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At FDL, I roughly sketched out how progressive readers of FireDogLake, DailyKos, and Democratic Underground, could combine the forces of both their readership, as well as their bloggers, to create a "ground game". By "ground game", I mean a street-based activism that propagates progressive memes well beyond the currently limited blogosphere. In a nutshell, activists would organize to print a "Readers' Digest" extract of the participating blogs on dead trees (pamphlets), and creative means would be found to distribute the pamphlets in public venues, throughout the country. Just "blogging to the choir" would come to be looked on as the embarassing, self-limiting relic that I hope it becomes.
Such a pamphlet-heavy ground game would not only help progressives grow their political muscle, but would also be a boon to the participating blogs as businesses, as their online readership would skyrocket. But the virtuous circle would only be complete when some of the unblogged masses who are reached by the ground game, get religion, and become activists, themselves. Doubtless, they would express some of that activism through the websites that first reached them. And some will even end up contributing to this cross the beams, ground game plan I'm suggesting, itself.
As a plus, I have suggested that the army of pamphlet distributors be hired from the ranks of the unemployed, thus helping them keep body and soul together.

Sorry, I don't want to write a polished diary, so I'll just quote myself from my diary FDL vs. Rush Limbaugh vs. Michelle Malkin vs. Ann Coulter Websites compared wrt spreading their messages beyond their readership

My current situation doesn’t lend itself to being generous with time or money, sorry. When I get my next gig, I should be able to pay $$ to facilitate some activist activity.
I will throw this out, though: With so many people out of work, it’s sort of a no-brainer that progressives should be hiring at least some of them to propagate progressive political messages in public areas. That would kill 2 birds with one stone: fighting the information war, and also giving somebody a chance to feed their family.
Let’s look at this mathematically, and develop some estimates. Let’s say that, between the readership of FDL, dailykos, and Democratic Underground, you have 2 million progressives that have jobs. You get, say, 1/3 of them to contribute $10/week. That’s over $6 million dollars per week.
A Reader’s Digest pamphlet version is created with condensed versions of “the best” of FDL, dailykos, and DU diaries. Local volunteers who have jobs also print out the blog diary/pamphlets on their own nickel. That saves all of the $6.7 million dollars for salaries. At $15/hour for wages plus withholding and insurance, you’d be able to hire 11,166 ‘pamphleteers’ for a 40 hour work week.
THAT, my friend, is a small freaking ARMY, that will easily inject progressive memes into every major city in the US, and beyond.
In one hour, a pamphleteer could probably average passing out 15 pamphlets, easily. (That would leave them time to chat, squeegee, do their best George Carlin routine, etc.) Let’s say that they’re 4 page pamphlets. Run off a copier, each one will still cost less than 1 cent, each, to print. Apparently, copy paper is about 1 cent per page, so the whole 4 page pamphlet will cost 5 cents.
15 pamphlets per hour * 40 hours per week * 5 cents per pamphlet means an additional investment of $30 dollars per week. So, to supply your pamphleteer army with pamphlets, you would need 11,166 / 6,700,000 progressive supporters with jobs to contribute an extra $30 per week. That’s only 0.16% of them – clearly an attainable goal for more, ahem, affluent progressives who will also donate the time it takes to print out the pamphlets.
What you’d want to avoid is having individual supporters preparing their own pamphlet .pdf files, hunting down copyright permissions, etc., on their own. They should be able to just download a file every morning after their morning jog, print it out, take it to the copier, print out their share of pamphlets (15 x 8 = 120), drop them off with their assigned pamphleteer, and then get back to their regular routine. You also don’t want the local supporters, with jobs, to be fiddling with employment stuff. Not sure how you’d tackle the logistics of a centralized hiring facility, but I think you’d start by talking to existing progressive organizations, that have a ground game, but that aren’t members of the Veal Pen. The PDA comes to mind, however they may only be useful for kicking this thing off. I know that they don’t even have local chapters in many counties of densely populated NJ. Since unions know all about employment stuff, maybe hook up with non-Demobot unions. E.g., firemen’s unions – they’re certainly everywhere! See Nation’s Main Firefighters’ Union Shows Spine, defunds national Democrats

Should progressives' relationship to blogs be one of

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Comment Preferences

  •  You are going to get (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fogiv, virginislandsguy

    a fair amount of push back at joining with FDL to do anything.

    Jane has lost a lot of credibility over the past few years around here and justifiably.

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:03:59 PM PDT

    •  Being right = "losing credibility"? (0+ / 0-)

      Hurting the feelings of die-hard Obama supporters reading off of a Lanny Davis script = "losing credibility"?

      I think I'll have some more of that kind of "losing credibility", please.

      Next week: Up is down, black is white, slashing Social Security and Medicare is reform.

      Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

      by Phoenix Woman on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 10:34:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WheninRome, sviscusi, kbman

    Usually, when someone thrusts a pamphlet at me I decline to take it or chuck it in the next trash bin.

    You do have a good point, however - those 3 sites combined do have a very large membership.  There might be other avenues we could explore.

    Thinking of the Poor People's Campaign.  Maybe the threat of another tent city in DC along the lines of Resurrection City would work.  I'd chip in some dollars to bus people to DC and have them (illegally) set up tents along the Mall.  Let them send out the Army to roust them like they did the Bonus Marchers.  At some point, we have to force the issue home that we need jobs, not this bullshit stealing from the poor to pay off the rich.

    you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

    by Dem Beans on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:09:26 PM PDT

    •  Republicans have Grover and Rush (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Major Tom

      We have Jane........

      potato, pa-tahto

    •  I'm advocating something different (0+ / 0-)

      though I'm sympathetic to the large, centralized protests, or even camps, I have my doubts that they're most effective for creating the changes that we need. I want to be able to look out my window, and see somebody creatively propagating a political message, every day. Especially to the unblogged masses.

      I attended a large anti-war protest in Washington, D.C., prior to the Iraq invasion. Hardly any congress critters bothered to show up. I was limping along on a sore knee, and nearly broke, but those jerks couldn't bother even showing up and defending whatever position they held. I have little patience for supplicating Congress critters. I'm more into telling them what to do, and holding them to their promises, and if they don't do so, then firing them, come the next election. If we're not able to fire them, but our positions are popular ones, that means that we, the people, have not done the organizing spadework.

      Thus, I think it's wiser to invest time and energy engaging my fellow citizens, with a view to enrolling them into a voting bloc that shares at least some of my values. Reaching out to the unblogged masses in my neighborhood seems the way to go, and hopefully the new converts will join an electorally aggressive proto-voting bloc, similar in aggressiveness to the Tea Parties.

      Tea Party members have been seeing returns for their activist efforts, but at the national level, I don't see progressives achieving much of anything, when they are opposing plutocratic interests. IMO, we need more progressives in Congress, who are either bolder, or else more afraid of the voters who put them there, and that hold progressive positions on various issues.

  •  Some background ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    metamars, cybrestrike

    It is difficult to even say anything nice about FDL here at Daily Kos without being the recipient of accusations of trolling and/or belonging at RedState .  The presidential defenders clique here is so caught up in personalities that they frequently attack progressives instead of Republicans.  They love to point to Jane's alliance with Grover in trying to get the HCR bill killed as some kind of evil thing.  Considering what a shit sandwich the bill turned into, killing it would have been in the best interests of the American middle class.  And regardless of what a greedy and unprincipled asshole Norquist may be, and regardless of his own personal motivations, if he was willing to help Jane do what was in the best interests of the American middle class then I fail to see the problem.  

    Of course, in the eyes of the defenders the bill needed to pass to make the president look good and therefore any attempt to kill it was seen purely as a political attack on the president.  Jane's alliance with Norquist simply made it easier for them to demonize her efforts - as though she were teaming up with him to drown government in the bath.

    Jane's true sin was caring more about the policy than the personalities, putting what was best for the country above what was best for President Obama.  Grover's part was just a convenient distraction as the defender clique had been attacking Jane, slink, and nyceve for months before Norquist ever entered the picture.

    And even now as the president indulges his "transcending left-right politics" fantasy and continues selling out those of us who thought we were electing a Democratic president, his defenders continue to write cheerleading diaries which offer their support for his offering up Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.  Authoritarian followers are destructive to democracy regardless of which party they choose.  So bottom line, I doubt you'll get any cooperation between DKos and FDL on something like this, not enough agreement.

    Also, the above point is a good one, pamphleteering is only effective when accompanied by conversation which enrolls the person into the idea being presented.  This is why the Jehovah's Witnesses talk so much instead of just giving you a copy of Watchtower, they are trying to enroll you into being receptive to the contents.  I also think you may be overestimating the collective readership a tad and well overestimating the funding possibilities.  I'm afraid that if we're going to save the country from this slide into corporatist post-Citizen's United hell it will need to be done on a volunteer basis.

    Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

    by kbman on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:05:54 PM PDT

    •  I'm sorry but FDLers are (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      can be condescending dicks kinda like you.

      I hate FDLer types because the only thing they do is shit on other members of the democratic because they don't live up to their lvl of progressiveness.

      I mean when you talk about people who support the democratic party and the leader of our party as "presidential defenders" like its some sort of slur. You shouldn't be surprised on why a lot of us don't like you.

      Then your mistress shacks up with one of our worst enemies and takes pots at us.

      •  You have conflated the party and the president (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cybrestrike, chipmo
        I mean when you talk about people who support the democratic party and the leader of our party as "presidential defenders" like its some sort of slur. You shouldn't be surprised on why a lot of us don't like you.

        The president doesn't support the principles of the Democratic Party.  Those who support him despite this are NOT supporting the party, merely the man.  Sorry if this seems condescending but when politics is reduced to a personality contest progressive ideas always lose.  The reason the right WANTS politics to be personality driven is because they suck on the issues.  Unfortunately so does the president.  We voted for a DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT to represent DEMOCRATIC IDEALS.  We ended up with a man m0re concerned about appearing post-partisan than in doing what the country desperately needed to be done.  You can play hurt victim of my condescension all you want.  Maybe someday you'll learn that it is the policies that matter, not the packaging.

        Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

        by kbman on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:58:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think you wrote wisely about FDL (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I read somewhere that Markos and Hamsher are personally friendly, so that dynamic, if true, could play a pre-eminent role in a cooperative approach. Also, dailykos, fdl, du, could always go it alone.

      I think both the pamphlets, and their presentation, should be made as generally compelling, as possible. For this reason, mostly, I have mentioned a smallish pamphlet, as well as made a Reader's Digest analogy. The idea is to target the general public, not the egghead demographic.

      Squeegee'ing windshields can be subsumed under the category of "Put a smile on the public's face". Some show business pizzazz, and a fun attitude, would be best, methinks. A pamphlet that's immediately thrown in the trash won't do anybody any good.

  •  ROFL! DU is for nuts, FDL is for firebaggers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    virginislandsguy, FrankAletha

    I don't think you should put DK in the same category as those madhouses, nor would most DKers want to "join forces" with those cretins.

    There was a time, long, long ago, back when Air America was still on the radio, when DU was sort of a slightly to the left version of DK.

    But thanks to incredibly bad moderation, purges and counter purges, DU is nothing but the last 50 craziest members yelling at each other over chemtrails and things of a similar nature.

    As for FDL, just two words: "Grover Norquist."

    Why would DK want to pollute its brand as the big progressive Democratic site for reality based people by associating with two of the slummiest insane asylums in the blogosphere?

    •  Why not? (0+ / 0-)

      I, for one, welcome our new FDL and DU Overlords!

      Seriously though, this diarist skates awfully close to advocating 3rd parties, ala the Craigslist advertisin' NPA, that they are actually somewhat earnestly entertaining.

      Zen and the Art of Penis Truck Maintenance

      by virginislandsguy on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 06:39:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Overlords? (0+ / 0-)

        Basically, the editors at dailykos would contribute a page + 1/3 of dailykos extracts, FDL would contribute it's own page + 1/3 and similarly DU. The joint pamphlet .pdf file could be downloaded from any of the participating websites.

        If the dailykos management can't see sharing space on a pamphlet with FDL diaries, then dailykos can go it, alone. Since it's the biggest, I assume it can muster more resources to throw into such an effort.

        I think the craigslist ads proved that lots of mostly no-name candidates could be found to run in Democratic primaries, and not just in NPA affiliated ones. E.g., citizens could raise the hundreds of candidates called for by jeffroby's Democratic Party facing Full Court Press.

        I've recently advocated that progressives crash the Republican primaries, via a Full Court Press for Republicans. Craigslist could also be used to find those candidates, methinks.

        If I had had any sort of cash cushion when jeffroby's Full Court Press was active, I would have tried the craigslist ads for that effort.

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

    I have a new meme.  It takes no courage to criticize our own.  Stand up to the people who think like the gentleman who carried out those attacks in Norway and maybe you'll show some grit.  By the way, they are everywhere.  Attacking fellow Democrats, not so much grit.  That's easy.  There might be some "pie fights" to deal with but that's it.

    Murdoch, Rove, Ailes, Limbaugh, Beck, ALEC, Koch brothers, now there are some real villains to stand up to.

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