18
Apr
13

Time to turn the world rightside up

This has been a hard week.

It began with the terrorist attack in Boston.

The middle of the week brings us the continued terrorist attacks which occur on our streets every day due to gun violence and the easy availability of Time to turn the world rightside upguns. The Senate took up a measure to expand background checks for gun purchases. Although it had majority support, it didn’t have the magic number of 60 yeas, and thus died. (Also killed outright were bans on assault weapons and large magazines. More on that later.)

Let’s not kid ourselves: the background check legislation was, at best, a small step. As Brad Plummer writes in the Washington Post:

The Manchin-Toomey compromise bill was a scaled-back version of earlier proposals to extend background checks to unregulated private gun sales. Many gun experts argued that the slimmed-down proposal would have only marginal effects on gun violence. But even that small step couldn’t get through the Senate.

“But even that small step couldn’t get through the Senate.”

Let that sentence sink in. Our political culture is in such straits that a minor, flawed reform to gun laws could not get through the Senate. Never mind the stricter legislation on magazine size and a ban on assault weapons—legislation which went down to decisive defeats before the background check bill came up. And, of course, the GOP-controlled House has consigned Newtown to the memory hole. It has played no meaningful role in trying to ameliorate the gun violence epidemic infecting the nation; it’s quite happy allowing the carnage to continue. It is, a priori, the price of “freedom”.

It would be quite easy to throw in the towel. A significant chunk of politicians are bought and paid for by deep-pocketed special interests—and at a very cheap price. The worst among them sail to re-election time and again, thanks to that flow of money, and to an electorate which, let’s face it, is too stupid to realize that the men and women for whom they vote couldn’t give a damn about their real needs. Or, maybe they do realize it, but they hold those needs beneath the need to maintain a fiction of a country that never existed and is threatened by the hordes of “Others” about to swamp them.

To that, I offer this video:

This is not a man who has been cowed. This is not a man who is giving up. This is a man who believes in the perfection of the Union, and who will fight until his last day in office and bey0nd to see it come to fruition.

And consider the tweet which opened this essay. Not only did 17 out of the 18 senators from the states forming the backbone of the Democratic coalition vote for expanded background checks, but red state Democrats such as Mary Landrieu, Clair McCaskill, Tim Johnson, and Joe Donnelly—always at risk from right wing challenges—took a political risk to do the right thing. That, in the midst of the tragedy, is movement.

The four Democrats who voted to maintain the filibuster—Begich, Baucus, Heitkamp, and Pryor—should be subjected to all the opprobrium they have merited. As I’ve made clear before, I’m a big believer in the big tent; but how a Democrat could vote against the most minor step forward to stanch the plague of gun violence, while the families of the Newtown martyrs sat in the galleries, is beyond my understanding. All four should be held to account for their cowardly actions.

But let’s not forget: these four were icing on the cake. The GOP obstructionists had enough votes to scupper the bill without them. The failure is not on the Democrats, but on the Republicans. They sided with a fringe organization in opposition to 90% of the American public. They’re protecting the kind of gun rights which shouldn’t exist in any non-suicidal society. They’re protecting a vision of gun rights more in tune with the streets of Somalia, not with the needs of a 21st century industrial state. They are the ones who must be held accountable. They are the ones who must suffer the full wrath of the electorate—an electorate which they have betrayed time and again on every issue of national importance.

How are we to do this? This is a start.

Legendary tech investor and political mover Ron Conway has a stern warning for the 46 senators who rejected an amendment to expand background checks on firearms sales on Wednesday, a vote that flew in the face of public opinion.

“We will employ the most sophisticated social media campaign ever built to remove these people from office,” he said in an interview with The Chronicle.

“Mark my words,” he said. “It is shameful and the United States of America should be embarrassed by its Senate.”

Fire has to be fought with fire. The Right has the resources of the Kochs and their ilk funding them. The Left has potential resources to equal or surpass those of the Right; it’s time that they get off the sidelines.

Obama for America turning into Organizing for America is also a major component of how we drum out the GOP. It is a political organization that the astroturfers of the Right can only dream of competing against. It won Barack Obama two terms in the White House against steep odds, and is now determined to stay in the fight.

But in the end, it’s up to us. We have to channel the anger we feel into constructive action. Fund the organizations which work for real progress; volunteer to spread the word and fight the right wing lies; not be intimidated by the fearmongers of both the Right and Left. The Common Sense Caucus in this country dwarfs the rabid stalwarts of the fringes. Only when we make our voices heard, in one great swell, will things change.

This is not a sprint. The country didn’t reach this state in a few short years, or by happenstance. The state in which we find ourselves was planned for decades. It will take time to undo all the grievous damage. But it can be done, with work, determination, and that most powerful of forces: love. Love of country, love of our fellow human beings, love of those to whom we leave this world, hopefully in a better condition than in which we received it. No force of intolerance, oppression, or prevarication can stand against it.

Who’s in?


119 Responses to “Time to turn the world rightside up”


  1. 1 4morefor44
    April 18, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    forward!

    • 2 PoliticalJunkessa
      April 18, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      Onward! We shall overcome.

      I love the quote by Ron Conway here. To quote another brilliant and astute man, “the ground has shifted beneath them.”

  2. 3 japa21
    April 18, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Well written LL. As so many have mentioned, those 46 senators do not know how pissed off the public is right now. I am sure they think there will be no negative repercussions. But the failure yesterday may well be the reason for a better success tomorrow. And it won’t be just in the area of gun control, but also in so many other important areas.
    I really do believe I am not indulging in wishful thinking when I say that yesterday’s victory for the GOP and NRA was indeed a Pyrrhic one.

  3. 7 amk for obama
    April 18, 2013 at 12:20 pm

  4. 8 japa21
    April 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm

  5. 9 donna dem 4 obama
    April 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    OMG PBO is on fiyah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. 12 amk for obama
    April 18, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    • 13 4morefor44
      April 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm

      love how you’re keeping focused on that topic…this is happening because republicans!! no more “both sides do it” nonsense!!!

      • 14 amk for obama
        April 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm

        Yup, he was sneakily attacking dems, typical bw tactic.

      • 15 nathkatun7
        April 18, 2013 at 2:16 pm

        Another emphasis should be on the fact that a MAJORITY of Senators voted for the Bill, but the Bill failed because a MINORITY of senators FILIBUSTERED it! To say that they U.S. Senate voted against the Bill hides this reality.

    • 16 Smoothscotch
      April 18, 2013 at 3:06 pm

      Excellent amk, Piss Morgan Nuffield said.

  7. 17 amk for obama
    April 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm

  8. 18 amk for obama
    April 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm

  9. 19 amk for obama
    April 18, 2013 at 12:27 pm

  10. 20 jacquelineoboomer
    April 18, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    I’m not a runner. More like somebody who goes for the occasional stroll. But seeing and hearing President Obama this morning, I know that life is like a marathon, of course. We get up early for it, train for it – somewhat – and we find a sponsor or two and decide on our path. Somebody hands us nourishment and drink, until we can find our own. As a gentleman I once worked with said, every time (every time) I saw him and asked how he was doing, “It’s a daily struggle” – didn’t quite get that until I got as old as I am, now!

    These tragic events in Boston remind us all, as President Obama says so eloquently, to keep going even when our heart aches, to find the strength to finish the race. To walk and run and, yes, stroll along with the best people we can find, from among our family and friends and even strangers, and to eat ice cream and be good to each other.

    God bless the families of those who lost their lives and their limbs and everyone else hurt by the tragedy. We will survive, of course, here in America, here in the world. I’m thinking once in a while – after all the practice we’ve all had – that we turn out and sign up to become a little more involved in helping others overcome the horrendous acts experienced, in helping others and ourselves to get through them, just to remind ourselves how lucky we usually are. Although, as my friend taught me, “It’s a daily struggle.”

    Love you guys, here in TODville. Enjoy your day.

    • April 18, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      JO, I can’t run anymore, but I’m going to try and convince my son and his wife to run in the Boston because we want to go, God willing. I’d rather she got pregnant, but I’m already resigned to no grandchildren. ;)

      • 22 jacquelineoboomer
        April 18, 2013 at 3:54 pm

        Carol – Hopefully, if it’s meant to be, you’ll get to the Boston Marathon and realize your wish for grandchildren. I had one son, so guess I might have expected one or two grandkids. I ended up with five, and several honorary ones, so anything can happen!

  11. 23 japa21
    April 18, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Although I could not watch the service, reading the tweets tells me all I need to know. With PBO as our President and with people like Governor Deval, we, the American people, will persevere over the idiots that think bombs are a sign of power or guns should be everywhere. We will persevere. We will.

  12. 24 dotster3
    April 18, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    This beautiful president. I always think I have heard the best ever speech from him—–and then he tops it. That one was really special—-moving, compassionate, emotional, inspiring, hopeful. There will never be anyone who can ever compare——he has spoiled us forever—–with his many gifts.

    • 25 amk for obama
      April 18, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      he has spoiled us forever—–with his many gifts.

      So true. I have always had a very low opinion of pols. He is my ideal pol. Pity half the america is too stupid to realize his value.

    • 26 Lovepolitics2008
      April 18, 2013 at 12:46 pm

      His speech was masterful. His usual depth of heart and empathy. Inspiring and hopeful too you’re right. What struck me was his emphasis on resilience. And you could sense that one of his main objectives was to summon all americans, in the most compassionate and respectful way, to not give in to FEAR.

      Gosh, I love this president. A man of true heart and character.

      • 27 jacquelineoboomer
        April 18, 2013 at 1:48 pm

        I heard Robert Gibbs say, after the President’s remarks, that the speech itself ran like a marathon … easily in the beginning, almost starting out like he was walking us through the event, reaching a crescendo and fever pitch, and then he brought it in slowly at the end. Great points – and who would know better than his friend Robert Gibbs.

  13. April 18, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    LL, you’re a gem, haven’t time to read this now, but so looking forward to in a while.

    Will be back in a bit.

  14. 29 amk for obama
    April 18, 2013 at 12:28 pm

  15. 31 donna dem 4 obama
    April 18, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    My President continues to outdo himself. How fortunate we are to have him as our leader.

  16. 32 utaustinliberal
    April 18, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Every single time, Pres. Obama steps up to the podium and delivers. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

    I am proud to call Barack Obama MY President; and yes, “we will run again.”

    C-SPAN has it up. I’m watching that speech again. He was fantastic.

  17. April 18, 2013 at 12:37 pm

  18. April 18, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    What a magnificent man. On a day full of grief, he reminds us who we are and what we stand for and he brings us HOPE.

    • 36 hopefruit2
      April 18, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      Indeed meta. I know some of us here over-react at times, but there is a reason why we get so personally offended and upset whenever anyone tries to second-guess our President or suggest that he’s making policy decisions out of callousness or out of political cowardice, etc.

      This man has not let us down, and while we owe him a debt of gratitude, the least we can do is simply give him the benefit of the doubt -not when things are going well, but during the roughest periods when he needs us to have his back.

  19. 40 utaustinliberal
    April 18, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    It is wonderful to wake up everyday with Barack Obama as President of the United States.

  20. 41 MightyPamela
    April 18, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=PBO Please keep Love and Light all around him, all day, every day. He is strong, yes, but we are his strength. He cannot do it without our Love. And our Love for Michelle, who is his rock. We need them both.

  21. 42 japa21
    April 18, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    • 43 MightyPamela
      April 18, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      Truth lies in the eyes and ears of the beholder…. Pity them that they do not hear the voices of our united prayer. We are stronger, we will endure.

  22. 44 utaustinliberal
    April 18, 2013 at 12:41 pm

  23. April 18, 2013 at 12:42 pm

  24. 47 dotster3
    April 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm

  25. 49 utaustinliberal
    April 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm

  26. 50 amk for obama
    April 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm

  27. 51 Linda
    April 18, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    ok twitter brigade…..start your engines !

    ‏@rolandsmartin

    Any moment now President @BarackObama is going to yell in this Boston church, “Fired up! Ready to go!”

  28. 53 utaustinliberal
    April 18, 2013 at 12:44 pm

  29. 54 utaustinliberal
    April 18, 2013 at 12:45 pm

  30. 55 utaustinliberal
    April 18, 2013 at 12:48 pm

  31. 56 utaustinliberal
    April 18, 2013 at 12:51 pm

  32. 57 57andfemale
    April 18, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Hey, Chicago area peeps – everyone okay? We received double the normal April rainfall in 24 hours.

    • 58 japa21
      April 18, 2013 at 12:53 pm

      Little bit in the house, working from home. Glad I didn’t try to drive in because they ended up closing the office.

    • 59 dotster3
      April 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      Just called mr. dotster home from office because french drain broke off and a whole swimming pool is forming next to house. I think this is a job for the pros but he’s out there with a spade trying to do——something? (always precarious when he’s “fixing” something—-just had to have plumber to salvage his last fix-it.) I’ve never seen so much rain—–over 24 hrs. now of constant t storms—-lightning, thunder, hail, sheets of rain. I remember when t storms used to move on thru—-not any more—-wave after wave. On the positive side—-lots of green finally popping out.

      • April 18, 2013 at 1:03 pm

        I bet you think these storms are the results of climate change. Silly eco-loon!

        • April 18, 2013 at 1:29 pm

          I want rain and/or snow. We’re dry as a bone. LL. Very, very, good essay. Thank you for sharing. Thanks for using white on black. These ole eyes need it. Are you still mad? I am, but PBO brings me comfort.

      • 62 57andfemale
        April 18, 2013 at 1:11 pm

        Men! It was all I could do to keep my 73 year old husband off the roof last night in the deluge.

        I’ve never seen such a heavy, constant rain. Our basement always floods – always when the rain is bad but not this time. We replaced the roof, downspouts and gutters and Mr. 57 worked with the contractors to get the downspouts right. Maybe that was it, but storm sewer backup shouldn’t be affected by that. But what do I know.

        We had some seepage that is usually enough to flood the basement by itself. Mr. 57 used that spray rubber stuff and we barely had any problems! That stuff really works.

        My poor little Pearl is terrified of thunder and it was a very long, difficult night with her, even with the thundershirt and rescue remedy. So I’m exhausted.

        I didn’t even try to get to work. I commute on the Edens and it was a disaster. Also, Wilmette where I work got hit really hard. Didn’t even try to get in.

    • April 18, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      Anyone heard from Yardarm?

  33. 69 hopefruit2
    April 18, 2013 at 12:51 pm

  34. 72 Obama Grandmama
    April 18, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    We are so fortunate to have this gifted great man as our leader. We are particularly fortunate to be among those who recognize and appreciate his gift of greatness.

    • 73 HZ
      April 18, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      Well stated, Obama Grandmama. Well said. We do have such a beautiful gem in our great president. He always gives me comfort.

      I pray for his continued strength thoughout his day and coming days. Indeed, our President but also our beautiful “Comforter-In-Chief.” An Encourager of hope, love, and compassion.HZ

  35. 74 utaustinliberal
    April 18, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    *Speechless*

  36. 75 utaustinliberal
    April 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    • 76 dotster3
      April 18, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      He was a known goofball—read about him last night—it appeared he deteriorated from his Elvis days—(only known Elvis duet impersonators) Started writing politicians about the sale of human body parts—supposedly discovered in a refridg when he was a custodian at a funeral home—-wrote 1000’s of letters about this etc.—-lost job, marriage etc. etc. etc. as the craziness intensified.

    • 77 hopefruit2
      April 18, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      Yes, he (Kevin Curtis) has a Youtube page and impersonates a lot of different celebrities.

    • 78 anniebella
      April 18, 2013 at 1:18 pm

      Wow! Not Elvis.

  37. 79 kathryn kivett
    April 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Oh, my goodness, that man that I love and admire so much sure knows how to put things in perspective and to center us, inspire us, and teach us to be better people. Just erase all my rantings last night…..I am not leaving the Democratic Party as long as this man is head of it…..am I still angry…absolutely…but he has given me the resolve to race on and find the inner strength to keep on fighting for what is right. Whoever he supports, I will support too, even if I have to hold my nose to do it. Send a donation to OFA to show your support….let’s do it, I did.

  38. 80 utaustinliberal
    April 18, 2013 at 1:04 pm

  39. 83 utaustinliberal
    April 18, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Pres. Obama is at Mass Gen. visiting with the patients and staff.

  40. 84 amk for obama
    April 18, 2013 at 1:12 pm

  41. 85 57andfemale
    April 18, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Did that despicable post by McConnell get posted? Don’t want to link to the Orange Satan but that miserable little man (like all Republicans) shouldn’t be allowed near any office of power.

    • 86 anniebella
      April 18, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      I haven’t seen anything from Mitch McTurtle and don’t care too.

      • 87 anniebella
        April 18, 2013 at 1:23 pm

        He is a disgrace and the people of Kentucky ought to be ashame to have something like that as their Senator, and that other fool isn’t any better, Rand Paul.

    • 88 prettyfoot58
      April 18, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      The more I see that ..the more I think that was directed at Harry Reid….a kiss my ass statement to Reid ….the question is will Reid do anything about Filibuster Reform…or will he continue to make excuses about why it can’t be done…

      • 89 57andfemale
        April 18, 2013 at 1:41 pm

        That’s exactly what it was. It’s behavior you wouldn’t accept from 6year olds on a playground. But I want to see this plastered everywhere from now until 2014. You need a background check to deliver a pizza but you can guy a gun. You can outlaw nail clippers on an airplane but anyone can settle anything they damn well please with a gun. Despicable.

      • 90 57andfemale
        April 18, 2013 at 1:42 pm

        He will continue to make excuses.

    • April 18, 2013 at 3:48 pm

      Yes, me and someone else posted it. He took it down and took down my reports on his comments.

  42. 94 prettyfoot58
    April 18, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    This is not a sprint. The country didn’t reach this state in a few short years, or by happenstance. The state in which we find ourselves was planned for decades. It will take time to undo all the grievous damage. But it can be done, with work, determination, and that most powerful of forces: love. Love of country, love of our fellow human beings, love of those to whom we leave this world, hopefully in a better condition than in which we received it. No force of intolerance, oppression, or prevarication can stand against it.

    ******************************************

    AWESOMEEEEEEEEEE

  43. 95 hopefruit2
    April 18, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    New York & NJ doing their part to help out. :)

  44. 96 Linda
    April 18, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Rick Perry want Federal Disaster Aid.

    Will the GOP demand offsets ? Will Cruz and Cornyn ?

    • 97 prettyfoot58
      April 18, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      should we give it to him….should we be heartless and say…your are on your own….how did the Texas Congressional Delegation vote on the aid bill for Hurricane Sandy relief…

    • 100 anniebella
      April 18, 2013 at 1:46 pm

      Isn’t this the state that was doing all the talk about not being a part of the United States. Texas, now they want Federal Disaster Aid. How bout that.

      • 101 Don
        April 18, 2013 at 2:38 pm

        Yes it is, and this is the state with that shit-for-brains governor that talks about succession every goddamn chance he gets, this is the state with the shit-for-brains governor that wanted to close three federal agencies that he couldn’t remember the names of.

  45. April 18, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Excellent essay, as always, LL!! Thank you.

    #TrustBarack He’s Earned It

  46. 103 hopefruit2
    April 18, 2013 at 1:32 pm

  47. April 18, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    I’m ashamed.

  48. April 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm

  49. 111 hopefruit2
    April 18, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    So CNN still has John King front and center after that humiliating and inexcusable reporting fiasco yesterday. I tell ya, it’s coming from above. John King received the green light from the higher-ups to go ahead with that reporting knowing fully well it was inaccurate, and to keep emphasizing the “dark-skinned male” as much as possible. Wolf Blitzer was given orders as to what questions to ask. That’s CNN’s TEABAGGER mentality. The same network that followed Sarah Palin’s ridiculous bus tour right off a cliff.

  50. April 18, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    LL Thanks so much for your post. Just one question – isn’t it Tim Johnson, not Max Baucus who is retiring?

  51. 119 Smoothscotch
    April 18, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Back to work, have to catch up later.


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