My 5 Fave Parts of Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address

The yoga class I took just before last night’s State of the Union (SOTU) address wiped me out. I fell asleep immediately afterward. Which is good because I had a chance to think overnight about the parts that resonated most with me.

sotu-en 2013

I’ve been tough on the president in the past, disappointed with his timidity and unwillingness to set a big bold agenda.

The other good thing about writing the day after is that others have fact checked. And the de rigeur liberal critique  as well as Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) really awful other-party rebuttal have been duly hashed and rehashed.

With the benefit of reflection, here are my three favorite parts of the speech.

1.    SOTU and women: On the domestic front, the president mentioned two hot button pieces of legislation poised to pass if Speaker Boehner (R-BadLoser) ever brings them up for votes:

We know our economy is stronger when our wives, mothers, and daughters can live their lives free from discrimination in the workplace, and free from the fear of domestic violence.  Today, the Senate passed the Violence Against Women Act that Joe Biden originally wrote almost 20 years ago.  I urge the House to do the same.  And I ask this Congress to declare that women should earn a living equal to their efforts, and finally pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this year.

(This drew a “Huge Yes!” from Pamela Scharf when I posted it on Facebook.)

And on the global front, but equally true at home:

We also know that progress in the most impoverished parts of our world enriches us all.  In many places, people live on little more than a dollar a day.  So the United States will join with our allies to eradicate such extreme poverty in the next two decades: by connecting more people to the global economy and empowering women; by giving our young and brightest minds new opportunities to serve and helping communities to feed, power, and educate themselves; by saving the world’s children from preventable deaths; and by realizing the promise of an AIDS-free generation.

2.    SOTU and gun violence: This drew the biggest cheers as Obama did his rhetorical best: build to a revival preacher’s crescendo. And the backdrop of Gabby Giffords  and parents of slain children brought everyone but John Boehner (go figure, for once he showed no emotion) to tears.

It has been two months since Newtown. I know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence. But this time is different. Overwhelming majorities of Americans – Americans who believe in the 2nd Amendment – have come together around commonsense reform – like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun. Senators of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals. Police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets, because they are tired of being outgunned.

Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress. If you want to vote no, that’s your choice. But these proposals deserve a vote. Because in the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.

One of those we lost was a young girl named Hadiya Pendleton. She was 15 years old. She loved Fig Newtons and lip gloss. She was a majorette. She was so good to her friends, they all thought they were her best friend. Just three weeks ago, she was here, in Washington, with her classmates, performing for her country at my inauguration. And a week later, she was shot and killed in a Chicago park after school, just a mile away from my house.

Hadiya’s parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence. They deserve a vote.

Gabby Giffords deserves a vote.

The families of Newtown deserve a vote.

The families of Aurora deserve a vote.

3.    SOTU and minimum wage:  Did the proposed $9 minimum wage surprise you? It did me.

We know our economy is stronger when we reward an honest day’s work with honest wages. But today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year. Even with the tax relief we’ve put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong. That’s why, since the last time this Congress raised the minimum wage, nineteen states have chosen to bump theirs even higher.

Tonight, let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour. This single step would raise the incomes of millions of working families. It could mean the difference between groceries or the food bank; rent or eviction; scraping by or finally getting ahead. For businesses across the country, it would mean customers with more money in their pockets. In fact, working folks shouldn’t have to wait year after year for the minimum wage to go up while CEO pay has never been higher. So here’s an idea that Governor Romney and I actually agreed on last year: let’s tie the minimum wage to the cost of living, so that it finally becomes a wage you can live on.

4.    SOTU and early childhood education:  This warmed my former Head Start-teacher heart.

Tonight, I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America. Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on – by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime. In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children, like Georgia or Oklahoma, studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, and form more stable families of their own. So let’s do what works, and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind. Let’s give our kids that chance

5. The part of SOTU I liked best.  Karl Rove (who reminds me of the Riddler because he keeps popping up with his evil grin, every time you think a superhero has finally vanquished him), used a twitter hashtag #notserious to telegraph the Tea Party message of the day. A typical corrosive Rove tweet:

Karl Rove@KarlRove

Is it me or is this not one of POTUS’s better efforts? Lackluster response from even Dem’s side. #SOTU

Since you asked, I’ll answer, Karl. It’s you. The president’s speech was not just #serious. It hit a political home run. Now the real test–let’s see what action Congress takes, and how hard Obama fights for his agenda.

What do you predict? Tell me.

The Young Politica: Five Wishes for the New Year

As we sing the last hoorahs of 2012, young politicas and politicos everywhere may feel a bit of uncertainty over where the next year is headed. We’ve seen many victories for our interests, but what will newly elected policy makers do to make sure that they earn their keep? flagfireworks

And what’s next for us?

Here are my five hopes for young people and politics in 2013.

1. For young people to go from special report to necessary demographic in national media.

It seems that the results of the November election came as a shock to the media and pollsters. We have proved that we swing elections and that we here to stay. And our age group piques the interests of many demographics.

I hope that instead of getting a special write-up in Huff Post College, we will make it to the front page.

2. For young people to remain politically active.

In the coming year, young people must remain engaged with the political process to remain relevant. Just as the media remembered us in the 2012 election, they can as soon forget about us in 2013!

3. For young people to become educated on all sides of political issues.

Is there really a need for me to tell you that politics is a multifaceted operation? By learning about what goes into the political process on a local level, one can understand the root of many issues. When one understands the motives behind an opposing candidate’s policy, it can widen perspective. Let’s not forget to learn about U.S. foreign policy and about various political systems around the world.

4. For a meaningful gun talks resolution.

We are already in the midst of these ‘talks‘. However, since the Newtown shooting incident, there has been no serious policy implementation from the White House that ensures the safety of our nation’s children from someone with deadly weapons. In the new year, I hope that there can be bipartisan agreement on this widely debated issue.

5. For a sustainable Fiscal Cliff agreement.

There’s been little improvement since the last time you heard me talk about the fiscal cliff. While there has been tug and pull on either side, neither Democrats or Republicans seem to be satisfied with compromise. However, the compromise that is upon the horizon of the new year will not satisfy everyone.

“Whatever we come up with is going to be imperfect,” Sen. Harry Reid said, according to USA Today. Maybe expecting a financially sustainable fiscal cliff plan is just wishful thinking.

In 2012, we saw meaningful change that was primarily influenced by young people. Recently, our choices have shifted policy and elected politicians.

We have proved our potential and it is time we be recognized.

 

The Young Politica: Dropping Down the Fiscal Cliff

Since the U.S. reached the debt ceiling in late 2012 and the country’s credit rating was downgraded for the first time in history, talks of reaching a fiscal cliff have loomed.

The fiscal cliff is a term used to describe what will happen after the start of the new year if there is no budget reform. If Congress does not reach a deal extending tax cuts by the time the Budget Control Act of 2011 goes into effect, taxes will be raised for anyone in the workforce. The result may be another recession.

How can it affect you?

If congress does not reach a deal, $661 billion in new tax hikes will start affecting your first paycheck (a two percent increase) after January 1st. On January 2nd, $78 billion in sequester hikes will begin cutting on some government and private sector workforces, likely causing layoffs and budget cuts.

How can this problem be solved?

A solution is an extension on tax cuts for the middle-class. However, Democrats and Republicans will most likely take this to the eleventh hour. John Boehner admitted that Congressional progress towards reaching a compromise has reached a stalemate.

The House will vote on a middle-class tax cut extension next week, which may stall our economy’s cliff diving.

According to CNN, gsectors that will be affected by the cliff-dive come January 1st include:

  •  Medicare,
  • Food Safety and Inspection Service agency,
  • The CDC,
  • The NIH,
  • WIC,
  • The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program,
  • The Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes,
  • Gallaudet University (an education program for the deaf and hard of hearing),
  • Social Security.

It seems that Obama’s pressure towards Congress to pass a tax-cut extension are more “bargaining tactics” and less “honest compromise.” Obama has doubled his request for higher revenues, and Republicans aren’t having it. Orrin Hatch called the plan “a classic bait-and-switch on the American people.” Mitch McConnell even burst into laughter when Geithner outlined the White House’s plans.

Obama has warned of a ‘Scrooge’ Christmas if Republicans in Congress don’t sign off on a deal.

Here’s a fiscal cliff countdown just in case you haven’t started saving that extra two percent.

In Which I Answer POLITICO Arena’s Election Day Question: What were the campaigns’ biggest mistakes?

A friend posted a photo on Facebook of a long line at her polling place this morning with the comment that “it’s a good sign when voters are treating an election like Black Friday at Walmart.” Now we have to wait all day to learn which of the candidates brought forth this outpouring of interest: do voters think Obama or Romney is the better bargain?

Both campaigns have made mistakes galore, balancing each other out in about the same horserace numbers as the daily polls have recently shown the race to be. Romney’s worst was hoisting himself on his own petard of Etch-a-Sketch positions, thus eroding voter trust, then nailing his coffin with the deliberately false Jeep ad.

Obama’s worst mistake was four years in the making. He failed to run, as Harry Truman successfully did, against the “do nothing Congress” that is more at fault for the lack of economic progress than the president who at least put forward some ideas. He had to re-energize many discouraged 2008 supporters as a result. But thanks to the Republican War on Women which Romney could not separate himself from, Obama was able to seize a set of issues that resonate with progressive women who make up almost 60% of the Democratic base.

Romney’s mistakes were mistakes of character and likability; Obama’s were mistakes of leadership style.

I’ve walked many precincts knocking on doors and weathered many elections. In the end voters usually go with the person whose character and persona they find more appealing. Those scales weigh in Obama’s favor today. We’ll find out tonight whether that is enough of a bargain to carry the election.

Meanwhile, here’s what I’m posting on social media today:

The ballot box is where we win the #waronwomen. #Vote #Election2112 

I’d appreciate your shares and tweets of that sentiment.

This was originally posted in response to a question in Politico Arena. Find the Arena response here.

The Young Politica: Denver Debate Leaves College Students More Confused than Ever

At this point in the presidential race, students like myself do not have time to sift through crooked statistics and tired rhetoric. We have enough of those things on our plate already, considering that we’re reviewing for midterms.

Romney and Obama could have saved us the trouble. Most of the students I spoke with at New York University, which I attend, were already informed about the policy issues addressed during the televised train wreck. And those who were undecided said that they were still thinking through both policies because the debate offered little to them.

“I thought both candidates did an excellent job at talking their way around some key issues,” John Facey, a junior studying creative writing, said.

The candidates were just picking on each other like boys in the school yard. One friend likened Jim Lehrer’s authority to that of a high school substitute teacher: only after the fifth warning did the kids eventually settle down.

And just like almost every American who watched the debate on Wednesday, the student voter population was left scratching their heads once Lehrer finally called it a night.

“I think most of us left more confused about their policies after the debate than we did before the debate,” one female student in my journalism class commented.

Another journalism student: “All that Big Bird nonsense on Twitter was just hyped because there were no other money quotes in the debate.”

Between the proposed Sesame Street cessation, the possibly imaginary five trillion dollar budget cut, and Obama’s freestyle closing statement—the debate was full of laughable moments, despite the fact that some of my fellow NYU colleagues may have found it a bit boring.

Romney had been waiting for this moment for six years, while Obama had been running the country. It was blatantly obvious that Obama just wanted to celebrate his anniversary with Michelle. Many of the students I spoke to tried to reason the POTUS’ lack of animation:

“The dude looked pretty tired. And I think he looked kind of dispassionate while Romney was really fired up and ready to go,” Griffin Simpson, a sophomore studying political science said. “I think if you look past that—if you look at their actual rhetoric and what they’re both saying—Obama even at his worst held his own.”

Of course, many of the student voter population’s concerns about the economy were confronted by both parties; but Obama could have definitely helped himself if he would have dedicated some of his lecture time to women’s rights or the 47%—both of which are domestic, vote-swaying issues. Romney could have benefitted by double-checking some of his facts.

It may have been today’s Nixon vs. Kennedy, but it definitely has not defined or decided the election.

Don’t miss the vice presidential debate on October 11. The former frat boy faceoff will most definitely be a breath of fresh air.

Does Walker’s victory put Wisconsin in play for the GOP?

Pundits will be talking all day about the meaning of the failed Wisconsin recall election.

The bright spot is that the recall process has forced Walker to moderate his language if not his actions and if the numbers hold out, he will be faced with a Democratic majority in the state senate to slow down his union-busting, tea-party sponsored initiatives.

But I see an ominous cloud of Obama’s making for the national elections in November. Will he learn from this that it does no good to try to deflect controversy from yourself and let other people take the fall?

Politico Arena Asks:

Incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker has survived the gubernatorial recall election against Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the Associated Press reports. The victory comes after Walker divided Wisconsin by making changes to state laws governing collective bargaining for public employees. Though Obama won the state by 13 points in 2008, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney is expected to be more competitive in the state this fall.

Does this victory put Wisconsin in play for the GOP in 2012?

My Response:

Obama give Romney an unearned advantage by not going to WI and giving it his all. Barrett’s defeat is very bad for the president and all progressive causes. Obama can’t escape being affected by the outcome. He would have been better off losing with honor than appearing to duck this pivotal showdown. He has ceded a chunk of moral authority that could have come from issuing a fiery challenge to the Citizens United torrent of Republican money that bought Walker’s win. That money will continue to flow;  without a robust push back, it could well help Romney carry Wisconsin in November.

 

Did Franklin Graham Damn Obama or Santorum?

Were you as appalled at Franklin Graham’s interview on Morning Joe as I was?

Politico Arena asked:

Evangelist Franklin Graham yesterday called President Obama’s religious views into question, stating he does not know if Obama is a Christian. http://huff.to/xEEBXb

Are Graham’s comments a sign that religious voters are questioning Obama’s faith? Or will the comments lose steam before the election?

My Response: As I watched that interview with Franklin Graham yesterday, I felt I was seeing the worst of fundamentalist arrogance unfolding for all the world to see. Republicans are going to regret ever letting this man open his mouth on their behalf. Every sound bite in his disgusting attempt to create doubt about the President’t religious beliefs made Graham look more bigoted and less like the moral beacon one expects a man of the cloth to be.

His hypocritical endorsement of Santorum (and even Gingrich!) while damning Obama with faint praise showed Graham to be the morally compromised person. Given Southern Baptists’ historical distrust of Catholics, Graham’s comments are obviously politically motivated. They won’t hurt Obama but they will cause voters to question whether any of the Republican candidates can be trusted not to turn America into the very theocracy our founders came here to escape.

Here’s the link to my original post on Politico

Will Tonight’s State of the Union Address 2012 Soar?

I’ve been critical of the President’s leadership in the past, and wrote this about a previous State of the Union address. But I’m rooting for him to be at his rhetorical and persuasive best tonight, not so much for his re- election prospects as for the good of the country.

Candidate Obama had a large vision during his campaign and it called us to our higher selves. In part his decisive 2008 victory was due to America’s exhaustion with George W. Bush. But a big factor was Obama’s vision and his promises to lead a progressive agenda once elected.

Instead, once elected, he focused on small vision projects and on doing deals rather than articulating the ideals that had propelled him into office. Tonight’s speech gives him a new opportunity– the last such chance he’ll have during this term–to give people that bigger vision and not just to say things that are safe. To come out swinging at the Republicans who have stopped every initiative he proposed without offering alternatives to do anything other than feather the nests of the wealthiest among us. To offer bold initiatives that address our biggest problems.

John F. Kennedy inspired a nation worried about our technological competitiveness when he said in defense of space exploration,“We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

Obama needs to call us to do things that are hard if they are also for the good of the country. He’s got a chance to bring some sanity to the conversation, in contrast to the Republican greed and gridlock, and to set the agenda for public debate.

Regarding economic initiatives, which should certainly be front and center of his speech, it should be remembered that the economy overall is a women’s issue. When policies favor brick and mortar projects, a smaller percentage of women benefit because they are less likely to hold jobs in those fields. To be more competitive with China and other nations, we need to build up our intellectual infrastructure (60 percent of today’s college grads are women). More money should be invested in schools, libraries and social services where women will be working, and it will pay off in a workforce better prepared for the economy of the future. And of course, I hope the president will prioritize passing the Paycheck Fairness Act.

There’s much more of course. But then State of the Union addresses typically sound like verbal Christmas trees, loaded with gifts for various important constituencies. I’ll just touch on one more topic. I suggest that Obama should proactively take the credit for getting contraception almost universally covered in the health care plan because 95 percent of Americans use it and because it’s the right thing to do. The dollop of whipped cream with a cherry on top would be for him to place the Freedom of Choice Act back on the agenda. I’m not holding my breath but I can hold out hope.

And instead of letting the Republicans tar him with “Obamacare” as a negative label, he should embrace the controversy (No Excuses power tool #4!) as a badge of pride. A generation hence, most Americans will regard Obamacare as important to their lives as Medicare is to seniors today.

What are you hoping to hear from the president tonight?

Will he soar or fly under the radar?

Can he take the attention from the right wing Republicans battling it out for their nomination? Post your thoughts.

“Eight Questions to Negotiate Resolution of the Federal Budget Crisis”

Victoria Pynchon
Thanks to Victoria Pynchon for this excellent cross post, originally published on Forbes.com — it’s jam packed with advice Congress really ought to take before the next seemingly intractable debate.
Be sure to read down to recommendation #8. Seems like great minds think alike 😉

As the Charlotte Observer noted this morning, with six days remaining before “expected economic chaos,” our leaders “not only can’t agree on a grand vision for how to get America’s debt under control, they can’t even take the basic steps needed to pay all the bills and avert financial panic.”  Until the crisis is solved, we will continue our series of negotiation advice for the Democrats and the GOP from some of the leading lights in the negotiation world.

Today, I’ve posed eight questions to author, lawyer and negotiation trainer and consultant Carol Frohlinger, co-author of Her Place at the Table: A Woman’s Guide to Negotiating Five Key Challenges to Leadership Success and co-founder of Negotiating Women, Inc, which provides practical skills training women can use immediately to be more successful at work.

1. Is there an optimal negotiation strategy where one side is willing to risk catastrophic consequences for the political prize of ideological purity?

Frohlinger:  The challenge here is that some of the Republicans do not believe that catastrophic consequences will follow if the parties don’t reach agreement. They do not think that the markets will collapse, that interest rates will rise, that investors will rethink buying U.S. debt and that the ratings agencies will downgrade the credit rating of the U.S.. Instead, they are convinced that there will be no financial Armageddon and that things will sort themselves out in the way they believe is the right way. One strategy would be to offer proof that their thinking is flawed – explore whether there are economists they respect who do not share their beliefs and enlist them as allies.

2. The GOP seems to be carrying a cynanide pill to prevent themselves from possible compromise. Is there any way for them to get out of the corner they’ve painted themselves into without losing face?

Frohlinger: It is very difficult for the GOP because some on the far right have taken positions that put them at odds with their leadership. Speaker Boehner is in a situation that requires him to negotiate with them as well as with the Democrats. My guess is that Boehner is finding the negotiations with the Democrats a great deal easier. Boehner has to find a way to allow these Republicans to save face – or find enough votes without them to get his bill passed. But even if he can do that, it won’t pass the Senate as things stand now.

3 . If you had one piece of advice for the Dems and one piece of advice for the GOP, what would it be.

Frohlinger: I’d advise them both to pay attention to process – agree on the ways they will negotiate, at least. For example, agree that neither party talks to the media (or only at pre-determined, scheduled times), agree on the number of hours they will spend a day in negotiation, etc. The parties do not trust one another so need to find ways to work together by first reaching agreement even on seemingly trivial things – that builds momentum and a way to create trust.

4. Where party interests are as incompatible as they appear to be here, is there any hope of agreement?

Frohlinger:  Yes, because the leadership of both parties have a common interest – avoiding an economic meltdown. The problem is that the GOP is deeply divided and some don’t share that interest because they don’t believe there will be a disaster.

Each side has to decide what it can live with – each needs to give serious thought to its BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement). That’s where the 14th Amendment may have been of help to the President (see, House Democratic Leaders to Obama: Use the 14th Amendment). I’m not sure why he made it clear he wouldn’t go that route but there must have been a reason other than the stated one. Or perhaps there is some sort of arcane procedural anomaly they can find that will avert the need to reach agreement before August second. (see Jack Balkin’s post on that at Balkinization) And each side has to count votes and potential votes – identify those who may be persuaded and ask them what are the issues that will make the difference to them.

5. Much of the fighting seems to be based on different projections about the future based on the same facts. Are there negotiation techniques such as contingent concessions that could satisfy both side’s need to avoid catastrophe?

Frohlinger:  Usually identifying objective criteria and agreeing to use it to break a stalemate is a helpful technique but if one side won’t accept facts as such, it’s not going to work.

6. Does the side that refuses to compromise always win when someone has to blink?

Frohlinger:  Not necessarily – what if neither blinks? Then there will be no agreement. But in this situation, one side has offered many concessions but the other side has not accepted – and now the side that hasn’t accepted the concessions is pushing for even more concessions. The President, however, is in a more difficult situation because of his responsibility to lead the nation – the buck stops with him.

7. What if failure is what both parties want?

Frohlinger:  Failure is not want either wants – they are politicians and they know they will be evaluated by voters on how successful they are at getting it done.

8.Any other thoughts you have about ways to break the impasse with the least harm to the players and the economy?

Frohlinger:  Perhaps they might ask for counsel from women!

Carol Frohlinger

Known for her energy and informal style, groups to whom Carol Frohlinger has spoken include the Accenture Women Senior Executives Conference, the Atlanta Women’s Network, the Association of Financial Professionals, Ernst and Young, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG International, Howrey LLP, and the National Association of Women Lawyers.

Carol’s advice has been featured by NPR, Martha Stewart Living Radio and The New York Times among other mainstream media. An affiliated faculty member of the Simmons School of Management, Carol is a former sales executive, commercial banker and practicing attorney. She holds a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. 

Frohlinger is also a contributor to Forbes Work in Progress Blog.

Will Bachmann Fizzle Like Dean?

Politico’s Arena asked a really interesting question today. I’d love to know what you think and whether you agree with my assessment. Am I too optimistic? OMG I hope not!

Arena Asked: Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) is drawing comparisons in her Republican presidential bid with another longshot candidate – Howard Dean, for a few months in 2003-04 the leading Democratic contender to challenge President George W. Bush. Both have drawn big summer crowds by pledging to confront the opposition party president. But Dean’s campaign fizzled even before voting began. Has Bachmann’s campaign peaked too soon? Will she end up as more of a Dean-like novelty candidate or can she go the distance?

My Answer: That bumper sticker “Dated Dean, Married Kerry” answers this question. Just look what happened after that misbegotten marriage. Choosing the least offensive rather than than the most energizing candidate didn’t serve the party very well, now did it?

Besides, think of a rhetorically fiery woman against Mr. Cool (and often caustically dismissive of others) Obama on the stump.

If I were a Republican consultant, I’d be cheering Bachmann on.

That said, we don’t yet know what Bachmann’s potentially fatal flaw will be. All candidates have them. Thus far, voters seem to be forgiving her almost surreal lack of the most basic historical facts. She approaches everything through an extreme ideological lens that quite literally gives her an alternative view of the universe. Most Americans are fundamentally tolerant and fair people. Her zeal for that rigid, theologically based universe might well cause her to do or say something that will implode her campaign just when she least expects it.

More likely than Bachmann flaming out on her own, however, is that the Tea Party itself will overreach and finally scare the bejesus out of the American voters. She could go down flying their flag when voters realize that when we are all suffering, the solution isn’t to feed those who have caused the pain while starving the rest of us, but rather to hang together, invest in innovation, and grow our way out of the current economic mess.