Monday, June 18, 2007

Something we need to remember

As you may have heard, Chris Bowers and Matt Stoller are leaving, amicably, MyDD, which is my favorite national blog due to the way they write about the progressive movement. They are going to start a new blog talking about this movement in terms BEYOND partisanship.

Matt Stoller writes eloquently about what's to come:
I remember a meeting I had with Pelosi, prior to the 2006 elections, where I asked her to call the Republicans liars on the House floor when she felt they lied. She said she wouldn't, and in the conversation pointed out that the use of that word would strip her of the right to speak on the floor for that day under the rules of the House. Perfect, I said, that's a terrific PR move. And I wouldn't let up, until her communications director pulled me away. 'You're just like your blog', is what a friend told me afterwards. And that's because of you, because you have helped me to understand what I never did before, that there is a thirst for people who have strong voices, for people who speak in politics as a moral story. That's how you talk about politics, so that's how I now talk about it. I have learned that might does not make right, right makes might.

I hope, as Chris Bowers, Mike Lux, and I go on to our new venture, that we are able to help more people understand the power of disagreement, the power of ideas, and the power of dissent. The notion of unity is a very powerful framework, and it's one I believe in strongly. Lincoln's Union was a moral community that sought disagreement within a framework of individual consent to overall decision-making governance. And that's where we have to go now as a country. I hear the right-wing and corporate elites making arguments that the public can't govern, so it shouldn't even try. That taxes can't be paid because lawyers and accountants will find loopholes for the rich, or that we can't move off of a carbon intensive energy system because oil companies and car companies and defense contractors are too powerful. Nonsense. The Union, Lincoln's Union, would never say that we cannot tax the powerful and immoral to throw off our chains. Our America, Lincoln's America, will never consent to being ruled by fiends in defense industries because we can't do better. In our America, we will not discuss whether the Iraq War made us 'safer' without discussing first whether it was the right thing to do, whether it made us more or less able to live up to America's promise or whether it is part of that murderous and slave-owning past that we pretend does not exist, without seeing our own lack of moral character in the inner cities where we choose to overlook the AIDS, crack, death, and violence that we perpetuate with our suburban lifestyle of gates, chains, and TV fantasy dreamworlds. We will and are building a new Ameria, and it's going to take time, and it will be painful, but we will get there, at least some of us.

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