It's this simple.
If the Republican Party can't be trusted to protect American teenagers under their care from the serial advances of one of their own members, then they can't claim to protect America from anything.
If the GOP response to the Foley scandal is to "muddle through with Denny" and to mischaracterize Mr. Foley's words as mere "naughty emails"...then it's high time we tell the GOP that Americans are sick of muddling and we have had enough of their mischaracterizations.
There's a hole in the Contract with America a mile wide.
Friends, it's time we drive a truck through it.
I want to reiterate a point I made a week ago: we need to stop looking at this election in isolation. We need to stop talking about "if" we win the House. We Democrats need to stop playing small ball.
The 2006 election, combined with the 2008 Presidential cycle, represents a single thing: a battle for the heart and soul of America. The party that wins that battle for governance will shape the 21st Century. It's time to think big. It's time to move forward. If the Democratic Party is serious about leading, if we are telling folks there's a hole in the Contract with America, then it's high time we step up to the plate and lead the way through.
And, yeah, if we in the netroots take this rhetoric seriously, it's time for us to get organized.
I'm not going to waste time on anymore flowery speechifying. If you agree with what I've written above, I've made a list of seven things we can do BEFORE this election that will help Democrats not merely win this election but to win the battle for governance for generations to come:
Seven things we can do to get organized and stay organized:
1. Go to either of these two websites and JOIN.
a) DFA-link is the social networking and organizing tool of Democracy for America. When you join DFA-link you can find Democrats just like you in groups in your area. Within twenty minutes you can find groups of grassroots Democrats who are getting active and getting involved this election season.
b) Party-Builder is the social networking and online organizing tool for the Democratic Party. Are you a Democrat? Do you believe in online activism? Then why aren't you a member yet? If we are serious about taking our country back, we should act like it. Party Builder is a great tool and it works better the MORE OF US who use it.
There's no excuse to be an online Democrat and not be...well...an online Democrat!
2. Get out your dayplanner right now and, if you are able, make a plan to do some form of GOTV (Get Out the Vote) before election day.
We are all pressed for time. But, you know what...the voters we need for victory on election day are pressed for time too. And there is nothing voters respect more than when you help them vote. So, get out that dayplanner. Look at the calender. Plan to do some form of GOTV.
You will make Karl Rove cry.
3. Get one person you know involved in GOTV this election.
I know who my one person is. His name is Jonathan. I'm lucky, he called me asking how he could help out with the effort to defeat Richard Pombo in CA-11.
He was honest, he said he wasn't all that comfortable calling people or knocking on doors. Either we're going to find a way to get beyond that (it's not that bad, really) or I'm going to find something he IS comfortable with; but the point is, we're going to do some GOTV together. And that's the point.
GOTV can get lonely. Don't just show up alone. Bring a friend. When we win, they will feel a part of something. You'll have something to talk about...and shared victory. GOTV will become a habit...something to do together. And, you know what, that social stuff is a big part of successful politics.
4. Sometime before or after this election go to a Drinking Liberally event.
Drinking Liberally is great. It brings Democrats together in a low pressure setting. I've met these folks; they are, every last one of them, the friendliest people you will ever meet. If you haven't gone...trust me. What are you waiting for??
The following are three things you can do online, with no premise of off line activism.
5. Go to ACTBlue and learn how it works.
ACTBlue is great. If you can, give some $$. If you're motivated, set up your own page.
I'm not even saying you have to donate money. Go to ACTBlue and learn how the website functions. Tool around. Look up your home state. Look up some local candidates. Check all the different organizations and pages set up through which to donate money.
ACTBlue is one of the BEST ways to look up what's going on with candidates nationwide. You can read the candidate's web pages, you can see what their supporters are saying, you can see who really needs our help. The more people who learn HOW ACTBlue works, the more people who will make effective use of it this election and every single election going forward.
6. Visit a local blog near you.
Put them on your favorites bar. Make some comments. Link to them from Dailykos. I'm serious about this. Local bloggers are making a difference in state after state and district after district nationwide.
I want to tell you that I know that the first thing that Richard Pombo's staff does when they boot up their computers in the morning is read this blog.
But local blogs NEED you. They need your comments, your readership and your participation. Here are a number of resources to help you find a local progressive blog near you: Eriposte's LeftCoaster Local Blog Roll, The k/o list focused on Vulnerable GOP incumbents, and Blogs United list of Progressive BlogCommunities. If that fails, try this. Type in the name of the local candidate you are interested in here. You should find a local progressive blogger who would LOVE to have your readership. Put them in your favorites bar and link to them!!
7. Finally, if you are up to it...especially if you didn't find a local blogger covering local issues near you. Please Start your own Local Blog.
keener, a guy you should know from dailykos, did just that...just in the last couple months. And in that time had a major impact on a local race. (I'd call having the GOP candidate apologize to you...a major impact.) Now, here's what keener had to say about local blogging.
Finally, as many of you already know, I've formed a group specifically by and for local progressive bloggers called Blogs United. You can read about us on our Baby Wiki here.
If you are a local progressive blogger or you are serious about starting a local blog, or if know a local blogger who should have access to the resources and community of Blogs United email me. I am approachable, and I will get back to you. kidoaklandactivism"at"comcast"dot"net
So that's 7 things we all can do.
Yes, there's a hole in the Contract with America a mile wide. Our job is to drive a truck through that hole. Our job is to build a new America on the other side.
This election isn't the end of a road. It is the start of a long journey together. What we do over the next two years will have repercussions for generations.
There is so much to do. The time for thinking small is over.
The first step in thinking big is to get organized.