Tag: Full Court Press

How squeegees can help save America, and your sanity – going beyond blogging to the choir

I find the continued lack of visible, widespread, persistent, peaceful, effective actions by activists to be dismaying, if not depressing. (Please notice that I didn’t use the adjective “massive”. I have argued for a shotgun approach to reaching the public, where the activists can be in groups as small as 2 people. Or even go it alone.) Apparently, for some of us, when thing get tough, they either throw up their hands, or else call for more of the same (such as the “sternly worded letter/email/fax”), or else call for a complete failure of the system – hoping that a new Dark Age will provide a fertile ground for a subsequent Aquarian Age. (Say, now, there’s a plan!).

One would have hoped that political blogs would be a wellspring of encouragement for wider engagement with, and education of, the “unblogged masses”, but that is not the case. E.g., I was following the unfolding Obamacare fiasco, via FDL, and knew very well about Obama’s backstabbing deal with Tauzin, as well as other related healhcare betrayals. But at job where my coworkers were discussing Obamacare, I asked people what they thought about Obama’s deal with Tauzin, and nobody even knew who Tauzin was.

Not good. FDL had essentially no effect on the level of knowledge of most Americans. It’s effects are limited to a small sliver of the American public.

Well, a recent reply (#174) to ‘mymarkx’ in Call Members of Congress and Tell Them if They Cut Social Security, You’re Done With Them has prompted my to share an additional idea for exploiting public spaces, to both educate and develop political muscle. First, my post #174:

And then there were none

… now that [healthcare reform is] the law, they’re using it to limit coverage by private insurers.

An obscure part of the law allows states to restrict abortion coverage by private plans operating in new insurance markets.  Capitalizing on that language, abortion foes have succeeded in passing bans that, in some cases, go beyond federal statutes.

… Before the overhaul became law, five states had limits on private insurance coverage of abortion — Idaho, Kentucky, Missouri, North Dakota and Oklahoma. Abortion rights supporters are concerned that the list is growing as a result of the new federal law.

Associated Press 05/16/10

Great bait-and-switch #1 of the past year was the healthcare reform debacle.  Public option, public option, yay!  Yes, the Stupak/Nelson abortion restrictions were bad, but a public option bill was so important that it was worth Stupak/Nelson.  Oh whoops, no public option?  Bummer, but what’s a poor liberal to do?

Blog Talk Radio – Progressive Independence Radio – 8PM EDT

We’ve got a lot to talk about tonight: Ohio’s Green Party gubernatorial candidate Dennis Spisak, one of incumbent and Democrat Ted Strickland’s creatures stalking Spisak on the ‘net, Don Blankenship and why he should be in prison, more about the Full Court Press (I talked with fellow blogger Jeff Roby last week on the subject), and finally, porn starlet Stormy Daniels’ run for the U.S. Senate in Louisiana to replace GOPer David Vitter.

The call-in number is 1 (347) 884-9121 if you want to call in and talk with us.  The URL is here.


Election Heads Up — It’s a Plan

A few days ago, I ran across a fascinating post on FireDogLake by scrowder, called A failure to plan is a plan to fail – a challenge to the FDL website.

A failure to plan is a plan to fail. So said a poster here on a different diary today and it got me to thinking. What is the progressive plan for dealing with the Conservadems in Congress who’ve sold us out time and again since the Reagan years?

(crickets)  Yeah, that’s the problem. The debate always comes down to this: Vote Dem or let the Repugs rule. And that’s what happens. Dems lose their base in disgust and Repugs take over. I’m just as guilty. I’ve voted Nader every election until the chance to elect a black man president outweighed the knowledge that this guy was being foisted on us by the corporatocracy.

Instead of worrying about polls, or what the Dems should be doing or what Obama isn’t doing, we should be wholly focused on getting progressives past their primary challenges and replacing Conservadems on the ballot. But we aren’t.

The point — to underline scrowder — is on what WE are doing, not on what THEY aren’t doing for us.

Is the blogosphere a community?

On Saturday, I saw a very interesting piece by Cenk Uygur, whom I have admired, on FDL, “It’s Time for a Progressive Revolution,” in which he said:

If ever there was a time for primaries, it’s now!  Almost every Democrat running for re-election should get a primary challenge.  This is our best chance at a progressive revolution. You know who should run?  Teachers, farmers, dentists, moms, small business owners, cops, butchers, bakers and candlestick-makers.  And anyone else with a shred of integrity who actually cares about our democracy.

Normally, you need a boat load of cash to run against a member of Congress. Hence, you need special interests behind you. And hence, all of our members of Congress are sell-outs to special interests. Hence, only 8% of people want to re-elect them. But right now might be one of those moments in a democracy where the people stand up and roar. Right now, all you might need is to just not be an incumbent.

It was focused on the 2010 elections, while the Full Court Press is building for 2012 because of issues of resources and filing deadlines.  But I was piqued by his saying, “Almost every Democrat running for re-election should get a primary challenge,” and I loved the broad sentiment, “You know who should run?  Teachers, farmers, dentists, moms, small business owners, cops, butchers, bakers and candlestick-makers.  And anyone else with a shred of integrity …”  Seemed like there was the basis for some dialogue here.

So I posted the Full Court Press proposal on the Young Turks website.  I was immediately met in the comments field with a cascade of viciousness.  From KenTX:

I’m the REPUBLICAN who is kicking your ass, in your own liberal blogosphere.

We already control cable news, satellite radio, and the AM radio airwaves. Now we’re in your kitchen, cooking an omlet.

By the time 2012 gets here, there won’t be anything left of the Democrat Party…

Using Craigslist to find LOTS of candidates for FCP

Democracy Now had a program segment called “The Citizens’ Candidate”-Grassroots Effort Uses Craigslist to Find Candidate For Utah House Seat

Utah Citizen’s Movement website is here.

If Craigslist works for UCM, why not the Full Court Press?

Full Court Press: Creating the Points, Part One

After taking time out from blogging, I decided that it’s time to start crafting the points discussed by Jeff Roby in his entry, “For a Full Court Press“.  This obviously isn’t going to be completed overnight.  It should be designed with as much input as is reasonable and with time enough to include all the relevant details while listening to all interested parties.  But we do need to get the ball rolling now.  Already, some states have seen their filing deadlines for Congressional races pass.  If we’re to lay the groundwork for the Full Court Press, and test it out on at least a smaller scale this year in preparation for 2012, this is the time to do it.

And so, without further adieu…

We deal in change

I am very far from being okay.  The murder of handcuffed Afghan schoolchildren by American “civilians” (CIA?) who have access to helicopters has me in a surly mood.  I have to repeat to myself over and over, “small steps, small steps, stick to the plan.”  So I stick to the plan.  The Full Court Press is a good plan, a very good plan.  But I’m feeling a little less tolerant of bullshit today, so let’s have a fight.  Over strategy and method.  Let me pick on ActBlue, because variations of its strategy of funding liberal candidates to replace the worst of the Democrats has been holy writ among progressives for so many years.

At one level, no such fight is necessary.  I’m sure the ActBlue folks are good people.  If I were in the right district, I’m sure I would vote for many of the candidates they funnel money to.  In fact, a key feature of the Full Court Press is its flexibility, its compatibility with other tactics.  It merely calls for filing candidates in all 435 congressional primaries around a modest but pointed program:

WPA-style jobs program

Medicare for all

Repeal Stupak and Hyde and their ilk

U.S. out of Iraq and Afghanistan

It does not comprise a complete strategy.  Since the only bottom line is supporting the above points and getting on the congressional primary ballot, it does not require campaigning hard against Dennis Kucinich if he doesn’t endorse the program.  We would not want to undermine an effort to defeat Stupak.  On the other hand, if an incumbent said they agreed with “U.S. out of Iraq and Afghanistan” but had voted to fund the war effort, they wouldn’t get the FCP stamp of approval either.  Our tactics may be flexible, but our principles are not.  Being flexible doesn’t mean being a patsy.

Won’t get fooled again! Again.

1979 San Francisco.  We were working on a hard-fought rent-control ballot initiative.  Hard-fought between the coalition of tenant organizations and the Democratic Party stalwarts on one side (seemingly) against the landlords and downtown developers who ran City Hall under Mayor Dianne Feinstein.

Even more hard-fought was the struggle between the tenant organizations which had created the campaign in the first place and ran the campaign’s district committees (I chaired District 6, the Mission), against the Democratic Party’s consultants (the little wigs) and Democratic clubs and official leftists, over whether the campaign would be a consultant-based media affair, or grassroots tenant-based.  The underlying question was whether the district committees would last beyond election day.

The money went to the consultants and for TV ads, while the district committees were starved.  The measure had been gutted even before the campaign began, in order to appease a few prestigious Democratic clubs that in the end actually opposed the initiative.  In the home stretch, it became clear that Prop R was going down.

Now a whiny voice pipes up from the back of the room.  “Hey, old guy, is this gonna be another of your boring stories about how you had to walk 20 miles through the snow to get to an SDS meeting?”

“Shaddup, kid, there’s a point here somewhere!”

As I was  saying, in the final weeks, the campaign bosses went into a pseudo-frenzy.  Once more to the barricades, voter registration, lit drops.  The campaign came down to getting a slate card under every door in the city.  No volunteer was to be left standing as the polls closed.

Organization 0.1 Alpha – My letter to my attorney

“You have to begin somewhere” I remember somebody telling me that when I first started lifting weights in a gym. (Not much weight on the bar, you see. IIRC, there was actually no weight on the bar.) However, it’s true in a lot of areas – like all of them.

So, even though I’m not a Democrat, I’m trying to help jeffroby get the ‘Full Court Press’ going for Dems. (I expect I’ll try and help Republicans get their version  going, if I can find any Republican-leaning citizens who are interested). Because we all have to start somewhere, and complaining in the blogosphere and petitioning those in power don’t seem very effective, we need to truly dump sellout Congress critters.

Chris Bowers has wisely advised us to do things correctly, legally speaking, so I sent an email to a lawyer I had retained, who I knew was a Democrat and seemed like a very good guy, overall. What follows is a modified, de-personalized version, that has a lot of links which will be useful for telling friend, family, and even strangers about the new group.

Just in case you missed it…

Anger is flying at Mach 1,000 and everybody who isn’t a member of the Democratic leadership wants to punish the Democrats for their endless betrayals, broken promises, lies, and capitulations.  Well, I seem to remember someone posting ideas for how we can do something more than just bitch and complain.


Just thought I’d remind you so we can start holding discussions for how we can implement these ideas.