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“If the Hanoi Hilton could not break John McCain’s resolve to do what is best for his country, you can be sure the angry Left never will.” — President George Bush, addressing the RNC via satellite feed, September 1, 2008


“I Am The Angry Left.” — T-Shirt seen at demonstration outside RNC, September 2, 2008. *
A criminal trial against Eight American Patriots is about to start in Saint Paul. These eight patriots armed themselves with information and guts and planned to attack dogma and repressive politics at the Republican National Convention. They were arrested, treated like animals, and pressed with trumped up charges, including an accusation of terrorism under a Minnesota state law that mirrors the oppressive Bush Anti-Patriot Act.

The right to free speech, the right to assemble, the right to bear arms, and the right to due process are fundamental tenets of the American System of Democracy. The Original American Patriots carried out civil disobedience that culminated in the design and ratification of the Constitution that guarantees these rights. Please understand the connection. The original American Patriots knew what they had to do, they did it, then they built a system that would allow future generations a means to do the same thing if necessary. They made the American system one open to self-criticism and progressive change.

This is a rewritten repost, part of the celebration of Repost your Political Snark Week (which is an event held every two years offset from the US Congressional Elections).

The Bush Anti-Patriot Act and its paper minions across the states is nothing less than the undoing of the fundamentals of American freedom. Ironically, this has been done with the collusion of the poorly educated Libertarian and Rightist supporters of the conservative movement, who really, honestly, are primarily concerned with clinging to their guns and their religion, both protected by this same constitution they unwittingly dismantle. The right wing can be very smart about manipulating the preformed fodder for fascism that makes up the vast legions of Joe Six Packs.

And make no mistake: The Bush Anti-Patriot Act and its paper minions is the culmination of decades of effort by the Right Wing to create laws that allow an oppressive government to arbitrarily arrest, charge, jail, bug, and otherwise harass anyone who shows an iota of disagreement.

Thanks to this new approach to repression of Democracy in America, anyone who demonstrates even the intention of publicly disagreeing with the policies of the government can be arrested, charged, and possibly convicted of crimes against the state, and serve many years incarcerated. For attempting to express their opinion.

I am the angry left who knows some of these children. The so called Anarchists and the RNC Welcoming Committee are ragged tips of a vast, ill defined but potent iceberg of dissatisfaction and questioning among primarily younger people in the Twin Cities. In many cases there is a continuity between 60s activists (mom and dad) and people now in their 20s or 30s, often the organizers or facilitators. These are people who have carried a torch of modest and questioning radicalism, of the kind expressed by the likes of Patrick Henry or Benjamin Franklin. But the bulk of this thing that can barely be called a movement (it is more of an ‘emergence’) consists of kids who went from the suburbs to college and found out that everybody has been doin’ it wrong for long enough that we’ve almost done ourselves in. And now these kids feel that things need to change. They are smart, they are motivated, and they are going to save us from ourselves.

I sat recently for coffee with a dear friend who told me of one young man who is the gentlest person she has ever known, who is so dedicated to a peaceful sustainable world that every step in his life is a conscious effort to make less of an impact on the environment. This young man is one of the Saint Paul Eight and has a reasonably good chance of spending five to ten years in prison, accused of planning civil disruption at the Republican National Convention.

There were already laws in place prohibiting certain kinds of unpermitted assembly, damage to property, threats to individuals, or bodily harm. But these patriots … the Saint Paul Eight … are being charged with conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism under the new, extraordinarily repressive Bush laws.

Conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism.

This is what demonstrating is called now. No. This is what planning to demonstrate is called now. Roll that around in your head for a few minutes, and if this does not send chills down your spine then perhaps you should have your conscience checked.

This is the outcome of about 40 years of consistent implementation of a not too secret right wing conspiracy congealed during eight years of the most oppressive and anti-American, anti-Freedom, anti-Democracy presidency we have ever experienced. There is a reason why so many people on the left, and in the center, and even on the centrist side of the right, are saying that this is the most important election in our life time.

This is the most important election in our life time.

It is a matter of survival of our way of life, of our basic values, of our democratic system, not to mention several important elements of that system such as education, affordable health care, social security, and a reasonable degree of peace among nations.

Listen to me:

There are too many close calls for you or me to be comfortable. There are only two weeks left. You must now abandon other activities, put down the rake, turn off the TV, cancel the trip to the cabin, forget about organizing your stamp collection for a while!

Find a Democrat running for office. Give this Democrat fifty bucks … a cheap price to save your ass from another four years of creeping oppression. Volunteer to work for the candidate. Phone bank, door knock, clean the damn kitchen in the campaign office while other people are phone banking. Whatever, just do something!

Where I live, we have the possibility of sending the first ever Democrat to the House of Representatives from this Republican-gerrymandered district. Aswin Madia‘s campaign is doing well for a guy who’s never run for office before, but the two front runners, Madia and a Republican named Paulson, are in a statistical dead heat. We need to get out the effort over the few remaining days to support Madia.

I’ve been working for Madia, but even more important here in Minnesota may be the election of Al Franken to the Senate seat vacated by Paul Wellstone and now held by one of the lowest of the low … Republican Norm Coleman. You must understand that if the Democrats do not hold 60 seats in the Senate, there will be no Obama. He might as well not even be there. All it will take is one Republican Senator to shut down any legislative action with a filibuster. You need to work to give the Democrats a filibuster proof majority in the Senate and a majority in the House.

The last time this happened, a lot of good things came of it, and every time the Republicans have had control over the last few decades, only bad things have happened.

Do not listen to those who tell you that it is best to have one party in charge in the house and one in charge of the senate, or one party running the legislature an one in the White House, or some other cockamamie idiocy. The same person who tells you that will also tell you “Oh, the politicians in Washington, they never get anything done.” Well. Duh.

Do not be swayed by those who claim that the left and the right are somehow symmetrical. Nothing could be farther than the truth.

Then there is El Tinklenberg running against Michele Bachmann. Say no more. Just do what you need to do.

And of course, Obama.

Voter, Citizen, Democrat: Don’t! Fuck! This! Up!

Obama is leading in the polls, but you must remember to vote! Obama is leading in the polls but do not be surprised at the October Surprise. He’s leading in the polls, but Al Gore actually won the election, and he did not get to be president! So don’t fuck it up, people. Watch. Work. Vote. Do not slack off in what looks like a pretty easy run to the finish in the presidential race.

You probably don’t live in my district, and you probably don’t live in my state. Find out what senate or congressional races need the help right now. I can tell you that the Franken – Colemen contest is among the most important going right now in the country, and I and everyone else in Minnesota would very much appreciate a donation to that (Franken, not Coleman!) campaign. You could look at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee web site for other ideas.

Finally, you can SUPPORT THE RNC 8 here, at this web site.

OK, everybody, make a fist. Everybody put your fists together in a big pile in the middle of the circle. OK, ready?

HOOYAH!!!

We’re goin’ in ,and we’re not coming up for air until we have VICTORY!

That is all.


Information on the Saint Paul Eight.

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Comments

  1. #1 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    November 1, 2009

    Since the Big Victory Party in ’08 I have actually become more angry in that the support that we leftists gave to the Democrats is now being taken for granted; while Obama and the Blue Dogs appease the losers from last year.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    November 1, 2009

    Make a list of liberal wants …. repeal of DADT, health care reform, etc. etc.

    Arrange the items on the list into two or three categories depending on what can be more or less unilaterally done vs. done only with a great deal of negotiation and fighting with no great guarantee of success.

    Also, note the relationship between support/opposition on one item and another. E.G. you could get all the fundies to go along with an AGW proposal before you force them to pay taxes on their churches, but not after. (Hypothetical examples there, of course).

    Now, strategies. Of the list of items liberals and progressives are screaming about, almost everyone will knock off one or two senators and three or four reps from HCR. If you want heatlh care reform, do it first, do it as completely as possible, and don’t let every other issue get in the way. Seriously.

    Maybe.

  3. #3 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    November 1, 2009

    I have started by expressing to my Rep, Betty McCollum, and to the White House, for Dennis Kucinich’s amendment to HF 3200 which would provide a way for states to produce and administer their own Single-Payer plans.

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    November 1, 2009

    Do you think Minnesota would ever do that? There’s probably a reasonable chance. Certainly there are states that are fairly likely to do something like that (Mass, for instance) and then other states could see how it goes and then try it.

    I think the rule should be that the last five states to go single payer have to give everything up. Everything. The rest of the states divide up all the resoures, we get to enslave the citizens, get their TV’s, the whole nine yards. That will probably speed up the process once it starts rolling.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    November 1, 2009

    Do you think Minnesota would ever do that? There’s probably a reasonable chance. Certainly there are states that are fairly likely to do something like that (Mass, for instance) and then other states could see how it goes and then try it.

    I think the rule should be that the last five states to go single payer have to give everything up. Everything. The rest of the states divide up all the resoures, we get to enslave the citizens, get their TV’s, the whole nine yards. That will probably speed up the process once it starts rolling.

  6. #6 D. C. Sessions
    November 1, 2009

    This is the most important election in our life time.

    Yeah — between someone who not only supports all of the Bush administration’s authoritarian ambitions but has gone a few steps further in one area where his opponent just might have done the right thing — torture.

    Cue the music.

  7. #7 Anne Gilbert
    November 1, 2009

    One of the biggest problems here is, the Democrats, and that seems to include Obama, haven’t yet even begun to develop the spine necessary to resist this kind of stuff. And believe me, this kind of “stuff” is still going on, in Congress and locally. Just look at all the fuss over a “public option” in health care reform. If the Democrats had a spine, this option would have been passed long ago. And more. At present, the Democrats as a whole seem to still have approximately the spine of a jellyfish, and the only way anybody can begin to do anything about this, is to hold your representatives and congresspeople’s feet to the fire. By voting. And writing. And protesting. They may listen to Big Money most of the time, but if We The People start protesting loud enough, they will start listening to We The People. Because they must, if they want to keep their jobs.
    Anne G

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