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We haven't sworn in President Obama to his second term.   Inauguration is a few days away.  Yesterday, President Obama made the move to demand that his base do what is expected of them: press the fight.   That doesn't just include the NRA.  It's not just about gun control, it's about making the case for the soul of our country.  

Bring on the whips and arrows, because I'm about to call all of you out.   2012 was a good election for us, but as someone living in Johnson County, I'm going to tell you it could have been better.  And what happened in the 2012 house races is not something I want to see repeated in 2014.   I look at the stat line of District3 in Kansas:

      Republican     Kevin Yoder Incumbent     68.5%     201,087
         Libertarian     Joel Balam     31.5%     92,675

When, in a district that had been held by Dennis Moore (D) for years, a district that includes one of the more liberal components of our state, democrats didn't even fight for the seat.  And with all of that.. 31% of the people still voted against the Incumbent.   With no campaign, no effort, no shoe leather, no voice.

Well, I've had it.   Inch by inch, we're either going to fight this thing out or not.   You can't win them all.   But you can't win AT ALL if you don't even field someone to press the argument.  

Nationally and locally, we've held onto traditional ideas that there is only so much money that can be spent nationally and we have to focus on specific races we can win.   This national view has polluted the fact that all of us have a primary duty to our own districts.   This doesn't mean I want you to stop donating to the national party.. it means that if you aren't prepared to donate your shoe leather, time and effort to someone in your district then you are missing out on a chance to build your party.

Let me get this point across: national party targeting of a district is a matter of complexities designed to use demographics and returns to put national money to flip, change or hold a seat.  It is a time tested method to make sure that you can get wins, force another party to spend, or just make some noise.

But a big part of it is how much offense you play versus how much defense you play.

In the memo, NRCC Executive Director Liesl Hickey argues that the vulnerability of those seven Democrats illustrates the advantage Republicans carry into the 2014 House landscape, one in which a solid majority of congressional districts lean toward the GOP. That edge, she says, gives the NRCC a plethora of opportunities. “In 2014, Republicans will employ the same proven strategy that brought us such historic success in 2010 and 2012: Stay on offense,” Hickey wrote.
Part of what enables parties to be on offense or defense isn't just the districts they win but it's the complete lack of fight in districts.   Why is that?   Because districts where there is no fight at all are bad for the national party as well.  

How easy to Democrats feel it is to raise money for a national party when there are no alternatives presented locally?   Find me a single district in the US where there is not a home owned by someone who is a registered democrat.   Where every square inch is Republican.  

So, I'm calling you out.   I'm calling all of you out.   Here in Kansas we had a great district fight which was lost in District-2, when Lynn Jenkins was challenged.  Yes, the Democratic candidate lost but you gave students at the University of Kansas and elsewhere a chance to donate and participate in the process.   No matter where you are in this country there are students, first time voters, traditional liberals who are waiting the chance to vote for someone, anyone who represents their cause.  And they would rather vote for someone who will lose than vote for no one at all.

So, I'm proposing a few steps:

(1) If you are in an uncontested district, then find someone to run.   This sounds ridiculous to so many of you, but part of the problem we have right now is that there is an assumption that in congressmen we are looking for only Ivy-League level genius and tons of other political service.   It doesn't always work that way.    In the post WWII era, many young military men campaigned and succeeded in their goals to become congressmen and senators.   In the past, the idea of "citizen legislators" is part of our being, we grow up on it and we believe in it.

We have bought into the lie that it takes a big money, affluent candidate to win.  Several districts in the US do require that.   But that is simply not the case.   This year, in Kansas District 4, Robert Tillman spent a TOTAL of $31,000.  THIRTY ONE THOUSAND.   He received 31.6% of the vote.  A special education teacher with a Masters Degree in Psychology.  

No, that's not a win, but candidates like Tillman mean something to the party.   In the past 30 or more years, I've seen candidates run as farmers, small store owners, teachers.   And yes, some of those have won their races.   Because what it takes to win is to give it a try and to go out and speak to the public.    

We have to stop buying into the idea that we have to hit the right target demographic to win.   If you don't win you don't win - but getting someone out there to run is a big part of the battle.   And if you can't find someone, then ask yourself: WHY AM I NOT RUNNING.

If you are in a district given up for dead, you are harming no one by presenting an argument.    Fourteen years ago we rallied behind candidates for the board of education - common people no one with major political backgrounds.   They did it because it was the right thing to do.

(2)  Distributed Campaigning is the most effective tool small races have.   So many races in the US have absolutely no money spent.  In a district where a city like Wichita exists less then $100,000 was spent, total on a campaign for a house of representatives.   Distributed campaigning, using the internet and campaigners from around the country to write letters, handle research and provide social media marketing works to those candidates advantage.   Maybe you don't live somewhere that is a no-contest district.   But your aunt in Idaho does.   I don't care if the democrat in that district is down by 39 points, what harm is done by posting your thoughts about them in your facebook feed where people can see it in their district?  

A very successful campaign manager told me once: "If you change one person's mind, you knock over the first domino".   He was right.  And even if you lose by 20 instead of 39, you gave the democrats in that district a reason to get out to the polls for measures you may care about.  You influence other races from City Councils to School Boards.  And if you want to build up to challenge districts and start winning you have to get the people to the polls.    We need to be done with districts that are uncontested.

(3)  Raise Money Nationally, Burn Shoe Leather Locally.  The DCCC needs your support now as much as ever for 2014.   In the next two years major issues are going to come around, and a major DCCC warchest helps keep quite a few Republicans in line.   The more resources the DCCC has in it's hands, the more sabre rattling looks like a calvary charge and not one guy out on a balcony.   No candidate likes the idea of going home to an emboldened and well funded opposition campaign.  The more likely that is to happen, the more you can force the issue.

Part of the problem we are having right now is that many candidates have absolutely no accountability to even explain their viewpoint.   Candidates who are  unopposed have to reason to answer questions about their voting record.   They have no reason to talk to the local papers and earn the vote.   So while you're giving to the national, burn some shoe leather local.   That Republican in Mississippi may be a lock to win, but get him on the record.   Burn some shoe leather and force  him or her to answer questions.    Terrible ideas live in the dark where they can go unquestioned.   Does it hurt you at all to go to the campaign events of someone you oppose to get them on the record?

Two of the most important moments in the 2012 campaign where a video tape recorded at a party with Mitt Romney, and statements on the record by Republican lunatics regarding Rape.  And those were in CONTESTED RACES.   There are a lot of candidates who are running uncontested, with no opposition.   The people deserve to know what they think, on the record, about these issues before 2014.    I'd like to see answers from EVERY house candidate running on major issues like Gun Control, Birth Control, etc. video'd and posted to Youtube.   EVERY single candidate.   Maybe they won't lose their district, but some of the most effective ads for other candidates is realizing what the opposition looks like.

We are a nation that is governed by the citizens for the citizens.  And we, the people, deserve the answers.   In every district.  In every inch of this country.   There should be NO toleration of candidates who can avoid speaking to the issues because they are unchallenged.  

You don't need DCCC money to get a candidate on the record.   You need shoe leather and a smart phone.   If you don't have either, find someone who does.

(4)  Before you surrender a district and decide it's not worth it  Ask yourself why you can't advocate for a policy in that area.   Look for any major university in that area and ask why it is that not a single young voter in that district would consider voting democrat.

Wait, you can't find a district like that?   You can't find one good man or woman who would consider a run in a district where they can at minimum force their opposition to be accountable to the people they represent?

People get scared away from running because they say "I can't win".   The only way to lose is to not try at all.   If no one has a choice, then we have all lost.  

The two Kansans who challenged impossible seats did so on campaigns of minimal money.   Similar races were held all over the country.  While they didn't win, they pulled more than 30% of the vote.   "That's not a win" is the easy answer.   But what I see in those campaigns isn't just about winning and losing, it's about party building for people who come next.

In 2014, every single house member in every single district should be held accountable to the people of their district.   They should go on the record and respond to the issues of the day.   No more hiding out in races that are  uncontested.   There should be no toleration of candidates who don't have to justify their vote.   Every single Republican Candidate should at least answer the questions - on the record, by video or audio the questions that democrats care about.

And if you are in a district where you know you can't win and you aren't prepared to push back a bit then I'm ashamed of you, sorry.   Writing a letter to your paper, publishing to your social media, taking an evening out to go to a campaign event of the opposition and ASK THE QUESTIONS that every citizen has a right to hear is your civic duty.

We are a participatory republic.  The government is only as good as  the people willing to fight for it.   January 17, 2013 - We have 18 months to get together candidates.   18 Months to go to campaign events and stops.   We have time to get sitting politicians on the record about issues we give a damn about.  

And I'm not prepared to surrender a square inch.   From the reddest of red to the deepest blue, there is no excuse for candidates who can duck their people and avoid answering the questions that mean something to us.

The NRCC says they plan to go on offense.   Good for them.   I do too.

9:16 PM PT: Thanks to all the support from many.  I've formed a Group, Kansas and Missouri.  If you're in the Kansas or Missouri area, and you want to start looking ahead, or just talk about the options in these states for the next two years, I welcome you to join or PM me and I'll add you, now sure how it works.  But if I'm going to demand some work, I need to start throwing in.

Originally posted to tmservo433 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 07:23 AM PST.

Also republished by State & Local ACTION Group and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Edit alert (5+ / 0-)

    Your title should read "every one" with a space, as two words.  "Everyone" as a single word is a mass noun.  "Of you" requires "every" to be an adjective, "one" to be a noun.  

  •  Yep, this one is the BIG KAHUNA (13+ / 0-)

    thanks for call us out..

    and pls keep doing it.

    People who say they don't care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don't care what people think. -George Carlin

    by downtownLALife on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 07:35:07 AM PST

  •  Wake me when (7+ / 0-)

    the party decides where it stands on Social Security and Medicare.

    •  Whole Point of FInding SOmeones to Run, or Running (22+ / 0-)

      yourself, is to re-staff the party till it stands for the things you value.

      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 Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 07:58:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well they're darn slippery (0+ / 0-)

        You think they stand for what you value and then they don't.  Sheesh, I was just reading over on TPM that Franken can't even decide where he stands on assault weapons.  I mean, he doesn't know?  I mean you rightly put the emphasis on values.  If they had any values, I'd know where they'd stand, but since they have none, you have to wait and see what they are going to do when the going gets tough.  I mean you can find someone to run but how do you prevent someone else from buying them after you've found them?  

        •  They're supposed to be slippery (5+ / 0-)

          Its part of the job description.

          If you think the person you helped get elected has been bought out, work to remove them from office next time.  No one said this whole process was easy.

          There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

          by slothlax on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 10:24:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  If you thought Franken was a liberal, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          you weren't paying attention.

        •  This is more complicated than we (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elginblt, Anonyman

          are usually aware of. The decisions made about which candidates to fund, and when, and which Republicans to challenge, and when, are made in such a way which don't usually benefit progressive or liberal Dems, and sometimes are made in such a way so that they don't even hold gaining a Democratic majority as the number one priority.

          Before anybody contributes to the DCCC, you should read this. If we ever want more and better this sort of stuff on Capitol Hill will have to change--or we will have to stop blindly trusting the DCCC, DSCC and DNC and actually check out what they're doing and whether or not it agrees with our aims.

          if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 03:54:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  GEt involved in the party locally be part of those (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            decisions if you don't like them. Often it is a matter of not having the money or man power to support every candidate. Always give to candidates or to you local party.

            The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die. ~ Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy

            by cherie clark on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 07:12:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Did you read it? (0+ / 0-)

              All budgets are a matter of priorities, because all budgets involved limited sums of money. what the priorities are is the question.

              getting involved in the party locally is a good idea but will not help change the culture at the DCCC or the DSCC or the DNC, for that matter.

              If we want a strong Democratic wing of the Democratic party then we need to keep Democrats who are actively working against progressives at arms' length.

              if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 06:50:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  We raise our own funds to support our candidates (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                right up thru Senate and House in our own CD. We also have a good list of volunteers that are a resource to campaigns. We have organizers, neighborhood leaders ready to canvas and call. We don't count on the DCCC, DSCC or DNC for the money to do anything. To make it work we need participation even more than money, absolutely nothing is as effect as face to face contact as the Obama campaigns proved over and over again. We get some support from the State Dem Party, particularly for Senate, House and State Legislature. But none of the outside support we may or may not get is a deciding factor on going forward with a campaign. Candidates raise their own funds as well and some will get national support. I give first and most to my local Dem Party (CD level), because those elections will likely ave a direct effect on my life. BTW, getting involved locally means you can have a say on which candidates run, we do a candidate search and actively try to find the most progressive electable we can.

                The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die. ~ Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy

                by cherie clark on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 07:32:08 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Let's hope you sleep through (7+ / 0-)

      many elections.  You're awfully close to an HR for hijacking a very positive diary with a very trollish comment but we've been through this before haven't we.  

      "A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism." -- Carl Sagan

      by artmartin on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 10:57:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Decide where you stand and then let the Republican (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmservo433, elginblt

      know. We will never get what we want in a vacuum. there is a meeting Sunday in DC to decide how best to use the OFA machine. We are organizing here, there should be organizing everywhere. BTW, you already know where the republicans stand how can you just sit on your hands??????

      The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die. ~ Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy

      by cherie clark on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 07:10:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's very hard work to run (0+ / 0-)

      A friend of mine ran for state House in PA in 2012.  She lost 15% of her body weight walking neighborhoods and because of stress.  She had to make a few principle compromises to fund raise with some local big shot donors.  And, she lost by about 20 points.  And, even worse, she was calling all of us who donated to her for months after she lost to ask for MORE money to payoff debts from her last minute ad campaign.  It wasn't worth it.

      It's not worth it to a lot of people to sweat blood for six months to a year, expose your family and reputation to being slimed, only to lose by 20 points.  You've got to have a thick skin, a lot of money, and be a bit of a masochist to do that.

      That is why a lot of districts, D & R, go uncontested.

    •  I'll send you $10 when you file. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MKSinSA, Silvia Nightshade, roberb7

      **Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behavior does** h/t Clytemnestra/Victoria Jackson

      by glorificus on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 01:14:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I live in (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, tmservo433

      Springfield and was just redistricted into his district.  I will bang on doors until my hands and feet bleed for you if you run.  Seriously.  I was really upset that nobody ran against him this past election, but was told (by a Kossack that admire) that someone ran against him in 2010 and put a lot of work and money in only to lose by the same margin as someone who ran and didn't try.  I don't want to have that defeatest attitude, but I get that may be the reality of this district.  But if we ever want to have a presence here, we have to start, right?

      "I don't want a unicorn. I want a fucking pegasus. And I want it to carry a flaming sword." -mahakali overdrive

      by Silvia Nightshade on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 06:38:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That person was essentially right. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Silvia Nightshade, tmservo433

        He wins by roughly the same percentages, year in and ear out when someone actually runs against him.  But he'll continue to do so as long as Dems simply ignore the district.  The party needs to start putting in at least a bit of money, and working to build the brand in district, and simply chip away at his margins, cycle after cycle, getting more rare Dem and Indie voters to actually vote, and more occasional voters to vote every time.

        The guy who ran as a 'Democrat' in the primary this last time ran against Boehner in the primary in 2010, as a Republican, then dropped out between the primary and the general.

        We've got to start somewhere, and that somewhere is running someone against him, building name recognition, and targeting a campaign towards the places where people across the political spectrum agree.  Even at the Representative level, Reps should be representing all constituents, not just those who identify with them ideologically.

    •  you run (0+ / 0-)

      And I will stake the FEC maximum 2k and offer you Pac support.  You may lose but I'll make some damn noise

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 09:55:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Now can U file & get ActBlue page up? (0+ / 0-)

      An early start makes a big difference.  It seems unlikely that you waiting until 2014 will lead to somebody more "credible" running against Boehner in 2014, in view of the district's track-record in 2010 and 2012.

      More Kossacks should jump into races where other Democrats fear to tread.

      There would be a good chance to surprise on the upside.  Boehner could be damaged goods by 2014, and could be primaried by a teapartier. Your name is attention-getting, especially with "Dr. ...RN", which lend you automatic credibility on healthcare issues.

  •  Every race should be contested! (14+ / 0-)

    I've often used the story of Lori Compas, a professional photographer-turned-progressive political activist who got a recall petition on Republican Wisconsin State Senator Scott Fitzgerald in his "Safe Republican", "R+7 PVI", "voted for John McCain in 2008" state senate district, in order to emphasize this point that you made in your diary. Lori had ZERO chance of actually ousting "Big Fitz", indeed, Big Fitz survived the recall attempt against him, as he's known as in Wisconsin, however, she put a lot of energy into her campaign against Big Fitz, and Wisconsin Republicans were NEVER more afraid of a losing candidate than they were of Lori.

    Even if you have no chance of winning against an elected Republican official you dislike, don't be afraid to run against him or her. Even if you lose, you might just scare the daylights out of the Republicans.

    "All we say to America is be true to what you said on paper." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by DownstateDemocrat on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 07:46:27 AM PST

  •  and money spent/time invested locally (11+ / 0-)

    is a much better ROI than even statewide races.  it takes a lot less to reach out to 1,000 than 10,000, etc.

    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

    by Cedwyn on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 08:04:31 AM PST

    •  Also easier (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cherie clark, Shahryar, Cedwyn

      to get the word out literally. People who live in a region or district are much more able to see the results of who and what they voted for and they talk about it. They know what's going on regardless of their political ideological stance. State legislative bodies are a very good place get decent Democratic national representatives and senatorial candidates. Precinct by precinct is how we get decent representation. Moving good local liberal people up the ladder to national office works if they don't turn out to be blue dogs or corporate corrupt hacks.

      Thing is it's hard to find candidates who are not just Democrat's because Republican's are too nutso to win in many places like our new former Republican now Democratic  mayor Charley. . Corruption at every level in the electoral party machine makes it hard to field good candidates. We somehow got Merkley who was always considered a moderate but is a real stand up Democrat.        

  •  This is exactly right. (9+ / 0-)

    Even a losing race against the GOP is a win. And an uncontested seat is a donation to them.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 08:45:38 AM PST

  •  Amen. (20+ / 0-)

    Bud and I are two of the many involved in actively pumping up Dr. Dean's 50 State Strategy on Steroids, "the 292,000 Precinct Strategy," the sole purpose being to get at least one progressive Dem from every single precinct from sea to shining sea actively involved in getting better Dems elected to office at the local, county, state and national levels.  Join us if you're so inclined.

  •  That is the challenge (7+ / 0-)

    Our advantage lies in the urban districts where we can pull +75% even when they run an opponent.  Their districts almost always have at least a 35%-40% vote for anyone with a D next to their name.  We can win on their home turf, while they have zero chance to compete on ours.

    There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

    by slothlax on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 10:28:45 AM PST

  •  Without a candidate in a district, (15+ / 0-)

    can't take advantage of (inevitable) cases where the opposing candidate falls into a tiger trap (often of their own making) due to drunken driving, a corruption case breaking, an affair, sexual advances against minors (House pages, anyone?) ...

    50-state strategy was and remains right.

    Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

    by A Siegel on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 10:45:39 AM PST

    •  in my dream scenario (4+ / 0-)

      I would have video responses on YouTube of every district Republican on Race, Choice, Guns, and more. I would have a quilt of answers. And even if they were safe their answers would raise a ton of questions for safe Republicans in purple districts.  The question would be: this is the party you are electing.  These people go inchallenged in rural districts and never get forced to answer the question.   Well damnit I want the answers.

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 10:59:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  be interested (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        in your reactions.

        Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

        by A Siegel on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:44:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is the right start (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          A Siegel

          In the end, this is a great collection of data.   But there is a human connection with seeing people submit on video their viewpoint.    

          I think that all of this is a large collection of data and it's what all of us do well.    I'm going to do my part and I'll start heading out into the congressional districts near me when their reps hold conferences, which actually does happen.. and I'm going to start rolling film at every damn one.

          People think of the 2012 election and they think of Aiken and the % comment.   I'm betting if we policed a lot of districts on a lot of major issues we can build a data set that shows us the reality of what people want,  how their representatives feel, and what their party really represents.

          And while statistical data gives us proof of what we know, the video of people espousing idiocy is damning.

          Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

          by Chris Reeves on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:56:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Are you speaking of Jefferson Smith (0+ / 0-)

      here in OR? The mayoral race from hell? That was one dirty race. Really left a bad taste in my mouth. Both candidates we're Democrat's and it was a choice that regardless of who won the people lost out.

    •  Or suddenly retires (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      A Siegel, tmservo433

      Happened in the only potential swing district in Ohio. An unbeatably popular Republican that the party hadn't bothered to protect because of his unbeatable popularity suddenly retired in the year we decided not to put up a serious candidate. Any of the last three people who ran unsuccessfully against him would have won this time.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 11:51:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We better do what the diarist says, otherwise: (5+ / 0-)

    That said: in all seriousness, I fully endorse the spirit & mission of this diary.

    Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

    by Leftcandid on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 11:04:18 AM PST

  •  Thank you for this call to arms (6+ / 0-)

    We need to keep up the fight, and this is some good advice!

  •  Excellent diary (4+ / 0-)

    I'd run for something but I have a bit of a problem with my military record.  Seems they frown on you quitting and going home when you stop supporting the organization as they're preparing for nuclear war.  I think my opponent would have a field day with that.  They tend to not like atheists in my district either.

    "A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism." -- Carl Sagan

    by artmartin on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 11:33:45 AM PST

  •  Calling us OUT? Turning us OFF is more like it (0+ / 0-)

    Basically: who are you to scold, exhort, and strategize ?

    It's not that your ideas are exactly "bad" ... in general and in theory and under some circumstances.

    But so what?  You think no one else has thought what you've thought?  Tried what you call for?  Has had experience that has formed their/our attitudes.

    We needed YOU to come and straighten us out, shape us up, call us out?  

    No "whips and arrows" just yawns and eye-rolls.

    •  oh lord (5+ / 0-)

      last I checked I was a voter and a donor
      last I checked, that gives me every right to say what I think

      of course others think as I do. A lot of them.  Have you ever been a part of any team on any level?  Ever been a part of a sporting team or a campaign?   if you have and you've never been in a room where you get called out to work harder the. That effort sucked.

      there are a ton of people here I categorize as friends.  Some good friends. Guess what. I have no problem saying now is the tine to start fighting for I want. Feel free to yawn.  If your offended your offended.  But if campaigns and politicians want my vote and my money I have no intent of shutting up

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 12:01:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh ... this was just for your friends' benefit (0+ / 0-)

        Sorry to intrude on your  private party.

        (And yes ...  I've been part of  teams and committees ... as leader, as rank and file, and  as envelope stuffer.)

        I've taken (and given)   pep talks, performance critiques, and even "challenges"

        But  "Call Outs" ...  ??

        Maybe that's something you and your friends relate to ... but I gotta tellya -- it doesn't play so well in the wider world.

        "Offended" is way too strong a word.  

        "Turned off" is and "not interested  far as it goes.


      •  What I should have said: (0+ / 0-)

        As a donor and a voter you have every right to scold, strategize and call out -- the people you voted for and donated to.

        But you do not get to "Call Out" the rest of us -- who are also donors and voters. Campaign workers.  Picket line walkers.  Door knockers. Poll watchers. Phone bankers. Petition carriers.  

        (And putting up with overenthusiastic, overbearing, inept, volunteer lower-middle manager "team leaders"  simply comes with the territory ... one puts up with them --  WHEN one has signed on for the specific campaign.)

          And Kos exists to allow anyone to sound off on pretty much anything (and collect the mojo points from one's friends)  But there is a   natural consequence that the feedback one felt entitled to.

        Fortunately ... bandwidth is cheap.

        •  We are having a semantics debate (0+ / 0-)

          I realize now this is a debate over semantics.  You feel as though you are being scolded.   For that, I'm sorry.   We are using a similar turn of phrase to mean far different things.

          You've been here a long time, Adam.  You know how this goes.   In the 9 years I've been here, I know a lot of good to great people, but we all take encouragement very differently.   When I use the phrase "called out", it is the same to me as saying "fired up", or anything else, and I think the context in which I have used it is similar.  

          I appreciate your work handling petitions, working the lines and knocking doors.   It's important - and a great number of us have done that too, myself included.

          These are the common things that we share.

          Kos for all the time I have known it is a community of activists, serious activists who view themselves as having the ability and interest to change peoples mind.  And when phrases like "called out" get used, we have used it frequently and often - as long as I've been here, to refer to a call from a politician to encourage us to act up to our principles, we've called out Kos himself years ago over issues here.  

          Calling out someone isn't scolding.   It reminds me more of how a leader once encouraged a group I was in:  "Give it 110%" one smart ass pointed out the obvious: there is no 110%, you give 100% and that's it.   The person giving the speech quipped back:  No, 110% means that what you thought was 100% before isn't enough.  I'm asking you to give more than you knew you could give.

          That's the call the president made in his press conference yesterday: if you want this, do it.   The president called us out.

          I'm saying as a backer, advocate, donor, worker, I have every right to say: I'm calling on others to do the same.

          If you feel scolded, sorry.  I can't please everyone.   So far, in all the time I've been here, in the 9+ years now, I have had a good time speaking my mind.

          In regards to consequences, frankly, if the worse consequence is being groused at over hurt feelings and phrasing, or if you've decided you don't like me, I can live.

          If other people get the jist of what I'm getting at and understand that I'm just trying to express some very positive rah-rah, which seems to be the feedback, then that's the goal.

          I can't please everyone.  But I have no problem saying what I think, sorry if it chaffes you.

          Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

          by Chris Reeves on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 04:41:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Great Diary! Needs to Be Posted Over and Over. (4+ / 0-)

    I'm in no position to run for office right now, but I volunteer at the local Democratic HQ every election cycle (even off-year for the crazy KY state races) and help GOTV efforts.

    If you don't want see the GOP representing your district, work to get rid of them. If you don't like the DINO you have get behind someone who will primary them.

    Contrary to what many here believe, activism is not shouting on a laptop. It takes actual work in the real world.

    Politics aint beanbag.

    Have you written your Chained CPI/Social Security Betrayal/Obama is a Caver diary today? 100's already have. What are you waiting for?!

    by kefauver on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 12:03:33 PM PST

  •  Democrats need a permanent "435" Strategy.. (5+ / 0-)

    ...Howard Dean's "50 State Strategy" vision was a dramatic helping in Democrats taking over the House, Senate and White House during the first decade of this century.

    And then, for bizzaro-reasons that  nobody has been brave enough to iterate, that strategy was dumped after Dean departed as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

    We know the dynamic benefit that this type of vision helps to bring to the Democratic Party, not only in one state, but throughout the country. it's time to build on the overwhelming success of the 50 State Strategy...and move on to the "435" Strategy...whereby the Democratic Party, from now going forward, on a permanent basis, strives to make each and every Congressional District in the U.S. potentially winnable for Democrats. If Democrats extend the 50-state strategy to each and every Congressional District, not only will it help Democrats to take over the House of Misrepresentatives and keep the Senate, but it will also help Democrats in EVERY SINGLE RACE IN THE COUNTRY, because every other jurisdiction in the country falls within a Congressional District.

    We Democrats should make that our priority: heavy competition in all 435 Congressional Districts starting in 2014 and going forward.

    And we progressives should make our next priority to elect not just a majority of Democrats to the House and Senate, but to ensure that a majority of those Democrats in both houses are progressives.

    •  Having been an (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      active members of my counties Democratic party during Deans trans-formative years I saw the resistance against progressive liberal candidates and it came from the national party machine. Money withheld, strategists deployed from DC who demanded lock step on issues and policy stances, no support or pulled support if these candidates didn't toe the DC line . This was in 2002- now. Even though Dean worked the grassroots 50 states, and was a great DNC chair, he didn't have the full support of the people that now own our party the DLC-Third Way corporate end of the party. Ask me these people do not want real Democrat's they prefer their fellow blue dogs, DINO's and corporate lackeys. So it's a harder fight on both ends because your running against Republicans and the powerful party machine.    

      •  the problem with most is that they (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        want, first an foremost, whomever they perceive to possibly win the seat, which, more often than not, as you've pointed out, means....the more conservative.
        However, history since then has shown that aggressive, progressive, outspoken and populist Democrats can win and can often be even more successful than a Republican-lite candidate.

        There will always be resistance to chance. However...that's all the more push as hard as we can...otherwise we'll never stand a chance of electing a majority of progressives to either house of Congress.

        •  The machine politico's (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          are more interested in preserving the status quo then in real democracy or even our national interests. They really have no interest in progressive change. It would be against the powerful interests they represent. We're just supposed to ratify their power by voting for the lesser evil.

          You bet we need to push harder on any and every level we can. I quit working for the Obama primary campaign when he voted for FISA. When I told my precinct boss a local Democratic activist why I couldn't continue she said don't forget that the movement he generated is what matters. She understood why I quit, she lost a lot of volunteers that day. I went to work for Merkley's campaign in the general and I have to say he has been a pleasant surprise.  

          I still believe that we can and will be 'the change you have been waiting for'. I'm a life long Democrat and in for the long haul as it's the only vehicle we're offered electorally. So I'm not going anywhere the time is ripe for change.      

  •  Hurray for this diary! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm frankly sick of "can't." I used to live and still have property in Candice Miller's district. She had an ethics complaint against her two months into her first term, and consistently votes against the best interests of the citizens in Macomb County, Michigan. Yet no one of any energy runs against her.

    Despite heavy gerrymandering our candidate in MI 1 (heavy red and libertarian Northern Michigan) came within a few hundred votes. Within the old boundaries, he would have won by a lot. It's a can-do district.

    But we have to think out of the box and START NOW. The conversations and the ads need to start now. The LTEs about key votes that are against the interests of the constituency need to start now.

    I think the biggest "crime" is West Virginia. Those folks need the GOP like they need more acid runoff in their streams. Why isn't the entire Democratic machine landing on them. I know this will sound crazy, but think about the Palastinians. Go into the neighborhoods and help them today; they'll vote for you in two years.

  •  in other words (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    you want Howard Dean's 50-state strategy, but we're going to do it without Howard Dean at the helm and without institutional support. Or is Debbie W-S going to provide support for this?

    You mention donating to the D-trip. You may want to consider who and what you're donating to.  

    if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 03:48:39 PM PST

    •  More say, direct then that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock, SouthernLiberalinMD

      What I'm really saying is that it's nice to invest and root on districts all over the country.   For a lot of people though they have no institutional support, no candidates, nothing.  

      I'm saying maybe we should all think about how we can field support everywhere we live.   Get real answers to questions from those running.

      Show up at meetings where (R)s and (D)s are and get them on the record on major issues.

      The last few days have been a lot of "yeah of the president" and a lot of posts that follow up with "it's impossible" so I'm saying: why not pitch work to help make it possible.   :)

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:16:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, I'm into it (0+ / 0-)

        I just don't trust the big national orgs to run it for us.

        Off topic--I see you are also an MST3K fan. :-)

        if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 06:47:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Huge fan (0+ / 0-)

          Part of my college work, actually.   And, I can say that I have an on-the-record interview with Joel, Mike and Jim Mallon at the time of Joel's send off.

          Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

          by Chris Reeves on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 05:22:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  We do need to be running candidates in every... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    district, and need to be fighting against the national Committees' ambivalence (or hostility) toward this goal. There's a clear unwillingness to engage with campaigns that fail to meet ideological or polling litmus tests.

    "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

    by 2020adam on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 03:50:12 PM PST

  •  Yes, we must press the right on every issue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and field candidates to carry the battle directly to the oppositon and let the people dicke what they want after they get informed.  I's starting to gitve $ to candidates i find fitting this bill.  i plan on giving more as time goes by and we see more people step up to run and can make a good case against the right and put out positve reasons to vote for a good candidate.  2014 is now let's be in for the long haul and maintain a" long term view" as our Chinese brothers and sisters say.  

  •  Great Post, you really are a Dem! (0+ / 0-)

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 07:03:30 PM PST

  •  yeah! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433, Oh Mary Oh

    What he said and more...

    This year, an odd numbered year, is big for judicial elections in many places, also for county and municipal elections.  Republicans dominate local governments because their voters vote in odd numbered years in greater numbers than Democrats.  

    Want change?

    Start getting the D vote out in odd numbered years.  The Dems have a committee for these elections.  I have not heard a thing about their plans for this year.  

    Want more D voters in next year's congressional elections?  Here is an idea I throw out often and never hear coming back: stop calling it a mid-term or off-year election.  Stop defining it in terms of the presidency.  

    Call it a Congressional Election, or a Congressional Cycle, or something.  

    And start getting out vote out for all elections better.  

    In 2009, I was devastated to learn that the Obama campaign was not making voter information collected by the campaign available to those working D elections.  We lost 6 out of 7 judicial elections in Montgomery County PA.  We lost the 3rd and 4th of these by less than 400 votes, so, we could have won a majority of the open seats with a mere 400 more votes.  We did not need to change hearts or minds to win.  We needed our voters at the polls.  The county is not all that red.  Its just super red in odd numbered years, and sometimes in congressional cycles as well.  

    With all the computer wizardry team Obama developed over this most recent presidential cycle, one would rationally expect that there will soon be new resources on hand that could be of use this year, and again next year, in defeating Republicans.

    Sadly, that expectation is probably not likely to become reality.  

    Want change?  

    I do.  And one change I want is the know how of the Obama campaign on the ground, in the VAN, and on the airwaves starting THIS YEAR.  

    Wo ist die data, Barack?

    The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

    by not2plato on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 08:26:44 PM PST

    Recommended by:

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 12:23:35 AM PST

  •  Great post on point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

      Now is the time, to zero in and set up.

  •  Voter registration has to be constant, year-round. (4+ / 0-)

    Not just in the months preceding the elections. This inspires me to find out if local DEC office is registering. I'll stand at the groceria several times a month.

    The harsh rules imposed by @FLGovScott R-Thief have been relaxed somewhat, and now he says he'll expand hours and locations. We shall see. Verify, then trust, if at all, ever. It's probably to lay the groundwork for competition with Charlie Crist.

    I ♥ President Obama and have his back.
    Hands off SocSec, Medicare and Medicaid. NO subsidies to rich Corps.
    Rich pay more, bloated DoD steal less. End war on Afghanistan 01/01/14.

    by OleHippieChick on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 08:11:52 AM PST

    •  dead on (3+ / 0-)

      We have to remember people turn 18 every day and they vote with us. We have to work to get traditional voters registered. Show up and vote on state and local races. Inch by inch.

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 09:57:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm stealing your strategy. I'll try to see that it's put to use.

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


    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 03:02:19 PM PST

  •  Repub lished to state and local action group. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    thanks for this.

    BTW I invite all Kossacks serious about ACTION for the 2014 races (and getting active NOW) to join this facebook group, which I am one of the admins for.

    This is not a group for passing along the latest internet memes or endless jokes about the stupid republicans.

    This is a group focused on action. And we intend to get started within a month in preparation for 2012. We've grown from just a few people to almost 1500 in just a few weeks and we're attracting some of the most serious activists out there.

    I've posted this diary there as well. We have members from all over the country and everyone is ready to get to work.

    Thanks again for this diary Much needed.

  •  Can I ask a favor? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anastasia p

    We don't know each other at all, but I have read your diary three times to get the feeling you put in.

    For me,  aggressive approaches such as this usually lose me.  I see the aggression and I feel chastised.

    I don't live in Kansas.  I live in a huge city with no rapid transportation to speak of.  It is a place where it is really almost a necessity to drive.  I can't drive.  The state took away my driver's license when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in the early 80s.  It had damaged my vision and slowed my reflex time to the point where I could not drive safely.  I have had it for over 30 years now with a cluster of other auto-immune disorders and my activities are severely limited.

    Still, I worked as hard as I could during this election.  I phoned, wrote when I could and talked to whomever would listen.

    When you jump at people you are acting without knowing their circumstances, or reasoning or what they may have done that you are not aware of.  I am not a shrinking violet but the references to "using shoe leather" kind of got to me.  I can barely walk.  I can get less than 100 feet and since my balance is off I stagger and can fall without realizing it.  When I fall I have to crawl on my hands and knees to pull myself up because the muscles in my legs are not strong enough to push me up anymore.

    My state came out of this election in great shape.  Even though we were mostly ignored because we were not a swing state,. we have managed to achieve a Democratic super majority in our legislature.  Our federal representation is mostly Democratic and our governor is a Democrat.

    Without interference from Republicans, we have managed to restore our budget which was in tatters and the governor has enough of a surplus that he can tell the university system not to raise tuition.  He intends to continue to do more to help the middle class and to try to make the state economy sound and healthy.  I like to think that my bit helped.  It is hard to do that though if the only way I can see myself is disabled because I cannot do things in a certain way.

    Thanks for reading my comment.  The comments on this diary make me think that you are a good soul, just maybe a little too emphatic for those of us who are poor, humble and sick.  Take care of yourself, and thanks again for some good advice.

    •  I think (0+ / 0-)

      Sometimes the way in which something is read changes.   As  you see up above, I've had another who assumes this as well.  

      This really wasn't meant as a scolding, get out there kind of trope, and I think the body of the text establishes that.   What I was in effect saying, though is that for many we enter repeatedly into a huge funk after a major proposal and you will find tons of people who fill Kos with "it can't be done".

      We have all had pep talks in our life, and they vary a great deal.  Not every can run for office; not everyone can even beat the streets.   But a lot of the small things are still important, sharing information about races in nowhere areas, etc.

      In the end, that's all I'm really after.. a nice: be positive pep talk.   I grant that the structure of the headline may impact some in that way; that was simply not the intention.  :)

      Thank you.

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 07:57:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is also a good way... (0+ / 0-)

    for people upset with the rather conservative policies of the Obama administration to support liberals for elected office.

    •  I am finding myself more & more upset (0+ / 0-)

      with people claiming that Obama has "conservative" policies and whining about everything he does. This site is filled with whiny, handwringing diaries tonight, and it doesn't encourage me. I think we ineffectualize ourselves in many ways.

      Anyway, it doesn't seem as if THAT is what the diarist is talking about. I don't think she means I should reregister as a Republican and run for office just so my congresswoman has an opponent in this overwhelmingly Democratic district.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 11:55:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Conservative is relative. (0+ / 0-)

        Obama IS conservative relative to me. This can be seen on a whole host of issues. Domestic spying, guantanamo, health care, military spending, the Keystone XL pipeline, keeping Eric Holder on as AG, nominating Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense, to name a few.

        Face it, he's not as liberal as some of us (me).

        I am in no way suggesting he's as conservative as a Republican.

        But I can't see how you're going to convince me he's to the left of most democrats.

  •  Good luck. (0+ / 0-)

    I am in a district that was uncontested — no Republican wanted to run here. So I don't have your issues. I'm not sure I care if a Republican runs against my congresswoman because he will again get 15% of the vote. And I have no problems with what my congresswoman fights for.

    I wish you well though.

    Jon Husted is a dick.

    by anastasia p on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 11:49:30 PM PST

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