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This is the current scenario:

The GOP is becoming stronger.
The Health Care Bill may not pass.
The SCOTUS delivered a legal coup to our democracy.
The progressive base is demoralize with our leaders.

Now what?

How do we solve this?

We already heard the negative "solutions": punish the democrats, start a new party, etc.

These are not real solutions. Some in the left tried them in 2000, and we ended up with 8 years of George W. Bush.

We need to pressure our democratic representatives to deliver good laws.

We need to re-engage the base to deliver more Democratic electoral victories.

We need constructive ideas.

Ideas that we can put in motion that do not require elected "leaders".

What should we do?

Please share those ideas.

We may not count on leaders, but we can count on ourselves.

Originally posted to Hugo Estrada on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 04:17 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'll be honest... (3+ / 0-)

    I am completely at a loss.

    I know exactly what SHOULD be done that would solve a ton of problems overnight. Too bad they'll never happen in a million years.

    1. Single payer health care system
    1. Raise taxes on incomes over $1 million a year
    1. Raise capital gains taxes
    1. Spend $3 trillion on high speed rail, alternative energy, and various other smart investments.

    The solutions are easy. They'll just never happen. Sad.

  •  Let the fuckers filibuster (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hugo Estrada

    I never understood the idea that a "threat" of a filibuster is enough to halt the legislation.

    They threat the filibuster? Let them.

    Ok, so Senators will be inconvenienced (gasp - perish the thought!) for couple of days, sleeping on cots in the warm halls of the senate, having food delivered from Washington's finest restaurants while two block away homeless people freeze to death.

    Let the Republicans read to the record their grandmothers recipes for arsenic and mercury laced chocolate chip cookies.

    Let the American people see who the real obstructionists are.

    Last time I checked it worked wonderfully for President Clinton who managed to stare down Gingrich and Co. in the big government freeze that lasted for two days - and when the republicans understood their mistake, it was too late and they got smashed by the next elections.

    "Yeah Yeah. You vow - we MOVE!!" --Avery Schreiber

    by The Revenge of Shakshuka on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 04:31:41 PM PST

  •  Keep going forward. Langston Hughes may say it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hugo Estrada, marabout40

    best in "Mother to Son"

    Well, son, I'll tell you:
    Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
    It's had tacks in it,
    And splinters,
    And boards torn up,
    And places with no carpet on the floor --
    But all the time
    I'se been a-climbin' on,
    And reachin' landin's,
    And turnin' corners,
    And sometimes goin' in the dark
    Where there ain't been no light.
    So boy, don't you turn back.
    Don't you set down on the steps
    'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
    Don't you fall now --
    For I'se still goin', honey,
    I'se still climbin',
    And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

    It's been worse. No one was shot! We can still speak. We can still assemble.

    We got beat, but tomorrow, I am going to the Iowa Caucus. We can't stop now.  The revolution was sudden, but governing takes a lot of time. Two steps forward and one step back.

  •  We better get our act together. We better (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hugo Estrada

    find a different message than "Obama is teh suck." Our message should be to remind Americans every single day who created the mess we're in and who's doing NOTHING, ZILCH, ZIP to help clean up that mess: RETHUGLICANS.

    That should be our message. Pound it into the collective consciousness every single day. It's time we got back to that core message. While we're trying to push Democrats towards progress, we either push republicans too or we push them OUT.

    From Nate Silver:

    Between the surprise in Massachusetts, and races like California and Indiana which are potentially coming into play, there's about a 6-7 percent chance that Republicans could actually take control of the Senate, and another 6 percent chance or so that they could wind up with a 50-50 split. On the other hand, there's still a 7-8 percent chance that the Democrats could regain their 60th seat if the national environment shifts back in their direction.

    Republicans have no intention of helping to fix this country. They think it's just fine. Their corporate masters are in charge. Teabaggers are constantly on tv screaming and yelling about Obama's legitimacy. Fox News is the most watched news source and they are doing a damn good job as the RW propaganda machine, and the other corporate news media are no better.

    We have got to take back control of the message. We've got to remind people of the hell we went through the last decade, a hell that still has us in its stranglehold. When Democrats and Obama make progress, we need to celebrate those victories and highlight them. The MSM is not gonna do it for us. And if we don't do it, people will never know of a lot of the good this administration has accomplished.

    We're democrats. Let's remember that.

    Please help StopRushLimbaugh. Because hate should not be profitable.

    by marabout40 on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 04:49:47 PM PST

    •  Let's go after the GOP (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The Revenge of Shakshuka  made an excellent point. Rather than just threatening a filibuster, they should be allowed to filibuster to show the American people how they are getting in the way of everything. Let them filibuster high taxes for the banks.

      I remember how back in the 90s Gingrich refused to pass a budget, so people couldn't go to public parks or use some other public services.

      And people got angry with the GOP for ruining their vacations and making life impossible.

      Obama and congress made many efforts to end bipartisanship; if the GOP doesn't want to play, make it clear then.

      •  Think you meant partisanship, but I get you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hugo Estrada

        and agree completely. Obama addressed this issue in his inaugural address just one year ago:

        On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

        On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

        We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.


        Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

        What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them - that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified.


        and I know this was directed at the Muslim world, but I think it is equally appropriate for the Rethuglicans:

        To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

        Since taking office, he's tried over and over to reach out to republicans and they've consistently rejected him.  It's up to us to remind Americans of that fact.

        Please help StopRushLimbaugh. Because hate should not be profitable.

        by marabout40 on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 05:08:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  that's a plan for how to win an election... (0+ / 0-)

      ...I think the diary is for what to do with the power we have? Unless I misunderstand.

      "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

      by efraker on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 05:38:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think its time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hugo Estrada

    National Strike (for those lucky enough to have a job). We as a "PEOPLE" need to stand together not as Republican Voter or Democratic Voter but instead Americans or else we are done as a country. United we stand we see what divided is getting us....

  •  Take them on aggressively (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hugo Estrada

    It's time to fight back. Organize boycotts. Civil disobedience. We can no longer count on our Democratic representatives to fight for our interests. Even if they did, they'll be overrun by corporate dollars and lose in November. The only way forward is unity and organized opposition. The Progressive community has tremendous economic power. If we organize and use it, we can get our way.

    •  This would be good (0+ / 0-)

      I think part of the problem is that we have to put pressure on Democratic representatives to push them to do the right thing.

      This is something we should really think about.

    •  progressives protesting in the streets got... (0+ / 0-)


      Not saying its a bad idea - just saying that protesting while your own party is overwhelmingly represented will look like criticism of your party.

      "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

      by efraker on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 05:45:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But there were progressive demonstrations (0+ / 0-)

        for good policies during the depression. And we have the march on Washington during the 60s.

        And demonstration to support the president or a bill can be a counter-balance for the teabaggers protesting against them.

  •  We need less hyperbole and more facts of how they (0+ / 0-)

    take away our freedom.  That is the start.  I don't think the foreign meme will fail.

    We need to find examples. Who have they bought? Who do they own? What R's? What D's?

    •  Explain yourself more on the foreign meme (0+ / 0-)

      that sounds interesting.

      •  I am hearing about foreign ownership of corp- (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hugo Estrada

        orations will lead to foreign ownership of our politicians.

        I don't think that is believable even if true.

        Basically, people need to fear what the corporations will do.  they have already planted the evil of unions in most people. if d's don't need them to get elected, i am afraid unions will die.

        i will not be surprised if several states take away collective bargaining.  At the federal level collective bargaining has already been denied tsa workers.  Pretty soon it will get down to public employees and teachers.

        Then we lose the last bastions of unionism.  then we are into a marxist surreal corporate cleptocracy.

        •  Yes, I see what you are saying (0+ / 0-)

          Well, corporations are already destroying our lives. I have some medical insurance where I have to become an accountant to keep track of every medical expense. People lost their homes via corporate moves. They have lost their jobs because corporations decide to take plants and leave the country.

          And your position about unions is true. Now that they can spend as much money as possible, and now that they have this meme out there about horrible unions, those things could pass.

          As for being into a their totalitarian surreal corporate cleptocracy, I think we are already there. It is just a matter to see how bad it gets before people do something about it.

          Really, this is not the same country that it was in the 1990s.

  •  push on the filibuster... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hugo Estrada

    ...if we had to choose a single reform that would make progressive change easier, I'd nominate getting rid of the 60-vote "requirement" in the Senate.

    Nate Silver now estimates the Dems will have 53-54 Senators in the next Congress.

    By historical standards, that should be a working majority. Abuse of the filibuster, however, means the result will be a deadlocked Senate.

    So the first thing Dems should do in the new Senate is change the filibuster rules, to return the body to majority rule.

    If we'd had majority rule for this Senate, we'd be looking at a very different scenario right now on HCR, EFCA, a climate change bill, etc.

    With majority rule in the next Senate, we will be able to push a progressive agenda, despite having had our majority reduced.

    Prison rape is not funny.

    by social democrat on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 04:58:40 PM PST

    •  I used to like the filibuster (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      social democrat

      Because I thought it was a guarantee against very bad bills. Yet the very bad bills passed during the Bush years. Democratic Senators didn't use against terrible bills. They just got scared into the up or down vote. Hey, they didn't use it against Alito, although they did use it against judicial nominations. Still, it seems that the 60 vote filibuster works more for the right than for the left.

  •  Hit the nail on the head (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greg in TN, Hugo Estrada

    These are not real solutions. Some in the left tried them in 2000, and we ended up with 8 years of George W. Bush.

    Way too many folks here seem to have short memories. The last time Republicans were in power was awful- and every indication that they've only gotten worse since then.

    And yet in order to "show" the Democrats they're willing to go back to having the Republicans in charge. Madness.

    Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to lie without consequence; unless, apparently if you're a right wing talk-radio host.

    by Whimsical on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 05:16:24 PM PST

    •  We can't allow that to happen (0+ / 0-)

      That is why we can't give up, even when many feel like giving up.

      If Republicans actually wanted to help Americans, they would have been working for the bill.

      They all, in a block, are not.

    •  we want (little d) democratic representation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hugo Estrada

      Politicians cater to the needs of people whose votes they need.

      If you will always vote for Democrats because they're always better than Republicans, than Democrats don't need to do anything to get your vote.

      Whose votes are they free to go after then, since they don't need to cater to you?

      Centrists, moderates.

      For a progressive to say they will always vote for the Democrat, they are saying that the given Democrat doesn't need to cater to issues the progressive cares about, because its the non-Republicanness that wins the vote.

      Knee-jerk unconditional voting out of 'lesser of two evils' logic pushes parties towards the center. If you want to pull the Democratic party to the left, and advance a liberal agenda, you can't unconditionally vote for the Democrats.

      "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

      by efraker on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 05:52:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You make a really good point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        At the same time, the reality is that we are forced to vote for the lesser of two evils, and we are forced to vote for Democrats.

        Since that is a given, now what? How do we get these people to actually do what we elected them to do?

        Bush showed to us that we can't "punish" the Democrats for being conservative without punishing the whole country.

        How do we do this within this constraint?

        •  I don't think its possible (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hugo Estrada

          Sorry Hugo - I'm not smart enough to think of a way to convince someone to do what I want them to if I promise to give them what they want no matter what.

          "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

          by efraker on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 06:04:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I feel the same way (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I don't have any concrete ideas of how to do it.

            Yet Gandhi figured it out for India, and MLK figured it out for the US, and Solidarity figured it out for Poland, and many others in worst circumstances have also done it.

            So it may be that we lack either enough knowledge of how these other people were able to do it, or that we lack imagination :)

            •  Not sure we're talking about the same thing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Hugo Estrada

              Gandhi, MLK, and Solidarity did not support the entrenched institutions they were trying to change with votes, volunteering, or campaign donations.

              Always remember that JFK, one of the most progressive presidents, opposed MLK's March on Washington. MLK worked outside of the system - you're talking about working inside of it.

              Did I misunderstand what you were saying?

              "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

              by efraker on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 06:20:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, I understand... (0+ / 0-)

                At the same time, MLK's victory was won via a Civil Rights Bill. And MLK did endorse JFK in the 1960s election. And the greater civil rights movement chipped away at segregation one lawsuit at a time for decades, and the ultimate appeal of the civil rights movement was to our laws and stated values of liberty and equality.

                MLK worked within the system and outside of it. I believe that Gandhi and Solidarity did the same, although I don't have all of the details on how they did it.

                I believe that we have a better chance in forcing Democrats by working in the outside than forcing Republicans, and unfortunately we have a binary political system.

                So if these people could figure out how to do it, then it should be easier for us, yet I can't figure it out myself. But your pointing out that they also worked outside the system is a good thing :)

          •  I'm so sick of this phony argument. (0+ / 0-)


            That's How you push the Democrats to the left without punishing the whole country.

            The idea that we shouldn't allow the country to be damaged by Republicans is somehow equivalent to "promising to give the democrats what they want no matter what" is a ridiculous strawman that makes me want to vomit.

            Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to lie without consequence; unless, apparently if you're a right wing talk-radio host.

            by Whimsical on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 06:59:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think we're talking past each other Whimsical (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Hugo Estrada

              Whimsical - no straw man intended, sorry about your stomach.

              If you primary a conservative-leaning Democrat, and the conservative-leaning Democrat wins anyway... what do you do in the general election?

              Do you support the Democrat candidate? The Republican candidate? A third party candidate? Do you stay home?

              "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

              by efraker on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 08:03:36 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  to save some time... (0+ / 0-)

                To save you some time, so you don't have to repeat yourself Whimsical, I'll answer for you, as you've answered these questions in other threads.

                Finding someone who will go to the mat for your concerns should be done in the primary. You've got to make the best of the choices you have in the general, if for no other reason than to prevent damage to your concerns.

                link - you'd support the conservative Democrat in the general if your preferred Democrat lost the primary.

                Therefore, if you want your candidate to get in; or at the very least keep their opponent out, it is incumbent upon you to make sure the candidate has enough funds and volunteers to mount an adequate GOTV effort.

                They may not have the intent of helping the opponent win by withholding money and man-hours, but that will be the result of such withholding, guaranteed.

                link - you believe that not fully supporting a candidate is 'guaranteed' the same as helping the opponent.

                the end and only result of not being totally "for" a politican will be helping his opponent get elected.

                link - again.

                Cutting back contributions and volunteer work is equivalent to being a doctor who only agrees to operate on a sick patient if anesthesia and blood transfusions aren't provided.

                Yeah, it may make you FEEL justified to deny the patient these things, but reality is, without those things the patient has a much higher chance of dying.

                And isn't the whole point of operating (voting) to keep the patient alive?

                link - and again.

                I'm pretty sure that this is why it makes you so frustrated when I point out that lesser-of-two-evils thinking pushes the Democratic party to the right - because you believe so firmly in lesser-of-two-evils voting. That said - of all the times we've engaged, I do not think you've actually tried to disprove the rationale in my argument. You just get angry and yell 'primaries, primaries, primaries' - a non-solution most of the time (incumbents re-elected over 90% of the time), at best leading to a glacial rate of progress.

                "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

                by efraker on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 08:54:36 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Problem is (0+ / 0-)

                  Your solution puts Republicans in power, and that throws progress into reverse, which is far worse than moving glacially forward.

                  No, what makes me frustrated is that you seem to see the damage your plan would do to the country- and you still lay claim that you're doing the right thing for the country, and worse, you're backing it up with the phony claim that being for not damaging the country is equivalent to giving the Democrats exactly what they want all the time.  Not to mention acting like the Democrats are somehow making you take action that would damage the country as if they've twisted your arm behind your back, put a gun to your head and said "Look, you better not do what's good for the country, or else see?"

                  Now, if you'd said "Look, I'm not getting what I want, so I'm not going to vote for the Democrats, and well, I don't really care about the damage to the country that's going to result.", you'd have an argument I could respect; and indeed one I wouldn't have an answer for.

                  But you keep pissing on my head and telling me it's raining, if you'll pardon the expression. Your plan is damaging, not healing, selfish, not noble, and foolish, not wise, no matter how you'd like to spin it.

                  You'd still be dead wrong, mind you, but a little honesty on the part of those who would willingly damage the country because they're not getting what they want would go a long way towards not making me want to rip out what (very) little is left of my hair every time I engage them.

                  As for your argument, well, first let me point out that you have not tried to disprove the rationale of my argument, either. Not to be petty :)

                  That said, I do think your argument fails because it relies on proving a negative: "You lost that election because you weren't progressive enough", to which the response is always going to be "No we didn't. We lost it because of [insert alternate reason here]."

                  You will NEVER be able to prove to them that they lost an election for not being progressive enough. You can't prove a negative. Logic 101.

                  However, if you get the progressive the nomination in the primary and then turn around and do your damndest to make sure they win the general, it's very easy to point to that and say "Holy crap! He won (came damn close to winning) BECAUSE he was progressive."  Always easier to prove a positive than a negative.

                  As for your current attitude towards primaries; imagine where we'd be if the first guy who tried to climb Everest said "Eh, doesn't seem like we have more of a 10% chance of making it to the top. Screw it, let's go home."  Luckily, he didn't say it and now people climb Everest all the time.

                  Look, I never said it was going to be easy(just that it was a better way to push the Democratic party left because it didn't hurt the country). The first few times we win are going to require monumental, herculean effort. But it'll get easier and easier every time we do it. Pretty soon we'll be winning them all the time, just like Everest.

                  The ONLY reason that rate is so high is because everybody thinks like you and goes "What's the point of a primary? Why bother?" Well the point is to push the Dems left WITHOUT damaging the country, and we should bother because every win will snowball and make it easier to win the next one.

                  That said, I've finally figured out why we keep talking past each other. It's all a matter of priorities.

                  I'll let you in on my dirty little secret: I don't really give a crap about the Democratic party. My priority is always going to be the COUNTRY. And if exploding the Democratic party (metaphorically speaking) would benefit the country, I'd cheerfully hand them the long stick with the fizzy fuse without thinking twice, and go home and sleep like a baby.

                  My responsibility as a voter is always going to be to pick what's best for the country given the choices I have.  Country before party.  Country before personal desire. Country before all.

                  Doesn't mean I don't work like hell to make sure I have the best choices.  Sure as hell doesn't mean I "give the Democrats what they want, all the time".

                  I come here and I work for Democrats because unless and until we change the way we fund and hold elections, the only electable alternative is going to be the Republicans, and well, have you LOOKED at them lately?

                  I came of political age during the Reagan/Mondale debate (and knew we were most likely screwed then, because Americans would rather believe what they want to believe then the truth; but that's another diary) and since then the idea that Republicans would somehow be better for the country has gotten increasingly unlikely to the point where I'd say it's currently a statistical impossibility; at least until this teabagging nonsense burns itself out (which in and of itself is sufficient reason not to reward the damn teabagging fools with electoral victories, but again, another diary) and they go back to having a semblance of sanity.  

                  And if and when they do, I might even commit that highest of crimes here on Daily Kos : I might even vote for them.  They'd have to convince me they were better for the country then the Democrat, but stranger things have happened.

                  You obviously care a great deal about the Democratic party; Indeed, I feel you've placed them ABOVE the country; which in case you haven't guessed I feel is a mistake.

                  But the thing is, priorities are emotional attachment. All the logic and reason in the world won't get someone to re-arrange his priorities, which means I've just killed the argument.

                  Damn, and I was having fun too.

                  Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to lie without consequence; unless, apparently if you're a right wing talk-radio host.

                  by Whimsical on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 10:28:03 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I really think we're talking past each other (0+ / 0-)

                    Whimsical, you make a lot of claims about my argument above that I don't believe can be substantiated. All I'm claiming is this - no negative claims:

                    1.) Politicians cater to those whose votes they need to earn.

                    2.) Some Democrats always vote for Democrat politicians ('lesser of two evils' voting).

                    Conclusion: Politicians earn the votes of 'lesser of two evils' voters by being Democrats.

                    It'd be really easy to demonstrate with a Venn diagram.

                    Which of my premises do you disagree with? To guess, I get the impression you don't disagree with my premises, only the ethics you see implied in the conclusion.

                    As for your argument, well, first let me point out that you have not tried to disprove the rationale of my argument, either. Not to be petty :)

                    I don't find that petty at all - what are the premises and conclusion of your argument? I'll give a whack at it.

                    "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

                    by efraker on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 09:43:44 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Really, " You can't prove a negative. Logic 101." (0+ / 0-)

                    This statement is clearly false, although it is frequently said.  It is also not part of what those who actually learn logic are taught.

                    The statement itself, "You can't prove a negative" is itself a negative proposition. So if you could prove "You can't prove a negative" to be true, it wouldn’t be true itself.  

                    Sorry if your head just exploded.

                    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                    by nextstep on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 04:26:38 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Oh, and (0+ / 0-)

                  the system is designed to roadblock quick, transformational change.  The founding fathers distrusted those that would change too much, too quickly, and deliberately set up the system to move at a slow, why some might even say glacial, pace when it came to implementing changes.

                  In other words, it's not a bug. It's a feature.

                  Want quick, deeply transformational change? Skip democracies (not that we'll have one much longer. Thanks, SCOTUS!, but again, another diary) and live in a dictatorship. You'll get more quick transformational change than you can deal with.

                  Mind you, that was one of the only things W said I ever agreed with "This would be so much easier if it was a dictatorship. As long as I was the dictator".

                  Though I like to think I'd have done a much better job than he ever would.

                  Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to lie without consequence; unless, apparently if you're a right wing talk-radio host.

                  by Whimsical on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 10:51:38 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Good job Hugo. (0+ / 0-)

          Keep reminding them of reality. It's gotta sink in eventually, right?

          Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to lie without consequence; unless, apparently if you're a right wing talk-radio host.

          by Whimsical on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 07:08:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  DO SOMETHING (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hugo Estrada

    I don't think these speeches are now going to do Obama any good. No one is listening to him anymore.

    He should send one bill a week to the House and the Senate--good bills, working class bills--tell them he wants it voted on by "x" and then start holding press conference updates to let all know what's happening with the bills. He should state that the Senate should put up the bills for a vote no matter what so the American people can see who is for them and who is against them.

    The House will make it happen. If the Senate doesn't, it's on them.

    "Whenever a fellow tells me he's bipartisan, I know he's going to vote against me."-- Harry S. Truman

    by irmaly on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 05:22:55 PM PST

    •  How about WE do something...? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Like demonstrate?

      Until we are willing to take to the streets and demonstrate, we are going to suffer an ENDLESS series of losses.

      Obama can stand on his tonsils, you're right no one is listening to him any more.

      Congress can dither...there are so many competing interests within BOTH parties that it is impossible for anything worthwhile to get done.  It has become The Chamber of Byzantine Horrors.


      And the only way we can do that is with pitchforks in hand.

      What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

      by equern on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 05:56:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  picket RW radio stations, call local sponsors (0+ / 0-)

    recognize limbaugh megastations as embassies for Corporatestan

    everything the right does depends on their radio monopoly to sell first.

    without it there is very little constituency to back up and threaten the GOP sycophants and blue dogs.

    they have never been seriously challenged.

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

    by certainot on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 05:31:11 PM PST

    •  I think Limbaugh is a weakness for them... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hugo Estrada

      Don't we want to encourage Republicans to be as hard-right as possible? The farther to the right they go, the more they'll turn off nonpartisan independents.

      Here's a disgusting realpolitik idea: delegitimize moderate Republicans by refusing to deal with them. Enter into talks with hard-right Republicans, but intentionally keep them from going anywhere (as an example, think of the way North Korea and Iran handle diplomacy) - it will empower them within their power, starving out the moderates who are better at appealing to the majority of Americans.

      On the other hand, I think talking about what to do with our historically significant legislative and administrative representation is important to. I wish that winning elections was a much smaller part of U.S. politics.

      "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

      by efraker on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 05:58:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  limbaugh gave us thomas, alito, roberts (0+ / 0-)

        the talk radio machine was instrumental selling those guys, and intimidating the opposition.

        in general, limbaugh, as point man for a much larger effort, is the single most influential political voice the last 20 years, and with 1000 radio stations focused on mass the last 2 weeks, gave us scott brown.

        the radio machine does the heavy lifting for everything the right does.

        in general it determines what is and what isn't acceptable in US media and politics and makes talk by dems of framing and messaging very fruitless. unfortunately the radio problem is invisible to their consultants, who analyze and strategize in a talk radio vacuum because they read and watch, while rove's invisible talking 2x4 beats the crap out of their candidates and causes.

        i was beginning to like your division strategy on republicans but the problem is there a very few moderates - and almost all the GOP popularity is way overblown- by the talk radio megastations and the deception that they're going to help the little guy with his taxes and protect them from the frightening uncertainties.

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

        by certainot on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 06:21:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  PS he's a weakness, but only when contested (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hugo Estrada, efraker

        when obama named him head of the GOP with that comment to senators it put a rush tattoo on the foreheads of all their media operatives and pols, and for a couple of weeks the GOP fell apart trying to distance themselves from him and trying not to repeat the talking points.

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

        by certainot on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 06:24:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Only way forward is to MOVE public opinion! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hugo Estrada, HPrefugee

    Seems like the most obvious thing to me.

    You can push and pull the Democratic party until it looks like turkish taffy, and it won't do you one f*cking bit of good.

    Because the Becks, Rushfaces, and Howie Carr's of the world will mobilize to torpedo anything we try to do, UNTIL we have voices of our own to fight back with.

    Yeah, we have Letterman, Colbert, and Stewart, but our biggest problem is when we think they are our counterparts to the above.  They are not.  They are entertainers.  Two of them are on the Comedy Channel for cripes sake, and it's a perfect case of the medium being the message.  When times are good, comedy can be effective.  But they are no substitute for laying a good foundation of a liberal agenda.

    And yeah, we have Maddow, and she's GOOD, but she's on MSNBC, and only one voice against many.  And she's more of a counterpart to O'Reilly than those above.

    The TRUE evil of Beck, Rushface, and Carr, is that they are out there laying a firm foundation for a framework of conservatism.

    And THAT's what we need most, firebrands on the LEFT who can rouse public opinion by laying the foundation of progressive principles on which progressive political action can be built.

    How best to do that is an open question and something that deserves a lot more thought...and probably worthy of its own thread.

    What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

    by equern on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 05:53:28 PM PST

    •  Good point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      4 years ago there was a lot of talk about framing, and one thing that kept coming up is that there are no macho democrats in the media that can be hard hitting and talking about liberal politics.

      One of the things that people like about the right wing mouth pieces is that they seem so fill of conviction.

      •  Thx! & You bring up an interesting point -- (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hugo Estrada

        If you think about these gasbags, there is really nothing that they say that ever appeals to REASON.  All of their appeals are to EMOTION.

        If you listen to what they say, they are all geared toward manipulating emotions.  Heck, Beck even criesand gets cheered for it!

        We all to often think people make voting decisions based on REASON...but many DO NOT.  Look at the voting patters on poor southerners who consistently vote for them while the GOP shafts them royally.

        We need a rabble-rouser on the Left.  There's even a strong tradition of it in American politics.  The founding fathers (particularly Franklin) were deeply committed to rousing the rabble -- and they did it, even then, not so much with an appeal to reason but to the gut.

        Maybe that's why I find Maddow to be so ineffective -- she's totally based in the head, and we need someone who knows how to scream.  Hehehe, maybe it's time we drafted Dean for prime time...?

        What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

        by equern on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 06:20:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  A lot of liberals dislike appeals to emotion (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Hey, I tried it, and it tanks big time. Big time. I remember having people writing me personal letters saying how shameful it was that I was trying to manipulate opinion via emotional appeals.(Hey, that was my point :P)

          Another example was a post in a community blog where a blogger put the image of a starving child from the third world.

          Others attacked him saying that he was trying to manipulate people via emotion, and that it was a cheap trick.

          At the same time, I really think that if we are going after chipping away some of the swing moderates, we do need people who can talk a more emotional language. Maybe only use emotional language and hard hitting rhetoric among moderates?

  •  It Would Help for the Left To Get Up to Speed W/ (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hugo Estrada

    the right learning how our system actually works and actually does not work.

    They've been running rings around us on this for 30-40 years while we obsess on framers' intentions and nuances of principles from the days of quill pens.

    I also think we need to toss overboard thoughts of taking "back" the country and of any kind of remedy in the short term.

    From a position much stronger than ours, it took the religious right over a decade to become accepted and 30 years to take over the Republican party.

    First thing they did is figure out how to reach ordinary voters when the mainstream media would not distribute their point of view. Right now the intellectual left is still allergic to ordinary voters.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 06:15:13 PM PST

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