Thursday, February 16, 2006


What have you been posting? Links, drinks and winks.

Fiddling While America Burns

From Kos:

DISCLAIMER: Front pagers don't have an obligation to write about what is important to me. Neither do other diarists. Other people don't have an obligation to act on what is important to me, and I have the power to write diaries on subjects of import the same way everyone else does. This is not going to be an accusatory complaint about Markos or our front-page writers, nor am I going to make any demands.
What I am going to do, is engage in a little introspection, about what I perceive to be our apparent inability as a blog, or a party, to focus on the big picture in a timely fashion.

stephdray's diary :: ::

The best and most recent example of our strategic chaos was the Alito Filibuster. The party's collective failure to mobilize on its own, without a call from John Kerry, ultimately crippled the filibuster attempt. At one point, we had at least 37 votes for a filibuster, maybe as many as 39.

How many more could have been flipped with an early, concerted effort that did not start in Davos Switzerland?

There was a lot of defeatism on this blog about the matter, as if we were disinterested observers instead of invested participants. Armando thankfully joined the fight, albeit late, and his act propelled the broader community to action. He claimed it was the community that took the leadership role, and he was right. But I'm not sure it should have been that way.

The logic of group action requires leadership--a tipping point. Like it or not, the front page of this blog can provide that tipping-point, or they can enable the inertia of depressive apathy. I'm not saying they have an obligation to avoid making posts that encourage apathy and defeatism, I'm just observing the fact that sometimes they do make such posts.

Today, the USA Patriot Act may have gone down in flames. Russ Feingold may have held together a filibuster. He had the will. He had the fight. He did everything we asked him to do, including coming to this blog and discussing it with us. Begging us for action, in fact.

And yet, look at what's all over the blog today. Cheney and a Hunting Accident. And who could blame people for the fascination. I mean, it feels a bit like the Wizard of Oz. It's a big joke. How is it possible that our Vice President just shot a man? I get it. It's salacious. It's fascinating. It's almost fun.

But it's also not the least bit useful to us. We are often so obsessed, as a group, with our hatred for this administration that we forget they can never be elected again. We will never be running against them again. We're unlikely to get the votes for impeachment when we can't even get the votes to filibuster lunatic judges and bills that authorize law enforcement to enter our homes without going to a court.

I wonder if, as a party, as a blog, we have a collective myopia about the Bush Administration that may be costing us precious victories in battles that we could win were we to focus.

A blog like this one has limitations--front pagers write about whatever interests them, diarists do too, and you hope that the most important stuff stays at the top in the recommended diary section, but you never know. We have a bit of a cult of personality around Markos, and that's fine, but he's disavowed the role of a leader. And that's an important limitation to acknowledge.

As a party, one would hope that the elected leadership would do more than post here... perhaps invite our activism, tell us how to get things done more efficiently. But it seems that we're a bit rudderless at the top. Even Senator Feingold, who has been a tireless advocate, and intensely focused, failed to provide key strategic information to us in our activism, such as which senators to target.

What we don't need, I'm fairly certain, is ten million new little small activist groups. We need some sort of Activist Central, big and influential.

Giving credit where credit is due

Feingold is still fighting

Erroneous AP Story

Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:51:25 AM PDT

There was an erroneous AP story that many of you may have seen online and in your newspapers this morning that reads: "Feingold gives up Patriot Act effort." Nothing could be further from the truth. As you can see here, I haven't given up anything. The story was wrong and I wanted to be sure everyone knew about it.

I will continue this fight - it's a fight worth having - and it's not over.

This is an important battle. We need to know just what is in the Patriot Act. Line by line.
Im going to try and support Feingold


It isn't about which blog we are on, its about respecting each other and fighting the good fight against the repubs, for the ideals that we believe in.

I think some on the DNC blog are hurt by others leaving. But, I think the reason some of us left is frustration with The Party, not with each other. We've been through too much together.


Posted by Cyn_NY on February 16, 2006 at 02:30 PM

we are all on the same side here. the only people that i am angry at are those in power, not my fellow bloggers. i'm sorry if some other people are feeling the need to choose sides. that is not what i wanted. i wanted to keep people together, and not lose the people who were feeling uncomfortable at the DNC blog.

Posted by jen on February 16, 2006 at 02:33 PM

I set up this alternative space yesterday for EVERYONE who blogs at the DNC! I put the link up and I gave my email address on the open thread so that if someone needed a break because they were pissed at the powers that be in control of the blog/the dnc/whoever, they'd have a place to go so they wouldn't have to be alone. I was afraid of losing touch with some of my glbt friends and others who had had enough. I didn't want to create a big drama.

Some people, I had their email addresses already, so I emailed them. I posted on the open thread that if you didn't get an email, to email me, so that I could include EVERY poster. Those that weren't interested, that was fine. Those that were, that was fine. It was NOT a line in the sand, or a way to exclude ANYONE. I'm not about that. and if some people took it as choosing sides, they are wrong.

Please, let us not fight amongst ourselves. Let us put our energy into fighting the real enemy, those that don't love the constitution and that don't love their fellow man.

This is the alternate space i created. Each person their speaks for themselves ONLY. EVERYONE is welcome. If someone has a personal problem with another blogger, please take it off blog if possible.


Civil War

By: Blanton · Section: Democrats

Various people on Capitol Hill tell me that the Democrats are struggling to keep their internal disputes from boiling over. They all lay the blame at Howard Dean and the Democrat leadership on Capitol Hill failing to get along. Right now, individuals loyal to Howard Dean are compiling dossiers on embattled Senate minority leader Harry Reid and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi. Couple these potential trouble spots with the pending William Jefferson plea bargain, Democrat netroots leader Kos' perceived selling out to the establishment through his failure to engage the DLC and failure to back Hackett in Ohio, and the failure of the minority to rally around one set of talking points and you have the a higher chance of a Democrat civil war than an Iraqi civil war.

Read On

Scalia thinks you're an "idiot"

From Americablog:

Scalia criticized those who believe in what he called the "living Constitution."

"That's the argument of flexibility and it goes something like this: The Constitution is over 200 years old and societies change. It has to change with society, like a living organism, or it will become brittle and break."

"But you would have to be an idiot to believe that," Scalia said. "The Constitution is not a living organism, it is a legal document. It says something and doesn't say other things."

Proponents of the living constitution want matters to be decided "not by the people, but by the justices of the Supreme Court."

"They are not looking for legal flexibility, they are looking for rigidity, whether it's the right to abortion or the right to homosexual activity, they want that right to be embedded from coast to coast and to be unchangeable," he said.

Can anyone find in the Constitution the mention of the word "heterosexual" or more specifically "heterosexual privilege"?

Yeah, me either, so why do THEY have it?

Because the Constitution can't be changed unless it suits their needs.

"Idiot" is right. They need to realize that their "orientation" didn't even start to exist until they put us in a category called "homosexual."

The Abu Ghraib files

Army report, show more Iraqi prisoner abuse -- evidence the government is fighting to hide


Open Thread- By Demand

I like this! No more 200, 300, 400 posts until we get a new thread! Wheeeeee!

Have at it!

Hackett Sacked

I have this cool email notifier. When I recieve an incoming email, a hip-hop looking kid on a skateboard rolls across my screen, and spray paints “email” in a really nifty graffiti style, accompanied by the sound of a police siren. It made me laugh, so I use it. Usually, I can hear it from my bedroom or the living room, and most of the time I’ll wander over and see who’s bothered to write to me. When I saw that this one came from Paul Hackett, I immediately assumed it was yet another contribution request for his Senate campaign. I almost just deleted it because I sent all I am going to send. For some reason, I decided to read it, and was shocked to learn that he is quitting the race. Just like that. Done. Thanks, y’all, but I’m quitting to, wait for it…..”spend more time with my family.” Yes, he really said that. Now, I’m a father, and a husband, so on the face of it I accept the explanation, but the more I thought about it, the less likely this all seemed. Hackett was politically green, to be sure, but he seemed to relish the fight, and was certainly more outspoken than any other politician I’ve heard out of Ohio. I was so happy when he ran against Schmidt I dropped what I was doing and spent two days canvassing for him in blue collar neighborhoods surrounding Cincinati. Ok, we lost, but it was way close, and there were at least some that argued a plausible case for vote manipulation. He had to know that a Senate bid was going to be even more demanding, and expensive, so I’m not buying that he abruptly ended a viable campaign to STWTF.(I can’t bear to type spend time with the family anymore). So, I made some calls. A few people I spoke with thought his alienation of the Christian Right doomed his campaign in conservative Ohio. Others thought that he had bucked the Democratic Establishment, and that another candidate’s time had come, so the Party muscled Hackett out of the race. While no one said it to me, I was left staring at a cashed check receipt, wondering if the Swift-Boaters had some delicious new lie cooked up about him that he couldn’t bear to defend, no matter how righteous he may be. So, to quote Graham Chapman, Paul, “you make me sad.” It’s ok with me to change your mind, but I felt your explanation was more than a little weak, and may end up speaking more about you than any campaign pledge you may have made….

Monica's Blog

Hey Gang!
I have my own blog I started on January 1 if you want to check it out.

Roll Call

Hmm.. Looks like most of the gang is here

Awesome IDEA!

JEN ROCKS. GREAT IDEA! Who has the Open Thread? :D


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