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Finally, some real energy! Gotta love that bungler Gibbs, he woke up the sleeping giant in this party, its base.

We can shoot each other until we're all dead. We can ignore the political reality that a very large portion of this party's base has no intention of showing up to the next election. We can continue the present course and hope the teabaggers sabotage their campaigns with stupidity. We can split between Obamaistas and disenfranchised voters. We can piss and moan on the internet until Verizon, Google or the National (in)Security Complex shuts it down. We can pathetically wait for our party leaders to rediscover what party they belong to.

Or we can go to Washington and make some demands.

Please read on.............

My Daddy always said, "Politicians do their best work when there's a mob outside their door and they brought rope."

Like all eloquent Irishmen, he was, of course, speaking semi-metaphorically. I just say this, lest the pathologically literal-minded among us misunderstand my point.

We all know the old saying, 'power concedes nothing without a demand'. But the necessary corollary of that adage is the 'power gives up nothing without a viable threat to its ability to rule'.

Republicans don't need us. They'd rather we stayed home. Democrats will live or die depending on whether we come to the polls to vote. As has been more than apparent for close to a year, their base has been sliding from disappointment to despair to furious anger. A large section of the base - myself included - has no intention of voting for this neoliberal, pro-war, corporate welfare bullshit any more.

Gibb's stupid comment was just the match that lit the storage shed where all the Democratic Party weapons were kept (us).

Now we could just lay down sniper fire for the rest of the season until we've defeated ourselves. And to be honest, if nobody does anything to stop these bastards, I'll continue hammering away at this sellout bullshit until neoliberalism has been repudiated by every craven politician who bought that broken car. Or they have been driven from power.

But we can't replace more than 33 Senators in any year and most of them are completely corrupt. It’s too late to beat them in the primaries and the party elites want only candidates who raise buckets of cash and will 'fit in' with the culture of graft that constitutes our system of campaign finance.

So like it or not, most of these bastards will still be in power past November. But lots of them are scared about this election and they know exactly why we're so pissed. Those in the House are especially scared and need us desperately to win. That gives us leverage.

But we only have that leverage so long as there is a Democratic Party majority in Washington. So, if we're going to do anything we'd better do it now.

We need to go to Washington and show the political class where the real numbers in this electorate are found. Doing it BEFORE the next election is crucial, because Republicans don't care what we want and they are poised for a return to power if we do nothing. Replacing one craven politician with another clearly isn't working, so we'd best put our political power on the streets and start making demands, backed up by real political force.

We need US Labor movement to step up right now and put the money they've been wasting on candidates and their infrastructure to work getting people on the streets this October. Students will be back in session in a few weeks, and progressive groups have a great track record for getting them out. One look at their student bill or their loan tally will be enough to get them angry and ready to go. As we've seen repeatedly in the past two or three years, Latino activists know how to make a protest rock, in numbers and in style. And gay rights groups set the standard for what a few people can accomplish. Every single progressive group and constituency that this administration has betrayed, stalled or ignored needs to put as many people on the street at one time, BEFORE THE NEXT ELECTION. (That needs repeating).  

It will be empowering for us and it will read the riot act to our sellout politicians.  

It will also put paid to the idea that the only opposition to this bullshit are teabaggers.  What's the highest number of people our teabagging opponents could put on the street? 5,000? 500? 20?

What's our best potential? 50,000? Labor alone could do that all by itself. 100,000? Heck, throw a popular rock group in there and students could do that by texting each other. 500,000? I think pro-immigration reform activists did that quite recently. A million people? Black folks set that record over a decade ago and this party has utterly ignored their communities and social/economic concerns for generations. Heck, DC residents could put a 100,000 Black folks on the street by themselves.

Our potential for a game-changing action is well within our grasp. Marching on Washington with an integrated and inclusive set of demands is the only thing that will save us from sellout politicians or political defeat in the fall.

And only then, if our so-called leaders embrace that protest and use it as a platform to save their selfish skins.

But to do it quickly, our civilian progressive leadership – labor, student groups, etc. - need to put their asses on the line and dedicate their resources and infrastructure toward this action.

Waiting for the Democrats is like waiting for Godot. We cannot afford to wait for them. The stakes are too high. We have to force their hand, because they are, either, too stupid, too arrogant or too corrupt - or all of the above - to do it on their own.

Originally posted to Tom Taaffe on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 11:36 AM PDT.


Would you participate in a March on Washington, to force real change in this country?

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| 79 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Let's get progressive primary candidates to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Badabing, Jacques, Betty Pinson

    run against faux democrats.

  •  #1: Gibbs was not talking to the Party Base.... (8+ / 0-)

    He was talking to the Left that normally doesn't vote Democrat at all.  His remarks were address to that part of the Left that always has plenty to complain about but little in the way of constructive answers.

    Michael Moore is a good example.  A previous Green supporter who switched to the Democrats only after the nightmare that were the Bush years.  Since Obama's election he has done nothing but criticize the President.  I love Mike but sometimes he wears a little thin.

    Bill Maher is another good example.  He has called Obama everything but an Uncle Tom since his election.

    These people and people like them are not the base of the Democratic Party and never were.  They aren't likely ever to be the base of the Dems either.

    Your closing paragraph:

    Waiting for the Democrats is like waiting for Godot. We cannot afford to wait for them. The stakes are too high. We have to force their hand, because they are, either, too stupid, too arrogant or too corrupt - or all of the above - to do it on their own.

    shows you anything but a part of the Democratic Party's base.

    If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress. - Barack Obama

    by LiberalCanuck on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 11:44:56 AM PDT

    •  and you know this, how? What makes you think (12+ / 0-)

      Gibbs was addressing 'green party' voters?

      That's bullshit.

      The Civil Rights Movement boycott of buses lasted 361 days, it only takes one brave American to begin a movement.

      by Badabing on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 11:47:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What are greens (5+ / 0-)

      but alienated Democrats who are far too activist just to walk away from a rigged game?

      When I speak about the 'base', I'm not talking about party insiders or activists, I'm talking about the body of people capable of voting democratic in an election. They come from identifiable constituences. These constituencies are the base, not the party faithful and not the professional class of activists, though we need both to save this sinking ship from disaster.

      •  Addendum to 'badabing' (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        "Your closing paragraph . . . shows you anything but a part of the Democratic Party's base."

        This attitude is exactly how you lose elections. Like it or not, people like me - someone from the party's political base (as I defined it above) - are your margin of victory.

        Or, by pushing me out, your margin of defeat.

        Do you want to win elections? Or would you prefer only party faithful get to participate in your dying little club?

        •  Well, but Tom, if you are part of the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lightshine, FiredUpInCA

          undecided...that swing are not the base.  In Texas we say that the base would "vote for a yellow dog before voting for a Republican."  The base is exactly those who will vote Democrat IF THEY ARE BREATHING! You are not in that crowd, but that's okay.
            The fact is that in all too many states, Texas being one, where you can win if only the base shows up.  State-wide and in most state and congressional districts a Democrat must get 100% of the democratic base AND a significant percentage of persuadable Republicans and Independents to overcome the GOP vote.  

          ...toward a better tomorrow.

          by Steve Love on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 12:21:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, I'm a voter who is sick of being sold out (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Silverbird, melpomene1

            I vote Democrat 90% of the time, but sometimes the bullshit and selling out gets too awful or too dangerous for me to support it.

            I am part of the party's base became I am working poor and 'traditionally vote democratic'. You win when people like me vote. You lose when people like me don't or go off the reservation to third parties.

            Similarly, religious conservatives can be seen as part of the Republican party base. McCain didn't mobilize his base, he turned it off. He lost.

            Midterm elections turn on which party gets its base (of potential voters) energized and out to vote. The one that does it better, wins the election.

            To drive my point home, in Massachusetts, who are capable of delivering over 70% of the vote to a Democrat in a well-attended election, didn't show up for Coakley, in part because they were pissed at the national democrats and in part because Coakley looked like more of the same. The base stayed home. Compare the voting numbers from 2008 and 2009 in that state and if you can't see that for yourself, you aren't ready to play politics.

            •  Well, if your wife told you that she was (0+ / 0-)

              faithful to you 90% of the time, how would that go down.  Would you run up stairs and holler down about that?  I don't think so.  And you are not part of the "party base because you are working poor."  You are part of the party base because you vote democratic ALL THE TIME and you support the party with your voice, your feet (knocking on doors) and with your bucks if you have any to spare.  Party bases are not about democraphics; bases are about loyalty and loyalty alone!
                As for winning when you vote. Don't you wish.  The fact is that neither party wins if their base does not show up and 90-percenters like yourself are NOT THE BASE.  You are the 90-percenters who cannot be depended on to vote any particular way or even to show up if they are pissed.
                So, the base in Mass. was pissed. They didn't show up.  So how do you like Senator Brown!  Are you proud that a Republican sits in Teddy's chair?  (We Texans think that sucks!)  How committed is Sen. Brown to champion the causes of those 90-percenters who didn't show up because they were pissed?  Only in the imagination of people totally ignorant of how politics works do you get points for NOT VOTING FOR ANYONE.  How does "I didn't vote for either candidate" work when you call Brown's office and ask him to return your call?  

              ...toward a better tomorrow.

              by Steve Love on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 02:16:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  We're not married Steve (0+ / 0-)

                for the past 30 years this party has sold out the poor and working class again and again. We only have two parties in this country, so those of us who cannot vote Republican vacilate between voting for the Democrats, voting third party and not voting at all.

                Coakley didn't deserve Ted Kennedy's chair any more than Brown does. She was a lame-ass corporate welfare-peddling hack whose economic platform read like a Boston Brahmin wish list.

                This is politics. Not religion, not marriage and we aren't all playing on a softball team.

                Gtting rid of a Republican Senator in massachusetts is easy, assuming the Democrats actually give a real Democrat to vote for (Boston politicos are total shit). But a Democrat, once elected, will never be gotten rid of. They'll have that chair for life.

                I don't like not voting, but this neoliberal nonsense has to stop. I'm sick to death of being sold out by successive Democrats who posture as concerned for our welfare and then sell us out to their campaign contributors. It was straight out of the DNC playbook and it has produced a jobless recovery. That's why we call that crap 'Republican lite'.

                If you hear me screaming and pushing on this website, it is because I have those choices before me still, but before I walk off the pitch (again), I'll give my best effort to push this party toward something I can vote for or at least warn you all of the folly of your path - in terms of what will happen next - before I go.

                You may not like what I say or advocate, but you'll know your party is in trouble when I go, because many other people will not be voting for the party either, they just won't tell you or try to push you back toward something they can vote for.

                •  I see, and the Republican Party has been (0+ / 0-)

                  this party has sold out the poor and working class again and again.

                  the champion of the poor and working class?  
                    I'm a double union brat and know first-hand the struggles of the poor and working class and according to my books, while no party has been PERFECTLY committed to all the needs of the poor and working class, there is no question in MY mind which party has been MOST engaged in benefiting the poor and working class.  
                    There would have been no unions if there had been no FDR and no U.N. and Marshall Plan without Truman.  There would be no civil rights for women, blacks and the disabled without Democratic Presidents. If you are pissed about what has gone down in the last few years, you have to be ignoring what has gone down in the last 80 years.  
                     I grew up in the Depression and Democratic administrations put this country back on its feet and created the middle class.  Are there poor in this country?  Yes.  Are working class families hurting?  Damn right!  But where was the progress on these two fronts when Reagan was in office...when the Bushes were in office?  Tell me which Republican President, since maybe Teddy Roosevelt, has come anywhere close to being the champion of the little man?
                    Politics is binary.  You either vote for or against. There is a middle ground only for those out of touch with reality.  Staying at home on election day is the same thing as voting for the other party.  So, don't tell me you are a Democrat.  Democrats do not sit at home on Election Day.  Real Democrats vote their party ticket because there is no other option that makes sense if they care about their own welfare and that of their family!
                    And no, we are not married to our party but asking your elected official to be 100% loyal to us while we retain the right to be only 90% loyal to him is an unbalanced and unfair contract.  

                  ...toward a better tomorrow.

                  by Steve Love on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 04:24:28 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  So, let me see if I got this straight: You want (0+ / 0-)

              me or another one of your fellow citizens to drop whatever life they have in the private sector, expose themselves and their family to endure with infinite patience accusations of all kinds of offenses against God and the good order of society, to go begging for funds to run for office and then pledge 100% LOYALTY to you in exchange for YOUR 90% LOYALTY...and, if I stray out of your 90% approved area, you have the right to accuse me publicly of whatever henious offense you can think of...and you think people are lining up for that deal.
                Does that about get it right, oh, expert on American Politics 101?

              ...toward a better tomorrow.

              by Steve Love on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 03:33:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No (0+ / 0-)

                You can't order people to vote your way. You have to reconcile your ambitions with their's. If you don't you lose elections. You can persuade them of the value of your ideas, you can protest and organize against them, but calling them disloyal because they express dissent doesn't get you a single vote. You're more likely to lose votes that way.

                This party wins when it mobilizes the poor, the working class and a host of other marginalized constituencies and gets a strong turnout. Republicans win when we stay home. We vote our social and economic interests, which are not the same as those with good jobs and family resources. Deal with that. Figure out how to get this party to better serve our interests. I've offered my suggestions, offer yours. I suggest that's a priority, because you don't win without us.

                This election is about jobs, war and a referendum on economic policies that have - so far - produced a jobless recovery. Great news if your income comes from your portfolio, disastrous news if you have to work for a living, can't find a job or your home is endangered.

                And at the heart of all the arguing here is a battle between those who want a New Deal Democratic Party and those who are satisfied with the 'new' neoliberal Democratic Party. I think its clear which group I belong to (new deal, baby, all the way).

                Complaining about 'disloyalty' is a ridiculous and useless exercise in alienating voters.

                •  So, your idea is how to win all those voters (0+ / 0-)

                  to our side is to tell them that the Democratic Party is corrupt and couldn't give a damn for working folks?  I can see that on a poster right now: "Vote Democratic!  We are a bunch of corrupt bastards!"  Or how about: "Vote Democratic!  We pledge to detray you!"
                    We are not arguing about the proper goals of this party.  We are arguing about how you frame the present situation so that the better, of what might be two evils in some people's mind, wins.
                    Don't attempt to lecture me on Democratic politics.  Suggesting that my income source is a barrier to being an advocate for the poor and working families is an insult!
                    As for mobilizing the poor.  Good luck with that.  The fact is that the poor are the least reliable at showing up on Election Day and voting their economic interests, not because they don't have a dog in the fight but because they don't register to vote and because the conservatives have brainwashed them that a vote for the Democrat on the ticket is a vote to give their job to a black person or immigrant.  Figure out how to correct those two problems and the poor will be a political powerhouse, but until you do, they are not on anyone's radar.  

                  ...toward a better tomorrow.

                  by Steve Love on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 04:56:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  In Ohio, a Green is a hapless fool (0+ / 0-)

        who is running by beating up exclusively on the Democratic incumbent who has done far more to move a Green agenda than he has or than most governors, but said nothing about the Republican who would destroy our state. And lies shamelessly in the process. This guy has caused my respect for Greens to swirl the bowl. We had a decent Green gubernatorial candidate on 2006 but this guy is a malign influence almost equal to DailyKos troll Ohiobama.

        De-orangify Congress: Justin Coussoule for Oh-08

        by anastasia p on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 03:45:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Factcheck: (7+ / 0-)

      Bill Maher and Michael Moore both literally begged (on their knees) Nader not to run in 2004. It was done in full public view on television with Nader on the program as an invited guest.

      And both have praised some of the good things Obama has done. Moore, in particular, was a staunch Obama supporter during the general election, since Obama ran on an anti-war platform. Maher also supported Obama in the general election, and often defended Obama despite certain disagreements in policy. Both have also had significant criticisms of Obama.

      Please try not to indulge in gross exaggeration.

    •  #1: Gibbs was not speaking about people, he was (5+ / 0-)

      speaking about criticisms, and gave them a disguise of the "Professional Left." Can you please take a second to think about this. there would have been no critique of the Pro Left if there had been no criticism.

      Can you please try to absorb that.

      It is therefore about the criticism. And he has now made it worse:

      "I don't think [liberal voters won't show up]," he [Gibbs} said, "because I think what's at stake in November is too important to do that."

      That was today. And he's forgotten that he works for an elected fucking official. We know it's important, asshole, know prove to us that you're going to live up to the challenge.

    •  Gibbs admitted he was hyperbolic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steve Love

      End of argument.

      I'm not worried about your state of mind, 'cause, you're not the revolutionary kind - Gomez

      by jhecht on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 12:02:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks you for this. The "Professional left" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bustacap, lightshine, FiredUpInCA

      is NOT the base of this party.  That does not mean that Democrats are center-right but it does mean that there are people who run with the progressive community who have vested interests in things far more beneficial to them than the progressive community at large.  I love Moore, too, but making a movie and holding public office are not exactly similar things.  And making a million making movies does not make you an expert on the issue of the day.  Everybody who has an opinion is not, of necessity, an expert on that subject.  

      ...toward a better tomorrow.

      by Steve Love on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 12:09:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think it's constructive to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steve Love

      go after people like Moore or Maher, likewise Jon Stewart or Colbert. They serve a purpose and have been a help over time, especially Michael. Sicko was invaluable, IMO.

      Criticism is fine, every politician needs it and gadflies have been a big part of our political history. Tearing down the Pres or Party is another thing. I don't believe they do that.

      "Take it back, take it back. Oh no you can't say that. All of my friends are not dead or in jail." John Prine

      by high uintas on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 12:10:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Anger doesn't translate (6+ / 0-)

    into a rally -- it translates into comments of outrage on the toobz and commitments to not voting.  I doubt if the victims of idiotic language will leave their computers.

    "We think the truth is bad enough. It obviously is." -- Fishgrease

    by gchaucer2 on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 11:50:56 AM PDT

    •  silly rabbit (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ScienceMom, Sunspots

      Anger is energy. Negative energy, I'll grant you. But organized and mobilized, it can be a powerful force for positive change (like anti-war protests, etc.).

      Left to fester, it will eat this party's mandate for breakfast and drive them out of office. I'm offering you a chance to save your asses. Make the play or don't. Its on you now..............

    •  The Professional Left Requires Anger (0+ / 0-)

      Anger doesn't translate

      into a rally -- it translates into comments of outrage on the toobz and commitments to not voting.

      Without outrage from the left you don't get online petitions signed, you don't get web hits, you don't get funds raised. At least that's the prevailing wisdom.

      For instance, Elizabeth Warren is a smart, impassioned advocate for consumers and she is by far the best candidate to head the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

      But those facts are not enough for the Professional Left.

      Anger about a rumor from an unnamed source on Huffington Post allegedly familiar with Tim Geithner's "thoughts" provided the anger required to generate 20,000 signatures on her behalf.

      If Elizabeth Warren is as worthy as she is, would it not have sufficed to say, please sign this petition on behalf of Elizabeth Warren, the person who we believe is exceedingly qualified?

      Apparently not. There's an element of the left that requires scoundrels, heroes and melodramatic framing to be motivated.

  •  I'll March, anyday........and its time to get (5+ / 0-)

    get back to what worked in our history in the past.  There is a huge disconnect going on between Obama and his base.....I have never seen anything like the 'tone deafness' that is going on now, especially with Geithner trying to pull off his 'fake recovery' bullshit...the 'happy days are here again, almost, sort of, kind of...just around the corner crap'..

    talk about a disconnect....Obama is literally 'handing' the Republicans the next win.  Such is the price of continued cover ups and corruption.

    The Civil Rights Movement boycott of buses lasted 361 days, it only takes one brave American to begin a movement.

    by Badabing on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 11:51:17 AM PDT

  •  good grief this is a bad idea (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paulitics, bustacap, LeanneB, JL, lightshine

    We need US Labor movement to step up right now and put the money they've been wasting on candidates and their infrastructure to work getting people on the streets this October.

    Are you kidding me?

    This diary is such a spectacular fail. Once again, proof that Gibbs was right.

    •  The "US Labor movement" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Buffalo Girl

      in this state doesn't have a minute or a dollar to waste on getting people to Washington unless they want to see our state and our county in particular taken over by Republicans — which WOULD have an immense impact on the 2012 presidential election to our detriment. In the case of Ohio, it's beyond foolish — it's insane and suicidal.

      De-orangify Congress: Justin Coussoule for Oh-08

      by anastasia p on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 03:46:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It has millions to spend on Democratic candidates (0+ / 0-)

        And most of them just pocket the money and keep going...............

        As a former union officer, I can think of many better ways to spend money than give it to candidates who don't serve your interests or the interests of those unions represent.

  •  Forget Washington, march on Wall Street (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird, orestes1963

    Why take it to the toadies? Nothing is going to change until Wall Street CEO's are scared for their lives.

    I'm not worried about your state of mind, 'cause, you're not the revolutionary kind - Gomez

    by jhecht on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 12:00:15 PM PDT

  •  Let's not get our knickers in a wad (5+ / 0-)

    over Gibbs' comment.  If any progressive said that Obama is no different than Bush, they ARE smoking something funny.  So what?
      I have listened to this blog for several years now and I have come away with one clear message which is that most of us are more into our head than into the reality of the ground and that we are no strangers of circular firing squads.  What do I mean by that?  Just this:
      What a politician would LIKE TO DO BEFORE he is elected and what he is ABLE to do AFTER being elected are TWO ENTIRELY DIFFERENT THINGS.  A President is not a king.  He governs.  He does not rule by edict!  He did not put a single Congressman in their seat and so they owe him no pay-back.  His career and their career are not linked at the waist.
       If a politician runs and gets elected as a Democrat in a Republican district, he deserves all the grief he gets but that does not make it easier for him to vote with the President. And forming a circular firing squad with that person in the center is not the smartest thing we can do.
       The limits Obama faces come from the fact that there are people who voted for him AND for a member of Congress who is pledged to sabotage everything that Obama wants to do.  You and I think those people are idiots but THEY DON'T AGREE! THAT'S DEMOCRACY IN ACTION!  
      That is the idiocy of democracy in a country that has been bombarded by the "conservative" meme for the last 30 years which has convinced some progressive of things that are totally contrary to the progressive agenda: things like the importance of balanced budgets, the "inefficiencies of unions," and the meme, "Democrat Party."  
       Rather than getting all hyper about Gibbs, let's redouble our effort to help each other realize that NO President is the dealer, he just plays the hands he is dealt.  And then let's remember that Gibbs works for us and not for John Boehner.  

    ...toward a better tomorrow.

    by Steve Love on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 12:01:44 PM PDT

    •  That's leading from the rear (0+ / 0-)

      You can only go backward if that's your strategy. Yes, everyone deals with the hand their dealt.

      Smart people make something out of it.

      Stupid or foolish people squander the hand they are dealt and then blame others for their failure.

      Gibbs is just an impolitic fool who blames others for his administration's collective failure to address the economy - and other issues - as those who elected them expected.

      His stupidity, however, can be turned to advantage, if those who want a progressive government to succeed, do what's necessary to provide this government with the leadership it is so sorely lacking.

      But what's really at stake here is an election in 3 months that the Democrats are going to get hammered in, if something isn't done to turn the ship around. Its clear our political leaders are incapable of doing that, so its down to us.

      Yelling at the party base to get in line, ignore the lame-ass behavior and 'shut up', won't work. It never works. It only alienates people who MIGHT vote for you, if you - instead - listened to them once in a while and took their issues onboard.

      If they want to lead from the rear, let's kick them in the ass, so they start going forward.

      •  Well, Tom, I love the idea of leadership (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        anastasia p, meatwad420, lightshine

        His stupidity, however, can be turned to advantage, if those who want a progressive government to succeed, do what's necessary to provide this government with the leadership it is so sorely lacking.

        as much as the next fellow but but somewhere there needs to be people who are willing to engage in a little "follow-ship."  Leadership is not magic.  Raising the flag does not mean the masses will muster around it.  
          I have been on this earth since FDR was President and until THIS ELECTION I never heard a member of ANY party pledge to do whatever is necessary to see a President "fail."  In good times and bad Presidents could count on votes from both parties.  LBJ had Republican votes to pass the Civil Rights bill. And Nixon had Democrats vote for his agenda items.
          The last bill passed by Congress got TWO Republican votes, both from one state and both from the Senate!  And I am still waiting for the Fox Network to do anything but sabotage the President's agenda.  
          I've been around 76 years and have never seen either party so willing to pull the country down to push a partisan agenda or just to be obstructionists!
           So don't talk to me about needing more leadership!  We have the leadership!  What this country needs is people with the cajones to practice a little "follow-ship!"

        ...toward a better tomorrow.

        by Steve Love on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 12:43:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Let's order a pizza first (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and then have, like my Daddy always used to say, "a rap session."

    Je t' also too.

    by hhex65 on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 12:04:24 PM PDT

  •  When did we start copying Glenn Beck? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, play jurist, LeanneB

    "On a battlefield, the flies don't care who wins." - William Stafford journal entry, January 31, 1986

    by Dom9000 on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 12:19:23 PM PDT

  •  I don't like that quote of your daddy's. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LeanneB, Dom9000

    You don't seem to be envisioning a peaceful march, and mobs that brung rope have a certain history in the US that's immediately called to my mind by the image.  Surely it wasn't your intention to invoke that history, but I do believe it was non-violent marches that brought it to an end.  

    Passive renunciation is not the whole of wisdom.

    by play jurist on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 12:29:16 PM PDT

    •  clearly you are one of the literal-minded people (0+ / 0-)

      I mentioned in the beginning. It is a metaphorical statement about the nature of political power, not a literal invitation for people to act like a murering mob. Get a grip.

      •  I'm against the trend toward violent metaphor... (0+ / 0-)

        in American politics.  As I said, I'm quite sure that you didn't mean to invoke the actual use of violence in the Civil Rights era by using as a metaphor a symbol that is cognitively associated with that violence.  So I don't see how you're concluding that I didn't realize that your violent metaphor was a metaphor.

        Passive renunciation is not the whole of wisdom.

        by play jurist on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 03:34:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This diary is as funny as the last (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dom9000, lightshine

    "Let's march on Washington!" diary.

  •  Marching does not work (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anastasia p, Steve Love, Dom9000

    anymore. You need to gather resources, hire a PR firm, hire lobbyists and fight the battle the way it is done in the modern era. Marching on DC does not get any news coverage worth anything.

    Come on optimism, let's be realistic.

    by jbou on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 12:41:34 PM PDT

    •  Marching is a tactic (0+ / 0-)

      If teabaggers came out to protest a Republican, it would have a profound effect on that Republican. But it has - or should have - little effect on a Democrat who will never get that vote.

      The inverse is also true.

    •  It's not about news coverage mainly (0+ / 0-)

      or doesn't need to be.

      It might well not be worth it to do the standard, "get lots of people on the Mall on a Sunday when no one's in DC anyway" thing.

      But the point is to do something that makes established power genuinely afraid for their own (metaphorical) skins.  They need to believe that there is a potential political outcome that will ruin them before they will compromise.

      Independent, threatening social movements have played that role in nearly all the major social progress we've had in this country:  from ending slavery to the New Deal to civil rights.  You can't just fiddle around with primarying incumbents and hope to pose a serious, existential threat to established power.

      "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

      by Pesto on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 12:49:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They were not "afraid for their skins" (0+ / 0-)

        when half a million protested in D.C. against the war in September 2005. They ignored us, and even mocked us as insignificant.

        De-orangify Congress: Justin Coussoule for Oh-08

        by anastasia p on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 03:52:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, largely because, as I said (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tom Taaffe

          the "lots of people on the Mall on a Sunday when no one is around" thing is no longer threatening to them.  We're dealing with a very resilient system of power here -- they've adapted to the fact that people will show up and wave signs around, and it doesn't mean much to them.

          The Seattle protests in '99, however, did mean something.  That was more than just showing up to say something -- it was an attempt to shut down an international trade meeting.  And Seattle did scare the crap out of the establishment.  That's why preventative arrests have become the norm in any similar situation -- it wasn't due to 9/11, since Philadelphia flagrantly violated Constitutional rights all over the place to defend the GOP Convention from protesters in 2000.

          In a good deal of Europe, large protests mean that workers shut down the economy for a day or more -- and that's something that established power really dislikes.

          If we'd shut down the economy over the War -- or even just blockaded Wall Street or Congress or the Pentagon or something -- then I think they would have taken that more seriously.  But we didn't.  We did something, found it didn't work, and then...we didn't take it further.  That's on all of us, in the end.

          "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

          by Pesto on Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 07:22:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  My god! (0+ / 0-)

      revolutions have started with political protest. Not in ancient days, but in recent times. Heck, the eastern block fell that way. How many people on this website have talked about the fact that we can no longer depend on national leaders to change things? We cannot wait for 'leaders', we need to do it ourselves. Even Obama made that point on the campaign trail.

      The resistance to public protest among the comentators is stunning, especially for those belonging to a (supposedly) activist website.

      This is exactly why Democrats get called lame ass.

      Stand up, be counted. Take a position and fight.

      This is precisely the chicken-shit, cuter-than-cute behavior of the Democrats in office that is killing this party and its fortunes. Is that the way you want to go? Hope to survive the midterm election with minimal losses?

      That's so weak. Were I your real opponent, it would smell like victory. Despite a disorganized and far more rabid opposition, your electoral base is furious with you, because you haven't acted like Democrats.

      Deal with the fact that the lower social orders think you sold them out. Or don't and die in the next election.

      THe most depressing comments I've heard in this discussion are the "we tried it once and it didn't work." That's just pathetic. Boo hoo. That's why you lose.......

      Get a clue! Against a fascist like Bush, you better muscle up and prepare for a bloody battle (and getting your ass kicked). To make a point to those who NEED you to win, the struggle is much easier.

      If you don't know that, you aren't activists, you're patsies for the status quo. Which - by the way, is not static, but moving either to the left or the right, DEPENDING ON WHAT YOU DO. So doing nothing means you lose.

      The poor, the working class and the economically endangered are staring at you - with full knowledge of how you've sold hem out before - and you are being judged.

      Are you gonna lay down like bitches, or are you gonna stand and fight?

      Your choice. We will judge you by your actions, not your words.

  •  I will send support (money) for those that go (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    melpomene1, Tom Taaffe

    let me know where to send money. Honest!

  •  It did so much to stop the invasion of Iraq (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anastasia p
  •  I find it facinating (0+ / 0-)

    how much hostility there is in the commentary to marching on Washington to press for a more progressive, and hopefully more Democratic, political agenda.

    And how that contrasts so dramatically with the vote in the poll.

    In the commentary, at least those comments that addressed my suggestion, only 27% supported marching, while in the poll, 55% of those who responded supported such activity. Far more participated in the poll than the discussion, but those opposed were especially hostile to the idea.

    What have you got to lose? This party is heading to a crashing defeat at the polls if you don't do something and its more than clear that our political leaders have no intention of doing those things that will energize and unite the electoral base of this party.

    It feels like the tension in the party as a whole: those on the fringes of this party - a pretty crowded place these days - are pissed and ready for action, while those who are active enough to comment are opposed.

    This kind of inertia will be devastating come fall, since those whose votes you are losing are being lost due to inaction on the issues that matter to them, not the least of which is the 800-pound gorrilla in the room, joblessness.

    •  It's not "hostility" (0+ / 0-)

      It's a recognition of a dated tactic that sucks up enormous amounts of energy and resources and in the last decade has almost uniformly been a failure — including failing to get any attention. The reason the right seizes control of the narrative is because they aren't pushing any of this hippie-dippie old-fashioned crap; the Tea Party rallies are just theater for the Fox News cameras. But the people controlling the Tea Party movement are using much more sophisticated strategies, not squandering everything they've got getting half a million to Washington even though Fox News would cover THAT. But they know there's a much more cost-effective way to do more.

      We lose because THEY have strategy and we're like little kids, wanting to run out in front of the house ad yell at passing cars.

      De-orangify Congress: Justin Coussoule for Oh-08

      by anastasia p on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 03:54:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You really have an issue with political protest (0+ / 0-)

        Yes, I have a sophisticated understanding of political struggle too. I've published newspapers, used flying pickets, silent protests, postering campaigns, humor, theater, even the odd building takeover.

        Sounds like you have no strategy and no hope for anything but whatever the elected political class danes to give you.

        Ignore my ideas if you like. But you better do something really good, because the air is going out of the room. And your no-can-do attitude doesn't help.

  •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

    Marches don't work. Half a million in D.C. against the war in September 2005 were totally ignored by the media while they played up a pro-war rally on the mall the next day that attracted a few hundred. It's a dead strategy. I'm staying here and working for candidates who are working for us, and refusing to support party-endorsed candidates who don't. Boots on the ground for good progressive candidates is far more effective than any march on Washington in the current media climate.

    De-orangify Congress: Justin Coussoule for Oh-08

    by anastasia p on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 03:41:26 PM PDT

    •  As I noted in a post up the line here.. (0+ / 0-)

      If teabaggers protested against a Republican, he'd be tripping over himself to address their concerns. But if progressives protested the same Republican candidate, he'd pay no attention unless he saw a majority of votes in the field against him.

      So protesting against Bush, while necessary, could never be as effective as it will be against the Democrats, because the Democrats need us to stay in office.

  •  Visibility is key (0+ / 0-)

    The left in America has retreated from the streets to the blogosphere and we're paying the price for it.  We may be numerous and well-informed, but unless the Washington establishment is paying any attention we'll continue to be ignored and spat on.

    Demonstrations may feel a little silly and even somewhat futile, but at least they send a message.

    And we NEED to send a message this election season.  Staying home says nothing.  Voting republican says exactly the wrong thing.  Voting democrat, however, says that we're willing to be ignored and spat on while you kowtow to the right because at least you're not as bad as them.

    Unfortunately I'm in Germany so I wouldn't be able to make it in October.  I'll be in the states in September though, so if there are any demonstrations going on then I'll try my best to make it.

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