Undress Rehearsal for November 2

By Al Giordano

Hey everyone! Remember Katie Halper, who co-piloted The Field's 2008 convention coverage? Last February she attended the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism in Mexico and keeps doing great work, day in, day out.

Anyway, she's produced this new Get Out the Vote video for the November 2 election in the US, and its been entered into a contest and you can vote for it by clicking this link. Go there, scroll down to the first video. Watch. Laugh out loud. And click that check mark in the upper right corner box. See? It's just like voting! Actually, it literally is an act of voting.

One of the reasons I've had no predictions for you yet for the Congressional midterm elections is that even now, two weeks out, it is very hard to tell who or how many are going to vote. And that is what is going to decide stuff like which party controls which House of Congress. But Lordy, if folks spent half the time they spend teeth gnashing over what could happen and speculating on the consequences and instead put yourselves to work actually making phone calls and knocking on doors and dragging others to the polls - or deploying your other talents, as Katie has done here, to inspire the fun people to vote -  there would be a very different and better result on election day. There is no use complaining that big money interests rule the airwaves if while doing so you are forfeiting your power to rule the ground!

From here on out, my response to those great many who come worrying to me over worst-case scenarios for election day is going to be,  "Shut Up and GOTV."

Meanwhile, you can practice actually voting by heading over to vote for Katie's video. Thank you.


Oh Al....

You link us to the sweetest things...

But, but, but...

Jack Conway was mean and less than completely fair to Rand Paul in an ad, and now I have the vapors and need to recline on my fainting couch and clutch my pearls in dismay!

Seriously, Al, thanks.  For the past month or so my favored comment to post in response to someone glooming and dooming in the blogosphere is to quote progressive patron saint Elizabeth Warren at them:

It’s time for all of us to pull up our socks and get to work.

Great line, Al

"There is no use complaining that big money interests rule the airwaves if while doing so you are forfeiting your power to rule the ground!"

Every time

That's the beauty of elections: The ground war beats the air war every time.

750 calls for OFA and counting

Right on, Al!

right on

Still here Al. I haven't been commenting much because I had a baby!

Got the old Obama gear out and looked at all the old campaign pictures from Indiana ... ready to go.

@Allan: totally agree with you (Daily Kos has become insufferable because of this bullshit, and Cenk Ugyur is on my last nerve) but could we not use sexist imagery? I mean, women of color aren't considered to be feminine and delicate (look at how Michelle is treated) and no one needs to be reinforcing that kind of white feminine stereotype anyway with all of its classist dimensions as well (pearls). Sorry. Don't mean to be a pain. 

You may not even need to wait until November to vote

Early voting is already underway in key battleground states like New Mexico (where I've already voted), Nevada, California, Ohio, Washington, Oregon (I believe both Oregon and Washington are almost completely mail-in this year) and others I'm sure I'm missing. GOTV in these states is extremely critical right now, this is how the Obama campaign locked in a lot of victories (such as in New Mexico where something like 60%(!) of the votes were cast early).

Politics and more


siddhartha:  Congrats!  The youngest Fieldhand, I presume?

I'm continually awed at how different things are from 1994, when Repubs and the MegaMedia owners decided to inflict so much suffering and death upon their fellow Americans with the sham Contract ON America.

By the time 1994 trolled around, the DLC-led DemocratIC Party had been dismantling DemocratIC Party office across America for 2 years, save for a few with their utterly flawed "swing state" strategy.  I remember many conversations with other Dem campaign workers and volunteers, where we couldn't believe they were doing this and how dismissive they were of anyone not in the kweel-kids DLC club.

Compare to today.  The MegaMedia still mostly dictates public discourse, just as they did in 1994 so that part is a wash, but I personally have never seen so much activity and excitement in a mid-term.  Nothing even remotely close to what's happening right now.  This has me very encouraged for November.

One of the most important contributions President Barack Hussein Obama has given so far in his career is restoring respect for, and providing training and tools for Community Organizing.  Fired up?

early voting in illinois

Early voting is underway in Illinois. I voted yesterday and was pleased to see a steady stream of voters, more than I typically see when I vote early, and it wasn't lunchtime when one might expect to see more voters than during other times. Very encouraging!

@ bonkers

Thanks for this: 

One of the most important contributions President Barack Hussein Obama has given so far in his career is restoring respect for, and providing training and tools for Community Organizing.  Fired up?

What I am most grateful for is exactly what you stated.  I have not been able to do as much as I did last year.  No one with OFA has ever made me feel less involved because of this.  How can I stay ok when my family was just priced out of health insurance?  Hope and action.  My husband said that health insurance is like surfdom/slavery. The message now is this:  you are not totally providing for your family if you can't get a job with insurance. 

President Obama told us on election night almost 2 years ago that change would not be easy.  I agree.  On the ground, I have more power than $$ corp-zombies. 

I feel free from the $$ drain of insurance premiums.  I am not afraid.  Amazing. 

Sooner or later...woopie, we're all gonna die.


@siddhartha:  Happy Baby!


well not all dailykos is insufferable

and some of those people really do hit the pavement and the phones. Also, this diary stayed on top of the rec list for 4 hours last Saturday:


thank you!

@ Lorie and bonkers: Thank you for the kind wishes! Yes, he's a genu-ine fieldhand who will be knocking on doors and demonstrating what the promise of America is really all about. [He's Indian (South Asian), American, Irish, and a Baltimore Ravens fan (had no choice there; grandparents got him the gear virtually right after he was born!)].

@ Mike: I'm sorry. You're right. Didn't mean to paint Daily Kos with such a broad brush (especially since that's what I'm criticizing!). I let my frustration with the "Obama is a corporate hack," "dear-leaderism," and I'm really delusional because I really think that I'm holding his feet to the fire" crap get the better of me.

I just keep thinking back to Al's presentations/posts on "organizing the president." The way to hold Obama's feet to the fire is to create the ground-game such that Obama cannot not do what we want him to do; that is, by making it politically suicidal for him to NOT push a progressive agenda as opposed to making it politically suicidal for him TO push a progressive agenda.  

But, then again, I'm happy to remain obscure rather than wander around the cable news circuit pretending that I'm teaching the democrats a lesson. (I'm looking right at you Jane Hamsher. You don't fool me, and I speak as a woman of color.)

Jerry Brown on the stump

The regressive wave stops in California. There will be sunshine and Moonbeam November 3rd.



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About Al Giordano


Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

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