Working the Bubble

Pat Ryan

A lot of folks on this site are working the election and I am no exception. With somewhere around 79 days to go, I need to stop periodically and check my GPS. My wife Christine is also up to her neck in this insanity, which basically means that we see each other mostly while attending political events or monitoring the news of the day.

Today, I'm working to turn out bodies for our house district picnic. Me'n Uncle Walt our District Leader, have a mission statement that goes something like this:

"Quit hogging your contact list, fighting over volunteers, backstabbing, etcetera and let's all cooperate to pitch the neo, paleo, and theocons out on their butts."

After two years at this we are seeing some limited successes although it's still true that no one is going to listen to you just because you have a good idea. With the facts in mind, we are running around with hundred dollar bills in one hand and volunteer lists and phone bank locations in the other, trying to get our (sometimes recalcitrant) house district candidate elected.

We're still trying to figure out how many assets we need to have in hand to get phone calls returned by folks at various levels of the game as we work to get progressives elected at all levels of gummint. We are also avoiding the mention of various taboo topics and questions like...

How come many cultures outside the US can put 300 eight year olds in a lecture hall with one teacher while we need a teacher, two volunteer parents and a health care professional to get poorer results out of "huge" class sizes of ......say.....30 of the little darlings?

Is it really true that every worker would give 100% to his/her employer if they just have the right workingconditionshealthcarechildcarechallenges to fully reach their potential? Could there be some hypothetecal situation where you just fire a bum because me'n the rest of the boys at the welding shop are tired of carrying him around on our backs?

When will we decide that the taxpayers and private employers are not obliged to fund certain "soft science" type health care treatments? Have Oregon state officials gotten their minds around the basic principles of scientific testing of treatment methods or are we happy with the 35% positive results that we can achieve from the admittedly rigorous Placebo Effect?

Anyhow, we won't be asking these potentially divisive questions as we know that the current Masters of the Universe are actively hostile to the folks to whom they are serving the Kool Aid . We'd much rather deal with some very fuzzy logic from our allies than the concerted effort by the reactionaries to corral all of our collective assets at the top of a very steep pyramid.

Meanwhile, Christine is hard at recruiting for the small business group Business Leaders for Kerry . The group, 150 strong and growing serves at least two functions. The most obvious is to push back against the common wisdom in the press and elsewhere that businesses are in lockstep with the Norquist/Bush agenda. To that end, they have already held a few press events in Portland and elswhere around the state. On the Thursday prior to the Kerry rally and the Bush "business summit", they were able to do a little anticipatory push against the prez's controlled event in Beaverton. They got airtime on KATU and KOIN, sharing a couple of two minute segments with the redoubtable Molly Bordanaro, (Balnce uber alles). The second (and related) goal is to inform our own kids that there is such a thing as a progressive minded business person and that using the term "corporations" as shorthand for greedheads that rape investors, employees, and taxpayers is a practice that could use a little fine tuning by our side.

Gotta run. Yet another political gig.

We'll ask these questions after November 3rd when the election is over and we are pretty sure that absolutely no one will listen at that point because we will have surrendered all of our aces by then.

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    That's good stuff, man. Me'n you will have to connect at one of the gigs soon. Perhaps I'll make it out your way, cause ya'll got one hell of a good house candidate.

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