04
Apr
14

What To Do Now

Friends, I’ve been feeling down for a couple of weeks.

As Obamacare was surging to success, I couldn’t quite delight in it. Something niggled at me. That’s why I wrote this piece. The hoops through which Barack Obama has had to go through just to get anything done is without parallel in US political history.

But then it was revealed that Pres. Obama asked the major networks for primetime space to speak to the nation about ACA reaching its most generous enrollment targets, and what this meant for ordinary Americans, alone among industrialized nations denied the security of access to basic healthcare. The networks denied him.

Now I’m riled up. This disrespect shown Pres. Obama by the Big 3 networks was the last straw.

The media went on a jihad after the failed rollout of healthcare.gov, loudly trumpeting every failure, every glitch, every frustrated user of the website. The blandishments were endless and incessant. For weeks, newscasts led with the problems faced by the website, as if the website were the totality of the Affordable Care Act. It would feature every detractor of Obamacare on its newscasts, would consign the entire enterprise to dismal doom. As AP so famously put it, it would “take a miracle” for the law to reach its target.

But reach its target it did. In fact, it has surpassed it, to the consternation not only of the right wing wurlitzer, but of the perspicacious segments of our failed media experiment, the supposed gatekeepers of all that is newsworthy.

For all the attention which the supposed failure of the law received, it hasn’t received even one tenth of the attention for the success beyond all media imaginings.

* Seven million people—and counting—have received plans through the federal or state websites.
* Three million people aged under 26 have been able to stay on their parents’ insurance.
* Upwards of nine million people have been able to get qualified health plans directly from insurance companies.
* And four to six million people have been able to access expanded Medicaid.

These are millions of real people, getting real help, knowing health security for the first time in their lives. And they don’t fit the narrative of failure. They are as nothing to the media.

The media as it existed in the 60s and 70s no longer does so. It no longer serve the public good, but its corporate paymasters. The idea that US media could be consolidated into 4 or 5 major multinationals and not have it affect coverage has been shown to be a will-o-the-wisp.

Obamacare—and yes, we should call it that, proudly—is the greatest expansion of the social safety net since Medicaid and the Great Society. Its success deserved a primetime address, most especially after the calumny heaped upon it for months, both by the partisan opposition and the “objective” press.

That the networks deemed it not worth the time to give the President of the United States airtime speaks much as to their parlous state.

I’m sure that if some winsome white teenager had been kidnapped, it would have led the news, and been frontpaged on all of their media arms.

But this is the thing: they no longer matter.

Pres. Obama held his announcement, and without the need to appeal to the entire populace, his turned it into the first campaign rally of the 2014 elections. He was partisan, he was scathing, he was mocking, and he was big.

And the story coming out that the Big 3 denied him prime air time—in which he would have had to have been more conciliatory—makes them out for the small and partisan hacks they’ve become.

The pollsters all agree: the GOP has a built in advantage in enthusiasm for 2014.

They seem to think that 20 million people who have access to affordable healthcare will not vote, or vote for a party which wants to strip them of that security.

NPR came out with a poll which showed that the GOP’s advantage among older voters has slipped precipitously, from 21 points 2010 to 10 in 2014. The fact that even oldsters are trending away from the GOP lends a dimension to the desperation of the corporations. If seniors no longer go for the GOP in overwhelming numbers, their days are at an end.

I don’t think the polls reflect what’s going on. Because of Obamacare, 20+ million people either have healthcare for the first time, or have a better deal than they had. They will NOT allow that to be taken away.

Jimmy Fallon can mock all he wants; these are real numbers, real people having real security.

The media is into news-porn: the latest abducted blonde girl, or the Malaysian airline. But we see through them.

I think as November draws closer, the polls will reflect what’s really going on in this country, and it will shake the powerful and their handmaidens to their cores.

That’s why Charles Koch penned his diatribe; I’m sure he has in-house pollsters, and I wager he doesn’t like what he sees. A man secure in his own power would not stoop to make his case before the unwashed masses. Harry Reid has done a signal service by bringing them into the light in his own version of the Philippics, casting them as the gravest threat to American democracy in the Republic’s history. He and his brother David have been used to  being the powers behind the politics. Now that they’re being drawn out into the limelight, they realize the attention is to their detriment, and try to cast themselves as victims. Poor oppressed billionaires just trying to guide the little people into what’s good for them.

As Pres. Obama says over and over: don’t boo—organize. The Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited campaign contributions is not cause for rending of garments, but for concerted political action. Nothing else will suffice.

Find your local Democratic candidate. Give money if you can, time if you can, both if you’re fortunate enough. Mitt Romney had all the money he could ask for, and still lost. Nothing defeats the power of one voice, multiplied.

This is the struggle of our young century. It’s taking place all over the world. Will the powerful rule? Or will ordinary people take their lives and fates into their own hands, and decide their own destinies?

On this anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination, we must reflect on how far we’ve come, and how much further we have to go. The arc of history bends towards justice, but only through effort.

The powerful feel their time is threatened with an end. Thus their desperation. It’s up to us to make that a reality.


139 Responses to “What To Do Now”


  1. 9 GGail
    April 4, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Now that I crashed through the door, I’ll go out and read the Post :-)

  2. April 4, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Well stated as always, LL. Thank you.

    I sent this to the President earlier today.

    #FORWARD Together

    • April 4, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      4 April 2014

      Dear Mr President,

      Have written you many letters. Suffer no illusion you have ever seen one of them.

      In that context, I do hope you see this one. Within this week we’ve witnessed two momentous events in American history – resounding success of the first phase of Obamacare and inescapable, undeniable assault by SCOTUS on the bedrock principle of democracy – one person, one vote.

      Five members of SCOTUS are irrefutably tools of the Kochs and their fellow plutocrats. Anyone with two functioning neurons connected by a spirochete knows that.

      Moreover, those same plutocrats control broadcast TV, radio and cable transmission in the US. Tzar Vlad, among our other very real enemies, could not be more delighted or enabled by that fact. Those same plutocrats, this week, used their respective LICENSES to spectra that the US Government manages on behalf of its citizens (ALL OF THEM) to deny you, the President of the United States of America, prime time broadcast access as to share the momentous news of the fact that truly countless (at this point) Americans now have affordable, non-discriminatory health care. The FIRST TIME in the HISTORY of America that that is reality. You know these facts as well as anyone.

      So, I’ll just offer a few suggested remedies.

      Mobilize your Twitter followers and request that they, to whatever extent possible, donate One Dollar A Day To OFA from now until 4 Nov 2014. Imagine the impact if only 10 or 15 percent of them did just that. It would create a grassroots financial tsunami that overwhelms the plutocrats and, in doing so, affirms that no matter how much money they have they will NEVER OWN America.

      Bring withering attention to the FACT that the majority on SCOTUS serve ONLY the plutocrats. Period.

      Simply – We are truly at war, Sir. The enemy is the most dangerous America has confronted since 1861 – an exceptionally well funded, anti-democratic, rapaciously greedy enemy within.

      Beyond 2008 and 2012, 4 Nov 2014 must be the day that the vast majority of Americans not only reject the servants of the plutocrats (aka GOP), but then persist every day thereafter in the process of eliminating any such threat in the future. Not only does all that the American Promise represent depend on doing so, but also the evolutionary potential of an ever more civilized human species.

      Thank you,
      Bob

    • April 4, 2014 at 12:06 pm

      Excellent letter and pointedly true.

    • 29 jackiegrumbacher
      April 4, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      Bob, saw this in an earlier thread and it inspired me to donate to OFA this a.m.

  3. 30 Judith Fardig
    April 4, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Congrats to GGail on first and to LL for a terrific piece. You spoke for many of us. We will be relentless in organizing and getting out the vote in 2014.

  4. 32 GGail
    April 4, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Great LL – as usual – you tell the truth!

    My vote is NOT for sell – you can buy my love, but you can’t buy my VOTE :wink:

    You’re right – PBO was not restricted in what he wanted to say and how he wanted to say it. Had he been on msm, he would have had to temper his words.

    Our win…their loss :D

  5. April 4, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Excellent! Time to get FIRED UP! Be READY TO GO!! come November – let’s get our Congress back!

  6. 38 donna dem 4 obama
    April 4, 2014 at 12:05 pm

  7. 45 jody delwiche
    April 4, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Your post shakes me to the core LL. It’s the daily recognition that Barack Obama is considered of less worth, less intelligence, less humanity…simply a lesser human being.
    I try to shake that feeling, but the palpable reality is HATE and DEFEAT in all forms coming from every angle.
    We have an opportunity to “attempt” to win these midterm elections. the gerrymandering and influx of money gives us a bit of a challenge-WAY BIG.

    That said, we need to be UNITED and working strong. Progressives need to tout the realities of out President’s accomplishments. Let’s try to get them all running the same race and in the same freaking direction.

    Never say racism NOT alive and well in this US of A.

    Your posts keep me very engaged as do all the good people of TOD.

    May Dr. King speak fro the heavens today-To Freedom!

    • 46 whatisworking
      April 4, 2014 at 2:29 pm

      You tell em Jody. So glad you are posting to this blog. We will be UNITED and working strong in Sonoma County. Can’t wait for you to join us.

  8. April 4, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Love this call to arms, LL.

    “Find your local Democratic candidate. Give money if you can, time if you can, both if you’re fortunate enough. Mitt Romney had all the money he could ask for, and still lost. Nothing defeats the power of one voice, multiplied.”

    And we have to remind ourselves of that every day, they can buy everything but votes!

  9. April 4, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    LL, your post is excellent and I agree with your assessment. Charles Koch would not have penned that piece if he wasn’t concerned. We must work harder to vote out Republicans. I have become very opinionated over the last five years. I cannot understand people voting against their own best interest and have distanced myself from friends that still vote Republican.

  10. 52 Bill R.
    April 4, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Thank you, LL. An essay on the fundamental issues of this next election and what we need to do . We have to be working 24/7 to register new voters and to GOTV. The leaders of our party need to coalesce around the a frontal assault on the efforts of the GOP to destroy democracy through the SCOTUS and voter suppression and the GOP effort to destroy the base of the safety net we now have.

  11. April 4, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Thanks LL and all bts for keeping us fired up. On our 150 mile drive to Rapid to see doc I’ll listen to LLs essay on the way with my ear plugs. I gave him a British accent. 😎

  12. 58 Don
    April 4, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    LL, I feel your words in my heart. There is nothing more to add.

  13. 59 Layla
    April 4, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Whoa!!! I had a dream which featured Robert Palmer’s ‘Might as well face it you’re addicted to love’ song except it featured the Koch brothers alongside Cantor, McConnell, Cruz, and Boner (pronounced ‘boner’). The words were changed to ‘might as well face they are addicted to Koch’!!! I guess it was because of Harry’s speech on the senate floor the other day…..

  14. 60 Vicki
    April 4, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Liberal Librarian thank you for your well-stated argument on where we are and what has to happen next.

    In NYC all the kings resources and all the kings men couldn’t put the monied back in power again.
    With no media and little money Bill de Blasio won 73% of the vote. Bloombucks & company couldn’t stop him!!!!

    The Kochs Know this and it scares them. I expect the repression of positive POTUS and Dem news to get even more noticeable as Novemeber draws closer. On the other hand items about the doings of Adelson, Koch and their ilk will fill the airways as though anybody except a plutocrat has the slightest interest in their crap.

    The best answer is for the rest of us to stay involved energized contributing.

  15. April 4, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Morning everyone.

    Just rolled out of bed to see Chips posted my little post. I’m glad it’s having a salutary effect.

    Don’t boo: VOTE!

    • 62 japa21
      April 4, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      Great post LL, as usual. Specially regarding the motivation of folks like the Koch brothers. As you know, since you tweeted out the comment I made yesterday, I agree with you fully.

      They will do everything in their power to avoid falling into the abyss of political irrelevance. But they know the only way to make sure they don’t go that route is to prevent people from voting. Or, lacking that, vote against their own interests. But I think that main effort will be to make people feel so helpless about the future that they feel it doesn’t matter who they vote for so why bother.

      Watch for folks on the right to talk more and more about the big money backing the Dems, such as Soros. They will work so hard to make it seem like it doesn’t matter, both sides are the same, that normal Dem voters either won’t vote or will vote for 3rd party candidates.

      I fully expect to see these folks also bankroll 3rd party candidates (again from behind the curtain) who are likely to siphon off Dem votes. Joe Walsh and Mark Kirk in Illinois won in 2010 for three reasons: Low Dem turnout, opponents running lousy campaigns, and the most important but least recognized, large 3rd party votes, most of which would have gone to the Dem candidate.

      Our task, which is not a mission impossible but is still one we have to accept and follow through on, is to make sure this is not a normal mid term election as far as Dem turnout is concerned.

    • 63 mtmarilyn
      April 4, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      Once again LL you hit the home run!!!! This is what we must do. We must GOTV!!!

    • April 4, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      Thanks a gazillion again LL!!

    • 65 nathkatun7
      April 4, 2014 at 5:24 pm

      You sir are a TRUTH TELLER! We all need to heed your call to fight back. Unless we the people acquiesce, money alone can’t defeat our people power. Thank you for yet another of your excellent posts.

    • 66 hopefruit2
      April 4, 2014 at 6:18 pm

      LL, I’m late in reading the TOD posts today, but as they say, better late than never. Thanks for this excellent essay and call to action. I was hoping someone would write a front page article calling out the media for refusing PBO prime time address and for their general poor attitude in the wake of the ACA’s enrollment being met – and lo and behold – here it is! :)

  16. 67 Bill R.
    April 4, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    GOTV efforts need to target young adults in particular. Making Koch Bros the image of voter suppression and domination of wealth in this country and SCOTUS destruction of our democracy will make the case. The war on women’s health care will also help big time.

    • April 4, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      As will their war against immigrants and the minimum wage, Bill. Agree that, just like 2008 and 2012 and (as Vicki astutely noted, above) what Bill de Blasio achieved in NYC, it’s all about GOTV.

    • 69 MightyPamela
      April 4, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      Especially as it is their future, their Hopes and Dreams which are on the line, if the big money and all it represents, not only their livelihood and employment options, but the very Earth they should inherit is already nearly beyond salvation and repair, thanks to these monied classes who have felt it is their birthright to take and take and take from all. The young generally do not look too far into the future, (speaking for myself here, when I was younger), thus if we can take action to keep their attention on how much damage can be caused now, and impressing on them now that they must protect and save themselves.

  17. 70 mophene
    April 4, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    How right you are L.L.! My younger sister was one of the seven million, who was able to enroll before the March 31st deadline. She is more than happy to dump her crappy insurance and sign on with Obama Care. We just have to keep on cutting through the MSM BS and continue to get the word out to our friends and family.
    P.S I like to thank the Koch Brothers for giving we MI Dems hope in the
    senate race. Their name is so toxic Gary Peters is up again!

  18. 71 Nena20409
    April 4, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    LL and Doc Bobfr.

    You two kind and with great Liberal <3 Men are on Fire.

    How I wish I could write so eloquently and so informatively as you two Gems. -I >-I

  19. April 4, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    LL…your writing is profound.
    We will not despair. We have been here before. In the words of our President;

    ‘Don’t Boo, Organize/Vote’

    Yes we will.

  20. April 4, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    The powerful feel their time is threatened with an end. Thus their desperation. It’s up to us to make that a reality.

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

    #YesWeMust!

  21. 77 Gazelle
    April 4, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    I can’t seem to take my eyes away from this photo. So many stories in the faces, reminding us to step up, keep moving forward. Never surrender! Chips, BTs, if one of you could post it? If you’d like. :)

    http://blog.encyclopediavirginia.org/2012/02/11/convention-of-former-slaves/

  22. 87 africa
    April 4, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Brava LL. Nailed it.

  23. 90 Nena20409
    April 4, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Josh is asked why the News……meaning Good News touted by the ADM are Not translating positively with the Polls? How I wish Josh Earnest would have said: The media has stopped reporting accurately and have left their profession to decay and since WH doesn’t have a State Media, information…..accurate information….. are not being delivered to the Public honestly.

  24. 91 Nena20409
    April 4, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Now art work of GW Bush? Lord of Love, these people are Idiots.

  25. 92 MightyPamela
    April 4, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    {{{{{LL}}}}}

  26. 93 Ladyhawke
    April 4, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    RACHEL MADDOW 01/27/14

    Elaborate network obscures Koch influence

    ———————————————————-

    Rachel Maddow traces part of the vast network of Koch-funded groups and initiatives to show their influence on conservative politics.

    ———————————————————-

    http://on.msnbc.com/1b3fN4z

    • 94 Nena20409
      April 4, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      She has been on the KOCHroaches for at least two years now.

      And yesterday she said that the Media should not be conveying “Crazy” my word on the Iraq vet who did the shooting in TX. On that I agree with her.

      Porto Rico is a US Territory…..They are not a state by choice. They carry US passport I believe. So when the media stress his heritage, that irks me. Ivan L. was and is a US military personnel. We don’t know why he did what he did. Until all the facts are in, I am suspending criticizing him.

    • April 4, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      And here’s the complete movie ….

      • April 4, 2014 at 1:45 pm

      • 98 Lovepolitics2008
        April 4, 2014 at 4:34 pm

        I had never took the time to watch it entirely. I’m going to be sick.

        folks, this film has to be seen by every american. It’s not possible to wake up all the people who have been brainwashed, but a certain portion of independents, and moderate republicans are reachable I think.

        First tweets to national pundits. They’re cynical, they will view this as simply political speech from progressives. But I have a tiny hope that they’re not cynical enough to not be appalled by the Kochs’ hypocrisy, when they give 500 million dollars for Cancer Research while their industries make people DIE from cancer !! The segment about the Koch’s influence in schools and universities is pretty sickening too.

  27. 99 Nena20409
    April 4, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Wow. C-SPAN.org has changed. The Josh Earnest WH presser had already been up-loaded.

    Wow.

    http://www.c-span.org/video/?318700-1/white-house-briefing

    Starts at 2:33mins In

  28. 101 EricFive
    April 4, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Great essay LL. Don’t let the devils steal your joy. I am pissed too. However I view this latest display of disrespect as a teachable moment that will remove any Vestal trust people may be clinging to regarding the msm. In short the game is rigged and the sooner this reality is accepted the better our odds of defeating the gop in Nov. Hopefully this will stop people from maligning Dems for losing messaging wars to the gop. Just as PBO cannot force the networks to give him airtine, neither can other dems force cable news shows to give them airtime. The gop/msm control who gets access to the microphone

  29. April 4, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Because we need a little more HAPPY on a Friday:

  30. 114 Linda
    April 4, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    ‘Be Quiet!’ Medal Of Honor Vet Shuts Down Advocate For More Guns On Military Bases (VIDEO)

    • 115 Linda
      April 4, 2014 at 2:35 pm

      Wow…wrong video. Sorry for posting that GIANT head Farrow

      • 116 Linda
        April 4, 2014 at 2:37 pm

        I give up…..it is the 2nd on on the “playlist.” Ugh. WTF is a playlist anyway ?

        • 117 JER
          April 4, 2014 at 3:30 pm

          Is this it Linda?

          • 118 Nena20409
            April 4, 2014 at 4:00 pm

            A decorated ‘Nam man, Jack Jacobs, who has fought and obviously knows what he speaks of trying to talk some sense to a foolish chicken hawk with plucked eye-brow making comments to situation that he knows nothing about. Hmm?

            I don’t always agree with The decorated Jack. But on this one, I agree with him 1001%.

          • 119 Linda
            April 4, 2014 at 4:04 pm

            Yes, thank you ….

  31. April 4, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Bravo LL, Bravo!!! Perfectly stated. Sobering, yes. But this is a call to arms. A piece by hip hop mega mogul today revealed how the WH tapped people like him and his organization to get young folk enrolled in Obamacare. So these community networks and alternative under-the-radar channels are all primed and pumped to go again come November. Only question is will Democratic congresscritters and candidates avail themselves of the Obama organizing machine, or will they run away lily-livered like they did in 2010? If they wise up we’ll defeat the Kochtopus

  32. 121 whatisworking
    April 4, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    One small piece of the “organize and win” movement – please let me know what I can add to make this site better.

    http://www.whatisworking.com/vote2014/

    I get so much of my content from this site. Thanks and make sure you bookmark this page.

  33. 122 Linda
    April 4, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Yikes

    Koch Controlled Foundations….

  34. 123 sabreen60
    April 4, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Congrats GGail!

    LL, I thought I was disgusted with the media before – now I’m livid. It is actually painful for me to watch this disrespect go on and on. Perhaps the President rises above it all. But I hurt for him.

  35. 124 No Child Left Behind
    April 4, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Some tweets are merciless.

    Suzanne Trimel ‏@STrimel · 28m
    Anyone remember this painting by George Bush? pic.twitter.com/9HylcvBDuu

  36. 125 sabreen60
    April 4, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Here you go No Child

    • 126 No Child Left Behind
      April 4, 2014 at 3:20 pm

      Thanks much, Sabreen. Still don’t know how to post tweets.

      • 127 sabreen60
        April 4, 2014 at 3:28 pm

        You’re welcome. This is how I do it. Click on the word “expand” and then click on the word “Details”. You’ll get a large image of the tweet. Copy the url address and then paste it here.

  37. April 4, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    There is so much good news. The GOP is loud and going to get louder to get attention and drown out the good. POTUS has his eye on his vision and makes his path in practical ways like raising minimum wage. He’s so impressive! It’s up to us to share the good and shine the light. A flood is made up of one rain drop at a time. We did it in 2008 and 2012 and we can do it again. This just fires me up to work harder and join with POTUS and others in our good cause to get the GOP out of office! Some good news and then I’ve got to leave.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-04/private-u-s-payrolls-top-pre-recession-peak-chart-of-the-day.html

  38. 132 globalcitizenlinda
    April 4, 2014 at 3:36 pm

  39. 133 globalcitizenlinda
    April 4, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    • 134 anniebella
      April 4, 2014 at 4:00 pm

      Good to hear that young folks sign up and even more people will sign up doing the next sign up period.

  40. 135 donna dem 4 obama
    April 4, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    • 136 anniebella
      April 4, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      Paul Ryan is just running his mouth, they know they have to keep saying this or their angry racists base would get mad and not come out to vote for them. Ryan knows he will have about as much luck repealing Obamacare as he has repealing or getting rid of Medicare.

  41. 138 Nena20409
    April 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    In The Name of Love at remembrance and a tribute to the Rev MLK by U2

  42. 139 carolyn
    April 4, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    LL…..thank you SO VERY MUCH for that essay. You stated the feelings of us on this blog with regard to the press and their disrespect so clearly. Then, you gave us a call to action and a plan, echoing what our wonderful President did so clearly in Michigan.

    Just a small incident to underline what we all know: Today my husband had lunch with a fellow psychologist, one who has worked in the federal judicial system for years. Darwin mentioned the treatment of the President. This man said, “it’s racism, pure and simple. I’m from Texas, I know racism.” This is the ugly cancer out country has to come to terms with and eradicate. It was moving under the surface with people and in places we’d thought it had died……we now know how virulent it is, but disease can only be cured when it is diagnosed.

    The press, politicians, business leaders, all have to be called out on this, and, they must acknowledge it now, not pretend and sweep it back under the carpet.

    Bob……I’m in for a dollar a day with OFA.


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