Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Officials, Progs, & the Future of the GDI Tradition

Quite frankly, TheRadikal.com is an Indie-Isolationist blog (who actually talks like that? -- I DO.), in the sense that electoral coalitions like Access, and arguably Impact, could and did serve a viable purpose. However, once elected, I have never been supportive of Indie parties merging with the dominant FBK-backed/Greek party (even to save a Senate win, [e.g. Ben Cavatero, Fall 2008]) for one simple reason: the future of the Independent tradition.

People like Pedro Morales and Mitchel Tannenbaum are both major assets to the Indie movement, but they are both prime examples of people quite simply not getting the jist of what 'the movement' is all about. Unlike the FBK-backed Greek bloc, 'the [independent] movement' does not maintain standing armies quartered in campus housing zones or heavily concentrated in key voting districts (e.g. A, C). The [independent] Movement' doesn't have limitless financial resources or ties to politicians around the state.

But there is a tradition that transcends the standing armies and the fat campaign bank accounts, it's a force that runs through certain kinds of people, it's a form of enlightenment - if you ask me. What possesses a person like Sam Miorelli, Bruce Haupt, Rosemary Clouston, James Argento, Frances Harrell, or Ken Kerns to become workhorses for a futile cause?

The Progs should be doing the walkouts, infiltrating and dividing the Machine from within, they should be the ones seeking to sabotage the Machine and embarass its cadres at every possible turn. The Progs should be doing Iron Fist '05 type campaigns using Avant Garde type media to infuriate the masses and create a backlash against the Student Senate, they should be organizing rallies, demanding Alligator coverage, penning legislation that will fail 80:8, but really putting their ass on the line, acting as if the terms they won were won by some kind of joke, some kind of travesty, using those posts as single-use vehicles to further a slew of bills forcing the Machine to act, forcing it to act on issues they've lied to the students about for 10yrs, (e.g. a 24hr LIBRARY) - shaming the system and it's mouthpieces...saying







And yet...the very group that sold itself as being revolutionary...with the color red all over the place, talk of Trotsky, and of philosophy and dialectics from here to Gibraltar, is being out-revolutionized (word?) by Centrist-Independents -- that's like Gator trying to teach the Iron Fist how to be fringe - or - like Armando Grundy giving anyone election-campaign advice.


Anonymous said...

This has been the fundamental contradiction of the Progress Party from the start. They simultaneously tried to be the "revolutionary" group while railing against Orange and Blue for being too anti-system. To quote Justin Wooten, "the problem with a lot of O&B is that they are anti-Gator to a fault."

You can't have it both ways. You can't be "revolutionary in your centrism." So they tried to paint themselves as the revolutionaries all around. With the help of the media and a number of tactical and strategic errors by the Orange and Blue leadership, they pulled that off. They successfully painted O&B as indie dinosaurs if you will.

Progress's strategy is caught in this contradiction. On one hand they are supposed to be revolutionary, yet on the other they pledged to be nice to the System. Couple that with a lack of real leadership in Senate and they are paralyzed.

Simmons says "I think that's one of the major differences between Progress and other past "indie" parties, is that we're actually willing to put in the time and work to do what we say we do." The irony is that Progress has done little at best. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only thing they even claim to have done is put their voting records online. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to do that, ignoring the ridiculous FERPA claims the University makes, the person who the information is about is certainly allowed to disclose it.

Just to take one example, during the campaign, they railed in their "revolutionary" manner against SG's lobbyists. So Cavataro writes a bill to get rid of the lobbyists. Unite doesn't like that, so then what happens? ... Progress LEADS the charge to water down the bill.

From their website:
Eliminate Student Government Lobbyists

Student Government currently employs lobbyists that are paid a combined total of over $100,000 a year to represent the student body, but who rarely, if ever, disagree with the same lobbyists that represent the University. The Progress Party believes that instead of employing lobbyists (who also represent interests like big tobacco) to do the same job as the external affairs position, we should create an agency with the goal of training students to be their own advocates."

Progress completely backed away from virtually all of this? Why? Because the majority didn't like it. They sacrificed their idea in order to curry favor with the majority. They are similar to (both because this is an apt comparison and because I know it will make the anarcho-socialist wing of the Progress Party pissed) the Democrats in Congress. Harry Reid wouldn't fight the Republicans on nominating crazy judges, he wouldn't fight them on the bankruptcy reform which screwed citizens, he wouldn't fight them on FISA, because he wanted to "keep his powder dry", to preserve his "political capital."

Progress's fundamental contradiction comes from the fact that they didn't split on issues or tactics, they split on ego.

Ken said...

Justin Wooten, even if in jest, saying "writing legislation is surrender" basically says it all.

If we let things go without a fight, BOCC would be broken up and at a complete mercy of the Senate. If we let things go without a fight, online voting wouldn't be decided in a real court. If we let things go without a fight, sexual orientation might not have ever made it into the SG Constitution as a protected class. If we let things go without a fight, the UF student body might never have heard of the Green Means Go scandal.

The Independents might not always win elections, but when we fight and make headlines, we do get things done.

The running joke about SG is that the Independents come up with the platform ideas and the System takes the credit.

Why? Because just by fighting, we force them to fear defeat, and in so doing, they often adopt our ideas. And those they fight us on, well, that's what elections are for.

Taking 27% of the popular vote and then sitting on your hands in the Senate has rendered the entire purpose of Progress obsolete.

You don't have to be assholes when you stand up for what you believe in, but you do have to stand up.

And so far, it's only O&B who's willing to take a stand. It's only O&B that's working toward a confirming just how much corruption remains in SG. That's why the future of the indie movement remains with them and any ethical Greeks who are willing to buck the System, and not with Progress.

Anonymous said...

Why being an "SG Moderate" fails, and fighting the system with all you have works:


Anonymous said...

Grundy is actually a very powerful campaigner, he beat Christopher Salazar handily in their race for city commission. You should not speak so poorly or a man that is building the connections and support to dominate the North Central Florida political arena in a few years.

Anonymous said...

Anon 706 is either the author of Swamp Front Lawn doing a damn good job posing as Grundy or Grundy himself attempting some of the most shameless and delusional self-promotion seen on this site since J Clay checked it once an hour.

Anonymous said...

"They sacrificed their idea in order to curry favor with the majority."

Uhhh...didn't Cavatero do this as well with the lobbyist bill?

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:29 AM: After Dave gutted the bill to "curry" to the majority. He refused to vote for something that may actually meet one of Progress's platform points at the expense of going against Unite.

Anonymous said...

the OnLy ThINg DaVe SchnEIder and ProGREss haVE ever added to SG POLitical DiscOUrse was whether IT was TRUE that tall skinny gUYs have Big DICKS


Justin Wooten said...

I never wrote "Writing legislation is surrender." I think I've maybe posted only a single time without actually being logged in under the name Justin Wooten. If my name isn't in blue, I didn't say it.

Various people from O&B are absolutely desperate to keep their seat in the Fall and have all but asked us to go ahead and slate them, months in advance. You little rat bastards still love to talk shit anonymously, yet cry on the phone when you're told what we decided on unanimously as a party regarding unification? When will you ever learn how far that is going to take you politically?

The fact of the matter is that the bullshit lobbyist bill Cavataro came up with would never pass, and O&B knew this. The bullshit they are doing now is simply about having something to talk about during the election cycle. Schneider and Progess were the only reasons we got anything done regarding the lobbyists at all. This is exactly the kind of crap politics we campaigned against in the Spring. O&B hasn't done anything except make jackasses of themselves in Senate.

I could say a lot more, and maybe I will at some future date. The truth is Progress has ran into a few problems, but they are not insurmountable. Maybe we wouldn't be in this mess if O&B hadn't split OUR vote in CLAS with their absolutely pathetic campaign performance, but whatever. I'm tired and don't feel like typing anymore about SG.

Christian Duque said...

Good point, Justin.
The same was done to me some years back right here on TR.

Anonymous said...

And what is Wooten doing now? Is he helping with writing bills? Is he helping with crazy Mitchell's bike sharing thing? Is he helping figure out what is going on with the cabinet appointments? Is he helping solve the missing IMAGE video situation? Is he helping making SG more transparent? Wooten is doing nothing more than being the bitchy FBI agent that he has always been

Anonymous said...

Hey Justin, how are you doing since Ben Dictor graduated? Feeling ok? I know its hard to sustain a long distance relationship but hey, its just a part of life. You'll be re-united someday.

Christian Duque said...

There's a lot of attacks on Justin Wooten, but I think he can take it. He's strong.

Problem is... he needs to lead Progress or re-join O&B. Otherwise, he will have to live with the fact that he may very well be in a pool FBK hopefuls no different than Savant.

Joseph Trimboli said...

Just as an official update to you, Duque, I would like to let you know that myself and others are working diligently preparing for the fall.

The Indie MOVEMENT never rests!

Going to be awesome!

Brand new structure/organization, smart ballot initiatives, and an overall improved efficiency!

I stand for something greater than myself and I will fight for it until I leave this University.

Anonymous said...

FBI agent? Don't you have to be in some physical shape to be one of those? And he is doing something, he's bitching on this blog! That completely shows his determination and dedication to the student body.

Benjamin Dictor said...

Justin, I've told you so many times in our late night phone conversations to stop being so mean. Those "little rat bastards" were my friends and I still consider them compatriots. Remember lover that we must have allies when we plot our Communist takeover and we cannot alienate every single human being in the world. Stop being so mean! And "cry on the phone?" What were YOU doing when we talked last night? As I recall, you were crying and telling me how much you missed me and that deep down, you really wish we could repeat that one crazy night....well I should stop typing. hehehe

Anonymous said...

Senate was uneventful, tools put an old Senate President on the Supreme Court, Audrey got to leave Senate by her 9 PM bedtime.

francisco said...

For those interested, SG-Span now has the Reilly Impeachment video up.


brutus said...

sadly, the indie movement did not lose CLAS due to a split vote last semester. Even combined, Unite won. Engineering was lost by the split, but CLAS was won the old fashioned way.