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I'm sorry. I love Sen. Warren - what she says, what she does to back up what she says. But the Daily Kos community should realize that there is no one "savior." The future of the United States does not rest on whether she runs for president. If she changes her mind, I will support her wholeheartedly. I will volunteer, I will donate, I will raise money.

But we have to look far more broadly. For instance ... The New Populism Conference, organized by the Campaign for America's Future, or CAF, and held in DC on May 22.

Sen. Warren was the lunchtime keynote speaker. Jim P wrote about it the day after, but it really didn't get picked up. Since I attended the conference, Jim asked me to write about it.

If you can deal with my own interpretation of events, come below the fold. I hope you do - as much as I love Sen. Warren, in the end she's only one small piece of the solution. We, the ordinary citizens of the United States, are the whole answer.

This is not going to be chronological. I am not going to simply summarize what each speaker said, even though it was one hell of a lineup - in addition to Sen. Warren, we heard from Rep. Keith Ellison, senators Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders (both of whom I love just as much as Elizabeth), several outstanding young people on education, immigration reform, taxes, and related issues, Jared Bernstein, Larry Cohen (president of Communications Workers of America), and ... the Rev. William Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP and one of the leaders of the Moral Mondays movement!

If you want to hear any of their speeches, you can find them here. You can find the agenda on the Campaign for America's Future website (and, amazingly, we did a reasonably good job of sticking to the schedule, so you can use the times as a rough guide to the YouTube video to find a particular speaker).

The fundamental takeaways that I synthesized out of this:

- We have to remember we're all in this together. It may feel good, or at least alleviate one's anger, to rage against obstructionist Republicans, to rant about idiot teabaggers whose ignorance is only heightened by their bigotry. But at the end of the day, we're still going to be living with them, working with them, buying and selling with them, arguing with them. So don't make it worse, don't entrench them even further, by reinforcing their "us vs. them" mentality.

- We actually have a lot of common ground with many of those ordinary folks we disagree with. Celinda Lake, the founder of Lake Research Partners, a Democratic polling firm, spoke about this. "We don't have to convince anybody. They're there ... The key is to make the will of the people be heard. Our job is to hurry history - this should not take a long time," she said. (Her presentation is at about the 1-hour mark on the video.) She cited lots of polling results, all of which you'll appreciate.

- If you want proof, CAF was distributing a memo, "The American Majority Is A Populist Majority", stuffed full of information. Read it; you'll both be comforted to know far more people agree on what our problems are and inspired to make more common-ground arguments.

- We need to remember that everyone's problems are important. One of the things that frustrates me about many of the liberal groups I follow, read about, or belong to, is how they each insist that their cause is the most important and has to be addressed first. Well, guess what? If you're unemployed, jobs are the most important. If you are the child of undocumented workers, immigration reform is the most important. If you're hungry, food programs are the most important. (You get the idea.)

-  Of all the speakers at the conference, and they were all wonderful, if you watch just one, watch Rev. Barber (about 7:49:45 on the link). I'm not even going to attempt to summarize his sermon, which is what it felt like. He talks about the centrality of hope, of imagination. He gives a stirring history lesson to make the case that we are in the middle of the Third Reconstruction (which also made me think of Ta-Nehisi Coates' long read on "The Case for Reparations." And he said, "You have to stop being a thermometer and start being a thermostat and change the temperature."

What I got from this conference is building the coalition and worrying less about which issues get addressed first. They are all deserving of respect and attention. I would probably argue for addressing economic issues first (jobs and income inequality), simply because I believe the less anxiety ordinary folks have about them, the more thought and energy they can put into issues that don't affect them directly, whether it's climate change (yes, I know that it does affect everyone directly, but folks worried about losing their houses have more immediate troubles in mind), immigration reform, education, or any of the myriad other subjects that need serious, mammoth attention.

I also got a big boost of hope, just as Rev. Barber intended. I could go on for a long while about everything - and there are a few things that I can expand upon in other diaries if anyone is interested, such as CAF's white paper, "The New Populism: A Movement and Agenda to Transform America's Economy and Politics." This is the only thing I couldn't find a link for.

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Comment Preferences

  •  this! this! this! (7+ / 0-)
    "But the Daily Kos community should realize that there is no one "savior.""
    - way true, the disappointment is not because Obama is not the savior some awaited, but that he  did not have a Dem Congress. Whichever Dem Pres gets a Dem Congress, then we will see progress.

    Much as I admire and agree toward Liz, enough with personal worship, we see enough of that from the Giant Oiligarch Party.  

    •  Uh. He did have a Dem Congress. (14+ / 0-)

      Until January 2010, given that's only 2 years.

      •  Obama had a filibuster proof majority (5+ / 0-)

        in the Senate for only 72 days during 2009-2010.  Thankfully, that was enough time to pass the essential elements of the Affordable Care Act.

        You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

        by Sam I Am on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:16:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Dem Congress" does not mean (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Shockwave, elwior, JesseCW

          "Filibuster proof majority". It generally means controlling both houses. However, I suppose it's a moot point since if we hold our ground in the senate this year we'll have a super majority come January 2017.

          •  No matter the numbers (0+ / 0-)

            we need Sen. Warren in the Senate and not in the White House, either as Prez or VP. Her influence in the Senate can make a decades' long difference; she will truly be the next Ted Kennedy.

            All of us have to do the work and we also need elected people we can rely on to enact the vision.

            •  I find that idea, that E.W. would be more valuable (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roger Fox

              in the Senate to be incomprehensible.
                A single senator able to accomplish more than the President of the US?
               Ummmm?   No.

              "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

              by elwior on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:55:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  She'll be on the national stage longer. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Roger Fox

                Serving as president takes a lot out of a person, so she'd likely be in politics for a shorter timer period if she even managed to win a general election. That said, I don't necessarily disagree that she'd do more as president. It's simply not incomprehensible that she COULD do more in the senate over a longer career.

            •  Ted was politically crippled by Chappaquiddick (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Being the next Ted Kennedy? Maybe in your mind....

              .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

              by Roger Fox on Sun May 25, 2014 at 03:37:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  No, the ACA passed on a simple majority vote (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis, WisePiper, JesseCW, Roger Fox

          (after all), using the process of reconciliation.

          "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

          by elwior on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:36:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You can do plenty with a simple majority. (5+ / 0-)

          Wasting a year trying to get Conservatives to sign on to ACA was one problem.  It was a big problem because there were dozens of things which needed to be done and didn't get done while ACA slowly got to a place it could have and should have been months earlier.

          And Senator Reid could have changed the filibuster rules when the Senate convened.  Not expecting the Republicans to use it every chance they got was outright incompetence.

          -7.75 -4.67

          "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

          There are no Christians in foxholes.

          by Odysseus on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:07:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oddly, not having a "fillibuster proof" majority (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior, Roger Fox

          didn't stop President Obama from passing a single bill he threw his weight behind.

          “Poor people have access to American courts in the same sense that Christians thrown to lions had access to the Coliseum.” — Earl Johnson Jr., retired justice,California State Court of Appeal

          by JesseCW on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:29:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Did Obama ever propose a serious jobs bill? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I dont recall him ever proposing or even talking about creating 20 million jobs, which would also fix Social Security.

            Though I have to give him credit, after 6 years of recession he now seems to be talking about an increase in the min wage......

            .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

            by Roger Fox on Sun May 25, 2014 at 03:45:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  President Obama had the opportunity to take (8+ / 0-)

      bold action when it was most needed. I am grateful that he was elected (we elected him), and for the things he was able to accomplish. We've accomplished some good things, and there's been some fundamental change in our Nation in the past five and a half years, but so much more was possible and he shied away.
         I believe that Elizabeth Warren, given the same set of circumstances would have made far different choices.
         But as the diarist says, it is after all up to us, the People to be involved, to use our voices, beyond our votes.

      "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

      by elwior on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:17:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Given a chance to relive history, President (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior, blonde moment

        Obama would almost certainly make a few different choices, also.

        Senator Warren is huge, make no mistake about my admiration for her.

        I think a sports analogy best makes my point, though. If Scottie Pippin can't make a lay in, Michael Jordan may not see as many "open" twenty-foot jump shots; if there's no risk that Jordan might dump the ball off to a teammate for an easy ten-foot shot, the lane may be too clogged even for MJ. As great as Jordan was, he "didn't do it alone," as President Obama might say.

        Our superstars can only reach their potential if we reach for ours.

        If your strategy depends on having fewer people show up to vote, that is not a sign of strength. That is a sign of weakness. President Obama

        by Had Enough Right Wing BS on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:43:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  He did take bold action (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The stimulus legislation was the most progressive legislation enacted since the New Deal. It was the greenest legislation in the history of the nation, by far. See The New New Deal by Michael Grunwald. Here's an interview with him for a synopsis (I disagree with the race to the top too, but the rest of the interview says a lot. Read it. It's not that long.)

        He also, incidentally, saved my own life, literally, with the ACA legislation, so I admit that I'm kinda biased. I'll diary that when my treatment's over.

        Enjoy the San Diego Zoo's panda cam! And support Bat World Sanctuary

        by Fonsia on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:25:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree Fonsia. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis, Fonsia, Chi

          He did a lot. But he blew it in some very big areas, particularly in doing everything to save the banks, to restore the status quo, while not helping the real economy, in particular people losing their homes.
             The stimulus needed to be bigger, needed to be re-visited, he appointed some awful people to key positions, there was no public option in the ACA, no prosecutions of the people whose cheating and stealing put the economy over the edge, no investigating at all the criminal acts of the previous administration, and on and on.

             Barack Obama was as good as we were going to do in 2008, and I truly am pleased that he is the president, but saying that is no reason to shy away from the truth.

          "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

          by elwior on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:46:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Barack Obama who the American People (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior, Roger Fox

            elected in 2008 was undeniably far to the Left of the one the People voted for in 2008.

            So, no, he's not "the best we could do".  That's frankly a Panglossian cop-out.

            He abandoned most of the platform on which he ran as soon as he took office.

            We can do better than that.

            “Poor people have access to American courts in the same sense that Christians thrown to lions had access to the Coliseum.” — Earl Johnson Jr., retired justice,California State Court of Appeal

            by JesseCW on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:34:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Agree with much that you say, however (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            your comment appears to blame Obama for the stimulus not being bigger, instead of Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins and Arlen Specter who refused their votes if it were one penny higher (not to mention a few of the conservadems who also said they'd vote no if it had been higher--see that article I linked).

            You also appear to blame Obama for the lack of the public option, instead of Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln, who refused their votes if the public option were included. (I also was gung ho for the public option at the time. I used to argue to people who were opposed to the whole ACA that the public option was the camel's nose under the tent to single payer. Turned out that the medicaid expansion was the public option.)

            I agree completely about the lack of prosecutions of the banksters, but not of the previous administration, who are indeed criminals that will never face judgment. Think the nation is divided now? Imagine the divisions if one administration took to prosecuting the previous administration. Start that and there won't be a nation in short order. It's awful pragmatism, but there it is. I just hope Condi and Dick, at least, along with their minions, try to vacation in Europe sometime in the next few decades.

            The banksters, yes. They're starting now, but it's too little too late.

            Enjoy the San Diego Zoo's panda cam! And support Bat World Sanctuary

            by Fonsia on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:47:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Obama never proposed right sized stimulus (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              He never talked about it, the GOP stopped Obama from talking about real numbers? How did the vaunted GOP manage that Herculean feat?

              Christine Romer told Obama 1.8 trillion a year, that was December of 2008.

              This occurred well before Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins and Arlen Specter blackmailed the country by threatening to to vote no on too large a stim.

              I hope your not claiming the GOP stopped Obama talking about a right sized stimulus.... before he took office......

              .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

              by Roger Fox on Sun May 25, 2014 at 03:58:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  This is completely detached from reality. The (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior, Roger Fox, Chi

          stimulus was tiny - and loaded with unproductive tax cuts - compared to the New Deal.

          1/15th of GDP is not a lot of stimulus spending.  Most of the funding was funneled toward people who still had jobs.

          There is no place in realistic discourse for those who have pledged their emotional troth to any politician.  Such people have abandoned reason utterly.

          “Poor people have access to American courts in the same sense that Christians thrown to lions had access to the Coliseum.” — Earl Johnson Jr., retired justice,California State Court of Appeal

          by JesseCW on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:33:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You knew of a way to get (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and Arlen Specter, not to mention various conservadems, to vote for a larger stimulus? Really? That was politically possible?

            Tell us how.

            Enjoy the San Diego Zoo's panda cam! And support Bat World Sanctuary

            by Fonsia on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:50:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe the Administration shouldn't have (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roger Fox, Chi


              "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

              by elwior on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:58:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The stimulus wasn't one of those (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                elwior, blonde moment

                The three Republican senators, without whose votes passage was impossible, refused their votes if the package were higher. They weren't the only ones, either.

                . . . Obama couldn’t have gotten a dime more through the Senate. The three moderate Republicans who voted yes—Collins, Olympia Snowe, and Arlen Specter—all insisted they wouldn’t support anything over $800 billion. So did at least a half-dozen centrist Democrats, like Mark Begich of Alaska, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota wanted a bigger stimulus, but he was in the room during the negotiations, and he told me: There was absolutely no way to make that happen.

                It wasn't a "pre-compromise." It was just legislatin'.

                Enjoy the San Diego Zoo's panda cam! And support Bat World Sanctuary

                by Fonsia on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:21:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If I remember correctly the original stimulus (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  proposal contained about a third in tax cuts and came in about $900 billion. Then it got changed from there. Why didn't they start higher without the tax cuts and then negotiate?

                  "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

                  by elwior on Sun May 25, 2014 at 03:47:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  So.... youre saying (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  elwior, Chi

                  Obama never told the GOPers if they dont vote for right sized job creation he'll tell the American public:

                  These GOPers voted to take your jobs away.

                  Gee, thats a terrific way to replace those Senators with Dems.

                  Another lost opportunity....

                  .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

                  by Roger Fox on Sun May 25, 2014 at 04:04:36 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Dear Senator Collins (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Go ahead and vote no on creating 20 million jobs.

              Go ahead......... and make my day.....

              .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

              by Roger Fox on Sun May 25, 2014 at 04:19:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Actually 1.2% of GDP in a 15 trillion dollar (0+ / 0-)

            economy is 180 billion. Infrastructure spending in the ARRA was 175 billion. The multiplier is 2.5, creating 4.2 million temporary jobs.

            .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

            by Roger Fox on Sun May 25, 2014 at 04:01:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  175 million for infrastructure (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior, Chi

          created 4.2 million temporary jobs and left 20 million job seekers holding onto their private parts, for going on 6 years now.

          He was told it would take 1.8 trillion by Christine Romer and Dean Baker said 1.2 trillion in job creation.

          The net result 6 years after the credit default swap crash of 2008 is median wages have been driven down by over 10%.

          .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Sun May 25, 2014 at 03:51:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Krugman says maybe 3 trillion was needed, (0+ / 0-)

            and that he doesn't even know that that would have been enough.

            Besides that, there is only so much you can spend, unless you're going to just create "make work" jobs, where people dig ditches for no purpose but get checks to do so.

            This ain't the '30s when building a bridge can employ hundreds of people for three years.  Today, building the same bridge employs a couple dozen people for just 6 months.

            Finally, a stimulus requires shovel-ready projects.  Projects whose plans have already been drawn up, that can be launched right away, if given the funding.  Projects like that can provide jobs quickly.  There wasn't 1.8 trillion dollars worth of such projects ready to go.

            One more thing: FDR's New Deal "wasn't enough" by the Obama bashers' metric, for the New Deal didn't solve the Great Depression, not even close.  Hell, FDR couldn't even get unemployment to go below 15%, and unemployment was back on the rise before WWII saved the economy.  And that's in an era where, as I said, building a bridge could employ hundreds of people for three years.  FDR had an easier time devising stimulus packages in that unautomated era, and even he failed to solve the Great Depression.  So keep things in perspective when you guys do your tired Obama bashing.  Know that you guys would have been bashing FDR too, had you lived back then.

    •  He had a Democratic Congress. He didn't use (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, Roger Fox, Chi


      So he lost it.

      Just like Clinton.

      How many times do you have to watch the same movie before you start to make educated guesses about how it's going to end?

      “Poor people have access to American courts in the same sense that Christians thrown to lions had access to the Coliseum.” — Earl Johnson Jr., retired justice,California State Court of Appeal

      by JesseCW on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:30:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Didn't have a "progressive" congress. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blonde moment

        And he DID use the congress he had.  WTF are you talking about?  The largest stimulus since FDR (and BTW, FDR's stimulus "failed" too, didn't come even close to solving the Great Depression), and the Affordable Care Act.  Congress being lost is called "spending political capital".  The way to keep Congress would have been to do nothing, not pass stimulus, not pass ACA.  Then the Dems would've kept Congress, but accomplished nothing.  Accomplishing something, even if it costs you politically, is something to be praised, not trashed like you Obama bashers do.

    •  You play chess with a team not one queen. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
  •  Three things: (19+ / 0-)

    First, thanks for writing this up and bringing the conference to my (and others') attention.

    Second, on the topic of writing diaries, "if anyone is interested"? This is a progressive political web site, of course people are interested! If thou would be a writer diarist, write diary.

    Third, looks like we can read The New Populism: A Movement and Agenda to Transform America's Economy and Politics, and also peruse the rest of the site.

    •  I am bashful about my writing (21+ / 0-)

      ... which is ironic, given that I've worked as a journalist for much of my professional life. But in journalism I worked hard to keep my personal opinions out of the articles; here, it's all me. Leaves me feeling a little naked. But I can get over it.

      West Virginia's new motto: Ex Os, Ex Mens (go look it up)

      by blonde moment on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:42:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No reason to be bashful -- an outstanding effort (11+ / 0-)

        The new progressive movement is stirring and beginning to find its moment.  This conference is an excellent summary of where we are now, as far as I've been able to read.  You are correct that the new movement does not depend on a single candidate in a single election.  When the movement is strong enough candidates will emerge and find success.  Elizabeth Warren may bring us to the promised land, or she may be a Liz the Baptist announcing the coming of the next leader.  Success won't come from the figure at the head of the parade, though.  It will come from all of us who make up that parade, and make it something others will want to join.

        The key to the movement's success, I think, will lie in rehabilitating civic vurtues long neglected.  Think of how conservatives have used "Freedom" to cover all their injustices and thieveries.  Progressives and liberals have more virtues to extol than just this one.

        Equality has a long history of being one of our most important civic virtues, certainly on a par with "Freedom."  Yet you don't hear it spoken of much these days.  It is beginning to be valued again in recent years after long neglect, but there is much more to do to raise it to its former place.  Economic equality lies in equality of opportunity, regardless of sex, of racial background, of class origin, etc.  Equality before the law is even more neglected, in this era of bureaucratic entrapments of the poor and the undocumented, coexisting with an oligarchic class completely above the law.

        Justice covers much the same ground as Equality, especially in economic and class-based criminal justice terms.  Any country with its own Gulag for low-level drug offenders and undocumented residents has a lot to do on the Justice front.  So does a country with more severe economic inequality than any other advanced nation.  

        Patriotism has been twisted into jingoistic war-loving expression by the Right, but the new Left movement must extend the concept to rebuilding the country's infrastructure and expanding its Middle Class.  Love of country means love of all its citizens, and caring enough to maintain and advance the nation as a whole.

        The language of civic virtues gives us the map for achieving a new majority.  As a political movement we have to redefine those virtues in ways that have meaning in today's degraded political environment.  That is how you gain converts:  persuade them that you are preaching the old-time civic religion, updated to speak to their lives today.  Warren, Sanders, Barber and others are beginning this process.  It's up to all of us to continue it.

        We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

        by Dallasdoc on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:43:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You've got the ideology down (5+ / 0-)

          now let me build the political and economic infrastructure to support it.

          It doesn't matter how great your battle plans are if your supply lines are disrupted, or nonexistent. It doesn't matter how great your travel plans are if you don't have a means of transport.

          We're facing four major problems, and only one is the ideological wasteland we inhabit and which is plaguing the political consciousness (and conscience) of our people. Money, media, and community are the other three. And it's damned hard to build media and community without money. So it all kind of comes down to how do we finance this movement. Which is why we end up with lots of good ideas in a vacuum of political inaction studded like a vast despairing pudding with the figs of futile, usually single-issue actions.

          There is no way for a citizen of a Republic to abdicate his responsibilities. ---Edward R. Murrow

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:21:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Bleeding-heart liberal! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Heh, joking... mostly! Just takes a little getting used to. No apologies!

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:59:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Submitted to top comments. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      join us at 10pm

      I must end each day with a dose of Top Comments. A TC diary is a must for developing the calmness I need to get the required eight hours of sleep. - cohenzee

      by cohenzee on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:28:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for that great day..... (16+ / 0-)

    I really enjoyed the conference and all the Speakers.  One thing I will point out is that 1. I am married to the author of this diary 2. She had an opportunity to ask Sen. Elizabeth Warren a question directly.  Her answer was so not that of a standard Politician, it was thoughtful and honest and kind all the while insuring she was making eye contact with my wife.  It really did feel like it is okay to hope if  you want to.  It is okay to be a bit inspired if you want to and it is okay to disagree and still be pleasant!! I love you "Blonde Moment"!

    "Oh George, not the livestock!"

    by Dieselcom on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:29:36 AM PDT

    •  Get a blog! (9+ / 0-)

      Great diary, and sounds like a thoughtful conference. I think the admonition to get beyond us-versus-them-ism is a place we all need to get to as election season ramps up. With the yawining income gap getting wider still, the conditions are right both for voters to join the party and the party to move left.

      I also think there is a "maturity gap" that can be exploited here. It's hard to sound circumspect, respectful and polished -- adult, in other words -- when you're trashing those you disagree with. If the "Democratic Wing" of the Democratic Party becomes the "Adult Wing" of the party, it will develop a gravity that will draw new and lapsed voters. That's seems to have been the tenor of this conference.

      "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

      by Mogolori on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:01:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've seen examples of that common ground (10+ / 0-)

        I've been in a couple of very local battles with corporate interests, and at the true grassroots level it's much easier to find ways to work together, liberals and conservatives, the poor, blue-collar workers, etc.

        The NYT Magazine had an interesting article a couple of weeks ago about the Nebraska farmers fighting the Keystone XL pipeline. If you read it, you'll see that "conservatives," as Nebraskans generally consider themselves, are no more interested in being screwed than "liberals." It's up to us to show them where we can fight back together.

        West Virginia's new motto: Ex Os, Ex Mens (go look it up)

        by blonde moment on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:15:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nebraska is an example of where we can win (10+ / 0-)

          A century ago Nebraska was quite willing to send Progressives to Congress, and before that had a proud Populist history.  

          Republican voters all over this country have been victims of divide-and-conquer strategies pursued with diligence over decades by the economic ruling class.  The way to defeat those efforts is to identify where the real issues are, and who's really making their lives the hell it's becoming.  It's not gays getting married, or arrugula eating liberals on the coasts, or brown people fighting for a chance to succeed in this country.  Oligarchs stealing them blind and working to disempower them ever more comprehensively are their enemies.  

          There is a long and deep folk memory of this truth in the reddest parts of this country.  A strong economic populist movement speaking to all our concerns, sweeping away the diversionary tactics and lies of the wealthy and showing people what needs to be done to give them back a share of this country, would ignite a brush fire of political anger all over the country.  Channeling that anger in the right way, and turning it to beneficial outcomes, is the responsibility of the leaders of the new Left.  But first we have to light that fire.

          We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

          by Dallasdoc on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:50:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  folk memory exactly, as MLK generalled a war in (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior, Dallasdoc, blueoasis

            Alabama that went back to reconstruction. Everything to learn from studying your Huey Long, namesake of Huey Newton, follower of Bryan. Money out of politics strategy follows TR and FDR. LBJ-MLK alliance, then even Wallace's fourth inaugural in 1983 watchable online, ushering in integration in Ala, populist, one of the great speeches, a model for today.

        •  Watch Gasland II and you'll see that in action. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior, Mogolori, blonde moment

          The fact is, that the Republican Texas landowner who's getting screwed over by Nat. Gas companies in Texas isn't having his conservative moral and political principles respected any more than I'm having my progressive moral and political principles respected. What this country is supposed to be is an argument between his principles and mine. What it is? A politics of barbarism in which nobody's principles matter a damn and the only thing that matters is power, expressed through money.

          There is no way for a citizen of a Republic to abdicate his responsibilities. ---Edward R. Murrow

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:24:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  This dairy gives me hope. Thank you. (12+ / 0-)

      Requests for tolerance toward poor white people in red states tend to get a lot of derision on this website.  Almost all poor people now hold the KKK in contempt and would just like to have decent jobs for themselves and their neighbors.  I agree that addressing economic concerns first will appeal to a very broad coalition.  We need to create a rising tide that floats all boats, not just the yachts.  

      Zero sum games are artificial excuses to oppress the poor.  If all the unemployed people could find suitable jobs they would be creating more goods and services.  A bigger pie can mean more for everyone.  Increasing minimum wage would decrease expenses for food stamps, Medicaid, and other social services.  Allowing all students to refinance their loans with low-interest federal loans would free them to spend more money and create more jobs.  Legalizing marijuana would save money spent on locking up nonviolent people and allow them to contribute as taxpaying citizens instead.

      All poor people in this country need to have a real chance to share in the wealth that is really generated by the 99%, not the 1%.  

  •  You're very correct: Warren, Brown, Sanders, all (8+ / 0-)

    great and even iconic progressives, but it really is up to us.

    Now, what you'll be seeing here (and anyone who's been around here a few election cycles knows this already) if Hillary Clinton gets the nomination is an atmosphere wherein any Democrat here who does not support her immediately becomes a "troll". Because, after all, this is a site about electing Democrats, not necessarily progressive ones.

    We haven't had a truly progressive President since Carter, and not an effective one since Lyndon Johnson. I think it's time to give it another chance, but you're so right: it's up to us.

    Thanks for the diary. I really enjoyed it.


    by commonmass on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:49:32 AM PDT

  •  We do need to start cultivating a bullpen (7+ / 0-)

    of national Democratic candidates.  No question.

    the woman who is easily irritated

    by chicago minx on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:52:05 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for this excellent diary blonde moment. (8+ / 0-)

    And I'm with you,

    I will support her wholeheartedly. I will volunteer, I will donate, I will raise money.
    , though the way I'd put it is when she runs, not if.
       And still, you're so right, it's about people being motivated beyond our leaders who can do only so much without our active involvement.
       Elizabeth Warren talks about our having (and she includes herself in the group) our votes and our voices, both of which we must use.

    "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

    by elwior on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:08:02 AM PDT

  •  Libs / Progs Have Had a Savior Complex for Years (6+ / 0-)

    for the simple reason that there are so few left, in public visibility. We latch onto any given pundit or pol of the moment to fix everything because there aren't enough others covering the other elements of the problems at hand.

    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 Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:15:42 AM PDT

  •  Now we are talking! Finally a movement from the (5+ / 0-)

    left that isn't looking at other Americans as enemies, but as potential allies to fight what ails us all. Until we admit that the divisiveness and belittling of republicans is counter productive to our goals we will continue to play the game exactly as the parties and the media intend us to play it.

    We may not agree on how we would vote on any given issue but most will agree they want the peoples vote to be the deciding factor and not the deeper pockets and better strategy of the elites.

    Join the DeRevolution: We are not trying to take the country, we are trying to take the country back. Get the money out of politics with public financed campaigns so 'Of the People, By the People and For the People' rings true again.

    by fToRrEeEsSt on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:51:24 AM PDT

  •  Movements are most important (5+ / 0-)

    I hadn't seen you around in a month of Sundays--glad to hear from you, as sharp as ever!

    I completely agree that we get too caught up in very narrow, short-term thinking, whether it is a particlar candidate's campaign for a specific office, or the cause du jour of a narrow group or constituency.  In the meantime, the Right has played the smart hand, finding its own common grounds, maximizing its bases of support, using those advantages to attack our messages and particularly our messengers.  By making our messengers so central to our activity, we multiply the effectiveness of the Right's tactic!  Taking just the sort of approach your diary suggests, and stealing a march (not an issue or a program) from the Right we can begin to rebuild a counter-hegemonic political space.  It will take time and effort, and it's no magic bullet, there will be plenty of defeats along the way, but we can overcome the overwhelming odds fighting against Big Money involves.  It CAN be done.  In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, working people and women throughout the industrialized world, many working 12-14 hours a day with none of today's labor-saving conveniences, managed to push to the table against ancient, entrenched power and privilege, and imposed the 20th century synthesis of soft social democracy and business liberalism on the very centers of capitalist power itself.  

    Then we forgot where those things came from, how we got there, so here we are.  Not exactly back at square one, but with a great deal of that ground to be won back and more.  Our task in our time is to be about building those movements and principles to compel capital to treat the rest of us as equals.

    Pay no attention to the upward redistribution of wealth!

    by ActivistGuy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:55:36 AM PDT

  •  Its great that other Dem candidates are promoted (6+ / 0-)

    2016 is a long way off and a lot of surprising things can happen between now and then.  

    Dem Party "leaders" in DC are very uncomfortable with the growing pushback from populists and liberals within the Party.  They're very worried about the public support of populist issues and interest in seeing the Dem Party revive itself and bring better leaders to the fore.  

    Check the polls, voters are tired of the same old same old and want new leaders.  That's what we have to give them, regardless of what the corporate donors want.

    Liberal Democrats have a great future ahead of them and public support is growing every day!

    Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

    by Betty Pinson on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:36:07 AM PDT

    •  Are they? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW, elwior

      They seem pretty damned smug to me.

      Of course, that would be the obvious counter to their fear:  ramp up the snobbery, the assertions of our "irrelevance" and of the inevitability of their victories.

      There is no way for a citizen of a Republic to abdicate his responsibilities. ---Edward R. Murrow

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:25:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, corporate Dems are very worried (2+ / 0-)

        That's one reason why the issue of a Warren candidacy in 2016 keeps coming up.  They're scared it might happen and are increasingly finding ways to remind the base that "Warren's not running, it's Hillary, so shut up and donate".

        I find it all very humorous and very encouraging.  DC Dems are worried and pi$$ed and that's a good thing.  We may yet finally force our party to win in the midterms and elect a much better woman POTUS in 2016.

        Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

        by Betty Pinson on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:00:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The problem isn't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that our ground game is overly focused on individuals or not as good as that of competing interests on the other side.  The big problem is that the other side is bankrolled by money and power.  In theory, we have the advantage of numbers, but in reality all the power is stacked on the other side (and even corrupted on our own side through bought-off Dems and the like).

    Honestly, I don't see how we can mobilize our potential numbers advantage enough to make a difference until the powers that be overstep badly enough to cause wide segments of the population to rise up in opposition.  Effective organization and structures in place will be important then, in fighting to shape the revolt (see Arab Spring), but we won't be able to trigger it on our own.  I'm afraid we're stuck fighting a never-ending series of rear-guard defensive actions until that time.

  •  You had me at "We" n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, blonde moment

    Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:49:55 AM PDT

  •  Thank You... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, blonde moment

    ...for a great diary! You're quite correct-Elizabeth Warren by herself is not the answer. She is the latest, energetic, welcome addition to compliment folks like Bernie Sanders, Keith Ellison and Sherrod Brown, who've been on the front lines for awhile. Yesterday, I attended my first meeting of Seattle-based Kossacks. It was good to put faces to all the pseudo-names and interact with over thirty liked-minded people, who were not only there to socialize but to commit to act to make things better. The wide ranging talents, passions and numerous connections of this small group virtually guarantee that it will be a force to be reckoned with. There are other groups like this, all over the country, that are coming together because it is time to do so. You are not alone and I, for one, am hopeful.                                                        

    I'm an idealist. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way. Carl Sandburg

    by Eagle Keeper on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:17:29 PM PDT

  •  A transcription of what Sen. Warren said. (5+ / 0-)

    Yes, she's just the one person, but what she has to say sounds like winning electoral politics to me. And, let's be real, just winning the Dem-Repub fight isn't any guarantee that the people of the US win. Too often, it's just about us not losing as badly as we would with a Repub victory.

    So, does what is said in this video state your values and priorities?

    The game IS rigged. The rich and powerful have lobbyists.  Lobbyists, and lawyers, and plenty of friends in Congress. Everyone else not so much. Now we can whine about it, we can whimper about it, or we can fight back. Me, I've decided to fight back.
    <over applause>You bet.

    This is a fight over economics, over privilege, over power. But deep down this is a fight over values. Conservatives and their powerful friends will continue to be guided by their age-old principle: I've got mine, the rest of you are on your own.

    But we are guided by principle too. It's a simple idea. We all do better when we work together and invest in the future. We KNOW that the economy grows when hard-working families have the opportunity to improve their lives. We KNOW that country gets stronger when we invest in helping people succeed. We KNOW that lives improve when we care for our neighbors, and help build a future, not just for some of our kids, but for all our kids.

    These are Progressive values. These are America's values. These values play out every day. These values are what we're willing to fight for.

    So, let's go over the list one more time <points finger at audience> and I want to hear a good strong Amen! out there.

    We believe that Wall Street needs stronger rules and tougher enforcement, and we're willing to fight for it.

    We believe no one should work full time and still live in poverty, and that means raising the minimum wage.

    We believe that people should retire with dignity, and that means strengthening social security. And we're ready to fight for it.

    We believe that a kid should have a chance to go to college without getting crushed by debt, and we're willing to fight for it.

    Oh, we believe that workers have a right to come together, to bargain together, and to rebuild America's middle class, and we're willing to fight for it.

    We believe -- and I can't believe I have to be saying this in 2014 -- we believe in equal pay for equal work and we're willing to fight for it.

    And we believe that equal means equal and that is true in the workplace, in marriage, and in all of our families, and we are willing to fight for it.

    This is how I see it. We, we the People, decide the future of this country. These are our shared values, and these are the values we are willing to fight for. This is our moment in history. We are called on to determine the future of this country. And if we stand by and let it slide away, then shame on us.

    But if we get up and we fight for what we believe in, we will head this country in the right direction for ourselves, for our children, and for our grandchildren.

    I hope you're ready to fight.

    The main reason I advocate a Warren run for President is she'll force everyone else to talk about policy. Which I think almost all the Democratic Centrists would love to avoid as much as possible, knowing that their concerns aren't the concerns of most everyday people in the US.

    A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned. -- Firefly

    by Jim P on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:30:01 PM PDT

  •  This is something I've been trying to say (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, JesseCW, Roger Fox

    for a long time:

    "We don't have to convince anybody. They're there ... The key is to make the will of the people be heard.
    but nobody really wants to hear that fact, because it's much more comforting to think that a bunch of our fellow citizens are crazy conservative bastards and that that is the source of all our ills.

    When in fact, yeah, some of our fellow citizens are crazy conservative bastards, but not a very large percentage of them, and their voices are louder because they're being handed a huge megaphone by their rich friends in the 1%, who are the ones who are actually the source of most of our ills.

    We can't "make the will of the people be heard" because the media won't allow it to be heard, and neither will either major party. That's why the advocates of both major parties are unlikely to admit that "we don't have to convince anybody...they're there." They want us to believe that they would pass all sorts of wonderful legislation, but the evil Republican politicians are preventing them, because the crazy conservative bastards in the citizenry keep sending them to Washington. When in fact, both parties are uniting over a very ugly common economic denominator, and the extent to which they're fighting pretty much resembles the fight of two rival job applicants who each want to be CEO of the same firm.

    There is no way for a citizen of a Republic to abdicate his responsibilities. ---Edward R. Murrow

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:16:36 PM PDT

  •  You are absolutely right. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We need to not fall into the cult of personality trap that has snared followers of other popular Democratic politicians. Sen. Warren is a great leader, but we can't put it all on her shoulders.

    You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment.

    by MikePhoenix on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:40:46 PM PDT

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