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Wednesday, September 05, 2007


You've got that wrong. Medea was complaining that Pelosi won't meet with peace activists in general or her constituents in San Francisco. Twenty-seven different peace organization representatives signed the letter delivered to Pelosi on this issue, including the Buddhists, the Episcopalians, the Quakers, United for Peace and Justice, Veterans for Peace, and many, many more.
As far as her trying to undermine other parties, Medea encourages people to think for themselves. I know her from being a codepink member. If she put her efforts into getting Nader elected, I assume it was from the very real fear that Bush would win. The American people have been brainwashed by mainstream media into thinking that these parties are their only real choices.
The climate of acquiesence in our country is frightening and real, and you are in a left-wing ivory tower if you think differently, even more so back then in 2004.
So while I am grateful to you for your alternative opinions, greatly so, and grateful that their even exists a left-wing ivory tower for you to write from, I would appreciate it if you saved your virulent observations for those that are not exerting their best efforts, day and night, to stop the war. Attempting to demean Medea serves the anti-war movement as poorly as voting for a democrat, I assure you, and the mainstream media and the career-minded selfish politicians that we all desire to give in to our will for peace also appreciate the aid you give them by attacking her.
They do all they can to make it appear that Medea and others like her
are lone ducks, foolish, isolated, and a waste of media attention.
United we stand. Divided we fall. Save your frustration for where it belongs, on the heads of those that choose to ignore the voice of the people they were chosen to represent. They are at fault, whether it is from The Iron Law of Institutions, which I do not believe is law--look at Barbara Lee, and others who have turned around-- or from blind greed and willful selfishness. These people are in the wrong, and should be held accountable by law. It is our job to wake the public
up, regardless of whether they want to be waked. The house of America is on fire, and they are all dying of smoke inhalation after being sung to sleep by crooning corporations through the speakers of their television sets. It is up to us to save them, and we do that best together.

I must amend my earlier comment. I meant to write, "If Medea put her efforts into aiding the Democratic Party, I assume it was from a very real fear that Bush would win" instead of what I wrote, which was a typo, "If she put her efforts into getting Nader elected, I assume it was from the very real fear that Bush would win." sorry.

Pamela, Benjamin's capitulationist strategy and willful fecklessness won't wake anyone up. Opposition to bad things has to have some actual opposition in it to mean anything. Fine sentiments and elaborate metaphors only go so far.

Wow, Pamela, I have so many questions about your comment that I hardly know where to start! What exactly do you think John “got wrong”? I think John's right on when he says that Pelosi (or most any Democrat for that matter) doesn't need to meet with “peace activists in general or her constituents” because she knows they will continue to vote Democrat. That was the main point of his article (John, correct me if I'm wrong) – as long as you continue to vote for people who don't represent you, then they don't need to pay attention to you.

Think about it, if they can count on your vote (no matter what) then why are you surprised that they ignore you? The typical phrase for this is “taking you for granted”.

Do you really think John's comments were “virulent” or meant to “demean”?...really? Maybe you just don't like what he's pointing out (or maybe you don't want to be “waked” yourself). I happen to agree with him. So I can say for myself (he would have to speak for himself) that my “frustration” is correctly placed exactly where it belongs: with those of you who continue to vote for people who don't represent you.

Pamela: Thanks for sharing your views, and for the time and consideration you put into your response.

Contrary to what you say, my opinion on this doesn't come from being in an ivory tower; it's eminently practical. My point is that Pelosi and the Democrats already know that progressive votes are counted before the election even starts. It was true in 2004, and I have little doubt it'll be true again in 2008 (despite what Medea says in her article). So why should Pelosi even bother going through the motions of pretending to care about our concerns?

I have nothing but respect for the CODEPINK hunger strikers, and I have a good bit of respect for Medea Benjamin as well. But in the latter case I'm frustrated (as you obviously saw) that she's failed to realize just how destructive her strategy of backing Kerry in 2004 has been, and to recant it. If my tone was too harsh, I'm sorry for that, but it's a direct result of the severe damage I feel has been done by her and many other prominent progressives. 2004 truly was a nadir for progressive politics, in my view. I know that she acted out of a genuine fear of Bush, as many people did--but you don't further the anti-war cause one iota by supporting pro-war candidates. It's good to be united, but not behind a doomed and counterproductive strategy.

And by the way, Pelosi is my representative also. I've had the privilege of being ignored by her office on any number of issues. Setting aside everything else I've said, the fact is that her seat is an absolute lock, and she knows it, and so you and I and Medea and every other progressive in this city can go jump in a lake as far as she's concerned. As hard as it is, that's the truth. I do think it's still worthwhile to spotlight Pelosi's intransigence--but you can't expect her to take any notice of you when you've already given away the one (tiny) bit of leverage you have with her.

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