Nearly everyone agrees that Democrats are awful at messaging. But we are blessed with the lowest collection of kooks, crooks and morons ever assembled under a single party banner as our opposition this cycle and that cold fact is only beginning to dawn on voters in some places and remains unknown in many others.
We expect the media to point these things out for us, but this shows a terrible misunderstanding of what the media understand their mission to be in this day and age. First, they are not going to dig ANYTHING up on any candidate, no matter how easy it may be. They must be fed stories like baby birds, stories which are hunted, captured, killed, chewed, partly digested and regurgitated into their mouths for them. The GOP understands this. Most Democratic Communications Directors and oppo researchers seem not to. Fix this.
Second, the media have no memories. Everything blows over. Our politicians should never resign in the first light of embarrassment. Governors renting whores to screw is not worse than Senators renting whores to dress them in diapers and watch them poop into them. We should never avoid doing the politically right thing for fear of one bad cycle of “news.” Too often, we let a urine stain appear on the front of our trousers and then fail to do the right thing anyway. It’s pathetic: Bush tax cuts for the poor and middle class, but not for the rich BEFORE the election. `Nuff said.
Third, if there is any contention, the media will not sort out the facts from the fiction. They will say “Republicans say the earth is flat. Democrats dispute it. Film at 11.” That’s it. They are not arbiters anymore. They see their role as being precisely what Edward R. Murrow dismissed as “balancing the truth with a lie.” At a minimum, we need to dispute every Republican story immediately, even if it is cold and accurate. And maybe put a hold on the press conference for a few days and see how it feels then.
The obverse of item three should be pretty obvious, but I have not seen it much used. Democrats remain outraged that Republicans LIE! Well, duh. But the only reason Republican lies fall on fertile soil is because the media wouldn’t know a fact from an allegation if it walked up, shook their hands, introduced itself and showed some ID.
As I say, we are blessed with the biggest bunch of kooks, crooks and morons the nation has ever seen and a media that can’t sort anything out beyond Republican vs. Democrat. So help them out. When you put together a message, stop asking yourself, “But is it true? Are those facts we can prove?” Instead, ask yourself, “Is that a good message? Does it sound like something that appeals to voters’ emotions?” And then go with it. If the Republican candidate’s business had some customer complaints, say he defrauded his customers. If her bank depositors got relief from the FDIC, say she got a bailout. And for crying out loud, if he got dressed in diapers by a whore, say so. Out loud. Repeatedly. The fun part is that nearly every one of these assholes has something like that attached to their name. Let him say he wasn’t actually convicted. Let her say that’s not really a bailout. Let him say he’s found Jesus again, so that doesn’t matter. And we need to do it CONSTANTLY, because some of it will stick and some won’t. They’ve been doing it to us for years now. Time to stop playing defense and crying about how UNFAIR it all is.
Stop whining about racism and hypocrisy. These are whiny, loser preaching-to-the-choir messages. Who cares? The media sure don’t, and neither do voters who aren’t already on our side. Everyone is a hypocrite from time to time, and you may notice that racism ain’t exactly dead. But none of that means that most of the voters don’t have other interests that exactly coincide with what Democrats are trying to get done. This ain’t about being right or attracting the pure of heart. It’s about winning. There’s a difference. Republicans know this. Let’s figure it out for ourselves.
Our problem is getting a message that works through a media that is bored to suicide by policy but loves SEX! CRIME! WITCHCRAFT! to low-information voters who keep screwing themselves. So give it to `em. In almost every case, it has the added virtue of being true enough for cable news.
I know, I know: that degrades the national dialogue and puts us down in the mud with the Republicans. Our society was built on reasonable interpretations of demonstrable facts. And wouldn’t it be nice to live in a society like that again? Well guess what: that horse has already left the barn. Any degradation we suffer from getting in the rhetorical mud is as nothing compared to what will happen if we keep standing there helpless like bunnies mesmerized by a cobra.