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Some of you won't appreciate World War 2 metaphors, but I'm afraid that this one makes sense.  We're in a political war, not one that we started, and we have entered the battle that will stop the enemy's forward progress or collapse our defenses.  There is no compromise tomorrow in Wisconsin -- either they win and continue to ride roughshod over labor and progressive ideals, or we take the territory and the initiative away from them.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court currently has a 4-3 majority -- and by that I don't mean Republican vs. Democrat.  I mean "doing its job" vs. "not doing its job" -- "restraining the excesses of the Executive and Legislative branches" vs. "letting them do whatever they want."  One of that majority, Justice David Prosser, is up for a retention vote tomorrow.  His bad behavior in office -- talking about "destroying" the "bitch" who is Chief Justice -- has become well known.  He has said, in effect, that he's going to rubber-stamp whatever Wisconsin Republicans -- that their paymasters the Koch Brothers and their publicists the Club for Growth -- want to do.  This is not Administration of Justice.  This is Abdication of Justice.

And I'm giving you a nice little diary here to read.  Sure, I want you to read it.  But the world change for the better, will victory become more likely, if all you do is read?  Not a bit.  It doesn't intrinsically matter whether this diary makes the Rec List; I judge this one by this criterion: did it get you onto the phones?

Will you, through your phone, join in the invasion to liberate Wisconsin?

A handful of hours from now, early voting will have ended and Election Day will be in full swing.  Are you going to wait for the results?  Or are you going to make the results?

If you're reading this on a weekday morning or early afternoon, the chances are -- although of course there will be many exceptions -- that you have the time to get onto the phone and make some calls to Wisconsin.  There are likely many fewer people working the phone today than there were on the weekend; that means that, if you're free, your contribution of time and effort is all that more important.

Prosser's robots are calling ceaselessly, fueled by Koch profits.  If history is a guide, the day before the election will be filled with lies and distortions.  You, by yourself, can counter a whole fleet of these robots, because humans like to listen to other humans.  You can stop reading this now and start calling, or if you'd like I'll give you something to mull on first.

How critical is Wisconsin?  Well, how critical was the tiny island of Guadalcanal?

The Marines at Guadalcanal

You can read a longer history of the Guadalcanal Campaign on Wikipedia; for now, I'm just including a summary version (which I've annotated in boldface) from the main page on the island itself:

In the months following the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the Japanese drove the Americans out of the Philippines, the British out of British Malaya, and the Dutch out of the East Indies.  (Note the advantage they gained from planning a fight on many fronts at once.  Read this as Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio.)  The Japanese then began to expand into the Western Pacific, occupying many islands in an attempt to build a defensive ring around their conquests and threaten the lines of communication from the United States to Australia and New Zealand. The Japanese reached Guadalcanal in May 1942.  (As Guadalcanal is a tiny island, so a Supreme Court election is usually a tiny thing, but it's a critical part of their defenses.)

When an allied reconnaissance mission spotted construction of a Japanese airfield at Lunga Point on the north coast of Guadalcanal, the situation became critical. This new Japanese airfield represented a threat to Australia itself, and so the United States as a matter of urgency, despite not being adequately prepared, conducted the first amphibious landing of the war. The initial landings of US Marines on August 7, 1942 secured the airfield without too much difficulty (like occupying the Capitol building?), but holding the airfield for the next six months was one of the most hotly contested campaigns in the entire war for the control of ground, sea and skies.

Guadalcanal became a major turning point in the war as it stopped Japanese expansion. After six months of fighting the Japanese ceased trying to contest the control of the island. They finally evacuated the island at Cape Esperance on the north west coast in February 1943.

This tiny election, from which the invading Rapacious Reactionaries hope to gain their defensive hold for a larger attack (on 2012 and the unionization movement rather than Australia), is a key battle in an unlikely venue.  We have to win it.  Losing it makes our future struggle that much harder.

You, if you're like most people, do not want to be on the phones.  I'm asking you to get past that.  If one or two of us do it, that won't matter much.  But if 50 or 500 or 5000 people do it, then in our own solidarity we can turn the tide of this war.

And I don't call it a "war" fancifully or melodramatically.  I call it a "war" because, if we lose, people will die.  The union movement will be wounded -- that's why they're doing this, after all -- and the return towards 19th century hell-holes or 13th century serfdom means actual suffering for all but the wealthy.

The Call of Duty and the Duty of Call

You're reading this because you think that these sorts of things matter.  Taking the step from political observer to political actor is a heady thing.  Calling people seems impolite -- even though, in a GOTV time like this, you're calling to excite Democrats, make sure that they vote, and motivate them to get the people around them to the polls as well.  (Wisconsin has same day registration -- totalitarians that they are!)  What you can do is to not merely watch -- but to be part of the event.

In my diary yesterday I actually went through the process of calling in real time, explaining call by call what it is like.  If you want to see what it's like, take a look.  It is highly non-traumatizing.  And if you call and somehow get traumatized, write about it below and we'll laugh about it together.  We're here, in the comments section below, for mutual support.

You'll see a lot of people in comments exuding supreme confidence and other people
who have real worries about how much the Kochs and the Growths are putting into this election.  If you live in Milwaukee, you may not realize what's happening in the burbs.  If you live in Madison, you may not know what's going on in Green Bay.  Not so many Kosters here are likely to be from the rural north and west; we can only guess what's happening there.  All we know is: the more we do, the better we'll do.

You want to be enthusiastic, polite, steady, unflappable.  Most of the time during the day today you will be leaving messages.  Practice them (they're easy!) and don't worry if you mess up a little -- it just humanizes you.  Showing people that you care reaches something deep within them.  That's the power of our movement.  It's about caring, not about greed.

What are you waiting for?

You can learn about JoAnne Kloppenburg on her website.

You can make calls from this beautifully constructed page.

You can see comments from Kosters about their own experiences making calls here.

Get onto the phone!  I'll be here for most of the next three hours, reporting on my own calls.  Don't leave me out there alone!

This is our battle of Guadalcanal -- and we're going to bust our butts to win it!

Originally posted to Doane Spills on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 10:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and Dailykos Kossacks For Action.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Fingertip jar (39+ / 0-)

    Do you know what the difference is between a "keyboard commando" and an actual political activist?

    The activist is, right now, looking for a phone.

    See you in Wisconsin, wherever you are!

    Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

    by Seneca Doane on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 10:01:32 AM PDT

  •  Republished to Kossacks for Action. (5+ / 0-)

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

    by slinkerwink on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 10:04:07 AM PDT

  •  It's pure GOTV today! (6+ / 0-)

    No persuasion.  Just "we're calling our supporters and reminding them to vote."

    Humans versus machines!  John Henry time!  Make sure to personalize your message -- "hi, this is a call for the Moulitsas residence" -- so that they know that you're made of flesh and bone, not electronic circuitry!

    Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

    by Seneca Doane on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 10:14:45 AM PDT

  •  I've been phoning for (9+ / 0-)

    several days -- and have to say that Wisconsonites are among the nicest people with whom I've spoken.  Not one person was annoyed that I am calling from out of state (I am very upfront in letting them know and explain that their battle is a national one).  Every single one thanked me for caring about their state.  I must have gotten the special sweet list of voters.

    Thanks, SD, for your incredible devotion to important elections in States which aren't your own.  I've read way too many diaries whining about elected Democrats -- with zero sense of personal responsibility for changing things as voters and activism.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 10:18:50 AM PDT

    •  Thanks, g! (7+ / 0-)

      And thank you for continually coming through in these efforts as well.

      I don't usually tell them from out of state -- they can figure it out from the area code, although when I tell them "you're polling station is at the high school, right?" they may not suspect.

      We're doing pure GOTV today, just ramping up the enthusiasm of voters, catching anyone who may not be paying attention.  My added pitch is to ask people to make sure that their friends come out to vote so that we can all celebrate tomorrow night.

      I have been known to whine at times myself -- this sort of action is how I buy my license to whine!  This, to me, is what DKos is really for.

      Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

      by Seneca Doane on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 10:28:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is all about (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Seneca Doane, AnnieJo

        balance for me -- you are allowed to whine because of the many, many diaries you have written for action.  I just HR your tip jar in your whine diaries anyway (kidding).

        " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

        by gchaucer2 on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 10:35:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Mr. R.L. was excited to hear from me (8+ / 0-)

    I didn't even get past saying I was with the Kloppenburg campaign.

    "We're voting for her!"

    "Great!  Tell all your friends to come out, it's an important election!"

    "We're telling all of our friends!  Great!  Thanks for calling!"

    Boy, this phone banking is hard work!

    Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

    by Seneca Doane on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 10:20:47 AM PDT

  •  This is the final 30 hours. (5+ / 0-)

    Time to stop Walker or lay down and let him kill off our state.

    Time to beat it back into it's dark hole or let it grow and engulf the nation.

    I have too many miscellaneous things to do today to be of much use, but tonight and all day tomorrow it's GOTV GOTV GOTV. However I can be of most use, phones or doors, I'm on all day tomorrow.

    Republican, Scott Walker, recall, collective bargaining, AFSCME, WEAC, rally, union, Alberta Darling, Randy Hopper, Dan Kapanke, Rob Cowles, Scott Fitzgerald, Sheila Harsdorf, Luther Olsen, Glenn Grothman, Mary Lazich, Jeff Fitzgerald, Marty Beil, or

    by pHunbalanced on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 10:21:28 AM PDT

  •  Ms. A.T. is in the nursing home and will not be (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Puddytat, JVolvo, AnnieJo

    able to vote, but the woman who answered the phone will, and we talked about how others have to cast the vote that A.T. cannot.  Gosh, this is hard work!  All this people appreciating the calls!

    Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

    by Seneca Doane on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 10:29:50 AM PDT

  •  For your diary: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane, laserhaas

    "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 Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 11:08:05 AM PDT

  •  You are right - We Stop Them Here! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane, AnnieJo

    This is our line in the sand. If a perversion of the Law and justice to destroy the American spirit - such as this - is permitted to success by our indifference, apathy or lack of due diligence;

    They Win and We Lose!

    Keep up the fight - Great Diary!

    It is our patriotic duty - to question authority!

    by laserhaas on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 12:15:48 PM PDT

  •  My own daughter didn't know to vote tomorrow! (4+ / 0-)

    I've let myself get a little over-confident on this election. I've been calling people who were sure-things just to make sure that they knew to vote.

    My own daughter, a senior at UW-Madison, who protested with me several times, didn't know there was an election tomorrow!! (She'll vote now, and will drag some roommates to vote, too)

    So now I'm panicking a bit, and I'm calling every teacher friend I know. There are a lot of us retirees around.

    I'm even calling my step-mother to be sure she votes to cancel out my dad's vote.

    Note: I'm spending the day tomorrow at a polling station to get recall signatures for Alberta Darling - there are at least 150 of us doing this in Darling's district alone.

    I'm very anxious about the confrontational potential, but I've got to do it. Keep me (and the many others like me) in your thoughts.

  •  Winston Churchill said of the Battle of Midway (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane, Edge PA

    .At one stroke, the dominant position of Japan in the Pacific was reversed."  

    Japanese carrier planes did not sink one US carrier at Midway, while US carrier planes (mostly from one carrier, the Yorktown) destroyed 4 Japanese carriers. The Yorktown was later sunk by a Japanese sub. Admiral Fletchers (Yorktown) performance was stunning, he swept the area to the north, finding it clear of Japanese Carriers he turned to the south, where he located 3 Japanese carriers, he sortied 1/2 his fighters, all his torpedo bombers and bombers in a coordinated fashion that resulted in all 3 Japanese carriers sinking. After locating the 4th carrier, the Yorktown planes sunk it too.

    The US started with 3 carriers in the Pacific to Japans 9.

    Without this stunning Japanese defeat at Midway, there would be no invasion of Guadalcanal in 1942. No Leyte Gulf, no Marianas Turkey Shoot, etc.

    Love the diary, but I just finished a book on Midway..... :-)

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 05:22:35 PM PDT

    •  Yes, the importance of Midway (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roger Fox

      can hardly be overstated.  But that was great luck among other things.  (Hadn't we stolen their codes?) This feels more like a tough slog, containing them after they've had great successes.  To me, it feels like the Guadalcanal campaign, culminating in the liberation of the Governor's mansion.

      My wife and I listened to a great book on Leyte Gulf while driving some time back; if you're interested I'll try to find its name.  The exploits of (I think it was) "Taffy 3," a small task force group that suddenly had to punch about seven classes above its weight -- and did, are as amazing in their own way as those of the Yorktown.

      Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

      by Seneca Doane on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 06:25:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I love those sorts of stories (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Seneca Doane

        If you recall the name of the book, sure, pass it on.

        "Midway" by Hugh Bicheno, 2001, Orion Publishing London.

        Yeah we had the codes, but the Enterprise and Hornet screwed up, when the Yorktown was sunk, its pilots  landed on the Hornet, Air Officer Browning sent them back out with heavy 1000 pnd bombs at max range, there was actually some yelling and shoving about running out of gas, Adm Spruance told the Yorktown pilots he would take their advice, Browning then went to his compartment and hid.

        Since Browning was air officer and COS for Spruance for Task force 17, Browning ran the air groups for Hornet and Enterprise, when they were sent out for early am strikes, an hour later.... Browning got better info on Japanese carrier locations, but never got his air Co's on the radio to give them the corrected vector, Browning cited the need for radio silence, many of those pilots ran out of gas and never returned.

        Browning sent out fighters first then sent out Hornet bombers with max loads at max range and many ran out of gas and never returned...... Yorktown pilots were used to a well oiled staff on the Yorktown and would have any of Brownings ignorance.

        On the Yorktown fighters were sent last, they could fly faster and catch up to the bombers, so all planes arrived over the target at the same time. And FLetcher and his staff had no issues sailing closer to the Japanese carriers before launching, knowing his pilots didnt want to run out of gas.

        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 07:28:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Found it! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Roger Fox

          The Battle of Leyte Gulf: 23-26 October 1944, by Thomas J. Cutler.

          If you like naval battles, you'll love reading about this one, because this was the biggest one of them all.  It reinforced my positive view of Spruance and negative view of Bull Halsey.  Did you know that this was the first use of kamikaze planes?

          Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

          by Seneca Doane on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 12:39:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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