Progressive Democratic candidate for the 5th U.S. Congressional District seat Jamie Eldridge joined us, about 39 minutes into the podcast. The three of us endorse him for the race, but we had a free-ranging discussion.

He responds to questions about how he expects to overcome Niki Tsongas’ presumed advantages, whether women’s right to choose or health care will be crucial issues, and what we can expect from him on the Iraq war, mass transit and other key Massachusetts concerns.

Mike’s post of the week is more blogging-centric than usual. Over at Blue Mass Group, Bob muses on whether blogs can set the tone for the Democrats as right-wing radio and TV has for Republicans. He cites a Timothy Egan NYT column saying that talk radio hosts have wagged the elephant. “[P]ragmatism is being drowned out by the bullies with electronic bullhorns, who’ve got their party leaders running scared.” While Bob doesn’t suggest bullying the Dems, he does point to the increasing readership of blogs and suggests the potential risks for the leftist.

This dovetails with the cover article of this week’s The Nation. There, Rick Perlstein wonders Will the Progressive Majority Emerge? He makes a strong argument that Democrats are already mainstream, because the vast majority of voters have come to recognize that corporations and conservative politicians are sacrificing the nation’s needy and middle classes to their greed. The voters are progressive, just waiting to be asked to support our issues.

Ryan’s Blog of the Week concerns the looming state crisis on property taxes and education funding. JCSinclair, over at BMG, writes about the situation in Stoneham and how tough choices are being made when towns don’t pass necessary overrides. Of course, we can’t keep passing these overrides because they fail to address the underlying issues (health care expenses, mainly). For another look at just how damaging these cuts are - especially to our youngest children - read about the situation in Dartmouth.

Lynne’s post of the week was from Tony on richardhowe.com, regarding the Eldridge/Finegold/Tsongas/EMILY’s List tangle. She was especially grateful that Tony pointed out this story, because she felt it important enough to write about, as did BMG’s David.

Speaking of which, here’s the video of the question that started it all:



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