Political Tribes

22 06 2008

The Economist has a story today about how Americans are politically segregating themselves.

SOME folks in Texas recently decided to start a new community “containing 100% Ron Paul supporters”. Mr Paul is a staunch libertarian and, until recently, a Republican presidential candidate. His most ardent fans are invited to build homesteads in “Paulville”, an empty patch of west Texas. Here, they will be free. Free not to pay “for other people’s lifestyles [they] may not agree with”. And free from the irksome society of those who do not share their love of liberty.

Cynics chuckle, and even Mr Paul sounds unenthusiastic about the Paulville project, in which he had no hand. But his followers’ desire to segregate themselves is not unusual. Americans are increasingly forming like-minded clusters. Conservatives are choosing to live near other conservatives, and liberals near liberals.

The article talks of how people are joining a groupthink, if you will, of where they interact with like-minded people who share their political viewpoints.

I’m chewing on this. What say you?

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At The End Of Another Political Day

9 02 2008

I’m pondering politics this evening in the way I do which means, regardless of what people think, I try to balance it out. Yeah, we know Huckabee won Kansas and we know there is a ton of counting going on right now.

We also know that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will still be sparring it out on Monday when it’s all said and done which sort of saddens me. We also know that certain members of the GOP are very unhappy about John McCain being the frontrunner, which campers, he still is.

My sis, Homer, made a statement recently that made some sense to me.

“He was a moderate wasn’t he?” she asked.

“Well, no,” I said thinking that wasn’t right but that I also believed that was the perception. “But a few years ago he wasn’t George Bush so he had that going for him.”

“Well,” she said decisively. “He apparently made some sort of deal because didn’t he hammer at Bush like crazy in the past and then suddenly he was like his best friend and trying to convince everyone he’s a conservative this last week. I don’t get that. Did he make some pact with Bush or something?”

I shrugged. No one never knows in the world of politics. Deals are made. Deals are broken. And the American people don’t know because God forbid we need to know what Britney Spears did today. That apparently is more important for crying out loud.

Hell, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter say they will fundraise for Hillary if he wins the nomination but, you see, my sis is an issue reader. We know that is B.S.

With two tween girls, the television is usually glued to Miley Cyrus making a million dollars a day so Homer’s not drowning in news like I do on purpose. And if she’s saying this, I wonder about it’s merit. Her time is scarce and when it comes to politics, she digs in and she has to digest things quickly without Fox News yelling at her or Lou Dobbs telling her things are broke.

Because, here, we believe there is a lot broken but it’s our country. And, by gum, it can be fixed. It will take hard work, but it can be repaired with the right leadership who concentrates on making things right and getting it together.

You see, Homer is a pretty astute woman. And she remembers things like an elephant. And she remembered McCain’s big change of attitude. She also doesn’t dig mice and is phobic about snakes but I digress.

I thought about this. I’ve heard this before.

But here’s what I’m thinking tonight.

What’s going on in Louisiana? A state that suffered the worst natural disaster in my lifetime in this country then was ostracized by many for just being New Orleans, an event so devastating that it got me to blogging, quite frankly. What will those folks do?

What will those states that have been ignored unless it was politically convenient, what will they do?

So much to think about. So much to dissect.

And Obama took Washington and Nebraska.

Ron Paul says he won’t run third party. Why? Isn’t that was folks want?

But what about the superdelegates?

So much to ponder in this silly little blog post.

I need an Advil and a glass of Merlot. It won’t help me figure it out but at least it will numb the buzz of this election year.





Going Aganist The Grain Of Traditional Politics

4 01 2008

I’m seeing so many changes in the political machine that what I thought I knew isn’t really relevant.

I’ve been on the fence between John Edwards and Barack Obama for some time. I’ll be honest, I’ve not been happy with anybody and I didn’t want to get too excited about anyone. And, I’ve been studying everyone’s platform. I didn’t like Edwards stance on mandatory health care and that he gives us the populist speeches that I’m not completely sold on although I like what he’s saying from a philosophical standpoint. I’ve never felt 100 percent sure of him. I feel like he means what he says, but I’ve still felt a bit of hesitancy about him that I’ve had trouble pinpointing.

I’ve always liked Barack Obama, but I felt like I’ve needed to educate myself about him (he has given great speeches over the last few years, but a great speech doesn’t make a good politician. I just didn’t know much about him as a leader). But those very same speeches made me drawn to him and he says things I like. A lot. But I kept wondering if he could translate his message to a rural vote. I think about the rural vote a great deal as I live it, and I know how fickle the rural voter can be. But I like the guy. He is inspiring. He won’t have the Iraq War vote haunting him. He’s been upfront about his recreational drug use, he seems to be more globally savvy (I didn’t say experienced but I think he has more experience than the MSM gives him credit for) and he seems more unifying than, let’s say, Hillary Clinton, who I think is one of more divisive candidates in recent history.

So I watched Iowa, and quite frankly, I was surprised with the final results. I don’t know why really. I thought Edwards might take it because it seems like he’s been running for president for about two decades. But Obama made history in the fact he got new voters out and the undecided liked him. He inspired people to go in the bitter cold to the polls.

You see, I didn’t have faith that people would get out to vote for change. I didn’t think that would happen. I had lost my ability to believe that people would follow their convictions.

And I was wrong.

Even GOP candidate Mike Huckabee got a new vote out. Both winners offered a message of change, and both winners benefited from it.

I read this and it breaks it down.

The strategy went against the traditional blueprint for winning in Iowa and showed the importance of attracting voters outside the small, insular circle of dedicated party activists who have dominated past caucuses.

I really need to pack up my cynicism and pack it in the attic, don’t I? Seven years of our latest White House administration will do that to you.

In five days, we have New Hampshire and we are going to see the formation of several things. Iowa is pretty conservative, N.H. not so much. I expect Ron Paul will do better in that primary.

On Twitter last night, (and may I say, the folks there broke the story much quicker than Mainstream Media did), there was a conversation about a possible third-party candidate. People were sharing information, relevant links from Iowa’s bloggers who were on the ground watching the primary happening. If you like politics, you might want to see how Twitter worked last night. I was out at a family function and by the time I got home, I received more information on that social media networking system than I did from CNN in some cases. And the conversation was inspiring.

Yeah, everything I thought I knew I didn’t know at all.

This is going to be an amazing campaign year. And for the first time, I’m starting to get a little bit excited about it.

And dang it all, if I don’t just love talking about hope rather than fear. I’ve said that before.





Bold Predictions After Iowa

3 01 2008

Mike Huckabee is going to raise a bunch of money, and he showed the negative ad anyway after all that hoopla.

Hillary  Clinton is going to completely change her strategy, focusing on younger voters. Maybe she will realize that Barack Obama had young voters and the undecided cast their vote into this camp.

Rudy Guiliani is going to keep on being Rudy Guiliani.

Fred Thompson might take a few more naps.

John McCain is going to be paying attention.

Mitt Romney is going to go very, very negative. Against Mike Huckabee.

I will say I find this story very interesting about younger voters and who they like on the Republican ticket. Obama was not a surprise.

And neither was Ron Paul, however, he didn’t win it tonight,  he came in ahead of Guiliani according to this report.

And now the punditry begins.

***sigh***





Ron Paul And Fox News

2 01 2008

The Ron Paul contingency are going to be maaaaaaaad.

Sometimes, I’m flabbergasted at Fox News and its on-going love affair with the burning stupids.

Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo said this:

So, it’s all about Fox News. Paul’s out because he’s not a Fox News Bush-clone. Say whatever you want about the guy, Fox News shouldn’t be able to silence him because they don’t like his views.

I’m not for the guy, but doesn’t sound Fair and Balanced to me.

Just saying.





Drowning In Boredom On The Washington Express

27 12 2007

The primary season is making me, in a word, yawn.

Let me ask a couple of questions. First of all, how different are the candidates in the Democratic Party? How much different are the candidates in the Republican party? Seriously, I’d like to know the difference. I mean we know Mitt Romney is a Mormon, we know Mike Huckabee seems nice enough, we know Rudy Guiliani is friends with Bernard Kerik which speaks volumes to me at least. We know Ron Paul, of all people, is getting the hipster attention. We know Fred Thompson isn’t the fireball we thought he’d be.

Heck, if I was a Republican, I’d be watching John McCain but I’m not voting Republican anyway, so it doesn’t matter.

As for the Democrats, I said months ago that these folks needed to be talking to people like me. Knock me out, impress me.

Instead, you are making me want a nap.

I see John Edwards as the most electable of the candidates, quite frankly, but mainstream media is banging on the Obama and Clinton gongs so loud who can hear the Richardsons and the Dodds?

You know, our elected officials just gave President Bush a huge Christmas present.

Yeah, Harry Reid and crew are blocking appointments, which in the long run is probably a good thing.

A nine-second session gaveled in and out by Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., prevented Bush from appointing as an assistant attorney general a nominee roundly rejected by majority Democrats. Without the pro forma session, the Senate would be technically adjourned, allowing the president to install officials without Senate confirmation.

The business of blocking Bush’s recess appointments was serious. It represents an institutional standoff between Congress and the president that could repeat itself during Congress’ vacations for the remainder of Bush’s presidency.

Nine seconds is better than nothing.





Moneybombing Newscoma

19 12 2007

Ron Paul’s done it. Mike Huckabee’s going to do it Dec. 27th.

Well, so am I.

December 21st I will be holding my very own moneybomb where you too can just send me money. I’m not running for office, but heck, I will if you want me to. Then I can eat out of one of these bad boys in Washington every day.

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I have no platform, actually. Money sent will go to financing a trip to find Bigfoot, taking Aunt B. on a tour of haunted houses if she is so inclined and season tickets to the St. Louis Cardinals. Your kind donations will also finance my car getting an overhaul, beer and a three bedroom house in the Sylvan Park area of Nashville within walking distance of a pub.

If you require that I must actually run, I will hire some common sense folks out of Hooterville and the blogosphere in Tennessee to run the country. We will have a Milk commission, cause that’s gotten really expensive, and I will also hire Coyote Boy to be my henchman. Bush has Cheney, I will have Mack.

Big Stupid Tommy and Horrorwood Ron will serve as Zombie Czars.

So, make your Christmas plans early. The paypal button is on your right.

I imagine I will make at least hundreds of cents.

Photo from here.