I don’t mind being called upon to spread the word about the accomplishments of the President and the Democratic Party. While I don’t know how much influence on public policy I have as a blogger, nonetheless, I’ll spread the message, as long as it’s the right message.
And, I don’t mind being encouraged to turn out the vote so the ReThugs don’t take back the House and Senate like they will if we don’t get out and vote. But you need to engage us more than every two years, when there’s an election in town.
I truly understand voter apathy and burn out. I also understand the lack of enthusiasm on the part of voters, especially those who busted their asses to get Barack Obama elected. Because you got their vote, but you don’t engage them in other aspects of the political, civic process other than voting. The college kids just don’t want to VOTE – they want to be ENGAGED. From 2008 and beyond. Not every two years when there’s votes to get, although that is important.
What is more important is the continual ENGAGING of those getting you to the dance. Not to be contacted like a two-bit trick – good for a vote and nothing more. Where the hell is Howard Dean? Why aren’t you leaders in the Democratic Party using him? His strategy was good enough to get you to the Big Dance – then you throw him away like used toilet paper, and expect the same degree of enthusiasm and turnout you got back in 2008.
Yes, I understand that “CHANGE” has to be done sometimes incrementally. But, why aren’t the Democratic Leadership explaining that the same way leaders like DNC Chair Tim Kaine and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn did in person and on conference calls with Black Bloggers? Why did I feel like I was being chastised for not doing enough?
Why did I feel like I was being PIMPED, as opposed to being ENGAGED in the process?
Two weeks ago, I was one of 20 or so bloggers who attended the meeting with DNC Chair Tim Kaine. He didn’t make me feel like I was being disciplined for not getting the word out about what President Obama has managed to accomplish in the first two years of his presidency. In fact, he readily acknowledged the influence of bloggers on the debate of public policy and legislation. I got the sense he wanted to engage us from 2010 and onward. My colleague, Debbie Hines of LegalSpeaks, hit a home run when she advised Gov. Kaine that the problem in getting the voter enthusiasm of two years ago, is that you need to learn how to “tell the story.”
She asked the same question of Rep. Clyburn. And while Clyburn answered the question, I couldn’t help but feel we were all being chastised for complaining about the lack of leadership coming from the Black Caucus.
Essentially, Clyburn told us that the CBC has done quite a bit for its constituents, but we (bloggers) are too busy complaining about what the CBC hasn’t done. Still appears that the Blue Dogs are gumming up the works, and the Senate is stonewalling what has been accomplished in the way of legislation to help Americans get back on their feet. I’m sure Clyburn knows he has obstructionists in the Black Caucus, and far too often, they drew the attention and perception that the CBC were selling out to corporate interests. CBCMonitor just reported on their voting records, and if there is the perception of the CBC “not doing anything”, the Caucus is relying solely on Clyburn to get the word out about the accomplishments, while they hide behind his trousers.
That the appointment of Elizabeth Warren was a good thing for consumers. Only because bloggers drew attention to the fact that the Treasury Secretary initially OPPOSED her appointment and we put the word out there and got him to back the hell off.
That over $311 billion has been leveraged for small businesses, but the hold up is in the Senate. But that’s not the word that’s getting out there, either.
Or what the Health Care Reform Bill will really do – like Surgeon General Regina Benjamin did on her conference call last Thursday. She told us exactly what the bill will do, and what improvements remain to be done, such as addressing racial disparties and cultural competency in health care provision.
If the hold up is in the Senate, why not craft that message as you run for re-election? Why not tout the accomplishments gained thus far? Why not show us where the divide really is? What is the problem with ‘”TELLING THE STORY?” We bloggers totally understand how to break down the deets in simplistic fashion, but it took y’all two years to figure that out. Well, better late than not at all.
Okay, I totally GET IT. And I’ll do my part as a blogger to spread the word and inform potential voters to give you guys another two years to straighten out the shyt that took over 30 years to FUBAR through dergulation (thank you Ronnie Raygun) lobbying influences who actually wrote some of the legislation that got passed (Bankruptcy bill was written by the banking industry; don’t be fooled), and the actual apologizing to interests that totally screwed up the ecological system and economic system for the Gulf Coast by congress-critters like the oil-soaked Joe Barton - five years almost to the day Katrina hit and they still haven’t been able to get back to the Lower Ninth Ward.
Clyburn did say something that I totally agree with. He said the necessity for 60 Senate votes to get legislation passed needed to be changed to 50 + 1%, which is a SIMPLE MAJORITY. Because the Democratic Senators whined they needed 60 votes to prevent filibustering of legislation, voters gave the Democrats their 60 seats in the Senate.
What has come of it?
Obstruction, in-fighting, and the dissing of the POTUS by his own party members. Not to mention what the public DOES SEE. They see Harry Reid caving to the Republicans because those 40 Senators plus Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman, threaten filibusters, anyway. So the public cannot see what has been accomplished in the House of Representatives, because it gets obscured when the legislation hits the Senate chambers and threatened filibusters. I mean, the House passed the extension for unemployment benefits – but the extension languished in the Senate until those SOBs came BACK FROM VACAY.
Never mind that nearly every piece of legislation that was passed in the House, has been gummed up in the Senate. Even Obama’s judicial picks – held up in the Senate. And it doesn’t help when the Senate Majority Leader openly disses the leader of the Democratic Party, who is, BTW, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. But you sure want him stumping for you on the campaign trail against a TeaBag wingnut, dont’cha, Harry?
This is the word I’ll help spread.
The Democrats have dome some good things, and while they need to go further, they have obstructionists, both within and outside the Party that would like nothing better than a Republican Congress who will spend its time doing nothing and maintaining personal status quo while real Americans suffer. The GOBP has said as much – that they will use their minority to obstruct, block and repeal everything that has been accomplished, while providing absolutely nothing in return but wasting taxpayers money investigating the POTUS and spreading the lies that he’s a practicing Muslim that is not a real United States Citizen and is illegally holding the office of the POTUS.
The Democrats need two more years. But to get the word out, Bloggers need to be ENGAGED for the next two years and beyond.
We need to be at the DNC conventions, with press credentials. We need to be at press conferences. We need to be, at the White House, perhaps sitting in Helen Thomas’ old seat that you gave to Fake Noise, which, legitimizes their propaganda machine.
If we’re influential – we need to be treated as such. And if you’re pimping us, we can’t get the word out about your accomplishments because, well, we’re being PIMPED, and while we’d get the word out, it will be qualified with other information that gets in the way of the broad picture, and you don’t want that.
ENGAGE US. And I mean ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT. And watch how fast we deliver.
Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell
Special Contributors: James Rucker, Rinku Sen, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Adam Luna, Kamala Harris
Technical Contributor: Brandon Sheats