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Yesterday, Barney Frank appeared on the Rachel Maddow show to discuss how much impact the Occupy Wall Street protests are having, and according to Mr. Frank, it's not very much at all. In response to Rachel's question about whether the OWS protests were effective counterpoints to tea party rallies that engaged both the media's and the GOP's attention, Frank responded that if the OWS protesters wanted to be as effective as the tea partiers, they needed to vote, and put more Democrats in congress. After all, continued the always grumpy Mr. Frank, it was the tea party contingent that delivered the House to the GOP in 2010 while progressive mal-contents stayed home.

Um, I hate to break this to you Barney, but we progressives, brand new voters and a boatload of independents did come out and vote to put the Democrats in charge of the White House and congress in 2008 and a fat lot of good it did us. Instead of clasping us to your breast, and thanking heaven for our support, as the Republicans do with the people who elect them to office, you Dems all kicked us to the curb and continued along with business as usual while breaking every campaign promise for change that you made to us.

As the Republicans bend over backwards appeasing the furthest fringes of their party, Democrats seem to think that they can pacify those of us who vote for them with a bunch of platitudes and empty promises. After all, in the immortal words of former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, "F**K the progressives, where else are they going to go?" Well, 2010 showed you exactly where we're going to go and it was to the mall instead of the voting booths. New voters disappeared as well and Independents who had taken the huge step of switching over to Obama and the Democrats in the hope of reveling in change they could believe in, not surprisingly went back to voting for Republicans.

And even though it was the "Blue Dog" democrats who were resoundingly kicked out of Congress while the progressive caucus was overwhelmingly re-elected, Democrats in Washington don't appear to have gotten the message. They are still loath before the coming election to try and rescind the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, implement real regulations on financial institutions, pass a meaningful jobs bill, or get rid of the unfair advantages corporations have over everyone who isn't a corporation, just in case there are voters in their district who might be against those things.  Unlike GOP representatives who embraced the tea party rallies, the response from Dems to the Occupy Wall Street protests has been, well, tepid would be putting it strongly.

I'm sure Frank's right when he says that protests are nice but not terribly effective, after all how many anti-Iraq protests did we have and we're still there? However, if 2008 was supposed to show us how effective we can be when we pull together and vote, I think if it's all the same to you, I'll pick up my sign and keep marching.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Frank wasn't objecting to your (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, high uintas, DaleA, icemilkcoffee

    protests but making the valid point that unless you vote for someone and tie your protests to it they will be irrelevant.

    •  But that's simply not true (12+ / 0-)

      Frank was taking the ultimate insider's view of an outsider's movement, and missed its importance completely.

      The point of OWS is not to elect more Democrats, as Frank was impatiently implying, but to shift the entire frame of political debate in this country out of the far-right corner it's been dragged into.  The Right has been framing the terms of debate increasingly over decades, to the point where it hardly matters whether we elect Republicans or Democrats in most economic matters.  OWS is doing a very good job of reversing that movement, and its contribution will allow insiders like Frank to do their jobs much more effectively as it succeeds.  Frank just has to worry that he's too much the insider, and that fundamentally changing the system will leave him no room in it anymore.

      Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe. --Meteor Blades

      by Dallasdoc on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 04:35:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well said: (7+ / 0-)
    Um, I hate to break this to you Barney, but we progressives, brand new voters and a boatload of independents did come out and vote to put the Democrats in charge of the White House and congress in 2008 and a fat lot of good it did us. Instead of clasping us to your breast, and thanking heaven for our support, as the Republicans do with the people who elect them to office, you Dems all kicked us to the curb and continued along with business as usual while breaking every campaign promise for change that you made to us.

    Last night, Mr. Frank excused himself of any responsibility too easily.

  •  Actually (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaleA
    After all, continued the always grumpy Mr. Frank, it was the tea party contingent that delivered the House to the GOP in 2010 while progressive mal-contents stayed home.

    Lets be fair. I watched the segment. I distinctly recall him saying the first part, but not the bolded part.

  •  Barney's my congresscritter (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExStr8, high uintas, DaleA, icemilkcoffee

    In the Maddow interview he also said this:

    It has to be translated into political activity if it’s going to have the impact...

    HB III also published this not long ago

    Occupy Wall Street National Convention

    It's in the works. A massive Occupy Wall Street gathering with delegates from all over the country. And if these plans are carried out, Occupy Wall Street will be a major force to be reckoned with on Election Day 2012.

    Seems he's not the pariah you make him out to be.  He's never "kicked anyone to the corner"  There is nothing untoward with being a liberal democrat that seeks to promote the good the party can do with the support of the disaffected and those seeking justice.

    Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

    by EdMass on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 05:15:26 PM PDT

  •  DC IS the problem - BOTH parties (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    melpomene1, 3goldens, erush1345

    That's why you've got #OWS - frustration at the lack of change, the lack of accountability.....

    When Congress represents the 1% at the expense of the 99%, when Congress is responsive only to $$$$$$,  when BOTH parties are complicit in the current state of affairs,  it's celart that the current system is BROKEN

    http://www.silverbearcafe.com/...

    When even those that are supposedly fighting for us, sell us out - you Dodd, you Frank - don't go telling us to put more of you in power.....   we need REAL change, people willing to fight AGAINST the 1%, not cut deals with them.

  •  Oh you didn't get everything you wanted (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    icemilkcoffee

    in two years so you decided to stay home in 2010?  Boo-frickin-hoo.  This is exactly what Barney was talking about.  You want change?  You want your people in power?  You have to go and get it not go to the mall arcade and pout.  Grow up.

  •  Don't stay home. PRIMARY the sucker! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, DaleA, icemilkcoffee

    The Tea Party folks have the Rs running scared of offending them because THEY FREAKIN' VOTE EVERY TIME! If the R's want their vote, they tell the Rs how to get it.

    If we don't do the same, then we are not going to go anywhere. You can do all kinds of protests etc but until you scare the politicos by threatening their cherished JOBs you will not get their attention.

    Why should they pay attention to you? You don't contribute thousands of dollars to their campaign and then millions more to their PACs and super PACs.

    If you can't convince them that their money will not buy your vote and only ACTION on their part in your interest will, they will continue to listen to the $$$

    Get involved in the process. Get a local candidate who DOES meet your needs and then RUN the heck out of them to force the Dino to either change or get defeated.

    If you can read the Google, you can find out how to get involved locally. Since it would be perhaps better to take over the Democratic party rather than try to bolster the Greens or create a OWS party from scratch, let's do that. BUT you have to VOTE and tell the congresscritter WHY you are going to primary their sorry ass if they don't get on the bandwagon. They might change in our direction and if they don't VOTE them the hell OUT!

    "If you're going through Hell, KEEP GOING!"" -Winston Churchill

    by daddybunny on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 07:02:40 PM PDT

    •  BTW Barney was primaried (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      melpomene1, Mr Robert, DaleA

      last time around, and fairly effectively...first time in a long time -- put the fire back in him.  Every sitting pol should be primaried every election IMO

      Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

      by EdMass on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 07:08:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actually the House & the admin did plenty (0+ / 0-)

    Let's get the history straight here. The 2009 & 2010 House was one of the most activist House in recent memory. They passed a whole lot of good strong legislations (most of which died in the senate).

    So stop the nonsensical talking point that 'democrats didn't do nuthin'. Democrats did plenty. There was weren't enough democrats in the Senate to finish the job.

    And if you've been paying attention, Barney Frank has consistently been one of the most progressive members of congress in words and in deeds.  Whatever excuse you are dredging up does not apply to Barney Frank.

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