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We have been throwing a tantrum.  That puppies video was very satisfying and indeed very funny.  And it showed what we can do when we are really pissed off.  But I wonder if what has been going on here is draining our credibility both with the administration and with the educated, thinking left liberal base we need to keep around for a dialogue, or a multi-logue.

We behaved (I hate that word but it fits here so I going to use it) exactly the way our detractors said we would.  –the left is going to be furious--.  That fury isolates us just at a time when we need to be considering our relationship with the new powers and understanding the  limits of that relationship and how to push against them.

Kos and Josh Marshall and Jane and Nate: I know the attacks on Sarah Palin worked.  They did so because they were fact based; She was a real and frightening force we had to contain, and TPM had already done our homework for us.  Indeed, I surprised my friends by soothing them the day after the convention when Mc Cain selected her with the information I already had about troopergate from the eagle eyes of TPM.

We are in a different position now.  Our candidate is elected and he is independent of us.  His first task (and I know you all know this but let me say it anyway) must be to establish a working relationship even a dominant one, with his party in congress.  As I see it this is how Obama expects to begin to govern:  First he issues  his policy of procedure, unite his own party under his hand.  He started with Lieberman because that was issue on the front burner.  note: he never hid the fact that he wanted L back in the party.  Obama supported his campaign.  O saw that he could win and getting into power is very important for him.  It is hard to see how he could be otherwise right now.  But it also should inform us about the contours of what we will have to work with or against as the case may be.

I have seen a lot of anger here, people having virtual fist fights over how strongly they feel and who feels more strongly than whom and name calling.   What that tells me is that we are not thinking and we need to be thinking.

What is our role as the reliable but critical base.  The equivalent of Socrates, a gadfly to the powers, biting when the beast turnns the wrong way?  Well partly.  We are not just the "left".  WE are not ideological. We recognize facts.  We analyze their impact. We see the problems and we construct solutions.  We are not, and I repeat, not, operating as an ideological entity.  We do not have a general ax to grind.  We do have positions once we understand the problem and we argue for them.  In short we are liberals.  But past that how do we get our message out?  How do we get listened to?  How do we effectuate solutions, given our place in the political universe?

       Lets look at the dangers first: Kos has always designated this site as a Democratic party site.  So we aren’t going to run off half-cocked and support Nader.
But we do not want to be like the right wing base, useful to get elected but, after, only to be assuaged with sops, in short, eliminated from the conversation about running the country.

We want to be a place where educated grown ups come to discuss policy and how to effectuate it. What I love about Dkos and FDL and 538 and TPM is that I can go there for discussion with other people who think politics is really important: teachers, doctors, lawyers, geeks, scientists, poets.

I don’t know how to figure out our power and effectiveness alone, but with everybody here thinking  calmly may I can.  

It was offensive the way Emmanuel could brush us off the way he did.  But that is a fact. The Obama people are isolating Howard Dean and they will try to isolate us.  Behaving just as they predicted we would is not the way to enhance our voice in the administration.

We should be informed by this that Obama is going to consolidate control when he can eg. in Congress and tamp down unruly independent elements like us.
This is the reality.  Whatever we feel about it.  What are we going to do about it.

Here is what I think, Stay unruly but not belligerent. Use You-tube and video to satirize, discuss, expand the idea base, follow, as we have always done, committee hearings carefully, check out the documents.  maybe we could have our own virtual hearings.  consolidate our discussion and conclusions once they are laid out?

Look clearly at the evidence.  What does it mean when Howard Dean explicitly refers to the fact that the new administration may be considering accepting the 2011 date for getting out of Iraq, 18 more months than Obama promised.  That’s scary.  Is that just beating drums in the woods to flush out the fox, or is that really what they are considering?  If so what do we do about it.

We have our work cut out for us.  We have already started, Lets go.

Originally posted to ruthhmiller on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 08:51 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  tips for thinking (7+ / 0-)

    WE must hang together or we will all hang separately. B.Franklin

    by ruthhmiller on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 08:51:52 AM PST

    •  It's you who needs to calm down (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bablhous, teknofyl

      Yesterday Obama and Senate Dems allowed an ideological and political opponent to stay in a position where he'll be a pest at best, a threat at worst. If, for example, there's a terrorist attack in the U.S. on Obama's watch, Joe'll be presiding over the hearings.

      So, that happened, and people understandably reacted with righteous anger, as they did after Obama's FISA reversal. It happens: a bad move, an expression of anger, and we move on.

      Without that kind of passion, this place is nothing.

      •  Mizener, you act as if I am criticizing you (0+ / 0-)

        I am not.  I do thin we have to move on and I do think we have to look back at our reaction to see that we played right into the hands of those who would brush us off. (read Rahm)

        WE must hang together or we will all hang separately. B.Franklin

        by ruthhmiller on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 09:02:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So saying it's cool and moving on (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bablhous

          will get us a seat at the table?

          Look, I've been playing hard-to-get with Salma Hayek for YEARS.  It has not gotten me one step closer to what I want.

          DC Dems have no use for us except as an ATM.  We are the Religious Right.  They will work during an election to utter the roper sequence of sounds toget our cash.  After that, we get a big screw you.

          Nothing you propose changes that.

          •  that's not what I said. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            teknofyl

            I said let's start thinking about what we do to sstop from being sidelined.

            WE must hang together or we will all hang separately. B.Franklin

            by ruthhmiller on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 09:31:06 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  OK. How about protesting when we ARE? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bablhous

              Seriously.

              I was elated after the Obama victory.  I guess  just don't like what I see so far, which is that pleasing the GOP is way more important than getting the goodies I want.

              Watch the news.  The GOP is ecstatic about Clinton and Lieberman.  Why?  Because it showswhich way the wind is blowing, and it isn't at the progress back right now.

              •  Exactly, but what do we protest (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                teknofyl

                and how.  I wont know until I see particular policies.  Why is Dean being sidelined? Why is Howard Dean talking about the "18 months" longer in Iraq.  What is Obama's position on that?  How does it compare with the platform?  Obama still has an enormous email file, but so do we.

                WE must hang together or we will all hang separately. B.Franklin

                by ruthhmiller on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 09:45:02 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  In that you are correct. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  bablhous

                  As far as the 18 months, that was in the context of with or without Lieberman.

                  How canwe influence events?  No idea.

                  I'm going back to the drawing table and looking at that.

                  It seems that the establishment is strong, and we are weak.  I'm not sure how that changes.

        •  No, I don't think you're criticizing me (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bablhous

          I think you're criticizing the general reaction to the Holy Joe fiasco, which from my perspective was called for and unsurprising and probably healthy.

          I agree that the netroots has some thinking to do about how to grow and become more influential, but if you're looking for a movement that doesn't erupt and get hyperbolic when the leadership sells us out, you might need a new movement.

          •  Sells us out. bitter reaction (0+ / 0-)

            like they owed us something.  maybe.  and maybe they will sell us out.  but my thinking is that issues are more important than particular people. Lieberman is so hated right now but what else was O goign to do.  set up a big flap before he got started.  I tried to imagine what would have resulted if L went over to the Repubs.  It didn't feel like it would be workable for Obama and he is all about winning.  and smooth operation.  I think we have to keep that in mind.  We have elected a control freak.  That doesn't mean we can't love him but it does mean we have to know that.

            WE must hang together or we will all hang separately. B.Franklin

            by ruthhmiller on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 09:14:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Alas, I think many here feel that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kpardue, skertso, Captain Marty

    passion and progressive fervor are all that define goodness.  Reason doesn't even seem to have a seat at the table.

    Proud to be an American, once more.

    by LeanneB on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 08:54:09 AM PST

    •  ha (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skertso, bablhous, teknofyl

      As if reason and progressive fervor were mutually exclusive.

      •  They don't have to be. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skertso

        They simply have been for the past few days.

        Proud to be an American, once more.

        by LeanneB on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 08:57:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  but i'm trying to move beyond fervor (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          skertso, LeanneB

          because it was blinding people, not to the good, David Mizener, but to the problems that we have to solve about our relationship with the new administration.  what role we have to play.  OK they didn't do what we may have wanted with Lieb.
          but what else are they doing and how are we respond?
          that's what I want us talkign about.
          and I think as I said there is a difference between unruly and belligerent.

          WE must hang together or we will all hang separately. B.Franklin

          by ruthhmiller on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 09:00:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sure (0+ / 0-)

            we're got some thinking and re-evaluating to do.

            I've said for years that I want the netroots to focus on issues with wider relevance.

            But Holy Joe has been an issue of ours for years and years: it's simply silly to expect a different reaction.

            •  I answered this above but thank you (0+ / 0-)

              for staying with this.  I love your fervor, I want to see what you think about the re=evaluation of our position and our effectiveness, our power, our voice that I have hinted at.  Also how do you read the conversation with Howard Dean.  I thought they sent him to silence us.  Of course they did send him but that remark about the war policy gave me concern.  ( I always terrifed to use the word concern around here but schpilkers dosn't have the impact if only half the population understands it.

              WE must hang together or we will all hang separately. B.Franklin

              by ruthhmiller on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 09:06:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Absolute crap (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bablhous

      just because someone disagrees with you it doesn't make them lacking in reason.

      I am really beginning to get pissed off with the smug superiority of some here.

      •  I don't mean to be superior (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LeanneB

        despite appearances.  It was hard to come up with a way to talk about this without sounding like a kindergarten teacher.  But I am not smug.  I want us to talk about the problem of being put in the same position the rightwingnut base was in for the Republicans.

        WE must hang together or we will all hang separately. B.Franklin

        by ruthhmiller on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 09:16:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Reason was sorely lacking here yesterday. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kpardue, ruthhmiller

        I'm not being smug - I'm being frustrated by the inability of so many people to see beyond their own beliefs and agendas.  As someone on another diary said today, this government is about everyone, not just those of us who think progressiveness is the one true way to solve all our problems.  I see Obama making good on his stated resolve to build consensus and change the way politics is done, and then I see a thousand diaries and comments about how he's "sold us out," and a thousand more telling his outraged supporters that we "thought we were getting a progressive and now we're sore," and I just shake my head in disgust.

        It's about putting the country back together.  This is where we demonstrate that we can all benefit from putting aside the political point-scoring and the politics of retribution and back-scratching.  It would be nice if folks around here could take a breath and try to understand that.

        Proud to be an American, once more.

        by LeanneB on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 09:28:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I just looked at slinkerwink's rec (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    word player

    diary.  He has more concrete ideas than I do and very interesting ones.

    WE must hang together or we will all hang separately. B.Franklin

    by ruthhmiller on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 09:09:28 AM PST

  •  Look, lets take the FISA issue (0+ / 0-)

    I think that's going to be a hard one.  BO voted for it against our reasoning.  What piece of it is going to take back?  How are we going to pressure the administration to take it back.  Note the Eric Holder diaries are talking about his 2002 reaction to 9/11 which indicated to me that he was willing to cut back on civil liberties.  How far is that going to go.  Should we be asking of our senators that they question him about that statement when they confirm him.  Should we be working on showing how expensive and unnecessary the "listening in to phone calls to Americans" is?

    WE must hang together or we will all hang separately. B.Franklin

    by ruthhmiller on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 09:21:46 AM PST

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