I’ll be honest – mostly, I go to these things to try to find a job. However, I’m going as a blogger this year (I get in free, and I’m sleeping on a friend’s couch) for one main reason: this debate on progressives in the Obama era. Darcy Burner is one of the few people in the progressive movement to whom I can relate, and I’m really looking forward to this event:
The Campaign for America’s Future has held an annual conference every year, and typically the attendees would discuss how conservatism has failed and how their leaders can be brought out of power. The next iteration of the CAF conference, titled “America’s Future Now” and scheduled for June 7-9 in Washington, will have a much different focus – an open discussion among the progressive community about how to best position itself in an age of governing.
“The progressive community is somewhat divided, between the folks who think Obama is doing everything he can against a broken political system, and the folks that think he’s not doing enough, and that we need an independent force to push him,” said Bill Scher, the Online Campaign Manager for CAF. “We’re going to have that debate at this conference.”
Scher highlighted a session called “The Great Debate: Progressives in the Obama Era,” where Executive Director of the Progressive Congress Action Fund Darcy Burner and Executive Director of the Center for Community Change Deepak Bhargava, who sit on opposite sides of the aforementioned divide, will argue how best to achieve progressive goals in the Obama age. This will be followed by community discussions and opportunities to engage on the question, which overhangs virtually the entire conference. “No matter where you line up in that debate, we need to come together and engage” on it, said Scher. “Are we the wingman of the Obama Administration or an outside pressure force?”
As you may have noticed, I no longer see working for the immediate needs of the Democratic part as an effective strategy, so it’ll be interesting to hear what other people have to say.