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    • Rationality Is A Process, Not A Conclusion (Nuclear Weapons Edition)
      A lot of mistakes come from assuming rationality means “thinks the same way I do” rather than “reasons from premises I might not share.” Left than 1/1000 economists predicted the financial collapse, because they reasoned from assumptions like “the market is self-correcting” or “housing prices never go down.” (Sometimes both at the same time, which is rarely […]
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Know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away

I go to a Mad Men blog these days to chill out from politics.  If you follow Mad Men, you know that Betty Draper found out who her husband really is and that, added to all of the other emotional insults she’s taken over the years, has forced her to come to some decisions in her life.  The first is that she doesn’t love him anymore.   She’s been flirting with a Republican political operative (back in the days when there was such a thing as a liberal Republican) but she rebuffs him in his office when he wants to boff her on his sofa.  It’s tawdry, she says.  And she walks away.  Two episodes later, he proposes to her.  He still hasn’t slept with her.

One of the commenters at Basket of Kisses says that Betty is using a classic negotiation technique: she comes to the table prepared to walk away from it.  There is a line she isn’t willing to cross.  (We’ve seen Betty do tawdry so we know she can.  It’s just that her other little fling didn’t have any high stakes attached to it.)  When it comes to the rest of her life, Betty is being very choosey.

Last year, we were hotly criticized for not jumping on the Obama bandwagon.  We were called every name in the book.  We were told we were jeopardizing the lives of other women because we wouldn’t budge even in the face of Deomcratic scare tactics when it came to abortion.  Some of this was because we doubted the sincerity of a party that scrubbed all references of reproductive rights from most of their candidate’s websites.  But mostly it was because there was a line we were not prepared to cross.  We were not going to let the Democratic party benefit from our votes when we knew they had disenfranchised many of us during the primaries.  We were not going to let the party take our votes for granted.  If they wanted them, they needed to give us something first.  They didn’t and we didn’t.  We walked away.

In retrospect, I think that was a good move on our part.  It revealed the Democratic party for what it really was.  They were mean and nasty to us.  They called us “bitter knitters”.  We were old, uneducated women.  We were racists.  Jon Favreau sent us an FU postcard.  For awhile there, before the economy tanked, they were very worried that we would actually make a difference.  There is power in walking away.

I blame the party for depriving my friends of the pure joy of seeing the first African-American elected as president of the United States of America.  I watched a sea of elation in Bryant Park in Chicago on a TV in a little bar in Manhattan and suddenly, I was one with that crowd.  I was filled with joy and exhileration.  But no one around me was celebrating.  The women I was with saw themselves as roadkill on the way to Obama’s victory.

But we walked away.  And now we have been vindicated.  They really were the awful, big business compromised, evangelical voter toe suckers and all around unprincipled players we thought they were.  The might have run us over but at least we didn’t hop into bed with them.

The rest of the left blogosphere has a choice.  They can continue to be fucked over by these assholes or they can preserve the rest of their dignity and walk away.  The road to rehabilitation starts by ripping up your party card and mailing it to Donna Brazile.  Then, join the rest of us.  We’re the third party.  We’re the rapidly growing group of voters in every state that designates themselves as unaffiliated.  We’re the potential 30% of elected female officials who will change this country.  We’re the people who don’t have to hold our elected officials accountable anymore because we are through dealing with them. And I think we have finally achieved the critical mass to become our own third party.

Just walk away.


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Don Draper is Peer Gynt: Discuss

Let’s go a little Mad (Men) tonight:

Mad Men season 3 starts tonight at 10PM EST on AMC.  Last season left us with some sucker punching cliff hangers.

Its all Friedans fault

It's all Friedan's fault

Will Betty Draper figure out the Feminine Mystique before or after the birth of her third, not-really-planned-or-welcome baby?

Will Peggy write the real book on Sex and the Single Girl?

Helen Gurley Brown did Sex and the City in 1962

Helen Gurley Brown did Sex and the City in 1962?

Can Don go a whole season without cheating on his wife (and will it still be fun to watch if he does?)?

Will Pete become history’s first Angry White Male?

Will Roger figure out that to his hot, young fiance, the sexiest thing in his pants is his wallet?

Will Joan finally realize that she’s the bedrock person at the agency?

It’s 1963 and Camelot is about to end with a bang.

Mix a martini and loosen your garter belts.  The times they are a-changin’ on Mad Men.