So we had us a little election, and some people showed up, and wasn't it GRAND? Now that we kept the High Wizard of Etch-E-Sketchdom out of the big chair, and made sure Fighting Harry has a chance to put the Senate back on the path to minimal productivity, and got rid of a couple of mega-kooks from the House that Tea built, are you ready to start doing the hard work?
What, you didn't think it was time to catch your breath did you?
Follow me over the Orange Dervish of Delight and I'll explain.
Brown people. Black people. Native people. Gay people. Women people. Non-millionaire people. Non-christian people. The wrong kind of Christian people.
THE GOP HATES YOU.
THE GOP HATES THE PRESIDENT YOU JUST ELECTED.
THE GOP WILL SPEND THE NEXT FOUR YEARS DOING WHAT THEY DID FOR THE LAST TWO.
Want to make it stop? Want to see a Government that actually does productive work that advances the lives of all Americans, of all people? Here's how:
1) Put Congress in the hands of Democrats
We've figured out, OFA has figured out, how to elect a Democrat to the White House. It's a recipe that can and should be repeated, but it's not enough to actually create an effective government. The House will have a permanent Republican majority for the rest of the decade. 2010 saw a gerrymandering bonanza that makes it virtually impossible to get the gavel back in Nancy Pelosi's hands. This has to be our first focus of attack. We have eight years to create a state by state organization to return control of legislatures to Democrats.
WWII was won in less than eight years. We can do this.
It's going to take the kind of door to door retail, local, neighborly politics the likes of which you have never engaged in. It won't happen because of diaries on DKos, or Rachel getting her Rant on, or the NYT stepping into the way-back machine and becoming a home for liberal thought again. It'll happen because we organize, we mobilize, and we proselytize. We need to take it upon ourselves over the next eight years to build a rock-solid coalition of local power so when the next round of district drawing occurs in 2020, we are the ones holding the pens.
2) Organize populist sentiment into an effective political machine.
Do you know who Wayne B Wheeler is? He's the dude who took your hooch away (well, your great-grandpapi's hooch).
How did it happen? How did a freedom-loving people decide to give up a private right that had been freely exercised by millions since the first European colonists arrived in the New World? How did they condemn to extinction what was, at the very moment of its death, the fifth-largest industry in the nation? How did they append to their most sacred document 112 words that knew only one precedent in American history? With that single previous exception, the original Constitution and its first 17 amendments concerned the activities of government, not of citizens. Now there were two exceptions: you couldn’t own slaves, and you couldn’t buy alcohol.We need to organize an Anti-Big-Money League, and we need to be as ferocious as Wayne Wheeler was. Go read the whole article, it is inspirational for how an unpopular idea can become enshrined in the Constitution. We have the benefit of trying to promote a popular idea.
It was, in fact, Wheeler who coined the term “pressure group.” When he teamed up with Russell in 1893, the temperance movement that had begun to manifest itself in the 1820s had hundreds of thousands of adherents but diffuse and ineffectual leadership. The most visible anti-alcohol leader, Frances Willard of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), had diluted her organization’s message by embracing a score of other issues, ranging from government ownership of utilities to vegetarianism. The nascent Prohibition Party had added forest conservation and post office policy to its anti-liquor platform. But Russell, with Wheeler by his side, declared the ASL interested in one thing only: the abolition of alcohol from American life.
Their initial objective was a law in every state banning its manufacture and sale. Their tactics were focused. A politician who supported anti-liquor laws could count on the league’s support, and a politician who did not could count on its ferocious opposition. “The Anti-Saloon League,” Russell said, “is formed for the purpose of administering political retribution.”
Occupy put income inequality into the national conversation. We need to harness that awareness into political action now, and clobber any politician at any level of any party who does not support a platform of diluting the control of capital and the power of Big Money in this country. Our economic system as currently constituted is a rot inside the the heart of democracy and it must be changed. We have to identify concrete steps that help the 99% regain was has been stolen from them over the last 30 years, and punish any politician who gets in the way of those steps.
One good thing about gerrymandering is that creates space for us to effectively primary bad Democrats with less fear of losing seats. We cannot be afraid to punish the banking class members of our caucus and replace them with true representatives of the people.
Identifying the steps, prescribing the solutions, agreeing on a real platform of change is not going to be easy. But we have to begin that process now if we want to see real change enacted in our laws and regulations.
3) We need to pop the RightWing Media Bubble.
How do you pop a bubble? You either poke it from the outside, or you suck out all the air from the inside. Advertising money is the air that keeps the RightWing Media Bubble inflated. Suck that money out, and the bubble collapses. Rupert Murdoch and Rush and Coulter and the rest of them are no ideologues, no true-believers: they are greedy money hungry pigs. They could give a shit about family values, who marries who, who worships what, or who takes a toke. They DO give a shit about their bank accounts.
We need to attack the thing they care about, their money. There have been some good efforts, especially this past year concerning Rush, but they are ad hoc and flare up and die down in the popular consciousness. We need to make the starving of the RightWing Media Beast as constant a cog in our progressive machine as Grover Norquist's jihad to starve the government of its ability to function.
Identify advertisers. Punish Advertisers. Reward those who withdraw support. Organize the effort, publicize the effect, and deprive these carnival barkers of their incentive to push dangerous anti-American infotainment.
Stop the RightWing Media Bubble and all of a sudden we create space to make effective arguments based on fact. Arguments that can get that swath of red states up the middle and down south to stop voting against their own damn interests.
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So there's what I see as our task, a task that we have to energize ourselves for right now. There is a pool of talented organizers out there that we can and must tap into to create this change that we want and need. Let's figure out how to engage them so we can engage ourselves in focused, effective ways. We have too much hard work ahead to wait for another election and another group of politicians to solve our problems for us.