A Battle for Hearts and Minds

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Cross posted from WWL

Its pathetic when I start to think of 2000-2008 as halcyon days. Remember when all we could focus on is getting rid of the Bushites? We were united, man.

Predictably, I see the Left splintering, like children who, now that the evil stepmother has been banished argue about who gets the biggest piece of candy and who gets theirs first.

Not even a moment of awe at America electing a man of color, we cynically start complaining immediately about his lacks both real and perceived.

Imagine, if you can, had McCain won, how we would be acting, what would we be saying, if you would be renewing your passports…  as he announced he was keeping Bush’s whole cabinet intact.

Rahm Emanuel has a lot of panties in a bunch, but hear me out, please.

In 2006 Rahm argued against Dean’s 50 state strategy, and wanted to gain control at any or all costs.  If it meant electing Blue-dog Democrats, so be it. He was probably correct in assuming anything less would NOT be elected in that particular Political climate. It worked.

To the question of “What control is it, if we elect people who vote exactly like the Republicans we wish to have majority over?“, the answer is the larger chess game. It gave us a chance to start heading committees, choose who is on those committees, and have all the Chairmanships. We got to start setting the agenda. Things like Conyers (my hero)investigating Carl Rove would have never happened had we not won that majority by electing those hated Blue-dogs.

This began to change the public sway, watching the Bushites refuse subpoenas and refuse accountability. The economic crisis as well pointed out what totally pro-business Republican politicians could cause for the common man. The worm was turning.

He understood playing offense is the whole game, rather than just being in the position of perpetually blocking your opponents moves. Those subpoenas would never have been issued had Rahm’s strategy not worked so very well. Too, had we played too hard a offense, again the backlash may have cut our chances at 2008.

We let people smell the refuse without rubbing their actual collective faces in it.

In 2008, when the time and mood was right, Dean’s 50 state strategy was implemented with obvious success. We went after every State, and made the People themselves more aware, and feel important to the process. It is a beautiful strategy when your timing is right. Barack Obama beat the Neo-con front man McCain.

Does anyone think for one second a wild-eyed Liberal could win anything in this Country? As much as we love to talk Democracy, most of the people in this country have come to distrust the Left and fear our agendas. As much as we have a hard time believing it, they think they are right.

As NP and I discussed yesterday there are many reasons why this is so. People believe what those in their trusted circles say, reason as they reason and have the right to vote their beliefs. We are stuck with the fact we (especially at WWL) are in a vastly small minority, and unless we no longer believe in Democracy cannot “take over” without abandoning those very Principles we espouse.

Is this country going to swing wildly Left right now, are we going to get a War-free, Social Democracy where education and health care is immediately free and we Nationalize all the Energy assets of this country?

Not while everyone in this Country has a vote and does not yet agree with those things. We need to make them agree, soothe their fears and educate them.

This is a battle of Hearts and Minds.

Barack Obama is a Center-Left candidate at best.

We have had 8 years of Rightest-Right.

This is progress. Progress will happen more when the truly fearful find that their calm, measured Candidate does not become a wild-eyed communist at the helm, does not give everything to the blacks and leave all white people in slums as servants.

When even one man, or ten thousand wake up to the fact that “different” is not fearful, and small changes improve their lives, that is the step that will make our minority agendas move forward.

Rahm is a big-scale player. I certainly do not agree with his views in their entire, but I cannot argue his canny political savvy has proven itself. He is looking ten moves up the board when most of us are trying to figure out which pawn to move next.

If it takes having a tough Center-Right player on board with our elected Center-Left to beat the Right-rights, we are still moving the collective game to our advantage. We control the board, we control the ball.  Pick your analogy. We move the Overton window.

Rahm Emanuel may be a weasel, but he is our weasel now.  I’d certainly rather have him working for us than against us.

The fact that Al Franken, who IS a wild-eyed Liberal (bless his heart! 🙂 is so very close to defeating Vince Coleman in Minnesota, the Chamblis battle in Georgia, and Stevens brawl in Alaska says volumes about where this country is moving.

We cannot break up in disappointment and despair that our minority cannot force the country to bend immediately to our will, face that our elected Politicians would be signing a death warrant to do so.

FDR will not be reborn, nor will The New Deal suddenly materialize, but I certainly think there will be some fireside chats about to occur. I think people will listen.

We hired a smart man who can explain things plainly and intelligently without being condescending, rather than a neo-con who says “Its none of your business.”

Despair not, my friends.

Now is the time for harder work, as we become a Lobby of the People, and have a National discussion about where to move next and how.

The man is inheriting a cluster-fuck of gargantuan proportions and we must support him and influence him.  Make him.

As FDR said when asked to make a societal change “I agree with you-now go out and make me do it!”

It will take overwhelming public support to force the hand of any Leader up against the MIC and the money PTB to enact changes in this country, with Gitmo or any other portion of the military. It will take overwhelming Public support to make workers, not the elites the focus of our economy.

I would love to see him get letters and emails from a million people a day, and armed with them go to Congress, go to the CIA, go up against the Military or the Lobbyists and say “The people have spoken, we MUST do this!”

We could do that.

Or we can fragment off and bitch about us not getting our piece of candy first.

We can do this.

Or we can continue to demonize the voters and citizens who do not think exactly like us.

The choice really is ours.

Which wolf wins?

I know which one I’m going to feed.

I know as fact, wolves don’t bite the hand that feeds them. You just have to talk to them in their language, let them trust you rather than fear you. Its really not that hard.

Hearts and Minds, one mind at time.

But that’s just me, what do I know, I was raised by wolves as I raised them.



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    • Diane G on November 9, 2008 at 18:40

    when center-left became ok.

    I replied:

    its not a matter of okay  

    and all the bitching in the world will not change minds like results do.

    Are you so very sure the swing has stopped, or is it continuing?

    Its the people as much as the politicians we need to change. Did you not notice how many of those Blue dogs lost seats to more progressive candidates?

    Shit, I’d vote for Fidel Castro if he was young and a candidate, I’m as left as they come… but in a Democracy you have to live with people not agreeing… right up until you change their minds.

    • Diane G on November 9, 2008 at 22:56

    Do you think I am wrong, or did I just write this like shit?

    Not pouting, looking for input, honestly!

  1. I think people ignore something.

    Nuclear weapons were made with the intention of using them. They will be used. This time we are in…with the economies of the world collapsing due to American corruption makes the inevitable use of nuclear weapons more likely.

    Therefore, you don’t have the luxury of playing around with being “pragmatic”, and “framing” arguments and nuturing “weasels”.

    You have to tell the truth.

    This is madness. You have just had a very disturbed, mentally ill man as a president who was clearly delusional and hallucinatory….that ought to be talked about…he believed he was chosen by God….I guess God, then chose Barak Obama…That’s crazy…and the American people are in fact crazy…otherwise they would not allow a person like Bush to get near the whitehouse…but they did, and they voted for him by about 50% two times.

    And there no momentum in protestation in his policies because there was no media coverage….and you cannot protest worrying about whether you being paid attention to. You don’t protest with idea of being “rewarded”. You invest for long term results

    You don’t have time for this hearts and minds stuff, one at a time. That isn’t the way it works.

    The way it works is hearts and minds are damaged. They need repair. And they cannot be repaired through political manuevering.

    Telling the cold blooded truth helps.

    An Absence of war helps.

    Those two things are not enough, but you have to vote for candidates who are telling the truth and view that as a LONG TERM goal. Because you will not give any power to people who tell the truth by being “pragmatic” and voting for people like Obama.

    Long Term….not short term…that’s the only hope.

    “Winning” putting Democrats in office who in effect voted for the war like Obama (through funding) and Emmanuel…is not going to work.

    It’s going to destroy humanity.

  2. …I recall from a long ago visit to Wolfhaven, are pretty cool.  Some mythical ones like Fenris take Tyr’s hand and are bound thereby, or some damn thing like that.  And I think that’s exactly where we are, in a way…we can fracture (heck, we probably will anyway)…or lend our little lefty support to the big centrist pile and hope our cookie is that things get worse more slowly…in exchange for a discussion where our goals are radical, far away dreams.

    On the other hand, he’s not in office yet.  He could ask for things of FDR-like proportions, and we may be…genuinely…swept up in that.  This thought is probably the denial stage of what ucc was calling an Obamaectomy yesterday…this diary was the most reasonable sort of Obamaectomy talk-down I’ve seen yet…

  3. No despair for me. Obama is a pol, a really good on who made it though the gauntlet of both the media and the political machines. He is brilliant at strategy. He will use what he has, he cannot just abolish the whole lot of current pols in power, he has to deal with them. God knows what deals he cut politically to get here. I do know he managed to juggle the DCC (Rahmn) and the DNC (Dean) not to mention the formidable Clintons. FDR had to sell his New Deal to the dubious people and had to battle a congress which was loaded with the same type of entrenched big money.

    Obama is perfect for a transition, and transition is change. He can not do it overnight, as the structure itself is riddled from decades of control by the philosophy of unfettered capitalism and big/money running both foreign policy and domestic culture wars, which enabled both parties to maintain the status quo. He said over and over during his campaign he could not do this with out participation from the people.

    My only disagreement is that the populous is center right. I think that is a bamboozle promoted by the media and the elite to keep power. I do think it’s regionally and culturally divided and reconciliation is needed in order to move the government to a place where the citizens are represented not jerked around in cooked up crisis’s, fear, and ideological distractions that keep us out of the equation.                  

  4. … that is, if we intend to keep moving.

    If this is it and we are done, its Oh Noes time … (as well as Alacsess, Alasses, and Woes Iz Mees)

    … but as long as we work toward networking with and organizing people who have been introduced to the process of electoral organizing and activism in the safe confines of a centrist-progressive campaign as more and more learn over the next eight years of the limitations of centrist-progressivism …

    … then the name of now is a step in the right direction.

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