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April 16, 2009

Pew study on Net and politics

Pew Internet has a new report out about the role of the Internet in the recent presidential campaign. It confirms that more than half of us went online for info, and many of us were quite active. In fact, here’s one nugget from the report:

Due to demographic differences between the two parties, McCain voters were actually more likely than Obama voters to go online in the first place. However, online Obama supporters were generally more engaged in the online political process than online McCain supporters. Among internet users, Obama voters were more likely to share online political content with others, sign up for updates about the election, donate money to a candidate online, set up political news alerts and sign up online for volunteer activities related to the campaign. Online Obama voters were also out in front when it came to posting their own original political content online–26% of wired Obama voters did this, compared with 15% of online McCain supporters.

Lots of fodder for thought in this survey…

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November 9, 2008

Star Spangled Obama

I like this video:

You could take it as yet more feel-good Obama propaganda, which it is. Or you could take it as a celebration supporters are entitled to, which we are. Or, you could take it as progressives (or liberals or lefties or whatever you want to call us) folding themselves back into the patriotism that the right had appropriated for itself, which is why I like it.

You could also replace those “or’s” with “and’s”. [Tags: ]


And no comment needed:

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November 5, 2008

We. One.

If John Kerry had won in 2004, I would have woken up the next day smiling because we had wiped the smirk off America’s face. The long snarl of the Bush administration would have been over.

But this morning I woke up weeping with joy. As I had gone to bed weeping.

Not just because we elected as president a black man — yes, of mixed race, but that’s how it works in this country — although that would have been enough.

Not just because of the wave of joy that his election unleashed.

Not just because that joy itself occasions joy. This was not a grudging acceptance.

But also because something I never even imagined happened yesterday: We not only elected a black person to the presidency, but racial progress itself became a symbol of something larger.

Yesterday I would have said, along with many others, that there is no frame more pervasive, insidious, or toxic than that of race in this country. Today, with our embrace of this man — and his glowing, loving family — we framed race in something larger.

We elected Obama in the face of an old politics of division driven in its extremity to caricature. For once we said no to that. Enough! The global crowd that gathered yesterday was expressing — I believe without facts but with all my heart — its weariness with division and its deep yearning to be together in peace.

The defining moment in our country’s continuing struggle against racism wasn’t about race. We found something bigger. At last, at last.

This is not to say the struggle against racism is over. Of course not. Yesterday did not desegregate our cities or wipe clean our prejudgments. Four years of images of that gorgeous black family in our White House will make a far larger difference, and it will make the difference right at the perceptual level, where our worst prejudices cower.


To live up to the ideal we just embraced, we have to do intentionally what Obama does by nature. He listens to those with whom he disagrees, but he responds only to the goodness expressed in even the most fear-driven of statements. Ignore the small, the petty, the self-involved, the defensive, and respond to the moments of goodness in all of us.

This is a practical program. I’ve seen it adopted on purpose and I’ve seen it work. Avoiding getting dragged into negative shoutfests is basic troll management. Learning to hear and respond to what is good and shared in an expression we find detestable is harder. The best teachers do this routinely. We can all learn to do it. We can. Yes, we can.

It is a big part of how Obama brings out the better nature in us. It is a big reason the unrelenting and unreasoned negative campaign aimed at him failed.

It is also a task performed historically all out of proportion by African-Americans. That is a blessing we have not deserved, but could not have survived without.


No more Bush. I felt an almost physical relief. My shoulders rose. My back straightened.

I can look out at the world for the first time in my life and say I am proud to be an American without feeling a need to explain why, and first getting some apologies out of the way.


I know Barack Obama is going to disappoint us. I know I will deeply disagree with some of his policies. But I trust his deliberative process and I trust his open heart.


Our children last night said that they were jealous that my wife and I got to live through the era of great heroes, that we can talk about the times we saw JFK, RFK, and Martin Luther King, Jr., and how we were moved by them.

I told them they had seen that moment tonight. But they knew that already.

And we get four — eight! — more years of watching this man — that one — approach a podium to speak, knowing that our best natures are about to be summoned.

So forgive me for weeping as I relearn that we are not fully human when we are without hope.

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November 4, 2008

Election chat tonight

Starting around 7pm, feel free to join a bunch of us getting our snark on at irc://irc.freenode.net/electionjoho…

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Funny today, but tomorrow?

I am in totaly Superstition Lockdown mode. I cannot say Obama’s [knock wood] name without knocking wood. My cardboard cut-out of Obama [knock wood] now has a “I’m a big fat loser” sign strung on it.

Only a few more hours in which I have to maintain this awful burden of forced pessimism.

(Thanks to Colin McClay for the link to the video.)

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November 2, 2008

Snarking our way through bitter defeat on Election night

I’ll set up a chat room at irc://irc.freenode.net/electionjoho if you want to chat your way through our surprising and heart-breaking defeat on Tuesday. (No jinxing here!) Starting around 8:30 pm Boston time?

For this, you’ll need an IRC chat client. I like Chatzilla, a free Firefox add-in, but there are lots of clients around.

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October 2, 2008

You’re American, you’re 18, and you’re not registered to vote???

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February 6, 2008

Twitter-Google Maps-Election mashup

Of course, this is a little past tense this morning — with an emphasis on the tense — but here’s a very cool mashup of election results, Google maps and Twitter.. It’d be more useful to me if it would only show me tweets from the people I follow, but, well, maybe next election…[Tags: ]

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January 8, 2008

Out of my demographic: DeclareYourself

The DeclareYourself page encourages 18 year olds to register to vote. In fact, you can register at the site. There are a bunch of videos by the Reno 911 gang which are funnier in the execution than in the concept (in my 57 year old opinion). (The 911 folks are disguised as middle-aged men, with a couple of women in bikinis next to them.)

I wonder if any of the videos actually do get anyone to register. Is there really an 18 year old out there waiting to be encouraged by Hayden Panettiere before registering?

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* * *

As if in answer to my question, Joe Marchese at MediaPost reports “Declare Yourself’s most recent “viral video” [one that, much as I love McLovin, I didn’t find particularly funny] has attracted over 600,000 views, and online voter registrations have gone up significantly.” Ok then, although this doesn’t peg the increase in online registration to the DeclareYourself site. I’m glad the site is there. It seems like it can only do good. I’m just wondering how much good it does.

Also, the post notes that Norman Lear is behind DeclareYourself.

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