Transcript: Thom Hartmann: The Most Important Thing "We" Learned Today. 18 January '12
So what have we learned today?
We learned that $94 million in corporate lobbying can't buy censorship of the Internet.
We learned that, despite both parties in Congress carrying water for major media and entertainment corporations - fingers to the keyboard activism is a much, much more powerful force - and today - after the largest online protest in the history of the Internet - more Americans know how destructive this so-called anti-piracy legislation is and how important a free and open Internet is to a functioning democracy.
Now - legislators are dropping their support for the bills - the White House is against them - and it's pretty clear that SOPA and PIPA - in their current forms at least - are dead on arrival in Congress.
We also learned that Texas oil barons who want to cut a dirty pipeline through the middle of America are no match for an energized environmental movement and 1,200 American patriots willing to get arrested in front of the White House.
We learned that despite tens of millions of dollars in lobbying and television advertising - despite blatant lies about job creation - and lies about environmental effects - in the face of all of that, the nation's largest oil interest group - the American Petroleum Institute - did not get its way with the Keystone XL Pipeline.
We learned that, ultimately - the majority of Americans were able to speak louder - and put more pressure on the White House - and this president - to keep his promise when he said he would begin to heal the planet.
Now - the Keystone pipeline is dead because the people of America said so.
We learned that a Wisconsin Governor who was elected with money from millionaires and billionaires from mostly outside the state of Wisconsin can't push his radical agenda to dismantle public employees unions through.
We learned that despite 30 years of constant warfare on working people - all it takes is a spark to reignite the labor movement.
And that spark drew hundreds of thousands to the streets of Madison in protest - and even more to the polls to recall anti-worker state senators in Wisconsin and repeal anti-union legislation in Ohio - and over a million people to sign a petition to recall their Governor after just one year.
Governor Scott Walker will face a recall election because even though corporations stole the 2010 election with hundreds of millions of dollars in secret cash - the people still have their grip on democracy - even if it's just the tips of their fingers at this point - and the people can still determine their own fate.
Now - other radical governors around America know there are consequences to going after average working people.
And we learned that despite being ignored and ridiculed by the most powerful forces in the news media and our elected officials - and despite being physically beaten and assaulted with chemical weapons by the police - and despite having no billionaire corporate funders - the truly grassroots movement known as Occupy Wall Street is still thriving.
That it can still make its voice heard loud and clear in the halls of Congress - on the steps of the Supreme Court - and at the gates of the White House.
Tuesday's four-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street signified a maturity in the movement - as thousands of people gathered to make concrete demands - and take those demands to the source of the problems - a Capitol infested with too much lobbying power - a Supreme Court chock full of corporatist judges who've created the doctrine of corporate personhood out of thin air - and a White House which over the last thirty years has been addicted to more and more war - and more and more police state actions.
Now - no one can say the movement lacks a coherent message - or that it will just dissolve away as soon as apathy creeps in again... Occupy Wall Street is here to stay.
But the most important thing we learned today - is that change is still possible in a post-"Citizens United" America. Even though too many of our lawmakers are listening to money - and the middle class is under attack - and no one is looking out for our planet and the future generations - or so it seems - we learned that people united and active can still make a huge difference.
This week - media conglomerates, oil barons, corporate-funded union busters, and all-powerful lobbyists LOST.
This week - the people - and democracy in a constitutionally-limited representative republic won.
And if we keep it up - it'll the first in a long line of victories to come.
That's The Big Picture.