In a comment to a post below, ctpatriot wrote:
I am so sick and tired of calling the Dems in congress. I truly don't believe that, other than a select few, the Senate Democrats give a crap about anything other than retaining their cushy jobs. I swore after the Alito debacle that I wasn't going to make another call to congress. I violated that today only to experience the same kind of BS from Rockefeller's office - the same Rockefeller that voted FOR cloture on Alito. Fuck em. I'll put my time into something that can hopefully make a difference - helping Ned Lamont take Joe Lieberman's seat (www.nedlamont.com).
I'm all for helping Ned Lamont. In fact, I'm disappointed that more folks aren't donating to our selected candidates through the ActBlue link to the right: we need to put our money where our mouths are. Ciro Rodriguez' primary is coming up in less than a month and he still needs money. Lamont's just gettings started. There are other Resistance Fighters out there in close races against Vichys, and we need to get involved personally and financially to help them out.
But I also want to reiterate something I said below:
[P]art of our goal is to teach our representatives that the grassroots are waking up, paying attention and getting mad. That means telling them what we want BEFORE they take action, then telling them how we feel about it AFTER they act.
It's frustrating that sometimes the best we can do is make our voices heard. But that's a hell of a lot better -- a lot more active, a lot more involved, a lot more influential -- than merely casting votes every two years.
Our goal here is nothing less than helping build a new kind of movement that capitalizes on the Internet and other communications technologies that no citizens, in the history of the world, have ever had before. If the Dean campaign and MoveOn used the Internet to build "grassroots organizations," then we can use it to empower the grassroots themselves. We can bring a new thing into the world: Internet-driven, rapid-response, politically nuanced, direct grassroots democracy. I'm convinced that can be powerful. The Alito phone calls certainly were: this site was FIVE DAYS OLD on that Monday, but received 8,500 hits by the time that day was over and generated tens of thousands of phone calls, and we DID sway some senators' votes. Did we win that particular battle? No. Did we start waking some senators up? Absolutely. Dianne Feinstein, one of only two Senators from the most populous state in the Union, has stopped careening right and instead is looking warily to her left. Why? Not Cindy Sheehan, but people like us. Manning the phones. Making her nervous.
MoveOn petitions, while important, can still be dismissed as the work of "special interest groups." But a few thousand well-educated, politically sophisticated voters who call their Senators and Congresspeople DIRECTLY, both in Washington and at home -- done again and again and again and in ever-increasing numbers -- can't be dismissed as "a few Kossacks" or "some liberal group." It's the direct voice of the voters, and eventually the politicians will have to wake up and pay us heed. It's the only thing, short of insurrection, that's ever worked; and with modern technology, we can do it more quickly, more specifically, and more obtrusively than any citizens, anywhere, anytime, ever have.
So on this site we talk, on unremarkable days, about what's happening. And then, when key events are about to occur, I issue "Game Plans" and contact information, and ask you to mobilize and make phone calls and send emails and faxes and pester the crap out of our public servants. That's not a passing fancy; it's a concrete, living, recurring plan of action.
I'm no kid pontificating from his parents' basement. I've been a litigator and mediator for nearly 20 years. I've defended defense contractors against FBI investigations, successfully prosecuted criminals, worked on everything from helping small businesspeople stay afloat to defending McDonnell Douglas in aircrashes that killed dozens of people. I've written legislation and seen it through enactment. As a search and rescue volunteer, I've put people into body bags and hauled them out of the wilderness. I understand the grown-up world and know what hardball is.
And I believe, I truly do believe, that thousands of incessant hammer taps on the Establishment, at the fracture points, over and over, can change the world, starting with swing Democrats and moderate Republicans, then the whole parties, then the government, then the nation, and on from there.
So I hope you don't get discouraged and stop making phone calls. I hope, instead, that you sign up for VichyDems email updates over on the right sidebar and keep coming back here, or anywhere you find helps you do this work, and keep making those annoying, incessant, inexorable little hammer taps until we finally succeed. To paraphrase Dwight D. Eisenhower (no sappy idealist): When the people want something badly enough, "one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it." And as Margaret Mead said, "never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
SUPPLEMENT, 11:17 P.T.: And if I haven't gotten your blood flowing again, maybe Glenn can. Great minds thinking alike and all that!