FIGHT

Gm1

On a stick with dipping sauce:

The thing aboutleadership is that, inherently, you must be aleader. Unfortunately, the poll-hacks think there is a magic formula of stances that equals victory. Total horse-shit.

To lead requiresstanding up for beliefs, not backing down…running and hiding.

Polls don’t tell us what issues to choose, they tell us how well we are doing in the fight for each issue. If an issue Democrats care about polls poorly, it means our leaders aren’t leading enough — we aren’t doing a good enough job. Leaders drive polls, they don’t follow.

But, before a voter looks at any issue, they will decide whether or not they respect the politician. Poll-driven candidates appear shallow. People respect action, people respect leaders who stand-up and fight for their values. Even if people disagree, they will still respect the politician. Cowards are the doormats of post-modern politics.

When we have lost, when we have failed, it’s because we didn’t go far enough, not because we went too far. It’s because we backed down, we let ourselves be talked out of something, we feared asking too much of others and especially of ourselves. We underestimated. We decided, in advance, how far we could go, and when confronted with the reality that the road stretched out for miles beyond that point, we closed our eyes to it and said, “This I know, we stop here.” We made our fears into roadblocks and our worries into walls, and we closed ourselves in and we sat very still so nobody would hear us inside. We looked around, and all we saw was a prison. And we wondered how we got there, as if the marks of our trade weren’t evident in every brick.

There’s a great moment inMiracle, which I’ve written about before in the context of politics: Herb Brooks is showing his overmatched college kid players the unbelievable awesomeness of the Russian offense, how they swoop in like great stickhandling birds, fast and deadly, and you’re lucky if you can just move fast enough to get out of the way. And the kids are stunned into silence, and can’t believe what they’re up against. It’s insurmountable, we are fucking mortals, what the fuck? How do you defend against that? And Brooks says, you don’t. You attack it.

You don’t hold your ground. You don’t pick your line and stand there not letting anything cross it; they’ll run you right over, because you’re standing still. I failed physics badly in high school but this I know: Facing the impossible, you goforward. You don’t accept less than you want. You demandmore. You don’t do this viciously stupid calculus in your head where you figure out how much you think you can get away with before anyone notices, and then ask politely for only that much hoping you can get it but prepared to accept less. You stop making the standard what you think you can get and you start thinking in terms ofwhat you want.

Not, to bring this back from the rink to the land of politics, what would be a good compromise or what would be a sensible solution or what you think your constituents would accept or what would play well in the campaign, butwhat you know in your miserable heart and soul is right. What you envision, in the dark, in the cold, when thinking about what home should be like, what this country should enclose. You start fromthere, and go onward.

And when they try to run you over, you don’t stand your ground. You fuckingmove.

A.

9 thoughts on “FIGHT

  1. TonyRz says:

    This message applies not just to gay marriage,

    And yet, that’s what’s strongly implied in the photo, specifically stated in the linked article, and all over the news yesterday.
    And it’s an area where Obama is appalling. I noticed his name was nowhere to be found there. I like the implication, though. For some things which are beneath the Obama to make happen, get yourself busy.

  2. spocko says:

    We decided, in advance, how far we could go, and when confronted with the reality that the road stretched out for miles beyond that point, we closed our eyes to it and said, “This I know, we stop here.” We made our fears into roadblocks and our worries into walls, and we closed ourselves in and we sat very still so nobody would hear us inside. We looked around, and all we saw was a prison. And we wondered how we got there, as if the marks of our trade weren’t evident in every brick.
    Yep. And there are people in our lives who are very happy to articulate our fears back to us. Here are a few that I get from friends and family.
    “Quit! They are vicious and they will crush you like a bug! They have smarter people on their team. Stay small. Don’t you care about what they will do to you and your family? Look at what they have done to others! Ignore them. Who are you to challenge them? They have the money, the power and the status. They are serious professional adults, you are a kid, stop trying to play in their league. They will destroy you financially, emotionally and physically.”

    How do you defend against that? And Brooks says, you don’t. You attack it.

    And one thing that they have in Miracle is, a team, other people who say, “Do this, we will be there with you. We have your back.”
    When people helped me I thanked them with two phrases. “This is important. This counts.”
    Because it is and it does.

  3. Chuckago says:

    What perfect timing. I’m going to use this post in my Leadership class tonight. We’re talking about Articulating a Vision. It’s a great example.

  4. TonyRz says:

    One irony, of course, being that Obama probably STILL doesn’t regret refusing to have his picture taken with Newsom back in 2004. Smell the Leadership, baby.

  5. hoppy says:

    This message applies not just to gay marriage, but to universal health care, to becoming a fascist, war mongering nation, to the movement of American wealth into the pockets of only a very few Americans, to the Military Industrial complex, to torture, etc. In every case Democrats need to stand up, articulate our positions, which are the right positions, after all, and attack anyone who questions those positions. Obama seems to be shifting gears towards that attitude, but he still has a long ways to go.
    No Democrat should ever fudge his position on torture – it is wrong to torture, something our country must never do under any circumstance. And, any backing down from that is not leadership.
    Similar strong positions must be taken on all such issues…we will get single payer universal health care in America if it is the last thing we ever do. We will never again attack a sovereign nation unless we are under immediate, unquestioned threat of an attack by that nation. As president, I will never, ever violate any word of the US Constitution under any circumstance. Etc.

  6. Elspeth R says:

    As a wise teeshirt I saw once read: Hockey is Life…the rest is just details.
    And we are in definite need of a “Miracle” to bring this country back from the perilous brink it has been brought to…
    Team!!!!!
    Elspeth

  7. joe says:

    What ever happened to the incontinence products supplier manufacturer that used to blog here, you know – tena?
    http://www.tena.com/

  8. pansypoo says:

    polls are evil. dr. who showed me that. WHO CARES WHAT PEOPLE THINK. PEOPLE ARE IDIOTS.

  9. jimbo says:

    Is that why obama ran from debating Hillary? Ballless Barry?

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