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Some thoughts on Obama’s memorial service remarks

About halfway through Obama’s speech on Wednesday – I think it was just after he used the phrase “moral imagination” – I turned to my fiancé and said, “You think Palin is thinking, ‘wow, this is what I should have said.’”  In truth, probably not.  For such a thought to cross her mind, she would…

Fightin’ Ted Strickland

Outgoing Ohio Governor Ted Strickland was one of my favorite elected officials to lose office last month.  And I loved 95% of his comments in an interview he gave to Sam Stein today. From Huffington Post: “I think there is a hesitancy [among Democrats] to talk using populist language,” the Ohio Democrat said in a…

The Class of ’06

There are some good things to be said about absorbing periodic electoral “shellackings.”  For one thing, it gives the shellacked party an opportunity to reflect a bit, to let internal battles sort themselves out, to bring new leadership to the forefront.  The Democrats won’t officially have new leadership; Nancy Pelosi won her bid for Minority…

More thoughts on Lind’s Neo-Jacksonians

Image via Wikipedia I apologize in advance for the liberal use of quotes in this post, but I wanted to add a few thoughts on the Lind piece I linked to yesterday.  Lind makes the point that the reason for the pro-populist/anti-statists and the anti-populist/pro-statist alignments are a matter of the “ethno-religious” bases of each…

Parties aren’t arbitrary collections of interest groups either

In one way, I agree with Mark’s post.  There is nothing inherently liberal in the Democratic Party, and nothing inherently conservative in the Republican Party.  All of the most common ideological terms – conservative, liberal, reactionary, progressive – are at best, convenient descriptions of pluralities of Party members at this particular point in history.  Useful…

“Liberalism is elitism”

First, many thanks to Will for spotting this article and passing it along my way.  It’s one of the better articles I’ve read in some time. Hogeland’s main point – that liberalism has almost always been, and may always continue to be, at odds with populism – is an idea I’m more open to now…

Fun campaign lists

Complete change of topic… Like many people, summers blunt my level of attention to day to day political news.  But now it’s September – just a few days from Labor Day – and the calendar is kind of getting me back in campaign mode.  So, just for fun, a few of my personal favorites/least favorites…

Capra-corn and the life of our time

There’s a quote about Carl Jung that I’ve come across a couple of times and shamelessly stolen every chance I’ve had: “We live a double life whether we know it or not. We live our own life and we live the life of our time.”  Economists are now warning of a double-dip recession, even though…

The Outsider Elite

Interesting article about the “grassroots” nature of Obama’s Organizing for America: [Organizing for America] also holds online strategy sessions, offering supporters the chance to “join the discussion,” “interact,” and “ask questions.” But amid the rhetoric of “yes we can”, the “we” in control of O.F.A., according to reports, is a very small, select group. A…

Honor and the past

This might be the most ridiculous article to which I’ve ever taken the time to respond.  Seriously, I keep pausing and deleting, as though I was about to draw a larger lesson from an article I read in TV Guide.  But this guy is a bestselling author, and as he boasts in his bio, he…

Pork and Deliberation

After the news of Senator Robert Byrd’s death broke this morning, I exchanged a couple of text messages with my brother.  In one of them, he wrote that Byrd’s “style of governance has been out for something like 20 years.”  Well, that’s certainly true, but leaves open a couple of questions: what is that style…

The South, realignment, and the consistency of political parties

I just got back from a family reunion in the South, specifically, the North Carolina/Tennessee mountain region.  It really is a breathtakingly beautiful part of the country.  In part because of my family roots, and in part just due to personal temperament, I’ve always felt an attachment to the South, despite never having lived in…