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What do activists do now?

A big blogosphere question — After all the election celebrating by Progressive bloggers dies down, what will be our role? What will catch our attention? How will we occupy ourselves, now that the deal has changed?

(image: “South by Southwest categories.” Wordle @ http://www.wordle.net)

Many of us favor applying structure to our blogging. When virtually the whole deal changes shouldn’t the structure change, too? Speaking for myself, the first thing I did was slightly change my weekly posting plan. Monday is still Bush day — I will be griping about what he does until he leaves the building. In 68 days I will happily change the Monday category to a Republican rant. Tuesday continues to be devoted to Congress. They are making lots of news whether they have a lame duck session or not. Wednesday honors activists. Thursdays are focused on the Middle East and the wars that are still being prosecuted. Fridays changed from “Election ’08” to Obama in transition. After January 20, Friday will be President Obama’s day. Saturdays remain devoted to two issues, intelligence and to other non middle Eastern countries. The Constitution will continue to deserve a day of its own, Sunday.

“OCP” (for our current president) will be a term of the past after January 20, 2009, because the title bestowed temporariness to Mr. Bush, as my regular readers have come to know. After the Inauguration I will have said goodbye to the necessity of the title. And on that subject, “Goodbye to all that” was a piece that really captured what I have been wanting to write about when my thoughts crystallized. It came from The Democratic Strategist. To quote:

If you own one of those Bush Countdown Calendars that have sold so briskly over the last few years, you know that the presidency of George W. Bush will end in 70 days.

. . . But happy as progressives will be to see Bush and his buddies turn in their keys and turn out the lights on their benighted administration, it’s going to be a bit tough adjusting to a post-Bush era, particularly in the blogosphere. W. has represented the still point in a turning world, the Great Galvanizer, the lightning rod, the stimulus to political action, the daily shock to the system, for so very long that many of us will soon struggle for perspective, and even for words. Without a doubt, traffic at progressive political web sites will soon go down, perhaps precipitously, and many bloggers will find themselves trying to decide whether to become policy wonks or cheerleaders or critics of the Obama administration, or simply go dark.

What follows is a possible alternative categorization plan for my 2009 daily issues focus, coming out of Kilgore’s post. These are the headings that occurred to me might be subjects that come up on a regular basis in an Obama administration:

  1. Monday — “Goodbye to all that,” indicates there are lots of things to blog about that we will be happy to relegate to the past. This heading, “I’m still dancing and giddy,” will describe what I feel as I quote this wonderful e-mail from Tom Head’s “Civil Liberties” feature on About.com:

    President-Elect Barack Obama. It still hasn’t sunk in–the end of the Bush administration, the emergence of a president who is a former civil rights attorney and former community organizer, who taught constitutional law for 11 years, who wrote a bestselling coming-of-age story about his racial and moral identity a decade before he entered national politics. It’s a big transition from the famously uncurious and ideologically rigid former governor of Texas, for whom the Constitution was more frustrating than inspirational. . . . Barack Obama’s Legislative Agenda

  2. Tuesday — “Cleaning up the Mess,” will often require working with Congress. Tuesday’s stories might be categorized, “OMG! we discovered something else horrendous.” It would mean a story like this from (11/11/08) Congressional QuarterlyTerrorism Detainees Pose Tough Choices.” Also with a hat tip to Fran at Sirens Chronicles for this very valuable link “List of all Presidential Signing Statements – 2001-2008.”
  3. Wednesday — “Grassroots drive to help Barack Obama,” or “It will take all of us to get this stuff.” This example features an e-mail from Anthony Romero at ACLU with link to NYT full page ad regarding Obama’s promise to close Gitmo, plus announcements about holding a town hall meeting and releasing a “close Gitmo” video.
  4. Thursday — “There’s more to this than meets the eye,” or “healthy skepticism is always in order.” To help the administration maintain honest communication is something to which we have the right. It will come up regularly because of our next president’s promise of transparency. Under it goes this excellent piece by David Corn at Mother Jones: “Obama Announces Transition Ethics Rules–And Keeps on Fundraising.”
  5. Friday — “Hold on there, Mr. President (elect),” will be the day when citizen input focuses on constructive criticism. It describes this ProPublica story titled, “Obama Office calls Mulligan on Change.gov.” To quote:

    :So why have the pages outlining President-elect Barack Obama’s agenda been deleted from the president-elect’s Web site?

    “We’re retooling the Web site,” said spokesman Nick Shapiro. “Basically, it was put up within hours after we won. We took everything down to rework it.”

  6. Saturday — “What can we look for?” — or “There’s good news and bad news . . ,”illustrated by these stories one of my daily newsletters. First is this from Mike Allen at Politico.com: “Obama plans aggressive timetable” Also this one in the same vein: “Obama faces less pressure for diverse cabinet” (11/11/08) Politico.com
  7. Sunday — “Restoring the Constitution” or this idea from regular contributor/blogger/activist “betmo” at life’s journey: “Let’s pull our constitution out of the Dumpster,” from the blog titled, And, yes, I DO take it personally.
  8. Any and every day — “Fun Trivia,” also from “betmo,” comes this link to a Chicago Tribune article: “First-family-to-be gets codenames.” Thank goodness there will be much material for this category. I am confident of it.

View my current slide show about the Bush years — “Millennium” — at the bottom of this column.

(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)

My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.

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2 thoughts on “What do activists do now?

  1. it’s a good problem to have to not have to blog about the endless ripping and shredding of the constitution 🙂 we will still have to be vigilant as the corporate news won’t change its stripes quickly. one of the biggest benefits to being a part of the blogging community- the variety of real news sources versus the propaganda that the msm foisted upon us for years on end. we must continue to hold our government accountable while remaining activists- pressuring for real change on environmental issues, energy issues, cleaning up corruption, etc. we will still have much to do 🙂

  2. If the current news stream is any indication, you are right. Your assessment feels accurate to me. I think that more of my energy will go into holding “Washington,” (and state and locals) accountable, than into complaining about
    Republicans, thank goodness.
    Thanks for your feedback on this, my friend.

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