Stein and Honkala's act of civil resistance
I think it's super that the entire top of the ticket of the Green Party got themselves arrested in an act of civil resistance against foreclosure. In fact, that would be a great theme for a bus tour -- we all know how Presidential candidates like bus tours, right? -- through the epicenters of the crisis: OH and FL are both swing states, ha ha ha. Stop the bus for the day, get arrested, get out of jail, continue on to next stop, and repeat until national coverage snowballs (which it would; Stein is getting amazing coverage, given the givens).
That said, the way the story played out makes me cranky.
(And no time for linky goodness; I've got to go out and finish another garden task.)
From the Barcalounger:
1. Apparently (coverage is weak) they were arrested in Philly at "a bank." All the coverage I can find doesn't mention the name of the bank. The demonstration that preceded the arrests was at Fannie Mae; that could be the main office at 1900 Market Street, or the regional office at 1835 Market Street. If the former, the bank might have been TD Bank (see Google); if the latter, the bank might have been the Conestoga Bank (see partial image here, and Google). Philly residents on the ground please correct me! Because there's a ton of banks on Market Street.
2. It's unfortunate that Fannie Mae is named, and the bank isn't, for two reasons:
(a) At the time of the arrests, Geithner (i.e., the Obama campaign) was running a kabuki "strongly worded letter" schtick to get Fannie Mae to agree to principal modifications, which of course they didn't. So I don't know why the Greens are getting involved with Fannie Mae during that time, since all it does is confuse Green branding with D branding. If I were foily, I might guess that the Greens got sucked into that framing by some putative allies like a "progressive" D front group.*
(b) The real issue is not Fannie Mae, but the banks. But because we don't know which bank they got arrested at, we can't connect this narrative to any other narrative. That's a #FAIL.**
3. I don't agree with the messaging at all. A "preferential option for the poor" is all very well, indeed noble, but I don't think it captures enough of the electorate. Victim narratives are marginal by definition. "There but for the grace of God go I" and "We're all in this together" get trumped by "I'm still middle class," "I played by the rules," "I didn't take on too much debt," in addition to the general viciousness of "I've got mine, screw you, Jack!" The message, even though it is true, that the banksters are throwing the impoverished out on the street, doesn't resonate, especially when people, as they do in times of great anxiety, hold onto denial.
However, a message that the banks are screwing everybody, which also has the merit of being true, would reach a lot more people. Look what the banksters did to 401ks! Look what they did to the land title system! Look what they did to small investors! And on and on and on. (Note that this makes the obfuscation of which bank they were at all the more of a lost opportunity). Having achieved that level of conversation, you can start talking about real policy (like Keen's debt jubilee), which you just can't do at the level of "keeping people in their homes."
Anyhow, my $0.02 FWIW.
NOTE * Look like the sponsoring organization was Honkala's Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign; so perhaps I was too foily (and it's true that Honkala was an effective vote getter and activist in Kensington, so they're effective, even if their web site is a disaster).
NOTE ** There's no point grousing that the media won't do the right thing. It's any campaign's job to manage the media, and the Greens are no exception. For example, and definitely from the Barcalounger, if Stein had been wearing a T-shirt that said: "I'm getting arrested at BoA! Ask me why!" there's be no question which bank to target with posts, inquiries, etc.
UPDATE Yes, Conestoga. Who the fuck ever heard of Conestoga?! Why not BoA and Obama's "savvy businessman," Jamie Dimon? Of course, the Examiner had the slideshow and not our famously free press. Sigh. More on the Jill Stein site. But shit, I can't be quoting a party's site as an authority, any more than I'd quote Romney's site or Obama's site. It's all agitprop by definition, and if it isn't, it should be. That's what party sites are for!