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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) (R) and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) (L) hold a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington November 21, 2013. REUTERS/Gary Cameron
Kablooie!
Thanks in large part to David Waldman, aka Kagro X, Daily Kos notched perhaps its greatest activism victory in its decade-long existence.
As for how [the filibuster reform "nuclear option"] became the Reid rule, it took a coordinated and sustained effort from an unlikely place -- progressive activists on the blogosphere [...]

Daily Kos blogger David Waldman started to drum up support online. "I knew that this would be an issue because I had seen mounting threats of obstructionism on the Republican side," Waldman told CNN.

We were laughed at when we first advocated filibuster reform, but over the years, more and more progressives joined the cause, a working group of top progressive organizations and labor unions was formed (with Waldman intimately involved), and regular rank-and-file activists like you guys engaged. We had 325,000 people sign at least one of our filibuster petitions, which collectively received over 900,000 signatures. Our final one, with 114,000 signatures, was physically delivered to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office. The Daily Kos community has delivered more signatures to filibuster petitions than any other topic. It was, in effect, our number one priority.

Many of us also wrote or called senators demanding reform, wrote letters to the editor, and otherwise spread the word. And don't forget our electoral efforts. We made support for filibuster reform a key plank in our questionnaire as we helped several new better Democrats get elected to the Senate, including reform leaders Jeff Merkley and Tom Udall, who worked with longtime reformer Tom Harkin to give Reid the political space he needed to pull the trigger.

Waldman/Kagro may have gotten the ball moving and provided the procedural mechanisms to make the change possible, but it was a movement-wide effort to see this reform effort to its successful conclusion.

But I'll tell you who didn't help make this happen: everyone who sat in the comments of every filibuster reform post whining about how "spineless" Democrats were, or how Reid was too "weak" or "bought" to ever make the change. Too many people preferred to sit and whine about the current sad state of affairs, than to engage in the reform effort. And it wasn't helpful. In fact, it was detrimental. Filibuster reform didn't happen because of those people, but in spite of them.

If change was easy, it wouldn't be "activism". We don't need to organize to get Congress to name post offices. We are in this business because we have a vision of a better America and we're willing to fight to make that vision a reality against a bevy of entrenched and enriched incumbents (corporate and political) benefiting from the current system.

Activism isn't about the present, it's about what can be. Have Democrats been spineless and weak and bought? Of course! That's why we've been beating the shit out of them for years! But there's a constructive way to handle that, like what we did with Joe Lieberman. He was a cancer in our party, and we were never going to change him. But it was our pressure that forced him into early retirement, and his replacement, Sen. Chris Murphy, is now one of the good guys.

Saying "Democrats are spineless" and leaving it at that is not useful. Figuring out why they are spineless, and what we can do about it is. Then we work to change that reality. We are about action, not about throwing our hands up in the air and declaring defeat.

So for those of you who fought hard to make filibuster reform a reality, mad props to you. I can't think of a better crowd to work with as we continue our forward march toward change and progress. Those of you who whined and cried and outright dismissed our chances for success, use this as a learning opportunity. We can sometimes win even the most impossible battles.

But if you prefer to remain a negative ass by outright dismissing chances of success, then please, just shut the f' up. Don't get in the way of people doing good work just because you prefer to shit on everyone's efforts to prove your superior cynicism. It doesn't reflect good on you, and it's certainly not helpful to those genuinely fighting the good fight.

Originally posted to kos on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 10:28 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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