Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Change is not a spectator sport

The past twenty months, since January 20, 2008, have been a very traumatic experience for those who follow politics. The polarization of the American political process has never been greater. Raw hatred spews from Right and Left on a daily minute-by-minute basis. It looks like things are only going to get worse before they get better.

One of Barack Obama’s campaign slogans was, “Change we can believe in.” In retrospect, that may have been a very poor choice for a slogan. Any change that didn’t go far enough was only going to anger some on the Left. Those on the Left that are mad at the President have turned this anger into a feedback loop where any change is bad, because it can never go far enough to satisfy them.

It’s worse on the Right. There is one thing all conservatives have in common and that is a fear of change. They cling to the status quo or pine for a time that change has passed by. That is the essence of conservatism. Talk of change to a conservative is like a waving a red flag in front of a bull. Trumpeting your intention to bring change is guaranteed to bring them running to man the ramparts of status quo.

Fortunately, the country doesn’t belong to the Left or the Right. It belongs to “We the People.” The majority of people voted for change. Unfortunately, that change has proven more elusive than expected.

The hoped for change has not only been difficult to enact, it is under real threat of reversal. While one can question the validity of recent polls suggesting the GOP might take control of Congress after the mid-term elections, the threat is still very real. If the scenario plays out as many predict then everything progressives have achieved in the last two years is at risk. I agree with the President, now is not the time to stop fighting for change.

What inspired this diary is an email I received today. The email was paid for by OFA and had a return address of While the email is ostensibly from the President, it was probably written by a staffer or speechwriter and sent out under the President’s name. That doesn’t really matter, because it reiterates points the President has made over and over during the last two years.

Please take this message to heart and make an effort to help achieve the change so many of us believe is desperately needed. Any amount donated today will be matched dollar for dollar by other donors. Even $5 will be a help in the current political arena, especially given the flood of corporate money pouring into GOP coffers because of the Citizens United ruling.

John —

I come into this election with clear eyes.

I am proud of all we have achieved together, but I am mindful of all that remains to be done.

I know some out there are frustrated by the pace of our progress. I want you to know I’m frustrated, too.

But with so much riding on the outcome of this election, I need everyone to get in this game.

Neither one of us is here because we thought it would be easy. Making change is hard. It’s what we’ve said from the beginning. And we’ve got the lumps to show for it.

The fight this fall is as critical as any this movement has taken on together. And if we are serious about change, we need to fight as hard as we ever have.

The very special interests who have stood in the way of change at every turn want to put their conservative allies in control of Congress. And they’re doing it with the help of billionaires and corporate special interests underwriting shadowy campaign ads.

If they succeed, they will not stop at making our work more difficult — they will do their best to undo what you and I fought so hard to achieve.

There is no better time for you to start fighting back — a fellow grassroots supporter has promised to match, dollar for dollar, whatever you can chip in today.

Please donate $3 — and see who wants you to re-commit to this movement.

I know that sometimes it feels like we’ve come a long way from the hope and excitement of the inauguration, with its “Hope” posters and historic crowds on the National Mall.

I will never forget it. But it was never why we picked up this fight.

I didn’t run for president because I wanted to do what would make me popular. And you didn’t help elect me so I could read the polls and calculate how to keep myself in office.

You and I are in this because we believe in a simple idea — that each and every one of us, working together, has the power to move this country forward. We believed that this was the moment to solve the challenges that the country had ignored for far too long.

That change happens only from the bottom up. That change happens only because of you.

So I need you to fight for it over the next 26 days. I need your time. I need your commitment. And I need your help to get your friends and neighbors involved.

If you bring in a new donor today, your $3 donation will become $6. And our Vote 2010 campaign will have twice the resources to make important investments like putting staff on the ground, providing materials for volunteers, and turning out millions of voters come Election Day.

Please donate $3 today — and renew your commitment today:…

If we meet this test — if you, like me, believe that change is not a spectator sport — we will not just win this election. In the years that come, we can realize the change we are seeking — and reclaim the American dream for this generation.

Thank you for being a part of it,

President Barack Obama


  1. spacemanspiff

    Then I though that if I gave 6 dollars it would be like to spiff’s helping out.

    But then…

    I thought about 4 spiff’s! Scary thought huh?

    So I’m giving out 10 dollars to tone down the spiffism a bit. 😉

    Those on the Left that are mad at the President have turned this anger into a feedback loop where any change is bad, because it can never go far enough to satisfy them.

    Some have managed to turn on Elizabeth Warren already. It’s incredible. If she had been called a naive and dirty hippy by teh Obama he would have the same backing from these folks he has now. None. It doesn’t matter what he does even if it’s exactly what they were asking for. They are then shocked and offended when he ignores their advice. You think?

  2. fogiv

    Talk of change to a conservative is like a waving a red flag in front of a bull.

    Interestingly, the roughly 10 genera of ungulates who comprise the subfamily Bovinae are all hopelessly color blind. It’s the movement and motion that sets a bull to charge. Despite the consensus that our modern conservative class are probably the least ‘color blind’ among us, the unreasoned reactivity implied in your chosen simile is distinctly apparant in both ranging bulls and wingnuts alike.

  3. DTOzone

    ThisBowers Chris Bowers

    Starting to realize that the economy itself would not put Dems in this bad an electoral position. Bad, sure. But not this bad.

    ThisBowers Chris Bowers

    It isn’t even depressed Dems. GOP whipped their craziest into a frenzy like we’ve never seen before. Pretty sure that is what’s happening.

  4. jsfox

    My wife and I went to see Barack at a campaign rally in Manchester, NH. After his speech, my wife, who is not nearly as politically engaged, looked at me and said if Obama wins he is screwed. I looked at her and said huh? She went on, too many people in that crowd think he can walk on water they are going to very disappointed when they find out he cannot.  

  5. Jjc2008

    of us who call ourselves liberals/progressives.

    For me it started back in 2006.   I worked really hard for a candidate for Congress here.  I knew it was an uphill battle in this conservative city filled with the power of the Dobsons and the religious right as well as the fiscal right.  Years ago gerrymandering gave this area over to the right while giving Boulder to the left.   But still, I had hope.  It was a perfect storm.  The right had plenty of candidates beating each other up while vying to be the candidate.  The worst of the lot won, a man who openly pledges his allegiance to God via Focus on the Family.  He is a dolt who was an embarrassment to watch in a debate.  I think he would lose to an average 8th grader in any debate.  Despite how he came off as a dolt, a low info Bush rubber stamp, he won.  

     Then I supported Hillary.  And we know what happened there. My little group here was split by the primary.

     Now, to be clear, I did and do like President Obama.  My choice of him over Hillary was based on two issues:  education and health care. But she lost.  He won.  I still believe she would be closer to my views on education issues (I abhor Arne Duncan and the Obama administration, for me, has reinforced the right’s view of public education).  However, no one can ever know if she would be better or worse than Obama on anything.

     My point: no matter what, the alternatives are scary.  Progressives, liberals whatever any of us call ourselves SURELY can see how stupid it will be to NOT support the left candidates now.   The notion that candidates like Angle can even be the race, let alone tied with Reid, blows my freaking mind.  Ditto on candidates like Paladino, O’Donnell, Robinson.  BUT, then I remember. Bachman and Demint have been in office for years.   We have a supreme court that is so far right, I sometimes think I am living in a precursor to the world of The Handmaid’s Tale.  

    It’s not just the politics. It’s everything.  The negativity toward public education, refusal of many to really look beyond their own schools, to the whole nation.  Where public ed is now, is where health care was back in the early nineties, investors viewing with greed, the potential profit in privatizing and deregulating the education industry.  I watch/listen with horror people who defend the firefighters who refused to put out a house fire over $75 and were willing to allow three dogs and a cat die.  

     “Twenty minutes in to the future..”.  It was a line from the opening of the short lived television show, Max Headroom.   I watched it in the late 80s.  More and more I see how close to reality that precautionary show was.   Corporate run government, reality television, and reporters who actually are NOT owned by corporategov are rare and endangered populated that eerily familiar world.

    It was the 80s, and my most depressing political dear up to that point had been realized when Reagan won the presidency.

    I did not think it could get worse.  I was wrong.

    I will support our president and progressive candidates…even the ones too centrist for my own taste.  Here in CO, I am appalled at how close Ken Buck is to beating Bennett.  Now Bennett was not my choice.  But given what Buck stands for, it’s a no brainer. I am appalled that Tancredo is actually making a decent showing in the gubernatorial race.  

    I fear our country will continue to veer to the sharp right unless and until the left, whether far left or just center left do not push harder.  It is already clear what such a right leaning supreme court has been able to do and I fear that this congress if it goes right, will be even worse than Newt’s congress of 1994.

  6. spacemanspiff

    You guys see the Google image for today? You hit play and John Lennon’s voice starts up.

    Epic. Epic. EPIC.

    God I fucking love living in the internet era.

    Carry on.

Comments are closed.