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John Nichols, the contagiously optimistic correspondent from The Nation magazine, gave the keynote address at tonight's Recall Celebration in Madison. He was as optimistic as ever, and also pleased that his prediction of a million signatures against Scott Walker - a prediction he made last Spring - came true. Gloriously true. Grassroots true. He also said "What we are witnessing is the rebirth of the Progressive movement."

About 3,000 volunteers (maybe more) gathered at the Monona Terrace to celebrate. Kossacks noise of rain and/or bad science will probably write a diary or two telling you of our awesome evening of music and lighted RECALL signs. I'm looking forward to their photos and narratives.

I didn't take many pictures. I just participated. I just enjoyed the moments, and afterward I thought about what John Nichols said.

What we are witnessing is the rebirth of the Progressive movement. It is happening right now in Wisconsin, and the enormity of it all left some of us speechless. It was so odd to be in a room with three thousand people and feel that every person in the room was a friend, the only difference among them being that some were friends you just hadn't met yet. You would think a crowd of thousands cheering would raise everyone's adrenaline level, but the more we cheered, the more serene we became. We did it! Ommmmmmm.

There were a lot of people pausing to just look around and take mental snapshots. There were hugs, high fives, and tears. There was singing and dancing. There was joy.

Yes, by hell, there was joy. As stressful and infuriating as this past year has been, there was pure joy in that big room tonight. We are all tired, but it's a good tired. The "I just finished a marathon" tired.

Tomorrow we start with voter registration drives and get out the vote drives and a thousand other things that need to happen before we get to the recall elections.

Rebirthing a Progressive movement is tough work, but somebody's gotta do it. It might as well be us. Thanks, Daily Kos community, for giving a few of us tired badgers a place to recharge our batteries. Your support for our ramblings from the front lines has helped us make heroes out of ordinary people.

Originally posted to Giles Goat Boy on Tue Jan 17, 2012 at 08:05 PM PST.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and Democracy Addicts.

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