Category Archives: Elections

Weak and Wimpy Candidates

Wow! What fireworks! The gloves are off, fists are flying, the big guns have appeared: the wimpy words.

The world may be focused on London and I suppose gaffes that recall the prime minister’s backside are super offensive to some (for the rest of the world it sort of proves the stodgy stereotype of the English), but the overseas gaffes are nothing compared to what is now going on.

There is a storyline building about Mitt Romney that is fatal to any Republican (and probably any other) candidate, and unless he does some fancy posturing, it is threatening to stick. Romney is being painted as a wimp.

Anyone recall another “wimp” president? It could be argued that the moniker of “wimp”, was the impetus of George W. Bush‘s presidency – to return honor to the family after his dad was labeled with the charge.

The word “wimp” or “weak” is the harshest disparaging remark one could make about a conservative and the charge has now been leveled at Romney by Newsweek – the same publication that put the nail in the coffin of George H. W. Bush‘s presidency. The idea has online news sources chattering as well, like in this article Mitt Romney’s Wimp Factor. The article points out how Romney seems afraid and running every time he’s pressed on an issue. Perhaps this kind of talk is what has him posturing as Commander in Chief this week while he snuggles up to Israel and sabre rattles in Iran’s direction.

We already know how sabre rattling turns out when it is nothing but cover for a non-existent domestic agenda and insecure self image. It’s not good. A war with Iran would surely be the beginning of an entirely new era – one that could make our current economic, environmental and political situation look like a Sunday School picnic.

Testosterone and attempts to prove manliness in the face of scrutiny or ridicule have acted as a genocidal force on our planet. Letting “the wimp factor” factor into military decisions takes away the trust that the People – Americans in this case – have in the Commander in Chief and the mission. We’ve stopped doing military in defense; we are now seen as the world aggressor.

Dick Cheney fully remembers what happened to George Bush Sr., he was Secretary of Defense. He also is fond of profiting from war as he did with Haliburton/KBR (and perhaps still does) he also is a big fan of fracking, helping to create the loophole that exempted fracking from the Safe Water Act in 2005 (article here) – which he also did to stuff the pockets of Haliburton.

Perhaps that’s why a day or two after “the wimp factor” story came out about the new Newsweek cover, Cheney decided to start getting loud about how he thinks Obama is one of the weakest presidents ever. He’s worried. You don’t really hear a lot our of Cheney these days – he lays low, doing his profiteering thing until a campaign needs someone to stir up the hawks, then he steps out to remind us that we do need a “strict father” that is focused on making money and kicking some butt.

Why are the words “weak” and “wimp” so significant? For conservatives, they are the reddest of flags that let them know that they don’t like a person. “Weak” and “wimp” say that the subject is not strong, is not decisive, and cannot be relied upon. They are not manly, have no nerve, and “chicken out” of fighting. Instead of seeing diplomatic measures as being a pragmatic way to save lives, money, the environment and energy, is seen as nuanced weakness. Conservatives operate on more of a black and white decision making system, if you’re not into “fight”, you must be into “flight”.  Progressives understand that every circumstance has multiple issues and causes at hand, learning about the situation and making deliberations are likely in order when deciding something as destructive as war.

Note the wimpy words, they are a little different than typical political mud slinging. Candidates can be called dumb, arrogant, selfish, evil, dishonest, manipulative, womanizing, ugly, disconnected…there are lots of descriptors flying around but the wimpy words are harder to shake – American’s don’t want a weak president.

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The REAL Reason Conservatives Win Even While Progressive Ideas are Favored

The following piece was written by Joe Brewer, a visionary and progressive activist practiced in political framing and thinking with values first. It makes some great points, drawing on deep human history. Thanks Joe, and pay special attention to his lines in bold.

The REAL Reason Conservatives Always Win

by on June 22, 2012 in Political Mind, Progressive Infrastructure, Social Movements

Have you ever wondered why it is that Progressives repeatedly lose ground in American politics?  We almost always have the facts on our side.  The experts agree with us.  Hell, a lot of us are the experts.  And yet history clearly shows that Conservatives have the best political game in town.  They dominate political discourse, establishing which frames shape the most important issues of the day.  Their values associated with rugged individualism, mass consumption, and a contempt for civil society are blasted at the American public through massive media outlets that they have acquired and built up over the last several decades.  And when the global economy melts down as a direct result of their economic and fiscal policies, who gets blamed?  In a word, liberals.

What’s going on here?  Why is it that Conservatives are so good at winning and Progressives produce a lackluster resistance at best?  The answer comes from a fundamental insight from evolutionary biology.  Stated simply, it goes like this: Continue reading

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Obama gets an “F” on Progressive Politics from Previous Prof

Roberto Unger, Obama’s former Harvard Law Professor, has created a video stating that “Obama must be defeated“. It’s making a splash on the internet and says that short of a complete political reversal, President Obama should be defeated in order to establish a new progressive baseline for the Democratic party. His argument is that Americans have no hope of regaining their middle class, productive status if there is no one helping establish the structure needed to enable the middle class to support themselves. “Financial confidence and food stamps” – gestures to the elite and to the poverty stricken are what Unger sees as Obama’s ineffective policy.

He thinks that the greatest cost of a Romney administration would be in appointments made. He does not speak to the idea that a Romney administration (and perhaps a majority in Congress), might push policies so far to the right, and such fundamental changes made, that we will never have the ability to wrest powers back from the elites. Unger admits that the gap between the poor and rich will only get wider under his administration. An argument could be made that under Obama, the same risk of permanent financial elite control exists – the only difference might be that since Obama is supposed to be representingthe people, he might do it more slowly and keep some safety nets intact.

See what you think. It is reported that as late as the campaign in 2008, Prof. Unger was advising Obama and “on his speed dial”. Sounds like Obama has come a long way, and not to his mentor’s liking. The bottom line is that Obama is a far, far cry from a socialist (the AP agrees with me here). The leading fact is that not only did he shy away from standing with labor for their already negotiated fair share of productivity, but he courted and bailed out for-profit interests at a much higher level and cost than his help for American workers and families.

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TPP – Obama Punches Democracy in the Gut

Obama is in big trouble. Progressives already are not thrilled with Obama. NDAA authorizes defense spending and indefinite detention of American citizens without charge, there’s his wishy washy defense of the environment (BP oil spill, fracking, pipelines),  his use of drones, his continued engagement in war, and his bail out of banks. But hey, Progressives leave room to grow and he talks a good game, plus he had a much more typically American upbringing than his privileged opponent in that he struggled with a single mom and worked his way up. Obama talked about empathy, his wife is into growing organic gardens, the family is much more “of the people” and can speak to the people better than the Romneys, for a while it seemed like Obama would win easily.

Now it doesn’t. Continue reading

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Renegade State in Our Collective Union

Florida Governor Rick Scott has decided what is right and is quite content to let the rest of Americans deal with his choice. He is tampering with the voter rolls in Florida.

The values he states are admirable, “We just want fair elections”, he told the SunshineState News. Huffington Post says, “Scott said the push to remove ineligible voters was needed to ensure that legitimate voters did not have their ballots diminished.” We can all get behind these ideas – that’s why he is stating them – and not the policy that will “accomplish” this in his view. It is true, we all do want fair elections. What is not agreed on is the methods of achieving fairness Continue reading

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