Front Porch Blog

Crashing The Gate In Asheville NC

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Some days I wake up writing diaries in my head. It’s one of those days. It’s Gate Crashing that’s on my mind this morning. I sort of crashed the gate right here, following jdub home the way I did, then harassing him to post first one thing, then another. Arrg, he said, post it yer own self!

I was minding my own and Mother’s business over at the fantastic political blog The Daily Kos, when I stumbled upon faithfull’s invitation to this AppVoice party. I’ve been posting diaries on the Environment over there for a while, in a sense crashing their gate too. Environment is not a big thing over there. But it’s getting bigger, due to the persistent posting of a handful of folk. Marcos is the site owner, and along with fellow blogger Jerome Armstrong has written a new book called Crashing The Gate. It is about the paradigm shift that we need to accomplish to get things done. He will be in Asheville on Friday.

Markos Moulitsus Zungia and Jerome Armstrong have written the guide to Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People Powered Politics.

You are invited to help Crash the Gate, make him welcome in Appalachia, and pick his brain. It is, as we say, a good’un.

Friday, May 5th, 7:00 p.m.
Signing and discussion at Malaprops Bookstore and Cafe
55 Haywood Street
Asheville, NC

Follow me over for some reviews.

The book is about the Democratic Party, why it has been failing, and what it needs to do to get back in good health. A couple of review clips.

Environmentalists are some of the most passionate people that I know. Passion is a wonderful thing. It drives us, and with the tempering of knowledge, allows us to teach and persuade. Political leaders have written us off as myopic. That needs to change.

From Beyond Cheron

It’s often said that the Republicans are a party – but the Democrats are a bunch of interest groups. Moulitsas and Armstrong begin by persuasively showing how labor, environmental and pro-choice organizations have missed the forest for the trees as they demand a purist electoral agenda that hurts all their causes. The answer is not for Democrats to “sell out” these groups, but to build coalitions among them to ensure that we don’t sabotage each other’s goals.

From E Puribus Media’s Arron Barlow

Boiled down to its essence, the book presents four key observations about the state of contemporary political affairs vis-à-vis the Democratic Party:

Democrats almost always govern better than Republicans. The comparative track records are clear at all levels. So, Democrats, whatever the details of their individual beliefs, need to be supported over Republicans — if we are to have effective government. Issue allegiance must take second place.

The old Democratic strategy of developing a coalition of interest groups only worked when the Democrats were a consistent majority in Congress and state legislatures and therefore could afford some splintering. Such a coalition is extremely fragile, easily broken apart by `litmus test’ adherents to particular causes (the siphoning off of Democratic votes to Ralph Nader in 2000 is the best case in point). Major elections will continue to be lost if another organizing model is not developed; it’s way too easy for opponents to fracture such coalitions.

The Democratic Party, dominated by inside-the-beltway consultants, does not succeed today in part because it has difficulty recognizing that its decision-making process needs to stem from the grassroots, from the bottom up, not the top down (as has been the case for the last twenty years, at least). Out of touch with the electorate, the consultants do more harm than good.

The Democratic Party has failed to protect its own future by neglecting to nurture up-coming young activists and overlooking the need to develop think tanks where strategies and plans can be devised and discussed. Instead, the Democratic Party focuses its financial rewards on those at the top, not the ones with the potential of coming to the top tomorrow with new ideas and enthusiasms. As a result, the party stagnates.

This book is a must read for anyone interested in grassroots activism, and how to effect change in the structure and function of our failing government. Complete tour schedule here.

Please help get the word out by using your e-mail lists and posting around the Net, if posting around is something that you do!






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