[Ed. Note: Edited to include youtube]
Hallelujah! Some outspokeness from a Democratic Congress critter, at a higher level than “blame everything on the GOP”.
At a press conference held by members of the House Out of Poverty Caucus Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich), the second most senior member of the U.S. House, was pointed in his criticism of the White House regarding jobs and cuts to Social Security the President put on the table last week. “We’ve got to educate the American people at the same time we educate the President of the United States. The Republicans, Speaker Boehner or Majority Leader Cantor did not call for Social Security cuts in the budget deal. The President of the United States called for that,” Conyers, who has served in the House since 1965, said. “My response to him is to mass thousands of people in front of the White House to protest this,” Conyers said strongly.
We want full employment as a matter of government policy,” he said. “Which was passed in 1978 when I stood with Hubert Humphrey. We passed the first bill that allowed the government – in areas of high unemployment – to directly intervene and create jobs. Well, we’ve got the bill in here again and I’ve got nothing from the White House,” Conyers told the audience. Several CBC members have called for targeted help for high unemployment in the black community
Focusing on Obama, Conyers continued. “We want him to know from this day forward that we’ve had it. We want him to come out on our side not to watch and wait. We’re suffering,” Conyers said. Several members of the CBC, including, Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), and are beginning to speak out more publicly on jobs and the White House policy. Many have called for a targeted approach to the problem
ETA: I made some comments at dailykos, and a poster there suggested that I add one of them to the diary, proper. I did so, and included a 2nd comment. Both comments speak to Conyers’ call to educate the American public – something that political blogs like FDL and DailyKos could play a key role in.
Also, “you’re welcome” to all the people who wrote “thanks”
By the time this diary was up for 12 minutes 38 people had voted in the poll, and 94% were for WH protests.
I have a feeling that this diary will get a lot of attention, not because of anything I wrote, but because of Conyers’ stature and what he said.
That said, I’d like to use my impending 15 hours of fame to remind everybody that protests could also be local, ubiquitous, small, and furthermore, could honor Conyers’ expressed desire to “educate the American people”, and thus target one’s fellow citizens (not necessarily your local Congress critter).
Indeed, yours truly has been advocated “shotgun” protests or outreaches, for quite a while, with a view toward educating the public – in particular, the “unblogged masses”.
So, please check out my diaries Status Quo Busters: How FDL+DK+DU progressives can ‘cross the beams’ and revolutionize politics and How squeegees can help save America, and your sanity – going beyond blogging to the choir and start thinking about picking up Conyer’s cry for education of the public. An educated public will more forcefully exert it’s will on the government, due to the inevitable increased level and intelligence of demands made on their elected representatives.
I’ll also use my 15 hours of fame to note that Democrats and progressives could help inject progressive memes – like preserving SS and Medicare – directly into Republican primaries, by crashing their primary elections as both candidates and supporters. Please see my diary Wanted: Republicans who plan to sell off CA and NY, to pay the national debt
IMO, very propitious entry points to inject progressive memes into the general public, are the sidewalks next to public schools, just after school. (Though some local activist teachers that I spoke to, that did something similar, targeted parents, directly, before school, who were dropping off their kids.) Please see How teachers could make Rush Limbaugh’s head explode, but chronically fail to and Call to Action: How the Tea Party can intelligently help CRUSH Teachers’ Unions
This route isn’t only promising because schools are one of the few areas of everyday congregation of the public in a suburb. It’s also promising because people are protective of their children. If junior comes home with a political tract, especially one that doesn’t fall into the framing of mainstream media, when the parents get wind of it, they will likely demand to check it out. After all, they wouldn’t want junior to get corrupted by some radical ideology. Meanwhile, if kids get the notion that there’s something somewhat taboo about what they’re handed, they will be all the more intrigued. (To help encourage this scenario, you could deviously say to kids, “DON’T show this to your parents, whatever you do! NEVER, NEVER, NEVER!!! They can’t handle the truth!” If that doesn’t guarantee interest on the part of the child, and parents investigating the possibly subversive pamphlets, then I don’t know what will. :-) )
Although I had it in my mind for teachers to take the lead in such actions, that’s not actually necessary, and furthermore, teachers are in a fragile position in much of the country, due to charter school privatization. Many will fear getting fired, and in many cases, those fears will be justified.
In suburbia, there are fewer options than in more densely crowded areas, but suburbs are still target-rich areas, where activists could still do their thing with great democratic efficiency. One creative idea that would actually work better in a suburb than in a densely packed city is what I’ve dubbed “democracy carolling”. You get your activist glee club, plus a tap dancer or two, to go around town in the suburbs, and sing patriotic numbers like “Yankee Doodle Dandy”. The tap dancers make like James Cagney. You don’t do this in December, when you’d be competing with Christmas carollers, but you could do it during the other 11 months of the year.
If you put a smile on people face before you place a pamphlet in their hands, they are going to be much more receptive to reading it.
Is this story being censored? Calling Cenk Uyghur!
I cross posted this diary at FDL, here, and got a comment from “papau”, who said the following on July 29th, 2011 at 10:53 am EST:
This was not on – (or at least I did not catch it)- on MSNBC on 7/27 when said, or on 7/28, and today 7/29 and I am not holding my breath for it to be shown. As for NBC/CBS/ABC/NYT/WaPo/Fox forget about it.
Obama was chosen by the media and the rich and corporate and is protected by them.
I just did a search for “Conyers” on the front page of politico.com, and talkingpointmemo.com, and found nothing.
Fascinating! I also just did the following 3 google searches (which should span multiple days), and came up with absolutely nothing.
conyers “out of poverty caucus” site:nytimes.com
conyers “out of poverty caucus” site:abc.com
conyers “out of poverty caucus” site:nbc.com
Finally, I did the following search:
conyers “out of poverty caucus” site:theyoungturks.com
and also came up with nothing. Well, given Cenk’s recent removal from a prime MSNBC spot, I certainly don’t think he’s suppressing the story. Probably, even Cenk doesn’t know!
If anybody can reach Cenk, that’d be good. Also, if anybody has time to research what looks like a news blackout to me, and write a diary, feel free.
conyers “out of poverty caucus” site:talkingpointsmemo.com
conyers “out of poverty caucus” site:politico.com
also show zero hits. At this point, I’m pretty sure that we’re dealing with a news blackout.