“We Are Cornered: There’s No Way Out Without a Fight” by Glen Ford

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

With a big “Thank you” to Glen Ford, executive editor of Black Agenda Report, for permission to post his recent essay here.  

          Black Agenda Report

                    Introduction by Glen Ford

A corporate offensive is rolling down upon us, aimed at wholesale privatization of the public sector. If the Left has learned anything in the last year and a half, it should be that President Obama is Wall Street’s guy, having “delivered the highest return on corporate campaign investment in the history of bourgeois democracy.” In this struggle, the people will be left to their own devices.

Ford’s essay is below the fold:

We Are Cornered: There’s No Way Out Without A Fight

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

“Wall Street’s servants become more aggressive and demanding, and there is nothing in the Democratic Party, as presently constituted, to stop them.”

There is no cavalry coming over the ridge to save the people from massed capital. Certainly not the Democrats, whose self-caged left wing now finds its marginalized encampments under lockdown by their own president’s hostile patrols, while the GOP and its Tea Party irregulars howl from the circling darkness. That’s what happens when progressives maneuver themselves onto the same side of the battlefield as Goldman Sachs, as they did with abandon in 2007-08, deliriously fighting their way into a cul-de-sac in which they are now surrounded.

The leftish brigades rallied to a commander who styled himself an incarnation of Abraham Lincoln, but turned out to be a General George McClellan, the Union’s first commander of the Army of the Potomac. McClellan was great at rousing the troops and putting his army on parade, but constantly overestimated his Confederate adversaries and, in Lincoln’s final estimation, refused to fight. The political roots of his reluctance to crush the Confederacy became clear after his dismissal when, in 1864, he challenged Lincoln on the Democratic “peace” party’s ticket. McClellan never really wanted to win the war, or, at the very least, saw victory in a very different way than Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant.

It has long been clear that Barack Obama’s idea of victory required decisively defeating the Left of his own party. Everyone to his left is to be neutralized, while those to his right rate an open hand and endless concessions, the scenario from the very start of his health care “negotiations” with the drug and insurance industries. Victory in the racial arena means an end to race agitation, a Black stand-down, which remains largely in place. Success in war, not pursuit of peace, is his goal, one that will surely elude him, but not for lack of trying.

“Everyone to Obama’s left is to be neutralized, while those to his right rate an open hand and endless concessions.”

Obama and finance capital began an early, thoroughly vetted, and white hot love affair that was anchored in mutual contempt for those who would challenge the rule of money. He has delivered the highest return on corporate campaign investment in the history of bourgeois democracy, allowing Wall Street to pocket at least $12 trillion in return for contributions of less than $1 million per investment house. (Goldman Sachs was top giver, at $994,795.) Obama was BP’s biggest political campaign recipient: $71,000, an investment that boosted the corporation’s value by billions – albeit temporarily – when the president opened up offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Obviously, Goldman Sachs and BP considered Obama a “greater good,” in terms of their interests, than John McCain. And they made out like bandits, confirming their assessment of Obama’s immense value to their side in the class war. The question is, how in the hell did lefties conclude that Big Capital’s and Big Oil’s “greater good” candidate was also the progressive side’s fountain of Hope – or even a “lesser evil” – in 2008? Both camps placed their bets on Obama, but only one side could possibly win.

It is the Left that wound up trapped in the cul-de-sac, with every major item on its 2008 political wish list betrayed, sidetracked, mangled or spat upon by Obama and his friends – although, to be fair to the Devil, the Left had often simply imagined they had Obama’s ear or support when such was not even remotely true. On war, for example.

Most devastatingly, Obama and his Democratic legislative allies have successfully shielded their Wall Street masters from anything worthy of the name financial reform. This means finance capital and its “shadow,” derivatives-based economy (nominally, ten times bigger than the “real” global economy) remain beyond the reach of meaningful public intervention by conventional methods. With the air knocked out of mainstream reformers’ bony chests, Wall Street is poised for a Great Offensive against the political and social infrastructure of the United States.

“Obama and his Democratic legislative allies have successfully shielded their Wall Street masters from anything worthy of the name financial reform.”

Producing nothing of real value, fatally hooked on ever-mounting rates of return, simultaneously divorced from and a parasite on the “real” economy, and with the executive and legislative branches in their pockets, the Lords of Capital are set to devour the entirety of the public sector – while forcing the public to finance the feast. The rallying cry is “austerity,” but the motivation is not, as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman maintains, ideological. Rather, it is hunger.

Finance capital is, at this stage of the system’s decline, incapable of reproducing itself through productive investment, and so must feed on existing producers or on the State. Since Wall Street over the decades has already broken up, consumed and exported much of the U.S. productive economy, that leaves the State and all of its parts. Far from acting as a brake on his vampire friends, Obama leads the charge on corporate hijacking of public education, and signaled in January 2009 that all elements of the safety net, including Social Security, should be “on the table” – which can only mean some form of privatization.

The pace of finance capital deterioration quickens, accelerating the timetable of the Right’s offensive. As the hunger grows, Wall Street’s servants become more aggressive and demanding, and there is nothing in the Democratic Party, as presently constituted, to stop them.

One truth remains: only a massed people can defeat massed capital. If the American Left is capable of bearing that in mind in the critical times ahead, it might just escape the cul-de-sac and make some modest contribution to the world.

The essay at Black agenda Report is here


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  1. dharmasyd

    O-Bummer!  What’s Obama up to?

    Obama continues to follow the Republican-Corporate-Agenda, dismantling the New Deal and cutting the gains made over the years for social-uplift, for the comfort and well being of citizens.

    Each step forward over the past 60 to 70 years is being systematically cut back, and successfully too.  Reaganomics laid the groundwork, but the good old dems have continued the destruction with Bill Clinton and now Obama.  Under Clinton, the repeal of Glass-Steagall, the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1969, and Welfare Reform Deform Act set the stage for the 2008 Bush financial calamities.  But, far from doing what he promised during the campaign, Obama has continued the march of the Corporatocracy.

  2. jamess

    kind of makes me want to

    sign a truce with the Teaparty —

    at least then, we might get some concessions.

  3. Activist Guy

    directly reflects the disparity of self-organization and self-awareness between the classes as well. The ruling class has been working from a concrete, fully envisioned deep strategy, while we see what passes for a left, for an alternative in America, almost entirely kettled within the political equivalent of the quarterly bottom line.    Which approach is more likely to bear lasting victories?

    We need to judge all of our political actions by our own self-interest, of the building of our own political power.  Any participation in the political kabuki should always be solely to grow and strengthen our own self-organization, and to make our vision and rhetoric more prominent and more accessible.  If we participate in something, and those ends aren’t served, I don’t care how “successful” that effort may be deemed in conventional quarterly-bottom-line terms.  If those goals are not served then any achievement is at best a waste of our time, resources and energies, and often a defeat by tying ourselves and our interests to a system that has repeatedly proven it has no role for us.

  4. tahoebasha3

    Ford certainly leaves no room for argument.  

    Maybe, just maybe, the Social Security and Medicare issue will be the one that binds Americans together, in some way, as if affects all Americans, left and right!

    I’m working on a draft of an LTE – heard yesterday on the Thom Hartmann show that surprisingly few Americans have a clue as to what’s going on with that.  That’s quite frightening to think that so many Americans are not aware there is an attempt going on and about to go on “rob” them of “their” hard-earned monies.

  5. bigsurtree

    Part one was demonizing the poor for taking hard earned money from the “middle class”, while playing the old, tried and true Communist Card.

    Part two is demonizing the poor oldies for taking hard earned money from the “middle class”, while substituting the Terrorist Card; not yet old, tried and true, but soon to be.

    Welfare and Social Security will slowly be equated and criticized as historical relics, unsuited for the new global, economic reality. And sadly, the force holding the story line under control is the MIC, the soon to be external and internal enforcer.

    Not at all surprising if you study the ebbs and flows of Western History, but certainly unexpected for those of us politically involved persons born in the 1940’s!

    Thanks for the post dharmasyd

  6. jeffroby

    I’m a fan of the SciFy network.  On Saturday, they crank out low-budget movies about prehistoric monsters lurking in the dark or deep corners of the earth.  Today, it’s catastrophic climate disasters.

    Over and over, the theme is that corporate greed or willful government ignorance or both is leading to monster mayhem or lightning storms wiping out New York City or some such.  Fortunately, some brave citizen defies government or corporation and does what is right and most of the characters are saved.

    The SciFy channel is not otherwise known as the Proletarian Uprising channel, but rather it is pandering to a broad mass sentiment that is ALREADY OUT THERE!

    Yet the blogosphere is still trying to expose to the masses (who aren’t reading the blogosphere, by and large) that the system is corrupt and politicians and corporate executives are corrupt.  As though that very exposure will somehow lead to the “massed people” rising up and doing something.

    One truth remains: only a massed people can defeat massed capital. If the American Left is capable of bearing that in mind in the critical times ahead, it might just escape the cul-de-sac and make some modest contribution to the world.

    I love the Glen Ford quote, the economics are on the mark, but yeah, yeah, yeah, with a love like that …  The “one truth” is no secret. What’s lacking is any plan to achieve that “massed people” actually doing anything to defeat massed capital.

    Put yourself in the place of Joe or Jane Q. Public.  The system sucks (you watch the ScyFy network), you are out of a job, and here are your choices:

    (1) Government create millions of jobs rebuilding our infrastructure, our safety net, etc., and using any means necessary that things keep running if mass capital tries to sabotage our lives.

    (2) Cut taxes for the richest corporations, in the desperate hope that they will use their profits to at least create a few more jobs.

    Choice #1 is obviously preferable.  You know Wall Street has totally fucked us.  BUT, if you are convinced that Choice #1 is not an option, then what else can you do but say, “well, we gotta give #2 a chance,” and if fucking over some ethnic or religious group helps my odds, sad but …

    They’ve done a pretty good job convincing folks that #1 is off the table.  Even the left and the blogosphere seems to have given up, seriously uncomfortable with the notion of “using any means necessary.”  The blogosphere sounds very angry.  Keeps exposing the details of which everyone already knows in the broad strokes.

    But demanding that the government create jobs, they just don’t do it.

    Pointing out that our war in Afghanistan is a disaster?  Sure.  But demanding that the U.S. get out now?  Oh, let’s be realistic, the most we can hope is that Obama keeps the promise of STARTING to pull out (if conditions permit) next year.  Like he kept his promise to shut Guantanamo.

    And what am I offering?  Nothing complex.  Nothing deeply strategic.  Just one thing.  Dump Obama.

    In the 60’s, the world was much less partisan.  I was young then, a true simpleton.  I didn’t see things in terms of “the Democrats are doing …” or “the Republicans are doing …”  All I knew was that MY government was murdering people in Asia and starving people in Appalachia and beating civil rights marchers in Mississippi, and Lyndon Johnson was the head of MY government, and one obvious step was to Dump Johnson.

    But now I’m so damn smart, I know the ins and outs of the system, all sorts of strategic bullshit.  I’m too sophisticated to think that MY government is murdering people all over the world, and MY government is claiming it can murder, imprison and torture whom it wants in the name of  national security, and MY government has no answer to mass unemployment and homelessness, and that Obama as president is the head of MY government, and that if that government’s actions are criminal, then the capofamiglia Obama is a criminal, and the least we can do is DUMP OBAMA.

    Yelling and roaring and screaming hysterically are all good fun.  But they lack a certain specificity.  My useless sophistication tells me that there is a system and dumping Obama alone won’t change it, and all that.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  But it has a certain specificity largely lacking.

    Challenge him in the Dem primaries?

    Challenge him with an independent run?

    Challenge him with both and more?

    Thing is, if we can agree on this, then we are in a position to begin working out the specifics.  Demanding a master plan now is simply a way of avoiding getting down to it (soldiers are cutting us down).

  7. dharmasyd

    …for the rising tide that will, hopefully, lift all boats!

  8. tahoebasha3

    each and every comment thoroughly, but have scanned down through them to try and get a gist!

    While I don’t disagree with much that’s been said, I think it’s important to think about “terminololgy” or “slogan” like material.  I don’t particularly like “Dump Obama” — one thing is Bush never had that thrown at him, and it hardly would have made a difference in that both elections were stolen and it certainly made no difference to him that he had “illegally” won two elections — that should have told the American people a great deal right there — a man who had so little moral scruples that he would “steal” elections and feel comfortable in his own skin.

    A couple of important issues enter my mind, i.e., “Dump Obama” could seem a very racist issue, but, worse, that kind of lingo would thrill the Republicans and the Tea Party.  And, so, I think, something like, “WE need REAL CHANGE,” might be a better slogan approach!  


  9. Lady Libertine


    Wondering what y’all think of this “new coalition”  One Nation Working Together thats trying to organize a March for Jobs Oct 2.

    Someone posted at GOS

    Recently, 170 Progressive organizations have joined together in a coalition called “One Nation Working Together.” This coalition includes the AFL-CIO, SEIU, NAACP, United States Student Association, National Council of La Raza, United for Peace and Justice, US Labor Against the War, Democratic Socialists of America, US Social Forum, Campaign for Community Change, Progressive Democrats of America, Power PAC, and many more.

    Their goal: re-ignite the Progressive grassroots and embolden the government to bring about the change America voted for nearly 2 years ago.

    Im inclined to think its OFA astroturf, but I dunno.

  10. jeffroby

    Why, just minutes ago, I got a personal e-mail from President Obama himself, asking:

    When people promise that they’ll do something — like voting — they are far more likely to do it.  That’s why one key part of our Vote 2010 plan this year is to get folks like you from across the country to commit to vote, to make sure we get as many people as we can to cast their ballots this fall.  But getting the commitments we need starts with your own promise to make it to the polls and cast your ballot.

    Will you please commit to vote in the 2010 elections?

    I earnestly explained that as soon as he would:

    end the drone attacks murdering Afghan, Pakistani, and Somali civilians.

    get the U.S. troops out of Afghanistan.

    appoint Elizabeth Warren in the recess.

    order the Justice Dept. to pursue Bush regime war criminals.

    refuse Obama’s claim of presidential powers.

    get economic advisers who aren’t owned by Wall Street.

    use the bully pulpit to make the progressive case

    I would most gladly vote for him.  Then he asked me for money, but lacking a job, I unfortunately had to decline.

  11. dharmasyd

    I’ll be back to comments soon after digesting.

  12. dharmasyd

    …Ford doesn’t pull his punches.

  13. dharmasyd

    With a very small number of exceptions, the Left has been notoriously self-destructive, as if unable to see beyond the noise and hoopla of the next demo.

    Yes, a long term strategy is needed.  A vision of where we want to go is needed.  And all participants should take at least a single course in balancing one’s ego before proceeding!

    As my rolfing teacher, Dr. Ida Rolf, used to intone at the beginning of class:

    Now.  Have any of you brought your egos into the class?  If you have, I suggest you march right back out the door and park the egos on coat hangers.  They won’t be needed in here and will only cause mischief.

  14. dharmasyd

    …People don’t know, and most would be horrified…  Sadly, perhaps I should say “will” be horrified… when they find out.

    When Roosevelt put through his New Deal in the thirties, the right wing conservatives who called him “that man” started thinking how to reverse everything in the New Deal.

    Who would have thought Obama would be the one to finally accomplish that 70 year old goal?  But Obama is on the verge of accomplishing the last destruction.

    OMG, what a Bummer-Obamer!


  15. tahoebasha3

    to privatize Social Security big time.  I don’t know if we’ve been dealing with the real, true Obama, or simply a puppetized version of the Bush goals — whatever, a bummer! Yes, the right wing conservatives are against anything that is BY THE PEOPLE, OF THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE!  What I don’t understand is how is it even a consideration since it’s OUR monies!!!!!

  16. tahoebasha3

    propagandizing the demonic nature of the so-called “middle-class.”

  17. dharmasyd

    They believe (no, they know) it is their money which FDR stole from them.  They know they are better and more deserving than the rest of us.  

    Not that they would say that directly; but underneath, I think they believe they are superior.

  18. dharmasyd

    …jeff, but I would like to explore some of it a little further.  You’re critique of Ford is spot on:

    What’s lacking is any plan to achieve that “massed people” actually doing anything to defeat massed capital.

    Ford offers no plan.  That always seems to be the problem  What’s the plan?  So you offer a plan: “DUMP OBAMA:” with primary challenges, running independents, and doing both.

    That’s fine.  But, to me that is leaping ahead of the necessary starting point.   The starting point needs to be plans to organize and mobilize the people needed to carry out these, or any other, goals.  We can sit here and come up with good ideas which need doing until the cows come home, to no effect if we don’t address how to organize the people to come together, mobilize and do the work to make the change.  

    It’s useless to say “Let’s primary him” if we don’t have a structural organization, “the boots on the ground”, to mount a primary campaign.  So, step one is —



    We don’t even need to start with “a plan,” we can start with the vast dissatisfaction as the motivation to bring people and groups together.

    From this we can reach out to other organizations and groups in an effort to build a large coalition.  We can expand the circle.

    But this takes lots of energy.  As BigSurTree said in one of his comments, quoting Y. Gasset, revolution is for the young.  The elders are only needed to impart their learning and experience, but the young ones are the only ones with the energy to do the vast work needed for such a campaign.

    Obama knew this, and he went after the young.  I think we might have a ready made clientele left over right there from the disenfranchised Obama-Believers who must have stopped believeing by now.  

    I’ll write up what suggestions, like these we come up with here and send them to my old time activist friends from old SANE/FREEZE/MOBE who are still working acticvists with PDA, UP&J, etc.  But my energy does not allow me to do much more than put out ideas.

    May something good come of these exchanges.

  19. metamars

    I think it’s a tough sell to focus on primaries that happen 2 years from now.

    I wrote about my conception of “Operation Expose Obama” here. Despite the name, I think it highly advisable to de-legitimize the Republicans, also, not just Obama. And furthermore, I definitely think that at least the worst sellouts of the Democrats should be de-legitimized. (Right now, special scorn is due to Chris Dodd….)

    Another approach, probably of greater interest to most lefty/Dem types, is to focus on the Republican Party, but to include ‘deserving’ Democrats as a secondary target. (E.g., see discussion here.) So, in this case, I think you’d have to change the name to something like “Operation Expose Republican Big Lies”. (I intentionally avoided a name like “Operation Expose Republican Party”, because that can be taken to mean not just Beltway Republicans and operatives, but also Republican voters. I don’t think of these as monolithic, at all. And, in fact, I tend to view both D and R ‘little people’ as victims of deceit by D and R elites, respectively.)

    Either approach would be very welcome, by me. It bothers me that ‘big lies’ (which include big lies of omission) are part of the fabric of so many Americans’ lives. Shouldn’t most American know that both the Republicans and Democrats screwed them on healthcare, by allowing the parasitic industry to stay in place, costing us double what a European system would cost?

    Of course they should know this. So, whichever devil one wants to emphasize is not a big deal with me. What is a big deal is allowing the serial liars of the D and R party get away with their lying (again, including lies of omission, such as who voted for Gramm-Leach-Bliley, and thus who should apologize for the financial mess that was predictable, and predicted.)


    Hmm. I just had an idea. Why not call this initial phase “Operation Expose Parasites?”


    Also, rather than get hung up on any third-party issues, right now, why not gather whatever lefty type voters are shaken loose by an “Operation Expose Parasites” into a proto-voting bloc, where it’s understood that it might go 3rd party in some states or districts, but will also likely back reform Dem candidates in other states/districts?

    I.e., focus on the propaganda offensive, for the next 8 months or so. If you have a big vote bloc in 8 months, you’ll have all sorts of possibilities. If you just have people who refuse to get organized into even an informal voting bloc, I don’t think the 3rd party vs. Dem discussions can possibly mean much, anyway.

  20. Pen

    Best.  Post.  Ever.

    And I’m with ya buddy.  I’ve been singing the primary challenge Obama blues for quite some time now.  

    I just wish enough people would stop bitching and start setting up a campaign fund so we can begin pressuring the likes of Elizabeth Warren.

  21. tahoebasha3

    Since I was a kid, I experienced that “superiority complex” of the wealthy.  It was not fun, but even in my young mind, I wondered why they felt that way — what made them feel so “special” from others. But, since forever, in my mind, anyway, the wealthy have “frowned” on those of less fortune in this country.  I guess it’s simply that “those very same people” who have been allowed to demonstrate their disdain for the less fortunate in their communities all down the line have now been given privileged status, so that they can now openly attack the less wealthy and see to it that they are further disdained by those of wealth in our society and in our government.  And to think, we always believed in Amerika!  We were “mushrooms” right down the line, unbeknownst to us!

    But to be so “cock sure” in this life is such a fallacy, particularly, for the wealthy, or anyone!

  22. dharmasyd

    …with Calvin and Puritanism — the doctrine of god’s chosen ones.  It’s so ingrained in the American U.S. psyche, so natural feeling, that it isn’t even noticed, let alone questioned.

    At least that’s my, possibly incorrect, assessment.  

  23. dharmasyd

    …I don’t have time to go to your links now.  I’m gonna finally kick back, have a glass, and watch some football.  But I will look at you ideas/links tomorrow and get back.

    We definitey need to show the people what has been done to them (as some are gaining an inkling now) –Operation Expose Parasites — indeed.

  24. jeffroby

    Question is, what to do about it?

  25. jeffroby

    I have no problem with further exposing Obama.  But you pose this as squelching any movement towards actually dumping him.  I have a problem with that.

  26. tahoebasha3

    how could I possibly think that it is an “incorrect assessment” on your part?  Just kidding, of course, syd!  But I don’t think we’re off the mark, quite frankly!

  27. dharmasyd

    …but I do try to be a little humble when I make such broad assertions which are unprovable.

  28. tahoebasha3

    YOu call this a “broad assertion?”

    They don’t believe the money is ours.

         Excuse me, what part of OUR money is it that THEY don’t understand?They believe (no, they know) it is their money which FDR stole from them.  They know they are better and more deserving than the rest of us. Their delusions are what has gotten this country into deep caca!

    Not that they would say that directly; but underneath, I think they believe they are superior.  Excuse me — let “them” think as they will — is there anything on this earth that has, thus far, proven “their” superiority to us?  Well, come to think of it, they do possess superiority in their ability to destroy, yep, they surely succeed in that area.

  29. jeffroby

    Of course, build the organization!

    Of course, mobilize the bodies to do the work!

    The question remains, how to do this?

    I am operating on the assumption that there will be a Dump Obama movement by 2012.  I raise it now for the very reasons you articulate.  Build the organization?  What organization?  Around what?

    From what I’ve read, the Dump Johnson officially started in the summer of 67.  However, its entre onto the political scene was the result of anti-Johnson sentiment that had been bubbling up for a good while.  The timing was influenced by the stage of escalation of the war in Vietnam.

    We have our war and, I think more importantly, we have our war against the poor in full flower.  The point is to give a focus around which to build the organization and mobilize the bodies.  My expectation is that this will be amorphous, disorganized and chaotic.  Such is life.  But I think there are possibilities here for movement.

    At the moment, we have a shocking lack of movement, i.e., bodies in motion with a sense of hope and vague direction.  In other words, organization-minded people do not have the social motion, the raw material, out of which organization can be built.

    I have advocated running in all Democratic congressional primaries, but I fear that that is too cold-blooded, a bit too abstract, doesn’t take people in their guts.  I think Dump Obama can tap into a gut outrage that would give us something to organize with.

  30. Dameocrat

    not a candidate.   How about a moratorium on house foreclosures.

  31. jeffroby

    People out of jobs know they’re out of jobs.  The homeless know they don’t have homes.  The foreclosed know they’ve been foreclosed.  The hungry know they’re hungry.

    And they don’t think it’s been a string of bad luck.  Question is, what to do about it.  I’m seeking a lowest common denominator that entails action.  If we need to “show people what has been done to them” as to why they need to dump Obama, okay.

    But we’ve gotta get off the goddamn dime of praying that further exposure per se is going to do anything.  Otherwise, we are no more advanced than the SciFi channel.  What is the resistance to taking actual steps?

    Are we waiting for a leader to put out the call?  Maybe.  And maybe that leader, or those leaders, are waiting for us to demand that they step to the fore.

  32. dharmasyd
  33. metamars

    I recently worked at a job (in your beloved Jersey City) where my co-workers were talking about Obamacare. I only heard the usual MSNBC vs. FOX, D vs. R talking points.

    So, I asked them who knew about Obama’s backstabbing deal with Tauzin, and NOBODY knew who Tauzin was.

    I wasn’t surprised at this, quite frankly. Project Censored covers news stories that are either ignored, completely, or mostly ignored in mainstream media. The Tauzin/big Pharma deal struck me as an example of the latter, which happened because not even the Republicans wanted to talk about Obama’s perfidy. (Though, curiously, it appears not to have made the ‘Top 25 List’.) The only explanation for this, that makes sense to me, is that they are sensitive about embarrassing their healthcare industry ‘johns’. Both the D’s and R’s are whores for the same healthcare johns.

    There’s also a news blackout on Gulf spill news, with, e.g., many stories of large fish kills making it into local media, but not national media. (I even posted a story about a news blackout in Australia on this subject!)

    So, no, Obama has not been exposed, like he should have been. I’m convinced that had aware progressives screamed bloody murder when they first found out about the Tauzin deal, and demanded an apology, they would have forced a better deal (or even a failure of the health care “reform”, which would have suited me just fine). Even worse, by not doing so, they merely encouraged Obama’s dishonesty.

    Even now, I think the backstabbing deal with Tauzin is the main news item that progressives should use to “expose” Obama – by which I mean educating the PUBLIC about what he’s done.

    The blogosphere only touches a tiny sliver of the real world, as far as I can tell. That’s why there’s a crying need to go beyond “blogging to the choir”.

    The culpability of both D’s and R’s in creating the conditions for both the financial blowout and the Gulf oil spill are the 2 other main subjects that I think Operation Expose Parasites should educate the public on.

    Obama, after all, is only one member of the Parasite Class.

    (“Parasite Class” is sort of growing on me. Since some people would like us to believe that retirees, who paid into Social Security their whole lives, are somehow abusing the public – i.e., are parasites – I think it’d be good to turn this around and show who the biggest parasites really are. Also, some people would inevitably equate ‘Operation Expose Obama’ with just an attack on Democrats. That is not what I’m suggesting!)

    So, in short, the main thing to “do now” is to expose the systemic rot of government plus media to the public, while shepherding the public into at least lists and fora where they can first encounter leaders – when such leaders actually come to the fore.

    You’re also correct about the lack of organization. I’m not suggesting that there’s not a crying need for that also. I wrote a small booklet on the sort of organization, infrastructure, and practices needed to fix this mess, segregating out a Phase 1 subset that a) could be created over the next 2-8 months and b) massively exploited within a year, after that. I personally delivered it to Gary Null’s and the Progressive Radio Network’s office in NYC, but never heard back anything. On the title page of my booklet, I quoted Winston Churchill:

    He who fails to plan is planning to fail

    Jane Hamsher for President?

  34. dharmasyd

    But most people have little understanding of what is really going on.  Their outrage is just a knee-jerk, personal and individual response of “I lost my 401-K”, or some such other personal loss.  They may have a vague sense that “something is rotten in Denmark,” but they can’t put the pieces together, synthesize and see the whole ugly picture.  They don’t understand how this relates to everyhing else and is part of a whole fabric.

    So maybe, as meta suggests in his comment to yours re exposed, the real issue is education.  The citizens of this country need to be educated, more than exposed, as much as possible to see the whole 11 yard travesty which has been committed against “We the People”.  

  35. metamars

    The reason for exposing Obama and the rest of the Parasite Class is mostly to provide motivation for people to get off of their butts and to start organizing. Hopefully, not organizing to beg Congress to help them out, but rather organizing to throw Congress out.

    For unemployed folks who are already sufficiently motivated, great, then the question becomes what sorts of actions should they participate in that will actually change things for the better.

    In my document, I identified what I called “fault line groups”, who would be essentially early adopters of the new democratic infrastructure that I point to, and, typically, groups that have a superior ability to propagate political messages, for one reason or another. One of those groups that I identified, even though they didn’t fit the latter part of my definition**, are unemployed blacks, especially black youth. Quoting from my document:

    10)Hard-hat Army Asks: Brother Can You Spare a Job? (Grossly Unemployed Fault Line Group) According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in June, 2010, unemployment of black males hit 17.4%.  The seasonally adjusted jobless rate for Black youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age hit 39.9 percent. Meanwhile, our country’s infrastructure is falling apart, and we should be doing massive tree replanting, which can be thought of as rebuilding the country’s ecological infrastructure. So, there is certainly the need for massive hiring for essential projects, and plenty of supply of labor.

    Now, proposed solutions to unemployment tends to depend greatly on ideology, and so, unlike most other of these outreach suggestions, this one may be entirely inappropriate for some Voting Bloc groups. Well, so be it!

    For any Voting Bloc that does not object to agitating for government to fund and oversee the repair of infrastructure, and furthermore does not object to funneling those jobs to those who are most in need, here is my suggestion for using attention-whoring to propagate that message, while simultaneously building up Voting Bloc membership, as well as enrollment in the neutral Democracy Artery: Dress up a group as construction workers, complete with work boots and hard hats. Shovels and pickaxes are wonderful accessories! :-) Then, march up and down the sidewalks of economically distressed areas where these grossly unemployed citizen live.*** Signs could say, e.g., “America is falling apart, and I’m available to fix it.” Everybody that they pass gets handed a business card that asks people to join their Voting Bloc.

    Also, as unemployed people tend to have lots of time on their hands, they can ask unemployed passers-by to join them on their marches, just as they are.

    I have identified “attention whoring”, despite it’s crude name, as a key principle to fixing democracy. I don’t believe we can have a democratic renaissance in the US without a ubiquitous street presence. To be democratically efficient, that street presence needs to be attention demanding, even flamboyant.

    Notice that I wrote “ubiquitous” and not “massive”. We need to get to the point where, every day, in moderately densely populated areas and above, we see small groups of people, many times a day, reminding us that we live in a participatory democracy, and that these groups are providing a road to follow* which will lead to electoral changes.

    This idea of the grossly unemployed fault line group that I quote, above, can easily be tweaked, to accommodate unemployed people, in general, by simply asking them to do almost the same thing. (I.e., hard hats and shovels, or else business suites and brief cases, but the messaging could be changed to “I don’t want unemployment benefits, I want a job. BEFORE I’m thrown out, on the street.”)

    Now, my solution does NOT entail targeting Congress with these messages. Rather, the messaging targets are your fellow citizens, and I pre-suppose (in my document) that somebody has already put together a Candidate Pipeline, well stocked with potential candidates. I’m not psychologically pre-disposed to do supplication of corrupt pigs who are facile liars, but more importantly, I don’t think doing so is democratically efficient.

    As vote blocs and candidates emerge which all but guarantee that sitting Congress people will be removed from office during their next election, they will come to us, instead of us going to them, and on our knees, at that. That’s a good thing, but in many cases – hopefully, most cases – will become irrelevant after the next election day.

    Well, that’s the theory, anyway!  :-)

    * That “road to follow” is largely what I call democratic infrastructure.

    ** Actually, from the point of view of having lots of free time on their hands, being unemployed does confer an advantage to groups of unemployed, to lead the charge in fixing democracy. So, count your blessings. :-)

    *** I just realized that confining these flamboyant mini-marches to just areas where one lives is a little stupid, from the point of growing a movement. So, if you’re unemployed, and live in the South Bronx, you would be helping all of us by spending some of your time marching through Wall Street in Manhattan, as well.

  36. metamars

    I haven’t asked done any field testing of competing memes – I am basically guessing, and telling you my guess. Feel free to prove me wrong. :-)

    However, let me put things this way. A lot of people have made noise about starting a new third party, or supporting an existing 3rd party, like the Greens, with the idea that this is what progressive former Dems should do.

    However, I look at such calls for action, and the first thing that pops into my mind is “Why don’t you first form a voting bloc, which could vote for a Green, if a good one is available, and if not, vote for a progressive Dem if one is available, and if not, vote against whatever loser the Democratic Party is pushing?”

    Doing the above seems a lot easier than going all the way with a 3rd Party, with more options for strategic fallbacks. So, it seems to me like a logical first step, because it’s a bit of a baby step. But if you can’t take those baby steps, why should anybody believe that you’ll make the harder journey?

    Likewise, if somebody who never exercized a day in their life tells you “I’m going to run in the NY Marathon next year”, wouldn’t you be inclined to ask them if they are going to run in any shorter distance races, first? You know, like 10K, or a half marathon? Whether they are going to do more exercize than running around the block? And if they say “no” to all of the above, are you going to take their claim to run the NY Marathon seriously?

    So, starting an effort to dump Obama even before the mid term elections, in a country that doesn’t know that Obama stabbed them in the back wrt healthcare (and a bunch of other stuff), seems like it’s putting the cart before the horse. It seems smarter to me to educate the public about what a cad he is, and then ask them to help dump him.

    My guess is that 8 months is enough time to see if you can get anything major going in the educational area. If so, the next step would be to start dumping him – putting out the word, asking for candidates to step forth, etc.


    Alternatively, you could plan a one-two punch, explicitly, meaning: Announce Dump Obama 2012, and simultaneously announce Operation Expose Obama, where you make clear that during the next 8 months (or whatever time period you deem optimal), you are going to focus on getting the word out about Obama. I suppose you’d also make a call for candidates  at this time – you can’t dump him in a primary unless you find somebody willing to run against him.

    When the appointed time arrives, you switch priorities, and concentrate on selecting your primary challenger, and then immediately helping put out the message about how the challenger is so much better than Obama.

    I could believe that this would be an optimal process.

  37. dharmasyd

    …but I do think we must develop a voting block first.  After decades as a left activist, and watching how all our best actions fizzle out, I have seen enough of what doesn’t work to want to stop doing those same things over again.

    We’ve learned that voting for a third party candidate does little, if any good.

    I like the idea of the “Hard Hat Army”  making it’s presence known throughout society, at demos and in general. I’ll have to disagree with the shovels and pitchforks, however; that is a magnet for swat team counter-insurgency actions, for labelling us as terrorists, and achieving negative coverage from the media.

    The only way we could get away with shovels and pitchforks is to make art replicas out of cardboard.  The real thing will get us arrested.

  38. dharmasyd

    I think we all have to take some initiative here by contacting and explaining these ideas to groups and people we know, especially within our small, local communities.

    Those who have contacts with already established P&J groups can start there.  Spread the word.  Spread the idea  —  that we want and are ready to build and participate in the organization of this voting block.

  39. metamars

    Another thing to think about is blacks getting picked on by cops in white areas, which would become more likely if they’re “armed” with shovels and pitchforks. (BTW, I meant to write pickaxes, not pitchfork. Freudian slip, I guess.) Another option is to carry the lightweight, plastic snow shovels.

    To perfectly clear about things, I’m not advocating any sort of violence, property destruction, or even disruption. (Which is an argument for smaller but far more frequent marches. If your marchers number more than 8 or so, they will start to have problems not obstructing pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk.) In fact, I’m not even advocating anger – I’d much prefer it if people did the movement building mini-marches with the idea of having fun, and seeing how creative they can be. We should be tapping into righteous anger, but looking to channel it in positive directions, thus transmuting it into something more spiritual.

    I think one reason that Code Pink is going strong is that those ladies (mostly; they have male members) have a fun, positive attitude about what they’re doing. I don’t see any contradiction with having fun, while at the same time pursuing a deadly serious agenda.

    So, whether you want to carry a real shovel, or not, it’s important to be friendly and cheerful. We’re not trying to scare anybody. Quite the opposite – we want to charm them out of their lethargy. (You’d see this more easily if I listed the other street outreaches that I mentioned in my document – trust me on this. I’ve already told Jeff about my gorilla suit. :-) )

    Also, see Al Giordano’s blog post Summit Protests are Obsolete.

  40. jeffroby

    The concept is foreign, no easier than forming any other kind of coalition or issue-based organization.

    Invoking the magic term “voting bloc” does nothing regarding how to get people into that voting bloc, structuring it, and then delivering it.  Seems unstable on the face of it, all the fluctuations of an independent political party with none of the stabilizing factors.

  41. jeffroby

    The concept is foreign, no easier than forming any other kind of coalition or issue-based organization.

    Invoking the magic term “voting bloc” does nothing regarding how to get people into that voting bloc, structuring it, and then delivering it.  Seems unstable on the face of it, all the fluctuations of an independent political party with none of the stabilizing factors.

  42. metamars

    Ask your coworkers, family, etc., what they thing about Obama’s deal with Tauzin.

    50 good karma bucks to anybody who has a coworker that even knows who Tauzin is.

  43. jeffroby

    Replace “educated” with “organized” and you’ve made a giant leap forward.  But “organized” is not an abstraction.  The concept of organization requires an end, organized to do what?

    So we should expose and educate, and then at some point, SOMEONE ELSE will figure out what action to take.  But if our task is to expose and educate, that would imply that we have more knowledge than “most people.”  And if that is the case, then why would “most people” be better equipped to know what to do with the education and, dare I say it, organization than we are?

    And why the dichotomy between education and action?

    Another point.  “Most people” never initiate anything.  Rather, a few people initiate something.  Then, if it resonates, others take it on and it grows.  Only at an advanced stage of movement can “most people” take initiative.  What most people can do, however, is show a readiness to move that can urge their leaders forward.

    It’s not like I’m laying out Trotsky’s 1938 Transitional Program or something.  Dump Obama is pretty damn vague.  And while “most people” may not be ready for that move, there is substantial sentiment for dumping Obama, and if those people came together, that would be serious progress.

  44. jeffroby

    Time for me to start giving serious thought as to how to move this forward.  The time is ripe for a beginning.  People complain that we are not at that end point yet, but since we haven’t begun, that should be no revelation.

  45. metamars

    The essential ideological parts of the voting bloc are one thing, the essential strategy that the voting bloc can pursue are another, ancillary support systems are another, and last, but not least, there needs to be an easy way for different voting blocs to develop compromise goals via voting, with other voting blocs. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that doesn’t exist, now. Let’s say, e.g., that the PDA and the DFA support 2 different candidates in a given race, both are progressive Dems, and if they split their supporters votes, a non-progressive will win. If the PDA and DFA want to avoid this scenario, I’m guessing that their leadership will have to make a deal. And if their members don’t support that deal, then there’ll be failure. I’ve never heard of a “let both of our groups just vote it out” solution, so I assume that it doesn’t exist. (Please correct me if I’m wrong.)

    I spelled out a lot of requirements for what I call the democracy artery, what role voting blocs would play (which is pre-eminent), and what support structure they would need to be viable, and how to grow the voting blocs’ membership, in a document that I’m not ready to release, publicly.

    In the case of a Dump Obama effort, probably the best you could do in the short term, from a voting bloc’s electoral perspective (i.e., not the propaganda part), is setup a web site explaining the strategy, some core principles (or else a set of potential core principles that the membership will vote on, to determine which to adopt), and call for candidates to apply, after the core agenda is set. The web site should allow for voting – it seems range voting is the best (not instant runoff voting, e.g.), though I haven’t really studied it deeply.

    If there was already a vote bloc infrastructure built out, you could create the electronic side of the vote bloc easily. It would mostly be a matter of provisioning, plus a little configuration, then administration. Since that doesn’t exist, you will have to settle for less, and take longer to acquire that “less”.

    However, without $$ and some time, doing even that “less” is a problem. But that’s an argument for just writing out the vision, having a sign-up list of people potentially interested, making a barebones website, and focusing on the propaganda/education side of things, as I suggested. Part of your message would be about what is tentatively planned, provided that support materializes. What did Annabel Park have, when she started? An idea on a facebook page. While her organization has ceased it’s meteoric growth, it is still growing, and thus presents the possibility of flexing electoral muscle, someday. Though it doesn’t seem to be Park’s intention, at present, we can imagine a scenario where it has 20 million people. If such an organization decided to behave like a voting bloc – i.e., supporting candidates who must conform to the voting bloc’s agenda, as determined by the votes of its members, and possible doing compromise votes with other voting blocs (say Jeff Roby’s voting bloc), and switching between ballot lines as it desired, then it would make deep changes in the constituents of Congress.

    If support doesn’t materialize, it doesn’t matter what plan one is attempting to implement. It will fail for lack of support.

  46. dharmasyd

    …to this entire segment of the thread.  

    I just had the thought that perhaps it would be more fruitful to ask the question: “What do the People want?”

    If we can really address what the people want, what is making them so frustrated and unhappy, then perhaps answering questions (chicken & egg questions) like how and why to organize will flow much more easily.

    I go back to my buddhist teachings here.  All beings want to be happy.  All want to be free from suffering.

    And these things, according to our Declaration of Independence, were given as the reason governments are instituted amongst men.  

    Our government is in a monumental FAIL on this.

    I’m getting a bit tired now, so this will be all from me for the moment.

    But I want you both (ALL) to know how happy I am to see this discussion continuing.  Thank you for trying, for participating!  

  47. jeffroby

    You speak of all the things a voting bloc might do, how different voting blocs might work together, etc.  But how is a voting bloc of, for instance, the unemployed brought into existence?

    Post a sign-up sheet somewhere?

    Secondly, concerning the example you give of PDA and DFA, and they should work together because they are both progressive.  That avoids any number of questions.  If PDA wanted wanted to support an insurgent against Obama, and DFA wanted to support Obama, they would NEVER agree to pool their votes for one candidate or another.

    The differences would be fundamental.  They are two different approaches to our current dilemma.  At worst, you mask capitulation to Obama’s re-election in the guise of an objective process.

    But my main objection to what you write is that you START from a point that does not yet exist, and a whole world of organizing and political struggle is glibly skipped.

  48. metamars

    Assuming we’re talking about a simplified voting bloc (for reasons already explained), I think the smartest way is to talk to activists who have a local focus.

    Just this week, I tried to connect to local activists, mostly because I wanted them to try out some of my, ahem, colorful outreach ideas. I tweaked the basic ideas such that they could appeal for funds – all I was going to ask for was data, so that I could actually compute some sort of democratic efficiency.

    This local group happens to be in a black area of town (which is most of my town, actually), and the activists were all black, so talking about a hard-hat army, say later on, that would focus on jobs, would have been a natural process.

    I also had some ideas for local activism that I wanted to share. (E.g., organized car sharing.) Unfortunately, this particular group got locked out of their building in March, due to non-payment of rent. Though they’ve apparently done very good work (If I’m not mistaken, Newark has seen a sharp drop in crime the last few years), the sucky economy did them in. It was a damn shame, frankly. (Here’s their website, which is still up. Crap – looks like it just went into the crapper. Oddly, though, one of their pages is still visible:  Street Warriors Inc)

    So, I don’t think there’s anything particularly mysterious about what the process should be, for a black hard-hat army. For a more generalized hard-hat army, I’ll guess that local contacts are still the way to go. I’d consider starting to reach local activists who help out at food banks.

    Secondly, concerning the example you give of PDA and DFA, and they should work together because they are both progressive.  That avoids any number of questions.  If PDA wanted wanted to support an insurgent against Obama, and DFA wanted to support Obama, they would NEVER agree to pool their votes for one candidate or another.

    And what if one wants Kucinich, and the other wants Dean? What then? You say they should “work together”, but you’re not supplying any details, are you? What if the leaders don’t get along, but the members of those groups are willing to compromise by virtue of a joint vote? A mature vote bloc technology, IMO, would allow for “coups” when the members are being herded into a direction that they don’t want to go.

    I’ve already discussed a similar scenario (i.e., multiple progressive candidates), in considerable detail, at FDL.

    But my main objection to what you write is that you START from a point that does not yet exist, and a whole world of organizing and political struggle is glibly skipped.

    Not sure what you mean. Certainly, a fully featured vote bloc system doesn’t exist, yet. I’ve never pretended one does. OTOH, I’ve sketched out a simple, limited, humble beginning that could be accomplished. If I haven’t spelled out every organization detail involved with even the simple plan, well, so what? Again, Annabel Park started with a facebook post.

    Let’s say that Annabel Park takes the Coffee Party down the road of becoming a simple, bare bones voting bloc, as I defined it. Do you think that she will not be able to do this, unless she develops some detailed organizational plan, before she even puts up the question of whether to go down the vote bloc road, up for a vote by Coffee Party members?

    Now it’s your turn to supply details. How are you going to let your Dump Obama group decide between presidential candidates? What party are they going to align with? How will you get members? How will you get at least one primary candidate? I haven’t seen your detailed organizational plan, either…

  49. dharmasyd

    …we are organizing to do something.  I don’t know whether, at this point, we should be too specific about it, not yet.  Maybe we could work with something like “Stop the Corporate Takeover of the Country”.  That’s not catchy nor short enough.  But we need to have something for folks to grab onto, yet it can’t be so specific, at this point, to be needlessly limiting.

    I don’t know what it should be, but I agree that there must be a reason why we are organizing; otherwise it’s only just a game.  I think we (jeff, meta, tahoe, and the others weighing in here at DD) know what we are organizing to do: dump Obama, stop the Corporatocracy, radical regime change, what-have-you.

    At any rate, I don’t think the title should be limiting or too much of a turn off.  It needs to be something which touches the pain that almost all (except the 1%ers) are feeling under this system, in this time.

    We want to reach the voiceless — those us who feel that no matter what we do or say, TPTB do not and will not hear us until WE take the system back.

    Sounds a lot like what the tea-baggers are saying, doesn’t it.  Take our country back!

  50. dharmasyd

    …I suggested that we have a general reason for organizing, but that it not be too limiting at this point.  But, yes, we need to be offering something which the people want.  

  51. jeffroby

    Let’s say that Annabel Park takes the Coffee Party down the road of becoming a simple, bare bones voting bloc, as I defined it. Do you think that she will not be able to do this, unless she develops some detailed organizational plan, before she even puts up the question of whether to go down the vote bloc road, up for a vote by Coffee Party members?

    Annabel Park has an organization, and I assume its details are developing.  Different organizations operate differently.  Some poll their members, some are leadership-heavy, with some certain things are clear by the very nature of the organization.

    Now it’s your turn to supply details. How are you going to let your Dump Obama group decide between presidential candidates? What party are they going to align with? How will you get members? How will you get at least one primary candidate? I haven’t seen your detailed organizational plan, either…

    You haven’t seen my detailed organizational plan because I don’t have one.  To the extent one is implied, I want to do mass agitation for the notion of dumping Obama.  As more people come to see the merit of that, these questions will arise.  The answers are out of my control.

  52. metamars


    the above without home.html is not mapped, correctly.

  53. jeffroby

    It seems like it’s time for one of my long essays.  You’ve been very helpful in shaping it.

  54. dharmasyd

    …I’ll be watching!

  55. dharmasyd
  56. jeffroby

    I mean quite specifically, run against him in the 2012 primary and/or run against him as an independent in the general.

    Is your concern with the slogan, or with the substance?

    It’s going to happen.  How broad and how effective it will be is an open question.  But it’s going to happen.  In the Dump Johnson movement, it was largely controlled by moderate liberals like McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy, and after the election, the Dump Johnson rank-and-file got dumped.

    By starting to talk this up now, we will be able to be more pro-active, get more out of it, possibly have some force that remains intact AFTER the election.

    I’m not slogan-mongering just for the sake of slogan-mongering.

  57. AmericanRiverCanyon

    …. the problem isn’t the President as much as the completely utterly sucky Senate and the bendy straw foldable liberal wing of the Dems.

    The President will accommodate whatever sort of legislative body he gets.

    They know about the Tauzin deal, not so much the name but obviously a deal was made.  They don’t care.

    The right wing media was absolutely complicit in making sure it was Hilary vs Obama and that they were sufficiently tamed and almost matched in rightward accommodating before the election.  And don’t forget the right wing churches which decided to meddle.

    I could be real super duper organized here, and the msm media will still bleep us over every single time.    So will the right wing conservative churches who love their tax breaks much more than their fellow humans, and who will continue to sabotage any sort of liberalism here in this country.

    People don’t vote on facts, or very few do.  They vote on emotions and fast, dirty, and cheap sloganeering.  

    Megachurches putting little flyers inside the weekly programs, paid for by Big Business and filtered thru lobbyists or consultants,  telling the faithful to vote on some sex issue gets the R’s more votes than the threat of nuclear war or glaciers melting.  Carly Fiorina who gutted Hewlett Packard is now going “right to life” and gaining a lead in the polls because a woman in a nice outfit can more easily sell putting “women back in the ovens, girls.”

    These “values” voters are hopeless.

  58. RiaD

    you are totally & completely correct.

    most of america has. no. clue.

    expose the parasites


  59. pfiore8

    by his actions and by the results.

    but it’s like exposing Bush. people see what they want to see.

    i think we’re getting it wrong: pouring more energy into the bad guys.

    we ought to put our energy into realigning ourselves, with those teabaggers in fact, in local and regional power grids and find some way to push back.

    not to mention losing the moderates in all directions as their emotions and reactions go off the grid. because we have paid far too much attention to the fucking bad guys.

    time to change the game, the board, and the fucking rules.

  60. jeffroby

    I did note:

    On the same day, the union movement will walk door-to-door in targeted states around the country, mobilizing union members exactly one month before the fall elections

    Everything gets turned into get-out-the-vote for the Dems.  Maybe that was the price tag for holding the demonstration.  These forces are always conflicted about doing something vs. doing too much.

    I don’t know about OFA.  Doesn’t matter.  The question is to what extent they say Jobs Or Else!  And what is the Or Else?  Won’t love you any more?  Won’t pray for Obama before going to bed that night?

    Still, it’s a sign of motion.  Just don’t trust the leadership.

  61. AmericanRiverCanyon

    …. those Unions that LL had blockquoted above.

    You forget.  Most jobs in this country now are non union.  And those unemployed non union workers who lost their jobs already, why would they be wanting to march with those people whom they have perceived as getting a better deal from the govt. than they are ?

    Remember, I’m speaking about perceptions.  The Republicans have been absolutely relentless in union bashing messaging all year, portraying the union peeps as overpaid, spoiled, getting giant retirement pensions, free benefits while the normal working class person gets nadda.  There is a method to this. This is how they wedge successfully in places like Arkansas where you have a really anti union working environment yet the Dem voters in the primary went for Plantation Blanche Lincoln (“there will be no public option” ) and didn’t take Bill Halter.  You know why ?  Because Bill Halter never offered them a real alternative out come if he went to DC in place of Plantation Blanche.

    Yet the Unions do have to hold on and show that some jobs can pay living wage.  They are a valued ally.  They actually work for a living doing difficult jobs.  But they also must hold the President and Rahmanonymous accountable or they are powerless.  Instead all we get are signing ceremonies over worthless bills.

    The OFA people on the innertubals are only saying “jobs or else” because they are forced to by extraordinary circumstances to acknowledge that if the party in power doesn’t do anything they’re going to get their sorry ar$$es booted.  

    I saw a discussion whereby they were talking about how the candidates should think about how to campaign on a public works program even if they knew that this would never come to reality.  At that point I thought, they are absolutely fvcking inept.  

    OFA exists for one reason and one reason only, and that is to get Barack Obama up in the polls and re elected if necessary if he runs in 2012, and that’s it.   The House is considered an accessory, like a matching purse and shoes.  The Senate is the limousine they are driving.  Other than that, they really don’t give a bleep about the “agenda,” because this President has never clearly laid out an original “agenda” and stuck to it-  he’s adapted to continuing the old CIA agenda, staying in the mideast as an occupying force, not taxing the war profiteers to pay for it, continuing the killing, not repudiating the reasons they went there in the first place,  and he’s made it very clear that the lefties, women, minorities, enviros, humanitarians, teh “gays” etc are sorta convenient to get elected but otherwise irrelevant to the Senate, where if he just golfs enuf they’ll take him seriously.

    So candidates should frankly run on whatever it is that they want to at this point, and they should ignore the White House, and OFA, and they’ll have a better chance of winning.   OFA and the President and the Senate DINOs do not hesitate ever to eviscerate, kneecap, marginalize, insult, ignore the majority of the Democrats in the House.  It’s time to return the favor.  What do they have to lose ?  They’re losing anyway.  

    Can you tell I’ve had about enough of Simpson and the Cat Food Commission,  Bart Stupak and the Bishop’s and the Insurance executives donations ol’ Stupak was raking in, the women Congressmen and Emily’s List (have you seen the hawks Emily’s List supports ? WTF?)  and the expanding wars in Pakistan ?  Not to mention telling us it’s okay to eat the damned seafood after dumping 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico !

    You want to hear the phrase that strikes fear into the heart of most employees and managers ?

    Call it Obama’s Mid Term Job Performance Review.

    they’ll understand that phrasing.  Trust me.  

  62. AmericanRiverCanyon

    ….  the Oil companies said the way to break the President’s agenda was to kill off real health care reform by corrupting the Senate and they did it.

    The Oil companies are now delivering the sucker punch and they got the Senate and specifically the so called Dem Senate Leadership, to waste all spring and summer on an Energy/Climate bill that died without a whimper.

    The Oil companies in Texas are the ones shoveling pork into the Freedomworks and Tea Party machine.

    I about fell off the chair when I read a MSM major publication dissing the Koch Oil brothers and their Tea Party stuff, after I and a few others already did a whole bunch of bloggie work on them in previous years to almost no notice.

    Obama and Rahm thought they’d be clever and have the Oil Companies Love Them Better.

    Too bad I couldn’t convince more people to think thru to the final consequences.  Oh well.

    You primary Pres. Obama successfully, the successor will lose to the Republican in 2012.  Always happens.  Let Pres. Obama get pressured by being forced to prove there is a difference when a Dem is in office.

    This is moot, anyway, Congress and the Senate will be different in 2011.  

  63. tahoebasha3

    literal “Dump Obama” campaign.  My concern?  Substance, of course, but I think approach/methodology is extremely important, too.  That would include the use of slogans, etc.

    There are numerous problems, as I’m sure you are aware.

    Republicans will remain Republicans forever. Idiot Tea Partiers are Republicans, as well.

    There are Democrats that, despite their unhappiness, will vote Democrat no matter what.

    We have to be careful not to inadvertently play right into the hands of Republicans.

    And, honestly speaking, were we able to get a true “fighter” into the WH, would it really make any difference?  Corporations are running this country!  But to wage a battle for REAL CHANGE has a positive side — sending a clear message that Americans are NOT happy (mildly putting it).  

    To me, a great many Americans are suffering, in one form or another, in lesser or greater degrees.  So any movement, IMO, needs to appeal to the “adult side” of Americans, which means bypassing and rising above language, such that Tea Partiers or Republicans are capable of, or even attacks toward them, the same for attacks on “false promises” by Dems, etc.  

    I would like to see some kind of campaign that is that shows some sophistication and maturity — fact oriented and sincere.  

    Rise above all the crap out there!  Is that too idealistic?

  64. dharmasyd

    …is with the slogan, or, more specifically, with the word, “Dump.”

    But I’m not arbirary to the point of “I’ll take my marbles and go home” if you don’t change it.  I just would like something less likely to turn anyone off.  After all, I think we want to get as many of the fence sitters as possible.  

  65. jeffroby

    … It is that you don’t seem to like the idea of a dump Obama campaign, however sophisticated it may be, and however clever its slogans may be.

    Come aboard the notion of a Dump Obama campaign and I’d be glad to discuss slogans all day long.  But until we’re clear on that, I’d just be wasting my time.

    As for:

    And, honestly speaking [a phrase that always sets off alarm bells — jr], were we able to get a true “fighter” into the WH, would it really make any difference?

    Yes it would.  A progressive president would end the prosecution of the Afghan arrested at age 15 defending his country and now facing life in prison.

    He/she could:

    end the drone attacks murdering Afghan, Pakistani, and Somali civilians.

    get the U.S. troops out of Afghanistan.

    appoint Elizabeth Warren in the recess.

    order the Justice Dept. to pursue Bush regime war criminals.

    refuse Obama’s claim of presidential powers.

    get economic advisers who aren’t owned by Wall Street.

    use the bully pulpit to make the progressive case.

    I could actually go on and on.  Not that doing the above would leave us in some rosy utopia, by any means.  But you think the above wouldn’t be significant?  Well, I’m not going to be held at the mercy of your subjectivity.

    Nor do I have any illusions about actually electing a progressive president in 2012.  But the fact that the above is possible creates the foundation for a Dump Obama campaign.

    We aren’t in total disagreement.  I agree that waging “a battle for REAL CHANGE has a positive side — sending a clear message that Americans are NOT happy (mildly putting it).”  Where we differ is that I think a Dump Obama campaign, BECAUSE OF ITS VERY CRUDE SIMPLICITY, would be an effective tactic for waging that battle.

  66. jeffroby

    … suppose you explained to that co-worker the truth about Tauzin, do you think that co-worker would then rise up in righteous rage from learning that?  In the absence of an effective way of doing something about it?

  67. tahoebasha3

    I think you may have misinterpreted some of what I’ve said.  First of all, my so-called “quarrel” was not/is not to somehow make it appear that YOU lack sophistication and maturity — I meant it in a far broader sense, which I tried to point out.  I don’t particularly like “Drop Obama” for other reasons that I stated above in another comment.  

    And, here, too,

    And, honestly speaking, were we able to get a true “fighter” into the WH, would it really make any difference?  

    I think you kinda’ misinterpreted.  Would I love to have a truly progressive candidate for President?  I would practically get on my knees for such an individual.  But, look at Obama, the Republicans have been steadfastly against each and every thing he’s proposed from the get-go, and there are those “blue dog” Dems that chime in with the Republicans.  Now, put a true progressive in his stead!  On the other side of the coin, there may be some definite steps that such an individual might be able to take and enact upon.

    All of the things you’ve mentioned within your comment above are, of course, that we would dream of happening.  Of course, they are considerations like a stacked Supreme Court, a stacked AG’s office, the MIC, etc.  And the corporations, the corporations who are now “people” and who are secretly buying out certain candidates, and on and on.  Therein is our greatest danger.  How can we repeal a Supreme Court ruling.

    I really have no quarrel with anything you’ve said and I think your idea is a good one, i.e., we definitely need a movement.  We need a nation-wide massive movement.  


  68. jeffroby

    No problem.  I would point out that the items I enumerated in what a difference a fighter in the White House would make were deliberately items which could be done without congressional approval.  I think the campaign would have to be about the possibilities.

    Keep in mind that I am not going to shape any Dump Obama movement.  I’m nobody and have nothing.  All I want to do is start planting the idea in the most general way.  Others will jump in, including bounders and opportunists.  I am raising this early so as to be able to deal with the bounders on the best possible terms.

    I’ve done some looking at the history of the Dump Johnson movement.  It seems that there are actually more differences than similarities here.  The outstanding difference is that Dump Johnson was actually a relatively moderate factor in the overall anti-war movement, whereas today it would stick out like a sore LEFT thumb.

    Secondly, there was no equivalent of the Green Party then, and the electorate did not have independents as the largest single voting bloc (“bloc” used loosely here).

  69. jeffroby

    I just received from Obama employee Mitch Stewart the following:

    Friend —

    Thank you so much for committing to do your part by casting your ballot this fall.  The movement we’ve built together has always hinged on the power generated by our collective actions — and this election season is no different. We need as many people as possible to cast their ballots this fall, and it starts with you.

    Can you keep the momentum going by forwarding the message below to five of your friends?

    Thanks, Mitch



    The stakes in this November’s elections are higher than ever, and that’s why I’m committed to casting my ballot this November. Will you join me?

    http :// my.barackobama.com/commitment-ar


    First Obama himself writes me, and I graciously respond.  Then he follows up with having a flunky write me.  I want Obama himself.  I want to know how the kids are doing.  I want to know his response to my request before.  And does he like kittens?  I want to know he’s someone I can really have a latte with.

    Damn!  I been bamboozled!

  70. bigsurtree

    You nailed it when you observed: Is our concern with slogan or substance? This is the great 20th Century straight jacket that we’ve put ourselves in. The Hearst headline culture so to speak. Most people are Pavlovian responders to the “large dark type” that elicits an emotional spasm or some kind of religious ejaculation.

    Remember the Terror Threat Color Code? How about the volume button on Howard Dean’s campaign or Obama’s entire campaign?

    When there’s a real threat to power? Kennedy-King-Kennedy-Kent State

    Man, it feels like we’re starting over and it’s 1890!

    But this time the executive branch has lost power to the executive branch (the MIC) which now is its own government.

    It’s so logical: Count the friggin wars since the Spanish American War! We’re supposed to feel lucky that we have SS and Medicare? But now we can’t afford it?

    It’s all about our culture. Is it possible to slogan your way into substance? What language do you speak in the Tower of Babble? In the Beginning is it the Deed or the Word? I remember fighting for open housing in California in 1965. I knocked on a door to offer some literature. “Get out of here you God Damned Son of a Bitch Bastard”. So I did. And 68′ and 69′ chased by the Federales in Mexico and the LAPD in college and putting flowers in National Guard Rifles at the People’s Park in Berkeley. Blah Blah Blah

    Now instead of one Joe McCarthy, we have dozens. Old people can only plant the seeds of a new political awareness, but it takes young people to grow them. The biggest threat I see right now is the indoctrination of young people and the growing taboo surrounding present day, political criticsm in education. Remember Reagan’s launching pad into politics was his sheer hate of education, that if you get it with any help from the state, shut your mouth and take a bath.

    How do we tackle state run media? Sounds like the U.S.S.R. doesn’t it? It doesn’t matter if we substitute corporate for state, they’re one in the same now.

  71. metamars

    When he asked for money, you should have said, “Sure, I’ll send you money, as soon as you get me a job!

    P.S. Say “hi” to the Rubin gang for me, won’t you? I’ve been following their exploits!”

  72. tahoebasha3

    Just one of the major things that need to GO!  We need to get rid of parties altogether — it ain’t working — what, you get the lesser of two evils, already pre-selected by big money?  We need to have run-off voting, equal time and space for each candidate, a dollar limit for each, and may the best man win kinda’ thing.  Yeh, I can dream, too!  😉

    The notion of some sort of “movement” has been coming up here and there over a long period of time here — but it all just gets lost in space mainly.  I think it’s most probably because not one of us has been able to come up with much of anything, except a 3rd party, etc.  

  73. jeffroby

    The problem isn’t primarily structural.  It’s power.  The movement got totally sucked into the Democratic Party and died there.  It can’t be revived through invocation.  I’m in part looking for a rallying point that can pull forces together.

  74. dharmasyd

    The electorate does not need to go.  the electorate has nothing to do with “parties”.

    According to my dictionary:

    Electorate: “all those qualified to vote in an election.”

    It is the whole body of folks who are eligible to vote.

  75. tahoebasha3

    that has ruined the structure . . . . . that being the Constitution and the Bush Administration wiped their feet all over it and then spat on it — with absolutely no repercussions, thus far!  As long as criminals can get away with criminality, they will continue to be criminals — maybe, in the background (Cheney and others).

    A rallying point?  That point, I believe, will be an appeal to Americans on their sufferings!!!!!  Gawd knows that’s all over the country, in one form or another.

  76. jeffroby

    … but it’s all the more daunting since our forces are neither organized or mobilized.

    Progressives were mobilized for the healthcare fight.  However, they were horribly misled into backing a bill that had the mandate and abortion restrictions.  That fundamental fact left them vulnerable to being picked apart.  If a different line had been drawn, it would have played differently.

    In other words, the left has a crisis of leadership.  My hope with Dump Obama is to draw a line in the sand that people will not retreat over.  Or those who do retreat will no longer be considered leaders.

  77. tahoebasha3

    Methinks you’ve got it, by jove!

    It has all become somewhat like playing a game of chess, has it not?  Unfortunately, it’s a very DIRTY game of chess!

    Thank you – merci!

  78. jeffroby

    But it has to go beyond calling a march where everyone suffers together.  The New York Times has articles about the suffering every damn day.  There has to be some solution (set of demands) to alleviate the suffering, and there has to be some tactics and strategy that will — if not force — at least apply pressure to achieve that solution.

    It’s a complete package.  A demand without an “or else” is the sound of one mouth flapping.

  79. bigsurtree

    but he also sucked all the air out of an incipient, progressive movement. Politicians now pretty much have to pass a litmus test to even get nominated. The boundaries of what is acceptable is narrowing and becoming one sided e.g. Obama’s conflating liberalism with the left. And the myth of America is being rewritten with very conservative and elitist propaganda.

    I’m also in favor of dumping Obama, and I think his commitment to a horrible war and a phony healthcare bill will do him in. He’s already lost many independents, liberal Democrats and any Republicans who cut him any slack at all. But I can’t see a single Democrat challenging him. We don’t have any more Eugene McCarthys.

    I sure hope one appears.

  80. jeffroby

    But I can’t see a single Democrat challenging him. We don’t have any more Eugene McCarthys.

    I sure hope one appears.

    Well, there’s Kucinich, Barney Frank, Jane Hamsher, but I agree there’s something of a vacuum.

    I think the task of radicals would be to generate the kind of ferment at the base that could entice them.  How to do that, I don’t know, but I personally believe the unemployed are key.

    At the moment, I think just talking it up is a good starting point.  As I’ve been doing this for about a week, I’m finding a significant number of people who are saying something along the lines of “now that you mention it …” as well as others who think it’s premature and others yet who are revealing that behind their angry rhetoric is a deep commitment to the Democratic Party.

    Snowballs become avalanches by starting small and growing, not by falling off the mountain all at once.

  81. tahoebasha3

    an obvious and glaring fact . . . . . !

    You’ve more or less said it yourself, wittingly or unwittingly.  

    The “suffering” of the American people will probably will be the “pressure point” (kinda’ like a pressure cooker, if you will) that will culminate in just those sorts of demands, jeffroby!  At least that would be my hope.  You know, when “there’s nothin’ left to lose. . . . .!”

    I am personally hoping that “pressure point” will come when Americans UNDERSTAND that their hard-earned and paid into Social Security and Medicare Funds are about to be “invaded and raped.”  We’re good at that sorta’ thing, you know!

  82. jeffroby

    Demands don’t just arise.  They are thought over and articulated through organization.  If you’re saying that organization will just spring up, you’re wrong.  The logic of your position is that we should be HOPING that things get worse, since that will generate protest.

    Things are pretty damn bad right now.  So where’s the masses rising up?

    The suffering of the people is a factor in whether progressive leadership will have a mass following, but you’ve still got to have that progressive leadership.

    As I’ve said before in Psychology of Activism:

    There are strange attitudes towards the notion of leadership.  We see this cry for leadership from those in positions of prestige and power, this dependence on OTHERS, and at the same time a resentment of anyone among their peers aspiring to lead.  No one has the right to tell ME what to do, we proudly proclaim.  Thus the paralysis is maintained.  Those we would follow won’t lead, those who might lead we won’t follow.  All opinions are equal, and even if the differences are small, the difference is more important than the level of agreement.

  83. tahoebasha3

    jeffroby — there has been a ton of activism over the past 10 years or more — it’s just that we’ve been heard, but ignored.  Many of us here on this site are big-time activists, in so many ways, and continue to be to the extent we are able.  The problem has been right down the line, there are simply NOT enough of us.  

    Progressive leadership?  David Swanson and a whole bunch of others (see http://www.warisacrime.org) with him are progressive leaders and they haven’t given up in all these long years.  

    I.e., your quoted material — well, there is some truth to that.  You simply have to watch out for those who would aggrandize themselves, rather than the good of the people — not easy, given our structure of a money-factored society and government.  Why does MLK come to mind?

    Further, did I say anywhere that something would “suddenly” spring up?  Nothing ever suddenly springs up.  What I mean is that the inner-suffering/discontentment, etc. will be the spurring force behind “action.”  This country is notorious for not believing in “preventative care.”



    Yes, the suffering of Americans is a fact and should be emphasized BIG TIME.  But I just thought of, perhaps, an even worthier campaign.  ATTACK CORPORATIONS!  EVERYWHERE!  Are you not sick and tired of paying out monies for this and that, either by out and out purchases of goods, and/or services?  Then, you find yourself “quanced” between a rock and hard place, should you have a problem?  Case in point, amongst many, I purchased a somewhat expensive item about a year ago that does NOT measure up to standards or claims.  I cannot begin to tell you what I’ve been through — 20 pages of e-mails with Technical Support, finally, to be told that if I didn’t think the item was operating up to par, then I should send it in for repairs.  I wrote back, “obviously, after all these weeks of communication, I felt there was something wrong with the item or I wouldn’t have written you in the first place.”  So, before attempting to send in the item for repair, I thought I’d better review my Registration and Warranty information prior to doing so (instinct?).  Can you believe it was ALL wrong and that when I tried to view my Extended Warranty Coverage, it said I had none (though, I had purchased it a little more than a month later), and the original warranty would expire on Sept. 1, but when I tried to view the Extended Warranty Coverage I had bought, it said the website was being repaired and would not be available until September 1st?  O.K. this is just one little f..king example of how Americans are being screwed over by corporations.  And think about people WHO ARE working, you think they can get away with spending hours on the phone to find out why things are so f..king screwed up?

    Maybe, this is where it is at!!!!  An on-going and continual exposé of CORPORATIONS and their evil ways.  In other words, once you buy their product or service, it’s f..k you!  Who hasn’t had that experience?

    We need to go after the REAL cancer!  Not to say that our government reps. are not largely wimps and the Repugs delusional!  

    So, I guess, we could become “faux FOX” like, without being dishonest, and get on a campaign to expose all of these corporations for their hideous and deceptive behavior — maybe, just maybe, that would really be  effective.  Thinking, thinking, thinking, O.K. brain shutting down (for a short respite)!  

  84. jeffroby

    get on a campaign to expose all of these corporations for their hideous and deceptive behavior — maybe, just maybe, that would really be  effective.

    There is a faith that EXPOSURE will change anything.  This goes to my original comment for this essay.  Exposure in the absence of a practical way forward leads nowhere.  People know they’re oppressed.  They don’t think they can change it.

    How would we go after the corporations?  I suspect that by “go after” you mean further expose.  But they’ve been exposed for all sorts of things including mass murder.  I don’t think they can be “got after” in any meaningful way directly.  Yes, we could make up things like storm their offices or hold strikes, but really!

    Their vulnerability, such as it is, lies through the political system.  That’s why I want to push Dump Obama.  To the extent we have any leverage at all, that’s where it lies.

  85. jeffroby

    Progressive leadership?  David Swanson and a whole bunch of others (see http://www.warisacrime.org) with him are progressive leaders and they haven’t given up in all these long years.

    And what are they leading us to do?  I admire them, but they don’t fill my bill.

  86. jeffroby

    We could overthrow Obama,  Or remove him from office.  Or unelect him.  Cool.

    What I won’t accept anything that doesn’t entail running against him in the 2012 primaries, or as an independent in 2012, or both.  If you’re down for that, call it what you want.  I only have the power to agitate.

    The reason I like Dump is because it hearkens back to the 1967 Dump Johnson movement, which entails breaking the rule about going against an incumbent president.

  87. dharmasyd

    …ways we (any action/organizing) is bound to fail.  You may be right, and your criticisms help the thinking process; but I’m still going to keep looking for the needle in the haystack

  88. metamars

    Am I supposed to swoon, because they’d really be so much worse than Obama?

    What scares me is the lack of organization and leaders so the American people have a ‘place to go to’, in a manner compatible with a theory of change that I can at least guesstimate to be plausible. Where is the roadmap to getting out of this mess? Whining about Republicans and Tea Partiers is not a roadmap. Neither, for that matter, is whining about Democrats.

    I suppose you could say that there’s a thin line between whining and education. As a general rule, though, I’d say “blogging to the choir”, with never much thought given to how to transform those (real or imagined) insights into an electoral difference is certainly about as effective as whining. OTOH, taking valid, show-stopping information to the unwashed masses of voters, who don’t know what they should, is fairly described as education.

    In the blogosphere, there doesn’t seem to be much thought given to a theory of radical change, which targets both electronic networks and face-to-face networks as vectors of that change.

    I claim that a theory of radical change should encompass not just these networks, but also embrace low-information voters.

    Regarding ‘place to go to’: I don’t see many such places now for people who are disgusted with both Dems and Republicans, with the exception of the Tea Parties (notice the plural)*. While not the horrors that lefties make them out to be, I am dubious about some of what I think could fall out of a Tea-Party influenced Congress. (I’ve looked at their “Contract from America”, and there’s too much generality to know what to expect. Plus, some of the Tea Party candidates seem to be genuine nut cases.)

    Progressives have had just as much time as the Tea Parties to organize for having an electoral impact, but pretty much blew it. (From my perspective. I don’t consider, e.g., unions telling us how wonderful the healthcare plan is – instead of soundly rejecting it and calling out Obama for his lies – to be organizing along progressive lines.)

    * I suppose you could say that the Greens and the PDA are also such organizations, but nobody has accused either of making a big difference in the recent elections. The Tea Parties have actually had some success.

  89. dharmasyd

    We definitely don’t want nor need him for another term.  He has proven he is Wall Street’s guy, not our guy.  And he has certainly shown that he has no intention of changing his priorities.

    So…whatever we call it, we must get rid of Obama in ’12.

  90. dharmasyd

    Out of the 12 organizations which LL blockquoted, only 2 are unions.  It also says “…and many more…” than the 12 listed, few of which are unions.


    And those unemployed non union workers who lost their jobs already, why would they be wanting to march with those people whom they have perceived as getting a better deal from the govt. than they are ?

    You ask why?  Because union people, real union people, have seen how the unions have been corrupted, know how our government has contributed to the destruction of labor, and most of all because they



    And YES:

    But they also must hold the President and Rahmanonymous accountable or they are powerless


    Just like the rest of us have to hold them accountable or DUMP them.  

    Once again, all for now….sleepy time

  91. dharmasyd

    …would I pledge to vote?  I wrote a response with the reasons why I wouldn’t vote for BO…

    …And I got a second letter back thanking me for pledging to vote…

    The body politic has been bamboozled.

  92. dharmasyd


  93. dharmasyd

    …I agree with Tahoe.  You’re thinking is spot on.  The game may be dirty, but I’m still gonna try to clean it up.

  94. tahoebasha3

    I should have said the electoral votes — anyway, you know what I meant.  LOL!

  95. tahoebasha3

    Just start using your mouth, spread your bad experiences around about various corporations, AT&T, etc., write about it, send out LTE’s.  Talk about all the bad service, the endless amount of time it takes to reach a “person.”  I have no idea that this would even be helpful, but if enough people across the nation started voicing their dissatisfaction with their services, goods, etc., it might start to make a dent and they could maybe see a backing off of buying their services, goods.  If people would turn off their TVs for just one week, that would be damaging to them.  We continue to “feed” their bad and, sometimes, illegal ways by our on-going purchases of their goods and services.  Form small companies within a community kind of thing.


  96. tahoebasha3

    I’ll take him and Alan Grayson, too!

  97. dharmasyd

    …but I didn’t when I read it.  

    So, yes, the electroral college must go.  Thanks tahoe.

  98. metamars

    Most Americans don’t know the full extent of his duplicitous nature, and those who do declare him to be duplicitous have all sort of exotic theories about the nature of his duplicity. You know, he’ a Communist-Socialist-Muslim.

    I dare you to ask a random sample of your co-workers if they know about Obama’s deal with Tauzin. Go ahead, don’t be shy.

  99. pfiore8

    but i’m trying to get you somewhere: you can diagram all the bad stuff. tell, for example, people about Clinton and NAFTA, telecom act, outsourcing gov’t & the push to privatize the army.

    you can provide links and pictures and give them candy and cookies. it DOES NOT MATTER. they will not see it if they don’t want to.

    i know because i tried to expose Bush to people who have the capacity to KNOW BETTER. but he was a repub president and that’s why… i hated him, is what they thought.

    it is beyond ridiculous.

    i can only tell what i’ve come to after this disaster of a decade: facts and the truth are no match for what people believe or want to believe.

    it’s like love i guess.

    we need to find some other way in. that’s what i’m getting at. there must be another way to get people thinking differently or detaching from their love object to become more objective.

    anyway. think about it.

  100. metamars

    My general attitude with hard-core lemmings is not to waste time on them. However, if you think that hard-core lemmings are the norm, then please explain why self-identified Democrats and Republicans have generally diminished in the polls, vs. independents.

    It’s an interesting question whether or not independents outnumber the total number of hard-core lemmings (left and right, added together). However, whatever the exact numbers are, there’s still major room for maneuvering.*

    So, if you are taking hardcore lemmings for most people, irrespective of leaning (left of right), you might be correct. Even so, what about the 10’s of millions of other voters?

    * And don’t forget, there’s not been what I consider to be a serious effort to harness the independents.  

  101. pfiore8

    * And don’t forget, there’s not been what I consider to be a serious effort to harness the independents.  

    i’ve written about “ordinary americans” and reality’s “liberal” bias. there are lots of examples and i agree with you: that’s where we need to be.

    so instead of beating people with what they already know: how bad politicians are, i say let’s try to reinforce things like this:

    in 2004, in the red states that voted for Bush, 45% of those pulled the lever for Kerry. Do a Ralph Reed and make it secular.

    but there we are talking about two issues. the indie voter. or maybe the sane American voter. or the interested ethical citizen…

    and we are talking about the value of the never-ending stream of how rotten the bad guys are. I can only tell you that while i agree about indies or sane people, even they tend to gloss over after a while. you can only take so much crap.

    BushCo has been exposed to those moderates. and what do they see? not much done. and very little room to move.

    so we need some other way. like WHAT WE CAN DO, here, on the ground. LOCAL POLITICS. building regional economies and other things. i’m not that smart, but just enough to realize that we need to give people a strategy to get out of the fucking hole.

    we keep heaping all the heavy bad stuff and it feels like drowning.

    don’t mistake me: i’m not advocating e-mailing your congressman (maybe unseating a few of the real influential ones with some Cindy Sheehans). but i’d love to build a local/regional power grid networked across the country and around the world. communities uniting. small and indie, but collective strength.


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