Love Will Win


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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96 Responses

  1. Doctor Jay says:

    I kind of love this. Of course, love has never won a single election in the history of elections. But that’s ok. The Beatitudes do not describe attitudes that we (or the original listeners) associate with the big winners in life. Just the attitudes that enrich the people who have them.

    I think Williamson should stay in as long as she can and push this message along. Love is all you need.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Doctor Jay says:

      2008 and 2012 were arguably love-based elections. Arguably. (See also: 1980/1984.)Report

      • Pinky in reply to Jaybird says:

        What do we mean by voting for love? Voting for a candidate we love? I’ve done that a few times. Voting for a cause or a platform we love? You don’t get many chances to vote on a specific cause, and usually by the time we get up to platforms, you’re voting on the best of the alternatives, rather than one you embrace completely. I gather that Williamson is talking about something different, though: voting for a platform of love.

        This article is an interesting companion piece to the Inslee one. It’s kind of the single-issue candidate versus the no-issue candidate. In a way they’re opposite ends of the spectrum, the specialist versus the generalist, but in another way they’re equally limiting. I want a sense of the policies a would-be president would promote, even though I know he may not be successful.

        That’s what I want, at least. The downside of it, or the corruption of it, is the way primary season becomes character creation. I remember in 2008, when McCain, Romney, and Huckabee were positioning themselves as the international, fiscal, and social candidates, respectively. Would they have governed differently between them? I’m sure. But would they have embraced substantially different policies on international, fiscal, and social issues? By the time they got their cabinets assembled, I can’t be sure.

        I think there’s a balance required. The presidents in my adulthood haven’t always had the terms they expected, but I think they’ve generally steered policy in the directions they promised. Williamson’s approach seems like an abdication of leadership rather than a promise of it.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Pinky says:

          “What do we mean by voting for love?”

          You remember the episode of King of the Hill where Hank was talking about Ronald Reagan and finished with “God, I miss voting for that man.”

          That’s the sort of thing I’m talking about. Remember in 2008 when this video came out?

          That’s the sort of thing I’m talking about.

          It’s talking about feelings so it’s not really something I’ll be able to quantify… but you can tell the difference between someone talking about their candidate because it’s an obligation on their part and someone talking about their candidate because, good Lord, they just can’t shut up about them… and that’s what I mean.Report

          • Pinky in reply to Jaybird says:

            2016 was unusual in that a lot of people voted out of slightly greater disgust for the other candidate than their own. But even that time, a lot of people voted with the kind of love you’re talking about, on both sides. And usually it’s much more common than that. So are we just talking about a change from the last cycle?Report

  2. DensityDuck says:

    Too much baggage from the antivax thing; which I don’t buy as it’s being sold, it seems more like Chicken Soup For The Soul stuff, sort of “PRAYER AND POSITIVE ENERGY ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS (but, y’know, take your medicine like the doctor says)”. But there are people who are addicted to being Angry About Stuff who’ll never see it that way.

    You’re right that her line about “plans are not what we need to defeat Donald Trump” was perhaps the most trenchant of the evening. I don’t think she’ll be the nominee, but I’d vote for her. Unfortunately, it seems that while Williamson would be the President we need, we will instead get the President we deserve.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck says:

      There was a 20 minute period where the argument was more “libertarian”, if you will, for vaccines. The idea was that it should be up to parents and if parents didn’t want to vaccinate, that was their call. She called the mandate to vaccinate “Orwellian” and “Draconian”.

      We now know that it’s just good societal hygiene. But, back when she made her statements, there was still room to think that parents ought to have a say.

      Besides, she’s apologized for that.Report

  3. Chip Daniels says:

    As with all things in the post-Trump era- “We could do worse- and have!”Report

  4. greginak says:

    People have suggested having a king/queen or president who does not have any actual legislative role as a figure head for the nation. A person to embody everything we like about the nation but never does anything but christen ships, smile and be a picture on the mantle piece. That is the the role you are talking about here.

    It’s certainly a function of my own pov, but the wishing away of policy as thing for others to figure out and implement is unworkable and unhealthy. How and what we do, in terms of policy, is putting love ( or apathy or hate or whatever) in action. The emotion is meaningless without the action. It’s a bland new agey aphorism without knowing how it will be acted on. She can love all she wants, how does that get healthcare to people? She can believe in positive thinking, which is good, but that doesn’t eradicate the HIV from blood or stop some bad thing from happening.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

      As she pointed out: That’s why she has a cabinet.

      Like Marianne Williamson, I’m sure every other candidate on that stage would make a *GREAT* cabinet secretary.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to greginak says:

      Many people believe that the great strength of constitutional monarchy is that the monarch becomes a focus of people’s need for somebody to look up to, respect, and feel warm fuzzies for while the prime minister as head of government is treated as proper politician. People might agree with them but not really love them with a few exceptions. The people who aren’t into this theory of constitutional monarchy tend to be very cold people that look at the lot of what many ordinary people like and think blech. Parliamentary republics try to do this with Ceremonial Presidents but a Ceremonial President is still a political figure. They aren’t quite able to generate the warm fuzzies that a monarch can.Report

  5. George Turner says:

    I think you’re overlooking Mike Gravel, who is a master of social media, or at least of Waldorf and Statler hurling barbs at Kermit and Fozzie from up in the balcony.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to George Turner says:

      If they need me to write a Mike Gravel post, I will write one.

      But his social media is run by a couple of kids. It’s not his. He has merely pre-endorsed anything/everything that they feel like tweeting.Report

      • which is a cool story in and of itselfReport

        • Yeah, but it communicates that he’s not running. He’s just letting his name be used so that some dirtbag lefty young’uns can try to influence the debate.

          He has more trust in those kiddos than I would have.Report

          • I think it’s fun, for what it is.Report

          • Mike Dwyer in reply to Jaybird says:

            I’ve already commented about this but I recommend the long interview (71 minutes) with Marianne Williamson on the Rubin Report (available on YouTube and podcast). I was REALLY impressed with her. Super-smart, obviously a student of history, etc.

            I agree 100% that she actually understands why Trump won more than almost any Democrat I have heard from (*ahem* including the folks here). She knows the president is the moral compass (and quotes FDR on the topic). She would be a general contractor for everything else, managing a cabinet, which is the way it should work.

            I like Mayor Pete, I’m warming on Harris but if I was voting in the Democratic primary today, I would vote for her.Report

            • greginak in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

              Why trump won has become a bit of Rorschach test with everybody insisting on their personal narrative.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

              I thought she’d be easier to dismiss as a kook than she turns out to be.

              A lot of her critics are doing her a disservice. (I admit to really, really enjoying the smackdown she gave Sam Bee.)Report

            • DensityDuck in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

              Someone on Twitter said something like…
              EAST COAST: Boy, Marianne Williamson sure is a kook.
              WEST COAST: Someone exactly like her was my math teacher in high school.

              And that’s not far wrong. Having a somewhat ethereal aspect doesn’t mean you’re a space case.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to DensityDuck says:

                This is a light-hearted version of a real problem the Democrats have to solve. Based on where the party is successful, which determines who’s driving, there’s two parts. There’s the extended Rust Belt wing of the party in the East, where population is (relatively) shrinking (look at the number of House seats that will be lost to reapportionment), many cities are struggling, and the minority group of main concern is African-American. And there’s the western wing of the party, where population is growing, cities’ biggest problems are due to booming local economies, and the big minority group is Latino.

                Speaking as a registered Democrat, I have no solutions to offer but believe it’s a real problem.Report

      • George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

        Could you write a post supporting my preferred candidate?

        Who will defend our southern border and not let us get overrun by 120 million Latin Americans who are currently living in poverty? Who will ensure we don’t outgrow our resources? Who will solve climate change, overpopulation, out of control home prices, urban decay, suburban sprawl, rationed health care, and make sure Social Security stays solvent?

        Thanos will.

        You see, love isn’t the solution, it’s the problem. The more love we have, the more our population grows, and that growth can become unsustainable.

        When you look up the word “solution” in the dictionary, you see Thanos staring back at you.

        Thanos, 2020.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to George Turner says:

          Show me the birth certificate.Report

          • George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

            Oh, so let’s punish Thanos because his parents didn’t come here an pop out an anchor baby like all the other illegal aliens.

            The birthers are why we can’t have nice things, why we have homeless people sleeping in tents, and why we’re running “concentration camps”.

            Thanos is, once again, the cure for all that.

            He brings strength and order where there was once just weakness and chaos. He brings prosperity and living space where there was once just poverty and suffocating density. He is what the galaxy cries out for, saving each and every corner of it and leaving no child behind.

            When your children one day gaze across endless waves of grain instead of blighted city scapes dotted with belching smoke stacks cranking out Soylent Green, tell them “Thanos did this.”


            • Ozzy! in reply to George Turner says:

              I do like that the Thanos storyline was based on the population explosion theories of the 70’s and somehow still resonated, basically word for word, with people in 2010s. I mean, that’s some good storytellin right there!Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Ozzy! says:

                Or it just shows the degree to which The Population Bomb scared people, sort of like Silent Spring.Report

              • Tod Kelly in reply to DensityDuck says:

                The Population Bomb theory had legs long before Ehrlich and it will continue to have legs long after, because it might be the most intuitive armageddon scenario we have. The Too Many People/Not Enough Resources fear is almost built into our DNA, and on a primal level it probably doesn’t help that most of us go from having food, water, and shelter just given to us for years to having to scrimp and save for them for some period of time.Report

            • George Turner in reply to George Turner says:

              My campaign push is apparently kicking off.

              Thanos campaign poster.jpgReport

  6. Saul Degraw says:

    I do know one person who is crazy for Marianne Williamson. This person is well-meaning but comes from money and is largely if not completely insulated from real-world concerns. In short, I think she is the candidate for your well-meaning but out of touch New Ager. Luckily her polling sucks.Report

  7. Nobody?

    Of Thee I Sing is a musical with a score by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin and a book by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind. The musical lampoons American politics; the story concerns John P. Wintergreen, who runs for President of the United States on the “love” platform.


  8. Marchmaine says:

    I think you are mostly right that the Idea of the President is what we vote for more than the office of the President. In the new language of Twitter that I’m belatedly and poorly learning, it might be summarized as “TFW” and/or #mood.

    All that said, my substantive critique of Williamson isn’t that she’s #moodlove, but more of a metaphysical disagreement on what she calls love.

    So, while I think your #moodnuggets are more or less a correct observation… I’m not on the Williamson #moodrocket.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine says:

      One skill that Trump has demonstrated more than anything else (and it’s *AMAZING*) is the ability to grab the narrative by the throat and make it dance.

      “Hey, I want to get everybody in the media to talk about AOC and Ilhan Omar!”
      “Hey, I want to get everybody in the media to talk about how Baltimore sucks!”

      Is there a Democratic debate? You wouldn’t know it from the headlines. They’re all “Trump Trump Trump”. We’re going to wake up and find out that the guy who has 33% right now will be the guy with the nomination come November. How did that happen?

      Anyway, to bring this back around, you know which of the Democratic Hopefuls might have the ability to seize the news cycle by the throat and make it sing?

      That’s Right: Marianne Williamson.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

        There are two aspects to that: First the understanding that the President is the Narrator in Chief, the second is the Narrative. [And third, having the raw ability to Project and Compel the Narrative]

        Williamson’s Narrative is too niche.Report

        • DensityDuck in reply to Marchmaine says:

          The press was doing this with Trump before he was President, though.

          I mean, remember how after the first debate nobody talked about the debate and everybody talked about “blood coming out of her wherever”?Report

          • Marchmaine in reply to DensityDuck says:

            Yes, but I’m not sure I follow… building a narrative happens mostly before a presidency. The fact that part of the Trump narrative building included talking about Megyn Kelly’s whatever shows that narrative alone is ultimately a bad way to run a country.

            And further, Williamson’s narrative skills on display in the debates last night should also sound a warning to D’s. Narrative without a political movement to support it will lead to bad governance… maybe a bad governance around 80’s mysticism will be preferable to the bad governance we have now… but there’s a real chance that it will be terrible in brand new ways.

            On a purely practical note about the office of the president, there are two minimum qualifications: A) Either you are a party Apparatchik who will use and be used by the existing political movement/support or B) You are leading a movement that has the baseline people, policies, partners, backers and support to supplant key parts of the Apparatus you are replacing.

            If you are C) A bold and visionary leader who hasn’t done the hard work of building your movement, then you aren’t qualified; and it is unwise allow those people a platform they haven’t earned.

            edit: #banallprimariesReport

            • Mike Dwyer in reply to Marchmaine says:

              I’m a University of Louisville alumni and fan. Most of you probably know our athletics have a huge PR problem. Our last AD was a builder and knew the system. He built a truly national program. But he was a big part of the problems there. So they fired him and hired the marketing director for the AD job. He didn’t have the resume to be an AD but he knows PR. Right man for the time.

              I kind of feel like if Williamson focused on international relations and improving the race conversation for 4 years it would be time well-spent.Report

  9. Fish says:

    Now I’m thinking of a mashup between this post and Kristin’s Beto post…How’s this for a ticket:

    “Beto/Williamson 2020: Doing Nothing And LOVING IT!”Report

  10. Michael Cain says:

    There is a small part of me that will accept a Democratic ticket with any two of Harris/Inslee/Williamson because of the entertainment value of watching the heads of the editorial board members of the New York Times and Washington Post explode over the idea of an all-West-Coast lineup.Report

    • George Turner in reply to Michael Cain says:

      But other headlines might be worth it.

      “Should fighting dark psychic forces be prioritized over policy, and if so, wouldn’t that be a policy?”

      This group is basically doomed. I watched for a bit and then flipped over to “Dance Moms”, which I’ve never seen before. When you’re losing political junkies to Dance Moms, you’ve lost the audience. I later came back to it to see if Beto or Williamson were still stringing words together, and to see if any of Bernie Sanders’ forehead veins had hemorrhaged.Report

      • Mike Dwyer in reply to George Turner says:

        I thought Buttigieg was by far the best of the contenders. This might not be his year but the sky is the limit for him.

        I also with Klubachar was better. I think she is very sincere but she doesn’t seem as polished. I also think Warren looks worse every time I watch her. Four years of her would be almost as painful as the current resident of the WH.Report

  11. Jaybird says:

    Working the press is an important skill:


  12. Jaybird says:

    Prepare yourselves:


    • Mike Dwyer in reply to Jaybird says:

      I would say she definitely got the best reactions but I didn’t like some of her race language. She seemed less ID on the Rubin Report.Report

      • George Turner in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

        I found her word salads extremely entertaining. She reminded me of a psychic who snorts three lines of coke and then wanders into Mini-Mart at 1:00 AM and starts animatedly discussing politics. And she’s apparently crushing the field, which says something about how fundamentally weak tonight’s candidates are.

        This has the potential to create big, big problems. Do you think Klobuchar, Warren, and the rest are going to be happy about dropping out while Marianne, essentially a joke candidate, is still in it and possibly surging ahead? What if it comes down to her or Biden, and through popular demand and the humor of it all, is beating him?

        I think the party will feel the need for adult intervention, and that will go right back to “the primaries are rigged.”

        Frankly, I think the only one who could counter her in a debate is Tape Face, and losing a debate to a mime would have to be the most humiliating thing any politician could possibly endure.

        I’m not popping popcorn, I’m buying stock in popcorn companies.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

      There’s an objective observer.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Someone less biased:


        • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

          “Is she a real person or is this product placement for a new sitcom?”Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

            I saw a great point last night.

            “We’ve seen how the Christian Right evolved since the 80’s… what happened to the Christian Left?”

            Well, if *I* were to have answered that question, I probably would have talked about the Unitarians and/or the movement within mainline Protestant churches to ordain gay ministers and whatnot.

            The point I saw last night is that there is quite a great deal of Religious Left out there. The hippie-dippy gnostic wellness touchy-feely Oprahfied religion.

            Since I am somewhat well-versed in the Evangelical Right and in the whole Atheism thing, I made the bad assumption that these were the two options. Focus on the Family or r/Atheism.


            There is another. This is she.

            And it seems to me that we, as a culture, don’t have antibodies against this sort of thing.Report

            • Mike Dwyer in reply to Jaybird says:

              My wife was raised in a right-of-center Methodist church. It was still basically like that when we started dating. In the last 10 years a growing segment of the congregation has joined the Christian Left. The recent SSM kerfuffle has only widened the schism. Fascinating to watch…

              I would say I am pretty sympathetic to them, except for the Jesus part.Report

            • greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

              There has always been a Christian Left. Some are Catholics but not the kind that get press or are bishops in this country. But predominantly African American churches has existed for a long time and trend the same way AfAm voting does. I’ve been agnostic/atheist my entire life and it’s been pretty obvious there have been leftie churches that aren’t the hippy dippy type.Report

  13. George Turner says:

    Drudge polled it, of course, asking who won tonight’s debate. When last I looked it was:

    Williamson 47.98%
    Delaney 11.79%
    Sanders 6.78%
    Warren 6.73%
    Buttigieg 6.16%
    Hickenlooper 5.9%
    Bullock 5.17%,
    Ryan 4.01%
    O’Rourke 2.75%
    Klobuchar 2.72%

    (14,278 total votes)Report

    • George Turner in reply to George Turner says:

      Williamson and Delaney also dominated the Google searches during the debate, so the Drudge Report’s poll isn’t completely wonky. The number of total votes doubled since I posted that but the standings haven’t budged.Report

  14. Stillwater says:

    Gotta say, the more I see interviewers ineptly stumble over their own feet trying to “gotcha” Marianne Williamson, the more I like her. Not quite committed yet. But close.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

      Before I wrote this essay, I thought “she’s batshit crazy but I like the idea of her”. After I did my research into her and finished the essay, I think “she’s batshit crazy but I kind of like her”.Report

  15. Jaybird says:

    Holy crap. She’s running against (recent) Democratic Party History.


    • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

      Pro-tip for Marianne: If you yourself are unsure of what you believe in, maybe that’s why people don’t see you as the obviously better choice.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        I’m relatively sure that Williamson will not, in fact, be the nominee. There are a lot of reasons for why she probably won’t be. Like, so many that anybody who says “this reason is why she didn’t get it” will probably be overlooking another dozen reasons.

        But I recognize the “running against the party” play because Trump used it when he argued that he had always been against the Iraq War.

        And it worked really well for him.Report

        • North in reply to Jaybird says:

          Yes but the Democratic Party doesn’t have quite the same gaping gap between what it’s party leadership and elite want and what the voting masses want. Trump squirmed into that wound and infected the whole party. Williamson hasn’t got the same infection vector.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to North says:

            the Democratic Party doesn’t have quite the same gaping gap between what it’s party leadership and elite want and what the voting masses want

            I would agree that there is a difference of degree… but it’s not a difference of kind.

            It also strikes me that the gap is growing, if slowly, rather than shrinking.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

          I think there are some obvious differences here.

          Trump “ran against the party” by correctly intuiting that they were out of touch with what the GOP base wanted.
          Proven correct not only by winning the nomination, but by boosting turnout and holding an astonishingly high percentage of support from the base.

          Williamson is “running against the party” by…how, exactly?Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            …I recommend watching the video.

            Yes, it will eat up a couple of precious minutes of your life. But the video contains the answer to your question.Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

              No, it wasn’t.
              In the entire clip there was exactly one clear statement, which was to increase funding for school supplies.

              Everything else was a billowing vaporous cloud of buzzwords and corporate cheese moving paradigm shifting.

              So again, she’s running against the party how? Can anyone here actually say it, in words?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                She’s acknowledging that the people who are on the fence have reasons to be on the fence and the democrats need to reach out to these people and understand why the fence-sitters are skeptical.

                “We need to talk about how dirty, how corrupt, how rotten this whole thing has become and admit to ourselves so the American people can feel it that, too often, the democrats have conspired.”

                She’s criticizing the party.

                “Everything else was a billowing vaporous cloud of buzzwords and corporate cheese moving paradigm shifting.”

                Did you miss the part where I was comparing her to Trump?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                What is “this thing” that is dirty rotten and corrupt?
                Wall Street? Washington? The Democratic Party? The nature of humanity?

                Do you think its possible that this is a sales gimmick to get the listener to imagine their own ideas, and conclude that she agrees with them, even though she doesn’t?

                Is it possible that the reason she is polling at 1% of the Democrats, is because we grasp that she doesn’t really like us that much?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Do you think its possible that this is a sales gimmick to get the listener to imagine their own ideas, and conclude that she agrees with them, even though she doesn’t?

                Did you miss the part where I was comparing her to Trump?

                Is it possible that the reason she is polling at 1% of the Democrats, is because we grasp that she doesn’t really like us that much?

                AH! So you *DO* see how she’s running against the party!Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                What do you make of the fact that conning the rubes worked splendidly with the Republican base, but seems to not be working at all with the Democratic base?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Okay, that got a *HUGE* laugh.

                Well done.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Funny you should ask. The father of the shooter tweeted exactly twice. Here is his second tweet:


          • Steven Fishburn in reply to Chip Daniels says:


            I can’t imagine voting for her. I can’t see her as President. I could maybe see her beating Trump…? But I want her in every debate, and if you’re a front-runner you damn sure want to secure her services as “Minister of Hype” the second she drops out.Report

        • Mike Dwyer in reply to Jaybird says:

          No one will have the guts to do it, but I would put her in charge of a presidential panel to explore reparations. I really, really like her take on the subject.

          Fivethirtyeight was trying to game out scenarios where each candidate could suddenly pull ahead. All they could come up with for Williamson is that we somehow get drawn into a very unpopular war. She could become the voice of the peace wing. Otherwise, no, I don’t think she will do very well but I have enjoyed learning more about her (and also watching Dems fall over themselves to nuke her)Report

  16. Jaybird says:


    I laughed for a good 10 seconds at this one.


    • George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

      I could definitely see her in the cabinet, even if they have to make a new department for her.

      Secretary of Love?
      Director of National Psychic Security Strategy?Report

  17. Jaybird says:

    If you were wishing that Russell Brand would show up and talk about Marianne Williamson, your wish has been granted.


    • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

      Well now I do.

      Next summon Jack Sparrow.

      Now that I think about it… if I were her campaign manager I’d do a spot where she gets the magic compass and she takes it on all her stump speeches declaring that it will lead us out of darkness to our heart’s desire.Report