June 19, 2012

Building a one night stand movement

Sam Smith - Our article on an Obama one night stand, proposing a movement organized around defeating the GOP on election day and then taking on Obama beginning the next morning, got more hits in 24 hours - over 30,000 - than any of our posts over the past 17 years. The premise was that this election is, in no small part, about getting people to vote. Too many are depressed, disappointed, or disgusted. An all GOP Congress and a Republican president would be a disaster, but one that could be easily brought about by apathy and surrender.

Key to the concept is that the election should be viewed as part of a movement and not as an isolated campaign. Elections are not a time when our culture is changed, but only a time when our culture is reflected in numbers. The idea is to launch a movement that those inclined to stay at home could find appealing, primarily centered on economic issues. Push gay marriage, abortion and even the environment aside for the next few months and talk jobs and income.

Step One: defeating the GOP will make it easier to reach these goals.

Step Two: forcing the Democrats to become Democrats again.

Here are some suggestions for issues a one night stand campaign might feature: 

A foreclosure plan that actually helps homeowners. Among the possibilities: A shared equity program in which the government becomes a co-owner of threatened homes, a govrnment reverse mortgage plan, or settlement programs using local judges.
Getting out of Afghanistan and using the money saved for public works programs in which veterans have the first dibs on jobs.
Repeal of Glass Steagall Act
Criminal prosecution of culpable banks and bankers

Putting a limit on credit card interest rates in the single digits

Giving real assistance to small business

Protecting Social Security and Medicare
There is a huge constituency out there that has been driven into inaction by present conditions and that has been convinced that its real enemies are its real friends. The easiest and most effective way to change American politics is through a movement that helps people make money and then keep it


Anonymous said...

The one percent would like to richly thank you for keeping their man Obama in power. It's nice when progressives do good work for the establishment.

Anonymous said...

Did you mean to say reinstate Glass-Steagall.It's already been dumped and we are hip-deep in the consequence.

Anonymous said...

You still haven't made the case, Sam.

I suspect you don't really believe what you're saying, because you're skilled enough to say it better if there were anything to be said.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of progressives that would like nothing better than to see Obama defeated and for the GOP to completely destroy the economy once and for all.

There by causing the most pain for the pseudo-left as well as the those on the right. Or America in general.

Hoping to build something from the ashes.

Dan Lynch said...

Obama has no intention of doing any of those things.

How are you going to force Democrats to do anything ? By threatening to vote for them less enthusiastically ?

Dave A said...

I'm stunned that you're pushing this, Sam. We should be working on all the people who are not going to vote anyway to vote Green. Didn't you just publish earlier today a post about Obama's double digit lead? I don't understand what is leading you to think this effort would be effective. Because it has a sexy phrase?

xilii said...

If Obama is re-elected, it might be easier for a movement to influence a lame-duck administration. After all, he doesn't have to worry about running another campaign, just his post-election employment (see the article Sam posted on 5/26/2012). Odd, but the real challenge may be getting former presidents, senators, etc. to play ball instead of the current ones.

Anonymous said...

“Bourgeoisie democracy BREEDS fascism…The more workers place their trust in legalism, in constitutionalism, in bourgeois democracy, the more they make sacrifices to save the existing regime, as the “lesser evil’ against the “menace” of fascism, the heavier become the fascist attacks and the more rapid the advance to capitalism. To preach confidence in legalism, in constitutionalism, in the capitalist state, means to invite and guarantee the victory of fascism.” R. Palme Dutt, Fascism and Social Revolution, 1935.p49

Anonymous said...

This isn't so much a "one-night stand" with Obama and the Democrats as it is a battered wife crawling back to her abusive husband and screaming at anyone who suggests she should separate.

Right now you're at the stage where you think that it's your fault that Obama and the Democrats haven't delivered on their promises. You think that if you show more support that Obama will stop acting like a conservative and be the man you thought you knew him to be. But there is no "vote with reservations" column on the ballot, no box you can comment or annotate on the side to express your grievances. Either you vote for him or you don't, so why should he see your vote as anything but validation of his current policies? Why should he stop beating you if you respond by being even more subservient to him?

There's only one way to end it, and that's by leaving the abuser. Even if you have to get a third party to mediate on your behalf, you need to leave Obama before he takes you down with him.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I can add much more to this discussion, but I did want to voice my disappointment in Sam's trying to get the dead donkey on its feet. Sam, I was a big fan of yours on Mark Thompson's radio show. As Mark's show became increasingly like the other shows on Sirius Left aka became Sirius Democrat, you seemed to provide some realism and criticism. Not as hard hitting as blackagendareport's Glen Ford and Bruce Dixon, but still you slyly would get in some good points with a wonderfully gentle but prodding style.

On May 7when Mark wanted to talk about the death of Bin Laden and what that meant for the campaign, you said, "We should not be defined by the political campaign and its issues." In an election year people should focus on what they care about. We should be talking about the private prison system and prisoners as indentured servants.

We lose our credibility, our power and our dignity when we whore ourselves out to this disgusting and useless kabuki called American national elections, and to some false messiah.

Concentrate on your devolution ideas. Concentrate on producing alternative organizations like Occupy. And please, if you remember anything about the Edwards campaigns, mention poverty and 22 million American children who are hungry every time Mark asks you to help him elect Obama with his ceaseless and breathless questions about "with this hurt him in the fall?" He may have to do this to keep his radio show, but you?

No, not one vote, not one dime, not one more minute for the lackeys of the 1% which includes not only the Democrats and their leaders but anybody that aids and abets them.

Note: As others have noted, explain in detail how such a "campaign" will work. What would this movement use to hold the Democrats feet to the fire once they are firmly back in power? Hold our breath until we turn purple? To the Fat Cats who show off their presidential cuff links as they raise their martini glasses, the rabble sound like the bleating of thousands of sheep, "Baaaattt, Baaaaatt, you promised!"
No more playing football with Lucy.
There is no dignity in it.

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