The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Heading to America’s Future Now Conference

June 7-9th I’ll be in DC for the America’s Future Now conference, run by Campaign for America’s Future.  In exchange for letting my readers know about it, I get free registration (but not a free flight or hotel room).  Obviously registration is the least of the costs, and it’s not why I’m going.

I’m going for three reasons: first, because Campaign for America’s Future Now is about the most left wing an organization can be and still operate in the beltway.  I’m curious to see just how left that is when the hair’s down.

Second, because of the guest list.  It includes Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Alan Grayson, Arianna Huffington, Markos Moulitsas, Van Jones, Gov. Howard Dean, Rep. Donna Edwards, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Richard Trumka, Andy Stern, Bob Herbert, Juan Cole, Digby, Deepak Bhargava, James Rucker, Drew Westen, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Robert Kuttner and Lizz Winstead.

These folks are, with a few exceptions, again, about as left wing as you can be and still expect not to be laughed at in DC (and in a couple cases, a step or two too far left.)  I want to hear, from them, where the acceptable left is in DC.  What’s the leftmost thing you can say?  What’s the leftmost thing you can expect to pass?  What do they really think of the Tea Party?  What do they really think of healthcare, the just passed primary season, and the upcoming elections? What do they really think about financial reform, immigration and so on.

Not that everything they say will real.  There’ll be plenty of pandering, but there’ll also be plenty of revealing moments.

Third, of course, is to meet friends.

If you’re considering going, you can see the agenda here, and the registration is here.  And whether you’re going or not, if you’re in DC around then and interested in meeting (I’ll be there on the 6th, leaving the 9th) drop me a line at admin-at-ianwelsh-net.


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  1. El Gringo Colombiano

    Let’s see if the “Liberal Media” aka Corporate Media, moron pundits like Chris Matthews, say about Progressives pwning the elections last night, with Specter & Lincoln (probably) going down. Even Rand Paul winning IMHO is pro-progressive as 1 can find in the ReThuglican party, as the Libertarians are progressive on specific policies: anti-war, anti-drug war, pro-civil liberties/rule of law

    Truth is that the elections show Americans are becoming more
    1 anti-Corporatist
    2 Progressive

    But the Matthews, Chuck Todds, & other assorted dbags won’t state this. They’d rather continue to overhype tea baggers, & the MA Scott Brown Senate win. *smh*

    There needs to be a new cable channel, with the likes of Jane Hamsher, Ian Welsh, Amy Goodman, Matt Taibbi, Juan Cole, etc on 24/7

  2. Ian Welsh

    Predictions from Nov 2007

    9) I wouldn’t be surprised, at some point, to see capital controls put in place to stop money-flight from the US. 10) When the full extent of how bad things are hits Joe Public, expect a move for reregulation of Wall Street and to reinstitute something similiar to Glass-Steagall. Looking a little better than they did a year ago.
    (november 2007 + March 2008 predictions)

  3. David H.

    #10 seems predicated on the assumption that congressional reps will vote the will of their constituents. There is less and less evidence that this is the case. And it starts with the president, from whom the take their cue. I hope I am wrong.

  4. Ian Welsh

    Oh, you’re not wrong. Still, a couple things seem likely to get through I wouldn’t have expected to, and people associated with the mess are having troubles electorally.

  5. par4

    Most of the speakers mentioned are Obamabots. That says it all about the state of the ‘left’ in this country.

  6. DancingOpossum

    Yup — Obamabots and former Republicans. And fake “progressives” like Grayson who are nothing but sweet talk followed by nasty backstabbing, but manage to get lots of pwoggies to get their panties in a twist and gush about what a “hero” he is. And Katrina vanden Heuvel, who never met a justification for Obama’s lousy policies she couldn’t gush over as the next coming of Jesus, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny all at once (oh wait, that line actually comes from that other noted “progressive” and deep thinker, Naomi Wolf).

    Not a real lefty in the bunch. Just people with deep-rooted commitment to the rotting corpse that is the Democratic Party, and a delusional belief that Obama really is on their side, just wait and see!

    “I want to hear, from them, where the acceptable left is in DC. What’s the leftmost thing you can say? What’s the leftmost thing you can expect to pass? ”

    Well, that sounds fine but unfortunately, these are all professional panderers who will whinge on and on about what’s “practical” and what’s “pragmatic” — i.e., what’s the best way to capitulate on liberal/left-wing principles because, you know, the country is not ready for Radical Socialist Change! and the Republicans are soooooo oppositional and mean. And to fix all that we have to elect more and better Democrats!

    I mean, really, I can script their answers for you without even going to the conference.

    Anyway…the fundamental questions are, Who cares what is acceptably “left” in the US? Who cares how far left our military-corporate overlords will “allow” us to go? What does it matter? If you’re a true liberal/lefty you shouldn’t care. And their combined effectiveness to accomplish ANY progressive goal should be the first clue.

    I’m sure it will be fun for you and perhaps I am overly cynical, but I don’t expect
    anything of value to come from this conference — except perhaps for the Democratic reps who will no doubt sucker “progressives” into giving them even more money so they can continue doing all the wonderful “lefty” things they are doing.

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