Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"It's Time for the Progressive Community to . . ."

You betcha - it is time for the progressive community "to shi*t or get off the pot," or so Hillbilly says. You're damn tootin'.

Barack Obama inherited one of the biggest messes in the history of the United States of America. Two wars and a collapsed economy, just to mention a few.

When Barack Obama was running for President he said change wouldn't come easy and he would need help. So what have we done to help him and cover his back? I ask this question because I've watched the progressive community allow the Tea Party folks to own the streets and take over the Town-Hall meetings during the spring, summer and fall of 2009. I was on the streets and at Town-Hall meetings to see this first hand. Not only did I see it, Mike Watt and I shot photos and videos of these events and Richard Dillon wrote about them eloquently.
Hillbilly goes on to review his past year of scoping out Tea Party events, camera and all.
I'm tired of listening to whiny ass progressives with all their excuses and their willingness to blame everyone else for the situation we're in. I'm tired of hearing my so called progressive friends saying: "I can't go to that rally, because I might make somebody mad at me", "It's too cold to go out and carry a sign", "It's supposed to rain tomorrow" "Oh it's too hot for a protest rally", "It's not important to counter protest the Tea Party folks, Hell their just Astroturf, "Go to a protest rally are you kidding me?"

Hillbilly ends by listing (with links) 14 of the health care rallies he attended and then wrote about on his blog.

Yes I'm from a Red state, yes I live in rural Kentucky, yes much of the so called progressive community looks down their nose at folks like me, yes my writing leaves a lot to be desired, and yes my conscience is clear, because I've done everything within my power to fight for what I believe in. Have you? I'll let my record speak for it self. What does your record have to say?

If you've still reading, you may be thinking that I'm pissed at my progressive brothers and sisters. I'm not pissed. I'm just disappointed. I love my progressive brothers and sisters. I know what we are capable of doing. I see the potential and to ignore our potential and what we are capable of doing and sit back and watch without bringing it to the progressive community's attention, is simply not an option for me.

It is very much worth your time to link on over there and read the full article as well as to hit the rallies he has attended.
Hillbilly Report was added to my blog list a few weeks ago. I have yet to regret it and welcome my neighbors who are adjacent to the northern border of Tennessee. Wouldn't mind if the font were a point or two larger, though.
For "that woman" I'll provide a little geography lesson, so she can understand where we are "at." To the north of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi (surely you know where they are) is Tennessee. Above the Volunteer State is the Bluegrass State. The only thing these five states have in common is the color red.


  1. What a great rallying cry... it is just sad that not enough people will listen.

    Bob Cesca, who I quote a lot and whom I love to read and I used to comment at a lot until so many started saying things about how things were changing fast enough, said a lot of these same things.

    One of the people who USED to post there at Cesca's is now in partnership with Jane Hamsher... and is a Kill Biller.. I swear they should all turn in their Democratic membership cards and become R's... because they have just helped them take over, by doing the things they are doing.

    I love the sound of Hillbilly and will be checking him out too.. Thanks for pointing me in his direction.

  2. Thanks, Annette. I love it when you leave a comment on my blog. I need to put Cesca on my list. Used to have him, I think - don't know why I took him off. Not familiar with the others - doubt if I'd want to go there.

  3. Thanks Leslie, and I love when you visit me... You and I are the old hands I think and we remember a lot of the same That's what gives us the unique perspective on things and helps us to understand what some of these younger people just don't see or know about. Now if they would only listen to

  4. The big liberal movements of the 60s, put in some legwork on Civil Rights and the Vietnam War, what happened was, Civil Rights legislation was passed in 1964 and the war was abandoned in 1975 also young people got the vote at 18.

    Most of the people who got vocal and active in the 60s are about my age now or older, I'm 62, where are the young and agile liberals? Ones that don't need a cane or have had knees replaced. The baby boomers have had their time in the trenches, we still believe, still support and would be ready to cheer on a new generation of activists. I there anybody out there in enough numbers to make it happen again.

  5. Parsley writes:

    "I'm tired of listening to whiny ass progressives with all their excuses and their willingness to blame everyone else for the situation we're in."

    Yes! Yes! Yes! If the democratic majority falls apart in 2010 it will be partly because of those whining progressives. At times I think they forget the president is the leader of our team.

  6. I don't understand why the progressives who were so fired up to get Obama elected just melted away once he became president. That's when the support is really needed. We need a strong leader like Martin Luther King to inspire us and get us moving again.

    The Tea Party are loud and demanding so they get attention. Now is the time to "go ye and do likewise."

  7. Annette: Well, we could start an Old Farts Club. But I'm with you about the younger generation. They don't have the perspective that comes with age and it's all about "me" and I want it yesterday. And frankly they simply don't have an understanding of how the game of politics is played.

    Holte: I haven't had any knee or hip replacements - just a few broken bones from being pulled down by wonder dog or tripping over him. Like you I was extremely active in the 60s - slightly older than most, including you. : ( I'm just sad that the younger generation doesn't care enough to get active.

    MadMike: Those were Hillbilly's words, so I can't take credit but he speaks for me. I think the GOP and the media have worked overtime to erode any respect for Obama. Having worked for the media it's very hard for me to say that they have pissed me off but they have - and big time.

    Darlene: I don't see any strong leaders on the horizon. I just hope Obama realizes that there is no such thing as bipartisanship when one is the party of no.

  8. Thanks for adding me, even though we have very little political agreement!

  9. dmarks: That's okay. I have a few conservative friends.

  10. Leslie,

    I thought you lived in Nashville. My brother lives in Hendersonville, TN, BTW, is married to a Mormon and votes Republican. But we still get along.

    It's 7:15 here in Boston, and I don't have the teevee on--in fact I may not bother to watch what we all know is going to happen.

    Just keep in mind, as I said on my blog, that after tonight's defeat, Mr. Obama will still be president, and the Democrats will still be in charge of the US Congress.

  11. Shaw: Mr. Obama will still be president, and the Democrats will still be in charge of the US Congress.

    We know that but do others? I'm really getting discouraged with the negative attitudes.

    I have relatives in Hendersonville but I barely know how to find the place. 99% of my relatives are right-wing. No talkie politics.

  12. Shaw said said: "Just keep in mind, as I said on my blog, that after tonight's defeat, Mr. Obama will still be president, and the Democrats will still be in charge of the US Congress."

    Yes, the Dems will still have a clear and strong majority in both houses. Along with the ability to do anything they want (President willing). Now, as before, there's really no such thing as Republican obstructionism. The Dems can do anything they want if they get their ducks in a row.

  13. Without a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, there is very little President Obama can accomplish. The Republicans have positioned themselves as the Dr. No Party, The Grand Obstructionist Party, the New Nihilist Party. If the government were broken before the MA runoff, it will now be broken by one more Senate vote.

  14. Like John Stewart said, '...if Bush can could get everything he wanted then why can't the liberals do the same with an overwhelming majority..."

    Its time to put the peddle to the metal and give the American people the CHANGE and the ACTION that they voted for in 2008!

    Where there is a will there is a way....what's been lacking is the will....

  15. Hillbilly makes some good points, and I like his spirit. Still, polls said for most of 2009 that most Americans wanted health care reform, with a public option. I never saw a poll on it, but I'd be willing to bet good money an overwhelming majority support taking away health care insurers' idiotic immunity from antitrust laws.

    For all of that, I'm not sure how taking to the streets to rally or protest will overcome having a Rahm Emanuel and Larry Summers in the White House, and Tim Geithner in the Cabinet. I don't see how protests will end the thoroughly unehlpful presence of Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, Kent Conrad and a few others in the Senate Democratic Caucus. And then there's the one and only Joe Lieberman.

    Last but not least, we've got a president who, with every passing month, shows he ran way, way, way to the left of where he really is and wants to go. He waved the white flag on single payer before the battle got under way, pissed away months and vitally important reform measures foolishly trying to gain a single token Republican vote, and has done a lame job of leading on the health care reform issue throughout.

    Will a big turnout of progressives in the streets cause some kind of political reset button to be pressed, so Obama starts leading like, say, a Truman backing the Marshall Plan or Lyndon Johnson getting the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed? Will it get those DINO senators to be replaced by real-deal liberals, in places like Arkansas and North Dakota?

    Anything's possible, and maybe after awhile I'll see things in a less discouraged way. But right now, I don't think so.

  16. Hallelujah! And Congratulations to Senator-elect Brown. The Kenyan is now 3 for 3 in elections where he shows up.
    Whether you call yourselves Democrats, Republicans or Independents, the people have spoken!!
    The One should have gotten the message by now. Thank you to the people of Mass. for taking the first step to reigning in Congress and President Obama. To Congress and President Obama, the grass roots continue to grow. You can still make a difference and join in protecting America, and the Constitution. Its NOT too late. Please give the health care reform back to the people. Open up the debate to the public. Congress, stop all your back door politics and corruption. America, please keep this movement going. NO MORE CORRUPTION in Washington. God Bless Senator Scott and his family, and God Bless America. Sincerely, Joe American

  17. Joe - we'll see how long our posts stay up - I'm guessing gone by 8:15.

    I too am thrilled by the election of Scott Brown. What I find most interesting is that this referendum on Health Care Reform is delivered by a group of bi-partison voters who have first hand experience with a system similiar to what is being formed by the Dems. Just like most of us learned that it turned out our parents usually knew best, idealists need to consider this voice of experience.

    I'm so sick of Conservatives being called the party of NO. I think someone has sent out a memo that this is the critisism of the day. All who repeat this may want to do a little fact-checking.

    I found this article on Does this look like NO to you - Really?

    Senator Jim DeMint’s Healthcare Freedom Plan lays out a clearly conservative strategy that promises to ”insure more Americans in half the time at no cost.” According to literature posted on the Senator’s website, the right approach to reform is one that:

    • Protects the right of Americans to keep their employer-based plan without having to pay additional taxes on those benefits.
    • Provides Americans without employer-based coverage with vouchers of $2000 for individuals and $5000 for families to purchase health insurance. The premium for the average private policy sold in the individual market in 2007 was $1,896 for an individual and $4,392 for a family (Source: eHealthInsurance)
    • Allows Americans with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) to use their HSA funds to pay for insurance premiums, encouraging employers to contribute to their employees’ HSAs.
    • Creates a nationwide market for health insurance by allowing individuals to purchase health insurance plans in any state.
    • Provides block grants to states to develop innovative models that ensure affordable health insurance coverage for Americans with pre-existing health conditions.
    • Reduces predatory and frivolous malpractice lawsuits against physicians and hospitals.
    • Assures that every health care consumer has access to price information prior to treatment so they can make informed decisions about their care.
    • Repeals financial bailouts (TARP) to ensure that the plan does not add to the deficit.

    (Taken from a press release announcing DeMint’s Healthcare Freedom Plan.)

    The problem is not what the Conservatives are saying. The problem is that no one will listen.

  18. dmarks: "The Dems can do anything they want if they get their ducks in a row."

    We are smart enough to learn from our mistakes, so I have faith that we'll get off our duffs and get pro-active again. I think we've been far too complacent since the election, if not a little arrogant. Politics is a full-time job - even for the voters.

  19. TAO: "Its time to put the peddle to the metal and give the American people the CHANGE and the ACTION that they voted for in 2008!"

    Exactly - we the American people have been sitting around for too long with our fingers up our behinds and whining instead of contributing. See you at Opryland?

  20. sksteps...

    Your quote from was for a policy with a 5,000 deductible.

    Which you need to ADD to the price quoted of 1,896.....which brings your total to 6896 minus the voucher of 2000 is 4896 which is 408 a month.

    Then you have to add doctor visits to the total, the cost of precscription drugs, and all the other out of pocket charges.

    Which, for a person who lives on the median income level for a single person, of 27,000 a year means that 18% of their income will go every month to healthcare...

    No savings there is there?

  21. Octo: Pretty grim forecast. I just hope you're wrong. I pray that there are some astute Republicans - the older ones, not the Wilsons and DeMents - who can look back over the past year and see that their party has been usurped by a bunch of hoodlums. I hope that they can recognize that the control factor where everyone has to march in step, sign pledges, say the exact same thing, is not healthy for the country. I hope they will grow some courage and turn their backs on the Boehner Club and the Tea Buggers.

  22. TAO: the point was not that this was the greatest plan either, but that Republicans are not just saying NO.

    While flipping around last night, I heard someone (a democrat I'm pretty sure - maybe even Coakley) say something that made total sense to me and that I've questioned for some time.

    They (I hesitate to say she in case I'm wrong - I was doing a lot of flipping) said that Congress should do health care legislation incrementally. I'm all for that. I try to read opinions from both sides of the aisle and it seems like both sides support removing the anti-trust language so that people could buy insurance across state lines. Why don't they just take a vote on that already and then continue to hammer out the rest?

  23. SW: Of course the president has made mistakes and he will make more - just as all presidents have. But he's a smart guy - he'll learn.

    Now, as for demonstrations and their effects:

    Historically they have had a huge impact on society and legislation. The right for women to vote, being one.

    You mentioned "Lyndon Johnson getting the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed." If it hadn't been for MLK and civil rights protesters - the marches, the demonstrations, the rallies, etc., I doubt that the legislation would have been passed.

    The anti-Vietnam demonstrations were instrumental in moving public opinion away from support which then impacted on the government.

    And this brings us to the Tea Buggers. With a lot of noise, lies and threats they have put the fear of God in anyone who dares to oppose them. Most importantly, they have gotten a lot of media attention.

    We can divert this kind of coverage to our own agenda. We never have had the funding but we sure as hell have the smarts.

    The worst thing we can do is to give in to despair.

  24. JoeA: "NO MORE CORRUPTION in Washington."

    That's a hoot.

    I'm going to let your nonsense pass this time, but as far as I'm concerned your moniker is the same as Anon. The next time you will be deleted.

  25. tinlib: The GOP strategy from Day One of the Obama admin. was to obstruct, to prevent any accomplishment that would get him re-elected. Also, consider this: The GOP is further to the right than it ever has been in the past ... and turning more reactionary with each passing week.

    About the post-election spin in MA, categorical bullshit ... in my opinion. The so-called citizens of MA have a better state-sponsored plan than the one proposed in Congress. Thus, their vote says: "I've got mine ... so up yours." No regard whatsoever for the 47 million Americans who don't have health insurance, and the estimated 44,000 (Harvard study) who die each year for lack of coverage.

    There is no political message here other than pure greed, pure self-interest! And no citizenship or a regard for those HAVE-NOTS whatsoever ... just bullshit!

    I'm going home now ... to ink the aquarium!

  26. Octo: I don't totally disagree with you - especially the greed part.

    "The GOP is further to the right than it ever has been in the past ... and turning more reactionary with each passing week."

    No denying it. I'm just saying that I hope the wiser and more experienced conservatives will come to their senses and realize that the Tea Buggers are trying to take the country down a very dangerous path. I can't imagine that even they would want to see another McCarthy era.

  27. Thank you so very much for the link to our site.
    I will be linking to you today.
    Again, thanks a million.
    James Pence

  28. tnlib wrote, in response to my comment, "The worst thing we can do is to give in to despair."

    You're right about that, and your point about the King's efforts and the civil rights demonstrations are right on as well. On the Vietnam war, not so much. The public had had it with the war by 1968; the war drug on until 1974, demonstrations notwithstanding.

    One thing I think has been needed for a long time is for more Democratic officeholders and at all level, and even ex-officeholders, to get out in front of the public more, explaining what's needed, what they're doing and how and why they're doing it. Republicans do that constantly, Democrats much less so.

    (BTW, your fine blog is now on the Oh!pinion blogroll. Thanks for adding Oh!pinion to yours.)

  29. Hillbilly: Thank you but it was easy to do. We progressive hillbillies and rednecks have to stick together or we'll become extinct.

    SW: But it was the peace demonstrators - the hippies - that helped turn the public against the war and that put pressure on Washington to end the dang thing. And for once, the media. Where they've gone is another matter! I can't remember how long it took the peace talks - a year or more? - but first they had to resolve the size and shape of the table. Your point about the office holders getting before the public more is well taken. The only one who does it here is Marcia Blackburn, a Republican who's speaking at the Tea Bugger's shindig here. Thanks for your compliment and for adding me to your blog list.

  30. For me, yes, I'm to old to be out in the streets. I've stood in the cold for hours. Had my head bashed by police baton. Been gassed. Been arrested. It's a younger persons position, and they should be out there.

    I felt like it this last Summer, but I saw the fistfights, and the idiots with their guns and decided I could not get into that, or physically handle that.

    There are younger people putting themselves on the line out there. More are needed. I give money. If that makes me a wimp, I'm guilty.

    Violence has always been a participant in change in America. From the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, Union movements of the 19th and 20th century were full of riots-beatings-murders, the Civil Rights movement and that violence, the Vietnam protests and that violence.

    For the people who say violence solves nothing, History is not on your side. It would be nice, if it were different, but sadly, it is not.

  31. Tom: I'm no spring chick but I get frustrated just sitting around and doing nothing. I'll take a cane I don't use as a prop and wrap it around someones neck if need be. I guess my 60s blood is still cursing through my body, plus I'm a good street fighter and enjoy the chase. I've been jailed, hit, spit on, kicked, dragged, and called a hippie, pinko, queer.

    But there are other things that can be done which are equally important, if not more so. Organize your friends to write letters to your local and national representatives, write letters to the newspapers. Don't do these things once, repeat them over and over. That's one way for the people to be heard. Send emails to the WH - there's a Contact tab on the top of the page.

    Get on Facebook (A recent study shows the righties use it more than libs). And then there's Twitter, which contact I'm not crazy about but which can have a powerful influence. Call your local Democratic office and see what you can do as a volunteer. Get your friends to help finance an ad,

    I really don't remember seeing a "lot" of physical altercations last summer - there was some but, for the number of demonstrations, not that many. The idiots with the guns were just mainly posturing. They were stupid but not stupid enough to shoot one off with all the security around who had definitely seen them.

    Remember the non-violence of MLK - passive resistance, all that. It didn't always work as far as the victims were concerned but it got media coverage which generated public support and sympathy.

    There's all kinds of things that can be done that don't involve violence. The Tea Buggers were basically rude and noisy - people like that are usually cowards. I just turn away from them - until they really piss me off.