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I have been busting my ass in the trenches to make the Democratic party better for my entire adult life. I'm getting really tired of hearing people bitch and moan that the democratic party isn't getting any better. Or about how they're not voting, or how they can't compromise their principals and hold their nose to keep the republicans from torching everything we care about.

And the only reason that it's not getting better is because we aren't fucking working hard enough.

In 2000, I was 15. I manned phone banks for Gore in Broward County, Florida. I passed out "Seniors for Gore Lieberman" pins (obviously meant for retirees, but they were the only pins they had) to the 18 year old Seniors at my high school, registered them to vote, and made sure they went and voted.

In 2004, I was stuck in Rural Virginia as a college sophomore, and was really into Women and Video Games. I was convinced that GW Bush was so terrible that Kerry would automatically win, and I figured there wasn't much I could do.

My only political action in that campaign happened on the night I fell in love with my wife. All day I'd noticed that Young Republicans had grafitti'd the entire school with chalk, pro bush signs. I was busy spending time with my then-girlfriend, just walking and talking, until we came to the chapel.

"GOD BLESS BUSH" in chalk. Written by goddamned fundamentalists all over my school's beautiful Methodist chapel. It was the first time my wife ever saw me angry. In to the chapel we went, grabbing a garbage can. We took it to a dumpster, and dumped the bag. We walked it to the creek, and filled it with water. And we washed every single chalk mark off of that church. Then, we went to one of the science classrooms, and absconded with these giant balls of chalk preferred by the physics Professors. (If either of you are reading this, my sincerest apologies.)

Around the school we went, defacing the graffiti of the college republicans. Every large W was defaced with a slash and circle.

And across the four large brick square foundations for the Jeffersonian pillars of the administration building we wrote in 5-foot high letters:

"DOWN WITH KING GEORGE."

I fell in love with my Wife that night because she recognized the danger fundamentalists posed if they were allowed to act unopposed, she shared my values, and most importantly, she was willing to spend an hour filling an empty trash can with creek water and washing chalk off of a church, and then another four defacing the college republicans chalk campaign as a response to their attack on my church. Because it was important. And because it was important to me.

That loss was that a wake-up call. I joined the Young Democrats and started organizing.

In 2008, I helped turn Virginia blue for Barack Obama. I was doing canvassing way out in the rural Appalachians of Virginia's 9th district, driving into the middle of nowhere and hoping I wouldn't be shot because I was, to quote something that was screamed at me when someone saw an Obama pin in a parking lot: a "nigger loving demoncrat."

I wanted to design victory t-shirts for the college dems. On the front, Blue Virginia, Emblazoned with the Obama O. "Yes we did."  On the back, A donkey kicking an elephant, with the motto of Virginia. "Sic Semper Tyrannis."

One of the other Young Dems said that while they loved the idea "We'd probably be shot."

In 2009, I volunteered for Creigh Deeds, and he got hammered. So I and some other local dems went to a school which had been a polling place at 3 AM on election night, and began collecting the opposition's political signs for a bonfire. The police stopped us, and asked what we was doing. I told them that I was collecting the political signs so that the janitorial staff for the school didn't have to do it themselves the next morning. The police officer said it was nice that some of us political types were actually cleaning up one of the messes we made our own selves for once, and left me to it.

We ended up with the bonfire ingredients, but we had about 100 "Deeds Country" signs I didn't know what to do with. So we drove to the local republican electoral HQ, and absolutely plastered their lawn with Deeds signs.

In 2010, I Fought to save the moderate democrat, Rick Boucher, whom I frequently disagreed with, from losing to a right wing tea party douchebag. Rick Boucher helped make sure Obamacare got passed, and voted for it even though the conservatives in his district were majorly pissed at him for it. There are plenty of places where I disagreed with the man, but he's certainly better than Morgan Griffith.

When Boucher came into office, there were areas of rural Virginia which did not have running water, and he supported unions in a right to work state. He made sure low income rural classrooms had state of the art technology, and he supported scholarships to get the low income kids in his districts into colleges. He wasn't some neoliberal hack, and he voted with us progressives when it was really, really important to do so. He was also very moderate and had ties to the coal industry. His final bumper sticker read "For Coal, For Jobs."

He's also the reason that Cap and Trade, which was woefully inadequate, even got out of the house. I'd rather have someone like him helping make baby steps in the right direction than a Republican like Griffith standing in the way.

We lost. My wife was sleeping so I sat in my car in our driveway with a case of beer and listened to the radio. I got absolutely plastered as I listened to the reports come in from around the country. (Good thing I was a white guy who knew all of the local cops! Otherwise I'd be arrested for DUI.) Kos tried to warn us that it was going to be ugly, but I didn't think it would touch Rick Boucher out in the coal-fields citadel of the Democratic Party that was the 9th district, with it's UMWA members and it's favored local son. I knew we were going to face some losses, but I had no idea they were going to be so steep.

I didn't really understand the kind of racism that had been kindled in the rural south, that would cause members of the UMWA to vote for a Right-to-Work Tea Partier. The Kochs aslo gave Griffith a nice monetary push. The biggest slap in the face was that Griffith didn't even live in the 9th district. We lost some good progressives too. Tom Perriello comes to mind.

I joined the occupy movement in New York City, where I'd moved. I and the group I was a part of did a lot of hard work disseminating information.

I had to work with Anarchists that I had numerous disagreements with, as well as revolutionary communists, and some Ron Paul Libertarians, all of whom shared the view of the Occupy movement that Wall Street had far, far too much power and influence.

I was routinely frustrated by the movements refusal to cooperate with folks within the Democratic party, including those who were the progressive caucus.

In the end, those of us who wanted electoral change left to work on electoral stuff. And the crowds went with us.

In 2012, I tried to find real work. I'd been self employed in Virginia, but my main focus became finding a job. Literally any job. New York City regulations and business laws are intentionally designed to squeeze out small firms for the sake of big companies. You basically have to lawyer up if you want to run something out of your own apartment.

And I couldn't find work.

It just didn't happen.

So I went back to volunteer politics.

In 2013, I helped elect Ben Kallos to the New York City Council. I did mostly policy work, and was part of a team that helped him score some major endorsements, including the New York Times. I learned a lot about running a field office, and I now know how to set up a campaign on a shoestring budget.

Now, I've recently moved to DC, and I'm trying to decide between Vince Gray and Jack Evans, both of whom I think are great guys. I'm going to head to some meet and greets and meet both of them, at which point I'll make my decision.

Though I think my main motivation may become stopping my own councilwoman, Muriel Bowser, because she voted against the Minimum Wage Increase.

So yes. Here's who I am: I have no stable income, and it's not for lack of trying, and as a result I have devoted most of my adult life to making the democratic party better. That is what I have done with my life.

To all of those who got mad at Denise Oliver Velez for her rant, I have one thing to say:

For the sake of our nation, for the sake of the future our world, please for the love of all that is good HELP ME.

I know some of you are.

I know some of you want to and don't know how.

I know how to help progressive candidates get a leg up in elections. I know the technology to use, the methods to use, the people to hire, and I know that we're not going to get better at this until we get out there and run some people for office. And yes, sometimes we'll lose, because we haven't had a trial by fire yet. Learning this stuff requires doing it.

The only problem is, if I post it all on the internet, then everyone knows what I know, including the people who we want to beat in primaries.

So for those of you who are upset about nothing changing, I know how we can fight back. I know some tricks. I can help us. Not dirty tricks, but smart techniques that no one really uses.

But I can't do it alone, and I can't support more than one candidate per election cycle.

But you? All of you? Well, not all, some of you have jobs.

All you retirees who know how to operate a keyboard? All you underemployed or unemployed Americans who understand technology?

We can, together, learn how to run elections, learn the hot button issues for our districts, learn how to get people we need elected to local, and then state, and then national office.

So lets just fucking do it already.

Because there are people here who can manage stuff. There are people here who can do HR. There are people here who can write stuff. There are people here who can code. There are people here who can sit at a keyboard and run a phone bank.

The power of this community to work as a para-political organization which floods the actual campaign staff of the people we want elected, and then gets them elected, is nearly unlimited.

I know the tech. I know the techniques. I know about marketing tools that almost no one is using.

WE CAN DO THIS.

Help me figure out how to organize a national system of volunteers and activists which helps us fix this problem.

We can be more than a giant wallet. We can be more than a vote farm.

We can be an organization that floods the offices of progressive candidates with experienced electoral know-how.

We can build a progressive political machine that turns progressive candidates into a national steamroller.

But I don't know how to manage something that big. Or grow it. Or fund it.

But I have an idea that some of you do.

So lets do it.

Let's put our knowledge and our skills together, and lets go kick some neoliberal, racist-collaborating, NSA-apologist, koch-brothers-funded, climate skeptic, charter-school supporting, economic-disaster-causing ass!

Because I can't change the wold by myself.

And that's why I'm here.

1:32 PM PT: I probably should have expected this, but this has turned into a forum on the success of the Occupy movement.

Occupy succeeded in changing the conversation.

Occupy failed to get money out of politics or to deliver many electoral changes. That conversation change allowed the 47% comment to have an impact. It is why Deblasio is Mayor in NYC. It will continue to pay dividends. But occupy could have achieved many national successes to tack on to the local ones it's already achieved. We are in the post-occupy era of American Politics.

And I would like to try to refocus on the POINT of this post:

Can we work together to build a progressive electoral machine?

One person has said they're interested.

Anyone else?

Should I write a second diary on this topic that doesn't mention occupy or the current meta?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (181+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, greenbastard, roseeriter, fcvaguy, CwV, TokenLiberal, Sylv, erratic, Senor Unoball, Tool, Drewid, gchaucer2, a2nite, MKinTN, cotterperson, gramofsam1, HedwigKos, bfitzinAR, Pandora, Susan from 29, SaintC, Pam from Calif, MidwestTreeHugger, envwq, Batya the Toon, glitterscale, gr8trtl, Matt Z, Gowrie Gal, Deep Texan, shesaid, clinging to hope, tharu1, mcd12, Shadowmuffin, Catte Nappe, MikeTheLiberal, Geenius at Wrok, Chinton, Wordsinthewind, OhioNatureMom, freeport beach PA, Kingsmeg, nomandates, middleagedhousewife, i saw an old tree today, pvasileff, YucatanMan, kevinpdx, Onomastic, blueyedace2, Shockwave, FlamingoGrrl, BlueDragon, CoolOnion, belinda ridgewood, catwho, GAS, anna shane, slowbutsure, scyellowdogdem, blueoregon, swampyankee, Marihilda, Pinto Pony, CenPhx, annan, LynChi, kishik, kareylou, Yasuragi, The Marti, kpbuick, jbsoul, Gary Norton, OIL GUY, paulitics, Elizaveta, Lying eyes, JamieG from Md, badscience, Free Jazz at High Noon, mconvente, kharma, 3rock, TomP, mattc129, serendipityisabitch, begone, NancyWH, pat bunny, threegoal, onionjim, Laurel in CA, DuzT, nickrud, Railfan, MikePhoenix, Assaf, AnnetteK, RandomNonviolence, kjoftherock, ratcityreprobate, asym, Hammerhand, notevenclosetoonepercent, Fiona West, SoCalSal, jodylanec, Front Toward Enemy, DanceHallKing, Meteor Blades, boadicea, moviemeister76, Dave in Northridge, KayCeSF, Glen The Plumber, vivadissent, yoduuuh do or do not, Dodgerdog1, FG, AJayne, chimene, doroma, johanus, fumie, rapala, Medium Head Boy, nuclear winter solstice, rchipevans, roses, 1BQ, Illinois IRV, Eyesbright, Libby Shaw, enemy of the people, ridemybike, Kathy Scheidel, TealTerror, whl, Otteray Scribe, kurious, BlackSheep1, RLMiller, hardart, high uintas, wasatch, dsb, bkamr, jan4insight, Kristina40, randallt, highacidity, starduster, monkeybrainpolitics, MRA NY, LSmith, awcomeon, lotlizard, kenwards, hyperstation, BrowniesAreGood, NBBooks, native, aughtomatic, newinfluence, samddobermann, Denise Oliver Velez, k9disc, aitchdee, ladybug53, eagleray, jeannew, anodnhajo, StepLeftStepForward, Involuntary Exile, kaliope, MKSinSA, Sandino, Lawrence, blue91

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

    by OllieGarkey on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:55:37 AM PDT

  •  Nobody can do much of anything alone, but (27+ / 0-)

    when some in a said group decide they don't need or want others amongst them for whatever reason and start excluding people, good luck with getting anything done.

    This constant slicing and dicing (which seemed to start big time during the Bushco years) is going to give ya chopped liver, ..is that pate??

    Yes, some work harder and never give up, but those folks don't usually knock other good souls down in the process.

    Keep up your good work:)  The rest of us will do ours as we can, most in silent diligence.

    "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

    "It's said that the honest man has nothing to hide. Not true. The honest man has to hide himself, because honest men are the prime targets of those who lie."

    by roseeriter on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:02:52 AM PDT

    •  well (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OllieGarkey

      I hope that "silent diligence" is not the rule for those who have person-to-person conversations.

      I, for one, would welcome more diaries from people having an impact on communities by conversation-activism.

      Is there a group, named like "Community Witness" or something?

      we cannot raise more money than the Republicans. So we must outthink them

      by GideonAB on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 01:47:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is the real obit for Occupy: (11+ / 0-)
    In the end, those of us who wanted electoral change left to work on electoral stuff. And the crowds went with us.
    As for making the Dems a better party, I'm with you.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:09:11 AM PDT

    •  It also completely fictitious (12+ / 0-)

      It was clear to everyone that the Democratic establishment was trying to co-opt the Occupy movement, and the Occupy movement said fuck off.

      It became even more evident when a bunch of front groups for the wall Street wing of the Democratic party tried to launch their own Occupy actions in the spring of 2012, and it completely failed. Remember the "99% Spring"? LOL.

      The fact is, the whole OWS uprising was an explicit rejection of Obama's pro Wall Street agenda and the failure of the Democratic party to do anything to address the great injustices of the financial crisis.

      And you think all those OWS people suddenly, upon being brutally ejected from public spaces by militant asshole cops, realized that the real solution was to elect more Wall Street Democrats?

      LOL.

    •  All of you that are so (10+ / 0-)

      Desperate for Occupy to die, fogedaboutit, it hasn't yet passed away nor will it as along as the activists that were in it still are activists.

      ALL of our institutions have been hollowed out by the greed ethos. There are none left with heart intact or souls for that matter. So the zombie is all around us - me

      by glitterscale on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:36:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What makes you think that I'm (0+ / 0-)

        "Desperate for Occupy to die"?
        I'm sorry that Occupy died. I thought that they really had some good stuff going on. I was very sorry to see the Blac Bloc destroy the momentum. I was not real pleased to see the (non)leaders of Occupy snub the overtures of Members of Congress who were genuinely interested in actualizing some of the policy initiatives that Occupy seemed to be aiming at. (I say seemed to be because without a specific set of ideas/demands and without anyone that could get out in front and speak for the movement, it was very hard for many people to tell what exactly they were on about. The overall sense toward the end was that it was a secret hipster society which most of us were not privy to.)
        But, Occupy, whether you know it or not, had a huge influence on the leadership of the Democratic Party. It changed the way Obama and Pelosi and Reid (among others) and the Media were approaching certain issues. It brought forward the whole idea of income disparity and set in motion the drive for $10.10 in Congress.
        Had they had a more coherent program, had they been willing to engage in the conventional sphere, they could have had much more influence.

        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

        by CwV on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 03:45:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Awesome. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      awcomeon, CwV
      As for making the Dems a better party, I'm with you.
      We'll talk.

      An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

      by OllieGarkey on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 01:47:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sounds like you just need to volunteer (5+ / 0-)

    your services to the nearest Democratic Party office.  If you know as much tech/techniques/marketing as you think you do, you'll eventually be offered a paid position.

    Play chess for the Kossacks on Chess.com. Join the site, then the group at http://www.chess.com/groups/view/kossacks.

    by rhutcheson on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:11:09 AM PDT

  •  As much as I admire your work and the friendship (22+ / 0-)

    we had during Occupy - the Other99% didn't want to work with me because I was considered to "outlandish" because I wore skinny jeans and had long hair. I've never been an anarchist but a optimistic solid progressive dem. I had a great deal of success getting the anarchist and others to work together because I did not exclude them based upon their experience or if they were homeless. I support your call to build a movement but you are going to have to be open minded about who you work with. I hope you have that ability now to put it into practice and not just words.

    “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

    by Tool on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:15:01 AM PDT

    •  The breakup of that organization was so nasty (10+ / 0-)

      that I'm afraid of being sued for defamation if I say anything publicly about it.

      It wasn't just you that certain people didn't want to work with, it was Kara, too! It was anyone who didn't wear khakis and a polo. And that's why we failed.

      Because of image-conscious bullshit.

      I've sending you a kosmail, because there are things that happened that you have a right to know about, and I'd like to speak with you personally about.

      I hate that I can't even say "You're right" without fearing lawsuits.

      An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

      by OllieGarkey on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:26:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's not why OWS failed (0+ / 0-)

        OWS failed because it didn't have an idea for everyone to unite behind.

        All successful mass movements have had a unifying idea. In the 30s, the movement that gave us the New Deal had very specific ideas and demands. Those demand became policy because, back then, no one fell for the childish, idiotic idea that the way to get politicians to serve you was by being nice to them.

        Back then, they gave an ultimatum. You, FDR and the Democrats, either pass real reforms and meet our demands, or we'll throw you out into the streets. They understood that, to ensure long term success for their cause, they might have to make short term sacrifices so the the party establishment understood that you can't fuck the people and get away with it.

        If OWS had had a specific set of demands, $15 minimum wage, public financing of campaigns and free airtime, a public bank, or half a dozen other measures that polling tells us are popular among the public, across the political spectrum, it may have been more successful.

        But it didn't. And since the corporate media controls the message, the message became "We demand our right to camp."

        It was sad. One wonders if the people who organized it were playing for the other team. They might as well have been.

        Regardless, your prescription of us working harder to give more to the same politicians that turn around and stab us in the back once elected sounds like a fresh new idea. I can't wait to try it.

        •  You know what, I'm done. (20+ / 0-)

          You're trollishly trying to derail my thread.

          Regardless, your prescription of us working harder to give more to the same politicians that turn around and stab us in the back once elected sounds like a fresh new idea. I can't wait to try it.
          My perscription was to find progressives we can trust, run them in primaries. For local office. Get them in power. If they stab us in the back, we find someone else, and run their campaigns for them.

          I've seen so many campaigns fail because they weren't funded well enough, and couldn't hire people who know how to run campaigns.

          I'm trying to fix that.

          And you're putting words in my mouth.

          Thanks for trolling and divisiveness in a diary that's calling for unity. It's really, really helpful.

          An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

          by OllieGarkey on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:47:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think that OWS was wildly successful (13+ / 0-)

            It changed the conversation in the whole country. That was the the best possible outcome. Because of OWS, talking about deficit reduction stopped being the only conversation and inequality began to take it's place. Have we solved inequality, no, but it's become conventional wisdom that it's a problem. It's no longer considered a radical fringe idea. Inequality is now perceived as a problem for everyone, which it is. Fringe ideas don't get solved, mainstream problems do.

            People seem to be very short sighted, pointing to the Tea Party as a success saying OWS didn't have a good outcome, I disagree. OWS stopped being a stand alone group and went back into the fold and that is good. We changed our center, not immediately, and not fast enough but it takes huge momentum to redirect something as big as the United States.

            Because of OWS the ALEC crap is no longer secret. Because of OWS the Koch brother have become a household name. Even people who aren't too politically aware don't like two guys controlling everything.

            I wish that liberals were better at acknowledging success.

            •  I completely agree. (6+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              commonmass, kharma, DuzT, Tool, Nailbanger, Chinton

              OWS succeeded in so many things.

              But it could have flipped the house. It could have sent Chuck Schumer and the corporatist dems running left to save their skins.

              And instead, the infiltrators turned us against each other and created a spectacle of disorganization.

              An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

              by OllieGarkey on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:26:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It seems to be a pattern (0+ / 0-)

                Liberals diminish accomplishments and conservatives elevate failures as if they were accomplishments. I would still rather be liberal even with the eeyore complex.

                The ACA is a huge success. It's huge. Lack of access to health care is one of the root causes of inequality. Health care alone does not solve everything and the ACA isn't perfect but it's a good start. Without healthcare we don't have a chance. So that's one and it's a biggy.

                I've also noticed that with a little success purity demands start to creep in becoming more and more unreasonable, some are justified but then, as now, it gets out of hand. If each of us could get a little better at celebrating our successes maybe before we get to the bitching about our shortcomings we would be better. Still bitch, it's important but remember and celebrate success also.

            •  I'm sorry (0+ / 0-)

              I really am. But I just can't disagree with your comment more.

              I disagree that it changed anything, except to deter people from trying to rally in the streets because it so clearly didn't do anything last time.

              It didn't send people back into the fold. Fold of what? You think that all those poeople, or even a majority of them, or even a plurality of them, decided to join the DNC?

              Show me some evidence that anyone involved in OWS who wasn't already a Democratic volunteer became one after the winter of 2011.

              I was there too. And I was also in Oakland, and Denver, and a couple more cities too. I never once met one person who wasn't already a devoted Democrat who became one after OWS. Far to the contrary my friend. Almost every single OWS protester I ever met, was disgusted with the Democrats, Obama, Larry Summer and Tim Geithner.

              I don't know if you guys were in some bubble, or are trying to rewrite history here. But my personal, on the ground experience, differs greatly from yours I guess.

          •  I'm sorry (0+ / 0-)

            I just disagree. If that's "trollish" to you, then you should be done.

            How exactly are you going to figure out which "progressives" we can trust?

            Seriously. We have seen people who passed every measure we could think of, once sworn in, turn around and stab us, labor, environmentalists et c etc etc, right in the back.

            Trust? You want me to come in and sing a happy song while you're writing the prescription for our continued failure?

            And then you want to chastise me for being disagreeable in a diary that's calling for "unity", after you recommended a dairy 2 days ago that essentially said lifelong Democrats like me, who are opposed to the corporatization of our party, are not welcome here?

            Can you guess what the next sentence is here?

        •  James (8+ / 0-)

          we are talking about an organization we were personally involved with in OWS. Not OWS as a whole.

          “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

          by Tool on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:51:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  ows DID NOT FAIL (8+ / 0-)

          DID NOT FAIL
          DID NOT FAIL
          DID NOT FAIL

          •  Saying it in ALLCAPS does (0+ / 0-)

            not make it so.  I see Wall Street still having much power and capitalism astride the globe.  If that is success, I'd hate to see failure.  A more realistic view of OWS is that it raised awareness.  But it's hard to see that as a great victory.  Just some incremental usefulness.

            Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

            by TomP on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:57:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Occupy succeeded (21+ / 0-)

          in making a giant meme. 99% vs. 1%. That has been firmly ingrained in the national discourse. Republicans tried to skew the percentages, ala Mitt's 47% and such. But they couldn't overwhelm that meme. Even the 1 per centers are identifying themselves as the 1%, as in the guy who claims there's a Nazi witch hunt after the 1%.

          Some political groups are best when they come together and sound a big horn that leaves echoes for years, but then disappear into other formations and groups working on things. Sometimes it's good not to become an institution.

          Occupy also showed how quickly people can organize into a functional community that invents and shares resources. I thought they did a good job.

        •  Portland Occupy hasn't failed (11+ / 0-)

          It got ppl talking about the homeless and now it's trying to keep local ppl in their homes.

          "Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change." Muhammad Ali

          by blueoregon on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:21:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You got me there also (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Fiona West, Chi, lotlizard, blueoregon

            It failed as a mass movement that fundamentally led to reform that changed our national government and defeated the entrenched interests that have seized power.

            But I too have seen a lot of local successes stem from OWS.

            Thanks for reminding me.

          •  Good comment. The fact that in some cities (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Chi, lotlizard, blueoregon, Tool

            Occupy movements are rallying around people losing their homes is really valuable, imo.  That's a huge issue that just isn't being responded to by the left in any adequate way.  It matters to help individual home owners, and it matters to say that this whole foreclosure thing is wrong, and the left is willing to take it on, at least sometimes, in some places.

            --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

            by Fiona West on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 02:13:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I really think it failed due to mass (13+ / 0-)

          evictions, police brutality, NSA spying, being labelled terrorists, sound cannons, pepper spray, and movement fatigue in which members of the progressive caucus will only meet with you secretly while publicly offering only tepid support.  OWS would have succeeded if Obama, democratic mayors, local politicians, and the dem establishment had supported rather than evicting the activists. They were kind enough to adopt our rhetoric and stop talking about the deficit but not kind enough to ask that they stop beating us.

          “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

          by Tool on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:31:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OllieGarkey, greenbastard, Chi

            We were bullied down. It was a blow. But it was only possible because we didn't have enough people join. And the reason we didn't have enough people was because we failed to find a unifying idea with mass appeal.

            Wall Street sucks is not a unifying idea. It's just true.

            I always thought, and still do, that that unifying idea should be illegalizing the bribery of our politicians with campaign contributions and the democratization  of the airwaves.

            Because, those are the sources of all other problems.

            We will never truly defeat the corrupt interests that hold back progress until we remove their weapons. And what are those weapons? Money to affect the electoral outcome. And the control of the airwaves.

            It really is that simple. And no mass movement will do shit unless it is centered around those two objectives.

          •  As the old timey leftist revolutionaries used to (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ZhenRen, Tool

            say: It (OWS) revealed the repressiveness of the regime.
               

        •  I wasn't involved in OWS, but I disagree with you. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ZhenRen, ladybug53

          I think OWS was pretty successful in changing the national
          conversation and in illustrating the gap between TPTB and the American people.
             That's pretty good for a series of relatively short non-violent actions.
             But you are, of course, correct that a political organization is necessary to achieve real structural change.
             That kind of thing needs not only motivated people but substantial amounts of money.

        •  Your idea of history of the New Deal (0+ / 0-)

          seems to have been designed to fit your belief set. It didn't go down that way at all.

          Among other things FDR didn't take office until March of 1933 — almost 4 years after their crash (and with about 66 Democrats). People were pretty damned scared and desperate and ready to try anything. Several of the laws that got passed in FDR's first hundred days had parsed previously but were vetoed by Hoover.

          Obama took office less than 4 months of the crash when things were still going south. He only had 60 votes for about 6 months and had a substantial determined opposition to anything he proposed.

          You say

          All successful mass movements have had a unifying idea. In the 30s, the movement that gave us the New Deal had very specific ideas and demands.
          Pray tell, what were the specific demands and what/who was the "movement" that made them?

          You just imagine scenarios to fit your set of ideas. Then try to use your imagined history to try to bat people over the head.

          Do you really think issuing ultimatums induce the action you favor? What if others issue ultimatums against your position?

          Have you ever done something, anything, that results in change that you like? Or do you just soldier on collecting back stabs and nursing grudges for all time.?

          I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

          by samddobermann on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 03:31:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Lawsuits? For talking about Occupy? n/t (0+ / 0-)

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:58:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          YucatanMan, Eyesbright

          For talking about a specific affinity organization that worked alongside occupy, but separate from the spokescouncil.

          An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

          by OllieGarkey on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:30:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ah, I see. Interesting. I wish I knew the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OllieGarkey

            backstory.

            I see Tool has given me a clue, but I hadn't heard a lot about that. Somehow I missed the information if it was published here at DK.

            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

            by YucatanMan on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 02:01:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I think you are right Tool (6+ / 0-)

      because for too long some of us have sneered at others of us because we were for some issue they weren't or we marched in protest or we cared about people and we turned our backs on Ron Pauls' supporters when they could have been our stanchest allies. And even I know that the most ugly of the tbaggers should rightfully be yelling on our side because of the issues but we have allowed the Kochs and Faux to part us in those issues we have in common.

      We have lost the art of coalition and we have done so to a huge cost in our ability to move issues our way.

      ALL of our institutions have been hollowed out by the greed ethos. There are none left with heart intact or souls for that matter. So the zombie is all around us - me

      by glitterscale on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:41:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm sorry I don't live in NYC, because mine (11+ / 0-)

      would have been a loud voice there demanding inclusion of all types of people, skinny jeans and long hair and all.

      There are people who spend all their time focused on differences and not understanding why people don't see the world as they do. And there are others who don't care about the differences as long as we're marching in the same direction down Wall Street.

      We need youth. We need people in skinny jeans. With long hair. We need longshoremen with buzzcuts. We need retired police captains in their uniforms. We need everyone, including the homeless.

      And, it is true:  we need people who care about policy and ideals.  We need to hear what compromise means to progress, so we can decide when, where and how much compromise is necessary.  We need all different kinds of voices, but we have to keep marching in the same direction down Wall Street.  I don't care if you're wearing pink, commie red, True Demo Blu, or a veteran's uniform. Just keep marching with us the same direction down Wall Street.

      I value the youth. I value difference. I like diversity. We all need opportunity.  

      Progress is made by differentiating yourself from your opponents.  Third-way and triangulating and trying to be as much like Republicans as possible doesn't give the public a choice. And that's why "centrism" is really bad for the Democratic Party.

      The people -- the people without voice or without power -- need to know the Democratic Party has their back.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:05:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  OWS was inclusive to a fault (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CenPhx, OllieGarkey, NancyWH, YucatanMan

        so much so that people were unwilling to kick out agent provocateurs. I'm talking specifically about The Other 99%. The organization that was started by several Kossacks and had Tim Pool as the livestreamer.  I am not talking about OWS as a whole.

        “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

        by Tool on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:24:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Outstanding (22+ / 0-)

    Out. Fuckin'. Standing.

    It takes a village to elect a Democrat.

    As through this world I've wandered,
    I've seen lots of funny men;
    Some will rob you with a six-gun,
    Some with a fountain pen.
    -- Woody Guthrie

    by Senor Unoball on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:16:10 AM PDT

  •  Whomever stated... (20+ / 0-)

    ..."Money is the root of all evil" was clearly talking about the current state of this country's two-party system (even though they didn't know it at the time).

    But, now that you're in Washington, KNOW THIS THERE: In D.C., there is no red, there is no blue, there's only green.

    And, even you acknowledge the critical nature of money in politics in this post.

    Until that's addressed, almost everything else (other than having the aforementioned pantload of bucks) is a waste of time...except if one has real political (or related) skillz...and it sounds like you're learning 'em. At that point, all I can say--and I know this firsthand and could cite hundreds if not thousands of examples why that's so--you'd be surprised what one person can accomplish, politically, even in this brutally oppressive climate.

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:20:04 AM PDT

    •  Except the US Sct has declared the law of the (9+ / 0-)

      land.  You can dream of changing the Constitution, but it is really a paradigm shift that needs to be effected--not a law that has to be changed.  

      All I can keep saying is look around.  Protest works--better than elections and better than revolutions too.  What is needed is to unify the protests around a single theme: anti-neo-liberalism and policies to replace it.

      "So listen, oh, Don't wait." Vampire Weekend.

      by Publius2008 on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:29:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm all for building a movement to (10+ / 0-)

        generate opposition to neoliberalism and its policy prescriptions, but, if the leaders of this movement are simultaneously messaging their commitment to the lesser-of-two-evils electoral strategy, the targets of the movement have no reason to take it seriously.

        In response to a diarist yesterday who posited that the way to move the party leftward was to vote for progressive challengers in primary contests, i responded...

        Sure, ideally you move the party to the left by voting for the more progressive candidate in the primary.

        But, the game is rigged. Entrenched faux-Dem incumbents have a lock on the support of the party establishment and the funding resources available from those corporations most vested in maintaining the status quo.

        In this environment, potential progressive candidates dare not risk bankruptcy and political suicide by tilting at right-leaning wind mills (unless their sole motivation is to run a vanity campaign just to make a "statement").

        There are two tools for moving the party leftward: The first is the obvious one, which you've so ably articulated.

        The second is to identify select conservadems in blue districts/states and, early on, beat the virtual shit out of them. Broadly publicize the votes they've taken, and the policies they've supported, that are antithetical to the economic populism that is demonstrably popular with our base voters.

        Build a movement, well before primary filing deadlines, to threaten these targeted conservadems' reelection. Create the void for other, more progressive candidates to fill. In our current, money-corrupted system, no underfunded, little known challengers are going to step forward, unless they smell blood in the water. It's up to us, who are serious about moving the party leftward, to sprinkle that blood.

        If we don't develop the smarts and the courage to employ, as appropriate, both of these tools, might as well keep bringing fresh sheets and towels to the guest room - Mr. Overton ain't going anywhere.

        Judging by the direction Daily Kos has been moving these past five years, I sincerely doubt many of us here have any concept of what accountability even means. We all pay lip service to our commitment to hold our elected officials accountable for their neo-liberal, anti-populist behavior, but hasten to assure even the worst offenders they'll have our votes regardless, because Republicans.

        What seemingly few of my Democratic brethren understand is that a dollar bill can't literally walk into the voting booth and pull the lever. Your only tool for exacting accountability is the casting, or withholding, of your vote. Don't be an enabler.

        by WisePiper on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:21:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  To be real frank about this, what's happening... (7+ / 0-)

          ...at Daily Kos now, is so trite, it's not even worth discussing since it'd be stating the obvious. (Unless of course, we want to revisit the classic storyline of the outsider becoming the insider; i.e.: "crashing the gates" versus polishing 'em.)

          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

          by bobswern on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:29:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I hear ya. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bobswern, triv33

            It's just, to me, so frustrating and pathetic. Markos built this amazing infrastructure, with so much potential for organizing in support of real change. And it's morphed into a cheer camp for anyone and everyone donning a blue jersey.

            What seemingly few of my Democratic brethren understand is that a dollar bill can't literally walk into the voting booth and pull the lever. Your only tool for exacting accountability is the casting, or withholding, of your vote. Don't be an enabler.

            by WisePiper on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:36:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  All of the above being said, I will once again... (16+ / 0-)

      ...paraphrase Barney Frank, in the late Spring of 2010...

      "'Things could be worse,' is not a winning campaign slogan."

      (And, we all know what happened to Democrats in 2010, as even the author of this post has reminded us.)

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:29:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sure it is. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eyesbright

        It has the added punch of being true.  In addition, Barney Frank, that consummate wheeler dealer, would have nothing but contempt for people who withdraw from the political fight because they can't get everything they want first time of asking, or 15th for that matter.

        •  Who said anything about withdrawing from a... (5+ / 0-)

          ...political fight? Your glaringly incorrect assumptions--certainly with regard to whom you're addressing--are duly noted.

          (For the record, whatever you think you're saying here, in the last sentence of your comment, it has nothing to do with the conversation, other than insisting upon re-using a failed meme, which would align with the definition, by some, of insanity: "Repeating the same actions and expecting a different result." By the way, it's also pretty lameass messaging, speaking from a professional vantage point.)

          Barney Frank was right. You're not only wrong, your obvious assumptions have no bearing in reality.

          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

          by bobswern on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:25:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Basically that is what all of us ultimately (17+ / 0-)

    learn: 1) we cannot do it by ourselves, 2) we are not really alone, 3) there is nothing more important than connecting with others and finally 4) community is more important than we have allowed it to be in this country.

    ALL of our institutions have been hollowed out by the greed ethos. There are none left with heart intact or souls for that matter. So the zombie is all around us - me

    by glitterscale on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:34:18 AM PDT

  •  Why am I still here? (5+ / 0-)

    Because ... well, the people are good, they want what's best for the country, and I'm too lazy to give up.

    Oh, the chess team on chess.com helps, too. :)

    "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

    by MikeTheLiberal on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:47:46 AM PDT

  •  Right on! You are an inspiration! (5+ / 0-)

    Thank you so much for posting this--this is what we are talking about. I draw a lot of strength from your story and it reminds me to rededicate myself to the fight. Because damn it, we can win it if we fight hard enough, long enough.

  •  however (4+ / 0-)

    there are certain influential people here who i don't trust.

    fine not to trust trolls and trollish behavior.

    but something doesn't smell right.

    a blog is never going to change the world although it can be one catalyst.

    it really sickens me how many people bully and are bullied around here.

    and election work?  well, most people don't have the time given the givens.  it has to be done, but in between elections we should be having different kinds of conversations.

    and we can't

    because of bullies.

  •  Excellent! (9+ / 0-)

    I was just asking about this.

    The first practical, because I simply don't know. How does one to about finding people to run for office? I would certainly put time and energy into trying to get more progressive voices involved in politics, but this is not my area of expertise. How or where should I look? Are there grassroots organizations that might be a good place to start? (Not that you need to have the answers either, but I am actually trying to take your comment as a constructive call to arms, and I am willing to go, but I don't know where! :) )

    Second, it's my perception that the PTB in the Democratic Party either abandon candidates who do not toe the centist line or don't help them or outright sabotage them.
    It seems like we need to organize from the ground up at the same time we are reforming from the top down, if progressives are ever going to have a real voice in the Democratic Party.

    But I don't have that much experience in actual party politics.

    So, all I really have to offer to your endeavor is a willingness to work, passion for the cause and sometimes, funds, but I am willing to help put a plan into action to get more progressives elected.

    Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.

    by CenPhx on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:34:01 PM PDT

    •  Who runs? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OllieGarkey, lotlizard

      Go to a community theatre group, who has perfect hair and teeth and hits their mark every time?  There's your candidate.  As one R. Reagan proved, it hardly matters.

      If you want things to change, elections will be where it happens LAST.  You need to build a political-organizational infrastructure which is completely lacking on the left, because every two years lefties get pulled into the waste of time of building campaign orgs for the personal career advancement of individual politicians, but never manage to building anything for ourselves as an ongoing, permanent embodiment of progressive principles.  Every minute spent building the Dem Party is spent building an organization which is actively and overtly hostile to those ends, as we have seem resoundingly demonstrated here as of late.

      Back when the Dems had a significant liberal influence, this was understood, and was built through organizations such as CPPAX and Americans for Democratic Action.  Such liberal entities have completely withered and died, abandoned by the oh-so-much-more-progressive young, who apparently believe rugged individualism is the route to progressive triumpn.  So no, don't organize independently for your own power, only act at the careerist behest of political professionals.

      "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." ~Frederick Douglass

      by ActivistGuy on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 01:06:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Disagree. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CenPhx, SoCalSal, Fiona West, lotlizard
        So no, don't organize independently for your own power, only act at the careerist behest of political professionals.
        Do the jobs of the careerists, better than they can, for people they don't want to work for. Become part of a progressive organization committed to ending legalized bribery.

        An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

        by OllieGarkey on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 01:20:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Boom. That's three very badly needed things. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CenPhx, Eyesbright

      Watch this space, we'll be in touch.

      An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

      by OllieGarkey on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 01:17:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  this meta is dumb (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OllieGarkey, NancyWH

    Not this diary, in particular, but I'm getting real tired of seeing three variations, clever puns, modifications, and whatnot of "why are you  still here." It was a whatever diary, the responses have been pretty dumb.

    That said, I'm always glad for a diary that attempts to redirect the establishment/anti-establishment debate that goes on here (rox/sux, protester/voter, etc.) into real action in electoral politics. Action, not just sentiment (as my sig line goes).

    "Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul." --Ed Abbey

    by progreen on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:37:10 PM PDT

    •  not trying to be insulting to anyone here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OllieGarkey, NancyWH

      I get that once there's a new meta thing, everyone hops on board. But this particular meta theme just strikes me as silly. This is more a response to the GBCW diary on the rec list with over 1000 comments. I'm really, really, not a fan of GBCW diaries because so-and-so is being mean, but I was trying not to be a dick by posting this in that diary.

      Again, I support the pivot to action. I just think the whole meta "debate" is a pretty egotistical one: why am I here. How long until this whole thing goes away and I can get back to learning about things and organizing for action?

      "Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul." --Ed Abbey

      by progreen on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:42:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can't wait to meet you. (6+ / 0-)

    Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

    by JamieG from Md on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:37:21 PM PDT

  •  I have been working on bettering the Democratic (7+ / 0-)

    Party since 1968, so what. I am sick of this lame bullshit, I am a better supporter, worker, more dedicated.... etc... I don't particularly care about the health of the Democratic Party anymore, it will survive or not based on its merit, not my efforts.

    The two party system in America has about run its course with the existing parties, I expect one or both to go the way of the Whigs soon. Because of one number: 50%, that is the number of people eligible to vote who generally don't. The voter participation numbers we talk about are percentages of registered voters. When half of the people eligible to participate don't, it is because they think the system they are supposed to participate in has nothing to offer. When 25% of the eligible voter population on a national basis actually elects the candidates, then the outcome is by its very nature not representative of the will of the people.

    I am not a Democrat, I am an American citizen that votes generally for Democratic Party candidates when they support policies and positions that I agree with. I register as a Democrat because I want to participate in the primary system. I have supported Democrats in the past because of their stated policy positions, not their symbolic value as representations of gender, racial, economic or other symbols of "progress."

    I did not care for Denise Velez's diary, and I don't care for this one either, the whiny chest thumping and faux outrage over opinion is a paean to tedium, a giant waste of time.

    "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

    by KJG52 on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:38:09 PM PDT

  •  Wonderful post. (7+ / 0-)

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:53:18 PM PDT

  •  I'm still here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OllieGarkey, Fiona West, Eyesbright

    because there are few places I can go to learn what I learn here, so I can share it with friends.  Some of them are now coming here, too.  If a comment gets flamed once in awhile, I fume for a few hours, then get over it.  I have no interest in pie fights.  I can do that with Mr. WH. Thanks for listening.  

    "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

    by NancyWH on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 01:03:33 PM PDT

  •  Finesse (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    onionjim

      I don't do diaries just yet but I wish someone would do two diaries:
       1st: HRC vs. the Democratic Party
        It's two fucking years away! If we keep memeing Invincible, Inevitable, the Independents let alone the repukes are going to vote THIS NOV. for repukes because the media meme as long as I can remember in my 63 years is "balance between the branches" as if there is anymore to start with. Can everybody stop falling into the RW media talking points trap and STOP talking about HRC until AFTER NOV.?
      2nd: Is Obama an asset or liability for campaigning in THIS NOV.'s election?
       There is a finesse to winning. I've seen WAY too much losing by Democrats in my lifetime from not having the finesse to NOT fall into the repukes media defined Modus operandi of stenching mud.

    March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

    by 3rock on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 01:14:04 PM PDT

    •  yeah that Bush (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, Eyesbright, Kathy Scheidel

      he had finesse, "now watch this drive"...

      A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

      by onionjim on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 01:18:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which I only know about because of Michael Moore (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3rock, NoMoreLies, ladybug53

        And even Michael Moore doesn't get the best reception here.

        Rudeness, carping about how he's only using the site for self-promotion, etc., etc. It gets old.

        The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ♥ ♥ ♥ Forget Neo — The One is Minori Urakawa

        by lotlizard on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 06:24:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank You lotlizard (0+ / 0-)

            I don't understand what what that comment means...
             I thought probably someone equated, misconstrued what I was trying to say with anti Occupy, but I was at Occupy LA a lot, love the younger gens, learned a lot, AM an Occupier. Which to me furthers the point of being manipulated by the media.
             PS, don't want to know what the comment refers to as bush golfing is the rush limpuke media mud.
             More!
             Anyway, Thank You
             I'm sure I've made sense now :)

          March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

          by 3rock on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 06:41:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, I meant that AFAIK it was Michael Moore's film (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            3rock, ladybug53

            Fahrenheit 911 that popularized the thing where Bush says, "Now watch this drive."

            Michael Moore's work is one of the ways I first became aware of a lot of things — and then became motivated, as I was in my youth, to do research and try to change things, rather than becoming just another resigned senior citizen.

            Link: Michael Moore's posts at Daily Kos

            The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ♥ ♥ ♥ Forget Neo — The One is Minori Urakawa

            by lotlizard on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 06:57:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks (4+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 01:25:47 PM PDT

  •  Hey kid, you should start writing a book. (6+ / 0-)

    Don't know what the main title will be, but the byline would go something like

    "Coming of age as a fighting progressive in the Age of Bush"

    Anyway, I got your back. We Gen-X'ers are so fortunate in having come of age at a more stable and prosperous time. But we didn't take advantage of it to fix things for good.

    So we owe you one - as well as to our kids.

    Thanks for sharing.

  •  As the son of a Feminist and a Steelworker (3+ / 0-)

    who both taught me about Solidarity - and as a true believer in the legacy of FDR/JFK/LBJ and the modern US social democracy that was a wonder to behold (before the '80's and the Reagan revolution) I was shocked by the complaining and sad nature of this Diary.  We all know - those in France who are part of the many "manifestations" that make that country an admirable place & the union members all over the world who demonstrate and fight for human rights and a decent wage - we all know what is right.  We all know what is the decent path to take for all workers/employers in our society.

    It is disgusting that the right wing in the US has distorted the very nature of the social contract.  Disgusting and sad.  Society is complex and messy and is not based on cost/benefit analysis.  They are so fucking wrong.

    Yes, doing what is needed works.  Whining and writing and being sad and regretting the death of the American Dream - all of that is counterproductive.

    What has been happening at Kos?  Something bad in the water here.  Something poisonous.  What is it?

  •  since you're update was posted (4+ / 0-)

    and my comment wasn't clear.

    I'm available.

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 01:38:24 PM PDT

  •  I'm still here because they haven't kicked me out (5+ / 0-)

    Story of my life.

    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

    by AoT on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 01:54:58 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for your dedication. Awesome. (6+ / 0-)

    Inspirational. Do you have a vision for an organizational structure for activism, or do you see an unstructured entity?

    Great diary, and kudos to you for your activism.

    •  Centralized structure which offers training and (6+ / 0-)

      helps connect various progressive activists.

      This is just totally spitballing. I'd like to look at the most effective political groups and use a modified model that works for Kossacks and other progressives.

      I know what I want the organization to accomplish:

      We train progressives in political action. We find candidates who agree with our principals. We get those candidates elected.

      We'd need a structure that allows a small level of operational security so that best practices don't leak out to the competition.

      We'd also need to make sure that there's a central body that watches over and guarantees that our structure isn't taken over or used by some kind of infiltrating force. We'd need central ideas that everyone can agree on:

      Money out of politics.
      Living Wages.
      Guaranteed right to a job.
      Security and control of one's own person and papers: right to chose and privacy.
      The end of student loans.
      Marriage equality.
      Expansion and protection of new deal and great society programs from affirmative action to social security.

      Then on other issues we'd allow wiggle room based on the local political climate.

      But whatever structure we use, and I don't care what kind of heirarchy we have, as long as it's effective, inclusive, and possible to grow.

      Any ideas yourself on that point?

      An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

      by OllieGarkey on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 02:29:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe others think it should be the other way (5+ / 0-)

    around.  Relative to that help thing. It comes down to what one sees as the problem or problems and what should be done about it.

    "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 02:18:40 PM PDT

  •  thank you for working so hard for so long. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kathy Scheidel, lotlizard

    I try to do my part too. I vote, I've run for office, helped hand-count the town's vote last night, etc...
    ...and so I'd love to work with someone else so enthused:

    Can we work together to build a progressive electoral machine?
      The reason I can't is that the Democrats run with people like the Clintons, Gore, and Lieberman.
       We knew what Obama thought about letting us all get spied on waay before he was ever elected. But people said earlier FISA votes were meaningless. Tell me again what this Constitutional Scholar really thinks about the NSA...?
    When you run Kucinich and Warren and Sanders, I will be able to vote for Dems and promote their ideals. Until then, all I see is crap like NAFTA being foisted on us and called a good thing by establishment democrats.

    Should I vote for that and not get what I want?  Not doin' it. I vote for the people I want, not the lesser of two evils. If I'm going to lose and not get what I want  anyway, I shall lose with integrity, thank you.

    We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

    by nuclear winter solstice on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 03:09:46 PM PDT

  •  My son worked for OFA in Roanoke in 2008 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OllieGarkey, lotlizard, MRA NY

    right after he graduated.  He now lives and works in D.C.  It could be that you two might know one another.  

    As for me I have signed up with Battleground TX in Houston. I've become a neighborhood team organizer and hold weekly phone banks for Wendy Davis.  We  register voters and knock on doors.   I also volunteer at the Houston/Harris Co. Democratic Party where we help get folks the info they need to vote.  The Republicans here try to make voting as difficult as possible.

    I am an old hippie activist from the 1970s in NYC.  We did not have the tools that are available today.  No internet.  No cell phones.   But we did figure out a way to organize.  The Occupy Wall St. movement greatly inspired me and kept me going.    I love making calls side by side w/college students who are very psyched about their party.  

    I would love to know of the methods you use to organize.

    Thanks for posting this diary.

  •  I'm interested. (3+ / 0-)

    It sure would have helped to keep the execrable Jan Angel out of the state Senate, or at least maybe we wouldn't have lost as badly as we did in this swing district to a very popular Republican state representative, who happens to be state co-chair for ALEC. We had one big race in the state last year: ours. It was a special election. Money poured into her campaign from everywhere. The local Republican Party even sent out a mailer to their biggest donors with ways to get around election donation limit laws. I've seen a photograph of this with my own eyes; it's not a rumor or hearsay.

    We had FUSE Washington on our side, but the solely negative campaign they focused on hurt our candidate badly. Somehow the negativity coming from Jan's side and the so-called Council for Good Government didn't hurt her at all.

    We're going to keep trying. I want to help with this, and I want some help for my legislative district, the swingiest legislative district in Washington state. Let's talk.

  •  Yes, useful to post a non-meta version, or even (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OllieGarkey, lotlizard

    start a user-group based on

    smart techniques that no one really uses.

    ...how to run elections, learn the hot button issues for our districts, learn how to get people we need elected to local, and then state, and then national office.

    ...work as a para-political organization

  •  I'm working on it in Nashville. (3+ / 0-)

    One step at a time.

    I'll help you as needed.

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

    I'm still here. Just watching and waiting.

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

    by Kristina40 on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 05:35:28 PM PDT

  •  The only one worth recommending (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OllieGarkey

    And hopefully the last. Let's get to work.

  •  New diary? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OllieGarkey

      For those of us that "A Better World is Possible" is tattooed on our souls and remember the actual Occupy, it is our fate of honor that people will always try and understand that light still burning bright.
                    "A Better World is Possible"

    March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

    by 3rock on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 07:00:47 PM PDT

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