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Rep. McNerney, Wake Me Up, When September Ends

by: Bob Brigham

Thu May 10, 2007 at 22:12:23 PM PDT


I've made my voice very clear why I'm disappointed that Congressman McNerney voted against ending the war. And even if you don't agree with me, I think you'll find the debate over his his vote, the call for an explanation, and McNerney's response to all have great comments from the very insightful community that is growing at Calitics.

When I was waiting for a response from McNerney I went for a walk to clear my mind. Tonight, the local recruiting station had nine kids out front and only one was white. That sucks, but so does the war for every family affected. Now that people are doing late night video, I ask you to join me over the flip for a video that is all the more relevant this year since Rep. McNerney won't vote to end the war. It is one of my favorites and I loved meeting the band a while back. I'm shocked that McNerney will fall into the trap of those who want to wait until September, but there is a great response to that policy nonsense.

Bob Brigham :: Rep. McNerney, Wake Me Up, When September Ends
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A fantastic song (7.25 / 4)
I played it the last day of my class on 20th century US history last summer. I titled the lecture "Across Five Septembers: From New York to New Orleans" and covered the history of the 21st century, from September 11 to Hurricane Katrina. Green Day, somehow, truly *nailed* the mood so many of us have this decade on that American Idiot album. Always so proud to know they're from Berkeley.

I think a lot of the frustration with McNerney's vote is that people believed he was on our side. Someone who wasn't a creature of Rahm Emanuel, the DCCC, or the other arms of the DC establishment. A more authentic netrooter, someone who took on Pombo and did it from a broadly democratic and antiwar position. Nobody expected he'd betray us, not on this.

His defenders, including his staff, say he voted his conscience. I think that explanation is actually causing more alienation - if he truly believed that the McGovern proposal was flawed, for reasons that we all know are bunk (thinking here of the "responsibility" language), then he really isn't on our side on this. The trust and goodwill, then, is that much more lost.

Either way we lose - either his conscience isn't that of someone who shares our antiwar views, or he listened to consultant advice, which suggests he's moving away from a netroots position to becoming a captive of the establishment we're all fighting against.

It would be so much easier if they weren't all against us. But then, ever since this long September began, we've known they were. Whether McNerney votes with us or against us on specific issues in the future, this episode should serve to remind us that our work is by no means done - the work of rebuilding the Democratic Party, of reviving American progressivism, of dealing with the worsening crises we face. Our ultimate goal isn't to elect Democrats in a single election, it's to produce deeper and more fundamental change.

It's like they sang in "Holiday" - this is the dawning of the rest of our lives.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave


whenever I see McNerney... (0.00 / 0)
I'll think of the look the the girl's eyes in this video. We fell in love with him and then he went off and.....

Twitter: @BobBrigham

[ Parent ]
I'm not constitutionally capable (8.00 / 1)
of feeling that way about a politician. I think it's genetic -- nobody in my family even likes a sip of kool-aid, even of the best sort.

The struggle for me (and I suspect many like me) is fighting off the cynicism and staying engaged.  This action by McNerney is not helpful in that fight.


[ Parent ]
thanks for posting this (0.00 / 0)
I've been thinking about the song a lot now that September has taken on this new meaning. watching the video, I'm struck recalling the first time I saw it back in the summer of 05. it felt sort of revolutionary then, like they were going out on a limb to take this stand and I was moved by that. now it seems downright quaint. along the same lines, could you ever have pictured the Democratic party delivering 171 votes for withdrawal back then? in just 2 years, look how much has changed to our way of thinking. when you're in the middle of it it's hard to see that change but this video reminds me of the difference between then and now. pretty fucking dramatic.

This song has new meaning (8.00 / 2)
Prior to tonight, I  had never seen this video. (Heard the song many times, however.)

In the last three weeks, two people I knew were killed in Iraq.


I'm lucky (0.00 / 0)
My friend in-country hasn't been hurt yet.  But watching the casualty reports for his unit and waiting to hear from him every week or so when he comes back to the main base from patrols is nerve-wracking, and I can't even imagine how his wife and mother must feel.

And that's the way it is for every family.  It doesn't matter that people I happen to know are affected.  It's unacceptable that we're still debating how much longer to continue an occupation without a meaningful end goal, following an invasion based on lies.


[ Parent ]
Oh Matt (0.00 / 0)
I am sorry to hear that.

It is indeed a fantastic song and video.  I love the whole album come to think of it.


[ Parent ]
Tough to fuse arena rock/rock opera/punk (0.00 / 0)
but they managed it.  It's an impressive piece of work.

[ Parent ]
I was watching Fear and Loathing last night (8.00 / 4)
And one particular quote jumped out more than usual...

Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Has it been five years? Six? It seems like a lifetime, the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. But no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant.

There was madness in any direction, at any hour.  You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right- that we were winning.

And that, I think, was the handle - that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't need that. Our energy would simply prevail. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark - that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.



McNerney Town Hall on Sat (0.00 / 0)
For folks in the district who'd like to ask Rep. McNerney in person about his vote, he's having a town hall type meeting on Saturday.  One question I have is how he reconciles his cosponsorship of HR 508, the Woosley/Lee withdrawal bill, with his vote against McGovern.

Mountain House
Saturday, May 12
Mountain House Fire Department Station #98
911 Tradition Way
Mountain House, CA 95391
2 p.m. to 3 p.m.


[ Parent ]
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