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In the comments to a post by Chris Bowers over at MyDD, mjshep offered an excerpt from the forthcoming book "Dem Strategy for Dummies":

1. If Repubs say we're making a mistake, we're on the right track.

2. If Repubs say we're being reasonable, we're making a mistake.

3. If Repubs snicker at a candidate (think Dean), they are afraid of him.

4. If Repubs praise a candidate (think Lieberman), he's a loser and/or a spineless wimp.

Yep. Sounds about right to me. Just gotta check Amazon to see when this baby's being published.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 07:55 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  P.S. (4.00)
    P.S. Chris's post - about DSCC strategy - is very much worth reading in its own right.
    •  Absolutely (none)
      Naturally, it's what inspired my comment.  A quote from the post:

      "Another good way of measuring the success of any new strategy is by how much the Republican Noise Machine disapproves of it."

      See my extended comment below.

      And thanks for the reference!  It's a thrill to see my humble efforts on the front page.

  •  If the GOP says we're too mean (4.00)
    we're being too nice.

    "Just say no to torture." -Semi-Anonymous Blogger.

    by Armando on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 07:49:47 PM PST

    •  When they start calling us (4.00)
        Goddamn atheistic communists they're about to go down for the count.

      "My will is easy to decide, for I have nothing to divide" Joe Hill

      by slick riddles on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 08:17:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Aren't they already? n/t (4.00)

        Phil Bredesen for ME...oh wait I'll only be old enough to run for Congress. (1st Congressional District of Tennessee)

        by FleetAdmiralJ on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 08:17:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  When They Start Calling Us Communists... (none)
        They sell the country into debt to Communist China.

        Note To DNC:
        Wasn't the Republican party fixated at some point on bringing down some Soviet Something monolithic anti-god heathen Socialist commie pinko country that did not represent the Republic of China?  Maybe I'm thinking of Cuba. I think there's an island involved somewhere...

    •  It's even more simple (none)
      When GOP talks about Dems (out of touch, too mean, whatever), they are talking about themselves.

      It is most convenient - to claim all your bad habbits on the opponent, so that he would have all the trouble to shake them off while no one will question you.

      Consequently, claim all positive features of the opponent for yourself (leadership, responsibility, compassion...) - figure it out yourself. They do these things every election, they are very good in finding what to neutralize and what to "pre-emt"...

    •  If they say we're being too mean... (none)
      it also means something else. Remember that kids' game when you were looking for something and the other person gave you clues of 'hot' and 'cold'?  Getting cold. Colder. A little warmer. Etc.

      If they say "you Dems are being mean spirited" it really tells us that we're very, very warm.

      When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.HST.RIP.

  •  If they say democrats are exaggerating... (4.00)
    we're probably underestimating.

    (this is easy and fun!)

    Putting grapes back on the vine...

    by PBJ Diddy on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 07:51:19 PM PST

    •  Adlai (4.00)
      Heh - didn't realize it would turn into such an easy & fun game. Reminds me of the old line by Adlai Stevenson:

      "I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them."

  •  Oh-oh (none)
    David loses grey box privileges for a week.

    Go blue, babe, go blue!!!

    "The key to security is public information." -- Margaret Chase Smith

    by Drawn4Quarters on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 07:52:03 PM PST

  •  if the gop says (4.00)
    It's Your Money, check for your wallet, & close your bank account

    You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. Abe Lincoln

    by x on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 07:52:06 PM PST

  •  If Repubs say we're obstructionist (4.00)
    they're afraid of what we're trying to build.

    "It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence." Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by grannyhelen on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 07:52:18 PM PST

  •  addendum (4.00)

    If Republicans claim they're doing something for the good of the American people, they're lying.

    Bush is to America as cancer is to the body

    by WSmith on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 07:53:57 PM PST

  •  asdf... (none)
    this post is missing a closing div tag
  •  ya (4.00)
    If they say the war "will pay for itself" watch your wallet.

    If they say our views are marginal and extremist, hold up a mirror for them.

  •  If a repub say's we're traitors (4.00)
    We're winning the argument.

    "He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetuate it." -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by sgilman on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 07:58:42 PM PST

  •  If Republicans say we're (4.00)
    out of touch with reality, we probably have our hands all over it.
  •  You're welcome (none)
    for that name, see my signature link (from 3 months or so ago)
  •  There has to be (none)
    a quality democrat willing to run against Lieberman in the primary.  Can't we try and recruit one???
  •  The rule (4.00)
    It's simpler than what you write.  The only rule you have to know is if the neo con says "A" you know he means "not A".  If he says he wants to save Social Security, you know he wants to destroy it.  If he says he wants to enact the Clear Sky Act, you know he wants to pollute the air.  Whatever he says, assume the opposite.  
  •  Demstrat (none)
    When the GOP announces via press release on there website that they must collect private donations that year because of  lack of federal funding due to low voter turnout the previous election -- Hit them even harder.

    Take your message to the streats, preach it, and get others to do the same. -- myself

    by Hari Rothstein on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 08:19:29 PM PST

  •  Bolshevik! Pinko! Commy! Socialist! (4.00)
    When you propose a solution to a problem and a Repug call you a "Socialist" that means they don't have clue has to how solve the problem. When a Rebug says the the "Free Market" will solve our problems, remind them of Enron, WorldCom, October 1929, Black Tuesday. When they say "Deregulation" is the answer, remind them of the "California Energy Crisis".
    Consumers and investors need protection not a "Free Market Flim Flam".
    Isn't puzzling that survial of the fittest should not be taught in school, but it is just fine for the Economy.
  •  If Republicans say we're too partisan, (4.00)
    we aren't bending over for them.
  •  If a republican says they dont like gays (4.00)
    they are frantically looking for gannon/guckerts phone number.

    Let the Democratic Reformation Begin

    by Pounder on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 08:25:34 PM PST

  •  if repubs say (4.00)
    there's nothing there
    a major repub scandal is brewing

    if they say "freedom"
    they mean "corporate takeover of the government"

    if they say "support our troops"
    they mean, "support the military industrial complex, halliburton, & mercenary corporations"

    if they say, the economy is strong"
    they mean "enron economics is raiding the the taxpayer's coffers"

    if they say, "ownership society"
    they mean, "we Own You"

    You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. Abe Lincoln

    by x on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 08:26:08 PM PST

  •  If a Democrat says (none)
    that Dems should compromise a solution with Delay and Frist, then you know that Democrat is either dangerously naive or just dangerous or both.

    "pay any price, bear any burden"

    by JimPortlandOR on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 08:28:14 PM PST

  •  If Repubs Say Free Speech (4.00)
     they mean "Shut Up"


  •  Translation (none)
    "Screw what is morally right or morally wrong.

    To hell with what, as a matter of empirical fact, helps working class people or hurts working class people.

    We don't care whether our policies prevent or foster corporate dominance of media, culture, or government.

    We don't oppose social security privatization because we think it's a disastrous boondoggle. We oppose it because They support it.

    We should define our entire identity in terms of disagreement. We are anybody but Bush. We have no principles. We have no beliefs. We have no platform."

    •  buzzkill what? n/t (none)

      You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. Abe Lincoln

      by x on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 08:48:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Seriously--Whenever Republicans (4.00)
    accuse, it's always something they're doing themselves or planning to launch.

    Past & present examples include charges of

    • Biased media
    • Censoring free speech
    • Skyrocketing deficits
    • Big brother government
    • Clinton Recession
    • Policing the world
    • Wag the dog

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 08:42:09 PM PST

  •  If a Republican (4.00)
    says something is fair and balanced, it's neither.

    There's no point for democracy when ignorance is celebrated...insensitivity is standard and faith is being fancied over reason.-NoFx

    by SairaLV on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 08:42:12 PM PST

  •  I Got One! (4.00)
    If a Republican accuses a Democrat of doing something illegal/unethical, then THEY are already doing that EXACT same thing.
  •  It's George Costanza world! (4.00)
    In a priceless episode of Seinfeld, feckless George decides on an impulse to do the opposite of what he would normally do: he goes up to speak to a woman who intimidates him and acts like himself, instead of trying to adopt a false front. The results are so good that he decides that he should do "the opposite" of whatever his instincts tell him to do from then on, and does so with stunning success. He gets a good woman, his dream job, etc.

    In this case, the Republicans thoughtfully provide the wrong posture, to which we must take a contrary stance.

    If the Republicans say the liberal bloggers are discrediting the Democratic Party, we're saving the Democratic Party.

  •  Advice for Democrats (4.00)
    If viewers can't tell the difference between your haircut and your hairpiece, time to change one or both.

    If you go on Fox News, they are going to try and ambush you, but they aren't going to be very good at it.

    Republicans are going to call you a traitor and a liberal.  It does not matter the context or logic of these claims, they're going to happen so don't bother capitulating to prevent them.

    Don't talk about Micheal Moore.  Republicans don't care, Democrats don't care, and the only thing you'll do is alienate one side or the other.  Talk about something more important, which could include just about anything.

    Do talk about Kenneth Lay.  Republicans care, Democrats care, and corrupt energy companies give most of their money to Republicans anyways.

    "Political capital" is something majority parties have.  As of 2004, you are not a majority party.

    "Public support" is something opposition parties have.  It has a strange habit of turning into political capital down the road.

    Never trust an advertising firm that charges a contingency fee.

    If your ad doesn't get Republicans angry, your ad sucks.

    "Lie" "Liar" and "Lying" are words.  They describe an individual who does not tell the truth.  "Mislead" does not.

    Wall Street doesn't want or need you, they have Tom DeLay.  Stop crying, it was a bad relationship anyways.

    It's hard to turn around and attack a bill or piece of legislation you voted for.  Stop voting for bad legislation.

    The party most threatening to the Democratic party is the Democratic party.

    If you compare Howard Dean to Osama Bin Laden and hug George Bush, you aren't really a Democrat anyways.  You might be a douchebag.

    Make fun of Republicans when they do something stupid.  Give us a reason to watch C-SPAN.

    Environmental laws, fair taxation, labor rights and school funding are pro-good-business and anti-bad-business.  Not the other way around.

    If your opponent says the sky is purple and you say nothing, the sky is now purple.

    Don't trust reporters or lobbyists, they make politicians look good by comparison.

    That free iPod thing doesn't really work as well as you'd like to think, and the Prince of Nigeria is not sending you e-mails.

    Honor. Dignity. French Fries.

    by PotatoNinja on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 08:53:35 PM PST

  •  If the Repubs says it's "hard work" ... (4.00)
    ... they have run out of talking points
  •  Analyze this Weekly Standard article about us (none); an oasis of truth.

    by Shockwave on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 09:01:01 PM PST

  •  The Mirror Game Loses (4.00)
    A novice at chess knows that. Sooner or later they'll make a move you cannot reasonably mirror, and then you've lost.

    To continue with chess strategy, we have to sieze the tempo. When I have the tempo of the game, I make a move and you must respond to it. If you are a better player than I, how you respond can result in a position where my response is directed. Then you will have the tempo.

    In common activist parlance: we have to stop re-acting and start acting!

  •  Put those 4 points on a business card (none)
    much like the ACLU's business card-sized reminder of your rights should you find yourself arrested. A kind of Almost Over The CliffNotes checklist for those "special times" when the noise level gets to you ~
    •  Or a good post card... (none)
      Might be useful to turn into a post card, possibly available for download to print out.

      Sign your name to it, slap some postage on it and send it to your Dem reps up and down the line (if you have any left, of course).

      It would really be nice to see a set of easy to follow talking points for our Dem reps for their "special times" as well. God knows that they need it.

  •  When Republicans (none)
    When Republicans say, we are fighting for our freedom, that means WAR. When Democrats say they are fighting for our freedom, it means defending the Constitution.

    When Republicans say they will make us SAFE..they mean they will take away our civil liberties and privacy. When Democrats say they will make us SAFE, they truly mean National Security and protecting our ports, chemical plants, and nuclear power plants and more.

    When Republicans say we are fighting in Iraq because of 9-11 and Saddam Hussein, that means  Bush cannt find Osama Bin Laden so he needed to create another war in a country who had nothing to do with 9-11.

    When Republicans say we are unpatriotic and disrespectful, it means Democrats do not support Fascism and having blind faith.

    When Republicans tell us to Love it or Leave it, they mean Shut up and show some Loving to

    •  And... (none)
      And when Republicans say we are UnAmerican, it usually means We Democrats are following the Constitution of the United States. When they say were bashing Bush, we are actually pledging allegiance to the Flag not Bush!!
  •  New entry (none)
    5.  If the media says to do one thing, do the opposite. (See Gore, Al or Kerry, John)

    I'm a member of a minority group: the reality-based community.

    by Unstable Isotope on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 03:42:42 AM PST

    •  lawsuit against c-span, i dont know where to take (none)
      this...But to get  your friend kos,(I'm new
      here but not new to the conspiracy) on c-span
      because they misrepresented the position
      of a guest today at 8:00am. They allowed nancy soderberg, who is obviously a likudite,probably
      a 'mossad' plant or 'agent of a foreign country'.
      If you reference her comments to alan keyes'
      april 29,2002 "making sense" on msnbc.
           Her presentation to keyes is the polar opposite of her pretense on c-span.
      •  ctd (none)
        "Well, I don't think there's any question
        that president bush has fought the war on terrorism brilliantly. He's done the war in
        Afghanistan with courage and vision."
            On cspan she portrayed herself as a bush
        critic who has now seen a substantial shift
        in the administrations attitude towards the use
        of persuasion and diplomacy in its dealings with
        countries both allies and otherwise, hence marking a sea change where we should have confidence in 'the new direction this administration has taken. All in the last 15 days or since inauguration.
            Personally, I see Putin administration that
        he is clearly alerted to the danger of this
        us administrative usurpation of the constitutional power of the people to defend themselves against this fraudulence. Its
        a world-destabilizing event or series of them.
        I dont blame putin for proclaiming his nuclear capability and presenting as a possible
        protagonist. He's calling the pups bluff.
  •  An stop using Repug frames!!! (none)
    I could almost scream when we hear Democrats using Republican talking points.  Some suggestions:

    1. Tax Relief = Birth Tax, or Tax Defferal, or "Tax shift onto working people."

    2. Iraq War = Bush's War, or Bush's War of choice, or "The Oil War" or "Neo-con War for Empire" or "Bush's foolish Venture" or "Oil War I"

    3.  Social Security Crisis = "Bush Budget Crisis", or "Continuing Republican attack on SS" or "The Idealogical attack on SS".

    4. Tort Reform = "Corporate Liability Shield" or "Corporate Free Pass" or "Maimers and Murderers Protection Plan."

    5. Malpractice Reform= "Lousy Doctors Protection Plan" or "Medical Reform Avoidance Plan" Or "Medical Insuror's Payback Plan".

    6. Bipartisanship = "Republican Bully Tactics"

    7. Clear Skies = "Pollution Increase Policies"

  •  I'm flattered! (none)
    It's a bit of an ego-stroke to get up and see a comment that you posted on a different blog promoted to the front page here at DKos!


    Unfortunately, you have just read the entire contents of the "upcoming book."    

    In listening to the media and the repubs the Dems (and I'm thinking here a lot about people like From and the DLC) have put themselves in the position of a batter who is actually listening to the distracting chatter of the opposition catcher.   They get rattled when the guy says,  "No batter, no batter. No stick.  Your gonna whiff it, baby!"   And when the catcher says watch out for this next fastball, they bite and then strike out on the slow curve,  Pathetic.

    Democrats need to ignore the repubs, just as a batter needs to ignore a catcher.  The best response?  Hit one, hard.  To do this you must concentrate on the pitch and keep your eye on the ball.  In politics this means having your own clear message, your own clear programs, policies, goals and ideas and never missing the opportunity to either promote those ideas and goals or to point out how the opposition's policies, ideas and goals are just plain wrong.  Over and over and over.

    The repubs get this, big time.   Somehow or other, we don't.  Keep your eye on the ball.  Take your cuts. Sooner or later, you'll hit one out of the park.  Sometimes I get the feeling that a lot of the dems, and this now includes Hillary, BTW, are afraid to swing.  You never get a hit hoping to get a walk.

    We live in a marketing culture, where branding and perception, cleverly manipulated through media, color and determine decisions more than empirical analysis.  This is just as true in choosing our politicians as it is in choosing our soap or automobiles.  In marketing you never mention the competetion except to point out how deficient it is, and in business you never take your opponent's advice.   Face it, he doesn't really have your best interests at heart.  If he did, he wouldn't be your opponent.

    As a final note, I think Dean is the one who gets this the most.  That's why he gives me hope.

    Thanks again.  If you all want me to expand on "Strategy for Dummies" let me know and I might devote some further effort to it.

  •  Go Blue? Buy Blue! Not Amazon (none)
    Borders and Barnes & Noble have much higher positive ratings on progressive shopping websites than does

    I was a religious Amazon user but I now shop these stores instead.  Barnes&Noble made virtually all of its' financial contributions to progressive campaigns (  And while Barnes&Noble has some questionable ratings on social issues according to (Amazon has a similar rating here), Borders Books rates pretty high on this site (just didn't make much of a financial contribution to progressive causes).  So take your pick.  

    Either way -- Amazon is not looking too good these days according to the progressive shopping sites.  They've been favoring conservative campaigns and not behaving responsibly on social issues.  Seriously consider spending your dollars elsewhere.

  •  Republican Strategy for Dummies (3.50)
    1. If Democrats say we're making a mistake, we're on the right track.

    2. If Democrats say we're being reasonable, we're making a mistake.

    3. If Democrats snicker at a candidate (think Dubya), they are afraid of him.

    4. If Democrats praise a candidate (think Dole), he's a loser and/or a spineless wimp.

    * * *

    I hope this expresses why I don't find this kind of content-free partisanship useful or inspiring. Yeah, okay, we resent the shit out of Bush's misgovernment. Let's not celebrate our resentment as a magic spell that will bring us victory.

    Liberal-progressive philosophies are fundamentally less energized by anger than conservative-neoconservative philosophies. In the Battle Of Who Can Hate More, we don't win.

    We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are. - Anaïs Nin

    by Valentine on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 09:06:00 AM PST

    •  You're missing the whole point (none)
      Of course Repubs should have the same strategy.  THEY ALREADY DO!

      What works for one team's batter works for the other team's as well.

      My point is we need to wake up and adopt winning strategies.  This is not about resentment, it's not about who can hate more, it's about concentration and believing in yourself and your message.   Who "can hate more" is not dependent on political philosophies, however it is a factor in political strategy.  

      Let me repeat myself:  This is not about resentment.  It is not about hate.  It is about not getting rattled, sticking to a message and not being reactive but proactive. Until you fully understand that the opposition does not have your best interests at heart and is not giving you good advice and you stop listening to them you will be playing by their book.  And losing.  

      We've let them make "liberal" a dirty word.  Until we can make people shudder at the term "conservative" and have them envision a bunch of selfish greedy thieves who lie and cheat we will be playing defense.  The best we can hope for is that they won't score too much and we won't lose by too big a score.  Not good enough!

      It's not about hate, it's about frames.  Does Budweiser hate Miller?  No, they just want you to believe that it's an inferior beer, and you should be drinking Bud.   Do we need to hate repubs?  No, although considering the damage they are doing it is hard to resist, we just want people to know that it's an inferior political philosophy with inferior solutions to our problems and you should be drinking Democratic.

      It's not that we "are fundamentally less energized by anger than conservative-neoconservative philosophies," it's that we are fundamentally less organized, focused and energetic in pursuing our own goals.  And we tend to let the other side rattle us too much by listening to (and even believing!) their crap.

      This is not a conservative nation.  They've just been told that so often they, and sometimes we,  believe it.

    •  It's not about resentment. (none)
      These are the tactics that the right-wing punditocracy uses.  We make a huge mistake if we believe that the pundits are making anything like an objective assessment.

      Example:  The right-wing pundits praised Lieberman.  When it was clear that Lieberman wasn't going to win, they praised Kerry.  Once it was clear that Kerry had the nomination sewed up, they changed their tune. Too many Democrats thought "Gee, if Fox News likes Kerry, that's great!"

      Of course, we shouldn't automatically do the opposite of whatever the Republicans say.  But their "assessments" are very often geared to steering Democrats down the wrong path.

  •  The example of the past few weeks (none)
    I thing the best real world example of this sort of thing is all the tsk tsking that's been going on about Dean and the DNC.  They're acting like they're sorry for us ("When will those stupid liberals ever learn that they can't win without moving right?"), which is strange, since they're usually, litterally calling for our deaths.

    It sounds to me like we made a good choice, and it spooks them.  

  •  Yeah...good luck with all that. (none)
    Afraid of Dean? Well...maybe.  But, not as a candidate.  Just the fear of what he may do during his next "we're goin to..." rants.

    The Democratic Party is on track?  You guys really are leaving in bizarro world.

    •  For anyone still checking this diary (none)
      The above post is as good an example of what I'm taking about as I could have asked for.

      The more of that we get, the happier I am.

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