“But the pleasant autumn weather disguises a government teetering on the brink. Because, at midnight Monday night, the government of this intensely proud and nationalistic people will shut down, a drastic sign of political dysfunction in this moribund republic.
Living in London for a year - and thus getting an honest sense of how US politics comes across to the rest of the world - was an incredibly humbling experience. Nice job, Slate.
As we head toward renewed battles over the debt ceiling, sequester, and government funding, it’s important to understand why Republicans are disciplined and Democrats aren’t.
Well it’s not technically a throwback because Bob Reich published this post today BUT this idea feels very old-school to me. When I was first getting involved in politics about 10 years ago this was a common refrain - especially after Bush won reelection. Why, many liberals asked, can’t we get our sh*t together and rally around a unified/consistent message like the they do? If evangelicals and big-business fiscal conservatives can play nice with each other and fall into line, why can’t the greenies and labor and socially liberal hedge fund managers do the same?
But a lot has changed in 10 years. Frank Luntz (the originator of the term “death panel,” and a brilliant and bizarre communicator with whom I have had the eye-opening experience of working closely) no longer dictates messaging for the Republican party, via Karl Rove. And the Tea Party - which can hardly be described as authoritarian (or at least not monolithic) in nature - has caused serious, and public, rifts in the GOP. In fact, when it comes to communications, the “Growth and Opportunity Party” (hello, rebranding), is trying to catch up with Dems. Perhaps most importantly, social media didn’t really exist 10 years ago. Social media, it turns out, doesn’t lend itself to super-disciplined, corporate-style, authoritarian communications. It is a lot messier, and a bit more authentic. And, at least when it comes to Presidential politics, the Dems have excelled at this, while the GOP has failed.
The significance of this shift is up for debate - while the Dems have the Presidency, they have lost the other 2 branches of the federal government, and they certainly don’t shine at getting things done in Washington. But I wonder if this dichotomy between corporate/authoritarian and/disciplined and networked/decentralized/anti-authoritarian communications is still relevant. And, to the extent that it is, which one actually translates to substantive advantage in the politics of today.
I finally got around to sharing some of my knowledge from studying women’s workforce participation in grad school. Especially if you’ve been reading the articles about women running for office lately, give it a look!
If you’ve never worked on a political campaign you may not be following Nancy Leed’s entertaining campaignsick meme Tumblr, but anyone who cares about seeing more women in political office - or in the boardroom, or really anyone interested in anything related to women and work - should read her blog post summarizing key lessons from her 2 years studying women’s workforce participation at Columbia. Here are the headlines - click through for more on each lesson:
1) It’s not going to be 50% at the top until it’s 50% at the bottom.
2) We need to stop blaming women.
3) When women run they win at the same rates as men but…they’re more qualified.
4) Women ask “why me?” when men ask “why not me?”
5) “We can be anything” does not mean “we can be everything”
6) You can’t paint with the color grue.
7) Men have it hard too. (Really!)
“The Obama campaign stopped responding to my emails & calls during the last 10 months of the campaign - and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.