Massachusetts Sounds Warning

ACORN Citizen Wealth Financial Justice

january-february_2009.Par.91992.Image.0.0.1Houston A new Paul Revere streaked across Massachusetts and many heard different warnings.  Here’s what I took away:

  • Fifty-nine (59) seats in the Senate is still a majority, but it’s a signal that we need to get busy. We should not accept 59 as a rationale to step back or tone down the demand for reform in critical areas, but instead should turn up the heat before it’s too late.
  • Politics teaches us to never be seduced by “premature certainty” and that was starting to happen as issues fell lower and lower in the queue and beltway “wisdom” cautioned a waiting game as if we had forever.  I think particularly of the dilemma of immigration reform that now seems sidetracked for years, if there is even an Obama 2nd term.
  • The Tea Party protests when I spoke in Amherst and Springfield were a clarion call of deep seated populist anger.  It was a mistake to write it all off.

  • There is no satisfying the beast.  Feed him and he’ll come back.  Pet him and he’ll know your weakness.  Positions need to be taken in stone, not written in sand.  We can’t just bargain “high-low” on principled positions.
  • We need to find our fall back positions on labor law reform.  There’s no EFCA in our future.
  • We need to seize on Obama’s sudden understanding that banks matter and need to be both policed and taxed.  We need to push for Geithner to be out after the midterms (if not before), because all of this mess is on his shoes and Obama will never be able to wipe it off in his re-election campaign.  We need to push Dodd hard so that he doesn’t get confused about his job now while thinking about his future job search with the industry.
  • We need to learn that there’s a huge price to pay by throwing important popular (as in “for the people” not by the polls) institutions “under the bus,” like ACORN.  We lose more than is saved in such cowardice.  (See above on the beast).

Our clock is ticking away and our moment is almost gone whether it’s measured in months or years.  When we have a minute we will hear a million other things we should learn, but we need to start cookin’ with grease and do it now!