The seeds were first sown by Masoninblue in February 2010, and began taking root just six months ago. House and Senate Democrats were about to be swamped in the 2010 midterms, a veritable deluge of distrust most of us had seen coming since the health insurance debacle.

Worsened by the lame excuse for financial regulation approved last summer, the judgment passed in November on congressional Democrats was swift, harsh, and totally warranted. Those whose votes the party rode to an historic victory just two years before would not be bothered going to the polls to support what – it’s now quite clear – is anything but the lesser of two evils.

Just before the midterms, MyFDL readers - prodded by diarist jeffroby - had begun seeking a primary challenger to President Obama in 2012. After the election, the effort gathered steam.

By mid December, readers had chosen 10 preferred challengers, identified five crucial platform points to which any primary challenger – and an eventual Independent or third-party nominee – must commit, and approved a name for the effort: the New Progressive Alliance.

Since those heady days, wheels have been turning:

- The NPA is now registered as a non-profit 527 political organization, free to become a party itself if necessary.

- Volunteers continue signing on to help the NPA grow.

- A steering committee of diverse, devout Progressives was assembled and has twice met.

- An invitation to challenge Mr. Obama has been sent to Elizabeth Warren, whom My FDL readers ranked first among prospective challengers, and

- Work on a Unified Progressive Platform is under way, with the five points chosen here last fall at the top of the list – and the next six winning strong consideration.

More than any other factor, it was the participation of MyFDLers – with the cooperation, though not the official endorsement of FireDogLake and its family of sites – that enabled the founding of the NPA, and for that we are eternally grateful. We knew, however, that sooner or later we’d have to give the effort a home unto itself, and that’s today’s news: The NPA web site is up and running!

Long before the NPA’s quite organic development, I found FDL and began participating, under the username “themalcontent.” I love it here at the Lake; this community sustains me. FDL’s influence, and many of its diarists’ uncompromising support of a most basic Progressive tenet – that government exists to help make better the lives of all people – have on countless occasions convinced me to keep fighting when I was more than ready to give up. I am proud to be a member of FDL, and encourage all who have not yet joined to do so, to whatever extent your finances allow, by clicking “become a member” at the top of this page.

The New Progressive Alliance’s guiding belief is simple: To give Progressive values the voice they deserve at the national level is going to require rewriting the electoral script that has abetted the erosion of those values by Democrats for more than 30 years. And we have a strategy for doing that.

So now’s the time – as the 2012 elections approach – to seize the Progressive movement that is manifesting in the Mideast, our own Midwest, and with labor organizations which are finally seeing the folly of continuing to support Democrats as they sell out workers’ rights and interests to corporate influence.

For proof positive of what can happen when Progressives speak with one voice, we need look no farther than across our northern border, where Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP) last week relegated the Liberal Party – analogous in many way to our neo-liberal Democrats – to parliamentary meaninglessness.

It didn’t happen overnight. Then again, for much of the NDP’s existence, there was no Internet.

The NPA will continue to share with the FDL community the growth and the progress of our mission, and we hope you’ll help us spread the word. We’ve made it easy: Just drop by NewProgs.org MyFDLers, to see and share what you started!

Thanks so much for all you do.

- Anthony Noel, NPA Facilitator