Sunday, June 12, 2005

Met Jerry Brady

I met Jerry Brady today. He ran in 2002 for Governor against Dirk Kempthorne, and will be running in '06 again. Brady took 42% of the vote in 2002 against an incumbant Governor. In 2006 in an open race it could turn brutal. If Brady is capable of taking 42% from an incumbant, an open race for Governor in Idaho could become a very tight race between him and Rep. Butch Otter (R-1st) who has anounced his candidacy.

I had a chance to talk to Brady about Lakoff, he is much more well read in the man's works than I am right now, he believes the argument mostly right. His preferred frame seemed to be "The Three American Stories:"
1. Everyone deserves a fair shot to succeed regardless of where they were born
2. We're all in this together
3. The people at the top are all scumbags

It's an older model of discussion that has always been present in American politics, but it has succeeded in the past and I think can work here. It hits on one of the basic core Democratic values of equity, everyone deserves a chance. It acknowledges that many problems have no black and white solution, and while we have differences the best policy for all of us must be found through a pluralistic discussion of ideas. On the second point he can talk of environmental issues the way former Governor Kitzhaber of Oregon did when he came to the University of Idaho a couple of years ago that so impressed me. We all have an interest in a healthy environment and we cannot exclude environmental groups for the benefit of business, or business groups for the benefit of the environmental lobby for that matter, we can come up with good policy by including everyone's voice. Then finally the third part of his frame allows him to hit on the corruption that is widespread in the Republican Party today as well as the corruption that comes with one party rule as exists in the State of Idaho. Me, I'll keep working on establishing a moral values language, something that I think we'll see a bit of from Brady, but if he can make the basic framework he explained to me work then more power to him. Ultimately this is about coherency of message, something that Democrats are very bad at, and if he can establish any coherent message arround a basic simple frame we may finally see a blue Governor in the reddest of the red States. Please visit the campaign webpage and make a donation, as I start my list of important candidates to support in 2006 with Jerry Brady for Governor of Idaho.

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