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ntoddpax's picture

Rolling Stone:

It wasn't until 10 days before the election, after OFA finally woke up to Coakley's cratering poll numbers, that the group sent out an urgent appeal to members, asking them to help turn out Massachusetts voters from phone banks across the country. But after having been sidelined by the White House for most of its first year, OFA discovered that most of its 13 million supporters had tuned out. Only 45,000 members responded to the last-minute call to arms.

In the final week, volunteers organized 1,000 phone banks and placed more than 2.3 million calls to Massachusetts. OFA also scrambled to place 50 staffers in the state to gin up a door-knocking operation. But it was too late: In a race decided by 110,000 votes, 850,000 of those who voted for Obama in Massachusetts failed to turn out for Coakley. "The relationship-building process we did with Obama for America," concedes Stewart, "is not something you can manufacture in three weeks."

In the wake of Coakley's loss, I saw triumphalism online--bloggers are smarter than Dem leaders!--and tweeted that if the Netroots wanted to be in the game it had missed an opportunity to prove itself in MASEN.  A number of folks on Twitter, Facebook and blogs took issue with my remark, saying it wasn't their fault, there was nothing they could do, some bloggers did phonebanking, etc.  Yeah, that's a compelling argument for us to be in charge.

If the Netroots is indeed a great force--I have always acknowledged we have some real assets and potentials--why didn't we self-organized a larger response to the need in MASEN, especially when OFA dropped the ball?  Shouldn't there have been more phonebanking earlier in the process?  Shouldn't there have been caravans to MA from at least neighboring states like we saw for marriage equality in NH and ME?

OFA didn't mobilize until it was too late.  Same with us Netroots, who shouldn't need top-down marching orders from what is essentially a mainstream political vehicle that has a grassroots paint job.  Grassroots is about doing it ourselves, not waiting for leadership.

We learned at Obama Camp (training to be Deputy Field Organizers aka Glorified Volunteers With A Fancy Title) that on average a dozen doors knocked translate into one (1) vote for your candidate.  Canvassing those 850k Obama voters would have thus netted over 70k for Coakley, turning the election for her.  Imagine if instead of impotently stomping our feet on blogs and opining about how Obama and the Dems were failures, the Netroots--notably A-list bloggers, MoveOn and DFA, who have large platforms and mailing lists--had actively filled the void left by the "leadership".

Mind you, I'm not blaming us for the lost Magical 60th Senate Vote That Still Never Seems To Help The Majority Pass Shit.  I'm simply suggesting that we cannot lay claim to being a New Awesome Force For Change and expect a seat at the table when we haven't really done all that much to change things.  Yes, there's been a lot of furious online activity--fundraising, petitions, one-off e-mail campaigns, virtual phonebanking, blogging about strategy--but we've yet to translate that into tangible offline action and anything more than background noise the powers-that-be cannot hear over lobbyists' voices in close proximity.

Fear not, Netroots!  We still have an opportunity to do some good for HCR.

MyBarackObama.com has reached out a bit to ask us to pledge our support to Members of Congress who "fight for reform".  I know from where President Obama sits that means "vote for the Frankenstein bill so we can declare 'Mission Accomplished' and move on," but that doesn't mean we have to limit ourselves to his political myopia.

I suggest we pledge our support to incumbents and challengers who will stand for HR676, and persistently tell the President and Congress that we will settle for nothing less.  We should also phonebank and canvass to get our fellow citizens on board with real reform and mobilize them to apply more pressure for single-payer.  And, of course, I'd love to see some direct action but let's cross these bridges first.

So how about it, DFA, MoveOn, and A-listers?  How about it, Netroots?  Think we can get our collective asses in gear?  Think of all the fun self-congratulating and navel gazing we can do after we win...

ntodd

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DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

I have been thinking of Corrente holding as recruiting day to ask our readers to sing up to help Healthcare-NOW!. For a blog as small as Correntewire I think it makes more sense to support an established organization rather than attemp to build anything of our own.

As for Coakley, as a reader of this blog you know some of our posters were unethusiastic about her.

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

Great idea. Maybe we can get a blog swarm to funnel people to HC-NOW.

As for Coakley, I agree with folks who say she was a lackluster candidate and was a poor choice for Senator. I really can't say I'm sad she lost because the Dems did fuckall with 60, and I understand why MA rejected her (too bad the Dems don't understand it's because they haven't gone far enough).

But she certainly demonstrates the haplessness of Dems, and the lost opportunity for the Netroots to help in the lead up to the election. One hopes we can learn from it.

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

here, until she reversed on Stupak. (and some after).

But the whole bad-candidate spin (below), pushed like crazy by Obama and his fan base, so that no one could in any way blame him or his crappy health care plan for her loss isn't one of them. I really wish people would stop parroting that crap, which they pick up at places like Kos for freaksake.

Some had very legit reasons to oppose Coakley, primarily the health care monstrosity Dems where whipping through, and her flip on the abortion language. The campaign and election, including the merits or disadvantages of voting for her, was discussed extensively (in no particular order) at Corrente, here, here, here, here, here (had to laugh at this one, it's where I predicted Coakley would coast to victory in Democrat-laden Mass.), here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, and with commentary on the netroots rhetorical efforts in this regard here.

Although the mobilization argument is a good one, the Brown-Coakley contest is not the best example for reference. Mass voters were inundated with gotv efforts before the election with all methods. Certainly, more mobilization by OFA wouldn't have helped, since all they did was tie Coakley specifically to Obama's health care plan as vote 60 -- which was exactly what strongly mobilized the Unaffiliateds and Republicans to gotv against her. The 1/10 stat is an average, and I doubt it can be legitimately applied when such a large part of the voting public is already polarized on key issues.

As for DKos on the election, I just found this quite interesting on-the-ground perspective on Coakley there, which I missed during the election (mostly because I never visit Cheetoville if I can help it). As for gotv, there were a few very enthusiastic posters involved in gotv for Coakley, before the OFA got involved, but Kos himself took the what a horrible candidate tack right after Brown's win.

Because the problem is not that we have too little condescension from our tribe. -- okanogen

Submitted by jawbone on

suggestion.

Think we could get great choirs of people out to stand up to Wall St banksters, BHIPpers (Big Health Industry Players), even war mongers?

As the Estonians did with their Singing Revolution?

How would our authorities react? The usual gas and batons, mounted police pushing us into packed corners? Or get out the big microwave weapons?

Imagine: Thousands actually singing! Then the storm troopers...very bad optics for the Establishment and Corporatists.

Fredster's picture
Submitted by Fredster on

Let's put on a show! We can put it on in the old barn. I bet we can get Mickey, and Judy and rest of the gang!

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

I LOVE THIS IDEA!!!

I will happily sing up for Medicare for All! And it will be LOUD, too.

Never vote for people who hate you.

ERA Now!

The Widdershins

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

I can't carry a tune to save my life, but would gladly bang a drum or tamborines, wave a sign, etc!

Because the problem is not that we have too little condescension from our tribe. -- okanogen

Submitted by lambert on

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

...eleventy million years with their antics.

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

Submitted by lambert on

I saw them in Augusta, and thought they were great.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

Really, you thought I would believe that about the Grannies? They're my heroes.

I mock--dare I say 'snark'--the attitude that theater such as theirs or CP's sets the movement back. Astonishing that people think this.

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

Submitted by lambert on

Mockery isn't the same as irony which isn't the same as snark.

I missed the irony in your response. Ooops!

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

and saw all those quotes by Moulitsas. Wow. I don't read Daily Kos, so I have no idea what, if anything, big orange did for Coakley. But you are quite correct, there was never any need for netroots to wait for marching orders.

the way I see it, blogs are more about messaging and the distribution of information. As a way of moving people to action we suck. We are to mass movements was PR is to Procter and Gamble. Without a manufacturing plant, workers, and product, no amount of messaging and distribution of information will get you anywhere.

Now it is possible to walk and chew gum at the same time. People who post or just read blogs can do more.

nihil obstet's picture
Submitted by nihil obstet on

I just can't see that ntoddpax, DCBlogger, Lambert Strether, or nihil obstet is ever going to be heard over Lloyd Blankstein, Ben Bernanke, or the lobbyists with hundreds of millions of dollars to slather around. Who is the most effective at delivering Democratic votes? It's the unions. How have they done? Harry Reid has positively grovelled to the White House (a deserving groveller there), but Ben Nelson's gotten his druthers.

It is the peasant dream that if we work hard enough for the lord, he will appreciate our value and grant us our wishes. Baloney. He'll ignore us as long as we know our place.

I'm not in Massachusetts, and still don't know whether Coakley would be a good Senator, but I do know that if the vote was a referendum on the Democrats, they deserved to lose.

I'm with you on working for policies, particularly Medicare for All, but not on being an armchair strategist for proving how powerful we can be.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

I just can't see that ntoddpax, DCBlogger, Lambert Strether, or nihil obstet is ever going to be heard over Lloyd Blankstein, Ben Bernanke, or the lobbyists with hundreds of millions of dollars to slather around.

Yeah, why would Churchill take notice of some half naked fakir

Why would Senator Stenis, Sam Ervin et all take notice of some black preacher operating out of Montgomery Alabama?

Why would Marcos flee the presidential palace just because some widow ran for president?

Why would the Soviet Union roll its tanks out of Lithuania just because the locals joined hands and sang patriotic songs?

No, as a copy and paste blogger I do not consider myself in their class. But there is a lesson there. If a system is decrepit enough, it will collapse with a little assistance from small time trouble makers. There is a limit to what money and guns can do for you if your system does not function.

invisible's picture
Submitted by invisible on

pretty awesome comment.

Now, when folks start standing up for the American Indian, Native American, First Nations, etc., etc., etc., I might go for it.

I know that sounds sarcastic or negative or something, but that's not my intent, just my heart.

I mean what I say and I thank you.

tsisageya
2L4O

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

Now, when folks start standing up for the American Indian, Native American, First Nations, etc., etc., etc., I might go for it.

How about joining in to create justice where we can, which enables us to create justice in more places? You can help spread the message, teach the tactics, tie the social justice of healthcare to the social justice of NatAm rights.

Cheers,
A Cherokee Descendant

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

nihil obstet's picture
Submitted by nihil obstet on

I'm missing something here. Did Gandhi canvas for the Tories, and as a result get a seat at the table on British foreign policy?

Did Martin Luther King organize phone banks for Stenis and Ervin, who were so impressed with how much he helped them that they gave him a seat at the table for their deliberations?

Did Marcos flee the palace just because some widow ran for president? I thought there was unrest in the streets.

Were the locals in Lithuania singing Soviet electoral campaign songs, which so gratified the Soviets that they gave a seat to the locals when they decided whether to keep their tanks in the country or roll them out?

I think these are all very good examples of the power of concerted action, or as I put it, working for policies. To me this is very different from working for the election of a politician whose policies you disagree with in order to show your effectiveness in a way that will lead him to give you "a seat at the table." In every one of these cases that you cite, the concerted action opposed the politician(s). I don't believe that if you just give enough to a strong opposition, the opposition will be grateful enough to reciprocate.

invisible's picture
Submitted by invisible on

I cannot determine your point. What exactly are you saying?

In other words, huh?

Naturally, I think we all understand that I am not the smartest gild on the lily, so be kind.

(Okay, this is not the original comment I made. WTF is happening, lambert? If this continues, I will be gone.)

Time passes. In fact, I am gone. GBCW.

tsisageya
2L4O

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

I think these are all very good examples of the power of concerted action, or as I put it, working for policies. To me this is very different from working for the election of a politician whose policies you disagree with in order to show your effectiveness in a way that will lead him to give you "a seat at the table."

You're conflating the example of how the Netroots could have demonstrated the effectiveness it claims with Coakley (and really, as I note, any time in the process before the election including supporting a better candidate) and how we might now organize for single-payer. I guess I'm just too nuanced.

Look at what I've suggested for action now: pressuring politicians and canvassing citizens to support our cause, not a person. That's exactly what Gandhi did. What King did. And Cory, and Boris.

As an aside, I actually hung out with the son of the Lithuanian Parliament's President during the Moratorium in 1990. Heady times. Know how they planned to defend against a Soviet invasion? Civilian-based defense, total non-cooperation. You know, people power.

So read the whole post to the end where I suggest we rally for single-payer, then think of ways we can make that happen.

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

nihil obstet's picture
Submitted by nihil obstet on

And I would make the point that it's counterproductive and rude not to read an entire post with reasonable care before commenting, so I do assure you that I read your whole post to the end, and thought I was agreeing with the later examples you gave. I've received a lot of calls to action by MoveOn, FDL for a public option, OFA, and so on, pushing me to do something to support some undefined objective, because that'll show how strong we in the netroots are. I admit to having a little trouble distinguishing your main example from those other calls, and that worried me. Sorry about any misunderstanding.

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

I usually run into trouble when I use a tangible example and then extrapolate. You shoulda seen the shitstorm when people here thought I'd advocated for the PO!

I'd change my ways, but fuck it, I'm lazy...

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

I just can't see that ntoddpax, DCBlogger, Lambert Strether, or nihil obstet is ever going to be heard over Lloyd Blankstein, Ben Bernanke, or the lobbyists with hundreds of millions of dollars to slather around.

It ain't just us on this blog. The point is to gather more people in a spectrum of tactical and strategic action. So I suggest starting with the millions of people online doing a little more.

Who is the most effective at delivering Democratic votes? It's the unions. How have they done?

They made threats and backed off once they got what they wanted as a bribe in the current bill. Hence, I note that phonebanking and canvassing our neighbors and other fellow citizens would be a way to mobilize.

I'm with you on working for policies, particularly Medicare for All, but not on being an armchair strategist for proving how powerful we can be.

How are we going to work for a policy if we don't exercise collective power?

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

I urged her defeat, and I think it was progressive disaffection, after her commitment to vote for the Senate HCR horror, as well as her last minute fund-raising visit to health industry lobbyists that accounts for that defeat. However:

"I suggest we pledge our support to incumbents and challengers who will stand for HR676, and persistently tell the President and Congress that we will settle for nothing less. We should also phonebank and canvass to get our fellow citizens on board with real reform and mobilize them to apply more pressure for single-payer. And, of course, I'd love to see some direct action but let's cross these bridges first."

I agree with this proposal. We need pressure now for HR 676 and Medicare for All, and if there must be compromise it had better be a settlement that at least:

1) expands Medicare to those over 45, and under 18;
2) expands Medicaid to those up to 200% of the poverty level;
3) Closes the Medicare donut hole
4) Pays for it with income taxes on those making over $250,000 per year and by repealing the Medicare Advantage program

These changes must effective within one year from the date of the legislation.

Then they need a series of individual bills either passed separately or passed as amendments to bills Republicans won’t dare to vote to vote against, like defense appropriations bills. The provisions that need to be passed include:

5) removal of the anti-trust exemption
6) prohibition of denials due to preconditions
7) prohibition of rescissions
8) prohibition of discriminatory pricing against those who have preconditions or who have experienced illness while previously covered by insurance
9) limitation of premium increases to the general rate of inflation
9) A robust enforcement mechanism making it a felony to violate any of these prohibitions for individuals acting on behalf of the companies, and for the corporations themselves also, with the penalty for any corporation involved being corporate dissolution.

All the above have to be effective upon passage of the legislation. No adjustment period so that the insurance companies can jack up prices before the legislation takes effect.

The above measures involve no PO and exchange, no neo-liberal BS about the wonders of a free market that has never worked in insurance, and no reforms that are coming into play years from now so that people don’t immediately see the benefits. That sort of thing is very bad politics for Democrats since the tolerance of Americans for BS from the Congress is particularly low right now.

But what is good politics is passing the above just as I’ve stated it. It will begin to change the impression that Democrats have sold out to the corporations, and unless they change that impression, they are goners in the Fall.

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

what is good politics is passing the above just as I’ve stated it. It will begin to change the impression that Democrats have sold out to the corporations, and unless they change that impression, they are goners in the Fall.

Yup. And from where I sit, they're goners anyway: I might try to do some work for Rep Peter Welch, who's mostly on the right side and with whom I've built a good working relationship, but our family's activism focus is now on state campaigns and issues, alternative parties, and fuck the national Dems. Not enough time and money for us to keep trooping down to DC when we have a better shot at single-payer here. All y'all are welcome to move to VT and partake in our healthcare and gay marriages. Just don't eat up all the syrup.

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

Submitted by jawbone on

prefer area with real winter and lots of snow, so Vermont sounds mighty fine.

I'm already at the lowest cost actual health insurance here in NJ -- will probably have to drop it soon as the $1100/month is tough to come up with. (Yes, that is for individual; famiies much higher.)

My property taxes have gone crazy here in NJ and will be going up as the new Repub governor just took back funding for school systems. For the rest of the year, any school system with a rainy day fund will have that amount held back from state aid. So, if the furnace goes, tough titty, kiddies. Either close the school and drain the plumbing, or have electric heaters to offer some warmth in the class rooms, restrooms, etc.

He's also making cuts to NJ Transit. He is telling both schools and NJT to take it to the greedy unions and force them to take pay and benefit cuts.

And, Obama? What does he do about the looming cuts in state budgets? Oh, right. Pittances.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

for example, a great, WPA-type jobs bill with no tax cuts to anyone, would also help dispel the image Dems now have as hypocritical corporate sellouts.

In your otherwise excellent list, I have to ask why you left out "no abortion restrictions" and lowered the age for Medicare to 45, the age at which women by and large stop having abortions.

It won't be "good politics" if abortion restrictions are still part of the bill. It will make women go Lysistrata, and stop voting for Democrats entirely. And personally, I will never support any "compromise" that throws women's health care under the bus.

Never vote for people who hate you.

ERA Now!

The Widdershins

Fredster's picture
Submitted by Fredster on

We learned at Obama Camp (training to be Deputy Field Organizers aka Glorified Volunteers With A Fancy Title) that on average a dozen doors knocked translate into one (1) vote for your candidate.

So you worked to elect teh One? If so, pardon me for being a bit snarky but to paraphrase someone, how's that workin' out for ya?

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

So you worked to elect teh One? If so, pardon me for being a bit snarky but to paraphrase someone, how's that workin' out for ya?

I was a Kucinich supporter who worked my ass off for the Democratic nominee because I didn't want McCain/Palin. Taught me a lot, and gave us what I still think was a better chance to effect change long-term.

He was never my Savior, and I knew there would be plenty of setbacks and lots of work to do after he won. I went to DC to protest at his Inauguration, was back in March and May, and continue to try pressuring him and Congress, as well as educating people about their power to effect change.

There are no guarantees in life, and Obama and his party squandered a lot of momentum and opportunities. As did we progressives.

So how's your work during 2008 and snark workin' out for ya? Gotten us single-payer yet?

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

If many of us hadn't been consistently and sometimes snarkily calling out Obama from the left for the past two-three years, a lot of "you progressives" would still be as clueless as Booman. At least we have helped contribute to a progressive awakening, and some people in the blogosphere have been able to bring themselves to acknowledge that.

Never vote for people who hate you.

ERA Now!

The Widdershins

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

It's much better to snark at somebody who did a lot of work in 2008 and is trying to find solutions than to, you know, talk about solutions. If only there had been more snark on blogs back in March, we'd have HR676, proving once again they're the big game changers! Bravo.

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

rather than going into a defensive sarcastic crouch?!

I never said that snark would get us HR 676. Nor did Fredster. I know him, and I think he was probably just astonished that someone as left as you obviously are would go for Obama. Clearly, voting for him didn't get us HR 676 either.

I do think that snark often has a role to play in revealing the truth about a situation. Just look at how effective Joe Biden's snark was at destroying Rudy NineEleven's candidacy. But obviously, it is not an action tool.

Some of us protest-voted in 2008, some of us went for Obama. A lot of us were lefties who were trying to make a difference the best way we could. Big fucking deal. I do think it's time for us all to try to get along if we can.

That's why I'm here at Corrente, and why I don't go to a lot of other places which still insist I'm a Nazi racist Republican for protest-voting in 2008.

Never vote for people who hate you.

ERA Now!

The Widdershins

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

I think he was probably just astonished that someone as left as you obviously are would go for Obama. Clearly, voting for him didn't get us HR 676 either.

I sure as hell wasn't going to work for McKinney. The Greens don't impress me at the national level, so I worked for what I decided was our best shot, the Democratic nominee (my work for DK didn't pan out, sadly). I don't think Hillary or even Dennis would've been any more effective, quite frankly, yet all would be better than McCain.

I wonder what it would look like if Fredster asked me a question without the snark.

I suggest shit based on my experience, get snarkily responded to, now I'm supposed to somehow acknowledge the power of snark? Sorry, that dog won't hunt.

Snark has done fuckall for us. It's an impotent thing confined to blogs and great, you converted a blogger with it by calling out Obama! Color me unimpressed.

Respond to what *I* wrote at the outset instead of defending snark. Translate that into real action and maybe we'll get what we want.

I'm done with the meta distraction.

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

(Joe Biden) which you failed to acknowledge. And I do think you are far too defensive as a general rule. (I've had a lot worse than that thrown at me, and by former "friends," too.) As lambert says, "Your argument is not you."

But, I do agree we shouldn't snark at each other if possible. Point taken.

I personally have tried to form a local organization with like-minded online "friends" in New York and San Francisco, only to find that they were not like-minded. People whom you meet online are often not who they say they are. So, the blogosphere is sometimes not the greatest catalyst for real action either.

I have always hoped that lefties could form a voting bloc, similar to Moveon.org, that presses the Democrats from the left. I also really like the idea of the Full Court Press, which seems to be more of your focus (pick a policy point and support those who support it).

Whatever we do, I think the action part has to be in person. I'm not convinced that writing or calling really does anything at this point. Plus, when you meet people for reelz, you can get a much better sense of whether they are on your side, or working for the opposition.

Never vote for people who hate you.

ERA Now!

The Widdershins

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

Biden is not a blogger. He's a goddamned elected official, so of course his snark is going to have an impact--anything he says will. Snarking on a blog is noise. Fun noise at times, as I snark myself, but that's the extent of it.

And if somebody snarks at me, I'm gonna fucking spit back. Ooh, shocking. If one wants to express surprise at my support of Obama in the General election, there are ways they can do that to foster discussion and understanding, or they can be snarky dicks. I thought it was pretty fucking dickish of Fredster, and your immediate leap to defend snark as some great important thing when I took issue with his wasn't entirely nice or helpful either.

My point stands: snark hasn't changed a fucking thing that matters. And in this particular context, it sure as hell sounded like belittling somebody for their support of a candidate whilst then ignoring the actual points I made. I'd submit in this case, snark was actually not just useless, but detrimental to discussion and accomplishing anything.

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

Thank goodness you're not defensive!!!!!!111!!!!!

Mother of God. What about "point taken" did you not understand?

I tried to move the discussion forward and out of the meta stuff by saying I agreed with you. Your response was a veritable avalanche of nastiness.

Guess what? You are not the only person in the universe who has ever done anything to try to improve life in the U.S. It would be refreshing if you got a grasp on that concept instead of throwing all kinds of condescending crap at people.

As you would say, "I'm done." (I need a cape to swirl overdramatically when I say that.)

Never vote for people who hate you.

ERA Now!

The Widdershins

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

You are not the only person in the universe who has ever done anything to try to improve life in the U.S.<

No fucking shit. I'm wondering where I made that assertion. But thank god you're not being defensive.

It would be refreshing if you got a grasp on that concept instead of throwing all kinds of condescending crap at people.

I would love to have you help me grasp what kinds of condescending crap I've thrown at people. Seriously.

This is the blog that requires people to back up their claims, right?

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

Submitted by lambert on

He's got you there, madamab; see rule 4.

I suggest, painful though it may be, that you withdraw "condescending crap," not because it's uncivil, but because it's not easily verifiable, and have at it with the real issues being raised on the thread; Valhalla and [lambert blushes modestly] I are doing that. Anger is an appropriate response to injustice, but it had better not be the last one....

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

Okay, having swirled off dramatically, I'm back simply because Lambert asked me to retract my comment. Then, I will dramatically swirl off again.

Snark has done fuckall for us. It's an impotent thing confined to blogs and great, you converted a blogger with it by calling out Obama! Color me unimpressed. (emphasis mine)

Is it me, or was that condescending?

Also, I did address the "real issues" by talking about my experiences as a grassroots organizer and mentioning that I think in-person is better than e-activism. So saying that I was not addressing the issues being discussed is, I think, incorrect.

If you really think that comment needs to be retracted, please go ahead and delete it. It's your blog and your call.

Later.

Never vote for people who hate you.

ERA Now!

The Widdershins

Submitted by lambert on

Though I thought I'd resolved not to read comments that start out with "Sigh," since they never end well!

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by gmanedit on

"I don't think Hillary or even Dennis would've been any more effective, quite frankly, yet all would be better than McCain."

Of course Hillary would have been more effective than Obama. She demonstrated her ability to work across the aisle in Congress, understands the levers of power, and would not have given the VRWC faction the opportunity to recover power that Obama so graciously extended. She would not have dragged the Democrats into disgrace and failure in only a year. She would not have given trillions to banksters without extracting concessions. She would not have stood aside on issue after issue and refused to lead. Etc.

I don't understand "or even Dennis." How could he possibly have been effective at all? Has he any experience wrangling Republicans? Good intentions are necessary, not sufficient.

I voted for McCain because I saw Obama as a Republican Trojan horse who was destroying the Democratic Party, and I wanted the Republicans to take the blame for the preceding eight years, and I thought the Democrats might stand up to him whereas they surely would not stand up to Obama, and the Republicans thought him too liberal anyway.

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

Hillary is DLC and I don't see her as having learned Thing One from the Hillarycare disaster. She's also a militarist as much as any "centrist" Dem, so not somebody I would've been thrilled to support in the Fall, but I would still have done so. If she wouldn't have hired Rahm, it would've been some other team that likely would still have fumbled the ball.

I said "even Dennis" because he was my chosen candidate. I recognized that his weaknesses were not policy-oriented, but parliamentary. He supported everything I wanted, but would probably have ended up with about the same level of success as the other Dems.

Anyway, the speculation is all fun, as is the "I was right in how I voted" or "I knew Obama was XYZ." And does little to help us in the end if there's no action as follow up.

Fundamentally the problem is the Democratic Party overall, and the vacuum they fill that we've created through inertia and inaction. FCP promises some good long-term things, but in the meantime we've got a lot of work to do with the remainder of this session.

There's an opportunity for us to mobilize in the lead up to Obama's summit. The die is probably cast, but shall we just assume so and go down without a fight, choosing instead to debate who was the better choice in 2008?

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

She's got a voting record one helluva lot closer to Boxer than Feinstein. Obama is less likely to vote with Boxer than Clinton is. I don't know why it's so painful for the left to admit that Hillary is an honest-to-god liberal with a voting record and a personal history to prove it. I'm not sure Kucinich is more liberal than she is. I know that what Hillary does makes life better for ordinary people and tougher for corporations and if you don't know that, you've drunk the koolaid.

I like Dennis but he's not great on women's issues. Hillary is. And she is way, way, way to the left of Obama on issues relating to corporations.

It would be nice if the left would start acknowledging it.

"Someone needs to point out that elephants produce infinitely more shit than donkeys." Brad Mays

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

http://www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/0...

Using publicly published data from Congressional Quarterly, we averaged a couple of different types of scores that they published, looking at all votes going back to January 1, 1991. After going through a number of steps and gyrations, we came up with a list of six hard-core progressive United States Senators (6% of that body) and 39 hard-core progressive United States Representatives (about 9% of that body). The algorithm that we've used to come up with these progressive scores is as follows: We take ANY VOTE in which a majority of the progressives we've identified--so in the House say, if there were no absences, it would be 20 of the 39--voted in opposition to a majority of the Republican caucus and have that vote qualify for the database. The same process is used in the Senate. So, non-ideological votes such as National Groundhog Day: 429-0 with 6 absences, do not qualify for the database. ANY vote in which a majority of progressives in the progressive cohort listed just below here votes against a majority of Republicans qualifies for the database. The percentage of votes which qualify using this algorithm remains remarkably constant from one Congress to another, about half of all votes cast.

In other words, Progressive Punch eliminated strongly bipartisan votes entirely to look specifically at cases where Democrats in the House or Senate voted against the position of a majority of the most progressive members of their party, i.e., this is very much an attempt to look at whether a Democratic member of Congress abandoned the most progressive elements in their party. Based on their historical review of voting records, here is the list of Senators they used to define their benchmark for progressive voting:

Boxer, Barbara-CA
Durbin, Richard-IL
Lautenberg, Frank R.-NJ
Kennedy, Edward M-MA
Reed, Jack-RI
Sanders, Bernard-VT

In other words, if a Senator had a progressive score of 100%, that means the Senator voted with the majority of the 6 Senators listed above in every vote where the latter voted against a majority of Republicans in the Senate. But, if the majority of the 6 Senators above did not vote against the Republican majority, then Progressive Punch, lacking an objective definition of "progressive" in that scenario, defaults to assuming that the vote should not be considered in the assessment of the progressive nature of another Senator.

Ultimately, Clinton had an overall record of voting with the above senators 92% of the time and Obama 90% of the time. For comparison's sake, Lieberman voted with them 77% of the time. Clinton has a much longer history of taking action and stands on various issues important to the middle class. Obama is completely lacking on that front.

"Someone needs to point out that elephants produce infinitely more shit than donkeys." Brad Mays

Submitted by lambert on

If you look at the (unrivalled, though I say it), single payer coverage we've done, I don't see a lot of snark, if any. It would not have been an appropriate tactic, since the subject matter ought to be policy driven.

Now, the decision was taken by the Democratic Party and the party line access bloggers at some point in summer or spring 2008 to suppress single payer as a policy option and to exclude its advocates from front page coverage, but I can't imagine that decision was at all influenced by a few blogs that everybody hates and nobody reads, but rather by dynamics internal to Versailles. Of course, for their censorship and intellectual dishonesty on health care policy, the access bloggers richly deserve every bit of snark one could hurl at them, but the snark comes after the policy and process betrayals, and did not precede them.

* * *

As far as snark in general .... Well, I'd argue -- without really being able to prove it -- that "the blogs" circa 2003-2006 slowly but steadily came to control a substantial portion of the discourse, and this made it harder for Bush to govern, and it facilitated Democratic victories in 2006. (That this turned out to be worthless doesn't invalidate the tactic.) And snark was definitely one tactic, and one that worked. (That it is seen to work in Versailles, and seen to work by the access bloggers, can be shown by their attacks on Palin). Snark is a crucible for developing talking points, I would say.

So, I'd say snark will help do for the Obama administration what was done for the Bush administration, and rightly so: Make it harder for them to govern. And I'd say the time frame, three years, would be about the same. Changing the discourse is hard work. It's only one tactic, and needs to be combined with others, though.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

Snark is a crucible for developing talking points, I would say.

That's fair enough. Snark directed at the opponent is fine--ostensibly guerilla theater is snark--uncovers truths, etc. However, I don't think that was the methodology in play here...

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

Submitted by lambert on

... it became clear to me, during the 2008 primaries, that neither the Democratic Party nor its nominee supported my values or interests, the latter, from the policies proposed; the former, because of the tactics used.

Now, whether that "worked out well" for me, or the Dems, is an open question, at this point.

A lot of us here traveled a similarly painful road; I think it's only natural that reference be made to politically formative experiences.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

We could have an interesting discussion sans snark about how people make political and electoral calculations. It certainly wasn't easy for me to see people dismiss Kucinich, then to have somebody who promised more war in Afghanistan get the nom. Yet I made a choice to work for the man, knowing I would be working "against" him (or as I prefer to see it, creating space for him) on January 21st forward.

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

Submitted by lambert on

... I'm not sure what comment I made that would make anybody feel disrespected?

* * *

As far as "creating space" for Obama, that presumes he's working for values and interests that I have and we share. That seems implausible, given the record. I also think that any strategy premised on that idea is doomed to fail. (Granted, I can't point to a strategy, other than quietly removing oneself from as much of the grid as possible, that will succeed, and quietism is almost certainly not enough.)

* * *

On snark in general, je repete, in different words: Snark in general operates at the discourse level, and it doesn't operate at the movement level. But that doesn't say that snark is useless or accomplishes nothing. I argue that it made it harder for Bush to govern, which is good, and will make it harder for the Democrats to govern, which is also good (at least for me, since they don't represent my values or interests).

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

... I'm not sure what comment I made that would make anybody feel disrespected?

I was just responding to your "we've had painful roads" and noting for the general audience that it is not unique to people on this blog who didn't support Obama. Given that it followed on a snark dis of my work for Candidate Obama, it seemed a point that needed amplification.

As far as "creating space" for Obama, that presumes he's working for values and interests that I have and we share. That seems implausible, given the record.

Still seems plausible to me. It's only necessary for him to share our values and interests if we only try to persuade him. If we create other conditions in which he sees the value of moving into that space, he can do it despite earlier resistance to what we want (or how we want to achieve it).

It's similar to the idea that we don't need to shame our opponent or gain sympathy from the masses for NV action to work. All depends on the tactics brought to bear.

One way we could do it in this case is to rally and kill the bill. His moving into the space we created could manifest itself as his saying, "okay, we need to get something else out there now, HR676 is the easiest and we'll just use our majority to push it." Or we might need to further escalate, demonstrating that we will fight people who voted for the bill in their losing effort, and will support whomever gets behind HR676. Etc.

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

Submitted by lambert on

That means that you're really not able to see who's responding to whom. So, "followed by" but in a completely different context of which you're unaware.

Do you have any evidence that Obama can be brought to work for our interests? (At this hour of the night, I'll leave values aside.) We've had a year of the guy now, and we pretty much know where he's coming from.

If not, then, as I keep saying, the opportunity cost of working on Dem-related projects is doing new things in new venues.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

Do you have any evidence that Obama can be brought to work for our interests?

All regimes require consent. LBJ wasn't into Civil Rights, but the conditions were created for him to do the right thing. As of yet, we have not done that for Obama. Yes, he and Congress can be forced to work for our interests, if we work for our interests.

The more important question is, will we simply snark on blogs, or will we get into the streets?

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

was a big believer in the power of ridicule. I am too lazy to write a proper post, but snark on blogs is not just noise. I am not very good at it, but Atrios is a real genius and lambert has a light satiric style that is pure gold. Ridicule does have the power to change our national discourse. It is particularly valuable when you have a zero budget. That is why Alinsky was a big believer in it.

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

It's easy to snark on a blog. I do it myself, whether I do sp well as lambert or He Who Never Links To Me is an open question. But much like the single-digit Methods, it's a low-level thing at best, and we need to be stepping up our game and not just "moving the conversation forward" as Harry Reid has said. Without follow up, ridicule is just ridicule, still passive and not likely to get Obama or voters to do what we want.

And in this thread's context, I'll take issue with the snark leveled at me as being anything about changing discourse or making any positive impact.

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Is it easy to glean truth when false narratives abound and are socially and financially supported? Is it easy to face vicious opposition from people more powerful and influential than you who happen to be destructively wrong on many key issues? I think not.

Is it easy to be smug in privileging activism (or simply talk about activism) over canny analysis and propagation of important and challenging ideas? I'd say yes.

YMMV.

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

Is it easy to be smug in privileging activism (or simply talk about activism) over canny analysis and propagation of important and challenging ideas?

Is it being smug to ask that we talk about tangible actions to achieve the change we all allegedly want? Are you really propagating a challenging idea right now?

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... or otherwise of what you write is extremely challenging, yes.

And, yes, repeatedly taking a superior tone and being boundlessly defensive because you're kicking the can around about some notion or other about activism just might be a little smug.

Submitted by lambert on

Like Harold Hill said, "You gotta know the territory."

In the same way that an "offhand comment" granting legitimacy to the so-called public option* is going to get some pushback at a blog that routinely gets single payer luminaries to live blog, an offhand comment on activism for Obama is going to get some pushback from readers who were thrown off other blogs and came here, were smeared as racists, or thrown out of the party by other Obama activists. Especially when a lot of 'em are Cassandras and DFHs still.

NOTE * As on offer on the Hill today.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

When I smear somebody as a racist (funny, since I've for example argued with rootless at Eschaton that you're not) or throw somebody out of a party (which will be difficult since I belong to none), go ahead and take me to task. Until then, perhaps people could help a relatively new person understand the territory without making them out to be something they're not (a PO advocate, an Obamabot with talkinng pointst, a clueless progressive, a so-called liberal, etc). And you might consider trying to know the other territory a bit, too.

Be nice if people took your advice to rise above...

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

Submitted by lambert on

But rootless is irredeemable. So I don't comment there anymore, because it's not worth the hassle, unlike the blog, which seems to have recovered it's inner shrill. (Incidentally, there's no "Funny" at all, since I wrote "by other Obama activists," and italicized "other," specifically to exempt you.) As for the other territory, Matthew 7:16 (I regard the Bible as a work of literature) covers that pretty well. For the rest, see Valhalla above.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

rootless is irredeemable

Oh, I know. I argued with her for 30 comments at Green Mountain Code Pink one time (one of the x-posted things). I clearly hate poor people because I want to kill the Frankenstein deform bill.

As for Matt7:16 and Valhalla, I would remind you of 1Kings8:39: Forgive and act; deal with each man according to all he does.

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

Obama Camp:

Most of us here are rightfully very leery of the Obama campaign's tactics on almost any level because the tactics were (are) inextricably twisted in with the relentless campaign of fauxrage, race-baiting, demeaning based on age, gender and class, and rage-fueled misogyny. That's even before moving on to caucus fraud, stealing votes at the RBC, and astroturfing lies generated by the campaign.

There is a definite context to most of our experiences, and we've discussed before that amidst the dark-hearted tactics of the Obama campaign, one of the most offensive was the OFB showing up to dance their most-ungracious-winners-ever dance by haranguing us to 'move on' and 'get over it'. Followed by the less obviously obnoxious but equally offensive fake empathy for our 'grieving process', as if a single one of them had any idea what that meant, and weren't just parroting the day's talking points memo.

And here it is again, with the comparison to your disappointment over Kucinich, and another condescending false dichotomy (soft-pedaled, I admit, but still) to not "choos[e] instead to debate who was the better choice in 2008." It was you who pulled Clinton's name into a discussion that wasn't about her in the first place. The idea that any pushback you get here is because you, grandly, have "moved on" but we are mired in "2008" is false and insulting.

Based on the Kucinich analogy, I don't think you still don't quite understand. We're not grieving or disappointed. All of us are looking for ways to bring the good back to our government. But as a Kucinich supporter you weren't subject to months and months of abuse and harassment based on your age, your gender, your class or your lack of enthusiasm for Obama. As I understand it, the OFB did go after Kucinich and supporters but that was at most just the warmup. Even if the intensity was the same, the duration was certainly not. It's still going on. The Obama campaign caused a fundamental shift in the political discourse and principles of the Democratic party, and it was a shift by which the concerns of most of us have been excluded from consideration at any level of the new Party. That's not a disappointment that we need to 'get over'. It's an injustice we working to change, and that work includes not conveniently skimming over the link between the tactics and results that got us our current Republican in sheep's clothing President.

I'm really, really interested in NV action, although I'm better at the discourse part than the activism part. However, I will stop reacting to others who show up with the astroturf tidbits from the meme machine when they stop invoking them. I'll stop deconstructing the tactics of the campaign-wilding gangs of the OFB during 2008 when those tactics cease. You may have traveled to the inauguration to protest Obama, but parroting the new OFB excuse ("Hillary was just as bad!") meme, or reacting to every snark or pushback with accusations of being mired in primary bitterness signals to me that while you may disagree with Obama on some issues, you're fine with the tactics, even if you're not quite as rude, deameaning or dismissive as the usual OFB.

Don't provoke a discussion about Clinton and then claim we're all unable to 'get over it' when you get pushback. Because you know what? We can all multitask. I assure you that even if I am still bitter about 2008 I'm perfectly capable of acting to improve the current situation at the same time.

Because the problem is not that we have too little condescension from our tribe. -- okanogen

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

I wasn't trying to bring up any meme or push any buttons. When somebody questioned me, I noted that I thought all the candidates were going to be, in the end, subpar in terms of the results I wanted and my work was going to continue regardless.

I am not nobly trying to move on and accusing others of being mired in 2008. I'm simply suggesting that when somebody in the original fucking post asks what we should do now, and bring in some lessons learned campaigning (please, we didn't play the race card or any bullshit at the grassroots level), you can maybe pay attention to that a little bit more and spend less time wondering how it's possible that a liberal could possibly support Obama during the 2008 General election.

If you really want to learn NV tactics, the tactics of satyagraha, then you need to accept that all of us have a part of the Truth, even people who worked for Obama. And that sometimes you need to hear what people say instead of trying to look for "red flags."

If Lambert's admonition is true about the argument not being you, why is everybody personalizing this shit? I didn't fucking hurt you in the primaries. I didn't play the cards in your litany. I tried working on the positives for all candidates, and constructively supported mine through his dropping out of the race, then I worked to make sure the choice I thought best won in November. I dealt with staunch McCain supporters, pissed Hillary supporters, disaffected voters, etc in a red state, all with the same level of understanding and compassion no matter what position they took.

So for the last goddamned time: how do you propose we work for change with this President and this Congress in charge in 2010? Are we in this together or not?

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

Submitted by lambert on

...

1. I've got no interest in working with the Dems at all. They're working against my interests and values. That's the lesson of 2008 - 2009 for me.

2. I think the civil disobedience a la Dr. Margaret Flowers is probably the only thing that can make a difference in Versailles, and the best possible outcome from that is no bill.

3. There's a lot that can be done locally that has real impact, like LTEs, state legislatures, state campaigns, office visits.

4. For the 2010 season, I like Roby's full court press concept. I wonder if we might hold a fundraiser to get somebody a registration fee?

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

. I've got no interest in working with the Dems at all. They're working against my interests and values. That's the lesson of 2008 - 2009 for me.

I'm not sure how we can avoid it when they still hold the Majority. And while we're certainly retrenching in my family to focus on state issues more (logistical and financial reasons), I'm not sure as a "movement" or whatever we can give up on the national channel (and we'll still be lobbying at Congressional offices in-district).

2. I think the civil disobedience a la Dr. Margaret Flowers is probably the only thing that can make a difference in Versailles, and the best possible outcome from that is no bill.

Concur that we need CD, would add we need supportive actions like economic intervention ala integration sit-ins.

3. There's a lot that can be done locally that has real impact, like LTEs, state legislatures, state campaigns, office visits.

Absolutely. Since I hold out little hope--despite feeling compelled to still fight--that we'll get single-payer from the Feds, I'm redoubling efforts for VT single-payer this Leg session.

4. For the 2010 season, I like Roby's full court press concept. I wonder if we might hold a fundraiser to get somebody a registration fee?

I fucking LOVE the FCP thing.

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

Submitted by lambert on

It will include the elephant in the room: The Obama administration, and its supporters, although in varying degrees, refuse to own the injustices done in the 2008 primaries, which go far beyond "politics ain't beanbag" and include grotesque levels of misogyny, false charges of racism against the top of the ticket down to C list bloggers, serious allegations of caucus fraud, and the winner of the majority of votes and the big states not being nominated (and no, I don't accept that the process at the rules and bylaws committee was legitimate). The blog purges were important because they prevented that history from being written for a large audience in real time, and because they set a precedent for the single payer news blackout that was to come. I'll quote Valhalla again:

The Obama campaign caused a fundamental shift in the political discourse and principles of the Democratic party, and it was a shift by which the concerns of most of us have been excluded from consideration at any level of the new Party. That's not a disappointment that we need to 'get over'. It's an injustice we working to change, and that work includes not conveniently skimming over the link between the tactics and results that got us our current Republican in sheep's clothing President.

So, yes, 1 Kings 8:39 ...

Now, part of the reason why I think that NV is so very, very important is that so many, and not just "progressives," cannot seem to see how destructive "any stick to beat a dog"-style argumentation is, and that to adopt the Nixonian tactics is to become Nixon; some tactics cannot be adopted "for good." But NV is an antidote for that.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

Let go of the primaries and focus on the real opponents to change. -- ntoddpax

You're pissed because Americans made a choice during a democratic contest and now can't bring yourself to acknowledge their work for change. Call them clowns, then say my comment is gratuitous even though it's clear you are reliving the primaries? Wow. -- ntoddpax

The die is probably cast, but shall we just assume so and go down without a fight, choosing instead to debate who was the better choice in 2008?-- ntoddpax

There may be more, but I'm too tired now to look.

I suspect that "accepting that all of us have a part of the Truth" would not include responding to criticism with accusations of stunted political feelings, esp. when it's been pointed out that that line is exactly one of the sticks used to beat the very dogs you're trying to attract to a particular line of activism.

I also suspect that it would include allowing for the possibility that what you describe as disappointment over Kucinich is not in any way the same thing as being subject to rank abuse, fraud, misogyny, accusations of racism, etc as part of a concerted campaign to disenfranchise you. I have seen many elections and often been disappointed. I know what disappointment feels like, and what went on in 2008 wasn't it.

Whether intentional or not, you're throwing off the same OFB tells we've seen for a very long time. (false equivalence to disappointment, move on, Hillary was just as bad! 1111!!). Maybe instead of responding by accusing people of reliving the primaries or some sort of stunted emotionalism, you could make an effort to find out why a mention of "Obama Camp" (i mean, seriously, even the name isn't about activism, it's about a personality) elicits such a strong reaction?

Because the problem is not that we have too little condescension from our tribe. -- okanogen

Submitted by lambert on

... whether the Obama Camp curriculum included a course in caucus fraud. I'm guessing no.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

Instead of snarking. Thus far your crucible looks fucking broken.

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

I know those quotes. I wrote that shit. You guys like to talk about the impressions I leave with my "tells"? That's the impression you've left with me. I'm not trying to be mean--honesty is not a credit card for cruelty--but it's the honest truth based on the reactions I see.

Really, I mentioned disappointment because again, I didn't think it would be blown into a big fucking deal. But believe it or not I took more slings and arrows than you know because folks here have been acting like they have a monopoly on pain, and rather than trying to find common human experience with me about that time, some have gone into their your own lashing out. Be honest with yourself for a moment when you are looking for tells and parsing something I say in response to the immediate dismissal of my long hours of work and time away from my family in 2008. From my perspective, I do see a reliving of the primaries here in response to stuff I say when you're looking for deeper meaning that isn't really here.

So when I posted the other day and mentioned something I learned from my experience during the campaign and tried to apply it now, am I not supposed to be a little defensive when people focus on that and not my conclusions and questions? And I'm dismissed snarkily with "how's that workin' for ya" and "you [clueless] progressives"? And when I actually took some time to respond with the reasons why I made the decisions I made, I got more parsing and then anger when I said I didn't want to talk about that shit any more.

I'm sorry you were hurt on blogs and whatever. I didn't do that to you. In fact, on blogs and in rooms full of peace/justice activists, I found myself assailed on all fronts as I defended Hillary (most notably during the RFK comment bullshit) and pretty much every other goddamned candidate, trying to find the positive in each so we'd all be able to work together after the election no matter who we supported. You could probably learn that about me and a whole lot more if you took me at face value instead of leaping on "red flags" and trying to beat me with them.

you could make an effort to find out why a mention of "Obama Camp" (i mean, seriously, even the name isn't about activism, it's about a personality) elicits such a strong reaction?

Maybe you could make an effort to educate me instead of attacking the work I did? And maybe you could make an effort to understand why I might have attended a training workshop that wasn't even officially called "Obama Camp" that taught us how grassroots campaigning and organizing worked? And maybe you could make an effort to understand what we learned there and why I might apply it now?

If you were so hurt by unwelcoming communities, wouldn't you like, try to create a better, nicer one here? Did I come here and tell you you're clueless for supporting Hillary? Did I call anybody fake liberals if they voted for McCain, or express snarky surprise that people made a protest vote?

Nope. In fact, when I did bring up another candidate, I merely noted a few things from my POV in response to the disbelief expressed here toward me. And the reason I even broached the primaries was because I was making a distinction about when I started working on the Obama campaign. Yes, when frustrated about how people kept asking how I could possibly have supported a Manchurian Reaganite and don't I feel awful about how Hillary supporters were treated, it seemed to me that folks were, in fact, rehashing the primaries.

Now you can stay invested in your noble notion of "pushback" when somebody does think out loud--hey, maybe we can make a PO work for our cause if it comes to pass, or I didn't want McCain because I think he would be worse--in what he thought was a place where we could discuss action. Or perhaps you can see where I'm coming from since I'm clearly in the minority in this community. I'm not the person who fucked you over, called you racist, kicked you off a blog or out of a party, so don't expect any apology from me for what I didn't do.

I'm interested in figuring out what to do. The process never ends, and I'd like to see us find the common ground we clearly share and do the necessary work, rather than trying to highlight differences and "call out" each other.

Yes, I'm an advocate for escalating NV tactics. Surprisingly, that means I value action over analysis, civil disobedience over snark. If people want to call that smug or condescending, what the fuck ever. I also think that politicians pretty much suck, which is why I advocate direct action instead of (or in conjunction with) electoral politics. So that means I really don't think Hillary or Dennis or Cynthia would be doing what I want now, and my work is about the same. If you think that makes me a talking point spewing Obamabot, you'd be wrong but clearly there's nothing I can do or say to disabuse you of that notion.

I'll keep posting information about tactics (I'd better get on today's post). I'll keep bringing up what I've learned in all milieu, including working for Candidate Obama. I'll keep pissing people off---it is a goddamned rorschach test posting and whoring across several blogs--everywhere I post because that is definitely my forte.

In the end, I hope you at least recognize that I'm an honest guy trying to figure out how to make a better world for my son, even if you disagree with every choice I've ever made.

Peace out.

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

Submitted by lambert on

... to the critique of the Obama campaign tactics that many have provided on this thread. It was those tactics that convinced me, and others, that the Obama campaign did not share my values. Needless to say, knocking on doors isn't good in itself no?

NOTE "Only dogs"? "Monopoly on pain"? WTF?

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

Come on, now. People talk about sticks being used to beat dogs, and are acting like how they were treated in 2008--by not me--is somehow worse than my experience during that time and some unique pain that I can't possibly understand as a DK supporter. Really, take a look at how you guys talk instead of spending so much time telling me why I should figure out how "Obama Camp" sets people off.

And sorry, I'm not going to respond to the critique. I spent a few months knocking on doors and listened to NH voters' concerns and tried convincing them to not vote GOP all down the ticket--I didn't call people stupid, I played no race card, I gamed no caucuses. I have no interest in playing that game.

You wonder why I think you're rehashing 2008? Because of shit like this.

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

Submitted by lambert on

I'm a little unclear on how anybody is saying their pain is "unique." Where does that claim come from? Did I miss a comment? (And Valhalla doesn't frame the issue as "pain" -- f-e-e-l-i-n-g-s, in other words -- but as justice. I concur.)

Surely the position that if a candidate engages in caucus fraud, but you didn't do that personally, so you bear no responsibility inducing others to support that candidate is... A little incoherent? This really calls into question your "action is all" thesis, to my mind. It's not my fault all this occurred in 2008. "Lessons learned" generally do focus on past events, in my experience.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on
People talk about sticks being used to beat dogs, and are acting like how they were treated in 2008--by not me--is somehow worse than my experience during that time and some unique pain that I can't possibly understand as a DK supporter..

Well, I don't know your treatment at the hands of the OFB in 2008, so can't comment, but if you don't understand that it happened, then, you don't understand, yes?

...sorry, I'm not going to respond to the critique. I spent a few months knocking on doors and listened to NH voters' concerns and tried convincing them to not vote GOP all down the ticket--I didn't call people stupid, I played no race card, I gamed no caucuses. I have no interest in playing that game.

Whadda ya want? A medal? You spent a few months knocking on doors and "listened" to concerns regarding Obama, and tried to convince them to vote Dem. Certainly they should feel grateful you didn't call them stupid*, or play the race card**, or game their caucus***.

"You wonder why I think you're rehashing 2008? Because of shit like this."

Yeah! No shit! Backatcha!

* We are grateful you haven't called anybody "stupid" here. Bitter, not so much....
** But you also pointedly haven't condemned that happening to people here out of the Obama campaign. And FYI, it did happen to people here during the Obama campaign. (Mandela put the "truth" before the "reconciliation", for some the "get over it" trumps both).
*** Not accusing you personally, but you use "Obama Camp" and OFA as examples, but conveniently overlook that their most effective (and most crucial) actions took place during the primaries, and were very questionable indeed. "Of all Sauron's works...."

Sorry, I don't fall in love with politicians. I'm not that desperate.....

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

That's what I tried here.

This thread is a world of education, if you care to look. We're telling you, over and over, what happened (whether you were aware of it or not). And still you're talking about how we're 'hurt'.

All any of us have online is each others' words. And your responses do not demonstrate that you understand. We're not 'hurt'. We're horrified, angry and dismayed at injustice. An injustice wrought as part of a concerted campaign to change the structure of the political landscape to be permanently hostile and unresponsive to the very people whose interests it should be championing. This isn't about my team losing The Big Game, or sulking over being kicked out of the kool kidz blogs. It's a structural shift. And you keep identifying yourself the group that implemented the shift full force by leveraging, in large part, the activism you learned at Obama Camp. Your own intentions and motivations may be as pure as driven snow, but they're tainted by the association with the caucus fraud (and thuggery), misogyny, class war and other repulsive tactics.

Instead of insisting you do understand and dismissing it all, why not just ask, "hey folks, I don't get why mentioning Obama Camp causes such a strong reaction around here?" instead of accusing everyone of some sort of political petulance?

On the topic of NV, I was reminded today that a good college friend was an early member of Church Ladies for Choice (if you're not a fan of 80s-era SNL, the humor of which may be a bit lost). I can't tell whether they still do clinic defense (anyone know?). That was a great group that drew attention to many needs simultaneously.

Over the years, in conjunction with other groups like the Bay Area Coalition Against Operation Rescue and the Washington Area Clinic Defense Task Force, WHAM developed a model set of practices for protecting access to women's clinics targeted by anti-abortion groups.... Another key group that developed within WHAM's clinic defense activities was the Church Ladies for Choice, a group of (mostly) gay men dressed in their finest church lady drag -- replete with flower-print polyester frocks and sensible shoes who, in their words, "reverse the venom of anti-abortion terrorists with raucous safe sex fun," entertaining clinic defenders with reworked hymns and standards, including "This Womb is My Womb," "Every Sperm is Sacred," and "God is a Lesbian" to the tune of "My Country Tis of Thee."

And that led me to remember, didn't MoveOn have a Billionaires for Bush thing going, or something like that? It seems like humor and mild mockery are important ingredients to gaining attention -- perhaps what SP needs is something similar as part of the overall efforts.

Because the problem is not that we have too little condescension from our tribe. -- okanogen

Submitted by lambert on

Valhalla writes:

That's not a disappointment that we need to 'get over'. It's an injustice we working to change, and that work includes not conveniently skimming over the link between the tactics and results that got us our current Republican in sheep's clothing President.

Yep. Obama's party doesn't share my values and isn't working in my interests, and they like it that way.

My problem with doing yet another round of phone calls on health care is that (a) I think this is rigged anyhow for "some bill, any bill" (check the list of personnel for the conference); the only thing I can imagine working is (b) civil disobedience; (c) the opportunity cost of doing anything with the Dems who (d) indicated as clearly as could be that there was no place for me in their party (different values, different interests).

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by hipparchia on

My problem with doing yet another round of phone calls on health care is that (a) I think this is rigged anyhow for "some bill, any bill"

oh... well... you're going to love my next post then [not]. yes, the game is rigged against us on all fronts.

Submitted by lambert on

You're better on this stuff than me, Hipparchia!

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by gmanedit on

seeking support for Democratic congressional candidates, the New Dems kicked this Old Dem out of the party. I'm sorry I didn't end the call with "Pass single payer and then call me back." I'll be prepared next time.

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

I'm sorry I didn't end the call with "Pass single payer and then call me back." I'll be prepared next time.

Awesome.

I usually tell the Dem donor calls something to that effect. Often with phrases like "not one fucking dime." Having been a phonebanker myself, I appreciate the position they're in, and I know that when I got an earful I passed along the message, so hopefully enough anger there can signal something up another channel.

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

Submitted by jawbone on

donation seekers from Dem Party. Also tell them:

Medicare for All...with a robust private option.

Remember when we thought there was a chance after Pelosi said she would give Anthony Weiner an up or down vote on his ammendment to substitute HR676 for the House monstrosity heathcare bill? How was it Weiner was co-opted?

I think the Senate bill comes to a vote in the House, some Repubs will fall on their swords and vote for it to make up for Dem no votes. The Repubs would love to run against mandates to feed the health insurance parasites. They have no problems being hypocritcal or twisting things to their advantage.* I mean, they're using seniors' and other fears of cuts and changes to Medicare to turn people against Obama's health insurance "reform"; and all the while, they're trying to gut or do away with Medicare, Medicaid, and SocSed.

*MCM collusions assists with the success of the Repub hypocrisy and lies, of course.

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

How was it Weiner was co-opted?

I don't think he was, nor was Welch (why the hell does everybody forget it was "Weiner/Welch" when it really was almost "Welch/Weiner"?), nor was Bernie in the Senate.

These guys are pols. Promises are made, pressure is brought to bear, and they figure they can get something else at least in the face of opposition.

I think the fact that a PO was part of the House bill (issues with it notwithstanding) was enough to convince Anthony and Peter that the amendment wasn't going to do any good (I know these guys are often loathe to put forth losing propositions, even if they can achieve symbolic victories or move the window). Sanders was able to get monies for FQHCs, so even the lone socialist is still going to make a political gamble in the hopes of securing an opportunity now and maybe in the future.

That happens when we leave a vacuum outside the Capitol. If we had more people pushing for single-payer, getting vociferous public support, sponsors will feel more like going out on a limb for it. Otherwise, they'll revert to their default behaviors, even with the best intentions and being on the right side.

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

so progressive politicians could claim they tried but were overcome, pleasing their constituents and earning cred without losing any Versailles status. If you strip out projections of their earnest good intentions, that is an equally likely explanation. The only proof one way or another would be actual action that involved risk to their court status.

Because the problem is not that we have too little condescension from our tribe. -- okanogen

Submitted by jawbone on

would not accomplish what it was touted as doing. He spoke clearly on the issue and did indeed get lots of air time (for a prog/lib pol) in the NYC media area. Even made a brief appearance on Charlie Rose (but was dropped from the panel before the really serious people got into their discussion, iirc).

It's probably real politic -- you go as far as you can, then back off with as much PR/cred/political chits possible.

Just politics. And CYA.

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

No doubt every pol tries to provide that. This is their job, and especially House members have to build a record they can run on.

Weiner of all the progs has probably done the most to move that window, by threatening the amendment to get rid of Medicare completely (I loved that one) as well as the later amendment. Single-payer is no longer in the "unthinkable" category...

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

so I can only go by national coverage. And I like Weiner's style from a rhetorical perspective -- he's one of the few Democrats in Congress who actually talks policy in front of the cameras. (contra, Grayson) But that doesn't exclude the cover scenario. And he did vote for the House version of the health care bill.

Because the problem is not that we have too little condescension from our tribe. -- okanogen

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

Though I hate judging anybody's intentions.

They're both sponsors of HR676, did what they could in committee with the Bill FKA HR3200, offered the amendment, and ultimately did more to move the window and create space for leadership. Dunno what they are actually thinking on any of these moves.

Having spoken a lot with Welch and his staff, including his point person on HCR, I do know that he is just like any other pol, hates to tie himself down to any tactical approach, and will be pragmatic when he deems necessary. He has taken a stand on things like Afghanistan exit strategy and funding, so I think he does have real cred as much as any progressive Dem. And Weiner is a showboater, so he's willing to push the envelope...when it will help him from his POV.

Beyond that, I won't get into any correspondent inference theory and just acknowledge that politicians ain't angels. Some guy named Madison made a similar observation in an essay a while back...

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

Fredster's picture
Submitted by Fredster on

to answer your question:
So how's your work during 2008 and snark workin' out for ya? Gotten us single-payer yet?

Let me ask you: Has he gotten us single payer or even medicare for those 55? Ah...that's right. Single payer was off the table from the beginning and medicare for those 55 to 64 was killed by one shot from Leibermann.

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

You answered with nothing. Good on ya.

I told you how I thought it was working, and what my logic was in support Obama in the General. Of course he and the Dems haven't gotten single-payer. I never expected them to without our help, which is why I've agitated for (and participated in) action since before the first regional HCR forum held in Burlington back in March.

We wouldn't be having this discussion at all with President McCain. And the refrain would likely be similar with Presidents Clinton, Kucinich, Nader or McKinney, unless somehow we actually would've mobilized at the beginning of their terms.

Now what do you suggest we do with the situation we find ourselves in?

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Would McCain have forced everyone to buy junk insurance and then use the program to justify "entitlement" cuts elsewhere?

Was he that clever, and did he have the cred to pull it off?

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

There are more forces at work here than a single person. Ironic there's so much focus on the guy derisively referred to as The One.

As much as I'd love to debate how it would've been better had I worked to win NH for McCain, I find it useless given the reality is Obama's in the WH and the Dems still hold Congress.

Repeat: what do you suggest we do now?

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

Submitted by lambert on

Since he didn't leave much of an impression when he was there, either! [rimshot, laughter]

Seriously, it seems that the relationship -- statistically, possibly not in your case -- between those who made claims for Obama's transformational leadership during the election, and those who claim he has very little power to affect matters as President, is not inverse. Quite odd.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

I appreciate your allowing I'm not an Obamabot. Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

During the primaries--IIRC just before DK withdrew--I did a podcast in which I listed at least one positive thing I could find in each Democratic candidate. With Hillary and Barack I started with their moving the window permanently so a woman/black president would no longer be unthinkable. For me that was worth the price of admission should they win the nomination and even the election. It's the only transformation I saw coming out of their victories.

Otherwise, everybody in the field with the exception of DK was to the right of me policy-wise, and all of them were politicians. The Presidency is powerful (too powerful I'd argue), but no matter who occupies that office there are other forces at work.

Personally I've wanted Congress to be ascendant again and push the Executive back into its smaller, less imperial demesne. Regardless, the President cannot overcome Legislative prerogative even from the bully pulpit, unless the Legislators abdicate their authority as they did during the Bush era.

In a sense it didn't matter to me who won: McCain, Hillary, Dennis, Barack, Cynthia, Ralph...I still was going to have a lot of work to do. Voting, as Thoreau said:

is a sort of gaming, like checkers or backgammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong, with moral questions; and betting naturally accompanies it. The character of the voters is not staked. I cast my vote, perchance, as I think right; but I am not vitally concerned that that right should prevail. I am willing to leave it to the majority. Its obligation, therefore, never exceeds that of expediency. Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance...

I backed the person who I thought would be, among all the choices available, most likely to respond to pressure and be able to perhaps act once we created the space for him (in the event of real mobilization which has sadly been lacking). As with all endeavors, it's fraught with risk and chance of abject failure. I'm still not willing to concede defeat yet.

We have an opportunity yet again to try pulling from the left, backing people who do want to do the right thing, and maybe even help the Dems in spite of themselves. Let's talk more about that than "oddities" and we might actually make a difference.

So when's the Corrente Healthcare-NOW! Recruitment Blogswarm start?

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

at Obama and saw anything other than a arrogant, narcissistic Reaganite.

I'm not attacking you. I just can't detect anything other than Obama camp talking points in your rhetoric. Clinton was clearly more liberal than Obama and has a long history of getting stuff actually done for ordinary people - something that cannot be said about Obama. So if liberalism is important to you, and accomplishing liberal goals is important to you, why would you pick the candidate who, in his late forties, has never once bothered to do anything liberal of his own volition? Why pick the candidate with no legislative or legal accomplishments to his name? Why pick the candidate who runs the most bigoted campaign since Strom Thurmond ran for the presidency? Why pick the candidate who refuses to count all the votes?

There was nothing liberal about Obama other than some of his rhetoric. But his actions, inviting Donnie McClurkin on the stage, voting for FISA, sending his campaign co-chair on national television to threaten to primary any Dem who didn't endorse Obama as the Democratic nominee, using GOP talking points from the 90s against Clinton and issuing ads that were almost identical to the Harry and Louise ads, lying about his position on NAFTA - were all those of a conservative. So why would a Kucinich supporter expect him to be reachable as a liberal? Especially when there was a real liberal running?

Why did you move farther to the right than necessary?

"Someone needs to point out that elephants produce infinitely more shit than donkeys." Brad Mays

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

until the second debate. Clinton owned the first debate but I needed a bit more. I liked the fact that Edwards had opened the Poverty Institute and was talking about those issues directly. It meant a lot to me.

"Someone needs to point out that elephants produce infinitely more shit than donkeys." Brad Mays

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

Loved his rhetorical framing. That was one of the positives I noted for him, even though to me he was too slick while being milquetoast, if that's a possible combination.

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

I just can't detect anything other than Obama camp talking points in your rhetoric.

Quite frankly, I find this astounding. What rhetoric am I using, besides saying in my estimation, we'd pretty much be in the same boat no matter who won? What talking points have I used? Is it not possible for somebody to reach their own conclusions without it being mind control from Obama?

So why would a Kucinich supporter expect him to be reachable as a liberal?

When did I say he would be reachable "as a liberal"? I only note that compared to McCain, he would respond more to pressure from the left if we mobilized, so after working for DK and casting my vote for him in the VT primary, I sat on the sidelines until a nominee was chosen, and in the General I worked for Obama. I was not prepared to vote for McKinney.

And now that he's president, what do we do? Is it really that hard to talk about the present instead of choices people made a couple years ago?

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

the same boat regardless of who won is an Obama talking point. Obama is clearly the worst Democratic president since Buchanan. And he is way to the right of every other Democratic president since the beginning of the 20th century - so, no, we wouldn't be in this boat regardless of who won because no one else running had his limited intellect, his llack of interest in policy and his complete and total lack of experience.

we have a genuine ignoramus in the White House who was thoroughly corrupted by the time he began running. That's an unusual combination for a Democratic candidate and not something that can be said about any other serious candidates.

Had anyone else won, they would be attempting to move the nation back to the center. Obama is attempting to move the Democratic party to the right because that's what is easiest for him. Hell, I'm not sure Obama is to the left of Palin or McCain.

We aren't going to be able to make Obama do anything because we aren't offering him juicy board positions that will pay him millions of dollars to sit on a board. He's already said he's willing to be a one term president. If he's not worried about getting re-elected, then he's unmovable. And if wouldn't move on FISA as a candidate, then he sure as hell won't move on anything now that's he's president.

"Someone needs to point out that elephants produce infinitely more shit than donkeys." Brad Mays

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

the same boat regardless of who won is an Obama talking point.

No, it's what I think. I'm actually rather cynical when it comes to politicians, and I don't trust any of them to do the right thing just because we elected them. So from where I sit, we'd be in the same boat. You may disagree, but please don't tell me I'm using a talking point. Hell, I've never even heard anybody else saying that.

If you won't take me at face value, then I can offer nothing to convince you of anything, even NV tactics. That saddens me.

We aren't going to be able to make Obama do anything because we aren't offering him juicy board positions that will pay him millions of dollars to sit on a board.

And this proves my last point: I apparently have been screaming into a hurricane about NV tactics. We can bring down the vilest dictators, but Obama apparently is more powerful than all of them.

Sigh.

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

whether you like it or not, it's an Obama camp talking point.

I just can't take anyone seriously who tells me they worked for him in the campaign. Did you work for Jesse Helms? David Duke? Claytie Williams? Same damn thing...

"Someone needs to point out that elephants produce infinitely more shit than donkeys." Brad Mays

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

I just can't take anyone seriously who tells me they worked for him in the campaign. Did you work for Jesse Helms? David Duke? Claytie Williams? Same damn thing...

Surprised you didn't include Hitler. Anyway, I'll be sure to take you seriously in the future.

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

I just can't detect anything other than Obama camp talking points in your rhetoric.

don't know where to start with this one. Booman Tribune is all Obama talking points all the time. ntodd is authentic american Lefty peace activist, pet fancier and proud papa.

Submitted by lambert on

I'm sure we've got semiologists floating about that can do this better than I can, but I'd say a talking point has two parts: (1) meaning and (2) style (not to say that the two don't influence each other, because they do). Virulence comes from style, not meaning, because it's the style that makes the talking point stick in the mind. (This is why I moderate for conservative talking points, even if they may seem to gain short term advantage. "Of all Sauron's works, the only fair.")

IMNSHO, NTodd's prose doesn't have the stylistic stench of OFB talking points. For example, he hasn't proffered a conversion narrative, infantilized his opponents, etc. Now, he did support a candidate who opposed my interests and values. But that's not the conversation we're having here (although, at some point, the Democratic Party is going to have lance that infection, or die of it. My preference, naturally, is for the latter alternative, but parties do revivify.)

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

Knock yourself out. I threw out a couple offhand musings not thinking that would be the next derailment of the thread, and was just trying to reset the conversation to what we might do, as I've been ending pretty much every goddamned post and comment.

But by all means, let's keep doing a tit for tat, countering each other's speculations, and maybe "us clueless progressives" will come around to the idea that nobody should have ever supported Obama during the General because McCain at least regarding HCR would be better than the president we actually have. That'll win us single-payer!

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

Submitted by lambert on

... on "offhand musings." We do try to pay attention, you know...

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by lambert on

"Obama Camp" weren't in the post? Seems to me there's a world of thesis in there....

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... mark up your posts and comments by indicating which parts are "offhand musings" and therefore inappropriate to respond to.

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

...note that when I keep ending with a question about how we're going to proceed with action, it might be a clue which part I think is important. Honestly.

So let's start now: what do you think of the minimum actions I propose leading up to the HCR summit, and what would be good escalations? How about DC's suggestion of recruiting for HCNOW? Other ideas?

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I was skimming recent comments on the site, and your comment about McCain caught my eye. Then, and not for the first time, you pulled a rule-ex-machina that made your comment kosher but my response to it trayf.

My forte is critique much more than activism. I'm very happy that others are strong in the latter, but I don't appreciate the tacit or otherwise implication that those who deliver sharp analysis and well-earned snark are doing nothing worthwhile.

This past year, we've seen an absolute clusterfuck from those who privilege activism for its own sake over clear-headed thinking and messaging. (Which is not at all to say that's what you're proposing here.)

Periodically, I'll make suggestions for activism and periodically I'll participate.

I tried to make a small contribution to crisping up the discourse here, to debunk the notion that Obama, as opposed to McCain or someone else, is a net positive for health-care reform. So sue me.

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

you pulled a rule-ex-machina that made your comment kosher but my response to it trayf.

I have a right to say I'm not interested in heading down a particular road any further. So I noted we could keep back and forth, or reset. I'd personally like to stop all this meta shit and who killed who and get back to discussing what we can do.

If that's not your forte, fine. My forte certainly isn't worrying about whether people are going to be upset that I don't want to argue about something I'm not invested in.

Anybody out there game to talk about how we might apply pressure in the next 12 days (and beyond)? Or should I just go back to playing Majong and fucking around on Facebook?

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... is defensively absolving yourself from answering for weak links in what you write, making it the fault of the person who points out flaws in points you consider secondary.

I'm of the opinion that faulty discourse is a dangerous foundation... both for further discourse and for activism.

What one writes should be defensible. If it doesn't stand up, one should take it back. Is that so hard to fathom or accept?

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

...is absolving yourself as the reader from making any sense of context or comprehension. God knows nobody speaking or typing extemporaneously makes asides that they don't want to spend 1000 comments parsing and fisking.

But you win. From now on I'll just respond to people who are on topic. I'll never say anything extraneous, nor state a mild opinion unless I have links in triplicate to back it up. And I'll certainly avoid getting into a discussion about discussion process. So sorry to have wasted your valuable time!

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

One day I hope to get the hang of context and comprehension, and the magic by which plainly wrong and even dangerous (viz. "public option") arguments are justly shielded from criticism.

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

I never said an argument for the PO or that McCain would be worse than Obama should be shielded from criticism. But when somebody isn't invested in said argument, thinks we can find good in whatever reality is presented to us as we work tp further our cause, and would rather spend time on something more important to them, can you blame them for saying they'd prefer to move on? Honestly?

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

This has been a lively thread, though I'm still not sure if I enjoyed being shot at by the IDF more...

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

Sorry Todd, that is the entire evidence and framework you put forth before grandly asking that we follow mybarackobama.com's prescription to:

"pledge our support to incumbents and challengers who will stand for HR676, and persistently tell the President and Congress that we will settle for nothing less. We should also phonebank and canvass to get our fellow citizens on board with real reform and mobilize them to apply more pressure for single-payer. And, of course, I'd love to see some direct action but let's cross these bridges first.".

No wonder you got rightfully criticized, I mean, really you should "know the territory" here....

In your entire post, the main thrust of each and every paragraph was that "progressives" on the interwebs proved they weren't effective when they didn't help with OFA's goal to elect Coakley after OFA dropped the ball because they had fucked up so badly screwing the people who elected him. Every example you give of "failure" is in that context: "the dem didn't get elected". Then, to make it even worse, you specifically use "Obama camp" as an example of where you learned something so incredibly trite ("on average a dozen doors knocked translate into one (1) vote for your candidate") that it could (by the audience here) be only taken as one more Obama cudgel to beat us with. And then this line "Imagine if instead of impotently stomping our feet on blogs and opining about how Obama and the Dems were failures, the Netroots--notably A-list bloggers, MoveOn and DFA, who have large platforms and mailing lists--had actively filled the void left by the "leadership"."

And then this: "Think of all the fun self-congratulating and navel gazing we can do after we win...", wow, condescend much?

So, I'm sorry that all didn't come off right for you here in comments, but these are just "offhand" "footnotes"? They are the entire premise of your post! And "shot at by the IDF"? Spare me. Unless that is just being used as a throwaway to establish your superior cred, in which case, bravo!, well-played!

Well, maybe it is "impotent" to "opine" and "stomp feet", but if so, color me an impotent, opining, foot-stomper. Loud and proud baby! But also one who is already doing exactly what you advocate above*, and has been since last spring. So, no, don't need to have my nose rubbed in OFA's failures, seen enough already. And don't need an invitation to do what I've already been doing, but coached in the failure of binary electoral politics that I'm becoming ambivilent about (at least in regards to party-sanctioned candidates, I'm still contributing to individual candidates when they advocate Medicare for All).

So, in short, welcome to the fight Todd! In the future you might consider not using OFA and Obama Camp as examples here, since that is demonstrated fail!

* Except for the phonebanking and canvassing, which, if I did, would be through a single-issue group demanding Medicare for All, rather than one advocating for one candidate, or one political party's generic candidate du jour. And the yardstick I would use for success would be moving that agenda forward, rather than failure to elect one particular candidate, or one candidate du jour of one political party.

Sorry, I don't fall in love with politicians. I'm not that desperate.....

Submitted by lambert on

... if "stomping one's feet" -- it used to be called the "media critique" or even "writing" -- wasn't important:

1. The White House wouldn't be giving access to bloggers

2. The access bloggers wouldn't have imposed a news blackout on single payer

3. The OFB wouldn't have transformed Kos into The Obama 527 Formerly Known as Daily Kos and thrown everybody else off the site

4. Billionaires wouldn't pay for media properties.

In fact, changing the discourse is hard work and is valuable. So is simply informing.

So, I personally don't find the "navel-gazing" and "foot stomping" tropes very useful; except as an indicator of the caliber of the analyst who uses them. Personally, I prefer a vision of a multi-layered architecture where there are many roles to play.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by jawbone on

Yes--certainly a lively thread. But I hate that when things go to multiple pages clicking on a new comment doesn't take one to the comment..and there's the big search for where it might have been added. A slightly annoying quirk of the system.

But that is absoutely no fault of NTodd's!

And I am so happy to see NTodd blogging here; such a nice treat after my months away from real access to the internet.

Yes, I finally replaced my dead PC -- and when I got it set up, found my DSL was dead, followed by the land line. Robust infrastructure, eh?

ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

Whadda ya want? A medal?

Yeah, that's what I've been saying.

Good to see you're all focused on injustice. Good luck in fighting it your way. Opportunity cost here is too high so I'm going to fight it somewhere else.

Make me do it. - President Barack Hussein Obama

Okay. - Nonviolent Actionist NTodd Pritsky

Submitted by lambert on

... might be too, er, painful. Tell yourself it's opportunity cost if you wish.

But thanks for your considered response to the justice issues we raised. Oh, wait...

NOTE I don't think anybody's saying that you're "what's wrong with the country." However, I think there may have been some deficiencies in the curriculum at Obama camp.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

Yes, you are all that is wrong with this world (eyeroll).

Recap:

1) you bring up OFA and Obama camp respectively as a) a group who's goals (i.e. elect Democrats for the sake of being Democrats) to follow and b) a group who's methods to follow.

2) this is a blog that is unimpressed by the goals of 1. a), and has been the target of the methods of 1. b).

You were called out not on your history, but first your using them as examples and second refusal to even reflect on it (or even to reflect that your formulation was a triumphalism of that history). But now everybody else, especially your audience (an audience you continued to insist you would like to dialogue or brainstorm with), is responsible because that fell flat.

So you got opinions, and they weren't the ones you were looking for; welcome to Corrente.

Sorry, I don't fall in love with politicians. I'm not that desperate.....