George Lakoff on how the conservative mind works (poverty represents a lack of discipline)

This article does get to the “losing is for losers” mentality of conservatives. From the article What Conservatives Really Want on the HuffingtonPost.com

“The way to understand the conservative moral system is to consider a strict father family. The father is The Decider, the ultimate moral authority in the family. His authority must not be challenged. His job is to protect the family, to support the family (by winning competitions in the marketplace), and to teach his kids right from wrong by disciplining them physically when they do wrong. The use of force is necessary and required. Only then will children develop the internal discipline to become moral beings. And only with such discipline will they be able to prosper. And what of people who are not prosperous? They don’t have discipline, and without discipline they cannot be moral, so they deserve their poverty. The good people are hence the prosperous people. Helping others takes away their discipline, and hence makes them both unable to prosper on their own and function morally. “

The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment

By Peter Beinart from The New York Review of Books:

“Among American Jews today, there are a great many Zionists, especially in the Orthodox world, people deeply devoted to the State of Israel. And there are a great many liberals, especially in the secular Jewish world, people deeply devoted to human rights for all people, Palestinians included. But the two groups are increasingly distinct. Particularly in the younger generations, fewer and fewer American Jewish liberals are Zionists; fewer and fewer American Jewish Zionists are liberal. One reason is that the leading institutions of American Jewry have refused to foster—indeed, have actively opposed—a Zionism that challenges Israel’s behavior in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and toward its own Arab citizens. For several decades, the Jewish establishment has asked American Jews to check their liberalism at Zionism’s door, and now, to their horror, they are finding that many young Jews have checked their Zionism instead.”

My WashPost letter to the editor: Don’t blame the military for the Iraq fiasco

From my letter to the editor in the 10/30/06 Washington Post, in response to the editorial Insult to Injury in Iraq by Frederick W. Kagan (resident scholar/conservative hack at the American Enterprise Institute):

In his op-ed, Insult to Injury in Iraq, Frederick W. Kagan blames the U.S. military for the Iraq fiasco, saying that Central Command “never actually made establishing order and security a priority.”But wasn’t it Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld who threatened to fire anyone who brought up the subject of “post-invasion operations” (also known as nation building) in Iraq? And wasn’t it the Bush administration’s aversion to nation building that limited our postwar options?

Mr. Kagan shouldn’t blame the military for following orders.

I wrote this because nobody in the Washington Post seemed to be making a distinction between the military and the ideologically driven agenda of the Bush administration. More people need to do so.

The Twelve Tribes of American Politics

From The Atlantic Monthly: A chart which breaks the 2004 electorate into twelve politically relevant “tribes” based on their values, behaviors, and religious affiliation. Each circle corresponds in relative size to the group it represents. The chart reveals some polarization of the electorate. But it also shows that voting preferences do not sort as neatly by cultural values or religious affiliation as people might expect: