Joe Brewer, formerly of the Rockridge Institute, works on a website called Cognitive Policy Works, www.cognitivepolicyworks.com
Cognitive Policy Works would like to create a progressive strategy handbook and give it away for free on their website. They have set a modest goal of $5,000.00 Click on the link above if you'd like to contribute.
By Robert Becker
July 26, "10
The Shirley Sherrod "politics of panic" indignity dramatizes my provocations, recast from last week:
Why is this energetic, veteran White House repeatedly shellacked in the message-framing wars by overtly deceitful Republicans? Why can't the president command the public forum let alone connect to Main Street, pass legislation a majority favors, leveragehis own huge '08 constituency, and countermand ambushes bythe likes of Sarah Palin?
Just what the wavering Obama government needed: another train wreck week of bad news, with bad messaging compounding bad long-term framing (terms from George Lakoff). So little about real programs or solutions, so much about personal failings especially reactive, panicky leadership. The Sherrod fiasco is, alas, no anomaly, reinforcing the question no administration can long endure, "who, if anyone, is in charge"?
Certainly, the Sherrod blunder provides jaw-dropping proof this White House remains a sitting duck for in-your-face, rightwing mugging, even from notorious dirty tricksters. What is it about Mark Twain's quip WH officials don't get, "A lie can make it half way around the world before the truth has time to put its boots on"? Had Ag officials demanded six hours of due diligence, a demoralizing humiliation could have become a PR bonanza, broadcasting how the predatory the vast, ultra-right smear machine works. Instead, self-immolation.
By the weekend a second blunder, wider in scope, emerged when the president underwhelmed Netroots by talking empty bromides. Here's the perfect audience, progressives dying to re-embrace a bafflingly anemic president, and he blew it.
...3) "Change is hard," he lectured, but activists should "keep making your voices heard"
Can we get rid of Rahm Emanuel already?
by George Lakoff
Democrats are constantly resorting to disaster messaging. Here’s a description the typical situation.
• The Republicans outmessage the Democrats. The Democrats, having no effective response, face disaster: They lose politically, either in electoral support or failure on crucial legislation.
• The Democrats then take polls and do focus groups. The pollsters discover that extremist Republicans control the most common (“mainstream”) way of thinking and talking about the given issue.
• The pollsters recommend that Democrats move to the right: adopt conservative Republican language and a less extreme version of conservative policy, along with weakened versions of some Democratic ideas.
• The Democrats believe that, if they follow this advice, they can gain enough independent and Republican support to pass legislation that, at least, will be some improvement on the extreme Republican position.
• Otherwise, the pollsters warn, Democrats will lose popular support — and elections — to the Republicans, because “mainstream” thought and language resides with the Republicans.
• Believing the pollsters, the Democrats change their policy and their messaging, and move to the right. • The Republicans demand even more and refuse to support the Democrats.
We have seen this on issues like health care, immigration, global warming, finance reform, and so on. We are seeing it again on the Death Gusher in the Gulf. It happens even with a Democratic president and a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress.
Why? Is there anything the Democrats can do about it? First, it has to be understood. It doesn’t just happen.
and found it was already posted. I'm commenting on it now, so, I can link this to my journal.
This is an article by George Lakoff published earlier in the year. I think the elements he lists as being necessary for a progressive movement are dead on.
Where's the movement?
In the emerging Obama mythology, this is the question attributed to President Obama whenever he is asked to take the lead on a progressive issue. It is not an idle question. Leaders can only lead if there is a pre-existing movement for them to get in front of.
Moreover, there are other conditions. The idea behind a movement, and the language expressing its goals, must also pre-exist in public discourse. In other words, the movement must already have:
• a popular base;
• organizing tools;
• a generally accepted morally-based conceptual framing;
• an overall narrative, with heroes, victims, and villains;
• a readily recognizable, well-understood language;
• funding sources;
• and a national communication system set up for both leaders and ordinary citizens to use.
The base is there, waiting for something worth getting behind. The organizing tools are there. The rest is not there.
From the NY Times:
Abstract Thoughts? The Body Takes Them Literally...
Researchers at the University of Aberdeen found that when people were asked to engage in a bit of mental time travel, and to recall past events or imagine future ones, participants’ bodies subliminally acted out the metaphors embedded in how we commonly conceptualized the flow of time.
As they thought about years gone by, participants leaned slightly backward, while in fantasizing about the future, they listed to the fore...
that we as a community make a donation to DemocracyNow! to make a statement in support of Democracy, journalism, freedom, and the 1st amendment. I contributed $25. I have to work tonight and should be sleeping now, my wife would kick my but, if she knew I was up, but this crap makes me so mad I can't sleep. If Skinner or someone could set up a link through which our (Democratic Underground) contributions could be counted, maybe we could make a big enough splash that it would get the attention of the mainstream press! Maybe then they would cover this story, yeah right!
My wife and I never trusted this dude running as a Democrat for the Newton County Commission Chair, even if he was running as a Democrat because, for one reason, he is the biggest developer in the county. Well, the Covington News on Friday morning confirmed many of our suspicions. Here's a snippet:
As recently as the end of May, White donated $2,300 to presumptive Republican presidential candidate John McCain's campaign, under the alias of Huberto White. He had already donated $2,300, the maximum allowed under FEC regulations, as Hubert White in March. In late June, White also donated $2,300 to Republican Rick Goddard, who will challenge Congressman Jim Marshall in November.
Read the whole article here: http://www.covnews.com/main.asp?SectionID=...
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