Code Pink, Al Gore and Nancy Pelosi at Netroots Nation

Denver Post editor Stephen Keating is in Austin for Netroots Nation, one of a few hundred mainstream media observers on scene. From his live-blog this morning:

Nancy Pelosi talked about reaching out to evangelicals:

Speaker Pelosi describes global warming as an issue of the environment, the economy, national security - and as a moral issue. “It is a moral responsibility. We work with the evangelicals to protect God’s creation.”

Code Pink anti-war protesters showed up for Pelosi's speech. NN organizer Gina Cooper laid down the rules:[More...]

Before Speaker Pelosi hits the stage, moderator Gina Cooper makes an announcement that any organized protests will result in the program being stopped and the protesters escorted out. She does give the crowd ten seconds to make their feelings known, which results in one shout: "Where's our &%#$@ impeachment?"

Al Gore was a surprise guest this morning:, discussing his book "The Assault on Reason." On lifting the oil drilling ban:

“The idea that we can drill our way out of this is so absurd…” said Gore of the proposal to increase domestic oil production. "When you’re in a hole, stop digging.”

Streaming live coverage is available.

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    Go Gore! (5.00 / 8) (#1)
    by Fabian on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:28:29 AM EST
    Okay, now I now have one reason be sad about not going.  ;-)

    Ha! (5.00 / 10) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:28:34 AM EST
    So protest is banned at Netroots Nation? The irony drips.

    Seriously, you gotta be kidding me.

    Reminds me of the commenter. . . (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by LarryInNYC on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 11:35:01 AM EST
    here who was following me around for a while essentially saying that my contrarian comments were obviously aimed at squelching descent so why didn't I just quit posting them?

    No Kidding - The irony drips (none / 0) (#3)
    by talex26 on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:38:28 AM EST
    Threats and Banning are your main tools to control Armando. Just like Bowers at Openleft and MyDD.

    And yes this is a direct response to what you just posted. The irony does drip. Have a great weekend.


    Actually not (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:44:25 AM EST
    You make my point.

    People like you complain about "censorship" all the time and here is Netroots Nation censoring.

    I do not object to what Gina Cooper did. However, as I wrote, it is incredibly ironic.

    BTW, I am departing this thread and you should remember that you are banned from my posts. do not comment there. You are censored.


    Bye Talex 26 (none / 0) (#11)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:50:55 AM EST
    You were banned as Talex, came back as Talex 26. Then this week another name with 30 comments and today yet another name and three comments in a few minutes.

    Please comment at another site. You aren't welcome here any longer, you have violated too many of the site rules.


    OK I'm curious (none / 0) (#113)
    by waldenpond on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 05:40:00 PM EST
    was it sayitloud?

    Deliberately disrupting (none / 0) (#4)
    by Fabian on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:39:02 AM EST
    an event is not protesting in my book.  It crosses the line.

    Or, as I put it once on DK: "Let them earn their own media attention and their own audiences instead of grabbing someone else's.".  


    see my # 8 (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:44:46 AM EST
    You miss my point.

    Honestly, they needed to hear (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by andgarden on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:43:54 AM EST
    from Code Pink. It reveals what they really are.

    Sad how supposed progressives (5.00 / 4) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:14:56 PM EST
    will shield Pelosi from having to deal with her own decisions and words.

    I don't blame the event (none / 0) (#44)
    by brodie on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:39:31 PM EST
    organizers from not wanting disrupters to get the upper hand.

    Though someone who saw the whole thing can tell me whether the Q&A with the moderator and audience seemed a little too polite and deferential (apart from FISA).

    Someone can also remind me whether NP has held a recent (past year) town hall meeting with her SF constituents, where such impeachment issues could be raised.

    She did famously have a Q&A with the voters a few yrs back, shown on CSPan, where she unwisely allowed the Code Pinkers (iirc) to fully vent, including being allowed to stand in front of the stage with their signs throughout the event, as well as the usual rude audience questions.

    I felt badly for her that day -- she seemed unsteady on her feet from the hostile reaction of the aggressive protesters, and her voice didn't seem at all confident.  Some pro-Nancy backlash among the calmer members of the audience kicked in after a while, I sensed, until finally the ugly ugly meeting was put out of its misery by the dictates of the clock (or a concerned Pelosi staffer).


    Disrupters seldom get the upper hand (none / 0) (#49)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:44:26 PM EST
    unless the people are so ignored that riots happened.  Disrupters usually get the lower hand but they must be allowed to have a hand in a democracy.

    Unsteady on her feet? ..her voice faltered? (none / 0) (#97)
    by laurie on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 03:09:57 PM EST
    Those are "female" "being picked upon" tactics and I'm sure she knows how to use every single one of them.
    Pelosi is an extremely experienced politician and she should know how to reply to a small group of protesters and defuse a situation. Hillary always replies on issues.

    Nice try Laurie, (none / 0) (#103)
    by brodie on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 03:35:35 PM EST
    but it won't wash.

    Her 06 (?) session with her constituents was a bit of a disaster, and it had nothing to do with gender.  

    She is indeed an experienced pol, and yes, I would have thought she would have handled that situation more niftily.  But it turned out badly and not much was defused.

    She does have that one obvious weakness, apart from that appearance -- namely, her halting speaking style.  It doesn't exactly project confidence and strength.   And this weak part of her game was only highlighted in that unfortunate SF appearance. No doubt she's better in the backroom and working one-on-one.

    Strength and confidence are qualities Hillary projects.  But I'm not quite sure why you evoke her name here.  Not all pols, or female ones, are the same.  HRC has her set of well-honed skills, and Pelosi hers.


    "They are advocates. We are leaders." (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by lambertstrether on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:50:52 AM EST
    Uh huh, yeah right, yessiree!

    I had been wondering what reaction (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 11:05:43 AM EST
    Pelosi's appearance would generate, and am not at all surprised there was protest.  Is there anyone who wouldn't want time to confront Pelosi on the abysmal quality of Democratic leadership and rebut the inevitable attitude that we all just aren't smart enough, or in the loop enough to truly understand what must be done?

    That being said, I do not agree with people - whether organized or not - being allowed to disrupt an event.  I certainly believe people have a right to be heard, but not when it interferes with the rights of others.  Not to be too simplistic about it, but I don't like it when I go to a movie or the symphony or a lecture, only to have my experience ruined by people who interfere with my abilty to hear what I paid to hear by talking throughout or yammering on their cell phones.  

    It's rude.  And objecting to rude is not "stifling dissent."

    I agree with not disrupting (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Valhalla on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 11:56:28 AM EST
    but I also have a bit of a problem with pols like Pelosi (or whomever) showing up in public or near-public, blah blah blahing their baloney, and not being willing to engage with people who disagree in a reasonable exchange.

    I have no idea if that would have happened at NN (although I really would like for her common cause with evangelicals comments to have been rejected -- creepy).

    But Dem pols seems to be playing the same games as the Republicans have in isolating themselves from any public criticism at all, or interactive with any of the hoi polloi who might ask hard questions in a public forum.

    It makes me sick, really, and never has the courage to face your critics been more needed than now, when our MSM has abandoned all responsibility for asking the hard questions of all pols.

    In the short term, it allows them to spin their spin without repercussion, but in the long term it  facilitates exactly the kind of voter apathy someone mentioned on another thread.


    She wasn't there to engage (none / 0) (#25)
    by dianem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:14:54 PM EST
    She was there to give a speech. If it had been a debate, then they would have had the right to question her. Speeches are really just glorified television.  If they had not assured her that this would be the case, then she would not be there are tall. Would that be better?

    But they could have protested quietly and successfully if they had wanted. Imagine what would have happened if somebody had stood outside the door of the room with a huge stack of t-shirts that said nothing but "Impeach"? Imagine if Pelosi walked up to the podium and saw a sea of well-behaved people wearing "Impeach" t-shirts. That would have gotten the message across without disrupting anything.


    so be nice when our rights are being (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by hellothere on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:19:03 PM EST
    taken away? i think not!

    She wasn't taking away any rights (5.00 / 0) (#32)
    by dianem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:23:10 PM EST
    She was simply speaking. Nobody is suggesting that we can't protest, but shutting down communication won't help move anything forward. You don't win people over to your side by shouting every time they walk into a room. It's like one of the more pointless quotes I repeatedly saw on Daily Kos... "Shout louder!".  Shouting louder does NOT get your point across more effectively, not does shouting more often or wearing pink clothing.

    Pelosi aided and abetted (5.00 / 4) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:25:29 PM EST
    the new and "improved" FISA and she is allowed to live in a bubble and avoid all of us in daily life.  Disrupting her when the opportunity arises is the only way we have of making her accountable for what she has done.

    Then she'll stay in the bubble (5.00 / 0) (#58)
    by dianem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:56:24 PM EST
    If we harass politicians every time they try to work with us, they aren't going to be very interested in working with us. Obama posted on Daily Kos... twice. He was attacked both times. The people had an opportunity to engage a person in power, but they chose hostility. I can't really blame him for not continuing the discussion.

    If a politician avoids any situation (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by Valhalla on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:22:05 PM EST
    of public criticism, and ignores the overwhelming indications of the people they represent (FISA), then what should people do when they are left with only one option to get their attention?

    To be a politician is to be answerable to all the people, not just the ones who shower adulation and money on you.

    If the example here were one of dwindling number of pols willing to get up in front a real audience rather than only an echo chamber, and face the tough questions, I would agree with you more.

    But if the only choices are silence or agreement, then forget that.


    This isn't a Bush rally (none / 0) (#99)
    by dianem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 03:15:14 PM EST
    Pelosi is risking facing protest. If she really didn't want to take that chance, she would be doing this address by video.  BushCo eliminates the risk by carefully screening their audiences and having plenty of thugs on hand to remove troublemakers. Obama's campaign screens their crowds and makes sure to put his biggest supporter's where the cameras will be. The steps taken here were, imo, quite mild and reasonable.

    There are always choices. The people who came to the presentation could have spoken up and risked being ejected from the speech, and possibly even the convention. Nobody gagged them physically or even threatened them with loss of freedom.


    There are always some who show disrespect (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by sj on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 02:30:05 PM EST
    But many of the comments were valid challenges to what he had to say.  But seriously re-reading the diary and scanning the comments I see alot of the fawning over his every word that is so common now.    

    The fact that he took some heat, however, so irked him that he thereafter declared DK bored him because it never surprised him.

    Back to the topic, though, if they never give us another avenue for engagement, what's a concerned citizen to do?  It's not my way personally to participate in a protest at an event, but understand it?  Yes I do.


    The question is.... (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by p lukasiak on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 03:33:40 PM EST
    whether politicians are trying "to work with us" or "co-opt us."

    The fact is that if the "Netrooters" stood for anything, they would never have invited Pelosi this year, and disinvited her after the FISA debacle.  Of course, the fact that one of the "keynotes" was a discussion between Markos and Harold Ford tells you pretty much everything you need to know about what was once aptly referred to as the progressive blogosphere.  Markos and the Obots running NN are turning "progressive" into a meaningless term, while increasing their own personal power.


    There is more in the world than FISA (none / 0) (#127)
    by dianem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 07:18:39 PM EST
    I think it's terrific that the netroots are communicating with our Representatives. FISA, however important, is not the only issue facing us. Frankly, unless we do something about the economy, global warming, and stabilizing our relationships with the middle east, we won't have very long to worry about civil liberties.

    I think that certain issues take hold in the netroots and become more important than they are. On the right, the biggest issue right now is illegal immigration. They obsess on it, at the expense of other issues that are just as important. The left seems to be tied to civil liberties and how Bush has violated them. It's not that those aren't important, but they certainly aren't the only issues facing us.


    she has had many opportunities to (none / 0) (#138)
    by hellothere on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:43:37 PM EST
    get out of that bubble. she prefers to stay there for a reason.

    It's a balance (none / 0) (#71)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:23:49 PM EST
    "Disrupting" Pelosi can be shouting her down so she can't speak or be heard.

    Democracy does not mean crashing the system if you don't like the result.


    i cannot agree with you. pelosi has (5.00 / 4) (#35)
    by hellothere on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:26:26 PM EST
    done nothing for the american people. the first thing she did when getting power was take impeachment off the table. she has lead a thundering herd of cave in democrats the opposite direction of the doing the right thing for the american people for two years.

    She will never show up to engage (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:26:42 PM EST
    she gets to make decisions that affect all of us yet she doesn't have to be accountable?  She will never show up to engage, she is a coward.

    She is accountable (none / 0) (#59)
    by dianem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:57:57 PM EST
    She gets re-elected every 2 years. You can't get much more accountable than that.

    Overly literal and unpersuasive (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by Valhalla on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:29:17 PM EST
    First, we all know incumbents have great advantages in reelection, advantages that outweigh a fair amount of failure to represent the people in a constituency, where such failure exists.

    Second, Pelosi isn't just a Representative.  She is Speaker of the House.  Her power goes far beyond being just one of hundreds of reps standing for just one House district.  Her actions (or in her case, inactions and capitulations) affect everyone in the U.S.  As her power is greater, so is her responsibility.

    Referencing her reelection ignores the fact that there is no accountability for the millions of people whom her actions affect but cannot participate in her district's elections.


    But they do participate in her reelection (none / 0) (#128)
    by dianem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 07:22:22 PM EST
    At least her being Speaker. If people don't like how the House is working, they can put pressure on their own Representative to get them to stop supporting Pelosi. It's not as if she is in a lifetime appointment.

    anytime a politican appears in (none / 0) (#139)
    by hellothere on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:52:46 PM EST
    the public areana such as this, they are there to engage. if nancy was grocery shopping or going to church, that is private time. however if she is grossly not taking care of the people's business and i don't think she is, i don't much care if she is bothered. she doesn't seem to have much symapthy for the masses.

    Was the topic of impeachment... (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by EL seattle on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:02:28 PM EST
    ...not tolerated at any program or forum or whatever at this year's event?  That would seem a little bit like "stifling" to me.  Sort of like having a designated protest zone a mile away from an event site.

    Because impeachment is yesterday's issue (5.00 / 0) (#129)
    by dianem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 07:26:00 PM EST
    It is way too late to impeach Bush, if it were ever even possible. Bush's hands are tied by Democrat's being in control of Congress. In just 7 months he will be out of office. Impeachment right now would accomplish nothing but revenge, and would be perceived by the public as revenge for Clinton's impeachment.

    I agree. My question was whether... (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by EL seattle on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:00:11 PM EST
    ... there would be any place at the event where any of "yesterday's issue(s)" could be discussed at all. (Was there even a posted list available of what these issues/topics would be?)

    If this sort discussion is not tolerated at any of the event's forums or presentations, the charge of "stifling dissent" is bound to gain traction.

    I understand that trying to pull off an event like this is like herding cats, and I can imagine the technical stresses and insanities that the event's organizers, participants, and volunteers are going through. Herding cats never easy, but as Nick Danger might say: They knew the job was dangerous when they took it.  


    Impeachment is just "old news"??!!! (none / 0) (#143)
    by MsExPat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 11:51:07 PM EST
    @!###!!(That's the sound of my jaw dropping on the floor).

    I strongly disagree.

    Bush violated not only the law and his oath of office, but also the trust of the American people. He should be impeached, and then tried for war crimes. This is a most serious matter, not "yesterday's news", and certainly not something that should be dropped because of a possibility that some Americans might see this as "revenge".

    What are we running here, a nation or a focus group?


    perhaps old news in that bush is nearly (none / 0) (#154)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:54:48 PM EST
    out the door, however quetioning pelosi as to why she did that and holding her feet to the fire for her conduct is very NOW.

    anne, i appreciate your views and (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by hellothere on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:07:47 PM EST
    comment here. normally i would agree with you in that this is rude. but these are not "normal" times. this type of shut down of protestors reached an art form with republicans and now the democrats are doing it. so i say protest and let's start hearing more from the american people and less canned comments from politicans. frankly i don't care to hear from pelosi unless she is about doing the people's business. she has been about just everything else these past two years.

    They weren't shut down (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by dianem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:18:39 PM EST
    They were told to be quiet while somebody was talking. Nothing here indicates that they couldn't protest silently or that they had to leave or that they couldn't protest in the halls. The right wing would have simply removed them from the hall before the presentation. Progressives have their faults, but they aren't doing the same things the right did. Not yet, at least.

    that is being shut down in my book. (none / 0) (#31)
    by hellothere on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:20:10 PM EST
    pelosi needs to hear what we think. the beltway insiders have forgotten who their boss is and that is the american people and not corporations.

    Why? (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by dianem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:26:05 PM EST
    They remained in the room, representing the organization they represented. I'm willing to bet that they had plentiful opportunities to present their views at the convention. All they weren't allowed to do was to disrupt the speech.  That's not being shut down.

    have you seen what is being done to (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by hellothere on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:28:35 PM EST
    protestors at the convention? they are using the same tactics as the repubs did in their last convention. protest is not always pleasant and can disrupt a day. oh isn't that just a tacky thing to do! and let's not be rude to peolosi while she does nothing for us? that doesn't compute.

    Different issue (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by dianem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:59:59 PM EST
    I'm talking about maintaining a quiet room for a speech, not ways of stifling dissent outside that room. I would hope that a progressive convention would have plentiful opportunities for protester's to present their views... within the full view of convention attendees.

    Disrupting the convention (none / 0) (#74)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:27:09 PM EST
    Is that the subtext here?  

    disrupting the convention is not my (none / 0) (#135)
    by hellothere on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:29:29 PM EST
    topic in actuality. i used it as an example of what happened to protestors during their republican convention. this pushing people furhter and further back from their so called leaders is disheartening to me.

    There is no way to get Pelosi to be accountable (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:18:08 PM EST
    though other than disrupting her.

    If true, that will ensure (5.00 / 0) (#40)
    by oldpro on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:33:46 PM EST
    that public officials retreat even further into the bubble.

    Who would accept an invitation to speak if that were the case?

    I wouldn't.  But then I have a low tolerance for rudeness.


    I don't think people would be rude (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:41:57 PM EST
    if the people hadn't been so ignored.  It isn't an easy job, nobody told our legislators to run for and hold the offices that they do and addressing the people is part of their jobs rude or not.  When I was younger and worked at Burger King I thought that having to clean the bathrooms nightly was rude and disgusting but it was still part of my job :)

    It's not the same thing, Tracey. (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by oldpro on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:12:07 AM EST
    In any job, there are limits to putting up with rude behavior of other people.  I spent years in retail and years in politics...I never tolerated rudeness, not from a customer and not from the public...not from my kid and not from the neighbors.

    People are NOT entitled to be rude.  The only time one is entitled to be rude is if you are reflecting rudeness back...mirroring rude behavior.

    That is not the same as being rude to a public official because you didn't like their vote or their answer to your question or because you disagree on an issue.  There is no excuse for rudeness on that account.  Not in my book.


    agreed! this concern about being rude (none / 0) (#136)
    by hellothere on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:30:38 PM EST
    should be aimed at those who refuse to recognize the desires of the american people.

    So it's OK to be rude (none / 0) (#145)
    by oldpro on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:13:57 AM EST
    to everyone you disagree with?

    no not at all! to be honest oldpro i don't (none / 0) (#152)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:02:08 PM EST
    have all the answers here. it just seems to me that the time for our standing up for ourselves in a more serious manner has come. we have tried sending the emails, letters, calls to their offices already. they don't appear to be listening to us. what do do? that the the question. i for one don't think pelosi deserves much consideration. she sure hasn't shown it for us. i think discussion about it is a very good thing.

    Check. (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by brodie on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:44:31 PM EST
    I'm a bit ticked off at her for her 06 impeachment remark and FISA, but rude is rude, and I'm probably going to go to bat for her a little more than usual if I see her being badly treated by some on the noise fringes (assuming for the moment these CPink people are truly concerned lefties and not deceptive provocateurs).

    NP also is far from the only pol to be difficult to pin down for a frank and open Q&A with The People.

    Plenty of Qs I'd like to ask any number of our Dem pols.

    Even my friend Al Gore -- not about GWarming, I'm already au courant on that, but about the 2000 election and aftermath, about which I dont' believe he's ever been questioned at length.


    Netroots cocktail (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by koshembos on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 11:11:28 AM EST
    In the past Netroots was a loose collection of progressive blogs. In isn't that anymore, you have the hate group in the form of Kos, TPM, Ezra, Yglasisas and more all of which seem to dash towards the MSM, the PUMA group which feels totally disenfranchised by the DNC and Obama gang, etc.

    I don't think that Netroots should continue to exist as framework; it's a splintered collection that should live each separately. Netroots RIP.

    They've Been Coopted... (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by santarita on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 11:40:29 AM EST
    The Netroots Nation is now part of the Dem. Establishment.  

    Yep. So Netroots Nation now (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Cream City on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:02:08 PM EST
    has become corrupt, too.

    And boring.


    Anybody know what buhdydharma (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 11:26:49 AM EST
    looks like?  I bet he's there and loudly protesting Pelosi.

    I Love Code Pink (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by MsExPat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 11:40:03 AM EST
    They--we--were out on the hustings all during the orchestrated ramp-up to the Iraq war. We froze together during that first February march that was all but blacked out by the media. With Code Pink I experienced a horrible 21st century reality: that "sensible, polite, reasoned" protest could be completely muffled by government and corporate interests through a compliant, fearful media.

    What happened in the streets at the start of the Iraq war completely changed my position about protest in America. Now I think it should be loud. Noisy, even. Disruptive and in your face, and anything--okay, I still draw the line at violence.

    Code Pink is theatrical and bold and brave, and good on them for having the guts to shout out loud at Pelosi the words that everyone thinks but is too reluctant or afraid to say.

    The problem is that protest like that... (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by dianem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:07:48 PM EST
    ...doesn't work. All it achieves is to annoy the people whose lives are disrupted. It doesn't communicate anything except "There are some rude people who don't think we should do this". The way to convince people to do something is to educate them and appeal to their own self interests. Al Gore accomplished more with the first showing of "An Inconvenient Truth" than every global warming protester in history.

    I went to the first Iraq War Protest - the big one. I expected an opportunity to learn what I could do to convince people to oppose the war. It was a social event. People had some signs, and there were booths selling bumper stickers and t-shirts. There were people speaking on a podium through loudspeakers, but when I approached to listen I was dismayed to find that they were talking about Palestine and Darfur. Both interesting subjects, but with no direct relationship to Iraq. This was a major event - in Sacramento, and it seemed more like a street fair than a protest.

    That's what seems to be missing from most of the organized protests nowadays - the "Protest". People march, but they aren't dressed in any way that makes them seem as if they are doing more than having a nice Saturday walk. I'm willing to bet that there weren't people in booths at Selma selling t-shirts and bumper stickers, and I'm equally willing to bet that any speakers did not talk about causes other than those which they had gathered to protest. They were serious.  Most progressive protests don't seem to be very serious.  


    I agree that progressive protests need (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by MsExPat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:36:07 PM EST
    to get more serious. That's why I support actions like Code Pink's against Nancy Pelosi.

    Progressives, since the Vietnam War period, always have been falling all over themselves emphasizing they want "constructive dialogue", "peaceful protest", etc.

    Meanwhile, Republicans just send in their thug squads, as they did in Miami, Florida during the 2000 attempted recount.

    The rights we are guaranteed by the Constitution and BofR are like muscles. Unless we flex them powerfully and regularly, they atrophy.


    Republicans never use thugs (none / 0) (#65)
    by dianem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:10:01 PM EST
    They dress their protester's up in Brooks brothers and send them to select locations. It gets attention. They look serious and angry, not like they are out on a sunday stroll or like they are professional protester's. People listen, because the people who are protesting are "like them", not dressed like clowns or simply appearing to be there to have a good time. If progressives have been saying that we need to do something differently, perhaps at some point we should try it?

    Is there a website... (none / 0) (#75)
    by EL seattle on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:27:24 PM EST
    .. or a book even, that has pictures and documents about the techniques that were used to protest the Clinton Health Care effort back in the '90s?  As I recall, Hillary couldn't go anywhere to give a speech for the plan without having a group of vocal opponents right there, all the time.  

    I never knew if these protesters were always locals, or if they were the republican eqivalent of Grateful Dead fans, following the tour from city to city.


    That's a good point (none / 0) (#95)
    by dianem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 02:55:13 PM EST
    I don't know if the right was that organized at that time, but big pharma and the insurance companies certainly had a lot of resources at their disposal. I'm willing to bet, regardless, that the people who protested were dressed and behaved just like any middle class person would expect middle class protesters to behave. Nowadays, the right can garner wide support for their causes by simply having local right wing talk radio people call out the troops, and they will come out for the purpose of protesting a particular issue, not for fun. This  is a "typical" right wing protest. This is what happens when progressives get creative. (warning: this link is not, imo, obscene, but it includes nudity that some might find offensive).

    They used THUGS (none / 0) (#146)
    by weltec2 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:12:16 AM EST
    in Miami in 2000. That's the only way to describe what those people were. The Repugs flew them in for the purpose of intimidation and it worked. They also used thugs in Ohio when the moved into a town -- I can't remember the name of it -- and closed down the court house to control the vote. The Repugs use thugs when it serves their purposes.

    well you make a good point. (none / 0) (#157)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 01:12:14 PM EST
    the repubs use "serious" looking people who may be thugs at heart but give the impression they are US. the demonstrations from the 60s were more of a young people's thing. it would be good to see some serious folks like the farmers and truckers do some real protesting.

    Well, I remember ACT-UP (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Valhalla on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:41:29 PM EST
    All the same criticisms were made against them -- why are they so loud? so rude? so noisy? so disruptive?  And omg!  they actually vandalized some property!  Off with their heads!

    They were trying to bring attention to a national health crisis that was being absolutely and resolutely ignored by Reagan and yes, many in Congress who wanted nothing to do with all those nasty gay men and drug abusers.  Traditional political protesting and political pressure (letters and calls, organizing pacs, etc) had gotten them nowhere.

    And yet, it largely worked.  They were only one part of a whole that managed to get AIDS finally injected into the political discourse, but they were an important part.  Yes they were rude, yes they were disruptive, and yes, they kept (d*mn them!) bringing up an extremely unpopular and unpleasant subject.

    There's a line between disruptiveness for its own sake and disruption because that's the only recourse.  It may not always be clear, but a generic condemnation of rude tactics doesn't cut it in a democracy, not for me.


    The Surgeon General brought it out (none / 0) (#131)
    by dianem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 07:38:03 PM EST
    Most Americans never even heard of ACT UP. They became aware of AIDS when the Surgeon General sent out his informational packet on the problem and when celebrities started to die and other celebrities highlighted the cause of fighting AIDS. I'm not trying to suggest that protests can't work. But the kind of creative, in-your-face protests that many progressives want to participate in don't persuade the middle class to support their causes. As evidence, look at all of the causes that have been promoted for years by liberals ... how many became social causes without prominent establishment people supporting them. Maybe some of these prominent people came to support the causes at least in part because of the protests. But the change happens because people are persuaded... not because they see women naked in the street or are late to work because bicycles crowed the SF Bay Bridge or hear about animals being freed from research facilities.

    I disagree (none / 0) (#159)
    by Valhalla on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 01:23:40 AM EST
    ACT UP was different, because they were very in-your-face.

    I worked at an organization that was protested by ACT-UP (which was a bit odd, since it didn't really oppose them, but it was fairly prominent, so I guess that's why).

    The city sent 60 police officers (I counted) in riot gear to guard the 2 doors to the building which were street accessible, and had I don't know how many more, many on horseback, surrounding the actual march by ACT-UP.  Just that one incident was all over the national news.  

    Many liberals didn't agree with their tactics altogether, but they sure got a lot of conversations started and garnered a fair amount of sympathy.  And all before the Surgeon General ever uttered the word AIDS.


    It worked just fine, thanks (none / 0) (#63)
    by Cream City on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:04:12 PM EST
    for many a movement.  

    Without the "radicals," there are no "moderates" -- same goals, just different tactics -- whom the establishment eventually will heed.

    American history is replete with examples.


    Deja vu all over again for (none / 0) (#64)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:08:09 PM EST
    us Boomers.

    No, there were no bumper stickers and T-shirts being sold at Selma, but you bet your bippy there were at all the big anti-war protests.

    Party atmosphere: check
    Speakers on every known lefty cause: check
    Musical entertainment: check
    Casual dress (at best!): check

    The point of mass rallies is to get as many bodies in the street as possible so the media's aerial shots will be impressive.  Mass rallies are also good for morale-building.  But that's it.  They can't be made educational, so don't go to one looking for education.  They're not even much good for actual organizing.

    Their only real point is a body count, which is after all important.  So go and add your body to the count, buy a bumper sticker, listen to the music, have a good time, then go home.  Don't expect them to be something they weren't designed to be and can't be even if they tried.


    I think that this is true. But... (none / 0) (#101)
    by EL seattle on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 03:22:52 PM EST
    ...If "The point of mass rallies is to get as many bodies in the street as possible so the media's aerial shots will be impressive."... and the media doesn't cover that angle, then what is the result?  

    There are so many events that turn out large crowds these days - from outdoor music festivals to parades to fundraising marathon runs.  I'm not sure if the sight of the mass numbers of people for any cause has the effect that it had back in the day.  Unless it is completely unexpected and by its very size causes an inturruption in the way things usually run (like the nationwide immigration event a couple of years ago).    


    This is the way to get (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by madamab on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:04:19 PM EST
    the evangelical vote - through environmentalism. We don't become like them, we get them to see what they have in common with us. Well done.

    Al Gore is right - we need to set a goal and work towards it. In ten years, we are off oil completely. It's amazing that every time America actually sets goals like that, we accomplish them.

    This one line concerns me: (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by mmc9431 on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:45:37 PM EST
    It is a moral responsibility. We work with the evangelicals to protect God's creation."

    That sure sounds like a pro life argument to me.

    Maybe it's just me but religion in government scares the H$ll out of me. Most hard line evangelicals I've met are not a very compromising group when it comes down to their interpretation of God's rules.


    The Civil Rights movement (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:31:03 PM EST
    was in part a religious crusade....

    Dr. King was a preacher.


    Dr. King's religion (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 05:22:36 PM EST
    is a far cry from today's evangelical movement

    Now, you are in essence saying that (none / 0) (#153)
    by MKS on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:47:01 PM EST
     there are different kinds of Evangelicals.....It does help to avoid stereotypes.

    It Is YOu (none / 0) (#158)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 02:22:29 PM EST
    That is claiming that MLK was an evangelical. That is a very eccentric position, that, imo, doesn't measure up.

    That line disturbs me as well (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 05:18:34 PM EST
    I am tired of people (formerly republicans, now also democrats sadly) associating the word 'moral' with religion, as if only religious people are morally motivated.

    I happen to be a strong environmentalist (for moral reasons) and an atheist. And I know plenty of religious people who couldn't care less about destruction of the environment.


    I agree (none / 0) (#66)
    by madamab on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:10:23 PM EST
    and hope I didn't come off as suggesting that I endorse any plank of the evangelical platform.

    If they want to vote for Democrats because of our environmental stance, that's great. If not, that's fine too. We certainly don't need to court them from a religious point of view, and their beliefs on domestic policy should never be ambraced by ANY Democrat IMHO.


    No, we can't (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:14:31 PM EST
    get the evangelical vote.  Not without destroying most of the liberal positions on social issues.

    What we can do is maybe slightly lessen the antipathy of younger evangelicals and the stampede to the voting booth to pull the GOP lever come hell or high water.  And we can maybe ally with them on environmental causes.  Those things are worth doing-- but only very, very carefully, IMHO.


    It won't just be environmental (5.00 / 13) (#27)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:16:55 PM EST
    There will be abortion concessions. The evangelicals are working mightily to change the platform to include reducing the number of abortions. Here's the latest.

    [Democratic Convention CEO Lea]Daughtry credited the party for changing the way it talks about abortion -- "not just in terms of a woman's right to make her own health-care choices, but also in terms of our society's responsibility to make sure women have the resources that they need to make appropriate decisions."

    Tony Campolo, a liberal evangelical author and pastor and member of the Democratic platform committee, said he and others hope to move the party toward stronger advocacy for reducing the number of abortions.

    He declined to discuss specific proposals, but he mentioned ensuring that pregnant women are able to go on maternity leave without fear of losing their jobs, and making day care more accessible.

    "If we are going to win over evangelicals, language that speaks to abortion reduction will be very necessary," Campolo said.

    I just don't think the evangelicals as a group belong in the party. As individuals who decide they are willing to overlook our positions they disagree with because they think others they agree with are more important, fine, but as an organizing force, out to imprint their views on our party, they are pure danger.

    We should keep religion and morality out of politics.

    Well put (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by Katherine Graham Cracker on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:30:00 PM EST
    I'd like to associate myself with these remarks.

    Word! (5.00 / 6) (#46)
    by MsExPat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:41:56 PM EST
    I would just like to add that I don't think that evangelicals belong in EITHER political party. We tend to forget that the Republican party was not always the cabal of hypocritical manipulative thugs that it is today. You can trace the decline of the G.O.P. to the moment that the Christian evangelicals began infiltrating it, and maneuvering to control its platform.

    In order to turn around America, to raise the level of political dialogue, we need more than one strong and progressive political party--we need two. A better Republican party will advance our cause as much as a better Democratic one.

    The Evangelicals need to be pushed to the margins of politics altogether.


    Yes, I don't know how I'm supposed to (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:50:45 PM EST
    embrace intolerance in the name of tolerance.  They can live next door to me but I don't have to embrace them!

    "Them"? (none / 0) (#84)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:53:20 PM EST
    Religious people are people too.

    Most Democrats in fact are religious in one form or another....

    Some religious people are intolerant and stereotype, and some non-religious people are intolerant and stereotype as well.


    They were talking about modern evangelicals (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 05:24:12 PM EST
    not 'religious people'. And this may be an inconvenient truth, but evangelical philosophy is blatantly intolerant.

    No, not really (none / 0) (#124)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 06:40:50 PM EST
    I think you may be unfamiliar with "evangelical philosophy."

    Dr. King was an Evangelical.  

    But this is a much longer conversation better left for another time and place.


    Really? (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 07:06:24 PM EST
    Dr. King was an Evangelical

    Not according to this evangelical:

    I am not sure that Martin Luther King knew Jesus Christ in the evangelical Christian context. One of the few reporters to interview King on his religious thought, was Presbyterian layman Lee Dirks, of the National Observer. Dirks found few traces of the hard fundamentalism in which King was reared. King rejected the idea of original sin....

    ....he did not accept the fact that Jesus Christ was actually God or actually the Son of God, or God manifested in the flesh....

    he considered the virgin birth a mythological story which tried to explain that Jesus Christ had moral uniqueness, rather than the fact that His birth was a literal fact--that is His virgin birth. . . .



    Your link is inconclusive (none / 0) (#142)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:51:34 PM EST
    Your link is to a source that is not all that strong....

    But within that source there is another link to an article to the fairly well known Christianity Today.

    This is a quote from that source:

    Dr. King is celebrated in the public square in Black History Month and Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a great political leader, social organizer, an orator, a kind of poet of democratic ideals. But Dr. King always said, "In the inner recesses of my being, I'm a Baptist preacher. I'm the son of a Baptist preacher. I'm the grandson of a Baptist preacher." I think the fact that King has been deracinated from the pew and the parish by secular historical narratives is a real thinning out of the fullness of his memory and who he was. Who he was, is a radical Christian.

    The author of that linked article also talks of Bonhoeffer, another Evangelical motivated by religious belief.


    The problem with those Babtist..... (none / 0) (#150)
    by Rojas on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 07:05:05 AM EST
    They just don't hold 'em under water long enough.

    Yes really (none / 0) (#125)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 06:52:23 PM EST
    My Uncle belonged to an evangelical church in Colorado Springs and we had to send him to a psych for deprogramming.  The minister said to spare not the rod when my 15 yr old cousin refused to quit her public high school and go to the churches school.  He didn't either.  She fought him and he pulled half of her hair out of her head and broke a wooden bat he had made specifically to not spare the rod on her with during the beating. My Aunt convinced the family to cover it up but when he picked his four year old daughter up out of the chair by the hair of her head for laughing during the saying of grace which usually lasted at least 4 mins because of all the praising the lording that was it and my Aunt came to the family as a whole for support.  He agreed to do deprogramming once we all knew what he had done.  Before I left Colorado Springs the son of the same church was convicted of child molestation at the church's summer camp.  I have little love for evangelicals, they are very extreme and they seem to have all the problems that go with being religous extremist....denying parts of themselves and extreme shaming behavior used against their children that messes them up life and requires lots of therapy. Yes they are people but I wouldn't embrace Ted Bundy either and he was a person.

    Broad brushes (none / 0) (#141)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:34:49 PM EST
    I would hope you agree that not all Evangelicals are like Ted Bundy.

    I'm not saying that evangelicals (none / 0) (#148)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 06:18:05 AM EST
    are anything like Ted Bundy.  I'm saying that intelligent people do not run around without boundaries embracing others for political gain.  I'm saying that evangelicals are people just as Ted Bundy was but that does not make all of them my friends or even people I care to be aquainted with.  I choose my friends!  I have known many more evangelicals than just my Uncle and of the hundreds I've met only one became a friend to me.  Most of them scared me and in my opinion taught their children to alienate themselves from the rest of the "evil" world run by Satan.

    Don't be surprised when the most extreme push back (none / 0) (#151)
    by Rojas on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 07:19:08 AM EST

    Oops, they already have.

    and coupled with the funky (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Nettle on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:28:37 PM EST
    "platform listening", data gathering meetups of the Obama campaign there's plenty of good reason for deep concern about the party platform.  Evangelicals and Republicans defining the Dem platform.  What's that big sucking sound I hear... .  And beware a Daschle DHHS.

    It is focusing on the "rare" (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:42:57 PM EST
    part of "safe, legal and rare."

    We should keep religion and morality out of politics.

    That is not really possible.  The Civil Rights movement and the 1960s anti-war movement had many, many religious underpinnings to it.

    The idea is to harness liberal and progressive religious people.  Remember Fr. Robert Drinan?

    Religious does not automtically mean conservative....In many ways, Evangelicals are at root quite progressive--going back to William Jennings Bryan and his cross of gold speech.  Economic populism, which was at the heart of Edwards's campaign and the latter stages of Hillary's campaign, fits hand in glove with much Christian teaching.   Corporate power and business interests could face significant challenges from religious people.  


    No, it is focusing on (5.00 / 3) (#111)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 05:28:17 PM EST
    convincing women not to have abortions by providing 'better daycare' and promoting adoption.

    He and his religion have no business talking about the politics of abortion.


    You object to promoting (none / 0) (#118)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 06:08:25 PM EST
    adoption and better day care?  Is this seen as threatening to Roe?

    Yes, I object to them (none / 0) (#121)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 06:24:40 PM EST
    IN THE CONTEXT of this discussion when they are not accompanied by full choice options.

    Jim Wallis is a pro-choice Progressive (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 02:05:42 PM EST
    And he is the one who is pushing the issue....

    He is pro-choice....there is nothing to fear here...


    Jim Wallis is NOT pro-choice (5.00 / 3) (#91)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 02:30:38 PM EST
    Wallis is against criminalizing abortion (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 03:21:40 PM EST
    It all depends on how you view "rare."  If that means only better contraception, then perhaps Wallis is not pro-choice in your book.

    If "rare" also means support for adoption, then he fits within the current Democratic position on abortion.

    The term "abortion reduction" is a little jarring but I think Wallis's approach is worth a look.


    Fr. Robert Drinan (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 03:57:36 PM EST
    Wallis is just the newer version of Fr. Robert Drinan--and one wonders whether Drinan could get elected to the House as a Democrat today.

    I would say absolutely... (none / 0) (#147)
    by weltec2 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:56:33 AM EST
    at least I would like to believe so. His willingness to go hammer and tongs with the Church... He was an inspiration to many Christian Dems who believed in the separation of Church and State.

    Perfect example (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 05:29:10 PM EST
    of the problem. Now, this position is supposed to be defined as 'pro-choice'. Laughable.

    Could you please explain what (none / 0) (#114)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 05:42:09 PM EST
    you find objectionable.  Is it the support of adoption, Wallis's use of the term "abortion reduction," or something else?

    As This Dkos Poster Points Out (5.00 / 0) (#119)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 06:12:49 PM EST
    Wallis would do better to work on his GOPer friends rather than those who have been in the trenches for some time now:

    As opposed to picking a fight with the left, he should start asking his fellow religious leaders on the far-right why they are so opposed to common sense education and prevention efforts. Anyone truly interested in reframing the debate about women's health understands that's where the real problems are.

     RH Reality Check


    Interesting article (none / 0) (#123)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 06:29:43 PM EST
    It is the insidious erosion (none / 0) (#117)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 06:06:03 PM EST
    of reproductive rights, in this case via talking about reducing abortions by providing day care and adoption options (in other words, convincing women that they shouldn't have abortions but should bear the baby instead). Notice the lack of the terms 'birth control' or 'morning after pill' for example - it is all about having the baby and then adoption or day care - this is a big red flag. I further object to this being talked about on religious grounds at all.

    I simply cannot believe that we are now inviting evangelicals into the democratic party to convince women not to have abortions.


    Evangelicals are already (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 06:23:18 PM EST
    in the Democratic Party...

    And there are many, many Democrats who "personally" oppose abortion, including John Kerry.  Hillary's support among lower income whites included many of these people--older Catholic and Evangelical women who oppose abortion....

    Wallis's efforts will probably just fade away....because of the fear they are the camel getting its nose under the tent.  

    Many religious people will always try to convince women to not have abortions.....If they do so in the context of guaranteed reproducive freedom, I do not think those efforts are such a bad thing--they would provide additional choices to women.

    As an aside, if abortion rights are this important, then allowing McCain to be elected is not a reasonable option.


    Perhaps it is a gender thing (5.00 / 3) (#122)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 06:27:31 PM EST
    I am guessing that you are male, but I could be wrong.

    I've gathered from this primary that many men fail to understand how DEEPLY OFFENSIVE it is to women to continually have men in politics, or men in the pulpit, tell them or advise them what to do about reproduction.


    Abortion reduction won't work with them (5.00 / 2) (#132)
    by dianem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 07:41:05 PM EST
    They want abortion to be eliminated as an option, not reduced through increased education and birth control. They don't care about the number of abortions, they care about the morality of it. One is too many, in their minds. I hope that Pelosi is smart enough to realize this. Reducing abortion will work for moderates, not fundamentalists.

    Prominent Dems Have Spoken of 'Reducing Abortions' (none / 0) (#61)
    by daring grace on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:01:07 PM EST
    for a while now. Though it never made it into the platform, I don't think.

    It always made me a little nervous in case this was the beginning of the proverbial slippery slope where we start at a spot which may seem reasonable as rapprochement and suddenly find ourselves at a place we can't stomach.


    Whatever happened to... (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by EL seattle on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:39:00 PM EST
    ... "legal, safe, and rare"?

    Is that phrase no longer being used?  Was it so completely villified in some way that it serves no purpose anymore?


    Bravo, Jeralyn (none / 0) (#69)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:20:39 PM EST
    "Abortion reduction" is a fine idea as far as I'm concerned, but only if it goes way beyond making it easier for people to have babies.  The only effective abortion reduction strategy is making it easy to not get pregnant, meaning birth control information and access, sex education that isn't restricted to pushing abstinence, etc.

    The problem, of course, is that most evangelicals consider most forms of birth control and especially sex education anathema because the underlying motivation is to hugely restrict sex and sexuality itself.

    There simply is almost no common ground with the majority of these folks.  Retreating on birth control and sex education while holding the line on abortion is therefore a pointless strategy, IMHO.


    Evangelicals are fine with birth control (none / 0) (#82)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:49:42 PM EST
    They are Protestants and there is nothing in any of their teaching at all that suggests that birth control is even frowned upon.

    Catholics theoretically are against "artificial" birth control--but it has been the decades-long custom of the U.S. church to totally ignore that teaching.....

    Mormons are not really against birth control so much as for big families....

    There may be some religious people who are against birth control but they are such a tiny minority....  


    the Pope is sure getting an earful (5.00 / 0) (#86)
    by Nettle on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 02:02:58 PM EST
    in Sydney.  Pope Go Homo, they're saying (and not pedo, they might have added).  Thousands of Catholic prochoice pope-protesters down under, too.  

    My vast extended Catholic family has no problem with birth control and a majority of Catholics don't; lots of antichoicers, tho, except I'd guess that in private practice their actions haven't always matched their words.  

    The Pope does seem to be getting hip on environmentalisms, tho.

    Dealing with the Vatican's power is a bit different than evangelicals, I'd think.  


    The idea is not to shun religion (none / 0) (#88)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 02:14:38 PM EST
    but rather to take back religion from the reactionary authoritarians who took over in the 1960s and 1970s.  Obviously, that effort will not be a political one organzied by the Democratic Party....but it is happening....

    Jimmy Carter a life-long Southern Baptist resigned his membership because it got so bad. Things are swinging back to a belief system that helps people....


    Let religion do what it is going to do (5.00 / 3) (#92)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 02:32:53 PM EST
    And let's the public debate not be about religion.

    I find your ideas on this rather dangerous myself.

    You cite William Jennings Bryan in some of your comments. I am amazed that you see that as placating anyone's concerns.


    ....On economic issues (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 03:06:11 PM EST
    Dangerous--can be, politics is not the place for theological debates...

    However, the Democratic party has gone too far in viewing religion as a problem.  There is outright hostility by many progressives to religion--that is not helpful.


    Meteor Blades (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 04:03:41 PM EST
    In a long ago conversation about religion and politics, Meteor Blades said that many of those by his side protesting over the years were overtly religious.

    Religion isn't going away, and will remain a prime motivating force for many of those involved in politics.....Fight it or harness it?


    Um (5.00 / 3) (#110)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 05:25:52 PM EST
    lots of today's evangelicals are not protestants and, regardless of that, the moves over the last decade to restrict access to birth control or redefine it as abortion were supported wholeheartedly by lots of evangelicals and their mega-churches.

    Evangelicals in mega-churches (none / 0) (#116)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 06:03:45 PM EST
    are Protestants, usually Baptists...sometimes Pentecostals....

    There is a smallish group of evangelical Catholics, but that is probably more of a passing fad, and they do not meet in megachurches....

    Evangelicals believe in the Bible as the sole authority, and thus fall very squarely within the Protestant tradition; whereas, Catholics also believe in the authority of the Church.

    It does appear, however, that many on the Left equate "Evangelical" with "religious extremist."  Bill, btw, would technically be an Evangelical. As is Carter....

    On the birth control front, those who have any issue are typically Catholics, but it is possible that some pro-life Evangelcials may have gone there.

    And, bottom line:  There is no need to fear any anti-birth control groups--they are viewed as extremists within their own religious groups and discredit themselves--They will go nowhere, and only give pro-choice groups the opportunity for easy victories....Their unpopular extremism also drags down anti-abortion forces....


    Well..... (none / 0) (#149)
    by Rojas on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 06:59:49 AM EST
    We should keep religion and morality out of politics.

    No doubt one can objectively conclude we've been mighty successful on the second half of that equation.

    Censorship takes many forms (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by dianem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:27:56 PM EST
    Not allowing an invited speaker to speak is a form of censorship. People often forget that people who are wrong have just as many free speech rights as anybody else. They try to shout down people with whom they disagree, effectively censoring them.

    It depends on what the action is (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Valhalla on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:42:02 PM EST
    If the goal or effect is to shut down the speaker or gathering altogether, then that is a form of censorship.  There's still a difference though when it's those who have the power shutting down dissent versus those without the power trying to be heard.  It may just be a difference of degree, but still a difference.

    BUT if the goal of an action is to challenge whatever baloney some pol is spinning, esp. where a pol is trying to avoid public criticism or challenge to their baloney, and the protesters are willing to stop their disruption (or not even start it) when a pol actually addresses criticisms, then that's totally different.  

    If you're just trying to piggyback on someone else's attention, that's one thing.  But if you're trying to get someone like Pelosi to explain her actions -- she is a representative of the people after all -- that's a whole different banana.


    The differece is too subtle for me (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by dianem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:52:51 PM EST
    Who gets to decide which issues Pelosi has to address? Who decides which issues are important and which are baloney? There are many issues. If each group holds a disruptive protest and continues until she deals with their particular issue, then she won't ever get a chance to say what she wants to say. Or should certain groups gets precedence? If so, then who decides which ones?

    You are talking about (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Valhalla on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:50:03 PM EST
    rules of convenience and orderliness which, while important, take a second place to open political discussions.

    Manners and politeness should not trump free speech, nor be used as a basis for shutting people down.

    You can debate the effectiveness of disruptive protests, but that is a different issue.  Esp. since what might be immediately disruptive in one situation may still bring long-term attention to important issues.

    No change, no progress has ever been made by sitting quietly on the sidelines.  We would still be British colonies if that were the case.


    Jumping up in the middle (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:23:56 PM EST
    of a speech or a hearing and yelling "Impeach!" or whatever and then getting dragged out of the room accomplishes none of those things.  Personally, I favor silent visual protests, like standing up and turning your back, or organizing people to wear the pink shirts or something else noticeable but not disruptive, which vividly and sometimes poignantly get the point across without being thuggish or foolish.

    Actually, I rather like the kind of examples (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by Valhalla on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 02:02:03 PM EST
    you bring up, partly because I admire creativity.  Real creativity, I mean, not necessarily what the 'creative' in 'creative class' is supposed to represent.  And where they would be effective, I'd argue for them over noisy disruption.  But that's as a matter of effectiveness, not principle or right.

    Real democracy and real free speech is hard.  It's messy and noisy and sometimes unpleasant, esp. when you're trying to spin your audience or promote yourself politically while hiding the fact that people have legit criticisms of you.

    I've been reading Gore's Assault on Reason in fact (interesting he showed up at NN of all places to promote it) and most of what he argues against (you should read his take on FISA) is exactly the kind of politics the Dems seems to be rushing toward.  If you can't beat 'em, join 'em seems to be the m.o. of today.


    Yes, Creative Can be Very Effective (none / 0) (#130)
    by daring grace on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 07:35:41 PM EST
    I was thinking about this as I read the comments here: It doesn't have to be either/or--either you disrupt the event and get thrown out or you sit down and shut up.

    As suggested above there can be so many inventive strategies that are hard to suppress because they aren't--ostensibly--disruptive but which, by their imaginative nature serve to be distractions.

    I've been part of political actions and 'art happenings' that were like this. They served to get the message across because they were more interesting or entertaining than the message they were protesting. And often, they were so playful or seemed benign enough that it was hard for people to demonize them. Yet that playful packaging didn't hide the serious protest message either: just provided a potent delivery system for it.


    this concern about being "nice" and (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by hellothere on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:38:45 PM EST
    and causing a disturbance truly bothers me. we having our rights, way of life, jobs, homes, and future taken from us while some are disturbed because nancy was disburbed. i say disturb them a lot more. if the aa community hadn't been disturbed about civil rights, there would have been no change. that is just one example. we wait too much and don't speak out often enough.

    Room for Different Forms of Protest... (none / 0) (#56)
    by santarita on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:53:37 PM EST
    in a free society.

    I have mixed feelings about the Code Pink form of protest.  I agree that all points of  view should be heard.  Hearing Nancy Pelosi trying to convince anti-Pro-Choice Evangelicals that the Democratic Party is their party too is informative.  Knowing that there are people who protest her very presence because of her, at best, feeble opposition to the Bush Agenda is also important to know.  I guess, at the end of the day, I feel comfortable with peaceful protests that disrupt momentarily the speaker.  Repeat disruptors then get removed.  In that way both the protestor and the speaker are heard.  

    Silent protests are good but for media purposes event organizers know how to minimize or down right eliminate the effectiveness of that form of communication.  So what are the options other than to be in your face like Code Pink?


    I'd vote for the civil disobedience approach (none / 0) (#68)
    by dianem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:16:57 PM EST
    Give people a warning that they will be removed if the disrupt the speech, then let them decide if their protest is important enough to warrant the embarrassment of being removed. If people want to protest, that is their choice. The only "wrong" choice, imo, is simply removing people from the room before they get to decide if they want to protest or not. This is the tack that the right often takes.

    If you allow one disruptive protest to occur for each group that wants to be heard, nobody will ever hear anything but protests. And some will certainly repeat their protest because they feel they were not acknowledged or were overshadowed by others, or because they have a subtly different view than somebody else who was protesting. Then you have the disruption of the initial "permitted" protest, and the second non-permissible one, and the removal of the protesters. The only thing that ends up not being heard is the speech.


    Permitting Protests ... (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by santarita on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 02:45:04 PM EST
    is fine.  I suppose the question for the protestor at what point does protesting in a manner acceptable to the person or organization lose its effectiveness.  

    I don't particularly like Code Pink at Congressional hearings that are only tangential to the Iraq War because they disrupt the investigative process.  However, they do get media attention.  And it is important for people to recognize that there is at least one group of people are interested enough to risk public scorn and ridicule if not fines and jail time.

    And speaking of protests and disruptions at Congressional Hearings, have you seen the way the Republicans protest the hearing through abuse of the parliamentary process?  They are more effective than Code Pink.


    Procedural protests are sometimes very .. (5.00 / 0) (#98)
    by dianem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 03:10:45 PM EST
    ...effective. That's why the right wing had to spin Democrats efforts to use them as "obstruction". They had to marginalize the technique. Of course, the Democrats could have spun it right back at them, but...

    Procedural protests have different goals (none / 0) (#115)
    by Valhalla on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 05:59:16 PM EST
    Code Pink kind of protests are to bring attention to issues among the general public.

    Republican procedural protests aren't really protests at all.  They are exploiting procedure to stop or slow down the progress of legislation through the system.


    Agreed... (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by santarita on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 07:59:45 PM EST
    I'd let the Code Pink people stay at the hearings and throw out the Repubs.

    Gore's comment is silly, and contrary (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by MarkL on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:41:50 PM EST
    to his thesis about the assault on reason.
    A quick cute sound bite is not the way to discuss the subject of offshore drilling. I am sure that will turn off people who could be convinced otherwise.

    The Pelosi Speech (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Katherine Graham Cracker on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:55:56 PM EST
    This is a post from Firedoglake

    based on this--Pelosi would have been better off being interrupted.

    thanks for the referral. (none / 0) (#156)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 01:05:28 PM EST
    i found the comments there very informative. it seems nancy doesn't have a favorable polling outside her own district and democratic congressional caucus. also she has serious internal conflicts with hoyer actually doing the heavy lifting as sorta the cheney of the house. at least that is what i picked up from the comments. it also appears that a number of the caucus are blue dogs. how is that going to furhter the repair from the bush years. the answer is it isn't. we need someone who is the actual speaker and is willing to do the heavy lifting and kicking butt a speaker can do. it appears to me that nancy has done NONE of that.

    The subject of protest goes to the roots (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by my opinion on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 02:24:33 PM EST
    of this country. Our history is based on protest.

    new boss same as the old boss! (none / 0) (#5)
    by hellothere on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:43:22 AM EST

    Mutiny? (none / 0) (#15)
    by fctchekr on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 11:32:13 AM EST
    I'm not sure I'm following, but it would seem the idea and the act of protesting is synomous with Democratic values. We're not lock-in-steppers; we buck the status quo..

    I see a different party now, one with a sizable number of members who are ready to jump ship or rock the boat.

    If we look at our history, this is pretty common stuff. Party leaders are just trying to avoid a mutiny.

    In the purest sense, it's un-Democratic to reject
    anyone's right to assemble and remonstrate. Where's Fletcher Christian when you need him?

    Brilliant Idea (none / 0) (#19)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 11:52:11 AM EST
    Whoever thought of it deserves a medal. Too bad the holy alliance between god's world and environmentalism was not made before the last election. Peel 'em off the right wing one by on, I have no problem with that.

    These people are not rubes... (none / 0) (#41)
    by EL seattle on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:35:58 PM EST
    If they feel that they're being treated like marks by carny hucksters, not only will they resist being "peeled off", they'll tell their friends about it.

    This is a good argument to be made.  But in all likelyhood, the folks who should be at the forefront of presenting the "god and environmentalsim" arrgument are the prominent democrats who self-identify themselves as evangelicals.  


    Not Rubes? (none / 0) (#43)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:38:08 PM EST
    Well they sure have been played by the GOP for years. Republicans figured out long ago that religion is the opiate of the masses.

    Is that why Obama's speeches (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by misspeach2008 on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:44:43 PM EST
    put some of us to sleep? Sorry, you set that one up so well.

    You've got it all backwards (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by Valhalla on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:46:01 PM EST
    The evangelicals figured out how to blow their influence up far past their proportionate existence under Reagan, and have been successfully using it against Republicans ever since.

    They vote as a bloc, and they're entire message is:  our way or we walk.

    The minute Republicans became the least bit dependent on evangelical support to win any election, they were chained to them and their demands.

    If Dems think they'll fare any better, esp. as they're throwing the welcome doors open to evangelicals while shoving the base out the back -- they are dreaming.


    Whatever You Say (none / 0) (#73)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:25:24 PM EST
    Perhaps it is a chicken and egg sort of thing, but I see it as a very calculated top down manipulation for blocks of votes not the other way round.

    Then you haven't spent any time in (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by sj on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 02:42:18 PM EST
    Colorado Springs.  Home of Focus on the Family.  The effort is very much bottom up.  Absolutely the top-down manipulation was attempted.  But once the hand is extended, the handshake is made with flypaper.  They were treated like rubes, but the R's got more than they bargained for.  

    The "Foot Soldiers" Are Being Used (none / 0) (#104)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 03:47:55 PM EST
    From the beginning, the CNP sought to merge two strains of far-right thought: the theocratic Religious Right with the low-tax, anti-government wing of the GOP. The theory was that the Religious Right would provide the grassroots activism and the muscle. The other faction would put up the money.


    Interestingly, the Hunts, Cies and LaHaye all were affiliated with the John Birch Society, the conspiracy-obsessed anti-communist group founded in 1959. LaHaye had lectured and conducted training seminars frequently for the Society during the 1960s and '70s a time when the group was known for its campaign against the civil rights movement.


    Dramatically scaling back the size of the federal government and abolishing the last remnants of the New Deal may be one goal of the CNP, but many of the foot soldiers of the Religious Right sign on for a different crusade: a desire to remake America in a Christian fundamentalist image.

    Since 1981, CNP members have worked assiduously to pack government bodies with ultra-conservative lawmakers who agree that the nation needs a major shift to the right economically and socially.


    This ties in nicely with Abramoff and the college republicans plan for permanent GOP rule. Not to mention the Powell Memo which laid the groundwork for using religious masses to maintain GOP control.

    Abramoff was soon elected chairman of the College Republican National Committee with the campaign being managed by Grover Norquist and aided by Ralph E. Reed, Jr.. "It is not our job to seek peaceful coexistence with the Left," Abramoff was quoted as saying in the group's 1983 annual report, "Our job is to remove them from power permanently."

    Funny how his religious conversion came from watching Fiddler on the Roof....  lol

    The dream is to capture a big enough voting block of opiated religious freaks who will do the bidding of their mega ministers.


    Pelosi and Impeachment (none / 0) (#140)
    by womanwarrior on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:59:19 PM EST
    I recently read that the congressional democratic leadership is against impeachment for war crimes because they were informed of the torture program before it happened and did nothing.  They fear they could also face criminal charges.  Does anybody know if this is accurate?  

    i don't know it's right for sure but the (none / 0) (#155)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:57:35 PM EST
    repubs have said all along that certain democrats were informed and on board with it. so it makes sense in an embarrassing sort of way.