factions have no influence. If the margin were cut to one or two seats, progressive votes would be much more valuable. Then again, so would the votes of our Blue Dog equivalents.
I'm not holding my breath for a strong progressive front in Raleigh, or in Washington. Because even when they have votes, it's not clear they know how to use them.
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