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A Defining Moment

A Defining Moment

By Carolyn Kay

The online community, including the blogosphere, was born in anger and frustration.† But now that right-wing ideology has been so decisively defeated, at least for now, we have an important decision to make.† We can continue to work mostly out of anger, and separately, or we can use the anger that remains as the impetus to work together to move forward and accomplish positive goals.

Before making that decision, we need to face the facts of what happened on November 7.† The Democrats prevailed, but thatís not the same as saying they won by superior strategy.† The Party and its supporters did a much better job of getting out the vote than in the last few elections.† But it was Bush administration incompetence in Iraq and after Katrina, its relentless catering to the richest and most powerful Americans, the revelations of present and former Republican-appointed government employees along with those of retired generals and other retired national security experts, prosecutions by Republican federal attorneys, and even recommendations of economic conservatives that provided the major basis for the Republican defeat.

The Democrats are now in charge of Congress, and thatís a very good thing.† Maybe their refusal to embrace bold themes and exciting rhetoric were the right approach to this particular election, since Republicans were doing so well at ensuring their own defeat.† Democrats are now in the driverís seat, and Iím very happy about that, but we have to look forward.† Many of the Democratic victories came in districts that have historically voted Republican for many years.† That means a number of them are in danger of losing their seats in 2008.

There are two things we of the online community can encourage to make sure the Democrats gain seats in 2008 instead of losing any, and it has nothing to do with accommodating those who say ďconservatismĒ won this election.† I think theyíre wrong.† Ideological doggedness, arrogance, corruption, and incompetence lost the election.† And mostly, it was fiscally conservative and socially liberal Democratic candidates who defeated Republicans.† Those kinds of people, and Iím one of them, were called conservatives in the 1960s.† Now, weíre called communists.† So letís stop arguing about whether progressives or conservatives won the election and get cracking on 2008.

The two things we can do are to encourage congressional investigations and help bring to the public the information uncovered, and to give support to Democrats promoting a positive agenda that will help ordinary Americans live better lives with more financial security.

The Democrats now have subpoena power, and I know we can count on John Conyers and Henry Waxman, among others, to pursue the administrationís wrongdoing to the fullest extent.† We can look forward to two years of incessant revelations like the devastating National Intelligence Estimate that was made public just before the 2006 election.† More former Bush administration officials will speak out about the incompetence and the dogmatism.† The steady drip, drip, drip of these revelations will help Democrats greatly in 2008.

Calling for impeachment?† Okay.† But insisting on it, and especially demonizing Democrats who want to proceed cautiously, will hurt us, not help.† Iím not happy that Nancy Pelosi said some time ago that impeachment isnít on the table at all.† She doesnít really have the power to speak unilaterally on that, for one thing, and we donít know yet where the investigations will lead.† Besides, itís really bad poker to reveal your hand before the betting starts.† Somebody ought to start a weekly poker game for Democrats in Congress, so that they can learn to stop giving their game away.

Iím not saying we should let the Democrats off the hook entirely, far from it.† seeks to make everyone with any kind of political power accountable to We the People.† The Preamble to the Constitution says that we establish the Constitution, and the Constitution establishes the government.† That means the government belongs to us.† Iíd much rather that school children recite the Preamble than the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, so that the concept of the sovereignty of the people will never again be in doubt.† Weíve let unscrupulous folks get away with pretending it all belongs to them for much too long.

It will also help Democrats in 2008 if they succeed in improving the lives of the vast majority of Americans.† Already, an increase in the minimum wage and making health care coverage more affordable are on the agenda.† Some members of the online community have taken a defeatist attitude, even before any new legislation is proposed.† They say Bush will veto everything we want.† But we donít really know yet how heíll react.† If he falls back on his modus operandi as governor of Texas, heíll oppose measures that benefit most of us, up until they are passed, and then heíll sign them and take credit for them.

But no matter what Bush tries to take credit for, the American people will know whoís responsible.† We donít often give Americans enough credit.† Havenít they finally seen through the machinations of the right?† It took longer than any of us would have preferred, but theyíve seen it, and it will take at least another generation to rebuild a belief in the same kind of insanity that has prevailed for the last six years.† We must try our best to make sure it never happens, despite the mighty engine the right has built to convince Americans that up is down, black is white, and greed is good.

We need a comprehensive plan to build an organization or interlocking group of organizations dedicated to establishing, developing, and supporting talented researchers, linguists,†writers, investigative reporters, social psychologists, speakers, filmmakers, and cartoonists who believe in truthful reporting and commentary,†and making sure their work receives wide exposure.† Creating and supporting new and independent media outlets†is one of the ways of accomplishing this goal.† For more ideas on this subject, see the Progressive Media Strategy I wrote for almost two years ago, which met with a resounding silence.

But what every single reader, poster, and blogger can do right now is to work better with each other toward greater inclusiveness, greater accountability for both Republican and Democratic politicians, and for the media.† Too many of those with a platform have been trying so hard to save democracy all by themselves that they havenít seen how their efforts could be leveraged by helping to promote the work of others.† And I donít mean helping just those others who are white males of European descent, under 40, who live on a coast and went to an Ivy League college.† Thereís much, much more to America than that, and we are severely underrepresented in media, including progressive media.

Recently, Markos of Daily Kos acknowledged that there could be problems with voting machines.† So does that make all of us who have been saying the same thing for years, now, suddenly, legitimate?† Are we no longer conspiracy theorists?† And what does it say about all the time that Kos and other bloggers looked on those of us who were concerned, many of us computer professionals, as conspiracy nuts?† Will they now reconsider their views about us?† Will we now start working together, to have more of an impact?

We can celebrate what happened on November 7, but weíve only just begun to make a difference.


Click here for more of Caro’s Commentaries.

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Comments (5) left to “A Defining Moment”

  1. Cole... wrote:

    I think we should keep in mind that the ‘big falult’ in the ‘Pug camp is that the only item put on the table pre 2000 was the big tax cut. Every other action was ad hoc or followed the 911 event and all the lies which followed. The demo congress was excluded and did little to oppose, the public was excluded and the media was in the ‘Pug bag. Secrecy was the trump card in the ‘Pug deck and they played the anger card, the fear card, the religeon card, the exclusion card, the demeaning card, the traitor card with little concern because they owned the deck.

    There were millions who marched to say war in Iraq was the wrong path and the were ignored, called ‘focus group’ and the numbers were under reported. Those millions have been proven right but were muted by the lies and the war with its slogan “Support the Troops”. The war and all that awful legislation which followed were essentially forced on an unwilling public because they could, they held the deck–play their game or get out.

    It was the failure of those who ruled and this new Demo Congress should realize that the public demands more than a ‘ho ho ho Impeachement is off the table’. The public expressed their discontent and wants to know everything about 911, everything about Katrina, everything about who is looting and benefiting from this invasion, it wants oversight and honest in depth investigations “open to the public” and nothing should be off the table.

  2. Larry Bergan wrote:

    Nothing I can disagree with in the piece. The MSM doesn’t deserve to control our information anymore, and new voices that can be trusted not to spout the government line out of convenience must be demanded. It is “the end of the day” for Hannity and Limbaugh and their new “fun” type of McCarthyism.

    Good riddance!

  3. tseving wrote:

    Caro, I managed to miss this yesterday, and I have to admit that there is little point in fighting Democrats who oppose impeachment. As long as there are HONEST investigations, they are sure to uncover the evidence that will demand that end.

    Larry, speaking of Hannity, did you know that hypocrite is profiting from gay dating? (Gay dating is fine, but Hannity’s role shocked me.) I posted an article at Politics Plus.

    Caro, if you want to use that, you’re more than welcome.

  4. Larry Bergan wrote:

    Well that doesn’t surprise me, considering that Hannity is the closest thing to a living, walking lie on earth.

    Liberal Media Liberal Media Liberal Media Liberal Media Liberal Media Liberal Media Liberal Media Liberal Media Liberal Media!

    I think some millionaire told Hannity he would get a quarter every time he says that!

  5. tseving wrote:

    Unfortunately, Larry, if he got a quarter every time he said that, it would be a pay cut. :-(

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