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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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31 Responses

  1. Donna L
    Donna L January 29, 2014 at 12:18 pm |

    I don’t know why, but I had a feeling when I saw this thread that it wouldn’t get a single response. I admit that I had no interest in watching the speech — things like that depress me, and I’d prefer to pretend that they don’t exist — and perhaps there are other people here, even among those living in the USA, who feel similarly.

    1. Tim
      Tim January 29, 2014 at 3:34 pm |

      Yup.

    2. Marksman2000
      Marksman2000 January 30, 2014 at 4:33 am |

      Yup.

    3. Tony
      Tony January 31, 2014 at 3:08 am |

      I participate on another forum where electoral politics is discussed and in the decade I’ve been active there, less than 1% of the membership has been female. I can count them on one hand. Surveys show women (along with the poor, young, and minorities) know less about political facts than old, high income white men. I continue to believe that the major reason is that politics is still coded as being something masculine, a (white) “men’s game” so to speak. Why make the effort to become involved in something that you do not feel efficacious in? Ignorance and apathy can be explained by rational choice theory, seriously. Its the same logic as the poor who buy expensive things- the upside of the alternative is too small. The farmers in the sticks won’t turn out until the Willie Starks of the world go up the forks of the creeks and make them feel they matter. Obama seemed like he might do something like that once (I remember in 2008 how people in places like North Dakota and Indiana saw their first presidential candidates in generations), but it was a head fake.

      1. EG
        EG January 31, 2014 at 7:58 am |

        I participate on another forum where electoral politics is discussed and in the decade I’ve been active there, less than 1% of the membership has been female. I can count them on one hand. Surveys show women (along with the poor, young, and minorities) know less about political facts than old, high income white men. I continue to believe that the major reason is that politics is still coded as being something masculine, a (white) “men’s game” so to speak.

        Or maybe your forum isn’t welcoming to women. Or maybe electoral politics is most relevant to old, rich white men because they’re the ones with the most access to it. Or maybe electoral politics is an inherently highly limited way of creating significant change and so is less interesting to those who need that change the most.

        I know plenty of “political facts.” I just see no reason why I should watch any politician talk for an hour or two. Talk is cheap. I stopped caring what any of them say years ago. Further, if I want to know what Obama said in the SotU, I can find it in the papers the following day, and read/skim at my own pace. Whether or not I watch Obama give a speech has absolutely zero political impact. So why should I bother?

        1. Tony
          Tony January 31, 2014 at 12:18 pm |

          I think you’re misreading my comment. We’re making the same points here. (I didn’t watch the SOTU either!)

  2. tigtog
    tigtog January 29, 2014 at 3:49 pm | *

    Viewing fragments from the other side of the world and scanning my Feedly for post titles etc, I gather that most of the reaction has been to the announced intention to raise the federal minimum wage. I’m not surprised that the conservatives are screaming blue murder at that, but am a bit surprised at a fairly muted progressive reaction – it almost seems like the progressives are mired in pessimism regarding this president’s ability to get things through this congress.

    1. SophiaBlue
      SophiaBlue January 29, 2014 at 4:23 pm |

      That’s pretty accurate. Republicans have shown themselves willing to obstruct nearly everything Obama tries to do, and they will throw themselves in broken glass and roll around before they will let the minimum wage be raised.

    2. shfree
      shfree January 29, 2014 at 7:58 pm |

      I almost think he would have a better shot of getting a minimum wage increase if he said the wage would go up never during his presidency, or something along those lines.

      1. Chataya
        Chataya January 29, 2014 at 11:26 pm |

        He should instead propose to lower the minimum wage and watch Repubs tear themselves apart trying to be the first to raise it.

        Obama’s face

    3. rain
      rain January 31, 2014 at 10:22 am |

      a bit surprised at a fairly muted progressive reaction – it almost seems like the progressives are mired in pessimism regarding this president’s ability to get things through this congress.

      Progressive reactions might be muted because it’s hard to get excited knowing that, had minimum wage kept up with productivity, it would be 22 bucks an hour.

  3. Kerandria
    Kerandria January 30, 2014 at 2:18 am |

    I watched the SOTU, and it was a departure from the rallying cries of his former speeches. I can see how people are just too tired/apathetic to bother with watching it/speeches like it in the first place.

  4. Marksman2000
    Marksman2000 January 30, 2014 at 4:49 am |

    I laughed when I saw only seven responses to this thread.

    Government has always been corrupt and beyond our control. Obama is part of that–and he always has been. It doesn’t matter whether these career liars are wearing a red jersey or blue jersey, they’re not on our team.

    Revert back to tar & feathers, I say

    1. sc
      sc January 30, 2014 at 4:33 pm |

      nothing racialized about that suggestion, at all…

      1. EG
        EG January 30, 2014 at 5:07 pm |

        I’m not seeing it . It wasn’t only or mainly or even largely used as a form of lynching.

        1. TimmyTwinkles
          TimmyTwinkles January 30, 2014 at 5:43 pm |

          Agreed, but that doesn’t mean he knows that, and after reading and re-reading the comment the tar and feathering comment seems, at best, extremely random.

        2. EG
          EG January 30, 2014 at 6:08 pm |

          I’m not sure whom “he” is referring to–I think Marksman is a woman.

          I’m not getting what you mean. Tarring and feathering isn’t about lynching particularly, but you’re saying Marksman thinks it is, and that’s why she used it? I don’t see how that makes any sense.

        3. trees
          trees January 30, 2014 at 7:04 pm |

          I’m not seeing it . It wasn’t only or mainly or even largely used as a form of lynching.

          I’m with you on this one. You can criticize Obama, even with allusions to violence, without it being racially coded.

        4. Tony
          Tony January 31, 2014 at 3:24 am |

          If its racialized, I would say its more that, that type of Revolutionary war rhetoric in the service of populism is more associated with the tea party, which is overwhelmingly white. When the left wants to use populist rhetoric it draws proportionately less from the American revolutionary period. It’s somewhat akin to how the “tea party” has appropriated the yellow don’t tread on me flag (as well as the actual Boston “tea party”). The leftist equivalent of tarring and feathering would probably be something akin to the guillotine.

        5. EG
          EG January 31, 2014 at 8:00 am |

          Tarring and feathering long predates the late 18th century.

        6. TimmyTwinkles
          TimmyTwinkles January 31, 2014 at 11:40 am |

          Oh my bad, I was using the “he” based on the term marksman. Basically I’m saying the comment weirded me out because, while i understand and somewhat agree with the criticism that one side is much like the other, I thought the tar and feathering remark kind of came out of left field. And i think that to many people, tar and feathering may very well have (despite being historically incorrect) racial connotations.

        7. Tony
          Tony January 31, 2014 at 12:29 pm |

          Tarring and feathering long predates the late 18th century.

          But it’s use in the 18th century is what most people think of when the term is brought up. Google “Congress should be tarred and feathered.” Most of the links are about Mike Huckabee and Jeb Hensarling saying this. I’m not saying there’s anything inherently right-wing about tarring and feathering (in the revolution, it was used against people thought to be conservatives), or wrong about using the phrase, but it does seem a bit odd to me when I see it in a progressive circle and I think this is why. The tea party has managed to associate certain kinds of rhetoric with itself.

        8. Denise Winters
          Denise Winters February 1, 2014 at 11:05 am |

          The problem with the line of thought that it wasn’t only used in lynchings and other crimes against black people is that the line of thought also applies to all the white critics calling for Obama’s hanging or for him to be strung up. After all, hanging has a long history that predates lynchings targeted toward black people in the U.S. I can see why others would find it a poor phrase to use, and I have to admit even jumped out at me though I don’t necessarily racially motivated past the first instance of reading it.

    2. TimmyTwinkles
      TimmyTwinkles January 30, 2014 at 4:49 pm |

      Yeah dude, the allusion to tar and feathering weirded me out a bit

    3. ldouglas
      ldouglas January 30, 2014 at 5:25 pm |

      SC, Timmy- enough with the innuendo, if you think something is out of line, just say why.

      1. TimmyTwinkles
        TimmyTwinkles January 30, 2014 at 5:31 pm |

        Why don’t I jump down someone’s throat like yourself and blow something up way bigger than it needs to be? Figure that one out on your own.

        1. ldouglas
          ldouglas January 30, 2014 at 6:44 pm |

          You’re seriously accusing me of overreacting while, with a straight face, arguing that despite the fact that Marksman’s comment wasn’t racist, Marksman might not have known it wasn’t racist and therefore should be called out?

        2. ldouglas
          ldouglas January 30, 2014 at 6:45 pm |

          In the hopes of avoiding a kerfluffle, my point was that both you and SC suggested there was something offensive about Marksman’s post but didn’t specify what it was, which makes it difficult to know what to make of it.

        3. TimmyTwinkles
          TimmyTwinkles January 31, 2014 at 11:36 am |

          That’s fair enough. Honestly I responded sharply because I said exactly what I meant; that is, that it weirded me out a bit. I do agree with EG in terms of tar and feathering not historically being a method of lynching (usually), it just seemed like a very random reference to me. I understand Marksman’s point about one being the same as the other, just thought the tar and feathering remark was at best odd.

    4. Ally S
      Ally S January 31, 2014 at 2:25 pm |

      Amen to that.

  5. Marksman2000
    Marksman2000 February 8, 2014 at 2:49 pm |

    My statement had nothing to do with race, but it focused on the fact that government doesn’t work for us–and hasn’t for a long time. To me, the term “tar & feather” conjures images of the smug tax collector coming around with his overflowing pot–but receiving something else.

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