The Next Lakoff


Meet Drew Westen, author of The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation:

Drew Westen, a genial 48-year-old psychologist and brain researcher, was talking to a rapt liberal audience about the role of emotion in politics, how to talk back aggressively to Republicans, and why going negative is not to be feared.

It was Day 2 of the progressive Take Back America confab, and those who had crowded into a meeting room of the Washington Hilton were about to discover why Westen, a psychology professor at Atlanta’s Emory University and former associate professor at Harvard Medical School, had quietly become the great rumpled hope of Democrats who believe their candidates should have won the last two presidential elections.

Example: When President Bush recently refused to allow Karl Rove to testify under oath about his role in the sacking of federal prosecutors, Westen said, Democrats blundered. Instead of insisting Rove testify under oath, they simply should have said (over and over), "Mr. Bush, just what is it about ‘So help me God’ that you find so offensive?"

Read the whole article here. The problem Westen’s work addresses is well known: The Rs have learned how to effectively communicate to the gut, and run rings around the Ds who talk to the brain (recall the Bush-Kerry debates). Westen is the guy who looks like he could change this.

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  1. Swami  •  Jul 12, 2007 @10:09 am

    Boener has got it down..”Wimps”. We all know that real men don’t cut and run, they stand fast behind their leader. Boener was the one who got all mushy and started bawling with emotion while defending Bush’s Iraqi fiasco. What surprised me most was that I always thought that reptiles didn’t have tear ducts..seems I was wrong about Boeners crocodile tears.

  2. erinyes  •  Jul 12, 2007 @4:47 pm

    Good job Moonbat!
    Are you Male or female?
    Just askin’………….

  3. moonbat  •  Jul 12, 2007 @5:23 pm

    Thanks erinyes. I’m a guy, although my writing voice comes off sounding (to me anyway) as a woman, at least some of the time. Very sorry to hear about your younger brother – it sounds devastating.

  4. Fool e  •  Jul 20, 2007 @4:36 am

    Alleviating ignorance has not been as effectual as the R’s management of it.