Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Miss Bush's SOTU Address? Watch It Here

And be sure to catch the Democratic response afterwards...

A Soup and Salad Analysis of Madison Politics

Analogies are fun, and sometimes they can be a useful way to explain complex ideas. Here's how I see the conflict between Progressive Dane and the Dane Dems expressed in terms of soup and salad. Yes, it's silly and oversimplified, but it also gets to the heart of the matter. Please feel free to weigh in on this in the comments.

Once upon a time there was a soup store (the Dane Dems). They were part of a huge national soup franchise that sold reasonably good soup, and by virtue of their sheer size they dominated the market. So one day a salad store (Progressive Dane) opened up across the street. The founders of this new store had looked at the market and recognized that, despite its size, the soup store just wasn't filling people's desire for salad (consistent support for progressive candidates, involvement in local issues, membership participation in critical decisions, and providing the best possible support to candidates). Therefore they believed there was enough room for them to jump into the market.

The soup store ignored the salad store for a while, but eventually the soup store manager noticed that a lot of people who came in to buy soup would then go across the street to buy salad, and some people just bought salad without buying any soup at all! This made him really mad.

He figured that the money customers spent on salad could have been used to buy more soup, and therefore he reached the somewhat justifiable conclusion that the salad store had been cutting into his profits.

So the manager came up with a brilliant strategy. He decided that the answer was to harass his customers if they bought salad:

"What the hell's the matter with you? You want salad with our soup? Isn't our soup good enough for you? If you buy salad I never want to see your sorry ass in here again!" (unless you can muster a two-thirds vote at a membership meeting)

Naturally this had an effect on customers and profits. Unfortunately it wasn't entirely positive.

Now, it seems to me that in this sort of situation it would be far wiser for the soup store to either cut a deal with the salad store or just start selling salad itself.

But what the heck do I know about soup and salad.

SOTU - How Bush Could Save His Legacy