George Bush said the following the other day in response to his dropping poll numbers.
"You have to believe in what you're doing. You have to believe in certain principles and beliefs, and you can't let the opinion polls and focus groups, one, cause you to abandon what you believe, and become the reason for making decisions."
Now compare that to what happened today in the Senate. One with courage (Feingold) stood up, and most of the rest of his "colleagues" scurried away like little mice (to call them rats would be to give them too much weight). And the same thing happened before with the attempted Alito filibuster. And before that with the Murtha resolution on Iraq.
You hear talk from people who fancy themselves political framing geniuses that all we need is the right "message," the right slogan, the right magic coining of a couple words, and the 2006 elections will be ours. What vain folly! We have a message alright, that our Democrats have a yellow stripe down their back a mile wide, and that no matter what they SAY, when it really matters they will never actually take a final stand on principle ever. THAT message is coming through loud and clear. The American people will vote for a corrupt criminal before they will vote for a coward. For proof, check out the most recent election results.
Sure there have been a couple token filibusters, but mostly only when they could get members of the OTHER party to support them, and even there they ended up giving away the farm in the end anyway. Examples are the Patriot Act where a cosmetic (as the Republicans themselves were calling it) improvement was waved through by a huge margin, and the anti-torture amendment where the Bush lawyers are already arguing they were able to insert a loophole big enough to drive Guantanamo through.
There is a very obvious reason why there are not more people speaking out, because most of those in positions of influence in the progressive media don't WANT it to happen. If they DID, you would hear them giving out Capitol toll-free phone numbers on their progressive radio shows, every day, on issue after issue. If they DID, you would see action links featured on every page of every one of their web sites at all times. Mostly you do not (this particular site being one of the incredibly rare exceptions).
Yes, you heard us correctly, in their heart of hearts most progressive "personalities" in radio and in print don't want OTHER people to speak out. What they really want to do is shoot off their OWN mouths only, as if that alone would bring about policy change. One in particular we can think of has made it their life's work telling people that nothing we do will work, that our members of Congress will never listen anyway, that nothing will never change, and the proof of that being that they gave out a number one time, and that one time it was not enough. With friends like these, who needs corrupt neocon reactionaries?
So the next time you visit a blog, look around and see if there are any action links featured. The next time you listen to a so-called progressive radio show count how many repeated phone numbers and internet addresses they give out in five minutes of commercials, and see how many DAYS you have to wait to hear a number for Congress or a policy action link even one time. Actually DOING something to change the world is the farthest thing from their minds, and so it is with their web visitors and their listeners.
Is it any wonder more people aren't yet speaking out? Small wonder.
ACTION PAGE: http://www.millionphonemarch.com (censure Bush on wiretaps)