Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Thursday, December 08, 2016


If you don't show up to play, you forfeit

by Tom Sullivan

Progressive politics is not a zero-sum game where if your issue gets attention, mine gets kicked to the curb. In the face of an extremist state legislature, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP, built the Forward Together movement on inclusion and cooperation that got progressive groups out of their silos to work together. Against efforts to divide them, that model held together a diverse coalition of activists that succeeded in turning out Gov. Pat McCrory in a sweep year for Republicans. Yesterday at The Nation Barber proposed that this tested model could work under a Trump administration:

In the spring of 2013, when the voter-suppression bill was still making its way through the legislature, Moral Mondays emerged as the direct action of concerned citizens against the unconstitutional takeover of our state. Over a thousand North Carolinians were arrested in the largest state government–focused civil-disobedience campaign in US history (arrests that would later be thrown out by a state superior court judge). We took our stand in public, and we exposed the vulnerability of divide-and-conquer tactics to cross-racial, cross-class fusion coalition building.

We fought back hard, organized all over the state, hosted more than 200 Moral Monday events, went to court to prove race-based voter suppression, and defeated one of the worst voter-suppression bills in the country since Jim Crow. We proved that we do not have to concede the battle in the South.
And so "workers stood with preachers and LGBTQ activists stood with the business community" in opposing McCrory, the legislature, and HB2. Barber concludes, "This moral, fusion organizing convinced a majority of North Carolinians to make McCrory the first governor in our state’s history to lose a reelection bid." Perhaps what's in order for progressives now is a little less focus on what went wrong in 2016 and more on the bright spots (Dan Heath) where things went right.

Barber's model has applicability to more than just the South. And we need it to. Because to borrow from Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign, it's not the economy, it's the math. As I argued earlier:
... if Democrats expect to be a national party, they are going to need to make inroads again in the red states, whatever urbanites feel about fellow citizens in the vast stretches of red on the map that supported Trump. Those states cannot be wished away or written off. This is not sympathy for the devil, real or imagined. It's math.
To be sure, a lot of friends on the left are still processing November's painful losses. But in a lot of places we are more comfortable ignoring there are congressional seats and state House and Senate seats, and they matter. Martin Longman writes at Political Animal, the problem going forward is not that Democrats don't have widespread support, it's how that support is spread:
The challenge is not just to sustain and hopefully grow their plurality base of voters, but to change the demographic nature of their supporters. This is why you’ll hear people like me say that the Democrats absolutely cannot ignore that they lost 75%-80% of the white vote in county after county in Pennsylvania and the Upper Midwest. This is the kind of racial voting we’ve seen in the South for years, and if it becomes the norm in the North it will make it impossible for the Democrats to win control of state legislatures in that region, make it nearly impossible to win back the U.S. House of Representatives, and give the Republicans a narrow opening to win the Electoral College with a minority of the popular vote, again.

A lot of people do not like the sound of that. But I don’t care how it sounds. It isn’t a value statement or an assessment of worth. It’s just a diagnosis of a problem. How you solve it, if it can be solved, is what ought to be controversial. The fact that it needs to be solved should not.
Longman argues, as I do, that building progressive strength in heartland states is "not about selling anyone out." (Rev. Barber's Forward Together model does not.) There are a lot of people in red states who do not share progressive values, but abandoning wholesale those who do is not the way to win back the House, the Senate, and state legislatures.* As DNC chair, Howard Dean got that. When Obama and the national Democratic leadership abandoned the 50-state plan, they abandoned their own voters with it. And here we are.

Some years back, I worked a winning congressional race in one of our majority-Democrat districts that consistently votes Republican in federal races. (Yes, lots of conservadems.) We won, in part, by shaving the margins in Republican strongholds. Years later, I am still high-fiving our organizer in the most Republican large county in the district. She lost there, but by only 3,000 votes. That. Was. Huge. And not in a Donald Trump way.

We've got to do that again, and in many more places. Because if we don't show up to play, we forfeit.

* In North Carolina, for example, 2,128,255 people (45%) voted for former ACLU attorney, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Deborah Ross who was supported by Democracy for America and EMILY's List.