A Coalition to……What, Exactly?

There has been a lot of talk about coalitions lately, who it is ok to align with and which “devils” (as one poster put it) it is verbotten to align with. But no one has talked about what a coalition…any coalition, would actually…..do.

After all, the folks who say we can’t align with devils don’t really want to DO anything but support whatever the President does anyway. They don’t want to pressure him to do a better job and be less of a tool for the status quo, so what is the hypothetical coalition for?

And of course it must be repeated that while they demonize people for aligning with Republicans…..their guy is…..aligning with Republicans.

So their coalition that will demonize and exclude people for aligning with Republicans is meant to, it must be said, align with Republicans in support of the President doing so.

If it wasn’t all emotion based anyway, it wouldn’t make much sense. It only does make sense if you look at it through a single lens of supporting Obama, right or wrong. In other words through a lens of emotion, not politics or political strategy.

Which brings up the question, what IS the political strategy of the Center/Left?

It is not getting us out of War, because it is now Obama’s war.

It is not reforming Wall St, because Obama doesn’t want to reform Wall St…..much.

It is not helping Main St, because Obama is ignoring Main St, for the most part.

It is not prosecuting Torture and War crimes, because Obama doesn’t want to prosecute War Crimes.

It is not “fixing” health care, because Obama got the bill he wanted.

And it is not fighting Climate Crisis, because as with everything else, Obama is not leading on Climate Crisis.

Which brings up the question…what is Obama’s political strategy?

Can anyone tell me? Does anyone know?

What are his goals? And thus the goals of a coalition consisting of his supporters. A year in and where are we headed?

Once he has compromised down to all of the half assed “fixes” that address, if not actually solve, all of the problems left by Bushco, where is he planning to go from there?

Once he has sorta ‘fixed’ Afghanistan and Iraq, what is the next step? Once he has sorta fixed Wall St and the banks, what next? Once he has sorta addressed Climate Crisis, what next?

Where is he going, what does he want to do, where will he lead his supporters?

Is it in a direction that is worth aligning to support? Or an agenda that we will have to continue to fight against by applying pressure from the Left?

To his supporters it just does not matter. At best they will politely interject some mild criticism if he goes off course. But to the rest of the world, facing the real and deadly serious challenges we face, it is critical.

So it comes down to this, coalition wise. What is the positive vision of this coalition you talk about so much in the negative sense? We hear a LOT about what we can’t do.

What is it that this mythical (so far) coalition DOES want to do?


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  1. Photobucket

  2. … and pray that the monsters don’t eat them.  There is comfort in collective self-destruction.

  3. It’s clearly a Coalition to Divert and Distract.

    They’re already doing what they set out to do — divert and distract from any action that looks to be successful in reaching Obama.

    One of their best tactics is what I call the “justice guilt trip.”  “Why are you going on about torture?  Why aren’t you working on fixing our juvenile justice system instead?

    ‘Course if we did that and it came time to pressure Obama’s Department of Justice … well you know what would happen.

    The real obscenity is to think the two tasks are mutually exclusive.

    I understand folks like, say, Winter Rabbit, who have seen the effects of centuries of genocide and continuing injustice, entering into coalition with folks like us even as he keeps his focus on Native issues.  That’s a natural coalition.

    But these folks?  I don’t buy what they’re selling.  I don’t see one action item put forth during these bogus arguments.

    What I see is an absolute demand to control the tone, the conversation, and, oddly, President Obama.  It’s almost as though they want to keep him as much in a bubble as possible.


  4. of the Architect of the Matrix is a systemic anomaly.

    That, to get the change we want, everything has to change.  That you can’t have health care and gay rights and rule of law and the middle class back without, as you say, very very serious changes of a much higher order.

    Everything has to change.  Obama’s version of change is and always was the cotton candy version of what we must do.

    That kind of change that is typically only accomplished by destroying a country and having it smoldering in ruins before it is rebuilt.  But that, if we are wise, we would have to try to do without that.

    Obama sold the version of the truth to the American public he thought he could sell — the kind that children get to listen to because the big boy version is too hard to bear.

    One way to look at it in deadly serious terms is that of resources and money.  We can’t possibly spend a trillion dollars a year pursuing impossible military agendas.  We can’t spend even more money pandering to people who hold the country hostage with deliberate failure.  It’s not so much about what we want to do as what we have to do.

    We need not “change”, but the remake our country.

    • Robyn on January 4, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    …that as a part of the progressive coalition it is my responsibility to shut up about any issues which could potentially weaken the core of the coalition by forcing the expenditure of political capital for things like equal rights for people on the fringe.

  5. are we still talking about them… here?

    Im really over it. Really.

    deep breath

    I still read gos and comment rarely. I dont get into the bullshit. I see very little point in taking them on, challenging them, contradicting, educating, exposing, or debating… them. It seems counter-productive to me.

    I am totally sick of people putting links in their comment threads (over there) that link back to DD essays or comments. Im sick of the “Prove it!” double dog dares. Im sick of the arm’s lengths threads there of people defending or defying why or why not the dreaded HR donut droppings.

    Ya know like this shit.

    Look at this one on the rec list now. This is dumber than peanut brittle pie when there is so much else going on that screams for our attention.

    There is no “coalition” in the sense that I think of it. At gos theres I guess a coalition of gayKos, SheKos, BlackKos, and pootieKos, and I probably missed some. They can go on and post their diaries over there all they want, and stroke one another’s Ever Elevated Sense of Righteous and brag about how they are More Revolutionary Than Thou and bla bla bla bla bla. I so dont care!!!

    So… I ignore them. Dis-engage. Dont feed the… {sigh}

  6. to the wrong audience? Where’s the crosspost?

    • TMC on January 4, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    about Obama that his support wasn’t exactly as grassroots as he would have liked us to believe. He is beholden to the corporations that funded his campaign and it is very telling and is having an effect on his supporters. I mention this piece at [http://news.firedoglake.com/2010/01/03/notes-on-the-obama-disconnect/ FDL by Dayen}

    It’s good to reflect back on this piece, especially in light of [Micah Sifry’s superlative piece about how Obama’s grassroots movement demobilized in 2009. I actually think it holds up pretty well. I remember at the time getting a lot of criticism for one line – “this is tremendous news” – referring to some of that consolidation. But it was good news, in the context of the actual campaign. The organizing and voter contacts from May to November resulted in a 365 electoral-vote total, wins in historically red states like North Carolina, Virginia and Indiana, millions of new Democrats and a mandate for bringing in a transformative agenda. I saw first-hand people never involved in politics before working for months for Obama, building robust local structures that could have been leveraged to infuse new energy into local parties and bring forward a new generation of leadership.

    Dayen goes on the quote from the Sifry article, The Obama Disconnect: What Happens When Myth Meets Reality

    he truth is that Obama was never nearly as free of dependence on big money donors as the reporting suggested, nor was his movement as bottom-up or people-centric as his marketing implied. And this is the big story of 2009, if you ask me, the meta-story of what did, and didn’t happen, in the first year of Obama’s administration. The people who voted for him weren’t organized in any kind of new or powerful way, and the special interests-banks, energy companies, health interests, car-makers, the military-industrial complex-sat first at the table and wrote the menu. Myth met reality, and came up wanting […]

    Now, there is a new enthusiasm gap, but it’s no longer in Obama’s favor. That’s because you can’t order volunteers to do anything-you have to motivate them, and Obama’s compromises to almost every powers-that-be are tremendously demotivating.

    (my emphasis)

    There are a few blogs that still support Obama, blindly, defending his capitulation to the right, the blue dogs (NO they are NOT moderate Democrats), the corporations and Wall St. Did I forget the Pentagon? my bad  

    • Diane G on January 4, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    There already IS a coalition of people joined in the blogosphere to be Centrists and be Democratic supporters at all cost, it call DeeeKooossss.

    They do not want or need us.

    Why are we even considering trying to break into a closed club with a stated intent?

    Budhy, it seems the far Left always whines about being marginalized by the centrists while at the same time trying to be “one” of them.

    This site, my site, lori price’s site, ed encho’s site, elian maricon’s site, pam’s house blend, there are hundreds of VERY far left bloggers that remain largely disconnected.

    If your goal is to bring “kossacks” here, then don;t be surprised when  your sirte becomes kos-like in opinion. If your objective is purely growth, then go for it.

    If your stated goal is to move the Window LEFT, then a coalition of all the tiny LEFTIES is how it is done.

    We have to become something unto ourselves, not shadows of lesser movements.

    • rossl on January 5, 2010 at 3:35 am

    I encourage you to watch/listen to/read the following episodes of Bill Moyers Journal.  They really helped me see the light on this (and see how stupid all of this bickering is and how we should be organizing instead):





    • BobbyK on January 5, 2010 at 6:32 am

    I’m late to the conversation again! Rats! Guess I’ll just go back to reading.

    Seems we’re talking about Docudharma’s mission as it relates to other blogs & coalitions of interests.

    Our mission statement:

    In other words…Hey Kids! Let’s put on an evolution! This is a place for each of us to do our 1/seven billionth of that together, and hopefully speed the process of change along through a synergy of our ideas, intentions and actions. Now let’s get out there and change the world!

    and how it relates to other blogs missions. Example:

    Elect democrats.

    I have always thought “Elect democrats” was a short sighted doomed to irrelevance mission.

    “…doing our 1/seven billionth… to change the world!” Now that’s something I can get behind.

    So we don’t have as many eye balls as other blogs. We can work on that. Build it and they will come…when they are ready.

    I actually like the slower pace. I can contribute without having to lose my teeth sipping from a firehose of diaries.

    Rock on Docudharma. I hereby resolve to write link and email more in 2010.

    • quince on January 6, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Is it in a direction that is worth aligning to support? Or an agenda that we will have to continue to fight against by applying pressure from the Left?

    I think the answer to that is crystal clear right now. We do NOT have an ally in the white house.

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