Well, the weekend is over, and I have had a chance to catch up on my sleep. What a weekend. There is nothing like being together with several hundred other folks who believe that with enough hard work we can make a difference.
I was there on Saturday and Sunday. The presentation on civil action networks
set a key theme: the flexibility and innovation of small groups are assets that can be lost in larger groups, but they don’t have to be lost. It is actually beneficial for groups to subdivide and foster competition within. Jeffrey Feldman
gave a great introduction to “framing.” The concept of framing regards the use of ideas and conceptual structures
in public and political discussions and has been made popular by George Lakoff
. George Grapski
provided a passionate overview of the historical antecedents of what it means to be progressive. In a presentation on the need and opportunity to compete in the Red States and Red Congressional Districts, it was presented that between 2000 and 2004, underchallenged Republicans in Congressional races, those with no or only token opposition, raised $267 million and then transferred $63 million to other Republican candidates in tight races. By challenging candidates in such districts, the Republicans can be forced to spend money where they don’t think that they need to and the Democrats can build staff, tools, and skills for the future. Saturday night ended at Stubbs with a great mix of barbecue, music, and speeches.