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View Diary: 2008 DNC convention finalists (507 comments)

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  •  Worst case scenario (none)
    is that once the Dems pick New Orleans, the Republicans start pouring in money for reconstruction efforts.

    And this is bad, why? Putting politics aside, that would be the absolute BEST thing to happen to New Orleans right now.

    It doesn't really matter what the city looks like in 2008, the memories of the botched recovery will still be there. And we can have some top-notch video editors put together a piece to remind anyone that's forgotten.

    It's all about how it's handled. If the Lower Ninth Ward is still in shambles, then the Dems need to hold a major centerpiece of their policy announcement there, on the site, and away from the Convention Center. That's the surest way to bring the news cameras to the "scene of the crime".

    •  Most American will care about the Lower Ninth (none)
      about as much as they care about the burned out urban corridor in Detroit:  somewhere between "not at all" and "good riddance."  I don't support that sentiment, or even condone it.  But I recognize that it exists.  We should not make our political calculations on the assumption that the public will see the wiped out Lower Ninth and suddenly want to reject the GOP.  That's not how our culture operates.  If it did, you'd hear more about Darfur as well as Detroit.

      My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

      by Major Danby on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 01:24:52 PM PST

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      •  Let's face it (none)
        The average American doesn't get worked up about much of anything. Cherry-picking info leading us into a misbegotten war, illegal wiretapping of citizens, and global warming that may result in some of our greatest cities being engulfed by the oceans - these are all issues that should have people taking to the streets. But they're not. They're too wrapped up in their day to day lives.

        If you show people a picture of the Lower Ninth Ward, no, that's not enough to have them vote against the GOP. But if you use it to point out the grander scheme, that this could be any American city, that's where you grab votes.

        For better or for worse, it's all about marketing. I once spoke to an Irish playwright who said that one of the people he really admired was the man who introduced bottled water to the world. Water is something that's available to nearly every American from their kitchen sink. But here was someone who could convince you to pay money for something that you can already get for free. And that's one of the finer points of marketing - getting people to buy something that they don't really need.

        But National Security is something that we all need. We just need to find the right salesman to push the deal.

        I would argue that 9/11 was a powerful symbol for the GOP not because of the lives lost. Most people in Kansas don't know a single person in New York City, and many probably openly mock the "big city mentality." Most farmers probably will never walk into a skyscraper, much less on a day when terrorists fly planes into it. Yet the GOP took advantage of a feeling that this could somehow happen to citizens in any city in any state.

        That's what we need to do with the Lower Ninth Ward. If used correctly, those images will be powerful enough to change minds.

        •  I hope that you're right (none)
          My fear is that the lesson most white Americans took from 9/11 is that "Big Government can't save you unless you hand over your civil liberties" and the one they took from Katrina is "don't worry, Big Government may abandon other people, but people like you will get out of danger OK."

          And their perceptions are right, up to a point, which is why I'm less optimistic than you are about this.

          My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

          by Major Danby on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 05:29:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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