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Hey Paul! They’re USING YOU!

Paul Rosenberg needs to take off the Kool-aid goggles:

And a very significant part of Obama’s campaign was that he fueled–in a very non-specific, non-cashable way–the sense that all of that had changed, and that we could all now expect more of each other as well as ourselves, and that we could rely on that expectation in order to do amazing things. That is what we hungered for, and it is a very large part of what went into Obama winning.

We saw a very dramatic demonstration of the long-term problem we face during the post-2000 election struggle in Florida. The GOP went all-out in hegemonic warfare mode. The Democrats, OTOH, told their base to stand down. Jesse Jackson lead just one rally–which locals had asked him to lead to bring them visibility–and the Gore campaigned told him to put a lid on it.

A continent away, in Los Angeles, I attended and reported on a rally with thousands of grassroots activists at the Westside LA Federal Building within days of the election, and a lively topic of conversation there was, “Where are the unions?” Because everyone knew that the unions could readily up the numbers by an order of magnitude. But after what happened with Jackson, folks had little doubt that the same orders had gone out the unions as well. It “wouldn’t look good” to have the sorts of people who vote Democratic out on the streets demanding that their votes be fairly counted. White Republicans staffers in suits, threatening to “shut it down” when the votes were being counted, now that’s the sort of demonstration that America could love! At least, that’s what the Democratic Party’s logic amounted to, boiled down it’s self-defeating basics.

So no. What we’ve experienced with Obama is not anything new. Not at all. But it is severely disappointing, since Obama himself came to victory largely by harnessing the rage that had developed in the Democratic base in part as a result of such past timidity.

Yet, even during the campaign, Obama had asked outside groups–including groups directly representing the base–to voluntarily silence themselves, just as Jackson had been silenced in Florida in 2000, while black votes were suppressed and an election was stolen.

So let us hope that the “One Nation” rally is a real, permanent turning point, a turning back to the grassroots, a turning back to the people whose lives this is really all about in the first place. Because that is what’s been missing on the left for low these many decades.

Turning point, shmurning point.

Doesn’t it seem that unless the base is saying exactly what benefits the Democratic party establishment they say STFU!? Gee, could it be that the Democrats want to control their base? Whose party is it anyway?

All the lefty activist groups have been neutered and vertically integrated into One Nation Under Obama. That’s because the Democrats think their grassroots is a lawn.

And what do you do with a lawn?

You walk all over it, let your dogs crap on it and when the blades get too tall you cut them down.

Hey, but at least it’s not astroturf!

BTW – add OpenLeft to the list of places in Left Blogistan that have banned the Petulant Clown.

The truth hurts, I guess.

Hillary Breaks Down the “Fourth Wall” and Reaps Big Rewards

grassrootsTaylor Marsh and others report that Mark Penn and Terry McAuliffe are stunned by the gestures of support that the Clinton campaign has received over the past couple of days with the $7M in donations. Actually, I think we can do better than that. I could definitely donate a little more but what’s the point of doing it all in one shot? It’s more fun this way to see what a little filthy lucre does. It’s like immediate feedback. Then I want to send more the next time. Instant gratification. It’s about as close to a gambling addiction as I’m ever likely to get.

But where was I? Oh, yeah! The genuine surprise of the Clinton guys. First, I’d like to get this out of the way: I’m not too terribly fond of political consultants, but unlike the Big Blog Stores, I’m not singling the Clinton guys out for special antipathy. I think David Axelrod is especially loathesome with his ratlike profile and cheesy mustache. And future serious candidates should be advised to stay well away from twice-a-failure, Joe Trippi. So, Mark and Terry should not get it into their heads that we’re doing anything for them.

No, this was all for Hillary. I mean, damn!, she’s put up with a lot of $#%@ this election season and I swear she’s just getting better all of the time. She is starting to blossom into a really good campaigner. Besides that, she’s the best qualified and it shows whenever she and Obama stand next to each other and they open their mouths. So, why wouldn’t we want her to “pick herself up, dust herself off, start all over again”?

I’ve always been a little annoyed by the top down, centralized, scripted, careful, take-no-chances behavior of the Clinton campaign. It was insular, too professional, antisceptic. But once the battle was joined and they started having moments of crisis where they realized that throwing money at the problem wasn’t going to fix things, something remarkable happened. She started to drop her guard and what we started to see was not the polished politician but a smart, dedicated, warm, humorous, feisty human being who wasn’t going to give up without a fight.

In theatre terms, she broke down the “fourth wall”. Why it comes as any surprise that we would want to help her out now that we see who we’re fighting for is a mystery to me. It must be hard to trust us after all of the years of vitriolic attacks from the right and recently from her own party. But there are more of us supporters than she knew and we, her grassroots, have just been waiting for this opportunity. All she had to do was put her faith in us like we’ve put ours in her and ask for audience participation.