Plus: Does McCain want a convention fight?
2) Don't pick fights unnecessarily: Do Democrats have to scorn people who cling to God, whatever the reason? No. Do they have to scorn people who cling to guns? Maybe, if Democrats really think they have to believe in gun control to be Democrats. But in fact they've caved on gun control--deciding, in essence, it's not a core position. Maybe they'll soon decide that race-based preferences and legalization of illegal aliens aren't core positions either--perhaps because, heeding Rule 1, they've been convinced by the people they are condescending to. (Obama is clearly a ways away from that moment.)
3) Emphasize the common goal: A companion to rule 2. If Obama thinks Pennsylvanians will stop clinging to God and guns and ethnic prejudices once they have a real prospect of getting national health insurance--well, talk about national health insurance! Let the prejudice take care of itself (if you really think that's what's going to happen).
4) Where you have to disagree, have the respect to do it forthrightly: A modern national Democrat, contemplating religious small town Pennsylvanians, won't want to concede, say, that homosexuality is immoral. Westerners, contemplating the Muslim world, won't want to tolerate stoning adulterers or honor killings, certainly not among Muslim immigrants to the West but not in the East either. Free speech and inquiry aren't things we think Chinese Communists might be right about. In these cases, the only thing to do is to honestly say "Yes, we think you are wrong and that you'll eventually come around."
I'm not sure rules like this really dispel the stench of condescension. Rule #3 seems like a PR gambit--hiding what you really think, maybe by keeping troublesome bloggers out of your San Francisco fundraisers. And even #4, don't the Chinese know we think we're not only "right" on a specific issue but "better" in some sense--more advanced, further along on the arc of history? I don't know that it helps if they feel the same way about us.
If anyone has the answer-even Charlie Rose!--I'm all ears. 2:44 A.M. link
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Yes, we are all waiting to see who Chuck Hagel endorses! The excitement builds. ...
P.S.: He might not endorse anyone at all! That would say so much.... 5:38 P.M.
Voyage to Mars almost over. Prediction: No water I was going to predict that Hillary will win Pennsylvania by 8 points--defying Newsweek and the wishful thinking about an Obama surge/surprise. But with some national polls now moving against Obama and the state polls still looking Ohio-esque, that isn't a very courageous call. So how about a double-digit Clinton win? Cling! ... Pay no attention if it's wrong. ... Note also that while reporters and bloggers may have moved past the stage where they are totally exhausted with the race and into that stage where they achieve a sort of giddy high--and then past that into the stage where they are totally exhausted again--many PA voters may not even focus on the race until two days from now. What they see on TV on Monday will be bizarrely important. ... P.S.: She's got her Mutnemom on: "I have to win." Maybe she'll cry! ... 12:01 A.M. link
Photograph of Ann Coulter on Slate's home page by Brad Barket/Getty. Photograph of a wedding cake with two grooms on Slate's home page by Hector Mata/AFP Photo. Photograph of Princess Diana on Slate's home page by Georges De Keerle/Getty Images. Photograph of Barack Obama on Slate's home page by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images.