Self Promotion

I wrote this for the Guardian site today:

Today the netroots faces a new challenge of avoiding being seen as a top-down driven movement. This month is a pivotal time in the fight to end the Iraq debacle. Yet organizations like MoveOn and netroots “leaders” like Matt Stoller and Chris Bowers are more interested in launching campaigns for the 2008 elections than in organizing to pressure today’s Democrat-controlled congress to do all it can to end the Iraq war now, during the Bush presidency. I think that does not reflect the views of the “people power” the netroots is said to represent.

A real acid test is now before the netroots: will it be what Bai describes – a top-down group who take direction from its self-appointed leaders? Or will it be a people-powered movement, which fights for issues it cares about? September may very well tell the tale.


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    • Armando on September 4, 2007 at 16:10


    • pfiore8 on September 4, 2007 at 16:30

    if you want people to think this through

    and mine is this: if we ignore BushCo now and manage to get Dems elected in 2008… do they really want to get the country in a shambles? do they really want to win elections as the lesser of two evils and govern from a position of weakness… yet AGAIN???

    Is the winning of Dems in 2008 more important than insuring the viability of our country NOW, its economy, military, and spirit? How can we risk any more destructive BushCo policies?

    WTF… that’s what i would ask…

    i think what you raise is the jumping off point for a real people-powered campaign to not accept anything less than ACTION NOW>>>>>>>>>>

  1. … we all agree on this.  So the question is:  what do we do about it?  I am more than willing to write diaries over at Daily Kos saying what Armando said in no uncertain terms and challenging the FP’s and kos on this.

    I have nothing but respect for the folks at Daily Kos.  And I will not be disrespectful in writing about this.  But I would be happy to write about it.

    As far as Moveon, I don’t have a lot of experience with them.  Anyone know how to get through to them at least to the point of discussing this?

  2. if i take a stand, and millions of people “take direction” from me, and choose not to act independently…that’s not really MY fault.  im entitled to my stand.

    and anyone who blames the ‘me’ in that equation for the millions’ lack of action is as dim a wit as any of the the millions who would blame the ‘me’ for not representing them…..on the one hand…. 

    and i cant really seem to make sense of my point (and people wonder why i dont write more!!), but to blame the inaction of millions of voters on ‘self-appointed leaders’ is ridiculous. 

    other hand, though, i do agree that you should be what you say you are.  if youre a netroots organization raising money and ‘followers’ by promoting an end to the war or that ever-elusive ‘change’ in politics-as-usual…the progressive holy grail…then ending the war and ‘change’ is what you should take a stand for.

    but i dont blame anyone for pointing fingers around and trying to make someone else look bad about all of this.  there is no constitutional reason that we should have an executive with as much power as this one has.  and every single of his constituents bears some responsibility for that, though some more than others.  (i am practically blameless…;)  )

    if i were in the msm, or congress, or party leadership, d or r, id be scrambling around trying to make someone else look delicious enough to scapegoat, too.

    but again, the only real question…what the fuck do i, we, anyone, do about it?  feeling powerless is a waste of emotion.  to be is to DO, no? (h/t, socrates) 

  3. Which the Bush Administration could easily run the clock out on.

    Since Constitutionally, the power of war is vest in the Congress, we should be pushing for an end of the occupation of Iraq.

    I say we start with defunding all mercenary groups, then just watch how fast we withdraw after that cash cow is taken off the table.

    • pfiore8 on September 4, 2007 at 17:39

    because what we are saying without words is this: we citizens are in this on our own… how do we flex the muscle of the body politic… what tools do we have… what actions can we pursue?

    – how we spend money
    – showing up at rallies & vigils
    – looking for and funding alternative candidates
    – willingness to lose 2008 and look to 2010 with those alternative candidates
    – not believe those who say 3rd party candidates can’t win… they can’t win ONLY if we are fooled into believing we are wasting our vote
    – stop believing in the conventional wisdom… let’s start playing a game of our own
    – be willing to suffer for a bit… imo, politicall and economic pushback will result in pain… but so does giving up cigarettes, losing weight, ending a bad marriage… all the hard stuff is just that… hard

    look, we are all going to die one day. what’s the point of this pushing and conflict and feeling like we have to do something…. well, i can’t answer it. all i know is that it is in us… it is important because our blood knowledge, our ancient selves says we must push on…

    we understand, at some level, that what can last is a great idea… setting up a paradigm where there is an equitable way forward on this planet… like, nothing big, just the very poor having potable water and some soil to grow some vegetables… i not talking miracles… just some fairness… a tiny little bit of fairness

    the only thing that is stopping us is thinking it is for somebody else to do…

    i’ll reframe a declarative statement from ek from so say we all to what say we all???

    • pfiore8 on September 4, 2007 at 17:41

    i really love being here with all of you

    for however long it lasts, this is where i want to be

  4. Is something that you have touched on in past postings at Talk Left, and that is that there is a difference between netroots activism and netroots punditry.  The netroots has a voice that is heard now so what happens?  We have those who want to be pundits and those who want to be activists and where the two cross paths there will debate, perhaps certain issues may evolve into what some could call fighting.  Netroots pundits though will not end up with the netroots energy that I think some of them desire and want to be part of and part of the pundit package, and it isn’t.  The netroots is very active and very very organic… is living thing, more organic than most of us are used to digesting in large groups.  Such incredible ability though to awaken and energize and grow stuff……..and that is why many of us are netroot activists.  It’s like hydroponics for political issues when a voice is being ignored or an issue is being avoided and when the issue is a needed crop socially it grows quickly.  Long live the netroots, yell on sharp minds and people of passion and people living real lives in the real world!

  5. be co-opted and “spoken for” by the “self-appointed leaders” as easily as all that.

    Sooner or later people will desert websites, if it becomes clear that partonizing them is only helping support a new branch of the exact same system we all gathered to protest in the first place.

    Web addresses are easy type in.  Old ones and new ones, both. 

    I realize there is some question, here: will people be sucked in by inertia and ahead-of-the-curve technology — into staying with a site long after its become clear that the site is no longer part of the spirit that started everything?

    I doubt it.  The Web is ever-expanding.  You can’t co-opt the internet.  But maybe I’m too optimistic.

    BTW: That looked like a done-deal trashing of DailyKos.  That’s not how I meant it . . . I meant: if events take the course Armando is warning against.

    1. I am absolutely passionate about impeachment.

      But I think it is even more important to stop this war.  And we need to be united about that.

  6. who is David Boyle and why is he dissing you over at orange?


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