Progressive Caucus: Incommunicado or just Inactive?
As we report today, some members of the House of Representatives’ Congressional Progressive Caucus display a surprising lack of support for a progressive political platform.
On an organizational basis, what surprises me is that the public work of the Congressional Progressive Caucus appears to be shockingly out of date. The C.P.C.’s last “daily update” posted on its official website was on April 5, 2001 — nearly four years ago! That’s not daily, friends. Its last legislative brief was on March 16, 2001. Its last “rapid response” brief was on July 20, 2000. Yes, that’s when Bill Clinton was still president of the United States.
Scouring google for any other reference to the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the only materials I find since the attacks of September 11, 2001 are 1) yearly press releases announcing the election of new caucus co-chairs, and 2) one (1) (uno) (>0, <2) press release made on April 1, 2003 announcing that affirmative action is important.
Now, as I see it there are two possibilities here. The first possibility is that the Congressional Progressive Caucus has been wildly active behind the scenes, operating from a secret bat-cave or perhaps a treehouse in a high-elevation rainforest canopy, working incredibly hard to promote a progressive agenda in the U.S. Congress but keeping its efforts secret because… well, just because. This possibility, a failure of publicity masking policy success, would run contrary to the evidence we’ve found of a lack of legislative solidarity within the membership of the CPC.
The second, more empirically reasonable possibility is that while certain members of the Progressive Caucus have been active on an individual basis, as a group the Congressional Progressive Caucus has been sitting on its collective ass.
Get in touch with Representatives Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey, the newly elected co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and ask them to detail their plan for shaping the C.P.C. into an effective working group.