New Liberal Alliance Slapped Down by Democratic Senator Harry Reid.
Submitted by Illinoisnoki1 on Sun, 01/27/2013 - 16:50
By Bill Bianchi, PDA-IL Co-Chair
From Mother Jones A month after President Barack Obama won reelection, top brass from three dozen of the most powerful groups in liberal politics met at the headquarters of the National Education Association (NEA), a few blocks north of the White House. Brought together by the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Communication Workers of America (CWA), and the NAACP, the meeting was invite-only and off-the-record.
Despite all the Democratic wins in November, a sense of outrage filled the room as labor officials, environmentalists, civil rights activists, immigration reformers, and a panoply of other progressive leaders discussed the challenges facing the left and what to do to beat back the deep-pocketed conservative movement. They dubbed this effort, the Democracy Initiative. [It’s not clear whether representatives from the Obama administration attended.]
At the end of the day, many of the attendees closed with a pledge of money and staff resources to build a national, coordinated campaign around three goals: 1) getting big money out of politics, 2) expanding the voting rolls while fighting voter ID laws, and 3) rewriting Senate rules to curb the use of the filibuster to block legislation.
The groups in attendance pledged a total of millions of dollars and dozens of organizers to form a united front on these issues—potentially, a coalition of a kind rarely seen in liberal politics, where squabbling is common and a stay-in-your-lane attitude often prevails. "It was so exciting," says Michael Brune, the Sierra Club's executive director. "We weren't just wringing our hands about the Koch brothers. We were saying, 'I'll put in this amount of dollars and this many organizers.'"
Unfortunately, this promising effort has slammed into a brick wall. Apparently, the leadership of the Democratic Party doesn’t want to reform the filibuster rule, even though it has the votes to do so.
Reid's Promise. Back in May of 2012 Senator Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV) appeared on the Ed Schultz show and promised unequivocally to pass filibuster reform in the beginning of the next Congress if Democrats managed to hold onto a simple majority in the Senate and if Obama was reelected.
Today barely two months after both of Reid’s requirement have been met, he now says, according to Ed Schultz, “I’m not personally, at this stage, ready to get rid of the 60 vote threshold”. And despite over 380 Republican filibusters in recent years, Reid says, “The only way we’ll get rid of the filibuster is if it continues to be abused.” At that Schultz went ballistic as well he should. See Video Here.
Reid pulled the classic bait and switch on progressives and on the American people. Before an election he made a solemn promise to deliver reform if elected and then after winning the election, he refused to carry out his pledge. Progressives should be used to this by now, it’s what our leaders have been doing to us for the past 20 years.
But this shameful episode just points out what we should all know, and what was recently stated in the Nation magazine. “the Democratic Party as it is now constituted is no longer an agency for realizing the ideals [of progressives and principled liberals]. 
Why? A comment from Daily Kos explained it well. Because the two major parties are... “ruled by big money. When 94% of the time the candidate with more money wins, in order to win you end up serving the donors and not your constituents. If the filibuster is changed, then the senate [would] actually [have] to do things, and they don't want to. " The status quo is good for business”. That is, it’s good for the Party’s investors.
But let’s not put our tail between our legs and slink away. Let’s raise a ruckus with our Party leaders, get leaders like Reid out of office, and figure out a better strategy for bringing progressive change to America.
 WonkBlog, Washington Post, Harry Reid promises filibuster reform if Dems win the election, posted by: Suzy Khimm, July 17, 2012. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/07/17/harry-reid-promises-filibuster-reform-if-dems-win-the-election/