Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Progressive Politicians From New Mexico Are Rare:
Only Ben Ray Lujan Is A Member Of The Congressional Progressive Caucus
Fellow Democrats Martin Heinrich, Tom Udall and Jeff Bingaman are not

Florida Republican Tea Bagger Congressman Allen West is inspiring some headlines after making the bizarre Joseph McCarthy-like claim there are 75-81 "Communists" in the US congress. Pressed for a list of names his office said West was referring to members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

West of course is a blithering idiot. As a Socialist myself, I can assure you there is no one in the US congress (or White House) who comes even remotely close to qualifying as a radical let alone a Socialist or Communist. West, a freshman congressman, who is gaining a reputation for his blithering idiocy, is also, to be somewhat fair, the product of an America that has moved so far to the right since Ronald Reagan that moderate Democrats seem like Far Left radicals to some, and the product of an American political discourse that for reasons directly related to the first one is dumbed down, vitriolic and incapable of being a vehicle for serious discussion.

But who are these Progressives in the congress? I copied the list below directly from the Congressional Progressive Caucus web site this evening. (Members are listed alphabetically, if you are looking for a particular person.)

Caucus Members


Keith Ellison
Raúl Grijalva

Vice Chairs

Tammy Baldwin
Judy Chu
William “Lacy” Clay
Sheila Jackson-Lee
Chellie Pingree


Hank Johnson

Senate Member

Bernie Sanders

House Members

Karen Bass
Xavier Becerra
Earl Blumenauer
Corrine Brown
Michael Capuano
Andre Carson
Donna Christensen
Yvette Clarke
Emanuel Cleaver
David Cicilline
Steve Cohen
John Conyers
Elijah Cummings
Danny Davis
Peter DeFazio
Rosa DeLauro
Donna Edwards
Sam Farr
Chaka Fattah
Bob Filner
Barney Frank
Marcia Fudge
Luis Gutierrez
Janice Hahn
Maurice Hinchey
Mazie Hirono
Rush Holt
Michael Honda
Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Eddie Bernice Johnson
Marcy Kaptur
Dennis Kucinich
Barbara Lee
John Lewis
David Loebsack
Ben Ray Lujan
Carolyn Maloney
Ed Markey
Jim McDermott
James McGovern
Brad Miller
George Miller
Gwen Moore
Jim Moran
Jerrold Nadler
Eleanor Holmes Norton
John Olver
Frank Pallone
Ed Pastor
Jared Polis
Charles Rangel
Laura Richardson
Lucille Roybal-Allard
Bobby Rush
Linda Sanchez
Jan Schakowsky
Jose Serrano
Louise Slaughter
Pete Stark
Bennie Thompson
John Tierney
Nydia Velazquez
Maxine Waters
Mel Watt
Peter Welch
Frederica Wilson
Lynn Woolsey

Progressive, incidentally, is a term that has been around for a long time, but in recent years has come to be used in place of the term Liberal, after Ronald Reagan succeeded in making the word Liberal a derogatory epithet. The people listed above, not being afraid to have their names associated with progressive political ideas, can be counted on to stand with working people when push comes to shove. Members of congress who may have progressive tendencies but who, out of political calculation, didn't join the caucus, can be counted on, when push comes to shove, to be politically calculating.


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