Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday Question for Liberals

I'll ask liberals the same question I asked conservatives last week: which speech at the Democratic National Convention, if any, deserved more attention than it received?


  1. Deval Patrick's. I don't know what his thoughts or chances are as to 2016, but it definitely got my attention.

  2. I'm with Bryan. I thought Michelle Obama's was far and away the best there, but it got a fair bit of attention. In terms of things that didn't, Patrick's was tops for me.

  3. Elizabeth Warren.

    Sandra Fluke.

    Patrick Duval.

  4. I have to agree with Charlie Pierce: John Lewis's speech on voter suppression.

    1. I'd missed Lewis's speech; at your and Ron E.'s recommendation, I youtubed it.

      Thank you.

      And I agree. This man and I, we don't want to go back.

  5. To add to Deval Patrick, who would be my first choice, I'd say Lilly Ledbetter. That was an amazing speech and it held the room at attention, even though she's never been a politician. That should have struck a mixture of fear and dedication into the hearts of the Southern delegations to get them to try to rebuild their former New Deal coalitions. They already have minorities strongly on their side--what they need is a non-miniscule proportion of conservative whites, and they may as well fish amongst the poor, since they're getting shafted by the same Republican policies as minorities.

  6. I second the nomination for John Lewis.

  7. Deval Patrick and Brian Schweitzer

  8. John Lewis. Also, I thought the pundits were dead wrong about the president's speech. I thought it was quite good and the public seemed to agree.

  9. O'Malley was knocked for giving a kind of cheesey, boring speech, but I definitely see the national candidate in him. I don't know much about him but a guy who can become a successful mayor of a tough city, win a tough gubernatorial primary, and then get reelected in a tough year has some seriously strong political skills. Don't count him out although he needs to improve a lot from his performance at the DNC.

  10. I think the mayors as a whole did a great job. Castro was outstanding, but I'd also throw R.T. Rybak in the box if only because he's my mayor. I also think Tom Menino from Boston did well. Obviously there was a lot of diversity on stage during the DNC, and I'm really for that, but it was also great to see an old fat white man with a slicked hairdo thundering from the podium. I mean, old fashioned party big wigs need some air time to right? I also loved his great line, while talking about how Mitt didn't represent Boston Values, "You know what we call immigrants up in Boston? Mom and Dad."

  11. Lily Ledbetter. As a working class woman she represented a rarely heard voice in the Democratic coalition. A voice I have never seen at the podium before.

    "Working class" in the eyes of the media, and in the context of our political discussions, is mostly a matter of style and attitude, more than economics, and is limited in gender.

    White working class women, who have been necessary, important contributors to their families' economic survival and success for several decades now, barely rate a mention in the political conversation -- they get "disappeared" into conversations about "choices" (not reproductive, economic) and "having it all." Discussions that mostly apply only to the affluent. (Motherhood and work conflicts are mostly presented as choices available to all women.)

    Black working class women have an even worse fate than white working class women -- their hard-working, disciplined existence is pretty much denied in the context of endless discussions of welfare and lectures about "culture."

    As a working class woman (the daughter of a welder) of Ledbetter's generation -- someone who knows how very rare it was (and still is) for someone from my economic background, without impressive academic credentials and/or an affluent family network, to make it from the clerical pool to the corner office (which I did) in the male dominated business world -- and how impossible that journey would have been had I been black -- I was delighted to see Ms. Ledbetter talk about the work women do as being essential to the well-being of their families, and, emphasizing the long term impact of discrimination -- on their retirement, their ability to educate their children, etc. Realities never get mentioned in the dominant discussion of affluent women's career "choices."

    For years, whenever I heard a politician speak in ways that really spoke to my own experience and economic issues, she was usually black and female. That's because African American women were, and had long been, familiar with economic realities that many working class white women, for awhile, in the context of post-war union strength and growth, assumed did not and would not apply to them. Ledbetter is a reminder that white and black women share similar interests. And, that their families, and the men in their lives, share those interests too. (The rapt attention and enthusiastic response she received from that very diverse audience bears that out.)

    Elite liberals, elite conservatives, and the media, have long had a similar disdain for, and shared stereotypes about, the "working class" -- which is why a "Joe the Plumber" is given a MUCH bigger voice in the media than a Lily Ledbetter. While suiting the interests of the media and the GOP, the embrace of those stereotypes has been huge mistake for the Democratic party. When Ledbetter talked about the "American values" of "justice" and fair-play, or equal reward for equal effort, she was talking about the working class values I grew up with -- values that the Democrats have mostly, to their detriment, ignored in their appeals to working class people.

  12. Wow - I just went and watched John Lewis's speech. Powerful story-telling of a powerful story. I wish a reporter or debate moderator would ask Mitt to defend the vote suppression effort, citing Lewis to frame the question. We'd get some sort of horsesh*t answer about not being involved in state-level affairs and I'd still be unsatisfied but at least it would show him for the coward and weasel I am sure he is.

  13. Stacey Lihn and John Lewis for sure. Though some have tried to make it a Howard Dean moment, Jennifer Granholm was amazing, and surprising (never seen her like that.) John Kerry was a good one, concise, asberic and funny ("Ask Osama bin Laden if he's better off than he was four years ago.") And besides POTUS the most prominent mention of the climate crisis.

  14. I agree about Lily Ledbetter. Was just blown away. What a funny, charming, tough, cool performer.

    I'd loved to have seen more coverage of Sr. Simone Campbell--no one in the party to my knowledge has presented a better faith and morality-based case for the ACA.

  15. Lilly Ledbetter. Didn't know who she was besides being the named plaintiff that inspired Obama's first bill, but what a revelation. I would definitely vote for her for something, and I hope there's some greater use that we could find for such a spirited 70-something in Alabama Democratic politics.


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