The Widdershins

Activist Wednesday: The Power of Collaboration

Posted on: July 3, 2013

Wendy Davis, our heroine

We are doing what we can at TW to fight back against the pro-death who have overrun the legislatures in so many states. Whether it’s sending $$$ to Emily’s List, or joining “Lean In,” or signing petitions, or calling our Congresscritters, or getting our feet on the street – we’ve all done these things and more.

But the simple truth is, there aren’t that many of us here at TW. And frankly, I don’t think anyone has the time, money or inclination to build this blog into a behemoth like HuffPo or any of the other “progressive” sites around the Interwebz.

So what can we do to stop the bullies who are trying to turn the United States into “The Handmaid’s Tale?”

I am starting to think this may be the wrong question. What is the right question? Perhaps it’s, “Why aren’t our elected representatives doing more to stop them?”

I think we are so used to the national politicians doing nothing and then crying crocodile tears about gridlock, that we are numbly feeling it does no good to look to our government officials for any action. And then, Our Lady of the Pink Sneakers, Wendy Davis, broke us out of our trance with her 13-hour filibuster. She became a heroine just for standing up for what she believes in, and actively trying to prevent a bad law from passing. Why are our other legislators doing less than this? Surely there are other representatives who believe that the 20-week law is appalling. Where were they? Why wasn’t this a week-long filibuster done in relays? Although Wendy’s position is shared by an overwhelming majority of the American people (even 61% of Republicans in Texas are against this law), yet there she was – all by herself. What a compelling, and yet tragic, sight: the lone woman holding out against the vast right-wing conspiracy Hillary correctly warned us about so many years ago.

Maybe an even better question is, “What do you want our elected representatives to do?” It’s very, very simple. I want them to work together the way the pro-deathers do. I want them to coordinate efforts. I want them to stop thinking they are alone and stop coming up with brilliant ideas that only one person in one state executes.

I want them to harness the awesome power of collaboration.

I believe there is a difference between leadership and activism. Leadership needs a leader; in other words, one person who makes other people want to follow him or her. But activism, well – activism requires MASS. The more people do the same thing at the same time, the more difference it makes. Wendy Davis’ actions inspired us all. But what can we do with that inspiration? I’ll tell you this much, we Widdershins could march every day for a year, and not be as effective as Wendy was in 13 hours. And I’ll tell you something else: if there were twenty Wendys filibustering on the same day, that would be at least twenty times as effective! (Actually, I think the effect would be compounded and multiplied by more than twenty. But what do I know? Dammit Jim, I’m an opera singer, not a mathematician!)

I am tired of trying to move a mountain with a toy shovel. I want Democrats to think, and act, as one across the nation. How hard could this be, folks? The wingnuts do it, and lord knows they’re not exactly the sparkliest ornaments on the Christmas tree.

Here is another example of solo greatness from a liberal. This hilarious bill was introduced by State Senator Nina Turner, an Ohio Democrat, to point out the sheer outrage of men trying to put the government in control of women’s private health and reproductive systems.

Before getting a prescription for Viagra or other erectile dysfunction drugs, men would have to see a sex therapist, receive a cardiac stress test and get a notarized affidavit signed by a sexual partner affirming impotency, if state Sen. Nina Turner has her way.

The Cleveland Democrat introduced Senate Bill 307 this week.

A critic of efforts to restrict abortion and contraception for women, Turner says she is concerned about men’s reproductive health. Turner’s bill joins a trend of female lawmakers submitting bills regulating men’s health. Turner said if state policymakers want to legislate women’s health choices through measures such as House Bill 125, known as the “Heartbeat bill,” they should also be able to legislate men’s reproductive health…

In this article, Senator Turner is referred to as “part of a trend.” You know what else was trendy? Occupy Wall Street. It’s part of history now, as in…OVER. Activism, true activism, is not trendy. It is a coordinated effort that has as its goal a particular result, like the push to overturn DOMA (hip hip HOORAY!) or to pass the ERA (not there yet, but also, a movement, not a trend).

I think the idea of proposing legislation like this is just fantastic, and kudos to Turner and her fellow trendsetters for doing so. But you know what would be much more effective? How about if every Democrat in every state legislature introduced the same bill ON THE SAME DAY? And how about if they did it every month of every year, always on a different day of the month but at the same time? Wouldn’t this make the act more effective? More, dare I say it, collaborative?

Am I crazy here? Or am I the only one [dramatic pause] making sense?

What do you think?

This is an open thread.


21 Responses to "Activist Wednesday: The Power of Collaboration"

No, you are not crazy. Yes, you are making sense.
The ;latest anti-abortion measures are nothing short of draconian, and may well not be legal. Consider the new Ohio law, which prohibits any termination clinic from transferring a patient in distress to a public hospital.
Good practice, the EMTALA laws, and simple decency dictate that a patient in distress should be transferred by an Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulance to the closest facility for treatment and stabilization. This law was passed because private hospitals were refusing the uninsured, and they frequently did not survive the trip to a public hosital. We now may find ourselves in the strange position of trying to co convince a public hospital o take a patient in distress because they are the closest facility, in defiance of state law. Of course, if they don;t they are in defiance of EMTALA, which will cost them their Medicare funding and probably close their doors. Voila! A two-fer. Dead miscreant patient, no more pesky public hospital. However, my medical crystal ball foresees huge, huge lawsuits unless those are also forbidden.
Immediate and sustained countermeasures are in order.

Occupy Wall Street is not dead it has just evolved I still get updates and action some which I attend for our local Occupy Gainesville. hope we can rekindle the movement with what is happening in Egypt.

MB — spot on — no you aren’t crazy (at least not in the clinical sense) and yes, you are making sense to this likewise crazy human.

More on this Friday, but don’t you think the Tea Partiers and ultra-right-wrongies have crossed the rubicon? Like Chat says, systematically denying hospital admission to a woman based upon her decision to exercise her constitutional right over her body and health care has got to be a step too far?

I still haven’t gotten over how easy the ultra-right-wrongies got off by purposefully trying to sink the economy over the debt ceiling. They used what little power they had courtesy of a loophole to try and drive the economy into the ditch and then drive over it.

Look at NC — stopping early voting, stopping easy registration, enacting draconian ID laws — these are avenues that were not only open to people of color. Look at the half dozen states that jumped like bandits in the night after pre-clearance in the VRA was hatcheted by the Supremes.

And they campaigned on jobs, jobs, jobs in 2010 and 2012, and what have we got — 39 votes to abolish Obamacare and a new militarized “Taco Curtain” to solve a problem that doesn’t exist complete with billions in goodies for the defense contractors.

We should never underestimate the ability of these fringers to overestimate their mandates. They are laying the foundation for their own gallows.

I love the idea of the mens reproductive health act. They should add in that in addition to all the other requirements, that the man who wants the little blue pill needs to also undergo a prostate exam, and I mean the one using da fingah. LOL!

I have to add though, that any bill submitted like that in these statehouses held by the Repubs, would be referred to a committee of some sort and never see the light of day, but it’s the idea of just getting it out there that would be good.

Chat said:

the EMTALA laws, and simple decency dictate that a patient in distress should be transferred by an Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulance to the closest facility for treatment and stabilization.

Good! Let it hit the hospitals in the pocketbook and you’ll see a howl of protest in Columbus at the statehouse.

Maddow’s interview with Wendy Davis last night. Listen to her comments about what goodhair Perry did last year to a bill on texting while driving. it’s at about the 5:23 in the clip.

MB, of course you’re not crazy. But just reading these “laws” makes me feel as if I’ve entered some surreal universe. I also feel scared that our so called government is made up of such morons.

@7, now let the braying start. The neocons will swear we should have been in Egypt from the get-go — anti-Morsi — anti-Brotherhood.

Trust is: We supported a duly elected President who happened to be Muslim Brotherhood. He sucked. He went too far into theocracy. The citizens demanded him to go. The Egyptian military (really the power all along) did the dirty work.

Timetable: Barely a year. Our hands are clean in the Muslim world. Our hands are clean on supporting democracy. We get to say: Look, he tried, but the people said, “Yer outta here.”

Iraq: Ten years, thousands of American lives, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, trillions of dollars, and it is hanging on by a hair and an RPG brigade.

The difference: Dick Cheney is in an undisclosed location working on his best Burgess Meredith “Penguin” impression, Rumsfeld is in a room playing with his train set and using double and triple negatives to confuse imaginary conductors. Dubya is in Africa painting something worthwhile — schools for girls.

@7 &9: Hopefully this will be a “clean” coup, if that’s possible.

trillions of dollars
don’t forget that billion or so that we *lost* and can’t find.

Happy fourth…meh.


Loverly. 🙄

Prolix, yes and no.I don’t think the wingnuts have completely crossed the Rubicon, since they are in control in the statehouses, and they have purged all the “normal” people from the Party at the state and local levels.

At a national level, I think they are pretty much dead, but they can do a lot of damage in the states, and in fact, have already done so. There is now only one abortion clinic in the US that does third-term abortions. If a woman needs one to save her life, she is screwed. This is all because of these crazy “health protection” laws they are constantly passing, which prohibit abortion for various “reasons” like “fetal pain,” etc.

The other bit of damage they can do is making sure as few Democrats vote as possible in the states. That is what the VRA evisceration was about, not racism. Most AAs vote Democrat, ergo, if you suppress the AA vote, you get the Repubs elected. Simple as that.

MB said:

That is what the VRA evisceration was about, not racism. Most AAs vote Democrat, ergo, if you suppress the AA vote, you get the Repubs elected.

Yes mad, but if your actions (the almost immediate reinstatement of voting restrictions in the form of reducing early voting hours, voter i.d. and the rest) do reduce the number of AA voters who can vote, you are basically creating a situation that unduly affects one group of folks, AA voters, and it becomes an action affecting one group of voters more than others. Call it “soft racism”.

Prolix @9: You called that one right! Ted Cruz is already braying. I won’t dignify that UnAmerican with a link but if you google Cruz and Egypt, you’ll get links.

Sophie-thanks for not providing any links. Don’t think I want to know what that punk has to say.

WE are winning and that is what matters thanks to people like Wendy Davis!!!

All may not be lost. Govs in Michigan, Ohio, and Florida are trailing in the polls badly to “unknown Democrat”.

Madamab, you rock!

chat said:

Govs in Michigan, Ohio, and Florida are trailing in the polls badly to “unknown Democrat”.

I love that!!

The Pink Slip Rick Campaign can be thanked for his poor popularity other than coming down on the wrong side of every issue important to Floridians. We are also embarrassed that our Governor looks like Voldemort.

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