Last Week’s Take Back America Conference – Building Bridges

I attended the Take Back America conference last week, and it was great. I am inspired, and you should be, too.
Two years ago I was at this same conference and it was a very different experience. I felt it was attending a tired, demoralized gathering of people associated with the older, Washington-based, established, celebrity-driven issue-organizations. I left discouraged, wondering when the liberal establishment would start to catch up with the ideas circulating around the blogosphere – especially with the ideas about building “progressive infrastructure” organizations for reaching out to the public and promoting core progressive values and ideas, instead of the focus on issues.
After that conference I wrote,

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Right Circulating A LIE About Hillary and Take Back America

Here is a lie we should try to nip in the bud.
Hillary Clinton spoke at the Take Back America conference this morning. The Corner on National Review Online is circulating the following lie about the event:

When she declared, “The American military has done its job,” boos began to be heard around the room. As the boos increased, Sen. Clinton raised her voice. “The American military has succeeded,” she said, to more boos. “It is the Iraqi government that has failed to make the tough decisions.” Still more boos. [emphasis added]

I was there. I heard what happened. NO ONE in the crowd booed her for saying “The American military has succeeded.” That is simply a lie by a professional propagandist.
Bill Scher has more, with video to prove it.
Taylor Marsh has more at Huffington Post.

TBA – Hillary Clinton

(I will be updating this as the speech continues, so scroll down, and come back.) Huge crowd, lots of people standing in the back.
Ellen Malcolm is introducing. After becoming a lawyer Hillary chose to work for people instead of joining a big firm and making money. The only Democratic candidate who has taken on the full might of the Republican machine and come out the winner.
Hillary is walking out, crowd on their feet cheering.
Here with so many people who share our goals to take the country back. Bush today will veto stem cell research. I have worked to help fund the research to fight so many devestating diseases. When I am President I will list the ban. This is just one example of how the President puts ideology before science, politics before needs, example of how out of touch he and his party have become.

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TBA – Opening Session

I’m at the opening plenary session at Take Back America. This is the 5th annual conference.
Live blogging: (I’ll update it as it proceeds)
Bob Borosage is speaking, his theme: the conservative era is at an end and our task is to outline what comes next.
Summary: They failed – Iraq, Katrina, economy not working for working people. So we have to make sure he public understands this. The conservative words sound good because they are meant to — they have been tested to sound good. But the reality of what they did is different.
Katrina was a teachable movement, but you do have to teach it. Republicans aren’t going to, they will say that things went wrong because they were not conservative enough. But they failed not simply because they were corrupt and incompetent – they failed because they get the world wrong, and we have to teach this lesson over and over again so Americans learn it.

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Reaching the Public – at Take Back America

At next week’s Take Back America conference I will be doing a “self-organized” session, titled Reaching the Public.
Progressives need to promote the benefits of progressive values and ideas to the general public. This creates demand for progressive candidates and policy solutions.
The idea is simple – right-wingers are out there all day, every day, and through every possible channel, repeating various forms of the simple marketing message “Conservatives are good and liberals are bad.” The conservatives get it: persuasion, marketing, talking to the public WORKS. Over time this has an effect.
Liberals and progressives are not responding by also talking to the general public and promoting the benefits of PROGRESSIVE values and issues. So after a few decades of this, the public has a negative view of liberals & progressives, and in surveys they say they are conservative – even though they line up with us on the facts and issues. All a conservative candidate has to do is point a finger and shout “liberal liberal” and this gives them a tremendous head start in a campaign.
Joining me will be Jeffery Feldman of Frameshop and Conor Kenny of SourceWatch.
If you are at Take Back America, please come to this session, at 4pm on Monday June 18.