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Living Liberally Blog
Living Liberally Blog
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 08/21/2008 - 12:17pm.
So Markos, thank you for writing a book for them.
Markos's new work, Taking On the System, is an exploration of how all of us have just been handed power...if we decide to grab hold. We can change media narrative by becoming our own media through blogging. We can become our own campaigns with simple cameras and free video hosting sites.
And it's not just in politics. Markos quite consciously weaves stories of other industries, most notably the music business, among his anecdotes from Senate campaigns, the anti-war movement, immigration rallies and other political efforts. In doing so, he creates an argument that doesn't just appeal to the political junkie but to anyone who wants to understand entrepreneurship, idea-generation and anti-authoritarianism in the digital era. He also does it in a well-written, fun, and at-times inspirational style that is full of examples and lessons, which are helpfully broken down into "rules."
My parents will understand the progressive movement -- and these times -- much better when they read it.
But it's not only aimed at the newcomer to these discussions. Marching through experiences from '06 -- including the Webb, Tester and Lamont campaigns -- and through other achievements of the Left -- changing the perception of Fox News -- Markos provides activists with a compelling narrative that suggests we are accomplishing things.
Sometimes in this line of work, that affirmation is important.
He also doesn't shy away from challenging us. Markos describes why Cindy Sheehan's heart-felt, authentic (and media-friendly) protest in Crawford was more effective than a half-million protestors in the streets in affecting the coverage of the anti-war effort (he criticizes the large-scale marches for being unoriginal, off-message and somewhat disorganized -- compared with the very effective, surprising and disciplined immigration marches).
He then turns on Sheehan, arguing that she lessened her impact as she veered onto other topics, changed her demeanor in the company of flashier activist groups and -- Markos argues -- allowed herself to be used...by players ranging from Hugo Chavez to Code Pink.
I instinctively stand to Sheehan's defense and thus found this section provocative. Markos wasn't out to tell me what I already believed -- he was willing to spark an argument. In the context of his "rules for radical change," he lays our a very compelling case that Sheehan did squander her capital. That's not to say that she didn't have the right to speak out on other issues as an individual; but as a symbol -- and so much of how we affect the world is through symbols -- she lost her way.
She has reason to be disappointed in Democrats, I believe...but I also came away agreeing with Markos that she's not as effectively focusing that frustration as she did her grief and anger in the summer of '05.
But this book -- and this review -- is not about Cindy Sheehan. Rather, I want to point out that Markos is at his best when he's unapologetically willing to stir up disagreement, but staking out an argument and sticking with it -- whether it's his arguments against the right-wing, his debates with other Lefties, or his battle against the "gatekeepers" throughout this book.
One of his teachings (not to make him sound too Jedi Master-esque) is to "target your enemy." If the title of his book doesn't tell you that the "System" is that enemy, then his frequent references to bypassing, influencing and "crushing" the gatekeepers make it clear who he stands against: those who would use their authority to limit participation, squelch dialogue, defund creativity and stand in the way of progress.
With the success of DailyKos, he has bypassed some gatekeepers. With the Penguin Press publication of Taking On the System, he has influenced others.
Now...let's get back to the crushing.
His book will also be available in September through the Progressive Book Club -- get your first 3 books for $1 each when you become a member.
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 08/21/2008 - 8:30am.
Obama-Biden? The Long-Talk Express
Obama-Sebelius? Popular in the heartland,
Obama-Bayh? Dems would get to ask McCain
Obama-Kaine? Virginia is for lovers,
Obama-Dodd? His silver hair's
Obama-Clinton? Watch right-wing heads explode.
And for those of you worried about Obama's pick:
Celebrate the pick or keep speculating
Submitted by Fred Gooltz on Wed, 08/20/2008 - 6:43pm.
The name, "The Rachel Maddow Show" is owned by Air America Radio. What should she call her show?
Also, can you pitch a segment or two?
To the first point, here are some quick suggestions:
As for show segments:
Run through a selection of clips from other political TV shows, pause them and point out the:
2. "Your Liberal Media"
Clearly I'd like Maddow to not hide the fact that she's a liberal on tv and I think the best way to do that is to show how there are so many hundreds more conservatives surrounding her.
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Wed, 08/20/2008 - 1:52pm.
Why are we all so excited about Rachel Maddow? News of her being tapped for own MSNBC program has excited the progressive grassroots/netroots, leading Living Liberally's blog to be "All Maddow, All the Time" today in her honor.
So what's the big deal?
Well, first of all, Maddow demonstrations that someone can graduate from the world of "progressive media" into a role in the "mainstream" media. People across the country know Maddow -- if not from her stints on Air America, then from her confrontations with Pat Buchanan and take-down Joe Scarborough. She has become a brand, a recognizable name and face, and -- according to that ultimate arbiter, the bottom-line of business-driven MSNBC -- a bankable commodity.
This is a great success for progressive media, and the components of it that had promoted Maddow at different parts in her career. And it's a signal to other smart, funny, liberal personalities that there is an avenue to advance their careers and their ideas.
Second, Maddow is a team player. She respects and engages the progressive movement. We, at Living Liberally, experienced that friendship when she wrote a guest post for Screening Liberally on her recommended weekend video rentals, and when she joined us for our 5th Anniversary party in May.
When we've asked her to participate, she's participated. That's a great quality.
And finally, it a strong, left-leaning voice will reach the homes of many more Americans. Yes, there are satiric news programs that do a great job challenging right-wing dominance, and some broadcasters like Keith Olbermann who challenge the administration, but we're still short on proud progressive personalities in the spotlight. The right has them. Now we have one more too.
Part of building a progressive movement is ensuring there are structures that recognize and promote talent: whether candidates, organizers or commentators. Maddow's next move shows that some of these structures are in place...we need to keep making them work.
And we need to tune in to MSNBC on Monday, September 8th at 9pm to help keep Maddow on the air.
Submitted by Seth Pearce on Wed, 08/20/2008 - 10:47am.
1. The US makes Polish missile defense deal official. Russia is pissed.
3. Rachel Maddow got her own show! The world rejoices.
4. Cindy McCain has not one but two forgotten half sisters.
5. Obama veepstakes speculation reaches fever pitch. Howard Fineman Joe Biden, while Ralph Nader calls it for Clinton. No cares who McCain picks, though it seems like right now he's leaning toward some guy whose name rhymes with Shmoe Shmieberman.
6. Orson Scott Card, author of many a great sci-fi novel, says that gay marriage marks the end of democracy in America. Wow.
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Tue, 08/19/2008 - 3:12pm.
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Mon, 08/18/2008 - 7:01pm.
Much more on this over the next week, but know that there will be a place in NYC for you to gather during the DNC and RNC.
Check out the complete schedule -- the abbreviated round-up is below:
Free Admission. Cheap Beer. Big Screens. Special Guests. Comedy. Trivia. Prizes. Oh, and Conventions.
Mon, Aug 25—Kick-Off Festivities with Laughing Liberally comedy throughout the night
Mon, Sep 1—Bush's Last Stand & Labor Day Barbecue (4-7pm at Rudy's Bar – 9th & 44th)
Submitted by Seth Pearce on Fri, 08/15/2008 - 10:47am.
1. Reading Liberally Page-Turner Nixonland by Rick Perlstein has been named one of the Best Books of the Year by Amazon.
2. Michael Phelps: Another gold, another world record. That's 6 if you're counting.
3. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is expected to resign. I'd like to echo Matt's sentiments:
4. The Russia-Georgia conflict is escalating. Poland agreed to host a US missile shield base. No links. Too depressing. Use the Google for more.
5. Obama reached the two-million donor mark, meaning that almost one out every 150 Americans has donated to the Obama campaign.
6. MUST READ: In the wake of Josh Green's dump of all the nasty and ugly emails from inside the Clinton campagin, the Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg has finally dug up some secret memos from the Obama camp.
7. McCain's internet policy sucks.
Submitted by Seth Pearce on Thu, 08/14/2008 - 5:24pm.
About a month ago, we announced the creation of Living Liberally's new network of religious progressives: Praying Liberally. Now, the first chapters are beginning to get off the ground starting with Wilmington, Delaware on Thursday, August 21st.
As Wilmington chapter leader Frank Bell puts it:
This is just the first of hopefully many groups of religious liberals organizing around the country to bring all the great community aspects of blogs like Street Prophets into a face to face setting. In this way we can create a sustainable, national, multi-faith social network of religious liberals.
As a I said before, Praying Liberally chapters will have weekly, semi-monthly or monthly meetings of local liberals from a wide range of faiths including, as pastordan so excellently phrases it, "those whose deepest faith is in the conviction that there is no God." At these meetings, faithfully-minded liberals could talk politics, say a collective prayer for "the least of these" in our community, our country and our world, and build community to organize around our common causes
Also, all chapters will receive a web site, chapter blog, listserv and other online organizing tools and support features from the Living Liberally national network.
Hosting a chapter is really easy. All it takes is deciding on a time and location, anywhere from a local religious space to the neighborhood cafe, and sending out a quick e-mail reminder before you meet - that's it. Overall, it's no more difficult than meeting up with your religious progressive friends to hang out and talk politics.
Together, we can build a greater national community of religious liberals and finally put a stop to the Religious Right's monopoly on faith and politics.
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 08/14/2008 - 1:23pm.
Chapter leaders... Please login here.