From Blogs to a Progressive Political Infrastructure

cross posted on DKos:

There is an interesting diary on the rec list right now, posing the question, "what should be the future of DKos?" I think their take is interesting, and I support it, but I also wanted to suggest a different variety of change - specifically, what if DKos and the netroots in general were to link up with like-minded communities, and create a different arm of the website devoted to political organization?

In Brief:
-use DKos as a hub for a political organization in parallel with Obama's, including fundraising, targeted advertising, targeting crappy democrats in primaries, voter outreach and registration, policy creation
-hire the people laid off by the abandonment of the 50 state strategy, to coordinate a national grassroots power base (they know how to do this, and they are not even that expensive!!)
-have a public discussion about which Democrats we are going to scalp (STENY HOYER PLS)
-build a decentralized grassroots political organization which answers to the grassroots and pursues goals decided upon by the grassroots.

In other words: BUILD PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE. More below.

I think that the unnamed "Democrat" who claimed that we have no pull on the hill because we have no scalps in our pocket hit the nail on the head. Tragically, this is how the idiots on the hill think, and because we (I would hope) are not quite as brain-dead, we assume that grassroots organization and enthusiasm for the party, coupled with demonstrably good ideas would be enough to convince our "representatives" (I prefer to think of them as leeches). Not so. Solution?

Well, lets take a page from Obama's book. After all, he went up against those same people, and although he is now doing a balancing act which I believe is misguided, he DID beat them, and he did it by organizing. Given that DKos and related communities (OpenLeft, Thinkprogress, Mydd) are among the most politically engaged in the country, it seems like it shouldn't be all that difficult to turn these fundamentally news-based sites into hubs for a larger, **grassroots controlled** political power base, that acts on the interests of the grassroots.

We have 2 years to put this together, if we so choose, and I think it would be EASY. The 50 state people are looking for work, their work is not that expensive, and we are quite capable of raising the necessary amounts of money. Furthermore, we could have a public discussion about which 2-3 shitty democrats we want to defeat in a primary in the Senate and in the House (2-3 in EACH, and I think Steny Hoyer is a lock for target #1).

Also, a little bit of bloodletting on an off year would be mostly harmless, as it would not damage us in a presidential election. We have a wave of political engagement post-Obama, and all we have to do is channel it. Experienced hands are available and out of work, and the fundraising capacity is there. Why can't we do this? I see no reason.

There's more...

Bill Clinton and a Common Standard

I have a question for Bill Clinton. Its a difficult question to ask, because for most of my life, Bill Clinton has been one of my heroes. I can still remember his inauguration, although I was only in second grade at the time. Yet, now I find myself angry with a man that I held up as a role model for most of my life, and its a difficult place to be.

Despite all the things that Bill Clinton did right, and all the things that were done wrong to him, I feel strongly that there is a common standard that absolutely no one can excuse himself from. Neither achievement nor position is a substitute for that standard, and neither can be used to justify deviation from that standard. I feel that Bill Clinton no longer applies the standard of his early years, and so my question for him is as follows:

Mr. President, if Ronald Reagan had opposed you as actively in 1992 as you are opposing Sen. Obama in 2008, do you feel that you would have had a fair chance to present your pitch to the American people, and ultimately, to become president?

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Russ Feingold speaks

So for the past year I have been mocking John Edwards and his supporters for the most absurdly dishonest campaign I have ever seen on our side of the aisle, and many of you have gotten quite peeved about it. You've called me shameless for questioning Edwards' absurd record, and several of you have really made it a vendetta. So - my question for you: will you now be peeved at Russ Feingold?

"The one that is the most problematic is (John) Edwards, who voted for the Patriot Act, campaigns against it. Voted for No Child Left Behind, campaigns against it. Voted for the China trade deal, campaigns against it. Voted for the Iraq war ... He uses my voting record exactly as his platform, even though he had the opposite voting record."

-Russ Feingold

hahahahahaha... I can't stop laughing.

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Edwards wastes no time: Attacks Obama

Yesterday I wrote a diary pointing to the fact that the more progressive an Iowa voter was, the more likely he was to vote for Obama, whereas the more conservative he was, the more likely to vote for Edwards.

Clearly, this has not been missed in the Edwards camp. So, they are now attacking Obama for being a corporate sellout, ie - not a liberal.

John Edwards is a particularly classy sort of guy. He opposes universal healthcare in one cycle, and then a few years later swings to the opposite extreme and attacks HILLARY CLINTON for her health care plan, the same Hillary Clinton that actually fought for healthcare over a decade ago. Like I said, a classy sort of man.

So now, he is attacking Obama. I'm not even going to address his attacks, because I see no reason to. I'm just going to ask the following question:
"When has John Edwards gone beyond talking and used his elected office to put into practice the multitude of liberal ideas he is running on in 2008?"

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Noteworthy: Obama the choice of liberal wing, Edwards the choice of conservative wing

I am pretty surprised by what I see in the Iowa breakdown. Obama won the "very liberal", "somewhat liberal", and "moderate" categories, whereas Edwards won the "conservative" category. Hillary did not win any groups in the ideological breakdown. es/results/epolls/#val=IADEM

I think this is a pretty strong repudiation of the conventional wisdom on this site and elsewhere in the netroots. Iowa voters apparently remember, unlike the netroots, who Edwards was in 2004 and this has played out indisputably in the numbers.

Also, Obama won the majority of Democrats, so please stop this BS about how he only won because of independents.

I was kind of hoping for Clinton, but I had no idea that Obama could bring out my age group the way he did - I really thought it was impossible. If he can do this, I will support him in the general, because **if my generation returns to the voting booths, we will have a progressive majority for our LIFETIMES!!!**

Very exiting stuff. Lets all celebrate!

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Goodbye Obama, Hello Hillary

I've been upset with Obama for a while now. I canvassed for him back in July, have donated repeatedly to his campaign, and really could not understand why his damn campaign is going nowhere. Then, he started to do things which... well frankly defy logic. In the name of bridging the partisan divide, or some shit, he has lately done a number of profoundly ugly things, and hanging out with "reformed" ex-gays is frankly the final straw for me. I'm out. His coal-friendly energy plan bothered me, his timidity in debates against Hillary and even Edwards (?) bothered me, his Iran political-play bothered me, and hanging out with ex-gays is straight out of the Bush 04' playbook. That's quite enough for me.

Hillary 08'. I just hope she realizes that the whole REASON people are choosing her over Barack is that he is compromising his progressivism, and not because he is too left wing. Dear Hillary: forget the center - move left. And for god's sake, bury the hatchet with Gore and use him in your administration.

Does anyone have any use for a bunch of Obama 08' bumper stickers and pamphlets? They're going in the dumpster Monday morning.

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Dear God, More News Out of Camp Edwards

I can hardly believe that the Edwards campaign could do anything to make me dislike them more, but they just did:

Elizabeth Edwards criticizes the the MoveOn ad - go read it on HufPo.

So lets get this straight - Edwards wants to end the war immediately (whether thats possible or not), but he has no problem with a General who seeks personal gain (careerism, I think its called) at the expense of the country and is willing to declare that things in Iraq are looking rosy after all, so long as you do things such as only count people shot in the front of the head as assisnations (if you get shot from behind, thats a love tap?).

Edwards people - WAKE UP! All he does is stake out positions that neither Hillary or Obama will adopt not because he believes them   or believes that they are tenable, but because he WANTS ATTENTION. Sometimes, he likes to use his wife to try and stake out BOTH positions on an issue: an example of this is Mrs. Edwards' support for the gay community, which starkly contrasts Mr. Edwards' obvious discomfort with gay marriage. Sure, shes her own woman, entitled to her own opinions - but its clear that when she is a regular spokeswoman for the campaign, its about more than personal preference.

The Edwards campaign does a disservice to our party by engaging in what I regard as the most dishonest campaign any Democrat has run since Bush was elected. This is NOT who we need to become.

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Its that time again - Edwards lashes out

Apparently JE is in need of something to talk about, some issue to use to get people to pay attention to him. The issue he has chosen is authenticity in political messages - if you're choking right now, yeah, I'm right there with you. That's right, John Edwards has come out and picked a fight with Obama, calling him the Kumbaya cadidate. Very cute. Of course nobody on this website mentions it because its pretty stupid and exposes Edwards for what Mydd-ers hope so desperately he isn't - foolish.

If John Edwards actually wants to win the campaign, it is very clear that he needs Obama to take the black vote from HRC. Therefore, the smartest thing for him to do would be to attack Hillary, not Obama. But, Hillary is quite mean and he knows it, so he goes for Obama instead. What the hell? Is it going to fall to Elizabeth Edwards to attack Hillary too? The whole premise of this attack is completely inane becase (1)it gets Edwards nowhere (2) it makes him look bad (3) it gives Obama ammunition to hit him where it hurts later. Keep in mind - Edwards needs Obama in the race, but the opposite is not true.

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A Modest Proposal

Its that time again. Harry Reid is going to sit down with Senate Republicans, and try to hammer out some variety of half measure which appeases the antiwar crowd but does not cross the threshold of actual action. This leads me to the following idea:

As a means of healing some of the rancor on this site which has erupted over the primaries, I propose that we put a brief moratorium on primary battles, and attempt to organize an honest effort to push our party (OUR party!) into the arena of action, and out of the theatre of war.

If the netroots cannot do this, what good are the netroots? Details after the jump..

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Climate Spacecraft Built, Remains Unused - Why?

I came accross something today that I want to draw attention to. After spending a LOT of money on a spacecraft designed to measure the world's energy consumption, NASA has apparently killed the project in the 11th hour. Anyone who cares about global warming: this is worth reading: xclusive-investigation-into-nasas-dscovr -climate-station

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