This Pink video sort of sums up my opinion on where far too many of the Democratic strategy has been leading the party. And it has to stop…
The intense rush to amend this legislation means that most of them have no idea what they are actually enacting — even less of an idea than they typically have. But what they know is that George Bush and Fox News and the Beltway establishment have told them that they would be irresponsible and weak and unserious if they failed to comply with George Bush’s instructions, and hence, they comply. In the American political landscape, there have been profound changes in public opinion since September of 2001. But in the Beltway, among our political and media establishment, virtually nothing has changed.
I don’t have time this morning to dissect the various excesses and dangers of the new FISA amendments, though Marty Lederman and Steve Benen both do a typically thorough job in that regard. Suffice to say, craven fear, as usual, is the author of this debacle.
There are many mythologies about what are the defining beliefs and motivations of bloggers and their readers and the attendees at Yearly Kos. One of the principal myths is that it is all driven by a familiar and easily defined ideological agenda and/or a partisan attachment to the Democratic Party. That is all false.
The common, defining political principle here — what resonates far more powerfully than any other idea — is a fervent and passionate belief in our country’s constitutional framework, the core liberties it secures, and the checks and balances it offers as a safeguard against tyrannical power. Those who fail to defend that framework, or worse, those who are passively or actively complicit in its further erosion, are all equally culpable. With each day that passes, the radicalism and extremism originally spawned in secret by the Bush presidency becomes less and less his fault and more and more the fault of those who — having discovered what they have been doing and having been given the power to stop it — instead acquiesce to it and, worse, enable and endorse it. (emphasis mine)
I was sitting yesterday afternoon with Digby in the little lounge area at the Hyatt. It seems odd that we are just now meeting in person after all this time of talking on the phone and e-mailing pretty much daily, but this is the first time that Digby and I have met face to face at this conference. We were trying to catch a little quiet, having been hugged by nearly every person who is attending the conference at some point yesterday (that happens when you are walking with Digby, she’s a superstar), and waiting for our take-out pizza because we had both somehow managed to miss all of our meals until about 6:00 pm.
It just so happens that the hallway was a little conduit of ticked off blogitude — or hungry bloggers who wanted to snag some of our pizza, I’m not sure which — because we had soon morphed from the two of us into a group of several: Glenn Greenwald, Barbara O’Brien, TRex, Swopa, Sara, David Neiwert, Tom Matzzie of MoveOn, Jane, and more folks who moved in and out of the conversation at various points. And to a person we were all just thoroughly pissed and disgusted about the FISA mess. The House vote hadn’t happened at that point, but none of us had heard anything positive…and, frankly, that made things so much worse.
We started talking about how we had all been trying to get that across to various Democratic party players and strategists and pundits and what-have-you, and to a person we were just stunned at how little coordination there was across the board on any sort of unified strategic vision other than “we’re not Republicans, so vote for us.” And that is simply not enough. (Insert a moment of laughter from Glenn here at me about my “K-Y concept” that I’m not going to detail here, but let’s just say I was a bit testy and we all needed a laugh…and I’m still too pissed off to do it justice in print.)
I’ve been thinking a lot about where we go from here. We all have. And I’m sure coming out of this weekend, a lot of us will be writing about it and thinking and talking — and acting. Lew Koch and I talked at length on Friday morning about how 99 percent of life is simply getting up off your ass and doing something — that success or failure can depend on something as simple as just trying to move something forward.
And I have a little idea that is incubating, that I’ll run by everyone in the next post…