Monday, September 29, 2008

Hi Amy Rosenbaum and Arshi Siddiqui on Pelosi's Staff

This is for:
Amy Rosenbaum, Policy Coordinator.
Melissa Shannon, Legislative Aide, Tax
Arshi Siddiqui, Legislative Aide, Tax

My friend Digby has a great idea that I want to make sure you see. She suggests that your boss, Nancy Pelosi, use this crisis as an opportunity for a "Progressive Shock Doctrine" (based on the concept of the Shock Doctrine used by movement conservatives for years. You probably have heard about it from the book put out by Naomi Klein. )

Here is a post detailing the ideas in this Progressive Shock Doctrine AND the political calculation that can be used to sell them.

Check it out, I've pulled a few paragraphs and highlighted some key phrases that I think will resonate and might support your thinking and writing on this issue.
But the Democrats are failing to take advantage of the complexity of the situation and use simple politics to sell it. They should say that the economy is failing and we need massive government action to solve it. That's what Democrats do in a crisis like this. But they need to make the political message about the Democratic agenda for restoring the economy not about rescuing "the financial system" which nobody understands anyway.
But the Democrats must also make the case that conservative policies creating massive income inequality, starving of the nation's infrastructure, neglect of the health care crisis and ignoring of the immediate need to invest in alternative energy and green jobs (not to mention useless wars) are part of the economic instability we are experiencing --- and addressing those needs is vital to restoring the economy. These aren't just good ideas on the merits, they are necessary for our security.

As my readers know, I believe that the Democrats should make an aggressive argument for progressive policies and liberal principles. I don't mind someone saying they can work with others, but I do object to saying Republicans have good ideas when they don't. The radical policies that have led us to this moment have failed but somebody needs to tell the American people exactly why and offer them a clear alternative. This crisis is an opportunity to spell that out so clearly that there will be no question for a generation that these ideas are as toxic as an adjustable rate mortgage.

Amy and Arshi, I'm sure that you have billions of ideas thrust upon you. Ideas from highly paid lobbyists representing the people who got us into this crisis. You know what their agenda is. You also have been treated to proposals from experts who have been wrong time and time again. I suppose the 27th time is a charm.

I'm a brain in a box, a blogger named for a character from Star Trek, what do I know? (You might have read about some of my work in the New York Times) I know that you can't take the word of Digby either, another blogger, even though the economist and New York Time columnist Paul Krugman called her, "one of the best writers you’ll ever encounter, on or off the Internet."so you will want to talk to other people who are "real" who have had the same idea. The best example?


This is an FDR idea, it worked out pretty well for him.

Quote FDR, mine his legacy. After all, if you are going to look to an expert, look to one who did it right, not the ones who oversaw the collapse and said, "More of the same! Trust us, this time for sure!" (Reminds me of a Bullwinkle cartoon. "Watch me pull a Rabbit out of a hat! (Lion comes out of hat) "No doubt about it time to get a new hat!"bullwinkle

If you want to talk to some experts who are still living Digby suggests her friend Rick Perlstein.

If you want to talk to an economist that correctly predicted all this and can say want might really be next, Nouriel Roubini is the guy.

I'll bet that you folks have already had some ideas like this. Now, with the rejection of the joint bill and the Republicans playing Lucy to our Charlie Brown for the 27th time, maybe you can say, "Instead of going MORE your way, we are going to go more OUR way. We are going to make the bill STRONGER for progressive values and put in some measures for restoring the economy -- the FDR way."

Read Digby's post for the various ways to sell the idea to push back on the Republican right-wing noise machine. They are really good.

Good luck Amy Rosenbaum and Arshi Siddiqui. Hopefully you will know how to get this information to the right people and talk to some of the people I suggested to make these concepts come alive.


Blogger jexter said...

Nicely done. This must go viral.

11:43 PM  
Blogger Interrobang said...

There are also some really, really important take-home lessons here for small and large business owners, consumers, citizens, creditors, and debtors.

12:17 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

While I disagree on most of this I wholeheatedly agree with this:

"But they need to make the political message about the Democratic agenda for restoring the economy not about rescuing "the financial system" which nobody understands anyway."

Both parties need to understand that the financial system is in fact not in trouble. It's mananged to work just fine - it's the economic system that has issues.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Joe Scordato said...

Thanks. I've been saying similar stuff to a member of the House Financial Services Committee, but it's great to see it go to the top. I really hope they listen.

8:37 AM  

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