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Monday, December 06, 2010

The even Newer Deal (Update: Look at who's on board!)

Ever have one of those days? Everything I've designed this weekend looks...wrong. Even the soup stain on my shirt seems aesthetically inferior to previous soup stains.

Still, maybe this will work as a logo for the new New Deal movement. Both the font and the decorative element come from the Art Deco movement -- the FDR era -- yet they look modern. (Please don't mention Shepherd Fairey. His sunrays are way different.) This design works in black and white, and in many different sizes.

If you came in late, scroll down a few posts for the New Deal manifesto. We're starting a new movement -- a Democratic analog to the tea party movement. Weirdly enough, the exact same idea seems to have occurred to a number of different bloggers over the course of a single weekend. It was downright spooky. See, for example, Blue Lyon and Riverdaughter and Anglachel and Sky Dancing.

The dispensers of conventional wisdom still pooh-pooh the idea of primary challenge to Obama. From the New Republic:
Most importantly, who would run? Hillary Clinton has ruled it out categorically. Al Gore’s electioneering days appear to be long over. There’s been talk of Russ Feingold running (mainly based on a misunderstanding of an “I’ll be back” statement he made on election night which seems to have referred to a future Senate race). Dean would win headlines, but has a poor reputation in Iowa, where any progressive challenge would have to be launched. There are no guaranteed primary vote-getters out there like Estes Kefauver in 1952, and certainly no one close to the stature of Ted Kennedy. And there's a reason no incumbent president has actually been defeated for re-nomination since the nineteenth century.

So that's it. What we are likely to see is a marginal opponent: a Dennis Kucinich, or a Harold Ford, or some celebrity who hasn’t held office but is willing to spend some money. More serious comers will be chased away by the hard, cold reality of what it would take to mount a presidential campaign against the White House in places like Iowa and Nevada and New Hampshire and South Carolina.
My response? There are quite a few Democrats in this country, and most of them would like a Democrat to vote for. Obama may have a (D) next to his name, but his policies are rated (R).

The New Republic makes the mistake Democrats always make: They accept the terrain as it is. The Right doesn't do that. They get out their bulldozers and remake the political landscape.

Go thou and do likewise.

Build a movement and leaders will appear.

Update: Carolyn Kay hipped me to this amazing piece by Clarence B. Jones, Scholar in Residence, Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University -- at HuffPo, no less.
It is not easy to consider challenging the first African-American to be elected as President of the United States. But, regrettably, I believe that the time has come to do this.
The pursuit of the war in Afghanistan in support of a certifiably corrupt Afghan government and the apparent willingness to retreat from his campaign commitment of no further tax cuts for the rich, his equivocal and foot dragging leadership to end DADT, his TARP for Wall Street, but, equivocal insufficient attention to the unemployment and housing foreclosures of Main Street, suggest that the template of the 1968 challenge to the reelection of President Lyndon Johnson now must be thoughtfully considered for Obama in 2012.
And there's the ultimate answer to those who tell us that challenging Obama will strengthen the Republicans. If Johnson had run again in 1968, he would have done worse than Humphrey did -- and certainly worse than RFK would have, had he lived.

HHH came thisclose to victory; he failed only because the anti-war left could work up no enthusiasm for Johnson's veep. That's why Biden can't be the standard-bearer in 2012. (I'd love to vote for him, but I seem to be the only one.)

To those who think purely in terms of shirts-versus-skins -- to those who say that if you don't love Obama you must love Palin -- I say: Look at history. We are hardly the first Democrats saddled with a disappointing leader. The protesters yelling "Hey, hey, LBJ! How many kids did you kill today?" were not right-wingers, and did not want to see Nixon in office. They protested because conscience required protest, and history justified their stance.

Bobby would have won.

Johnson would have lost.

And Obama...?

PS. I just noticed something striking about the "blue sunrise" logo above: If you squint a bit, you could say that this design resembles the old "eye in the triangle" motif which plays such a huge role in right-wing kook literature. That should drive the far-right conspiracy wackos nuts. Free publicity!
Comments:
Stipulated: no O-holes allowed in the New Deal Movement. I'm not joining forces with any Obama supporters on anything.
 
I like that logo a lot.

Boston Boomer
 
Love the new logo. Should I switch it out in my post?

BTW, yes, I've been thinking along these lines for a while, even though I co-opted a lot of what you, Anglachel and RD have to say. I want my party back, dammit. I'm not ready to slink away without a fight. But most of my thoughts have been in my head during long drives to and from work.

I suppose this means that I'm going to have to attend local Dem meetings again and really get going on the networking. So be it. I've done it before, and I can do it again. I'm ready to go in and state my case. I would venture to bet there are plenty there who feel as we do.
 
All blue with an up pointing arrow head is good. Not as visually striking as your red white and blue designs.
 
I'm torn between the two designs. The new design seems more positive. It's odd, but it makes me think of hope. Not the fake Obama hopium, but real honest-to-God hope. But it's a soft symbol.

Your previous design does have problems, but it symbolizes strength, fight. It makes me think of the line from Network, "We're not going to take it any more." And let's face it, we're going to need a broad reaction of "We're not going to take it anymore" to get the new New Deal moving and succeeding.

Barbara
 
Perry, I hear ya. But to forgive is divine. Let's put it this way: The new site, as I conceive it, will have up an article or two documenting what happened in 2008.

Maybe we'll finally get that apology...?
 
Maybe not an apology, but I don't want to hear a single one of them utter the words, "Hillary wouldn't have been any different."
 
Robert Kuttner of The American Prospect is also on board.

Since the mid-term rout, some progressive donors who were big Obama supporters in 2010, have been meeting on the issue of trying to topple Obama in favor of a Democrat who would be able to fight the 2012 election as an economic progressive with clean hands, challenging the failures of both Obama and of the Republicans. Names that have been mentioned include Howard Dean, Russ Feingold, and Byron Dorgan.

My initial reaction was that this idea is both premature and far-fetched. Ted Kennedy's run against Jimmy Carter in 1980 only softened up Carter for Ronald Reagan in the general election. On the other hand, toppling LBJ was the right thing to do. Had Bobby Kennedy not been murdered or had Hubert Humphrey displayed just a bit more nerve, the Democrats could well have held off Richard Nixon in 1968, and emerged as a more effective governing progressive party.

The labor movement is just disgusted with Obama. Young people who rallied to him are turned off. Progressives in Congress are seething. Obama could well head into 2012 with little of his base intact, save the African American community. A serious primary challenger could easily win Iowa, where it all began. And a primary fight is a terrific organizing tool. It could force the media to take note of a progressive message about the economy.

 
WB/ Joseph, altho I feel your outrage at being forced to engage in the political/public arena.

I felt the same way when Bush stole the 2000 election.

The logo is nice, love the font, but I'm not sure about the name of the movement itself. The Obots are the same as the Naderites. The same type, the same people. Nader not only succeeded in driving a stake through the Dem brand, but also through the Green Party brand, which he abandoned.

To me, that was his biggest sin. The only justification for what Nader and his moronic followers did to us in 2000 would've been to build the Green Party into a new force to be reckoned with. The fact that, instead, we are more fragmented than ever, does not bode well.

We need women, POC, working class and even the Whole Foods Nation...and I don't think "New Deal" alone captures that.
 
btw, I peeked in to see if you had a take on War Hawk Joe Lieberman's obsession with repealing DADT.

How ironic is it that certain people make equality their fight....when it's because we need every spare body, even gay bodies, to fuel America's top industry, war.

OT, I know....but I'm hoping to see your input on that at some point.
 
The New Deal is where the fight is, period. The best that the Democratic party stands for and has done for the American people comes from the New Deal. The security and rights established by the New Deal are those that are under attack by the right. These ideals worked well for many years and Democrats understand this fact.

On the Obama supporters...I think we need every vote we can get. I never believed the hype, but they did. They were willingly blinded by it. But, if they oppose Obama, they will be some of our best allies. What is the saying, "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned"

If they have seen the light, I say let them in. Good to see you again Perry.
 
1. I like the new logo.

2. I also like the first logo you posted on Dec 4 (including the left pointing arrow), but not the other two variants.

3. I agree (regarding some of the prior O-backers) that to forgive is divine. E.g. Jane Hamsher and some of the FDL folks have some decent things to say these days. In general, I favor being inclusive.

On a side point, I noticed this item today in the Paul Street live blog at Corrente.

4. However, the problem that O-backers pose is one of co-optation. There’s a difference in kind – including a substantial difference in values - between traditional left, FDR-style Democrats, etc. versus "creative class"/Whole Food Nation (Anglachel also makes this point well). It’s not clear to me how such co-optation would be prevented. I think the core principals need to be well articulated at the outset.


BTW – I’m beginning to think that there might be a glitch with submission of comments to Cannonfire via the Name/URL option (so trying Google Accounts instead).
 
Replace/overlay the blue field/stars on the flag with the Triangle New Deal logo. It's a winner.
 
New Deal trope has enormous emotional pull w/seniors, not sure how the disaffected young (hi-fav Obama voters in '08, no-shows this November) assimilate the old-school message. As far as primarying O -- both Johnson and Carter were eminently beatable by Rs (and Carter by another D not Chappaquiddicked Teddy). It comes down to two political judgements -- will O be so weak this time next year that his re-elect chances are beyond dim and will African-Americans sit out the general if it's not Obama in '12. Watch what high-powered D contributors like Soros, the Google guys and the national unions do this year.
 
Rich, I can't agree. Today's seniors were in their 40s and politically active during the Carter years and the Reagan revolution. The phrase "New Deal" seems like dangerously old hat to people in their 50s -- but to people in their 20s, it's terra incognita.

More than that. We're letting the libertarians rewrite history. Via Glenn Beck and others, they are convincing a new generation that FDR caused the Depression.

The only way to combat the misinformation is to embrace the past, and to talk about what FDR actually did.

Incidentally, the "Tea Party" imagery also harkens to the past -- to the 18th century. That's not a past within living memory. It feels unnerving to admit this, but -- to an increasing degree, 1933 is no longer a living memory. Someone who was 20 then would be nearly 100 today.

Mounting a primary challenge to Obama is only part of the goal. The larger goal is to capture the heart of the party, just as the teabaggers captured the GOP.
 
There might be a glitch with submission of comments to Cannonfire. For some comments I try to submit, I have to submit several times, tinkering with characters or breaking the original comments into pieces, before it gets through. Switching the submission type from Name/URL to Google Accounts doesn’t help (nor does switching browser type). I suspect that if I’m having this problem, others might also. I’m going to try resubmitting a comment here, but breaking it into three pieces (containing four points), to try to localize which element of the comment is causing the problem.

1. I like the new logo.

2. I also like the first logo you posted on Dec 4 (including the left pointing arrow), but not the other two variants.
 
3. I agree (regarding some of the prior O-backers) that to forgive is divine. E.g. Jane Hamsher and some of the FDL folks have some decent things to say these days. In general, I favor being inclusive.

On a side point, I noticed this item today in the Paul Street live blog at Corrente.
 
4. However, the problem that O-backers pose is one of co-optation. There’s a difference in kind – including a substantial difference in values - between traditional left, FDR-style Democrats, etc. versus "creative class"/Whole Food Nation (Anglachel also makes this point well). It’s not clear to me how such co-optation would be prevented. I think the core principals need to be well articulated at the outset.
 
What I’ve encountered so far fits the hypothesis that the presence of certain character strings in a comment prevents it from going through on Cannonfire. To further localize the problem here, I’m resubmitting point three split into two separate parts.

3a. I agree (regarding some of the prior O-backers) that to forgive is divine. E.g. Jane Hamsher and some of the FDL folks have some decent things to say these days. In general, I favor being inclusive.
 
What I’ve encountered so far fits the hypothesis that the presence of certain character strings in a comment prevents it from going through on Cannonfire. To further localize the problem here, I’m resubmitting point three split into two separate parts.

3b. On a side point, I noticed this item today in the Paul Street live blog at Corrente.
 
It seems that sentences composed only of common words, with only commas and periods as punctuation, never trigger the problem. The glitch only seems to occur when the text contains abbreviations, parentheses, colons, names, or hyperlinks. The following is an attempted rewrite of the second part of the third point, to see if it goes through.

3b. On a side point, I noticed this item today in the Paul Street live blog at Corrente.
http://www.correntewire.com/live_blog_paul_street_here#comment-185270
 
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