On Sept 28, blogger extraordinaire Kos, wrote the following about the fairly large anti-war rally in DC (Sept 24, 2005):
Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 10:47:17 AM PDT
I’ve been critical of peace protests in the past [...]. This time, however, I wasn’t feeling animosity for last week’s protests. I was feeling something akin to apathy.
The lack of focus is maddening, obviously. But my biggest problem with anti-war protests is that they’re obsolete. What do they accomplish?
And we don’t need marches to let the country know that people are turning on the war.
People marching on the street? Boring. Unless you 1) have violence, or 2) crazy people making crazy speeches. It’s a lose-lose situation, and at best a single news cycle story.
The Right, except for the crazy anti-abortion protesting crowd, focuses its efforts solely on influencing media coverage. And it’s paid incredible dividends in the past few decades. We need to follow suit, rather than continue the same activism tactics of a century ago.
Ultimately I was agnostic over the march this past weekend because I can appreciate that people want to gather to fight for the cause, I appreciate that they want to feel like they’re doing something.
My question, then, becomes whether the money and effort people expended getting to DC to march might’ve been better spent in other forms of activism — letters to the editor, contributions to anti-war candidates, politicians, and organizations, calls and letters to their elected officials [...]
Today (Jan 30, 2006) he writes:
Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 03:53:52 PM PDT
We lost the cloture vote, but that was — despite some of your best wishes — a pre-ordained conclusion. But that doesn’t mean we lost on the bigger picture.
What you guys accomplished the last week was amazing — the outpouring of emails, letters, faxes, and phone calls was unprecedented for the netroots and particularly surprising given how weak our issue groups organized against Alito. We should’ve played a supporting role to strong efforts by NARAL, People for the American Way, and others. Instead, we ended up being pretty much the entire effort.
But say what you will about blogs and the netroots, we are not effective organizers for this type of large-scale effort, with an opposition wielding tens of millions of dollars. That we got this much accomplished in the fact of that is simply incredible.
So we are now on the map. The Alito vote may have fizzled, but you better believe the Dem establishment knows we exist.
Hmm… is it necessary to add a comment here, or perhaps just highlight the inadequacy of such thinking with a quote from the very same Kos post, misappropriated for my purpose:
In addition (this isn’t an “either/or” situation),
On another note: elsewhere on his site Kos confesses to his Republican campaigning past while other parts of the site ridicules “hippies” (while dispensing advice on what to do and not to do at the boring irrelevant DC march). The irony highlighted by these two excerpts can serve as a good starting point on why the left doesn’t hang together in the USA.Read the full post and comments »