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View Diary: Frank Rich: Closing On The Big Enchilada (165 comments)

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  •  I'm channelling Robert Taft? Ugh. (none)
    I see nehark's excellent  diary has this:
    "You can't say, 'Please don't be mean to me. Please let me win sometimes.' Give me a break here," Clinton said. "If you don't want to fight for the future and you can't figure out how to beat these people then find something else to do."

    Clinton points out the he-said she-said reporting rabbit hole. Well, that mystical parallel universe is no figment of the average voter's imagination. They witness it every day, 9 to 5 and on the drive home when shopping for groceries, and later that evening at the PTA

    At no time has there been a machine that pumps out official truths so relentlessly and so directly opposite of the reality that's percieved by the average Jane on the street. It's a hailstorm of prettyisms, overpromising and underdelivering all at the same time.  And you and I -- she -- encounters and endures these insults to the psyche at 1000 times the level our great grandparents did. And the band plays on.

    Am I being hyperbolic?  I don't think so; I'm a contributor to the stream. I'm an advertising creative director. I get to take the factory tours, make hospital beds, play route salesman, learn about that Jane's life so I can talk her into buying baby formula X. Then I get to twist the arms of providers of said products about their revealed weaknesses.

    You know what those people ask; what they want and  want to know?

      Make me feel important.
      What's in it for me?
    That'sit. Provider and consumer, boss and employee. And there's nothing wrong with that. They are human.  And they are hungry and thirsty to matter.

    As touchy-feely as Ds are portrayed to be, there's a whole raft of implications and further questions implicit in the above two questions that professional Ds seem unwilling to embrace or entertain. And so, we get Bob Shrum or a Lehane or a Brazile.  We get bupkis.

    Now, will Democrats address those 2 questions better than Republicans have, finally? Cuz you know what? As half assed as George Bush's execution is, because of his party's understanding and comfort with the lesser angels of our nature Republicans as a party will, 7 years hence, be no worse off than they were pre-2004.

    They will have retooled a bit, and conveniently forgotten some of their many errors. But they will continue to cloak  sloth and gluttony as virtue. And their constituency will still be flocking to their oasis. And drinking the sand. Because there's no alternative in a drought of useful meaning.

    Still, where to from there? Seems to be a kibbutz basically, all simply stalled and admiring the well. The owner is quite happy to have us stay pat and stay put. And to continue hyping and charging for the "experience."

    Luckily, "virtual ownership" only makes one feel but so important. That, and we're impatient for journeys and new vistas.


    From what I understand, Markos and Jerome are working on a book together. Near as I can tell, it's mostly about tools. Super. We need tools. We're good at making and using them. And so are otters.  But, of all the Flying Spaghetti Monster's creatures, what makes us humans different? We tell stories--about who we are, who we are not, and about what we want to become. The tools? They make the imagined real and possible. Tools are the How. Stories, the Why.


    1. Nobody picks up or uses a tool just because it's there.  (No imagination, no drive, no Why.)

    2. Nobody cares about a story unless it tells them something new, useful, or encouraging. ("Who you are & want to become." Stories power us from here to there, but they need How.)

    We have a surplus of tools, and of people extolling the factual virtues of their particular lever. That's part of the hailstorm.  Alas, there are very few storytellers in the Democratic structure of today.  And that's bad. Remember those "make me feel important people" mentioned above? They're just like you and me--they love to learn, they hate the idea of being "taught."  They like "Eureka!"  Research and synthesis, not so much.

    As Democrats, we're good at How, diligent wonks to a fault; teachers, not inspirers. The political equivalent of "she has a nice personality." I think you can do the math.

    I'll wrap this up with one last question that follows those earlier two:  Why, in an age of massive progress, does progressive politics face such  hostility?

    I know what I think. Not sure if I want  Bob Shrum's answer. And I'm looking forward to  Kos+Jerome's.

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