Postcard from Canada: Why I Missed Obama’s Speech by Sara Robinson

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by Sara Robinson
OurFuture.org
Sept. 10, 2009

True confessions: I missed the health care speech. While the whole lefty blogosphere was watching and blogging and tweeting, I was sacked out in my attic bedroom high on a mountainside in Vancouver, sleeping off a narcotic haze and the exhausting aftermath of a long night spent in the emergency room at Lions Gate Hospital.

President Obama tried to remind Americans all over again why health care reform matters. I didn’t need a speech: I’d just had an up-close-and-personal encounter with a rational, not-for-profit, single-payer health care system. And it reminded me all over again (as it does every time we see a doctor here) why health care reform is the most crucial battle of our generation.

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Fascist America III: Resistance for the Long Haul By Sara Robinson

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By Sara Robinson
Campaign for America’s Future
August 29, 2009

August, die she must. The town hall freak show is winding down, the media circus is packing the cameras and satellite dishes and hairspray back into the vans, and Congress is soon heading back to the relative safety of DC. Yet, after all the fuss and bother, they’re probably no more or less resolved to pass health care reform than they were back in June, when those first delirious fevers rose like clouds of infectious mosquito nymphs hatched from a thick, overheated carpet of soggy astroturf.

Let’s hope they succeed at getting it done. But, win or lose, we’re crazy to think that the goon squads formed and trained to instigate this summer’s health care wars will pack it in just because the silly season is over. Those folks have tasted power, graduated from their introductory courses in Political Bullying 101, shared some camraderie and beer, and felt the heft of their own political muscle. That was fun. Now, what do we do next? Paralyze the school board over evolution in the textbooks? Intimidate the city council into shutting down the immigrants’ services center — or beat up some immigrants, so they’ll just stop using it? Vandalize the cars and houses of known liberals? Get one of our own elected sheriff, so he can deputize the rest of us and make our posse official?

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Fascist America II: The Last Turnoff By Sara Robinson

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By Sara Robinson
Campaign for America’s Future
August 11, 2009

Writing about fascism for an American audience is always a fraught business. Invariably, a third of the readers will dismiss the topic (and your faithful blogger’s basic sanity) out of hand. Either they’ve got their own definition of fascism and whatever’s going on doesn’t seem to fit it; or else they’re firm believers in a variant of Godwin’s Law, which says (with some justification) that anyone who invokes the F-word is a de facto alarmist of questionable credibility. I get letters, most of which say something to the effect of, “Calm down. You’re overreacting. We’re nowhere near there yet.”

Another third will pepper me with missives that are every bit as dismissive — for exactly the opposite reason. To them, anyone who’s been paying the barest amount of attention should realize that America has been a fascist state since (choose one:) 1) 9/11; 2) Reagan; 3) McCarthy; 4) The Civil War; 5) July 4, 1776. For them, my careful analysis and worried warnings are dangerously naive — clear evidence that I’m simply not seeing the full horror of America as it truly is, and always has been, at least since (insert date here).

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Fascist America: Are We There Yet? By Sara Robinson

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By Sara Robinson
Campaign for America’s Future
August 7, 2009

All through the dark years of the Bush Administration, progressives watched in horror as Constitutional protections vanished, nativist rhetoric ratcheted up, hate speech turned into intimidation and violence, and the president of the United States seized for himself powers only demanded by history’s worst dictators. With each new outrage, the small handful of us who’d made ourselves experts on right-wing culture and politics would hear once again from worried readers: Is this it? Have we finally become a fascist state? Are we there yet?

And every time this question got asked, people like Chip Berlet and Dave Neiwert and Fred Clarkson and yours truly would look up from our maps like a parent on a long drive, and smile a wan smile of reassurance. “Wellll…we’re on a bad road, and if we don’t change course, we could end up there soon enough. But there’s also still plenty of time and opportunity to turn back. Watch, but don’t worry. As bad as this looks: no — we are not there yet.

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