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If there were a central truth to progressive politics it is, perhaps:

Change comes from the bottom, up

So WHY are we still, two years too late, demanding fantastical quick fixes from the top, down on the rec list?

UPDATE, from the Rec listed diary:

   I can hardly think

   of a bigger waste of time than calling someone like Blanche Lincoln and a lot of these other Senators.

   Plus, it divides the response.

   Better to contact the White House, focus the response in one area, and pressure the only person who can really make a difference on this issue.

Really? The only person, hm?

FDR's New Deal did not just appear arbitrarily in some political vacuum. Almost the whole Democratic Party plus numerous Republicans were channeling the outright dangerous power of millions of Americans. Dangerous? Yes, the people were dangerous after three decades of radicalism, suffrage, protest and organizing. The political machine had to do the New Deal not because it was the right thing to do, but because it was the only thing to do.

The whole of this country's capitalist population was afraid of the collapse of capitalism. What is the left and the Power-chair Party threatening to destroy today?

The Civil Rights movement did not come from Martin Luther King, Jr. Or even him with Rosa Parks. Or Harry Belafonte. It came from a massive but focused culture where thousands and thousands of black children were willing to be savagely abused and endangered to fight for progress, and their parents willing to walk miles to long, day and night-shifts rather than dignify a racist bus system.

The American people were not a bunch of sputtering, pompous fools. They were desperate, they were less afraid of losing their cozy, suburban existence than they were of losing a tooth-and-nail fight.

Hell yes we should let Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln feel the light of day and the might of right ringing through their inboxes and voicemails.

Hell. Yes.

Every day, the lives of Republicans and conservatives in Congress should be made a living hell not because we are out to persuade them. We are to bombard them into either submission or oblivion.

Beltane made a great comment that I think gets to the heart of why we failed on health care:

If we don't have the time and energy (10+ / 0-)
to fight for change than maybe we shouldn't expect others to make change on our behalf. During the health care debate, for example, every GOP Congressperson should have been met by protesters carrying child size coffins to underscore what a disgusting pack of child-killing monsters these people are. If we let the right-wing off the hook, we should not expect the Democrats to do any different.

In 2012, Joe Lieberman, Susan Collins and a number of other aquitards of progress should get the boot from the progressive movement.

We need think tanks, boots on the ground, congresspeople vowing they are in favor of single-payer, high-speed rail, marraige equality and jobs from the government, directly hired. Yes, we need to pressure the president too. But our focus is too small and too on him.


That is what a movement is. It should be focused, yes. But for our nemesis it would look a sandstorm in their eyes.

Now, get out and raise some hell. Make them hate their jobs.

UPDATE on stopping Bush's tax cuts for the rich, from zenbasson's wonderful diary:

But everything depends on what kind of bill the Speaker and Leader bring to the floor.

And I say:

Let them bring a good bill to the floor and let it die.  Let Republicans and Blue Dogs vote against it.

And then do NOT allow another bill to be brought.

We have to force their hands. Naomi Klein made a similar declaration in 2009. This is not about hatred or dislike of anyone. It's about making change for the better the only option through a movement.

Check out proseandpromise's diary on Movement Politics

Originally posted to Nulwee on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 12:16 PM PST.

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  •  Tip Jar (364+ / 0-)
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    Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs? -9.38, -5.18

    by Nulwee on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 12:16:06 PM PST

    •  Thank you! (29+ / 0-)

      Lest we get back to our roots, progressivism dies.

      I am shocked at the shear number of Kossacks who discount (or don't even know about) Saul Alinksy, or his modern disciple Randy Shaw. Too bad we were "joined" by a certain group of DLC types several years back.

      Pionta Guinness, le do thoil!

      by surfbird007 on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 12:43:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  amen.... amen... amen.... (27+ / 0-)

      make their lives a living HELL... everyday for the next 2 years.

      It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. Ansel Adams -6.5 -6.75

      by Statusquomustgo on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 12:44:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This diary is a hack job (18+ / 0-)

      The diary it responds to had a point worth thinking about, but this one simply treats that other one as a laugh riot.  

      Try some substance next time instead of mere style...

      Youth lives by personality, age lives by calculation. -- Aristotle

      by not2plato on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:03:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  hack?!?!?!? you seem to forget... (32+ / 0-)

        For all the talk of "The President want this", or "The President endorses that", or "The President is, or is not, caving", he only has TWO options legislatively in this:

          1.  Sign a bill

          2.  Veto a bill.

        That's it.

        from zenbassoon's diary

        It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. Ansel Adams -6.5 -6.75

        by Statusquomustgo on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:26:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  you forgot the strength of the bully pulpit. that (12+ / 0-)

          is quite powerful, lest you forget how effectively George W. Bush used it to get what he wanted through the congress with far smaller majorities in the house and senate.

          •  Yes, that's how Bush privatized SS (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Nulwee, ShadowSD

            and got the Beck-tards to cave on immigration reform.

            Bush didn't use the bully-pulpit--he used the wavery Democrats who were too willing to go along cuz that's what we do (some of us) ... go along to get along.

            •  And FDR let the New Deal fall from the sky. n/t (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nulwee, chicago jeff, Uberbah

              Obama's signature accomplishment: Rehabilitating the GOP brand in two years. (he did promise CHANGE).

              by Johnathan Ivan on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 08:34:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  FDR had a lot more Democrats (0+ / 0-)

                and phased in the New Deal in the same stubborn incomplete way as Obama is w/HCR.

                If we're talking history.

                77% of voters support a public option, Congress.

                by ShadowSD on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 06:07:32 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  But... But... I thought the President was all (0+ / 0-)

                  but impotent?

                  Isn't that the new argument de jour as to why Obama can't advance any major progressive ideals?

                  1.  Rethuglicans fault
                  1.  Blue Dog's fault
                  1.  Need to be bipartisan
                  1.  Senate will filibuster...

                  and finally, at long last,

                  The President is all but powerless.

                  In essence, FDR did nothing.  It was all thanks to the Congress under him.

                  Those fiery speeches he gave?  Waste of time.  Had no effect.

                  FDR was just lucky as hell.

                  So was LBJ.

                  Bush?  Why, he didn't want Tax Cuts for the wealthy, it was all Congress' fault and Bush had no choice.  Same thing with the wars:  Bush is a man of peace and was forced by Congress to invade.

                  Poor Bush.  To think how many folks here wanted to hold him accountable for what transpired during his two terms when he was utterly powerless to influence Congress.  

                  Congress has the bully pulpit!  Who knew?

                  Don't Blame Obama: He is simply a captive functionary who must sign anything shoved on his desk.

                  by Johnathan Ivan on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 10:04:06 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Bush used 9/11 (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nulwee, spacejam, Yalin

              The "accomplishments" (if you can call them that) of his presidency are mostly front-loaded into his first term. His second term was a lot less effective, and he wound up failing at most of his big ticket policies. The victories he had during that time tended to have more to do with maintaining his earlier accomplishments (keeping the war in Iraq going, for instance), and had more to do with inertia than anything else.

              Deoliver47 was right and deserves some apologies.

              by seancdaug on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 08:44:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  not at all (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                His second term was a lot less effective, and he wound up failing at most of his big ticket policies.

                Mukasey confirmed, Iraq Surge, Telecom Immunity.  All in his last two years in office after Dems took back Congress and his poll numbers took a permanent dive after he let NOLA drown.

                Bush's only real defeats were on immigration reform, SS privatization and Justice Meyers.

                ThAnswr "If the administration can't fight for it's friends, don't expect us to fight their enemies."

                by Uberbah on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 01:53:48 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Those defeats were huge, though (0+ / 0-)

                  Immigration reform and SS privatization were the major policy pushes of his second term. Only the surge comes close in terms of its importance to his agenda and his constituents (telecom immunity was huge in its implications, but wasn't a centerpiece of his administration).

                  I tend to think that Bush was pretty much middle-of-the-road in his ability to get his agenda past Congress. He was certainly no evil mirror of FDR (or even LBJ) like Democrats tend to paint him.

                  Deoliver47 was right and deserves some apologies.

                  by seancdaug on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 06:59:37 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Ignoring the point is huge. (0+ / 0-)

                    The point isn't that Bush got everything he wanted.  The point is that he got almost everything he ever wanted - even after Dems took back Congress and his approval ratings crashed.

                    The point is that Bush had a far better win/loss record than Obama, despite Bush never having anything close to Obama's majorities.

                    Because Bush was willing to pressure Congress until it did what he wanted, as opposed to Obama who just really really wants the Republicans to like him.

                    ThAnswr "If the administration can't fight for it's friends, don't expect us to fight their enemies."

                    by Uberbah on Mon Nov 15, 2010 at 03:29:58 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Yes kids, this is what's called misdirection. (0+ / 0-)

              Yes, that's how Bush privatized SS and got the Beck-tards to cave on immigration reform.

              So Bush wasn't effective in getting what he wanted because he didn't get everything he wanted?  Can you name a president that has?  Can you name any world leader that has in the history of the planet - including dictators?

              The misdirection is weak with this one.

              Now that you're attempt to move the goalposts has been dealt with, maybe you'd like to mention how many times Bush and Frist whined about needing 60 votes to pass legislation.  And how Bush continued to get almost everything he wanted after his poll numbers collapsed after Katrina and after Dems took back Congress.

              ThAnswr "If the administration can't fight for it's friends, don't expect us to fight their enemies."

              by Uberbah on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 01:51:29 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Bush had the same options, right? n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Obama's signature accomplishment: Rehabilitating the GOP brand in two years. (he did promise CHANGE).

          by Johnathan Ivan on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 08:34:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  That brilliant comment must have taken all of... (6+ / 0-)

        ...five seconds to compose.  Yet somehow, it contains all the premises required to wipe the floor utterly with it.

        But seriously.  The substance is there.

        The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

        by Stephen Daugherty on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:38:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  A Billy madison comment (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Principal: Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

          "Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped." - Elbert Hubbard

          by BusyinCA on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 05:15:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Anything to avoid the hard work (39+ / 0-)

        ... of taking a beating for your own beliefs. Face it, what passes for progressivism here at dailykos is a disgrace. It's a dodge that basically shoves the responsibility of doing the boots on the ground hard work to someone else of higher authority, so you can sit on the couch and say "Obama's fuckin up. Pelosi's fuckin up. Reid is fuckin up" whenever the chosen progressive cause of the week doesn't get passed by wobbly blue dogs or corrupt republicans.

        Public Option didn't pass because none of you raised hell in the townhalls last august. It was no secret that Obama promised it just because Edwards and Hillary did. You all had that gut feeling that it wasn't going to pass, yet you didn't show up. Now you get to beat the drum daily about why and who betrayed you. We'll here's your wake up call: you betrayed yourselves. End of story.

        "Progressives"? More like keyboard commandos. Those who died in the Ludlow Massacre fighting for a decent wage and got clubbed bloody on the streets of Birmingham for Civil Rights would be ashamed if they could see you now. What a joke.

        America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand. - Harry S. Truman

        by faster democrat kill kill on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 02:34:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's true (19+ / 0-)

          that we sacrifice little other than a check here or there or maybe a few phone calls.

          We're not walking miles to boycott buses, we're not risking our lives by joining unions or getting arrested in senator's offices for protesting Afghanistan (Vietnam).

          But don't be too down on us. Some of us are just looking for the right opportunity to become part of a sustainable movement that can take back this country to its more humane, honest and fair side.

          Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs? -9.38, -5.18

          by Nulwee on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 02:42:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We can all start by speaking out as individuals (29+ / 0-)

            Nobody's going to arrest you or beat you these days for speaking out to your Representative. And if they do, great! Makes for good news footage.

            For my part, I've been to a over dozen protests over the last decade that a) had a permit, b) stayed within the approved area, c) hardly ever got rowdy enough to disturb any of the nearby neighbors, much less make any politician think we meant business. These protest were great places to buy a hot link or the lastest "Buck Fush" t-shirt, but beyond that they were pretty useless. I know people mean well, but hell, are we here to seriously change the country or waste everyone's time with another chant of "Whose streets our streets"?

            At the townhall I went to, complete opposite. The tea partiers were there calling my rep a socialist who supports that Hitler Muslim Hussein Obama - real balls to the wall stuff that would make any lib blush - AND they didn't sheepishly give up the mic and sit down when asked, but really stood their ground in a gathering filled with quiet, polite union workers and libs who groaned but were mostly silent.

            Doesn't take a movement. It just takes guts and a strong belief in what you're doing.

            America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand. - Harry S. Truman

            by faster democrat kill kill on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 03:02:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  hallelujah!! wish I could rec you a million times (7+ / 0-)

              for this comment and the one above it.

              It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. Ansel Adams -6.5 -6.75

              by Statusquomustgo on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 03:10:00 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Yup, 2 hr permitted Saturday strolls don't cut it (4+ / 0-)

              Even real protests alone are hardly enough. They're one part of a strong grassroots force.

            •  Well, young people are more able bodied... (3+ / 0-)

              Yet a vast chunk of them dont even show up to the tame marches you dissed. Should all the grey haired folks throw themselves into plate glass windows? (Joe Scarborough laughed, recently, while showing footage of British youths rioting over tuition issues, saying, quite accurately, that in the US the reaction to such tuition hikes would be: "Guess Im not going to college this year!" Snort!)

              As for the healthcare town halls, my question is this:

              What with all the moaning done (justified and based on fact, as it was) about all the uninsured or badly insured and outrageous premiums and rules, etc, all of which had put millions in dire straits ... why weren't those victimized millions showing up at town halls and raising holy hell? Where was their anger and, fuck, where the hell were they?

              I happen to have a good union health plan. However, I took action for what I hoped would be real reformed healthcare for ALL Americans by signing petitions and making phone calls, threatening reps with the progressive backlash (that never came) if they didnt support a PO, no ifs ands or buts, etc...  

              I dont live in a state where the crazy town halls occurred... but if I did, and if I were angry about hanging on by a thread due to lack of coverage, I would damned well get out there and yell about it. (When it became clear the game was rigged and all those progressive pledges were all bs, I dropped out. One thing I would not do was pimp that corporate bullshit plan that Congress crapped out.)

              So why should I transport myself to another state, where the screamers are, and scream at the guy screaming at, say, Specter, when there should be plenty of Pennsylvanians in the dire healthcare straits (which, again, I am not in), there to do the screaming at that guy? (Many other places and cases like the one cited in PA.) Why should I go and act up if those who are so negatively impacted do not?

              Especially if most of the "comrades" I would encounter, to counter the tea partiers, would probably be OFA types and other Dem attached folks, carrying bland signs promoting Obama's/Dems non existent "great" plan... without much strength to their passion because who could get passionate about that? (What I saw.) Folks should have been out there shaking fists at Democrats to do the progressive thing. Ironically, that would probably finally get the blood boiling from the Dem supporting sign holders, only their anger would be aimed at the Dem critical  progressives.

              Face it, "we" (the vast american majority) have a cultural taboo against acting up against the govt. or authority. We have a cultural taboo against believing the govt should help us, the common good for the common people. We, as a people, have bought into bootstraps and American Dream Cream Pie (I too may get me some!) even though we lay claim to the stuff them dirty socialists got for us back when... or the nasty unions, but we disavow the very nature of these protections (socialist) and pretend they arent the floor beneath our feet, the one we cling to... Now the folks who really go for this crap and, at the same time, are extremely deluded about the socialist floor they rely on, beneath their stomping feet, are the only ones hitting the streets with veins popping, these days. (Contrast with what's been happening in France and the UK)

              It is all very sad and backwards.

              You've got Republicans. You've got Democrats. Youve got apathy and diversion and hanging on and falling off in silent, stoic suffering. Then youve got the Tea Party. Those are our "movements" and not a one of them is progressive.

              Like I said, it's all very sad and backwards.


              Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

              by NYCee on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 05:53:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Go chain yourself to the lobby of blue cross (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Nulwee, Matt Z

                ... and burn your insurance card, say "private healthcare is bullshit. we need single payer now!" chant it until the cops come, have someone record it and put it on youtube. Pay for a 90 dollar ticket for trespassing and get your 15 minutes of fame. Done. That would take two people and 90 dollars to accomplish.

                I'm serious. If you really believe that what you think is right get creative and get the message out there. Personally, I went door to door and asked people to write letters against the Iraq War. I tried to inform people through a series of youtube videos. I went to those bullshit protests. Signed petitions, made calls, and wrote angry e-mails.  Somewhere around the time Obama was elected I tuned out and thought the nightmare was over. Little did I realize that we're just getting warmed up.

                I've hung around tea party people, and I'll tell you that we laugh them off at our own risk. These people are serious as a heart attack brainwashed true believer populists. So we can just hide out here at DK and yell at each other like bugs and daffy saying "rabbit season, duck season" as the Republicans plan to put us both on the menu. We can bitch about how lax the younger generation is these days (but hell, when in history have old folks not thought that). We can eat our own and spend money and resources to take out Blanche Lincoln, Ben Nelson, or Obama and watch them replaced by a hardcore fascist Republicans.  Or we could fucking shut our pie holes, walk our talk, bypass the middleman, and take our fight directly to Wall Street, be the yeller at townhall meetings, or just go to your (or your nearest Republican) congressional representatives offices with a big banner that says "jobs killer".

                Hell, I'm just throwing stuff out there, but the main thing I think we should do is to stop waiting for other people to do it or waiting for a big movement to form. It probably won't happen. Just go out there by yourself. They may call you names, but you'll be fine.

                Don't give into cynicism. We can win this thing.

                America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand. - Harry S. Truman

                by faster democrat kill kill on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 09:02:40 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I don't expect the young to have protest marches (0+ / 0-)

                It would be nice, but I'd be happy if they just got out to vote.

            •  We are gutless. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              baldwip, Nulwee, Matt Z

              10.2.10 March On Washington ROCKED

              by War on Error on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 07:55:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  What then must we do? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Nulwee, I ask you?  The tea-partiers to my mind are tools, but I have to give them begrudging respect that even astroturfed they took to the streets to express their opinion(s).  We as liberals/progressives are a much larger tent AND we're reality based.  So in the words of Linda Hunt "Billy" from the "Year of Living Dangerously"...I ask "What then must we do?"  It is a rhetorical question.  Get off our D.K. asses and take to the street.

            "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." - Flannery O'Conner

            by Dixiedemocrat on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 06:27:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Could you please change the title because not all (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            here are falling for anything?  Good diary otherwise.  Thanks, Nulwee.

        •  Nice! What a great comment. Where have people lik (2+ / 0-)

          e you been lurking? I want to hear more from you and people like you and less from the likes of the "blame game" progressive who are good at attacking others for not doing something but otherwise out of ideas.

          Some people WANT IT NOW and WANT IT ALL OR NOTHING! They remind me of my 11-year-old daughter.

          by healthy on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 06:50:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Indeed (7+ / 0-)

          "Progressives" try to do things on the cheap. If anyone raised a stink, it was to heckle Obama when he was at Boxer's fundraising.  Put aside the idea that, even if Obama were the Devil Incarnate, maybe he should be heckled at some event other than Boxer's fundraising, if for nothing else because Boxer has been a long and loyal friend of us liberals. Why didn't the hecklers go protest McCain instead? McConnell? There were 41 Republican Senators who can be heckled, yet they went to protest Boxer.

          And we have people justifying that heckling here:

          "although it sounded like an excellent response at the time, the President's request that the protesters heckle opponents of gay rights instead of him is completely illogical. To use a tired sports analogy: a player won't go screaming at the players on the opposing team for attempting to score and win the game. That's what they're expected to do."
          (The diary is filled with approval of the heckling.)

          Yes, it is "completely illogical" to go heckle the Republicans because they do "what they're expected to do". Meanwhile the Tea Baggers go shout about Death Panels at Democratic townhalls.

          One side takes the fight to the other side and the other side eats its own. And we wonder why one side wins and the other side gets no where.

          This is from Dr. King:

          "We're going on in spite of dogs and fire hoses."

          Where is that spirit now? These days the Republicans don't even need to bring out the dogs and the fire hoses - there's no one in front of them to unleash the dogs against or to hose down.

          •  I think it has to be you and me. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Nulwee, Matt Z

            There's no one else we can count on to do it. Like Gandhi said "Be the change you seek in the world."

            So-called Progressives just scared to go out there, so they fight people who they think won't yell back at them. I don't mean that as a slight, because nobody wants to be yelled at or have their head stepped on, however as you pointed out, shitting on people who are already on your side is a foolish waste of time.

            To reverse their analogy, they're fighting their own team while the other guys run the ball in for a touchdown.

            America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand. - Harry S. Truman

            by faster democrat kill kill on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 09:25:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  That's a very good recent example. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Matt Z

            It's not that there shouldn't be something to impress on the president, but we really do make that mistake you refer to at our own cost.

            Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs? -9.38, -5.18

            by Nulwee on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 01:13:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Hack job, maybe. But the argument is dishonest. (14+ / 0-)

        The previous diary loses it's meaning if taken out of context as a response to a "Get a grip" diary.  The net effect is to shift substantive discussion from the looming attack on SS and recent words from the WH to what is wrong with those of us who do want to fight these things.

        Here's how this little obfuscation works:

        1. Troubling words emanate from the WH and from the chair of the Catfood Commission.
        1. The left begins to react, discussing the meaning of the words, the details of the Catfood Commission, and what a serious approach to both the deficit and SS would look like.
        1. Someone posts a condescending "Get a grip" diary dismissing the discussion as naive and ill-intentioned and making the claim that the only sensible thing to do is to contact Senators.
        1. A well-reasoned, non-insulting diary responds to the "Get a grip" diary by arguing for the sensibility of pressuring the WH.  Agree or disagree, a reasonable argument is mounted which is refreshingly free of insult.
        1. Ignoring the "Get a grip" diary, people claim the response diary is an argument made in a vacuum not to contact Senators.

        In summary, the "Get a grip" diary insists that the only sensible course of action is to contact Senators, not pressure Obama, and does so with the same disbelieving condescension the current diary employs.  When someone responds, that person is accused of recommending only one course of action instead of both.  I think it's called projection, in psychological terms.  I know it's enough to make me want to scream.

        This is not honest debate centered on issues.  This site is not starving for lessons in activism.  I don't think there is a pressing need to lecture one another on how to be better, more sensible people, nor on how politics works.  What is needed is discussion about issues free of obfuscation.

        There is a contingent here who seem decidedly less excited about the content they are discussing, about the course of action they are arguing for, than they are in portraying those they disagree with as foolish, ill-informed, naive, self-centered, and several other things.

        If the diarist is actually interested in pulling together to get things done, then I suggest that starting out by insulting a fellow well-informed activist is not the greatest way to start.

        As to the New Deal, I suggest a little more study would be useful.  FDR skipped the Inauguration Ball to begin work immediately, appointing a team of progressives who took it as their mission to reform the American economy.  They worked their asses off the first week, and they weren't discussing compromise or what is possible, they were focused on what would work.  Whatever role the bottom up played in the New Deal, there was clear unambiguous commitment from the top down, and most of the legislation originated at the top.

        I'm sorry.  I'm all for activism, but this diary does not invite unity.  It is insulting.

        "The Dallas Cowboys truly are America's team: losing, finger-pointing, and firing people." -Andy Borowitz

        by geomoo on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 04:42:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're accusing me of things I never did: (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rudyard, Taunger, Triscula, Larsstephens

          about the course of action they are arguing for, than they are in portraying those they disagree with as foolish, ill-informed, naive, self-centered, and several other things.>

          Your point about FDR is made in complete denial of the reality that FDR had a revolutionary sentiment among the masses on his side. Obama's sins not forgotten, he did spend weeks after his election--before his inauguration--planning extensively for the economy.

          An honest discussion of the failings of the president--and again, this is the overly-focused on the presidency view I'm criticizing--would remember these facts.

          Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs? -9.38, -5.18

          by Nulwee on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 05:04:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If the shoe fits. (9+ / 0-)

            I don't see your name in my comment.  I said "There is a contingent here".  This diary taken as the third in a sequence of diaries makes me wonder where you stand, but I was thinking more of a commenter in bobswern's diary today who was more plainly exhibiting this behavior.  As have many others.

            I'm more than willing to be corrected, but as I said downthread, this diary strikes me as an attempt to own activism--discrediting the activism of joanneleon while giving a rousing call for your own brand.  That is my primary complaint here.  And the process by which this occurred, as I outline above, is a dishonest one in that the sneering and the drawing of a line in the sand began with the "Get a grip" diary, not with joanneleon.

            My question to you is, if you are not more interested in one than the other, why the hell did you start this diary with a put-down of a someone you should count as your ally?

            I'll drop the discussion of FDR.

            "The Dallas Cowboys truly are America's team: losing, finger-pointing, and firing people." -Andy Borowitz

            by geomoo on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 05:13:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Holding hands is not working, and not (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Matt Z, geomoo, Larsstephens, MartyM


              This site thrives on argument, and that's not a bad thing.

              The reality is that posters like budhydharma, Colorado is the Shiznit, slinkerwink also act similarly. They are not going to hold hands with those they disagree with. I recommend criticism and opposing views but in some situations I will call those making wrong arguments out. That is not cruel, nor is it wrong.

              Beyond that, I recommended Cenk Uyger today, and he is not an ally in my mind so much as a parasite on the progressive movement--like his predecessor David Sirota. His diary happened to be right.

              But anyway, if this diary instigates some sentiment that helps lead to something along the lines of more broadly-formed activism, then it's done something to shake the conversation on this site.

              Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs? -9.38, -5.18

              by Nulwee on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 05:23:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm sorry, but I don't consider it honest (8+ / 0-)

                I was seeing what seemed to be a fairly well-focused discussion on the Catfood Commission, which included much frustration about Obama, which made sense since it was his commission and it was Axelrod who had just commented.  Sure, included in this discussion was some indulgent criticism of Obama in general, but that wasn't the focus, and most of it was honest opinion rather than indulgent.

                But what followed was an insidious attempt not only to argue whether the focus should properly be on the senate instead of Obama, a discussion I welcome, but also an attempt to discredit those who are focused on Obama.  Through a series of all too common manipulations, joanneleon's good faith defense against a sneering diary is now being portrayed as a confused activism.  It's not honest.  Instead of discussing equally, a certain contingent continually insists on owning the discussion on the grounds that those who are particularly critical of Obama are flawed in some way and must not be listened to.  I'm sorry, but I read this diary as an integral part of that process.

                To the point, take out the context and the opening, and do you honestly believe joanneleon would take issue at all with any of the words in this diary?  Do you honestly believe that she is confused about activism?

                The most frustrating part is that I'm in passionate agreement that the only thing left to us is bottom up activism.  As I said, context is everything.

                "The Dallas Cowboys truly are America's team: losing, finger-pointing, and firing people." -Andy Borowitz

                by geomoo on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 05:39:04 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't know joannelson (0+ / 0-)

                  nor am I her judge.

                  Some of us don't follow the ups and downs of this site very closely. I probably do more than most, and much of the day I am not capable of accessing Daily Kos.

                  Slinkerwink found my diary tiresome today. What bores me is that there is a consistent drumbeat of diaries that whittle our options down and down into less and less, even when some of those same diarists recognized the horror in the shift from single-payer to public-option to neither. But our options whittled away in this case are forms of recourse. I'm responding to that mostly. But yes, I do disagree that calling the "unreachable" is a waste of time.

                  We have little more than action diaries that sign us up for subscription emails--again, insufficient in the bigger picture more than the short-term. Some are depressed by Obama and the "clap-louders," but some of us are also depressed by who might be perceive as cynics--again, not referring to joannelson.

                  I bet virtually ally of people reading this diary responded more to that general tone here instead of animus against the other diarist. Most of us--granted I know there are exceptions--are not remembering points and grudges from day-to-the-next and some of us rec people on opposing sides.

                  Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs? -9.38, -5.18

                  by Nulwee on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 05:56:36 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Okay. I'll take you at your word. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    slinkerwink, blueoasis, Nulwee

                    I hope you recognize that my response is not one based in holding grudges; rather, it is one based in concern I see over manipulations which distract from meaningful discussion.  I see a lot of it, and I see a lot of effort to marginalize progressives from the media, naturally, to this WH, heartbreakingly.  You can bet I will stand up and name it when I see it happening at the one place where I can speak back.

                    I would guess that enough people to matter responded to this diary as a win for them, as further proof that their brand of activism is reasonable while the brand of the other side is deeply flawed.  I would love to be wrong about that.

                    Here's to this:

                    Most of us--granted I know there are exceptions--are not remembering points and grudges from day-to-the-next and some of us rec people on opposing sides.


                    "The Dallas Cowboys truly are America's team: losing, finger-pointing, and firing people." -Andy Borowitz

                    by geomoo on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 06:11:51 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  If you are not my judge, Nulwee (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    slinkerwink, Nightprowlkitty

                    then I would appreciate it if you would clarify your title here because you're calling me out as a liar, for no good reason, with absolutely no evidence.

                    And you're right, you don't know me, and I have no idea who you are.  I'm not even associated with any corporation.  

                    I think it's rather disingenuous for you to backpedal now, saying that you are not judging, when you're accusing me of using a "Corporate LIE."

                    Back it up, or retract it.

          •  that's okay, your diary is still a steaming pile (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Stopping SS cuts and extentions of the Bush tax cuts isn't anything like passing the New Deal, and it's extremely disingenuous for you to pretend otherwise.

            Veto.  Pen.  Google it.

            ThAnswr "If the administration can't fight for it's friends, don't expect us to fight their enemies."

            by Uberbah on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 08:00:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Why go to rude? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        10.2.10 March On Washington ROCKED

        by War on Error on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 07:53:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I said something similar in my entry (26+ / 0-)


      I think one mistake the electorate has made, regrettably enough, is letting the idea get into their head that these people are out of their reach.  So too is the idea some politicians get that they're out of our reach.  However, if the only time these people realize they've screwed up is when election season rolls around, it's going to be difficult to hold these people accountable, beyond the primary season.

      We've seen what a problem that can be.  I'm sure everybody wanted to hold their Congresspersons accountable.  But I'm pretty sure most of us wanted to win that election, too.  What to do?

      I think it's important to make sure that if there's anybody that our Congresspeople are entangled psychologically with, reacting to, justifying things to, that it be us.  We have to speak up.  We have to make our thoughts, our opinions, our preferences known, and make them known pretty much on a regular basis.  Ours should be the letters the staffers read, ours should be the phone calls they field most of the time.  When those people on Capitol Hill think of their constituents, they should think of us.  When they weigh what policies they can get away with, they should know that there are people out there who will be aware of what's going on if they don't act appropriately.

      The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

      by Stephen Daugherty on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:12:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama uses that "bottom up" line alot (7+ / 1-)

      therefore, this diary is bullshit because Obama is the LORD OF DARKNESS AND FATHER OF LIES.


      Fuck it, non-sequitur music vid time.

      Bottoms up, bottoms up, ey, what's in ya cup
      Got a couple bottles, but a couple ain't enough

      "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

      by TheHalfrican on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:15:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  well said!! (15+ / 0-)

      now THIS is a diary that can inspire progress!!  unlike the bullshit demoralizing diaries about how much democrats suck.  WE ARE THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY!!  not the few we hire for temp work in DC!!  it's up to US to make the changes by sheer force of expressed unyielding will.

      We live in hard time. Not end times. - Jon Stewart

      by bluefaction on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:18:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nulwee (17+ / 0-)

      We need to generate change from the bottom, the top, and even the middle - from all directions and through whatever non-violent means that work. To me, that is a no-brainer.

      Therefore, I just don't understand this ongoing disagreement espoused in these latest threads. Have we all become contrarians for the simple sake of creating an argument - any argument -and thereafter elongating it for no other purpose than to continue that argument for argument's sake? Really, I just don't get it, folks.

      •  As I wrote above to a very wise (18+ / 0-)

        commentator, this site has an addiction to the "eggs in one basket" view of politics that believes we just need a perfect or best advocate in the White House. If we someone got that person, it would force the Congress and the military and the rest to comply.

        This is not a new debate.

        Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs? -9.38, -5.18

        by Nulwee on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:23:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I believe it is useful obfuscation. (8+ / 0-)

        I can't guess the motivation of those involved, but the net effect is to turn substantive discussion into meta, mutual insult, and polarity-fests.

        If the goal is activism, then why take a sneering tone toward a fellow activist just because her focus is different than yours?

        "The Dallas Cowboys truly are America's team: losing, finger-pointing, and firing people." -Andy Borowitz

        by geomoo on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 04:45:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The sneering tone being this? (5+ / 0-)

          Really? The only person, hm?

          The tone of my diary has been far, far kinder than either some responses to me and typical responses to others on this site. Budhydharma routinely treats his opponents like garbage.

          I've saved that kind of ammo for LC Johnson's racist tirades against the president and progressional pundits--powerful people who largely either don't see and can regardless handle the criticism-- like Sirota and Uyger when I think they're wrong, obfuscating, et cet.

          Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs? -9.38, -5.18

          by Nulwee on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 05:09:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It certainly isn't the worst I've ever seen. (4+ / 0-)

            I'm glad to grant you that.  For the most part, I felt unable to rec Buhdy today because of just the sort of thing you are discussing.  There is a thing about abuse--after a while, one has only to hint at abuse to bring up in the recipient the whole force of the extended behavior.  Specifically, coming in this context, your small indulgence carries with it the force of the "Get a grip" diary which preceded it, along with months of other insults.  Context is important, and I apologize if context has caused me to mistake your tone or your meaning.  I will offer that you bear a bit of responsibility to be aware of this as well.

            If I mentioned the word "clap," I expect you would find it difficult to respond only to what is contained in my comment.  And I wouldn't blame you.

            "The Dallas Cowboys truly are America's team: losing, finger-pointing, and firing people." -Andy Borowitz

            by geomoo on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 05:19:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  We were distracted like this during the HCR (16+ / 0-)

      debate.  Thanks for making the space a bit more productive.  I've been avoiding the site since the election because it has a history of diving into navel gazing histrionics for months after we lose.

      Good job!  Let's keep it real and do some real work.

      Let Obama be Obama.

      by Yoshimi on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:28:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. Here's my letter to Reid & Pelosi ... (19+ / 0-)

      ... on strategy they could activate on Monday with Senator Reid taking the lead.  It would lead to a sea change in a matter of weeks and would enable the Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader Pelosi to do some serious business in the 112th and have the Republicans starkly exposed, day after day, for what they are.

      10 November 2010

      Dear Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid,

      Please ask your respective Democratic Caucuses to return to DC by Saturday, 13 November and indicate that the remaining time the 111th Congress will be in session will stretch from that day, with a few days break over Christmas, until the day before the 112th Congress convenes.

      The first action I request you then take, Majority Leader Reid, is either personally or through another Democratic Senator – Senator Murray would be a apropos choice – on Monday morning 15 November, to bring the Disclose Act to a vote.  Upon the Republicans filibuster, you or Senator Murray, or some other Democratic Senator calls a point of order and you proceed on the Constitutional Option.   A simple majority is all that is required and you will have set the necessary precedent to proceed with simple majority votes on the backlog of legislation already passed by the House – from repealing DADT, enacting DREAM, creating jobs and so much more and you will be able to approve the countless appointments to the Executive Branch that have languished in the Senate.

      Speaker Pelosi, should any conference action be required, I request you and your House colleagues proceed with alacrity.

      The Republicans can scream all they want, but you will be doing the People’s business.

      I venture to say had you taken this action, Leader Reid, in August, or earlier, as I and others urged you to do, you would have many more Democratic colleagues in the 112th Senate and Speaker Pelosi would still be Speaker.

      So, within the span of 7-9 weeks, the two of you can bring vast benefits to Americans and make it absolutely clear that it was purely Republican obstructionism, aided by an Unconstitutional procedure in the Senate that enabled that obstructionism.

      Majority Leader Reid, by doing so you will not only be able to fire-wall any of the garbage legislation that the Republicans will undoubtedly shovel into the Senate, you will be able to pass, with simple majority, meaningful legislation that you can send to the House in response to the garbage the Republicans will create.  And, importantly, you can message to the American people that while the House Republicans dawdle with ‘investigations’ they should be doing the People’s work by creating substantive legislation and policy.

      I assure you if you have the courage – and I personally think the two of you and many of your colleagues do – to take this action, the overwhelming response you are going to receive from Americans will be - ‘if you had only done this before Nov 2nd’!  Followed by, ‘much better late than never.’

      Thank you and Congratulations on your victories for the American people and all you have done in the 111th Congress,


      We must, all, be incessant in our demands on each and every Senator and Representative.  President Obama has zero chance of being effective without a massive amount of grass roots pressure being brought to Capital Hill every day.

      Thank you.

      Boehner, Where are the jobs, dude?

      by understandinglife on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:56:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, yes and YES!! (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee, Matt Z, Badabing, soms, Aquagranny911

      Republicans are slumlording America!!

      by Fe Bongolan on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 02:29:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hell yeah...great diary...time to get all (8+ / 0-)

      up in their face..

      A national strike, lasting a month....

      A change of sea...that will crack every single window in the Capitol Building....

      Let's do a real march, not these 'fake marches' because right now, they got everything they want, don't they?

      Stop letting other people tell you what did not work before, because this is the truth:  it did:  We suited up, we showed up, and we kept showing up over and over and over again...

      That is the difference between now and the past...your computer is not activism....activism is continual marching, over and over again.....

      We just forgot that because we are being sold a bill of goods from the internet, and the truth is we are all just where they want us to be:

      'cowered and desperately afraid'....until we get over that, they will continue to rob us blind....

      Thanks for telling the truth....and for your courage...

      Ms. B.

    •  This is one of my favorite diaries so far- (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee, French Imp

      You've said exactly the truth.
      There is a little bit too much flailing and fear lately on Daily Kos. Recent diaries are unnecessarily flaming, many not well researched, and a bit sensational too much to really be substantive and true.
      No matter what happens on the top, we the People do have the ultimate power, and we need to trust it. This grassroots community is one of the most positive, wonderful things that happened on the political left.

      Nothing happens in a vacuum. Reagan didn't defeat communism, it was the suppressed and repressed countries fed up with the status quo who massively opposed the totalitarian systems, building strong underground movements that eventually scared those who held power.

      American capitalism is self destroying as we speak. We witness it right now.
      The corporations that wreak so much havoc in the American economy are going to fail on their own.
      The politics of fear will self destroy in time.

      All we have to do is sit back, relax and just watch as it all collapses into oblivion. And be strong, unfailing, determined in the pursuit of the truth.

      "A time is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will trigger a revolution." -- Cézanne

      by toilpress on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 03:24:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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

      Call them all. Not only that protest for real look at the French, the Brits, the Germans
      Are we the land of the free or the land of the meek?

    •  LIke it or not... (4+ / 0-)
      ...our system is designed where we elect representatives and they in turn do the governing.  We've done our part.  It's time for them to do theirs.

      WE don't get a vote in congress. WE don't get veto authority.  Working for change from the bottom up is all well and good but it only works if that change filters to the top EVENTUALLY.

      and there's been no evidence of that.

      Will vote for Pie.

      by DawnG on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 03:36:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "and there's been no evidence of that." (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Check077, Mistral Wind

        Really??? So I guess, MLK was just a just some dope who was wasting his time while LBJ thought up the Civil Rights Act one day on the golf course. I guess women got the vote because men gave it to them out of the goodness of their hearts.

        America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand. - Harry S. Truman

        by faster democrat kill kill on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 04:04:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Are you seriously comparing... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ...what is going on now with what happened in the 50s?  This is a COMPLETELY different country.  We have truely gone through the looking glass.  It's not even close.

          Will vote for Pie.

          by DawnG on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 05:03:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

            How so? I'd like to hear how activism is futile in the face of the problems we face, because whenever I hear this response it just sounds like an excuse made by people who are afraid to back up their talk with action.

            America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand. - Harry S. Truman

            by faster democrat kill kill on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 05:14:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  it's not that activism is futile... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

    's that it's not mainstream anymore.  Oh sure you can get a million people out on the DC mall to witness the innaguration of the first black president, but you don't get the level of protest or civil disobedience that you had back in the 50s.

              People are, by and large, more tuned out than they used to be.  There are far more distractions and more pressing concerns in modern life.  

              If we could get the kind of activism we had in the 50s then sure as shit we'd see change. But anymore I wonder if that's a completely unrealistic goal.

              Will vote for Pie.

              by DawnG on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 05:24:25 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed. Letters, phone calls, emails are pointles (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink, churchylafemme, Uberbah

      when those you're sending them to are clearly acting against the public will. The point of appealing/pleading to those in power is that they're honest people who are unaware of public sentiment.

      This is not the problem. We have to move away from this distant sort of isolated action to something where we're united together in such ways to help each others and others and also threaten those in power. The biggest gains for social welfare came at a time that capitalism was in serious doubt. The ruling politicians and wealthy did whatever they could to pacify the public and convince them, for a short time at least, that they were on their side.

      The grassroots force began to dwindle, the rich started taking robbing the public again with the help of the politicians that need their support to stay in power (or are just outright corrupt, stupid, or don't give a f*ck). With the fall of the Soviet Union and what seems like a hardly existent left (as a grassroots, organized force), the rich have accelerated their robbery world wide, but they're having an easier time screwing the American public.

      •  Hand-written letters to senators (2+ / 0-)

        and presidents are far from worthless. It's not a point of either/or, but of focus and diversity.

        Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs? -9.38, -5.18

        by Nulwee on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 05:11:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well then feel free (4+ / 0-)

          to send hand-written letters to my Senators, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe. Because they, like, care what I think, which is not much at all like caring.  

          •  I think what's more effective (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Matt Z, mahakali overdrive

            is to show up at their meetings and BBQs and get the presence out for progressive policy ideas, shift the conversation to the left with vocal and visible public support in community settings. We have some infrastructure in place now--like thinkprogress, TPM, Crooks and Liars--but what we don't have is a visible movement competing for headlines.

            Who's disrupting hearings these days? Who's capitalizing the discussion at town halls? Who's got the theatrics and the protest? These things matter. Saul Alinski was very much a showman as well as a negotiator.

            Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs? -9.38, -5.18

            by Nulwee on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 05:17:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Um (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nulwee, Matt Z, Uberbah

              I did show up at a meeting of Susan Collins's. She was meeting with her constituents, who happen to be representatives of business. I guess I should put "constituents" in air quotes. Us little people stayed on the other side of the street from the venue. I believe I diaried it. I can't say I've heard of any sort of meeting with the general public with either her or Snowe, but then I now longer have a car, so it is moot.

        •  How do you know? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          churchylafemme, Nulwee, Matt Z, Uberbah

          Again, you have to first assume they're honest and genuinely interested in what the public thinks.

          They also must have the time to read the letters. If they don't, they have no way of know what the content of the letters are.

          Perhaps this honest politician has some sort of system of sorting the letters based on public opinion, but then how much does this politician seriously factor in letters in their decision making process?

          True grassroots resistance, free of party affiliation, is harder to ignore. The other problem for those in power is the grassroots reorganizing their work places and communities in such a way that the authority of those in government begins to fade. This is why they wanted to "save capitalism" and the authority of the American government.

          •  There was a great diary (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Matt Z, Larsstephens

            recently on the power of hand-written letters.

            It's an act of faith in any individual instance--or maybe I should write act of hope?--but so is a march or a petition, right? Why assume a letter or call is meaningless?

            Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs? -9.38, -5.18

            by Nulwee on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 05:59:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hand written letters > emails (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              But it's just impossible to know how much affect they have, if any. You put yourself in a powerless role in which you have to beg and wait for someone with power to do the right thing. If you have time to kill and this is one of many things you're doing, it doesn't hurt to try I suppose. However, many here seem entirely focused on elections and appealing to politicians and not grassroots organizing and activism. Calls to action here are typically in the form of sending emails, phone calls, and letters to politicians and nothing beyond that.

              When you organize with other people, you can see benefits in many ways, not just in affecting the decisions of politicians. Ultimately our goal should be restoring control into our own hands (democracy) in all aspects of our lives and geographically, not simply fighting for someone from one of two teams to decide everything for us.

        •  any senator who is going to be swayed by (0+ / 0-)

          handwritten letters -- which after all, said senator will never actually read -- is an idiot.

          the right policy is the right policy. if the senator wants to "go with the flow", then the necessary information can be gleaned from the polls. voting on the basis of how many people send one letters favoring one policy over another -- that's just dumb. if it really is effective (and personally, i doubt it), that's a pretty sad comment on the moral and intellectual quality of the average senator.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 02:41:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Misread this. Don't agree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I think appealing to both the president and senators is a waste of time and energy. We need to fight back, but not by being isolated powerless spectators begging those in power to do the right thing. For this strategy to work, the "representatives" actually need to be honest and interested in representing the public beyond a few crumbs and rhetoric to help them win elections.

  •  Either, or, eh? (14+ / 0-)

    "People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy," Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins.

    by kck on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 12:19:29 PM PST

    •  I don't think so (15+ / 0-)

      We need everything. While I personally disagree with Dan Choi on a number of things--let's put it this way. Let's say everything was as disruptive as the way Dan Choi and health care town halls were.

      That's right. Catfood Commission--where are the jobs commissioners? Marriage equality? DADT? Jobs. Rail? State budget help? Immigration? Tax cuts?

      We look more reasonable and more representative of the American population, demographically. We are elders and young, latino, anglo and black and asian and native american. straight and not. We could put the fear of the Lord, hallelujah! into the executive and legislature.

      Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs? -9.38, -5.18

      by Nulwee on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:00:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're right--Disruption gets noticed (10+ / 0-)
        The teabaggers went absolutely nuts and they ended up dominating the narrative for two years.  We don't want to be violent, but we do need to prove that we can do more than sign online petitions.  (Not that I've been Mr. active in any way, shape, or form.)  

        Electing Republicans to run our government is like hiring an arsonist as Property Manager.

        by Grumpy Young Man on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:39:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The teabaggers had the MSM and FoxNews (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          antirove, Nulwee, Matt Z

          to keep them in the headlines. It was a fake grassroots movement sponsored by corporations and fueled by the media. What is the tea party movement now? They get candidates elected who immediately disown them after they are in office.

          The Democrats and the left could get a real solid grass roots movement going.

          This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

          by Agathena on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 02:56:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The rich have propped up fake populists (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Agathena, Matt Z, Larsstephens

            for over a century. Probably centuries.

            What we need is a counter that has the truth of numbers and right on its side, not merely money (though not oblivious to it).

            What we don't need are more Cenks and David Sirotas. Olbermann being back on air helps, but that's a far cry from effective social change and a movement fulfilled.

            Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs? -9.38, -5.18

            by Nulwee on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 05:14:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  That makes sense. (13+ / 0-)

        Your title doesn't though IMO. I don't think think this site has fallen for a corporate lie? There's diversity of opinion here and that's a good thing.

        "People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy," Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins.

        by kck on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:45:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Some thought on how to break through the modern (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nulwee, toilpress

        noise level that makes our efforts background might be useful.

        I was going to mention your good historical hint. By the eve of WW II the mood in the country was indeed dangerous. One more example, The Bonus Army. From the link:

        President Hoover ordered the army to clear out the veterans. Infantry and cavalry supported by six tanks were dispatched with Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur in command. Major Dwight D. Eisenhower served as his liaison with Washington police and Major George Patton led the cavalry.

        By 4:45 P.M. the troops were massed on Pennsylvania Ave. below the Capitol. Thousands of Civil Service employees spilled out of work and lined the streets to watch. The veterans, assuming the military display was in their honor, cheered. Suddenly Patton's troopers turned and charged. "Shame, Shame" the spectators cried. Soldiers with fixed bayonets followed, hurling tear gas into the crowd.

        The bit about FDR saving capitalism is pretty well placed. One book on the times noted an incident in which a fine car got a brick through its window on a back street. The occupant heard some muttering about "killing you" and asked who. "We will" came the reply and I gather it was serious. We can hope the situation will not reach that point now--but I'm wondering.

        Big money was in play politically then. There were the famous smoke filled rooms picking candidates. That said, a Congressman (no women then) getting an original letter or a telegram from a constituent tended to notice. Now?

        Not so much I think. E-mail is almost useless because the sheer volume, spamming and ease makes it largely background noise. I have noticed my own reps tend to send stock e-mail replies, some almost amusingly misplaced as if someone hit the wrong reply button in "Stock Answers." Telegrams? Yep, still exist and very expensive and still used by fat cats wanting attention. Fax? Fax storms of duplicate issue group generated stuff are just more noise.  I have heard some never get delivered. The e-petitions I see here? Same and in some cases just a way to get us to "sign up" for fund pleas. Hard copy letters, once read if obviously original, take a long time to get through security checking for powders and such.

        There is an old rule that the higher the noise level the higher you have to shout to be heard. We need to try to find a way around the current level of e-mail, Fax, and other noise.

        I don't have any stock answers for breaking through the noise wall of modern electronic communications with representatives. It is something we need to work on because I am now convinced current methods are not working.

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 02:19:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not either/or but all of the above. We need to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kck, Nulwee, Matt Z

      be thinking of all the different ways pressure can be applied not banging our heads about which would be more effective.

      Do what you can and mean it.  If it "only" means a weekly letter to the editor, fine.  If you have the time and energy to picket with signs, great.  There are any number of ways on all sorts of levels.  

      We have two years to develop the presssure.  And it can't hurt to bring pressure before it gets really organized.   Even if only a call or so here and there to your choice of congressional offices.......


    •  This is what annoys me about this diary. (5+ / 0-)

      Which strikes me as an attempt to own an issue rather than work with others.  The either/or meme originated in the insulting "Get a grip" diary, but the response diary is dismissed as embracing either/or.  It seems to me to be an attempt to own the call for action, and to do so after the apologists for Obama, not joanneleon, muddied the waters of discussion with a typically eye-rolling commentary.

      This rousing call for action is in a context of showing up those who were already doing fine action-wise, thank you very much, but whose discussion was troubling to some.  So this whole bullshit "Gee we are all so confused about who to contact and how" meme springs up.  Don't worry, Nulwee to the rescue.  The context is one of "We know how to do action and you don't and you are wrong as usual."

      Sorry, but this is bullshit.

      "The Dallas Cowboys truly are America's team: losing, finger-pointing, and firing people." -Andy Borowitz

      by geomoo on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 04:52:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A little respect goes a long way. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nulwee, Matt Z, geomoo

        geomoo, You put some good words to something I was feeling about the diary and I appreciate that.  Yet, why conclude with "Sorry, but this is bullshit"? Are you then not putting yourself in the same camp of "We know and you don't and you are wrong as usual." Nulwee has good stuff to say, and so do you.

        I realize I may be reading your tone wrong here, and your own words stand stronger for me when I experience you also showing respect for another member of our team. We can learn a lot from looking for what is true in each others comments. This is what I attempt for myself, in any case.  

        •  Yeah, maybe "bullshit" isn't so great. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Truth is, I am very angry about this.  It is with great effort that I maintain civility and rationality.  I feel there is habitual slipperiness, denial, and passive aggressive behavior that is not owned.  Worst of all, I feel it has been quite effective at preventing more powerful consensus on the left.  I am very angry, and this diary is an example of why.  I left my interactions with the diarist feeling very dissatisfied.  But at some point, it's time to give up the discussion.  I don't want to add to the problem by participating in it, but sometimes things do slip out.

          The honest truth is, I don't have much respect for some of the behavior around here.  That's what you read into my comment.  But that doesn't mean I ever forget that I share most of the same goals with the diarist, nor does it make me want to prove the diarist wrong in some ultimate or basic way.  I have read many constructive, informative comments from the diarist.  It means that I'll keep banging on the wall any time I see this kind of bull . . . uh . . . disturbing behavior.

          "The Dallas Cowboys truly are America's team: losing, finger-pointing, and firing people." -Andy Borowitz

          by geomoo on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 11:26:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Step 1: Change comes from the bottom up. (12+ / 0-)

    Step 2: Laws are changed from the top, which was previously changed by the bottom.

    We completed step 1.  Somehow, step 2 failed to initiate.

  •  Especially as many of them were elected because (7+ / 0-)

    they kept ranting that elected representatives weren't listening to their constituents.

    Every day, the lives of Republicans and conservatives in Congress should be made a living hell not because we are out to persuade them. We are to bombard them into either submission or oblivion.

    Glenn Beck went nuts (a redundancy). Timothy Egan

    by blueyescryinintherain on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 12:21:26 PM PST

  •  A most excellent comment Nuwlee. I wish I had (15+ / 0-)

    a super-duper rec, that could auto-matically put this on the rec board, as you offer us pro-found insight as well as change strategy that we need to rally around.

    Your wording reminds me of a passage from Tolstoy's War and Peace, where-in, he goes on about this idea for several pages.  He says people ask about the history of Europe, and then offer you a biography of Napolean or Ceasar, as if this great names were the actual causal forces causing millions of men and woman to pick up arms and charge across the continent this way and that.

    Instead, he offerred a more subtle explanation more consistent with modern systemic views of politics.  That deep forces were percolating through the society, causing millions, and millions of individual players to respond the way they did.  Then integrations of these millions of decision makers feedback and eventually find a leader going in that direction.

    Imagine plopping the young drunk and raving lunatic Hitler down in a modern bar, and he'd be arrested and in a drunk tank or psych-ward within a few hours.  Unlike the depictions of him with deep, evil powers commanding society's against their will to do evil things.

    But, back to our time, and our cause, I agree.  We need to take these political, social, and ideological battles every where we go and counter these cheap, wacko, greedy, and destructive teabaggers and Republicans everywhere they spew their venom.  

    Thanks, and keep up the great work.  I always enjoy reading your comments and diaries.  

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 12:25:53 PM PST

  •  This sure ain't hitting the wrecklist 'cos it (15+ / 0-)

    calls for introspection, which sure ain't 'progressives' strong suit.

    Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. Boy, did that greek geek nail it.

    by amk for obama on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 12:26:03 PM PST

  •  But my next diary (16+ / 0-)

    is going to be soooo scathing that Obama will surely bend to my will!

    I told you the "I told you so" pie fight wasn't going to get us anywhere.

    by Sun dog on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 12:28:02 PM PST

  •  There's a point, (6+ / 0-)

    which comes too soon for my liking, when a repeated message is tuned out at the top, or is derailed, or is diluted by a daunting number of adjacent priorities, before it reaches the top.  Doesn't mean we shouldn't send it, just that it's not by itself very effective.  Have to keep our boots on the ground, keep multiple points of address and entry, multiple consequences for inaction along the political chain.

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

      But we have so many fronts in terms of issues--disrupting the Catfooders, demanding high-speed rail (vis-a-vis China's new network, marraige equality?

      We have almost all of the social issues either on our side, too, or at least enough to show the conservative majority of the senate, house and faction in the White House for the indifferent and cruel jocks they really are.

      Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs? -9.38, -5.18

      by Nulwee on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 12:57:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Re-co-mmended! n/t (7+ / 0-)

    Oba-MA bumaye! Oba-MA bumaye!

    by fou on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 12:34:11 PM PST

  •  Hell, my diary today urging people to call (14+ / 0-)

    Pelosi and Reid about the tax cuts went unnoticed.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 12:36:45 PM PST

  •  Why is it either or? (18+ / 0-)

    It's not as if we're allowed only one phone call.

    Why not get after Senators, Representatives, AND the President?

    When there are multiple fronts, you attack on multiple fronts.

    "We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it." -- Willy Wonka

    by Huginn and Muninn on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 12:39:20 PM PST

  •  Yep (9+ / 0-)

    The fact that an extension has to come from Congress seems to have been lost in the high volume opinionating. Obama can sign or veto, but Congress has to approve some extension or let the package sunset. If we want something out of Congress, contacting our reps in the House and Senate is where we start. We can shout at the president all we want, but the bill comes through Congress. Obama can pressure the process by saying he will veto an extension of the high bracket cut. Likewise, he can signal he is willing to sign anything that hits his desk.

    You and Rena state the obvious - change in the form of a tax bill has to come from Congress, which means give your reps hell.

    Be radical in your compassion.

    by DWG on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 12:42:57 PM PST

  •  1000 Times This n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, Matt Z, Onomastic
  •  Can't thank you enough for this Nulwee. (6+ / 0-)

    I've known that it's time for us all to hit the ground since before the election.

    Join the local dem party, volunteer, school board, write LTE, something....just get out, connect and communicate.

    "I get up, I walk, I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing." Daniel Hillel

    by Onomastic on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 12:49:41 PM PST

  •  Good luck with your plan (11+ / 0-)

    It has worked our spectacularly the last few years.  We even won a minority with that gameplan.

    I think may have missed the part where the people took to the streets in support of a leader.  Call me crazy, but SS and the civil rights act didnt pass due to phone calls to the Senate.

    Unless you are calling for mass action, your diary appears to be little mote than a attempt to absolve the President of his constitutional duties by telling people to call folks go don't even represent them.  It doesn't even make logical sense.  

    It is the equivalent of blaming Bob Byrd if Lyndon Johnson didn't pass the civ rights act.  It is laughable.

    "Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book - you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem." - Senator Obama, 9-16-2008

    by justmy2 on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 12:50:06 PM PST

  •  yawn... (4+ / 0-)

    this conversation grows tiresome.

    New improved bipartisanship! Now comes in a convenient suppository!!! -unbozo

    by Unbozo on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 12:52:10 PM PST

  •  Because This is an Election Blog Not Issue Blog (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, Nulwee, skohayes, damfino

    or a movement organization forum.

    The chartered purpose of this forum is to elect Democrats. Enter any diary criticizing the party or the President for underperforming in governance and you'll see mountains of criticism that it threatens electoral success. And abuses aside, that's how it has to be.

    The Republican Party doesn't pressure its reps to perform, the external independent conservative movement does that. Rightwing religion, business lobbyists, financial lobbyists, media all pressure the right.

    This is why I've been saying since during the campaign that after Nov 2 we need to beef up and organize the progressive movement generally, direct a lot of energy away from electoral systems so long before another election.

    Progressives need to build pressure systems and above all message and education systems. Neither party does that, and an election support forum like dKos can only do it to a moderate degree without becoming hamstrung by the participants who rightly want not to endanger the chartered mission.

    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 Nov 12, 2010 at 12:55:15 PM PST

  •  Calling your Senators is not really bottom up (5+ / 0-)

    either. It is slightly more local than putting pressure on the president, but really they are pretty equivalent in this instance.

    I agree with what you say here:

    We need think tanks, boots on the ground, congresspeople vowing they are in favor of single-payer, high-speed rail, marraige equality and jobs from the government, directly hired.

    We need EVERYTHING.

    That is what a movement is.

    That is really what we need. However, we aren't going to get that done by the time the bill is considered, so our current strategy is all we have to affect the debate.

  •  Hell Yes, Nulwee! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    betson08, Nulwee

    "make them hate their jobs"

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:04:03 PM PST

  •  In early 20th century America (8+ / 0-)

    socialism was a force to be reckoned with. Workers took over factories, walked picket lines, and battled police and company thugs in the streets for the right to organize. The early leaders of the labor movement were fire-breathing radicals who struck fear into the hearts of the ruling class. All they had to do was look across the Atlantic to see socialism on the march.

    They were scared shitless, and we need to find a way to put that fear into them again. The uber-rich have never given anything up willingly--we have always had to tear it from their greedy hands.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:05:13 PM PST

    •  If the President will not (4+ / 0-)

      Then it's time for the tiny guy to do it.

      TeaShirt Psalm: 40-18 Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.

      by Salo on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:08:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  happy camper: fear cuts both ways (0+ / 0-)

      Fear in the 1930s was seeing in Europe authoritarian Communism on one side and authoritarian fascism on the other side.

      Early 20th century socialism/progressivism, before the Russian Revolution, was understood as more like Christianity in action. After the revolution, the fear put a total curse on socialism in America.

      Nixon won because the 1960s movements put fear in the American electorate and they ran towards the party of "Law and Order."

      Big corporations have been sending our jobs overseas since 1960 (except for military manufacturing) so we have far less leverage domestically over them.

      Causing FEAR can backfire something awful.

      Media Reform Action Link

      by LNK on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 02:04:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  that's why Nixon was the last liberal president.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happy camper

      ...because the 70's were the last time the left inspired any fear in this country.

      ThAnswr "If the administration can't fight for it's friends, don't expect us to fight their enemies."

      by Uberbah on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 08:17:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So I'm confused (14+ / 0-)

    Obama has told people on the left to "go out and make me do it".

    My understanding is that's exactly what the other diarist was repeating and asking others to do..."go out and make him do it" by contacting his office.

    "Children are our most valuable natural resource." -- Herbert Hoover

    by emal on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:05:37 PM PST

  •  great rant! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, Badabing

    although I'd rec just for "aquitards or progress".

    "Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something." President Obama in Prague on April 5

    by jlynne on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:06:11 PM PST

  •  Bottom-up, top-down, side-to-side (9+ / 0-)

    We have to employ all approaches to advancing a progressive agenda. But in the short run, only a top-down approach is likely to work. The other approaches take time to organize and implement. So I think that you're BOTH right.

    "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

    by kovie on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:08:43 PM PST

  •  I printed some (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, FarWestGirl

    Congressman & Senator info off.  I have had 2 people ask where to write their congressman or Senator.

    One person lives in another state, but is just a few miles from me because I live near the state line.  So I printed off AR and MO Senators & Congressmen.

    I also printed off all about how to write to Obama or call his offce.

    I put all the info into a draft email so I could refer to it if someone asked me for it.

  •  The dynamic moment in Obamas premiership (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, Nulwee

    Has passed.

    It's simply time to fill your own pockets now. The problem with the WhiteHouse and team, also the Senate has been laid bare.

    Just look after yourself, that's what they are all doing now.

    TeaShirt Psalm: 40-18 Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.

    by Salo on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:14:28 PM PST

  •  Yeah. What are they paid to do? Do they (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, FarWestGirl

    do it?  We need so much done.  All out there is arguing

    God is good. If it isn't good. It isn't God.

    by publicv on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:16:31 PM PST

  •  I'm Done (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Either primary Obama in 2012, or I'm leaving the top of the ticket blank.

    •  Great strategy? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sybil Liberty, Nulwee, Matt Z

      Who's your alternative candidate?

      Anybody with a chance of winning?

      The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

      by Stephen Daugherty on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:28:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Better than this one (0+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Hidden by:

        Sure, vote for Obama and get Republican policies. Nice.

        That said, even Obama has no chance of winning at this point.

        •  I've listened to the skeptics about Obama for... (11+ / 0-)

          ...quite some time now.  That's what they always say.  No chance of winning.

          If we get Republican policies, it's because:

          A) Nearly everything that came out of the House got shot down by the GOP in the Senate.

          B) In response to the apparent lack of effort on the Democrat's part, people like you folded your support, and other people thought the Democrats abandoned them, and that got the Republicans elected to the majority once again.

          The transition was never going to be cleanly Democratic and liberal.  Those who expected a black/white reversion from conservatism don't know the history of political shifts.

          The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

          by Stephen Daugherty on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:43:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's my Fault? (0+ / 0-)

            It's my fault that that Democrats couldn't use their supermajorities to get anything done?

            So how much are you being paid to use this twisted logic here? It's good to know Obama at least created a job for you.

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

              So are you OK with war with Iran? Because that is what certain of Obama's opponents would do -- get us into war with Iran.

              •  there will always be somebody worse (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                churchylafemme, Catesby

                but that doesn't mean that it always makes sense to settle for merely horrible.

                listen, if progressives are always automatic votes for Democrats, then where the hell is the incentive for a Democrat to ever lift a finger to do what we would like them to do? if our votes are assured, they will play to the "center".

              •  Harry Reid's decision.... (0+ / 0-)

                ...not to elect a simple majority option is what messed up the Democrats. He should have fought against the bipartison bulls*** that was coming from all of the center right new media (MSM) and even from the White House.

                The kumbaya song what messed up the House despite Pelosi's attempts to get things legislated. What a shame! There is no spin on that!

              •  Iran? Seriously (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Bobjack23, Malumaureus

                You honestly try to scare me into supporting Obama with the prospect of war in Iran when he's expanded the war in Afghanistan, Kept us in Iraq, moved us into Yemen?


                Obama would have us in Tehran next Tuesday if he thought the Republicans might Filibuster a bill against it.

            •  Quit with the super majorities argument, we had (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bobjack23, catwho

              way to many blue dogs to give us anything close to a super majority of progressives.

              •  i think you are missing the point (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                a) many of us still feel that it is easier to get a Dem to come around to our way of thinking than a Repub, in part because of the party controlling the purse strings, chairmanships, etc

                b) the point was that there was no arm twisting of the blue dogs. we frankly don't know what was possible, because our president and the senate leadership decided to not even freaking try to get the blue dogs to come along. you are simply defining what was possible by what existed in the absence of pressure.

              •  Bull! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                roberta g

                But never mind that the plutocracy has the parties back to a balance where each side can blame the other for not helping constituents (like you to are trying unsuccessfully to do just now, because the fact just do not support that sort of BS) and only a few to can change sides on any vote that the Plutocracy’s policies require. The Democrats had such a majority that that this game would and is not playing because it was too obvious the Party’s leadership and too many Senators and Representatives did not support the people who cast the votes for them.

                Well the inside the beltway pricks have paid this game too often and anybody with half a brain can see what is going on. The tea party sprang up from the Republicans having majorities then not delivering on religious and racial hot button issues  they fed to people for years in order to develop a base,  a voter base for Republicanism which doesn’t otherwise did not have a natural base big enough to win any election. Now the Plutocracy who runs both parties has gone pissed off a large and active section of Democrat party and all the shills in the world are not going to be able to hold then in line. They better pray the left wing majority of the Democratic Party’s rank and file wins out in this game because if the Fascist and some very literal Nazis gang lurking in the Tea party gain the upper hand they are going to wind up dead.

                Large enough segments of both parties have figured the system out so that what has been done since Jimmy Carter is not going to work anymore. Ergo the Plutocracy had better damned well decide, and very Soon, if they want a viable democracy or a Fascist/Nazi state that they will not be able to control no matter what they think in their blind arrogance and fits of insane greed. And that means they are going to reverse the wealth shift that has been going on.

                If these people keep eff'en with large segments of both parties through their media news monopolies, talking heads, and the electronic voting hardware and software they are going to find themselves on the short end of a bloody revolution. They don't believe that, and because they don't they going to insure it happens when they continue with this sort of manipulation of this so called democracy that they have killed with their interfering corruption.

                The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

                by Bobjack23 on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 11:09:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  And of course, we had President Obama (0+ / 0-)

                forcefully making his case to the American public that he had been unable to implement his agenda because of Republican obstructionism, and that contrary to their instincts, the electorate needed to elect more, not fewer dems this year.

                Oh, wait.

                No we didn't.

                Obama epically failed to play the part that was cast for him. This, and nothing else, is the full, complete, entire reason for the recent debacle. All the progressives jumping up and down and screaming till blue in the face would not have been able to change the public's perception, without Obama taking the lead; and he would not do it. God only knows why not. A tragedy, for the American people, the American state, and ultimately (given our predacious and rapacious economic behavior) all of humanity.

                Never in my life has one man had so much opportunity to alter the course of history for the better (except, perhaps, for Mikhail Gorbachev).

                And he failed.


                He declined the challenge, and left humanity in the lurch.


                To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                by UntimelyRippd on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 02:51:59 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  That's are supremely ignorant (0+ / 0-)

              Go read this:


              He has made a real difference in people's lives. Don't forget to read the comments.

              •  These are fricking bandaids on a society and an (0+ / 0-)

                economy that is flying apart.

                Everything Obama has done can be undone in 10 minutes by a Republican President with 50 Senators and 218 Representatives. Unless Obama gets a lot wiser in a big hurry, that Republican President will be taking the oath of office in 2 years and 2 months.

                To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                by UntimelyRippd on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 02:54:33 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  you're a bloody fool (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, FarWestGirl

      Do you think Ralph Nader could do better? Do you have any fucking idea how much of a stretch it was to get even Obama into the White House? Do you have even an inkling of what we're up against? I suppose you think he could wave his magic fucking wand and turn the US into Canada. It's not going to happen so easily.

  •  We need to invest Washington DC. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, Nulwee, Badabing

    A permanent presence of a million or two or more.

    I'd have everyone carry a flashlight ("torch" in British lingo) and shine it on the Capitol, the White House, and everywhere our Lords and Ladies show their faces in public.

    Coupled with "Represent us or get out now!" "You are either for us or against us!"  continuous chants. Same thing outside their home offices in their states. Along those lines.

    For breaks, show up at media outlets with the same torches and the same chants.

    And for those who can't show, a continual stream of physical mail filling their offices leaving them bags they have to step around.

    They really need to share exactly how harried their (nominal) constituents feel. And not in an abstract way.  (Their real constituents are the Greedy Rich, right now.)

    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:20:31 PM PST

  •  FDR was one hell of a cheerleader. (4+ / 0-)

    Obama was too in 2008.  What happened?  Where is Obama now?

    •  FDR had reporters on his side (7+ / 0-)

      and an enormously diverse media ownership landscape.

      Obama and all Democrats, all working people below the top 20% of earners are faced with a big obstacle in the media.

      Join the effort for media Reform:

      Media Reform Action Link

      by LNK on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:58:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  bookmarked your link (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:


        "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

        by Sybil Liberty on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 02:04:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  So did Obama. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        But even then - Americans don't like the media, and have been way out in front of it for years.  Wars, taxes, gay rights...

        Fuck the media.  Waiting for the media to come around on rolling back the Reagan Revolution is almost as pointless as waiting for Republicans to come to the same position.

        ThAnswr "If the administration can't fight for it's friends, don't expect us to fight their enemies."

        by Uberbah on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 08:20:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Reporters were interested in Obama ONLY (0+ / 0-)

          for the novelty factor--I heard this from a senior media executive. The primaries....Hillary,McCain...old hat, but Obama was something new. That's all they wanted.....something new to report on.

          Media Reform Action Link

          by LNK on Sun Nov 14, 2010 at 10:08:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  invoking FDR again... (8+ / 0-)

      The minute this president opens his mouth at the bully pulpit, the massive msm media begins it's spin before he ever puts the period to the end of the sentence. Of course there was a time in this country when that was not the case - you probably don't remember when FDR did the weekly "fireside chats". People sat down and listened to them intently on the radio. There were no 10,000 to one talking heads out there doing an instant replay before he finished his "chat". No in your face cameras, no studios, no personality-talkers running sound-bites out of context and looping them endlessly.

      Ciriticized for not using the power of his "bully pulpit", this president does a weekly radio address from the WH as well, and nobody takes the time to listen. (Not even here, nvm the fact that it's posted w/vid every single Saturday on the front page of DK. How TF long do you suppose it would have taken today's media to observe and report that FDR could not walk without the aid of iron leg braces and an assistant to hold him upright? caught on tape and played throughout the 24 hr news cycle? What odds for a 2nd and 3rd term?

      Never has a president been subjected to so much scrutiny as this one. And never has a president been subjected to such a gawdawful level of corporate-media-hype-and-spin.

      Yes, FDR was arguably our finest president, but his presidency has been far too romanticized. This sort of comment has become tiresome to the max.

      "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

      by Sybil Liberty on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:59:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The OP brought up FDR (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        churchylafemme, Uberbah

        Blame everyone but Obama all you want, but the fact is that during the campaign, we had someone who took on the MSM and attacks from republicans big time.  As soon as some BS talking point hit the air waves, his campaign had a quick and forceful response.  

        After the election, he can't seem to challenge anyone on anything, and the only words I ever hear from the administration are "compromise" and "bipartisenship."  I'm going to puke if I hear those words from him again.

        Obama has the poorest customer management skills I've ever seen, and it's a complete shock considing that it's a 180 from 2008.

        I'm not saying we need fireside chats.  I think his weekly addresses are a waste of time.  This is 2010.  He needs to control, attack or bypass the media like it's 2010.  

        The fact is, he may be tugging some strings behind the scenes, but as far as the public is concerned, he's adrift.  And tugging the strings isn't his job.  Communicating big vision and cheerleading for solutions is.

        Just once, I'd like to see him say, "I'm sending this legislation to Congress, and I want them to pass it.  The issues it addresses are critical and the solutions I'm proposing are non-negotiable, because fixing this problem, and fixing it fast is the right thing to do."  That's all he has to fucking say.  The people will back him.  We WANT to back him.  But he has to take a stand and indicate that it's important enough not to negotiate away his position first.

        Instead, progressives get kicked in the head by his underlings and we hear bull like, "tax cuts aren't the right thing to do, but we're willing to compromise."  If they're not the right thing to do, there's no reason to fucking compromise.  

        I'm also sick of hearing them say they have to work with political realities.  Political realities are what politicians make them.  He's the head politician.  He has some ability to drive the narrative.  That fact seems lost on this administration. They seem to think they're little people in a big world, instead of a huge fish in a little puddle.

        Saying there's nothing Obama can do is becoming tiresome to the max.  Obama can be forceful on an issue and stick with it for starters.  He needs to be prepaired to lose a fight with congress.  Who knows, he might actually win.  And if he doesn't, the people might give him bigger majorities to fight with at the next election.  But before we do that, we need to see him actually try.

      •  Ignoring Father Coghlin & the Business plot again (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It's that FDR had an easier time than Obama, it's that FDR "welcomed their hatred" while Obama runs from conflict over issues that already have 75%, 80% support from the public.

        ThAnswr "If the administration can't fight for it's friends, don't expect us to fight their enemies."

        by Uberbah on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 08:24:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  OK, here's a deal. (13+ / 0-)

    Let's call Obama AND our Senators. Representatives, too.  Everyone happy?

    Civil marriage is a civil right.

    by UU VIEW on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:23:20 PM PST

  •  I don't see the difference... (8+ / 0-)

    We are the bottom people trying to tell the top what to do. So when we're making calls to the White House to stop the tax cuts for the wealthy, I'd argue that's a bottom up approach.

    I agree that we should also be hitting our congressmen, but I don't think clearly stating to the leader of our country what we want is a top bottom approach.

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

      You are calling someone who already agrees with you.

      Obama says "Yes, I am fighting for the middle class tax cut."  

      And we scream back "I want a middle class tax cut!"


      I agree, we should make live a living hell for the people who are really obstructing this.

      "Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected" ~Mahatma Gandhi

      by Kiku on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:50:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree with you here... (4+ / 0-)

        How do we know when Axelrod hinted that they're going to drop this issue.

        Obama is up for reelection very soon (in political years).  If we don't actually see him fighting for these causes, he's toast.  And we're just making it clear by making these calls that if we don't see him out there right now fighting to get rid of tax cuts for the rich, he'll have a tough reelection.  And it also puts pressure on him to clarify what Axelrod was talking about.  I know some people argue that he didn't say they're moving on from this, but I'd say that if you believe that, then you don't really pay attention to politics.

        We have to put pressure one everyone involved in the process.  Period.

        •  I read the statements that Axelrod was making (0+ / 0-)

          and I didn't ever read that they were dropping middle class tax cuts.

          I'll agree, that putting pressure on is very important, I like to see some of the pressure exerted on Republicans as well.

          "Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected" ~Mahatma Gandhi

          by Kiku on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 04:23:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for this diary (9+ / 0-)

    I've been having a rough day on many levels, I'm really worried about our financial situation which is precarious and could be pushed over the edge by any more bad news of any kind... and I'm down about the election results and what is happening in Arizona and what the hell we are going to do... and then finding people here arguing that they want my taxes raised and they hate the Democrats and President Obama with a fierce vengeance that I just can't fathom. It's as if they really do think he's some kind of magical being who could fix everything if only he would, and they hate him for not doing it, and by extension I'm getting a lot of hate and nasty attacks for not getting on board the hate-fest. It's depressing. So I'm grateful for this diary as a reminder that not everyone is going down the same rabbit hole.

    •  I worry too (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, CS in AZ, lightshine

      for myself and for others in my life.

      Politics is not an emotional fight for we who are poor and disprivileged. It's a tooth-and-nail struggle.

      But if we could metaphorically look down at our squabbles from the height of an eagle in the air, how different would things look. We could see further than we do here at the ground. In the bigger scheme of things we can either get cynical or see the possibilities.

      Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs? -9.38, -5.18

      by Nulwee on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:56:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're not alone (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CS in AZ

      I live in Kansas, where Republicans voted in Sam effing Brownback as our next governor, after 8 years of Democratic governorship (well, Parkinson was more of a purple type of Democrat, but at least he didn't worry obsessively about my uterus).

      How come the dove gets to be the peace symbol? How about the pillow? It has more feathers than the dove and doesn't have that dangerous beak. Jack Handey

      by skohayes on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 03:31:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think the target for a real grass roots effort (9+ / 0-)

    by the relatively small number of progressives should be, pardon the expression, the silent majority - working people, the poor and middle class.  The rising up during the depression you describe was not just that of a small bunch of progressives, but a much larger and wider group of Americans.  The politicians are insulated enough that bothering them will have relatively little impact if they aren't already on our side.  It's the vase number of other Americans who need to be motivated. That is where the really loud voice will come from.  That is what will scare the politicians enough to get them to act.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:24:58 PM PST

  •  A tiresome response diary (14+ / 0-)

    more caterwauling, and not much in between the title and the bottom of the post.

    I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

    by slinkerwink on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:35:26 PM PST

    •  Better to tear Obama down? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      trashablanca, Matt Z, lightshine

      I don't see how tearing down the one person trying to move us forward, while ignoring the people who are obstructing us, does any good.

      How did this get so mixed up?

      "Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected" ~Mahatma Gandhi

      by Kiku on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:47:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Appointing the Catfood Commission (7+ / 0-)

        and now starting to walk away from the 2011 Afghanistan "withdrawal" date isn't...

        trying to move us forward,

        (Not that I ever believed O re 2011 for a minute.)

        As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he ever were to break wind in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it. --Bulwer-Lytton Contest entry

        by Wom Bat on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 02:22:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Can you give a link to where Obama (0+ / 0-)

          walked back from 2011?  I'm not denying, and I am paying attention, but I missed that one.

          Ok, I am an Obamapologist, not an Obamabot, I don't parrot.  But, I do try to ask and understand why he might be doing something I disagree with, and that seems to set me apart from a lot of people here.

          That being said, I'm starting to understand, or think I understand.   I think Obama was trying to bring everyone together, of meeting everyone's needs.  He IS passing progressive legislation, and he has moved us significantly forward.

          On the other hand, he's also trying to thread the needle with corporations, trying to pass legislation that wasn't too large.  To that end, he's trying to work with the people he has to change.  Ok, it isn't working out very well.

          Was it naive?  Perhaps, but he has had to face opposition on a historical level, Republicans have never filibustered like this before.  And, Obama did have success working with Republicans in Chicago and in the Senate, so he had a pattern to hope from.

          It didn't work out.  They rode all over him, and I bet if he had it to do all over again, he would do it differently.

          But, I absolutely do not believe that Obama is selling us out.

          The problem we face now with the tax cuts is that Republicans will be all to happy to see an increase in middle class taxes.  They just proposed this with the cat food commission.  If Obama draws a line in the sand, they just say fine, increase the taxes, they can afford them, and they will be happy to have our money to move to their pockets when they take over the government in 2012 (I don't see this community rallying behind Obama).    So, maybe Obama can pull some trick out of his hat, and offer them something different, but something is going to have to be given in exchange to get the tax cuts.

          I don't see anyplace that Obama or Axelrod has ever said they won't keep the middle class tax cuts.  What I do see is a discussion of what they have to give to get there.

          "Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected" ~Mahatma Gandhi

          by Kiku on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 04:43:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Gates, Clinton, Biden (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            churchylafemme, Uberbah

            started the walkback months ago with language like, "Yeah, we're going to start the withdrawal. But it may only be a handful." I.e. technically it's a withdrawal, but not a meaningful one; just enough to get a checkmark on his to-do list and so the media wouldn't crucify him (he's very worried about the media).

            Obama was actually relieved by the recent Republican resurgence knowing there would be less pressure to withdraw. (Obama always looks for the silver lining in Republican victories.)

            To some degree it matters who's in office, but it matters more how much pressure they're under from the public. -- Noam Chomsky

            by just some lurker guy on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 06:38:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So much for links. (0+ / 0-)

              I'm sure you've had a personal conversation with Obama to know just how he felt.  Obama was so giddy with the loss, he was just beaming during his 60 Minutes interview.


              I don't listen to Gates.  McCrystal saw what happened when he tried to upstand Obama.

              I see you are already setting up the argument against Obama.  Withdrawal takes time, but that won't be good enough, will it.

              "Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected" ~Mahatma Gandhi

              by Kiku on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 10:13:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  "Trying"? (0+ / 0-)

        There is no "try".
        Do, or do not.

        Obama does not.

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 02:56:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Funny (8+ / 0-)

      you didn't seem to think joanne's diary, which was literally a response to Rena's diary, was merely a "tiresome response diary".

      Show me on the doll where Rahm touched you.

      by taylormattd on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:58:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  joanne's diary wasn't a steaming pile (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        churchylafemme, Willa Rogers

        Lobbying Nelson and Lincoln, who wont even be in office in three months, is the definition of pointless.

        And Obama is still the leader of the party that still controls the Senate.  And there is no way that the Bush tax cuts will be extended or SS cuts passed over Obama's pen.

        So all of this poutrage is about one thing and one thing only - deflecting any responsibility away from the person with the most power over the situation.  Because that person's name is Barack Obama.

        ThAnswr "If the administration can't fight for it's friends, don't expect us to fight their enemies."

        by Uberbah on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 08:28:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  While I wish you had (0+ / 0-)

      made a more lengthy criticism, at least you made it civilly.

      Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs? -9.38, -5.18

      by Nulwee on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 02:02:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Caterwauling" is (4+ / 0-)

      what my 92-year old dad sez when he hears country music. A good word.

      As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he ever were to break wind in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it. --Bulwer-Lytton Contest entry

      by Wom Bat on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 02:18:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What the what? (6+ / 0-)

      You, of all people, criticizing a diary that's asking people to get more engaged with their elected officials?

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 02:29:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Roosevelt's ideas came from himself (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trashablanca, blueoasis, Nulwee

    He tried out a lot of the New Deal ideas while being Governor of New York 1928-1932.

    •  FDR' s ideas came from various sources (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      trashablanca, raincrow, Nulwee

      Frances Perkins, for example:

      Media Reform Action Link

      by LNK on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:54:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  While true (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I guess what I'm saying is, so what? There are lots of ideas, even better ideas, from people all the time. But most fail. Why was 1932 and 1934 the right time for FDR and the New Deal?

      The point was in the movement that made the ideas happen, not who made them. Iconography is as much a problem on the left as it is the right.

      I don't exactly agree with Huey Long's politics, but he certainly was further to the left--a good thing--than FDR in some respects. But Huey Long didn't have the benefit of a pan-national movement. FDR did.

      Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs? -9.38, -5.18

      by Nulwee on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 02:00:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  made the ideas policy* (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs? -9.38, -5.18

        by Nulwee on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 02:00:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  FDR (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        churchylafemme, raincrow, Mike Taylor

        did not actively fight AGAINST the movement though.

      •  My impression is FDR didn't listen to economists (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NCgrassroots, raincrow, Mike Taylor

        Not even Keynes.
        He used his own common sense and wasn't afraid to experiment. He junked the Gold Standard and told Morgenthau what to do.

        Over the summer of 1933, FDR found himself relying increasingly on someone he was sure would say "yes"—Morgenthau, his timid old Dutchess County neighbor who held a post at the Farm Credit Administration. With the aid of his "yes" man, Roosevelt launched a novel gold purchase program. The plan was to drive up the general price level by buying gold. Each morning, FDR set the gold price target, personally.

        FDR was the boss.
        His ultimate limiter was SCOTUS.

        Obama listens to Geitner and Summers and now the Catfoodies.
        Naturally, his political/policy sense is dull.

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

        Didn't FDR start the WPA through an executive order? He didn't wait for a bill to be delivered or say his hands were tied until he had something to sign. Congress was then challenged to fund it...or not. I don't have a problem calling, writing or pressuring Congress in any way that might get us somewhere, but I will pressure my President as well.

        It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.--- Bertrand Russell

        by triv33 on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 05:43:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The point is that FDR fought the bastards. (0+ / 0-)

        And called them out for the bastards they were.

        In the end, the fact remains: Obama failed to exercise political power, failed to confront the Pubs, failed to lead his own party, failed, failed, FAILED.

        The idea that somehow We The Movement could have compensated for that epic fail by just being Louder is pretty deep denial of the final reality of American politics, which is that the people who have been elected are responsible for implementing the will of the electorate, and Obama would not do it.

        You explain why not, because I can't.

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 03:00:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I am not against pressure on these idiots (9+ / 0-)
    Though I am certain they will ignore it as per usual. And the fact of the matter is that the Obama administration floated a trial balloon and it still needs to be double tapped.

    I can walk and chew bubble gum at the same time.

    And directing as much ire at the Obama administration for the Axelrod statement is not only well deserved but needed.

    ePluribus Media
    Collaboration is contagious!

    by m16eib on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:36:57 PM PST

  •  I don't blame Obama (7+ / 0-)

    for what others have failed to do.

    You made that point very clearly.  Republicans and conservaDems obstruct, and we blame Obama?  Isn't that masochistic?

    Thanks for pointing out too, that we have a role to play and that we should be playing it even more loudly, although lots of people here are very loudly involved.

    Yes, we need to hammer at the wall obstructing us, not at the person trying to open the dam from the inside.

    "Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected" ~Mahatma Gandhi

    by Kiku on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:40:50 PM PST

  •  The self-defeating DKOS war on the Blue Dogs (19+ / 0-)

    The history here is half-right.  Change in the 1960's was promoted by the activists.  But it would not have come about without the insiders as well.  And be careful who you castigate, they may be the ally that saves you - yes, and it may even be a Blue Dog.

    LBJ was as inside as they come.  But as is clear from the LBJ tapes, he and MLK played an elaborate dance.  MLK would rally the masses and march/demand.  LBJ would then turn to the good old boys and - speaking as one of them - tell them he needed to do something to get MLK off his back.  But they needed each other.  Without MLK, it is unlikely LBJ would have had the ability to say it was time for change.  Without LBJ and his arm-twisting/vote counting skills, the Civil Rights Acts might never have become law.  Remember, LBJ knew in his heart of hearts, and even said, that passage of these acts would likely doom the Democratic Party among white southern voters for the foreseeable future.

    With the retrospective of history, we see LBJ and his Great Society plans in an increasingly positive light.  But at the time, he was castigated by the left as a establishment sell-out.

    Gore is another example.  A DLCer, when he ran in 2000 for President many on the left said "Gore and Bush are the same!"  Doubtless some of these people were among the 97,000 voters who pulled the lever for Ralph Nader in Florida and put W in the White House.  Just a few years later, Al "the same as Bush" Gore was one of the earliest voices against the Iraq War.  He became a Nobel-winning champion of climate change policy.

    Real people are more complicated than the labels that get slapped on them.  It is short-sighted and ultimately self-defeating for Kossacks to spend so much time savaging moderate/conservative Democrats.  

    Both LBJ and Gore, in their time, were considered sell-outs by the left.  The same is true for FDR, which is why Eugene Debs was able to get the highest votes ever for a Socialist candidate for President.

    Stay focused on the issues.  Avoid labels and litmus tests.  Take comfort from history that when we had significant change, it was as messy then as now.  And bear in mind that those you castigate as Blue Dogs, DLCers, Third Way'ers, etc. are people who can be approached and reasoned with just like you are.  

    Third Way the other day came out against extending the high income Bush tax cuts.  People on DKOS acted stunned.  They had fallen for the propaganda that Third Way was THE ENEMY.  They are not - they are simply a set of people who have a particular viewpoint.  Approach them and others on substance, and with an attitude of mutual respect, and you may be surprised who you can gather as an ally.

    Foul language and insults also need to be ratcheted down on DKOS.  You catch more bees with honey.

    •  Everything (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arielle, Nulwee, Matt Z, royce, RinaX

      about this comment is correct. Thx

      Show me on the doll where Rahm touched you.

      by taylormattd on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 02:00:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh look, the pretence that (5+ / 0-)

      Nader put Bush in the WH again!

      Fewer Floridians voted for Nader than the number of Florida Democrats that voted for Bush.

      You want someone to blame, start with the people who absolutely should have been voting for Gore in Florida. Democrats.

      Wow, Independents put down the centrist Blue Dogs, and somehow liberals are to blame?

      by Ezekial 23 20 on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 02:35:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nader spent the campaign equating... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z, Deicide, Kiku, lightshine

        ...Gore with Bush.  Naderites want to accept no responsibility for the impact that had (yes and probably also had on some Democrats who went for Bush).

        The people who say there is no different between Obama and the other side will end up putting the other side in the WH...  

        •  this Zombie Lie don't hunt no more (0+ / 0-)

          Nine times as many Florida dems voted for Bush than Nader.  And each Bush vote was twice as bad for Gore as a vote for Nader, percentage-wise.

          The right wing of the party did 18 times the amount of damage, then placed all of the blame on the left wing of the party.

          Good thing everything has changed in 18 years, isn't it?

          ThAnswr "If the administration can't fight for it's friends, don't expect us to fight their enemies."

          by Uberbah on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 08:32:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Left wing of party? Nader was not running as D (0+ / 0-)

            So let me understand this - since a percentage of Democrats vote Republican (which by the way is true in every single election) this means a third party candidate like Nader bears zero responsibility in a RAZOR THIN election for telling people that there is no difference between the two parties?  

            The Naderites were out there both depressing anti-Bush turnout AND confusing people.  Nader ensured the anti-Bush vote was divided.  In US politics, it is a zero sum game - we don't have a parliamentary system.  

            Nader was an egomaniacal kamikaze and people finally realized this in 2004, which is why he was a washout the second time around.  I had tons of respect for Nader before he pulled his stunt - and against someone like Gore no less.

            And we all know that having W as President was the same as it would have been having Gore as President...yeesh....

            •  What part of this are you not understanding? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              The right wing of the party does 18 times the damage as the left wing of the party, yet folks like you place all of the blame on the left and none on the right.

              Nader was not the problem.  People voting for Bush were the problem.

              ThAnswr "If the administration can't fight for it's friends, don't expect us to fight their enemies."

              by Uberbah on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 02:20:25 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Naderites fail to take responsibility (0+ / 0-)

                The Democratic Party was not out there attacking Gore in 2000.  Nader was - he was telling people day in and day out not to vote for Gore, because Gore was the same as Bush. Words have meaning.  We will never know how many people didn't go to the polls at all or didn't pull the lever for Gore because of the Naderite messaging.

                It is amazing to me that to this day the Naderites accept no responsibility for this - that they went around telling people that Gore was the same as Bush.  

                The same insanity is afoot right now with people on the left on DKOS saying there is no difference between Obama and a GOP nominee in 2012.  With no doubt the same egotism and lack of responsibility for the consequences of putting a Republican back in the White House.  Better to be pure and powerless and wait for la Revolucion?  That is the mentality of a permanent fringe.

    •  This reminds me of a comment.... (0+ / 0-)

      that your friend or supporter is the one who most likely to disagree with you. In other words, you never know who will be a your ally until you offer your point of view and allow them to offer theirs. So, yeah, that's understandable FDRDemocrat.

      Recommended by:
      Brahman Colorado

      >> "With the retrospective of history..." -- say what?

      Seems this rather ignores (a) the millions of people who knew from the start how positive LBJ's Great Society policies were (even as Congress pulled the plug on many of them in much the same way Congress prematurely curtailed FDR's economic stimulus); and (b) all of us who've fought against both Republicans and our own party -- I believe the term for the latter is DINOs, and I include Bill Clinton among them -- to preserve as many Great Society policies as possible.

      >> LBJ and Al Gore can to some degree be equated with our recently ousted DINOs because the left eventually became disenchanted with them -- say what?

      By your logic, dogs are roughly equivalent to automobiles because cats are afraid of both.

      I can definitely see, from your comment, why you want Kossacks to avoid "[f]oul language and insults". ;)

      That aside, the job market is still in the toilet so we very predictably got our asses kicked. OK, that's bad.

      A pack of obstructive, destructive Blue Dogs were whipped, and justly deserved it. I consider this good.

      We lost the House but kept the Senate. Better, IMNSHO.

      Now we go back to the very difficult work of electing better Democrats in all 50 states, a strategy that will require leftists to form alliances with wibblywobbly fence-straddlers who can be convinced to show at least a modicum of compassion and perhaps even a bit of idealism. This is best (because it is reality), even if I have little patience with or understanding of wibblywobbly middly people.

      •  Wasn't just the job market (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There were 25 percent unemployed at times during the Great Depression yet FDR adjusted and managed to keep winning.  The economic determinism argument is a cop-out for what happened November 2.  Ten percent unemployment should not have led to that sort of wipeout.  We lost because people got overconfident and believed their own agitprop that 2008 was a realignment of America...

        •  FDR didn't have Faux Noise (0+ / 0-)

          Rush, the Hoover Institute, AEI, the National Center for Public Policy Research, a monolithically conservative-leaning mainstream press, and a populace with enough money, in general, to eat itself to death.

        •  2008 was very much a realignment (0+ / 0-)

          People wanted a President with more than half a brain and half an adult vocabulary, and they got one.

        •  And Obama did not adjust, and lost. Big. (0+ / 0-)

          The Blue Dogs got their asses kicked because their whole approach was FAIL, not because we progressives rejected them. Obama "approached" them -- sucking up to Lincoln, to Lieberman, to Nelson, to Baucus -- and all he got for it was emasculated legislation and a big neon FAIL lamp blinking over his head, for everyone to see.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 03:06:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Coalitions -- great insight from Texans (6+ / 0-)

    We keep making the mistake in this country of thinking about politics as a spectrum that runs from right to left. It's not. It's a scale that runs from top to bottom. And the only real questions are: Who's getting screwed and who's doing the screwing?

            -- Molly Ivins, "America's wisest and funniest political columnist"

    See also: Page 123 of "Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush's America"
    By Molly Ivins, Lou Dubose

    See also: Molly Ivins on Jim Hightower:

    "Like all good populists, Hightower simply ignores what divides us--race, abortion, all manner of social and cultural issues--and concentrates on what unites us: to wit, getting screwed. As he has often said, politics is not a spectrum that runs from right to left; it's a scale that runs from top to bottom. And about 80 percent of us are out here among the screwees."

    Book review "There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos"

    Media Reform Action Link

    by LNK on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:52:00 PM PST

    •  Brilliant quotes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LNK, Matt Z

      thanks for sharing that with us.

      Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs? -9.38, -5.18

      by Nulwee on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:57:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Two of my favorite people (0+ / 0-)'s easy to tell people if they'd just do what the commenter (Hightower & Ivins in this case) told them to do, all problems would be solved. Molly never ran for public office and although Hightower was Ag Commissioner for a long time (8 years), the more he spoke out about his philosophy the more Texas voters he turned off- and he was defeated in 1990 by our favorite secessionist, Rick Perry. Everyone talks as if everyone else does/should/will agree with them.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." ~ Mencken

      by royce on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 02:40:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary. These points can't be made too (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arielle, raincrow, Nulwee, Matt Z, Badabing, Kiku


    "Because I am a river to my people."

    by lordcopper on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 01:57:21 PM PST

  •  maybe I missed something (8+ / 0-)

    but there was a massive amount of work done to give the Democrats the White House by a large margin and large majorities in both Houses.

    We fought hard, from the "bottom-up" and gave "our guys" a massive mandate.  

    The problem is that we held up our end of the bargain, but the people we put into power didn't hold up their end. Instead, they punched us in our collective mouth for our efforts.  

    •  And what have you done since? (5+ / 0-)

      Movements aren't a once-every-four-years proposition: if you act like voting is the end-all of involvement, then yes, very little will change in the long run.  Movements require constant investment and constant engagement, including years of setbacks and disappointments.  

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 02:31:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've watched in shock (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        churchylafemme, Uberbah, Willa Rogers

        as all my work turned out to backfire big-time.

        listen, expecting people to go out and keep working, when it turns out we were working for horrible human-rights violations, backroom deals and secrecy, a distancing and even denouncing of progressive ideals, simply ludicrous.

        personally, I raised money from friends and family to put me and a friend up in a cheap hotel in a swing state during the fall of '08 to volunteer for the Obama Campaign's Voter Protection Program. I've never been so disappointed in my life by what's gone on since then and there's no way I will waste my time, energy, or money like that again.

        •  Ludicrous? oy..... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Then I have to wonder how serious you are about change, or how familiar you are with U.S. history, or how much experience you have being involved.  I'm inclined to believe (based on comments you've already made on this site) that you don't have much of any of this.

          Elected officials always disappoint: it says as much about your expectations as it does about the fact that they're pulled in a lot of different directions.   The key isn't abandoning the process, but constantly work to push the cumbersome monster in the right direction.  It takes a lot of time, and it takes a lot of dedication.  

          Or, you can sit on the sidelines and complain that things aren't going your way.  I suppose that's satisfying, sorta.

          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

          by pico on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 03:09:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  of frack you. you don't know me. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Beelzebud, churchylafemme, Uberbah

            i was serious enough raise the money to sit in a cheap hotel in a swing state to work on Obama's voter protection program.

            but when i then get stabbed in the back for my efforts, and then get shouted down if i tried to speak up about it the last two years (many people on here and elsewhere have told us to shut up if we even dared to try to work towards pressuring our representatives and president), then yeah, i've realized that i simply cannot compete with the big-money donations and the "my party, right or wrong" people.

            •  I only know you through your comments, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Matt Z, mahakali overdrive

              where it seems like you spent a lot of time and energy in 2008, and that you're relatively young and frustrated.  A lot of people are, both.  

              But you need to chill, and you need to recognize how hard this process is, and it's designed to be hard.  You need to study what successful movements take, and the common thread you'll notice is that they don't happen in one-off elections.  Elections are important, but none of the things that progressives want are easy, especially when we have moneyed interests in opposition.  

              Voting/calling/volunteering doesn't mean they'll listen to you.  Not voting/not calling/not volunteering guarantees they won't.  So it's your choice.

              Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

              by pico on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 03:27:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  what you need to realize is (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                churchylafemme, Uberbah

                that it is HARDER if you give blind support to politicians who actively work against us and tell anybody who dares to speak out against them that their criticisms are harmful.

                further, i would argue that your last statement is incorrect. being an automatic vote no matter what guarantees that they won't listen to you - they will just chase swing voters.

                not voting for them if they screw us over is our single biggest piece of leverage and that leverage is gone if you just automatically vote for them.

                •  Hrm. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Matt Z, mahakali overdrive

                  Who said anything about 1. blind support, 2. automatic votes, 3. not speaking out, etc.?  You've gone way past anything I've said into a completely different set of issues.  In fact, my whole support for this diary is predicated on the idea that we don't speak out enough.  Doing it once every four years makes no sense.

                  Now, I do criticize non-participation in elections because, frankly, it doesn't work.  It didn't work in 1994 and it didn't work in 2000 and it won't work today.  Just because something sounds good in your head doesn't mean that it yields the results you're hoping for.

                  As I said in my response above, I don't think you're as familiar with movements (history, successes, failures) as you ought to be, for the kinds of claims you're making.  Whether you choose to do anything about that is, of course, your choice.

                  Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                  by pico on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 03:45:52 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  ok (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    churchylafemme, NCgrassroots, Uberbah

                    I don't know you and haven't looked at your past comments, so I will not try to lump you in with the clap louder group.

                    however, can you at least acknowledge that:

                    1. we did in fact work our backsides off to get change
                    1. our politicians, including and especially Obama, have sold us out or at least done the opposite of what many of us wanted and thought we were working for
                    1. that "continuing to work" for change after the election includes criticism of the president and others when they go down the wrong path instead of ignoring it
                    1. that there has been a strong "thou shall not criticize the president" push-back from many people whenever anybody pointed out that the emperor had no clothes?
                    1. that now, those of us who got smacked down over the last two years whenever we even began to think about trying to organize pressure against the president are getting blamed for not trying to do anything to make our leaders do what we want.
          •  because he didn't clap louder? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            churchylafemme, UntimelyRippd

            Then I have to wonder how serious you are about change, or how familiar you are with U.S. history, or how much experience you have being involved.  I'm inclined to believe (based on comments you've already made on this site) that you don't have much of any of this.

            I have to wonder if you couldn't put out some more patronizing drivel.  The democratic base did it's job by voting for a democratic president and historic majorities.

            That, and you're firing cannons in a glass house.  The reason we have so many shitty Democrats is that they know there is no accountability in Democratic politics.  No matter how many campaign promises they break, no matter how much of the party platform they use as toilet paper, no matter how many segments of the base they stab in the back - the partisans in the base will not only turn to vote enthusiastically, but will lambaste anyone who doesn't do the same.

            ThAnswr "If the administration can't fight for it's friends, don't expect us to fight their enemies."

            by Uberbah on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 08:43:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  It's the setup to blame us... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          churchylafemme, Uberbah

          ...when the power elites of our party go ahead and do what they were planning to do all along.

  •  Bravo! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Iberian, Kiku, mallyroyal, JL

    Nothing to add, just brilliantly argued and perfectly reasoned.  Bravo!

  •  Unbelievable (9+ / 0-)

    that there are people find this diary objectionable.  As if anything you said is remotely controversial.  

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 02:11:28 PM PST

  •  I keep acting as if change occurs from the bottom (4+ / 0-)

    up, but I don't really believe it.  I believe that it is something we are sold so that when we don't get anything we want we blame ourselves rather than our leaders.

    Change happens from the top and the only power we have is to elect those people at the top...after that, short of insurrection, change is pretty much out of our hands.

    Repubs - the people in power are not secretly plotting against you. They don't need to. They already beat you in public. (Bill Maher)

    by Sychotic1 on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 02:15:46 PM PST

    •  If you try, then you did something. If you.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      never fight the fight, then you've let the bastards won with a wounding.  Go ahed and take a headshot:  You'll feel better after you do, and if you miss, take anotherone and keep doing it till you have really fought the fight.

      I know it's frustrating, but for me, I have to keep punching because that's just how I am.  My Mom told me when I was young that in a fight, you may not win, but two walk out at the end with bloody noses.

      "I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean I love the country but I can't stand the scene." - Leonard Cohen (Democracy)

      by LamontCranston on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 02:49:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not true... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mahakali overdrive, lightshine

      Think India, think Gandhi and thousands who stood in peaceful protest, think MLK and all those who marched for civil rights, think South Africa, the ANC and Nelson Mandela.

      In this country it is not all about the people who get elected for 2 years, 4 years or 6 years.  This is about we the people.  This is our country, our government.  It belongs to all of us both left, right and those in the middle.  The only mistake we make is to give up, stay silent and expect someone, anyone else to do the heavy lifting for us.  
      I, for one and I am unanimous in this, intend to speak out loud and strong.

      •  I half agree but want to point out that Gandhi (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sychotic1, Aquagranny911

        wasn't making phone calls or sending emails.

        I really believe that we get stuck in our habits of limited thinking about "change" and how to effect it. I really do believe in the methods you're mentioning, because at its core, nonviolent resistance and the Satyagraha movement were highly active, persuasive, effective types of reform.

        That urgency for change, that exigence, is not ever going to translate without similar methods. Meaning actually resisting, not just threating TO resist.

        I hope that makes some sense.

        "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

        by mahakali overdrive on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 06:04:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Shrug. (7+ / 0-)

    Sure you can fill their inboxes, swamp their staff.  But you won't get Blanche Lincoln to change her mind.

    If the advocacy was for swamping every member of Congress with calls and emails and mails, then yeah, it might get enough airplay to put more pressure on most folks.

    Just don't expect Blanche to play along.  She's always depended on the kindness of the wealthy.

    Wow, Independents put down the centrist Blue Dogs, and somehow liberals are to blame?

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 02:33:14 PM PST

  •  "Now, get out and raise some hell." (6+ / 0-)

    Can't argue with that statement.  

    Please, let's start a massive P.I.T.A.* write in, call in, and e-mail campaign, and do it everyday if you can.  Heck I may bitch and moan on this site, but I do back up my words with the P.I.T.A. format, and yes, it’s time consuming, but as I say, "We all have pens let’s use them"**

    *("Pain In The A$$", for the acronym deficient)

    **Okay, okay,.."Pens"...I know I date myself but you all get the idea!

    "I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean I love the country but I can't stand the scene." - Leonard Cohen (Democracy)

    by LamontCranston on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 02:45:50 PM PST

  •  We're just asking the President (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, Uberbah, Willa Rogers

    not to affirmatively act to extend the Bush tax cuts, that the Democrats have railed against for years, to the top 2% at a time of economic crisis. It doesn't sound that revolutionary to me. Even the most cynical among us would have thought this would be a given when the Democrats control both Houses of Congress and the White House.

    I admire you for wanting to be active. But there could be a downside to exclusively focusing our anger on congress people, especially those from conservative states. First, it would let the most powerful person in the country--namely the President-- off the hook and confident of his chances of re-election so long as Lieberman et al are the bad guys. Secondly, a lot of those blue dogs and coservadems think they lost because they were too liberal. They would, to use the phrase often quoted lately, welcome our hatred.

    I don't know what the correct strategy is in this situation. Maybe my judgment is clouded by anger right now. And I know you are right in most situations where we have time to build a movement. But I do know we have very little time left before the Republicans take over the House, and it is only during the lame duck that we can hope for anything.

    "We Don't Pay Taxes. Only The Little People Pay Taxes." -- Leona Helmsley

    by MaizeandBlue on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 02:48:34 PM PST

    •  The only problem with your (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, Aquagranny911

      First, it would let the most powerful person in the country--namely the President-- off the hook

      No matter how powerful he is that only goes so far, he doesn't have a vote on this issue he can speak out about it be he doesn't have a vote.
      You need to go after the people that do have a vote and that is your House Members and Senators.
      The President can try to persuade the congressmen but when it comes down to it the Congressmen are the only ones that can vote on it.

      •  Ever heard of the veto? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slinkerwink, Uberbah

        In the right hands it can be used to inspire and persuade... But only if the threat is a real possibility... - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

        by chuckvw on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 05:06:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And if the president wants the support of the (0+ / 0-)

        electorate, he must persuade the Congress -- or at least (and probably more importantly), he must be seen to be trying.

        His preference for quiet diplomacy would be effective If and Only If he were winning all the battles. Since he's losing them (well ... that's assuming he's actually hoping for the policies that we hope he's hoping for), the quiet diplomacy is a huge political fail. Nobody knows what he has pressed for. Nobody knows what he wants from Congress, versus what he has received.

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 03:12:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary. And... (3+ / 0-)

    one thing we often overlook is that everyone gets to vote. Not just us on the far left or those on the far right but everyone in between. If we spent as much time talking to voters as we do fighting with each other, we might get those voters to agree with us and vote accordingly. If we even just talked (wrote) about how we could do that we'd be in better shape than we seem to be now.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." ~ Mencken

    by royce on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 02:53:02 PM PST

    •  Person to person, one by one... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      you made an excellent point.  I convinced a friend in another State to write to her Rep and Senators about DADT.  She has been very distressed about this issue.
      When someone we know complains or has concerns a good response is:  "why don't you call or email Congress about this."

  •  Jobless in this country posting a WE WANT JOBS (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, Badabing, skohayes, Aquagranny911

    sign somewhere every day.   Even if marker on newspaper.  Gotta rattle a cage or  two  eventually.

  •  O-r-g-a-n-i-z-e! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Boston to Salem, Iberian, skohayes

    I think there's enough energy here for action, but it needs to be channeled, and it needs to be organized.

    I've been saying this for months (Oct 2009, to be exact!) So thank you for repeating the message!

    It is going to take guts, it is going to take courage, it's going to take some money, but most of all, it is going to take SMARTS!

    I recommend we form a task force to discuss the best ways of moving forward.  Maybe on KOS, maybe somewhere more private.

    I'm available for all of the above at

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

    by equern on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 03:00:03 PM PST

  •  Nulwee, you are almost there (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, chuckvw, Aquagranny911

    Every day, the lives of Republicans and conservatives in Congress should be made a living hell not because we are out to persuade them. We are to bombard them into either submission or oblivion.

    If you want to win this fight, you have to include the Dems. They are as rotten as the Repubs (with a handful of exceptions). Let's give em ALL HELL.

    But your flag decal won't get you Into Heaven any more. They're already overcrowded From your dirty little war. -- John Prine (also flag lapel pins)

    by CitizenOfEarth on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 03:15:05 PM PST

  •  Well done, Nulwee! Thank you so much for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sybil Liberty, lightshine

    this diary.  I've already been sending faxes and letters to all the newly elected people in my State.  The focus of those letters was JOBS but I will not let up about any other issues either.

    I have said more than once here and everywhere that our Prez can't do all this alone. We need to have a big voice that won't be shut up by MSM or anyone else.
    Passive aggressive whiny blogging is totally useless.  As one of my favorite fictional characters said: "Don't try. Do!"

  •  Change comes from the bottom, up. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Somewhere I've heard that before:

    "Change comes from the bottom, up."

    I think I recall a certain candidate for President resorting to it.

    Time and again.

    Before he became President and got busy trying to:

    squash change from the top, down.

    Ever heard of Blanche Lincoln?

    I see you have...

    More and Better Democrats

    by SJerseyIndy on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 03:53:48 PM PST

  •  FDR had BALLS (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    His speeches proved this, when I hear some real fire from President Obama with some spine behind it I will stop being urked by this false comparison.

    there is never time to do it right, but always time to do it over -6.88/-4.31

    by DeadB0y on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 04:11:44 PM PST

  •  U clearly left out important info on civil rights (4+ / 0-)

    Yes the civil rights movement was integral, but did MLK waste time by meeting with JFK and LBJ? NO. because reality tells you you need a quarterback to influence the process in which effective presidents do.

    There was plenty of criticism of FDR on the New Deal by Huey Long among others and that helped make the new Deal stronger because it pushed FDR to influence it, even threatening to pack the court by pushing the court packing bill.

    Also you're being disingenuous because what joanneleon said was in the context of the tax cuts expiring and during the lame duck period Obama and his veto power have cards to play during this process.

    And no Ben Nelson is not going to budge because he and those like him were already empowered.

    I guess you don't know so much after all.

    Pro Life??? Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers!- George Carlin

    by priceman on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 04:48:43 PM PST

  •  Protests are nothing without leverage. (5+ / 0-)

    Protests didn’t help us with our stolen election in 2000 (in which the protests were barely covered). Protests didn’t help us with the Iraq war (in which the protests were barely covered). Protests didn’t help the Mexicans with their stolen presidential election (in which the protests were barely covered). Protests didn’t help the Greeks when the banksters stole their government retirement program (the protests were barely covered). Protests won’t help the French, their government retirement program will get robbed too. They laugh at protest, it takes measures that actually affect the political opposition.
    It takes leverage. "We" (Obama) had some serious leverage that could have been used. We would be looking at a completely self-destroyed, disgraced and discredited republican party if Obama would have pursued torture investigations and war crimes prosecutions against the Bush/Cheney administration. We could have compromised to a Truth Commission, if we could have got some cooperation from the republican party on our signature issues for which we voted, otherwise (if they didn’t cooperate) we could have disgraced and discredited their party for decades to come. But instead, this administration has allowed our agenda to be obstructed by republicans who should have been disgraced and discredited right along with the Bush/Cheney administration. This will continue because Obama (and the clap louder crowd) don’t understand what the word "leverage" means. The clap louder crowd, who bought into the mindfuck of "looking forward" (by which standard no crime would ever be prosecuted), has prevented us from uniting and collectively doing our jobs as citizens, which requires to hold our elected officials (including the president) to their Oath of Office (to protect and uphold the Constitution) and use this unprecedented (pun intended) political leverage against the republican party to convince them to either cooperate with our agenda, or be disgraced and discredited for decades to come.

  •  Just want to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, Sybil Liberty, Nulwee

    lend my voice to what Nulwee paraphase what Steven King wrote in The Shawshank Redemption.."Get busy fighting or get busy dieing. No surrender not now not ever.

    Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. - Mark Twain

    by USMarine70 on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 05:05:36 PM PST

  •  one nit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sybil Liberty

    To say that "Daily Kos" has been bamboozled is to ignore the evidence that a great many of us have certainly not been drawn into the (oh-so-expected) divide and conquer tactics that have been the ultimate root of so many of the pie fights around here of late.

    Other than that, hell yeah! What has your President been saying, since before he was elected? You all are the change you need. Yes, he was voted into the highest office in the land, but it would be naive—if not downright ignorant—to believe that he alone can effect the change that the United States so dearly needs.

  •  Change comes from the voters (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme, Willa Rogers

    And when the people that we as Democrats choose to represent us don't represent us, the people who elected them, we have to FROM THE BOTTOM UP, know that they're in deep shit with us.

    We can't let them off the hook every time they cave in to the other side.  If we do, if we trust in their inherent wisdom and goodness even when they seem to betray us, then we really ARE operating from a top-down approach.

    Politicians are not Gods.  They don't have to be noble or even good people.  They just need to do the jobs we vote them to do, and if they don't do that, they need to get the warning that they're replaceable.

  •  They have nothing to lose re taxes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Force the tax cuts for middle class only decision...

    If it wins, we win.

    If it fails then everyone's taxes go up AND the economy improves (it always does for some weird reason every time taxes go up and/or Dems get elected to the presidency.) We can blame the Reps for the tax increase and take credit for the economy.

  •  YAY! for the word (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sybil Liberty, AreDeutz

    Sorry I'm here late but I'm very glad to read this. The antiwar effort showed in the sixties what a riled up people can accomplish.

    When I worked for Cesar Chavez we showed what a determined group of workers can accomplish.

    At the turn of the century unions faced and fought the robber barons who owned Congress... sound familiar?.. and they put working people in charge of their own futures, they created the middle class by getting in the streets and showing the world people power for the first time ever.

    Don't blame the president or congress unless you got some bruises yourself.

    power to the people... right on!

  •  meh.n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "History is a tragedy, not a melodrama." - I.F.Stone

    by bigchin on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 05:40:11 PM PST

  •  I logged in just to recommend this. (3+ / 0-)

    Thanks. A movement is needed, and a movement doesn't shove a thumb up its collective ass while complaining.

  •  Corporate Lie? (4+ / 0-)

    How is the rec listed diary you are protesting a corporate lie?

  •  By all means... (5+ / 0-)

    ... call your representatives.  But the focus should and needs to be on the White House.

    And at the end of the day, yes, that means it is on one person who embodies the executive branch.

    If the President stands strong, the progressives are empowered, and the Blue dogs at least less likely to effectively jump party lines.

    But if he keeps giving the farm away, the Blue Dogs will follow the corporate money, and the progressives will yet again be marginalized.

    The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

    by JRandomPoster on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 06:05:46 PM PST

    •  If all you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      want is the end of the tax cuts to the rich, then the white house is the only one you need to target.  If you want to keep the middle class tax cuts as well, then the white house is irrelevant.  The only way we'll get an extension of the middle class tax cuts, and an end to the rich tax cuts is by berating the Senate and House to put the bill(s) up that does both.

      •  See... (0+ / 0-)

        ... I'm in that middle class bracket, and I am willing to pay more in taxes.

        If for no other reason than a few more bucks now won't be worth squat if the whole thing degrades into a true third world economy, and if we neglect our societies needs for long enough as to break the system.

        The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

        by JRandomPoster on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 06:13:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hell yeah! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wisdumb, AreDeutz

    GREAT DIARY!  I'd pick up my torch in a millisecond! The diarist is so DEAD-ON right on this!  I don't want to live in a corporatist owned country.  Democracy itself is being drowned in the bathtub. I will show up and put boots to the ground.  I cannot abide one more second of what I see going on right now ---hate radio is winning, the media sold out - I am 1/2 ass serious about moving to Costa Rica before the 2012 election...but what my gut, my spirit, tells me is that there are some things worth fighting for and this country that I adore is one of them.  I'd give my life...right here in the streets of the USA if it would help the "arc of justice".  At this point it is a zero sum game. Class warfare with HUGE consequences. Citizens United screws us all-literally.  Really you want the guy who apologized to BP or the theocrat who believes the reality of climate change to be a lie to be in charge of the Energy Committee?  WAKE UP!  I don't have children but many of you do....WAKE UP!!!! The boot heel is upon us and if we do nothing...well, best case - it won't be a world worth living in-worst case- there won't be a world.

    "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." - Flannery O'Conner

    by Dixiedemocrat on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 06:10:20 PM PST

  •  P.S. I've lived in a 3rd world country. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sybil Liberty, SoCalSal

    That is where we are headed.  There was a diary posted earlier today about how huge income disparities in any given situation make for an unhappy populace.  I lived in a 3rd world country for 5 years in S.A.  I can personally testify that yep, that is the case.  Democracy itself will be a failed experiment if we keep heading in the direction we're heading.  My more immediate concern though is climate change.  No one on this planet can choose to ignore it.  Al Gore titled his book is "an inconvenient truth."  Personally, I'm willing to put my ass on the line and not just sit here and type on DailyKos.

    "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." - Flannery O'Conner

    by Dixiedemocrat on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 06:19:09 PM PST

  •  Hooked by Diary title again (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, Willa Rogers

    Can't find the name of the corporation that lied. Ten mintues spent on this when I could have been focusing on Pelosi's comments Diary which at least according to that Title looks interesting.

  •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and ready to join

  •  Yay! Yes! YAY! The truth is breaking out (2+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Dixiedemocrat, lightshine
    Hidden by:
    Lefty Coaster

    GREAT DIARY!!!! You realize as well as I do that the New Deal and before that the efforts of Teddy Roosevelt came out of a huge persecuted hurt and angry population that wanted a decent life. Today Americans are living such a materialistic life we can't even imagine having to sacrifice any of it. There have been no major social upheavals, massive nationwide protests on a common goal, civilian massacres, or clashes between the people and the System/Man/Establishment since the Sixties. WE HAVE FORGOTTEN HOW TO FIGHT TO LIVE.
    Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. Obama had one thing right: "We are the ones we've been waiting for."

    Living in the spaces between the boxes other people are thinking inside of...

    by fourthcornerman on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 06:25:32 PM PST

  •  People forget what 1930 and 31 were like (4+ / 0-)

    read William Manchester's "Glory and the Dream" excellent social history of the depression years. This country was coming apart. Dairy farmers had cities blockaded, judges who over saw forclosures on homes were hanged or run out of town. The rich were mounting machine guns on their houses. And the communists/socialists like Huey Long and the far right were vying for who was going to take over the country. When FDR was in power he scared some of the elite who tried to stage a military coup but a general stood up to them and gave evidence of the attempt. These were wild times and the pressure on the government to DO SOMETHING was huge.

    If the people are too busy watching TV and Facebooking to care about what is happening why shouldn't the politicians and corporations do whatever they want. Robbing us blind. Thanks for the diary.

    "Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright" Curt Siodmak

    by Wisdumb on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 06:28:59 PM PST

  •  Amen Wisdumb! Herding cats. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, Greek Goddess, SoCalSal

    I hate Republican politics but they follow lock step with talking points.  Re: Social media - we are living in a perfect storm.  Keep the masses self absorbed- typing but DOING nothing - so much easier to manipulate...because not everyone is paying attention.  The genius of Fox News is it is really simple - appeal to people's lizard brains -fear.  Simple black and white thinking.  We (progressives/democrats) are broader in our thinking and therefore not as easy to herd.  The very thing that makes us worthwhile is the very thing that shoots us in the foot.

    "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." - Flannery O'Conner

    by Dixiedemocrat on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 06:44:32 PM PST

  •  Ah, welcome to wonderland (7+ / 0-)

    Where in one breath, one can bring up "FDR's New Deal" whilst in the next decrying the futility of influencing a President.

    FDR's New Deal

    LBJ's Great Society

    Bush's Tax Cuts

    Oh wait.

    That's not quite right.

    It should be:

    Congressional New Deal

    Congressional Great Society

    Congressional Tax Cuts

    When it comes to Obama, accountability was the first casualty - right before the middle class.

    Why is FDR credited with the "New Deal"?

    Because he articulated a vision for non-wealthy Americans and he fought for it.  And got it.

    Same with Johnson.

    Bush's Tax Cuts?  He fought for them, even going so far as to use... reconciliation.  Hilarious.

    Obama's signature accomplishment: Rehabilitating the GOP brand in two years. (he did promise CHANGE).

    by Johnathan Ivan on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 08:33:06 PM PST

    •  I just read a little on John Adams (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnathan Ivan

      Interesting guy.  Lessons to learn from John Adams presidency:

      Did not rush into war with France.
      Did sign the Sedition and Alien Acts even though he did not want or ask for them.

      Points for not using war as a solution.

      No points for signing something just because Congress delivered it to him.

      Despite the fact that Adams had no influence in crafting those bills, it's HIS name that ends up associated with them - not Congress.

      Hint to the Pres: Not only do you NOT have to sign every piece of paper that crosses your desk, you should also remember that people will remember more the person who signed it, not the anonymous lobbysists who crafted it.  Letting Congress have their way will come back to haunt you.

      Show me the POLICY!

      by Fabian on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 04:26:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The people who are clammering for (0+ / 0-)

    pressing the WHite House only are not interested in getting Progressive change. Their interest is in tarring the President enough to get him primaried and run out of office. This goal is exactly the same goal the GOP has.

    I think we should consider very carefully whether we are dealing here with Progressives or at best progressive turn-coats and at worst Republican moles amongst us who are driving the narrative in left wing blogs to derail the Obama Change-wagon. This is not a conspiracy theory and may I declare anyone who says it is to be a troll in advance!

    scientia potentia est - Francis Bacon "...knowledge itself is power."

    by factPlusContextAlmostTruth on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 09:58:51 PM PST

  •  Boy, are you ever right! (0+ / 0-)

    And eloquent! I hope people are listening, and I'm happy to see this on the Rec List.

  •  Change happens from the bottom up is TRUE (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fabian, Greek Goddess

    Only way ever has, only way ever will.

    The GOOD news, is that type of change is very very fun, very very rewarding.

    Come on in, the water's fine! Find a local gardening group, or the non-profit of your choice and get involved.

    Or do something nice for a senior citizen neighbor. That's called "building community". Change from the bottom up. Change that's exciting:

    This health care system is a moral atrocity. Dr. Ralphdog

    by AllisonInSeattle on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 12:04:40 AM PST

  •  Another day, another idiotic premise ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... for a diary on Daily Kos.

    Any mass movement has a lot of people behind it, but a strong leader is just as necessary for the movement as the people. Once Robert Kennedy was assassinated, the anti-war movement in the 1960s didn't have an effective leader, with the result that the war continued until just about everyone in the country was sick of it.

    We Americans may be too fat, lazy and well-off to fight to preserve what makes our country worthwhile, but there isn't anyone who either is exhorting us to fight or appears remotely capable of leading us if we were to start fighting.

    In addition to majorities in the house and senate for the past four years and a president for the past two, Democrats have had public support to do much more than they did on everything from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to actually reforming the health-care and financial sectors and implementing sane immigration policy

    The fact that they didn't isn't because the people who gave them that support failed. It's because they failed.

  •  What? (5+ / 0-)

    Nulwee, what are you talking about?  Are you accusing me of being a liar?

    My diary is somehow a "corporate lie?" Actually, a "LIE" in capital letters, so a very big lie.

    How dishonest of you.  First you accuse me of being a liar and then the diary segues into FDR and civil rights movement.  The words "corporate" and "lie" don't even appear in the diary anywhere, from what I can see.

    So lets examine this corporate lie.  (I'm not even employed by any corporation, LOL.)  This corporate LIE is simply a call to activism focused on the White House for this particular situation because:

    - the veto pen is particularly important for these tax cuts
    - Senators (and other elected officials) are not very responsive a couple of weeks after an election
    - It's a lame duck session

    And it's a call to activism, the same kind of activism advocated by others, except the target is different this time, for specific reasons that were spelled out in the diary.  It's no different than any other activism in its bottom up origination.  It is not originated by any corporation.  WTF?   We do different things at different times, based on what we think will be most effective.  It's still activism from the people, from the bottom up.

    How can you justify this accusation of me being a corporate liar?  My understanding of the rules of this site require you to provide evidence when you accuse someone of being a liar.

    So where is your evidence?

  •  Back up this accusation (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, emal, Barth, ZhenRen

    or retract it, Nulwee.

    When you accuse someone of being a liar, and engage in character assassination, you need to have evidence.

    Disagree with me all you want.  Debate it honestly.  But don't go accusing people of being liars unless you have evidence.

  •  All set to argue with this diary... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greek Goddess

    ...because the headline is just full of buzz words that suggest more foolish discussion of who is more righteous.  It attacks "Daily Kos" but really means "a large number of Daily Kos posters" and uses that ancient "corporate lie" phrase suggesting that there is something inherently evil about the formation of a corporation and more of the overuse of "lie" to mean disagreement.

    But the essential point of the diary is spot on.  If people want to keep whining about what the President did or did not do, that is their right.  It does no good.

    Fighting for what is important, pushing recalcitrant members of Congress, changing the narrative among one's neighbors:  that is our task.  We have failed in it miserably thinking that by electing a president will solve our political problems.

    Important whining and Red Sox stuff at

    by Barth on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 05:35:29 AM PST

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