Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

With a new administration in Washington it will be a challenge to get the 'liberals' to hold Biden-Harris to the few 'progressive promises' they made during their campaign. Biden is bringing back many of Bush & Obama's neo-cons to head his foreign policy. I'll be on this case without hesitation.

Monday, May 23, 2005


The Democrats lost their effort in the Senate to block several of the worst judges that the Bush administration was pushing. William Pryor, Priscilla Owens, and Janice Rogers Brown will go before the Senate for an up or down vote. They will likely be approved. The filibuster won't be used against them. The Republicans lost in that they are not able to totally kill the filibuster but they will be getting the vast majority of the right-wing fundamentalist judges they wanted.

In the end the courts become more right-wing in America. I recently heard that Republicans control 12 out of 13 federal district courts. This "deal" will not change that.

This whole episode, to me, shows the dramatic weakness of the Democratic party. They could not keep seven of their most conservative senators from cutting the legs out from under their effort to hold the line on the courts.

The Republican controlled federal courts will continue to eat away at civil liberties, abortion rights, the separation between church and state, and environmental protection from corporate pollution. This "deal" by so-called moderates in the Senate came after it was clear the Democrats were going to lose on the filibuster issue. Maine's two Republican senators were under intense pressure not to support the "nuclear option" to kill the filibuster. They were happy to cut this deal because they could still support most of Bush's right-wing judges and not anger folks in our state who would have been furious if they had voted to kill the filibuster.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), and the Minority leader, said on C-SPAN tonight that this is a victory because now the Senate can get on with its important business of funding our troops who are at war around the world protecting America. The Democrats are a party without backbone. They run from fights because in the end they are part of the oligarchy that controls this country. The Democrats are thrilled that they didn't have to have a real fight with Republicans over the filibuster.

The people once again get a glimpse at how the Democrats fire up the troops and then at the last minute pull the rug out from under us. If Pryor, Owens, and Brown were as bad as the Democrats have been saying for so many months then why could they not stand on principle and fight against them to the end? The reason is because the Democrats will always pull away as they come to the wall. They will always cave in and betray their constituents.

I recently spent a lot of time talking with a journalist in Ohio who wrote extensively about Bush's controversial election "victory" in that state in 2004. The journalist told me the story about massive vote rigging and cheating by the Bush team in Ohio and stated that there was ample evidence that John Kerry had won Ohio, and thus the election. Kerry was personally made aware of the facts and chose not to fight for the voters who had stood for hours in line and were never given the chance to vote. Why did Kerry and the Democrats not fight for democracy?

The answer is simple. The Democrats will always choose to remain loyal to the system. Their loyalty to the corporate dominated power structure comes before loyalty to the public.

This whole episode kept the media focused for months. Debate about the war in Iraq is virtually dead in the national media. Now that this deal is done, will the Democratic party work to end the war and bring the troops home? Will they filibuster the next $80 billion request Bush makes to fund the war?

We can only count on the grassroots people. The time has come for people to pop their heads out of the sand and speak up. We can't wait for politicians to save us. We have to start fighting now to protect our children's future. We can't give up.


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