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  •  For three reasons (0+ / 0-)
    1. Diminishing returns.  Nearly all the low-hanging fruit is picked, and there are only a few opportunities in the immediate future to get beyond 60 in the Senate.  In fact, getting to 60 is not the historic norm (especially in a Party without the Boll-weevils), and it's almost inconceivable that the Dems will build on their majority in 2010.  So getting to 62 or 63 involves tons more energy, with worse chances of success.
    1. Don't be fooled by how close we were to 60 this time.  Big Insurance went into this fight knowing they needed 41 on their side.  If they'd needed 5 more to scuttle Reid's almost-deal (which itself was a far cry from a great bill, but would have probably been acceptable), they likely could have gotten them.
    1. Major progressive social change in this country has only happened in reaction to massive, destabilizing social movements.  The New Deal only happened because Capital was more afraid of saying no than of saying yes:  that might have led to President Huey Long, or to even more radicalized, angry, and violent organized workers.

    I think we'd do better to spend our energy building towards mass social movements, with the eventual goal of being able to shut down large portions of the economy if we don't get what we want.  That would involve building power along the way, which could have tangible benefits, and I think that might stand a better chance of moving the Senate than trying to engineer a friendly super-majority would.

    We're dealing with a system of entrenched power that has evolved to be deliberately hostile to our interests.  We can't really address any of our most serious problems without changing the nature of that system.  It won't be changed by replacing some of the actors in that system with others.  It will only change in response to an existential threat, and that has to come from without.

    I think we need to focus less on helping the system work better (which, from our perspective, it really doesn't want to do) and focus more on telling the system that we'll tear or shut it down if it continues its structural hostility to our interests.

    "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

    by Pesto on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 04:34:15 PM PST

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    •  There's a "systems" teaching (0+ / 0-)

      that applies here.  "If you keep on doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you've got."  If we don't like what we've got, then we have to change the system.

      HOW we change it is the question.  What do we want to happen at the end of the process?  How important is the process itself to the goal?  Is the process PART of the goal?  What will "success" look like?

      And it's not just "we change this screw right here and everything will change downstream."  Does it require different raw materials?  Must they be handled in a different manner?  How do we store them until they are needed, and do we need different skill sets for the workers and is it dangerous and...realizing that everything is interconnected and today's process works backwards in time as well as forward.

      If we want to change, we must do more than stand around and argue OR navel-gaze OR keep doing what we've been doing.

      Unless, of course, we really LIKE what we're getting now.

      "Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand." - Thomas Carlyle

      by revsue on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 07:08:22 PM PST

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