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I'm trying to get my head around what I perceive to be an obsession by liberals with everything the Republicans and the right wing does.  And as their actions become more bizarre, it seems like all we do is report on what they do.  

I think the reason we do it is because we think that by pointing out their dastardly acts, and pointing out how outrageous they are, that somehow we are helping communicate this information to the rest of society which will then bring about enough pressure to stop the crazy Republicans from doing what it is their doing.  Do I have that right?  

We think that sharing this information will help inform the public, who will then vote against the right wing loonies on election day, bringing about a course correction.

But that's hardly enough; in fact, I think for the most part it is a waste of time.  I keep imagining a day when I come to Daily Kos and see titles of diary after diary about bold initiatives, activism, solidarity, strategy, networking, a clear and concise progressive agenda.

I keep wishing I see a title like: "Occupy Wall Street Reborn: Massive Rallies in Multiple Cities Planned."  Or something like: "Labor Unions To Launch Innovative Nationwide Strategy to Unionize 100% of The Labor Force."  Or: "New Nationwide Chapters of Progressive Activist Network Announced." About this? "Fifty Progressive Groups Join Forces To Accomplish Two Key Objectives."

Hopefully you see my point.  Reader, why do you think we instead see most of the diaries focusing on reporting about what the right wing does?  This to me is very perplexing.  I'll keep this diary short, eager to read your replies.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The pervasive stupidity of the GOP must be (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rhauenstein, Jerry056, a2nite

    ... relentlessly hammered into the public.

    Not to mention their inherent maliciousness.

  •  Solar Power (5+ / 0-)

    Mainstreaming solar power should be a progressive goal. It benefits the environment. It damages the fossil fuels movement. It provides affordable, universally accessible power. It's even great symbolically. Progressives should support the development of solar power at every turn.

    No one disagrees with this- it is obvious.

    Instead, solar power is largely considered unrealistic due to decades of campaigning by entrenched fossil fuel interests.

    Their attack machine has marginalized something that should have nearly universal appeal.

    Attacks matter.

    •  That's another problem. Liberals tend to have (10+ / 0-)

      multiple and disparate agendas and issues they care about.  Each group then works passionately for their cause, but there is little coordination between the groups.  There seems to be a lack of cohesiveness to bring all the groups together under a clear agenda.

      Regarding attacks, you have to remember something.  On the right, they have most (if not all) of the corporate-owned media on their side.

      When we attack them, and report on their misdeeds, we are basically communicating in a echo chamber; nobody else is listening.

      But most importantly, the right wing is successful because they have clear strategies, whether it is taking over the media, or taking over state capitols and quickly passing cookie-cutter ALEC-written legislation, etc.

      Progressives will not be able to make any headway until we become highly organized, focused, and disciplined.  Unfortunately, those are the very things most progressives don't like.

      •  Truth. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brahman Colorado

        On the other hand, we have done that in the past: organize, focus, have specific goals.

        I think part of why Occupy has fizzled (a bigger part Media/official dismissal) was the absence of "Let's get this one specific thing done." Speculative trading transaction tax, or whatever.

        The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

        by Jim P on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:16:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  "No one disagrees with this- it is obvious." ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Simplify, 2020adam, a2nite

      ...Actually, there are many opponents beyond the fossil-fuel interests. That's one reason it hasn't happened.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:22:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Promote PACE funding for solar (0+ / 0-)  Property Assessed Clean Energy is a process by which local municipalities issue bonds to fund Green energy projects, which are paid back via property tax assessments.

      This is something that can be done at even a local level.  Start calling every county board in America and ask is they are doing it.  Start finding local constituents in every county in America who will show up at county board meetings and request to participate.  This does not require much in the way of up-front personal money, which is often the biggest barrier to initiating solar.

      -7.75 -4.67

      "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

      There are no Christians in foxholes.

      by Odysseus on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 06:48:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  it is still actually unrealistic (0+ / 0-)

      instead of pouring millions of dollars into private manufacturing companies the government should have poured that money into universities to develop more efficient photo-cells. We can turn it into a lottery. The person or team that gets energy efficiency of a photo-cell over x% gets 500 million untaxed as a government gift.

  •  Buy them.... (7+ / 0-)

    I just read a study about the amount of money donated by the NRA to various politicians in the US.  I was stunned at how little it was:  roughly $1000 per year.  A congressman with two years to deliver a vote got around $2000 to $2500;
    a senator might have gotten $5500.  This is simply chump change.  We hear how much they donate as if it were a huge amount.  Why can't we simply up the ante?  Ask John Runyon in NJ if we can't top it?  a couple of neighbors could easily do better than $2500.  I just don't think the left is aggressive enough, nor persistent enough, to try to get our agenda accomplished.  Perhaps we need more obsessives, like the NRA's awful LaPierre, but we probably are too rational to keep pressing the issues we want to succeed.  The most important pressure has to be put on President Obama.  Let him know we want action, and let him know frequently.  

    •  Or we could bankroll the candidacy of true (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brahman Colorado, Kansas Born, Chi

      public servants and remove the politicians that are in it to enrich themselves.

      Yes, that's what I'm getting at.  We need true "zealots" on our side as well.  People that are passionate, obsessive about the importance of pushing back on the plutonomy.

    •  Maybe a "Congressman, Tell Us Your Price" (5+ / 0-)

      campaign. Just sort of get them to tell us how much they need to make a proper vote -- they can say "I need $2 million worth of Free Speech," to avoid the appearance of bribery.

      Then, we can have telethons, and internet money-bombs and whatnot to raise their price. Er, Free Speech Amounts.

      I'm only being 15% snarky, btw. I think the campaign alone would affect voting patterns, even without anyone admitting their price.

      The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

      by Jim P on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:20:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  gavrik - I too was surprised by how small the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brahman Colorado

      donation amounts from the NRA were to members of Congress. The top was under $10,000 and most were in the $2,000 - $5,000 range. It takes $1 million to run a House campaign so the NRA is, at best, providing 1% of the money needed. How do they achieve so much leverage for such small campaign donations?

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:33:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The NRA true numbers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, Ray Pensador

      are are VERY high in terms of right wing support. reveals the staggering amount. The NRA membership is purposely kept misinformed. The NRA doesn't champion members or give a damn about the 2nd amendment. Both are tools and excuses.  It is the gun manufacturers the NRA serves. They give millions to the NRA.  We all hear the terror of the right wing radical who MUST have guns and more guns to protect themselves. I read some NRA literature. They purposely incite terror and of course, that leads to more gun sales.  Politicians are owned and used to block gun control and data that would drop sales.

      Grover Norquist is a boil on the right butt cheek of humanity.

      by bluebuckeyewmn on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 12:39:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Heh (6+ / 0-)
    "Fifty Progressive Groups Join Forces To Accomplish Two Key Objectives."
    It would be exciting if even
    "Two Progressive Groups Join Forces To Accomplish Two Key Objectives."
  •  You're seeing politics as Team Sport rather (15+ / 0-)

    than as practical issues of power. So there's a simplistic formula: Democrats = Good, Republicans = Bad. Complicating things is the fact that on the face of it, it's true. And that people have been trained through consumerism to think that their emotions are an action.

    But still, cheering and jeering doesn't materially affect the power structure. Those making the decisions (and they are of both and neither parties), will gladly let us express our approval and disapproval all day. In fact, they prefer it to actual analysis, goal-defining, strategy, and tactics.

    For myself, it seems impossible that we can actually affect power without somehow forcing the mass-reach media cartels into either breaking up, or having ordinary people breaking into, the official narratives, with real-world narratives.

    People imagine that because they are free to express themselves on websites and twitter and shit that they've actually done something. Plus, the new technology is "new." And as we've all been trained since our first breath, unless you are over 70 years old "new" equals "good." And that's enough.

    But the new media simply cannot reach every single citizen within a day or two with the identical message. Our rulers have that ability with their agitation/propaganda instruments we call our Media. Which we should be making our venue, not theirs.

    When the facts are presented to a mass audience, the "progressive" view wins on that alone. Not ideology. Not faith, or "teamism." But because informed adults with humanly decent values will tend to come to a sane conclusion.

    Example: a rightwinger saying "look how much taxes Europeans pay for health care." I told them, "Well, what if you count your insurance payments a tax, then who's paying more? Europeans or you?" Suddenly, a light went on.

    But nothing like that will ever be permitted as a common topic of discussion. The Powers That Be are quite happy to have us say whatever we want in our little Internet Ghettos, safely tucked away from contact with those who are not like-minded, and pitting one team against the other.

    Stupidly and tragically, too many buy into it.

    The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

    by Jim P on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 10:37:52 PM PST

    •  That's one of the most intelligent and succinct (7+ / 0-)

      descriptions about our current state of affairs I've read; of course I not only agree with you 100%, I've developed the same conclusions as well.

      That's the situation; you know it; I know it; others reading this know it.  What are we going to do about it?  How are we going to break the massive mental control the media has over the population?

      Is there a way to break free of it?  What percentage do we have to "awaken" or "convert" in order to get something going?  Is it 3%, 5%, 10%?

      To me, that's exciting stuff; think of the possibilities.

  •  I would have the people involved in the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brahman Colorado, a2nite, CroneWit

    Progressive Movement stop their bickering and start their thinking--together.

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:09:40 PM PST

  •  A most intelligent question, Pensador (5+ / 0-)

    "One who thinks," in Spanish.  

    The problem is that we all grew up in an environment where the agenda for the entire world is set by consumer driven advertising media.  It is very hard to break out of that.

    The world has become a place where issues that affect us the most are the lest likely to really be in the news, or unpolluted by spin which we then have to reverse engineer.

    It is easier to play in the "Punch and Judy" show reacting to the latest reaction.  

    The argument over the Sandy Hook shooting has people going in circles over gun control, but not a lot of discussion is focused on how to handle mental health issues.  This is a harder discussion because most people don't have direct experience and there is no real easy way to bone up on the reading.  It is a frustratingly complex issue that has broken once proud and eager psychology students who became professionals.  It could yield to some persistent progressive reform effort, but this would require commitment.  

    A degree of commitment and effort goes well beyond adding witty comments to a blog that rolls down off the page pretty quickly.  

    Most of the problems that we face in the coming years and decades are actually a new normal that really sucks.  These are large and complex issues that require a lot of concentration, knowledge seeking and sustained effort.

    Politics is supposed to be about horse races and who is up or down and who is a clown.  

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:35:12 PM PST

  •  We should emulate the Tea Party which has been (8+ / 0-)

    successful. The tactics that they have used which can be enlarged upon by liberals is to recognize that policies matter more than personalities and to be ruthless and withdraw support of money and votes when people don't follow the agenda and to primary candidates that stray. Of course, this would put us into direct confrontation with the DLC, New Democrat, DINO faction of the Party that is in charge now.

    We should have some nice faction name that can be easily identified and hopefully come to stand for the things that most Americans actually want when polled:

    single payer health, affordable tuition, expanded safety nets, living wages, environmental protection, civil rights, turning back Citizens United, immigration reform, etc.etc.etc.

    I think something like Opportunity and Dignity Democrats (the "ODD Party") would be kind of cool. I can see the slogans already "Go Ahead! Be ODD and demand better!"

    W need new, better and more exciting branding for Liberalism or Progressiveism or whatever you want to call it.

    We need a large core of candidates to draw from who would actually be into NOT becoming lifetime pols and enriching themselves at the public trough through the graft and corruption that becomes unavoidable, but rather a rotating cast of characters who are all committed to advancing a progressive agenda. People could just ask "Who's the ODD candidate" and know they could be completely comfortable casting their ballot for that person.

    As to how these people behave once in office in terms of compromises inlegislation, etc. that will have to be determined by the ODD Caucus, but they will all know for sure that an extremely committted and knowledagable core of citizens and supporters is watching very closely.

    I use ODD just as an example. But this is how I would see something like this working out. And the ODD suggestion is only for attempting to re-take over the Democratic Party openly.

    The same strategy could work for a movement outside of the parties if Labor and OWS and PNHP and the Nurses Associationand and education and immigration groups and environmental and other various special (Liberal) interest groups would band together to support a specific agenda and specific candidates.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:55:14 AM PST

    •  1st Step. STOP voting for donating time and money (0+ / 0-)


      DINO DLC Turd Way lying sell outs.

      I'm 53 next week - can there by ANY freakign doubt anymore that these lying phake 'moderates' are NOT moderate and are concerned, 1st, last and always

      with taking care of themselves and their 1% buddies?

      Economic Rights should be as NON-Negotiable as gay rights or reproductive rights or civil rights -  

      WHY the hell should anyone get a pat on the back for NOT being a sexist, bigoted, racist, flat earth drooling fuck?  

      It is like upper middle class little kid soccer - EVERYONE gets The Prize! (after they got their A's in their Honors classes for ... breathing.)

      Obama has freed me - after decades of wasting my votes on these goddamn sell outs - I'm done.


      Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

      by seabos84 on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:18:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I like the concept, (0+ / 0-)

      although ODD is not a good name.

      •  ^^^^From Phoebe... (0+ / 0-)
        We need a large core of candidates to draw from who would actually be into NOT becoming lifetime pols and enriching themselves at the public trough through the graft and corruption that becomes unavoidable, but rather a rotating cast of characters who are all committed to advancing a progressive agenda. People could just ask "Who's the ODD candidate" and know they could be completely comfortable casting their ballot for that person.
        This would empower us beyond our wildest expectations.
  •  Yeah, basically agreed. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Ray Pensador

    We should keep an eye on what our opponents are up to, but the endless handwringing over the latest Horrible Thing They Said is, I agree, quite useless.

    We know they say stupid, offensive crap. It's what they do. Unless it somehow changes the political map or can be used in a concrete way to win a specific election or apply specific pressure, it's... not a story.

    Visit Lacking All Conviction, your patch of grey on those too-sunny days.

    by eataTREE on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 03:27:19 AM PST

  •  Three ideas spring to mind. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, Odysseus, Chi

    1) Witness the Papa John's backtracking, and Olive Garden financial quarterly earnings drop to get a sense of how powerful 45-50% of the population's spending  can be.  Focused short-term boycotts might be very telling.  Remember the results from the Montgomery bus boycott.  There is also the Flush Rush that the late Ray Myers kept everyone updated on.  There might be lots of $5/month potential contributors to other efforts also.

    2) Use an existing forum like the yearly Kos meetup (or any other venue.....) to get two progressive groups together for just such planning and cooperation.  Forget about getting everyone.  Two effective groups meeting for some very targeted planning would be an achievable start. Oh yeah, and get Howard Dean or another person of stature to facilitate and maybe lead.  A known leader would be a great asset.

    3) Hire a bunch of smart, witty, talented (and probably underemployed.....) PR folks to create the small messages that can resonate and treat the crazy stuff that is floating around so freely from the GOP with the satire it deserves.  Every day could be another edition of Saturday Night Live with the stuff the GOP is handing out.   We could possibly create a better message here that helps validate people's perception of the crazy/reality divide.  Small example -- health care "vouchers" are really "coupons"; and everyone knows that a coupon is that thing you throw away because it only gets you 25 cents off a can of soup when you use it next month (if you can still find it).

  •  The American people have a short memory. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When you do not continuously and repeatedly pound home the message that the Republicans are the enemy, they forget.

    The last time we stopped focusing on the evils of Republicans and Republicanism, we got the 2010 midterms. (Especially since we turned our attention AWAY from Republicans and on to Democrats).

    Do you really want a repeat of that fiasco? Because I sure as hell don't.

    "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

    by Whimsical on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 06:54:25 AM PST

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