hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2002
when I was eight I was an enthusiastic republican

by the time I was ten, however, democrat for life

prop 187 was the key. never forget the courage of the Democratic party, or the Cowardice of the Republicans

learnt that the head has never beaten the gut in a political, and that political campaigns are not won by reason and evidence they are won by catchy sound-bites. to put it indelicately, by stroking the voters erogenous zones. some common zones: strong military, education, protecting Social Security, welfare cheat, illegal immigrant, soft on crime,

however, I also learned that if the people make a big mistake, they almost always reverse it The system does not work efficiently, perfectly, or quickly, but the system does work. I learned to trust the people, not always in the short run, but almost always in the long run.

the core values of the deomcratic party: fairness, the conviction that everyone deserves a fair shake, an opportunity to make the most of their potential. An open mind, a willingness to hear new ideas and to seek progress instead of always sticking with the familiar. That’s why we’re called progressive. Democrats believe tomorrow can be better than today, and we have a responsibility to work towards that goal. Lastly and most importantly, to stick up for the people who need sticking up for, to fight the fights that need fighting, to choose the hard right over the easy wrong, to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable. The golden rule is one of the central values of every great religious tradition, the source of compassion, And compassion and empathy, above all, are the defining values of the Democratic Party. It can all be summed up in six words: middle class, common sense, golden rule. These are the core values of the Democratic party, and these are my core values, and that is why I expect to be a Democrat for as long as I live.

ten deadly sins: wrath, malice, envy, avarice, pride, gluttony, lust, sloth. add dishonesty and cowardice. Republicans have written avarice, pride, malice and wrath out of the seven deadly sins. schadenfreude
they have a complex relationship with dishonesty that I will analyze in more detail.

Republicans have no problem going after terry macauliffe. Why did the democrats have such a hard time going after jim nicholson? Being a decorated veteran absolves you of any past and future sin. There's a reason that liberals go after gingrich, bennet, limbaugh , and even Delay instead of people who really deserve it, like nicholson, and north and (occasionally) shartzkopf. Nothing scary about newt or limbaugh. going after them is really cowardly.

articles that need to be written:

1. Gore campaign critique, with an eye to the elections of 2000 and 2004

the only painful, self-flagellating Gore campaign critique you'll ever need.
he doesn't know who he is, which really means I don't know who he is
Russert interrogations
he's a liar, and more to the point, a braggart
I can't trust him.
He doesn't like normal, average people. he's uncomfortable around normal people. Since he doesn't understand people like me, how can he work for people like me?
He makes all these grandiose claims and plans because he's not comfortable in his own skin.
he's like the high school or college teacher's pet type smart aleck who thought he was smarter and better than everyone else.
He might come up with all these fancy-pants smart-alecky ways to change the world without any understanding or flexibility: a self-righteous inflexible, comtrol freak.
he said he invented the internet:
he'll say and do anything to win
he's knee-deep in the whole Washington culture, and he doesn't understand how normal people think and feel.
he’s not comfortable in his own skin, and that makes him painful to watch.
he's a phony
I don't like him. I don't understand what makes him tick. I don't feel comfortable watching him on television
.He went to a Buddhist temple to raise money -> he's willing to break he rules
the money must have been funnelled in from somewhere
He'll push his conduct to the very edge of legality and then defend his conduct with a lot of weaselly, Washington-speak, never mind simple decency and morality.
Bush was the same in all three debates. Gore was a different person each time, and that bothers me.

anyone with half a brain would realize that a better way to attack Bush in the debates was fuzy math and Insurance, that's a Washington term. What did they choose? hate crimes.

George Bush is telling you can have a porterhouse steak, mashed potatoes with the good kind of gravy, a triple fudge sundae, and still make you lose weight.

the people versus the powerful

lets fix our roof while the sun is shining.