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View Diary: You won't likely hear about the 'Better Off Budget' on 'Meet the Press,' but you can push it anyway (111 comments)

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  •  We need better media strategy and more iconic (13+ / 0-)

    spokespeople. As I read you post, I thought, "what a wonderful and progressive budget, which epitomizes our values." Yet, now just six inches down the page I can't remember the names of the champions or what to call it.

    Contrast this to Paul Ryan who has turned himself into a living symbol of his stingy, bugger the poor, "trickle up" approach. We don't even need to wait until next month to know the general outline of what he will propose.

    During the 2012 election I did several posts on the woman who leads "Nuns on the Bus" that captured peoples imagination with a clear message that Paul Ryan does not represent the Christian values of loving and caring for our poorer brothers and sisters. Bingo! Message sent and received.

    Was her name Sister Agatha? I'll have to check. Is there not a lesson for us here, that we need to elevate our champions into symbols that instantaneously convey big ideas.

    Many of us have been investing considerable time defining the "big ideas" Governor Christie conveys, such as abuse-of-power, exploitation of his office for political power, and the enrichment of the cronies in his political machine, because we've learned we can not wait until he election to do these things, with last minute ads where we will be outspent anyway.

    We need to start focusing on Rep Paul Ryan, and perhaps, even Mitt Romney because I'm beginning to suspect they may be our more probable 2016 nominees now.

    How do we elevate "Reps. Raúl Grijalva of Arizona and Keith Ellison and this Congressional Progressive Caucus's  fourth alternative budget, the Better Off Budget" to a more equivalent media-mindshare power as the "Paul Ryan Budget?" His causes us to gag, but his supporters hear it and think "finally, a way to get those parasite off the government dole."

    We need to rescue the idea that much of our government social expenditures are investments in a better future for all of us that should produce rich returns on investment measured in terms of a better educated and healthier workforce, cleaner water and air causing less disease (and expense,) road, communication, and other infrastructure that support business formation.


    "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

    by HoundDog on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 12:39:22 PM PDT

    •  We need real media (15+ / 0-)

      I tire of assigning blame to Democrats based on "they suck at messaging" when the problem is primarily the fact that our media regularly lies or engages in deliberate sins of omission.

      We could have the best messages ever--and we have more than a few good ones. But you have to get them on the telly and on the radio for them to be heard! It's not a given that it'll happen.

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

      by lunachickie on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 01:15:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ^^^ This ^^^ /nt (6+ / 0-)

        I don't love writing, but I love having written ~ Dorothy Parker // Visit my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet

        by jan4insight on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 01:47:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Make them surge on Twitter/FaceBook (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lunachickie, manyamile, flowerfarmer

        then the 'old media' of TV & radio will pick them up.

        •  Twitter (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I've largely given up on Facebook--at least in my own milieu. It's become the place for Happy Things.

          Twitter is something else entirely, and IMO, far better suited for "media surges". Nobody gets to be a windbag, it's "140 characters or bust", so you damn well better say what you need to, as pointedly as possible!

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

          by lunachickie on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 02:24:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  No, they won't. Except to mock, belittle, and (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CroneWit, flowerfarmer

          push back against them.

          90% of our media is controlled by six massive trusts primarily dedicated to preserving their own power.

          No Progressive messages allowed.  Period.  

          Even those who play-act Progressive positions must be willing to toss them aside the second the bosses need them to spend some of the credibility they've carefully been building.  

          If they're not willing to do that, they can join Donahue and Olbermann.

          Welcome to the Whole Foods of the blogosphere.

          by JesseCW on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 05:30:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I understand where you're coming from, JesseCW (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            And I agree, what you say is accurate.

            But I still think there's some reason in my approach.  Using Twittter (etc) is one way for ordinary people to get the message out, about the Progressive budget -- maybe one bullet-point at a time.  Media tracks Twitter surges/trends, so a surge/trend could very well result in reporting in 'The Media'.

            I grant you that that reporting might be on the 'surprising' or 'controversial' trend -- and would include negative reactions from The Usual Suspects.  But even those negative responses would allow for more discussion of the Progressive budget.

            And, imo, the Progressive budget is the perfect vehicle for doing as the President asked so long ago -- for The Left to push him for results.  

            Personally, I'd like to see this Progressive budget become well-enough discussed that it becomes familiar to the ordinary person, so that it can be contrasted not just with the GOP budget but with the White House budget as well.

            There's no reason, imo, to let our despairing disillusionment with 'the way things are' allow this newborn vision of 'the way things could be' to suffocate in its cradle because we won't give it air.

      •  Not an option in the short term. (4+ / 0-)

        The media sucks. This is simply a fact. Unless you have a concrete idea of how we can somehow get the media to take us seriously before the midterms, we need better messaging.

        Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
        Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
        Code Monkey like you!

        Formerly known as Jyrinx.

        by Code Monkey on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 02:26:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not about them (5+ / 0-)

          "taking us seriously". They've been corrupted.

          You can have all the Good Messaging you want. And again--we've got plenty. But if you can't get it Out There, it does you little good.

          I've been advocating for a serious Occupy Media movement for the better part of a year now. It's time. And, to be perfectly frank, even if I wasn't? No one--not me, not you, not anyone--is required to have a "concrete plan" in order to proffer the very idea--or to continue to disagree with the idea that we simply "need better messaging" and if we just had it, all our electoral dreams would come true.

          That's become little more than a convenient excuse, IMO, and that's simply no longer acceptable.

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

          by lunachickie on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 02:34:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What I mean about a concrete plan (5+ / 0-)

            (and if I've come across as saying “if you can't think of a solution, I don't want to hear about the problem,” I apologize; I hate that attitude) is simply that I don't see how it's feasible to improve the media situation in time. Really, I guess I don't even need to hear a concrete plan, but I do remain unconvinced that we can move the fight to friendlier ground in time for the midterms.

            And actually, if you are working on the project, I'm sorry to have doubted you. As I've seen it (YMMV, and probably does), “mainstream media” has been used as a convenient excuse more often than “bad messaging.” The thing about bad messaging is it's something we as Democrats can try and do better; that's always easier than getting someone else to do better. To me, improving ourselves is the safer bet eight months out.

            Also, we've already seen that a liberal Democrat can get some pretty great press for her ideas: Elizabeth Warren has been superb on this front. I think we should find a counterpart for her in the House, either by electing one or by recognizing and lionizing one we've already elected.

            Which isn't to say improving the news media isn't an important project; it's absolutely vital. And if I'm wrong and it can be done rapidly, all the better.

            Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
            Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
            Code Monkey like you!

            Formerly known as Jyrinx.

            by Code Monkey on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 03:14:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  We need to Occupy the Democratic party first (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lunachickie, CroneWit

            Then, indeed, lets bring fairness, transparency and a breakup of the quasi-monopolistic corporate media conglomerate. We won't get that until we start being able to pass legislation to make it so.

            •  Good point n/t (0+ / 0-)

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

              by lunachickie on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 04:03:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

                •  Well, here's one consideration, though (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Noodles, alice kleeman, flowerfarmer

                  you're not going to get it just by legislation. The stomach has to be there for it, too, and you're sure as hell not going to get that, sitting around waiting for Just The Right Majority.

                  Hence my suggestion for Occupy Media. These two concepts really rather need to go hand in hand, in order to be truly effective. Because you will be hard-pressed to get that majority with the "Media" in its current shape. People won't vote sensibly if they're misinformed about candidates.

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

                  by lunachickie on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 04:19:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes. I'd like to see petitions aimed at media (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    alice kleeman

                    I'd love to see one from DKos to one or more of the Sunday morning shows on the very issue raised about talking about spending time talking about the Better Off Budget. This tells them that we, as consumers, expect a fair hearing. It shows that some will be interested in listening or may not if it is not brought about.

                    And letters from individuals to them and to the editor of local newspapers and advertisers as well on a range of issues can also make headway, if well organized. Unlike the original Occupy which was mostly organically organized, something like this needs to be an ongoing campaign when it comes to media.

                    And in special cases, Flush Rush is a perfect example of Occupy Media, where there is a clear abusively one sided broadcasting that people find offensive and unfair.

                    •  The Flush Rush campaign (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Noodles, flowerfarmer

                      is definitely a good example of an "Occupy" action, and now that we see it working to a certain extent, we know that envelope could be pushed a little, too.

                      This is not just about "petition drives" or "LTE" either, though that would also be helpful. What you need to upend the complete entrenchment of "MSM" at this point in time is not exactly something which could be formally organized--and that is precisely because of what came to pass for the "original" Occupy. Something like this must be taken one step further and it has to be done even more "organically", or it won't fly effectively. The media machine in this country has far too much at stake, they will smash any half-baked efforts to change what they're doing.

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

                      by lunachickie on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 08:41:44 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I see "organic" more as an emergent property (0+ / 0-)

                        These happen in nature and in societies. I think technology and science and even some philosophy will do a lot of the heavy lifting and these properties will come from having new tools and new ways to use older ones.

                        To some extent new tools for success are going to upend things on their own without all that much help from us. But we can guide it and push it where it needs to go. Often liberals, who are more open in general to change and critical self evaluation, tend to adopt these tools earlier and use them sooner than conservatives. We need to try and roll with the changes better as it is inevitable anyway.

                        But we still need to break up the broadcasting oligarchy and do it in many ways, including organized pressure from some flank.

        •  And I know you said "short term" (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Code Monkey, CroneWit, Noodles, JesseCW

          I'm not talking about for this cycle. That ship sailed long ago.

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

          by lunachickie on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 02:35:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oops. Should've read both comments (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lunachickie, alice kleeman

            before replying :-)

            Well, we can't allow things to backslide too far, even if we concede that retaking the House is unrealistic. Also, acting as a shadow government by proposing and championing a budget is ultimately a long-term strategy—it's about defining what the Democratic Party stands for. That matters no matter how November shakes out.

            Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
            Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
            Code Monkey like you!

            Formerly known as Jyrinx.

            by Code Monkey on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 03:18:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're right--but that's the easy part, really (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Code Monkey, alice kleeman
              defining what the Democratic Party stands for.
              A definition is a set of words. And we all know what it's supposed to stand for already, don't we? Seems to me we've got that part sussed. What needs to happen is that these people who call themselves Democrats need to start producing actions consistent with that definition. And not only are they not doing it, they're not being held accountable by Party leadership for not doing it.

              What kind of Party succeeds, not doing what they're supposed to be doing? Not ours! Guaranteed. People are fed up and I am one of them, and if we end up with a GOP majority, dammit, I am not taking the blame for that. I can't say it enough and I'm getting pretty damned tired of having to say it, because it's a fucking no-brainer.  Put up some Democrats who will follow through with actual Democratic actions. If that can't be done--well, don't expect to win. That's stupid. If this Party leadership isn't smart enough to support real Democrats, then they're not smart enough to win. And if they're stupid, that is not the voters' fault.  

              If you put up shit candidates, you get shit results. Why is this complicated as a concept?

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

              by lunachickie on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 04:15:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  We have the Internet. It will replace some media (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CroneWit, JesseCW, alice kleeman

        Over time, it may replace a whole lot of it. Within 10 years I expect a great deal of the media landscape to be transformed and less likely to be hijacked by anyone so long as we fight for and legislate net neutrality. Let's also build in an fiber optic information superhighway as part of the infrastructure and provide a strong alternative to corporate broadband.

        •  It's a conundrum (0+ / 0-)
          less likely to be hijacked by anyone so long as we fight for and legislate net neutrality.
          Sure! But how exactly do you expect to get net neutrality with the media mess we have right now? You have to educate voters. And for most people, like it or not, that means "Turn on the tv and watch the news".

          Right now, figuratively speaking, you've already got two hands and one of your arms tied behind your back and all you have as a tool is one of your elbows. What do you do?

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

          by lunachickie on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 04:24:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  New laws for one. The best bet? Build a superhwy. (0+ / 0-)

            A fiber optic one. Into our homes. Beyond broadband. Let the corporations play catch up, even though many will be contracted to lay it out. If it is designed as a public works, to be owned by the citizens, then Comcast can do what they want if they can drag people away from the Highway.

            I don't feel that the public is as completely constrained. The younger a person is the less TV they watch. Or at least it is far less influential than their phone or tablet. Every hour someone is interactively on line is often one hour they aren't watching (much) television. More people are spending more time online.

            And then, I am hearing our message even on the news. We need to talk it up while it's happening. Raising wages. Really? They are proposing it? Asking private companies to consider it? Sorry lunachickie, but hearing them actually talking about stuff like that and economical inequality, in public, is a little slice of heaven for me. It should be an open door for progressives.

    •  YOU can promote the ideas if you read the budget (16+ / 0-)

      HoundDog, have you looked at the budget yet, or read MB's sources?  Maybe you should do that before complaining that it needs a 'star power' face attached.

      Here's the link:

      Please read the first 2 pages -- they contain categorized bullet-points.  Even if you don't read the next section, which offers brief explanations of the bullets, or the pages of spreadsheets that follow, you'll understand why this budget is something to get excited about.

      Two pages of bullet points.  That's all I'm asking your to read.  Here are some selecitons:

      Creating Good Jobs – creates 8.8 million jobs by 2017.
      -- Long-term Unemployed – provides access to training and employment services to match employee potential with employer demand.
      -- Infrastructure – creates jobs in building and construction industries to repair and modernize our ailing roads, bridges and water infrastructure.
      -- State Aid – provides assistance to states to allow them to hire and rehire public employees such as police, firefighters and health care workers.
      -- Public Works and Education – a direct hire program that includes seven jobs corps to hire physicians, students, construction and community workers and an education program boost to hire more teachers and improve schools.

      Reversing Harmful Cuts – repeals the Budget Control Act and Sequester, restores Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, restores unemployment insurance, fully funds the Prevention and Public Health Fund, and ends the federal worker pay freeze.

      Equity for Women and People of Color – enhances federal programs targeted at creating equity and improving outcomes for women, people of color, and their families.


      -- Implements a new Hard Work Tax Credit for households earning less than $150,000.
      -- Returns to Clinton tax rates for households making over $250,000 and implements new brackets for those making over $1 million.
      -- Equalizes tax rates for investment income and income from a hard day’s work.

      -- Eliminates the ability of U.S. corporations to defer taxes on offshore profits.
      -- Enacts a Financial Transaction tax on various financial market transactions.
      -- Implements Chairman Dave Camp’s financial institution excise tax.

      -- Protects and strengthens Medicare and Medicaid without cutting benefits for seniors.
      -- Builds on Affordable Care Act savings and successes, including implementing a public option and expanding payment reforms.
      -- Allows states to transition to single-payer health care systems.

      -- Closes tax loopholes and ends subsidies provided to oil, gas and coal companies.
      -- Addresses the climate change crisis by enacting a price on carbon pollution while holding low-income families harmless.
      -- Invests in clean and renewable energy, which creates middle class jobs, boosts the economy, and cuts pollution.


      -- Implements comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship.

      -- Calls for transparency in national security budgets to bring accountability to bulk data collection programs


      -- Funds public financing of campaigns to curb special interest influence in politics.

      -- Endorses “Scrapping-the-Cap” and expanding Social Security benefits separately from the federal budget process.

      If you don't see your pet issues, go to the link and see what the Progressive budget has to offer you.

      As Robert Borosage writes:

      the CPC budget offers a vivid contrast both to the course plotted by the Republican House budgets put together by Rep. Paul Ryan and the cautious course followed by the White House.

      The 'cautious course followed by the White House'does, of course, have a charismatic front-man -- which is why Poole's article points out that ordinary citizens have a chance to become 'Citizen Co-Sponsors' of the Progressive budget by signing up here:

      (And sorry, HoundDog, for sounding snappish; I've gotten really tired of nay-sayers who bring in their discouraging words before an issue has been explored, and I felt (perhaps wrongly) you were doing that here.)

      •  You have an excellent comment CroneWit, I'm (10+ / 0-)

        not upset by it at all, and apologize if I discouraged you and anyone else, as I was actually trying to cheer myself up. I could see it is a wonderful budget that is immensely better than the Ryan budget.

        My woeful comments started in my own brain, from the time I read these great ideas in MB's posts, to when I got six inches below and was trying to write a useful comment I couldn't remember the names of the sponsors, or the budget. And, I'm a highly committed Democratic Party progressive activist who spends several hours of every day committed to advancing our causes.

        So I was wondering if this could be part of the explanation for why we keep losing elections we should win, and voters keep voting against their own best interests. If we keep focusing only on making our already superior policies even better is it going to help much?

        Something else must be going on?

        But, if the problem is I'm coming off as a naysayer and discouraging our troops and voters before we can even get our superior programs off the ground, this wouldn't be good, and I would be much embarrassed. I'm always open to suggestions for how I can improve my effective for our causes CroneWit.

        In this case, I took it as a given that these programs are vastly better than Ryans. Check out my last paragraphs where I describe them as investments in a better future for all of us.

        One lesson, is I have to improve the clarity of my writing. Thanks for the heads up. I'll come back and study this more carefully, after I put a picture of Nancy Pelosi in the post I just put up on the CIA scandal. (I'm on Minority Leader Pelosi's side on this one.)  

        "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

        by HoundDog on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 01:46:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hi CroneWit, it's me again. I'll do what I can to (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lady Libertine, CroneWit

        promote this budget, but on my best days, I sometimes have posts that might get 100 to 250 recs, and very rarely maybe 500.  This last two weeks, I've been averaging 30, sometimes less.

        And, pretty much the only people who read my posts are fellow hard core progressive Democrats who all believe as we do.

        My question was how does Paul Ryan manage to get audiences for his budget malarky of hundreds of millions pretty much anytime he wants to. And, when he does, a substantial number of those viewers remember the name "The Ryan Plan" and can link it to a voting pattern.

        Well, part of it is he's run for the Presidency. My original point was just, wistfully, I wish we had more media personalities that reporters would seek out, and audiences would recognized and listen to, and hopefully respect.

        For example, Hillary Clinton is well known,  DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz does a good job and probably has achieved a name recognition above 10% which is pretty good. Many here like Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Harry Reid, former Governor Howard Dean, and recently I just saw former Governor Bill Richardson popping back up, making me think he may be thinking of a 2016 run if Clinton doesn't run.

        This all seems sort of haphazard to me. I was wondering if we ought not to have some kind of better system of cultivating, training, promoting, maintaining, etc. or media personalities.  

        Maybe, my sense that the GOP does more of this is perception bias, due to the amount of time I spend on opposition research.

        "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

        by HoundDog on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 02:33:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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