What to do with the betrayal Thursday of Congressional Democrats (90 in the House; 37 in the Senate) who voted to pass the Iraq Supplemental
II-"giving the Bushies another blank cheque to continue their oil war to
colonize Iraq (Johnson is still incapacitated; Schumer was in NY being
treated for Lyme's disease).
I've read fury-filled blogs, messages from John Edwards. And listened to today's enraged listeners/hosts on Air America. Some are talking about quitting the Democratic party and politics altogether. Some say they're going to join the Green party or Independents-"or even the Republicans ("might as well because they still control Congress"). Many like me have been tossing any pitch for contributions to the Democratic National Committee, both the House and Senate Democratic party's campaigns, and this week, Ted Kennedy's pitch for the Committee for a Democratic Majority.-
Less than an hour after the Senate roll call was announced, Edwards contacted all of his supporters about this "serious blow." He's been on the hustings for months saying that the first Supplemental should have been sent back repeatedly until the public realized it was Bush who was flouting the voting public's demand an immediate deployment out of Iraq. Said he: "After tonight, one thing is now perfectly clear: No one else is going to end this war for us. Bush will not listen. Congress will not fight. There's no one left to lead the country now but we the people." He reminded us that we enraged Dems "don't have the luxury of getting discouraged." And to think of ways to change what just happened in that cave-in vote that gave the Administration its blood money.
In talking to my cohorts at Portland's South Side DFA MeetUp group, two ideas turned up to hit those- "aye"-voting Democrats where they live-"aside from giving Rahm Emanuel the same kind of pounding that ultimately frightened Pelosi, Clinton, and Obama into voting against HR 2206.
1) A- Precinct Worker Strike in the U.S. from July-August This Year:-Considering that grass-roots Dems probably make up only 3% of party contributors, they'll never be concerned if we threaten to close the purse. But they will be monumentally concerned if precinct workers strike chiefly refusing to canvass or work phone banks.- In our county, 66% of the districts have no precinct workers at all; a strike of even half of the remainder would be devastating to the local Democratic party organization. And if done all over the state, we certainly can literally "scare up Congressional votes" on Part II of the September Supplemental.
The threat in July/August:-No canvassing/phonebanking-"except for each person's- individual candidate. Until the primaries are over. And then if the leadership is still "weak-tea", in the second session of Congress, threaten not to lift a finger for the presidential election from September-October 2008. Especially for Congressional candidates who passed HR 2206.-
Party leaders in state and national organizations take precinct workers for granted-"always-"for the grunt work of an election campaign. They desperately need worker-bees, as those of us in the trenches know so well. Thousands of us who worked to get that Dem majority last November feel particularly outraged, hopefully enough to turn on the spineless legislators and presidential candidates who, like those in other countries, do fight when election fraud is apparent. We'll never forgive Kerry, a candidate forced on us by the DLC with the slogan "he's electable," who wiped his hands of us and the campaign the morning after the 2004 election was stolen once again by electronic machine fraud in Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, and New Mexico.-
With so many primaries rearranged now to the first of the year and Part II of the Supplemental coming due for a vote in September (when Bush reports that things are coming right along on at least one benchmark), the time to strike fear in the hearts of these Democratic traitors probably should begin July 4. Let's scare the hell out of them with a precinct workers strike so that the 2d session of Congress won't vote Bush a dime.--
Sue Udry, spokesperson for UfPJ, emailed me this morning that she's in "total" agreement that some sort of "electoral" strategies need to be developed "where groups are connected to the Democratic party and have some sort of power over precinct workers and contributors." Her caveat was that the peace groups are totally disconnected from party structures, however, though this idea will go on the table for the UfPJ's national meeting.
2) Lobby Hard to Get Tough Congressional Leadership: We need an arm-twisting, powerful person like a neo Lyndon Baines Johnson in both houses. What we've got now is Sen. Harry ("weak-tea") Reid in the Senate and Rep. Nancy ("Whatever the DLC wants, I'll do") Pelosi- in the House. We're for Sen. Pat Leahy and one or the other of Reps. Jim McGovern and Rush Holt now that Marty Meehan is resigning July 1 to become chancellor of UMASS/Lowell.- With Tom Davis as whip (he didn't wilt before the poor-pitiful-Pearl performance of Monica Goodling). He's co-sponsor with Adam Schiff of the no-confidence in Gonzales bill that had 117 co-sponsors as of this morning. Now there's a worthy successor to LBJ.--
My suggested sign for striking precinct workers as they circle the county/state/national Dem offices is below the line. So let's not get mad, folks. Let's get even and either threaten to drive them out of Congress in 2008 with this 5/24 albatross and all the KIAs/Woundeds in Iraq between that date and July 4.-
Barbara Ellis, Portland OR
Suggested strike sign:-