What does it take for random people associating with like minded others around an idea they jointly support to coalesce into a group that moves beyond approving of the idea to actively promoting the idea? In short, how does one go from harmless to honed? How does one progress from a mob to a movement? Right of Center activists are getting a crash course in answering that question via the object lesson of a new website, #Don’t Go Movement. The brainchild of Eric Odom at Fresh Vision Media, #Don’t Go Movement has traveled really far, really fast!
Just 5 days ago, House Democrats, led by Nancy Pelosi, left Washington, DC for a 5 week break. They left mountains of unfinished, important and urgent People’s business behind. High on the list was a failure to address, in any way, the energy crisis gripping our nation from decades of flawed Democratic policy. Despite poll numbers showing 74% of Americans favor expanding supply via drilling, Democrats went home after doing nothing. Despite increasing numbers of House Democrats supporting expanded drilling, Pelosi didn’t even bother to go home. She left on a book tour promoting herself and her pocketbook; content to support only drilling in the People’s pocketbooks.
Democrats voted to adjourn and left. The GOP did not. They stayed in the People’s House and began to call for Pelosi and Democrats to return to complete important business before leaving. The Left is branding this as mere political posturing but a look at the adjournment vote says otherwise. It was 213-212 in favor of leaving.
House GOP members who stayed behind began giving impromptu speeches, spectators in the gallery were invited down onto the floor and the few MSM reporters on hand interviewed members. Pelosi responded by having the C-Span cameras turned off, the lights turned off and the microphones turned off leaving the GOP in the dark. The GOP finally left the House chambers late Friday night but promised to return this week to renew their call to the Democrats to come back to DC and do what the People expect of them.
So what does this have to do with a movement? It’s just a bunch of middle aged Republicans speechifying in the dark! It only started that way. Less than an hour after the Dems departed and the GOP got going, Eric Odom and Allen Fuller from Flat Creek put up a Twitter site, ‘Don’t Go!’, so GOP members could get their message out along with any citizen or Social Media savvy activist. That site hit the blogs and it was off to the races. They had multiple Tweets per minute beginning mid session Friday evening and it has continued unabated to this very moment!
Some feared the issue would die across the weekend. After all, the news broke late on Friday, the worst possible time for a story to break. Further, there was practically zero MSM coverage of the story. It tends to be difficult to report when there’s no lights and no sound available. But Odom and Fuller kept doing what they knew was working, keeping the issue alive in the blogosphere and via online Social Media such as Facebook as they added to their Twitter efforts. They were joined by other well known Right of Center online activists like Patrick Ruffini.
When Monday rolled around, the GOP was true to their word and returned to a darkened House chamber to continue to ask Democrats “Don’t Go!”. The Twitter tweets continued unabated. But by now the concept was picking up steam. There were a LOT more people involved and a way had been found to conduct interviews with participants so video and audio clips were emerging. The Twitter site alone was not enough to keep up with the information flow. So Odom added a full website that went live Tuesday afternoon. Named ‘#Don’t Go Movement’, the site features videos, blog posts from around the country, links to the original Twitter and Facebook sites and more. There’s even a petition to sign where you can add your voice to those of the House members to ask the Dems, please, Don’t Go!
Why a movement? The Right has not been as excited or mobilized about an issue since Harriet Meiers and the Amnesty Bill. The arrogance and hubris of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the rest of the Democratic leadership has chafed the GOP for months. The Energy debate was the place where GOP chafing, activist chafing and the People’s chafing came together. How dare they simply go off on a tax payer funded vacation without representing the tax payers? What started as a relative handful of Congressmen on Friday night turned into thousands of online activists by Monday morning. By this afternoon, Wednesday, just 5 days after it began, it had crossed over to the MSM with Radio, Print and TV reporters and personalities clamoring for time with Odom and his colleagues. The next up is an interview with Hugh Hewitt this afternoon at 4PST, 6CST and 7EST. Eric is a friend and so I was able to reach him at his office in Chicago and he confirmed the growth. “#Don’t Go Movement had 62,000 hits at the site in the very first 24 hours!”, he said. I checked the running total for signatures at the petition site. It was over 22,500 for the first 24 hours and climbing several signatures per minute!
That’s why a movenent. The question is, can it continue? Pelosi foolishly shows no sign of returning. It may be too late for her. Her best chance to derail the GOP’s efforts was Friday night. She hoped it would die, instead. That miscalculation means she can’t come back now without being seen to be bowing to GOP pressure and she can’t stay away without being seen as unconcerned with the People’s plight. It’s a lose-lose. In chess, it’s called getting “forked” when you are maneuvered into a position where your only option is to lose one of two pieces after you complete your move and your only choice is which loss is the least severe. Pelosi has done this to herself. She’s going to pay the price. The GOP and the Right are not going to stop pounding the drum of “Don’t Go!” until the Dems come back on Sept. 8 or until Pelosi calls them back early. Even still, they will be plagued with the question, “What took you so long to do the right thing?”
For the GOP to turn this event into a movement that outlives its original purpose will take some doing. With sharp operators like Odom, Fuller and Ruffini at the helm they have an excellent chance to turn the “Don’t Go Home for Vacation Without Doing Your Job!” of August into the “Don’t Go Back to the Democrat’s Failed Leadership of the Last 2 Years!” of November. From there, there’d be no stopping the call to “Don’t Go!”