After the Fall: An Autopsy of the Midterms

Surveying the wreckage of his party’s 2014 election campaign, Howard Dean, on the November 9th Meet the Press, was candid, with such sound bytes as, ““Where the hell is the Democratic party …You got to stand for something if you want to win.” The Republicans’ message was, “We’re not Obama.” What was the Democrats’ message? “Oh well, we really aren’t either.”
Translation: “Get my message; we need a message.”
No matter how hard the Democrats tried to demonize their Republican rivals — they couldn’t.

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Comprehensive Immigration Reform and U.S. Labor Markets: Dilemmas for Progressive Labor

Ordinarily, legislation supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Restaurant Association, Silicon Valley moguls, and the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal is not supported by people who identify with the American left. But such is the case with Comprehensive Immigration Reform. In a complex deal between interest groups that ordinarily oppose each other, CIR was first pushed by the Bush administration.

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Dreamers Unbound: Immigrant Youth Mobilizing

One of the most important social movements in the United States is the undocumented youth movement (Dreamers). The movement has not been successful in passing the federal DREAM Act. It has, however, worked closely with its allies to rack up an impressive string of local and state-level victories and pressured the Obama administration to pass Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2012. This latter measure provided approximately 553,000 undocumented youths with temporary relief (two years) from deportation.

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“The Sanctity of Private Property”: The Civil Rights Act and the Limitations of American Liberalism

In marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, commenters frequently lamented the contrast between progress toward legal equality and the persistence of economic inequality today. “The decision to pursue purely legal change, and to leave economic relation- ships alone, says much about the intellectual and moral limitations of midcentury liberalism,” wrote journalist Clay Risen.

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The Charter School Challenge

Do charter schools pose an existential threat to public education and teacher unions? One need look no further than post-Katrina New Orleans, widely touted as a national model of education reform, to understand why many observers now answer this question in the affirmative. Today, charter schools enroll more than nine in every ten public school students, a share that continues to grow.

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