PROGRESSIVES AND NATIONAL SECURITY….Why do progressives have such a hard time articulating and promoting an alternative national security vision? Lorelei Kelly says it’s largely because we don’t have our act together:

Thinking back on my work on Capitol Hill, let me give one example of how this works on a day to day basis of funding priorities. When I worked on defense issues for a Member of Congress, I received a three foot high stack of mail every week. From the World Peace Alliance types, I would get books and long testimonial documents, lists of signatures and sometimes even an origami peace crane. From the submarine industry, I would receive a comprehensive district by district graphic breakdown of every single widget, dollar and job which was then indexed to every single district in the state (They did this for all 50 states) Plus its relation to the larger national defense strategy.

It was user-friendly and simple and, unlike the origami, required no assembly. So when it came time to vote on the defense bill, all the legislative assistant had to do was take a quick look at the district graphic to see if the Member ? even a liberal Dem ? could risk a no vote to make an anti-pork point. As you can see from voting records, not many did.

I know this isn’t really news to anybody, but it’s a fact of life worth pointing out once in a while. This is what we’re up against, and we need to do more than chant “Out of Iraq Now!” if we want to make changes. Who on our side is doing the tedious but genuinely influential work that Lorelei’s submarine guys are doing?