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View Diary: Abbreviated Pundit Round-up (101 comments)

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  •  The diary portion quoted below reminds me (6+ / 0-)

    of something I heard once, that the mission statement of Fux News, is to move the perceived political spectrum so absolutely far to the right that anything remotely conservative looks like a centrist or leftist view.  We are not talking moving the goal posts, we're talking about moving the whole damn playing field.

    From the diary:

    what counts as middle ground in Washington is more conservative than the political center nationwide.
    •  It's that Overton Window approach (8+ / 0-)

      Yeah, that may be a tired phrase at this point, but it's a strategy that the right has used effectively for more than thirty years. Come with what seems to be a ridiculous extreme, then come up with something even more, repeat. Pretty soon, the "left side" of public argument is in territory once unthinkably right.

      Until the left counters with proposals of their own rather than just fighting on the ground the right establishes, it'll keep working.

      •  We tried, with "single payer" (5+ / 0-)

        and even "public option" proved to be too socialist for the Washington crowd to touch.

        OTH the Occupy 99% meme got some traction and did change the discourse, and as a result we actually got an increase in taxes on the top 1% or whatever. I agree that we need to keep doing this, even when it seems that noone's paying attention. It's like trying to turn a battleship by pushing with a couple of canoes.

        •  Occupy had a huge effect (9+ / 0-)

          which we know because of the oodles of stories explaining they had no effect. Were that true, no stories at all.

          But "fairness" is now part of the political lexicon.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 06:09:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Occupy won the ideological battle (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BachFan, SouthernLiberalinMD

            Sadly, Occupy was too inexperienced and unorganized to win the physical battle.

            So that stage still remains.

            •  that's why militarized police (0+ / 0-)

              were brought out to beat them into submission.

              It's also why the MSM mocked them.

              if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:18:09 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Main thing is, Occupy apparently (0+ / 0-)

              had no plan for what to do after they got driven out of the public squares. They didn't want to admit that we might "fail" in that way, that they could lose the encampments. The Spanish counterparts to Occupy, the indignados, understood that encampments were a tactic, and a temporary one at that. They didn't conceive of preserving the encampments as the goal.

              The idea that Occupy could defend the encampments indefinitely from cops and DHS was always untenable. The idea is to make your "failure" part of your long-term plan, and have a next step to scoop people up when it happens so they don't become discouraged. But by the time I got involved with Occupy, we had already gotten to the point that making any kind of a national plan was essentially impossible because people were so focused on decentralization as an ethical stance.

              if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:24:45 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I was discussing this very thing back in April '12 (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:


                The "occupy the park" tactic was useful in the beginning, to bring attention to the movement, give it a base to grow in, and allow it to build power. Now, though, the next task is to take that power and direct it against our enemies---and our enemies are not in the park. It is time we move out of the parks and into the streets and buildings.

                We need to learn some lessons from the strategy of the insurgent. Insurgents don't "take and hold" territory. As all the big Occupy branches learned the hard way, that only makes it easy for the enemy to surround you, cut you off, and crush you. Instead, insurgents "take, hold a little while, then move somewhere else". If, instead of trying to defend Freedom Park, the whole encampment had just picked up and moved to another base in another park, and then again, and again, and again, the cops would have faced the impossible task of either sealing off every park in the city, or chasing the occupiers ineffectually all over the place forever. Instead, Occupy tried to stand toe-to-toe with the cops in a fixed battle. The result was preordained. Fixed fights are always fatal to insurgents. We had no chance at all of winning that fight.

                By futilely defending the park instead of retreating to another base of operations to carry on the fight against the 1%, the Occupy movement also made a serious political mistake. So long as we were seen as the victims, as simple peaceful nonviolent protesters who were being attacked by the cops, the Occupy movement won public sympathy and support--but as soon as we began to be seen (rightly or wrongly) as provoking confrontations with the cops, we lost that public support, quickly. By turning the Occupy movement into a mere duel with the cops, we placed the "occupy" part ahead of the "wall street" part, turned the fight away from a battle for economic justice and into a battle with the cops over who could stay in a park, thereby losing sight of our real goals and losing our support. A fight of the 99% against the corporate 1% is a fight that will win public support and sympathy--a fight with the cops over whether we can sleep in a park, is not.

                So, as a matter of practicality as well as of strategy and tactics, we must expand out of the parks---and into the buildings where our corporate enemy is. Rather than being the total sum of the Occupy movement, the park occupations must be turned into mere base camps, mobile and flexible, where we can meet wherever is most convenient to plan actions in the surrounding community, aimed directly at the 1% and their minions wherever they are--in the banks, the corporate buildings, wherever they happen to be.

                •  absolutely, and I think I read your article (0+ / 0-)

                  when you posted it.

                  honestly, I felt like we should be in dialogue with folks in neighborhoods that had massive levels of foreclosure and lots of vacant buildings, talking to the heads of churches, community leaders, etc., and coming up with proposals to relocate into those buildings. One kind of off-the-cuff attempt at that was tried in Oakland, but it wasn't planned very well. Such as step would need mainstream allies; it involves mainstreaming the movement, to some extent; getting the folks who don't want to sleep on concrete and get beat up by the cops involved. And it requires building trust with the people who live in the neighborhoods (you can't just march into somebody's neighborhood, however beleagured the neighborhood might be, and take up residence.)

                  My experience was that Occupy didn't want to mainstream itself or find mainstream allies, except in the sense of getting allies to donate food, money, and occasional legal services. That might be too harsh a statement, I don't know.

                  if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

                  by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:41:08 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I was in Occupy in FL from the beginning, and (0+ / 0-)
                But by the time I got involved with Occupy, we had already gotten to the point that making any kind of a national plan was essentially impossible because people were so focused on decentralization as an ethical stance.
                this was a problem right from the start.  Occupy was, as a whole, naive and inexperienced.  It had very few experienced organizers, and because of the silly lengths it took the whole "no leadership !" thingie, it didn't listen to the few that it had. A bad ending was inevitable. When the ship is intentionally built rudderless, there's no way to avoid the rocks. (shrug)

                One good thing Occupy did accomplish was to produce a new crop of organizers who have now been through the ringer and gained some real-world practical experience. Of all the reasons why Occupy appeared in the first place, none of them have gone away. So the movement will be back, inevitably, sooner or later.  It may not be Occupy that leads the new charge, but whatever the next movement is, its active core will have come out of Occupy. Time now for those organizers to learn from our mistakes, and move on from there.

      •  Well, tell that to Democratic party leadership (0+ / 0-)

        they're helping the process along by excluding left-wing positions from their negotiations. Every time they do the "practical" thing that "might pass the House" (or Senate, or whatever) they help the Republicans move the conversation rightward--because what they're doing is starting from a position they think the Republicans might accept (of course the Republicans don't accept it but continue to scream their heads off). And the media helps by denying oxygen to things like the budgets the Progressive Caucus have been producing every year.

        The role of the progressive blogosphere should be giving more and more oxygen to those sorts of progressive ideas. Instead, we've decided to support Democrats no matter what, which just reinforces the process.

        If we want to change this dynamic, we have to be willing to piss off Democratic leadership. That's the politics of it, unfortunately.

        if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:17:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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