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We are ten years shy of the centennial of the first gigantic slaughter's end, which brought us the holiday today that most folks recall falsely, if at all.  Instead of recollecting General George S. Patton, he of the pedigreed license to kill, giving the order to fire into the huddled ranks of the "bonus army," which was seeking succor-for-its-service to replace starvation during the worst days of the Great Depression, we get the heroic image of the flag hoisted atop Iwo Jima, without Clint Eastwood's astute deconstruction.  Instead of the insights of a commander of the Marine Corps, Smedley Butler, who twice won the Congressional Medal of honor and went on to retire and acknowledge that he had spent his life as a 'capitalist thug,' we get images of liberated Italians and happy Parisians ready to party thankfully for the assistance of Uncle Sam.  Nowhere is this pandering to prevarication more entrenched and stalwart than in Georgia.

            Thus, the inevitable likelihood that one of the slimiest perjurers in political history will win a second term to the U.S. Senate, in the person of Saxby Chambliss, is apropos, despite the nausea that accompanies this realization among those who combine a pulse with some semblance of rationality either social or historical.  For, more than ever before, Georgia desperately needs progressive voices in the highest offices of the land.  More than ever, we need leaders who can countenance acting for the common good instead of for personal gain and ruling class predominance.  While the triumph of Chambliss may end up being unstoppable, certainly only a powerfully articulated strategic vision, which in turn results in a potent tactical expression of this overview, can possibly unseat the nefarious and gregarious Mr. Chambliss, whose charisma far outweighs that of someone as quiet and inward looking as Jim Martin.

    I have to begin with a caveat.  Having already spent far too many hours digging out various sorts of information, without any support, I leave it up to the political pros to match the demographics with the approaches that I develop here.  I would bet every penny that I own(which is not that many pfennigs, unfortunately)that most of the ideas here would have legs in this race.  All of these methods might work, but some of them surely would have an impact if precisely fined-tuned, in terms of message, and then joined to the correct implementation--door-to-door conversation, phone-banks, invited appearances, mediated advertising of various sorts, and so on.

So saying, the general plan for victory in three short weeks needs to have three well-developed prongs.  The first, churning out a turn-out that will make all past run-offs in Georgia pale in comparison, is not the focus of this missive.  I have ideas and input in that regard, but Obama's minions will, in all likelihood, do fine without me here.

The second issue, fund-raising, has ever been my personal bane.  Any advice that I offered would almost certainly be not just wrong, but hideously self-destructive and stupid.  I don't even want to imagine what I might come up with in this area.

The third salient, however, given what I have seen and heard and read about Jim Martin's campaign, is one which the inner circle so far appears incapable of developing pugnaciously, and hence this 'free advice.'  The big picture is that Chambliss objectively crucifies the interests of many of his White supporters, thereby making him vulnerable to having votes stripped away from his column a few weeks hence.  The following paragraphs develop this point, both by expressing the socio-political elements of Chambliss' incongruousness and by suggesting how to develop these incongruities in the field.  All seven of these 'power points' intertwine to an extent: corruption blends with class bias, and both of these mix with crushing the poor, and so on.  Still, as individual messages, each of these aspects of Chambliss might contribute to his defeat.

The record here, both of behind-the-scenes sculduggery and on the floor of the Senate, provide rich fodder for attack.  When, in 2003, he sought an ambassadorship for a money-bags contributor from Senator Frist, Chambliss may or may not have broken the law.  But he clearly proved that his primary constituency is cash.  This should be number-one-with-a-bullet at every level of presentation.

As to nepotism, everyone sympathizes.  But packaged properly, the fact that Chambliss' son, a registered lobbyist for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and otherwise comprising 100% conflict of interest, appears before daddy's agriculture committee becomes a bludgeon with which to beat the bully.  Any Democrat who had such temerity would smell his own flesh frying before the end of the day.

Additionally, but not in any sense comprehensively, Chambliss has served up every tidbit that his big donors have requested.  Whether in terms of breaks for the power companies or all of the labor and environmental priorities of agribusiness, Saxby rates at or near 100% on the haute-bourgeois score cards.  He is the man of the hour for the rich and connected, and his votes, along with his coffers, are available to the highest bidder--as just one of dozens of example of this, one need only examine his travel arrangements: Saxby merited more free travel funding than any other member of Congress, and he was in fourth place out of five hundred thirty five in terms of the numbers of junkets that he and his staffers took, exclusively at the behest of fortune five hundred firms or their servants.

Multiple process pointers are plausible.  One might suffice.  In Cobb County, utility robbery has recently run rampant; in Dalton, carpet execs are taking payoffs for relocating jobs; 'investor gurus' around the state have of late absconded with uncounted millions of nest eggs.  The leadership millieu of a Saxby Chambliss cannot help but contribute to such vicous shenanigans.

Again and again, Chambliss has stood strong for public handouts to the wealthiest individuals and the most powerful combinations in our society.  He added his vote against limiting government handouts to the wealthiest farmers and corporate landlords; he nixed even holding hearings about military contractor corruption; his voting record, his appointments, his various 'interest group' scorecards, and his personal involvement with such industries as sugar and electrical power generation provide further fodder.  This, in relation to Martin's weakly resonant message that 'I would not have voted for the bailout,' could have an explosive impact on Saxby's supporter's.  It places the entire situation in a comprehensible context.  

The process of expression in this regard concerns not voting stupidly.  Mr. Chambliss is charismatic, yes; he has a winning smile and charming ways, no doubt.  But for all but the wealthiest Georgian citizens, a vote for Saxby Chambliss is a ballot for taking money from already lightened wallets to deposit on the bloated balance sheets and in the tax-free offshore accounts of the country-clubbers to whose company Saxby has always aspired.

Going to church and increasing one's net worth from less-than-zero in 2002(99th in the Senate)to approximately half a million today(87th in the Senate)is not how the man from Nazareth would keep score.  Similarly, letting the money lenders take over the temple and the treasury is not a 'render unto Caesar' methodology.  

Furthermore, Chambliss' attacks on Martin's 'liberal' record visa a vis reproductive rights ought to be easy to counter with an allusion to the 'mote in Saxby's own eye' in this regard.  Our Senator eviscerated support for children in half a dozen different ways, from opposing extension of the children's health(CHIP)initiatives to avoiding attempts to specify how to make school lunches healthier and thereby less dependent on agribusiness inputs.

Many Christians consider the commandment not to bear false witness as the keystoneof the Ten Commandments.  That Chambliss abrogated this rule in his 2002 campaign is, at the least, quite likely.  Letting the record speak for itself here, in connection with the material below about defense, service, and veterans, could be very appealing to the devout.

The real issue, in terms of one-on-one conversations, pulpit presentations, and so forth, deals with asking ourselves, on balance, "Who would Jesus vote for?"  Since we are all imperfect, and in the Christian cosmology, Jesus achieved perfection, none of us can say.  But bringing this query to the table rates to be a big boost to the humbler and gentler candidate, who also happens to be our choice.

Chambliss took Cleland down with a big lie about national security, and he's trying the same thing with Martin in regard to fiscal responsibility and insider favoritism.  While these points are extremely well-known, their articulation one-on-one, in working class communities that have felt the 'bullying' effects of George Bush's 'bully-pulpit,' could have a profound impact.
This could join with a tit-for-tat effort in the media and on the web.  In other words, a mirror of Saxby's takedown commercial against Max Cleland, and similarly mimicking experessions of the Senator's fiscal attacks on Jim Martin ought to be possible to produce for the final week of the campaign.

This ought to be a no-brainer, but Martin's message-making here is, at best, pitifully weak.  Even an unsophisticated wage-earner realizes that 'a rising tide lifts all boats,' and that, as a result, increased minimum wages support folks who work for hire.  Saxby has voted against every single instance of increasing the minimum wage since 1994, with the exception of a couple of "no votes."  

Given the potential for any sort of programmatic help on health care, from the CHIP renewal to prescription supplements for the elderly and the poor, Chambliss has uniformly cast his lot with the naysayers.  He has similarly voted down expansion of occupational health and environmental health initiatives at almost every opportunity.  He shamelessly portrays himself as the champion of the underdog and the little man while destroying each and every real possibility for such folks to gain traction and equity in their lives.

The messaging of such matters should span the state.  Dalton, Rome, Savannah, Augusta, Albany, and more, in addition to various chocolate-and-cream proletarian suburbs of Atlanta have 'cancer-alley' outbreaks.  Poor workers in North Georgia depend on CHIP and school lunches.  White voters across the state are electing their executioner and just awaiting someone to warn them against continuing the practice.

Tons of contractors and skill workers--Georgia Tech engineers and such--are voting for Chambliss, when both in Congress and the Senate Saxby has failed miserably to stick up for what they believe in: planning, accuracy, and technology.  Oh, he's voted for what the defense industry wants, what high-tech donors delight in, and what the chemical-and-paper-products manufacturers have instructed him to do.  But close attention to his voting record suggests that he has failed to follow through in the way that any honest engineer would insist is necessary.  As just one example of hundreds, just six weeks ago, he was one of only 23 Senatros who voted to keep the superior version of the Railroad Safety Enhancement Act off the books of the U.S.  

In almost every technical matter involving improved funding for research, any sort of oversight, or trials of new technologies(such as solar and organinc agriculture), Chambliss has sought to crush the path that his Fortune 500 backers have sneered at implementing.  In a variety of carefully crafted ways, in communities from Warner-Robbins to Marietta, from Carrolton to Augusta, Saxby is vulnerable to having the folks such as my engineer Republican dad taken away from his in box.

Perhaps this former football player's pretense of helping veterans represents his true Achilles heel.  Here is a man who deferred service during Viet Nam, complaining of 'football knees,' but who strides down the isle at his speaking engagements like a linebacker on the prowl.  He had the temerity to question the patriotism of a man who lost three of his four limbs in combat.  He votes against body armor for active duty soldiers, he supports that corrupt contracts remain free from investigation, he is one of forty Senators who seek to weaken, terminally so, Senator Webb's expansion of the G.I. Bill for Iraq and Afghan campaign vets.

When close to half the Sentate, including our own dear saxby, voted to substiute John McCain's version of the 21st Century G.I. Bill for the stronger version that eventually passed(and that Saxby supported because he was tired of flirting with political suicide), he left an indelible record of his true disposition on such matters.  Although similarly potent thrusts are possible about Chambliss in regard to his vaunted support for small business and in his cherished notion of being a Washington outsider--he regularly stops entrepreneurial breaks in his votes and backs President Bush's agenda well over ninety per cent of the time--especially given McCain's promise to come to Georgia, an emphasis on how Senator Chambliss has turned his back on the veterans he professes to love rates to be a powerful tool against him.

The better metaphor would probably offend too many voters, despite its aptness.  Saxby Chambliss treats White middle class and working class ballots like toilet paper, which he flushes away after he's wiped his ass with them.  His entire career, both as an attorney and as a politico, revolves around service to the privileged elites at the expense of the communities from which these wealthy minorities have extracted their fortunes.

In the right words, these contentions can join with the copious facts available in the public record to bring about doubt even among the most committed White supremacist, fundamentalist, and otherwise maladapted working class voter.  Spoken steadfastly into the ears of those who migh already question Saxby Chambliss' honor and fairmindedness, this kind of figurative assessment could easily cause a changed 'X-marks-the-spot' twenty one days from now.

Clearly, dozens of other messaging methods are possible.  Focusing on where Saxby has gotten his donations, emphasizing how different groups, from big business to the League of Women's Voters, have evaluated Chambliss' record, examining his ties to the most reactionary cliques within the G.O.P., these and many other sallies might bring forth fruitful exchanges between supporters and community folks who might otherwise vote themselves a villain.  However, in terms of their verifiability and ease of conveyance, the seven points that I develop here seem at the very least useful to consider, 'stat,' at the emergency room nurse might snap.

On this Veteran's Day, I would invoke the spirit of Smedley Butler.  Upon retiring as the Marine Corps' commandant, he told the truth as he saw it and as I have come to view it as well.  

I spent thirty-three years and four months in active service in the country's most agile military force, the Marines. I served in all ranks from second Lieutenant to Major General. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.


However, I know that such a fantasy is light years still ahead of the popular view, or at least many galaxies removed from what will 'play' on prime time channels.  Therefore, I've cast my lot with the gentle fellow who uses his hands like a nervous debater.  The flashy trashy cash of Saxby Chambliss' bombast represents a stark contrast to the steady earnest nerdiness of the sober and awkward Jim Martin.  Georgia needs a nice nerd now instead of a pushy, cowardly hypocrite.

Originally posted to SERMCAP on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:47 AM PST.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar for SERMCAP (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Pissed Off Liberal

    I'm waiting for a tip jar to open up so I can recommend this diary but, alas, one has yet to appear. Please forgive my jumping in line.  

    •  I don't know what a 'tip jar' is, but... (2+ / 0-)

      I'm now guessing it's like I'm an itinerant musician, which is pretty apt this days, who hopes to garner a few handouts.  Is that right?

      I'm off to earn a few shekels, but I'd still appreciate learning something new.  How does one make a 'tip jar' operative?  And do readers consider it presumptuous or pushy?

      I'll be back after nine tonight.  Thanks, keep me posted, and

      Ciao for now,

      I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

      by SERMCAP on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:11:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good points & a good read today. (0+ / 0-)

        A tip jar allows readers to register their approval or disapproval of the content of your "diary" (post). Convention around here is for the writer of the post to post the first comment for the aforementioned reason. Because of this norm, it is considered impolite to post a comment before the diarist (person publishing the main post) and, as a result, people often refrain from commenting on a diary until after the writer has posted a comment. Therefore, it is in the diarist's interest, usually, to post a comment (the tip jar) as soon as, or even before, they publish their diary to "get the conversation going."

        If people approve of your post they can click the "recommend" radio button. "Trusted users" (TU), or those who have participated regularly here for at least 90 days without major negative incident, have access to another button, the "hide" radio button. To hide a comment makes it non-visible to those who are not TU, but does not delete the comment. Hiding a comment indicates you think the comment should not be viewed by non-TUs. Alternately, if a diary is obviously "trollish" (inflammatory, absent constructive purpose, espousing rightwing talking points), people might register their ire by hiding the diarist's tip jar. Multiple hide rates by different users are needed before a comment is hidden. A recommend offsets 2 hide rates, so it is a  consensus process.

        All of this is more properly addressed in the site FAQ.

        You may also wish to check out ek hornbeck's Welcome New User series and this  New User Guide.

        I have a tin foil hat theory (see def. #2) that dkos is an ongoing sociological experiment in framing and herding the democratic grassroots, which seems to be working out rather well, actually (but you didn't hear that from me).

        Help save salmon: your action needed by 11/17/08.

        by Urtica dioica gracilis on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 03:40:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  A Tip Jar Is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Urtica dioica gracilis

    usually posted by the author as the first comment under a diary, so that other readers can recommend the diary. And it's not considered at all pushy.

    When you complete a diary, simply hit the Post A Comment link, enter something like
    in the Subject area, then post it.

    •  Thanks; I think I need to go to DK College. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Urtica dioica gracilis

      I'm RWA, or at least I think I am.  Clearly, I have a lot to learn about basic protocols and processes.  Thanks for bearing with me.

      I'll try all this out next time around the block for sure.

      I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

      by SERMCAP on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:08:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  OMG (0+ / 0-)

    I feel like the freshman who missed orientation.  I am so clueless.  I'm also fried, so I'll go through your DailyKos college course material manana.

    I feel as if you've rescued me, to an extent.  I would have wandered as if in the desert, always wondering why I never got to eat dessert.

    Anyhow, maybe I can reach more people if I learn to follow the rules.  While I'm not as sanguine as you are about outcomes and the ongoing je ne sais quoi, but I was born a critic, as mamacita used to say.

    I hope that I see all the right 'buttons' when the time comes.  Gulp!  I hate feeling clueless, but it's undoubtedly therapeutic in some sense.

    I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

    by SERMCAP on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:05:55 PM PST

    •  Er, um, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      if you're replying to a particular comment, rather than use the "post a comment" button, click on the "reply to this" link immediately below the comment you're replying to. That way, the person you are addressing can tell you've replied to them.

      There are two ways to identify when someone has replied to any of your comments, anywhere on this site:

      1. If you click your own user name (SERMCAP) in a comment, or on the far right menu (SERMCAP) {you are user # 189577, meaning that number of people registered before you on this site. You are not alone!}, it takes you to a page displaying your diaries. Across the top are tabs (links). One of those tabs is marked "comments." If you click on "comments" it takes you to a list of your recent comments (but you can also access every comment you've ever made {and so can everyone else}) {You can also check how you've rated others' comments - and so can others (I see you haven't rated anyone. Give it a try?)}. The "Comment" link will show you a list of your own comments and how it was "rated" by others, how many people "tipped" and whether anyone "troll rated (hid) your comment, and how many, if any, have replied to your comment. By clicking on the "title" (subject) of the comment, you can open it in a separate window, which displays any replies. You can then click the "reply to this" link and post a reply to the other commenter (or even to yourself, if you are so inclined).
      1. In the far right menu of this page, you should see some links. One is titled "Home," which takes you to the front page of this site; then there's your user name (as described above); a link to your own diaries; a link to the dkosepedia (and the FAQ);  a site search link (really useful); and somewhat below, under "Tools," is a link titled "Your Hotlist." If you click on "Your Hotlist," it will display, first, links to the diaries of others you have "Hotlisted" (bookmarked for future reference, by clicking the "hotlist" button near the diary title), a "Diary Watchlist" that shows the recent diaries of people you enjoy reading (click on the "subscribe" link near a user's name in a diary). Below all that is a list of "New Replies," showing all of the responsive comments people have made to one of your comments. By clicking the reply title, you can see what the other person wrote and respond,  if you like, and/or rate their comment. "Tipping" (recommending) a responsive comment, though not obligatory, at least indicates to the other person that you have read their response to you. You might also "tip" a comment you agree with, without responding. Blah, blah, blah.

      Hope that helps. It seems like quite a lot to cover just to participate in a blog, huh? On a funny note: I sometimes find myself on news sites, looking down to the right hand corner to see who's making a comment, even where there are no comments (Pavlovian response, probably). Fortunately, my husband explained the uses of the "Your Hotlist" link to me, or I probably never would have figured it out.

      Help save salmon: your action needed by 11/17/08.

      by Urtica dioica gracilis on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 04:19:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks again! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Urtica dioica gracilis

        Rescuing the clueless almost always redounds to our benefit, or at least so my cosmology indicates.  We all advance when one advances, etc.  I knew some of the material that you posted, but not the majority.

        I have "recommended" your comment, though I know no one but you will notice at this juncture.  I don't, however, see where or how I can "rate" it.  I was always bad at pinball and other precursors of the kinds of skills that navigating these sites require, and then, other than tetris and 'mindsweeper,' I always hate the kinds of games that involved similar abilities.

        I'm going to start 'hotlisting' instantaneously, as I had asked myself, "Why doesn't DailyKos have a bookmarking tool?" on more than one occasion.  Doh!!

        Anyhow, praise be, etc.  I'm the same way with applications like Facebook and such too, which my wife finds amusing, given her natural acuity in such venues.  After I send this, I'll 'subscribe' to your diaries, and now I'll even know what to do with my 'sub.'

        I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

        by SERMCAP on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 06:19:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Great job! (0+ / 0-)

          Oh, yep, when you recommended my comment (thanks) you rated it. TUs could rate/recommend it (4 points) or hide it (0 points). In the past, comments could be rated between 0 and 4 (but all that decision making was too stressful, especially for those with OCD. Hopefully, I'm joking there.).

          Between you and me, my diaries are almost entirely self-indulgent crap. I doubt you will find anything useful or interesting, but I appreciate the kind thought.

          Facebook: darling husband had to lead me through that one as well. I perform best in anti-social networking communities (joking.)

          Anyway, welcome to the Great Orange Satan Satin.

          Help save salmon: your action needed by 11/17/08.

          by Urtica dioica gracilis on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 07:15:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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