Category Archives: politics

How is Success Defined? Part 2: Burn out

How is Success Defined? Part 2: Burn out
Friends in south caroline

Kate, Matt, and Sarah at a Barack Obama rally during the South Carolina primaries.

What do you do when someone you trusted and loved tells you that they find your lack of success and happiness in your career to be a problem for them?

If you ever have the not-so-good fortune to find yourself in a position to be demeaned and belittled by someone for your “status” in life, I recommend pepper spray. I find myself as a southern woman asking the question: who raised you to think this was appropriate to say out loud? But the reality is some people really truly view status and success differently.

After nearly 10 years in politics I recently experienced what many refer to as “burn out.” Some due to exhaustion, some due to a general cynicism with the way Washington works (See Sam Youngman’s piece in Politico Magazine) and it’s ever present disconnection to the rest of the country. I have achieved more by 31 with less education and less money than most people do with law degrees by the time they turn 41. I’m proud of my work, the money I raised for candidates (which by today’s standards probably looks minuscule), and the pieces I had published in The Nation, Mother Jones, and at CNN back during the 2008 Presidential campaign.  I have the blessing and misfortune of having peaked at around 27 or 28 years old.

And somewhere along the way, the work I was doing stopped being meaningful. It became more about making other people money than making a difference or helping get a law passed or preventing someone from something crazy etc. When I was writing stories I met people whose lives were forever changed by something important or they themselves were impacting the world doing something important and their stories themselves were meaningful.

I felt a kinship with Youngman, a fellow “southerner” who, I imagine, was raised with the same values and emphasis on humility that I was.  Like him, I was happier when I was traveling the country – mostly because I was with Matt Segal or a former co-blogger Mike Connery and talking and writing about our generation.

Several months ago Matt asked me why I didn’t write anymore saying he missed it. Some of it was that I was consulting for my friend’s campaign and I pulled down my website because I was afraid of any backlash she might incur because I’m “colorful” but some of it was that living in DC there are few stories to tell. Oh look!  Another cocktail party I am forcing myself to go to this week so that I look like I’m still in the beltway culture. It gets old when the most interesting stories you hear are from bartenders and escorts.

I don’t know what the solution is and I’m still struggling to find it, but Matt has asked me to go back on the road with him and I’m inclined to do it. I may never be considered successful in the eyes of the thoughtless individual who didn’t know my history of amazing and incredible accomplishments throughout my career.  But with friends like Matt and Jarrett, like my friends back home in Oklahoma who have been so motivational, thoughtful, and supportive maybe getting back to writing and telling others’ stories is in my future.


I’m so tired of your inaction

I’m so tired of your inaction

if our kids had gunsI tried to unplug all weekend and watch anything but news – go to the movies – do some Christmas shopping to get some stuff for my folks and my grandpa.  On Friday I was angry.  I watched the President wipe away tears and I was angry.  I woke up Saturday morning, angry.  I tweeted angry tweets.  And last night I heard the President’s prayer for families burring their children and I became even more…. angry.

I’m exhausted.  I’m so so tired of our country burring our children.  I’m tired of watching as my generation and others die in a holocaust of useless violence.  I’m tired of feeling the unnecessary suffering of our society each and every day and seeing it in the hollow eyes of people that walk past.  I’m tired of relieved politicians hugging their own children close this Christmas while others stick theirs in the ground.  I’m disgusted by the fear of elected officials to stand up to the gun lobby – as if they themselves are afraid of a round of political ammunition being propelled at their chests.  And I am sick and tired of their need to blame everyone except themselves while they slide their PAC checks into their deposit bags.

The thing that makes me sad is not the image I generated in my mind of those poor sweet faces that spent the night in that school while the scene was cleared, it’s not the furry of right-wing talk show hosts who pretended this wouldn’t have happened if every 6 year old had a glock in their lunchbox, nor is it the need for the gun lobby to insist this is all about mental health while not supporting mental health background checks…. instead its that this won’t be the last one of these we see.  This won’t be the end.  It doesn’t end today, it only continues today.  I have no hope that anything will ever really change.

Peter Daou wrote that until we all admit we’re morally culpable nothing will happen.  And he’s right.

When a pipe bursts in your basement do you try to fix it without turning off the water?  Turn off the water first, fix the damn pipe.  Instead, our country is too busy arguing why the basement is flooding while our children are drowning.

How Young Voters Impacted the 2012 Election How they can do MORE

How Young Voters Impacted the 2012 Election How they can do MORE

2012 Election Young VotersMy piece following up on the 2012 election and the impact the Millennial Generation had is up.  I go into what one of the greatest downfalls of 2010 was and what the White House and Democrats can do to avoid another catastrophic bloodbath.  Read more to find out!

Via RH Reality Check:

This week, young people proved once again that they are a powerful force for political change. For example, 18- to 30-year-olds made up the largest margin of support for President Barack Obama in four key swing states, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, according to data from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Engagement (CIRCLE).

For weeks we heard from pundits and Republican operatives that the Romney campaign was going after young voters. Certainly Karl Rove’s organization Crossroads Generation coordinated significant outreach to young people, and the Romney campaign never conceded the President’s popularity with the Millennial Generation. But, once more, young voters came home to democratic candidates and progressive ideologies and did so in significant numbers.


HuffPo’s BS Best Facebook List

HuffPo’s BS Best Facebook List

Today the Huffington Post did another useless list that categories people that should be “subscribed to” because their Facebook pages are so OMG AWESOME!

So go look at it – no seriously go look.  Can we please, universally agree, that in order to qualify for a decent Facebook page you have to have 1. upgraded to the Facebook Timeline, 2.  have publicly viewed content available, and 3. have a cover photo?  If you don’t have your shit together enough to even be actually managing your Facebook page then you’re undeserving of being on a top 50 list.  Also can we also say that shameless self promotion of Huffington Post writers is also a little humiliating?  I mean come on, I really love Amanda Terkel and she’s deserving but – it’s all just an attempt to generate content to get a bigger audience for the writers and promote their content on HuffPo for bigger readerships and higher ad dollars.

Evidence these recommendations are BS?  First of all Laurin Manning as number 37?  Come on.  She’s far better than half of the people listed above her.  Also, I think a qualification is that you have to actually share something that matters on Facebook at least once a day to qualify as being a valued.  I’m looking at you Bill Frist.

Want to know the best thing about them suggesting you subscribe to Bill Schneider’s feed is?  They might have done a screen cap – of his non-upgraded Facebook Timeline – but they neglected to also show you the rest of the page which features an AWESOME spam photo that has been on his account since April 29th.  Lookin classy Bill!!  Maybe hire a young person to teach you how to run the FaceSpace, eh?

Bill Schneider

I’ll bet Ed Gillespie has a lot of amazing incredible intelligent insights and opinions about politics and policy – ya know for the people who are on his side of the isle.  Thing is… you’re not gonna find them on his Facebook page.  Wanna know why?  Because Ed Gellespie hasn’t posted anything public on his Facebook Timeline since… well… I don’t know because after clicking “more” about 12 times I got bored and quit.  So you want to have an intelligent political conversation with Ed over something he was quoted saying or something he wrote? Try approaching him in a bar instead.

Ed Gillespie

These are just a few of the 50 people who are are a waste of your time.  Thanks so much Huffington Post for taking time to write about how AWESOME these people are instead of giving the spot to people who actually use Facebook the way it should be used.   I can’t wait to see who’s the best Twitter accounts.  Ten bucks they say it’s Brian Williams.  Because OMG his tweets are AWESOME!