Tuesday, October 30

Fox News says Dems have no Passion, No Soul? Look Whose Talking?

Via Raw Story.

In typical fashion Fox News recently had one of it's "Fairly Unbalanced" debates concerning the soul and passion of the Democratic party. A subject where they clearly have some kind of expertise, considering anyone who might openly appear on Fox News is about as much a Democrat as Pat Buchanan is.

The Democrats. What's their message? Could you actually come up with what the Democrats message is this elections cycle. Are Democrats losing the voters hearts?

This particular Faux Debate was apparently inspired by the email sent from Congressmen Abercrombie's office last week. Via McJoan.

Democrats are losing the battle for voters’ hearts because the party’s message lacks emotional appeal, according to a widely circulated critique of House Democratic communications strategy.

"Our message sounds like an audit report on defense logistics," wrote Dave Helfert, a former Appropriations spokesman who now works for Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii). "Why are we defending [the State Children’s Health Insurance Program] instead of advocating a ‘Healthy Kids’ plan?"

Helfert sent the memo this week to an e-mail list of all Democratic press secretaries and communications directors after staffers met on Monday to discuss rolling out the Democrats’ latest message.

He said the meeting left him cold because it focused on what polling shows voters want rather than how to present persuasive messages.

The issue as lemented by Mr. Helfert wasn't that Democrats aren't polling well and likely to win in both the upcoming Congressional and Presidential Elections - it's that they haven't crafted a slick cohesive message.

They don't have a well packaged sales pitch for their policies.

He's talking here about sloganeering. Y'know Frank Luntz stuff like "No Child Left Behind" (which has only succeeding in breaking school drop-out records) and "Clear Skies" (which has mostly cleared the skies of those pesky birds). According to Helfert all we need is some better branding. Better Marketing. Better B.S.

Thanks for that suggestion Dave, but there's one major problem with this view. Democrats - generally speaking - aren't very good at doing what their told in lock-step fashion, so the idea of presenting a Fox News-ish "Message of the Day" is just plain out. As Will Rogers said...

I don't belong to any organized party, I'm a Democrat.

Herd of Cats - meet the Democrats, the one group even more difficult to wrangle into moving the same direction at once.

Some would argue this is a failing on their part, but I tend to disagree. If we as willing to run lemming-like over a set of Disney inspired cliffs we'd be no better than the right wing. Fortunately we are - better. It's been lock-step Republicans who've spearheaded the implementation of every bad political decision of the past 20 years, from passing the Medicare Pharmacutical Company Benefit bill in the dead of the night to Bankruptcy Deformation that protects business, but leaves overburdened and desperate families out in the cold. Thank heaven the Dems aren't robots or we'd all be in trouble.

All of this of course, practically makes the righties giddy.

Mike Gallagher on Fox: If soulless Democrats on the left would just "get off" the issue of the war in Iraq and take up something more passion-inspiring -- like illegal immigration -- they’d be a lot more popular.

I'm sorry are we talking about Congress or Democrats being more popular here?

The latest NBC News/Washington Post poll numbers from Sept 7th on whether Democrats or Republicans should retain control of Congress happens to be running 47% to 35% in favor of Democrats.

That figure is actually up from a previous split from a George Washington University poll in July which had the difference at 47 to 40. During that time 5% of Republican support went into the undecided column lifting it from 13% to 18%.

Exactly how much more popular, in contrast to Republicans, do Democrats need to get?

But that's not really the point is it? The point according to Gallagher is that nobody really cares about that Iraq War nonesense, they have no passion for it - all of the passion in the heartland of America apparently comes from raw, naked xenophobia.

"But it’s not about a message, it’s not about a slogan. It’s about a soul," Gallagher said. "And there is no soul on the left...if you guys were smart, you’d jump all over the problem of illegal aliens, because that’s the issue that ignites the heartland."

Yep, it ignites the heartland alright - much like a cross burning on your lawn would. The problem with the Democrats is that they just haven't learned how to create some catchy pithy slogans that properly capture the fear and paranoia at the heart of the illegal immigrant debate. Co-opting the cause celebre of the Rabid-Wing of the Right would certain show a whole lot of "Soul" - if you happen to spell it "D.e.s.p.a.r.a.t.e. P.a.n.d.e.r.i.n.g." Never mind that annoying Posse Commitatas Act, lets get the national guard on the border -- and who cares about the fact that so many of them are currently in Iraq?

Pfft! So Fracking What!? They knew the job was Impossible When they took it, didn't they?

"And while you guys keep talking about SCHIP," he said to Henican about Democrats, "like the Tourette’s Syndrome you have, you can’t say what time it is without saying 'but there’s a war in Iraq, there’s a war in Iraq.' If you’d get off of that and realize that our borders are being flooded with illegals...you’d score a home run."

Yeah, it would be a complete Home-Run - not unlike that last Novembers Grand-Slam which shifted both Houses of Congress into Democratic Control. Thanks for the tip Mike, we'll keep it in mind.

It is true that the popularity of congress is down and that the approval stats for Dems in Congress is at only 29% (as of 10/5), but the matching approval number for Republcians is at - ta da - just 19% for the same time period.

So Dems should be following the lead of Republicans?

Yeah, right.

Most of the low approval for Congressional Dems doesn't come from their support of SCHIP, or they lack of reaction to Illegl Immigration, it comes from their inability - so far - to drastically change our course in Iraq.

  • 65% of those polled currently oppose the Iraq War.
  • 45% feel that our troops should not remain for more than a year.
  • 68% disapprove of the way Bush has handled the Iraq War.
  • 49% trust Democrats to better handle the Iraq sitaution than Republicans (35%).

Jumping on the Illegal Immigration War Wagon is not going to suddenly change the "declining" fortunes of Democrats. But like so many Republicans, Gallagher certainly isn't willing to let a little thing like Facts get in his way.

"Maybe 70 percent of Americans are led by mainstream polls funded by Democratic strategists," said Gallagher. "I know you Democrats think anybody that isn’t on your side is confused. We’re not dazed and confused -- we’re right."

That's right when absolutely every. single. poll. isn't going your way it just has to be the result of some nefarious dasdardly invisible left-wing/MSM plot against Republicans.

"Dazed and Confused"?

No actually, you are pathologically deluded and a deeply intent on trapping as many people within that delusion as possible. Sorry, no Sale. The problem isn't that Democrats have been harping too much on the Iraq War, it's that they haven't harped on it enough.

Frankly the only good slogan Democrats actually need is to openly stand for Reason and Sanity. That's all, that's it.

Simply standing against the Wrong-Wing of the Republican Party is a platform in itself. All Dems have to do is run against what Republicans have actually done by...

  • Supporting the Rule of Law.
  • Depoliticing the Justice Dept.
  • Enforcing the Voting Rights Act by ending the practice of Caging.
  • Protecting the Constitution from Executive Overeach.
  • Opposing Torture.
  • Restoring Habeus Corpus.
  • Supplying the troops with proper equipment while they're in harms way, and working to get them out of the way of genuine Diplomacy.
  • Providing Affordable Health Care for people, particularly Children, who need it.
  • Fighting Climate Change and our Foreign Energy Dependance by implementing newer greener technologies to revitalize our economy.
  • Rebuilding the American Infrastructure
  • Actually fighting the REAL Terrorist like the ones in Pakistan and Afghanistan instead of inventing phony ones - again - in Iran.
  • End the War Contractor Profiteering Gravy Train
  • Restoring American Honor and Prestige by dealing honestly with our International Allies.
  • Once again show American how Fight Fear and Terror with Courage - not more Fear!

And that's just off the top of my head.

Ask any real Democrat and he'll easily rattle off a list that just as strong. No Luntz-craft needed here. Just the truth.


Sunday, October 28

Chris Dodd on the Rule of Law