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MoveOn weasel and Obama lifer Ilya Sheyman tries to hijack Occupy brand in Illinois Tenth District House run

They're palpitating at Mother Jones. I've added helpful information [in brackets]!

Could last fall's [and this coming spring and summer's] Occupy fever [it's not a disease, fergawdsake] portend a [career "]progressive["] takeover of Congress?

The answer could hinge on the outcome of an upcoming Democratic primary in a congressional district near Chicago, where a corporate-friendly centrist faces a remarkably stiff challenge from a 25-year-old Occupy Wall Street supporter who has even [!] cut an OWS-themed campaign ad.

"Even"?! ZOMG! We've finally put some campaign advertising on the teebee that, like, rawks!! Hold me back, maw!!! Hold me back!!!! And who might this wunderkind be?

What excited me about Occupy was that the target of this anger and frustration was finally the right one," says Ilya Sheyman, who stepped down as national mobilization director for early last year to compete for a seat held by a vulnerable GOP congressman. "I think what's happened is people feel like, 'Wow, we've [who?] changed the national conversation. Now we [who?] have to change leadership in Washington and deliver on that.' [what?]"


In 2004, Sheyman campaigned on behalf of a rookie Senate candidate named Barack Obama. [In other words, an Obama lifer.] The next year, he went to work for Obama's Senate office [Dittoez], handling tasks related to veterans and military affairs, before joining his boss' presidential campaign [Dittoez]. "This was the campaign that got me excited about the idea that we [who?] could make progress in this country," he says, though he's quick to acknowledge that Obama's presidency hasn't lived up to everyone's expectations.

BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA! And why would that be, you ask? What is Sheyman's explanation for this curious lack of hopey change?

"I think what happened after [the election] is a lot of us [who?] said, 'Our work is done. We've elected Barack Obama, we have a Democratic House and Senate, we are going to see the change that we want.' But the reality is, it takes ongoing organizing and mobilizing from the grassroots level [as if OFA was grassroots, instead of a top-down AstroTurf operation run by David Axelrod] to make all the progress we've got to make."

Obama can never fail! He can only be failed! (Somebody should ask Mr. Sheyman whether Obama tossing OFA away like used Kleenex as soon as the election was over had anything to do with a lack of "ongoing organizing.")

Which is where [hijacking the] OWS [brand] comes in. While the Occupy protesters typically [and correctly] eschew direct involvement in electoral politics, Sheyman believes that the movement has created the space to talk about the things he [indeed] cares about. "When we started this campaign a year ago, every question was about what do you cut and how do you deal with the deficit," Sheyman says. [Yes, we've got a "free rider" problem here, for sure] "Now the questions we hear about are how do you put people to work, how do you restore fairness to our tax system? That is a result of that shift in dialogue that Occupy has caused. So we [who?] now are focusing [and why?] on the real challenges our community is facing. And I think that is a significant victory."

If I didn't know this was outright shilling from a pro with seven years experience hooking the rubes for America's First Black Fascist President, I'd be calling bullshit on a driveling and delusional Obama fan.

Because, translate:

The Democrats in Washington had thirty years to "change the national conversation", didn't do squat, and Occupy did their job in six months,* therefore you should give the Democrats your money. And your time. And your vote.

Jeebus. How stupid do they think we are? Do you invest in the people who made the change? Or the people who didn't make the change? Do you reward practice? Or mal-practice? Do you reward performance? Or non-performance? And if you want to buy what Sheyman is selling, I've got an Obama commemorative plate from 2008 I can sell you right now, out of the back of my car. Which is handy for me, because that's where I'm living.

So, enough of the -- let's be charitable, here -- credulous D front operatives at Mother Jones. When I read "Illinois Tenth," I thought at once of Ellen of the Tenth, who's been running a great eponymous blog for as long as I can remember. Here's what she's got to say about Operative Sheyman:

Sheyman claims he (he personally) organized 5 million Americans. I sort of doubt he personally organized 5 million Americans. I doubt there are 5 million members of the local Chicago area Moveon, perhaps nationally, but locally? I don't think so. Further, as I have written many times before, this was not Real health care reform. Moveon fought real health care reform, fought single payer, Medicare for All, reform in favor of what the Obama Administration sought to add a feather to its cap without offending the health insurance industry. Some of Sheyman's supporters have said I'm being unfair when I tag Ilya with Moveon's action. My point is that Ilya is taking credit for Moveon's national response to health care reform. I'm only tagging him with what his very own local branch did.

Now, to be fair, Ellen's got her own dog in the race (John Tree) and her own bête noire (Brad Schneider). But Jeebus:

Sheyman's holding up ObamaCare -- a complete betrayal by D operatives, very much including Moveon, on both policy and process, and an outright bailout of the health insurance companies that kicks all the hard problems down the road 'til 2014 and then purports to "solve" them by putting a lemon market on the web, while all the while 45,000 American citizens a year die without care because they can't afford health insurance -- as some sort of success?

That atrocity? Sheyman's running on that?** Have the Ds no sense of shame or remorse? BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA! Who am I kidding?

Just kill me now. Of course, that's what's going to happen with ObamaCare anyhow. The mandate's going to force me to buy junk insurance, which will be all I can afford, even with the subsidies -- and ObamaCare's lemon market doesn't impose quality standards and doesn't mention cost -- and when the time comes, it won't cover me anyhow, because denying people coverage is how health insurance companies make their money, and that goes double when you're poor. Because if I've got to go without care, I'd rather do that than pay thousands of dollars up front and then go without care. Hear that, Ilya Sheyman you smarmy power-tied short-fingered brown-nosing camera-ready grinning fuck.

And the sooner the Ds go the way of the Whigs, the better for all of us.

NOTE * It's not really fair to say that Occupy changed the discourse in months, since Occupy is part of a worldwide movement that took years of patient work to gain critical mass, was fueled by some who gave their lives, and built on successes in Morocco, Egypt, Spain, and the capitol occupations in WI and elsewhere. But dear lord, the Ds and their enablers had nothing to do with it, and in fact fought it every step of the way. If the Ds had a single smidge of willingness to do the right thing anywhere in the bloated bodies and corroded souls they drag over the unprotesting earth there wouldn't need to be an Occupy in the first place.

NOTE ** And did I mention that ObamaCare is the same as RomneyCare, which was developed at the Heritage Foundation? And that the bill itself was drafted by a Liz Fowler, a WellPoint VP on secondment to Max Baucus's office? Real confidence-building.

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EllenBeth's picture
Submitted by EllenBeth on

It's extremely disappointing that Ilya Sheyman appears to have taken the lead. He doesn't have a prayer to beat the Republican incumbent and he's not worth all the hand wringing for reasons you explain and more. Sheyman worked for MoveOn when they were attacking single payer advocates on their own yahoo group as their excuse for health care reform. I asked him about it and not only did he not deny he was part of it, he later took credit for the entire effort. He's now claiming that he single-handedly organized over 5 million people for health care, but they fought single payer more than they fought Republicans. I sort of doubt his great organizing skills as well because when he organized 10 people from IL-10 to Wisconsin he needed serious help and I had to scramble to make up for his mistakes. The most disappointing here is that this candidate is being shoved down our throats by Howard Dean, DFA, PDA and PCCC and the whole thing started because Ilya hung around a local Chicago DFA and drank beer with the mostly ineffective group most known for putting up an inconsequential candidate against Rahm Emanuel for Chicago mayor who went down in flames. I suspect Ilya will too in November and then we'll be back to the drawing board. With all the hype in The Nation (Katrina vanden Heuvel wrote an article on Sheyman, but apparently did no real research), on the so called progressive blogs like Kos, and within these national groups DFA, PDA and PCCC, I'm wondering why none of these folks come up here and see for themselves what they've done to this district.

EllenBeth's picture
Submitted by EllenBeth on

I've been out at Occupy Chicago, but I've never seen Ilya Sheyman there. Granted there is a lot of time and he could have been there when I wasn't, but he's never discussed his time out there. I'd like to know when and where he was and what he did. When he supposedly led the little band of folks up to Wisconsin, he was clearly doing to to lay the groundwork for his campaign. I got endless messages after that insinuating that by going up to Wisconsin I had joined his campaign when I never in fact did and never intended to do so. I went up to Wisconsin for myself, for Wisconsin and for the country, not for Ilya Sheyman.

Submitted by lambert on

A distinct touch...

* * *

Meet the Fauxccupiers!

Actually, it's even better, since it sounds like "Fuck You"-piers. Heh heh.

tom allen's picture
Submitted by tom allen on

You're stealing my schtick! :-P

Fauxccupiers is excellent. Needs to be made a major meme. I'll get right on it. ;-)

Submitted by lambert on

In fact, there are few greater, and even fewer subtler, pleasures than seeing somebody else deploy a schtick you invented.

RanDomino's picture
Submitted by RanDomino on

Consensus, occupying, direct action, and now "fauxccupier". The tension between reform vs revolution rears its ugly head once again.

Submitted by lambert on

With terms that are necessarily ill-defined and (importantly) at best value neutral when you look at outcomes.


We have a lot of experience with campaigns that were unambiguosly revolutionary in the 20th C. I don't see a reason to make, er, a fetish of them.

EllenBeth's picture
Submitted by EllenBeth on

Tree got into the race very late due to a personal issue. I was against Ilya's run before I ever met John Tree. I didn't need another candidate to turn me away from Ilya. He offended me all by himself. I was actively looking for another candidate. Brad Schneider is even worse. Vivek Bavda is a nice guy but too willing to let Republicans get away with what they do. He proposes only small programs he thinks they will agree to. Tree finally came to the race and I grilled him terribly (he still laughs about how strictly I vetted him). We don't agree on everything, but I think his progressiveness plus his strength of personality make him the most credible and most capable to carry and take the fight to Republicans, not liberals as Sheyman's MoveOn did in 2009 and 2010.

Eureka Springs's picture
Submitted by Eureka Springs on

fyi, I tried submitting to reddit because this would likely do well there... to no avail. Do we have a glitch? Twitter worked just fine.