I'm exhausted, and I have another post to write tonight to sum up Day Two of Libby voir dire, but even these few comments find me very moved. Jane is everything described in the main post and more. She's become a dear and close friend through our work together, and an inspiration. Thanks to all of you for your support and thoughts for her.
One should not disagree with people of higher profile.
Second, you don't know me or my work, if you think I'm an academic theorist in politics. I take it you're not an FDL regular, and know little of our Roots Project initiative, Blue America, or any of the background work I do with Jane and Christy to keep FDL up and running.
As it happens, I do the greater part of my work supporting other activists behind the scenes, on my own time, for no pay. Online writing is the smallest part of my political work, but since I don't seek the limelight and refuse occasions to participate in photo-ops, such as the Clinton lunch, there's no blame in people not knowing what I do, which is how I like it. I'm not in this for kudos or credit.
But that's irrelevant. Your whole premise, breathtaking, really, that one cannot disagree with Jerome or anyone else because of their profile or past work is about as antithetical to netroots philosophy as you can get. Not even Jerome would make the argument you make. And in fact, I have no beef with Jerome, only his comments in this thread.
And there we have the penultimate expression of incrementalist "realism" that dictates, as a matter of faith, that a progressive message cannot be persuasive.
It's instructive to learn what amuses you. You seem to use reportage of your laughter as argument with some facility.
In politics, how often do shifts come in destablizing bursts, per realignment, rather than incrementalist caution? What do recent political events say about the times in which we live?
I'm all for realism. I'm also for ethical operations in the Democratic Party, and agianst reflexive derision of grassroots reformers in defense of insider operatives who care more for their own power and the accretion of finanacial power over the interests of progressive voters. I don't believe it's necessary to jettison one in favor of the other.
Are you saying you believe Rahm Emanuel to be a credible, honorable person? Do you have reason to doubt Lutrin's first person accounts of his experience, beyond any reflexive dismissal of him because he lacked the money and institutional support to press his campaign forward?
I would add, since you did not even know that much, it calls into question your comment and analysis of the entire Howie Klein post, which, if I did not know better, I would say smacks of Broderistic shoddy, shallow insider elitism.
It would be great if we had real progressives in the think tanks and so forth, to the extent that they exist, who would be willing to put thier organization's names and personal careers on the line to fight for real post-election messaging. I'm as critical of the single issue groups as anyone.
But that's not, in my view, the only reason we underperformed in the post-election narrative fight.
Quite simply, many in our base, and I mean the netroots, had no stomach for that fight. For them, the election was about the results, not the interpretation of the results and the minting of conventional wisdom after the election. The principle warriors against a progressive post-election narrative came from within the Democratic Party, and many of us didn't want to engage that. Those of us who did engage it were considered to be. . . rude, or strategically unwise, or unbalanced, or whatever.
There was, in my view, a kind of finish line fatigue that set into the netroots after election night. People were tired, and who can blame them. They wanted to enjoy some victories, for once, and who can blame them. But it;s also a politically naive opinion that the election battle ends with the results. It doesn't. I'm really sorry some people found the calling out of Rahm Emanuel rude, but it was his operation that was spinning in favor of conservatives.
My point is this: we're never going to win the post-election unless we recognize that we have to fight right through the election for the post-election narrative. We don't deserve, as a movement, to win that fight when we won't step up to it. I should not have been getting the emails I got from people in the netroots who meant well but would not join in fighting to create the new narrative. If we ourselves are not unified and engaged, other outside groups won't be able to save us. We still have Daou's triangle to deal with, but we have our own issues too.
We can't afford to exhale after election night again in 2008.