Promotion of government transparency, the abolition of torture, and resisting unconstitutional domestic surveillance are core elements of the progressive agenda, so you might expect a high percentage of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to stand in support of H.R. 104, a bill that would create and empower an independent investigative commission to uncover and report on U.S. practices of torture and surveillance without a warrant. But you’d be wrong in that expectation: only 42% of the members of the CPC have bothered to cosponsor H.R. 104, even though the bill is sponsored by fellow Progressive Caucus member John Conyers. Even on the high-profile, high-stakes issues of Big Brother behavior, the Congressional Progressive Caucus can’t seem to pull itself together.
Standing in marked contrast is the cohesion of the LGBT Equality Caucus in regards to H.R. 1283, a bill to replace the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy towards gay and lesbian Americans with a policy of nondiscrimination. 97.5% of the members of the LGBT Equality Caucus have cosponsored H.R. 1283 (a bill sponsored by fellow member Ellen Tauscher).
Quite a contrast. What explains the difference? Is it a matter of disorganization, or do these self-proclaimed progressives just not give a rat’s ass about our nation’s increasing similarity to Oceania?