Homework assignment for holiday parties and reunions

As Barack Obama assembles his cabinet and key White House advisers, he’s choosing a lot more people from the “centrist” or corporate-friendly wing of the Democratic Party than movement progressives. He is leaving George Bush’s Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, in place. He has also made some symbolic moves that angered a lot of progressives, in particular selecting Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration.

I understand the political arguments in favor of Obama’s strategy, and opinion polls support some of them. When asked whether they approve of Obama or how he is handling the transition (different pollsters ask the question differently), anywhere from 65 percent to 75 percent of Americans are saying they approve.

I’ve been wondering how much Obama’s conciliatory gestures have been helping him with Republicans and conservatives of the wingnut variety. I’m not talking about Jim Leach Republicans, I’m talking about the kind of person who really believed Obama was a “socialist.”

For example, one of my friends told me last month that her mother’s best friend believes changing the American flag will be “the first order of business” when Obama takes office. I am not kidding.

In the next ten days, many of us will attend holiday parties and family reunions. I don’t recommend that you bring up politics at these events if that would make people uncomfortable. However, if you come from a family where politics are often discussed when folks get together, I would like to hear from you.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find out whether your conservative friends and relatives have abandoned some of their more paranoid beliefs about Obama since he was elected. In other words, how well have Obama’s conciliatory gestures allayed conservative fears about his intentions? Is he likely to get more of a honeymoon than Bill Clinton did in 1993?

Feel free to post your own diary or a comment in this thread.

  • Will Obama change the American flag?/Homework...

    Re:  “one of my friends told me last month that her mother’s best friend believes changing the American flag will be “the first order of business” when Obama takes office. I am not kidding.”

    This does not surprise me one bit and it should not surprise anyone who reads this blog. Progressives need to realize these people are not paranoid.  They are listening to conservative talk radio – Limbaugh, Hannity, and too many “shock jocks” to name here.  The next time you hear an Iowan say something like that, ask them what their favorite radio station is.  I’ll bet you anything if they live in or around central Iowa, they are regular listeners of WHO Radio, where they are fed a daily diet of 8 1/2 hours per day of the rightest and wackiest of conservative talk. Even outside of central Iowa, you can get WHO all the way to Iowa City, and Limbaugh on practically any station. Let’s not forget FOX News and Glenn Beck on the TV… what do we expect?  

    I’ve been banging this drum for a while now.  If anyone is interested in helping address Iowa’s problem of WHO radio, please speak up.  

    • you are right, I'm sure

      This woman happens to be from Colorado, but talk radio everywhere is dominated by the same voices.

      I am curious to see how the cognitive dissonance will be resolved when Obama does not change the American flag, for instance.

      But getting back to your point, it seems that talking to WHO’s advertisers has the most potential to alter the station’s overwhelming bias. It’s a very soft market for radio advertising now. The last thing they want is to hear from their advertisers that they no longer want to be associated with this or that program because of whatever crazy lie the host told about Obama.

  • right wing talk radio

    True, individuals contacting a station’s advertisers can be effective, but there’s more we can do if we get organized. We need to start monitoring the stations and calling into the shows, writing LTEs, and reviewing their public inspection files. Thanks for your comments and again, if anyone is interested in a coordinated action to address the problem of right-wing talk radio in Iowa, post a comment here or contact me at blog3@democracyforiowa.com.

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    I would be very willing to contact WHO advetisers.  Jan Mickelson is an idiot.  I don’t think he would know the truth if it came up and bit him.

    I couldn’t stand Dace when he was trying to do sports.  No he is another rightwing blowhard.  I did enjoy reading about his show with Doug Grose.  According to the Register it was quite a fight.  I will love it when the republican civil war starts.

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