Making good Mondays is like making coffee -

The week is before us - like the coffee pot - waiting to brew. Making it good is a matter of choice, luck, creativity, patience and acceptance of the outcome.

Currently at Making Good Mondays

Active elements on this page: Occasionally I will publish a new blog post, but I write mostly at other sites.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

National Journal Magazine - Putting Faces On Attitudes

Those who backed Obama remain supportive even though they say that he has not accomplished much so far. Those who opposed him still do, but they acknowledge that he inherited some stubborn problems.


Obama's backers exhibit a dogged intensity in their support of him personally. They fervently wish for him to succeed, but some worry that he has spread himself too thin. A year ago, these voters had tremendous -- and probably unrealistically high -- hopes for the new president. They now realize that he does not have a magic wand.

The Obama critics in the focus group begrudgingly concede his intelligence, knowledge, and rhetorical abilities, but they suggest that he is more sizzle than steak and that his inexperience is showing. More than a few of these voters exhibited a bit of an "I told you so" mentality.

But although divisions over Obama remain much the same as last year, the group was united in its disgust toward official Washington and Congress. The president's partisans can take comfort from the fact that his supporters have not abandoned him even after 10 months of a tough recession; but Democratic strategists should be quite worried because the warm and fuzzy, hopeful and admiring sentiments expressed about Obama do not extend to Democrats in Congress. A "pox on both your houses" sentiment was palpable among Obama and McCain supporters.

One telling moment came after Hart asked each voter to write the name that comes to mind when they think of Congress. Bill, a 62-year-old retired automobile-industry executive and independent who backed Obama, wrote "Satan." When Hart asked why, Bill answered, "Because I wasn't sure of the correct spelling of 'Beelzebub.' " Now that's intensity.

Watching Hart conduct a focus group is like watching a maestro at work before a symphony. He pokes and prods, asking participants to explain what they mean, and probes attitudes in a way that no poll can. The Annenberg Center has been sponsoring such focus groups for 10 years. This one will air on C-SPAN soon.

Peter Hart recently conducted another of his masterful public opinion round table focus groups at the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. One of my favorite reporters, Charlie Cook, gives a good view of it here. It was a fascinating C-SPAN program broadcast late last night.

The group consisted of Republicans, Democrats and Independents, with some familiarity with politics and government, and a willingness to respect each others' opinions. Their scorn for a do-nothing Congress and for the administration's bale-out of failing companies on Wall Street was very clearly palpable. And their widespread skepticism for staying any longer in Afghanistan was almost unanimous. Parenthetically, the meeting was help a couple of days before the President's Afghan strategy speech.

President Obama still has some time to get things right, but this group is impatient with the pace of the promised change. And, in their minds, Bush gets a pass and Obama now owns it all. And everyone has very high regard for the First Lady, comparing her to Jackie Kennedy.

Watch the program if you get another chance. In my opinion it is a very accurate reflection of the "Main Street" so ignored by the corporate media and self-serving leaders in Washington.

Posted via web from Southwest Postings


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References on Spirituality -- Favorites from my old collection

  • "A Return To Love: Reflections On the Principles Of a Course In Miracles" by Marianne Williamson. Harper Collins, 1992
  • "A World Waiting To Be Born: Civility Rediscovered" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Chicken Soup For the Unsinkable Soul" by Canfield, Hansen and McNamara. Health Communications, 1999
  • "Compassion in Action: Setting Out On the Path of Service" by Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush. Bell Tower Pub., 1992
  • "Creative Visualization" by Shakti Gawain. MIF Books, 1978
  • "Finding Values That Work: The Search For Fulfillment" by Brian O'Connell. Walker & Co., 1978
  • "Fire in the Soul" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1993
  • "Further Along the Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Guilt Is the Teacher, Love Is the Lesson" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1990
  • "Inner Simplicity: 100 Ways To Regain Peace and Nourish the Soul" by Elaine St. James. Hyperion, 1995
  • "Insearch:Psychology and Religion" by James Hillman. Spring Pub. 1994
  • "Man's Search For Himself" by Rollo May. Signet Books, 1953
  • "Mythologies" by William Butler Yeats. Macmillan, 1959
  • "Myths, Dreams and Religion" by Joseph Campbell. Spring Pub. 1988
  • "Passion for Life: Psychology and the Human Spirit" by John and Muriel James. Penguin Books, 1991
  • "Peace Is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Bantam Books , 1991
  • "The Heroine's Journey" by Mureen Murdock. Random House, 1990
  • "The Hope For Healing Human Evil" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1983
  • "The House of Belonging" poems by David Whyte. Many Rivers Press, 2004
  • "The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth" by M.Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1978
  • "The Soul's Code: In Search Of Character and Calling" by James Hillman. Random House, 1996
  • "The World Treasury of Modern Religious Thought" by Jaroslav Pelikan. Little, Brown & Co., 1990
  • "Unconditional Life" by Deepak Chopra. Bantam Books, 1992
  • "Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation" by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Hyperion, 1994
  • "Zen Keys: A Guide to Zen Practice" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Doubleday Dell Pub. Group, 1974

About Me

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A retired counselor, I am equal parts Techie and Artist. I am a Democrat who came to the Southwest to attend college. I married, had kids and have lived here all my adult life.