Late Nite FDL: We Keep Going
I saw this movie last night. It was a rip!
I like screwball comedy when the actors don’t play it or mug overtly for laughs. The actors here, including Greg Kinnear, Steve Carrell, Abigail Breslin and Alan Arkin all play their characters pretty straight, through desperation, humiliation and ultimately through acceptance and reconciliation. Oh, here are some reviews.
The narrative arc quickly takes the characters on a road trip, the ever ready metaphor for an inner journey. The characters suffer a series of humiliations, confrontations with those things they most dread. I think that must make them Democrats or something.
There are some subtle political elements in the film. At one typically excruciating yet subtly, insanely hilarious moment, Bush appears in a television screen at a press conference, standing next to and defending Rumsfeld. The final sequence, in fact, the destination of the family’s trek is the "Little Miss Sunshine" children’s beauty pageant, which must be seen to be believed. I kept thinking TBogg had been part of the writing of this screenplay, or maybe TRex. In fact, TRex called me during the movie: good thing I had the phone on silent or the others in the theater would have kicked my ass.
Anyway, the characters just kept going, on pretty much their own terms, no matter what setbacks they encountered. I can’t tell you how, shall we say, aware I have been over the last two days of the issues raised by Digby, Glenn Greenwald and others linked by Jane earlier today. I know Christy is keeping us focused on GOTV because the alternative to not fighting is unimaginable, even if politicians in Washington who should know better are not fighting at all.
I’ve been talking and listening to a lot of people in our movement whom I respect deeply, who have varying reactions ranging from full on partisan warfare, no disunity in the ranks (and these are not shills, but real, principled progressive activists) to calls for calling out the Dems who are pulling a Claude Rains. I have even floated some ideas to well placed party contacts of mine to suggest ways we can work together to do effective, offense based messaging, drawing on lessons from our ABC/Disney experience, and have not gotten anywhere. The party is leaving us on our own, as far as I can tell. I agree unreservedly with the sense of stupefied disgust, revulsion and outrage given voice by members of this community in response to Jane’s earlier post. In fact, those words don’t begin to express my disposition here.
Here’s where I think I come down on this, and this has been no easy couple of days for me: I will not quit. And I will not pretend that making this country a country that tortures is okay. I will not swallow hard and clap louder for the party and I will not take to the sidelines, or write in such a way that might lead others to despair, slow down, or quit.
I’m a fighter, because in this age, a person of conscience must fight. So I’m going to stay focused, especially on great candidates like Tony Trupiano and others in our Blue America entourage. When Jane made me a front pager, I made a confession to the community that I had been initially a supporter of the Iraq invasion, and that I recognize I was wrong. I felt the community had a right to know, and to discount my judgment accordingly, as people choose. I remind them of my error again tonight.
But here’s what I also took from that experience: I will not drink anyone’s Kool Aid again and I will not ignore the voices of those who were right, like many of our commenters here were, when I was wrong. Neither will I ignore those nagging doubts in the back of my head when these big issues of historical moment are in play.
I viscerally believe that the DC Democrats are wrong, on the politics and on moral grounds, as they strategically retreat on torture and on the whole national security "all in" Karl Rove is pulling. I hope that Bill Clinton’s vehement push back on Faux News will set something of an example, somehow. Hey, like those characters in the movie, I proceed with hope, the belief in the possibility of things unseen.
But no matter what, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, and I want to ask you to do the same, to volunteer locally, to help out our Blue America candidates as volunteers, or phone bankers or donors or whatever. Because those people are standing up, and if we quit or flag in our efforts, we’re betraying them and betraying victims of American torture. Moreover, to soften our resolve is to betray ourselves, and that we cannot afford to do.
Fuck these people. For my part, I choose to keep fighting for our people. Thank God for Howie Klein.
Shit: I thought I was going to write about the movie, and look where I ended up. But I can’t blow smoke at you people: this is what’s on my mind. Talk about whatever you want to talk about. This is an open overnight thread.