Battleblog Galactikos?

Yeah, yeah, I’m shameless. What’s your point? 😉

Actually, this concept sprung from a parody .sig I created for Street Prophets (you can find it at the end of this diary, if you care), but more and more, its implications weigh on me: are we really it? Is there no one else left who’s really standing up and fighting with genuine heart except a bunch of liberals, progressives, and infuriated moderates all suffering from outrage overload? Maybe — on good days — a handful of Democratic leaders who kind of almost get it?

I’m an introvert. I’d vastly prefer to donate once in a while, write when it’s helpful, and otherwise let the fighters do the fighting and the leaders do, you know, the leading. More and more, though, it seems like there aren’t any real leaders on our side any more. Well, except Howard Dean, but as DNC chairman, he’s kind of in a wonkish position, structurally and strategically — not exactly a high profile position to launch rhetorical Vipers from.

(Note: Crossposted from Big Orange. Roland’s at work, so he asked me to cross-post this under his account. He probably won’t be able to comment much until early evening PST.  Morgan)

I mean, we’re looking at a motherlode of scandals [1]. The 9/11 foulups. The Iraq lies. Plame. Katrina. Abu Ghraib. Two stolen elections. Domestic Spying. Abramoff. Tom DeLay helping oversee the Justice Department. Tom DeLay? The fracking Hammer? As the saying goes, you just can’t make this crap up. Or as the Rude Pundit puts it (standard RP warning: he earned his name, SO not work safe):

The confirmation of all the shit many on the left have been saying about Katrina, about DeLay, about Libby and leaks ought to be another of those massive tipping points. But no one’s suprised. It’s just become too hard to process it all, you know. It’s just traffic sounds, so many crickets, so much white noise.

So we fight, because we have to, because we are the ones who really do love freedom, and because, yeah, people are stupid (including us, sometimes), but they don’t have to be. We try to form a more perfect Union. Sure, it would be easier to run, if Canada or Ireland or New Zealand or any of the sane countries where they speak English that would take us. And on a certain level, we do have to fight a running battle, on the defensive, outnumbered and outgunned, protecting our rag-tag fugitive facts because someone has to do it.

But when can we fight back? How do we go on the offensive? We’re one Battleblog and a handful of skilled and courageous blogger “pilots” (Atrios, Digby, Jane Hamsher, John Amato, John Aravosis, Tom Tomorrow, et. al. — our very own Blue Squadron) up against the vast Chenon Empire and that bloated sack of evil, Karl “Baltar” Rove. (Note to Galactica fanatics: I’m using Old School BSG for the analogy.)

And we need, desperately, to fight back. Now I kind of like Tom Kaine, in a “well, at least he’s not Joe Lieberman” sort of way. But I have to agree with Jon Stewart’s impression of the rebuttal: WTF? His eyebrow was more expressive than his speech. And then there’s Diane Feinstein, my state’s senator, who (aside from voting against Scalito in the vote that counted) seems to be positioning herself as the Left Coast Lieberman. A senator from California who panders to the wingnuts? Again, WTF? Lieberman, Biden, Cuellar…after all this time, after all these disasters and fundamental violations of the Constitution, we’re still playing the “go along to get along” game? What’s it going to take for these people to wake up — cyborg centurions opening fire on their offices and disbanding Congress?

Sure, we have a few leaders. Russ Feingold, the only Senator who had the stones to vote against the PATRIOT Act before it was cool, is totally my man, but November of 2008 is a long way off, and that’s assuming we have an election worth the name. Ted Kennedy seems to have risen from the ashes of irrelevancy (and NCLB), but every time he stands up, the Republicans hold up Chappaquiddick as if warding off a vampire. Our Minority Leaders seem to have realized it’s fight or die — though they’ve made enough missteps that “die” is looking more likely by the day. And of course, there’s Barack Obama; he may disappoint at times, but there’s no question that the man is going to be one hell of a leader once he gets his DC legs.

Still, none of them have figured out how to play the media game, and that’s the real source of the Chenon tyranny. And so we come to our Adama, suitably reluctant to realize that’s he’s the Man (watch Lorne Greene’s performance, particularly in the early eps), the Commander with the vision and the firepower to fight back…Markos Moulitsas Zúniga. Markos may deny that he’s anything more than another voice on the site, but it’s his site and it happens to be the most influential political website on Earth. We may not win every fight, but this site is ground zero of the battle to save our country from a pack of authoritarian ideologues — corporate, religious, and pure crypto-fascist — and we’re having more [2] and more [3] of an impact. Battleblog Galactikos, indeed.

So I ask, again: how do we stop waging our defensive, hit-and-run campaign against the Imperious Leader and his meat puppet? When can we go after them on our own terms? What is it going to take to get America to hear us? How do we fight back?

(/) Roland X
Fleeing the Chenon tyranny, the last Battleblog, Galactikos, leads a rag-tag fugitive web, on a lonely quest; a shining concept, known as Truth.


Wouldn’t have pegged you (none / 1)

for an introvert. Recommended at the Other Place.


by musing85 on Thu Feb 23rd, 2006 at 11:37:02 PDT

Introverts… (none / 1)

…can be quite outgoing once we’re around people we know well and are comfortable with :-).

Caring for Your Introvert: The habits and needs of a little-understood group

And a good brief definition:

Dr. Carl Jung described introversion and extroversion as two in-born ways that people gain and lose personal energy. He understood that introversion and extroversion are on a continuum. At one end are introverts. They feel depleted by too much external stimulation and are energized by internal sources (ideas, impressions, thoughts). Extroverts, at the other end of the continuum, are energized by external sources (activities, socializing, things) and lose energy during down time. Some people use both sides of the continuum almost equally. We all possess both ways of increasing and decreasing energy but most of us inherently require more introverting or extroverting to accumulate our energy resources.

A two-hour meeting can exhaust us, even if we’re enjoying ourselves. If things get contentious…oy! :-}

I don’t want to hijack the thread, though, so if someone wants to discuss this more perhaps another diary is in order.

by Morgan on Thu Feb 23rd, 2006 at 12:02:07 PDT

All of which I know (4.00 / 2)

I’m an INFP myself, though the I is borderline. But this past Monday was an admissions open house–for which my duties require me to stand around all day and talk to complete strangers. Small wonder that at the end of the day all I wanted to do was crawl back to my cave apartment and curl up on the couch in front of the telly.


by musing85 on Thu Feb 23rd, 2006 at 14:24:18 PDT

Another INFP here (4.00 / 3)


As a mother with her own life guards the life of her child, have all-embracing thoughts for all that lives. -Metta Sutta [-8.38,-6.15]

by Jeff G on Thu Feb 23rd, 2006 at 16:50:04 PDT

Synchronity (4.00 / 3)

Yet another one here! (Though I’m on the borderline with ENFP.)

“To make life easier and to be happy ended up being two different things.” – Arjuna’s Father, Earth Girl Arjuna.

by Egarwaen on Thu Feb 23rd, 2006 at 17:40:14 PDT

Werewolves … (4.00 / 3)

… are very fond of caves.

Introverted = 28  
Moderately expressed introvert

Intuitive = 44
Moderately expressed intuitive personality

Feeling = 22
Slightly expressed feeling personality

Perceiving = 66
Distinctively expressed perceiving personality

by Propheticus Lycanthroponica on Thu Feb 23rd, 2006 at 17:40:28 PDT

I’m extremely introverted (none / 1)

and some people I know don’t quite believe it, because I can be quite bold and assertive.

by Elizabeth D on Thu Feb 23rd, 2006 at 21:59:35 PDT

Almost forgot… (4.00 / 6)

to add the cookie jar :-).
                               |       |
                               |       |
              ,.               |       |
         _.o`   o`"-.          |       |
      .-O o `"-.o   O )
,._     |       |
     ( o   O  o )--.-"`O   o"-.`'-----'`
  jgs '--------'  (   o  O    o)  

(Hope that monospace looks right to everyone else — it took me a while to tweak it, but I’m using Opera so it may look different on other browswers  :-(.)

by Morgan on Thu Feb 23rd, 2006 at 11:51:56 PDT

Cookie ! (4.00 / 3)

Well, sort of …
 .-“`O   {
(   o  O {  

Sorry, I had to take a bite to … ummmm … make sure there were no NSA bugs in it ! Yeah, that’s it !

<Canine-Toothy Grin>

by Propheticus Lycanthroponica on Thu Feb 23rd, 2006 at 17:49:49 PDT

Fight Back? (4.00 / 2)

The first step is realizing that the outrage doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. The public is not going to care how much bad stuff Bush pulls off as long as there’s no alternative. And right now, there is no alternative. The Democrats will not stand up and fight for their stated beliefs, nor will they criticize the government when it does something wrong. And as long as we’re following kos’ “anyone with a D after their name” strategy, this won’t change. We’ll keep getting force-fed horrendous candidates like Casey.

So once we’ve realized that the outrage is irrelevant, how do we fight back? Give up on the national level. There’s too much inertia to change it right now. Oh, if we can get enough Democrats in Congress to recapture subpoena power, it’d be wonderful, but it won’t really change anything. We have to start rebuilding things from the ground up. We have to start by running for local office as unabashed progressives, forcing the debate of the issues we care about, and putting as much as we can into place through those positions. From there, we can build a solid base of progressive candidates with experience and start working our way up the ladder, shoving off the consultants and DINOs as we come to them.

Maybe a decade from now, we’ll get to DC and start making waves in the halls of power. In the meantime, we can speed things up by simply refusing to support – with time, money, or votes – poor candidates. DC races may be sexier, but you can still make a difference at the local level.

“To make life easier and to be happy ended up being two different things.” – Arjuna’s Father, Earth Girl Arjuna.

by Egarwaen on Thu Feb 23rd, 2006 at 12:08:40 PDT

Anyone with a D? (none / 1)

Like Lieberman, or Cuellar? 😉

I don’t see Kos (Marcos or the community as a whole) being an “anyone with a D” kind of place.

FWIW, we are among those working on the ground-up idea. It’s an uphill battle here, since our local congresscritter has a strong DINO streak and is trying to build a oligarchy in the state and local seats for the area :-(.

by Morgan on Thu Feb 23rd, 2006 at 12:21:11 PDT

Anyone With a D. (none / 1)

It’s one of my major disagreements with him. He’s very much a Democratic Party partisan, and said repeatedly after the 2004 election that DK was a Democratic blog, not a progressive blog. I was one of the people who got fed up and left over the whole “women’s studies crowd” mess, though I was also pretty annoyed about the whole “fraudsters” thing, so I’m not exactly a big K fan.

“To make life easier and to be happy ended up being two different things.” – Arjuna’s Father, Earth Girl Arjuna.

by Egarwaen on Thu Feb 23rd, 2006 at 12:25:09 PDT

I notice you didn’t refute Morgan’s point… (4.00 / 3)

…about Lieberman and Cuellar. 🙂

In any general election larger and less progressive than San Francisco mayor, there’s only two real choices in America, ever — the D and the R. If you want to vote for someone who can win, that is. I used to be registered Green, mind you, so I understand the purity impulse, but the simple truth is that Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, and most importantly, subpoena power, are too important in the face of the Chenon tyranny to get overly worked up over Blue Dog Democrats. This from a Democrat who has to put up with Dianne “Lieberman lite” Feinstein and a corrupt Blue Dog Congressman by the name of Joe Baca. Trust me, I know from Vichy Dems.

Primaries are another story, and Commander Kodama is willing to fight for genuine progressive Dems when he thinks they have any real chance of winning the general. I respect your right to your opinion, and understand completely why some progressives have issues with the Big Guy, but I’m a big Kos booster. I respect his willingness (and ability) to build the Last Battleblog too much to denigrate him for what I consider pecadilloes. What can I say, I’d change my Kos ID to Captain Apollo if I thought I had the chops (but let’s face it, I’m Jolley at best ;-).

(/) Roland X
Fleeing the Chenon tyranny, the last Battleblog, Galactikos, leads a rag-tag fugitive web, on a lonely quest; a shining concept, known as Truth.

by Roland X on Thu Feb 23rd, 2006 at 17:49:28 PDT

Lieberman and Cuellar (4.00 / 3)

Lieberman, maybe not. Though to be perfectly honest, Lieberman’s been making so many noises about going to work for the Republicans that it doesn’t surprise me at all. Casey? Yes. Other poor candidates? Yes.

I know that the system down there is skewed towards two big parties. Well, not so much the system as all the stuff built up around the system: debate access, funding, that kind of thing. I’m not advocating a third party. At least, not in the short term, though investing in one by working your way up from lower-level offices could be an excellent long-term strategy. What I’m saying is that my problem with kos, and others like him, is that he’s a Democratic Partisan. He supports the Democrat wholeheartedly no matter what, and attacks anyone who doesn’t do the same. Many of the female posters on Booman Tribune, for example, have sworn never to vote for, donate to, or work for an anti-choice candidate. kos has, in the past, attacked them for this.

The problem I have is his blind support for the party, no matter what it does.

the simple truth is that Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, and most importantly, subpoena power, are too important in the face of the Chenon tyranny to get overly worked up over Blue Dog Democrats

But that’s what I’m saying – that won’t make any difference. I virtually guarantee (like a real guarantee, but totally worthless!) that within a year or two of the achieving this success, the left-blogsphere will be filled with people asking “Why has nothing changed?” The current crop of Democrats, and the even-farther-right ones that they’re pushing, simply don’t have any interest in making things better.

To put it more simply… They won’t stand up to the right-wingnuts now, when there’s no chance of it being anything but symbolic. What makes you think they will when you add ten more of them to the Senate, and they actually have some real responsibility?

As for primaries, who’s he endorsed in PA?

“To make life easier and to be happy ended up being two different things.” – Arjuna’s Father, Earth Girl Arjuna.

by Egarwaen on Thu Feb 23rd, 2006 at 18:40:04 PDT

Example (none / 1)

Want an example of what I’m talking about? Just look at the reaction to Bev Harris’ latest numbers from the DK bignames. They’ve built their strategy justification (support anyone with a “D” no matter what their stances) on a “we lost the last election because the evil progressives were picky” dialog. Having actual evidence calling the election results in Florida and Ohio into question disrupts that.

“To make life easier and to be happy ended up being two different things.” – Arjuna’s Father, Earth Girl Arjuna.

by Egarwaen on Fri Feb 24th, 2006 at 12:18:17 PDT

Maybe I missed something (none / 0)

But the closest thing I saw to a bigwig disputing Bevs latest diary was He Who Shall Not Be Named who’s biggest claims to fame seem to be no longer being a front page poster and holding the record for the largest number of troll ratings ever received without being banned.

Did something happen earlier that I missed?

It was a while ago but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen frontpage stories about electoral fraud from kos and Georgia10…

by kraant on Fri Feb 24th, 2006 at 15:29:22 PDT

Really? (none / 1)

kos actually admitted that something might have gone wrong? Last I heard, he was holding firm to his “fraudsters” and “focus on 2008!” lines.

“To make life easier and to be happy ended up being two different things.” – Arjuna’s Father, Earth Girl Arjuna.

by Egarwaen on Fri Feb 24th, 2006 at 21:49:27 PDT

Digging (none / 0)

I’ve been digging through the archives of kos stories, but it was a fair while back and it was in one of his roundup of links openthreads so I may miss it even if I see it.

I did find a story where he changes his position on primary challenges. That’s a good example of how kos is slowly “radicalising”.

I just remember it because of the mass of comments expressing shock and awe that kos would even acknowledge the issue.

I’m getting the feeling it was long enough ago that I’m going to spend way too much time digging to find this, so I’m giving up.

If you’re really curious say the word and I’ll do my best to find it though I can’t give any guaranties.

by kraant on Fri Feb 24th, 2006 at 23:27:56 PDT

Don’t Worry About It (none / 1)

I’m not particularly interested in going back to DK. Partially because of He Who Must Not Be Named, partially because I just don’t like the atmosphere and tempo there in general. I’m happier here and at Booman Tribune, where things are usually more relaxed and polite.

“To make life easier and to be happy ended up being two different things.” – Arjuna’s Father, Earth Girl Arjuna.

by Egarwaen on Sat Feb 25th, 2006 at 15:15:31 PDT

This is right on (none / 1)

They need to see an alternative — and possibly they need to see some real consequences of his idiocy.  But we really have to take it on the chin for having failed to field credible candidates, a vision, real ideas, etc.  

by True Blue on Thu Feb 23rd, 2006 at 13:27:18 PDT

System failure (none / 1)

Roland and Egarwaen, both of you are making good points.I can’t say I disagree with either of you significantly.

It may be that the problem is systemic more than anything else (sociologist side coming out).And I think it may be that a systemic failure (equivalent to or most likely worse than the crash of ’29) will have to happen before a useful restructuring can and allow alternatives to be viable competitors.The status quo just has too much momentum now.Its like a feedback loop, candidates and the system reinforcing one another in successive turns.Even Ross Perot couldn’t break the two party stranglehold and classic liberals are not comfortable straying too far from the status quo.Howard Dean’s ascent to DNC chairman has been both a blessing and a curse.Its good to have someone with Dean’s fire in the party machinery, but its also tempered that fire and perhaps, in effect, coopted him into the party power structure.

The greatest economic gains for middle and lower America came after the stock market crash of 1929 and the advent of WWII up and through the 60’s.Thats one of the observations presented by Kevin Phillips in his book Wealth and Democracy.We’re not currently in system failure, though intuition says we’re probably very close.Its gonna have to get worse before it gets better, and its lookin’ like its gonna get real ugly before its all said and done.Maybe its just part of the cycle of growth and decay.

As a mother with her own life guards the life of her child, have all-embracing thoughts for all that lives. -Metta Sutta [-8.38,-6.15]

by Jeff G on Fri Feb 24th, 2006 at 07:15:04 PDT

The only trouble is (none / 1)

most of the decay is occurring in the United States, while the growth is occurring abroad.

When the last American job is outsourced, just who is going to buy all that cheap stuff from China anyhow?

To God belong the east and the west: Whereso ever you turn, there is the face of God. For God is all-Embracing, all-Knowing.

by dervish on Fri Feb 24th, 2006 at 09:46:51 PDT

[1] Link was to
[2] Link was to
[3] Link was to

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