September 15, 2007

Sheehan, Etc. on the Square

"We need to shut this town down." - Cindy Sheehan saying that it's time to shut down federal buildings, campuses, etc. As my compatriot for the day noted, it isn't the 60s anymore.

I don't know how best to organize an effective resistance, I admit, but I don't feel a lot of pro-getting arrested sentiment among the people I know. That may not be the case with the people here. I heard one woman behind me tell a friend on her cell phone that she might be arrested over the die-in they're planning.

Ramsey Clark talked about the humanitarian crisis in Iraq after her, and I think that's something that's a good place to talk to people from. As the British public eventually could no longer stand the brutalization of India, the plight of the Iraqis could eventually make this unpopular war entirely unsupportable. I hope, anyway. I like to think well of my fellow citizens.

Nader's up now. All I have to say about that is to quote the man in the crowd who yelled out, "You gave us Bush!" When Nader started talking.

You've probably gathered that I don't care for Nader. Yeah. I don't support Sheehan's run against Pelosi, either. But I'm glad I came.

There's been a lot of complaining lately about progressives that want to hold Democrats accountable for their positions, because we're coming up on election season and 'we' need the seats. I didn't know I had to support someone's every policy to vote for them. Missed that part. And it would surprise me if I stopped saying that I disagreed with positions I've been publicly disagreeing with for years, and uncritically asked people who read me to vote for people I disagree with, and they listened. Wouldn't they take me more seriously if I said, 'Hey, so and so isn't perfect, but they're the best alternative. We'll try again next time.'

I think I stop being an honest broker of opinion when I stop speaking out for what's important to me. You can get that sort of thing anywhere, why bother coming to a blog for it? Why not just read people like Broder to whom nothing is important? They'll deliver that right to your doorstep.

So today, I can be happy to be out in public with Iraq Veterans Against the War, and the Gold Star Families for Peace, and a bunch of mostly ordinary people who have had it up to here with their tax $ being used to kill people who never did anything to us, without feeling like I have to agree with everybody else here. I don't have to approve of every sign to say that it's important to make protest visible. It's important not to shut up, or to be be afraid of what people will think when you stand up for what's right. Even if the people you're standing with are painted as a bunch of dirty hippies.

We're all dirty hippies to the Republicans and LieberDems.

The alternative is to support with silence the lies about the war. To support what the veteran speaking a little bit ago called, "just the lies we know about."

Anyway, after all this speechifying, let me echo another woman behind me who said, "Sweet Jesus, let's move."

Posted by natasha at September 15, 2007 11:17 AM | Activism | Technorati links |

Natasha, I want to link this piece but I'm getting an error message when I click your permalink. Any idea what's causing that?

(Feel free to delete this comment.)

Posted by: Avedon at September 16, 2007 06:40 AM

Ah, nevermind, it's showing up now - must be one of them there glitches.

Posted by: Avedon at September 16, 2007 06:42 AM

At this point, it's pretty clear the desire to attack Ralph Nader is pretty misguided. It's a bit like the endless attacks on 'purity trolls' that the mainstream blogs engaged in about 6 months ago. It really just forces people who aren't really your enemies to hate you. It makes it impossible for people to bring themselves to vote for Hillary Clinton, because why should they if her her policies are too right wing and the people who support her aren't even making a good argument as to why you should.

Could Ralph Nader have not run, and allowed gore to win? Yes. But the Democratic party could also have endorsed the sort of policies that would have made Ralph Nader irrelevant. Ralph Nader didn't give us bush, 12 years of Democratic triangulation that pushed everyone to the left of Kevin Drum into the arms of a third party did. While I bought the lame ass democratic arguments in 2000 and 2004, the MCA, FISA and Hillary pledging to every insider that will speak to her that troops will still be in baghdad come 2017, means I'm not going to buy it again. No amount of Nader bashing is going to change that.

You all have a proble, and "More and Better Democrats" isn't a solution anyone outside of the blogging elite find to be credible anymore.

Posted by: Soullite at September 16, 2007 10:03 AM

If the 2000 election infuriates you (and it infuriates me), blame the Electoral College that throws out the popular vote--and blame the Democrats for their reluctance to do anything about ending the Electoral College. So long as the Dems are content with the Electoral College, they're hypocrites when they complain about Nader.

Quibble aside, good on you for getting out and letting your position on the war be seen!

Posted by: will shetterly at September 16, 2007 11:06 AM

What Soullite said.

Posted by: Takkak at September 16, 2007 02:47 PM

Thanks for being there, Natasha.

Posted by: eRobin at September 16, 2007 05:55 PM

Thanks for all the responses.

About Nader: The thing I can't forgive him for is saying that both parties, both candidates, were alike. Time has proven him dead wrong.

There was plenty of blame to go around for 2000, though. The Republicans could, for example, have demonstrated some basic level of respect for democracy. The Democrats could have been smarter about handling things. Lieberman could have ... been somebody other than who he always is. But at least they all acted like it was important.

Nader said the election didn't matter. He doesn't get a pass on that.

We have a two party system. End of story. If people want to do what the Marxists suggest, letting things get so terribly bad that the public has no choice but to revolt, hey, vote Republican. But I don't like their strategy any better than I like the idea of trying to implement either communism or fascism.

Waiting for things to get so bad that 'the people' suddenly wake up one morning and agree with you is like waiting for the underpants gnome to generate a profit. It's like answering complex evolutionary questions of descent and development with 'God must have done it.' It's bull.

In a two party system, you either try to reform the party that's closest to your beliefs from within or you throw the game to the other side. Those are your choices. I didn't make the rules, I didn't set up the game. It's the truth and it isn't my fault.

Though he did make a good suggestion in saying that people should visit their congressional offices, the ones in their states/districts, in person.

Posted by: natasha at September 16, 2007 08:38 PM