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Anger.  Despair.  Loathing.  Sorrow.  

The wake of the healthcare debacle could almost make a progressive nostalgic for the Bush Administration.

Not in the weirdly fanciful sense of sophomoric equivalence between the Obama and Bush administrations promulgated by some, but rather in the sense of common purpose progressives felt leading up to the elections of 2006 and 2008.  We knew what had to be done in those halcyon days.  We knew the forces against which we were fighting.  And while we had some disagreements in the selection of our ship's captain, there was no doubt about the danger we faced from the privateer cannons directed against us under the banner of the Elephant.  It was either sink the privateers, or be sunk--perhaps forever.

The wake of the healthcare debacle has irrevocably altered that mindset.  Those heady days now seem far away from the darkness of today, when in our darker moments we talk openly of mutiny, or even of taking common cause with the scurvy-ridden, obscenity-shouting scum floating aimlessly among the wreckage of our enemy's blasted hull.

Glenn Greenwald and Jane Hamsher have come today to embody that sense of disillusionment on our side.  They personify a growing number of disappointed progressives who rightly understand that the battles we fought in 2006 and 2008 were either wholly inadequate to our stated goals, or even wholly irrelevant to them. The Democratic Party, we are told, has been irrevocably subdued, bought out and sold to the highest bidder--a kinder, gentler band of pirates flying a smiling skull-and-crossbones against a cheerful drapeau of bright blue, engaged in perpetual mock combat against our red-flagged opponents in a battle designed to enthrall the onlooking spectators as the true masters pick their unwitting pockets.  We are told that in order to defeat our overlords, we must free our minds from the reality we take for granted, and engage instead in a new fight against corporatism, welcoming whatever aid we may find along the way, no matter how distasteful.

Jeffrey Feldman neatly and eloquently exposes the fallacy of this appeal to false consciousness: it is clear that the Left and the Right hold two vastly different views of the fundamental privileges held by the private and the public.  As Feldman makes clear, the Right envisions a society in which no government can encompass a corporation, while the Left desires a society in which no Corporation can encompass or purchase a government. Moreover, as the Right has become increasingly extreme in its views, the purer manifestations of this Objectivist lunacy increasingly have the loudest, tea-addled voices.  Clearly these twain cannot and will not meet.  There is a Left.  There is a Right.  There is a battle royale, and it is not illusory.  But what, then, explains our inability to chart a true course through the choppy seas of the healthcare debate?  Is it Captain Obama?  Is it our big blue ship itself?  Feldman's most important paragraph is deeply illustrative on this point:

The difficulty is that neither the current political organization nor the current economic concepts in the debate are anywhere close to developed enough to offer a viable alternative.  Even with the existence of the elegantly effective "single payer" idea, there is no equivalently effective model of political organization to achieve it.  And so we are stuck with messy.      [Emphasis added]

Feldman ends with an appeal to strive for a more actionable definition of "corporatism" as a way out of a dungeon inelegantly mapped out by Greenwald and Hamsher.  Yet his antipenultimate paragraph above already shows us the path we must walk, even as he tacitly despairs of even attempting to do so.  It is the same path I advocated earlier in No One Is Going To Save You Fools:

If you want to win, you will ORGANIZE. You will organize in the same way the Right has done for the last 40 years, and you will spend money on persuasion, where it really matters.  You will, in short, make the politicians as afraid of you as they are of them.  The Right has built vast networks of think tanks, newspapers, periodicals, cable news channels, and political advocacy organizations to spread their finely tuned, well-honed messages.  Their politicians may fail them, and their actual policies may be deeply unpopular, but their message machine nearly always works its magic to get them what they want, even when Democrats are in power...

If you want to win, ORGANIZE.  Develop parallel organizations willing to persuade with the power and intensity of a corporation.  As long as people like me are out there, and most of them are willing to work for the highest bidder, you'll need to stop looking for saviors, and instead learn to fight fire with fire.

At the time I wrote those words, many derided them as vague, fanciful and even magical thinking.  It is easy to call for greater organization: the devil, of course, is in the details.  This is true.  Money, time, and credibility are all necessary components of this strategy, and there is no immediately obvious pathway to any of these.  But it is easier and more reality-based to attempt to resolve our organizational deficit vis-a-vis the Right, than to entertain notions of impossibly flawed alliances or resolution of our troubles by coming to a more precise theoretical view of the problem.

The truth is that progressives have the time, talent and ability to work incredible organizational magic far more quickly and more nimbly than the Right has done over the last three decades.  As Markos Moulitsas made clear in Crashing the Gate, the Right developed an incredibly expensive infrastructure designed for a 20th century media environment.  And as effective as they have been, they haven't been nearly as effective as they could be.  The Left can create a far more influential and deeply effective message machine speedily and at vastly reduced cost.

There are a number of reasons for this:

  • The Internet has become a revolutionary leveler of the playing field.  No longer need a talented individual or group of individuals purchase access to an expensive media platform, when the Internet increasingly provides communications platforms for opinion writing, video, and audio.  And this revolution, hard as it is to believe, is only beginning.  We don't need to invest money in buying newspapers or cable TV stations or AM radio bandwidth wholesale: all of those dying or increasingly irrelevant in an increasingly accessible and hyperlocalized media environment.
  • The vast majority of America's creative capital and talent is liberal.  One need only look to Comedy Central or Avatar to see the full force of this.  The truth is that the Left has been winning the majority of the culture wars directly due to the influence of film, television and music.  If the James Camerons of the world were to put 1/10 of that level of creative intensity toward winning the economic wars, we could move the needle in a major way.
  • Though they have been exponentially superior to Democrats in this way, Republican political messaging has nonetheless remained stuck in a nearly century-old method of political communication.  Examine the most effective corporate product ads, and you will find that the majority of the memorable messaging tells a story, rather than directly extols the virtues of a product.  Only very recently has the Left started embracing this idea for political purposes, as shown by some of the ads produced by the excellent Courage Campaign in California, including this one, co-written and co-produced by my brother hekebolos and myself.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the Left does have money available.  We just don't direct it to the most effective places.  Wealthy donors tend to give to Democratic politicians today.  The fundraising for the Obama presidential campaign alone in 2008 was came to nearly $700 million.  Put a minor fraction of that one year's money toward organization and media unencumbered by a careful need to maintain respectability or to court favor, and think of the damage we could do.

And that is merely the beginning.  There are other good reasons why powerful organizational capacities can easily be within our grasp, but they are a subject for future exploration.  It is time to begin mobilizing organizational ideas now.

The sooner we begin, the sooner we can right this ship, cease the pointless bickering, and chart our course out of this Hell and toward the progressive promised land.

Originally posted to thereisnospoon (David Atkins) on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 08:52 AM PST.

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  •  Really not sure how (0+ / 0-)

    2004 was not part of the same battle as 2006 and 2008. Did I miss something somewhere?

  •  Thank you. I'm willing, and will (9+ / 0-)

    remain so no matter the unpleasantness in this meantime.  I'll be damned if I'm going to give Norquist the satisfaction of disaffecting or disengaging.  :)

    "I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat." Will Rogers

    by bkamr on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:02:16 AM PST

  •  Honestly... (23+ / 0-)

    I don't want to build organizations similar to the right wing groups. I advance a different model altogether: democratic, grass roots organizations that envision a remodeling of our economic system to benefit all. That's what we got going in New Orleans...on a small scale right now. It's growing though, because the times demand it. Really though, a serious challenge is needed to this two party system. How about a political system that is publicly financed, that is not party beholden? Time to think outside the box. The two party system is utterly corrupt.

    by scorpiorising on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:03:20 AM PST

  •  And yet we insist on boycotting OFA (16+ / 0-)

    perhaps the greatest organizing infrastructure available to the left.

    Fight the stupid! Boycott BREAKING diaries!

    by VelvetElvis on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:04:43 AM PST

  •  I think the battle between left and right IS (28+ / 0-)

    illusory.  It is precisely why organizing can overcome tremendous odds.  Organizing refuses to take sides in terms of left and right.  It posits that people, despite their many differences, are and can be joined and united to work for fundamental change which will help a community no matter the community members' individual differences.

    You can have a neighborhood made up of Republicans and Democrats come together around an issue such as blocking zoning changes.  And that is possible because what is far more powerful and substructurally "real" than abstractions such as "left" and "right," are on-the-books laws concerning property and its ownership and use.  

    •  nice nt (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      concernedamerican, bigchin, Onomastic

      "Don't fall or we both go" Derek Hersey

      by ban nock on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:38:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  we're not talking about zoning. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, EdgedInBlue

      Hell hath no fury like a woman disenfranchised.

      by jj24 on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:52:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We really are though. (10+ / 0-)

        We can come together on any issue. And once we are together...look out.

        At zoning meetings we talk health care during breaks.

        Census workers = "enumerator's." Enumerator's? Are we taking the census or making a James Cameron movie?

        by ZenTrainer on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:58:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  we're talking about bringing power to an (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Farmer Labor

          ideological stance.  and that takes ideological clarity.  your post negates the entire premise.

          there are some here who are very uncomfortable with the notion that ideas matter, party platform matters, and it is crucial to clarify this to determine our trajectory.  and mostly, those people also seem to be the most rightward in their ideological statements.  my theory on that, is that these conversations risk their ability to continue to muck up our effectiveness as a political organization.

          your post almost champions "people together - what a concept."  next time progressives want to pair up with people who are not of their ideological area, the point is, that they have to be named as such, and not wolves on the sheep pasture.

          Hell hath no fury like a woman disenfranchised.

          by jj24 on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 10:11:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I had a conversation with the mother of a dear (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            brn2bwild, ZenTrainer, a night owl

            friend of mine.  She is resolutely anti-abortion, pro-Pope, extremely, intensely, Roman Catholic.  Her son is gay and is married to his life partner.  She and I were watching television coverage of a huge anti-abortion protest march in Madrid a few months ago.  I told her I was pro-choice and that I understood the passion of those who were marching, but that I could not support their call for the outlawing of abortion.  We ended up agreeing on what we could agree on:  there should be more possibilities and state funding for the healthiest outcomes for life at many stages depending on individual circumstance, no matter what the choices might have to be.  She did not want abortion to be one of those choices; but she acknowledged that so-called "pro-lifers" do very little to care for born children or to help the mothers raise them, and she admitted that it was not fully tenable to advocate for the outlawing of abortion when one is not going to commit money or support to the babies who are born as a result of making abortion illegal.  

            The point is, this was a conversation that did not have to do with "left" and "right," or "progressive" and "conservative," even though I am on the left side of the spectrum and she is certainly on the right.  

            •  this isn't a very uncommon conversation. (0+ / 0-)

              but we're not talking about conversations, either.  this isn't about finding common ground, and what you were able to do isn't novel.

              as a woman, i have known and enjoyed the equality of sexual privacy and choice in my lifetime.  now, just which compromises should i agree for others to make to my equality, and for the equality of the other women which make up more than 50% of our population?   there is no compromise when it comes to equality under the law.

              there is a point to which progressives are very justified, and must, draw a line and say, "this is what we stand for."  there's nothing wrong with that.  just because a small group of people with really fringe, right-wing extremist ideals are doing this right now doesn't mean that the act of doing this is crazy.  and frankly, i don't understand why the pushback.  there is a time and place for it.  don't worry about - whatever it is you're worried about.  because to not do this is to sacrifice equality, freedom, and liberty.  and there should be no compromise to that for anyone.

              Hell hath no fury like a woman disenfranchised.

              by jj24 on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 04:28:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  I like your attitued Zen (8+ / 0-)

          Every person whom you make common cause with via zoning is another potential voter for national issues. Kind of like all politics is local eh?

          Also many who've thought long and hard about zoning don't think much about issues further from home that affect local concerns, like the lady down the street without cancer meds.

          Working for a common cause doesn't mean kissing up to Grover Norquist, but it can mean speaking to a fundy because you have common concerns on school funding.

          "Don't fall or we both go" Derek Hersey

          by ban nock on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 10:22:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  the people, united, will never be defeated NT (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          My political compass: Economic: -7.38 Social: -5.79

          by musicalhair on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:04:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Organization requires committment to position. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      potatohead, lotlizard, bigchin, CMYK

      One cannot organize for single payer health care, and accept something less (or contrary) as success. One must stick to one's guns. Win or lose matters not. If we compromise we lose integrity.

      Socialism stands for the golden rule; Capitalism stands for the rule of gold.

      by Farmer Labor on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 10:15:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't understand this part (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        askew, brn2bwild, concernedamerican

        Win or lose matters not

        I guess I'd just have to disagree. Having tried both I'll take winning every time.

        Politics is compromise, purity is standing on the corner howling at passing traffic.

        "Don't fall or we both go" Derek Hersey

        by ban nock on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 10:24:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Winning or losing does not change principle. (7+ / 0-)

          If you have to compromise your principle to win, what have you won? Nothing! Unless, of course, your principles were mere posture and you are really in the game to make money.

          Socialism stands for the golden rule; Capitalism stands for the rule of gold.

          by Farmer Labor on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 10:27:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's all fine but you were talking about (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ability to compromise and still win.

            I think a great health care reform bill is worth winning, even if one has to accept compromise on a public option.

            Public Option itself is a compromise as is single payer. For me anyway. I preffer a sytem of total socialized medicine, but I'll accept pharma and the AMA and insurance only taking a little hit instead of their elimination for now.

            I'll accept doing the most good for the most people now, and so will 60 senators.

            I'm willing to take a win on CO2 and alternative energy and raising the minimum wage and a fairer tax sytemt too. I for one am sick of losing.

            "Don't fall or we both go" Derek Hersey

            by ban nock on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:42:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Your "compromise" is a loss. (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              potatohead, willibro, lotlizard, kurt, CMYK

              If any organizer ever looks somebody in the eye and says the Democrats stand for (fill in the blank) that organizer will be laughed away. Because the Democrats do not really stand for any of the things they claim. It would have been better to put a good health care bill on the table, and defend it to the hilt. This would have given birth to a movement. Now we have nothing. (By the way, no corporations were harmed in the development and production of Obamacare.)

              Socialism stands for the golden rule; Capitalism stands for the rule of gold.

              by Farmer Labor on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:51:53 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thank you for saying this. (0+ / 0-)


                by potatohead on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:08:32 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Progressive test. (0+ / 0-)

                If the House can stand for cost control, for example, and do so either getting cost control in the bill, or forcing those that want to omit it to own that, Progressives gain very serious political power.

                They need us to pass that bill, or they have to go and get Republicans.

                If we sign on to a shit bill, we lose the organizational power we would otherwise have, as you put so well.

                So in the case of the "loss" we can't own it, or we can't go to people and say, "See? Vote for more of us, and we will win the next one!"

                Of course, conservadems and Republicans don't want that to happen because it threatens both of them.  So they frame every last thing against us always.

                On the other hand..  if we win, we validate the fact that they need us and that we've grown, and that we matter now.  

                That's huge!!  

                The way I see it, we are in the midst of a Progressive test.  Do we have what it takes?  

                If we do, then we "come of age" as a political force.

                The ugly reality is we might be that force now, but we won't know until we are tested and pass or fail...


                by potatohead on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:18:09 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  I think that is the problem with movements (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        brn2bwild, bigchin, Farmer Labor

        whilst in the formative part of the movement, one is single-minded, as with the Obama campaign.  Once success is achieved, hindsight bias sets in and one falsely remembers motivation.  For the most part, whilst campaigning for a movement, the goal is the only focus... electing Obama, in this example; afterwards a spin like "I only campaigned for Obama because he was for the public option" is added because the mind has ceased focusing on goal and is left to evaluate the consequences of that goal.  Hindsight bias makes that a false memory true and blots out the memory of the original goal (as that original goal has been achieved).

        Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't.

        by EdgedInBlue on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 10:28:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I prefer to work for issues. Not candidates. (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lotlizard, kurt, bigchin, EdgedInBlue, CMYK

          I think you are correct about hindsight bias. There are also a lot of people who project onto candidates during election seasons. Most candidates really do stand for very little. I voted for Obama twice, but I never campaigned for him. I never felt there was a real committment to issues. I spend my energy on providing/promoting environmental education. I never have to apologize for science.  

          Socialism stands for the golden rule; Capitalism stands for the rule of gold.

          by Farmer Labor on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 10:48:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I campaigned for him and caucused (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I preffered another candidate whom I thought more leftward but I knew there was a much larger chance of Obama winning. And winning is very important.

            We could have been discussing President Palin right now.

            "Don't fall or we both go" Derek Hersey

            by ban nock on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:46:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  What neighborhood do you live in? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jemjo, Farmer Labor

      I've been fighting corporate money in my neighborhood for years.  My community is now screwed because 2 huge corporations have decided to abandon their projects, now that the real estate mkt has fallen.  Taxes have skyrocketed due to the schools expanding in anticipation of increased student body(which never happened).  

      Did you ever try to fight General Motors?  Local govts are incapable of it, they have no cash.  Eventually they get bought off.  That's how the money machine works.  Unless we get cash behind us, we lose.

      •  I talked with neighbors and worked on convincing (0+ / 0-)

        people in my area of my community about voting a bond issue that would have helped, among other things, bring full-day kindergarten to our district.  It was something that had failed for the last several elections.  It was an issue that had nothing to do with democrat or republican, or "left" and "right."  It had to do, ultimately, with the people of the district a) wanting to be able to have the fullest range of possibilities in the schools and b) wanting to protect the property values in our district, which is entirely property tax dependent and heavily reliant on the perceived caliber of the school district and its offerings for the maintenance of property values.  It was an issue for which some people did end up compromising their "principles" where those "principles" had to do with a belief in moms staying at home and not leaving the home to work-- but they did not compromise a different, co-existing set of "principles," where those "principles" had to do with preservation of the value of one's biggest investment (i.e. one's home).

  •  well said spoon (13+ / 0-)

    the two corporatist diaries
    needed this response, imo.

    a lot to slog through, and feldman's a tough read.
    made my brain hurt.

    Love is the source, substance and future of all being. --St. Francis

    by ksingh on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:14:07 AM PST

  •  We are a movement (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, Farlfoto, Rogneid, Onomastic

    Yet sooner or later to get things done we will need focal points of very visible leadership.

    Who do you suggest fits this category spoon? Is Obama who we should view in this role?

    Great diary as usual.; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action -1.75 -7.23

    by Shockwave on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:18:49 AM PST

  •  You are a breath of Common Sense (8+ / 0-)


    "I tried to join a Tea Party, but they called me a DFH, eh.", TMC

    by TheMomCat on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:22:06 AM PST

  •  There's your problem, righ there (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fumie, 3goldens, kurt, Onomastic, ozsea1

    The wake of the healthcare debacle could almost make a progressive nostalgic for the Bush Administration.

    Many of us on the left don't quite understand how to be in power.  We are generally in favor of the underdog.  We work for those who don't have power.  We try our best to even out power.

    We are used to operating from the minority position, so we don't ever really get how to remain cohesive, but honor our interest in providing a balance to the existing power.

    It's only natural that when we are in power, a large chunk of very well informed, and very vocal individuals will seek to differentiate themselves from the rest in order to continue to operate in the more comfortable position of critic or power and supporter of those with less power.

    Is that bad?  


    Is it good?


    Should we figure out how to make better use of this dyanamic?  


    Will we?

    Green Balloons! Green Balloons! - I am drawn from Satanic and Foreign Law - (Damn, it's hard to keep up with these idiots.)

    by otto on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:25:15 AM PST

    •  This is what winning feels like:: (7+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      otto, 3goldens, Farlfoto, dhfsfc, Predictor, ozsea1, CMYK

      The five stages of exultation:
      1.) disappointment
      2.) frustration
      3.) strength
      4.) power
      5.) rule

      It's evolutionary: eventually, even the impossible is inevitable. But I'm not ready to wait that long.

      I have voiced my frustration and disappointment to the Obama administration, to my senators, Gillibrand and Schumer, and to my congressman, Anthony Weiner: that I have re-registered as an Independent, with the WFP, and that I am making a commitment to give money only to MoveOn and CodePink until I see some progress.

      The Democratic Party can obviously take care of itself.

      Register New Democratic Voters in 2010!

      by ezdidit on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:36:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You should change your sig line (6+ / 0-)

        It seems to be at odds with your comment.

        Personally, I got tired of getting email updates on every single issue on which I already knew my position.  So, I stopped getting Moveon email.

        Also, I recognize the difference between me as a member of the Democratic Party, and me as a liberal.

        I don't expect a political party to be representative of all my views, and since we don't have a parliament, and we don't have any kind of proportional representation, it makes no sense to me to drop out.

        I can still remain a member of the Democratic party and vote for other parties.  I have, and I will continue to vote however I please.  

        Belonging to a political party does not indicate my full acceptance of their activities.  

        Green Balloons! Green Balloons! - I am drawn from Satanic and Foreign Law - (Damn, it's hard to keep up with these idiots.)

        by otto on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:40:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks, thereisnospoon. (8+ / 0-)

    Smart, hopeful, no invective.  Me likey.  This was always going to be a long fight, but we have the tools and we have the resources.  There's no need for despair or isolation.  We don't have the coalition that either FDR or LBJ had when they enacted their social programs in steps.  But the building blocks for that coalition are at hand, helped in part by wholesale Republican insanity.  

    Life is good. Injustice? Not so much.

    by westyny on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:28:28 AM PST

  •  pedantry alert: antepenultimate. nt (3+ / 0-)

    I don't know what anymore.

    by peterborocanuck on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:29:02 AM PST

  •  Spoon, I hope you get a chance (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sephius1, Onomastic

    to read "rhfactor"'s comments in Booman's diary.  Here's a link to all of them.

    Much of what he said reminded me of your diary, which was awesome, imho.

    Great minds think alike.

    The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.

    by ohmyheck on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:30:19 AM PST

  •  Holy Shit, not more shit (10+ / 0-)

    Well, looks like Robert Palmer is going to be educating me all day as I'm attempting to figure out what the hell is wrong with a lot of people around here.  But Obama is not so fine for me that I'm willing to simply throw up my arms and declare that there's no telling where the money went.  I have no mythical love for Obama and the campaign is over man.  I will know where the money went and he will fire his economic team or he's in huge trouble.  He's in huge trouble already anyhow and he needs to be, so whatever.  I'm not for any cult, I'm for actions that lead to real solutions that work and empower the people and not assorted assholes.

    I'm the Left that Rahm's mother warned him about

    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:30:27 AM PST

  •  My comment in Feldman's diary (7+ / 0-)
    I was late to the party, so few people likely read it.

    Can't get there from here.

    I don't buy the "awake" vs. "asleep" frame.  I have long been aware that the oligarchy is a central problem in our politics, but I tend to reject the arguments of people who get stuck in that place.  I view it as a sand trap.  A diversion that can only lead to defeatism.

    I suppose the real divide is based on whether one believes in a finish line or not.  The most interesting part of this wonderful diary was the thought experiment in which you tried to imagine an alternative to coporatism.  It is very hard to come up with any model that does not rely on universal enlightenment of some kind - and universal enlightenment is a tough nut to crack.

    In the end, I think we need activists to focus on forward motion within the imperfect framework of our current politics and artists to simultaneously challenge us to imagine something better.  But I can't help but feel that activists who allow themselves to be paralyzed by their inability to get into the muck of systemic change strike me as largely useless- even counterproductive.

    I realize my POV is impolite, but there it is.

    Imagine if we focused all this energy on beating the GOP.

    by snout on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:30:58 AM PST

    •  well stated. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      In the end, I think we need activists to focus on forward motion within the imperfect framework of our current politics and artists to simultaneously challenge us to imagine something better.  But I can't help but feel that activists who allow themselves to be paralyzed by their inability to get into the muck of systemic change strike me as largely useless- even counterproductive.

      "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

      by kj in missouri on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 05:12:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, I thought we *had* organized (10+ / 0-)

    behind a charismatic leader who appeared to be one of us. Unfortunately, our leader was out making deals with corporate America behind our backs. Now we need to find a new leader. Any volunteers? Cuz just telling us to organize ain't gonna do squat without someone and something to organize around.

    --Free thinkers shouldn't go around thinking just anything. (Terry Pratchett)

    by HPrefugee on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:32:01 AM PST

  •  I would disagree with (4+ / 0-)

    regard to the internet. Yes, it has immeasurably increased the velocity of the information, but the tradeoff is Faustian: The content of that information suffered.

    Consider what is happening: The internet is a great place to find information, but it's also an enormous rumour mill. Any idiot can publish any idiocy - and people, consumers free to choose any information available, will usually gladly flock to information which reflects their beliefs, biases, and fears, not the most accurate or engaging information. Worse still, the more information there is available, the harder it is to find important information in the storm.

    I'd present Zeitgeist and The Corporation as prime examples of this: Both documentaries are full of fallacies and wouldn't pass an editor's review in any halfway serious magazine, but both are taken as God's own truth, the Platonic form of truth by people whose beliefs they align with.

    Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

    by Dauphin on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:32:06 AM PST

  •  I agree unreservedly... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musicalhair, Onomastic

    thanks for the diary, "No One Is Going To Save You Fools."

    A lesson we need to take in wholeheartedly.

    Plus ça change we can believe in.

    by papicek on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:35:42 AM PST

  •  That's not what I got out of his piece. (7+ / 0-)

    Jeffrey Feldman neatly and eloquently exposes the fallacy...

     Dungeon?  Yeah, like more and better is some type of strategy, and I can see just how fiercely dailykos is "crashing the gate".  

    I heard Feldman say that there is common ground and that we better find it if we are ever going to take control of this corporate owmed ship of state.  Organize yes, but outsiders together.  Greenwald and Hamsher maybe rough, but they are at least outside of the I heart Obama box.  

    Many Liberals and Independents have had enough of this bull shit about Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives; and we aren't buying  "more and better" Democrats again.  Next thing we know, they'll need money to fund 60 70 80 Democrats.  

    Either something really different this way comes, or someplace really different lots of voters are going to go.  Some of us didn't trust Obama, but we reluctantly trusted the movement that supported him.   Big mistake.

    They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20. ~~ Dennis Kucinich

    by dkmich on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:38:48 AM PST

  •  I'm in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shenderson, Onomastic

    Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

    by whoknu on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:39:25 AM PST

  •  Continue Forward (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SottoVoce, lookit, Onomastic, ban nock

    Advocating on our issues and acknowledging that the Democratic party is our vehicle -- however imperfect -- for achieving our aims.

    Moving sideways in the Nader way does not make sense, given the constraints we have with the two-party system.  Going backwards by aligning ourselves with the likes of Norquist makes less sense.

    I won't tell anyone that Reagan was a turd.

    by bink on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:41:44 AM PST

  •  Is this your antipenultimate drapeau? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, kurt, EdgedInBlue, CMYK

    It's less the semantic structures and conceptual representations than what I sense is a proclivity to prolixity, and perhaps even a certain turgidity of heterogeneous metaphor.

    - or -

    I can haz plane inglish?

    We guarantee 40 million more customers to the insurance companies, then claim it's a good thing because the poor get a cup of coffee and a doughnut. - Jane

    by itswhatson on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:42:56 AM PST

  •  This explains some of it (10+ / 0-)

    Its really not the case that their communications skills are a hundred years old. As recently as 1964 the ideas that now dominate our conversation were considered by almost everyone to be extreme and wrong on all counts. Thirty years of New Deal successes had marginalized the right wing to the point that Goldwater's defeat was embarrassing. It moved a small group of very wealthy men to build the right wing talk machine into what it is today in order to preserve their wealth. It has become almost impossible to talk about anything public without using their language.

    "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

    by johnmorris on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:43:06 AM PST

  •  I think there's alot to be said (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for the right's past unwillingness to tear apart their leadership, at least publicly.  Well, until recently.

    The teapartiers do seem to have shown they are able to organize quickly to get their message across, as least across to like-minded individuals.  Who knows what damage they're are going to do the right in general, though.

  •  "We haven't developed a viable alternative" (8+ / 0-)

    is not really an excuse, though it may serve as a critique of Greenwald and Hamsher.  Develop a viable alternative to the existing corporate system, and then there will be one.  As I suggested in my own diary of some time ago, progressive ideology just pushes its membership into support for neoliberal politics, through its various excuses: "lesser of two evils," "incrementalism," "realism," minimal demands, and so on.  This, then, is what progressivism lacks that the fight against corporatism is prepared (however dawningly) to accept.

    You're really only going to have a battle royale between the right and the left if the left can give up neoliberalism, and propose an alternative to the existing system of political economy.

    "The old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear." -- Antonio Gramsci

    by Cassiodorus on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:44:50 AM PST

  •  We need a strong Persuader (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    keirdubois, shpilk, dirtfarmer, lams712

    "Sir, you look like the piss boy."

    by ranger995 on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:45:36 AM PST

  •  Us Liberals Supported Democrats In Congress (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mediaprisoner, dhfsfc, Calamity Jean, CMYK

    who we thought was progressive.  But even progressives are not what they seem.  I have decided to donate money to supporting initiatives that are very liberal.  I am not sure I am going to support politicians anymore or the DNC or the DCCC because the money I give supports democrats who voted against the policies I support.  The only way to get a politician to support you is to have influence and none of us even as a group has influence with members of congress.  Corporations have influence because they can hire politicians family members, friends and influence other corporations to give.  We the people have no true influence at all.

  •  Show me the baricades and I'm (8+ / 0-)


    I'm not disillusioned at all, more ready for a fight if anything, it has just shown us how far we still have left to go.

    bring em on, Oh and I'm not dealing with the loony right wing either.

    Oh no, the dead have risen and they're voting Republican. - Lisa Simpson

    by LaFeminista on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:47:46 AM PST

  •  Not just organization but numbers. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irmaly, 3goldens, LaFeminista, lookit, ban nock

    As Colin Powell argues, we need overwhelming force.

    Problem is, most of the left hasn't embraced the fierce of urgency of now. More like the fierce urgency of someday. That way they don't have to get up from the couch and/or the keyboard. It's the reason we have lost the class war over the past thirty years. We have met the enemy: us.

    Routinely visiting DKos, I see no reason to believe this will change.

    Occam's Pacifier: Conservatives are people who blindly assume that the most simple-minded, self-serving answer is always the correct one.

    by Words In Action on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:49:37 AM PST

    •  Now was yesterday (4+ / 0-)

      We have let them get away with it for so long there may well be no pieces left to pick up.

      How could we let them literally tear apart our planet, if there is one cause for unity this is it.

      Oh no, the dead have risen and they're voting Republican. - Lisa Simpson

      by LaFeminista on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:52:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How we've done it is by accepting (5+ / 0-)

        what was "possible", what was "practical", what was "realistic".

        Well, realistically speaking, the practical truth is that we will be subjected to the full force of Global Warming.

        Apparently that is all that is possible. Or at least few people are willing to struggle for anything more if it involves time and effort and risk.

        Occam's Pacifier: Conservatives are people who blindly assume that the most simple-minded, self-serving answer is always the correct one.

        by Words In Action on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 10:00:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It has to be a message (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, ZenTrainer

    that you can fit on an index card.

    The Right has it: Deregulate business and lower taxes. You can sum this up in two words: less government.

    Socialists have it: Worker control of the means of production and exchange, distribution of goods on the basis of need, and public ownership of land. Two word summary: economic democracy.

    Progressivism isn't quite as easy. It's a collection of agendas: bringing more people into the democratic process (e.g. women's suffrage), graduated taxes, and regulation. My attempt at a summary: Making Capitalism More Humane.

  •  This is what I have been saying! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Predictor, Calamity Jean, Airmid, Billdbq

    What a wonderfully written diary.

    Like poetry so moving it calls for action.

    Census workers = "enumerator's." Enumerator's? Are we taking the census or making a James Cameron movie?

    by ZenTrainer on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:53:09 AM PST

  •  When I read your previous diary I was impressed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mediaprisoner, Airmid, SteelerGrrl

    with your approach. You said:

    One exercise we QRC's like to conduct involves actually turning a brand into a person in a group discussion; it's called personification.

    When I read “personification” I thought of “Mr. Clean” or the “Jolly Green Giant.”  But, after seeing the commercial you and your brother did re Prop.8, I am rethinking my thoughts of personification.  You focus in on real people living in the real world and you show how laws can dramatically affect their lives.  I hope that you post some diaries which will help educate us all on the fine art of personification and persuasion.

    If men were angels, no government would be necessary. - James Madison

    by LynChi on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:53:55 AM PST

    •  That would be good (0+ / 0-)

      because what I'm reading up to now, is a lot of people disagreeing on what they can't agree about.

      someone - who if not Obama could do with coordinating a progressive consensus. They'd need to have enough authority to bring all the warring sides together, and enough intelligence to work out a means that works.

      because really, mass enlightenment is the answer - but I don't see it happening. In fact, rather the reverse.

      "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Mary Oliver, 'The Summer Day'

      by Airmid on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 10:17:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What leader and what army? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irmaly, greeseyparrot, 3goldens

    At least half of the kossacks don't really believe there's anything urgent, let alone firecely so, about now. How do you build an army out of that, except perhaps an unseen keyboard army? Sorry, that's one point on which I always disagreed with Crashing the Gates. Mass protest is not outdated. In fact, it was huge in the Obama election. What we need are not fewer protests, but one long, huge one in which tens of millions particpate and refuse to go home until the major issues of our day have been addressed. Short of that, it's just more pissing at the wind.

    Occam's Pacifier: Conservatives are people who blindly assume that the most simple-minded, self-serving answer is always the correct one.

    by Words In Action on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:55:07 AM PST

  •  James Carmen might have liberal leanings (3+ / 0-)

    but he also works within the system. He is a multi-millionaire, and he distributes his movies through the "big business" channels. He doesn't give his entertaining leftest message away for free. I would dare say he's a corporatist. Can you have it both ways?

    A million monkeys at a keyboard could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.

    by lookit on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:55:19 AM PST

    •  Camerons (0+ / 0-)

      A million monkeys at a keyboard could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.

      by lookit on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:56:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  i wouldn't say he's a corporatist (0+ / 0-)

      he's not making deals with the government, like the banks are.  in fact, i wouldn't even say he's a "capitalist" in the sense that capitalism means "Making money off of money" (though he may/probably calls himself a capitalist since he's a rich American).  he's surely an entrepreneur because he's doubtlessly had to raise large amounts of money and do some selling, but i've got no beef with that or with independent enterprise.

      my problem is when the government uses its largess to benefit private entities and/or private entities use their influence to commandeer public funds.  that's what i think of corporatism to mean.

      Get on the offense and stay there.

      by mediaprisoner on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 12:25:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But wasn't this what Feldman was getting at? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Avatar was a breathtaking cinematic achievement with a positive progressive message brought to you by 20th Century Fox. Isn't that, in essence, playing both sides of the fence to perpetuate a false consciousness?

        "... blind faith in your leaders, or in anything, will get you killed." -The Boss

        by Blogicide on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 01:22:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Money is a problem (14+ / 0-)

    First, although a lot of money was raised by the Obama campaign, how much of it came from Wall Street speculators and Hollywood moguls? Many are mildly liberal on social/cultural issues, abortion, gay rights, etc. They just want special protection for their money-making activities, whether it's special tax treatment for being a derivatives trader, felony prosecution of teen-age MP3 downloaders, patents on genes, forcing people out of Social Security into the stock marker, etc. So on economic issues they are big government conservatives.

    Second, big ticket donors can command much more respect from a politician than the swarm of small donors that progressives have been able to energize. There is one person that can call you up and remind you of their big donation, which both personalizes it and makes the politician aware of whose good will he or she needs to preserve. Small donors can't get through to a politician in the same way—there's no real personal contact and too many voices clamoring for attention, including the politician's possibly not at all progressive constituents.

    Third, the consequences of bad investments are more dramatic for small donors. Back in 2006 when I still had a relatively secure job, I gave a ton of small donations to insurgent Democratic candidates. About half lost, and of the half that won, many have since taken very anti-progressive stands on a variety of pieces of legislation. The big issues that I and many other people thought we were contributing toward getting solved—bringing home our troops from Iraq, reversing the laws that infringed on our Bill of Rights protections here at home, ending torture and prosecuting those responsible, stopping the corruption and collusion among mega-corporations and top government officials—have all remained unresolved, with only minor or undetectable efforts on the part of our elected officials to deal with them. This in spite of 3 years of Congressional majorities and 1 year of control of the Executive branch in addition. So I have little to show for the donations I made, and I now am much more limited in what I can afford to contribute to—multiply me by ten thousand or fifty thousand and you probably get the number of other people sympathetic to progressive causes who are in the same boat.

    Maybe we could have more impact by all donating to one group whose board of directors then becomes the equivalent of the rich donor that Blue Dogs and Republicans court. But you need to have a lot of faith in the leadership of such a group. Groups like MoveOn have demonstrated that they don't deserve this kind of trust, when hard choices have had to be made. It becomes too easy for the leadership of a nationwide organization to go into schmooze-mode with the politicians they are trying to get to change their ways. It's a conundrum, because that personal contact aspect is part of what gives them influence, but it's too easy to be seduced by the glamor of hobnobbing with the powerful and give ground on your issues instead of fighting for them. We have some fighters on DailyKos, kos and MeteorBlades seem like they could handle it, but we have an awful lot of people who seem ready to give ground if an attractive authority figure pronounces it "pragmatic" or "reality-based" or "a step in the right direction" to do so.

    I think we need an example of when organizing against the interests of the plutocracy has actually paid off, since their big resurgence started in the mid to late 1970s. Have we managed to get government to decrease economic inequality and devolve more power from remote and unaccountable corporate or government bureaucrats into the hands of ordinary people in any sphere since the Nixon-Reagan counter-revolution began? How did we do it? What type of organizations succeeded and how much money did they need to do so?

  •  Powerful point you make (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Predictor, SteelerGrrl

    about most of the "creative capital and talent" in the country being liberal.

    It would have to be true, come to think of it. Throughout history, liberals have been the "idea people."

    •  As in many other areas (5+ / 0-)

      the creative talent has to go through the distribution network to get to people's eyes and ears. In music that means just a few giant corporations, in television an even smaller number, in movies again a not very large number. So there's a bottleneck that creative people are pushed into, and it's becoming narrower all the time. The price of straying too far outside the pack is too expensive, career-wise, for many of these folks, and the ability of the distributors (including the distributors of your basic "extruded news product") to shut off undesirable messages has become immense.

      For those who become wealthy by their creative efforts, also, you often see much more of a focus on the social aspects of "liberalism" and less of a focus on the basic problem of economic fairness that should be the bedrock of any leftist program. Which limits you to trying to change certain aspects of society while leaving the small group who have vastly disproportionate wealth and power free to subvert your attempts at every turn.

      •  A very pessimistic analysis of (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Predictor, Calamity Jean

        my sweeping generalization--but there may be a grain of truth here, alas.

        My consolation at this point is the growing popularity and influence of "indie" works and venues.

        To use reproductive freedom as an example, we have had a spate of Hollywood movies that glorify giving birth after an unintended pregnancy. Don't get me wrong--I've really enjoyed some of these movies, and thought they were well-done. (One of them, "Waitress," I just referred to in a thread following another diary.) What's been missing in these recent Hollywood movies is the notion that women may well have mixed or negative feelings about an unintended pregnancy. In every case, it's assumed that she's going to be delighted about dropping the rest of her life and becoming a mother.

        It took a small studio,  Evamere, to produce "Revolutionary Road," a film that courageously tackles an unintended pregnancy that's truly badly timed in the life of the mother.

        This is just one example that comes to mind of the importance of small indie venues, for reasons you elaborate.  

  •  Whatever it is we are going to do had (6+ / 0-)

    better happen quickly.  The outlook on the economic front is not good and a double dip is looking more and more likely.  In fact, the odds of a deflationary depression are increasing rapidly.  There are several sovereigns that will likely default and soon.  Many states are on the borderline of default as well.  Once that chain of events begins, all bets are off.  Organizing will be very difficult.  They've screwed the pooch one too many times and the facade is about to be busted wide open...and they don't really give a shit.

    ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

    by Kristina40 on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 10:08:20 AM PST

  •  I seriously doubt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greeseyparrot, mediaprisoner, dhfsfc, CMYK

    Greenwald or Hamsher like being straw people, more like punching bags, for the purposes of argument.

    Organization.  Duh.  Tell us how.  Tell us the goals.  Tell us the principles.

    Then when people have enough incentive, they will come to the organizations.

    May I suggest that the solution lies in employment related and non-employment related unions and cooperatives?

    I believe working models already exist in Europe.

    Denial is complicity.

    by Publius2008 on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 10:09:24 AM PST

    •  THey earned it fair and square (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      When they decided it was perfectly OK to hurt a lot of people as part of the goal of "getting" the big nasty evil corporations.

      The reason I'm here is, broadly speaking, to try and help people. Any time you can show me how the destruction of large corporations will do that then I'm on board. But I'm not seeing that. What I'm seeing instead is an unreasoned call to riot. I'm not on board with that.

  •  There are already lots of organizations out there (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The left is never going to be united behind one.  Rather than "begin mobilizing organizational ideas now" I think we could start to coordinate the existing ones.  Infrastructure is out there, it already exists, why rebuild the wheel?  

    But in general I agree with your diary and the previous one as well.

    My muffin top is all that, whole grain, low fat...

    by fearisthemindkiller on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 10:10:08 AM PST

  •  First we had to take off our hats off (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, EdgedInBlue

    when somebody hijacked an airliner with a gun hidden under his brim.

    Then Reid tried to blow his shoes off, so we shuffled on in our socks since then.

    Now that someone's set his pants on fire, I'm resigned to boarding in my shorts, but I want to know how long before TSA requires pre-flight mammograms.

    Register New Democratic Voters in 2010!

    by ezdidit on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 10:10:55 AM PST

  •  What bothers me is this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KayCeSF, sephius1, carmenjones

    They personify a growing number of disappointed progressives who rightly understand that the battles we fought in 2006 and 2008 were either wholly inadequate to our stated goals, or even wholly irrelevant to them.

    There is also a growing number that represent a backlash of all this "disappointment". We approached this election with eyes wide open and are NOT disappointed in the President. We realize that legislation does not start and end with the President.

    •  Agree with all you say. Eyes wide open here... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DJShay, sephius1

      I'm not disappointed with my President, and all the people I know who voted for him still hold strong to his policies and are feeling enthused about the future, and that one paragraph in the diary does bother me.

  •  Story of Self, Story of Us, Story of Now (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, Predictor

    Both of these ads cost me a grand total of $600.00 to produce, and $0 to distribute. We can do this. We have the power.

  •  We should look up to the Janes and the Deans (4+ / 0-)

    and trail a new way for our liberal majority.

    The republics did! and they do not have the majority of Americans, just the majority of lunatics!

    Let's stop dumping on the progresives, and start building on their ideas.  Sitting at home and complaining about Jane does not do us any good!

    Way to Go Jane and Dr. Dean, and Bernie, and Kos and Feingold. We have one leader to look up to: Edward Kennedy. He trusted Obama. I hope Obama deserves that trust. So far not so much.

  •  I don't agree with this statement (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mediaprisoner, optimusprime

    We don't need to invest money in buying newspapers or cable TV stations or AM radio bandwidth wholesale: all of those dying or increasingly irrelevant in an increasingly accessible and hyperlocalized media environment.

    Yes the Internet is growing, but there are many people who still don't have access to DSL and fast Internet. Many rural areas don't have the best Internet access. You can't ignore radio and TV like you're proposing.

    Though they have been exponentially superior to Democrats in this way, Republican political messaging has nonetheless remained stuck in a nearly century-old method of political communication.

    But the GOP and their right wing groups are much more effective at framing messages and running ads. Witness how effective their ads were during the healthcare debate.

  •  repetitive diary (4+ / 0-)

    This diary simply restates what you wrote in your last diary. My response to this one remains the same as my response to your last one.

    "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

    by catnip on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 10:36:44 AM PST

  •  Sigh (7+ / 0-)

    Yet another Jane Hamsher is Teh Debbil diary.

    We have a basic political fact to deal with. Most of the Progressive Blogosphere...certainly DKos, FDL, and Americablog readers...fall firmly in the lover left quadrant of the Political Spectrum (based on an unscientific survey I took a few years ago). We are not monolithic WHERE we are in that quadrant, but rather all over the place in it. Our Democratic politicians however, with the exception of Kucinich are all in the upper right quadrant. The same quadrant as the Republicans. Obama and the Clintons are closer politically to the Bushes than they are to most of us.

    The country is not center-right. But the leadership is. Our basic problem as Progressives is how to change that dynamic. I would suggest that building a bridge to the fellow progressives you have a disagreement with would be more productive than trying to build a bridge to the likes of Joe Lieberman. This continued blogwar helps no one on our side. And FDL and DKOS ARE INDEED on the same side. This war is only helping Republicans and the corporatists...and the members of the Democratic Establishment that abhor change and are perfectly comfortable with watching the country sink as long as they become personally wealthy while it happens.

    •  I didn't see the diary this way at all (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KayCeSF, kurt

      Yet another Jane Hamsher is Teh Debbil diary.

      And since you brought her up, this made me scratch my head.

      I would suggest that building a bridge to the fellow progressives you have a disagreement with would be more productive than trying to build a bridge to the likes of Joe Lieberman.

      So then tell me please how in the world is it productive to build a bridge with the likes of Grover Norquist?

      Coalition does not equal unholy alliance--Deoliver47

      by glynis on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:15:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or this from the Jane Norquists? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        glynis, gobears2000

        Obama and the Clintons are closer politically to the Bushes than they are to most of us.

        I don't know one liberal Dem who would agree with that, at all.

        So soon they forget what the BushCrimeFamilyPNAC&Co was about, and then 'they' comfortably jump in bed with Norquist who is part of the Co. in Bush.  Boggles the mind.

        •  Hmm (0+ / 0-)

          Obama and the Clintons are closer politically to the Bushes than they are to most of us.

          I don't know one liberal Dem who would agree with that, at all.

          They have been plotted on a graph. It is demonstrable. You don't have to like it, but it's like not agreeing that 2+2=4 if you don't agree with it.

          See the link here. Most of us are below and to the left of Nader.

        •  Actually that's true (0+ / 0-)

          do you have another argument to make?

          Let's Adopt the James Cameron school of politics: let the sheer quality of the product sell the ideas.

          by Paul Goodman on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 06:53:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Norquist (0+ / 0-)

        I've read FDL and Kos both, for years now. People equating either blog with Evil Incarnate are way off the mark just gets frustrating to keep seeing it here.

        Jane is capable of defending herself, and her position is stated on FDL, but in a nutshell she feels that a lot of Blogistan is happy to just sit around doing nothing while Obama continues to tack to the mythological "center", while the Left is ignored. The country is in dire enough straits that just sitting and waiting, and hoping that Obama eventually discovers his inner FDR is just not gonna work. So she's using Norquist as a proverbial 2x4 to smack Obama and Rahm in the head with. Because as events have demonstrated, that's the only way to get Obama's attention.

        I'm not that interested in discussing the merits of her approach; I'd just like my fellow Kossacks to recognize that she IS on our side, and agree to disagree about the tactics, if one doesn't like them. And then move on and work together on tactics we DO agree on. I think it's safe to say for example that most of us here would prefer a better bill than the Senate HCR bill to become law. Our energy would be better spent working to make that happen.

    •  I tipped and recommend it (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      noveocanes, Dagoril, kurt, Predictor

      for productive discussion potential, but the sneering at Hamsher and Greenwald is hard to overlook.

      This is kind of shaping up to be a debate about liberal progressives sticking with a two-dimensional approach or striking out to find the third dimension (which should not be confused with an effort to embrace a third party).

      Feldman's was definitely a work-within-the-lines diary (which I also tipped and rec'd, for cordial discussion potential). This one's similar, in that they both seem interested in proscribing  progressive instincts to think the Democratic Party is an insufficeint vehicle for change.

      That's debateable, at best. At worst, the verdict has been rendered by those serving in office--Democrats simply cannot seem to summon the will to be a vehicle for liberal progressives (no matter how sympathetic they may be--and I actually do think most Demcorats are).

      Greenwald speaks more to what's on my mind than most here, on a daily basis. I'm still a strong ally for the Democratic Party and its activists base here but I'm beginning to doubt how smart that decision is over the long term. I really feel like we're missing a dimension of activism. And the repeated failures of two-dimensional politics, sustained by both Demcorats and Republicans, is beginning to make me very, very angry.

      All that said, anybody crapping on Greenwald starts off behind the eightball with me.

    •  i dont get it that way (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      this is not another "attack Jane" diary, it actually makes sense. his last line sums it up nicely

      The sooner we begin, the sooner we can right this ship, cease the pointless bickering, and chart our course out of this Hell and toward the progressive promised land.

      Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong. ~James Bryce

      by california keefer on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 12:07:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm joining OFA in my community (6+ / 0-)

    to get to work, after the holiday is over.  Speaking for myself, sitting on my computer is like handcuffing me to my chair and my ability to really do some work. I'm tired of the constant chat and whine, I need to get out there and do something.  I learn a lot from DKos, but I don't find it doing much as an activist.  I miss working with an organization of people who that want to promote the Democratic Party legislation and especially now, our President's policies.  

    Thanks for highlighting the importance of unifying our voice with real political organization.  I have been looking at OFA, I receive their emails that promote the work Dems should be doing, and I think the organization any of us follow has to have integrity -- not some kind of reactionary cause that dims or distorts the purpose of party activism, or even works to distract and doom the cause of progressive change.  

    Again, thanks.  

    •  Good for you Kay Ce (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KayCeSF, gobears2000

      I contacted the paid organiser for the counties I live in before the holidays. The are still very professional and focused, they're into getting things done.

      I'll be trying to spend more time working for the other issues that will be coming up, and then the 2010 election.

      Great Organisation.

      "Don't fall or we both go" Derek Hersey

      by ban nock on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:07:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks! (0+ / 0-)

        And for what you are doing, thanks!

        I'm not physically up to as much door-to-door work, which aggravates me, but I'm going to volunteer to do all I can.  And you are right, there are other issues coming in the near future which we need to get organized to promote. We can't let any of them slide through our fingers.

        Every ONE of us must do what we can, and stop the bitching.  It begins with each of us. We don't have time to bitch.  Really, we don't.

  •  Wrong, wrong, wrong. (15+ / 0-)

    You state that we need think tanks, we need to get our message out there, we need to communicate our financial policy ideas.

    That's a crock of shit.

    Our ideas already have massive popular support.

    There's already a huge tide of support behind regulating Wall St.  There was huge popular support for the public option, and fairly strong support to open up Medicare to more people.  The current bill is what is hugely unpopular.  It's not our ideas that lack the support and popularity.

    The problem is NOT that our ideas need to become more popular, they are already the most popular ideas.  The problem is that our government is corrupt and run by millionaires for millionaires and they don't give a shit what the people want.  Since the election is a game of money anyway and it doesn't matter what they do now, they think (rightly or wrongly) that with enough campaign dollars they can convince their constituents of anything once the election cycle comes around.

    The problem is not that our ideas are not understood or popular with the base, the problem is our politicians don't give a fuck what we want.  The solution to that is not think tanks and more voices parroting our message.  The solution is to replace our politicians and fix the machinery of our government so that it MUST care what the people want.  That is the solution.

  •  $700 million to Obama. . . (6+ / 0-)

    does not mean that Dems can, or will, continue to fund-raise the way they did.  And it also portends a change in the Democratic party from the Left to the Center.

    First, the individuals who donated before will be less likely to give to Dems because the promises made by Obama were not kept.  In addition to decreased voting, I think there will be decreased giving to the Democratic party.  

    Second, individual donors, especially those who gave smaller amounts, will have less money to give, due to the economy.  But even the wealthier donors will have less disposable income to donate.

    Third, the corporate interests will probably increase donations to Obama.  Now that the Democrats have established themselves as the major corporatists, and possibly more organized than Republicans, thanks to Rahm, the Dems will receive a larger percentage of their donations from corporations.  Therefore, expect the "Left" to move to the Center.  

    Until there is a party, or a candidate, I can give to and feel that they will deliver on Progressive ideals, I don't feel comfortable giving.  I do give through Act Blue, but I've even put a hold on that.  Call me cynical!

    All politics is class-warfare.

    by dhfsfc on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 10:40:39 AM PST

  •  In the movie Sicko (7+ / 0-)

    an American living in France said the people in the U.S. fear their government while in France the government fears the people. Our government really is run by the corporations and the people take a back seat when any type of change is proposed. This very weak and insurance friendly healthcare bill is a prime example. And this health bill was written by the supposedly liberal Democratic Party. If this is the best we can do then it shows how bad our government is broken.

  •  We will win if messaging is frequent and targeted (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, SteelerGrrl

    That is where we are currently losing; messaging. I am very disappointed in the Obama White House in their lack of messaging capabilities. Same for the Democratic Party. They are hopeless messengers for our message. They could so successfully paint the Republicans as the party that doesn't care about "You". They don't want to help Americans. They only want to help themselves

  •  Policy and communication (6+ / 0-)

    Progressives' biggest problems right now are unity and communication.

    Harsh reality time:  Progressives (at least as reflected on this site) absolutely suck at developing policy.  As an example, just look at the recent helaht care reform debates on this site.  Policy ideas were subverted to political strategizing; people were vageualy "for" a public option or Medicare-for-all or whatever was being bandied about in the news cycle at that moment, but there was no clear progressive voice arguing for any one position.  It was all in the context of what was politiclaly feasible at the moment.

    Progressives must start developing firm, clear, definite policy ideas before a political fight erupts.  As pointed out in Klein's "Shock Doctrine," when the established order is upset, or overthrown, people look to the policy ideas that are lying around - ours need to be the best, most clearly-articulated.

    And Spoon has an excellent point that must be driven home time and time again; these policy positions must be sold.  Stop relying on logic to carry the day; it will not.  Policy positions must be sold as if they were cars or toothpase or flat-screen TVs - people have to become emotionally attached to those policy positions, and they have to seem sensible to everyday, ordinary people.  Telling a story, as Spoon suggests, is an excellent way of doing this, because people integrate the stories they hear in to the framework they construct to help them deal with information.  It is far, far more difficult to dislodge stories from that framework than facts.

    Progressives (again, as reflected on this site), are highly reactive - we let events drive our policy discussions (e.g., the election of a Republican president, an economic downturn, corruption in the government, etc.) rather than driving the policy discussion ourselves.  No one ever won a game without an offense!  Progressives in general, and this site in specific, needs to focus more on developing policy.

    Progressives also have to get better at communicating policy.  Calling or writing your Congresspeople at the last hour before a vote does not count.  Policy positions have to get under the nosees of members of Congress before a vote is even contemplated; they should be receiving policy positions from pregressives at regular intervals, and regardless of what is being voted on in a particular session.

    I have disagree with Spoon on two points, though:  (1) The internet is a terrible place to communicate policy positions.  The internet is, by its very nature, passive - it does not come to people; people have to come to it.  Only the already-sold come to the internet for policy posiitons.  Instead, progresives need their own visual communication medium - one or more cable TV news networks.  They will have to be built from the ground up; we cannot rely on existing outlets.  I have heard and read much whining and gnashing of teeth in the progressive blogosphere about the multitudinous failures of the established broadcast media in promoting the progressives' positions.  Get this through your heads: they never will.  Never.  We have to build our own.

    (2) The internet is a terrible place to develop policy ideas.  Just look at this site.  Whenever a policy position is espoused, people come out of the woodwork to shoot it down.  This reflects, in part, the hodge-podge of opinions that is the sum of the progressive movement, but it reflects an indecisiveness, too, that makes progressive ideas seem lacking in consensus, subject to political expediency, mutable - and ultimately, weak.  Policy must be developed outside the internet, and then communicated, if by the internet, as a finished piece, not a work in progress.

    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

    by TheOrchid on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 10:46:02 AM PST

    •  I was just watching Fareed Zakaria's GPS (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GN1927, glynis, NuttyProf, ozsea1

      interview with Malcolm Gladwell, the best selling author of many books on human behaviour.

      He makes exactly that point that policy and ideas MUST be marketed and he cited the example of the kitchen guru Ron someone or other who has sold billions of rotisserie ovens on those late night television infomericials.

      Maybe Obama needs to make a few of those.

      Although I personally am very reluctant to think of the President as a cable televsion huckster selling his vision and ideas to a reluctant public.  I personally believe that it  is the People who need to start thinking for themselves and analysing and formulating their reactions and translating them into actions.

      This Daddy Knows Best please make it all better,  Follow The Leader desire of the people to be told what to think is very regressive, not progressive.

      •  We go into battle... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GN1927, soccergrandmom, NuttyProf, ozsea1

        ...with the people we have, not the people we wish we had...

        Maybe you were kidding, but the idea of infomercials is a good one.

        I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

        by TheOrchid on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:11:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  no, I wasn't. The whole point that Gladwell was (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kurt, greengemini, ozsea1

          making is that exactly as gadgets and widgets require marketing, it is the people who spend the time to explain clearly and concisely that sells billions of them. So people who want to market 'policy' or innovative ideas, they need to explain them so people can fully understand them aand they  need to market them.

          One of the reasons, inmo anyway, that the HCR debate fell apart was because no one really had a clue what public option really meant or waht Medicare for All really entailed.

          So, yes, if Progressives want to get active, find some really charismatic, and I repeat that word, spokespeople, to articulate their views. First however they have to actually put those views into simple concepts people can understand. All this ideological language that is floating about is really old hat and sounds like rejects from sssome dusty communist manifesto of the 1930's.

        •  I think it's a great idea (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KayCeSF, soccergrandmom

          Progressive infomercials selling reform concepts; selling the idea of the necessity of certain legislation.

          Why not?

          "...the teabaggers may have a point." ---DKos FireDogLake Transplant, Expressing Admiration for New Allies

          by GN1927 on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:28:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  They are actually quite cheap too, especially the (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GN1927, KayCeSF, NuttyProf

            middle of the night ones which sell most of the ideas. Actually this is how the subprime mortgage real estate bubble got sold. Remember all thoso infomercials telling us all we  could buy a house for nothing down, flip it and make a fortune.

            Progressives really need to use the technology and go light on the ideology.

            Anyway I'm off to meet my family to see Avatar together.

            Later alligators.

  •  You are on the right path. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, Predictor, ozsea1

    Your series is a continuation both of what we articulated and left unsaid starting at Molly Malone's when DDay asked "Ron, don't you live in the 42nd".

    I know that not much has changed for me. It was all just the start and when Obama came along he was saying the same things we were saying.

    We were not just lucky to have a candidate like Obama we created him because he fit. I think he still does. I'm not certain that any other trajectory would accomplish anything other than miss the target we all saw way back then.

    Lately, the fire has been going out for me because of my personal circumstances but I'm encouraged that you are still out front thinking of this. I'm encouraged that you keep throwing logs on the fire.

    Thanks, spoon.

    Unapologetically pro-citizen. Not anti-corporation just very pro-citizen.

    by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 10:48:13 AM PST

  •  I want to understand what Obama (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Woman, jen, costello7

    is thinking.

    Is this all just a big joke to him?  Doesn't he care right now he is well on the way to crippling the party for a long, long time?

    My heroes have the heart to live the life I want to live.

    by JLFinch on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 10:51:13 AM PST

    •  His main advisor is the guy who gave us NAFTA (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Paul Goodman

      And I believe that both of them honestly think they're right and those of us who were right on both wars, right about the housing bubble, and right about every other major issue of the past decade are just plain icky people.

      Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

      by Phoenix Woman on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 02:28:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm more than ready - just don't know (5+ / 0-)

    what to do exactly.  But I'm here, I'm ready and I want to be part of any effort to make our society (and our politics) better, more efficient, and more in line with true progressive, humanitarian goals.

    •  thank you for this comment (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, Paul Goodman, kurt

      i just commented that this diary adds to the pointless bickering because it's not really actionable in any sort of obvious way (right?), but i guess the diarist is just speaking to the party elite who ultimately control the purse strings.  it's funny to read that we need organization and infrastructure, as if it's not already existent and being generally ignored and/or running out of money.

      part of the appeal of FDL and, for that matter, The Young Turks, is that these are people who actually care and have found ways to make money spreading constructive progressive messages without relying on contributions from the George Soros types.  but what they're saying doesn't appeal to some party True Believers who would rather go along to get along, as if this is all some game where our real livelihoods aren't at stake.  during bush, it was all about how politics is a contact sport and IF WE WERE IN POWER, but now it's "oh no, incremental is all we can do because lieberman's the real decider."  what in the hell, people?

      Get on the offense and stay there.

      by mediaprisoner on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 12:14:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's NOT a debacle -- yet (5+ / 0-)

    We can pass this bill, consolidate Democratic political power and make major progress toward long-held progressive goals, while giving the Democratic Party a popular issue -- Medicare Buy-In for Anybody who Wants It -- run on in the next election.  Or we can join the Republicans in trying to defeat the bill.  If they (and the many useful idiots posting on this site and Firedoglake) succeed, they will kneecap the best President we've had in 40 years, destroy Democratic political power, and give the Republicans the issue they can  use to win back the Congress in 2010.  THAT would be a debacle.

    Despite the lies of the disinformers and their dupes, THIS IS A GOOD BILL.  Its not as good as we wanted, but its a LOT better than the status quo.  Contrary to the widely-spread lie, it will NOT force anyone to buy from a profit-making insurance company -- the bill includes a specific requirement for at least one national no-for-profit, plus the consumer-managed COOPs.

    The Public Option has overwhelming support among the American People, and among the Democratic delegation in Congress.  GREAT!  It needs to be crystal-clear to every voter that the reason we aren't getting the public option with this bill is the lockstep opposition of the Republicans and one renegade Independent.  We can fight the 2010 election on that issue, and win it.  But only if we demonstrate that we are smart enough not to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right" -- Sen. (and Major General) Carl Schurz, 1872

    by Diesel Kitty on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:11:46 AM PST

  •  that Courage Campaign ad... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    against Prop 8 was brilliant. Excellent work, NoSpoon!

    "This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place." -Russ Feingold

    by DFH on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:13:34 AM PST

  •  When did Democrats become Corporats? (3+ / 0-)

    Let's face up to facts. We have "progressive" leaders who are representing narrow corporatist, cleptocratic interests.

    Many Democrats have become Corporats.

    "If you don't use your majorities, you lose your majorities."

    by SteinL on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:13:46 AM PST

    •  What Planet Have You Been Living On? (3+ / 0-)

      As the diarist states, Hollywood-style propoganda can be very effective.

      It blinded many to the fact that despite every big banker shown in a Hollywood movie being an "Evil Republican", in real life they are Democrats, and have supported Democratic Causes and players in a big way for AT LEAST two decades.

      It's something we learned clearly during the Clinton Administration, and we are all literally paying for it, now.

      •  Proof ? (0+ / 0-)

        ...every big banker shown in a Hollywood movie being an "Evil Republican", in real life they are Democrats, and have supported Democratic Causes and players in a big way for AT LEAST two decades.

        Hyperbolic exaggeration much ? Every big banker ? Really?

  •  We were organized, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jen, optimusprime

    but our new "captain" is working for the same bunch of "privateers" the republicans of the last administration worked for. When it comes down to where the big money is being spent, it’s the previous administration 2.0. How are we going to organize with people who don’t see that our captain is playing for the other team? It’s going to take education first.

  •  Jane Hamsher's flight from Grownupland (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bfree, GN1927, carmenjones, Diesel Kitty

    Hamsher and her allies have demonstrated that they care more about ideological purity than they care about forging workable solutions in a badly divided nation. Their's is a weird political philosophy based on the ridiculous notion that the good damned luck of a democratic president and a majority in congress means that the country is somehow more liberal than it actually is.

    Meanwhile, out here in Grownupland where bills get paid and meals get missed, there are very real problems that demand solutions NOW and for the worried inhabitants of Grownupland, a good solution today is better than a perfect solution tomorrow. This is where the rubber hits the road and where real human beings are impacted by their government. Are we better off, or worse off? That the question that the Obama administration is trying to answer. No one (well, not many) out here in Grownupland give a shit about the ideological purity of those solutions - we just need them to work.

    After years of laboring under the cold, heartless and incompetent rule of the GOP, the inhabitants of Grownupland worked their tales off to elect Barack Obama and a democratic congress - not because they would pass some abstract litmus test of liberalism, but because we believed in his truthfulness, intellect, and concern for us and our problems. In every conceivable metric that matters, President Obama has redeemed our faith in him. We are better off - and this is only year one.

    It has been and will continue to be a hard, messy, incredibly difficult slog. About half of the country wants to go back to the GOP's "screw you - you're on your own" method of governance. The results will be imperfect and spotty. Unless you're dumb as a sack of fucking hammers, you knew that all along. President Obama certainly told you that in his inaugural address.

    In spite of how grateful most of the inhabitants of Grownupland feel about our achievements in the last year, there are some who insist on re-focusing the lens to ideological purity. Granted, none of those bastards have missed many meals lately, so for them, skipping workable solutions today in favor of what they think are perfect solutions tomorrow makes sense. That tells me one of two things about the left wing zealots trying to destroy the President: 1) they are just dumber than dogshit and don't see how utterly self-defeating it is; or (more likey) 2) They do know and just don't care in favor of other interests.

    Whichever is correct, I reject this diarist thoughtful and articulate call to "cease this pointless bickering". Fuck 'em! Jane Hamsher and the rest of the treacherous pricks pushing this crap can kiss my ass. Hamsher is Joe Lieberman with a blog and maybe worse because I never expected anything besides treachery from Lieberman.

    •  another diary hijack (9+ / 0-)

      you guys need to give it up. You don't like jane we get it ! why do you guys lurk on every diary ?

      Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong. ~James Bryce

      by california keefer on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:44:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the advice ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ... but within the law, my own conscience, and the indulgence of the site owner, I will post what, when, and where I please.

        I do appreciate the concern though. I promise, if I ever need advice about what to post where, you'll be my first call.

      •  They must be part of: (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deoliver47, carmenjones, NuttyProf

        I believe most of DKOS is against the current HCR. that site has been infected by a bunch of Rahm Rump riders specifically sent there to counter opposition from the left. It’s always the same group going from diary to diary. they rec the anti FDL comments and recommend the anti FDL diaries. They try to hijack any diary that actually tries to discuss health care reform. I believe this an organized campaign with somebody pulling the strings.

        That's your very own comment from Fire Dog Clowns.

        Some other brilliant comments from there:

        You know what else is "achievable"?

        Throwing his ass out of office.

        Just sayin’.

        Gee,is it any wonder how come the GOP has decided to run on a platform to repeal HCR? I predict the Rahmbo blue dogs are going to go down hard over the next 3 election cycles and Obama is gone in a closer than expected vote ONLY because he is going to go the route of immigration reform with citizenship in an effort to build the Hispanic voting block.

        Once you step down the road of corruption and you find yourself lying to cover up your embarrassment, the stupidity snowballs. Once Dumbo began to lies to the people with regard to the public option, the die wast cast. Campaign financing will be interesting for the ‘12 election. If I am wrong I will have no difficulty admitting it. When do you think we will hear Rahmbo and Dumbo plead out?

        What a dogshit president.

        I’m sorry, but he’s making Bush look good.

        You clowns make the tea baggers look smart.

        Still a man hears what he wants to hear And disregards the rest

        by Mike S on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:58:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Destroying Obama or the majority (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bfree, KayCeSF, ozsea1

      is politically immature. The most important priority in the long term agenda of progressives is the gradual reclamation of the Supreme Court--bar none! Health care reform can be legislated and then improved. Another right wing nut case on the Supreme Court and I move to France!

      Hamsher showed her "stripes" when she railed against a provision in regulation of bio-simular drugs a few months ago. She may have had some really good points in her argument, but her methods and her accusations against sound progressive legislators totally turned me off. I wrote her off as politically naive.

      Lieberman is propelled by his ego. Is Hamsher, as well?

      Take the long view.

      Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

      by MrMichaelMT on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:46:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No one truly is talking about pulling a Nader (0+ / 0-)

        there are merely begging the left to walk and chew bubblegum at the same time!


        1. Support the Democrats as a holding action
        1. Fight hard on the non-electoral fronts - especially by engaging the non-neocon right wing.

        Let's Adopt the James Cameron school of politics: let the sheer quality of the product sell the ideas.

        by Paul Goodman on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 06:38:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There are other ways (0+ / 0-)

          There are many districts in which a credible third party candidate could take a Representative's seat. It will take money and will, but a block (a progressive one to counter the Blue Dogs) would be a step in the right direction. Only it must not be a stupid Nader-like move.

          Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

          by MrMichaelMT on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 02:58:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I don't agree with this diary in its entirety (4+ / 0-)

    in that it omits a major source of commonality in terms of the view of the WH shared by the most strident and hateful on the right and the left.

    800 pound elephant in the room.

    But enthusiastic rec and tip for the intelligent, thoughtful manner in which you laid out your thesis, free of sensationalism and appeals to brainless tribalism.

    Happy holidays to everyone!

    "...the teabaggers may have a point." ---DKos FireDogLake Transplant, Expressing Admiration for New Allies

    by GN1927 on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:26:07 AM PST

  •  my 2 cents (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Predictor, ozsea1

    I wrote a post back in 2007 about the politics of powerlessness that is germane to this discussion re: the difficulty the left has in forming effective coalitions.

    This quote is from Steve Wineman's Power-Under: Trauma and Non-violent Social Change, which I referred to in that post:

    Understanding trauma can help us to overcome divisions that chronically plague progressive social change movements. The left has been repeatedly weakened by internal divisions and fragmentation,[16] both in the form of in-fighting within social change organizations and through the inability of different oppressed constituencies to form robust and sustainable coalitions. There are many reasons for these divisions that have nothing to do with trauma. These range from principled ideological differences to unprincipled power struggles; from the complex ways in which multiple oppressions create divisions in our society to the divide-and-conquer strategies utilized by forces aligned with the status quo in the face of unrest and social change activism.

    I believe we could benefit from adding trauma to this list, not as a competing explanation but as one that is typically ignored to the detriment of social change movements. If we can recognize that social change movements and constituencies are made up largely of traumatized people, many of the difficulties we encounter dealing effectively with difference and conflict become much more understandable. Internal conflicts blow up and become unresolvable in part because we lack a common language and framework for recognizing the effects of trauma, and lack practical tools for managing the traumatic rage that we all too readily direct at each other.

    When trauma is unnamed and unrecognized, its presence – at once palpable and invisible – can cause an enormous amount of damage. We need to develop shared understandings of the politics of trauma that bring awareness of trauma into the room in the same way that feminism has brought awareness of power relations involving domination into the room. By this I mean an awareness that people may carry the effects of trauma – victimization, subjective powerlessness, traumatic rage, and so on – into any situation: any meeting, any organizing effort, any coalition-building project, any conflict.

    It is only through the emergence of consciousness and a common language to describe the politics of powerlessness that we can create possibilities to interrupt and counteract the damaging effects of trauma within our social change organizations and movements.

    "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

    by catnip on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:27:30 AM PST

  •  Damn, Spoonless One, you can Write! n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    revgerry, ozsea1
  •  How about putting some Brakes (7+ / 0-)

    on the Wild, Wild Roller Coaster Rides,
    of the last several Decades?

    (Larger Image)

    Historical Income Tax Rates for the Top Tax Bracket -- with Charts

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act -- George Orwell

    by jamess on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:29:20 AM PST

  •  I say we give the money to me... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kimberley, Predictor

    **looks around**


    Fine. Fine. If not $700,000,000/year I'll agree to forward the Liberal agenda night and day for a mere $25,000/year. I'm that generous.

    Times, hard. People, starving. Foodbanks, empty. Bring them food, or donate now. (I'm on Twitter now)

    by Muskegon Critic on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:32:43 AM PST

  •  regional conferences would help (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paul Goodman, fisheye

    I have seen other groups use regional conferences to teach and acquire more active members. Sometimes the smaller, less expensive conference can bring in people who would never go to a national conference. Once they make connections regionally then they will be more comfortable with both working in their state and working nationally.

  •  Thank you for this diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    revgerry, moira, alexa100

    It's all exactly what I've been thinking but I'm not the best at expressing myself in writing. I keep thinking that all the progressive groups should already be focused like Like one big laser all on bringing the public option back into he bill and taking out theforced private insurance scheme. Sorry for the typos I don't have a computer anymore and my iPhone is my only means...heh  

    "The truth may be puzzling. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what's true." -- Carl Saga

    by astronautagogo on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:36:14 AM PST

  •  I feel frustrated with the use of... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catnip, chuckvw, 4Freedom

    language in Feldman's diary. I still don't fully grasp it, the notion of "encompassing". I feel as if we aren't being straightforward enough to attract meaningful critique or thought. I cannot articulate this any better at this point. I do wonder if I am alone.

    The man who moves a mountain begins by moving away small stones. -Confucius

    by Malachite on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:56:28 AM PST

  •  Diary has it backwards. Ideas, solutions first. (6+ / 0-)

    Then you organize to achieve them. The diary advocates organization for organizations sake vs. organizing for specific goals.

    Ideas, advocating actual solutions is what builds political organizations.

    Small scale example. No local, organic farmers market in small TX town.  Newcomers with funny accents talk to their neighbors and others about it, next thing you know a very DIVERSE group from gun toting, bible thumpers to displaced LA intelligentsia are working together with local farmers and a very cool weekly farmers market is organized.

    Ideas first.

    On health care, the organizing idea is Medicare for All. Physicians for National Health Program is the group that best embodies that goal. If people want real health care reform, supporting that existing organization would be the way to go. And just keep working at it.

  •  you talk fancy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, kkjohnson, fizziks

    but i think you meant "antepenultimate."  also, all due respect, but this diary seems to only add to the pointless bickering.  here's why i think that.

    i fundamentally agree with Cenk Uygur, Glenn Greenwald, and Jame Hamsher that the Democrats are playing with fire and doing exactly what the republicans did that got them thrown out of office, only with financial looters instead of war profiteers (1 less crime yay).  i have followed politics fairly- to extremely-closely for as long as i've been sentient, but i only started aligning with the Democratic Party around the time of Howard Dean, like hundreds of thousands of other people in my age demographic (25-34)--people who are involved and interested and are interested in politics because we honestly want to leave a better world for our children.

    i don't make that much money so i don't give thousands of dollars, but i give reliably to all kinds of progressive causes and candidates every year, all throughout the year, and i have since before Dr. Dean came along in '03, though he was the first politician i ever gave money and probably only one of twenty or so now.  he's also the politician for whom i made calls, walked blocks, and went to precinct meetings.  howard dean was a breath of fresh air in a fetid and out of touch party, and his message and campaign promises gave voice to the populist progressives in this country.

    i reject this idea that there's a raging battle between us, however, because i think people who disagree with the position that we need to be politically astute and strong because this is real life we're talking about.  i was opposed to the iraq war from the get-go because it sounded like opportunistic profiteering, and though i hadn't thought of it until reading the Greenwald post, this is exactly like during the lead-up to the war--and Medicare Part D, for that matter.  in fact, it's times like these that i most feel like i live in the matrix and that people taking the position that we need to take the half loaf are agent smiths trying to mislead people.  well, i took the red pill.

    anyway, i think this diary just adds to the pointless bickering because you didn't really give me anything actionable to do or profound to think about other than "Well, maybe rich people will read the article and feel inspired to give to progressive organizations."  thing is, i actually made fundraiser calls for a liberal organization, and many old rich libs i talked to felt pretty tapped, especially since they're not getting the results they wanted from the organizations they've already given so much money (obviously my calling list did not include financial services execs).  also, it adds to the pointless bickering by giving me a venue for this comment.

    Get on the offense and stay there.

    by mediaprisoner on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 12:07:58 PM PST

    •  woops dangit (0+ / 0-)

      i reject this idea that there's a raging battle between us, however, because i think people who disagree with the position that we need to be politically astute and strong because this is real life we're talking about disagree because they're either not very well-informed or are not at risk of being exposed to the deleterious consequences either way.

      Get on the offense and stay there.

      by mediaprisoner on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 12:34:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cenk Uygur's article makes more & more sense (5+ / 0-)

    it's really on US to grow some and move the discussion to progressive themes.

    we are too timid.

    wish we could get him on tv but in the meantime i plan to watch his webcast when i can:

  •  The point made about financial (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    resources and low cost access to the means of communication really struck me. How far we've come from the first days of my political activism in the late sixties. Our political commune ran a printing press, a silk screen studio and a community day care center for low income folks. Most of us had low wage jobs and food stamps. We did support work for the United Farm Workers, Black Panthers and others. Given what little we had to work with I think we had, in combination with many others, a pretty significant impact.

    I am so impressed with possibilities groups such as ours could not even imagine back then.

    The frog jumped/ Into the old pond--/ Plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 12:24:29 PM PST

  •  I'm all in thereisnospoon. All in, and ready. (0+ / 0-)

    Loved your diary and its purpose and direction.

  •  Go ahead and start the fight, TINS... (0+ / 0-)

    but I'm still too bummed out to be a part of it yet.

    Bush is now working as a motivational speaker. Who better to turn to than the guy who invaded the wrong country and started a depression -- David Letterman

    by Jimdotz on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 12:34:32 PM PST

  •  but we need leaders (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We had a leader last year which is why he won the election.

    Lots of worker bees with no leader is so much buzz.

    Great diary though. You oughta hook up with Luis Mendoza.

    "We're creating instability that could lead us into wider war."....Dennis Kucinich Duhhhhh.

    by lisastar on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 12:36:37 PM PST

  •  this is so stupid (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catnip, chuckvw, Bfree, jen

    Apparently the advice we should follow is that we organize and be as threatening as the right wing media machine.  

    Yet the voice telling us that (the diarist) name-calls precisely the kind of people who have the cajones and passion to create the kind of outrage on the left that can make that happen (the FDL team).

    What we're presumably aiming for (according to the diarist) is a 'progressive media machine' that Rahm and Barack will approve of...once we get rid of FDL, The young turks, randy rhodes and that ilk.

    makes perfect sense (snark)

  •  WTF do you mean by "we" and "our?" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Panurge, StratCat

    As in:

    in our darker moments we talk openly of mutiny, or even of taking common cause with the scurvy-ridden, obscenity-shouting scum floating aimlessly among the wreckage of our enemy's blasted hull.

    Really? I'm a progressive too and I don't feel that way at all. Mutiny? Never. Taking common cause with Grover freaking Norquist? Not in my freaking lifetime.

    No way.

    It is time to begin mobilizing organizational ideas now.

    Well what was the last 24 months -- chopped liver?

    Seriously, what?

    All due respect, it seems to me that your anxiety is not so much from what is happening around you, e.g., the Senate, etc. but how you're dealing with it, my friend.

    I'm a glass-half-full kind of guy who never thought this was going to be easy; nor did I think that we'd get everything we wanted (especially not on the first go-round).

    So I will not give up. Never. I will do everything I can despite the disappointment. I will not quit, I will not turn on my own friends and allies. I will unite with them to divide our enemies.

    Anything less is folly.

    So please don't lecture me about loss of unity. You who are still my brothers and sisters, not Grover freaking Norquist.

    Suck it up my friend; we have many battles to fight. We have to hang together otherwise we will certainly hang separately.

    Happy New Year!

    FDR: "Yes, I'm for it. Now make me do it."

    by arubyan on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 12:38:51 PM PST

  •  This has been my feeling for a long time vis a (0+ / 0-)

    vis the Stewart/Colbert/Maher types. I love them all for their work. I only wonder what they might be able to contribute if they actually got into the legislative process directly.

    "The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no living man with power to endanger the public liberty." - John Adams

    by The House on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 12:40:15 PM PST

  •  left keeps strategizing in a talk radio vacuum (3+ / 0-)

    why does the left make itso much harder than it has to be by ignoring the illegal talk radio monopoly?

    it's like ignoring a knife in the back because it's too UGLY.

    strategizing that a relatively free and democratic internet can make up for it is also a big mistake. like other written and visual media (print/TV) it cannot create and repeat like those 1000 uncontested radio stations can.

    as long as it collectively allows the think tanks and lobbyists to control the largest uncontested soapbox in the country and determine the flavor of the rest of the MSM the left is going to have to keep reacting, using much of its internet time reacting to crap that only exists because the left keeps allowing 10% to have the volume of 50%.

    US social and political reality is largely determined by 1000 radio stations blasting coordinated UNCONTESTED repetition all day long.

    by certainot on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 12:45:59 PM PST

    •  and as far as organizing goes (0+ / 0-)

      local fools with a giant microphones reading chamber of commerce talking points can undo the work of thousands of organized left as long as no one  can talk back to them. the national blowhards do even more.

      when it comes to enabling or intimidating or persuading politicians to do the right thing those 1000 radio stations win hands down, creating ready to order constituencies to back up whatever irrational positions the GOP and limbaugh dems want to take.

      recently when 400 others and i protested and marched to our state capitol for the international 350 protests there was no media. instead shortly after that the email climate-gate was created, largely because the limbaughs and hannitys could scream about it all day for weeks. if 10 of us had gone to the local limbaugh megastation we would have done better.

      the left keep working much harder than it needs to just because it ignored the radio.

      US social and political reality is largely determined by 1000 radio stations blasting coordinated UNCONTESTED repetition all day long.

      by certainot on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 01:02:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Corporatism IS the Status Quo (7+ / 0-)

    At the moment, the Republicans are largely irrelevant except as a convenient scapegoat for why we can't have meaningful health care reform. In this whole sorry HCR game, we have continually been sold down the river by the leadership in the Democratic party and the White House. Even all of the angst, anger and the gnashing of teeth against Joe Lieberman was little more than kabuki. Lieberman was acting as the heat shield for the administration against the public option, pure and simple. The President and the leadership didn't even attempt to lean on him.

    I fear you give too short shrift to the analysis and warnings by Greenwald, Hamsher and others while offering no real alternative other than to encourage us all and parrot "Yes We Can". Well that ad campaign is over. Of course we can build substantial opposition, we know we have the talent, but the problem is that we have far to many corporatist traitors among us. This critique of the modern Democratic party is not even new. Jane and Glenn didn't suddenly divine this underlying cancer. It has repeatedly plagued us since at least Jimmy Carter's administration.  The brazen sucking up to the corporatocracy by the Clinton administration that set the stage for this latest bank depression also led to the selection of George W. Bush and a decade spent in the wilderness while our republic burned. The hope was that Obama would understand these truths and act accordingly. Instead we've been treated to a pitch perfect reprisal of the Clinton administration complete with Summers and Geithner recapitulating their roles to block or repeal any meaningful regulation of the financial sector.

    The election of Obama was the closest thing we've seen to a broad movement on the left in sometime. Obama could have taken that energy and made it a real movement. Instead he chose to dissipate that potential movement by making it little more than an ad campaign. The task of building an actual movement out of the tatters of the Yes We Can banner will be incredibly difficult, and that may well have been the point of the whole exercise. The centrist, DLC, corporatist Dems that are calling all of the shots in the party have put us on a path to ruin in 2010. The dithering internecine rhetorical battles by the more thoughtful among us urging restraint and patience are little more than rationalizations for maintaining ties to corporatist power. Corporatism IS the status quo, the very opposite of CHANGE. All of those people who came out and voted in 2008 will be staying home in 2010. My writing these words does not somehow make me responsible for this situation . That responsibility resides with the corporatists who are currently running the Democratic Party, the very same corporatists who were responsible for George W. Bush beating Al Gore in 2000.

    Obama might be able to regain some of his luster, but not if he keeps the likes of Rahm Emanuel, Timothy Geithner, Lawrence Summers, et al. We need to get past this insipid defense of the corporatists in our own party and coalesce around calls for their resignation. We have to push Obama in the correct direction and leave him room to realize his initial mistake and take obvious out. We're already going to lose big in 2010, that ship has sailed. Why not take this opportunity to prune some of the corporatists.    

    "Politics is the art of controlling your environment." - HST

    by angrycalifornian on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 12:48:11 PM PST

  •  Good discussion, good start (8+ / 0-)

    I appreciate this discussion very much and I hope I'm wrong in that conclusion to the "corporatism" piece.

    Here's why I think I have a fairly strong case:

    What we saw, for example, in the health care reform debate was a very simple strategic lesson--re: the end game is absolutely 100% crucial; we win or lose in the end game.

    Now, if we take the progressive netroots as a current form of organization--not the only one, but an influential and widespread one--ask yourself this question: what happened to the netroots at the point the hcr debate entered the end game?

    Remember, this is a question about organizing, not a question about personalities or policy positions or the public option or whatever.

    The answer is telling:  chaos.  We went into a tailspin brought on by a bunch of different elements.  I'm not going to name all those elements, but let me just say that there are many, many more causes for the netroots' tailspin as we entered the hcr end game than one, lone blogger whose name rhymes with "Bane Damsher" (BTW: I have nothing but respect for JH; I get the logic of where she's headed, even if I am not going to follow her there).

    Two quick points on this.  First, not only did we fall a part at the critical point in the battle (e.g., our organizing medium became gummed up with shouting and infighting), but we did not anticipate that the end game was the key moment where we had to really be ready to focus--we just didn't know.  That's point number one.  

    Second, rather than keeping our spot at the table in our democracy at that key moment in the hcr debate, a great many of us became convinced--again, at this key moment in our debate--that our democracy was not actually a democracy, and we headed away from the specifics of the health care debate in pursuit of rescuing the entire system.  That's point number two.

    1. we didn't anticipate the end game; 2) we chased revolution instead of staying focused.

    Now, obviously, this doesn't apply to everyone.  some people did anticipate, many stayed focused.  But enough got lost along the way to bring our form of organization to it's knees.

    And that's just a small example of the weakness in progressive political organization as it stands right now.  One, small, example.  If we keep things as they are--in organizational terms--we will just repeat the same exact pattern on every legislative issue from now until 2012.  It may be hard to see, but just think of how many people who will again fly off in persuit of "corporatism" when a carbon emissions bill comes up.  Etc., etc.

    So what's our alternative organizing structure?

    Well, we have to have a blueprint session on just that topic and one of the things we need to address is the hierarchical relationship between media and organizing.  Right now, our most powerful figures are front stage folks--people who know how to move the media.  With few exceptions, none of those folks are "speaking for" a larger backstage organizing networks or mechanisms.  Not only is the cart before the horse, but there's no driver.

    We're not in this situation by accident, but because it's been successful.  Up to this point--say, since the Dean moment--our strategy as progressives has been to leverage message and media.  But now we are seeing the limits of that brought on by the change of administration, and we need a new approach.

    That might mean questioning some fundamental principles on which such things as the netroots and progressive identity are based. But we have to do it or we risk greater cynicism, infighting, irrelevance.

    I have some ideas, but this is not my diary, so I'll leave it there for now.  But suffice it to say that we need a quantum leap in (A) how we think of ourselves in relation to each other as political actors and (B) how we see our work in relation to the system.  What we DO NOT need--even if it is an interesting side conversation to have, and valuable at the level of political theory--is to continue worrying ourselves into anaphylactic shock at the thought of our democracy being hijacked by fascism or corporatism or some other -ism.  

    More on the organizing blueprint in my next diary.

    Thanks again for the post.

    •  Excellent post, much like your Huffpo piece (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      here, Year of the Rahm: Get 'Em, Then Gut 'Em that I believe is the best analysis I've read so far about what progressives need to do strategically at this time. I hope you diary your ideas from that piece again here, I believe it shows the way through this morass. Great work, Mr. Feldman.

    •  We distrust leaders.. (0+ / 0-)

      more than the rightwing, I think. That argues for the hundreds of interests and ideas and small organizations to represent themselves efficiently and with a sense of decent perspective. Our vote at the table depends on how many troops we have, honestly, without spin or inflation.

      I do not know how to organize this. It argues for a person who can automatically and sympathetically attract the members of all the groups, and synthesize the ideas into messages which persuade. Obama can do that. The problem seems to be that he is dedicated to restoring a badly ruptured system, instead of leading a vision of how to reform the system fundamentally. And maybe he will get there. I honestly do not know. He has time, because I am willing to wait and see, as disappointed as I am at the moment. And to take him at his word that he wants to be forced to do it.  

      I think HCR's apparent failure is more the Progressive wing's fault than Obama's fault, although I do not see how Baucus, Nelson, Snowe or Lieberman could have been more slimy and duplicitous than they were. Nothing we could have said or done could have swayed them one jot.

      The answer is to replace them. That takes some real effort.

      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

      by OregonOak on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 01:52:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If 700,000,000 dollars (0+ / 0-)

      I really don't understand what will do. A billion or so was funnelled into Obamas coffers and he he couldn't even be arsed to land airforce one in Connecticut to shock and Awe Lieberman.

      the intelligence community is no longer geared towards telling the president what they think the president wants to hear

      by Salo on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 02:29:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wish more (0+ / 0-)

      here would actually read what you wrote, think about it and respond.

      To the "endgame" issue, for instance.  I fear what you mentioned here:  just think of how many people  will again fly off in persuit of "corporatism" when a carbon emissions bill comes up.  Etc., etc.

      And on immigration reform--a perfect opportunity for the endgame to involve anti-corporatism.  On this issue, I fear the "brown people are out to ruin my life. They're illegal! Gaaaaah!" folks (on "our" side) will spin out of control and create chaos.  Anti-corporatism won't be able to compete.

      I don't see much, if any, endgame thinking on any of the liberal/progressive blogs.

    •  Most "right wingers" are befogged socialists (0+ / 0-)

      please tell me you aren't arguing for ceding them to the right?

      It is the highest insecurity to think that in a process of engagement you will be compromised but "the other side" won't.

      I believe that we can take millions back from Alex Jones et al. or at least neutralize them.

      For the love of God the man believes in UFOs and lizard people!

      You think you can't convince people that he is wrong?

      Chin up man!

      Let's Adopt the James Cameron school of politics: let the sheer quality of the product sell the ideas.

      by Paul Goodman on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 06:31:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't agree with Feldman's assessment (0+ / 0-)

    But, I agree wholeheartedly with the diarist's suggestion that progressives need to leverage new technologies rather than copy the high-cost Republican marketing system. In fact, I previously proposed that myself.

    •  The most inexpensive technology we have (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Paul Goodman also the most authoritative.  Our personal networks, dealt with honestly, originally, and without spamming other works we agree with.  Friends, family, neighbors, co-workers--those folks that we couldn't talk to during the Bush years.

      We can now talk to them by fessing up about our disappointment in the healthcare bill (especially the individual mandates without cost controls).  You would be surprised how many Bush voters really want single payer.  They understand it, which is a defect in the Senate bill, and they are open to talking about what healthcare reform needs to look like.

      Why does healthcare get past the ideological barrier.  They're being shafted by health insurance companies too.  That is, unless your set is a whale of a lot more prosperous at the moment than my set of personal contacts.

      Media only becomes valuable, not for persuasion itself, but for validating arguments.  Which is why all those rightwing emails don't persuade.

      50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

      by TarheelDem on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 01:33:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bullseye (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RandomActsOfReason, SteelerGrrl

    Spoon, these diaries of yours are absolutely nailing it.  I've felt the same (and tried to enunciate it, but with far less clarity and eloquence, I fear) for a long time.

    Well done.

  •  nobody blends smug and stupid better than spoon (0+ / 0-)

    the diarist spends enormous energy here daily to convince us that he and his colleagues can persuade anyone to do anything. republican messaging is primitive, he and his friends are brilliant and progressive so what's the problem?

    you've convinced us, genius. now go out and win the health care debate, revive the PO and win the next election, the next election and all the rest in perpetuity. after all it's all scientific and democracy is a pointless anachronism. stupid voters anyway.

    can it get more pompous?

    urnas? y para que? tenemos la sciencia


  •  The right has 1 tool we don't: Every Workplace (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't disagree with your analysis, but the prospects for success are limited by the fact that the corporate right controls vast resources and huge numbers of work places.

    Workers in their cubicles get a daily message that is difficult to overcome by any other form of social organization.  

    They supply people's "friends", their health care, their salary, and, subtly, their political views.  

    The number of people who are outside of the intellectually coercive power of the corporation are relatively few.

    •  They also supply.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave925, Paul Goodman

      ....burdens (the work itself) and bad examples (Michael Scott-esque superiors, often conservative; the boss's idiot son as VP....)

      9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

      by varro on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 04:40:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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

        but lots of people add up burdens and pleasures of their relationship with a corporation and find it tolerable.

        In fact the American desire to find happiness probably causes people to make an extra effort to think of their situation as good, their employer benign, and its interests aligned with one's own interests.

        Corporations are powerful assimilation engines...

  •  So you're saying all independents are teabaggers? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ravenwind, bystander

    Or that Obama is wrong to do outreach to conservatives?

    Or is it just that it's only OK for certain people to do outreach to conservatives?

    Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

    by Phoenix Woman on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 02:23:58 PM PST

  •  Well 700,000,000 buys you Obama a mandate (0+ / 0-)

    And a coffee from star bucks.

    the intelligence community is no longer geared towards telling the president what they think the president wants to hear

    by Salo on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 02:24:45 PM PST

  •  This is why we started a local PDA chapter. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    To organize.  To work inside and outside the Democratic Party to effect positive change.

    ps yeah, we have been disappointed that Obama's election and the big majorities in both houses have not yielded as much change as we'd hoped.  But what can we do?  As E.J. Dionne recently recommended, Organize.

  •  Develop parallel organizations ? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If you want to win, ORGANIZE.  Develop parallel organizations willing to persuade with the power and intensity of a corporation.

    Well, sure that's the key.  But meanwhile there is one organization that actually matters to the vast majority of people, and that is their employer.  They go there every day, they are expected to conform to its rules, they may be let go at any time, they are dependent for their health care on it, etc. etc.

    They give that organization their life effort for decade after decade.

    Now let's try to imagine a parallel organization that could actually matter in people's lives on anything approaching that scale.  

    Churches?  Well, there are religious organizations, but they seem to be more closely aligned to an authoritarian mode of reasoning than a progressive mode, exceptions to this rule duly noted.

    What else?  Neighborhood associations?   Local government.  Dead.

    Unions? Declining, and often co-opted by the corporations they negotiate with.

    Internet based communities?  Well, maybe, but show me one that remotely approaches the mind shaping effect of an actual employer who will pay you actual money if you do its bidding and align your mind with its interests.

  •  It seems to me there are two big stumbling blocks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jen, rantsposition

    to accomplishing progressive political goals.

    Campaign finance reform is needed to take the money out of politics, and media reform would help to break up media consolidation. Until these goals can be accomplished, there will continue to be corporate control of the political process through campaign contributions and media propaganda.

  •  Here's where I stopped reading (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Panurge, royce

    The wake of the healthcare debacle could almost make a progressive nostalgic for the Bush Administration.

    What is wrong with you? Seriously? Are you just one of those people addicted to drama or are you incapable of seeing subtlety or what?

    Obama: "Cynicism is a sorry kind of wisdom."

    by BrighidG on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 02:44:18 PM PST

  •  Thank you, yet again, for sharing your ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cat Whisperer, beijingbetty

    professional expertise and perspective. I especially loved this blog "No One Is Going To Save You Fools" and as I commented on that blog, your words are probably the most valuable for the progressive community to hear and take to heart.

    * Organize * Organize * Organize

    ~we study the old to understand the new~from one thing know ten thousand~to see things truly one must see what is in the light and what lies hidden in shadow~

    by ArthurPoet on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 02:47:12 PM PST

  •  Part of the strategy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, jen, moira

    has to be a line in the sand--a line we won't cross. We drew plenty of such lines (like "no po, no mandate"), but we crossed every single one of them. Quickly for the most part I might add.

    "The individual mandate is 'just one part of the bill' - its not worth losing everything else in the bill just to get it through." BruceMcF

    by irmaly on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 02:50:49 PM PST

  •  Absolutely. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billlaurelMD, SteelerGrrl, voodou

    This is the diary I have been waiting to read for the last two decades.

    The sleep of reason brings forth monsters.

    by beijingbetty on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 02:58:51 PM PST

  •  Winning messages? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paul Goodman

    If we want to win we should learn to write more concise diaries.

    Or, at least, write a summary. 7 words or less. Leave readers with SOMETHING easy to repeat.

    Media Reform Action Link

    by LNK on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 03:00:43 PM PST

  •  You guys need to differentiate between a means (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, Panurge

    and an end.  'Universal Health Care' is an end.  It has been achieved.

    'Public Option' is an end, it has not been universally achieved.

    'Public Option' is not necessarily a means to achieving 'Universal Health Care', as members of congress have had publicly provided health care for quite some time.

    I do not view the 'end of corporatism' or whatever is spawning the current browbeating as a desirable end in itself.  That is me.  I'm not rebelling against 'corporatism'.  I'm rebelling against 'stupid'.  Our corporations have become very stupid and need a good smacking around.  Not all of them though, and not forever.  I will always reserve the right as a free person to support whatever means I see as necessary to achieve appropriate ends.  Using corporations as a means to achieve a policy goal is not shocking or new to me, it is just being shrewd or pragmatic.  Yes we could have achieved more, but at least we've started.

    I see our major problem as a citizenship that has abdicated on its rights and responsibilities to police corporations.  Case in point:  the tea-baggers and their 'lets solve our collective problems by ceasing to take collective action (ie governance) that addresses our collective problems'.

    Corporations are simply filling the power vaacuum created by people who have bowed out of voting their own interests.  Don't fix the voting, can't fix anything else.

    •  OTOH... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...the teabaggers (who are at least trying to be concerned about politics) think of each individual person's health as each individual person's problem.  (So much for contagious diseases, I guess.)  You say "collective" to them and a little sign that reads STALIN goes on in their heads.  

      The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early....Well, what are we waiting for? There's no deadline on a dream!

      by Panurge on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 10:49:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is a stupid response to a serious problem, and (0+ / 0-)

        as far as I'm concerned, the tea-baggers are the epitome of the problem.  These people want to live in a free and proserous country, but they want it to 'just happen' without any thought or control over how it should happen.  They want no responsibility for ensuring an outcome because any attempt at formulating a government policy is 'socialism', but they waste no time taking to the streets if they don't get what they want.  It is the ultimate entitlement mentality - I'm personally responsible for nothing but boy do I get angry if I don't get what I want.

        All you guys browbeating over using private entities to achieve a policy goal are sooooo missing the point.

        In fact - try this for fun:  One of the major bitches over private insurance is the plethora of forms for filing claims.  Well, impose a deadline:  if private insurance doesn't come together and agree on a universal form, the government will impose one.

        One of the prime reason-d'etre of government is to control stupid and bad people (and entities).  Don't fear it.

  •  We must control 2010. We MUST. 1/3 of the Senate (0+ / 0-)

    turns over every Senate election. One third! It's such a few elections. So, can't we support the President long enough to get a real, liberal, not bought out Congress?

    A miracle is simply something we cannot understand, or explain yet.

    by Crispian Day on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 03:12:21 PM PST

  •  Nice Diary, TINS. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    willibro, Billdbq

    Too bad it got hijacked. I liked Jeffrey's diary a lot, too.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

    by sidnora on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 03:49:49 PM PST

  •  Get over Knights on White Horses. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billlaurelMD, Paul Goodman, Livvy5

    Candidates are nice. They focus energy and hope in a way that issue organizations can't and ideological associations are too fuzzy to manage. But a more true exhortation to what's needed next has never appeared here on DKos than this:

    Put a minor fraction of that one year's money toward organization and media unencumbered by a careful need to maintain respectability or to court favor, and think of the damage we could do.

    I suppose Air America is an attempt -- and a credible one -- at putting this into action.  Olbermann and Maddow have shouldered their part, but they don't run the show at MSNBC.  This blog and the others that appear on our Blogrolls are an alternate beginning.

    But where are the think tanks?  What of the conferences and analytic journals?

    Are we still at the "let a thousand flowers bloom" stage?  How does that get harnessed into an alternative to the dominant, inside-the-beltway Conventional Wisdom in a way that gets reality-framing messages into the broader media and popular consciousness?

    Who are deadline-pressed producers and editors supposed to call?

  •  please keep articulating this - brilliant! nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Dude, you've written the 2 best diaries I've read (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    all year. Please keep up the good work!

  •  Well, David (8+ / 0-)

    The "ORGANIZE!" mantra has been repeated every few months or so for the last ten year or more. There's now a plethora of "progressive" causes, websites, fundraising appeals, organizations, alternative media outlets, calls to action and on and on and on. Millions of people belong, donate, participate, organize and do on behalf of these many, many causes and organizations.

    And still we see the call to start anew. Stop your bickering and start anew.

    More Organizations!

    Something's out of whack here. The constant call to ORGANIZE heightens the sense of futility and the apparent impotence of the many, many organizations we have. The constant call to ORGANIZE has the effect of further atomizing the so-called Left, to the point where in time nearly everyone on the "Left" will be their own individual organization.

    What we need, it seems to me, after more than a decade of ORGANIZING -- and atomizing -- is consolidation and agreement.

    And that's where things get really tough. Right now, "progressive" is pretty much a politically meaningless term that serves primarily as a tribal identification. It doesn't mean you're a liberal, it doesn't even mean you're for social justice. "Progressive" means you're a member of a tribe that is in perpetual conflict -- with someone, some institution, some status quo.

    It is the conflict that gives your tribe meaning, not agreement on positive political programs or policies. I would submit that's why there is so little progress. Why the call is always to start anew. Organize differently, with different objectives, different struggles, organize around different issues, different conflicts.

    But that's not a recipe for the enduring success of a Movement.

    It's time for the organizations we've got to agree with one another on a binding set of principles, a manifesto if you will, a stated and comprehensive ideology (oh, shudder!), and learn to consolidate resources and actions, coordinate messages, and stand up united and unyielding for a simple set of principles.

    Instead of all this maneuvering for advantage and attention and trying to work the mechanics of the corrupt and decadent political system that wants nothing to do with us. And will happily sucker-punch us and take our lunch money to boot.

    Consolidate. Agree. Then fight back.


  •  righting the ship... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paul Goodman

    I humbly add here that your "ship in choppy seas" metaphor is right on the money. The choppy seas represent the world events while the ship trying to swim is us, the people, struggling to move forward without sinking;....true, but there is something about the ships in choppy waters and that is called "balance." To save our ship from sinking itsl captain must steer it face first into the big waves while keeping it afloat. Meanwhile, an extreme left and an extreme right that are uncompromising are both equally dangerous for the ship's balance,for a healthy amount of compromise and the exchange of ideas to balance the ship is necessary, for the ship USA includes all two sides and the in between. Our young president spoke loudly and clearly when he said there is no red states or blue states but United States of America and he meant that as he meant everything he ever said. We however, drunken with our new found power and the happiness of overcoming the last decade's hell, forgot what it really takes not only to come to power but to stay in power which means a long term commitment to ideals that require patience and wisdom, rather than quick winning of all our demands.

    But make no mistake, this ship, the USA, is floating and moving forward, by gaining muscle from fighting with the choppy seas of all kinds. Storms won't be able to sink it because the captain is none other than its "people," who will not be duped for long as it has proven time and again. Barack Obama is but a symptom, a sign of the existence of that SPIRIT.He said "WE" can, not "I" can. What spoke from him, then, was, again, that "spirit of the people." And we heard it. We should never forget it then and we should welcome storms that help us strenghten and wisen without which there is no such thing as PROGRESS...


    Long live USA!!!!

  •  Okay, fine. Let's organize (0+ / 0-)

    So who would be at the top of the ticket?  Obama who campaigned with "change you can believe in" and then governed as a Clinton/DLC insider?  What's the point in organzing for the same old/same old?

    If you want change, get rid of Obama.  He's already proven he isn't trustworthy.  He's already proven he'll throw the liberals under the bus at every turn.  

    Again, what's the point of organizing with Obama in the White House other than to get rid of Obama?  

    Or do people think he should be trusted again?  

    Sorry, as the old adage goes:  Fool me once .........

    •  The point of organizing (0+ / 0-)

      is to create pressure on anyone in office.  If, for example, we create a huge public outcry for climate legislation that will actually solve the problems rather than just pumping some more money through Goldman Sachs, it will be much more difficult for Obama, Rahm and the boys to sell their crap.  We need to shift the entire frame of reference in a more progressive direction.

    •  Gert Rid of Obama???? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne, Deoliver47

      In favor of whom????  Or what???

      You are delusional.

      Not one more cent to the DSCC and the DCCC. I support PROGRESSIVE Democrats.

      by InquisitiveRaven on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 05:08:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Organizing involves creating coalition groups (0+ / 0-)

      If you start with that premise, you're starting by throwing away at least 3/4 of you coalition who still approve of him.

      Fight the stupid! Boycott BREAKING diaries!

      by VelvetElvis on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 08:48:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Change you can believe in" (0+ / 0-)

      ...means "no pie in the sky".  It's supposed to mean "something real right now, not Utopia".  It's a "realist" message in the form of an idealistic one.  

      The point of organizing with Obama in the White House is to create a set of conditions within which he is led to operate, not merely to get rid of him (in favor of whom, BTW?)

      The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early....Well, what are we waiting for? There's no deadline on a dream!

      by Panurge on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 10:43:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you read anything today... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paul Goodman Juan Cole‘s  recent  analysis of the super rich.

    To see the data go to UCSC.

    Where we are headed if we don‘t change course and begin to fairly tax the super rich.


    Photographer: Tuca Vieira, Paraisópolis Favela in Sāo Paulo, Brazil 2005


  •  I don't believe the right footsoldiers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billlaurelMD, Dave925, judyms9

    share the same politics as their string-pullers.

    They are "low-information" folks who can discern that their world is collapsing around them, but have not the discernment to figure out who is doing it.

    They reflexively assume it is anyone from a different tribe.

    The left cannot cede vast swaths of the human race to the right, just because they don't want to do the hard work of talking to people in their own language.

    Reach out to your fellow man, or suffer the consequences.

    Let's Adopt the James Cameron school of politics: let the sheer quality of the product sell the ideas.

    by Paul Goodman on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 06:01:46 PM PST

  •  Almost? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    > The wake of the healthcare debacle could almost make a progressive nostalgic for the Bush Administration.

    No. Not even close to almost. I'd put the Bush idea more under "horrifying" category.

    I demand the government respect my 18th amendment rights!

    by Decih on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 06:20:58 PM PST

  •  The repub and demo parties... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    have largely become puppets of the large corps.  The idea that:

    As Feldman makes clear, the Right envisions a society in which no government can encompass a corporation, while the Left desires a society in which no Corporation can encompass or purchase a government.

    Is disingenuous.  The grassroots repubs aren't fighting to defend Halliburton and Goldman-Sachs.  They are fighting to preserve, what they perceive to be, individual liberties.

    I do not need to hear another exhortation to rise, organize, and fight the damn republicans. The HCR debacle has proven the absurdity of that approach.  Our enemies are the major corporations that have managed to consolidate an incredible amount of power, enough to usurp our democracy.

    I'm sure the wealthy elite is entertained watching the left and right wounding each other while they remain completely unscathed.  

    Corporate PACS, its not just bribery, its a lifestyle!

    by rubine on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 06:42:42 PM PST

  •  Obama has decided we are unpersons. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catnip, Big Tex

    According to news accounts, and as evaluated by bloggers, the government now has unfettered power to torture us, and we have no legal recourse.  What's to be done when Obama has decided to follow the Bush doctrine of declaring anyone he wants an "enemy combatant" and whisking those unfortunate enough to fall under that designation off to be tortured.  We have no right to challenge our torturers in court.  We have no right not to be tortured.  We are nonentities.  How do we fight this?

  •  Jeff Roby's Full Court Press (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big Tex

    I have a link to his diary entry in my signature.  It's a solid plan, which we can start building on going into the new year.

  •  It's a dark age when money writes the laws. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, Big Tex

    Until the people understand this, there will be no way out.

  •  I agree totally in principle, but I think that we (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    have to be careful that the people who we "follow" are good leaders and not out to make trouble or make a name for themselves off of the misery of others.

    For instance, I will not pass judgement on Jane Hamsher, but we have got to stop the negativity. It is not productive, it causes bad decisions, and people will avoid it. And they should. The republicans are the epitome of negativity.

    If you list the 50 most evil people at work in the US government today, Rahm doesn't make the top 100. Why in the world are we on the defensive... we're not taking on the other side... we're after OUR side. Can't we at least get the true problem, republican obstruction, lying and trouble making for our party, under control before we literally "go after" someone who is at least a true Democrat.

    Okay, I understand how people feel about Rahm, but the President knew he was going to have to deal with a lot of Conservadems and blue dogs and he picked someone he thought could control them. Oops. But we're not helping... we're causing him to have to defend his every action. It has to get in the way of leading.

    A miracle is simply something we cannot understand, or explain yet.

    by Crispian Day on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 08:58:50 PM PST

  •  There IS a way out of this mess, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, ThAnswr

    but the first and most important step toward finding that way out is to acknowledge that there's a significant divide between those of us who think that the answer is developing a better message machine, and those of us who think the answer is developing a better message.  Organizing is important, but it's a lot easier to do when you give people something meaningful to organize around.  In 2008, we were so hopeless after 8 years of Bush that hope was meaningful enough to serve as an organizing principle.  Going forward, I don't think that's going to be the case, especially since a lot of people on our side are feeling burned right now.

    -7.12, -7.54 / "Health care reform will never take place until Rahm Emanuel is strangled with the entrails of Frank Luntz." - Diderot

    by Big Tex on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:16:23 PM PST

    •  Anyone who thinks ....... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave925, Big Tex

      Anyone who thinks there's going to be the same level of enthusiasm for Obama the second time around as there was the first is dreaming.  

      After Obama's political about face, anyone who thinks the Democrats are not going to pay a price via voter turnout and campaign contributions is in for a rude awakening.  

  •  Take that million right now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and apply it to the leverage we have in the House!

    Make it clear, cost control must be there, if a mandate is there.  Also make it clear, we want to pass a bill, and it would be a shame if our pro mandate friends end up being unwilling to meet in the middle for an equitable and reasonable piece of reform legislation.

    Run some ADs, get people on EVERY progressive program, fund a few organizers, both online and ground, and have everybody phone it in to the house Progressives so they know how ugly it will be, if they sell us out.

    Then we learn whether or not Progressives have arrived politically.  If that cost control goes in, we will have passed a key test; namely, that we just won't fold anymore because WE DON'T HAVE TO.

    If we do that, and cost control does go in, and we've forced them to go seek Republicans, or do some other trick, we've still arrived politically, because we forced them to own it and remain free to build on the ideas that Progressives hold dear.

    If there is a failure, they own that, not us, and that's what the organization is for!   To deflect that and build until we actually do pass that test.

    Passing the final HCR, without cost control and with mandate will destroy the credence Progressives have with a lot of independent voters looking to roll back some corporate power.


    by potatohead on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:24:51 PM PST

  •  hidden groups on dailykos (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You know there are groups paid to write blog entries on democratic sites.  Because why not?  its cheap and effective, and largely untraceable.  I look around at the posts here and the trends in what people are saying and wonder which ones are the paid ones.  Anyone know?  I think there might be an anti-Hamsher paid group. Might be.  

    Anyone know any for sure?

    •  No, this is a Democratic Blog (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's a blog for activists who support the Democratic party.

      When people like Hamster start coming up with ideas like challenging the Democratic party it's only natural that her ideas are not welcome.

      The Republican are the enemy.  Go read Republican Gomorrah if you don't believe me. They want to overturn the constitution and impose as theocratic state.   We MUST defeat them to the point that the Republican party no longer exists before we worry about anything else.

      Fight the stupid! Boycott BREAKING diaries!

      by VelvetElvis on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:50:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Things that worked for the Right (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    1. They had really really rich people funding their organizing.
    1. They did a lot of organizing through churches. This is very important. A church offers a place where the same people congregate weekly (at least), which is a valuable tool in organizing. You've got people, you've got a meeting place where they already congregate. Much different than hanging flyers hoping people will attend.
    1. They know how to use language ruthlessly. I was appalled to read that Mary Matalin is trying to make Clinton responsible for the Bush years. Unbelievable the way they just twist and lie about history. That is pure fascist technique.

    Progressives need to figure out how to neutralize the above 3 advantages the Right uses.

    "If religion is the opiate of the masses, then fundamentalism is the amphetamine." Miz Vittitow

    by MillieNeon on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 12:16:19 AM PST

  •  I like your plan. (0+ / 0-)

    I do not, however, sympathize with those who think we aren't achieving a major victory with the health legislation.  The health insurance companies have had their way with the American public since...well, since forever.  Absolutely nothing has been done to reign them in.  In fact, any legislation on the industry has always been to weaken restrictions on them.

    Because there were no federal restraints on insurance companies, it has been left up to the individual states to regulate them.  The result was that insurance companies carved up the country, each finding a niche in different states.  Hence, no competition.

    We are finally, and it hasn't been easy, getting federal legislation that helps ordinary people.  We aren't yet getting the competition that is needed and we need to continue the fight.  But I refuse to give up what we have nose is an essential part of my face.

    Democrats are the sleeping giant.

    by GMFORD on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 12:29:31 AM PST

    •  net-roots progressives don't want progress! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Its the most interesting relevation yet on the 'net-roots' community.

      The bill does provide progress in healthcare reform, however so many progressives are angry with it.  They would rather have no progress then some progress.

      If there was any evidence needed to prove the net-roots inability to achieve anything, and the net-roots disconnect with reality, this is it.  The outrage toward progress with healthcare by the progressives proves how poor of an ally to the Democrats the progressives really are.  

      •  Some people just need more time. (0+ / 0-)

        My first reaction was a kind of poutrage too but I got over it quickly and reluctantly said "Guess I'll give some lukewarm applause for this."  It took another week to realize what a huge deal it will be to get any law at all putting constraints on insurance companies.  I finally see what a big win this is.

        Hopefully, others will arrive at this point in their own time.

        Democrats are the sleeping giant.

        by GMFORD on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 02:48:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Playing to win. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Futuristic Dreamer

    Dems don't play to win.  Repugs will do anything, say anything to win.  They will throw the baby (or even their own mothers) out with the bathwater if it means they will win. For them, winning is the goal.

    The majority of corporate senior management (CEO's, CFO's, Presidents, etc., and everyone who wants to be one of them) work the same way.  In fact, they consider it a game.  And they play to win.

    Dems don't play to win. We think we can work this out.  That getting everything we want is somehow unfair.  That we should give something to the other side so that they won't bite back.  We see the baby in the bathwater, but instead of reaching in to lift it out and fighting for the care it needs, the food it needs, the home it deserves, we say we sorry but this is the best best you're going to get right now.  We could do more, but um, I'm not really sure what will happen if I do...

    Now, this doesn't mean being a purist. It's about real leadership.  It's about calling a liar a liar when he's lying.  It's about taking the baby out of the bath water when the bath water if filthy.  It's taking the small victories you've won, add them to the foundation and continuing the fight to get the rest.  It means finding anyway you can to do it!

    It means stop playing softball when the other side is playing hardball.  It's about playing to win because winning means you've done what you said you would do.

  •  The first step in organizing is agreeing on (0+ / 0-)

    something to organize around.  That's where many people are stuck now.

    "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

    by Futuristic Dreamer on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 01:38:25 AM PST

  •  C.O.F.F.E.E. (0+ / 0-)

    CITIZENS ORGANIZED FOR FREEDOM & ELEVATED EQUALITY, Sounds silly at first glance, but I like coffee far more than T.E.A.  

    "Oh George, not the livestock!"

    by Dieselcom on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 03:56:06 AM PST

  •  That's it!! Since the Republicans (0+ / 0-)

    organize through the churches, we'll have to deliver progressive messages through the coffee shops.  Hit everyone every morning, first thing.

  •  We need to get our shit together (0+ / 0-)

    If anyone knows how to go forward and can show the way. Please do it quickly.

  •  First: (0+ / 0-)

    Don't buy the left-right divide.  It only perpetuates a rigidity in the message and in the messengers that keeps things nicely locked up.

    No, what we need to do is understand that nobody's completely on the right, and nobody's completely on the left, and that there are appeals people could make to bring folks closer to our side.  We just got to focus on things on an individual level and treat people like human beings.  There will be some ideologues, they cannot be helped so much.  But we help nothing by becoming ideologues ourselves.

    We need to be able to communicate better with the folks who are persuadable out there.

    Reject the drama like Barack Obama!

    by Stephen Daugherty on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 05:58:34 AM PST

  •  and this is a lovely cogent message (0+ / 0-)
    which would have been greatly supported by the establishment Democrats investing more effort beating back the Right than beating back the Left.

    I'm sorry, but at the end of the day the credibility of the messaging is undermined by actual (political) business results.

    The Dems, as a party, chose to attack the Left. For some strange reason, the Left eventually chose to snap back.

    Now the Democrats, as a party, have a two front war of their own making.

    And yes there is truly a Left and a Right, and the struggle means something.

    This contest was discounted, and the party went instead for the less meaningful pie fight with a significant portion of its own activist base.

    Demonizing highly coooperative targets is easy work. Keeps them at home. The problem is that it keeps a lot of others (and their votes, their volunteering and their donations) at home as well.

    Most of all it keeps their values at home...which is ultimately what this is about.

    The decision was made to make sure the progressive values stayed at home until next they were needed.

    Progressives weren't needed this year, was the institutional message. At least not as speakers and thinkers and decision makers.

    Anyway.. this fight now seems to be over to the complete satisfaction of the establishment camp.

    And a lot of politics can happen in 11 months.

    I will be watching with great interest how the Democrats in Washington handle the mix of governance and campaign challenges now that the Left is domesticated...quiet..muzzled...broken.

  •  I'm not sure we can actually do (0+ / 0-)

    anything .... I'm totally disillusioned with the Democrats and Obama.  I know what I'm saying won't be popular here, but it's just how I feel.  

    I didn't expect miracles, but I did expect more than putting Wall Street insiders on your economic team.  I did expect a president who campaigned on a public option to actually fight for one, and I didn't expect my party to be so all together bought and run by insurance companies.  

    I thought we had organized.  I thought that was what the election was all about. The grass roots electing Obama for change.  Silly me.

    Speak softly and carry a big can of tuna.

    by Cat Whisperer on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 06:57:11 AM PST

  •  it starts with media. OLD media. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    new media is effective for those of us already organized.
    old media is for those who aren't. (immigrants, for one.)

    "it's about radio, smarty."  
    i drive I-5 in cali every other week, and there are no stations to compete, unless you have satellite.
    the mid-west and the west is a car culture--people listen to their radio.  driving is "down-time." when are the liberal rich going to buy up radio stations and help us out in a big way?  i'm still waiting...

    we need voices in chinese, vietnamese, spanish, all the eastern european languages, etc and so on, on the radio 24/7/365 in rural areas and urban areas, speaking in clear messages about progressive values, the history of progressivism, as well daily debunking rush limbaugh.

    I died for Joe Lieberman's sins.

    by stagemom on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 07:16:11 AM PST

  •  Going after Greenwald is your Arthur Fonzarelli (0+ / 0-)

    moment over the shark.

    Good luck in knee jerk land, thereisno whatever.

    I've seen this movie before maybe by the wingnuts in their countless purges of the pantheon of commentators who couldn't tow the line right to the bitter turn-the-corner, mission accomplished end.

  •  I screamed when the lefties started saying... (0+ / 0-)

    "I ain't gonna vote no more."

    The pukes.

    IF YOU DON'T vote, the GOP wins.
    IF YOU VOTE GREEN, the GOP wins.
    IF YOU VOTE MARTIAN, the GOP still wins.
    IF YOU VOTE PROGRESSIVE, the GOP really wins.

    No, these tactics are fruitless.

    VOTE DEMOCRATIC, and then lean on them like you never did before in 2005, after we go gob-smacked hard in 2004.

    ORGANIZE, teach the leftie-pukes to vote organizationally, and act progressively from their heart and show you are OUT THERE to the Democrats you voted in. Do not let up on them, leaving them to the corporate lobbyists.


    X (a Progressive, dammit!)

    Ugh. --UB.

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