Michael Crawford

A New Queer Order?

Filed By Michael Crawford | March 19, 2010 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, The Movement
Tags: Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal, ENDA, Get Equal, GetEqual, Human Rights Campaign, LGBT equality, Nancy Pelosi

With yesterday's explosion of activist energy, the LGBT movement may finally be shaking off its slumber and upping its game to win full LGBT equality. People in the community are mad as gay hell and not going to take it any more.

The day began with an ENDA-focused blog swarm and a HRC sponsored rally calling for repeal of DADT and continued with Dan Choi, Robin McGehee, and Jim Pietrangelo being arrested outside of the White House while protesting DADT and ten activists being arrested demanding that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi move ENDA to the House floor for a vote.

Involved in the day's actions were bloggers and netroots activists, legacy organizations like HRC and the new direct action focused group GetEQUAL. The day was messy, passionate, exciting, inspiring, and in some ways frustrating.

There was an explosion of energy, but will there be light to accompany the heat?

More important than the actions that took place, is the challenge presented by newer activists using the internet to organize offline actions to brick and mortar organizations like HRC and NGLTF that engage in more traditional forms of organizing.

As Jillian Weiss pointed out:

The major question to be answered, of course, is whether online activism can result in offline political activity in the "real world." The answer is a resounding yes.

As a blogger who also works as New Media Director for an advocacy organization and who worked for HRC for five years, I think its about time the LGBT community realizes the internet can and should be used for more than hooking up. This kind "new organizing" that synergistically combines online communications with offline action has been used to great effective in other progressive movements and needs to be fully integrated into LGBT activism going forward.

To varying degrees of success, the players in the day's actions used new media to spread the word about what was happening, recruit people to attend events, shape the traditional media narrative, and provide an almost instantaneous play-by-play of events as they happened.

The day's actions will be debated intensely as the community tries to understand what happened, why it happened, why now, and most importantly, how we can do better.

Here are a few things I am taking away from yesterday's events:

  • Telling people to be patient is no longer an option. We must give people clear and effective actions they can take that will have a real impact.
  • There is no single "magic bullet" tactic that's going to get us full equality. We need to be in the streets, active online, and in the corridors of power.
  • We can't be afraid to make some noise nor should we dismiss the importance of putting on suits and ties and meeting with elected officials.
  • We may have different strategies, but we share the same goal: full equality for LGBT people. We should stop fighting each other and focus on winning.
  • There's more to effective political action than passion. Timing, strategy, and a well thought out plan are critical.

It remains to be seen what will come out of the day's events:

Will GetEQUAL become an influential player in the LGBT movement or will it fizzle out like Equality Across America, the National Equality March, and Join The Impact?

Will HRC adopt a more aggressive stance and put increased pressure on members of Congress and the Obama Administration to advance LGBT legislation?

Will LGBT groups work together on the kind of insider-outsider strategy necessary to move us forward?


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A Queer New Order? No, it's just another "new" non-profit engaging in "old" nonsense.

These stunts are intended to generate donations, not progress for the LGBT Community. They got attention, but, they won't get donations.

Many, like David Mixner, are simply attempting to make themselves viable by endorsing this ineffective behavior.

Yesterday's childish publicity stunts did NOTHING to change any minds or garner any support for our community. They likely did just the opposite.

Mixner and some in his generation continue to mislead young people by filling them with old, tired ideas from a bygone era. Mixner asked GetEqual and Dan Choi to MAKE BELIEVE it was 1970 yesterday. He convinced them to ignore the simple reality that the world has changed and convinced them that irritating and even harassing people was a good idea.

We have enough attention for our struggle - confirmed by the fact that a 10 year old boy from Arkansas (yeah, ARKANSAS) refused to pledge allegiance until the LGBT community had equality. WE DON'T NEED ATTENTION, WE NEED RESULTS.

If Mixner wants to continue promoting this behavior and dishonestly suggest that it is effective, WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE? Tell us HOW these childish stunts furthered our objectives. Because here's a news bulletin: NOBODY cares if you are ANGRY or the half a dozen self-described activists are angry.

The LGBT Community needs accountability - from HRC to ill-conceived publicity stunts to political efforts - and that includes stuck-in-the-60s "old-school" David Mixner. If you want to promote these activities, provide some EVIDENCE that they are effective, otherwise shut up and let these tired old ideas fade into the past where they belong - with your 8-track tapes, VW Buses and tied-dyed t-shirts.

All that lobbying to get LGBT and HIV measures in the health care reform bill, and they all got taken out in the end.

Provide some evidence that lobbying-only strategy is effective.

If you haven't noticed, a relatively small number of Tea Party activists effectively irritated the politicians in Washington. So now we have this watered down health care bill. They even caused Senator Bunning to filibuster a popular emergency bill. Angry activism is absolutely working on the conservative side, and it's working against us.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | March 19, 2010 12:09 PM

I don't think its a question of either/or. Its both "and." We need smart political action designed not to feel, but to be effective.

There are many ways we can do that and we need a more coordinated way of working together towards our common goals.

That false either/or dichotomy drives me nuts. I like your both/and description much better. :)

So you agree with me that lobbying-only strategy isn't effective. Great.

We've already seen that lobbying isn't effective. HRC has received +$550 million in 29 years to work their lobbying-magic. In that time they haven't convinced a single member of Congress to change their mind or vote.

These self-serving publicity stunts don't create any positive results. Nobody has provided any evidence that they do.

We need accountability more than attention. People are very aware of our struggle. Making them more aware doesn't inspire or encourage them to HELP us. Maybe it makes people feel better expressing their anger and frustration, but it doesn't change anything.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | March 19, 2010 1:09 PM

"HRC has received +$550 million in 29 years to work their lobbying-magic. In that time they haven't convinced a single member of Congress to change their mind or vote."

That's flat out not true. I know that HRC's work has built support among some members of Congress.

We all need to be doing more to push Congress to do more. That means lobbying, attending community meetings, getting involved in campaigns, direct action, and media advocacy.

Which Members of Congress?

Which members changed their minds about LGBT-issues because of being lobbied by HRC?

It should be very easy to make a list. You should know that even HRC couldn't provide a list. But, if you have some evidence, let's see it.

Never found anyone, right?

battybattybats battybattybats | March 20, 2010 7:37 AM

And once again AndrewW imediatly attacks any notion of lobbying.. (or rather US lobbying as the enemies lobbying works but forsome 'magical' reason ours don't. Maybe the Invisible Pink Unicorn did it?).. and instead says we should do some vague and nebulous buzword (why don't you try and concretely DEFINE that accountability? Hmm? In specific details of how it would be gone about. Not more mere rhetoric again please).

Hey cobber, i'm afraid to tell you but the velvet revolution and the fall of the soviet states also count. They were not the 60's and 70's but the 80's and the 90's.

And China and Iran and Burma have shown how much they fear the power of such actions, risking much in order to stop them. If they didn't work then why would such states stop them?

And why in 2010 are all the rules different that operated in the years previous? Last i checked we didn't mutate into a new species with new cerebral architecture and a totally altered social structure.

Stunts like this aren't just about general publicity or money raising.

They are a statement too those who take us for granted that we are willing to act. To act in ways that will not be comfy and snuggly for them if they continue to take us for granted.

AndreW acts like this are a slap in the face of complacency. Showing that our frustration has reached the point where people are willing to suffer in order to make their demands let alone have them fulfilled. And that means all those safe cushy votes they used to count as certain may be becoming swing votes.

So no longer can they choose what previously seemed expedient by setting us in the backburner while placating the possible swing votes of those oppsed to us which they are courting and instead they are forced to address our concerns or lose our support.

THAT andrewW is excercising power and making a clear statement. That our support cannot be assumed but that they must act in order to maintain it.

And that AndrewW will remain true in any representative democracy! The squeeky wheel gets the grease. So thats why it's good to be squeeking!

Right on Michael! Let's do it. To heck with the naysayers, power to the people

"We all need to be doing more to push Congress to do more. That means lobbying, attending community meetings, getting involved in campaigns, direct action, and media advocacy."

This type of statement IS the problem Michael.

I don't question ANY of your intent or sincerity, but there is NO evidence that anything you included in your TO-DO-LIST actually works.

Anti-Gay positions are non-negotiable. People get elected as Anti-gay and they stay that way. They won't even consider changing that position until POLLING in their own State makes it safe.

As a community we've tried for 58 years to persuade Senator Byrd, yet he still believes we are less-than-equal. The majority of his constituents share that belief. Until we do something to change the minds of his constituents, his remains Anti-gay. The same is true for other members of congress. You can't lobby away those beliefs until you persuade people to support equality. Harassing politicians doesn't persuade anyone, in fact, it just looks silly.

Endorse accountability Michael. Let's start there, but be prepared to let go of preconceived notions about what you think works, because we're going to use math - real math. We need to stop sending members of our community on fools errands or suicide missions - we're better than that.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | March 19, 2010 3:46 PM

Honestly Andrew, if you want to poo-poo every single tactic that has advanced pretty much every political issue, then go ahead.

But, you should offer something tangible as a way of moving forward. We need less of what you think is not working, though I disagree with you, we need more of what you think will work.

Michael,

You know better than that. I asked simple questions. Questions you refused to answer.

The issue is accountability. It is no longer sufficient for people like you to simply say "direct action" or "civil disobedience" is effective.

If you can substantiate the positive effects of these tactics (remembering it is 2010) then provide that. But, don't suggest accountability isn't helpful. Accountability is necessary. You can start by answering those simple questions instead of trying to redefine my efforts.

You are correct that our movement is important. That's why we need to have these conversations and we need to understand what works or doesn't work. You cannot avoid that or you can provide support for your positions.

I think it's time to realize that the gay community will never be as energized and connected as it was in the early years after the Stonewall riots. However, dismissing peaceful demonstrations as "old" and "useless" is buying into the mind set of "As long as we assimilate, they'll get to us eventually."
Why be afraid to rock the boat? Yes, the more we protest, the more animosity may rise and more may be attacked. Every day, our community suffers attacks ranging from physical to political to psychological; all while we sit in the corner, hoping that we won't be noticed while we gnaw on the meager rights tossed our way. The aggressors aren't going away if we hide.
Standing up, or sitting in, for what's right gives the community a chance to be seen and heard as people; not just stereotypes. I applaud Lt. Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo for their peaceful demonstration at the White House and I applaud the men and women who conducted a sit-in at Speaker Pelosi's offices. There are times when the best way to move forward is to look back for inspiration.

I don't believe anyone suggested "assimilation" as an alternative.

You seem to endorse the idea that if we irritate enough people they will support us. I'm sorry, but that doesn't add up. People need to JOIN us and stand with us, not avoid us.

There is a reason other groups no longer use civil disobedience or protest - it isn't necessary. These actions have a singular purpose: create attention. We have plenty of attention - even the President acknowledges us and supports our equality. Attention isn't the problem.

Our problem is we have too little participation within our own community, and we don't invite people to stand with us.

I am not as pessimistic as you are regarding our community being "energized." I think if we had a strategy to actually win - that could be verified - it would ignite an incredible movement. But, it can't be about anger and defiance and frustration - it must be about winning, not whining.

Juston Thouron Juston Thouron | March 19, 2010 3:51 PM

"There is no single "magic bullet" tactic that's going to get us full equality. We need to be in the streets, active online, and in the corridors of power."

Exactly Michael. Although some complain about conflicts between LGBT organizations, I think they might in fact be healthy and good overall for our movement. Imagine the next time an HRC insider lobbyist tells a recalcitrant Democrat, "Look, we won't protest you or oppose your re-election bid, but what about ______? Those people are going to go nuts if you don't ______."

Maybe we have been waiting for a unity that has failed to appear because we have been trying to force an artificial cohesion on ourselves. Perhaps our unity lies in a more dispersed fashion, more akin to a diverse alliance of those who agree to disagree about how to approach all of the activism you mention in your post.

Consider:
1)The DADT hearings, a political event that gives an announced date for planning to be made by any organization that cares to make it's message known.

2) There was the HRC rally with Kathy Griffin.

3) There was Lt. Choi and Capt. Pietrangelo chaining themselves to the White House fence in a daring, self directed act of civil disobedience. Completely off the LGBT org radar.

4) There was the blogswarm and calling campaign on ENDA.

5) The GetEqual protests which happened in D.C. and San Francisco. It appears that they and Queer Rising are going to have chapters nationwide with coordinated actions. Additionally their chapters will represent a local group capable of actions specific to the needs of local LGBT struggles.

All of the above serves as an excellent example of the creativity inherent in a multifaceted approach. A 'user friendly' 'user driven' political movement. Everyone an activist as they see fit.

I think that we should embrace our diversity and stop being afraid of "internal divisions" amongst ourselves.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | March 19, 2010 5:51 PM

You may have a point about "trying to force an artificial cohesion" rather than acknowledging that there are going to be differences in strategy.

My real concern is when disagreement or criticism moves past constructive and becomes focus more on damaging and embarrassing other LGBT activists and organizations. That's not helpful.

Juston Thouron Juston Thouron | March 19, 2010 8:22 PM

I want to agree with you, but sometimes there are fine lines separating the embarrassing from the constructive and I think conflicts are inevitable to a certain degree (e.g. the recent controversy regarding HRC). All organizations tend to have cultures which include shared loyalty among its members and with that loyalty comes both positive and negative effects, on all sides concerned.

In the end though, I think it essential for the Equality Movement to have as many relevant voices as possible acting independently as well as in concert when objectives coincide. I'm not sure if that happened yesterday between the groups concerned, but it would be nice if it had.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | March 20, 2010 10:15 AM

There is indeed a fine line between the embarrassing and the constructive making it all the more important that we are thoughtful about what actions we take and what criticisms we make.

We should definitely be looking for new and better ways of creating the political will and political pressure necessary to win our full equality. Doing so does not absolve us our responsibility to build the community rather than act out in ways that simply make us feel good.

We need a lot, want a lot, and, frankly, deserve a lot. I believe we can do the work we feel compelled to do and act in accordance with our beliefs without doing damage to groups and individuals working towards the same goals.

I realize that makes me sound a bit PollyAnna-ish and I'm okay with that.

That's nice Michael. Calls for accountability may harm the LGBT Movement. That should encourage you to accept the idea of accountability, not run from it - or make excuses.

Juston was nice enough to list various tactics and organizations. The next step is to determine which tactics and organizations are effective.

Just because you've been doing something for a long, long time, doesn't mean they work. You haven't provided any evidence for the tactics you continue to promote. You have endorsed HRC and not surprisingly you used to work for HRC. You advocate these publicity stunts because you believe they are effective. I don't doubt your sincerity, but tell us WHY you think they are effective. Tell us how they benefit us in 2010.

Sooner or later, you will have to answer that question. After the big stunts, GetEqual is going to have to answer them, too. Otherwise they will not obtain financial support and will fade away like JoinTheImpact, EqualityAcrossAmerica, EqualityNetwork and many others. The LGBT community wants accountability and a good first step is being able to defend your favorite tactics - with some evidence.

If you are serious about our full equality, defending tactics and strategies with some real evidence would be very helpful.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | March 20, 2010 2:01 AM

“Everyone an activist as they see fit…” works.

It’ll lead to the rapid growth of the militant, activist part of the movement and the demise of Democrat front groups like HRC. They and other Democrats used our movement to elect Obama, claiming that he was the best thing since sliced bread and telling us that he and the Democrats were on our side. Log Cabin made the same bogus claims about Republicans.

HRC and all LBGT Democrats were dead wrong, as were their cousins in Log Cabin. ‘Hope and change’ have become disgust and contempt at another four years of Bush Lite. Obama’s Administration and Congressional Democrats are very hostile to us and only occasionally and reluctantly and rarely support us. Most of their efforts go towards pandering to the cults and blindly following the Republicans as they allemande.

The March on Washington, with it’s emphasis on demanding and fighting for our rights instead of depending on hustlers like Obama, Reid and Pelosi was the opening stage of a process of dismissal of reliance on Democrats as ‘allies’ by very large numbers of LGBT folks.

As long as former and current GLBT Democrats and Republicans embrace the changes toward militant actions by our movement and don’t try to confuse the movement with the partisan needs of one of the twin parties of bigotry we can all work together for our agenda.

We need everyone we can to unite for repeal of B. Clinton’s legacy of bigotry, DADT and DOMA, to repeal Republicans state DOMAs and to cut across Obama’s bigoted opposition to same sex marriage. In addition we need 50 state equality in employment, housing, and to access to health care and other services. ENDA is a step in that direction.

We have to eliminate celebrities out of the picture even though they may be good for 15 minutes of fame in gay porno news . Kathy Griffith apparently did not enjoy the fact that her "political gays" prop turned into an actual rally for the actual civil rights of actual human beings, and she decided not to join Choi at the White House.

Another "gay" event headlined by a heterosexual. Will gay people ever learn that gay people are just as valueable as anyone else and heterosexuals are NOT our authority? HRC is a joke yet it represents most gay people, gay people who believe heterosexuals are more valueable than gay people no matter what. So here you have a heterosexual who has no experience in the military let alone activist credientals speaking TO gay people as an authority simply because she is a heterosexual and said some positive things about gay people.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | March 20, 2010 10:21 AM

Ours is a movement for LGBT equality and there is a role for straight people in it. If we are going to win full equality, its going to take more than just LGBT people advocating for it. We have to engage our friends, families, and co-workers. And, yes, sometimes straight celebrities whose primary benefit is that where they go television cameras follow.

You can debate whether or not Kathy Griffin's appearance at the DADT rally was a plus or a minus. IMO, it was a combination of both. But, you can't use a broad brush and just declare that involvement from straight allies is a bad thing.

That is true we need everyone, but according to the Advocate when Choi was told he couldn't speak on the stage because it was "Cathy's show" was wrong and hurtful. I don't know of an analogy to this in the civil rights movement of the 1960's. Comedy acts were not mixed in with the struggle.

Andrew - you stress "accountablity." Whom do you wish to hold accountable and how would you go about doing that?

I would like to hold you "accountable" for all of your negativity. Come on, what should we be doing other than all the lobbying and demonstrations that have been done?

Personally I have been wishing for a revival of ACTUP. It was taking to the streets and the civil disobecience that moved the government to change policy and provide for people with HIV/AIDS. Actions against the drug companies forced them to lower their prices.

I believe these tactics are just as good today as in the 80s and 90s.

The Democrats have been sooooooooooo slow draging their feet. They had to hide the hate crimes law in a defense budget bill. ENDA is lanquishing somewhere in a congressional closet and pressure needs to be brought on them to get it moving.

I was on a panel at the 1993 Americans United for Separation of Church and State. The panel before mine had our arch-enemy the Reverend Louis P. Sheldon who said something I will never forget, "When you are the party in power you can do anything you want to do. That's the way the coookie crumbles!"

The Democrats don't seem to understand they are the party in power.

Polosi needs to order ENDA committee hearings for one morning, have it voted out of committee by noon, bring it to the floor of the House in the afternoon, limit the debate time, pass it , Do the same thing in the Senate and send it to the President. THAT'S THE WAY THE COOKIE CRUMBLES!

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | March 20, 2010 10:30 AM

Jerry, I agree we need to amp up the pressure on Congress to pass an inclusive ENDA (and other LGBT legislative priorities) ASAP. We can't just ape what ACT UP did in the 80s and 90s. Its critical that we learn from what they did well and what they did not do well.

Also this is just not going to happen:

"Polosi needs to order ENDA committee hearings for one morning, have it voted out of committee by noon, bring it to the floor of the House in the afternoon, limit the debate time, pass it , Do the same thing in the Senate and send it to the President. "

That's not the way the legislative process works. We can huff and puff, but if the votes aren't there, we need to do what needs to be done to get them.


For whatever reason, the Democrats have been foot-dragging on a range of progressive issues including ENDA. We need to turn up the heat to give them the necessary political will to pass ENDA.

Requests for accountability within the LGBT Community are not "negative." If you simply wish to dismiss the need for accountability that is your choice.

I'm not willing to settle for the status quo. I want a better LGBT Advocacy effort, I want a real, sustainable movement and I want results. I want to WIN and I want to know HOW and WHEN.

Accountability is the starting point.

I'm not sure the argument against civil disobedience and protests is a legitimate one. Yes, they were used to draw attention to an issue in the past, but they are also used to _keep_ attention on the matter. The civil rights movement didn't stop sit-ins and rallies and protests when they thought they had sufficient publicity. They continued. They still continue.

For instance -- how many average, working LGBT knew that there was an HRC rally with Kathy this week? How many found out about it when Dan Choi stormed the stage and took the spotlight by chaining himself to the fence of the White House?

I think the accurate conclusion is that all types of activism are required to be successful. We need JTI, EAA, and those groups to keep the light on our issues with rallies and protests. We need organizations like GLAAD & NGLTF to make sure our issues are dealt with properly, we need bloggers to disseminate information across the country, and organizations like mine to punish legislators who actively work against us by taking away what they hold most dear - their office.

We have the parts to put together a powerful network, we just need to start working together to achieve success.

Dane Tidwell
http://www.facebook.com/dane.tidwell

Everybody do everything is not a strategy Dane.

Calling attention to our struggle has been done for 50 years - people know. How do these actions encourage others to join us?

The basis for this newest effort is simply a replica of past efforts - demand, demand, demand until we get our equality. The missing part is how this small chorus of demands leads to winning.

It isn't asking to much to simply require promoters to share the equation they believe will work. If A=Demands and C=Equality, what's B? How do organizers think "demanding" translates into "supporting." They must have some idea about that and I think they need to share it with us.

I would encourage you to consider that perhaps some types of activism have outlived their usefulness in 2010. Stressing accountability will allow us to determine that.

I appreciate you comment.

Chitown Kev | March 20, 2010 2:47 PM

AndrewW, as my mother would say, you're wreckin' my nerves.

Have you studied the history of previous civil rights movements? "Results" were not achieved overnight and many times there were long stretches where it seemed as if nothing was being done (i.e. the efforts of black leaders to get anti-lynching legislation passed spanned across decades).

I've read your comments continually. If nothing that we do will help, please share with us your solutions.

I have studied history and at least I know the world has changed. Just because we used a tactic 50 years ago doesn't mean it is useful today. That's why it is imperative that anyone suggesting a solution or new non-profit MUST provide some rational evidence that it can or will be effective. Demonstrate has been replaced with communicate.

Our society has outgrown many things from the 60s and the world has changed dramatically. We need change, too. We start by holding everything accountable, especially when we are being asked to participate or contribute.

You do support accountability, right?

battybattybats battybattybats | March 21, 2010 12:23 AM

When was the velvet revolution AndreW? When was the Orange revolution? Not the 60's. And i fail to see how something that worked for decade after decade after decade.. in fact worked from the time of the suffragettes till very recently should suddenly 'magicly' have stopped working this year because you say it has. Well last i checked neither the Invisible Pink Unicorn nor the Flying Spaghetti Monster had decreeed that this kind of activism suddenly would not work and I have read no historian saying that either!

Why do many states and groups try and infiltrate protest marches with people etermined to be violent and so derail peaceful protests?

Because it all still works.

The infiltration to derail others is now seen far and wide in Astroturfing and Sockpuppets because it too works.

And the ludicrous strawman attack that if people disagree with your baseless ravings that no form of lobbying or protest that works for other people all over the world works for us because of 'magic' cause you give no causality for this claim that they must be against accountability shows that if your not an infiltrator sent to disrupt progress you may as well be one!

If nigh on 100 years of successful use of both lobbying, public speakers, education and direct action have suddenly stopped working there will be a CAUSE and there will be noticable EFFECT. It will be SEEN to have stopped working and there will be a clear change that CAUSES it to stop working.

There is no reason to assume it has stopped unless it can be seen that it has actually stopped otherwise what you are advocating would be SELF FULFILLING PROPHECY where something doesn't work because no one tries it!

So cough up your evidence of a CAUSATION of and EXISTENCE of this change you allege MUST have happened or stop trying to disrupt other peoples efforts!

We can have direct action AND lobbying AND accountability. And in fact i think that direct action like this is a way of achieving accountability!

Thats odd -- the "everybody do everything" strategy as you so eloquently put it seemed to work for Obama for America.

You keep stressing accountability but haven't once suggested how to enforce something so nebulous -- even though there have been repeated asks of you to do so.

Rather than continuing over and over and over to tell everyone they're doing it wrong, put some action to your words and tell us how you plan on doing it right.

If your next post isn't a blueprint for success, then I hazard to say its a pointless exercise in useless rhetoric... and I think we get plenty of that from the Beltway.

Yes, but again and again Andrew W, you have yet to answer questions on what you mean by "accountability", who or what you want to hold accountability, and most importantly HOW you want us to do it (is it withholding donations? is it self-introspection? is it something else? is it all, part, or none of the above?). Let's start the accountability by holding you accountable in answering for your ideas.

Thats odd -- the "everybody do everything" strategy as you so eloquently put it seemed to work for Obama for America.

You keep stressing accountability but haven't once suggested how to enforce something so nebulous -- even though there have been repeated asks of you to do so.

Rather than continuing over and over and over to tell everyone they're doing it wrong, put some action to your words and tell us how you plan on doing it right.

If your next post isn't a blueprint for success, then I hazard to say its a pointless exercise in useless rhetoric... and I think we get plenty of that from the Beltway.

It's kinda like love. Words (or blog posts) without action are just that, words. I agree with Phil Attey that the protests by themselves don't do much without a legislative strategy. IMO, though the DC /inside the beltway/non-profit industrial complex have a history of trying to tamp down or control the grass roots activists instead of work with them shoulder to shoulder. Hell, even now we know that the ENDA language concerning bathrooms has been "tweaked" but all the national orgs will say is what the language isn't, while at the same time saying they don't know. There's defininitely a lack of trust that's been well deserved. Until we work together, this either or argument will continue to divide us.