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Showing posts from February, 2017

The fight over the Democratic Party explained

For those who kept close eyes on the insides of the Democratic Party since a year ago, the battles over the weekend are familiar. A far left, populist wing of liberals tries to subvert the mainstream of the party in a hostile takeover attempt. Last year it was Bernie Sanders allies. Right up into the convention they made noise about the direction of things. Many consider this weekend's leadership struggle to be a proxy-war rematch of the two sides. Again, the Bernie wing lost and now many on the far left are complaining...even threatening to leave the party.

In my opinion, it was never really about "how Democrats will win." In 2018 or 2020 or at the local level. Though that's what the battle for party leadership is supposed to be about. No, the question is really about how we govern when we get our turn again. I'm not going to return to the arguments here about the need to embrace a more radical, hard left agenda. There are plenty of true believers who think Bern…

Oak Park transportation geekery

A couple of transportation-related pieces in the Wednesday Journal this week that I wanted to highlight because I enjoyed them overall. But I have responses and minor corrections to each of them.

First, there was this piece by trustee candidate James Taglia:
Oak Park's review of parking is much needed

Then there's also this "One View" by Jack Crowe:
Bike-friendly? Try Chicago, not Oak Park

Candidate Taglia's letter focuses on the financial side of parking. I want to just clarify somewhat that, while the Transportation Commission has been working hard and I love seeing us get well-deserved credit for that hard work, it's actually the Village Board itself who is undertaking a year-long study of the overall parking situation in the village. We're happy to take any assignments, of course, and my understanding is that the Board may lean on us for public hearings, etc.. But much of the impetus driving this forward is them, not us. We certainly have asked some poi…

The Rise of Ethno-nationalism Around the World

Pretend you're a Trump supporter for a second. Which of these scenarios is more comforting?

--Since the last time a Republican was President, the United States has been living under a popular black, Democratic leader. The nation has shifted ever more liberal in just a decade with men now marrying men, women fighting in battle, Christianity declining as the default assumption, and your neighbor is now possibly a foreigner with a very different culture. Despite your inability to put the social genie back in the bottle, your candidate in the election managed to squeak out a few thousand votes in key states to win the Electoral College while losing the popular vote by over 3 million. He does not have a mandate for change and your party's backward attitudes are leading the public to think that you're painfully, perhaps antagonistically out of touch with the majority of Americans. The country has, perhaps, been lost forever as a white, conservative Christian nation.

--After liv…