Political impasse ends

The debt ceiling debate lasted until the final hour in Washington, and it prompted an unusual burst of grass-roots activism. I wrote two stories for Roll Call about it in recent days and wanted to share:

Steamed Activists to Disrupt Forums (08/01/11)

Activists on the far right and far left might be angry at Congress, but they are fracturing with party leadership in a similar fashion, with each side decrying the debt deal for not going far enough.

As leaders attempted to sell the rank and file on the parameters of the compromise, Congress struck with President Barack Obama, tea party groups and liberal organizations alike bristled and promised that they will not be forgiving come the next election. Read on.

Liberals Seek Boost from Debt Talks (07/29/11)

Two years ago, stimulus packages and bailouts fed a nationwide revolt that became the tea party movement. Now, liberal groups say frustration over the debt ceiling talks is fueling a left-wing equivalent.

As Members of both parties discuss making dramatic cuts in government programs in exchange for raising the nation’s debt limit, disenchanted liberals are trying to regain control of the debate to focus on increasing taxes on corporations and the wealthy and on preventing cuts in entitlement programs.

The fight is an early test for the American Dream Movement, a coalition formed last month and led by MoveOn.org Civic Action to counter the tea parties. The group took a lead role in liberal efforts to pressure Congress this week. Read on.

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