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TygrBright

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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 17,344

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Putsch of the Putzes

The legitimacy of the 2016 General Election in the United States of America was compromised long before the election took place.

Was it a "grand conspiracy?" Not initially. Not in the sense of a single coherent plan formulated by a consistent group of conspirators-- at least, not at the beginning. To me, it initially looked like political opportunism writ large, and the haunting fear that 'conservative' ideology was on the verge of irrelevance in a world where the pace of change was escalating, post-WW2 innovation and technology promised a broadening array of benefits to an increasingly unionized economy, and evolving mass communications threatened capitalist oligarchs' control of the political process.

When growing identity activism challenged America to walk the Founders' words of equity for all, and marginalized populations began winning victories, they faced the specter of a white, protestant, patriarchal oligarchy's doom.

What else could they do, but find the stress lines in the larger culture, insert wedges of fear, and begin pounding away?

Nearly half a century of calculated, intensive deconstruction of public education stoked racist, nativist identity and fostered ever-increasing civic disengagement and ignorance of the mechanisms of democracy.

Decades of shamelessly racist, xenophobic, anti-urban, anti-poor propaganda produced racist, nativist identity politics that placed GOP operatives in state houses, facilitating the gerrymandering that cemented control of state executive offices and legislatures.

The Friedman/Rand economic center of gravity was established to break the Unions, but it also diverted the economic base of the middle class overseas, provided ideological cover for the robber-baron renaissance, and disseminated the "greed is good" mantra.

As their efforts bore fruit and momentum gathered, the more generalized opportunism finally did coalesce into an actual conspiracy, a network of dark-money financiers fueling a network of covert and overt organizations focused explicitly on rolling back the political, social and economic control structures of America to something that resembled the 1880s. Pre-Union, pre-Civil Rights, pre-Women's Suffrage. It can be done.

It's being done.

Citizens United, ALEC, voter suppression laws, media consolidation, the incubation of the "useful idiot" wing of the GOP, and the enabling of increasingly extremist-skewed propaganda to push the overall center of gravity further and further right, resulted in the gutting of the GOP as a political party in any meaningful sense.

It's now simply the active arm of the oligarchy, carrying out a carefully incubated putsch cloaked under gossamer-thin legalistic veils, subverting long-outdated Constitutional tools to eviscerate democracy itself. (Think about this. If the GOP were still a political party, wouldn't there be considerably more ACTUAL input and participation from the "Party Leadership" in this process? GOP elected officials and the whole 'Party' staff structure are essentially a Potemkin village... there's no real power there.)

Now the Kremlin wants to play, too.

That's okay, actually. Because although the whole "Commie" thing was useful back in the day to whip fear into the American electorate, our oligarchs have always known that the "Socialist" in "USSR" was abandoned early, and the cabal that replaced Stalin's flat-out totalitarian rule were nascent oligarchs themselves, jockeying for position and cover to gather the resources of those "Soviet Republics" into their own pockets. And when the mechanism of the Soviet State was no longer functional, they'd jettison it (as they did,) and replace it with the overt oligarchy the Kremlin's been working on for decades.

Oligarchs can work with oligarchs, at least until one of them exposes a weakness and the knife (or the brolly tip) can be slipped in.

So when it became clear that Putin was working on his own version of the putsch, they gave him a pass.

Even when it became clear that his primo Useful Idiot is a putz.

Because, after all... Putin's over there. Our own little cabal of oligarchs is HERE. Always have been. They're well-entrenched, slippery opportunists who can turn just about anything to their own purposes.

So the putsch has taken place. Putin's Putz is set up as the stalking goat. But the Cabinet of Putzes being assembled now are the water-carriers for our very own domestic tyrants.

Ultimately, they'll discover they've bitten off way more than they can chew. Karma will catch up with them, and it won't be pretty. But in the mean time, buckle up.

The rest of us are in for a helluva rough ride.

wearily,
Bright

"If you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally."

Just under one hundred and thirty-two million votes were cast altogether, of which about one hundred and twenty-six million were cast for either the Democratic or the Republican candidate. For "millionS" of those votes to have been cast by "illegal" voters, we're talking about a pretty massive operation.

There are about two hundred and forty-three million adults in the United States. Of those approximately two hundred and nineteen million are eligible to vote. Of those two hundred and nineteen million, about one hundred and forty-six million actually registered to vote by the deadline(s) for the 2016 election.

So, of the 97 million adults (let's assume we didn't have a mass epidemic of children voting) technically barred (for any reason) from voting, more than two percent of them decided to break the law and vote anyway.

An interesting fact: There were eight hundred and sixty-eight fewer polling places in 2016 than there were in 2012.

And one final interesting fact: There were slightly fewer "advance ballots" (early or absentee) ballots cast in 2016 than in 2012 (1.78 million versus 1.86 million.)

Even with 868 or so fewer polling places in the US, there are many places that one hundred and thirty million people can vote- one 2004 estimate identified nearly 186,000.

Sounds like a lot, until you realize that with 132,000,000 people voting, that's a little over 700 per polling place. (ALL these numbers are approximate... records at the precinct level are terrible.)

To vote, a voter needs to 'check in' with a poll attendant, to verify they are registered and (in many places) voting in the correct location. They need to go to a vote-casting accommodation- usually a stand with a privacy shield or a booth, and read and complete the ballot using a finger, stylus, pen or other tool. They need to submit the completed ballot, and leave. This process, depending on the details, can take anywhere from three to ten minutes, but let's pick an average of five minutes.

But that's an ideal. The reality is that it's much slower. Names on checklists are misspelled, people get into the wrong check-in lines, even show up at wrong precincts. They need help from poll attendants to understand how to use the equipment. Some read every word of a ballot with dozens of initiatives on it, a paragraph of explanation for each, for the first time while they're standing there.

Getting seven hundred people through a polling place in the 10-14 or so hours most polling places are open can be quite the challenge. Those lines look LONG. It seems chaotic, sometimes.

But we're still talking about an average of only a few hundred people per polling place. Yes, there are city precincts that collect a couple thousand votes, and tiny places like Dixville Notch that collect only a few. Even so, if you want "millions" of people to vote illegally, you're looking at some amazing logistics. How many poll volunteers need to be corrupted and/or paid off to break the law? How many voters at their familiar polling places need to ignore the presence of dozens, maybe hundreds, of strangers voting with them?

I'm not saying it's impossible for vote fraud to be committed. Quite the contrary. Without voter-verified paper ballots processed via a carefully monitored chain of custody throughout, we know full well that thousands of votes are questionable in every election. Mechanical failure, hacking, and chicanery are more than credible explanations.

But "vote fraud" is a very different phenomenon than "votER fraud." For "millions of people" to "vote illegally" we're talking voter fraud on a logistical scale that would require black helicopters and the involvement of thousands of primary actors, plus the knowing connivance of thousands more and the willing inattention of tens, maybe hundreds of thousands.

In the reality-based world, it didn't happen.

But it's a cool distraction from the actual VOTE FRAUD that probably did happen. Which requires only a few dozen primary actors, maybe the connivance of a few hundred more. Which requires little or no logistical exposure, using existing technology. And which may well be discoverable, if a real effort is made to look for it.

So, sending their faithful lackies in the anything-but-liberal media off to look for those millions of fraudulent voters is the best the can do, I guess.

It might work.

wearily,
Bright

10 Ways to Save Democracy: Ordinary People

1. Be kind. Bullies hate kindness. Make kindness the new normal.

2. Pick a pro-democracy charity. Sign up to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10. Democracy is worth it.

3. Investigate where and when your local Democratic Party meets. Show up for a meeting.

4. Pick a local official who represents you. Set up a news feed/search on them. Email or voice mail your feedback.

5. Mail your state legislative representative a list of the three most important bills you want passed in 2017.

6. Vote "yes" on mill levies and other public school funding issues.

7. Attend a school board meeting.

8. Subscribe to your local newspaper's paper or online version.

9. Discuss the Constitution with your kids. Let them know you think citizen participation is important.

10. Thank a government employee for doing a good job on your behalf.

encouragingly,
Bright

The Concern Troll Brigade Has New Orders: "Identity Politics" Have to Go

For clarity, let me specify: I'm referring to "concern trolls" in the global Internet sense, not here on DU. They're everywhere from NYT Op-Ed pages to Kos to HuffPo to TPM and so many other places, it's certainly not just here, nor am I referring to any one article, post, or post-er here on DU, so no one need take it personally, I'm not calling you a concern troll. I fell into the pit for a short time myself... I have beloved relatives there. The insidious appeal of this new meme is why I got inspired to blather on it.

Oh, dear... we simply HAVE to do something about these "identity politics," here on the left, don't we. They're the reason the Electoral College will be cutting the throat of democracy in December, they'll keep us from ever being an effective ideological movement ever again, they're totally outdated, divisive, and harmful!

Terribly harmful.

Okay, okay, okay, sorry, let me rewind here. I promised myself I would try to avoid sarcasm, irony and other rhetorical devices that generally tend to harden division and spark oppositional energy.

So, start again.

And let's start by acknowledging the very real pitfalls inherent in shaping ideological positions and policy goals around increasing equity, redressing group-focused historical oppression, and balancing competing cultural and social interests in an increasingly diverse society, because they are real very real, and very challenging. They fall into two broad areas:

First, such foci, especially those that open old historical wounds, challenge assumptions, and demand examination and rejection of historical privilege, are challenging as hell. They're the hardest target in the room, not the easiest one. They're complicated and difficult. Easy stuff is, well, easier.

Second, by their very nature, they set us up for the 'divide and conquer' tactics that the right has used so effectively to keep us squabbling among ourselves, dwelling on the injuries rather than the healing, and narrowing vision to particular grievances rather than shared goals.

There. Acknowledged. Those are not small pitfalls. And I admit I don't have any easy ways around them. Focusing on building a just and equitable society, redressing historical group-focused oppression, and carving out a balance among competing interests is a hard road that demands baby steps, not great leaps of progress. Full of potholes, blind turns and cul-de-sacs and missteps that must sometimes be painfully retaken.

So... why not look for an easier route?

Why not 'set aside' those 'identity politics' for now, and focus on this or that bit of common ground we can all share, make some big gains at a time when they are sorely needed in the face of an existential threat, and get back to the harder road later?

Ms Parks? Would you mind, please? I know it's the back of the bus, but I promise, it won't be a long ride. Really. PROMISE.

This time.

Jeff and Evan? I know you just found your dream house and engaged a wedding planner, but... the closet isn't really THAT dark, honest. And it's only for a little while. Y'all can cuddle up in there, okay?

For now.

Just a teeny bit of compromise, yanno? For a "greater good?"

We've never asked this of you immigrants before, right? Or you differently-abled folks? Or you women? Or you seniors?

So... y'all can wait for a bit, right? While we sort out this big thing, and then we'll get back to your narrowly-focused concerns for your own identity group. We'll get to it, promise.

And in the mean time, well, just suck up the damage, try not to keep squabbling among yourselves offstage, and we'll pick some token members of EACH identity group to act as spokesmodels so everyone feels like they're participating and invested and have a stake in the progress of the entire left, and everyone knows we'll get back to those identity things later.

Okay?

Damn', I've gone all sarky again. Sorry.

Point being, this is not a tactic that has worked all that well in the past, either. Not for all of us. You may point to the gains of organized labor, but try and tell that to some of the people of color and women who wanted to integrate the crafts unions in the 1950s and 1960s.

So where is the 'great idea' of 'ditching identity politics for "UNITY ON THE LEFT"' coming from now?

I think if we look hard, you'll see they're coming from Concern Trolls, dispatched on a mission to stave off the power that can be mobilized when people of color, immigrants, religious minorities, LGBTQ people, women, the differently abled, and so many, many, many kinds of people who've all suffered from group-focused oppression, exclusion, and disempowerment...

ALL GET REALLY PISSED OFF AT THE SAME PEOPLE

In this case, the GOP, the media oligarchs, and the mouth-breathing mobs of alt-right dickscabs and Christian Millenialist theocrat wannabes that have enabled them.

If you saw that many pissed-off people focusing their spotting scopes on you, what would your strategy be? You have a choice of two: Try and make them fight among themselves, or convince them that the most powerful fuel that powers them is simply the wrong fuel, you need this nicer, low-octane unifying kumbayah fuel instead.

I think they've realized that we're pissed off enough that the old "set 'em against each other" game is quickly derailed in the face of that existential threat to all of us. So... kumbayah, anyone?

No, sorry, I'm not buying it.

Do my concerns with misogyny outweigh the concerns of someone fighting against the exclusion visited on the differently-abled? Or the historical wounds of genocide against First Americans? Or the manifold other injustices visited on various groups of my fellow-citizens, who each have their own ideas about what priorities should engage us all?

I don't know. I know that all of us, with the possible exceptions of a differently-abled transgender atheist immigrant born into poverty at one end of the spectrum, and an able-bodied cisgender heterosexual WASP male born into wealth at the other end of the spectrum, have both privileges we enjoy (and may have taken for granted) and oppression that we have struggled against.

They're just different privileges, and different oppressions, for each person. I enjoy the privileges that come with white skin and an able body. I've experienced the oppressions that go with being female and queer.

I can't speak for anyone's experiences but my own. But I can say that I'll do my best to be aware of my privileges and to listen and not make assumptions about the experiences of others. We won't always agree. But I will fight for your agenda, if you will fight for mine. And if they conflict, I'll listen respectfully and try to find a compromise.

Because THAT is what they really fear the most. They KNOW they've painted a big fat target on themselves, and the number of people they've pissed off is, well... YUUUUUUUUGE.

So, no, I'm not giving up my "identity politics."

But I'm not giving up YOURS, either.

So... concern trolls?

Find another nickel, this one is dropping right back into the coin return.

sturdily,
Bright

Excuse me... this "working class" thing. Where can I meet some?

WaPo today, in (I'm sure) the interest of attempted detente, featured an opinion piece from a "Fellow of the American Enterprise Institute" and former speechwriter for Whistle-ass, lecturing "a crowd of wealthy, out-of-touch Manhattan liberals (who can afford $849 tickets to “Hamilton”)" for booing Mike Pence while the cast "lectures him on diversity."

His "point" being, such as it is, that "the Left," you see, is "imploding," and unless/until they learn to connect/understand/kowtow to/whatever, something called "the working class," they'll be permanently irrelevant.

Well, that sounded scary, so I figured I should investigate.

Let's start with this "working class" thing.

I freely admit, I'm all at sea, here.

Because-- and I know this is weird-- with the exception of a very few retired folks, every single adult and most of the youngsters I know, work.

They work really hard, most of them. Oh, I know a few people lucky enough to be able to work a little less than hard, and a few people who love what they do SO much they don't even think of it as "working," but... mostly, everyone I know (and I'd have to admit, my circle of acquaintance is probably at least an 80/20 mix of folks whose orientation, policy-wise, would have to be called "left" versus "right",) works.

They work at jobs that are grindingly hard, many of them. Some work at two or three jobs. A few juggle even more-- a few hours clerking at the Dollar Store, a few more hours stocking shelves at the grocery store, some paid babysitting, cleaning vacation rentals, and a little off-the-books ride shuttling, now and then, that kind of thing.

Even the ones who don't get paychecks from employers work their asses off. They grow things for the Farmer's Market, look after their children, take care of an elderly relative or two, and cobble together bits of art or handiwork on the side, to sell at flea markets and church sales.

See.... I *thought* these were "the working class," because, hey, the "working" part fit, and the whole "class" thing is pretty fluid, as far as I can tell. I know people who claim descent from Spanish nobility, people whose parents or grandparents immigrated and worked double and night jobs for decades to send them to college, people whose families have never, EVER crossed a picket line as long as there have been Unions, people whose parents could afford to give them a sports car for a High School graduation present, people from all kinds of backgrounds, families, whatever the fuck "class" is supposed to mean, they're in there...

...and they all WORK.

Some of them live in rural areas. Some of them live in cities in "flyover country," some of them live in small towns, some of them live on the coasts.

I'm white, I grew up in a largely white city in a largely (back then) white state, and so, yeah, the people I know and hang with are probably disproportionately (in terms of the national demographic profile) white, and I'm older, so they're a little skewed older, too. And they work their asses off, and I think I know them pretty well.

And they almost ALL voted for Hillary, and every one I've talked to since the Nuclear Cheeto got all bent about his buttboy getting dissed at the Thee-Yah-Tah has said something to the effect of "I'd have booed, too!"

So, this "working class" that Mister Concern Troll is saying is going to make me and people like me permanently irrelevant unless I peer deep into their souls and have a melty-heart, dewey-eyed, OMG, I'm so fucking SORRY I misunderstood y'all, let's smooch and I'll tell you how RIGHT you are about EVERYTHING moment... who are they?

Could it be...

...just motherfucking POSSIBLY...

...that this whole "working class" buncha people-of-the-land--you-know,-morons is a MYTH? That someone is trying to spin the noble-sounding "working class" meme into a DOG WHISTLE for the ones in the basket?

The white ones, with penises and guns and booboo lips about brown folks and wimmins disrespecting them?

naaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh....

I'm way too cynical, aren't I.

So... there's this powerful, shadowy group of people who... what... call themselves? Are known to the few cognoscenti as...? "The Working Class"...

Because it can't be a rock band, even the Rolling Stones or whoever is the current hot group isn't powerful enough to render the entire Left permanently irrelevant just because I didn't buy their last album.

curiously,
Bright

Dear President-Elect Trump

There. I typed that. I had some doubts about whether I could, but I did.

Let me start with this: As a human soul (and it is an article of my faith that there's one in there, somewhere,) I wish you well. That is, I wish you the profound experiences of self-awareness, pain and growth, connection to other humans, and other aspects of learning that transcend the many distortions and sorrows the flesh is heir to, and enable us to become the best possible human beings.

I have, and do, hold you in my prayers. Probably not for the reasons your fragile, desperate ego would like to assume, but I do pray for you.

That's about as far as I can go with high-minded, compassionate, trying-to-be-the-best-of-myself stuff, though.

Still, I don't hate you, personally.

There's an aspirational reason for that: I don't want to hate, period. I don't like what it does to me.

And a selfish reason for that: Hating is what your followers do. They're better at it than I could ever be. I'd rather not even try to compete.

And a pragmatic reason for that: We've never met. While I know a fair amount about you from watching what you do in video clips, from reading your tweets and your reported utterances, and a certain amount from second hand sources, I don't know you. In some ways, it's harder for me to hate someone I don't know than to love someone I don't know.

I hate many of the things you've said. I hate many of the "promises" you've made and opinions you've expressed. I hate that the Electoral College looks poised to install you in the office of President.

But-- and here's where you luck out-- you and I have some enemies in common. The old "enemy of my enemy is my friend" thing applies.

So, by and large, this letter is friendly. I'm looking at the common ground we can both probably agree upon, for different reasons.

And something's worrying me, on your behalf. Here it is:

You've brought a knife to a bunfight.

Now, you may *think* that makes you the baddest-ass winner in all history. And knives certainly cut buns. But you're one guy, with one knife, and the arena you've stepped into? There are thousands of bun-throwers with thousands of buns, each, and a good many of those buns have rocks baked into them. Big ones.

::aside, whispering... 'What? He won't...? Oh... you're probably right...'::

Sorry about that. Someone just reminded me you don't do metaphor. Never mind about the buns and the knife.

You, sir, pride yourself on being the quintessential wheeler-dealer, the man with the leverage, the sharpest in the room at figuring out what someone else wants and what they'll part with to get it, and how you can turn that to your advantage.

And you've certainly demonstrated quite amazing skill in that area, I have to concede. You can size up the mark better than a midway flat-joint operator.

And you have a potent, if unreliable, ally behind you. The KGB is no slouch when it comes to playing the deep, nasty game.

I'm sure that on some level, you know that your good buddy Vlad is playing the same game by the same rules as you, and one of those rules is that either one of you will throw the other one under the bus as soon as your liability cost exceeds your asset value. And you keep an eye on how that balance is calculated.

Also, you have your family around you, which you can trust exactly as far as your common interests reach. But for that distance, it's strong trust because, hey, none of you has anyone else you can trust at all, beyond what the money or the deal will buy. And some of them are pretty smart weasels, they know which side is buttered and they're sharp at grabbing everything that can be grabbed. That's worth something.

And finally, of course, you have the mob. The ones who cheer. The ones who'll do anything for you. The ones with no inhibitions and no scruples about doing whatever is required to make white guys great again. I'll grant you this, they are one scary-ass bunch, for sure.

But, here's the deal. Two things: First, that's ALL you got. That short list-- your own weasel skills, the scratch mine/yours detente with the Kremlin, your family organization, and the mob. Period. Those are your assets. In this arena, your money doesn't count, not at all. Even if you actually had all the money you claim you have, it would be a squirtgunfull of water compared to the fire hoses... oh, sorry. Metaphor again. Anyway, your money isn't gonna help you.

Second: You may think that the sleazy Wall Street weasels, Eastern potentates, and Eurotrash you've 'done business with' over the years have given you the chops to take on just about any level of enemy, and win. You may think that because you've successfully conned no end of wishful-thinking marks out of "Trump U" fees or golf course investments or contracts for services or whatever, you can 'negotiate' your way into the center of any maze to grab the brass ring and engrave it with a big ol' "T" for Trump. And those sterling skills will get you through any amount of Washington flapdoodle from pantywaist bureaucrats, spineless elected officials, and pencil-neck policy geeks. But you are seriously, maybe even fatally, in the exact, literal sense, wrong about that.

Mr. Trump, I'm sure you know the long knives are out for you. In the GOP establishment. In the Federal bureaucracy where every budget line item represents blood, sweat, tears, and the imperial triumphs of egos that may not match yours individually, but will overwhelm by sheer weight of numbers and skin in the game. In the basement levels of "initials" intell agencies you may not even have heard of yet. In the back offices on K street where the fragile coalition between plutocrats and would-be theocrats is already crumbling, and suspicion of applecarts to be overturned by the mobs baited by your demagoguery runs rampant.

But I'm fairly sure you have NO idea how MANY knives there are, how long and sharp they are, how well concealed they are, and how smart, unprincipled, experienced, and inhumanly ruthless are the hands that will be wielding them.

So.

Hire a food taster. Wear the Kevlar.

Get rid of Pence, ASAP, and replace him with someone they'll hate even worse than they hate you.

Live in the goddamn White House where those poor bastards in the Secret Service will be able to do their jobs, no matter what, to protect your sorry, sleazy ass from things that go bump and bang and ping and thud and all kinds of other fatal noises in the night.

Let them "advise" you into a slew of insider Cabinet appointments that will buy you some time, while you go ahead and set up your own 'kitchen' cabinet of shadow advisers. Then solemnly nod to all the things your 'official' Cabinet advises, but sign and implement NOTHING, stall on EVERYTHING, and blame everything unpopular on them, while running PR cover with your kitchen cabinet. You know how to play that game.

Leave the damn' Supreme Court seat vacant. It's your leverage. It'll help keep you alive. It's a high-value chip, as long as you never play it.

Stall, stall, stall. Make speeches. Soothe the mob, don't inflame them, because all that's needed to provide the final excuse for an untraceable cerebral accident or myocardial infarct is a major domestic terrorism incident that puts the domestic security apparatus in the saddle. You may think they're your buds. They're not. They hate the Kremlin worse than you can ever imagine.

Which reminds me- another high-value, high-risk chip? What you know about Vlad and his operations, which frankly is probably not much and nothing of any real value to the initials, but no one is sure about that. So make sure no one ever is. And give Vlad the kiss-off, no matter what the dollar cost, and be sure that the American public is well aware of how shaky your relationship with the KGB is-- enough so that any assassination attempt would almost certainly be attributed thereunto, which would mess up their careful propaganda campaign, big time. If they think you'll keep shtumm to the initials about everything you know about them, while at the same time setting them up if something untoward happens to you, you're way more likely to live to 2020.

The next four years are not going to be fun, sorry. You might learn some things that could be monetized big-league after you turn it over to whoever, in January of 2021. In fact, that's quite likely. So think ahead, and in the meantime, protect your own ass, and be King Log. Let the GOP establishment take the rap for everything (and believe me, there WILL be 'everything'... all hell's already loose.) Yeah, that'll mean admitting you can't just make anybody do anything, you over-promised on the whole 'swamp-draining' thing (although I'm sure there's a few wetlands you can devastate, just to cover your outsize butt on that one.)

But remember, you can re-write the narrative after January, 2021, assuming you're still around. Tough it out.

That's the best I can do for ya.

Let's never meet, okay?

Not ever.

helpfully,
Bright

A general musing on tactics and strategy: Rallies and Protests

While vast numbers of people in Washington DC is always satisfying, I suggest a new tactic for major efforts. Borrowing a term that people my age might recognize, I think we need to go "Time on Target" with large-rally efforts. The idea here is to enable the greatest possible participation by the largest number of people, and to do it in a clearly-targeted way.

So rather than saying "everyone get to Washington on >date/time< for the Big March" I'd like to see "Everyone gather at YOUR TARGET on >date/time< for the Big March," in which "YOUR TARGET" offers a choice that will ensure maximum impact.

Where is maximum impact?

Start with this: The GOP has the whole enchilada. All three branches. And the majority of governor's offices and state legislatures.

Then add this: The traditional "Fourth Estate" of major media outlets are also under the control of factions benefiting from a GOP hegemony.

So "maximum impact" is no longer just getting on the evening news to get the widest possible attention level from the widest number of people. Equally, maybe even MORE important, is getting the attention of very specific individuals who wield power, and demonstrating that they, themselves, are under a magnifying glass.

So a ToT protest strategy encourages the following:

Northeasterners show up at the Capitol Mall, as always.

For others, identify either a) the Governor's mansion; b) the State legislature WHILE IN SESSION; or c) the IN-DISTRICT (home) office of a Republican congresscritter as the regional target for gathering. Designated targets will naturally vary based on the focus of the protest, but should be coordinated, so that everyone knows where to show up. There should be at least ONE target in every state except those that have a Democratic Governor, Democratic-controlled legislature, and entirely Democratic Congressional delegation. (If there are any such.)

For states with multiple GOP Congresscritters, rotate the targeting appropriately.

How this would work:

Let's take a likely hypothetical "Save the ACA" nationwide protest. A date is chosen. On that date, not only do large numbers of people, mostly from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic areas, plus those representing organized groups with the resources to mobilize busloads, show up on the Capitol Mall, but at the precise same time crowds of anywhere from a few hundred to ten thousand or more show up at one or two locations in every state-- and those locations are ADJACENT TO THE HOME OFFICES OF GOP CONGRESSCRITTERS.

Even if Louie Gohmert isn't anywhere near that office, the staff WILL let the DC staff know that 8,000+ peaceful-but-determined people showed up in his district to let him know they don't want the ACA demolished.

ToT personalizes the protest, gives larger numbers of people a focus, reason, and place to show up. I probably couldn't make it to DC for such a protest. But I could certainly show up at Steve Pearce's Las Cruces office.

It's time to get personal.

They need to know we're holding them personally responsible. They won. They're in charge. They're responsible. We will hold them, each and severally, individually and collectively, responsible.

And when the stakes are high, we'll show up on their doorstep.

determinedly,
Bright

P.S. Whadday'all think about starting by giving them a chance to prove they're NOT misogynists? That they can actually do BETTER than the Democrats in terms of equal rights for women? Betcha we can find some Democrats willing to introduce a re-drafted ERA in both houses... It'd give the Trumperor a chance to show how much he respects us!

I made a Toon. About the incoming Administration and its Transition Team. Here it is.

And seriously, yes, I know I can't draw.

If anyone who draws BETTER wants to grab this idea and run with it? Go for it. My blessing. Public Domain, yadayada, don't even need to give me a nod.



Point being, this is what they're up against.

We got two years to put together a workable strategy to fix this mess. How about we focus on THAT?

wearily,
Bright

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