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View Diary: Caucus Diary: Let's Figure Out How to Get Congress to Deny Authorization for a Strike on Syria (162 comments)

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  •  100s of groups already doing this work (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane

    I've gotten multiple emails over the past week from numerous other activist groups, many with long-standing roots in the Middle East conflict. I have signed petitions, signed letters to my Congresscritters and the White House, etc. If there are actions out in the street, existing locally-based groups will be organizing them.

    I do not see a good reason for dKos to try to start up some new independent campaign or try to coordinate what other groups are doing. At best, direct people to existing ones -- they're all over the place, from Fellowship of Reconciliation to the Friends Committee on National Legislation to United for Peace and Justice to etc. etc. etc.

     

    •  We are secular (4+ / 0-)

      That way it is more inclusive.

      I hate getting cornered by the one, there always is at least one, homophobe in the group to be told I'm damned and I deserve all this misery.

    •  That's fine that you think this! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glitterscale, Lujane, blueoasis

      Others may disagree. Perhaps someone from one of the other groups you reference may read this and enlist our help in some way. Or they may cite this group as "additional support" to their own efforts.

      We can't know any of that unless we try, of course.  

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 05:39:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Are they using the Powell Doctrine angle? (10+ / 0-)

      That actually looks pretty useful to me if you make it visible enough.  Answer it with just a little more oomph than mimi has just above, or just leave the questions hanging out there for civilians to answer for themselves, and I could see this start to move minds.  You don't have to say it's the Powell Doctrine (if a call to authority, especially a sullied one, is suspect); just start it with

      Ask yourself this about attacking Syria:

      1) Is a vital national security interest threatened?
      2) Do we have a clear attainable objective?
      3) Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
      4) Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
      5) Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
      6) Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
      7) Is the action supported by the American people?
      8) Do we have genuine broad international support?

      If that does look likely to move people and not merely to be a redundancy over what others are doing, then the question is, where and in what form do you get this out there?  As an LTE?  As a banner outside a Congresscritter's office?  As a Burma Shave sequence along a highway?
      •  Banner outside critter's office is good (9+ / 0-)

        If you have meetings with critters, use it there, though I think events will be more effective than meetings. We need to do things in public where the Critters will be seen.  Press conferences, town halls, rallies if we can't do anything else.

        The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:10:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Would only work if you can get media. (5+ / 0-)

          We are not a pedestrian society anymore, and you won't have the public walking by a critter's office.

          And for a message this long, I'm not sure that a banner outside a critter's office would work unless it featured prominently, all of it, in a front-page photo (of a newspaper that fewer and fewer are reading).

          Unfurling it down the side of a building in Times Square or an equivalent heavy-foot-traffic site in each district might work better, just for the boldness of its being where it's not expected.  A message this long needs time to read it.  It needs to sink in, step by step.  It needs to get attention by its novelty and then remain there for as many eyes as possible as long as possible.

          I raised the Burma Shave example, as I think that might make more sense, take the message where the citizens are, get more eyeballs, unaccustomed in those quiet contexts to asking these questions.  Overpass Light Brigade or Freeway Blogger style.  Or the projections that OWS used at night on the sides of buildings.

          •  Projectors? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dance you monster, Lujane, blueoasis

            On buildings easily seen on major thoroughways?

            •  Any major urban street... (5+ / 0-)

              ...that gets nighttime eyeballs over the stretch of a couple of minutes.  If you broke it up into shorter elements, point by point in sequence, people would most often encounter the elements in mid-stream.  With the numbers leading each line, they'd grasp that quickly and want to see the whole, so they'd be more or less transfixed until the whole thing scrolled through again.  If each line gets maybe ten seconds, it'll take a minute and a half to see the whole thing, a little longer to come mid-stream and wait for the whole thing in proper sequence.  You need to think of where people have two minutes of more or less undistracted time to wait for it.  Once they see it, they will wait.

              A heavily-visited urban context, where people are hanging out at restaurants or shopping, would be ideal.

              If you did projections, not signs, by a road, it should be a road where there'd not be too much danger from a distraction.  Private property would be best.  Imagine this projected on the side of a barn on a local highway leading into or out of a nighttime destination.

            •  One more thing. (3+ / 0-)

              If the list is left as questions, instead of CroneWit's answered version, it should end with

              How has your Representative answered these questions?
              I can see the merits of both versions, separately or in sequence -- asking the questions the first few days, answering them as the vote nears.
          •  Great idea, I like that. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dance you monster, Lujane

            And maybe on the side of the Chicago Stock exchange.

            Any kossacks in NY, Chicago, or other big cities interested in doing this work?

            If we have hundreds of synchronized events, the MSM will probably cover, and even if they don't initially, we here should start pushing it through blogathon and Twitter and uploaded video from citizen journalists.

            But we're going to need a lot of people working to pull any of this off.

            The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:41:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Definitely liking the thought of this projected... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SouthernLiberalinMD, Lujane

              ...on commodities exchange buildings.

              Best on a flat wall, an industrial or commercial building where you don't have residents complaining about lights coming into their bedrooms.  The point would be not to piss anyone off with what you're doing but with what they -- the ones urging military action -- are doing, to remain there as long as one can and the audience is out there to see it.  Also, even if you aren't doing anything technically illegal with this (ordinances vary from town to town), it would be good to have more than one person, so there's a witness if cops shut it down.  If cops do quash it, make a stink over such an obstruction afterwards, so that becomes part of the visibility, too.

              It's completely non-violent, and when well-conceived and executed a responsible action, but metaphorically

              Do not go gentle into that good night,
              Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
              Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
        •  'Burma Shave' signs, one PD item per sign, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dance you monster, Lujane

          with Powell Doctrine items in 'NO' formulation (as in my previous comment), outside reps office, held in other public settings.

          Quicker to read for drive-bys than a list.

          This would mean that, for events, at least 8 people would be needed, one for each PD item.

      •  Also in our coverage of the issue: (4+ / 0-)

        if we have a blogathon, twitter push, etc. we should keep pushing those two points.

        The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:11:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You need to add as point one (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lujane, WheninRome

        Does this war benefit the American people?

        These national security interests they keep talking about are mostly hidden agendas.  

        •  Well, if we're not calling it the Powell Doctrine (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lujane, Betty Pinson

          we can add questions. Good idea.

          The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 07:38:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm OK with 'Powell Doctrine' (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lujane

            It's a sensible list.  Outside this (and similar) communities, he's still a respected public figure who gets face time from the media.  He's respected by believers in the traditional US military presence.  Why not imply his support of an anti-attack position?

            •  Well, we can't include questions that aren't (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lujane, Betty Pinson

              part of the Powell Doctrine if we call it the Powell Doctrine.

              That's all. :-)

              The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 10:31:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  But isn't that the point? Using PD? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Lujane

                After today, there are 3 weekdays and 2 weekend days before 9/9, when Congress returns.  Latest I've seen says they plan to vote next week, so at most another 2-3 days before vote.  So there is between 5 and 7, maybe 9 days at best, to make an impact.

                You suggested the Powell Doctrine, I worked with the Powell doctrine.  If we had, say, three months, something more ornate might be possible.

                The Powell Doctrine, as is, is a sensible list.  It can easily be turned into a well-honed tool.  That's what I was aiming for.

                •  Greenbell said: (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  CroneWit, Lujane
                  You need to add as point one:
                  Does this war benefit the American people?
                  We can't add that question if we're going to call it the Powell Doctrine, because that question isn't part of the Powell Doctrine. I don't mean to be splitting hairs here, but if we add our own stuff into the Powell Doctrine we're setting ourselves up to get pwned.

                  I would come down on the side of using the Powell Doctrine  and not adding in the question.

                  I'm aware of our very short time frame.

                  The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

                  by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 10:59:59 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  'NO benefit to Americans -- vote NO!' (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Lujane, SouthernLiberalinMD

                    Could be added as a tag line when the compressed (postcard) version of PD is used.

                    If there were more time, I could think about an 'exploded' version of PD points, to be used as one-page flier and/or as expanded talking points for phone calls or meetings w reps.  By 'expanded' I mean something like --

                    'Syria Fails . . ..'

                    (1) NO .........
                                            (succinct statement of negative result)

                    Now this, imo, would be a nice thing: a one-page essay in bullet-points.  But frankly I don't think there's time for it.  And such a presentation would run the risk of repeating (thus reinforcing) pro-attack talking points by refuting them, which would create openings for the talking point already prepared to rebut that refutation, etc.

                    Some years back I looked up the specific language of how we (citizens) are supposed to inform our reps/senators about upcoming votes.  The language was not 'discuss' or  'debate' or 'persuade' or even 'educate'.  We, as citizens are supposed to instruct our legislators on how we want them to vote.  Using the 'Syria Fails/Vote No' formulation is, imo, a clear 'instruction'.

                    Sorry if I'm coming off as testy.  Not my intention.  Got about six things going right now, some of them essential survival business, so am writing here in a very terse manner to save time.  Glad you're putting the effort into this.

                •  I should have been organizing all last week (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  CroneWit, Lujane

                  but was frankly stunned; I couldn't believe what I was seeing (and hearing).

                  The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

                  by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 11:00:25 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Then Kossacks can organize actions with them. (5+ / 0-)

      See my proposal below.

      The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:05:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Posting links to existing actions (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SouthernLiberalinMD, Lujane

      is a good idea, but that doesn't preclude Kossites from starting another action.

      •  I'd like to have local people take charge (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CroneWit, Lujane

        of organizing, thus:  like, in my district, I could contact Progressive Democrats of America, who have a presence here, and see what they have planned.

        The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 07:39:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's always worth brainstorming. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SouthernLiberalinMD, Lujane

      New ideas come from interactions with each other.

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