The November 7th elections were a watershed for America's workers. The tyranny imposed by years of GOP control has ended. That should end the string of anti-worker and anti-family policies imposed by the Republican Party and their corporate allies.
It should end. But it doesn't mean it will. Unfortunately, despite the best intent of the Democratic leadership, there will be enormous pressure from the GOP and their Chamber of Commerce allies to oppose progressive policies. But...they won't be the only obstacle to progress. I know from too much experience that we'll find problems from a group of Democrats who have in the past voted against the progressive agenda - and will do it again.
Reining in the rogue Democrats has always been a problem. They stick it to working families, then expect a pass when elections roll around, figuring they will be the "lesser of the evils." And all too often they have gotten away with it.
That's why, with several allies associated with the labor movement, MoveOn.org and individuals from the progressive community, we have helped start two separate new organizations: They Work for Us and Working for Us Political Action Committee. Both groups will be on the hunt for Democrats who undermine progressive economic values and oppose the House Democratic Leadership's attempt to move America forward. These groups share a clear agenda that all REAL Democrats must support:
• Promoting a living wage for all workers
• Improving access to health care
• Fighting for more domestic jobs
• Defending workers' rights to organize
• Protecting retirement security, including social security, pensions, and personal savings accounts
• Encouraging sound corporate governance
That should be easy for Democrats. And, it will be for most of them. But, we already know that some Democrats will do everything they can to undermine that agenda. In the past, stray Democrats expected progressives to forgive and forget. Those days are over.
While there are no "targets" yet we will carefully scrutinize congressional activity in the coming months. Our website, www.workingforuspac.org will post information about the worst offenders, will establish "bloggers brain trust" for regular comments about members of congress and will ask our readers to nominate members who deserve "special attention."
TWFU and WFUPAC are not only going to name names, they're going to take action. Serious action. TWFU will be communicating directly with constituents through direct mail, e-mail, the blogosphere and netroots to keep the pressure on Democrats to support a progressive legislative agenda. No bad vote will go unpunished. And WFUPAC will add its own voice, but with the distinct goal of making sure that offending Members of Congress face not only bad publicity back home, but also truly progressive primary challengers -- well-funded, well-organized, well-prepared challengers.
It is a new day. The new Democratic majorities in Congress are working hard right now to benefit American workers. The House already passed their 100 Hours Agenda, which is an incredible start. But there's so much more to do. And, we expect Democrats to truly work for us. If not, those who vote against the progressive agenda should consider themselves warned.
See how you can help - visit www.workingforuspac.org today. The website for They Work for Us is coming soon!