Organizing for budget battle
To win political battles, you often need to mobilize large crowds to voice your message. In the debate over the future of the federal government, one side has had a definite advantage. YNN's Bill Carey says the other side isn't giving up yet.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Agree or disagree with the Tea Party. You have to admit, they know how to deliver a message and be heard.
Efforts on the opposite end of the political spectrum have been slow to coalesce.
In Syracuse, two dozen protesters, about half of what organizers had hoped would show, assembled outside the federal building, barely drawing the notice of passers-by.
Their target, republican Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle, a strong Tea Party supporter.
"She's a conservative republican. She's part of the machine that really held our economy hostage over the last couple of weeks and forced through what is, essentially, a very bad deal," protest organizer Holly Clements said.
The group delivered a copy of MoveOn.org's "Contract for the American Dream" to Buerkle's office.
But the struggle is to be heard, when the protests are small and the tide among democrats in Washington seems to be to seek out the political center.
"Nobody's out for the working person anymore. As we lose more jobs in this nation and unemployment is at nine percent, they haven't done anything. They don't want to tax the rich. They say they're the job creators and they've created no jobs," protester Matt Radley said.
There is disenchantment here. Claims that democrats are afraid to take a liberal stand.
"You need a counterweight. The democrats need to stand up and have a little more mettle, the President included, and take strong positions. More on the left. And then, maybe, a healthy center will come out of that. But you don't get a healthy center if everybody keeps moving to the right, together," protester Michael Smith said.
Organizers say their problem is not getting people involved, but getting those people to work together.
"We have a lot of different groups with a lot of different vested interests in this. What we're still working on doing is coordinating all of those groups and collaborating our one, collective voice," Clements said.
A voice they hope will be heard in the budget debate and at the polling place in 2012.
An aide to Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle met with a delegation of protesters after their gathering at the Syracuse federal building. The House is in recess and the congresswoman herself has taken a few days off after the long debt ceiling battle.