Quote of the Day: A Movement of Hearts and Souls

by matttbastard

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(Originally uploaded by Barack Obama)

What’s going on is that we’ve finally got a Democratic candidate who understands exactly how the Republicans did it. As I pointed out my very first week on this blog, the GOP didn’t come to power by talking about plans and policies; they did it by using strongly emotional appeals that grabbed people by the gut and didn’t let them go. Theirs was never a movement based on reason. It was, from the very beginning, a movement of hearts and souls. And it was that deep, emotionally sustaining commitment that drew people in so deeply that they were willing to give 25 years of their lives to bringing about the New World Order their leaders promised them. We may hate what they’ve accomplished — but we’re never going to be able to do better until we can inspire that same kind of passion for change.

And Obama’s doing just that. He’s tapped into a deeply pressurized seam of repressed fury within the American electorate, and he’s giving it voice, a focus, and an outlet. Are the results scary? You bet: these people want change on a scale that much of the status quo should find terrifying. Are they unreasoning? The followers may be — but as long as their leader keeps a cool head, that’s not as much of a problem right now as we might think; and the heat will dissipate naturally in time. Is this kind of devotion even appropriate? You bet. You don’t get the kind of deep-level change we need without first exposing and channeling people’s deep discontent. Obama’s change talk may be too vague for most people’s tastes (including mine); but the fact is that if we’re serious about enacting a progressive agenda, rousing people’s deepest dreams and desires and mobilizing that energy is exactly how it’s going to happen. And Obama’s the first candidate we’ve had in a generation who really, truly gets this.

The energy of Obama’s rallies scares the hell out of reason-bound, well-educated liberals; but it’s nothing new to anyone who’s spent time in the overheated revival-meeting atmosphere that conservative politicians have used to rouse their voters for decades. Stirring up their base in exactly this same way is how they won. Our chronic inability to move people like that is why we’ve continued to lose.

– Sara Robinson, The Cult of Obama (h/t Oliver Willis)

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Twisting The Knife

by matttbastard

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Oh boo fucking hoo:

I don’t see how a cause can be helped when some poor guy (it’s always a man) who is normally a supporter gets his metaphorical dick chopped off for expressing concern for the image of the movement. It leaves the impression that maybe they really do eat their young.

And there you have the essence of what is really getting to them. Teh Poor Menz(TM) are feeling emasculated by uppity wimmenz who actually resent being treated like children, and have dared to respond accordingly!

Teh horrorz!

Once again:

[C]omparing criticism to fists [or *ahem* castration-mb] is silencing. …it functions to inhibit what…women are saying, because they have to positively act to reject the associations that the male has conjured with his violent metaphor. By comparing the woman’s words to violence, he calls into being the image of her as a violent person, which she has to rebut by tempering her words

[…]

[H]yperbolic, violent exagerration also functions as a power play. Consciously or unconsciously, it’s intended to reassert privilege through a hyperbolic dismissal of the critiquer’s words.

And it’s also — perhaps primarily — a defensive reaction. Since women and people of color don’t have as much perceived right to criticize, their criticism stings more. It becomes not just criticism but fists, wars, and bombs.

There’s a big difference between “expressing concern” and a Sister Souljah moment hastily constructed after receiving a little bit of pressure from the FAR RIGHT. Woodley’s craven follow up post establishes a false dichotomy. As JJ notes, there is no comparing the rhetoric/tactics of the anti-abortion movement with that of a satirical website that isn’t afraid to take the lace gloves off when necessary.

And there’s certainly even less equivalence between expressing anger and castration.

Reproductive liberty is not a middle ground issue. It is an essential human rights struggle that isn’t being fought under Marquis of Queensbury rules. The right to choose has been under constant (and increasing) assault from the right (and, it should be noted, the centre) for decades now, to the detriment of women’s health and agency.

As April puts it,

Those of us who see the damage done when women have their choices removed are far more interested in protection of reproductive liberty, than the wishy washy support of those who can’t bring themselves to fully support women’s rights.

Pale is even more blunt:

THESE ARE NOT YOUR FATHERS FUCKING CONSERVATIVES! These are extremists. This ain’t good old Joe Clark and the conservatives of the past. These are Neo-liberals. They don’t give a shit about you, me, or anyone who doesn’t have a few mill in the bank, or the lunatic fringe who will blindly follow and vote for whatever party says what deluded claptrap they want to hear.
So, to all you Garden-party-mint- julep drinking-hand- wringing-unFAILINGLY-polite people. (If you haven’t FAINTED! from all the harsh language I have used here) You just keep on. You can keep begging for your place at the table. Let’s see how that keeps working out for you.

We have decided to try a different way.

Now, could all the Poor Menz(TM) please kindly take the (always unsolicited) “friendly advice” fraught with highly-revealing Freudian overtones and shove it?

Oh, and have a nice day!

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Update: Dave @ the Beav weighs in.

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Shorter Fifth Column (Or, The Ugly Side Of Triangulation)

by matttbastard

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Calm down ladies and let teh menz tell you how to talk seriously about reproductive freedom.

My delightfully sarcastic and trivial homegrrl fern hill murders a Progressive ally unambiguously disassociates herself from Woodley’s insipid Sister Souljah moment.

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