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Cuomo Didn't Like Label of 'Liberal'

He liked 'pragmatic progressive' instead

(Newser) - The late Mario Cuomo is being called a "liberal icon" ( Time ), a "liberal beacon" (the New York Times ), and even a "liberal lion" ( MSNBC ), but in his appreciation at Capital New York , Terry Golway points out that Cuomo himself wasn't a... More »

There Are More Liberals Than Ever: Poll

...But conservatives still outnumber them

(Newser) - More Americans are calling themselves liberal today than at any point since Gallup started measuring in 1992, according to a new Gallup analysis—though conservatives still far outnumber them. The ranks of self-identified liberals swelled to 23% in 2013, according to the analysis, which collected data from 13 polls spanning... More »

Secrets of a Beck-Loving Liberal

Right-wing radio is lefty Orrin Onken's guilty pleasure

(Newser) - There’s something about right-wing talk radio that’s undeniably attractive—even for a “sushi-eating, Prius-driving, gay-marriage-supporting Oregon liberal” like Orrin Onken, he writes in Salon . Though he’s always been a lefty, Onken began listening in high school, and he’s maintained his “dirty little secret” for... More »

Liberals, Conservatives Have Different Brains

Or least different-sized parts, say scientists

(Newser) - Here's a study sure to stoke controversy—British researchers have found that political orientation correlates to the relative size of certain parts of the brain. Liberals can boast of thicker gray matter at the anterior cingulate, while conservatives can brag about their bigger amygdalas, reports the Sydney Morning Herald . How... More »

Whine All You Want: Obama Gets It Done

He's no Michael Moore—he's a pragmatist, and he keeps scoring

(Newser) - Frank Rich and Paul Krugman can rail all they want, fueled by their disappointment that President Obama is no “Michael Moore in chief.” These “brilliant men" are “profoundly resistant to the core rationale of the Obama presidency"—a strategy that’s working well as Obama... More »

2010's Lesson: Move to Center

America wasn't ready for a new progressive era

(Newser) - Democrats didn’t just get stomped because of the economy, and they didn’t just have a communication problem. “The public heard us,” writes retiring Sen. Evan Bayh in the New York Times , “but disagreed with our approach.” Democrats overestimated their mandate. Exit polls in 2008... More »

Genetics Could Make You a Liberal

...but only if you had a lot of friends in high school, finds study

(Newser) - Is political ideology something you’re born with? Scientists have uncovered a gene that predisposes people to be liberals—provided they had a lot of friends in high school. The study, conducted at UC San Diego and Harvard, matched 2,000 subjects’ genetic information with maps of their social networks,... More »

Whitman, Fiorina: 2 Measures of How Liberal California Is

One's taking centrist tack; other is unabashedly conservative

(Newser) - The candidacies of Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina can serve as an interesting experiment into how liberal California still is. Her immigration troubles aside, Whitman has followed the traditional Republican strategy of tacking to the center after primary in hopes of gaining the support of independents and moderate Democrats. Besides,... More »

Democrats Who Vote 'No' May Be Vulnerable

Nate Silver identifies 10 seats, 6 in NY, subject to primary challenge

(Newser) - Some House Democrats could be in a pickle when it comes to reelection this year if they don’t vote for the health care reform bill this week, writes Nate Silver. He’s identified 10 who might face primary challenges based on their ambivalence about the legislation, pressure from activist... More »

Right, Left Are Blind to Obama's Centrism

Prez is neither a pushover nor a big-government liberal

(Newser) - If you believe President Obama is either a ruthless big-government liberal or an ineffective, overly intellectual leader, it probably says more about your politics than his, argues David Brooks. Obama is, and always has been "a center-left pragmatic reformer" who believes in "a moderately activist government restrained by... More »

Dem Massa Retiring Amid Harassment Allegations

He cites health; male staffer accuses him

(Newser) - Democrat Eric Massa will retire from the House of Representatives after only one term. The congressman announced his surprise decision amid allegations that he sexually harassed a 20-year-old male staffer, reports Politico . Massa, who's married with two children, said there was no truth to the allegations, though he admitted to... More »

Bayh's Lesson: The Left Can't Govern

Washington's stuck because liberal ideas hit wall of resistance

(Newser) - The media’s just rationalizing when it says Evan Bayh’s resignation is a sign of excessive partisanship or Senate dysfunction. The real reason the government’s at a standstill “is the failure once again of liberal governance,” declares an editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal . Every... More »

Air America Going Off the Air

Liberal radio network will cease live broadcasts today

(Newser) - Tough week for the left: First, Ted Kennedy's seat goes Republican, and now Air America has gone bust. The liberal radio network will stop live broadcasts as of 6pm EST today. It will feed affiliates reruns through Monday, then cease operations altogether after 6 years. Air America, which gave a... More »

Why I'm Breaking Up With the Left

One liberal explains why she can't handle the left's grandstanding

(Newser) - EA Hanks and The Left used to have a good thing going. All those marches, all those sit-ins, even those Huffington Post columns; “We were dumb kids in love with hating,” she reminisces. But The Left’s “detestable” failure in Massachusetts was the last straw. “We’... More »

Obama Needs to Ditch the 'Wall Street Liberal' Label

A fight with big banks would best help his reputation

(Newser) - "Wall Street Liberal" is pretty much the worst label you could stick on a politician: The left has no great love of Wall Street, while the "liberal" part ticks off the right. Bad news, then, for President Obama—who is actually neither liberal nor a Wall Street darling—... More »

Obama Needs a Louder Left

Without a strong progressive movement, country won't shift leftward

(Newser) - If Barack Obama wants to be a transformational progressive president like Lyndon Johnson or FDR, he’s going to need a strong liberal movement in the streets. “Every Democratic president since Johnson has raised the hope that he would bring with him a new era of progressive reform,”... More »

Right-Wingers Go Ballistic Over Avatar

Anti-military sci-fi 'hippies' giving conservatives fits

(Newser) - Here's one more thing that's sure to rocket hyper-popular Avatar to even greater heights: right-wingers hate it. America's "prickly cadre of political conservatives" can't stand its eco message, negative portrayal of vicious military contractors and its "can't-we-all-get along counterculture vibe," writes Patrick Goldstein in the Los Angeles ... More »

Health Care Reform Victory, Not Defeat, for Liberals

Progressives actually provided most of the votes

(Newser) - Lately the left has been taking its lumps, courtesy of the conventional wisdom that health care reform passed over liberals’ objections. That’s just plain incorrect, writes Tom Schaller for FiveThirtyEight . A lingering narrative holds that liberals can’t govern because the left is so unmanageable. But progressives provided most... More »

Obama's an Ideologue and a Pragmatist

Which explains why it's still hard to get a fix on him

(Newser) - Depending on the day, President Obama might be derided as a Marxist radical, a corporate pawn, or pretty much anything in between, writes Ross Douthat. A year into his term, nobody can quite get a political fix on him. Why? "Because he’s an ideologue and a pragmatist all... More »

Fading Hope T-Shirt Blasts Obama

Streetwear maven FreshJive says president hasn't lived up to hype

(Newser) - It's getting to be change we can't believe in—a new “Hope is Fading Fast” T-shirt turns the president’s iconic poster into an indictment from the dissatisfied left. The shirt comes from FreshJive , a well-known LA streetwear purveyor with a decidedly liberal bent—founder Rick Katz once commented... More »

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