I thought you might want to know we made over 800 calls (!) last night, a very satisfying and record-breaking conclusion to our team's battleground test phone banks. And thanks to some diligent data entry people, we were able to get all our numbers in on time. I hope you are all proud!
So far California has made over 110,000 calls as part of this important test, and that doesn't even include the last couple of days. We have easily made more calls than any other state, proving California's value as a powerhouse export state in this campaign!
Thank you everyone for your huge contribution to this accomplishment.
In my last essay I said that political work was too important to be left solely to politicians. In a representative democracy it is incumbent upon all of us to be political actors. Politics is the arena in which decisions of national and international importance get decided. And politics abhors a vacuum; if we're not engaged in the struggle, someone else will win by default, and we will probably not like the result. If we don't at the very least vote, 2010 will happen again and again.
Obama is trying to do many things. His major task is to defang the conservative movement and render it so marginalized that it can't impede the work in which this country needs to engage in order to not slide into the status of a 1930's banana republic. Infrastructure needs to be updated, research and development has to be done, and, yes, taxes have to be raised on the wealthiest both to fund all these initiatives and to close the budget deficit. That the right wing has more or less imploded since its victory in 2010 has been a boon to the rest of the country. But it's still there, and still has enough money and power to make any election a close-run thing.
Money is the Right's main weapon. Those in the 1% who don't believe in a commonwealth of citizens will spend a fraction of their assets in order to make sure that policies amenable to their keeping and growing their wealth unhindered by law or regulation are enacted. It's nothing for the Koch brothers to give $10 million to Karl Rove's Super PAC. For them it's an investment that promises even greater returns. It's an act that doesn't even require deliberation.
Although Citizens United did open the door to Democratic-supporting unions spending money in the same way that corporations are now allowed to, the fact is that the progressive Left does not have as much money as the Right. Our Super PACs will have money, but not as much as American Crossroads or Restore Our Future. What we do have is ourselves. And this is the other thing Obama is trying to do. As he said in 2008:
You see, the challenges we face will not be solved with one meeting in one night. It will not be resolved on even a Super Duper Tuesday. Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. We are the hope of those boys who have so little, who've been told that they cannot have what they dream, that they cannot be what they imagine. Yes, they can.