Well, if I were the one organizing this (which I'm of course not), then I would schedule a time at the beginning of each day where, if the filibuster were still going, the Democrats would take the floor for 20 minutes or so to maybe just summarize their side of the debate. I would suggest just reading the dispatches from Iraq out of that morning's newspaper.
Nearly 220 years after America's Constitution was drafted in Pennsylvania, scores of rural Keystone State communities are declaring the document null and void.
More than 100 largely Republican municipalities have passed laws to abolish the constitutional rights of corporations, inventing what some critics are calling a "radical" new kind of environmental activism.
Ah. Yes. The section of the constitution that talks about corporations. I don't quite seem to remember what part that's in, exactly. Is that the section that defines Dick Cheney as the fourth branch of government?
By the way, just out of curiosity, does this have something to do with Harry Reid forcing a Senate filibuster on Iraq?
The important thing here is that it needs to be clear that this is an all-out campaign to get this bill passed, not just an attempt to put Republicans on the spot. It needs to be absolutely clear that it is the Republicans causing this filibuster, not the Democrats-- that the Republicans are obstructing, and the Democrats are just doing their jobs. If this whole filibuster thing is represented in the press as something the Democrats are doing (rather than something the Republicans are doing and the Democrats are working to make the Republicans back down on), it might not go so well.
Above all, if the Democrats attempt this, they need to follow through on this. Once the filibuster starts, it needs to continue until the Republicans back down, no matter how long that takes. Forcing the Republicans to filibuster for a week, then turning around and going "well, that's our limit. You won." will have no effect but to make the Republicans look strong and the Democrats look weak-- again. The Republicans have made great hay of the fact that this year, every time they've played Chicken with the Democrats, it was eventually the Democrats who blinked. This needs to stop. The Democrats have to go into this confrontation with the expectation they are going to win it, and they have to do everything to make that happen-- media barrages, constant pundit guilt trips about how the Republicans have shut down the Congress rather than let an Iraq timetable pass, targeted ads to encourage constituents of Iraq swing votes to try to influence their congresspersons to end the filibuster, everything necessary. This has to be treated like a make or break moment. If the Democrats can't win this, they will never win anything.
With that goal in mind, the Democrats' policy so far of giving up when faced with a filibuster may actually pay dividends now-- with so much of the agenda for this year already either passed or given up on after a filibuster, there is not really anything more important to blow the rest of the year on than getting this defense bill passed with the appropriate stance on Iraq.
Incidentally, Obama at one time was pushing a "just 17 more votes to end Iraq" approach to the Iraq fight, advocating pressuring Republican swing votes on Iraq bills to move over one by one until a veto-proof majority was acquired. If he was ever serious about this, the time to start working on carrying that plan out is now. There is no better first step to getting a veto-proof majority for Reid-Levin than getting a filibuster-proof majority for Reid-Levin.
From what I've seen Edwards isn't attacking Obama, either. Does that mean we can assume Edwards is conspiring with Obama against Hillary? Well, no. By itself this is just a sign that this simply hasn't been a negative campaign, on the part of Edwards any of the top-tier candidates.
The thing about the video is pretty interesting. It wouldn't surprise me if the HRC campaign were interested in working with the Edwards campaign, and it does seem the HRC campaign is to some degree benefiting from the fact that Edwards and Obama are splitting the conservative vote. But I see no reason to think that's Edwards' fault, and the blurb there doesn't give us sufficient reason to think Edwards reciprocates a desire to work with the Clinton campaign.
Obama has to improve his debate performances tho...His answers are way too long and he HAS to learn how to keep his answers short, simple and forcefull at the same time....This is where Hillary is so much better then him at.
See, this is interesting to me because this "concise yet forceful" quality is something that has always impressed me about Obama's writing and speeches, but does consistently seem to be absent from his debate performances. He seems to be able to do this all the time when he has time to think out what he's saying, but on his feet in debates, not at all.
This seems like something they could do something about; the problem seems to be more one of preparation or experience than ability. I keep hearing people make comments along the lines that Obama answers debate questions as if he were a law professor answering questions, which almost makes it seems like he just hasn't figured out how best to approach these events.
Do you think his campaign realizes there is a problem here?
I think part of the problem-- though note, I'm not accusing Jerome specifically of this kind of thinking-- is that there are a decent number of people who've somehow got the idea in their head that there can only be one movement at a time.
I think both Obama and Edwards, and also Gore for that matter, are right now leading movements for change, and I think all three of those movements are very positive developments. I also think that none of these three are the same movement. There's some overlap in people, goals, and ideals, but they don't any of the three have the same focus and they're not the same movement.
But let's hypothetically say that you're someone who for whatever reason is working on the assumption that there can only be one Progressive Movement at a time, and it doesn't make sense to talk about several interconnected movements which each have the quality of being progressive. And you run into someone who is a member of a different "progressive movement" than you are. How do you react?
Well, one way you might react is to just look at this person, and conclude that their goals are different from yours and therefore they aren't a member of the "progressive movement". That would be the simplistic way to react-- I'm progressive and this person is not like me, therefore this person is not progressive.
Another way you might react though is to notice that not only are this person's goals not precisely yours, but this person also does in fact appear to be part of a movement full of people whose goals are like his. And this movement is, you cannot help but notice, identifying itself as "progressive". At this point panic sets in. If there can only be one progressive movement, then any progressive movement that isn't your own is competition. You find yourself forced to view those other progressive movements as the enemy, because you're competing with them for the same limited mindshare resources-- the way you look at things, if their movement survives, then yours can't.
Now, there is some kind of validity to this way of looking at things, since to an extent the different progressive movements are competing-- certainly between the Edwards and Obama movements there is real competition, since only one of these two people can actually become President. And in the specific context of the presidential race this fracturing of the progressive movement might be a real problem, since it's possible Obama and Edwards could split the progressive vote and let Clinton win.
In general though I don't think the different progressive sub-movements are meaningfully competing with one another, and I think the competitive mindset that some people are bringing to all of this is causing real harm. We need to figure out ways that the progressive movement can remain fractured in such a way that the different fragments still support each other...
Seriously. This reads like an incoherent rant by a madman. No one who has not been reading MyDD nearly daily for months would have even the foggiest idea what one single word of this post is about; and even having, as I do, a relatively good grasp of recent MyDD's evolution and drama, much of the post is almost totally opaque in meaning. Parts of the post almost seem to be inside references that you don't even expect anyone except Chris Bowers to understand.
Given that this is apparently the kind of content MyDD has to look forward to in future, I am baffled why OpenLeft or anyone else would include MyDD on a blogroll.
Speaking as a cell phone only voter, I've basically seen that every single person on the losing end of an election in, like, the last four years-- Kerry, Lamont, the Republicans in 2006-- tried to explain away their poor poll showings by claiming that cell phone only voters were skewing their numbers. In each case, the cell phone effect did not prevent the polls from being right, and the person in question lost.
I expect someday cell phones will become prevalent to the point where it legitimately effects the efficacy of polling. But until that day actually comes, the cell phone effect just seems to be a way of distracting people from embarrassing polls.
Biden's Iraq plan is pretty strong. But honestly this mostly just makes me wish that he were pushing that plan in his capacity as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, rather than in his capacity as a U.S. Presidential Candidate.
Okay, a Senator has much less he can directly do to promote an Iraq plan than a President. But there are surely things in the direction of that plan Biden could be doing now if he were to throw the whole weight of his chairmanship behind it, and he can do these things now, instead of having to wait a year and a half until he could potentially become president (frankly unlikely). At least this would shut up the Bush "THE DEMOCRATS HAVE NO PLAN" nonsense for good.