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Fairness, Dignity, Respect: Conducting Subversion in Public

She was us. But we're still out here even if she has moved on.

I have read a lot of Woe is Us comments and posts around the web in response to Anglachel’s excellent post, Hillary is not Going to Save Us.

“We are doomed.  We should just accept Obama’s Reign of Error and unopposed primary run in 2012.  We should get used to our batshit crazy Republican overlords.  All is lost!  The hosts of Mordor have won!”

This is bull $#@%.

You are not reading Anglachel’s post correctly if that is what you think she is saying.

What she is saying, and she can correct me if I’m wrong, is that leaders get power from movements, momentum, a bloc of supporters and a set of principles.  Neither Hillary not anyone else can save you if you don’t have a movement to support her or make any attempts to save yourself.

Here’s where I differ with Anglachel: I think Hillary would jump in if she knew there was a tidal wave of people ready to throw their support behind her or some other FDR style Democrat.  Obama is very weak.  His supporters, as Anglachel says, are numerically small but very vocal.  So what?  It doesn’t matter how noisy the Stevensonians are.  The Democratic party still needs to appeal to all of the other regular working class people out there.  And those people aren’t letting themselves be corralled anymore.  Witness the reports on the AmericaSpeaks forums that Corrente is reporting.  We know what kind of game the handlers are playing.  They are trying to present the policy prescriptions as a choice between bad and slightly less bad.  Nowhere are the “acceptable to the average guy” policies allowed.  And people are letting these agents of the wealthy know that they’re not interested in that.  They want to be masters of their own fates, not sheepish pawns in someone else’s fantasy.

But more than that, had Hillary won in 2008, she would be looking at a second term in 2012.  It’s nonsense for her to state that she’s out of politics because, well, I don’t know why she would say that.  She wouldn’t be too tired to run for her re-election in 2012.  So, there’s got to be another reason why she says she’s *planning* to sit it out.  As we have seen with many politicians, Hillary included, it is usual with candidates to reject the addresses of the voters whom they secretly mean to accept, when they first apply for her favour; and that sometimes the refusal is repeated a second or even a third time. We should therefore by no means be discouraged by what she has just said, and shall hope to lead her to the oval office ere long.

But why should she, or any FDR style Democrat, accept the hand of a Mr. Collins when what she/he really desires is a Mr. Darcy?  We’re not in fighting form for  successful courting.  What we need to be is an attractive voting bloc, not just a ragtag, disjointed bunch of discouraged disenfranchised working class schlubs.  And when I say “working class”, masslib, I am talking about all of the people the Democrats left on the table in 2008, whether they are college educated or not.  If you make your income from a paycheck and not investments, YOU ARE WORKING CLASS. Don’t be afraid of the term.  Your strength depends on recognizing what you have in common with the people who you once thought were your intellectual inferiors.  When the top 10% of the county makes 70% of the wealth generated here, you working people of all professions and condition of dirt under the nails are in the same boat. To the top 10%, you all look like a bunch of stupid losers. It’s YOU against that top 10%.

This is why Sarah Palin is so successful.  She has tapped into the anger of the people who have smelled the asphalt.  If you want to beat her, you have to join with the road workers.  Once you have established that you exist and that you share a common cause and a common set of principles based on Fairness, Dignity and Respect, you will start looking pretty hot to the politician who will fight for the right to carry your banner.

Yes, oh best beloveds, there are such people.  The world is ever thus.  There are people who will strive to accumulate power and wealth and who will step on the heads of anyone who gets in their way.  And there are people who will gird their loins for you and step up.  There are good people in the world.  Those people are not perfect.  No human has ever been born upon the planet who did not have flaws.  But there are people who try.  They try and sometimes they fail.  But they do not give up because civilization hangs together by the slimmest of positive efforts that overcome the negative ones.  Without effort to overcome the chaos in favor of establishing a good order for the benefit of all, we as a people would cease to exist.  So, we must all be doing something right every single day to hold ourselves together.

That means showing up at public meetings and not allowing others to shout you down.  That means sticking up for the working people, even if they are public servants who seem to be benefitting from your taxes.  That means rewarding solidarity with your support.  That means giving to others when you don’t have much yourself: feeding the poor, buying a gift for a disadvantaged child at Christmas, donating money to classrooms in need.  That means helping your friends who have become unemployed through no fault of their own.  That means standing up for them when the ignorant and narrow minded call them parasites after all of their years of hard work and taxes for the public good. That means never accepting the fate that others would assign to you.  That means women sticking up for themselves and letting go of Roe that has created a false sense of equality and has been used by your enemies to rally the opposition to tear down your rights.  That means never giving anyone consent to treat you as an inferior.  That means conducting your business in public, transparently, creating your principles and values and inviting others to join you.  That means imposing discipline on yourself and others to stick to the point, not be distracted by identity politics.  That means insisting on equality for all because the country can use all the help it can get from everyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, education level or any other criteria that separate us from one another.

Do not let them separate you from your friends.  Hold hands, get together, brainstorm, meet, plan, do, solve and never, never let the bastards grind you down.  Push back forcefully.  You don’t have a choice.  This is your country.  Take it back.  Insist on Fairness, Dignity, Respect.  Demand a New Deal.

If you build it, she may run.  Or someone else will take up the banner.  When she told us at the Convention to “Keep Going!”, I think this is what she meant.

Update: For those of you who asked, here is the proposal I wrote in 2008 for going forward.  It is preliminary and somewhat out of date.  But it’s a starting point for discussion.



81 Responses

  1. That means showing up at public meetings and not allowing others to shout you down. That means sticking up for the working people, even if they are public servants who seem to be benefitting from your taxes. That means rewarding solidarity with your support. That means giving to others when you don’t have much yourself: feeding the poor, buying a gift for a disadvantaged child at Christmas, donating money to classrooms in need. That means helping your friends who have become unemployed through no fault of their own. That means standing up for them when the ignorant and narrow minded call them parasites after all of their years of hard work and taxes for the public good

    No shit. This. What you said. All of it.


    • And (it kills me to say this so forget it immediately) …. This is the best post you’ve written in years.

      • Please don’t give me performance anxiety.
        Anyway, where do we go from here?

        • “If you build it, she may run. Or someone else will take up the banner. When she told us at the Convention to “Keep Going!”, I think this is what she meant.”

          Can I paraphrase please…If you build it…we will join you.

          I have a tiny voice that means nothing without lots of other tiny voices….you already have a public platform (or the ability to begin building a new one)…can we build on it?

          • We can build on it. However, previous attempts to build on it met with resistance and ego jostling. We can’t have that. Seriously. We will doom ourselves if we can’t resolve before the first meeting that we will impose discipline on ourselves. No wordsmithing or flowery expressions of personal belief. That bullshit has got to stop.
            What we need first is an organization. I have proposed one previously and I haven’t seen anyone come up with a better one.
            So, what do you want to do? What kind of functional, democratic, disciplined, inclusive organization do you propose?
            Speaking in visions and poetry is dead simple. Planning is the hard part and we tend to ignore it at our peril.
            Focus first on the structure.

          • I should clarify that and say I haven’t seen anyone come up with a better proposed organization *yet*.
            My strength is not organizational though I can give it my best shot.
            I’m more of an idea rat.

          • One of the reasons I’m a pessimist is I’m lazy.

            Optimists always want to do stuff.

            Pessimists say it’s hopeless so we might as well drink beer and watch football.

          • at least they drink beer and watch football.

        • The branding is a start. Cannonfire is working on this too. Then platform stuff – jobs for everyone!

          Considering how much work needs to be done — isn’t there something for everyone?

          Why can ‘t tfederal gov do some medical research? If American businesses don’t want to hire Americans then our government should!

          • Before the branding, before the policies, there has to be a structure through which we can all work efficiently and in a concerted fashion.
            We set up the structure, elect our leaders, delegate and set up specific tasks for interested parties to perform.

          • What should be done that’s for the greater social good and for everyone? Those things shouldn’t be primarily private sector “profit” based. Those should be “socialized”. That includes basic science research, education, medicine, all common utilities (roads, internet, water, power, etc.) among other things. That means we promote a mixed economy with the private sector non profit and profit fairly free and open, but regulated for the greater good, esp. for safety, and the public sector providing what is needed/required for all regardless of profit.

          • Again, you are getting ahead of yourself. I think we all know what the New Deal stands for. Now, how do we turn that into action?
            You can’t do it without a structure. You know this, DT. Has there ever been an easy to use, intuitive application or operating system written that didn’t have a solid foundation and structure at its base?
            Think MS Windows versus Linux. We need to build a New Deal version of linux.
            Don’t groan. Maybe there’s a contract in it for you.

          • RD – can you re-publish your organizational recommendation (sorry to put that work on you) and then let’s get a group of volunteers to go outside of The confluence and have some “discussions” – maybe accept what RD has proposed, change/improve/revise it and then put it out again. I organize but I have never done so on a political basis….but I’ll help in whatever i can.

          • Download it from the link in the post. I just added it.
            Remember, this was hastily thrown together in 2008 and proposed to a bunch of bloggers who didn’t really seem interested. (Some of them had their own agenda as well)
            But it is two years later and time’s awastin’. The Tea Party got there first.

          • I think the branding is right there in the title:

            “Fairness, Dignity, Respect”

          • yep. I’m in favor of KISS.
            too much branding starts to devolve into identity politics and feelings start to get hurt and people take their dishes and go home.
            This bloc has to be concerned primarily with economic issues and that has everything to do with income inequitites, voter enfranchisement, safety nets, job security and related things. You won’t find too many people arguing that women aren’t equal to men or that gays shouldn’t serve in the military. The people who support that stuff are on the other side. That’s not us. But we can’t define our message or goals or mission around those issues because they are distractions from economic policy.
            If you are poor, it is very hard to mount a defense of your equality. They go hand in hand.

        • Infiltrate the Tea Party and take it over from within.
          After all, my home state PA was a battleground for those TP voters. Obama lost them and Hillary won them big time.
          Her message surprised most of them because they rarely were spoken to with respect and dignity as Hillary did. And, it was honestly said by Hillary. She actually understood them.
          We all saw what O thought of them.
          Even here in the wine country, there is a Tea Party movement and Whole Foods !
          The only problem, Republicans are so much better with “politics” and they always know exactly how to massage the situation to their ways.
          We Dems are so bad at that.

    • Hillary doesn’t need much branding. She’s already well known, the majority of the country today approves of her, and the fauxgressives and wingnuts can’t dig up much more negative stuff about her.

      All it would take is raising maybe half a billion dollars in a year…not as daunting as it sounds. Silly marketing startups like GroupOn have raised five times that figure in less than a year. Hillary’s supporters from 2008 already have most of that fund raising infrastructure in place. The hard work would be beating back the attacks from the fauxgressives and wingnuts in the media and the political scene. That would be much easier for 2012 than it was in 2008 in my opinion.

      The fallout for the Democratic Party from such a primary battle probably concerns Hillary. But she should get over that. The Democratic Party today doesn’t stand for much anyway. It needs to be taken back, not babysat for. There would also likely be some societal fallout among the electorate. But what is the alternative in this economy for most struggling Americans. To just sit there passively and take the shafting from the creative class establishment.

      If Hillary cares more about the future of the American people than she does about the American Establishment, which I’ve come to believe she does these days, she should at least seriously explore a run for 2012. It would almost be irresponsible for her not to. Best would be if BO decides to sit out 2012, but that looks unlikely. She should get BO to clarify his intention, and if he confirms his intention to run, then she should resign as SoS, set up an exploratory committee and see how much interest there actually is among the electorate. If the usual suspects begin bashing her, she should turn that negative energy to her advantage…a lesson anyone can benefit from seeing Sarah Palin in action.

      But I agree with RD. She has to feel some desire from the electorate. She has been mostly traveling abroad in her current role, and what she remembers from domestic politics is the CDS bashing. Would be great to see the fighter in her emerge again. Even if she doesn’t run as a primary challenger, she should be exploring an Independent run. The time is right, the nation needs her this time. The nation didn’t *need* anyone in particular in 2008.

      • I’m in the tank with you if she runs. If she doesn’t, that’s when all the other organizing etc will have to happen.

  2. I propose to call ourselves Working Class Liberals For Democratic Reform.
    WCLFDR. It might not fit on a ballot line but it would be hard to misunderstand what we stand for.

    • WCL-FDR. Easier to remember that way.

    • It should be one message. Keep it simple.
      Like :
      Election reform and financing.

      What voter would be against that?
      It covers all the bases including the big one.

      • Didn’t we already have a campaign finance act? McCain Feingold? The act that B0 blatantly ignored after McCain committed to take the public funds.

        The thing about 0 is he’s underhanded and unethical. He cheats. As long as he can cheat, I believe he will, the people be d@mned.

        Can we rein him in and out him? I hope so. That’s about the only change I can get behind at this point.

        But RD is right, we need organization. We need to keep going and deliver the message to HIllary, or someone else if she really is out of the picture politically.

        This post is absolutely fantastic, btw.

    • How about the Real Democratic Party? I think we should be thinking about taking back our Party. Obama stole our Party. The corporations corrupted and stole the Party. We need to take it back. Easier than reinventing the wheel. And we won’t split the vote. But there are party stuff in place. Access to the ballot is a given. It’s time to make the doughnuts…. past time.

  3. Honk, honk!!

  4. Ok, I’ll go first: I propose that the New Deal FDR Democrats band together and go as a delegation to Netroots Nation 2011 in Minneapolis, MN. Let’s take on the Stevensonians on their own turf.

  5. Start with letters to your Democratic Senators and Representative, let them know you will no longer be supporting them with you time, money and vote until Obama and his cohorts are gone.

    Follow up with LTE’s and local political forum posts stating the same and ask that others do the same.
    Provide links to the real anti-Obama websites, not the republican astro-turf faux sites. Refer to yourself and like minded as FDR-Democrats and Obama and his crew as Reagan-Democrats. (Milque-toast Democrats?)

    The objective is to let the Reagan-Democrat congress members know that they can’t ride the special interest gravy train if we voters don’t give them a boarding pass.

    • I love all this, RD! Powerhouse post!

      But should we call O & friends “Reagan Democrats”? A few of them are sensible and might join us. Could we call O& friends Bush Democrats or even Hoover Democrats?


  6. OK, structure, structure, structure. What sort of structure do we need?

    • I think the first goal should be to organize specifically for netroots nation (If we’er going)ffeverything RD said above but mostly platform. What do we want? And how do we want to get it?

      Netroots nation costs $280 now &will cost more as time goes on. They have group registrations what that means? I don’t know

      • I linked the ppt slides I made in 2008 in the update section of the post.
        Have at it. I can take it.
        That is incredibly distracting to building a movement. We already know who we are and what we stand for. If you want to wordsmith a vision, start a new thread, one that I can safely ignore for the time being.

      • That comment got nested incorrectly. It wasn’t meant for you Kbird,

    • Think basic structure. Administrative duties, committees, assignments, rules of order, elections for terms of service. I initially proposed a School Board type of system because that is the one most familiar to me. But I also think it is workable because it is simple. It has a simple executive and legislative structure. Satellite groups can use committees to liaison.
      If you don’t have a copy of my original proposal, I’ll send you one.
      First, I propose a preliminary meeting of interested parties, blogs to agree on whether they want to form an organization.
      Second, we need to create a legal entity for tax purposes.
      Third, we have to have a meeting to decide on a formal structure.
      Fourth, we have to create the structure and declare our goals.
      Fifth, we have to have elections, delegate authority and create an interface for others to join us.
      Lastly, we generate viral sloganeering and local organizations.
      Reorder as you see fit.

      • I pledge $280 for one member of the New Deal FDR Democrats to attend Netroots Nation 2011.

        I also volunteer to help in any other ways possible.

        • Structure, marsha, structure. No money should change hands until there is a legal entity and a trustworthy person to safeguard it.
          I can pay my own way there. But if I need help, you’ll be the first to know. 😉

          • I definitely didn’t mean to step on structure…I assume that this group will be structured by the time June 2011 rolls around.

            I was just trying to help with a goal/date to get going.

            My pledge will still stand once the legal entity, etc. is in place.

      • Should we use the FDR blog for this?

  7. If you haven’t already, check out Al Franken’s floor speech on taxes and unemployment – a ray of hope?

    • I like Al. But he’s going to have to choose between Obama/DNC/Corporatists interests or WCL-FDR types like us. So far from his voting for things like the health insurance bailout bill and others, he’s on the wrong side. But there’s still a tiny bit of time for him. We’ll see.

      • Yeah. I worry about his speech/vote ratio.

      • Before we get on Al’s case about the health insurance bill, remember that he was in favor of capping profits of the insurance industry. And let’s not forget that all or nearly all of the Democrats in the Senate voted for it. Their reasons were not necessarily that they liked the bill. In fact, subsequent email I got from Franken suggests he did not like the bill but he voted for it for certain aspects, like no rescissions.
        The reason they did it was political. They felt that if they didn’t pass it, Obama would be fatally weakened as president. That was the line that Paul Krugman was pushing anyway. It was the triumph of hope over experience. But when people like Franken ran as Democrats, this is what they signed onto. The party needs on occasion to show unity.
        I don’t like it. I hated the bill. I think it was weak and made patients into even more of a consumer group. I doubt that Franken had any control over Obama’s executive orders wrt abortion either. But when you enter politics, there will be some times when you have to finely navigate your principles.
        I don’t hold Hillary’s IWR vote against her like some progressives do. As the senator from NY, her constituents were probably very vocal about what they expected from her. I don’t think she believed the “evidence” for one minute. But she did believe that if the president felt it was necessary to go to Congress to ask for permission, it would be a foolish gesture to not give it to him. We’re talking about Bush here. Cheney was already on record as saying he didn’t think they needed to ask Congress for anything. Fuck Congress. But by voting for the IWR at a time when voting against it was a losing proposition, she enforced the idea that the president was obligated to ask. Without that reciprocal obligation, Bush/Cheney may have made Congress irrelevant. She may have also been hoping that cooler heads would prevail. I can only speculate on her reasoning but this makes the most sense to me.
        Likewise with Franken. The bill was flawed. It was anathema to a liberal like Franken. But he found reasons to vote for it anyway and did it because to not do it would leave Obama vulnerable.
        Of course, they were wrong about Obama’s political proclivities. But they would only know that over time when a persistent pattern revealed itself.
        So, I can let Franken’s healthcare vote go. Nobody is perfect. If we insist on perfection, we’re no better than the progressives that threw away Hillary because of her war vote.
        He is one of the true liberals in the senate and I support him wholeheartedly. He is not our enemy. Better to make him our friend.

    • Bottom line, the UI benefit extension would be a stimulus to the working class costing 75 billion a year. The extension of the tax cut to the wealthy would be a stimulus to the rich costing 70 billion a year. About the same. How Obama and Congress plays this will tell us alot about how the economy will function in the next two years. They can do both, or choose one over the other.

      • My local news led tonight that Obama was going to break one of his biggest campaign promises and let the tax cuts for the rich be extended.

  8. For gathering momentum, this should start with a basic message like the Tea Party did. In this case, it would be keeping Social Security for everyone. Right there, it captures the Tea Party base that wants the government to stay out of their Social Security.

  9. Are you all talking to Joe Cannon?

    I’m with RD that structure must come first, otherwise, it’s just a bunch of people talking and going of in 20 different directions.

    And Yes: Fairness. Dignity. Respect.

    I especially agree with this:

    That means imposing discipline on yourself and others to stick to the point, not be distracted by identity politics. That means insisting on equality for all because the country can use all the help it can get from everyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, education level or any other criteria that separate us from one another

    • Do you mean are we on Joe Cannon’s Christmas Card list? I dunno. He was gone for awhile. Now he’s back with his Chalice project, which looks very promising. But I haven’t been following him religiously or anything.

  10. I have a question: one piece I read recently said HRC was telling “her closest friends” that she will not run because no one can win the nomination without the AA vote, which is solidly (89%) behind Obama. That might explain her consistency in rejecting the option.

    How can anyone compete without that segment of the voting population for the Dem nomination?

    • If that 89% number stays solid, it may not be possible to win the nomination without a split which would lose the general. IMHO, that’s a chance worth taking.

    • She should run as an Independent. She’d probably win. The Democratic Party shafted her in 2008, why the hell should she keep carrying the bags for them. Without the primaries and caucus bullshit, she would have a strong shot.

  11. Spammy ate my question, please see if you can snatch it from his jaws.

  12. We need to pressure Democratic leaders to remove all support from Obama. If he’s the nominee, I’m either staying home or voting R. I’d rather have a conservative R who tells me where we’re going (I can prepare for winter, if that’s what’s coming), than O, the blank screen. If there’s is a 3AM call, I don’t want O to answer it. That 3AM call could be a financial meltdown, an disaster or a foreign upheaval, and Obumbles is the wrong person to answer the call.

  13. […] Fairness, Dignity, Respect: Conducting Subversion in Public That means showing up at public meetings and not allowing others to shout you down.  That means […]

  14. 2012 should be and probably will be an economic election for the working class. There is nobody currently lined up on the left or the right who stands first with the working class. Palin yes in spirit, but not necessary articulated yet in economic policy. Republicans typically do not espouse strong policies in support of working class jobs. She doesn’t have experience creating jobs on a big scale. Alaska’s population is smaller than Delaware. Not that she couldn’t, but she hasn’t said anything to date that would suggest she could or that she would want to make working class jobs her number one priority.

    Hillary just needs to hint at the possibility of a 2012 run and talk about the importance of working class jobs. The electorate would respond and people would mobilize. Even if she didn’t ultimately run, it would put pressure on Washington to focus on jobs, because nobody there is making it their top priority right now. Like I said, I think she has a responsibility imo to make even the possibility of a run public. Float it with one of her respected proxies, see how the nation responds.

  15. I guess people may have seen this from Clarence B. Jones in HuffPo this afternoon.

    Time to Think the Unthinkable: A Democratic Primary Challenge To Obama’s Reelection

    the template of the 1968 challenge to the reelection of President Lyndon Johnson now must be thoughtfully considered for Obama in 2012.

    Of course that template is that Johnson decided not to seek a second term.

  16. I still believe it would not take much to get Obama to quit or not seek reelection. You know he hates the job. He hates work. He has achieved his goal. The democrats need to kick him the hell out of the Democratic Party. Excommunicate him. Hold town hall meetings and vote him out. We don’t need no F***ing republicans in our party. Out, out damned spot! It is time to turn the page….. back.

  17. RD. I hope Hillary changes her mind and decides to run. The way I see it? She is doing all the hard work as it is.

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