Nov 03 2010
Nov 01 2010
Oct 25 2010
Imagine if your actions made the difference in electing a Senator, Governor, or Congressional representative? Suppose the phone calls you made, money you donated, doors you knocked on, and conversations you initiated helped swing a critically close race, or two or three. Suppose the friends you dragged to the polls helped America reject the anonymous corporate dollars that threaten to drown our democracy?
You’d feel pretty good, I believe, at least about your own efforts. So why aren’t more of us doing everything we can from now through the election to ensure the best possible outcome? In 2008, millions of people reached deep and then deeper to stake our time, money, and hearts on the possibility of change. We knew it was a critical election, and helped carry Obama and the Democrats to victory. Now, too many of us feel burned and disillusioned, with dashed hopes. We’ve lost the habit of being engaged. The election seems someone else’s problem. We doubt what we do will matter–for this round or in general.
Oct 20 2010
We often think people are motivated to do something solely by facts alone. Instead, they are spurred to action by the feeling these facts produce. People make choices and decisions based to some extent on figures and concrete details, but it is the emotional impact these soberly presented bits of information create that really matters. It has been noted many times before that polls and other human-made means of discernment have limits because no one can truly understand what lies inside a voter’s heart. This, in part, is what I mean. Unlike the typical columnist, I do not intend to use this introduction as a segue-way to rip into President Obama and the ineffectiveness of the (for now) Democratic-controlled Congress. Rather, I’d like to go well beyond.
Oct 16 2010
(Cross posted on kos.)
As we all know, the concern trolls are out in force, having the vapors that Democrats dare make an issue of the foreign donor Chamber of Commerce controversy. I have three words for them:
Dubai Ports World
The Dubai Ports World (“DPW”) controversy erupted in 2006, after revelations that the Dubai entity would manage facilities in 16 major U.S. ports.
The opposition was bipartisan — Sen. Schumer brought it to national attention, but also opposed were parties as disparate as The New York Times, Michael Savage, The John Birch Society and Senators Clinton and Obama. (David Broder must have been orgiastic.)
Well, TP reports that TAIB Bank of Dubai is apparently a $20,000 member of a CoC business council. Those and other foreign funds contribute to attack ads all over the U.S.
Dubai should not have control of either our ports or our elections.
The right uses xenophobia constantly, whether it’s immigration, terror or even birtherism. While it’s not xenophobic to rail against foreign corporate donors trying to steal our elections, it draws on similar powerful sentiments. It also ties into intense anger about outsourcing.
The lead Recommended Diary now says this issue is our October Surprise. Excellent point (though I thought it would be capturing Osama). Maybe that, or a peace treaty in Afghanistan or Israel (sure) might still happen.
But the CoC/Foreign Donations issue is a great surprise.
So I urge any Dems reticent about using this issue to
Remember Dubai Ports World
Oct 15 2010
As campaigns and volunteers hone their final electoral messages, the best flier I’ve seen asks a simple question — “Will They Get What They’re Paying For?” Created by the Washington State Labor Council, and proudly bearing their name, not that of some shadowy front group, it portrays a check from the US Chamber of Commerce to Republican Washington State Senate candidate Dino Rossi. Notes in the memo field remind us of Rossi’s positions: Lower minimum wage, repeal Wall Street reform, offshore U.S. jobs. Below the check is a field of corporate logos: BP, Fox, JPMorganChase, Walmart, AIG, Philip Morris, Citigroup, Pfizer, McDonalds, Comcast, AT&T and more. The relatively conventional back contrasts Rossi and Senator Patty Murray on key economic issues, stating “Dino Rossi works for them. Senator Patty Murray works for us.”
Oct 13 2010
I’ve been going door-to-door canvassing, and it’s not that bad — really. It’s actually kind of fun. But only because I’ve found a way to break through people’s cynicism.
No wonder people are cynical. Crashing from the sky-high hopes of two years ago, people are worried about jobs, the economy and their own uncertain futures, about the wars we’re bogged down in and the threats to our planet. They don’t like where America is headed, don’t like most politicians or candidates, and are often uncertain whether their vote even matters. But when I talked about the takeover of our politics by destructive corporate interests, culminating in the barrage of anonymous attack ads unleashed by the Supreme Court’s ghastly Citizens United decision, they quickly became willing to listen.
Oct 06 2010
In trying to get one-time Obama supporters to volunteer for the November election, I often hear this refrain: “The Democrats have sold us out. I’m tired of their spinelessness, their subservience to corporate interests. I’m staying home to teach them a lesson.” Not everyone responds this way, but enough do to make me worry, because if these people don’t show up and work to get others to vote, it could make the difference in race after neck-and-neck race, as a similar withdrawal of Democratic volunteers and voters did in 1994. As I’ve written, we either get past our broken hearts to help elect the best possible candidates between now and November, or cede even more power to the most destructive interests in America.
Sep 28 2010
I had to share this.
From the AP, Obama: Democratic voter apathy ‘inexcusable’:
WASHINGTON – Admonishing his own party, President Barack Obama says it would be “inexcusable” and “irresponsible” for unenthusiastic Democratic voters to sit out the midterm elections, warning that the consequences could be a squandered agenda for years.
“People need to shake off this lethargy. People need to buck up,” Obama told Rolling Stone in an interview to be published Friday. The president told Democrats that making change happen is hard and “if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren’t serious in the first place.”
Anyone who says Obama’s peeps don’t read Daily Kos? Ahem.
Now I just know that this stern lecture will bring out the vote.
After all, it’s the fault of the voters. We need to buck up!
I’d laugh, but I’m too apathetic and lethargic. Sorry.
Sep 23 2010
Christine O’Donnell is fast becoming the face of the Republican Party. Her campaign slogan is — to put it in Marxist language — power to the people. Or, something like that. To quote an oft-used phrase on the internet(s) and one used frequently on this blog, “Teh stoopid! It burns.”
Time permitting, I will try to post Part II of this diary later on this week.
Sep 10 2010
“OK, so your heart’s broken,” as the old song goes. So’s mine. But we have to get over it–now–and start taking action for the November election.
Granted, we’re far from where we thought we’d be when Barack Obama was elected and people danced in the streets. Change was on its way, spearheaded by Obama’s soaring words and by the millions of ordinary Americans who got involved as never before to help carry him to victory. We thought we’d finally created the opening for a historic transformation.
Now, too many of us watch morosely from the sidelines, feeling disappointed, spurned, and betrayed, wondering if anything we can do will matter. We’re angered by the gap between Obama’s lofty campaign rhetoric and his reality of half-steps and compromises, and by his failure to fight passionately for his policies. We’re angered that we dared to hope for more. We’re angered at scorched-earth Republican obstructionism, a Supreme Court inviting corporations to buy our democracy at will, and a public all too receptive to blatant lies. In response, we decide not to let our hearts get broken again by taking the risk of working for change, at least not in the electoral arena. We feel this way even though most of us have done little since Obama took office to create the kind of sustained grassroots movements that could have actually pressed him and a resistant Senate to take stronger stands.
So how do we act in the upcoming election despite dashed hopes? How do we do this in a way that builds for the future?
Aug 10 2010