[Note to reader:
In case you haven’t noticed I have suspended for the last year my regular column in “The Hill” (going back more than a dozen years) while I am writing my autobiography aimed primarily at an audience called “Family” — my wife of 37 years and my four children and six grandchildren. My book will recount my early years that shaped my political views — encountering during seven years in the 1960s at Yale two future successive presidents of the U.S., three U.S. senators, two secretaries of State, and many other future national political and judicial officials whose experiences were shaped in the 1960s.
The key political influence in my life back then — the late, former Rep. Allard Lowenstein (D-N.Y.) (to whom I devote a separate chapter in my draft autobiography) taught me and an entire generation of progressive activists in the 1960s involved in the anti-Vietnam War and civil rights movements the phrase “pragmatic liberalism.” For Lowenstein, the only way to achieve progressive change is to reach out to the center — and to compromise to get something, rather than nothing, done. That is the core subject of this column — the lessons to be learned from Democratic state Sen. Chloe Maxmin, elected to represent a rural, pro-Trump district of Maine].
All Democrats, especially the House Democratic Progressive Caucus, should read today’s Washington Post column, written by the brilliant progressive writer Katrina vanden Heuvel. The headline: “What a progressive champion from rural Maine can teach Democrats about winning.” There are three important takeaways for Democratic progressives:
First, see vanden Heuvel’s reference to Maine’s state Sen. Chloe Maxmin’s approach to getting a more limited version of the “Clean New Deal”/climate-change bill enacted by the Maine legislature. Katrina Vanden Heuvel wrote: “And though the bill was scaled back, it ultimately passed by a large margin.”