Speech has consequences. It ought to.
In America, we have an elaborate set of laws strictly limiting the government’s ability to inflict those consequences. That is right and fit; the First Amendment prevents the government from punishing us for most speech.
Private consequences are something else. Speech is designed to invoke private and social consequences, whether the speech is “venti mocha no whip, please,” or “I love you,” or “fuck off.”1 The private and social consequences of your speech — whether they come from a barista, or your spouse, or people online, or people at whom you shout on the street — represent the free speech and freedom of association of others.
Yet people often confuse these categories. It’s one of the fundamental errors of free speech analysis that I like to write about the most. I praise people who get it right — like a university administrator who points out that racist speech is not sanctionable, but will have social consequences — and ridicule people who get it wrong — like people who apply the term “bullying” to any criticism of their speech, or assert a right not to be criticized for being an asshole, or generally proclaim that criticism is tyranny.
Yet the idea persists.
But speech has private social consequences, and it’s ridiculous to expect otherwise. Whether sincere or motivated by poseur edginess, controversial words have social consequences. Those social consequences are inseparable from the free speech and free association rights of the people imposing them. It is flatly irrational to suggest that I should be able to act like a dick without being treated like a dick by my fellow citizens.
Some criticize social consequences as being chilling to free speech. That misappropriates the language of First Amendment scrutiny of government restrictions on speech and seeks to impose it upon private speech. It is true, superficially, that I am chilled from saying bigoted things because people will call me a bigot, or chilled from saying stupid things because people will call me stupid. But how is that definition of chill coherent or principled? How do you apply it? If Pax Dickinson suggests that “feminism in tech” is something to be scorned, to we treat that as something that as first-speaker speech that we ought not chill with criticism, or do we treat it as a second-speaker attempt to chill the speech of the “feminists in tech” with criticism? What rational scheme do you use to determine what speech is “legitimate disagreement,” and what speech is abusive and “chilling”?
Ken White “Speech And Consequences”, Popehat, 2013-09-10
November 22, 2013
November 20, 2013
I have a terrible memory for people’s names (and no, it’s not just early senility … I’ve always had trouble remembering names). For example, I’ve been a member of the same badminton club for nearly 15 years and there are still folks there whose names just don’t register: not just new members, but people I’ve played with or against on dozens of occasions. I know them … I just can’t remember their names in a timely fashion. David Friedman suggests that Google Glass might be the solution I need:
I first encountered the solution to my problem in Double Star, a very good novel by Robert Heinlein. It will be made possible, in a higher tech version, by Google glass. The solution is the Farley File, named after FDR’s campaign manager.
A politician such as Roosevelt meets lots of people over the course of his career. For each of them the meeting is an event to be remembered and retold. It is much less memorable to the politician, who cannot possibly remember the details of ten thousand meetings. He can, however, create the illusion of doing so by maintaining a card file with information on everyone he has ever met: The name of the man’s wife, how many children he has, his dog, the joke he told, all the things the politician would have remembered if the meeting had been equally important to him. It is the job of one of the politician’s assistants to make sure that, any time anyone comes to see him, he gets thirty seconds to look over the card.
My version will use more advanced technology, courtesy of Google glass or one of its future competitors. When I subvocalize the key word “Farley,” the software identifies the person I am looking at, shows me his name (that alone would be worth the price) and, next to it, whatever facts about him I have in my personal database. A second trigger, if invoked, runs a quick search of the web for additional information.
Evernote has an application intended to do some of this (Evernote Hello), but it still requires the immersion-breaking act of accessing your smartphone to look up your contact information. Something similar in a Google Glass or equivalent environment might be the perfect solution.
October 16, 2013
Brendan McKenna linked to this Huffington Post piece, providing a gentle reminder to too many Facebook users about their insufferable posting habits:
To be unannoying, a Facebook status typically has to be one of two things:
You know why these are unannoying? Because things in those two categories do something for me, the reader. They make my day a little better.
Ideally, interesting statuses would be fascinating and original (or a link to something that is), and funny ones would be hilarious. But I’ll happily take mildly amusing — at least we’re still dealing with the good guys.
On the other hand, annoying statuses typically reek of one or more of these five motivations:
1) Image Crafting. The author wants to affect the way people think of her.
2) Narcissism. The author’s thoughts, opinions, and life philosophies matter. The author and the author’s life are interesting in and of themselves.
3) Attention Craving. The author wants attention.
4) Jealousy Inducing. The author wants to make people jealous of him or his life.
5) Loneliness. The author is feeling lonely and wants Facebook to make it better. This is the least heinous of the five — but seeing a lonely person acting lonely on Facebook makes me and everyone else sad. So the person is essentially spreading their sadness, and that’s a shitty thing to do, so it’s on the list.
Facebook is infested with these five motivations — other than a few really saintly people, most people I know, myself certainly included, are guilty of at least some of this nonsense here and there. It’s an epidemic.
October 5, 2013
In Maclean’s, Jesse Brown looks at the ominous signs of change for Twitter’s users in a post-IPO world:
As a private company, Twitter prioritized the user’s experience. I would go so far to say that providing an excellent user experience was the whole point of Twitter’s existence.
I didn’t get Twitter, at first. It seemed like just a stripped-down, feature-limited version of Facebook’s News Feed. Of course, that was the whole idea. By constraining users to 140 characters of text and a few buttons for sharing, “favoriting” or replying, and by eliminating the concept of mutually accepted friendship as a requirement for network growth, Twitter provided a simple, lightweight, super-charged information machine. The initial absence of pictures and video helped it move lightly across the slower phones of the time, and the arbitrary, spartan limitation on tweet length was a stroke of brilliance, forcing brevity upon its users to prevent blabbermouths and spammers from clogging up everybody’s feeds.
They will soon be under intense pressure to bring that number up, and in preparation, Twitter is moving away from sponsored tweets and sponsored trends, investing heavily in slick, complicated new ad products like Twitter Amplify, which embeds video clips into tweets with unskippable pre-roll ads. I can’t imagine any Twitter user saying “what this service really needs is some TV commercials!”
And whereas once Twitter played nicely with other apps, welcoming other companies (like Canada’s HootSuite) to build new apps that plug into Twitter and build on its network, they’ve since been frustrating developers with increasingly restrictive changes to its API, the interface it provides to outsiders. Last year, for example, Twitter put a cap on the number of users a third-party app could support. Now, if your Twitter-based service gets too popular, you’ll have to ask Twitter for permission to grow.
October 2, 2013
Published on 25 Sep 2013
Bruce Schneier gives us a glimpse of the future of the internet, and shares some of the context we should keep in mind, and the insights we need to understand, as we prepare for it. Learn more about Bruce Schneier at https://www.schneier.com and TEDxCambridge at http://www.tedxcambridge.com.
About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
October 1, 2013
Techdirt‘s Mike Masnick on the no-we’re-actually-serious “joke” PRSM network:
Soon after the very earliest reporting on Ed Snowden’s leaked documents about PRISM, the folks from Datacoup put together the very amusing GETPRSM website, which looks very much like the announcement of a new social network, but (the joke is) it’s really the NSA scooping up all our data and making the connections. It’s pretty funny. Except, of course, when you find out that it’s real. And, yes, that seems to be the latest revelation out of Ed Snowden’s leaks. The NY Times has an article by James Risen and Laura Poitras (what a combo reporting team there!) detailing how the NSA has basically built its own “shadow” social network in which it tries to create a “social graph” of pretty much everyone that everyone knows, foreign or American, and it all happens (of course) without a warrant. And, note, this is relatively new:
The agency was authorized to conduct “large-scale graph analysis on very large sets of communications metadata without having to check foreignness” of every e-mail address, phone number or other identifier, the document said. Because of concerns about infringing on the privacy of American citizens, the computer analysis of such data had previously been permitted only for foreigners.
The agency can augment the communications data with material from public, commercial and other sources, including bank codes, insurance information, Facebook profiles, passenger manifests, voter registration rolls and GPS location information, as well as property records and unspecified tax data, according to the documents. They do not indicate any restrictions on the use of such “enrichment” data, and several former senior Obama administration officials said the agency drew on it for both Americans and foreigners.
There were apparently two policy changes that allowed this to happen, and both occurred in the past three years. First, in November of 2010, the NSA was allowed to start looking at phone call and email logs of Americans to try to help figure out associations for “foreign intelligence purposes.” Note that phrase. We’ll come back to it. For years, the NSA had been barred from viewing any content on US persons, and the NSA, President Obama and others have continued to insist to this day that there are minimization procedures that prevent spying on Americans. Except, this latest revelation shows that, yet again, this isn’t actually true.
September 7, 2013
Chris Kluwe has a bit of experience as both a professional athlete and as a social media guru. Here’s some advice from him on how other professionals should handle their Twitter feeds:
When you’re a professional athlete on social media, there are certain unspoken rules (I lied, some of them are spoken in media meetings) you’re expected to abide by. The team (or company, really) wants you to be engaging, because that draws interest and boosts ticket/jersey sales, but it’s best if you’re only engaging on innocuous subjects. Teams really like it when you tweet “Rise and grind” each morning, or “gr8 day wth my tmmates, gettin that work in,” or “TEAM PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITY GOES HERE” — because it’s seen as the pinnacle of wit, you’re interacting with fans, and above all, it’s comfortably inoffensive (except, perhaps, to those with a dislike of the redundant and an appreciation of spelling and grammar, but no one really cares about those people, amirite?). Michael Jordan’s famous quote holds even more true today than it did in the ’90s:
“Republicans buy sneakers, too.”
You see, we’re in the business of selling you entertainment! We’re also in the business of selling you everything that goes along with entertainment, like sneakers, and jerseys, and sweatsuits, and mini-helmets, and commemorative plates, and cars, and alcohol… well, you get the idea. The funny thing about entertainment companies is that without fail, they want to grab the biggest slice of the pie they can, and the pie is biggest when it’s watered down and spread out and so generic that anyone can stomach a bite. It might not taste like much, but it sure is easy to keep choking it down the old gullet.
What teams don’t like is spice. Flavor. Something that makes people angry, gets folks riled up. They hate to see those messages that could possibly alienate a buyer, no matter how odious that buyer’s views may be.
September 3, 2013
Russell Taylor went to a wedding recently, in a rural area outside the range of cell towers and wifi signals. Some of his fellow guests treated the lack of connectivity as if it were the end of the world. The constant need to be “connected” has other unhealthy aspects:
Where social media differs from telephone, radio or television is in turning its users into broadcasters. This makes it useful as a business tool and as a gazette for news of interest to family and loved ones; but it also enables bores and exhibitionists to publish their every passing thought. This self-absorbed waffling does little to bring people together. On the contrary, it appears to distort their perception of others, until they become mere abstractions: bit-part players in the story of their lives.
This phenomenon was seen in extremis in the reaction of onlookers to the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby earlier this year. Rather than running to his aid, finding a policeman or simply freezing in terror, dozens of bystanders whipped out their phones and started filming the horror show unfolding before them. Possibly they figured that by the time the police had done a risk assessment and checked their diversity training was in order, the killers would be at home with their feet up; in which case, capturing some incriminating video evidence was the responsible thing to do. But I doubt it. It’s far more likely that they saw someone being butchered and simply thought, “Wait until they see this on Facebook”.
When your first reaction to seeing someone murdered is to film it and post it online, you are no longer an active moral being; you’re a detached observer of the world around you. If this is a symptom of the always-connected age, so too is faux concern. Consider those Facebook posts that ask you to ‘like’ a sob story about a complete stranger. They have to be among the most pitiful and inauthentic expressions of human emotion ever devised, making the wearing of a charity wristband look like donating a kidney by comparison. When someone being hacked to death is an exciting ‘I was there’ moment and compassion is demonstrated by means of a mouse-click, something is seriously awry with our moral compass.
The big question is whether social media has contributed to this apparent atomisation of society, or if people’s use of it is merely a symptom. Or could the relationship between the two be dialectical? If so, habitual users of social media can expect to see their usage increase as their resemblance to well-adjusted human beings diminishes. Time will tell how much further they have to fall, but once you start treating murder as status update gold, you must already be somewhere near the bottom.
August 12, 2013
Cory Doctorow explains why so many of us have gotten into the habit of oversharing personal details in our social media activities:
Whenever government surveillance is debated, someone inevitably points out that it is no cause for alarm, since people already overshare sensitive personal information on Facebook. This means there’s hardly anything to be gleaned from state surveillance that isn’t already there for the taking on social media.
It’s true people overshare on social networks, providing information in ways that they later come to regret. The consequences of oversharing range widely, from losing a job to being outed for your sexual orientation. If you live in a dictatorship, intercepted social media sessions can be used by those in charge to compile enemies lists, determining whom to arrest, whom to torture, and – potentially – whom to murder.
The key reason for oversharing is that cause and effect are separated by volumes of time and space, so understanding the consequences can be difficult. Imagine practising penalty kicks by kicking the ball and then turning around before it lands; two years later, someone visits you and tells you where your kicks ended up. This is the kind of feedback loop we contend with when it comes to our privacy disclosures.
In other words, you may make a million small and large disclosures on different services, with different limits on your sharing preferences, and many years later, you lose your job. Or your marriage. Or maybe your life, if you’re unlucky enough to have your Facebook scraped by a despot who has you in his dominion.
August 9, 2013
Greg Jennings was Minnesota’s big name signing over the offseason. He was brought in from the Green Bay Packers (who have a surplus of good receivers) to at least partially fill the hole in the roster from the departure of Percy Harvin. Since he arrived in Minnesota, Jennings has been a veritable cornucopia of media-worthy gems of casual abuse directed at his former team (and Aaron Rodgers in particular). Jim Souhan says this is a good thing:
It began as a strange and unnatural occurrence, like one of those unverified online photos of a chimp hanging out with a bird. Now it’s threatening to become a bizarre tradition, or, as the kids so eloquently put it, “a thing.”
Every four years or so, the Vikings should steal one of the Packers’ best offensive players, just to create the kind of sideshow that can make even training camp interesting.
In 2009, and 2010, and into 2011, Brett Favre turned the already fascinating Vikings-Packers rivalry into something it had never before been on any meaningful level: incestuous.
In 2013, Greg Jennings is one-upping Favre, not in terms of existential angst and passive aggressiveness, but with new-age, self-aware, YouTube-able, Twitter-ready, Facebook-enflaming, border-crossing Scud missiles designed to invoke an emotional response even if they miss the target.
Jennings, the new Viking and former Packer receiver, is, as the kids say, “trolling” his former team. If you’re too young to know what “trolling” is, just listen to Jennings a few times, and you’ll get the idea.
In July, in an interview with the Star Tribune’s Dan Wiederer, he poked holes in the flawless image of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, raising or confirming questions about Rodgers’ ego and leadership skills.
This week, Jennings told KFAN that the Packers had “brainwashed” him into believing that Green Bay was the land of milk and honey-flavored cheddar, that operations such as the Vikings were inherently flawed.
If true, that’s fascinating. If not, Jennings is fascinating.
August 1, 2013
J.D. Tuccille looks at the rise of Twitter … not so much its rise in users, but the rise in government interest and interference:
You know you’ve arrived as an online media operation when governments take an interest in who is speaking out, and make efforts to muzzle what’s published. That’s definitely the case with Twitter, the microblogging platform that started as an outlet for exhibitionist ADHD sufferers, only to become a powerful medium for sharing news and grassroots organizing. According to the company’s latest transparency report, governments around the world are issuing ever-more demands for information about the service’s users, and stepping up efforts to suppress tweeted content.
From January 1 through June 30 of this year, Twitter received 1,157 government requests for private information about users and accounts, up from 849 during the same period in 2012. Of those, authorities in the United States were responsible for 902 requests. Twitter complied in whole or part with 55 percent of all requests — 67 percent of those originating in the U.S.
Interestingly, roughly 20 percent of information requests issued by American authorities were “under seal,” meaning that Twitter was forbidden to fulfill its usual policy of informing users about requests for their private information.
July 28, 2013
All good things must come to an end, I guess, so I’ve bid goodbye to the old Tweetdeck, which has been a reliable Twitter client for me for the last several years. When the Twitter corporation took over the original Tweetdeck development, I thought it would be a good thing … until I saw the first release of the “new” Tweetdeck client. It sucked. It was as though the development team’s mission was to find all the good features of the old Tweetdeck and comprehensively ruin them. If that was the case, they succeeded terribly well.
I stuck with the old version of Tweetdeck until it finally stopped working earlier this week. Right now, I’m trying out Janetter, which has been relatively painless to install and configure, and replaces most of the functionality that Tweetdeck used to have. Hopefully, it’ll be around as long as the old Tweetdeck was.
Follow-up to this post from earlier in the week.
July 15, 2013
In Canada, we do things a bit differently these days:
— Stephen Harper (@pmharper) July 15, 2013
— Stephen Harper (@pmharper) July 15, 2013
— Stephen Harper (@pmharper) July 15, 2013
— Stephen Harper (@pmharper) July 15, 2013
— Stephen Harper (@pmharper) July 15, 2013
And on, naming each new minister or minister with changed portfolio.
July 14, 2013
I haven’t written anything about the Zimmerman trial in Florida, and (I just checked) haven’t linked to anything about it either. I don’t watch TV, so I managed to avoid the round-the-clock coverage on US networks, too. As a result, I’m less surprised at the jury’s decision than a lot of people seem to be. For my fellow (in this case) low-information readers, Doug Mataconis wraps up the trial:
… I really don’t see the kind of instant trial analysis that was occurring on each of the cable networks covering the case to be of any value. Indeed, I think that kind of analysis tends to cloud the way that viewers see the case because, unlike the jurors, they are being exposed not just to what unfolds when the camera shows witness testimony but also what they analysts, both pro-defense and pro-prosecution, are telling them. The feeling was reinforced as I watched this case being discussed on social media over the past three weeks and it became apparent to me that many people had already made up their minds about Zimmerman’s guilt or innocence and were viewing the case accordingly. Rulings that Judge Debra Nelson, the presiding Judge, made that were in favor of one side or the others were viewed as being part of some conspiracy. Even when she denied the Defense’s Motion for Judgment of Acquittal at the end of the State’s case, something that happens in pretty much every criminal case given that Judges are loathe to take a case out of a jury’s hands unless there’s simply no evidence to support guilt, it was seen by Zimmerman supporters as a sign that he was the victim of a judicial set-up.
Now, while I didn’t watch all of the trial, I have watched portions of it, and read about day-to-day events elsewhere to form some basic impressions. Based on that, I’ve got to say that I don’t find this outcome surprising. From the beginning, my general impression was that the prosecution’s case was weak, especially for 2nd Degree Murder, which I never thought was an appropriate charge to begin with since they never seemed to be able to prove the intent element of that crime. Indeed, several of the witnesses that the State called, from police investigators to at least two of the neighbors that acted in response to signs of a struggle outside their homes that fateful night, seemed to be more helpful to Zimmerman’s self-defense claim than they were to establishing the elements of either the primary charge of 2nd Degree Murder or the lesser included offense of Manslaughter. Additionally, the prosecutors chose to put into evidence several statements that Zimmerman had voluntarily given to the Sanford Police Department about the incident that night, including a video he participated in the day after the incident in which he walked through his version of what happened the night before with investigating detectives. While there were some minor inconsistencies between several of these statements, none of those inconsistencies seemed extreme enough to doubt his credibility and all of them were consistent with the basic outline of his story that Martin attacked him first, they ended up on the ground with Martin punching him, and that he only ended up shooting Martin when he thought his life was in jeopardy. Additionally, several of the State’s witnesses just seemed to hurt their case — including their so-called “star” witness Rachel Jeantel, who was on the phone with Martin moments before his encounter with Zimmerman, and Medical Examiner Shiping Bao, whose testimony came across very badly compared to the expert that the Defense had hired, Dr. Vincent Di Maio, a nationally recognized pathologist.
In the end, as always, it was the state’s burden to prove that George Zimmerman was guilty of the charges against him beyond a reasonable doubt. By the time the case came to an end, there seemed to be a general consensus among observers that they had not done so, most certainly not with regard to 2nd Degree Murder and that the odds of getting a Manslaughter conviction seemed to slip away as well. Although I had assumed for a long time that Zimmerman would have to take the stand in his defense in order to fully be able to relate the self-defense theory to the jury, that proved to not be necessary are at all thanks largely to the fact that the prosecution had put all of Zimmerman’s previous statements to law enforcement into evidence. So, it was no surprise when he told the Judge shortly before the defense rested that he would not be testifying. There really wasn’t any need for him to do so and, in terms of the risks of cross-examination, the risks were far too great. Instead, his attorneys put on a defense that poked holes in the remaining parts of the state’s case. Additionally, while both sides put on strong closing statements, defense attorney Mark O’Mara’s was a tutorial in the touchstone of criminal defense attorneys, reasonable doubt, and it was obviously enough to convince the jury. Adding all of that together, we had a case where the state simply failed to meet its burden notwithstanding being represented by a trio of attorneys who were quite skilled, and quite passionate in presentation of the case the were given.
Update: An actual Florida lawyer asks for the media to do a few simple things:
3. HLN, get rid of Nancy Grace and Jane Velez-Mitchell. They are not legal commentators helping the public understand our important, essential, and treasured criminal justice system. Neither are many of their guests who should never be asked back. There are 95,000 lawyers in Florida, there is no reason a lawyer from another state who doesn’t know Florida law needs to be on daily telling everyone “I don’t practice in Florida, I don’t know Florida law” just because they can yell. Their daily display of drama may be what you believe to be the “First Amendment,” but it is also pathetic, and making people dumber and angrier.
4. CNN needs to send Sonny Hostin and Gloria Allred packing. First of all Piers Morgan, this is a criminal trial in Florida. Why is the only guest you continue to have on is someone from California that doesn’t practice criminal law and is known for representing, at press conferences, women victims? What could she possibly have to offer about this case?
And CNN, especially Anderson Cooper, get rid of Sonny Hostin. This woman was a prosecution shill from the beginning of this trial, struggling to say anything positive about the defense. Last night, after the verdict, she said “justice took the day off.” She wasn’t there to provide commentary, she was shilling for the state. She should have disclosed from the beginning that she desperately wanted a conviction, that way it would have been easier to listen to her biased commentary. She’s terrible and should never be asked to appear in the media again when there is an important trial.
5. The media, especially TV, needs to start vetting their guests. I know these are lawyers with agents, but they’ve never been in a criminal courtroom, or at least not since they spent a year as a prosecutor in 1978. Can you not find lawyers that actually know what they are talking about? Piers Morgan is asking Gloria Allred what she would do in opening in the Zimmerman case? I have a better question, Gloria, when is the last time you gave an opening statement, in any case?
July 12, 2013
Kathy Shaidle finds the Satanists aren’t at all what she expected them to be:
At the height of all the #HailSatan hilarity on the left side of Twitter, a single thunderclap of a Tweet shut down the party pronto:
Unfortunate to see Satan’s name used in such a diabolical manner. Another example of what ‘Satanism’ doesn’t represent. #HailSatan”—@UKChurchofSatan
It was that utterly breathtaking inclusion of the word “diabolical” that got me thinking like a liberal: that is, that the @UKChurchofSatan Twitter account had to be fake, set up specifically to mock the proceedings, in the tradition of “Clint’s Empty Chair.”
My suspicions were confirmed when I saw that, according to their profile, @UKChurchofSatan was following precisely 666 others on Twitter. Cute.
Their profile didn’t display the address of an official website, either. Not a good sign.
But I kept scrolling down. @UKChurchofSatan had sent out over 150 Tweets — wishing followers happy bank holiday weekends and re-Tweeting Richard Dawkins and Ricky Gervais — dating back through March.
It was legit.
Unlike messages regularly spewed out by the right and the left, the Church’s Tweets were models of old-fashioned decorum even when they were responding to critics, written in that anachronistic, typing-with-a-quill-pen style typical of earnest, fairly well-read males:
Why wouldn’t Satanism be pro-life? What else is there? We are all free to make choices. Agreeable or not. Everyone is entitled to choice.
At least in this online iteration, Satanism comes across as a kind of Goth objectivism but manages to express itself without the average Ayn Rand follower’s pompous, unearned sense of superiority.
Thanks to its disapproving July 3 Tweet, which was re-Tweeted over one hundred times and gleefully reported all over the Web and a few newspapers such as the Telegraph, the @UKChurchofSatan is getting lots of positive attention, much of it from a most unlikely source: conservative Christian bloggers in the US, who’ve joked that “Hail Satan!” would make a fine Democratic campaign slogan for the 2014 midterms.