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This is a Caucus diary, created by The Caucus Project group at DailyKos.

The goal of this diary is not to debate the policy position of the diarist; it is for people who support the position statement to discuss and debate proposed ideas for action, and to organize.  The diarist will post a position statement, which will include a solicitation for possible courses of action or a proposal for action, tactics and strategy.

Please read this diary, Caucus Diary Mark II, before commenting here if you are not already familiar with the new Caucus community diaries.

After a week of discussion, many of us on Daily Kos are opposed to military intervention in Syria. My personal opinion is that, at the very least, any military action by the President should 1) have Congressional approval, and 2)follow the Powell Doctrine.

For those not familiar with the Powell Doctrine, here it is:

The Powell Doctrine states that a list of questions all have to be answered affirmatively before military action is taken by the United States:
1) Is a vital national security interest threatened?
2) Do we have a clear attainable objective?
3) Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
4) Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
5) Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
6) Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
7) Is the action supported by the American people?
8) Do we have genuine broad international support?
The position of this diarist is that the requirements of the Powell Doctrine have not been met, and that, at the very least, questions #2,#3,#5, and #6 must be answered in the affirmative, with reasonable specific proofs of why the answer is yes provided to the American people and to Congress, before military action is contemplated.

This is even more true if engaging in Syria is merely one more step toward engaging Iran (there are some indications that may be true:  Possible implications for future relations with Iran; Original source article in NYT)

Since the President is going to go to Congress for authorization, one obvious and important course to take is influencing our representatives and senators to vote `no.' I would like to focus on that next step.

Follow me below the orange squiggle for initial ideas and resources.

We need 1) a way of bringing pressure on our legislators, and 2) a way of publicizing our efforts (we can't just wait for the MSM to cover us and then get mad when they don't, or when they do but get it wrong).

Ways to bring pressure:

Initial thoughts:  While informing legislators of our positions is still a valid way to bring pressure, separate individual efforts in this regard are comparatively weak tea.  Organized groups of constituents informing legislators of their positions works better (the typical district office visit by 5-15 people that we've all engaged in). But what appears to work best are three forces:  

Reputation (aka how they look in the mass media, and secondarily in their district)

Primary threats

Money

I'd argue that the most effective way for us to bring pressure at this moment is to focus on the first, reputation. IOW, we should ramp up the publicity on each individual legislator's position. Something like a synchronized press conference or a town hall (organized by those of us against the war) in as many of the 435 districts as possible, would be a good tactic, and would be likely to draw MSM attention. If such town halls could include people in the district who are important to the legislator, that would help as well.

Alternatively, a persistent form of political action might be useful, such as a repeated or continuous presence at a district office. But whatever tactics we use should be tailored to the locality and the legislator. One of the most valuable lessons I ever learned from a DFA campaign training was "No cookie-cutter campaigns." Each district is different. I'm a big believer in people who know the locale calling the (organizing) shots.

For instance, one thought I had was that we could bring into the open the amount of campaign contributions 'critters are receiving from the defense industry and the oil and gas pipeline industries:

This is defense contributions, but only aerospace.

Oil and gas donations

Oilfield service and equipment donations

Those would be useful stats for an unsympathetic Congresscritter who has hefty donations from the energy or defense industries. But if you have a sympathetic 'critter, or one who doesn't get a lot of money from the defense or energy industries, obviously that won't be useful.

Ways to Publicize Our Efforts

Initial thoughts: a blogathon  here synchronized with IRL actions. An organized effort to publicize IRL actions on Twitter. On-the-scene filming by citizen reporters uploaded to various sites.

Those are my initial thoughts. If anyone sees a serious flaw in either the underlying assumptions--aka trying to influence critters is a waste of time--or in the specific tactical suggestions, please let me know. And bring all your best ideas to the table! We sure need them.

And we need them fast. We have around 10 days.

Originally posted to Caucus on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 04:48 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  this won't be a small war (16+ / 0-)

    1) Is a vital national security interest threatened?
    ...not for the United States
    2) Do we have a clear attainable objective?
    ...no
    3) Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
    ...no
    4) Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
    ...no
    5) Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
    ...no
    6) Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
    ...hell no
    7) Is the action supported by the American people?
    ...who cares for the American people, not their representatives that's for sure.
    8) Do we have genuine broad international support?
    ...HA.HA.HA.HA

    This will not end well. My guts tell me, STFU.
    No further comment. Because the one I had on my tongue was devastating.

    Civil Men Are For Civil Rights

    by mimi on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 04:59:11 AM PDT

  •  Assad Will Use Gas Again On His People (3+ / 0-)

    He now believes that the world doesn't care what he does.  Other dictators are watching what is happening in Syria and are saying to themselves if the world doesn't care about chemical weapon use anymore than what is to stop us?  Will chemical use in wars now become the norm if we do nothing?

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 05:05:04 AM PDT

  •  Congress needs to be aware that if it grants AUMF (7+ / 0-)

    to the President, and the President does then intervene with punitive missile strikes, that then US boots on the ground in Syria will probably be inevitable.

    A US missile strike against the Assad regime will cause substantial damage, probably sufficient to bring down its downfall.

    But once the Assad regime is toppled thanks to our intervention, then the consequent wholesale massacre of innocent civilians (especially all the non-Sunni minorities - as has been happening already in the territory controlled by the rebels) really will bind us morally to intervene to put a stop to it, and it will be possible to do so only with boots on the ground.

    Congress should only grant AUMF if it is prepared, then, to send at least 100k US troops to Syria in the immediate aftermath of the collaspse of the Assad regime - as demanded by R2P.

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 05:16:20 AM PDT

    •  100K troops? - A draft is the only way (4+ / 0-)

      to force the troops into this war, because I think nobody wants to go other than our beloved US representatives.

      Civil Men Are For Civil Rights

      by mimi on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 05:24:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There will never be a draft again unless the (4+ / 0-)

        homeland is directly attacked (which is absolutely unlikely), for no Admin. would politically survive introducing it.

        We just love a professional, volunteer army, which we can all cheer, but, as for as the overwhelming majority of Americans is concerned, absolutely avoid otherwise.

        Which of course makes my point, if we're not prepared to send boots on the ground to clean up after our intervention topples the Assad regime (if for no reason than that we have none to send), then best for Congress to refuse the AUMF and for the President to go and play golf or something and forget about intervening in Syria.

        We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

        by Lepanto on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 05:32:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Unfortunately, I think the neo-con/libs (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CroneWit, Lujane, blueoasis, Betty Pinson

          may use the AUMF as a pretext for war with Iran and I don't think they care how many times they deploy the same troops to the same region or how vastly that increases their risk for TBI, PTSD, etc.  

          What we have to do is split the rest of Congress from the neo-con/libs.  

          •  Greenbell, this thread is actually off topic (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CroneWit

            Do you have ideas for actions we might take?

            The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 07:36:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Mimi, I'd like to hear your (3+ / 0-)

        ideas about the proposal I put forward below. What do you think?

        The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:08:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  sorry, I can't follow the threads, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SouthernLiberalinMD, Lujane, CroneWit

          which proposal do you mean?

          I really don't want to engage in anything right now. Because I am not reacting calmly. I suggest you call in a kossack meeting of the MD, VA and DC groups. There are very different point of views on how to react to the current situation and if you want to take local actions to influence the representatives in MD and VA, may be we discuss that in person in a meet-up.

          I feel that I am a foreigner here and I have already difficulties to contain my emotional response to the situation. So, I don't want to influence anyone with my own "hysterical point of views".

          I can't help but seeing that as the beginning of a potential desastrous war in which Iran, Russia, the US and Israel will be involved and at that point I believe US will not have any other choice than to draft its soldiers. And with that I won't comment any further.

          Civil Men Are For Civil Rights

          by mimi on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 09:24:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  We could get millions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III

    to March in the streets against war...oh wait, that didn't work with Iraq. We could have hundreds of thousands of phone calls and signed petitions...oh wait, that didn't work with the trillion dollar TARP bailout for banks...The sad truth is they will do whatever their biggest donors tell them to do. Same as always.

    ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

    by Kristina40 on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 05:23:47 AM PDT

    •  So we do something different (7+ / 0-)

      Southern Liberal is suggesting a PR twist and put our reps rep on the line if I understand correctly.

      Hi NSA. I am doing constitutionally protected stuff - like free speech. Too bad you are not!

      by glitterscale on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:26:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, that's what I'm suggesting. (7+ / 0-)

        If we could organize a series of town halls/press conferences that would be great. MB has a diary up in which he's essentially vote counting, so we will have good info on whom to target.

        The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:39:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But EVEN if your congresscritter says (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lujane, blueoasis, Betty Pinson

          he will vote against, the pressure must be kept on cause you can bet Obama is twisting that arm too!

          Hi NSA. I am doing constitutionally protected stuff - like free speech. Too bad you are not!

          by glitterscale on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:17:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not waiting for that even. And I hope you (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis, CroneWit, Betty Pinson

          don't mind my stealing some of your diary for a letter to Congress.  I've already emailed the following to 8 senators and 6 representatives (it's good to have family in different states!):

          It was good news when President Obama said he would seek authorization from Congress before attacking Syria.  We encourage you to oppose such a strike.  Our personal opinion is that, at the very least, any military action by the President should both have Congressional approval and follow the Powell Doctrine.

              The Powell Doctrine states that a list of questions all have to be answered affirmatively before military action is taken by the United States:

              1) Is a vital national security interest threatened?
              2) Do we have a clear attainable objective?
              3) Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
              4) Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
              5) Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
              6) Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
              7) Is the action supported by the American people?
              8) Do we have genuine broad international support?

          It is our view that the requirements of the Powell Doctrine have not been met.  In particular, questions #2,#3,#5, and #6 must be answered in the affirmative, with reasonable specific proofs provided to the American people and to Congress of why the answer is yes.  Before military action is contemplated it is crucial that all these points be critically considered without regard to politics or partisanship.  In general we are strong supporters of President Obama, but on this issue we feel he is headed in the wrong direction.

          Please take a strong stance AGAINST military action against Syria.  There are still other more peaceful options to be tried.

          Many thanks for your interest in our views. We look forward to your response.

          I also think your ideas are a good way to proceed, but I think it would be helpful if we had a list of other possible actions to promote.  I read a diary the other day with some suggestions; I'll see if I can find it again.
    •  I am beginning to get the sense that the vote (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane, blueoasis, CroneWit

      will be relatively close. So the circumstances are very different going in than they were for the Iraq AUMF etc., it may be a case were citizen pressure is at least influential if not decisive.

      Others have analyzed the various caucuses on both partisan sides; I'd like to point out there are many Reps. we have not heard from. Meteor Blades has a whip count diary up, and has promised to compile the submissions there in a new diary within 24 hours (from last night). When that appears, we will know who the undecided targets are.

      This will be very ironic for me, lobbying my Republican Rep. (Fred Upton) against the position of the President I was a delegate for in 2008. So be it.

      Mark E. Miller // Kalamazoo Township Trustee // MI 6th District Democratic Chair

      by memiller on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 07:47:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  100s of groups already doing this work (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane

    I've gotten multiple emails over the past week from numerous other activist groups, many with long-standing roots in the Middle East conflict. I have signed petitions, signed letters to my Congresscritters and the White House, etc. If there are actions out in the street, existing locally-based groups will be organizing them.

    I do not see a good reason for dKos to try to start up some new independent campaign or try to coordinate what other groups are doing. At best, direct people to existing ones -- they're all over the place, from Fellowship of Reconciliation to the Friends Committee on National Legislation to United for Peace and Justice to etc. etc. etc.

     

    •  We are secular (4+ / 0-)

      That way it is more inclusive.

      I hate getting cornered by the one, there always is at least one, homophobe in the group to be told I'm damned and I deserve all this misery.

    •  That's fine that you think this! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glitterscale, Lujane, blueoasis

      Others may disagree. Perhaps someone from one of the other groups you reference may read this and enlist our help in some way. Or they may cite this group as "additional support" to their own efforts.

      We can't know any of that unless we try, of course.  

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 05:39:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Are they using the Powell Doctrine angle? (10+ / 0-)

      That actually looks pretty useful to me if you make it visible enough.  Answer it with just a little more oomph than mimi has just above, or just leave the questions hanging out there for civilians to answer for themselves, and I could see this start to move minds.  You don't have to say it's the Powell Doctrine (if a call to authority, especially a sullied one, is suspect); just start it with

      Ask yourself this about attacking Syria:

      1) Is a vital national security interest threatened?
      2) Do we have a clear attainable objective?
      3) Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
      4) Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
      5) Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
      6) Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
      7) Is the action supported by the American people?
      8) Do we have genuine broad international support?

      If that does look likely to move people and not merely to be a redundancy over what others are doing, then the question is, where and in what form do you get this out there?  As an LTE?  As a banner outside a Congresscritter's office?  As a Burma Shave sequence along a highway?
      •  Banner outside critter's office is good (9+ / 0-)

        If you have meetings with critters, use it there, though I think events will be more effective than meetings. We need to do things in public where the Critters will be seen.  Press conferences, town halls, rallies if we can't do anything else.

        The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:10:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Would only work if you can get media. (5+ / 0-)

          We are not a pedestrian society anymore, and you won't have the public walking by a critter's office.

          And for a message this long, I'm not sure that a banner outside a critter's office would work unless it featured prominently, all of it, in a front-page photo (of a newspaper that fewer and fewer are reading).

          Unfurling it down the side of a building in Times Square or an equivalent heavy-foot-traffic site in each district might work better, just for the boldness of its being where it's not expected.  A message this long needs time to read it.  It needs to sink in, step by step.  It needs to get attention by its novelty and then remain there for as many eyes as possible as long as possible.

          I raised the Burma Shave example, as I think that might make more sense, take the message where the citizens are, get more eyeballs, unaccustomed in those quiet contexts to asking these questions.  Overpass Light Brigade or Freeway Blogger style.  Or the projections that OWS used at night on the sides of buildings.

          •  Projectors? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dance you monster, Lujane, blueoasis

            On buildings easily seen on major thoroughways?

            •  Any major urban street... (5+ / 0-)

              ...that gets nighttime eyeballs over the stretch of a couple of minutes.  If you broke it up into shorter elements, point by point in sequence, people would most often encounter the elements in mid-stream.  With the numbers leading each line, they'd grasp that quickly and want to see the whole, so they'd be more or less transfixed until the whole thing scrolled through again.  If each line gets maybe ten seconds, it'll take a minute and a half to see the whole thing, a little longer to come mid-stream and wait for the whole thing in proper sequence.  You need to think of where people have two minutes of more or less undistracted time to wait for it.  Once they see it, they will wait.

              A heavily-visited urban context, where people are hanging out at restaurants or shopping, would be ideal.

              If you did projections, not signs, by a road, it should be a road where there'd not be too much danger from a distraction.  Private property would be best.  Imagine this projected on the side of a barn on a local highway leading into or out of a nighttime destination.

            •  One more thing. (3+ / 0-)

              If the list is left as questions, instead of CroneWit's answered version, it should end with

              How has your Representative answered these questions?
              I can see the merits of both versions, separately or in sequence -- asking the questions the first few days, answering them as the vote nears.
          •  Great idea, I like that. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dance you monster, Lujane

            And maybe on the side of the Chicago Stock exchange.

            Any kossacks in NY, Chicago, or other big cities interested in doing this work?

            If we have hundreds of synchronized events, the MSM will probably cover, and even if they don't initially, we here should start pushing it through blogathon and Twitter and uploaded video from citizen journalists.

            But we're going to need a lot of people working to pull any of this off.

            The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:41:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Definitely liking the thought of this projected... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SouthernLiberalinMD, Lujane

              ...on commodities exchange buildings.

              Best on a flat wall, an industrial or commercial building where you don't have residents complaining about lights coming into their bedrooms.  The point would be not to piss anyone off with what you're doing but with what they -- the ones urging military action -- are doing, to remain there as long as one can and the audience is out there to see it.  Also, even if you aren't doing anything technically illegal with this (ordinances vary from town to town), it would be good to have more than one person, so there's a witness if cops shut it down.  If cops do quash it, make a stink over such an obstruction afterwards, so that becomes part of the visibility, too.

              It's completely non-violent, and when well-conceived and executed a responsible action, but metaphorically

              Do not go gentle into that good night,
              Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
              Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
        •  'Burma Shave' signs, one PD item per sign, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dance you monster, Lujane

          with Powell Doctrine items in 'NO' formulation (as in my previous comment), outside reps office, held in other public settings.

          Quicker to read for drive-bys than a list.

          This would mean that, for events, at least 8 people would be needed, one for each PD item.

      •  Also in our coverage of the issue: (4+ / 0-)

        if we have a blogathon, twitter push, etc. we should keep pushing those two points.

        The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:11:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You need to add as point one (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lujane, WheninRome

        Does this war benefit the American people?

        These national security interests they keep talking about are mostly hidden agendas.  

        •  Well, if we're not calling it the Powell Doctrine (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lujane, Betty Pinson

          we can add questions. Good idea.

          The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 07:38:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm OK with 'Powell Doctrine' (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lujane

            It's a sensible list.  Outside this (and similar) communities, he's still a respected public figure who gets face time from the media.  He's respected by believers in the traditional US military presence.  Why not imply his support of an anti-attack position?

            •  Well, we can't include questions that aren't (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lujane, Betty Pinson

              part of the Powell Doctrine if we call it the Powell Doctrine.

              That's all. :-)

              The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 10:31:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  But isn't that the point? Using PD? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Lujane

                After today, there are 3 weekdays and 2 weekend days before 9/9, when Congress returns.  Latest I've seen says they plan to vote next week, so at most another 2-3 days before vote.  So there is between 5 and 7, maybe 9 days at best, to make an impact.

                You suggested the Powell Doctrine, I worked with the Powell doctrine.  If we had, say, three months, something more ornate might be possible.

                The Powell Doctrine, as is, is a sensible list.  It can easily be turned into a well-honed tool.  That's what I was aiming for.

                •  Greenbell said: (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  CroneWit, Lujane
                  You need to add as point one:
                  Does this war benefit the American people?
                  We can't add that question if we're going to call it the Powell Doctrine, because that question isn't part of the Powell Doctrine. I don't mean to be splitting hairs here, but if we add our own stuff into the Powell Doctrine we're setting ourselves up to get pwned.

                  I would come down on the side of using the Powell Doctrine  and not adding in the question.

                  I'm aware of our very short time frame.

                  The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

                  by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 10:59:59 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  'NO benefit to Americans -- vote NO!' (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Lujane, SouthernLiberalinMD

                    Could be added as a tag line when the compressed (postcard) version of PD is used.

                    If there were more time, I could think about an 'exploded' version of PD points, to be used as one-page flier and/or as expanded talking points for phone calls or meetings w reps.  By 'expanded' I mean something like --

                    'Syria Fails . . ..'

                    (1) NO .........
                                            (succinct statement of negative result)

                    Now this, imo, would be a nice thing: a one-page essay in bullet-points.  But frankly I don't think there's time for it.  And such a presentation would run the risk of repeating (thus reinforcing) pro-attack talking points by refuting them, which would create openings for the talking point already prepared to rebut that refutation, etc.

                    Some years back I looked up the specific language of how we (citizens) are supposed to inform our reps/senators about upcoming votes.  The language was not 'discuss' or  'debate' or 'persuade' or even 'educate'.  We, as citizens are supposed to instruct our legislators on how we want them to vote.  Using the 'Syria Fails/Vote No' formulation is, imo, a clear 'instruction'.

                    Sorry if I'm coming off as testy.  Not my intention.  Got about six things going right now, some of them essential survival business, so am writing here in a very terse manner to save time.  Glad you're putting the effort into this.

                •  I should have been organizing all last week (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  CroneWit, Lujane

                  but was frankly stunned; I couldn't believe what I was seeing (and hearing).

                  The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

                  by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 11:00:25 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Then Kossacks can organize actions with them. (5+ / 0-)

      See my proposal below.

      The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:05:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Posting links to existing actions (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SouthernLiberalinMD, Lujane

      is a good idea, but that doesn't preclude Kossites from starting another action.

      •  I'd like to have local people take charge (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CroneWit, Lujane

        of organizing, thus:  like, in my district, I could contact Progressive Democrats of America, who have a presence here, and see what they have planned.

        The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 07:39:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's always worth brainstorming. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SouthernLiberalinMD, Lujane

      New ideas come from interactions with each other.

  •  It's not necessary to deny. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CroneWit

    The Constitution is structured to be permissive. That is, the federal government operates on the basis of permissions or, if you will, assigned tasks and obligations. There are things it may or must do, nothing less and nothing more.
    If Congress does not give permission (does not authorize the use of military force AUMF) and does not appropriate funds for their use in conflict, as opposed to just maintenance, then the executive is out of luck, unless it want's to be unlawful, as GWB was when he moved money appropriated for Afghanistan to plan the invasion of Iraq ($300 billion, I think it was). That was an impeachable offense, but Congress did not see fit to follow up. Tant pis.

  •  First and foremost (11+ / 0-)

    it seems like it would be a good idea to utilize the references and list in Meteor Blades' diary. Maybe even take that list and expand upon it, focusing only on the "undecideds" (and make sure the NAYs stay that way). We could then come up with some language that can be used when we call these folks.

    Let's stay focused and deliver the same message, regardless of who we're calling. The language should A) counter the current words being used to sell this "limited action" to us by our "media", using actual facts and examples, but B) still be short and sweet enough to keep the attention of the person answering the phone (who of course will not be the rep or senator).

    And if that fails, we need a Plan C. If they do this anyway, we need further action which must be ready to go at a moment's notice.

    This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

    by lunachickie on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 05:46:09 AM PDT

    •  also (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Horace Boothroyd III, CenPhx, JVolvo

      I like the idea of a blogathon, but it can't be "just" about calling; each diary should have some sort of sub-text followed by the appeal to reach out.

      The subtext could be based on, say, how a critter or senator usually votes on such things as "new appropriations" (ie. a Teahag who is always on about "more government spending" should have pointed out to  him a list of possible expenditures for this "mission", followed by a price tag on each).

      That's a tall order, though, and we've a short window. How do other blogathons commence, are they all just "this is the subject/action, call and say X, Y and Z"?

      Thanks for keeping this series alive. It provides a central focus where we can concentrate on doing the most good in the short time we have.

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 05:50:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  carrying on further (4+ / 0-)

        heh...see that? Focus! :)

        1) Is a vital national security interest threatened?
        2) Do we have a clear attainable objective?
        3) Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
        4) Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
        5) Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
        6) Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
        7) Is the action supported by the American people?
        8) Do we have genuine broad international support?
        Maybe THIS could be one such sub-text: "Does this reasoning/idea of "limited engagement" utilize the Powell Doctrine?" and then detail each and every point. And now you have another set of information to pass along on your call. Example: Mr/Mrs. Congressperson or Senator, you are on record as regretting your AUMF vote--perhaps you should apply this doctrine to your upcoming vote on a similar mission?" and explain why.  

        SIMILAR. Parallels. These DO exist, despite the incessant fanning otherwise, stating there are none between this and Iraq, always by those in favor of war. Let's hash them out in detail, as a rebuttal to the meme which could then be used to further persuade said reps/senators.

        (is this too much at once? ;))

        This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

        by lunachickie on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 05:59:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, it's not too much. (7+ / 0-)

          We might want to get one or two people to create a handout we could post here which uses the Powell Doctrine:  As in:  We, the American people (or we, the people of District 6 or whatever the District # is), want the following questions answered before the United States engages in a military intervention in Syria. 1)What is the specific mission objective? 2)What is our specific strategy, and will it result in our achieving our mission objective? 3)What is our exit strategy? 4)What are the risks? 5)What will it cost?

          The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:19:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Heh (2+ / 0-)

            (some of that was actually meant as "ideas for the blogathon", sorry I didn't clarify that)

            (mega-coffee--it's what's for breakfast! :))

            I do agree on The Powell Doctrine is the best way to build on this as an "action item". Even if you don't think there are similarities between this and the run-up to the Iraq invasion, the questions themselves are completely valid. And our representatives should be compelled to answer them on the record before committing to a vote.

            This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

            by lunachickie on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:25:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  We the People know that Syria Fails Powell Doctrin (0+ / 0-)

            in these ways: (1) NO . . . .

            Or it could be 'It is self-evident that We the People (and I'm using 'We the People' here to fill in for Dist 6 or whatever.)

    •  I think we need a stronger push than just calling (5+ / 0-)

      our Congresscritters. I think we need events.

      My proposed message 1)Any war has to satisfy the demands of the Powell Doctrine (you don't have to use the words "Powell Doctrine" you can just use the list of questions. 2)If we don't have money to create jobs for the American people, we don't have money for war.

      Agreed to using MB's list, agreed to having a plan C.

      The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:07:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SouthernLiberalinMD

        we need something in addition to calling, I agree. Sadly, I have no ideas there right now, but I'm thinkin'!!! :)
         

        This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

        by lunachickie on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:10:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If we organize town halls and invite media (0+ / 0-)

          and invite our critter, our critter will want at least to send a staffer.

          Our critter will not want the conversation and how issue is represented in his/her district to get out of his/her control.

          The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 07:18:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Congress critters have an office close to us (0+ / 0-)

          AND they are "on vacation" this week. Take the list of questions (along with any friends you can dig up) and visit them over the lunch hour (first make sure they know you are coming.)

          Hi NSA. I am doing constitutionally protected stuff - like free speech. Too bad you are not!

          by glitterscale on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:15:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Important to have as much going on as... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SouthernLiberalinMD, JVolvo

        ...possible as long as it isn't a focus of putting together a national demo. THAT would suck energy and money from everything else. Lot of local protests (and many are already happening) will work better in the short run we have to get this done.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 09:31:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Risk of getting caught in their spin-cycle imo (0+ / 0-)

      If we engage them with their language.

      Let people who write editorials do that part, parsing the arguments and rebutting them.

      I see this as a 'marketing' action, introducing a new and different message in opposition to the established talking points.

      Using the 'Syria Fails PD = Vote No' formulation will, if nothing else, make calls shorter, which means more calls can be made. 'Please tell Rep X that Syria Fails PD in these 8 ways (list).  A short-and-sweet call, with clear points, is more likely to be delivered in more complete form than a point-by-point discussion in which the rep's person replies to you by giving you the pro-attack talking points.

      Instead, 'Here is my message, please write down these eight points.  Syria Fails Powell Doctrine because (1) NO . . ..'.  Have them read back to you, correct if necessary, thank you have a nice day.

      Message is delivered, everybody's time is saved.

      Present PD points a statements -- and as statement of failure which must lead to NO vote.  They can turn the PD points back into questions in their own minds.  And this will also make them have to re-tool their talking points as replies to the PD points.  Just imo.

  •  John McCain is my senator (0+ / 0-)

    I don't think you could ask for a higher profile Senator in favor of intervention. I will check whether he is doing any town halls (I doubt that he is) or whether he is willing to meet with constituents.

    The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. --John F. Kennedy

    by CenPhx on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 05:49:50 AM PDT

    •  I'd say focus on the House. I think we have (4+ / 0-)

      a better chance there. Boehner doesn't have complete control over his back-benchers.

      The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:13:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree in terms of who to influence (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dance you monster, CroneWit

        The members of the House are more likely to change their minds. However if you are trying to generate media attention, confronting/discussing the military intervention with McCain is likely to get more coverage.

        I was planning to call my congressman's office this morning - I will add a note to ask him whether he will be conducting a town hall.

        The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. --John F. Kennedy

        by CenPhx on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:24:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's a good point. People with high-profile (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CroneWit

          Senators can use them to generate publicity. Good thought.

          The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:42:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  OK it looks like this published by accident (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lunachickie, angelajean

    ahead of time. Digital clumsiness on my part.

    The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 05:49:55 AM PDT

  •  OK. So I'd like to hear responses to the following (6+ / 0-)

    plan:

    We target the House.

    We organize events in as many of the 435 districts as possible. If it's applicable, we can join with other groups' efforts.

    Local organizers will be in charge of choosing events, but the messaging will be:

    1)The Powell Doctrine must be followed (as hannah says, you don't have to use the words 'Powell Doctrine'; simply use the list of questions.

    2)How are we going to pay for this war when we supposedly can't afford to create jobs for our own people?

    Local events will be networked through here.

    We will back up this work with media coverage through here and on Twitter.

    The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:03:55 AM PDT

  •  Well, the good news is my Congresscritter (D) (5+ / 0-)

    Sam Farr has already announced he's against bombing Syria.

    Whoot!

    One down at least.

    Now if we can just get a few more folks on our side to stand on conviction rather than supporting the president to "Support the President"  we'll be in good shape.

    I'd humbly suggest That if we could get some people into the Lobbyist waiting lines we might petition em  in person at home AND at DC...  (Especially veterans.  They do seem to find the time to listen to soldiers. )

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:39:35 AM PDT

  •  Suggestions (5+ / 0-)

    Time is short, just a week or so before votes could start. I'd suggest starting With MB's diary and focus on undecideds, especially those outside MIC interest. My blue dog Rep also reps Raytheon. His vote is going to be very hard to turn to a nay.

    In other words pick the easiest ones first then dig in on the tough ones towards vote time. When they get to the flor we should flood c- span phones. People will be watching.

    They are home this week. Go to their offices in person. Let our presence be known. On line isn't enough.

    Thanks SL

    Society is like a stew. If you don't stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top. ~Edward Abbey

    by cosmic debris on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:43:50 AM PDT

    •  Absolutely. Let's focus on the House and the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cosmic debris, CroneWit

      leaners/undecideds.

      But I also want to get as many events in as many districts as possible, so if people are in a "Nay" district and want to organize, I think they should. After all, s/he is still THEIR Congressman and should be informed of what their constituency wants--and held accountable afterward.

      The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:50:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just so everybody knows: when this (0+ / 0-)

    diary has run its course, I will go through and glean all the suggestions and put them into an Action Diary that will appear today. No time to lose!

    The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:52:32 AM PDT

  •  I think that this week will give a better (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angelajean

    notion of which way the political winds are blowing which would help to refine tactics. It appears that things are going to be more complicated than the usual party line split.  If the people who are fence sitters can be identified, then they would make the best focus of efforts.

  •  Revenue neutral - War only with a war tax (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angelajean, CroneWit

    Or, of course, budget cuts... If they vote for war Congress needs to first vote to fund with a war tax that hits every person and every business in the same year(s) as the war hits the budget.

  •  Is isn't in our hands (0+ / 0-)

    It is the tea partiers who will decide the vote, if they pressure their conservative congressmen to vote it down under threat of primary then it will fail.

    •  I don't see a reason for passivity here. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angelajean

      Not sure the Tea Party has enough votes on their own to prevent it. Why should we take the chance?

      Besides, I don't believe in being a passive consumer of government decisions.

      The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 07:21:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wish, I expect Nancy will have her (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilK

      count and she'll get votes from those Democrats who do not believe in the war but will vote for it if pressed.  I expect that includes most of the Minnesota delegation.   All the Democrats expect Elllison oppose it but I don't know if any of them can't be flipped if Nancy needs them.

      I mean it's not like they vote for what the people want anymore if some other agenda takes precedence.

      •  We should try, and if they go against (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CroneWit

        constituents' wishes, we should have a massive primary-fest next year. And don't think that an ongoing war in Syria especially with this bad economy wouldn't provide enough oomph to get hawks out.

        That's one reason it's really really important for there to be a Democratic anti-war movement. Among the pols, I mean. Otherwise, the Tea Party will once again be the only recipient of any benefit from the American people's profound dissatisfaction.

        The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 07:58:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Since the Tea Party is unpredictable at best, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SouthernLiberalinMD

      I don't see any need to rely on them working by themselves.

  •  By the way, Kerry is speaking openly now (5+ / 0-)

    though not very directly, about Iran.

    NYT also reported Obama talking about it.

    We should make clear to the American people that this isn't intended to stop with Syria.

    The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 07:20:17 AM PDT

  •  How about coupling it to an amendment (0+ / 0-)

    enacting single payer health care?

  •  'Syria Fails Powell Test, you must vote no' (6+ / 0-)

    I'd frame the message as a demand for  'no military action' because the case for action in Syria fails the Powell test.  This framing tells reps that the American people are saying 'no'.

    You seem to have framed it in a perhaps gentler, but less direct way:  showing the reps the question and asking them to use reason to answer them.  

    The position of this diarist is that the requirements of the Powell Doctrine have not been met, and that, at the very least, questions #2,#3,#5, and #6 must be answered in the affirmative, with reasonable specific proofs of why the answer is yes provided to the American people and to Congress, before military action is contemplated.
    The talking points are already prepared to defuse that approach, imo.

    The Powell Doctrine's points can be turned into negatives, too, as in:

    YOU MUST VOTE NO because:

    1) NO vital national security interest threatened.
    2) NO clear attainable objective.
    3) NO full, frank analysis of risks and costs.
    4) NOn-violent policy means not fully exhausted.
    5) NO plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement.
    6) NO full consideration of the consequences of our action.
    7) NO SUPPORT from [percentage] of the American people
    8) NO genuine broad international support

    Others can game out how to use this in meetings and online.  I still think postcards are a useful resource.  They are physical mail that must be handled (not given auto-replies); everyone that handles them will see the message; as postcards (not envelopes) they'll get through safety-processing quicker.

    The text above can be computer-printed on one side of 4x6 cards, with a little space for brief comment & signature; print sheets of labels for reps and attach.  Attach postage. Carry them with you everywhere and ask people if they'd like to tell their reps to vote no on Syria; if yes, hand them a card and ask them to write their name/address in return address spot and sign the back of the card.  Tell them you'll be glad to mail the card for them, or let them mail themselves if they're leery of giving someone their address.

    The text above could also be turned into fliers to be posted in local businesses.  

    •  *Great* points. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CroneWit

      I love the postcard idea.

      Like I said elsewhere, I'm going to gather these ideas up and post them in an Action Diary later today.

      The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 07:42:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Carry fliers when carrying cards (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SouthernLiberalinMD

        So if people you give cards to want to pickup on the action, you can give them a flier, which will have the card text on it.

        Tell people who have a group (friends, club, etc) that they can hand-write the cards, if they don't want to bother with computer-printing.  Hand-written cards will have even more impact, imo.

        Pete Seeger was a big fan of postcards.

        •  Publicizing the postcard push on social media (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CroneWit

          would also be good. I like combining digital and old-fashioned tactics.

          The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:09:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, a 'landing page' with PD text & plan (0+ / 0-)

            with URL on flier (but not on postcards, imo).

            Have formatted printout of flier available for download (pdf?)?

            Formatted text for postcard printing? (Or too many variables in people's equipment?  Or wold pdf take care of that?)

            Depending on website, could possibly have an 'I did this!' page for people to say, like, 'Distributed 15 postcards in (District); Put filers in 3 stores' etc.

            To consider: To collect/not collect emails of participants?  Too much additional logistics and/or personnel time?  If yes, NO sharing/selling of emails  (and the NSA will get it anyway).  (My feeling on collecting emails is no, too complicated; but geekier types may feel differently.)

            And btw, SLiM, when I sent you links to possible useful sites, did I include Weebly.com?  Supposed to be a quick, free way to set up a working website.  Not recommending (insufficient knowledge), just mentioning.

          •  Cards plus petitions for events/businesses (0+ / 0-)

            I forgot to mention --

            The postcard text could also be used as a formal petition for signatures at events, left a friendly businesses, used in canvassing if desired.  (Original postcard idea designed for individuals to use in ordinary activities of daily life.)

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

      Framing is huge and the big NO on every line will feed into many a viewpoint.

      Even my Democratic brother in law won't vote YES on many CA props just because he hates all those props. NO is much easier to vote for in many, many situations.

  •  Press the buttons that are already there (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CroneWit

    On the telephone no one can tell if you are a real tea party idiot or not.

    Demand that any resolution include budget offsets that pays for the adventure.

    Put an expiration date on any resolution.

    Appeal to their conservative mindset, no one knows how to kill any Obama sponsored legislation better than Republicans.

    Load it so full of amendments that it would be poison for any Dem to vote for it, hell put defunding Obamacare in there.

    The easiest way to get any resolution kllled is to have the republicans kill it, they control the airwaves and always get more than equal time in all media. Let's use them.

  •  As we begin to see the undecideds, we need to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SouthernLiberalinMD

    start a massive Letter to the Editors campaign of local newspapers using the Powell Doctrine as an outline for the letters.

  •  Is anybody any good with memes via fb or reddit (0+ / 0-)

    etc.?

    The younger set will share them like crazy... my 14 year old just put up a meme on Reddit about trying the guilty side at the Hague instead of bombing them ourselves.

    http://www.livememe.com/...

  •  Maybe not so hard to get things under control... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SouthernLiberalinMD, CroneWit

    Attaching a rider that effectively shuts down the Affordable Care Act or gouges Social Security would ensure that the President stops it if it gets anywhere near his desk.

    Love or hate the President all you want -- but we have GOT to retake the House and hold the Senate in 2014!

    by mwm341 on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:09:18 AM PDT

    •  I like the ACA rider. (0+ / 0-)

      The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:14:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Attach a Federal gun registry mandate (0+ / 0-)

      Let's not have Dems attacking important safety-net programs, please.

      Premise:  If America is in so much danger, America needs to know where its military-grade weapons (ordinance) are being held, in case it needs to call up ordinary citizens for active defense of the country.  Therefore, National Gun Registry, to be completed and available to Federal State, and Local officials (including DHS) before any military action in Syria.

  •  OK, I'm going to start compiling ideas (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angelajean, CIndyCasella, CroneWit

    from here, but if anybody has any more, please post them--I will be checking back from time to time as I write my diary.

    The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:15:24 AM PDT

  •  First call and e-mail your Congress critters and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CroneWit

    Senators: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

    Your diary's thread is all over the map, probably on purpose by some and thoughtlessness by others, so I suggest updating the diary with an area where you can post concrete steps for us to take such as this one.  Post the links to make it easy for people to take action.

    Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by CIndyCasella on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:54:05 AM PDT

    •  I just called all 3 Congress Critters. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CroneWit

      Thank you for this diary.  I just clicked on this link,  http://www.contactingthecongress.org/... then I clicked on my state, and then I called the two Senators of Massachusetts and my Congressmen Kennedy and I succinctly told them my name and town and that I'm a town meeting member, which guess what? carried some weight, and said, "Please tell him/her to vote Nay on this war with Syria.  Thank you."

      It took a matter of a few minutes.

      BTW, we good guys for peaceful solutions and progressive ideas need to run for office.  I'm just a Town Meeting Member, but it makes you so much more heard and have just that much more influence.

      Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

      by CIndyCasella on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 09:07:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Last night I saw a photo on facebook of a marine (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrWebster

    holding a sign saying he didn't sign up to fight on the same side as Al Qaeda.

    That really was evocative.  It cut to the chase.

    Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by CIndyCasella on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 09:09:33 AM PDT

  •  I just compiled the info in MB's whip count diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BruceCA

    (because I was tired of waiting)  :)

        House        Senate
    A    14        17
    LA    11        5
    U    26        12
    LN    30        3
    N    24        2

    So our sample is 23% of the House, and 39% of the Senate -- not bad.

    If you take the position that the Us are going to end up voting Aye, then this will pass overwhelmingly in the Senate, but be very close in the House (49% Aye, 51% Nay in our sample). If you assume the Us will break evenly, then it will lose in the House by a comfortable margin.

    Here is the link to the Google spreadsheet:
    https://docs.google.com/...

    Mark E. Miller // Kalamazoo Township Trustee // MI 6th District Democratic Chair

    by memiller on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 10:11:53 AM PDT

  •  Some more suggestions... (3+ / 0-)

    I really appreciate this discussion. For me, this is dkos at its best!  Thank you SouthernLiberal for starting this thread and for keeping it on track.

    I like so many of the ideas here and thought I would add some of my own.  The questions we have been coming up with are powerful.  Different questions work best for different people so its good to have a broad list to choose from.

    I woke up this morning with this one in my head:  Who is going to be the first one to die for still another mistake?

    I notice on MB's thread that many of those who are undecided are saying that they need more information.  While they are reading briefing papers, I would like to see them taking the time to read their conscience,  and their hearts.   This could be communicated in letters to Reps who are on the fence:

    What is right is so much bigger than the facts of UN reports.

    Another question:  How does more violence really make a good case against violence?

    Doesn't an eye for an eye make the whole world blind?

    How does killing people teach people not to kill people?

    What makes chemical weapons worse than drones or missiles sent from ships?   All weapons kill people.

    When has gasoline ever put out a fire?

    When has violence ever resulted in lasting peace?

    My thanks, again, to those of you who have posted so many great ideas here!

  •  Caucus diaries (0+ / 0-)

    You cannot declare a diary off-limits to debate. I've made that clear in the revised community guidelines.

    •  Honest Q: can OP request that TOPIC be adhered (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, BruceCA

      to?  For the purpose of limiting flame and distraction?

      If I post a pooties-who-love-baseball pics post and someone wants to debate NSA, would I be OK in requesting they take it elsewhere?

      As of 9pm 8/30/13: RETIRED Pie Warrior. Substance over Sh*t Flinging (as best as I am able) ~ JV

      by JVolvo on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 02:05:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have the same question. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JVolvo, Horace Boothroyd III

        I did not see the author of this diary declaring this diary to be off limits to debate.  I just saw him respectfully requesting that we stay on topic with a highly relevant and timely direct action conversation.  His request supported a very productive sharing of practical ideas.  

        He was not blocking those with a different opinion. He was just requesting that they post elsewhere.  Does a diary writer not have the right to do this?  I request clarification about this.  Thank you.

  •  On this and any other issue... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CroneWit, BruceCA

    the most successful strategy will be one that targets the real source of power. And, we know by now that the real power is not Congress; it's the lobbyists who represent wealthy companies.

    The key to influencing Congress, therefore, lies in influencing the influencers.  The best way to do that is to boycott or propose a boycott of Congressional most significant campaign contributors. If a pro-war legislator isn't a major recipient of defense money, it doesn't matter. Whoever their major funders are, boycott them. It won't be possible to boycott all of them (some don't make consumer products or make a product you're contractually obligated to use), but boycott those you can.  Industry fears boycotts.  Your letter to Congress, not so much, because Industry can always find another puppet.  This strategy only works, however, is one notifies both the funders and Congress that you are boycotting them and why.

    Potentially, one might have to boycott a lot of big companies, which could be difficult to do simultaneously. An alternative to that is a coordinated campaign of rolling boycotts, targeting a few companies for one week or month, then changing the focus to another group, repeating as necessary.

    •  This is absolutely correct (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Harm

      but not something I believe we can organize in a week--beyond, perhaps, putting up a web page with a list of the donors of those who are AYE votes, perhaps with a petition attached that people can sign to commit to a boycott. This would require going to MB's whip count and looking up the Ayes on Open Secrets or Maplight and making a webpage (by district, of course). Also publicizing it on places like Change.org and Twitter and elsewhere.

      The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 06:32:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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