by Brent Budowsky
First the problem, then the solution.
Karl Roves' secret weapon has alway been the Washington insider class of Democratic commentariats, consultariats and courtiers.
They are the most brilliant political thinkers on earth, when they are promoting the Democratic class of insider commentariats, consultariats and courtiers.
Never before in history has a privileged elite in the church of insiderism, made as much money losing elections, as these inside the beltway bandits who are largely divorced from the heart and soul of what used to be the Party of the people.
At least the Republican commentariats, consultariats and courtiers make their money by winning, right?
Those of us who want to end the one-party state in Washington, have spent many months enduring the dance of the defeatist, as Howard Dean and Rahm Emmanuel threw spitballs at each other. Democratic insider elbows aimed at Democratic insider groins, while Republicans were building another large war chest, for another of their largest in history get out the vote drives.
And then, as sure as the sun rises in the East, our Democratic elites and insiders announce an "agreement" that is nothing more than a "surrender," that will spend a pathetic amount of money on get out the vote, dramatically less than the Republicans yet again.
By some reports, this Democratic "initiative" will spend about the same amount of money in 2006 on get out the vote, as Democrats spent in 2002, during their brilliant campaign to win the Congress by supporting the Iraq War, during a recession-like economy.
Who was it that said that the definition of insanity, is to keep repeating the same behavior, expecting the result to turn out differently? Democrats are to winning elections, what George W. Bush is to the Iraq War.
No matter who is right on the micro-tactics, Howard and Rahm should have reached their agreement six months ago, and spent the time from then, until now, rallying the base of the party for an unprecedented, aggressive, all-out drive to register voters, police vote-counting, and get out the vote.
After this election the Democratic Party needs to have a conversation with itself, about whether it is the Party of the people, or the party of the courtiers, consultants and insiders who make vast personal profit by taking a piece of the action, through corrupt business models, of money misspent in losing campaigns.
My own vision of the Party of the people, to regain control of the government of the people, by the people, and for the people, is this: a hyper-alliance between progressive radio, the progressive internet, and the progressive grassroots to mobilize people in the interests of people, to mobilize money to mutually empower our people, and to mobilize the power of people to the cause of ideas and movements, not the cause of their commentariat, consultariat and courtier class in Washington.
Parenthetically, I will have much more to say on Air America soon, the alliance I propose will still stand when the dust is settled, but for now, understand this: the courtier and consultariat class of insiders have never been true friends of Air America or the blogs, for this reason:
Their vision is to extract as much money as they can from the true Democrats that are the real heart of the Party, take a piece of that money for their intermediary hands, then spend that money through programs that profit their business models that are often hostile to the best strategies to win elections, and the best interests of the real people in whose true interests those elections should be fought.
For this reason the commentariat, consultariat and courtier classes of insiders have a major bias against a talk radio-blogosphere-grassroot power machine, because while it is the way to empower and win, it cuts out much of the non-productive easy money of the consultariat intermediaries.
Similarly, they have an aggressive bias against the one thing Democrats need the most, after 2000, 2002, and 2004 because an aggressive, all-out, play-to-win voting drive on all levels is labor intensive, people intensive, America intensive with little profit potential for the intermediary elitist classes taking a piece of the action.
Understand, this has nothing to do with left versus center, or blogs versus DLC. This is about original sin: they support those things they make money from, even if they contribute to losing elections, and they oppose those things that do not profit them, even if they are the way to win, because with the Kafkaesque business model of the courtier class, they often make more money by losing, than winning.
Contrast this with the money and power source of the Republican elites: They have a class of generous and visionary super-wealthy conservatives who have spent thirty years building their media machine that generates, for them, profits and power for their ideas.
Beyond this: Republicans have a class of corrupt sweetheart deal corporate insiders, who essentially spend money, to buy elections, to win contracts. And a conservative base of small donors driven by fear of the outside world, a negative emotion, and driven by a desire for their religious and culture views to dominate the institutions of the democratic state, a dangerous emotion for a Republic based on separation of powers and separation of Church and State.
For the real Democrats in the real America, the battle cry and plan of action for now, is this: get directly in touch with candidates, state parties and groups that directly mobilize voters and in a brushfire of national support and action let's give them the money, the time and the lift that we all, collectively, have the power to give them.
Let's ignore the hands of the intermediaries and the negativity of our grievances and rally ourselves for empowerment and power, for fighting and winning, for revitalizing direct democracy in America.
Bypass the layering classes of consultariats, commentariats, courtiers, exploiters, insiders and opportunists and go directly to the states and the candidates and give them time, give them money, give them support that bypasses the intermediary hands.
Go directly to the campaigns of Jim Webb in Virginia, Jon Tester in Montana, Harold Ford in Tennessee, Sherrod Brown in the citadel of Republican corruption in Ohio, Bob Casey fighting an epic battle against Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania and Ned Lamont trying to bring back Mr. Smith to Washington, from Connecticut..
Go directly to the campaigns of House candidates in swing elections, especially on the East Coast and Midwest, and find close campaigns elsewhere and get behind them with whatever you can give, or do.
Contact State political parties and ask them what plans they have for voter mobilization, poll watching, vote counting and get out the vote and if their plans sound impressive, write them a little check, or give them a little of your time.
Call the major traditional groups that mobilize voter participation and empowerment such as African American, Hispanic and Labor and give them your support in money or time.
There is something everyone can do, there are actions anyone can take, large or small, depending on your means, your time and your preference.
It is time to make a stand for democracy in America and we have the power and the numbers and the idealism to make it happen.
Let's make this a Freedom Fall, the hell with the insider and courtier class, and the hell with our grievances, and let's think like winners and act like Democrats and play to win, and we will win.
Let's rebuild our Democratic family from the bottom up, and whether you are grandma in Utah giving a few bucks to Sherrod in Ohio, or a school teacher in Wyoming giving a few bucks to a House candidate in Pennsylvania, or a student offering to work the polls or get out the vote with your energy and idealism, let's roll and revitalize Democracy in America.
Let's make the phones ring off the hook in the key campaigns, let's make the coffers of the important campaigns fill with our money, let's make a stand on the streets of the American Republic on this coming Election Day with the voice and the feet of the people. Let's lift our sights and lift our spirits and we will lift our country.
Let's lift the Democratic Party to be democratic again.
Let's lift America to be the best of America again.
Let's lift each other and begin a new era of empowerment and idealism and community in our country, let's begin a new hour in our history where we the people of the United States will make our more perfect Union again.
Let's make this our Season for Freedom and Hope and Democracy in America.
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION