Tuesday, August 19, 2008

From Nuanced to principled: The Lessons of Pastor Rick, and Why & How Obama & Democrats Should make Abortion a Voting Issue

If you read my blog regularly you know that I respect Drew Weston and won't be surprised that I'm recommending you read his column on Huffington Post today (click on title above). Weston is a Professor of Psychology & Psychiatry at Emory University and I completely agree with his approach to this most freighted of all issues. Basically, abortion should not be a political issue and here's how to talk about it with respect for both sides of the issue.

I took the time to post a response at HuffPo and hope you'll read it and, perhaps, do the same. Below is my response as posted online:

You're on the right track. I suggest that Obama and other Democrats frame answers to hot button issues by disavowing the zero sum game that right wingers use so effectively, eg:

"Abortion isn't a zero sum game and Americans don't have to accept all or none, even on this most difficult of issues. In fact it would be wrong to do so. It is our responsibility as Americans to reach consensus on ways to reduce the number of abortions while preserving a family's right to protect the mother's life and/or health. That might involve some economic support for childcare, healthcare, and it might include new rules for adoption.

The American people understand that abortion is not an either/or issue and we owe them the leadership it will require to achieve the best possible answer to this toughest of questions."

Then, every time his opponent pulls out the zero sum game, perhaps Sen. Obama should begin his reply with, There you go again; relying on the either/or of negative politics. The American people don't agree with that - they deserve real leadership on this issue, and I pledge to provide that to the very best of my ability.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Obama Has to Fight to Win

Drew Westin, professor of psychiatry and psychology at Emory University, posted a brilliant analysis of the Obama campaign on today's Huffington Post. I recommend you read it (click on title above) and then send it to the Obama campaign. I've done so and the more they get this message the more likely they are to internalize it: You can't bring a knife to a gun fight and win!

I voted for Barack Obama because I want a new kind of government. Unfortunately we may have to use old politics to win so let's just get over the idea that genteel politics work and get tough! The one advantage a Hillary Clinton candidacy would have had over Obama is that she knows how to street fight and isn't afraid to do so.

Obama needs to stop putting John Kerry on television to represent him and he needs to get a quick response team. Negative attacks should not be allowed to survive even one news cycle. Every time the McCain campaign puts out a negative and/or false attack there should be an immediate response in kind and Obama should follow it up on the stump! Failure to do so will consign us to the ash heap of defeat and we CAN NOT afford to lose!

So send a link to Drew Westin's column to the Obama campaign (http://my.barackobama.com/page/s/contact2), post it on your blog, email it to your friends and family... You get the idea. Obama believes in grass roots movements so let's give him one. Now let's get going!