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View Diary: Takeaways from the filibuster fight (240 comments)

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  •  If? (17+ / 0-)

    If it continues to be abused?  This is not a question of "if" and everybody in the room knows it.  That's bullshit political talk and everybody knows it and nobody should stand there and politely accept that answer, let alone feel grateful for even getting that answer.

    Again, I deeply respect the work David has done and have followed and supported his filibuster reform work for years now.  But let's get real here.  They just took one of the top three priorities of a massive coalition of left grassroots group and blew it off.  

    The only real thing that can be said is that they respected the groups enough to pretend that they would consider making some real changes to their rules when it's pretty clear that they had no intention of any such thing.  So they put forth some effort to create this non-reform reform package instead of just blowing them off completely. That's about it.  

    That's not something to cheer about.  That's something that should cause deep reflection about what the most powerful grassroots organizations have become and about their ability to have any effect on the people they work to support year after year, decade after decade.  It should also trigger reflection about who they really are and what they really value, and whether or not the work they are doing is really having any positive effect now that their guys control Washington.  It should make them ask themselves what is really important to them -- real change or access and status and not rocking the boat so much that they fall out of favor.

    At Aaron Swartz's memorial in NYC last week, his partner asked some tough questions about activism.  

    If you work in social change, how do you know that what you're doing is helping the world?  When you go to funders or to your email list to ask for money, do you really believe in the core of your heart that you're spending it the best way it can be spent?  Do you find yourself telling stories you don't fully believe?

      Aaron believed there's no shame in admitting failure.  It's why he loved GiveWell among other things.  But there's a deep, deep shame in pride that prevents you from admitting failure.  There's a deep, deep shame in caring more about believing that you're changing the world than actually changing the world.

    This was one of the top three priorities, the demands, of the reportedly epic, game-changing coalitions of activists on the left.  

    And what will be their response to Reid and the Dem leadership now?  Based on reading this diary, it almost seems like this coalition will go back and thank them for even listening and considering their pleas and to thank them for putting together this kabuki reform package, a package of changes that look like they were put together simply to make it look like they did something but in the end really change nothing.

    I hope they don't bow and scrape and thank them.  If they do, it's yet another reason why the Dem leadership should never bother to cede to any demands from the official grassroots left.

    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:17:18 PM PST

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