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This morning I have read how we, as progressives need to have "patience and endurance" in order to achieve our goals. I have read how "compromise is touch and go" and how we have to "fight through the pain".  I have to say, with all due respect, bullshit.

Back during the Clinton Presidency, when HCR got shot down we were told to be patient. When The Moron stole the election of 2000, we were told to be patient and wait for 2004. When he stole it again in 2004 we were told to be patient. When we found out about the outright lies The Moron and his cronies used to justify invading Iraq, we were told to be patient, because The Moron and his neocon Masters would be held accountable  once we controlled the Congress. Haliburton and war profiteers of every stripe had free access to the trough refilled every year by the American taxpayer. Billions simply vanished into the greedy pockets of Wall Street. The 2006 elections came and went and still nothing was done. Scooter Libby was a blip and nothing more, and even then The Moron commuted his sentence. We were told that 2008 was coming, be patient a new day will dawn if we can control the Congress and the White House. In the mean time the blood sucking corporatists continued to drain the life from the American people.

2008 arrived with the collapse of the economy and the elections.  The day of deliverance had arrived. We had it all, the House, The Senate and the White House. Clear, unambiguous majorities. From there we all know what happened. HCR gets gutted, billions in taxpayer monies wind up in the pockets of Wall Street barons in the guise of a bail-out, while middle-class Americans watch their houses and retirement accounts vanish before their eyes. Iraq continues, Yemen begins, 3 children die everyday from the fighting in Afghanistan, and Wall Street is getting ready to announce multi-million dollar bonuses for the rapers of the American dream.

How much more patient do we have to be? Teabaggers get plenty of air time as they jump up and down and froth at the mouth about saving "their" America. I am not in the least bit interested in saving "their" myopic, narrow, bigoted, neocon, imperialistic, money grubbing sepia toned version of this country. I, and a whole lot of other people, voted for a progressive America, an enlightened America. When I  read that the White House thinks that all the progressive angst will die down once this tepid version of HCR is signed, I say patience be damned. Who do they think we are? Unruly 5-year olds?  Should we be sent to our rooms?

The time for patience is OVER. The time for direct action is NOW. I have seen many articles decrying the lack of a truly vocal and demonstrative movement from the left. Well I am here to tell you that if we don’t get one moving and soon, anything we think we voted for will be gone in less than a year.  The wars will continue, the modern Robber Barons will continue, and if we don’t take to the streets and the halls of power, we, the progressive left will scream all we want here on the inter-tubes, to less and less effect.

Originally posted to BrainDrain on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 06:48 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Meaning what? (10+ / 0-)

    That you're going to magically force change by the power of your irk?

    Foreignness is in the ignorance of the beholder.

    by Troubadour on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 06:51:52 AM PST

  •  What do you propose? (13+ / 0-)

    We've got to have more than pissedoffedness, don't we?

    "He's one of these people who doesn't need much, much less much more."

    by Eclectablog on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 06:55:57 AM PST

  •  Two excerpts from the diary (6+ / 0-)

    The day of deliverance had arrived.

    There's no so thing in the political world.

    Who do they think we are? Unruly 5-year olds?  Should we be sent to our rooms?

    No comment.

    For the record, I share the diarists disappointment in the HCR bill, but support it nevertheless. Also the diarist's disappointment that election day was not a day of deliverance, even though it was a really good day.

    This is not what I thought I'd be when I grew up.

    by itzik shpitzik on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 06:56:44 AM PST

  •  So now that patience is damned. (6+ / 0-)

    Now what?

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 06:59:50 AM PST

  •  Now is not the time for patience. (5+ / 0-)

    It's not like the glaciers, tundra and polar icecaps are NOT melting.

    And yes we need more than just to be pissed off, but if you're not righteously pissed off, don't expect anything to change.

    "The truth shall set you free - but first it'll piss you off." Gloria Steinem

    Save the Internet!

    by One Pissed Off Liberal on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 06:59:56 AM PST

  •  I presume you are currently backing, (7+ / 0-)

    with money and time, a progressive alternative to your current congresscritter or senatoid?  

    Finally, some new songs up at da web site!

    by Crashing Vor on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 07:00:28 AM PST

  •  obama has been potus only a year (0+ / 0-)

    so yeah normally under most situations it would be too early to judge him a failure but because of what this diary mentions there is no time left for patience we need actions meaning yes it is safe to judge him a failure because he has not made the extraordinary moves required for these extraordinary times, and instead tried to m,aintain the status quo and reinflate the bubbles.

    •  And how exactly is Obama supposed to do what (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Arnie, Radical def

      you want?

      By declaring martial law and implementing all of the policies that folks here support through fiat?

      The only way he can do anything is by getting a bill through the Senate, and, with a few exceptions, the only way he can get a bill through Senate is by having the support of people like Ben Nelson and Joseph Lieberman.

      A few years ago, even a lot of Republicans were supporting the exact same kind of health bill that Obama is supporting now, and he has a hard time even getting that past Nelson and Lieberman, because the Republicans are intent on rejecting almost every high-profile Obama proposal, even ones they sort of like, for the sake of destroying his presidency.

      I wish the Democrats, Greens, etc. were as committed to supporting Obama as the Republicans are to blocking him.

      •  I just read in the latest issue of Newsweek... (0+ / 0-)

        ...that, back in '65, 41 percent of GOP Representatives and 50 percent of GOP Senators voted for Medicare. Today, how many votes did HRC get from GOP congresspeople? One.

        Olympia Snowe was quoted as saying that (paraphrasing here) it was a shame that legislation such as this didn't get more votes from the other side of the aisle, but she sure didn't offer much support herself.

        "I'm a bear of very little brain." -- with apologies to A. A. Milne

        by Arnie on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 10:05:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  They Say Year 1 is the Only Time for Big Change (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    which is common wisdom, not an idealist-lefty assertion.

    So I guess we need to be patient for the next Democratic administration.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 07:33:05 AM PST

  •  See, I actually *do* think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    we have a vocal and demonstrative movement from the Left. There are any number of sites that are exclusively hotbeds of Leftist advocacy, and I mean really vocal, fervent, even zealous advocacy. Have you been to FDL, or Open Left, or Talk Left, or Democratic Underground, etc?

    So what I don't see is how your ideal situation differs from the current one, unless you expect everyone on the left to agree with your position?

    "Karl Rove giving Dems advice is the DEFINITION of 'Concern Troll'" - punkdavid

    by Darkmoth on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 08:01:51 AM PST

    •  every day (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I visit those sites and others..still the same thing lots and lots of talk..little or no action..lots of outrage..the pen and ink kind

      Sic Semper Tyrannis

      by BrainDrain on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 08:11:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why don't you go phonebank for Mass Sen (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and do something with that energy, there, champ.  

        You want the number for OFA?  I can get you on a phonebank, my activist friend.  

        "Progress has never been a bargain; you have to pay for it." -- Clarence Darrow "Change takes time. It's a marathon, not a sprint." -- Widely attributed

        by LarsThorwald on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 08:12:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ok (0+ / 0-)

        but outrage certainly isn't patience. If you see the outrage at these sites, who are you telling to stop being patient? They're already done being patient.

        "Karl Rove giving Dems advice is the DEFINITION of 'Concern Troll'" - punkdavid

        by Darkmoth on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 08:43:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  what I see (0+ / 0-)

          is people who are pissed off, some even outraged, (outrage being a couple of steps UP from pissed off) yet all i see is advice to write this congresscritter or that senatoid or some other equally useless endevor. What I would like to do is organize a huge march on DC, oe Wall Street, make NOISE, be SEEN, be HEARD as LOUDLY as possible, make the comfortable as UN-comfortable as possible.

          Writing an e-mail saying ur angry about whatever is NOT the same as actually seeing a large group of people marching on a seat of power, be it political power or financial power. It might be the same message, but the delivery sure as hell is a lot different.

          Sic Semper Tyrannis

          by BrainDrain on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 08:53:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I completely understand the emotion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    At the same time, what "direct action" options would actually change the game at this point?

    The nub as expressed in the diary seems to come down to:

    a...vocal and demonstrative movement...take to the streets and the halls of power...

    It seems like you are calling for large, public demonstrations. Large, public demonstrations have never stopped happening. But as a technique for changing the minds of those who have actual power to change things, they have been defanged. The world has moved on.  

    1. They have been routinized. There have been so many large, public demonstations that all large cities have a routine protocol for handling them -- especially Washington. The politicoes the marchers are trying to influence leave town for the day. The traditional media yawn or make snide remarks. That's what happened with the mass marches held in D.C. to try to prevent the Iraq War, and later, to try to end it.
    1. New suppression techniques are more effective. March routes are kept far from the actual persons  the marchers are trying to influence. Police are heavily armed and may round up not only marchers but innocent bystanders with ease. The alleged violence of the marchers becomes the story and does the cause more harm than good. That's what has happened with the Anti-globalization marches, in my opinion.
    1. In the 21st Century, mediated reality is more meaningful to most Americans than "real" reality. The vast majority of Americans these days grant more credibility to what they see on the screen than the reality that may be right in front of them, unless they personally are engaged in what is happening. And their curiosity doesn't extend far beyond what they are shown. Marching makes the marchers feel even more committed, but unless a mass march is reported positively in the media, it will do the cause more harm than good -- and positive coverage of mass marches is rare as a snowstorm in June. Direct action is impotent unless it also echoes over and over, in a positive way, in mediated reality.
    1. Therefore, blogging is one of the more useful things a person can do. Because it can actually reach people in their prefered form of mediated reality. At a minimum, bloggers make sure the progressive voice is out there and commerce and the Right don't monopolize the Web between them. But certain kinds of blogging can do more. I think the most useful include: original reportage, with excellent video on YouTube. Making the point with collections of genuine anecdotes to which others can relate: like denial-of-care stories. Doing these things so well that they draw new viewers and provide usable grist for others. And even posting on blogs like DKos which serve as long-term focus groups and are actually read, on occasion, by opinion leaders and people in power, or at least their staffs. These eforts are constantly up against the best that Madison Avenue and K Street can provide in the way of online astroturf, as well as RedState, etc.
    1. A diary yesterday made one point I agree with: physically visiting the office of one's elected representative is a very good thing to do. They fact that someone took the time and trouble and in some cases spent the money to make this visit does give their input more weight. In that sense, I agree with "taking it to the halls of power." Doing this is time-consuming and even intimidating to some of us, but it is worth while.
    1. It's possible that some other kind of direct action can also reach people and change minds, but it has to be carefully chosen and creative. Basically, the progressive message is competing for space in the American mind, including the minds of opinion leaders and people in power, with a millions of highly-funded messages that are all competing for the same space, like 100,000 people trying to fit into a phone booth. Some useful techniques include surprise value, simplifying the message, and repetition -- from different angles if possible -- to the point of nausea. Big business and the Right have understood this, most progressives not so much. The time is ripe for creative leadership. I hope we find ways.  
    •  And you get points for the longest, most (0+ / 0-)

      thorough, most complete posts I've seen in a long time.

    •  Agree and disagree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      (1) The reason the MSM covers a demonstration then yawns is that they are not sustained. They are usually one off events, hyped then laughed at or poo-poo'ed by the pundits as much ado about nothing. While noone except full time students or the unemployed can afford to march every weekend, you can organize a steady stream of them over a set period of time. Not to sound overtly silly, size does matter in this case. A few large marches instead of a bunch of little ones is prefered.

      (2)suppression techniques..yup they have gotten better. I would counter with civil disobedience.

      (3)The positive message is what media types are for. We spin before they do. We have our own smart people with the message in place and working it ahead of time. We put thepositive in place before any heat from the street.

      (4) Blogging is useful. But it is NOT the be-all-and-end-all. It will reach those who think like you and might be as well informed as you, but it is the same circle of people. The idea is to reach oputside this group to the large mass of folks who DO NOT read the blogs.

      (5)Agreed, actually going to your reps office is great thing. IF you live close enough to actually do it.

      (6) The easiest way to get attention is to actually GET THE ATTENTION. Bland pastel might be pleasing to the eye, but shocking pink will get your attention. The message, any message, to compete for attention must grab the attention of those you are tryin g to reach.

      Good reply thks.

      Sic Semper Tyrannis

      by BrainDrain on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 09:19:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would just add about blogging (0+ / 0-)

        that we can do things to increase the blog audience. And not all readers are true believers, necessarily.  

        For instance -- you couldn't do this exact same thing again, because life has changed -- but the reason the Drudge Report captured so many viewers early in the days was that it provided:

        1. Handy links to major media, a service that was uncommon at the time;
        1. Entertainment;
        1. A sense of being hip, for some people just getting started with the intertubes.

        People who weren't right-wing at all went there for that, originally. Over time, some of them were swayed to believe the repeated lies. Members of my family, in fact.  

        OK, could we get more viewers to DKos or other progressive blogs by promoting our excellent recipes? Maybe not exactly --- but --  

      •  NOT just "any" message, for "attention", please.. (0+ / 0-)

        The problem with impatience is that it can definitely tend to get very subjective, even to the point of seeking to make opportunist "points" or "gains" that may actually detract from the real, or purported, goal.

        While I'm not against demonstrations and protests, per se, I think such tactics do most often tend to lack the requisite focus to really make them effective, in terms of materially changing policy.

        Ultimately, I think politicians could care less what you think, whether articulated in the streets, or by letters or blogs, heh...

        The only thing that will really get their attention is a #9 electoral boot to their ass...or a very likely material prospect of that, heh.

        And that's the problem I have with most of the protests and demonstrations I've seen...rather than attempting to mobilize the electorate to sweep the right from all levers of power, they tend to just rant and rave about some "issue(s)", express a lot of angst, and most often leave people with nothing, in terms of an actual material plan of action to actually materially resolve those issues.

        Indeed, all too often, the most "militant" and "radical" elements who tend to "organize" these "actions" seem to consistently call for electoral boycott, or vote splitting.  Which is really me, since all that is going to accomplish is handing power over to the worst available fascists, by default.

        All too often, these demos just come off as an evil twin doppelganger mirror image of the extreme right... indiscriminately demonizing and slagging "teh Democrats", with a lot of nebulous absolutist idealist dogmatic doctrinaire "left" rhetoric  (actually, it's the right who are deliberately emulating the left, in their twisted, perverse way, heh, but anyone who's observed the phenomenon knows what I'm talking about).

        They tend to seem more interested in weaseling for sectarian hegemony amongst themselves, than anything else.

        They do not tend to call on the electorate to turn out in unprecedented, historic numbers for the interim election in 2010, for example, to seize the power, with a more substantial Progressive Caucus plurality in Congress, and down the ladders of power to the local level, to suppress the right, democratically, electorally.

        To the extent that they do not do that, I think they are full of shit, and more or less counter-productive.

        Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary principle...and should be the most fundamental demand and objective, for all "actions".

        Seize the Power!

        All Out for 2010 and 2012!

        All Power to the People!

        Bring the Better Democrats!

        "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

        by Radical def on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 11:36:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm glad you're pi$$ed off. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radical def

    It shows you've been paying attention. Now, I don't mean to condescend to or belittle you, but patience (note that I didn't say passivity) is still required here.

    Our system is seriously screwed up, and many of the resulting symptoms are as you've described in your diary. Our problems go way beyond anything Barack Obama can fix on his own. Our democracy has withstood four (or more) decades' worth of neglect and corruption, and damage on this scale could very likely take additional decades to reverse. It's going to take a lot of hard work from all of us to get there, if it's still even possible.

    So, stay focused, stay engaged, stay angry, but keep fighting. Our country is still worth saving.

    "I'm a bear of very little brain." -- with apologies to A. A. Milne

    by Arnie on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 10:00:03 AM PST

    •  Thks Arnie (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Arnie, Radical def

      I whole heartedly 100% agree with you that our country is most assuredly worth saving. Which is THE reason I am so worked up. Trust me I will definately be engaged, and angry and fighting all the way up till they plant me in the ground.

      Sic Semper Tyrannis

      by BrainDrain on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 10:55:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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