September 12, 2012
Fighting Bob Fest # 11
I can hardly believe it. Eleven years in a ROW. Friday WE KICK-OFF AT 6:00 IN THE EVENING with a tremendous program. Jim Hightower, Daniel Kunene, our good friend Phil Donahue and a very special guest. Ruth Conniff will co-chair the meetings with me and we are very excited about Friday night and of course the program Saturday which many have said is our strongest Bob Fest line-up ever: Mahlon Mitchell, Greg Palast, Mike Papantonio, Jill Stein, Terry O'Neill, Phil Donahue, Bill McKibben and, what would Bob Fest be without John Nichols! And the Ragin' Grannies unless they are all in jail! Stan Gruszynski, and our pal Peter Leidy.
Remember, Friday night's Kickoff is NOT at the Barrymore--this year it is at Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa Street in Madison. Seating is tight so get there early. And after the program join us for a beer.
Admission is free.
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Ed, thanks for organizing another exciting BobFest. I'm looking forward to the speakers and getting another progressive shot in the arm to motivate me into the fall. I'm sure the speakers will address our current economic inequities, lack of family supporting jobs and poor access to health care. They will also talk about our military adventurism and how the corporations and very rich are bleeding the poor and middle class. And they will talk about how the Koch brothers and Sheldon Aldelson are writing big checks to finance the Republican campaigns which are filled with lies by the likes of our own Paul Ryan. Couldn't agree more.
But we have to come to grips with the elephant in the room that even if the Republicans ran Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse for President and Vice-President they would still start with a base of about 40% of likely highly motivated voters who are not motivated by their economic interests or a sane foreign policy (which is what Bobfest speakers will promote), but are motivated because they believe in the literalness of their religious faith which justifies severely limiting women's rights or the rights of gay couples to express their love in marriage, or they want to make sure they have at least two guns (one for the house and one for the car) or they are motivated by racial prejudice. No amount of hooting and hollering at BobFest (which is what I will be doing) will ever change these votes. And these aren't bad guys, they are our friends and neighbors we work with (38% of union families in the last recall election) and folks we shop with and folks we share community with.
We have to acknowledge that they have a very well financed and strong winning coalition in Wisconsin. How else to explain that Ron Johnson and Scott Walker won easily in their last elections. And unless we find a way to out-organize and insure that all the registered voters in the Democratic demographic become just as motivated voters as the Republican base, it seems more likely that Romney and Thompson will win Wisconsin on November 6.
As I leave the Alliant Center on Saturday I will feel "pumped" and revived. But will also know that the next morning on Sunday, hundreds of conservative evangelical and Catholic churches will be organizing and will be getting out the foot soldiers to work for their Republican candidates.
In the face of such an opponent, I can only say (if the Republicans will let me share a theological reference). Thank God for Bobfest.
-Sam Romano | Oregon, Wi | September 12, 2012