The Campaign Part 2

8 11 2008

Far be it from me to get involved in the sniping between the Vermont Dems and Progs about who is a spoiler and who is the standard bearer of the left (of center).  Dems suffer by the nature of their big tent stereotype and the Progs suffer because they are run by personality and not by organization.  Dems wanna be Dems and Progs want respect.

A comment on the radio indicated that the Progressive Party is not interested in winning as much as campaigning for the right things and demanding that the Dems follow suit.  Unfortunately, change at that level can’t happen unless you do win.  Those who have can tell you that.  Those who aren’t can tell you what the outcome of losing is.

Many moons ago, a friend of mine’s mother listened to us criticize the American Government, in the guise of Reagan at the time — or worse, Weinberger, Schultz, etc. etc. — and she issued this challenge:  If you are going to criticize, what solution do you put forward?  This simple edict has honestly driven my involvement in almost anything I have done since.

Spoiler this, backstabbing that, terrible candidates, terrible leadership, big egos, friends losing.  Boo hoo.  And the last lonely Republicans look at us, light another cigar and appoint who they want to lower the morale of the rest of us.

If we’re going to criticize, let’s throw the actual running of the campaigns into the mix.  Both Clavelle and Gaye would have been far better governors in terms of experience and skills, but both ran campaigns that emphasized their negatives.  Their campaigns were closed shops and they did not have skillz at the top.  The other side did.  Let’s hire a pro, and let them help us win.  In the meantime, if we don’t find detente in our sandbox, it’s going to be lonely for a long time.

We lost the opportunity to ride a big tidal wave.  If we can’t find common cause and fault in that…


The Bailout, Part 2

30 10 2008

That was a huge success.  Who would have thought investment banks would have used that money to provide bonuses to folks who failed?  What a precendent.

Bonus:  Now everyone can say, in parentheticals, (in these uncertain economic times), and not know what they mean.

Double Bonus:  Alan Greenspan:

“In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology was not right?” Waxman asked. “Yes, I found a flaw,” Greenspan said in response to grilling from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “That is precisely the reason I was shocked because I’d been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.”

“Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholder’s equity (myself especially) are in a state of shocked disbelief,” said Greenspan, who stepped down from the Fed in 2006.

Bound to found in Dickipedia any moment now.

The Lieutenant Governor

12 06 2008

Excuse me.  Brian Dubie does not have competition in the lieutenant governor’s race?

Excuse me.  What exactly did he do to deserve this treatment?

Excuse me.  In 2008, when the Democrats should expect a huge turnout (Woo hoo! I can vote for a black guy for preznit and a lady for gubnor!) coupled with an unenthusiastic Republican base (Woo hoo!  I can vote for an old confused guy and an automaton!), they don’t have a candidate?

Excuse me.  Is this where the Opus Dei/Mason/Star Chamber thing kicks in?

Excuse me.  Brian Dubie is running unopposed.

My lord.

The Same Thing

12 05 2008

I was at a conference last week and one speaker threw out an image that kinda crashed a couple of worlds together for me and, really, made me want to, I don’t know…stand up and yell in that letter to the editor way.

The speaker spoke of a speech, a canned speech, that he gives on the conference tour. What it was about isn’t important, but here’s what he did: He sent a copy of the speech (or talk, what have you) to two organizations, one on the east coast, one in the midwest. All things being equal, he said, the two organizations were equivalents in their ways of thinking and doing, just in two distinct areas of the country. The speech had no title on the speaker’s end, and he invited each organization to title the talk whatever they felt it said to their group.

One group put a lovely, springtime photograph of flowers at the peak of their bloom at the top of their poster and called the talk “A New Beginning”. The other had a stark silhouette collage of a building teetering on the edge of a cliff, and called it “On the Brink”.

Flowers: Midwest. Teetering: East Coast.

What struck me though, was the simplicity of the lack of context given, and this speaks to nearly every difference we have with each other, and how stubborn we can be in not seeing the other side.

To me, a flower in bloom and a building teetering on the edge are the same thing at the same moment: each is at the climax of its existence. In another second or minute or day, the bloom will fall off and the building will topple. What’s the difference? One’s pretty and the other isn’t? Same thing.