If the political left had effective policy organizations like the right wing's "think tanks" then already, they would be funding, directly, or indirectly, digging expeditions to find dirt on every high visibility right winger. Hastert should be at the top of that list. But the left does not have ANY tough policy promotion organizations. They have Center for American Progress, run by former Clinton staffers (hence DLC and HIllary leaning) who do a pretty good job of covering and integrating the news that others are reporting. Then there's Campaign for America's Future http://www.ourfuture.org and they do a nice job organizing moderately progressive but still somewhat Clinton and DLC friendly Democrats at an annual meeting, plus they have some interesting positive vision initiatives, like their Appollo project for energy. But we need a really tough, hard-ass, strong talking, strong acting, deep digging organization that digs up dirt on leaders of the right wing axis of evil. This is what the right wing think tanks did to attack Clinton, even funding research on the women Clinton was harried by while president. The think tanks were the ones that dug up the dirt and lobbied for the media barrage that led to the tidal wave of sexual accusations that made Clinton all wet.
Progressives and lefties don't have the hundreds of millions the right have and we don't have tough progressive organizations. But at Democrats.com and afterdowningstreet.org Bob Fertik and David Swanson did go out on a limb to raise enough money to fund an impeachment poll that is getting fantastically wide exposure.
We have Buzzflash.com talking tough, encouraging people to ask why the Bush daughters and other children, of age, of privilege are not serving in the military. Bernie Weiner wrote a great article giving credit to the internet and media progressives who are shedding light in the right wing induced stygian darkness-- Before the Plamegate Deluge: Honoring Our Journalistic Heroes I hope OpEdNews gets a bit of credit too, for talking tough and working with nocrony.com to create a unique site on the web, where regular contributors can create issue action pages for any article they write. Soon, OpEdNews will be empowering local communities with one of the most potent web media technology available.
The bottom line is that a handful of wealthy liberals have funded some good organizations just a tad left of center But those are still primarily influenced too heavily by the DLC and the Clinton world. We need tougher, further left organizations. As I write the words further left, I cringe a bit, because really, the policies that most of the websites and people which Bernie Weiner and I mention are not far, far left. They are not extremists, They are more what Thom Hartmann and others describe as the "radical middle." It's just that the right wing and the DLC have moved so far to the extreme right that the middle is now considered "to the left."
Still, there are no organizations getting decent funding that are doing the tough talk and work that needs to be done. Just imagine if the 300,000 marchers against the war, who went to Washington last month, gave $30 each to fund two or three tough progressive policy advocacy organizations. Forget about think tanks. They do research. Policy advocacy organizations advocate and take action. They would have raised $9 million. Imagine if a few of the Soros's of the world decided to fund some operations with tough talk and balls to take action. Dennis Hastert would be toast. Every Swift boat attack ad would be countered with real, tough responses that would make the axis of evil slime team think twice, three times before playing their dirty games.
We need some of these tough, policy promotion and advocacy organizations. My guess is tough talk and tough visions for actions scare some of the spineless centrist democrats. But there must be some tough minded wealthy progressives who can see that doing it the ordinary way isn't working. We need to get tough. We need to build new, tough organizations that will stand tough up to the tough right wing organizations that are funded by deep pocket oil money.
Meanwhile, we all need to work to dig up the dirt on Hastert. He could be in line to be president, if Bush and Cheney are both taken out together by strong legal action. We need to get to work on him. Get googling. Talk to people, watch him closely. Let him know he's going to be next.