Where do we go, from here?

So I watched "Once More With Feeling" on Thanksgiving...sue me.

If you felt anything like I did on November 3rd, you were feeling lost, bewildered, angry, depressed, disillusioned, scared, and other messy emotions that don't lend themselves to normal functioning. Actually, if you felt anything like I did on November 3rd, you were a volatile mix of all of these emotions and probably contemplated chemically-induced coma.

After all the time spent on blogs and reading papers, the hard and unglamorous work of voter canvassing and phone banking, the multiple donations of more money than you could really afford to every progressive organization who came calling, the obsessive watch of daily poll results and electoral calculus...all of that, and we all thought, hoped, prayed that we'd neared the end of King George's reign. And though I'll never be convinced this election wasn't subverted to a heinous and corrupt conclusion, the fact that it was even close enough for stealing, that it was anything but a monumental rejection of Bushco's Administration, meant that many millions upon millions of Americans collectively bent us over and kicked us in the proverbial gut.

I sought refuge in the progressive blogosphere for reassurance that I wasn't as isolated as I felt and looked to my leadership for guidance on what to do next. I won't get into my thoughts on the vote count thing because it's going to take me off on a tangent and involve me banging my head on my desk -- again -- but I, like the rest of the Democrats, was waiting for someone to tell me where to direct my energy.

It never came. Not from Kerry, not from the DLC, the DNC, the DCCC, or the DSCC. MoveOn didn't have any action items, either, and though I dearly love Air America and all their rightful anger, they had very few answers to offer about what to do next. With the exception of the DLC and the DNC, I don't blame any of those people/organizations because everyone, everyone, was just as stunned as I was. We got the wind knocked out of us and it took awhile to catch our breath.

What should've happened, however, was a clear directive from the DNC/DLC to all of those organizations, throughout the lefty blogosphere, in emails to everyone on the databases of every progressive organization in the country, to every Democratic politician and activist and voter about what the next step should be. For whatever combination of reasons, the Democratic leadership failed us and it's time to take a book out of the professional sports playbook, time to fire the managers and bench the players that aren't team players, recruit some new blood out of the minors, get the team back into training, decide on our play strategy, and start collecting some victories. We've got the mother of all championiships in 4 years and if we want to have any hope of winning, the work starts now.

The regrouping has finally begun, and that's good. But I'm not content to wait for direction from the leadership anymore. I'll have a lot more on this topic soon, including a project I'm working on with a small group of others to actually do something about taking matters into our own hands. But in the meantime, much of what I've been contemplating has been contemplated more deeply, and articulated more eloquently, by many other people. Among them, Pericles over at DailyKos, who's nailed 10 killer topics that we as a progressive movement should be tackling and refining and addressing right now.

Daily Kos :: 10 Ideas for 2008

We have to to start laying the foundation for the changes we want to make, to build the framing and the structures of the progressive community that we need to win. Are you ready to fight?

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