Monkey See, Monkey Do

A while ago, I ended up on Daily Kos’ e-mail list. I think it was when I signed up for an account there so I could challenge the Kossacks on their home turf. That account’s long been locked down (they don’t like it when you push back at them), but they don’t allow you to delete your account. And as a “faithful Kos member,” I get their e-mails every now and then. I could unsubscribe, maybe, but every now and then it’s entertaining to see what they’re saying.


And Chris Bowers, their campaign director, just had a “crazy idea” he just HAD to share with all us “faithful Kos members.”


Jay, I got a crazy idea. Let me know what you think:

Let’s build thousands of grassroots groups around the country to share ideas, strengthen ties between local progressive activists, and build a lasting national movement from the ground up that can fight back everywhere.A lot of people have talked about doing this in the past, but so far no one has had the capacity to make it work. However, this weekend, dozens of progressive organizations, including Daily Kos, are giving it a real try.

It’s called The American Dream Movement, and this Saturday and Sunday it’s coordinating 1,300 house parties all over the country. Almost no matter where you live, you can find a house party near you. Just click here to find a list of events within 30 miles of your zip code, and sign up to attend.

The plan is simple: get people together with their like-minded neighbors and have them start exchanging ideas about how to fix the country. You can see some of the ideas people have already submitted, and also submit some of your own, on a website called the Contract for the American Dream.

After that, to turn their favorite ideas into reality, all of the 1,300 groups will figure out how they want to start taking action, both on their own locally and in conjunction with all the other groups nationally.

I’m going to attend one of these parties where I live in DC on Sunday. My reason is straightforward: I don’t think we are ever going to be strong enough to shift power in this country away from Wall Street, millionaires, big corporations and conservatives unless we get a lot of people to stand together and take coordinated action. This new movement, with over 1,300 local events nationwide, is the best chance I’ve seen to make that happen in a long time.

So I’m going to attend a house party, and I hope you will too. Please, click here to find a list of parties within 30 miles of your zip code, and sign up to attend.

Gee, what a grand idea. What a brilliant notion. What an innovative concept. What a crazy idea that just might be crazy enough to work!


But there’s something familiar about that idea. Something that nags at the back of my mind, reminding me of something that… just… um…


Oh, yeah, the Tea Party.


Once again, the left is showing their insane envy of the Tea Party movement and its successes by trying to copy it. And once again, they’re doomed to fail because, once again, they simply can’t grasp the fundamental nature of the Tea Party Movement.


Look here. Kos is trying to gel up an “Instant Tea” Party by planning all these “house parties” around the nation, on the same day. As is their standard form, it’s top-down, commanded and coordinated from the self-designated leadership. This is a Kos move, reaching out to their Kossacks.


As opposed to the Tea Party, which — by design — has no national leadership, no national coordination, and no underlying structure. Sure, there are “leaders” and “organizations” and “coordinating groups,” but they’re all self-styled, and hold no real power or authority — they can’t order anything, hold no power or clout to enforce their wishes. They don’t even hold the power of the purse strings. The old rule “he who takes the king’s gold plays the king’s tune” doesn’t apply, because the Tea Party movement doesn’t have or need much money in the first place.


Which is where this Kos effort will fail. They aren’t looking for Tea Partiers, they want hordes of little groups of Kossacks (with some outsiders brought in for cover so they can say it’s not just Kossacks) to dance, while Bowers and the rest of the Kos leadership calls the tune. They NEED that national coordination, command, and control, and that — which they think of as a strength — is their weakness.


Because their hordes simply won’t be as invested as the Tea Partiers are. Because they’re not rising up on their own, for their own reasons, but because they’re answering a call to action. A call to show up as cannon fodder. They’re answering the “HELP WANTED — MINIONS” ad, not standing up for themselves.


You simply can’t command into existence of an army of individualists. It’s doomed to fail.


As we’ve seen with the Coffee Party, the No Labels, and all those other anti-Tea-Party groups that have come and gone with such astonishing regularity.


This Kossack version will also fail. And shortly thereafter, as is their wont, the Kossacks will flush it down the memory hole and pretend that it never happened.


But I’ll have the e-mail, and some of us will remember this latest idiocy.

"As president, Barack Obama would be a geunine uniter"
"We Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country"