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The diary entry I'm posting today is not my own but a public domain essay written by an anonymous writer who describes himself as a "high powered Madison Ave. advertising executive." He uses the alias "Coty Jarrett" because many of his clients are Republican politicians and opinion leaders. His motive for writing the essay is simple: he's sympathetic to the Democrats and wants to pass on privileged information on how Republicans win elections. He conveys it in the form of an open letter to all Democratic candidates and campaign managers in elections this fall.

I first saw it on the Huffington blog and saved it because it was a brilliant but cynical essay on the deployment of power in the manner of Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince. I'm not sure if Coty Jarrett's Rules of Perception has ever been posted on the Daily Kos, but I searched the tagging index and came up empty handed. Even if it's been posted and discussed on the Daily Kos previously, I think it's worth revisiting.

Here is his list of rules, in the form of an open letter to all Democratic congressional candidates (and their campaign managers) this fall:


John Kerry went to Vietnam, saved a man's life and was wounded. Somehow, the voters perceived of John Kerry as a coward who never served his country and would not be tough enough as our commander-in-chief. George W. Bush avoided Vietnam and failed to fulfill his National Guard obligation. Somehow, the people of this country perceived of George W. Bush as a heroic military man and a courageous commander-in-chief.

This is called MANAGING PERCEPTION. Not just managing the perception people have of YOUR guy, but more importantly, managing the perception people have of the OTHER guy! In 2004, more people perceived that Kerry was bad and Bush was good. Just enough people for Bush to win the election.
Which brings us to a cold hard fact: if the Democrats want to take back Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008, they must become as good as Karl Rove at managing perception. The good news is, it's not some trick only Karl Rove knows the secret to. Managing perception is not even all that difficult once you know the rules.

Pick ONE INDIVIDUAL to head up your election team and give this person TOTAL AUTHORITY to manage all advertising messages and perception issues. Whatever he or she says -- goes! And no more discussion.

There were 29 people in charge of Kerry, including Kerry himself. The public heard 29 different viewpoints. The Republicans had one person in charge: Rove. The public heard one viewpoint: Rove's. Americans are used to single-minded powerful selling messages, and they like a single-minded powerful point-of-view.

Choose the roughest, toughest person who has ever created wildly successful advertising and PR campaigns. Make damned sure this person is a real marketer, doesn't take any guff from anybody and is NOT a political stooge. Make sure ALL money flows to this one person and all spending is coordinated through this person. (Strong hint: if the DNC drafted Donnie Deutsch, they'd take it all.)

Learn how to disseminate simple catchphrases the mainstream media can use. Like Rove when he invented "cut and run" -- which Fox and the mainstream media lapped up like a thirsty dog. You need to do this with the same dexterity and speed. You will never exceed Rove in this, but you can do AS WELL as he does, which would basically neutralize his effectiveness in the media.

Just watch Fox News (Official News Channel of the successful invasion of Iraq and media/PR representative for the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth). You may hate them, but they're incredibly effective at spreading the Rovian catchphrase of the day and using it to rally the faithful, while keeping GOP politicians in lockstep and on message!

You do not have a media outlet like Fox, so you must work twice as hard to get the mainstream media to carry your message to ALL voters. Importantly, do not believe the mainstream media is for you and against Republicans. They're not. If you somehow think they'll help you win an election, you've already lost.

When the other side hands you a bone, do not bury the bone! USE IT! The best way to negatively affect the perception of the other side is to use their own bone against them!
"I voted for it before I voted against it" was a bone Karl Rove shook in our face the entire campaign. It perfectly defined Kerry as a "flip-flopper". When Bush said, "I don't think much about Bin Laden," Kerry should have said, "Bin Laden murdered three thousand Americans and you promised you'd kill him! Why didn't you, you flip-flopping coward?"

Cheer up. You missed your chance, but there'll be more. Rudy blamed the grunts for missing that weapons cache. Ask the Mayor why he's not supporting the troops!

Understand that you are dealing with a target audience that doesn't care enough, or simply refuses to devote the time to learn the real facts regarding the real issues. Instead, their perception has BECOME the facts!

The target audience fervently believed Saddam Hussein WAS behind the 9/11 attacks and there WERE weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Just as they believe today that the second in command of Al Qaeda has been killed or captured at least a dozen times -- AND they've conveniently forgotten that Osama Bin Laden is not only still alive, but happily and calmly planning future attacks against our country.

Do not try to change this reality. Work with it. The perception you create IS the reality! Take heart! If they perceive something despite obvious evidence to the contrary, you will be able to make them perceive any number of things! Including your point of view! Rove knows this and uses it -- you must too!

Stop playing by "Marquess of Queensberry" rules. Before you get punched, you punch. Hard. Whenever possible, you punch below the belt. And most importantly, even after they are down, you keep punching.

George Bush. Cocaine. Alcohol. The National Guard. Deserter. With 40 days to go before the election, there should have been 40 awful revelations about George Bush -- one each day, each worse than the one before it.

Stop being a candy-ass. If you start lamenting, "I'm becoming just like THEM", you have just guaranteed their victory. They currently OWN the playing field. You either play by their rules or YOU ARE GOING TO LOSE. Your job is to punch hard and neutralize their negative attacks by being just as nasty. IF you make it back into office, THEN you can start working to reform how people get elected. For now, you must get mean!

NO MORE NUANCE. The target not only fails to understand even the most obvious nuance, they actually HATE the idea there should be nuance at all (it even sounds French!). Nuance = bad. Black and white = good!

"A marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman" -- George Bush.

"I'm personally against gay marriage, but I feel the states should decide." -- John Kerry (too nuanced by half!)

Come off your high horse and forget that issues really DO demand nuance, at least until the election is over. Until November, pick a side on each issue and make sure your target audience understands CLEARLY what that side is. And relax! The only people you'll sound like a simpleton to are already voting for you anyway.

Choose ONE VERY CLEAR LABEL for your candidate and NEVER let go of it. Keep hitting it hard until everyone in America knows it is EXACTLY what your candidate stands for.
George Bush was the "unwavering commander-in-chief who won the war on terror." John Kerry was ____. Whatever he was wasn't as bad as you think, but we're still not able to fill in that blank.

Think of a one-word label that your target can quickly grasp. "America, I am the Jobs President!" Don't worry about which label is best. Just choose one and let that be the centerpiece. All other things the candidate talks about should grow out of this one strong position. And remember -- no matter how Rove tries to re-define you (and he will, constantly) -- make sure this one label sticks to you like glue!

Devote a tremendous amount of time and spend a huge portion of your campaign money finding, recruiting, training and firing up VOLUNTEERS. As odd as it may sound, if you spend $100 million on TV, you MUST spend $200 million creating a massive, incredibly well-coordinated volunteer effort.
Karl Rove used pinpoint research to find and motivate volunteers who went where no campaign had gone before -- into parts of Florida where alligators were more likely to vote than people. In Ohio, Rove's volunteers dragged Republicans out of their corporate meetings to make sure they voted! It's why he won and you lost.

Your volunteers MUST BE A MEMBER OF YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE. You need to find volunteers who attend the same church, go to the same stores and like and dislike the same things your target audience does! Remember, you cannot spend TOO MUCH money or do TOO MUCH demographic homework and research making this happen! Just so you know, Republicans do NOT own a patent on this type of research!

Do not give Karl Rove any help whatsoever. In other words, do not start with a candidate who puts you in a twenty-foot ditch that Rove will never let you fight your way out of. Make damned sure your candidate has the gumption to come out swinging and immediately counter-punch every Swift Boat move Rove tries.

This is no walk in the park, but it is not impossible. Remember, George W. Bush did not have to defeat John Kerry. With Rove calling all the shots, John Kerry defeated John Kerry.

Work hard against the nomination of anybody who cannot remain strong and stay firm on base issues while tacking to the center in a convincing, spirited way.

Hint! Hint!
Bill Richardson. Mark Warner. And yeah, Al Gore!

Stop trying to be ATTAP, or "All Things To All People". You will fail. There is no way in this great country of ours that you will ever be more than 65% of things to 55% of the people. That's your goal, by the way. You reach it and you own Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008.
Karl Rove didn't bother with liberals or most Democrats. He went after his base and the squishy center and didn't waste any time or money on anybody else. He also didn't care what anybody else thought of him or his candidate.

By all means, rally your base. Then go figure out what you can actually say to the squishy center and spend MOST of your time and money winning them over. And for heaven's sake, don't worry about what dyed-in-the-wool Republicans think about what you're saying. They're not voting for you anyway.

Start today. Not later today. NOW! Start figuring out now where you're going to find your own Karl Rove and then get this person started. Any time you waste is going to make it tougher for you to win in 2006 and 2008.

By the time the Democrats got around to throwing a few punches in 2004, they were defensive punches, and way too late. Today, right now, Karl Rove has already picked his candidate and crafted a strategy he is confident will whomp your stupid Democratic butt. And make no mistake about it: he has ALREADY dug up tons of dirt on the 20 people YOU are most likely to nominate.
Don't put off your homework for tomorrow morning. Collect data on whoever they might nominate. Spend some time NOW figuring out how to effectively deal with anybody and everybody they might nominate.

Keep a copy of these rules by your pillow and read them every night. When you wake up, make damned sure you follow them every day. If you adhere to these rules, you are going to NEUTRALIZE Rove by making this Rove Versus Rove. That might sound horrible and off-putting, but what it actually means is that the race will NOT come down to perception, but instead, level the playing field, so you might actually have a chance to win!

Originally posted to Mr Populist on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 09:47 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Rule Five... (156+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cory, Alumbrados, Angie in WA State, sj, TXdem, RF, pb, ferg, Fran for Dean, SarahLee, alyosha, Lords, Mac, tikkun, TrueBlueMajority, RickWn, Tom Ball, Lahdee, SanJoseLady, Pompatus, autoegocrat, Bexley Lane, frisco, Meandering Fox, Matilda, bostonjay, GreekGirl, Geotpf, maggiemae, mrsdbrown1, JohnInWestland, wayward, RaleighRob, Cassandra77, sjersey, Morague, jules too, lunacat, Glic, boilerman10, buckhorn okie, vmibran, luaptifer, JuliaAnn, javelina, maven98, lilnubber, Glinda, arkdem, DeadB0y, delphine, cosette, grayslady, kathika, dwahzon, snakelass, rockhound, lcrp, faithnomore, inclusiveheart, dkmich, One bite at a time, DMiller, bwintx, ChiGirl88, zdefender, parkslopper50, NeoconSemanticist, Black Max, ChaosMouse, macmcd, donailin, MichDeb, gammarock, 3goldens, ManOnTheBench, bellevie, MHB, Elise, Russron, LisaZ, Flint, clammyc, truong son traveler, SoCalLiberal, TN yellow dog, boofdah, IL dac, majcmb1, Pam from Calif, truebeliever, GreyHawk, Kayakbiker, Joy Busey, sunbro, gkn, sodalis, sleep deprived, Team Slacker, Detroit Mark, Mr Populist, JanL, jct, Brubs, Asinus Asinum Fricat, MadGeorgiaDem, dhfsfc, Montague, Sanuk, chicagoblueohio, Do Tell, vigilant meerkat, emeraldmaiden, BeadLady, hearthmoon, Ky DEM, 4thepeople, funhaus5, Yellow Canary, Hear Our Voices, Wary, greenearth, jguzman17, gatorcog, imabluemerkin, paul2port, NewAmericanLeft, armadillo, Potus2020, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, means are the ends, Kristi from Arkansas, FrankieB, Land of Lincoln Dem, SC damn yankee, BentLiberal, J Royce, Buckeye Hamburger, dotsright, Cronesense, SparkleMotion, Cat Whisperer, blue armadillo, Cottagerose, Tailspinterry, godislove, John Boy, ciceros hand, manonfire, gustynpip, Historicus, Ninepatch, java4every1, St Louis Woman, lizpolaris, Heyroot

    When your opponent is drowning, throw the son of a bitch an anvil.

    James Carville

    Charles Schwab advertises on ABC.

    by Caldonia on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 09:40:06 AM PDT

    •  Great Quote (119+ / 0-)

      Carville is the kind of pit bull that Cody Jarrett is referring to as the person who has the sole power to manage public perception in the candidate's campaign. Clinton's selection of Carville is just another indication of Clinton's intuitive brilliance as a politician.

      If life were fair George Bush would be making a living asking,"Do you want some fries with that?"

      by Mr Populist on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 09:46:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And another thing about Clinton (67+ / 0-)

        He hired some of the best people who ever headed any Government Dept. People like Rubin, Reich, Albright, Berger, Witt. The list goes on and on. First class people hire first class people. Second class people hire third class. And third class hires morons. Guess what class GWB comes in.

        Walking. It's the new driving.

        by Batfish on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:40:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Finally! Mr. Populist, THANK YOU (33+ / 0-)

        I loathed John Kerry.  Voted for him, and loathed him.  Because he cared more about keeping his immaculate manicure than he cared about scuffing his hands to get into a fight ...remember his admonishments to the Democratic speakers at the Democratic National Convention?  Let Bush be the bastard while we stay gentlemanly?  

        Well, thanks, Kerry.  While the bastard has screwed us time and again, I'm so very glad for you that you never chipped your double-coated-with-clear-polish French tipped nails.

        If any of you '08 presidential hopefuls plans on bringing along an emory board and a pair of clippers, don't bother campaigning.  Just kiss my blue-state butt and leave the field to somebody who wants to fight for us.  

        Q: How do you make a "Republican?" A: Take all the letters in "Rapine Club," and send them to Congress.

        by 4thepeople on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:47:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]


        as a PR specialist myself I can tell you that you are NAILING it going to save your diary for a post at our local dem blog....

        You lifted me out of my funk! and gave me hope, if only our consultants READ your material.....

        •  Fax it to them, email it to them, tattoo it on (20+ / 0-)

          backside and expose them to it!  This is exactly the dogged approach we needed in 2004.  

          When Kerry was swiftboated, he let his "record speak for itself", but unfortunatly for Kerry documents don't speak, so for days there was no response to that lying smear, and it became fact.

          There are NO do overs in politics!

          RULE FIVE
          Stop playing by "Marquess of Queensberry" rules. Before you get punched, you punch. Hard. Whenever possible, you punch below the belt. And most importantly, even after they are down, you keep punching.

          George Bush. Cocaine. Alcohol. The National Guard. Deserter. With 40 days to go before the election, there should have been 40 awful revelations about George Bush -- one each day, each worse than the one before it.

          Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. ~Issac Asimov

          by maggiemae on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:00:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Good analysis, good advice, (5+ / 0-)

          given the degeneration of political discourse over the last 25 years.

          Kossacks should pitch in and suggest some short, forceful, unnuanced sound bites to throw back against the Rove noise machine. For starters, how about the following, which could apply to the botched struggle against bin Laden, the failure to help New Orleans, the nonfunding of educational reform, and virtually every other Republican blunder withi the last six years:
            "Dammit, you were SUPPOSED to at least CARE!!"

          Footnote: Wasn't Cody Jarrett the Cagney character in the fim White Heat?

        •  Here are some hits below the belt now!!!!!!! (10+ / 0-)

          First the Above the belt part:

          Clinton begged Congress for the tools to fight Terrorism but the Republicans in the senate turned him down, said it was too much power.  

          Clinton bomged Osama, and the Republicans said it was the tail wagging the dog.

          Clinton warned Bush Job One of his presidency would be fighting terrorism - Bush ignored Clinton for no other reason than it came from Clinton.

          The bipartisan Hart Rudman report warned Bush of terror

          Clark warned Bush about terror all Winter, Spring and Summer before 911 - he got demoted.

          Chenney took over anti-terrism coordination, proceeded to demolish Clinton's aparatus, but didn't  begin working on his own initiative until 8 months later.

          The intellegence briefing warned Bush a month before 911 about Bin Laden's intent to strike - Bush spent the entire month on vacation.

          Bush was in office nine months - spent two of those months on vacation and still wants to say 911  was Clinton's fault?  Is this how he believes that the Buck stops with him>  

          Now Below the Belt:

          Cheney's Energy Meetings were designed to send gas prices above $3 a gallon. With the election coming, Gas prices are purposely falling below $2 a gallon. All of this was planned by Cheney during his energy task force. (If Cheney wants to dispute this, he can release the secret memos from his meetings. Because he wont, there's nothing to stop us from assumming the worst).

          Cheney promised Energy execs that the war on terror was designed to concentrate wealth and power on the backs of dead American's fighting in Iraq. The Iraq war was designed not to be won or lost, but to continue through Bush's presidency so he could claim war time power.

          Cheney reveiled that the war would also be used to erod civil liberties of opponents to the regime.

          Bush and Cheney both laughed themselves to death when they got a $2 billion tax cut for the rich by gutting poor childrens school lunch programs. Let them eat cake, Cheney said.

          Bush was awol from a champaign unit in the Vietnam war.

          Bush was getting gay sex from Gannon/Guckert for over a year. The press credential was just the only way they could think of of getting Gannon/Guckert into the whitehouse.  Bush loves giving head, and taking it up the ass.

          Bush is back on the sauce and snorting cocain. You can tell when he's been away from it too long, his lower left lip starts to drip and shake.

          Bush is an athiest. (he told woodward that in the end we are all just dead: when he talks to elites he's an athiest, when he talks to the masses he's a wingnut).

          The Republicans put the interest of 18 uber-wealthy families before giving 300 million American's a raise in the minimum wage.  18 families have funded the repeal of the estate tax. 18.  The entire republican establishment represents those 18 families. The other 300 million Americans can go begging for all their concern.

          Since 2002 the GNP has gone up 20% - means wages have gone down 5%. Where did all the money go?  To the 18 families.  The top .01% income and wealth has increased 500% since 2000.  Vote Republican and live as a slave to the 18 families.  If you want to live like a Republican, you better vote Democrat.

          Neocon Republican comes out claiming that they purposely conspired to manipulate religious people in order to make the wealthy wealthier. All the top  Republicans who fund religious institutes, like the  Institute for Religion and Democracy, are athiest.  

          Republicans know the health system sucks, but they don't care as long as the rich get richer. They'd like to get rid of the system altogether and make it a retail purchase for everyone.

          Hight ranking Neocon Republicans have secretely talked about allowing people to sell themselved back into a life time of slavery to uber-wealthy republicans, in return for life time room and board.

          In the end,its not hard to lie about the Republicans being evil and mean this way. In fact they are all thinly veiled truths.  

          •  You started out really great. (13+ / 0-)

            I was ready to hit the recommend.  Unfortunately, as is so often done when people decide it's time to take the gloves off, you went too far.  We DO NOT NEED TO LIE.  There are more than enough true facts out there to destroy these assholes if they're used effectively.  You start lying and cheating like them, and you destroy yourself at the same time you destroy them.  Let's stick with the truth:

            1.  The financial situation of middle income people has dropped - and always does drop - when Repubs are in control.
            1.  Taxpayers are getting fleeced by the super rich Repubs buddies.
            1.  The super rich are getting richer at the expense of the middle class and the poor.
            1.  There IS a class war going on - and the super rich are winning.
            1.  American kids are being killed solely because Bush wanted to go to war - whether because he wanted to be seen as tough, he wanted to show up his daddy, he was mad 'cause he though Saddam had tried to kill his daddy, or because he wanted to help his buddies get richer doesn't matter.  He lied to Congress and he lied to the American people to get us there.  And now our kids are being killed.

            Oh god, I could go on endlessly.  About social programs, the environment, etc.  They've done such a horrible job at EVERYTHING, we don't need to resort to making anything up or even exaggerating it.  We just need to put the message together forcefully, clearly, and then get it out there again and again and again.  All in one unified voice.

            •  I agree that... (6+ / 0-)

              we have more than enough damning information about the Bush Administration and Republicans without resorting to lies or distortions.  But the information has to be put into a marketable, sound-bite type of packaging -- something you didn't exactly achieve in your five points.

              The first part ("above the belt") of the comment above yours is solid, as is the following:  

              "Since 2002 the GNP has gone up 20% - means wages have gone down 5%. Where did all the money go?  To [a small handful of the country's wealthiest] families.  The top .01% income and wealth has increased 500% since 2000.  Vote Republican and live as a slave to the [few wealthiest] families.  If you want to live like a Republican, you better vote Democrat."

              "Neocon Republican comes out claiming that they purposely conspired to manipulate religious people in order to make the wealthy wealthier."  

              •  That's why I stated that s/he started out (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mike Laut

                so strong.  'Cause I really liked the post until I got to some of the stuff on the below the belt part.  Some of that was good, too, but other parts went too far and would put us at a par with them.

                I'm not a marketer, so I couldn't even dream of coming up with the sound bite packaging.  I'm more like Kerry, and tend to drone on and on until I forget what it was I started out to say.  My point was that we need to still maintain standards and stick with truth, and that there's more than enough of that to win us the elections.

            •  It's not the facts . . . (8+ / 0-)

              Its the perception!  

              Based on fact alone, the terrorists would want the publicans to win.  
              Based on fact alone, investors would vote Democratic (stock market always rises during Democratic presidency).
              Based on fact alone, Democrats always win the arguement.  

              We don't need to be smarter, taller, tougher, or anything-er than the publicans.  All we need to do is turn their greatest strength into a weakness.  On the level of perception.  

              Feel safer after 5 years of publican rule?  

              Didn't think so.  Vote Democratic for real security.  

            •  this country is ruled by those who repeatedly (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mrfleas, sleep deprived, Naniboujou

              trick a majority of voters into voting against their own self interest.  Attempts to convince these voters of this fact through rational argument has failed, again and again, leaving power in the hands of those who are destroying the planet faster than anyone imagined possible.

              Given this situation, how is manipulating voters, when all else fails, into voting for their own interests somehow a bad thing?  

              Further, manipulating them, if necessary, to vote against further wars, and further environmental destruction, is a flat-out noble imperative. Those who have drunk the kool-aid will keep on drinking. Don't alienate them by demanding they give up their kool-aid - just give them a new flavor (and convince them that the old flavor will cause blindness, acne, and halitosis)

              How many ads do you see on TV that make arguments based on logic, facts, or morality (even when they could make a reasonable case along those lines)?  If that approach worked, then advertisers would use it. But it obviously does not get results.

            •  Hmmmmm.... (0+ / 0-)

              I like "Bush takes it up the ass" better than your
              "The financial situation of middle income people has dropped".

              Guess which one appeals to "raw emotion"?

              faith is no substitute for empirical evidence

              by Rudyard on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 06:24:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Cheney! (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hardleft, Naniboujou, Cottagerose

            The stuff about Cheney is great.  Whether the allegations are true or not, he can't defend himself as long as he keeps those meetings secret.

          •  Response to "below the belt" meme (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Republicans know the health system sucks, but they don't care as long as the rich get richer. They'd like to get rid of the system altogether and make it a retail purchase for everyone.

            Hight ranking Neocon Republicans have secretely talked about allowing people to sell themselved back into a life time of slavery to uber-wealthy republicans, in return for life time room and board.

            Here is the fact behind those two supposed "below the belt" bullet points.

            In 2006 we have doctors opting out of the regular system or accept pay for treatment accepting Medicaid or insurance company reimbursement formulas.

            Instead many are turning to "boutique " medicine which means they find about 150 to 200 patients (well heeled patients) that pay them a retainer of about 2500 to 3000 dollars a year and THEN pay for each individual visit or treatment,etc cash. The 3000 is just a guarantee of 7/24 service.

            That is middle class(medical professionals)people enslaving themselves for all practical purposes.
            Reimbursements for general surgeons is down to 27% of billings,most doctors see diminished earnings (2% drop in 2005 AFAIK according to Surgical Practice magazine).

            So this isn't below the belt, it is a hidden part of the political battle scene. I can't vouch for the rest of your points, but I believe most are sound. Hell, Gannon might even have a secret videotape to protect himself when his deal went south!

            OK............ Next!

            by Pete Rock on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 06:21:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Send it to Phil Angelides' campaign committee (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Piano Legs


          "A child miseducated is a child lost" John F. Kennedy

          by Pam from Calif on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 04:58:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  OT: I'm an outsider on this (14+ / 0-)

        but isn't his marriage to Mary Matlin enough to disqualify him as top adviser?

        Don't you need someone who is so fully committed that pillow talk couldn't possibly get in the way? She's not just stuffing envelopes for the other side you know.

        Dems need to get some new blood in there. Some of the up-coming  talent has been noted here on dKos. (Ned Lamont's people for example)

        Carville? That dog don't hunt. Not any more.

      •  The Dems are definitely too nervous (23+ / 0-)

        to select and follow a pit bull, damn them.  For god's sake, Howard Dean let out a war hoop and they went nuts.  They scattered in their efforts to distance themselves from him.  First we have to determine how to get the "leadership" on board with this.  I don't think so.

        It's no disgrace not to be able to run a country nowadays, but it is a disgrace to keep on trying when you know you can't. ~ Will Rogers

        by vigilant meerkat on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:02:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  How about the "Path to 9/11" response so far? (6+ / 0-)

        To me, this was a golden opportunity to take a spotlight the Rethugs paid 40 million dollars for and use it against them by spotlighting the obstructionism of the Rethug Congress during Clinton's presidency and the decision by Bush to downplay the threat from terrorism when he took office.

        But the Democratic leadership insists on just playing defense, defending Clinton's record and complaining about unfair treatment.

        •  The P9/11 thing is a non-sequitor (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ja of Anoroc, Gorette, Naniboujou

          It all deals with lying about Clinton.  It has yet to be turned around on Bush.

          See RULE 3

          by naufragus on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 12:34:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yep. That's been my view, too. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ja of Anoroc, boofdah

            A real missed opportunity. I wish you'd diary about that. I've made an attempt, but I think you're a lot more knowledgable

          •  On PT9/11 (13+ / 0-)

            I think the Democratic Party owes a round of drinks  to progressive blogs like the Daily Kos for fearlessly picking a club and demolishing the credibility of the latest Republican swift-boat tactic.

            The PT911 insurgency began from the bottom within grassroots internet blogs and the Democratic big boys entered the fray when once the Daily Kos had conquered both flanks of the enemy and the Republicans were beating the retreat.

            It doesn't matter if PT911 is broadcast on ABC at this juncture because PT911 has already become an albatross that has been successfully hung around the neck of the GOP, by some very resourceful members of the insurgent Democratic community.

            Placing ABC under seige just as the Republicans were unfurling their banner of war to battle the Democrats for the fall elections was an inspired political move.

            The PT911 gambit sabotaged the entire Republican election kickoff campaign to paint the Democrats as appeasers to terror. The Republican's idea was to have all of the stars and constellations lined up in the House of Republican by the fifth anniversary of 9/11 to rout the Democrats with their patriotism.

            Well folks...that ain't gonna happen, because the PT911 operation blew up the script and the Republicans are adrift in a sea of hostile public opinion about their sleazy use of 9/11 to win votes.  

            The shelf value of the PT911 gambit will plummet to zero, the minute it is shown or isn't shown on ABC.

            I hope Democrats don't reliquish control of the game tempos, by default and go slip sliding away into La La Land.

            In three short days, PT911 loses all of it's magical properties as potion from the insurgent Democrat's mojo bag. By then I'm hoping the insugent Democrats are ready to spring the next vodoo gambit from hell  hidden within their mojo bag on the Republicans.

            If life were fair George Bush would be making a living asking,"Do you want some fries with that?"

            by Mr Populist on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 03:22:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I don't trust Carville anymore (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shakti, gustynpip

        He seems to have gotten so lost in the whole 'triangulation' thing (to the point of marrying the 'enemy' for heaven's sake), I think he has been pretty thoroughly compromised.

        •  Trusting Carville (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Caldonia, boofdah

          He seems to have gotten so lost in the whole 'triangulation' thing (to the point of marrying the 'enemy' for heaven's sake), I think he has been pretty thoroughly compromised.

          That may well be. Carville is a very complex person and remains a political enigma to me. He's been out of the war room for a while now. Don't write him off as a sell-out, he's capable of breathing fire like no one else when he's focused completely on a campaign operation.

          I personally despise his choice in women but I think both Carvelle and Mary Matlin are capable of compartmentalizing their private lives from their political lives like no other "mixed marriage" I've ever seen.

          It would be difficult for me to share the same roof with a conservative female because so much of the Republican philosphy is intertwined with areas of your own private life choices like; how to raise your kids, what kind of schools they should be attending, and what religion, if any, should you raise your children to believe in. Most conservative women would view me as madman cramming my children's heads with a lot of dangerous ideas.

          If life were fair George Bush would be making a living asking,"Do you want some fries with that?"

          by Mr Populist on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 02:23:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My comment has less to do with his marriage (0+ / 0-)

            and more to do with the fact that he seems to me to be a true believer in compromise with the other side, which does not seem to ME to be the right approach to things at this point in time.


        Of all your salient points, the best one is reminding people that most Americans aren't spending four hours a day by their computers learning their facts.

        You must win the battle of perception (image).  Then the quality of your product trumps the manure of the GOP every single time.

        •  Here's a big problem for the Democrats (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The big city grassroots ward organizations went on the decline when states began using primaries to nominate a presidential candidate. The primary recruiting incentive offered by the ward organization was those members who were activists could participate in the ward caucuses to select a presidential candidate and be a delegate to the Democratic convention. Ward organizations may have corrupt and run by iron fisted bosses, but they won elections and built the organization.

          The growing trend of selecting a presidental nominee by primary elections spelled the demise of the local ward organizations. Primaries were more democratic but the ward caucuses and the national convention participation were a great organizing tools for the ward bosses to reward ambitious workers.  

          When the ward organization deteriorated, the Democrats began to rely on labor organizers to do turnout on election day. At the time the Democrats didn't realize that labor unions would be cut down  to only 15% of the workforce by 2000. The diminishing number of union members has had a devastating effect on Democratic voter turnout for two decades.

          You have to understand that the arrival of George W. Bush and the GOP control of both houses of congress has been the end product of nearly 30 years organizing work to build a coalition of consevative Christians, corporate sponsors, single issue lobbies and citizens action groups (like the Prop 13 referendum organization in CA in the late Seventies). The has been a mobilization of the right that has been more effective at winning elections in this nation than any of it's Democratic predecessors. The goal of the right wing types like Rove and Horowitz is to not just to beat Democrats in elections,  but as Horowitz has said," to annhilate Democrats from the face of the earth, by any means nessecary." These guys have thrown out the rule book, folks!  

          The Republicans got smart and rebuild their oranization into a highly displined modern version of the ward organization.  In 2004 I was shocked to see that the GOP turned out 95% of the 3.5 million registered Republican voters while the Democrats only turned out roughly 70% of the 4.2 registered Democrats in Florida. The Democrats have 700,000 more registered party members in Florida, but Republicans keep on beating them there. It's possible that a fix is happening but it wouldn't surprise me if the Republcans did indeed mobilize 95% of their folks.

          The types of political strategists the Democrats hire these days are the Kennedy School of Goverment  dilletantes who aren't competent enough to win an union autorization drive, let alone a presidential election. They are very good about talking public policy and metapolitics but clueless on how regular Americans percieve elections. Kerry is an example of the quintessential Kennedy School of Government candidate.

          All of that breeding and charm school training can't teach you how to fight a political battle. The best strategists I've worked talk like wise guy on the Sopranos. Shel Trapp and Bob Ross Sr. dressed like working stiffs from the hood.  

          Most of the great organizers of the grassroots movement have moved on, mostly to the afterlife. They'd be rolling in their graves if they saw the kind of pencil necked policy geeks the Democrats were trusting to win elections for them these days.  

          If life were fair George Bush would be making a living asking,"Do you want some fries with that?"

          by Mr Populist on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 05:46:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  did not Carville allow Matalin ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ... to hold a fund raiser for Libby in their home?  I do not trust Carville one bit.  Matalin is a Cheney insider.  

        May all beings be free from fear.

        by shakti on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 08:26:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Magnificent Diary! (0+ / 0-)

        I saw it after 500 comments, and am irritated too few commentors simply praised it!

        I bookmarked, copied, pasted, and e-mailed it to about half dozen series regionalcampaign Dems, including one congressional campaign manager.

        Should be on "Rec" list until November 10.  


        "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." General Nathanael Greene, Continental Army, April, 1781.

        by faithnomore on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 10:18:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Cody Jarrett... (20+ / 0-)
      FYI, you might be reading a James Cagney fan.
      Cody Jarrett was Cagney's character in his classic "Public Enemy".
    •  Except Rule Five (9+ / 0-)

      I agree with everything on this list except rule five. Every johnny come lately campaign shill wants to be the next Karl Rove. I've seen so many of them get lost in trying to pull some dirty trick out of their asses.

      The blogs are the perfect weapon against Rovian tactics. In the Ohio 2nd special we raised a quarter of a million dollars not by being more like Rove than Rove but by taking their bullshit lies and shoving it up their asses with a sword of righteousness. We never would have had that option if we had started spreading lies like they did. (Granted we lost, but we came damned close, and our problem was in ignoring the other rules, not 5.)

      Personally, I like fighting from the high road instead of diving down into the mud. Sure, hit hard, hit often, and be ruthless, but don't start making shit up thinking it will help you win. We've got right on our side... we don't need to.

      •  This would be fine... (5+ / 0-)

        if every American was just like us, but unfortunately you need to...

        Understand that you are dealing with a target audience that doesn't care enough, or simply refuses to devote the time to learn the real facts regarding the real issues. Instead, their perception has BECOME the facts!

        You see, we're not talking about crafting campaigns for us, we're talking about a means to motivate a largely ignorant and indifferent electorate. We've seen time and time again that subtlety and nuance don't work. You have to define things in the simplest of terms: good vs. evil.

        In my heart, I agree with you, but I'm also fully cognizant of what's at stake, and I honestly don't think the country can afford to have Dems lose anymore elections, and if only for that reason I say: do whatever it takes.

        •  My Law on the Path to Victory (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vtdem, gustynpip

          One of the sayings that I coined: The easiest way to defeat the enemy is to become the enemy.

          Pass. Being on the side of good has power. We just need to wield it.

        •  Bravo - my thoughts exactly n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
        •  Good vs. evil (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          You have to define things in the simplest of terms: good vs. evil.

          I don't know why we progressives have SUCH a hard time defining ourselves, and our platform, in terms of good and evil. Contrary to the "moral relativist" frame in which the right-wing likes to portray us, I (and most, if not all, liberals that I know personally) see things VERY MUCH in terms of good and evil--and I think that Democrats should start framing their message as such:

          • Tax breaks for the rich - Evil. People who refuse to pay their dues to the common good of the American community as a whole are inherently self-serving and selfish beings.
          • Empowering the working classes - Good. We all win as a national community when the least among us are given a fair chance. This is an umbrella point of benevolence that includes universal healthcare, a fair living wage, workers' protection, and other labor/populist issues.
          • Suppressing our fellow Americans' rights - Evil. This includes voter suppression, subtle (or not) sexist and racist policy, marriage and adoption inequality, etc. Why would we want to treat ANY American as being "less than"?
          • "And justice for all" - Good. Equal rights are not "special rights." Every American has the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" - and a fair trial with a jury if accused of a crime.
          • Lying America's way into Iraq - The Biblical definition of EVIL. What was that about one of the Ten Commandments saying "thou shalt not bear false witness"? Not to mention "thou shalt not kill." And for profit, doubly evil.
          • Sound foreign policy that works within international law - Good. Again, we all win, this time as an international community, when everyone's voice is counted and we don't pretend we're "better" than everyone else on the world stage. (A perception that is neutralized in the world community, especially given our current policy of torture and imprisonment without due process.)

          These are only three examples I can think of off the top of my head--I'm sure we liberals could come up with more.

      •  Blogs are not the campaign (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        boofdah, bluebrain

        So it helps to have someone who people can trust, that doesn't mean that there might not be utility to having another guy who can smear shit.  George Bush never stood up and parroted what the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth said, he let other people get their hands dirty.

        The bloggers can't do rule 1 (except those on the website), we're just not cut out for obediance to commands (except those from Kos, of course), there's no reason rule 5 is a rule for us either.

        Hope will heal us all.

        "For the serious empire-builder there was no such thing as a final frontier." - Terry Pratchett Jingo

        by notapipe on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 01:48:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  the word "truth" should be banned (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sleep deprived

        until after the election.  Taking a public stand for the truth means having to defend the reality and accuracy of that truth.  Which means being back on the defensive yet again.  Just look at the pathetic responses from the Dems on the ABC 9/11 special.  The truth, if invoked, should be spewed out there just as if it were a lie, with no apologies, or backing logic.  Once the "truth" has been uttered, do not defend its correctness. Just attack the person of anyone who questions whatever you say (even if it turns out you were wrong). The truth is for feeling good after the election. The "high road" just means having clean hands in defeat. Unless you believe that some god or higher power will magically cause truth to prevail in the world, then what evidence is there, historically, that it should?  (Answer: none).

        •  which is not to say that (0+ / 0-)

          true issues do not matter,  or that they should not be the basis for any progressive campaign.  Just saying that the "fact" that they are true is worth nothing in and of itself, in terms of swaying opinion.

        •  Truth does have power (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sleep deprived

          There is inherent power in truth, and it should not be underestimated.  Even you are making a truth claim, and this diary is claiming to be the truth--a powerful psychological truth.  History has turned on revelation of truth in the past, such as the truth of what happened to Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney in 1964.

          If we are not on the side of truth, then it really doesn't matter if we win or not, because lies will rule either way.  What we are doing only matters if we truly care at the deepest level about what is good and what is true.  Our work only matters if it is truly for the good of the people of this country and the world.

          I have no illusions about the evil of our current rulers, including Rove, and the effectiveness of their tactics.  I'm perfectly willing to borrow from those tactics as long as it does not destroy the values and results we are fighting for.  I know that it is what people perceive, and not the truth itself, that determines how they vote. I understand the problem of dirty hands, and I'm willing to get my hands dirty, but not to cheat or lie.  

          There is a good side to spin or framing, and it is exactly this: that it shapes perception, which shapes how people act and vote.  But it still has to be based on the truth or I have no interest in it. The truth must be spoken in ways that can be heard, and we must choose the battles that will help us win.

          If necessary, I'll speak the truth viciously, with the sharpness of a dagger.  But I will not give up on truth itself.

          •  there will be nothing left to which our values (0+ / 0-)

            will apply if the Repugs stay in power.  Imagine that this were a physical conflict (you did mention "dagger" and "vicious") - would you feel the need to deal honestly and respectfully with your enemy, knowing that if you lost, then your values will be lost as well.  

            I would agree with that it doesn't matter whether we win, unless we preserve our values, if the world was not so precariously hanging in the balance. There is no countervailing military, economic, or idealogical force in the world that can currently compete with the US.  And within the US there is no organized force that can successfully, consistently, confront the media power projected by the corporate elites. This runaway effect needs to be contained before they really get a lock on things. Before they are the only ones allowed to even define "truth". Things have been bad before, but there a number of frightening trend lines that make 1984 look a lot more possible than ever before. It wasn't always a zero-sum game, but for the time being, I believe that it is.

            I think that stopping more wars, and stopping the destruction of the planet are virtuous enough goals in their own right. Other values should be kept in proportion. If we have to sell part of our souls to win, then that should be considered a worthy sacrifice.

            •  You see what I see (0+ / 0-)

              It may be even worse than them having a lock.  I think they are trying to make sure republicans get the good jobs, the good deals and all the breaks.

              They are trying to totally drain the rest of us, so we will be totally powerless.  They may have succeeded, if not, they will soon with their $360,000 out of pocket costs after retirement, even for those who have all the Medicare insurances. It would be a lot more without Medicare.

              There will be nothing left to leave to the younger generations. Only the rich will get inheritances.

              That isn't what it is all about, but it is a good indication of it all.  I can picture it getting worse from that point.

              They don't even pretend to be fair.  They are ruthless in what they are doing all over the world.

              Life is what you focus on...I am focused on Bush......It ain't pretty

              by relentless on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:55:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I agree, Carville is an anchor (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JanL, jay23

      Can't we find someone in this nation of many millions of people who isn't married to Mary Matalin, doesn't wear bluejeans and Opie Taylor sneakers on national television, doesn't look like he's sucking on a lemon all the time, doesn't have a nervous tick, and doesn't perpetually seem to be one step away from the nut house?

      I find it hard, no IMPOSSIBLE, to believe that the Dems can't find someone better than Carville. I mean really... that's the best we can do? Come ON.

      Bizarro World sucks... I want to go home to America.

      Dial Acorn Heads for all your website needs!

      by willers on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 01:00:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rule 13 (6+ / 0-)

      Don't try to convince anyone of your opinion,  convince them that everybody else has your opinion.  

      Just another American against the war.

      by dbratl on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 02:02:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Don't you agree?" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Yes! One thing at which the right has been so successful is convincing "squishy-middle" voters that their drivelpolicies are "common-sense" approaches to ordinary life (as they see it). We need to show voters that RIGHT-WINGERS are in the minority and NOT in the so-called "mainstream." We don't need to just point to the Republicans' shitty poll numbers to tell people that; we need to brand OUR OWN memes of "common sense."

        It's the "I mean, DUH/Don't you agree?" approach--universal healthcare would be GOOD for business, GOOD for the economy, and GOOD for America. Don't you agree? ;-)

    •  Succinctly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnneElizabeth, jay23
      1. Nice guys finish last.
      1. The best defense is an offense.

      Since Bush took office I feel like we're stuck in the Twilight Zone.

      by Shappy on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 02:03:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Put another way (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gogol, boofdah, sleep deprived

      This isn't complicated. When you got 'em by the throat, you take out a damn howitzer and blow their brains out.

      Lee Atwater

      Politics is not a nice game. Sadly, too many Democrats prefer the supposed moral high ground to majority status.

  •  RECOMMEND! (27+ / 0-)

    I would add rule 13.

    Put a picture of a drowning polar bear beside your desk. Or if that's too gross, a picture of planet earth. Every time you start to think...

    • I don't want the grief and hassle right now.
    • What good would my LTE do?
    • I don't want to send this email and make my relatives mad.

    ...look at it.  AND GET ANGRY!

  •  A bunch of us should run and tell the truth (19+ / 0-)

    If only 25% were elected, imagine the sea change.

    I am SO ready and willing to punch back! Let me at 'em!

    Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else? - James Thurber

    by JuliaAnn on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 09:42:32 AM PDT

  •  I'm reccomending (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RaleighRob, dkmich, DMiller, 4thepeople

    I would hope that everyone reads what this guy has to say.  

  •  Put Up A Tip Jar! (9+ / 0-)

    Great Diary! Everyone Recommned! Print it out and send it to Howard Dean and your dem Senator/congress critter!

    Let's wake up and learn how to win before it's 2 fkg late!

    •  and still the right message (26+ / 0-)

      because everything else falls under it.

      Environment    Why do the poor get stuck with the pollution?

      Jobs    Why are only the top 1% seeing real raises?

      Education    Why do you have to have money to buy a good education when a democracy demands that all citizens know enough to be thoughtful voters?

      Voting integrity    Why is it the poor precincts that lack enough machines or get ones that break down?

      Health care    Why do the poor die of diseases that the rich recover from?

      National security    Where is the justice in a system that drives the poor into the armed forces to have a decent life?

      I think I am persuading myself...

      "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is."

      by Wee Mama on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:45:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Poor? (5+ / 0-)

        I wonder how many people self-identify as poor?

        I think people used to.  But I think most people consider themselves middle-class, and those having it really hard probably describe themselves as working class.  But poor?  Something happened on the way to the Reagan and I don't think people see themselves in those terms anymore.

        I think this is an important point: first, it seems condescending (the implication being, I shall now speak for The Poor in my ongoing efforts to Uplift Them!  The presumption being, the speaker isn't him- or herself poor, just some of the unfortunate listeners who can't speak for themselves).

        It's also off-putting.  Imagine a candidate that planned to offer comprehensive plans to help The Cuckolded!  The Abandoned!  The Lonely!  The Incompetent!  You wouldn't think, Hey, my spouse did indeed cheat on me and leave me for someone else: let's see what this person has to say to help me!

        The plural of anecdote is not data.

        by vernonlee on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 02:44:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We can work on the words but it is funny (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          boofdah, MuffledDrum

          that "the rich" still describes a group. Oddly enough there has been so much economic damage done under Bush that whatever word we use for folks with not much money that group is bigger now.

          Then there was the person who said that in his economically-challenged childhood his parents always said, " We're not poor - we're broke."

          Maybe re-reading Edwards' speeches would suggest some good choices.

          "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is."

          by Wee Mama on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 02:51:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed. (8+ / 0-)

            That's why the Two Americas theme works, in my opinion - there's certainly enough room for people to think of 2 categories.  When you start splitting everyone into quintiles or quartiles, nobody wants to be on the bottom.

            My mom has occasionally said, in a matter-of-fact voice, that her family was "poor" growing up.  The first time I heard it, it was fairly jarring - because I'd never heard anyone contemporary describe themselves that way.  And we had plenty of relatives who were really, really poor - growing up in big-city housing projects their whole lives, then raising their own kids in them.  And I'd have a hard time picturing them saying they were poor, unless it was a joke they could publicly disavow.

            I think the Greatest Generation & those preceding didn't have a problem stating something like that plainly.  Not in a Blue Collar Comedy way - where it's worn as a badge of pride, a form of reverse snobbery.

            I think there's something that changed in the last few decades where people who got the short end of the stick internalized the harsh Republican message that if you're poor, it's your own damn fault.  I think there's a shame in admitting you're poor, or that you need help - and that aversion to self-identify as a group has been nicely exploited by Republicans.

            Thanks for your comments, Wee Mama!

            The plural of anecdote is not data.

            by vernonlee on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 03:25:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  How about "working families"? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Or working-class, even? The operative word is WORKING. And often 60 hours a week for shit wages. That's an image with which a poor-but-proud voter (many of them, actually!) could identify completely.

    •  Edwards and media (14+ / 0-)

      Note how the media ignored Edwards during the 2004 campaign. Totally. Ignored. Him. Once he was nominated, you didn't hear squat about his daily appearances.

      Somebody, somewhere, somehow they decided that economic issues were not going to be discussed; this "class warfare" stuff was not interesting.

      So no real coverage, other than nice fluffy interviews with the Missus.

      We'll have to figure out how to do an end-run if this happens again to the Dem candidates. The blogosphere will have its work cut out...

      •  Did you ever hear Mrs. Edwards? (11+ / 0-)

        Oh my Gosh!  I saw her do a town meeting and she was nothing short of awesome!

        No wonder those two had to be relegated to the backwods.  

        Edwards became the VP candidate and disappeared.  I'll always wonder who was the mastermind on that little campaign idea.

        •  We must have (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Southern Mouth

          Oh my Gosh!  I saw her do a town meeting and she was nothing short of awesome!

          seen the same town meeting.   She was one of the most appealing, intelligent, articulate speakers/candidates I've ever seen.  I was also just blown away. I would have loved to see her debate the Chimp.

          Since Bush took office I feel like we're stuck in the Twilight Zone.

          by Shappy on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 04:07:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  more likely (0+ / 0-)

            It was a different town meeting and she was just awesome at all of them.

            John and Elizabeth are the two most delightful people in politics.  You really get the sense that win or lose, they know they'll be happy.  They don't give off that desperate air of, um, Joementum.

            Their podcast is a trip, I mean, on a technical basis, it sounds like a college radio talk show sometimes, but they come across as such cool people. And either their kids are absolutely adorable or John is stealing heartwarming anecdotes from Readers Digest every month. :o)

      •  i think he only had half the message (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        two america's was the best dem concept of the election, but it didn't hit nat'l security squarely on the head. Kerry wasn't able to hold up that end of the bargain either, so it left a big gaping whole in the dem proposal.

        well, they only won by a fraction of a percent, so it wasn't gaping!

        ...maybe adding something like "fight smart" could work. Could apply to Iraq, GWOT, Katrina, everything.

        All extremists are irrational and should be exposed

        by SeanF on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 02:07:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No, they ignored him... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Blue Shark

        ...because he's a whole lot more dangerous than Kerry. I think his image is too "nice" for the top slot at this point in his career, but he'd make a damn fine candidate for Veep with a whole blogosphere behind him (now that the MSM has decided we do better journalism than they do, and look to us for the scoops).

        Satan himself had a 33% approval rating even as he was booted out of heaven.

        by Joy Busey on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 03:17:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  He was the son of a mill worker (0+ / 0-)

      "When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat." ~ Mark Twain, on watermelon

      by Subterranean on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:38:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Karl Rove said that Edwards was the one they (4+ / 0-)

      were most afraid of. Hmmm 'scuse me while I put 2 and 2 together.

      This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

      by Agathena on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 12:39:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Edwards 'pansy' demeanor is an achilles heel (0+ / 0-)

      I am not sure if he can overcome this shallow and purely cosmetic problem or not.

      •  An interesting thought... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grayslady, Southern Mouth, bee tzu

        and I'd suggest that the Rovian preemptive labeling of Edwards as "the Breck Girl" (over a year before the primary season even began, before he even had a campaign office) proves your point right there.

        I'd offer as an off-the-cuff arguments the following:

        1. it also depends who the opponent is, and how that person might come to appear;
        1. different leaders appeal during different times.  Jimmy Carter would never have won were people not disgusted and exhausted by Nixon and his henchmen.  Perhaps Manly Man didn't seem like such a good bargain to voters in 76.

        Not that these negate your points.  Just food for thought.

        The plural of anecdote is not data.

        by vernonlee on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 03:33:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Those are good points (0+ / 0-)

          I was combing my mind for modern Presidents who were slightly feminine/boyish types like Edwards and totally missed Carter, who is close enough to fitting that mold to qualify.

          Context IS indeed very important - although Carter's personality might have been an important factor in the public's willingness to turn against him when he was Prez.

    •  Two Americas= Rebadged 'People, not the powerful' (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      boofdah, sunsquared

      essentially lifted from the Gore'00 campaign.

      North Carolina was very much winnable (within 5 point spread in both Sep and Oct'04 as seen in the graph below), and still Edwards couldn't deliver it.

      Edwards' supporters claim that the Kerry campaign didn't ask him to campaign there; other than unsubstantiated here say, I haven't seen evidence that that was indeed the case. Also, wasn't Edwards, the VP nominee, supposed to have enough pull to  make his case, and put his foot down about taking NC seriously given that it was winnable, and it carried 15 electoral votes?

      If anything, the fact that NC was with 5% twice in the final months indicates that the campaign was not inactive there.


      Also, for all you know, Edwards was not too keen on working in NC, as campaigning nationwide would set him up better for 2008.

      Had Edwards carried NC for Kerry, that would have given them 267 ECVs, and either IA and NM (both of which Gore won) would have tipped the election in their favor.

      And no, Gore's job (as the Presidential nominee) was to win 270 electoral votes nationwide, and not win TN. Had FL votes been counted properly, he would have ahd 292 ECVs.

      The VP candidates are expected to carry one or two states in most peoples' opinion, including mine, and NC/SC were good possibilities for Edwards to try and deliver, IMO.

      ps: it is also important to note that Edwards had a 46% unfavorables on election day, which are high for someone touted as being popular.

      Post this by your PC/bed: Don't forget! I MUST make time to PUNISH #^*@ Disney & ABC today!!

      by NeuvoLiberal on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 06:48:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As An Ad Guy I Would Agree (50+ / 0-)

    With just about everything this guy has to say. One of the thing that needs to be stressed is the sole person with the power to control the message. In ad circles clients (usually not the agency) love to focus group test stuff into the ground. I've done hundreds of focus groups to test creative and rarely do they work. The message gets watered down to a safe message and a group can agree upon. This is not a good way to develop a winning message.

    "It is not enough to win, all others must lose," Sun Tzu.

    by webranding on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 09:55:29 AM PDT

    •  Can I recommend 30 times? (8+ / 0-)

      Each point is important and quite frankly, I had never thought of that one.

      I jumped on Rule 4 because I think it's important ........

      But the beauty of this post is that ALL the RULES are important and must be used in this game of life and death!

      •  And Rule 4 Is Very Important (19+ / 0-)

        It is something I say here at Kos and to my boss on a daily basis, "just because you act in one way don't assume everybody else in our target audience does."

        Those of us that post here or will take the time to read a 100 page PDF on a poloitical topic are in a very, very small percentage of the population. Elections are won by ads and spin, not facts. I often think our/my party doesn't get this.

        "It is not enough to win, all others must lose," Sun Tzu.

        by webranding on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:04:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well I think party loyalty is won slightly (10+ / 0-)

          differently though and this is where Bush has beaten us for six years - he has come out on everything he has said as believable and committed to it no matter how unpopular the idea is.  People are attracted to leaders - there is an instinctive and positive response to confidence and passion in a candidate.  Democrats for some reason got really bogged down in the ads and sort of forgot about the "feel" that people need to get from the candidate themselves.

          Although we know that Bush is not authentic - he has played that part best of all during his tenure on the national stage.  Our candidates have to be themselves a bit more and be more candid - less canned - that is the transformation that is working for Gore right now - he stopped polling on every sentence and every word that came out of his mouth and just started to say what he thought and as a result he is enjoying a renaissance in his popularity.

          •  I Would Agree to Some Level (10+ / 0-)

            None of the people in my party that I wanted to vote for have got the nod, going all the way back to Jerry Brown and Dean the last time around.

            I want a person that says what they think, even if it isn't popular. Heck, I've joked often that I would vote for just about any person that would say one of these two things: (1) That is a fucking stupid question and (2) That is a really tough question and I don't know. I have to think about it some and will get back to you.

            "It is not enough to win, all others must lose," Sun Tzu.

            by webranding on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:18:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  My comment kind of goes back to the (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mperloe, Elise, boofdah

              whole thing about not worrying about what hard core conservatives think of your candidate - they won't vote for you anyway so don't change your strategy to accomodate them.  That doesn't mean that you don't govern with a broader vision once you are elected and try for unity.  I think Democrats run elections a lot of the time as if they are already elected rather than running hard scrabble races where they really need to impassion their followers and get them to the polls.  Rove is very good at stirring people's emotions up enough to get them to act.  Bush has proven to be a very good "Decider" character in that play.

              •  Democrats seem to think that (7+ / 0-)

                they're governing instead of campaigning, and that campaigning is just a sort of interview process in which they're being assessed for polish & bureaucratic skills.  Campaigning is performance art, like WWF/WWE/WW-whatever-- it has a fairly lame, but familiar, narrative that allows for a lot of ad-libbing and rabble-rousing.  In fact, to extend the wrestling metaphor, Dem politicians are the amateurs who come from the audience to challenge the pros because it doesn't look that hard, after all.  And it's not, as long as you commit to the process.

                Or, to tinker with another performance-related analogy, in theatre training, students are expected to overact.  It is much, much easier to dial back a wretchedly excessive performance than it is to make a lackluster one watchable, because if the energy is there, it can be harnessed and managed... if it's not, though, no one's gonna pay to watch, or even hang around for a free show.  The GOP has an old-style theatre company going on, with generally-assigned roles-- clowns, hotheads, divas, leading men, narrators, ingenues, and so on-- and that's how they manage their energy, with each member of the ensemble contributing to enhance the leading performances.  We're not even close to that; it's like amateur improv night with a bunch of strangers bouncing around onstage.

                Democrats always act as though they're afraid they'll lose, so people look at them and see losers. -Paul Waldman

                by latts on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:07:30 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I've heard others say this (5+ / 0-)

                  .... that Democrats have been in power for so long they don't know HOW to campaign.  Methinks there is something to it!

                  Bill Clinton was a campaigner, one heckuva campaigner.  He's the one that said if you can't stand the pain of the fight, if you're going to whine and say "they're not playing fair", then you don't need to be in politics.   He knew that it was a rough game that you had to be willing to get bloodied.  He was willing to take the beating to get something that he thought was important done.  I happen to agree with much of what he wanted for this country.

                  The Republicans happen to agree with much of what Bush wants for this country.  I think the Repub base honestly believes that their way is the best and that Dems will lead the country to ruin.  We believe the same about them.  What's the diff?

                  Mr. Populist is right in so many points.  We have to go for those who are "perceiving" and put that message out there for them TO perceive.  And then play it again and again and again.

                  For instance on the PT911 fiasco, I'll bet Rove is just effing lovin' it.  It's 5 years and instead of focusing of what Bush hasn't done (bin Laden still running around), we're talking about Clinton letting bin Laden run around .... and they're saying "those Clinton people are just so sensitive about the little things" ... making us look like we care MORE about history than the future.

                  We CAN and SHOULD fight like hell the inaccuracies of PT911 ... for a reason.  Not to defend Clinton and company, they're capable of suing the shit outta whoever or making them pay in other ways.  The falsehoods that are going to be put forth help determine the course of the future.  Clinton made mistakes; he didn't get bin Laden; he should have got him; people died.  AND FOR 5 years now, bin Laden has been free to run around touting his 9/11 "success" and he's recruiting the nutcases.  AND Bush had the whole military right there in Afghanistan.  Talk about someone taking his eye off the ball!

                  And WHY?  because he wanted to go into Iraq.  He was compulsively driven (like a man wanting a blow job) to get Iraq from Saddam.  In the book Hubris, Bush was quoted as saying that he was going to lick the MF's ass all over the Middle East.  Talk abuot an addiction!

                  •  Whoops, I mean kick his ass. Funny. n/t (0+ / 0-)
                  •  WHAT'S THE DIFF? (3+ / 0-)

                    I think the Repub base honestly believes that their way is the best and that Dems will lead the country to ruin.  We believe the same about them.  What's the diff?

                    WHAT'S THE DIFF?

                    WHAT'S THE DIFF?

                    What the F???

                    Look at the past 5 years and what the next three are looking like and compare them to the 8 years under Clinton.

                    Think about where we could be if we had 8 years of Clinton was able to accomplish.

                    Now think about where we could be with 8 more years of bush* style government.

                    Did you suffer too much with 8 years of peace and prosperity?

                    How many of those 18 weathy families died because they had to pay taxes?

                    I don't think that the base that Rove has corralled is honest about anything.

                    •  You misunderstand (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      There's a HUGE difference between Republicans' vision for this country and Democrats' vision for the country.  

                      What's the diff refers to the beliefs of those in the base of both parties.  Both are for their party member because they believe strongly that their party will lead the country in the "right" (correct) direction.  These Republicans are dead serious in their desire to "rule the world", not just this country.  They believe strongly in a few people having the bulk of the wealth and the poor I guess should just hold their breath.  The scariest part of this bunch is that they're dead serious about their ideas .... Ideas that I find repulsive and won't work.

                      •  Or better put (0+ / 0-)

                        I know you think you understand what you thought you heard me say.

                        But I'm not sure you realize that what i said
                        is not what I meant.

                      •  That's not the point (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        It's about the very large number of people who are not loyal to any one party, who vote for whoever they perceive to be the best leader at the time.  Americans have been reacting out of fear since 9/11 which really skewed things towards Bush.

                      •  I actually took it to mean (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        McJulie, boofdah, Southern Mouth

                        that it didn't make that much difference to the mushy middle.  The GOP line is more viscerally appealing because it's black & white, dynamic, fervent, etc.-- it appeals to that sense of American exceptionalism without any real acknowledgement that it must be earned, that it's not bestowed upon us by divine right.  Liberals are such downers with their talk of accountability, tolerance, nuance, etc., while Republicans are all about flags & parades & blowing crap up... and as a bonus, they let people think that luck = merit.

                        The differences in how we're actually governed mea very little to 'swing' voters, because they react emotionally, and Republicans make them feel good about even their laziness and prejudice... their whole MO is to reinforce people's worst instincts while praising cheap sentimentality as some sort of courage.  

                        Democrats always act as though they're afraid they'll lose, so people look at them and see losers. -Paul Waldman

                        by latts on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 04:57:29 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

          •  Gore is talking ONE point - Global Warming (9+ / 0-)

            And though I personally think he would make a GREAT President, and in reality was the elected president, and we got the Selected Persident, it might be better for the whole WORLD if he would stay on that target and forget running.  Maybe that's why he won't throw his hat in the ring too!  He knows the importance of this message.

            A Presidential candidate, heck ALL the Congressional candidates, should be saying with one voice that Al Gore is going to take the lead in this nation to fight global warming.  

            As for people being attracted to leaders, I agree 100%.  That's why I hear over and over again people talk about what a great leader Bush is, how he has kept this country safe.  And if an attack occured tomorrow, he would have kept the country safe for 5 years!  Hell, the first WTC was hit on 1993 and we weren't hit again on our soil for 8 years, but did you hear anyone saying that about Bill Clinton?  AND if we take a hit, Bush will just HAVE to have the congress he needs to fight the bastards.  Hell, they might have to change the constitution so he can stay in more than 2 terms!

            •  I want Gore to run because Global Warming (6+ / 0-)

              is the one issue that will permeate every aspect of American life and without a leader who really understands the depth of the problem and how to fix it / adjust to it through government programs and policies, I really think that this country will come crashing down.  Gore is also a boyscout and would not be easily manipulated by the huge corporate interests that would try to convince him that the science was wrong or any of the other tactics.  He knows the stuff inside out.  I'll bet he has one hell of a good plan in his head on how to use government to get us through this radical change and still have us come out on top of the world.  I think he is the man for our time for President and I wouldn't pass that opportunity up if we have it.  But we'll see.

              •  Retired Fed employee here (5+ / 0-)

                While Gore was "reinventing government".  Lots of turf-minded people HATED what Gore was making government offices do .... I thought about it, knew we would lose personnel in the process, knew we needed to trim the fat, felt that I could hold my job in some form .... and then examined and tried the methods Gore was telling us we had to employ.  The result was good, eliminating unnecessary work.

                Federal employment/offices are full of redundancy, for a good reason.  Redundancy helps keep things going when one part of the process screws up, which it does sometimes.  But when you get in the "redundancy" mode of thinking, you can get TOO redundant and check to check the recheck, to no real advantage.  Gore put some teaching and some processes out there that we HAD to use and it was good.  Plus, he was so personally encouraging and just an all-around nice guy.

                Some would think that it would be the do-nothings (and these don't just work for the gov't) that fought these changes when in actuality it was the higher ups who were losing turf.

                I personally think Gore is the greatest but he himself doesn't see himself in soundbite mode and I think he's right.  If he's elected, he would do a great job period because of his intelligence, his drive, and his deep abiding concern for the country and the world.

            •  Dream ticket for '08: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:


              Satan himself had a 33% approval rating even as he was booted out of heaven.

              by Joy Busey on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 03:20:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Sincerity - fake that and you've got it made (4+ / 0-)

            "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is."

            by Wee Mama on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:46:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  In other words... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GW Chimpzilla, Riff, Mr Populist

    Pick ONE INDIVIDUAL to head up your election team and give this person TOTAL AUTHORITY to manage all advertising messages and perception issues. Whatever he or she says -- goes! And no more discussion.

    (etc. etc. etc. right on down the list of rethug strategies)

    Become Republicans!

    Sorry, but I can't endorse becoming a criminal in order to solve a crime.

    •  Too many chiefs is not good. (15+ / 0-)

      Think in military terms - you don't need any people fighting over who outranks who or whose orders they should follow.  You need a "Yes, sir!  Right away, sir!" attitude.

      Let committees run something else.

      We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

      by Fabian on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:18:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  this.... (14+ / 0-)

      is why we lose folks. Being nice to Republicans is like fighting WWII with bows and arrows. You may get a fews "points" across but you will never win the big battle.

    •  So, if you'd had a shot (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to kill Hitler during WWII, you would've passed it up?


      (And, no, NSA et al., I am not calling for the assassination of anybody. I'm just making a point. So stay off my ass.)

      -8.00, -2.92 All actions -- especially votes -- have consequences.

      by bwintx on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:26:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I would disagree with you on that (35+ / 0-)

      Mirroring the Republicans unethical modus operandi is a very legitimate concern that many Democrats have. There is nothing unethical about building a centralized top-down command structure to win a political campaign.

      I still am firmly opposed to dirty tricks, smears and illegal campaign tactics. Having a disipline beast of a campaign organization isn't unethical and that displined beast goes back into the closet after the campaign is over and done with.

      In the hot-house of a political campaign it's important to have 1 message, not 27 messages reaching the American public.

      27 different messages from 27 different Democratic opinion leaders confuses and alarms the public and makes them wonder if the Democratic candidate is capable of making up his mind on even the simplest of public policy issues.

      The Democrats aren't imitating Republicans by exercising enough party disipline to have one person, and one person only, authorized to send the message. Clinton used that very centralized command structure with James Carvelle to win two presidential elections.  

      If life were fair George Bush would be making a living asking,"Do you want some fries with that?"

      by Mr Populist on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:26:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  well... (3+ / 0-)

        the 96 reelection campaign was run  by Dick Morris, but he had the same authority.

        absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limits the freedom of another.

        by jbou on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:41:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  One must always consider the attention span of (5+ / 0-)

        the average person. Most people I know pick up headlines and then ask, so what did GWB do now? or something like that. It's not that the people are stupid but they are so busy working and involved they don't have time to go too deeply into the issues of a campaign. (or so they say.)

        Karen Hughes, now the 'ace diplomat' was chosen because of her sound bytes background. That's what the Republicans do, they hammer us with their lying sound bytes. Like how the CBS document on Bush's AWOL military career was false. Most people believe that. The content was actually verified but the Republicans won that round.

        This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

        by Agathena on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 12:30:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  When you go to play a football game... (7+ / 0-)

      you put on pads and a helmet. When we get into power, we can change it over to soccer.

      -- We are just regular people informed on issues

      by mike101 on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:36:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Isn't that quaint (4+ / 0-)

      Well, what would you suggest? Because I have been saying it for years the Democratic party needs a coach, someone in charge and someone to take responsibility when things get screwed up.

      absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limits the freedom of another.

      by jbou on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:38:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think rule one (5+ / 0-)

      means we HAVE to become Republicans.  Yes, we're a big tent party, and I value the diversity of Democrats, but if we don't have some power, then our values will lose out to Republican values.

      This isn't saying that the candidate, once elected, has TOTAL AUTHORITY.  This is only about the leader of the campaign.  Carville may well have had this power, and personally I thought it was a great thing.

    •  Just be aggressive. (20+ / 0-)
      I can't endorse becoming a criminal in order to solve a crime.

      Utter nonsence. No one's asking anyone "to become a criminal to solve a crime." Their criminal activities are largely outside of running for office.

      The Repugs have to peddle misperceptions because they have nothing else to go on. The Dems don't have to make stuff up, just point out the truth of any situation. Unfortunately they rarely do this. One example: the Cheney administration ignored five months of dire warnings about an attack leading up to 9/11. Then they ran as the antiterror party! This issue was handed to the Dems on a silver platter and they walked away.

      The difference between the two is the Repugs aggressively sell their lies. The Dems won't even aggressively sell the truth. Guess which side wins? The Dems have to stop this attitude of "a game among gentleman" as if nothing is at stake. The whole world is aghast that these lifestyle lawbreakers were elected and people are dying as a result. We need a serious opposition party, not a benign league of gentleman.

      And then 2/27/33 happened, and that changed everything.

      by Julian on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:50:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're wrong, crispycreme... (21+ / 0-)

      Become Republicans!

      Sorry, but I can't endorse becoming a criminal in order to solve a crime.

      Nothing in this author's strategy requires that Democrats
      ...start letting coal mining companies abandon safety regulations,

      ...stop letting airport flight controllers take naps when they've worked too many hours generals who give good advice about how to prosecute a war

      ...suspend habeas corpus for prisoners, or carry on extraordinary renditions

      ...spy on Americans

      ...let hurrican victims drown

      ...spend 40% of their presidential terms on vacation

      ...sign legislation preventing husbands from making medical decisions for their comatose wives

      ...ignore 750 laws and counting

      ...nominate incompetent or biased federal judges

      ...or any of the myriad other ways that Republicans have shown utter contempt for America, Americans, and the Constitution.

      He just suggests that we actually get elected, to these things don't happen.

      Q: How do you make a "Republican?" A: Take all the letters in "Rapine Club," and send them to Congress.

      by 4thepeople on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:02:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  An effective team (5+ / 0-)

      requires a leader, and democracy isn't exactly the most efficient way to run a small group that supposedly has already agreed on a common goal.  Someone has to make decisions, and s/he can't be perpetually hogtied by infighting among team members, or the decisions will suck.  A leader isn't necessarily a dictator.

      Democrats always act as though they're afraid they'll lose, so people look at them and see losers. -Paul Waldman

      by latts on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:12:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  now that the concern troll has spoken (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lurker123, vernonlee

      we can have a discussion amongst the people who actually care about their country and are going to take decisive action.  

      You can enjoy the benefits won for you by people who have fought and won, like your forty hour week and your vacation time and any number of things you take for granted in your cushy existance that were won for you by Americans who stood up and fought for and won. They weren't nice about it, but that doesn't prevent you from enjoying what you didn't fight for.

      I am sorry, but I have no respect for your position. Some of us are going to do what ever it takes to defend the Constitution, so you will be able to continue to enjoy the freedom to take your position of principle. Just as people have done what it took to win the rights you now enjoy. They weren't nice about it. You probably wouldn't be comfortable having them in for dinner, but they fought and won for you.

      -8.0, -7.03 don't always believe what you think...

      by claude on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:58:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Whoa. 'Concern Troll'? (3+ / 0-)

        How about leaving just a tad bit of room for people having opinions different than yours without labeling them?  That's what mature discussion usually entails.  Crispecreme didn't say anything about not fighting or about only fighting nice.  S/he just objected to the idea of the Dems becoming Repubs.  The only way to to win long term is to treat others with some degree respect, even if they voice something you don't agree with.  Look how long it's taken for Bushco to go downhill at a very rapid rate with their tactics.  Do we want to join them?  

        •  Thank you gustynpip (0+ / 0-)

          My objections have to do with the perception that unless we adopt Republican strategies, unless we become ruthless, then we can't sway the electorate. I read down that list, from the top-down structure to the swiftboating tactics (e.g. "George Bush. Cocaine. Alcohol. The National Guard. Deserter. "), and it seems to me that we're advocating that the ends justify the means. Gee. where have I heard that before? Must we, once again, become Republican-lite? Is there only one way to win a campaign? To beat Republicans Democrats need to broad-side them, not use tactics that the Repubs have perfected over the last quarter century.

          •  I'm with you on that. (0+ / 0-)

            I want to win as badly as anyone and will fight tooth and nail for it.  But I won't sell my soul for it.  And I would think that the example we're being shown right now with how the Repubs are doing would be enough to convince those that are willing to even sell their souls that it wouldn't work for very long.  And copying them is not the answer.  A little originality would go much farther.  Unfortunately, there seems to be a jump on the bandwagon of anything that sounds tough, and to hell with what happens.  It'll feel good right now.

      •  troll trolling (0+ / 0-)

        Ignore the troll troller and it will go away.

      •  The Ethics of Polytricks (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cecrops Tangaroa, mrfleas

        I think the concern that the Democrats would simply become the beast which they despise is a fair one. I don't think calling someone a troll for raising these concerns is fair. There is always a danger of excesses but hopefully the people we choose to lead us will have the ethics to curb the excesses of the lunatic fringe.

        That's where the Republicans have failed and why they're in trouble today. For all of their sanctimonious attitudes of Christian superiority, their ethical values are corrupted to the core.

        I don't think that the Rules of Perception are even suggesting that Democrats should engage in the same kind of unethical and illegal activity the Republicans engage in to win an election.  That being said, winning elections is not about being nice.

        In order to win elections you have to view your political opponent with the same ruthless eye he or she views you through. If you are a politcal strategist in an election your opponent is not your opponent, he is your enemy and your objective is to conquer him or before he conquers you.  

        Combat is only an analogy for an election, not combat itself. Elections are a game fought on the terms of combat. In elections, nobody's personal safety is in danger...usually. I'm not certain how far Karl Rove is prepared to go in bending the rules.

        I didn't make the rules political combat and the Rules of Perception don't even cover the Rules of the Darkside those covert, illegal and unethical subrosa rules that Rove has also mastered.

        Both Democrats and Republicans routinely bend the rules of law in order to win elections. Shit happens in a cesspool.

        However, by any quantitative measure of foulplay, the Republicans are the Rolling Stones of the darkside and the Democrats are a garage band that works gigs at local high school proms. It takes years of practice, a manager, Les Paul guitars and Marshall amps to be the lords of the darkside.

        The Republicans have a history of playing by the Rules of the Darkside, a lot more and a whole lot better than the Democrats. I'm completly opposed to smears, dirty tricks, illegal burgularies, intentional disinformation campaigns, voter supression campaigns and ballot box stuffing to win an election. I don't think you need to cheat in order to win an election. But you do need to know the rules of play you're enemy uses or you've lost the battle of the bands before you've even plugged into your amps.

        If life were fair George Bush would be making a living asking,"Do you want some fries with that?"

        by Mr Populist on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 02:00:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "intentional disinformation campaigns" (0+ / 0-)

          are not cheating, IMO.

          They are about changing perceptions. They are about treating politics like the business it is. And doing normal things that most businesspeople would not find unethical (the other stuff is a little grayer).  

          What's your most important goal?  Choose your battles.

    •  More likely to cause upsets and failure (0+ / 0-)

      Seems really late in the campaign for anyone to be proposing huge changes in strategies. Timing seems suspect.  When things are finally falling the way Democratic candidates want, here comes a roadblock in the form of stirring up the troops.

      Looks to me like this whole idea appeals more to the independents who don't support the Democratic party anyway.  Since the campaign tactics have been successful and the Bushies have not, along comes a road block to divide the Democratic camp.

      This looks more like a Karl Rove plant than anything else to me.  


      Just a painty kat - NOT that be meanie cat

      by PaintyKat on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 02:01:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's called a "campaign" because it's war, moron (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      llbear, jkilkullen

      Listen up, dipstick, a campaign is a non-violent version of warfare. Hence "campaign". And when you're in a fight, you need someone -- ONE person -- to call the shots. If this were somehow a bad idea, then history would be full of stories of how this Committee of General won this war, or that Committee of Leaders won that won. . . but you don't see that, ever. Why, numbnuts? Because it doesn't work.

      Having a single, effective leader is not a Republican strategy. It's just fucking common sense.

      The time and place to debate shit to death is in the Senate or House, during, uh "Committee". Not during a campaign.

      It's dumbasses like you who get their shorts all in a bunch about how campaigns actually run that have made Dems seem totally fucking wimpy.

      Dude, sorry to "harsh your mellow" or whatever, but warfare -- whether actual or political -- ain't pretty. But if you don't want to keep being lead by assholes, you have to fight. And that's not a fucking Republican strategy, either.

    •  you are wrong here... (3+ / 0-)

      ..he is right:  they OWN the playing field now... perceived "proper" elitism of dems has been cited time and again as the #1 perception problem with dems...

      if you are hitting them back EVERY time, that perception will dissipate.

    •  Sorry it's called being effective at (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gogol, proudprogressiveCA, llbear

      at Practical Politics.

      If anything here makes you REALLY quesy to your stomach..get out of the game. This is good stuff that distills much of what some, including myself, have been trying to say.

  •  All Important - Personally Rule 4 is BIGGEST (34+ / 0-)

    Understand that you are dealing with a target audience that doesn't care enough, or simply refuses to devote the time to learn the real facts regarding the real issues. Instead, their perception has BECOME the facts!

    ........ Hint!  Do not try to change this reality. Work with it. The perception you create IS the reality! Take heart! If they perceive something despite obvious evidence to the contrary, you will be able to make them perceive any number of things! Including your point of view! Rove knows this and uses it -- you must too!

    I talk with "regular people" all the time, those that never heard of Daily Kos, some don't know who Rumsfeld is, to get a feel for what they are thinking.  These people are busy living lives of hard jobs, kids in schools, little leagues, sick Mom or Dad or kid, DOING charity work.

    Some listen to the news SOME.  They hear Repubs say X and the Dems come back with Y and they don't have the time to research and they throw their hands up in confusion and say "who can know the truth?"

    This was said by an intelligent person, somewhat politically involved, prior to the Iraq invasion:  "I think it's possible that Bush has more information than I do."  You reckon?  He was standing beside a person who just KNEW that Saddam had attacked us on 9/11!   People didn't want to believe that Bush lied us into Iraq and they still don't.  Doesn't matter that he did, they don't want to believe it.  It's like your doctor telling you that you have cancer.  "Uh, what did you say?"

    Young people are busy busy trying to make ends meet and take care of their kids and livelihoods.  Perception is absolutely EVERYTHING to them.  If they ever start perceiving that Bush lied and it's cost lives and their economy and that Congress led by Repubs won't rein him in, they'll vote Dems in droves.

    One person told me this when I was wanting a promotion and planned to talk to the boss about it.  "There's got to be something in it for him."  Of course, we know that the average Joes' lives are hanging precariously, but they don't perceive that as yet.  They have to perceive that their way of life is in danger from this bunch (as it is) and they'll vote the bums out.

    Mr. Populist, I don't know who you are but THANKS FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY SKIN ON THE BOTTOM OF MY TOES!!!!!  Recommended and printed!

    •  They may not be paying attention (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Populist

      but sadly they often seem to be paying attention enough to soak up the GOP lies, like Saddam being involved with 9/11.

      Funny how that stuff gets through.

      Iraq was not about 9/11. And bin Laden is still free.

      by Naturegal on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:00:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's because of the Perception Rules listed (8+ / 0-)

        They heard the same message from all angles, from many voices, over and over .... in the midst of a terrifying time in our country.  Oh, and with hearts that were full of anger and revenge.

        As one person said:  "When 9/11 happened, the whole country shifted to the right."  They wanted some blood and in many cases, any ole blood will do.  The exploitation of 9/11 is sickening to us, but then we know 9/11 victims are being exploited!

      •  Its another marketing trick (6+ / 0-)

        Rove has even spelled it out.  His theory is that you have to gear stuff so that someone in the kitchen cooking dinner with the TV on in the otehr room can get the message.

        Then its repetition.  Most people might spend 10 minutes a day watching the news.  So repeat Cut and run. cut and run.  cut and run.  Since they dont spend too much time on current events a Pavlovian response builds up.  Like Kerry flipflop.

        An old ad concept is REACH vs FREQUENCY.  You can reach 1000 people 100X or you can get your message to 100 people 1000X.  A superbowl ad is the best example of reach. Rove seems to favor frequency.

        Like every Bush speech is the exactly the same

        by naufragus on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:59:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  They're drowning in them (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cecrops Tangaroa, jay23, jkilkullen

        How can you not soak something up when it's being repeated constantly. The trick is to repeat, repeat, repeat. Think of the most memorable commercials you've seen... did you see them on one channel, or many? Did you see them on different shows, or a single show? The very best commercials become social memes, with people telling you about them at the water cooler and over lunch.  I can think of a dozen times my husband and I have said to each other "Did you see that commercial where...". Those are the kinds of things we need to get out. The ones people talk about. Nobody talks about commercials where the candidate stands on a windy bluff with a waving flag in the background. They talk about the controverisial ones, the different ones... the ones where firemen are carrying coffins out of the collapesed world trade center, or where old men are crying while telling how somebody ruined their lives by lying about Vietnam. Truth is irrelevant. Impact is everything.

    •  Southern Mouth (7+ / 0-)

      I find it ironic that the Republicans are passing out the poisoned Kool Aid to the very folks who stand to gain the most from a Democratic administration.

      If life were fair George Bush would be making a living asking,"Do you want some fries with that?"

      by Mr Populist on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:06:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know if you've seen this yet (0+ / 0-)

      but you (and everyone else) should watch this interview with a retired Marine colonel near Camp LeJeune in NC talk about why he, an avowed conservative who always votes Republican, will vote all Democrat this year.

      <object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value=""></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>

    •  I think "intuition" is a better word than (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cecrops Tangaroa, McJulie, lurker123


      I can't tell you how many people I've met over the years (especially women) who've bragged to me about being able to intuitively access a person's character upon first sight.

      With prideful people like this, even if their snap judgements turn out to be wrong, their faith in their intuition is so important to their egos, they will almost NEVER change theiri minds.

      I think the word 'perception' implies SOME sort of intellectual process, whereas 'intuition' is something more primal and instinctual than that.

      Republicans work in very primal ways. As people who at their core belive people are inherently evil, they attract voters to their candidates by appealing to their selfishness and tribalism (i.e, tax breaks and bigotry) and drive people AWAY from the opponent's candidates by ridiculing their good points (reasonableness , intelligence, compassion).

      That said, I basically agree with all the diary's points. It really seems as if the public does not care about good vs bad but in strength vs weakness. Until the Democrats are willing to project strength they will be in trouble.

      •  Oh god, it's not only me! (0+ / 0-)

        I have so many people that brag to me about how they have a natural "sense" or perception of what a person's basic personality, honesty, etc. is.  And the fact that they're hardly ever right does nothing to change their belief in their innate ability to judge without any evidence.  WTF is that all about anyway?

      •  Strength vs. weakness (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        McJulie, Pam from Calif

        You got it!

        As a girl, I was attracted to the hunk, the one who was popular, the one who had the car, the jock; then out of school, the one making good money, the successful guy at the office, church, group.

        It's a primal thing.  I was "instinctively" looking for the dominant male to father my children (whether I was going to have children or not) and to provide for and protect my family.

        Somehow to some people Bush comes across as strong.  To me, he's a whimp and worse than that, he's a toadie, just following the bully.  No bully, no bushie!  IMHO of course.

        I think I've heard it said that people will SAY that they don't like a "dirty campaign"  ... but .... they vote for the mudslinger.

        •  People do not perceive Bush as 'strong', per se (0+ / 0-)

          As the diarist said, Rove's tactic is to focus as much of the public's attention as possible on Bush's opponent's and frame THEM as WEAK.

          I think some of Bush's 'fuzziness' is an attempt to keep the public from paying too much attention to him.

          Part of the Corporate media's job as lackies for the Bush administration is to focus attention OFF of politics (i.e: Bush)  all together and onto escapist entertainment.

          •  I beg to differ (3+ / 0-)

            I've heard more than one person talk about how they feel safe with Bush as President.  One person lately said that she felt that Bush was not going to quit, that he would fight terrorism.

            Of course I wanted to remind her of Bush's fight in the National Guard --- the fight to stay out of the regular forces, the fight to be transferred to another unit, the fight to not even show up.

            I also hear that Bush has sworn to protect them, not "preserve, protect, and defend the constitution".  No, he's somehow appealed to some people's whatever nature that he's the MAN standing in between them and a bomb, that he is directly protecting America from Islamist facists.  For me, he's not defending me ... in fact, he's pissing on spark plugs and stirring up hornet's nests before he goes into hiding.

            •  You are right to correct me (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pam from Calif

              Most of my friend/aquaintences/family are in the northeast and midwest, where most people either are indifferent to politics or may favor Bush because they see the Republican party as having policies in their financial best interest.

              I forgot that in much of the country (especially those that are some kind of variation of fundamentalist christian) people love, trust and have genuine 'faith' in Bush.

              It amazes me that so many 'christians' in the US worship someone whose ethics are so FAR from the teachings of Christ.

            •  You are right (0+ / 0-)

              I don't get it -- I don't get it at all, because to me, intuitively Bush has always seemed like a lying, cowardly, bullying, incoherent sociopath. He seemed that way during the campaign and he seemed that way on 9/13/01 and he's never seemed any other way except when he's seemed worse.

              But other people look at him and see something completely different -- they see some kind of holy warrior.

              I don't know why they see that in him. It seems weird and crazy to me, like a cult, but they do see it.

              This article about some southern women losing faith in Bush has a quote toward the end that sums it up well.

              At a watermelon festival in Chickamauga, in the mountains of northwest Georgia, substitute teacher Clydeen Tomanio said she remains committed to the party she's called home for 43 years.

              "There are some people, and I'm one of them, that believe George Bush was placed where he is by the Lord*," Tomanio said. "I don't care how he governs, I will support him. I'm a Republican through and through."

              So. His staunchest supporters are starting to admit that he is a sucky president, they just support him anyway.

  •  Could Donny Deutsch beat Rove? (5+ / 0-)

    Great diary--we are getting more and more diaries with ACTION points rather than just talk.  Who can we get for the DNC to beat Rove?  PS:  my user name is from my frustration with the DNC--as the DNC did not have Balls---maybe we are finally getting some

    •  Donny Deutsch?? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JuliaAnn, wishingwell, imabluemerkin

      I'm ready for one big SOB to make them eat it.

      The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity." - Harlan Ellison

      by dkmich on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:07:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Deutsch Is One of the Better (11+ / 0-)

      Ad firms around today. Top notch across the board. And he could bitch slap Rove if he was given control of the message and budget. I've worked at a number of small ad/pr firms where we were very, very good at a niche market. So good we had lines of people waiting to spend money w/ us. If you didn't give us control of the budget and message we fired you.

      "It is not enough to win, all others must lose," Sun Tzu.

      by webranding on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:10:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So why don't the Dems use them? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell, fhcec, imabluemerkin, ubertar

        I really would like to bitch slap Rove.

        The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity." - Harlan Ellison

        by dkmich on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:27:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My Opinon, Which Should Be Popular (6+ / 0-)

          here is that it is an "inside the beltway" thought process. As an ad guy that spends millions and millions each year on media buys, direct mail, radio, trade shows, you name it I often wonder what idiot in DC is hiring their ad people and media buyers.

          Advertising at its core is really pretty simple. It doesn't matter if I am selling a router, soap, or a person for political office. You find the pain point of the target audience (what keeps them up at night) and you throw the media behind it to pound your message home.

          You don't talk about features of said product, you talk about benefits. There was a shoe ad many years ago that I like to reference when talking about this. It ended with "it will make you jump higher and run faster." Simple and straightfoward.

          "It is not enough to win, all others must lose," Sun Tzu.

          by webranding on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:36:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Keds Analogy (9+ / 0-)

            You don't talk about features of said product, you talk about benefits. There was a shoe ad many years ago that I like to reference when talking about this. It ended with "it will make you jump higher and run faster." Simple and straightfoward.

            I'm one of those poor unfortunates who bought Keds but I still couldn't run fast enough or jump high enough to make the high school varsity basketball team. So I confronted my limitations and became a Deadhead instead.

            If life were fair George Bush would be making a living asking,"Do you want some fries with that?"

            by Mr Populist on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:14:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Funny, LOL (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              snakelass, imabluemerkin, joyful

              And they didn't make me run faster or jump higher either, but I begged my parents to buy them cause at 10 I thought they might. They talked to my pain, that I couldn't run faster or jump higher.

              BTW: I went the deadhead way as well and am happier for it. Met many livelong friends.

              "It is not enough to win, all others must lose," Sun Tzu.

              by webranding on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:25:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Me too! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          murasaki, imabluemerkin

          I really would like to bitch slap Rove.

          I know someone who would physically do it, too.  My little sister.  She actually smacked Tucker Carlson (not hard, sadly, although she wanted to) when he and Begala were doing that live-in-Iowa Crossfire show in 2003 or 2004.

        •  So why don't the Dems use them? (9+ / 0-)

          I'll use a paraphrase a typical Repubican perception of the Democrats (as repugnent as it is) to answer that question:

          "The Democrats are too gay to let blood in poltical warfare. They are the make-nice girly men who are too "sincere" to club Republicans in the face with a baseball bat. As long as the Democrats are whiney, disaffected good-two shoes types who swing the bat like "a girl" Republicans are going to kick their ass. They're too busy falling all over themselves to apoligize for every misstep they make, to understand that we are the culprits that bait the trap.

          The statement above is routine shop talk for Republican strategists. I'm not endorsing the way the message is written, but the message is important. If you don't firmly understand your opponent's mid-set about your own weaknesses, you are a lamb being led to the slaughter.

          If life were fair George Bush would be making a living asking,"Do you want some fries with that?"

          by Mr Populist on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:53:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is what I hear from Joe Average (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dkmich, willers

            It isnt just republican strategists who think that.  Thats why Dems need some rebranding.  And Clinton, Biden et al are not the ones capable of doing that.

            Often time Republican talking points are so effective because they have a hint of truth.


            by naufragus on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 12:04:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  It's been too long since I read "the art of war' (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            but I'm sure there is something in there about sometimes holding back and letting one's enemy destroy themselves.

            Forgive me for using this arcane example, but I've been reading a lot about warfare in late medieval/early modern times lately...

            When the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) first began taking on Europeans in  battle, they were insanely suscessful largely because of this:

            In the 'ethics' of medieval European battle, they always charged forward with no turning back. For the knights, especially, to retreat in battle was the biggest sin imaginable to the point where it was BETTER to get slain by the enemy than retreat.

            The Ottomans fought in a more fluid way, if things were going well, they went forward, if things were going badly they retreated with the intent of waiting for or finding a better tactical moment to attack again (or just giving up all together).

            I can not TELL you how many times in early European vs. Ottoman battles Europeans interpreted the Ottoman retreats as a victory, only to get slaughtered as they began to leave the field of battle. What is even more amazing is how LONG it took Europeans to adjust their mindsets to a different set of tactics.

            Could the Dems be using an Ottoman tactic of sitting back and waiting? It seems likely - but to get back to the subject of the diary, the problem is this...VICTORY, in this case, is determined by the onlookers, not the warriors, and if the onlookers share the ethics of the Europeans and not the Ottomans, this could be a BIG problem.

            •  Nice analogy, but... (0+ / 0-)

              Getting your butt royally thumped for 6 years straight doesn't seem like an Ottoman-esque tactic.

              If you take 2005-06 in a vacuum, then your argument works.

              What I want to know is this: Why don't the Dems hit 'em where it hurts.


              •  6 years or no, without a majority the Dems (0+ / 0-)

                are operating in a position of severe weakness.

                I am not really using my analogy as a means to promote 'retreat, but as a possible explanation why the Dems may have been acting as they have.

            •  Actually..... (0+ / 0-)

              The Ottomans won many victories without even fighting.  Many towns capitulated because the Ottomans offered lower taxes and more freedom.  People were happy to join.


              by naufragus on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 02:15:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The Byzantium empire had become so corrupt (0+ / 0-)

                that many of those lands that were a part of that (especially in the Balkans) felt that ANYONE would have to be better overlords than they had been.

                My references had more to do with various conflicts between western European forces and the Ottomans.

                If wars were based on only tactics alone, the Ottomans probably should have done much better, but they had endemic corruption and inner-intrigue problems of their own.

            •  The "Let your enemy destroy themselves" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              was the 2004 Kerry strategy. Which is why he had no message. They thought if Kerry was too specific, he'd "alienate swing voters."

              If your name was George Walker instead of George Walker Bush, your candidacy would be a joke.

              by dole4pineapple on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 08:21:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  umm (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Who is Donnie Deutsch?
  •  Rule number 14 - Rapid Response (22+ / 0-)

    Don't hesitate - don't wait to poll a question of wrong or right - just call it like you see it right then and there.  

    Also Democratic candidates and strategists should at least learn to talk faster if they are going to indulge in pontification and splitting endless hairs.  

    Kerry was a nightmare to watch because as a video producer / director, I watched him much of the time in the long format looking for "the sound bite" - his halting, confused speach pattern would have been a nightmare to cut for the nightly news.  That was a big part of his problem - that and his piss poor audio provider who rarely seemed to give him a mic that offered broadcast quality audio.

    •  No Nuance on TV (6+ / 0-)

      If you are a Dem lucky enough to land that rare spot with the talking heads, you know you're only going to get a few seconds without getting cut off or shouted down. Make the most of it! Know your talking point beforehand. Don't start off quibbling. Be direct. Be forceful. Be quick about it!!! Don't let someone else make a point that you then have to defend. The people want directness. Give it to them! They'll want to have a beer with you later. :)

      "The sellers think I'm merchandise, they'll have me for a song. The left ones think I'm right. The right ones think I'm wrong." L. Russell

      by operculum on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:23:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They wanted to have a beer with Bush because (11+ / 0-)

        he was direct.  I believe that is it in a nutshell.

        A lot of people felt that way about Dean too.  Never forget that it was the Dems that abandoned Dean - not the general public - they ran from his head on style - Rove feared him most out of the pack because he knew only Dean had that straight shooter authenticity that Bush had won on...

      •  yes (0+ / 0-)

        the other night i watched greg ??? of editor and publisher on some msnbc show - they asked him, "is 'the path to 9-11' biased?"

        his answer: "blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah yes." and all the "blah blah" was couched as if the viewer was already familiar with these points.

        i wanted to scream. what a WASTE OF PRECIOUS TV TIME! just say "yes" first, with emphasis and passion, and then do the blah blah if you must.

        i know he is not a politician, but still it was not effective communication.

        lamont is EXCELLENT on tv. he answers powerfully, simply, straightforwardly. and he does not come off as false. dean is pretty good too, and feingold.

        candidates should learn from those who know what they are doing. a key is to have all your answer set phrases in order - like lamont's "give a hero's welcome to our troops."

        this is a great thread - thanks

        an ambulance can only go so fast - neil young

        by mightymouse on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 01:53:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great, except for (13+ / 0-)
    the fact that Gore and Kerry won, and probably would have won even more had these methods been in place.

    I think our side needs to continually push back against the notion that our candidates lost.

    Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:16:33 AM PDT

    •  Yeah but this is where the not willing to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      paige, murasaki, bee tzu

      punch part comes in. Don't get me wrong, I admired Gore and Kerry but they and our side should have been organizing mass protests. Here it is 2006 and can you say with any certainty that what happened in 2000 and 2004 won't happen again? I know I can't and that IMO is a huge failure for our side in our ability to mobilize and galvanize. Our leaders and us for that matter need to be just as tough and willing to dig in their heels as their side is.

      •  Like Mexico (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hearthmoon, cwaltz

        I have never been in Mexico, but the perception is how endemic corruption is there...

        Which makes it pretty parodoxical that the Mexican people and politicians have the courage and idealism to not back down when the establishment tries to steam roll over them.

      •  Back to Rove and Marketing AGAIN (0+ / 0-)

        My understanding is that Rove got a district by district map of the US.  Found the districts which were 1-3% against them then TARGETED those specific areas.

        They use a 51% strategy so they can zero in on whats going to give them that 1.5% they need.

        by naufragus on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 02:11:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  All John Kerry had to do... (0+ / 0-)
        ...was join the recount for two great reasons.

        ...1) He conceeded.  95% of America groaned an moved on, and everytime we point out the fraud, the wingers say "fuck you... even John Kerry didn't contest it."

        ...2) and more important, it would have exposed the fraud in Ohio and then everywhere else (NM, Fla., Penn.).  Can you even imagine if the whole world was watching the recount in Ohio..It might actually have happened.

        "When the going gets Weird...The Weird turn Pro". -- Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

        by Blue Shark on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 03:20:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And the point of that would be...? (0+ / 0-)

      2000 and 2004 are gone.  Done.  Over.  There is no logical reason to keep bringing those elections up.  If you keep living in the past, you'll get the same results in the future.

      •  Revisionist history (0+ / 0-)

        If there was no point to revising history then why in the world would the Path to 9/11 movie be dangerous? There is a point to making sure that people understand that George W Bush and the party who supported him engaged in unlawful behavior to ensure he was elected in 2000 and 2004.(NH wiretapping, purging roles, making cetain that machines that were manipulable were used etc, etc). We need to make sure that we do everything we can to get election reform that works accomplished and until then we need to keep ponting out that there is no way of knowing that the people in charge were  legitimately elected.

        •  Revising history? (0+ / 0-)

          Who exactly is the one doing that?  George W. Bush is in office.  You cannot say 100% accurately that anyone else WON those elections.  You are merely speculating and attempting to revise history yourself.

          •  No (0+ / 0-)

            Where in the post did I say that someone else won? What I said is a matter of factual record. There is proof that voters were purged. There is proof that the machines are easily manipulated. There is proof that the machines malfunctioned and lost votes or recorded  votes not there. There is proof that the RNC engaged in illegal phonejamming. What was said is that George W Bush did not win the elections legitimately. That is a matter of factual record. It isn't speculation. If you like I'd be more than happy to provide you with links to back up my assertions. I can definitively say George W Bush did not win in a fair election.Can you say with certainty that Kerry or Gore did not win? I don't think so.

      •  Those who ignore the mistakes of the past (0+ / 0-)

        are doomed to repeat them.

        THAT is the point.

        Why did I have to even say that?

        Bizarro World sucks... I want to go home to America.

        Dial Acorn Heads for all your website needs!

        by willers on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 01:15:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  quit crying (9+ / 0-)

      Gore and Kerry are not the President so they lost, all the crying and complaining will not change that. What our side needs to do is learn how to fight, not cry because the game might be fixed. You hear boxers say it, "I have to knock this fucker out because the judges won't rule my way" so they go and knock the fucker out.

      absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limits the freedom of another.

      by jbou on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:45:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Amen Brother (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I am so sick of those in my party dwelling in the past.  We lost get over it and move on. It is like we're crying to our mother that the 12 year old next door didn't play fair. It is sad actually.

        "It is not enough to win, all others must lose," Sun Tzu.

        by webranding on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:52:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Crying is the wrong word (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        People are outraged and are expressing their outrage.

        And how WITHOUT an expression of outrage, I ask you, are we supposed to rally together into an effective fighting force?

        One could say the Mexicans complaining about the election results are 'crying' too, but as well as crying, they are rallying together and putting themselves on the line to find a solution to election fraud.

        •  But this outrage will not accomplish (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          anything.  The presidency is not going to be changed even if you absolutely positively prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Bush stole it.  And the American people have shown that they don't perceive it as important.  So you have to recognize that lost battle, and move on to the next one so you have a chance to win the war.  

          •  Outrage will unify people against the opponent! (0+ / 0-)

            For heaven's sake, people have to COMMUNICATE with each other if ANYTHING is going to happen en masse.

            The right-wing noise machine was 'crying' and expressing outrage for YEARS before they took power (remember Morton Downey? Andrew Dice Clay?) This is how right-wingers kept the fighting spirit alive during the years when Clinton's popularity seemed overwhelming.

        •  it can go... (0+ / 0-)

          from outrage to crying if you don't move on and make some moves to win. If we continue to blame others for the loss and dont examine what we can do to win we won't win.

          absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limits the freedom of another.

          by jbou on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 12:36:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Kerry most likely didn't win (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cecrops Tangaroa

      the popular vote.  I'll agree on Ohio, but it's possible he truly lost the popular vote.  And we MUST win the popular and electoral votes with reasonable decisiveness in 2008.

      I do constantly push back against the "lost" thing.  Bush is not president and never has been.  Even if he won the pop vote in 2004, he never would have been in that position if Gore had taken his rightful place in the White House in 2001.

    •  I won't weight in on 2004 election fraud, but... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lurker123, StrayCat

      Somehow, the people of this country perceived of George W. Bush as a heroic military man and a courageous commander-in-chief.

      ...the above quote simplifies things a tad too much.  

      This is a wonderful diary, don't get me wrong.  But it needs to be recognized that HALF the people in the country did not buy the BushCo spin.  

      And right now, only about 35% (give or take a few points) are buying it.

      I think that if Dems apply some of the great advice above, it could give them a serious edge.  The main thing is to fight, be aggressive" as the high school cheerleaders say, and not take any crap. And yes, learn to keep messages simple.  

      The Dems have been maddeningly slow to understand the nature of the fight they're in, and it's been frustrating as hell to watch it.  But as I point out above, there are PLENTY of people who are predisposed to the Democratic message, and who are instinctly repulsed by someone like Bush.  

      Once the Dems get a few percentage points more by fighting the REAL fight, candidates like Bush will lose more often.  

      It's the Democrats' fight to lose... BUT they will never win it by pretending it's a gentler, more cordial one than the Repugs are fighting.

    •  Gore/Kerry probably won the battle but they still (0+ / 0-)

      lost the war.

    •  I haven't seen a mathematical case (0+ / 0-)

      I haven't seen a mathematical case that Kerry won Ohio based on the votes cast.

      Blackwell's tactics and irregularities were there (but Jeb Bush and Harris were running a similar show before AND after the election in FL too), but there is no compelling case that I have seen that which gives me say 95% confidence that Kerry won Ohio, or even that the irregularities would have amounted to net gain  of 118 thousands that he lost by.

      I personally looked at the 2004 data to find strong clues, if any, that he may have won Ohio (in hopes of reverting the outcome, talked to staffers with Reps. Tubbs Jones and Conyers. Even though Kerry himself folded the next day, I might add), but came away with the conclusion that the damage was probably done before the election (but it is nearly impossible to quantify the same).

      Post this by your PC/bed: Don't forget! I MUST make time to PUNISH #^*@ Disney & ABC today!!

      by NeuvoLiberal on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 06:11:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      • on (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Post this by your PC/bed: Don't forget! I MUST make time to PUNISH #^*@ Disney & ABC today!!

        by NeuvoLiberal on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 06:12:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the Florida 2000 Election Theft (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          it still amazes me that they got away with this.  I wonder if Gore would have given up so easily if he could have seen into the future and the awful mess the Bush administration has made of everything.

          P.S. I would still support a Gore candidacy ... he is my number one choice, actually.  

          May all beings be free from fear.

          by shakti on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 08:38:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  hi shakti (0+ / 0-)

            good to see you after quite a while.

            it still amazes me that they got away with this

            The culprit, as seen once again with what is going on with ABC, is the media. Their biases and lack of diligence IS the root cause plaguing the system.

            I wonder if Gore would have given up so easily if he could have seen into the future and the awful mess the Bush administration has made of everything.

            I have no idea what different he would have done or said, if he somehow saw on 12/13/00 (the day he withdrew the contest) what was going to unravel these six years.

            However, Gore didn't give up easily. In fact, far from it. He put up a hard fought battle for 35 days.

            After the supreme court verdict, there was little legal recourse left,  and DNC chair Ed Rendell called for Gore to concede, meaning that party support would not have come about, had Gore proceeded. Grassroots were not independently organized, as for example the netroots now.

            Polls were also going down south for Gore (based on my retrospective research), and a majority of Americans were calling for him to concede. His unfavorability rose from mid 30s to just over 50 during the period. And this was before the verdict.

            Essentially, Gore didn't have much choice left but to do what he did following the verdict.

            Post this by your PC/bed: Don't forget! I MUST make time to PUNISH #^*@ Disney & ABC today!!

            by NeuvoLiberal on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 07:18:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  okay, I guess we can forgive ole' Al (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I noticed that he said (in Australia) that he has not ruled out plans to run for again.  Dare I hope?

              My fantasy presidential ticket:  Gore and Edwards or Gore and Obama.  I would love to see a woman president, but am not so sure Clinton can pull it off.  She has also triangulated a little too much, imho.

              P.S. Thanks for noticing my absence.  I had a baby recently ... sort of put a damper on my blogging time.  

              May all beings be free from fear.

              by shakti on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 02:14:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  hi (0+ / 0-)

                Shakti, congrats on the new arrival to your family! Boy or girl? Second, I am guessing(?). Hope everyone is doing well.

                I like Obama, would be thrilled to support him for VP (to go with any nominee), but not for Prez in 2008 (I think it'd be too early for him). I'd like to see Edwards establish some real credentials and accomplishments (as for example, NC governor), and make up for his war vote and his strong promotion of the war before and after the senate IWR vote, before I'd consider supporting him for President in a future cycle.

                One of the key things we (as unaffiliated volunteer supporters) will need to do should Gore enter the race (in fact, in preparation of the same) is to assemble and organize a nationwide team to counter the media spins/smears and RWNM attacks and defend him vigorously. You have always been a wonderful defender of Al, and hence your absence was very noticeable (but I tried my best to cover for you in the mean time :)). Please let me know if you're interested in helping, and I'll contact you by email.

                I have been compiling a lot of data and links towards that end. A few of us have setup a website called the Gore Portal (still in the works).

                Let me point you to the following items re. the 2000 election for now:

                Analyses on the 2000 election:

                1. Election 2000 overview, 11/02/200, By Stuart Rothenberg/CNN
                1. Gore won Florida: analysis.
                1. 2000 election: A summary, by NeuvoLiberal.

                Thanks and congrats again!

                Post this by your PC/bed: Don't forget! I MUST make time to PUNISH #^*@ Disney & ABC today!!

                by NeuvoLiberal on Mon Sep 11, 2006 at 03:08:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  A truly great diary! !! !!! !!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, davybaby
  •  The politics of Stupidity (4+ / 0-)

    Yes, this would help our smart candidates thrive in front of the dumb "squishy middle" (which DOES need to happen if Dems ever want to compete in a national election again) but it also means a victory for cultural Supidity.

    If all political campaigns were run like this, it would effectively end all intelligent discussion, or serious debate of the issues in the national media.  

    Hmmm...  I guess it's already happened.

    The only alternative would be "educating" the "squishy middle."  

    But that's too hard.

    •  Pie in the Sky (8+ / 0-)

      We educate the squishy middle by educating them. If you feel we have the time to "educate" everybody, then I don't know what planet you are on. Do you really think we can turn the population politically, economically, enviromentally literate by 2008? 2012?

      We have to win, do some of what Clinton did. Wonk. Hold big policy conferences with rigorous debates on the pressing issues. The media won't pay attention while we are in the minority, so the people won't either.

      We have to win first. Period.

      "I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and send people to war, and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done."

      by trifecta on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:40:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately true. What this primer is really (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lurker123, jkilkullen

        saying is how stupid/ignorant/lazy/disconnected a significant percentage of Americans are. My head explodes when I hear "intelligent" people spouting two word slogans
        and then smirking at their profundity.

        I am pro-life. Bring our troops home ALIVE!

        by Doc Allen on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:57:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You're right, "educating the middle" (0+ / 0-)

        doesn't happen overnight.  It takes time, committment, and perserverence.  Slavery wasn't eradicated in one election cycle.  Women didn't get to vote because the congress changed parties one year.

        the "need to win first" will always be a good excuse.  it's what Republicans use now.  Obviously you can't run the goverment without winning elections.  But there's more to influencing the "squishy middle" than winning elections at any cost.  

        The best way to move the "squishy middle" to your column for more than one election cycle is to dominate the popular culture with your values.  There's a lot more involved in changing people's heads for the long term (especially the "dumb" ones) than "out bullying the bullies."  Bushco is learning this lesson the hard way in Iraq.  

        •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

          The campaign is not the place to educate the public.

          It's a 10-15 year plan. The 8 year olds who you educate today will be the 18 year old potential voter in a decade.

          Repugs, on the other hand, don't need education. They got church for that.

    •  Too hard? Yes- w/o a fact-based media. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      -- We are just regular people informed on issues

      by mike101 on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:45:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I like this (0+ / 0-)

    Simple and straight, no chaser.

    Paging Chuck Schumer and Rahm Emanuel. Your marching orders await.

    -7.38, -5.23 One day we ALL will know the truth about the 2000 presidential election. God help us all.

    by CocoaLove on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:27:41 AM PDT

  •  Focus on Rule #5 (12+ / 0-)

    This is key. They do OWN the playing field. Until we take it back we have to play by their rules, even if we don't like it.

    Stop playing by "Marquess of Queensberry" rules. Before you get punched, you punch. Hard. Whenever possible, you punch below the belt. And most importantly, even after they are down, you keep punching.

    Stop being a candy-ass. If you start lamenting, "I'm becoming just like THEM", you have just guaranteed their victory. They currently OWN the playing field. You either play by their rules or YOU ARE GOING TO LOSE. Your job is to punch hard and neutralize their negative attacks by being just as nasty. IF you make it back into office, THEN you can start working to reform how people get elected. For now, you must get mean!

    I am about the most non-violent person you'll ever met. But my father taught me if you can't walk away from a fight then you better be willing to fight. And you fight to win. If that means you have to kick them in the balls, throw dirt in their eyes, then so be it.

    "It is not enough to win, all others must lose," Sun Tzu.

    by webranding on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:28:57 AM PDT

    •  Those willing to sink the lowest (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lurker123, StrayCat

      ...get to make the rules. I wish it weren't so but it is. Being reality-based means we have to accept such realities and adjust our game accordingly. Preferably NOW. I think this is one of the best diaries I have read here.

      •  Let Me Just Be Clear Here (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrfleas, lurker123, FrankieB

        I don't think we should attack just to atack. I said:

        I am about the most non-violent person you'll ever met. But my father taught me if you can't walk away from a fight then you better be willing to fight. And you fight to win. If that means you have to kick them in the balls, throw dirt in their eyes, then so be it.

        Would I perfer that politicans could have a honest/frank debate on the issues. Of course I would. But if you attack me I am going to bitch slap you into next week at a level you won't ever expect.

        "It is not enough to win, all others must lose," Sun Tzu.

        by webranding on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:18:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Its Game theory (5+ / 0-)

        Game Theory says in an iterative relationship between two parties, cooperation and civility make the most sense.  Democrats understand that.

        The second best strategy is tit-for-tat. If one party quits being civil, you have to as well. If you punch me in the nose, I have to punch you back.  After ther party that started the punching in the nose gets sick and tired of getting punched in the nose, they return to civility.  

        So the most rational approach is the marquese of Queensbury rules. But if those rules are violated by your opponent, by being kneed in the groin, they you have to knee them back. When they get tired of having their balls punched black and blue, they'll quit kneeing you in the groin.

        That it, plain and simple - Game Theory.

        Want to know more? Read Univ of Michigan Economist Robert Axelrod's seminal work "The evolution of cooperation."

    •  fuck Rule #5 (0+ / 0-)

      We should be figuring out ways to use Rule Number 5 to piss off voters enough to throw politicians out of office to replace them with leaders.

      When I see Democrats slinging mud, I stop supporting them, plain and simple. It's nice to talk big and bad about mimicking the corrupt tactics that put the Repugs in power, but when it comes down to it, only he who is without sin can cast stones, and Washington needs to be buried with rocks... imho, it's better to start with a small core capable of attacking with credibility than to maintain a majority that keeps up business as usual in U.S. politics.

      Fuck that, I'd rather lose with a martyr than win with a sellout. The corrupt can't govern (Bushco's proven that), and I don't think that a corrupt candidate can become a good leader (Bushco's proven that, too).

      Sure, the playing field isn't level, but to me that means we need to hold the moral high ground. A formula based on consistently fielding honest candidates is better than waiving that policy whenever we need to pick up a seat somewhere.

      Good government has to start with honest campaigning. That probably sounds preachy, but the alternative is Rove, and I'll give up on this country before I support Dem incarnations of that sack of shit. Fuck Rule Number 5.

      "If Adolf Hitler flew in today, they'd send a limousine anyway." -The Clash

      by VoteHarder on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 01:57:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  even if (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sam I Am

        I'd rather lose with a martyr than win with a sellout

        Even if it means George Bush runs your country?

        I wouldn't.

        •  depends on our alternative (0+ / 0-)

          but no matter what I don't like seeing Dems get excited about imitating Karl Rove. not the kind of behavior we should be embracing.

          sure, we can win an election here and there with it, but in the long run, it's a way to get a reputation as a party that doesn't stand for anything.

          last I checked, we already had that. do we really want to encourage it by living down to it? does that win votes in the long run? do we want to win battles or wars?

          "If Adolf Hitler flew in today, they'd send a limousine anyway." -The Clash

          by VoteHarder on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 04:20:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The squishy middle (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Blue Shark

      wants the Dems to take off the gloves. That's why we haven't gotten their vote. They think we're candy-asses. We start getting aggressive with the Repubs, there will be alot of winging about us slinging mud, but deep down inside, Mr. and Mrs. Sixpack are going to be attracted to a party that believes in its message so much that it will keep punching to the last man trying.

      The Dems used to be the muscular party of this country. The Repubs took that title away from us and a gained Middle America's support. We've got to fight to take it back. Sorry if this offends anyone's delicate sensibilities, but this is reality...this is America.

  •  Ad exec (0+ / 0-)

    He is overlooking one big factor. The GOP Noise Machine. They have their own cable network, their own 1000 radio station universe. Democrats don't have anything comparable.

    It is easy to manage perception when you own large chunks of the media.

    •  But That is the Point (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      paige, StrayCat

      You create your own noise machine, like we are doing here. We can't just sit back and say "its not fair." Life ain't fair.

      "It is not enough to win, all others must lose," Sun Tzu.

      by webranding on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:41:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Support what's already there, help it growl. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      (That was supposed to be "grow," but I kind of liked the point "growl" made.)

      Air America Radio is doing some really stupid shit right now (firing Mike Malloy, whom I couldn't stand, but he had a fan base that's pissed now; shuffling the schedule so my favorite morning program is now in the afternoon, when I won't listen to it; etc.), but I'll keep supporting it, because we need it.  It reaches people NPR never will.

      Get a subscription to a progressive magazine, or another one if you already do:

      In These Times
      The Progressive
      The American Prospect
      Mother Jones

      And leave old copies at your barber's shop or your local coffeehouse.

      Support Pacifica Radio or NPR.  

      There is plenty out there - give it your love!!!

      -8.75, -6.10 Those who believe something can't be done shouldn't interfere with those who are doing it. - Rev. Carter Heyward

      by dirkster42 on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 12:03:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's not enough (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sleep deprived

        I spent most of the Seventies debating the politically correct line of march with my commrades on the American left. We were hoplessly myopic about our own isolation from mainstream politics because of our own lack of vision. I must be a real masochist because I stuck around for the endless policy debates, the sparsely attended fundraisers, and the long winded speeches until the rise of the Reagan right in the late Seventies.

        When Reagan got elected in 1980 I was completely shocked. I was so immersed in my own alternative culture poltically correct cocoon in the mountains of Vermont, I forgotten the world that informs the objective realities of our own political struggle.

        The venerable institutions of progressive thought that were seeded during the politcal struggles of the Sixties aren't enough to sustain us until the politcal stuggle is completed.

        Most people don't know this but we've already won the cultural revolution and there really is no turning back to the outmoded morality and linear conformist thought that predated the Sixties. In 2006, our struggle is in the long winter of discontent between the victory of the cultural struggle and the triumph of the political struggle.

        If life were fair George Bush would be making a living asking,"Do you want some fries with that?"

        by Mr Populist on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 04:36:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Enough" (0+ / 0-)

          Is anything really "enough?"  Political struggle is multi-faceted, right?

          Are you saying people shouldn't support progressive publications?  Where did I say that people should read liberal publications instead of mainstream sources?

          -8.75, -6.10 Those who believe something can't be done shouldn't interfere with those who are doing it. - Rev. Carter Heyward

          by dirkster42 on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 03:32:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary. (4+ / 0-)

    I hope someone in our back office is reading this over his or her Saturday morning coffee and realizing that we cannot do things the old way any more.

    We've got to get rid of all our old-fashioned consultants and replace them with vicious Terriers who are headed up by one single Rottweiler so hideous, and with gonads so vast and steely and clanging, that our campaigns forever more crush our foes almost by fear alone.

    There was never any civility in politics except on the Democratic side.  "Civility in politics" was just another Republican lie meaning "Please stop telling the truth about us."

    Kick this civility crap to the kerb and let's hunt some Orc!!

  •  Exactly! (8+ / 0-)

    We have a message and an ideology that should blow Republicans out of the water; we just need to market it properly!

    I love John Kerry and I think he is one of the best Senators we have; however, I would rather see guys like Howard Dean (rather than people like Kerry) speaking for the party because of the level of intensity and simplicity that he brings. When you see Dean in an interview he is constantly on the attack against Republicans. He doesn't go into excessive detail or try to get into the "nuances" (as this ad exec. puts it); he leaves an impression with the viewers by saying bold things. We need more people like Dean flooding the airwaves.

    I was watching C-SPAN the other day (yes, like many of us I am a nerd) and saw Congresswoman Maxine Waters interview grill Bush administration legal experts cronies about the NSA spying program. Every time one of the administration lawyers tried to evade or change the subject Congresswoman Waters would boldly interrupt them and tell them what the administration was doing was criminal and unconstitutional. Why don't we have more of that on TV stations that people actually watch (sorry C-SPAN)?

    Right now I think it is nearly inevitable that we will take back the House. But we can have the Senate, too, as well as a larger margin in the House, if we take off the gloves and start hammering our own talking points down the throat of the American public. I know that it doesn't feel good to mudsling, but it works. And with networks like FOX (and now ABC) doing everything they can to disparage our message we have no choice but to fight back.

    As written in the diary, we can reform the election process and restore balance to the media, but first we must take back the government.

    Serenity now, insanity later.

    by chicagovigilante on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:41:33 AM PDT

  •  Some of it good....not alt though (0+ / 0-)

    I don't agree that governence by manipulation and 60 second sound bites is good. Like it or not, issues do have nuance. Our goal should be educating the electorate.(albeit with simple messages rather than long winded explanations). In my opinion it is about being the group to control the message and being willing to throw the punches. If you control the message then you are the guy who is in charge of perception.

  •  Goldwater (0+ / 0-)

    had a great saying: winning beats the hell out of losing. It is much more important now than ever that we win, whatever it takes. I really liked this diary.

    Walking. It's the new driving.

    by Batfish on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:46:33 AM PDT

  •  Oy. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Riff, FrankieB

    How sad for us.  My God, in this day and age, information is just a few clicks away, literally.  And yet we have to treat political candidates like a can of Coke or bar of soap.  That stupid ass commercial for Head On comes to mind.  Head on, apply directly to the forhead, Head on, apply directly to the forhead, Head on.  Christ.

  •  Basic Marketing 101 (11+ / 0-)

    Can someone, anyone, please explain to me why Dems continue to hire consultants with a proven track record of failure?  Just because they ran a campaign does not make them useful to a prospective candidate, particularly so if the campaign they ran was a loser.  But Dems keep going back to the same well over and over and over.

    The points the writer makes are simply basic marketing principles that anyone can apply to any marketing situation, political campaigns included.  Yet Dem consultants fail to apply these fundamentals time and again.  Why is it so difficult to reach out to an outsider who has innovative ideas, even if they are not tried and tested, that could make the difference?

    Case in point, Ned Lamont:  He had a winning strategy during the primary, and now he's hired Washington insiders.  The man needs to stick to what works.

    •  I Think I Know (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lurker123, StrayCat

      Which is politics is an inside the beltway thing. Regardless of party you want the support of the inside the beltway crowd. It gets you money, media, et al. So once somebody like Ned has success, all the inside the beltway people folk to him and he does what everybody has done in the past, hires them.

      It doesn't make sense to me, but it is what happens time and time again. I know of no other profession where you can fail time and time again and still get hired.

      "It is not enough to win, all others must lose," Sun Tzu.

      by webranding on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:58:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hi, I'm Donna Brazille (0+ / 0-)

      I can't win an election for the life of me, but you can give me a $million.

    •  The Dems have been abused (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      by the media and the Repubs for so long that I think the party leadership inside the beltway behave similar to women who live in long term abusive relationships. Being submissive and losing is what they know and they are comfortable with it. Its their safe place. And, of course, there has been no consequence for losing- lose a critical campaign and you still make money and get more jobs from the Dem leadership.

      Ditto, by the way, on all the comments re: Donna Bazille. It is absolutely painful to watch her fail to give the Dems any support on national TV. I think that's why the MSM loves her- she fits the mold of the loser, apologetic Dem to a T. Awful.

  •  RULE 9 (5+ / 0-)

    Do not give Karl Rove any help whatsoever. In other words, do not start with a candidate who puts you in a twenty-foot ditch that Rove will never let you fight your way out of. Make damned sure your candidate has the gumption to come out swinging and immediately counter-punch every Swift Boat move Rove tries.

    One of the “Marquess of Queensberry” rules regarding Presidential elections was that you don’t campaign while your opponent’s party is conducting their convention. Kerry made one small exception by speaking to the Veterans convention in Nashville during the Republican convention and only because Bush spoke to the same group. However, the Swift Boaters were out in full force with their attacks and Kerry declined to respond.

    The Kerry campaign should have been out there tying this outrage right around W’s neck. The attack on Kerry was an attack by a bunch of bitter, cannibalistic radicals on every one who has served this country honorably in combat.

    I remember walking from my office in downtown Nashville to my car past the swanky hotel where Kerry was holed up for several days, thinking why aren’t you out their fighting back? I truly believe the election was lost that week.

    The problem with America is that it keeps voting for Democrats, but electing Republicans.

    by Mid10Dem on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:56:36 AM PDT

  •  Best diary ever. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena, davybaby

    And then 2/27/33 happened, and that changed everything.

    by Julian on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:56:39 AM PDT

  •  "Tack to the Center" (4+ / 0-)

    So DLC-lite stuff coming from somebody who writes paeans to Karl Rove.  This is the same ineffectual campaign strategy of 2004, just throwing a little bit of "John Kerry's campaign sucked" in there to give it credibility.

    But in the end it's DLC-lite nonsense.  The vaunted "center" of American politics is a right-wing talking point that has no real relevance.  Trying to shoehorn yourself into the media-created "center" is nonsense.  The "center" does not exist.   It's a moving goalpost that is always to the right of the Democratic candidate.  We could be advocating racial profiling, and the media would say the "centrist" position was internment camps.

    The part all of these nonsense "tack to center" ideas seem to forget is that the majority of Americans are behind us and we just need to advocate what we stand for.  Think about it:

    Strong majorities support reproductive rights, health insurance for all Americans and progressive taxation.  There are plenty more issues where we fit better with most Americans.

    Does Karl Rove "play to the center??"  I mean, if you're going to talk about how we'll never beat him so we ought just make ourselves happy with doing "just as well," you'd think you'd actually play his strategy.  There's no centrism in today's Republican party.

    If I haven't made it clear enough: Fuck the center.  It doesn't exist, and it's a convenient way for our conservative media establishment to try to force Democrats even further right than we've already taken ourselves.

    If there is a lower class, I am in it. If there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free. ~Eugene Victor Debs

    by jjhare on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:56:50 AM PDT

    •  Everyone shifts to the center (0+ / 0-)

      Dubya did it in 00, and he softened up his message in 04, and now that Lamont has won the primary he is making some moves to capture the independent voters, it happens. Until the left/liberals/progressives sell their ideas to the public so they become safe for the Democratic party to run on we will see our candidates move to the center, what we need to do is define that center.

      absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limits the freedom of another.

      by jbou on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:13:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Recommending because (0+ / 0-)

      the one huge thing missing from this diary is a recognition that the center is not some specific group of people, but a group that a successful campaign needs to pick out and define. With a huge number of Americans voting against their own interests based upon the fear and lies that the Republican noise machine pumps out, there are a large number of people the Democrats can appeal to, and which center exactly they have to tack to is up for grabs.

      The conventional wisdom was that the DLC position was the "center", but the DLC's positions rarely made anyone happy aside from corporate executives, technocrats, and power brokers. And besides, if there is any point to this diary it is that the conventional wisdom is often wrong, and that Republicans win elections by figuring out just how to reach the electorate while Democrats are still trying to make their message as vague and insubstantial as possible.

  •  Excellent Excellent Diary (7+ / 0-)

    I am so sick and tired of the Dems fielding a question, like say on Terrorism, and then try to cram EVERYTHING into answer.  I heard Howard Dean last week answer a question on terrorism that included so much stuff... health care, jobs, and a bunch of other stuff that I can't even remember... that his message got lost.  What he should have said was something simple like, "the only reason we're even talking about Bin Laden is that Bush hasn't gotten him dead OR alive."

  •  I wish I could recommend this a dozen times. (5+ / 0-)

    But I'll do something else: I'm going to email this to every Democratic candidate I can find. Just on the off chance they haven't seen it.


    I try to live by the Three Reality Principles.

    by proudlattedrinker on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:09:27 AM PDT

  •  Let me guess (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

      This guy actually works for Deutsch, Inc. and this is advertising to get himself a contract.

    •  deutsch (0+ / 0-)

      is a funny man or novelty writer. that's how he gained 'awards' status as a staffer ('80s) and his celebrity inspired his own agency. because it used to be "funny" sold things reliably, regardless of the thing's comparative value.

      not much else there, as we see now in the current gig.

      Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

      by MarketTrustee on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:49:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fortunately, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Terri, Floja Roja

    Dean seems to understand these rules.

    He's doing rule 8 now - not in 2008.

    -6.00, -7.03
    "I want my people to be the most intolerant people in the world." - Jerry Falwell

    by johnsonwax on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:13:22 AM PDT

  •  Rule 51- the one they don't want you to know (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena, Riff

    Elections can be stolen

  •  We are not an ad campaign. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PaintyKat, Riff

    Rovian politics are designed to connect to the part of the voting population that does not pay any attention.  Messaging is important, but it's only one side of the coin.

    Democrats can win because we have the moral and intellectual high ground on every single issue. That is a strength much more powerful than an ad campaign.

    A Democrat who is able to inspire the average joe regular guy to become interested and invested in his country, a Democrat who challenges the citizenry to take charge of their own nation's destiny can win over the most aggressive ad campaign.  We have leaders capable of this.  Gore, Feingold, Warner, Clark...

    Americans are smart, sophisiticated people.  We're showing signs of finally, as a people, seeing past the bullshit sloganeering and talking-point politics.  Democrats can do MUCH better, we can INSPIRE voters with what we stand for.  

    Remember that light bulb moment when we all became activists?  We can light that fire in more people!

    "In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

    by Five of Diamonds on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:21:38 AM PDT

    •  ^ And that's how we LOSE elections. (5+ / 0-)
      •  Exactly! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        From the choir, jules too, 0wn

        The post by 5 of Diamonds is a cut and paster for why the Democratic Party loses. Holier than thou is for losers. Street fightin' Dems like Hackett, Schweitzer and, yeah, Dean, understand how the game is played better than snore hounds like Kerry, though maybe he's starting to wake up from his 20+ years in the Senate and smell the freakin' coffee. Too late for Kerry and those like him, but not for someone who understand the game.

        The Moe Sizlak Experience, featuring Homer Simpson.

        by lepermessiah on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:45:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No. It's how we lost the last elections. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Five of Diamonds

        Remember, we won many more elections by doing that before the last ones were lost.  Dems - and the country - were unprepared for the evil, lying, cheating, nasty Rovian tactics.  But in just 6 years, look at how well those tactics are doing now.  Look at the opinion polls.  Look at the support the Repubs have now.  Do we really want to become like them???

        These last elections have been a horrid, horrid anomoly.  One that happened only because the bast majority of politicians in both parties were semi-decent for the most part, with an occassional exception like Nixon.  So people have trouble at first believing that their being lied to and manipulated.  Sometimes it takes a little while for them to figure it out.  But they do.  Look what happened to Nixon.  Think about what is happening and will be happening to Bush.  Do we want that to be us?  Or do we want to refine our methods to deal with the lying cheating bastards, but still maintain our own standards and be what this country needs when it finds its way again, or leave it with no one decent to turn to?  I vote for the former.

      •  Their voting machine & election fraud helped, too (4+ / 0-)

        Actually, we WON in 2000, except for (daddy's) Supreme Court interpretation of Florida election law; and in 2002, there were 5 specific races where a Republican candidate made a miraculous come-from-behind sprint at the end; and if Ohio's machines hadn't been jiggered we would've won in 2004. Rove only has to get them close, you see - the "election fraud meme" in incomprehensible to Americans.

        In each of these 2002 contests, the Democrat was "winning" in the polls before the election, and the exit polls indicated that more people had voted for the Democrat:

        Saxby Chambliss beats Max Cleland
        Sonny Perdue beats Roy Barnes (governor)

        Norm Coleman beats Walter Mondale

        Wayne Allard beats Tom Strickland

        New Hampshire
        John Sununu Jr. beats Jean Shaheen

        All of this is because Republican voters had demonstrated a greater reluctance to talk to exit poll takers than did Democrats, of course – Democrats are such blabbermouths, just ask ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox. Of course, this was before the blowup about the voting machines - except, WHAT blowup? I've never heard a thing about "Diebold" or "Ohio" on ABC, CBS, NBC...

    •  which is why rule #8 is most valuable (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Five of Diamonds, mightymouse

      volunteers are the target demographic. your target demographic is the one who knocks on doors and stumps. your target demographic knows the local politics inside out AND is your most authentic advance man because s/he can work off an issue sheet.

      some of our more mature kossacks have remarked, wistfully, about mid-century canvassing.

      lately, i've been in campaign HQs where the only lesson taken away dean's groundswell was netrootfinancing/genY taskforce. consequently, there are large numbers of pre-professional, recent-grad campaign managers roving the country like migrant workers. yet they are frustrated by the reception they get at the door as well as the superficiality of response to web-fronts. my eyebrows have disappeared behind my hairline while listening to phonebank dialers pitch a contribution that deviated from script.


      a good candidate is going to recruit endorsement and sweat details from among his or her neighbors simply because people trust who they know.

      Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

      by MarketTrustee on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:43:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wrong! (4+ / 0-)

      Sure, we Dems have strong intellectual points.
      But this is exactly the smartest kid in the class not understanding why he's not also the most popular.

      A campaign is exactly an advertising campaign; it's why we hold -- you may have heard of these -- fundraisers.  The money they raise is used to get messages to people on a timetable and in places where the message we want carried is not going.   In one parlance, that's called advertising.  And it's part of everyone forming an image of our candidates -- which takes place before they form an opinion.

      •  Then why can't Democrats distill their (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        UU VIEW

        message into a talking point?  

        Listen, I'm not anti-ad campaigns.  That would be stupid.  They're necessary and valuable.  I just think Rovian politics and progressive politics are antithetical to each other.  You could sell a Democrat in this manner, but it would not do justice to the entirety of their platform.

        The above strategy is the reason the Republicans are perceived as one thing while they loot our treasury behind our backs.  I urge caution when using tactics that have such a potential to be dishonest.

        "In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

        by Five of Diamonds on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 04:36:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Gee, we've been saying this for at least... (4+ / 0-)

    . . . two years.


    We're working on many levels here. Ken Kesey

    by BenGoshi on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:27:57 AM PDT

  •  Having an anxiety attack (10+ / 0-)

    Not because I disagree with what this diary says. On the contrary. I'm breathing hard because I know that this is absolutely what needs to be done and I am scared crapless that no one in a position of power in the Democratic Party is going to do it.

    In 2005, I signed up for the Democracy Bonds program because I needed a way to support the building of a Democratic infrastructure. I had high hopes. But so far I've been disappointed.

    Why, for example, can anyone go on TV and speak on behalf of the Democratic Party? How do these people get on the various talk shows. Why are they allowed to basically make up shit when asked about a Democratic position?  Damn, I can sit in front of the TV and tell you exactly what the Republican spokesperson is going to say before he or she ever takes a breath. But, the Democratic spokespeople say whatever comes into his or her head. Sometimes what they come up with is pretty good.  Sometimes it makes me want to cry.

    It doesn't take billions of dollars to put together a program to manage a party's messge. Why can't the Democratic Party do this?

    •  Let Me See If I Can Explain This (5+ / 0-)

      I posted a ton here cause I am a ad guy and I am sick of losing elections. As a "suit," the guy that gives input to the "creatives" that create ads (radio, print, TV, you name it) I give them what is called a creative input summary.

      I've placed millions in media buys for ads that were create from a one page input summary.

      If it takes me page after page to explain the benefits of a product then we have a problem. In that input summary there is a line item called "The Single Most Compelling Message."

      What is the "Single Most Compelling Message" of our party?

      "It is not enough to win, all others must lose," Sun Tzu.

      by webranding on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:41:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right now it's "We ain't Republican." (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pam from Calif, godislove, jkilkullen

        It will get us some gains but it's certainly not good enough IMO.

        And what do I hear from the Republicans over and over "ad" nauseum .... the Democrats just don't have a plan.

        Well, our plan is to NOT do what Bush is doing, NOT do what the Republican Congress is doing.  

        And if the DNC puts out a 1-2-3 plan, the Republicans will just take it and say it's there's - aka Macaca Allen.  

        Dean and others say constantly:  "We need a new direction."  Short, simple, sellable.  I may not like it but if it works I'll love it.

  •  it's either (0+ / 0-)

    Phil Dusenberry (sp?) or it's Alan Kay

  •  WOW!!!! (4+ / 0-)

    Sounds like what many of us have been saying for years.

    the Dems have been trying Rule 2 this year but instead of one phrase they make up 50 and hope one sticks.

    Rule 5 is really one I can relate too.  Often times I think we lose because of what I call the Kumbaya crowd.  One example is back in 04 it was brought up that the Bush twins need to enlist and go fight in Iraq. No, No.  His trashy daughters were off limits.  Another is the many closeted homo repubs.  God forbid anyone one bring up Dreier or Mehlman being gay when the repubs start legislating against us.  They old saying is dont bring a knife to a gun fight.  Well most of the time we dont even bring a knife.

    Most of this stuff is so simple.  why cant the DC dems get it?

    by naufragus on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:30:44 AM PDT

  •  IF I'm candidate, my opponent bashed at 5pm OR (0+ / 0-)

    my media /communications people are outta of a fucking job by 5:20 pm.


    by seabos84 on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:31:52 AM PDT

  •  Seattle area Dem message pathetic. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    willers, godislove

    we've got an ex-safeco executive, ex guru to Slade Gorton, selling himself as a NICE guy!

    we got a flat earth society synchophant to the rich running for the state supreme court who is running the worst smear & fear ads against his opponent.

    ALL the emails I get from the Dems are AFTER the thug attack, after the thug lie, after the thug smear,

    and all of the Dem emails are the whiny

    "they are misrepresnting the truth! they aren't nice! rally rally rally ! send us money to protect grannies and kids! meanies!"

    right now, today, I feel like we have a bunch of freaking bambis running message in this state.


    by seabos84 on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:37:18 AM PDT

  •  At first blush, thse rules seem the perfect (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Riff, UU VIEW

    solution  And in many ways, they are what the Democrats need to be looking at.  But I think they need to be viewed more critically than seems to be happening.  Just like any how-to or self-improvement book, they sound great on their face and there are some valuable points included.  But, just as no how-to or self-improvement book can fix your life, this list can't fix the problems of the Democratic Party, even if it has valuable ideas to incorporate.

    I agree, the Dems need to become much more aware of how important perception is and learn how to create and corral perception better.  And they have to learn to be better prepared to be hard hitting and clear, eliminate nuance, and many of the other points.

    But, those things can be done without abandoning the Democratic principals and becoming like the Republicans.  We don't have to become meglomanics, dishonest, boot licking sycophants.  We can retain our sincerity, our integrity, our determination to to do what is best for this country, including during the election processs.  If we accept that they own the field and we must therefore play by their rules now, but we'll become the good guys afte we win - we've already lost.  You CAN NOT treat standards as something that can be discarded when inconvenient and picked up again when useful.  You either have them and use them or you don't.  So if we give them up during elections, they will not be there after the elections.  Then we might as well just leave the playing field now, because there will be virtually no difference once we win - except for who is getting the spoils.

    I am getting concerned that the attitude of the end justifying the means is beginning to seem attractive to many.  And that's the sign of desperation.  We're at the edge of winning, and winning the right way.  By having the right positions, by getting word out about those positions, and by showing the dishonesty, failure, and utter lack of morality or ethics of the other side.  Let's not lose what makes us better now!

    •  I have to ask... (0+ / 0-)

      when Bill Clinton hired Dick Morris to run his 96 election was he holding to Democratic principals?  

      When the Democratic party is shut out of the K Street fundraising game for years and K Street firms stop hiring Democrats because the Republicans tell them to when all of a sudden the winds are looking like they'll shift back to the Democratic party so K Street starts plying the Dems with money again are they holding to Democratic principals?  

      When Hillary Clinton attends a fundraiser sponsored by Rupert Murdoch, whose Fox News Network made its bones covering all of her husbands sexual expoits is she holding to Democratic principals?

      I can keep listing things that show us that the Democratic party doesn't have Democratic principals, but I think you get the picture.

      What I want to do his hijack the party the same way the right wingers hijacked the republican party, but they have to win first, and if this memo helps them it helps me.

      absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limits the freedom of another.

      by jbou on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 12:05:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed. But help is the key word. (0+ / 0-)

        My concern is that so many seem to be ready to accept the idea that we need to become like the Repubs in order to fight them effectively.  Let's take what is valuable from the memo and use it. But not treat it as though it's some kind of bible that if we just follow these rules, we'll win.  I think every idea that comes along should be looked at critically and only those portions that are helpful retained.  I don't see that critical thinking going on here.  

        My point is - WE'RE WINNING NOW.  Why do we want to start adopting the methods of the guys who were winning, but are now LOSING?  Maybe we should discuss the pros AND cons before jumping on the wagon.

        •  we haven't won shit (0+ / 0-)

          leading in the polls before the election doesn't mean a damn thing, tell me we have won after the Democratic party has control of the house and senate.

          Using the same tactics the repubs use is fine by me, what the democratic party needs to stop doing is being like the republicans when it comes to policy choices.

          absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limits the freedom of another.

          by jbou on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 01:07:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Winning by default? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          We are not winning on our merits but rather because the other side is imploding.

          The stage is set for a strong 08 repub insurgence.

          They can run as teh "New" republicans or even the "Old" republicans.  All they have to do is distance themselves from the current crop.

          Then we have crappy Dems getting elected who will just continue on with the DLC satus quo.  Combine that with the already entrenched losers and they can also run against the craptacular Dem congress.

          Add to that that its also a presidental election and we'll have several senators going into camapiagn mode.

          My fear is that we will win but not learn any lessons.  Nothing will change and we will get trounced in 08 after the Repubs regroup and go Beyond Bush.

          by naufragus on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 01:36:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Which pretty much proves my point. (0+ / 0-)

            The other side is imploding because of these tactics.  And now our brilliant plan is to adopt the same tactics?  Christ, if the other guy is shooting himself in the head, do you really want to grab the gun and start shooting yourself in the head?  Le's find a way to watch them implode while we're winning.  Not join them in their implosion.

  •  The Law of Hereclitus (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigDog04, Pam from Calif

    Esoteric sophist Greek philosphers usually don't apply to political campaigns in the year 2006, but Hereclitus was a bit more savvy than some of the other pre-socratic blockheads.

    Hereclitus wrote that metaphysical zinger:

    You never step in the same river twice.

    Hereclitus was telling us the water that flows in the river is different each time we step in it to swim. Yesterday the river was calm and today the waters are turbulent.

    Hereclitus didn't say this...I did

    Like it or not the waters in which we now swim are turbulent. Don't swin, take a boat to the other river bank because the current will pull a swimmer under like a bucket of ready mixed cement.

    If life were fair George Bush would be making a living asking,"Do you want some fries with that?"

    by Mr Populist on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:44:35 AM PDT

  •  Politics is No Limit Texas Holdem (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ignatz, lurker123, willers, gustynpip, Heyroot

    and the Dems have to understand the cards are irrelevant.

    The only way to win is to defeat your opponents, not their cards. You read them, bluff them, call their bluffs, intimidate them, look for their tells, and you exploit their every weekness.

    For far too long the Dems have been losing with superior hands. It's time to get in the game.

    It's critical to sieze the moment right now. The Republicans have never been weeker. They can only win with complete control of the message, the power of the incumbancy, and the counting of the votes. That is a tsunami of weekness.

    Let's send people to DC, who can fill the gaping void of leadership.

    Thanks so much Mr Populist & Mr Jarrett.

    "One travels far in search of happiness, and returns home to find it."

    by DoubleBarrellBunnyAnger on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:44:42 AM PDT

    •  The point is not to defeat the "opponent" (0+ / 0-)

      but to WIN the public.

      I think the Dems spend too much time focusing on the Republicans without SEEING the Republicans of a reflection of either the PUBLIC'S will or the public's INDIFFERENCE.

      In a way, I think the biggest 'opponent' the Dems have now is the corporate media - who is not allowing the Democratic message to reach the public.

  •  See my diary, below, for a conrete example (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... of how Republican messaging works while we stumble about and undercut ourselves:

    Fight the phony linkage! Iraq DOES NOT = 'war on terror'

    Rove knows that the only way to salvage Republican efforts in November is to embrace Iraq, not run away from it.  And in order to do that, he has to, once again, link what is going on in Iraq to the broader "war on terror."  And this morning, Sherrod Brown fell right into his trap.

    We need message discipline.  Now.

    Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

    by Bob Johnson on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:45:26 AM PDT

  •  The only problem (0+ / 0-)

    here is that when that one person is picked, our base will attack him as he will undoubtedely leave out somebody's most important issue.

    The other side has a place at the table for their radicals because the leaders of that side marshal the votes every time.

    Our radicals respect no leaders and would rather sit out elections, attack the middle as if it were the right, or vote for vanity candidates to soothe their principles.

    (Cross-posted in my pants)

    by Calishfornia on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:47:06 AM PDT

  •  Excellent article (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I just sent it out to a few friends of mine, it made a fine addition to a class I'm taking in multi-culturalism that statrted with this quote:

    "I don't know who discovered water, but it wasn't the fish."

    We're all fishes, saturated in a sea of commercialism. So I asked my friends where their impressions come from, and whether those impressions are fair. (many of them are tepid republicans, yet loathe democrats. I asked if they know politicians are corrupt, empty suited self-aggrandized bastards why they prefer one party to the other.)

    America was founded on Ayn Rand's Objectivism, not any kind of radical parchment.

    by NeoconSemanticist on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:48:52 AM PDT

  •  And the one other overarching rule (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The average American is dumber than a sack of hammers.

    Joe-twelve-pack doesn't read books.
    He uses the internests for shopping and porn.
    His TV is on at all times when he is at home and awake.
    He is incapable of independent thought.
    He is full of fear, insecurity and hate
    His country is the "greatest, most powerful nation in the history of the entire world!"
    He cares more about his next gadget purchase than he does about politics.

    We've got to speak to these plebs at their own level.  

    "When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat." ~ Mark Twain, on watermelon

    by Subterranean on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:49:43 AM PDT

    •  Wow. You sure just made every (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      average American want to vote for your candidate.  Maybe the complete lack of respect - and in fact - contempt - you feel for other humans comes through.  I wish you were on the other side.

      •  Oh you're right, Americans are so smart (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If joe-beer-belly is so smart why did he elect Bush to be his leader?

        Oh, and the other side treats Americans like they are stupid, and look where it got them; total power.

        "When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat." ~ Mark Twain, on watermelon

        by Subterranean on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 01:50:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  50% voted for him. (0+ / 0-)

          The other 50% voted against him.  And a hell of a lot of those voting for him weren't the joe-beer-belly, but the Mercedes driving, svelte, millionaire.

          •  Face it folks.... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            we are all "Joe Beer-Belly".  Some may attempt to place themselves on a higher pedestal because they think they are "high-born", "more-moneyed", have a few more "brain cells" or some other trivial reason.  But, let's face it, we all come from the same base and will return to the same set of elements.  For the most part people have a deluded (and very erroneous) self perception.  Personally, I don't give a rats ass where another person tries to place him or her self in the social and/or animal hierarchy.

            Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

            by TheRef on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 03:22:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for the stereotype (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      While many Americans may be as you say, it is certainly far from the average. Americans, overall, are often poorly informed, not intellectually curious, and overly concerned with keeping up with the Joneses instead of the state of the nation. But exaggerating this and applying this label to a larger segment of the population than is true, and ignoring the causes of the political disconnect in this country, does not do us a service.

    •  GAH!!!!! (0+ / 0-)

      STOP IT!!

      Get the FUCK off your high horse and that fucking crown off your head!

      The average American thinks you're a stuck up elitist git and votes for "regular guys" like Bush instead because he doesn't CALL THEM FUCKTARDS.

      Bizarro World sucks... I want to go home to America.

      Dial Acorn Heads for all your website needs!

      by willers on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 01:28:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not stuck up (0+ / 0-)

        to call an idiot stupid.  

        Listen, Rove treates Americans like they're dumb as dirt, and look how they respond?  If someone answers to the name "fool," then very likely that person is a fool.

        As for me being an elitist, well, yeah, you're right.  I think women are equal to men, that makes me better than those who do not.  I think races should be treated equal, that makes me bettter than bigoted rednecks.  I think it's wrong to wage war for profits, again, that makes me BETTER than your average warmongerer.

        It's time we stop running away from their labels.  Our party is filled with people who are better in almost every way imaginable than the right wing freakshow that is running the country.  We are the elite, they are the barbarians.  And I'm fucking proud that I'm NOT one of them.  If that makes me stuck-up, then so be it.

        "When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat." ~ Mark Twain, on watermelon

        by Subterranean on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 01:55:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh and furthermore (3+ / 0-)

        Bush does indeed speak to the public as if they're mentally retarded.  Have you ever sat through one of his speeches?  If you're IQ is over room temperature, it actually hurts you're brain to listen to such inanity.  The fact that Americans would elect someone who speaks to them as if they're brain damaged kiddies is all the proof you need that Americans are collectively dumber than a sack of hammers.

        And it's not just Bush - the news has been aiming at lower and lower IQ demographics for decades.   They have nearly bottomed out, and yet Americans still turn to them to stay informed.  Stupid.  

        The idea that Americans are good people is just more fluffly PC bullshit.  They are not good people, they support wars of conquest, torture, war profiteering, and all maner of crimes against humanity.  Our nation is sick sick sick and until we accept that fact and talk to Americans like the rubes that they are, we will keep losing elections.

        It's like owning a dog.  I LOVE my dog, but like any dog person knows, if you treat your dog as you would a human being, they will soon control your entire life, have the full run of the house, and become unbearably beastly.  There must be rules, and the rules must be simple.  No, you don't eat out of the garbage,  No, you don't drink toilet water.  No, you don't leap on the dinner table and wolf down the thanksgiving turkey.  Basic rules that even a dog understands.  It's time we start treating Americans like the spoiled bitches that they are.

        "When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat." ~ Mark Twain, on watermelon

        by Subterranean on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 02:08:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  subterranean ain't the candidate (0+ / 0-)

        sure, the candidate can't call regular people names.

        but a successful campaign needs to be honest about the level a lot of people are at.

        someone told me today that the US has like 1500 religious radio stations. western european countries have like zero.

        we might lead the world in uninformed people.

        an ambulance can only go so fast - neil young

        by mightymouse on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 02:05:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sleep deprived

    a really interesting analysis. It makes sense to me, so props to this guy. I would like to ad to his list of people who would make good candidates: Russ Feingold!

  •  Link to original (0+ / 0-)

    This was originally post at Rules of Perception.

    Just fyi

  •  Clinton did it ... (5+ / 0-)

    ... and very successfully.

    How else did a little known Arkansas politician who was,  from day 1, under attack by the mad rePUGlican hounds, make his way to DC?

    "It's the ECONOMY, stupid."

    We don't have to BECOME 'Rovian' ... sell our souls, become amoral, unprincipled liars  ...  but, we DO have to have a STRATEGY  ... and we DO have to DEFINE and SELL our 'PRODUCT'.

  •  Great Advise (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gustynpip, Heyroot

    Another way of stating your case is "stick to a few themes." That's what a good trial lawyer does, and this principle also applies to persuasion in general. A good candidate needs to define him or herself and the other opponent. Moreover, both the positive and negative must be used.

    Another rule: Most people won't remember a laundry list of programs. What they remember is symbols and vision.

  •  Rove has dumbed down campaigns (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to a Coke or Pepsi/Bud or Miller decision. He markets an image of his candidates and their opponants. He markets image. In '04, when he tried to market George Deserter Bush as being strong on defense. Rove should have been laughed out of the business. These pitches have to be diffused, like this, or you come back strong and pound back.

    "One travels far in search of happiness, and returns home to find it."

    by DoubleBarrellBunnyAnger on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 11:58:42 AM PDT

    •  opponants? (0+ / 0-)


      "One travels far in search of happiness, and returns home to find it."

      by DoubleBarrellBunnyAnger on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 12:01:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The problem is.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that in our system of elections assumedly all votes are counted not just the smart or intelligently cast ones. The object of the game is to get the most votes. Rove has figured a way to do that. Either the Democrats discover a way to match Rove's techniques or the Democrats will remain the Republicans' lap dogs.  It is make or break time for Democrats.

      Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

      by TheRef on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 03:10:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yeesh. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I only got as far as rule 7 before I decided I'd rather move to Canada.

    Instead of Cody Jarrett, how about Darren Stevens?

  •  Thank you God... (0+ / 0-)

    For sending us this information!

    And please, God, let our democratic people get this and act on it!

  •  Central Slogan (5+ / 0-)

    "Had Enough?"

    "The skeleton in the closet is coming home to roost!" Tom Stoppard

    by Apotropoxy on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 12:08:28 PM PDT

  •  Cody (not Coty) Jarret from "White Heat" (0+ / 0-)

    Jimmy Cagney portrays Cody Jarret, the protagonist in the great film White Heat, directed by Raoul Walsh and released in 1949. The climactic final scene is one of the most carthartic to be found in a Hollywood movie, right up there with the devastating ending of Roman Polanski's "Chinatown" (1974).

  •  Framing the issues is SO IMPORTANT (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cwaltz, godislove, Heyroot, jkilkullen

    But we're not as good at it as we used to be.
    How do we get our mojo back?

  •  I appreciate this diary but there are other (7+ / 0-)

    factor's which gave Bush his razor thin edge over Kerry in 2004. One of them is voter fraud. I will never accept that all the glitches in Ohio came out in favour of Bush by some mere coincidence.

    This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

    by Agathena on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 12:21:28 PM PDT

    •  Most voter fraud (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      can only work in a "close" election.

      by naufragus on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 12:28:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So you are saying that the "Rules" are what made (0+ / 0-)

        the election close? Good point but I believe there was more fraud than "meets the eye."

        I'd say it was 50/50 voter-fraud/message (managing perception) that made the election close.

        By all counts, Gore was a better candidate, Kerry was a better candidate. (who could be worse than GWB?)

        I'm speaking as an outsider, a Canadian.

        This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

        by Agathena on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 12:44:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That 'sounds' good, but can you back that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        statement up?

      •  Not true (0+ / 0-)

        The exit polls did not show a "close" election in '04, they showed a landslide victory for Kerry.  Some states swung as much as ten points for Bush relative to the exit polls.  That's a huge margin in elections.

        "When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat." ~ Mark Twain, on watermelon

        by Subterranean on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 02:10:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Tell that to the Ohio voters who... (0+ / 0-)
        ...told polsters they were going to pass the Reform Ohio Now (RON 2005) ammendments by 30-40% and 4 out of 5 of them went down to defeat by 30-40%.

        ...How much election fraud is too much for the voters and the media to get wise?

        "When the going gets Weird...The Weird turn Pro". -- Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

        by Blue Shark on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 03:12:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  For the last time... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      checkmate, witchamakallit, SherriG is not voter fraud (the voters didn't defraud anybody).

      ...It is "election fraud" involving "voter suppression" and "e-voting tabulator manipulation".

      "When the going gets Weird...The Weird turn Pro". -- Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

      by Blue Shark on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 02:48:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fuckin' A (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    seabos84, Heyroot

    Whoever he is, he's right on the money. Oddly, it's really campaign PR 101 here ... unfortunately we really suck at it.

    Seriously - Chairman Dean. Keep this safety pinned to your lapel.

    Blog this! Visit me at K Street Blues. It will change your life. (Actual life-changing not a guarantee.)

    by AggieDemocrat on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 12:25:15 PM PDT

  •  Who is Donny Deutsch? (0+ / 0-)

    Successful wacko? Advertising genius? Creative nimwit? Progressive Democrat?

    Heck, he sounds a helluva lot better to me than Carvelle and I can't think of anyone else in the Democratic world that has these kinds of chops.

    Here's some links for further reading:
    The Big Idea
    Bio from the New York Metro Is He For Real?

  •  Thucydides has good advice for us (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pam from Calif, bee tzu, godislove

    We have to uphold the ideal of rational political discourse while recognizing it has been rendered impossible for the time being. Ultimately we have to restore it, but to do that we meanwhile meanwhile have to survive and prevail. This is by no means easy. If we underestimate the dishonesty and brutality of our enemies, they will destroy us; if we stoop too low and too long to their methods, we become like them.

    Thucydides described how the Peloponnesian War was "a teacher of violence" corrupting Athenian democracy. "Revolution now became endemic; even the former prestige of words was changed. Reckless daring was counted the courage of a good party man; prudent hesitation, cowardice in disguise; moderation, a cover for weakness; and the ability to see all sides, inability to do anything.... The bitter speaker was always trusted and his opponent held suspect. The successful conspirator was reckoned intelligent, and he who detected a plot more brilliant still, but he who planned not to need such methods was accused of splitting the party and being afraid of the enemy. In short, credit went to the man who struck first, or who stirred up those who had no such intentions....

    The cause of the whole trouble was the pursuit of power for the sake of greed and personal ambition.... Leaders everywhere used honorable slogans-- 'political equality for the masses' or 'the rule of a wise elite.' But the commonwealth, which they served in name, was the prize that they fought for.... Moderate men fell victims to both sides... and the cruder intellects generally survived better; for, conscious of their deficiencies and of their opponents' cleverness, and fearing that they might get the worst of it in debate and be victims of some cunning plot, they struck boldly and at once; but the others, contemptuously sure that they would not see the danger in time and had no need to take by force what they could get by wit, were more often caught off their guard and destroyed."

    •  Thucydides was the best (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pam from Calif

      The implosion of Athenian democracy was used for CENTURIES as proof that Democracy was not a workable form of government (sort of how the implosion of the USSR has been held up to prove communism doesn't work).

      Let's hope the Bush administration and the forces behind it do not succeed in destroying democracy as happened in Athens.

  •  thank god (4+ / 0-)

    these are all BASIC rules.  Like, fucking "DUH".

    The fact that Dems still don't get this makes me want to pull my hair out.

  •  It's the economy, Stupid (0+ / 0-)

    And "Don't stop thinking about tomorrow".  How many people remember that?  It can work both ways... "Read my lips, no new taxes", became Bush I's theme, in a very negative way.

  •  War profiteer, Halliburton, Cheney. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    danz, godislove
    RULE THREE When the other side hands you a bone, do not bury the bone! USE IT! The best way to negatively affect the perception of the other side is to use their own bone against them.

    Whenever the Dems are asked about our takeover and indefinite occupation of Iraq, they should mention four words: Cheney, Halliburton, war profiteer. Those four words explain why we're there and why we will stay there (they even admit that that have no intention of leaving). Do the Dems ever mention this? No, they treat the whole affair as if it is some noble enterprise thereby accepting the phoney Repug talking point. Un-fucking-believable.

    If the Repugs were the out of office party, then they would never shut up about this, and they'd be right not to.  

    And then 2/27/33 happened, and that changed everything.

    by Julian on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 01:03:24 PM PDT

  •  A lot of these rules seem to be very (0+ / 0-)

    common sense.

    R1:  Well, duh.  Anyone ever heard of "too many cooks ruin the soup?"

    R3: Well, duh.  What's more powerful than using opponent's own words against him?  Clinton did it perfectly when he beat Gingrich (and by association Dole) over the head with the things Newt said during the budget showdown.

    R5:  Again, duh.  Clinton did it very well by having a whole "war room" dedicated to counterpunching.

  •  Fuck yeah! (0+ / 0-)

    It's time for the gloves to come off! I've said this before in other threads and have actually been flamed by people saying things like, "It isn't necessary to stoop to the level of rove to win elections." Oh really, then why do we keep losing? It may be cynical, but we have to accept the reality of how the majority of this country thinks:

    Understand that you are dealing with a target audience that doesn't care enough, or simply refuses to devote the time to learn the real facts regarding the real issues. Instead, their perception has BECOME the facts!

    Honestly, I don't give a shit how low we have to stoop, or "rovian" we have to become in order to win. The opposition doesn't care, and will do anything in order to win, so we have to same the same. And anyone who says otherwise simply doesn't have a full grasp of what's at stake.

  •  A good read & nicely done! Can you send this to (0+ / 0-)

    Howard Dean?  Wesley Clark? Russ Feingold?  (As well as Bill Richardson and Mark Warner)

    Dems sure need some unity.

    Illegitimi non carborundum

    by truebeliever on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 01:10:41 PM PDT

  •  Thank you! (0+ / 0-)

    Very helpful! I am saving this one!

  •  Any Path to 9/11 opportunities using these rules? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    danz, martik, willers, godislove

    Thanks for this superbly thought out diary.  It really sets out in a good step by step lesson plan just how these guys operate.

    Having worked in broadcasting (and print media) I can vouch for much of what you say.  For years I have tried explaining to people how the GOP kept succeeding by an artful kind of brainwashing.  This sets it out brilliantly.


    Let's look at what the Rovian wing must have thought an awesome synergy - Disney/ABC/TERROR/9-11/ELECTION - to give themselves a much needed boost heading into the elections.

    But they may have done something very stupid.  (Actually, a few...)

    In seemingly endorsing this revisionist history (And really, the idea of the broadcast being interrupted with a live message from Bush himself - no doubt only minutes before the heroic bullshit, er, bullhorn speech about those who did it  - lord - Rove must have been wetting himself at that little coup)


    They have also made some serious errors here in playing the popular imagination as we head into the election.

    The most OBVIOUS, of course, is that:

     UBL not only remains free, but has just received a kind of sanctuary from our good ally, Pakistan.


    That is a hard fact for most people to digest. And how does that juxatpose with Bush's legacy of photo-ops (of which Path to 9/11 must be seen as only the latest and the most elaborate.)

    Does Bush serve his own party leading into this election by drawing attention to the fact that it is five years since he held that bullhorn and vowed that the people who had attacked us would be hearing from us?  

    There's a lot of disillusioned people out there who gave Bush the benefit of the doubt, time and again, who have – post Katrina – really begun to question his leadership style – not just since Katrina, but, looking back, before the storm as well.

    Five years is a long time, and the Bush administration no longer smells as fresh as it once did.

    THERE are many contrasts between Bush's promises and the reality of what he has achieved that clever media talents can hone.  The biases of Path to 9/11 in trying to bolster the perception of Bush  as an Action Figure Hero raise so many OBVIOUS and unflattering contrasts as to be unlistable here - but I'm sure they can be examined with very rich results ("Mission Accomplished", anyone?)  

    MOST IMPORTANTLY, The Path to 9/11 seeks to glorify Bush and denigrate Clinton.  Since Congress barely exists in this drama of contrasting presidential styles what benefit does it really offer Republicans facing the public this mid-term?

    The deeper psychology at play in this war of perceptions could well turn against Bush as the Rovian wing of the GOP has suddenly made the upcoming cycle one which places Bush and Clinton on the different sides of the scale.

    In 2000 Bush had the advantage of running against the perceived stuffed shirt, Al Gore, and the American public perceived Bush as just one of the guys, natural and all that.  That worked to his advantage against Kerry in 2004, as well.  

    Bill Clinton is another matter.  Even the most recent Zogby poll shows more Americans willing to see Bush impeached then were ever supportive of the Clinton show trail back in the 90s.  (Speaking of contrasting style issues raised by Path to 9/11 – just what was the Republican controled Congress doing during those crucial years??)

    Perhaps the author of this diary would have insight to share as to how this risky contrast of perceptions can be turned, like a stilleto, into the heart of the Rovian beast.

    In additon, do not forget that the recent revelations regarding rescue workers at ground Zero and the white House re-writing of EPA press releases – that's a real problem for them.  Those cops and firefighters and rescue workers who combed through Ground Zero in the weeks immediately following were BETRAYED by a White House that hid the crucial data.  That story could really cause a lot of Reagan Republicans to pack up and go back to the democrats.  

    ON THE HEALTH story don't forget, the white House rewrote EPA press releases two days after 9-11, that was before Bush even got there for the first time.  Hmmm.  Sounds like it should be real liability?

  •  Good read, good ideas (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    but it buys into so much BS when it has to do with the 2004 elections. Bush beat Kerry by a swing of 60,000 votes in a fraud tainted state. If Ken Blackwell didn't exist, does all this advice and CW on the two campaigns get flipped?

    "The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again, but already it was impossible to say which was which."

    by Lefty the playwright on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 01:14:45 PM PDT

  •  Bravo! Now how to get Dems to listen? (0+ / 0-)

     An excellent elaboration on what I (and a few others) have been saying for at least 3 years.
    But will they get the message? : Time for the high road later. Be as tough as they are! Meanwhile,ignore those trying to induce guilt about being tough--they aren't your people anyway, or they're young, inexperienced, and will learn after you've won.

  •  Why isn't Karl Rove in jail? n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sleep deprived, Esjaydee

    Never give up! Never surrender!

    by oscarsmom on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 01:20:53 PM PDT

  •  How about gay marriage? (0+ / 0-)

    "Nobody should tell people how to manage their private lives!"

  •  Rules (0+ / 0-)
    Just skip it with all the rules. Follow one: Behave honestly and 'justly'. Above all, DO NOT behave like Karl Rove!!! Let the rest take its time...'cause it will.
  •  Excellent!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pam from Calif

    I'm saving a copy of this for June of 2008 after we've all forgotten our lessons again. It will be a good reminder that we're playing a serious game for keeps.

  •  Rule 13? (0+ / 0-)

    Make sure the Democratic "Karl Rove" knows how to delegate authority. That, having accumulated his/her resources and devised the game plan, he/she allows all the local "Karl Roves" in the individual races to take it from there. Too much micromanaging will exhaust "Karl" before his/her effectiveness meets its test on Election Day.

  •  Thank you, 'Coty Jarrett"! (0+ / 0-)

    Yes, yes and yes! All of it on target advice.

    Any idea if any candidates have acted upon this advice? Webb, Lamont maybe?

    "You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case." - Ken Kesey

    by Glinda on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 01:39:24 PM PDT

  •  Pragmatism... it breaks my heart (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that this is how we play now.

    It's a race to the bottom.


    Miniver Cheevy

    the blue sea seethes with reason

    by howth of murph on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 01:52:32 PM PDT

    •  Dear Miniver... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sleep deprived, godislove

      wake up my dear.... Nothing can be accomplished when you're in "out of power" mode.  You must get elected to have any impact on governing.  You may think it sad ...but that be the facts.

      We tolerate Madison Avenue continuously in our every day lives.  How can it be kept out of politics.  The Democratic Party cannot tie one hand behind its collective back and expect to ever return to the leadership position in this country.  Marketing is not a sin, you know?

      Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

      by TheRef on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 03:00:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Labels (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JanL, godislove, jkilkullen

    Great diary!!!

    Think of a one-word label that your target can quickly grasp. "America, I am the Jobs President!"

    I nominate "I am the peace and prosperity president!" as a label for the Democratic nominee.  Bush has already defined himself as the "war president" -- let's make him eat those words.

  •  Awesome, awesome, awesome!!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic.

    Just another American against the war.

    by dbratl on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 02:03:06 PM PDT

  •  Don't you contradict yourself (0+ / 0-)

    You talk about how you shouldn't give Rove any rope but then you put down 3 of the leaders for the 2008 nomination - giving Rove ammunition ("even the liberals hate Gore, Warner, and Richardson")


    Democrats *do* have a plan for Social Security - it's called Social Security. -- Ed Schultz

    by FredFred on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 02:11:28 PM PDT

  •  You almost lost me after Donnie Deutsch .. (0+ / 0-)

    He coulda wrote the thing, who knows.  The thing that pisses me off about him, is he uses the same strateegeries and tactics in his TV show, pandering to the numb-nuts perceptions of reality rather than reality to sell himself and his show.  I mean "Big Idea!" or whatever he calls it?  Pleeze dear!

    But, I gotta admit, it sounds right. And if if works then that has a lot to say!  And if Donnie can get it done so fuckin be it.  Count me in.

    I will re-read it and now I have made a comment I know where to find it easily.

    Thanks anon.
  •  Hot Damn! Brilliant! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sleep deprived, mightymouse

    All of it, but especially this one gem: "The only people you'll sound like a simpleton to are already voting for you anyway."  What perceptiveness!  We've all noticed our moderate Repug friends shrug at the simpleton, black & white approach of their national leaders.  I.E., they tolerate the bullshit because they know it works -- and they clearly know the value of something that works politically.

    Damn, what a sparkling set of thoughts about why our side seems to always fall a bit short.  That is the person we want running the DNC image operations -- not the namby-pamby's we have in there now (and yes, now, even under the Good Dr.).

  •  duh (0+ / 0-)

    excellent diary, but I've been saying this:

    Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

    by d3n4l1 on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 02:44:20 PM PDT

  •  I am not one... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Southern Mouth, sleep deprived

    of the Founders of this blog, but I have been around longer than most. And, I have read a lot of Diaries, some so elegant and moving that I printed them and keep them in a folder to re-read for inspiration and renewal of courage.

    None of those Diaries, however, can approach the simple value of this one. This one is IT. This is the big enchilada. This one gets down to the real nitty–gritty. This is the Rosetta Stone for winning elections.

    If we do not embrace and use the wisdom in this Diary then shame on us. Shame on us for losing the desire to win. Our reward for complacency will be swift and just.

    The friend of my enemy is my enemy. Dump Chafee in '06.

    by jayatRI on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 02:44:41 PM PDT

  •  Dems should hire professionals, not pundits (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sleep deprived, seabos84

    Excellent points, many I've said many times myself.
    We live in a country that where people don't read and they have the attention span of chicken.
    They are used to being marketed to and manipulated.

    And why for the life of me the DLC and so many Dems give a shit about what the right thinks is way beyond me.  If Democrats found a cure for cancer the right would still hate their guts.

    So forget em!

    Market it like it's a business and your livelihood depends on it.

    This is why the Democrats always screw up; not enough businesspeople and too many beaurcrats.

    The Dems let themselves be defined by the opposition and then they cry about it.

    They need to just stop it and grow a pair.

    And fire all those goddamn lame consultants they have that couldn't operate for 5 minutes out in the real business world.

    If Kerry had spent the 200 mill or whatever it was on Madison Ave. instead of with that idiot he hired, he'd be President today.

    •  HUNDREDS of millions spent in '00, '04 and (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pam from Calif, mightymouse

      WTF kind of message was there?

      it makes me furious, and know why?

      cuz I made 51 grand ONCE in 46 yrs, and less all the rest.

      I would have been fired for burning 3 steaks on Friday night,

      and these sons of bitches lose, for decades, AND

      allow the thugs to screw me and my co-workers and my below median income family members, AND

      make way more money than any of us will ever see!

      how many millions of peons look at the Dem "leadership" and see a bunch of overpaid incomepetent losing whiners?

      I gotta vote Dem cuz the other side are 2 shades from being goose-stepping nazis - wow. how motivating.


      by seabos84 on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 04:39:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Brilliant... (0+ / 0-)

    Now can the Party execute?

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    by TheRef on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 02:51:57 PM PDT

  •  I like this guy...whoever the hell he is... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caldonia, Pam from Calif, Esjaydee

    he's very smart and fabulous...

  •  So... what are YOU doing later today? (0+ / 0-)

    Start today. Not later today. NOW! Start figuring out now where you're going to find your own Karl Rove and then get this person started. Any time you waste is going to make it tougher for you to win in 2006 and 2008.

    If you dance with the devil, then you haven't got a clue; 'Cause you think you'll change the devil, but the devil changes you. - illyia

    by illyia on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 03:25:28 PM PDT

  •  Best diary ever - bar none (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Southern Mouth, godislove

    Every reader of dailykos should print this out and put it up on their wall.

    Now the question comes of who should have already been in place as the "rapid response" Rove of the Democrats.

    Rahm Emanuel is NOT the guy.  No one else is on top of it or is too busy watching their own butt for 08 (prez candidates).  Pelosi is just learning what it's all about and Reid talks waaaay tooooooo sloooooow.  He also makes mistakes, such as, immigrant policies being "racist."  It doesn't matter if it's the truth, using the R word is just plain dumb, dumb, dumb, not to mention lacking imagination.

    At this late hour, Dean will have to suffer the slings and arrows of his own party and help push this through to a hopefully successful conclusion.

    We have no leader (no Rove), and Dean will just have to step up to the plate.  He'll get creamed by his own party, but perhaps we'll make it in Nov.  The question is whether he has truly learned from his own mistakes - slow response, etc.

    And Dean will have to do one other thing:  Figure out which races, as we get closer, are just plain not a Lamont long shot, and direct what paltry funds are available to go to races that actually can win.  A very tough call, but he must NOT be extremist about this - his all state strategy is perfect to a point, then he has to show he has LEARNED from his own blunders as a candidate - in the 11th hour, he must throw the kitchen sink at real wins.

    Gore - Clark in 08

    by Mac on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 03:31:54 PM PDT

  •  webb should be the point man (0+ / 0-)

    he has delivered heaviest body blows thus far....

  •  gutter politics is what i've been preaching... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pam from Calif, seabos84, godislove

    ...for a year or so at least... nobody listens to me!   time to listen and then move your asses dems.

  •  One last very important rule (5+ / 0-)

    Never, ever, under any circumstances let your opponent set the agenda of what you will be talking about.   Once your opponent has put you on the defensive it's all over (unless you strike back so hard as to obliterate your opponent so they'll NEVER bring up that subject again.)

    Case in point--swiftboating John Kerry.  America doesn't like a wimp. Never in the history of American politics did anyone have more ammunition to strike back (alcoholic, coke-snorting, first president with a criminal record, AWOL draft-dodger take your pick.)

    The candidate who sets the agenda is the winner. Act, don't react.

    Since Bush took office I feel like we're stuck in the Twilight Zone.

    by Shappy on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 04:19:05 PM PDT

  •  there's another important idea here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Southern Mouth

    The poster who said something about calling the Democratic candidate the "Peace and Prosperity President" comes closest.

    Some listen to the news SOME.  They hear Repubs say X and the Dems come back with Y and they don't have the time to research and they throw their hands up in confusion and say "who can know the truth?"

    You all know people like this, and you know this is true. What you need to ask yourself, if o.k., at that point, how do people choose? Well, people believe what they want to believe. You've heard that before, and it's so true.

    Say you have one candidate that pounds in:
    "I will protect you. I'm tough. I'm tougher than anyone on terrorists. And they're coming."
    "I promise I won't raise your taxes."

    And the other candidate says things like:
    "If you just think about these 5 issues, you will see that the current administraton is a bunch of liers and we have the moral high ground."

    You can see who they'd choose. "moral high ground"?  They don't care. What they want to believe is that they're safe and their leaders wouldn't really be evil.  The Republicans are great at saying positive things about themselves that the public desperately wants to believe (You don't REALLY believe we'd act as heinously as the Democrats are accusing us of, do you?  They don't even need to answer the question. It's irrelevant.)

    The thing to think about is:  "What positive thing does the American public really want to believe, that could actually be seen more as a typical Democratic strength than a Republican strength?"

    You see where something like "The Peace and Prosperity President"  (Because Bush has already said he's the war president) is so appealing.  I don't know if that's the most compelling benefit that Americans would like to believe, but you're on the right track.

    Perhaps "the administration that will take care of his home country instead of focusing all his efforts on other parts of the world.  You want help when the hurricane YOU KNOW is coming for sure, comes? I'm the candidate that takes care of you at home. I'm the one that's worried about whether you will have social security. Etc."  

    Then the only thing left to do is think up something simple to sum up the Bush administration, that is believable and helps makes the argument stronger.  For example, have all the talking points about the Republicans revolve around how Republicans don't care about you, they only care about certain people in this country, and otherwise they're pretty much spending all their mental time overseas, waging war.  Wouldn't it be nicer if you could have someone here who is actually concerned with the common man, especially if a major natural disaster comes?  We know we'll have another hurricane, for example..."  How about this:

    Democrats=take care of common man right here at home
    Republicans=out of touch with common man, AND home issues

    •  What we got in 2000 was a man people "felt" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      they would be comfortable sitting down and having a beer with.  I remember thinking OH MY GOD, you've got to be kidding.

      Bush got elected in 2000 because of they wanted someone different than Clinton, way different; someone whose sex life they wouldn't have to hear about on a daily basis.  Rove FIRST had to beat back the best candidate they had in John McCain.  The guy fought in Vietnam, was a boy scout, had served his country in countless ways, and was no Bill Clinton, was strong on military, moral as they come, etc. etc.  But they didn't want McCain cause he couldn't be controlled.  Bush was their baby because he performed pretty well with someone's hand up his butt moving his lips.  Then they groomed and groomed and lied and lied.

      I know what I'm looking for: a man of the people, a man who has a good mind and speaks it, a man who slaps down any false remarks with (1) fervor and (2) humor.  "If you want a friend in DC, get a dog. Truman.  "These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons. No, not content with that, they now include my little dog, Fala.  Well, of course, I don't resent attacks, and my family doesn't resent attacks — but Fala does resent them." FDR mocking the vicious attacks.

      Quite frankly, the man that comes to my mind is George Clooney.  Don't laugh, we've already HAD an actor as President.

  •  Rove vs Rove -- recommended and BOOKMARKED (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dnn, Southern Mouth, godislove

    I've said pieces of this (especially rules 2, 6, 7 and NINE-STOP HILLARY) and seen others say pieces of this but have never seen it all together at one time and in one place.  Thank you!

    this is a foundational memo that people will soon start referring to in shorthand ("my candidate did well with rule seven today", "the republican broke rule three today.") if not now at the end of the midterm cycle then definitely as we move toward 08.

    I'm seeing this work in the MA-Gov race all too well.  Patrick (my candidate) has the volunteers but Gabrieli is running a psychologically effective campaign and is esepcially good at following the "one message" rule.

    Just for good measure, I'm sending this to the Deval Patrick campaign and to the DNC.  just for a reminder.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D: TELL THE TRUTH. HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE. REPAIR THE DAMAGE. VOTE DEMOCRATIC!

    by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 04:38:16 PM PDT

  •  Which is why Dean should have been our nominee (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    not someone who's selling point was that he's 'electable', whatever the heck that is supposed to mean.  

    Don't be so afraid of dying that you forget to live.

    by LionelEHutz on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 05:10:55 PM PDT

  •  This is unDemocratic (0+ / 0-)
    As America learns how to lose our soul in the War on Terra, the last thing we need is at DLC takeover.

    Power to the people!  Let the big money, top down, winning is everything suits get high on weekends, but their voice is only as important as every other person, worker, mother, citizen's.

    Every voice counts.  That's the truth.  That's victory.

    The so-called, "Global War On Terror" IS Terrorism!

    by november3rd on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 05:12:25 PM PDT

  •  Great National Security Slogan for Democrats (0+ / 0-)

    The domestic tranquility of Iraq is not protecting our borders from terrorists.

    It has a double meaning if you read it the right way.

    If life were fair George Bush would be making a living asking,"Do you want some fries with that?"

    by Mr Populist on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 05:26:30 PM PDT

  •  So this ad executive believes (0+ / 0-)

    that the GOP won the 2000 election even though Al Gore bested Bush by half a million votes, only to have the Supreme Court select Bush as President? What about the Democratic Party gains in 2005?

    This is nothing but a lot of stupid generalizations and nonsense! One point:

    You do not have a media outlet like Fox, so you must work twice as hard to get the mainstream media to carry your message to ALL voters. Importantly, do not believe the mainstream media is for you and against Republicans. They're not. If you somehow think they'll help you win an election, you've already lost.

    Who the hell believes the media should help them win elections? The media simply should not spew GOP talking points (see Path to 9/11, or calls for apologies to Rove), nor should the media hire right wing hacks, and journalist should definitely not be on the Bush administration's payroll!

    Any valid points the piece makes, such as "stop trying to be all things to all people," is couched nonsensical statements like this: "Karl Rove didn't bother with liberals or most Democrats." Rove and the GOP/media did everything to distort perception, and not just among wingnuts. They also resorted to a lot of dirty tricks that had a negative impact on people not in their base!

    Maybe this ad executive is on Rove's payroll. Who knows, maybe Rove wrote it himself.

  •  good idea (0+ / 0-)

    I am commenting too so I can find this later.
    Great diary and I already passed it on to our candidate for MI-08.
    I think it can be used for state candidates as well. Here in MI we need not only to hold on to our governor but try to change the make up of our state legislators so she can get somethings done for the better of this great state!

  •  Just a "Simple" thought (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Simple definition of marketing:  creating customers.  To "market" our Democratic leaders, we must create Democratic voters.  This is what Mr. Populist is saying - how to create Democratic voters.  

    Customers are created by telling people that they don't have something they need and you have that product and you tell them that day in and day out.  Then they buy your product.

    Simple definition of a leader: someone that people follow.

  •  How Repubs Win (0+ / 0-)

    I grew up in Brooklyn
    in the 40's and 50's.
    Our slogan was "We come , they run!
    They did! We did! We came. They ran. We won!  The Democrats need to take this meesage as part of their litany. Put them on the run.Attack!
    Tulla Flatbush Nana

  •  The Posting Of This Letter Is Brilliant!!!! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dnn, martik, godislove, jkilkullen

    This is perhaps one of the single most interesting, and important diairies I've ever seen at Kos.

    The content of this diary not only explains everything that has happened in all it's machiavellian disgrace ... but highlights how it's precisely how disgraceful we must become if we're to ever regain control.

    Let's face it ... we Americans are sheep.  We have to be told what to think.  So let's start telling.

    We have a better agenda, we have Americans' interests in mind, we have a higher moral ground, and we have a long standing history that contrasts to the republican's story of "screw the middle class, take what you can and run before they catch on."

    So how we get there is no longer important ... especially if we Americans are so stupid, that it has now become THE ONLY way we're going to get there.

    We are a TV commercial culture.  It's how our tiny brains have been programmed over the last century.  It's a bit late in the game to convince people of the virtues of digging to find the truth.  People don't give a fuck about the truth.  They want to be "convinced" and will accept nothing more.

    Thank you, Populist, for this crucial look into the programming of the American idiot.  Sorry, but I'm not afraid to call it like it is.

    This diary ought to be printed and faxed to every democrat desk BY MONDAY NOON!

  •  Very Useful Article (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dnn of the best in a very long time.

     It appears that most of the dissenters seem to have forgotten the central theme of these's about managing PERCEPTION...not facts, not political philosophy, not manners.

     I think those who place emphasis on facts and philosophy should begin with the Bill Parcell(head coach of the Dallas Cowboys) axiom that "You are what you are".

    In this case the Dems are losers of the past several election cycles. That's what they are, that's where you start.

    You want to win? Then get in the game and play the opponent at hand, not the one you wish you had.

    "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so."

    by sebastianguy99 on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 07:51:50 PM PDT

  •  How to keep a unified message? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Democrats are running for election or
    re-election to various Governorships,
    30-odd Senate seats, and 425 or so

    House seats.

    How many different messages is that?
    Not to mention independent expenditures
    by the Democratic National Committee,
    the DSCC, the DCCC, and supportive
    interest groups ads from the unions,
    trial lawyers, MoveOn, etc.

    Some candidates are proud to say they
    are Democrats in their ads, others don't.

    Maybe Democrats need to think about going
    back to national advertising as part of the
    50-State Strategy. One message, one sponsor,
    one party fighting everywhere.

    Another advantage with national ads, no
    Democratic candidate would be completely
    left out of the national campaign efforts,
    not even in Texas or Mississippi or Kansas.

    Recommended by:
    dnn, el maso



    •  maybe less necessary ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... vote fraud happened, for sure,  but it isn't the whole story.  The Republicans have been experts at manipulating public perception and marketing their message.  

      May all beings be free from fear.

      by shakti on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 08:31:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We don't have to be like Republicans (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonal Crow, UU VIEW

    but the point of these rules are that you have to be tough to win. Elections are not like a game of croquet at the French chateau of the Marquess of Queensbury. They're rough.

    Remember, we don't have to use distortions to attack Republicans: we just have to use the truth, which is much worse than any distortion.

    I think the most important point of this piece is that you just have to write off 45% of the electorate before you even start campaigning. Too often, you have Democrats who want to appeal to everyone, which they ususally do by being indecisive and hedging on controversial issues. It doesn't work: the Republicans won't vote for you and it'll just make the undecideds think you're weak. The DLC is the biggest guilty party in this.

    If your name was George Walker instead of George Walker Bush, your candidacy would be a joke.

    by dole4pineapple on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 08:12:38 PM PDT

  •  Kerry really won. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cwkraus4clark, el maso

    Sorry, incorrect premise.

    Kerry won.  Kerry won in several "battleground" states, including Ohio, New Mexico, Nevada.  

    Democrats have failed at some things, but it wasn't in winning the Presidential elections in either 2000 or 2004.  Unfortunately, the real failure was ensuring the integrity of the vote.

  •  My god, how depressing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dnn, Riff

    It would nice to win just because we're right.

    What an idiotic world we live in.

  •  I'm not buying it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't believe this was written by anybody in the game.  It's the same warmed-over shit that pops up now and again in comment sections on the left.

    "Be more like them!"  "Image is everything!"  "If you don't fight dirty, you lose!"

    And the nicey-nice in-yer-face tone is crap.

    (This is not a comment on the subject matter contained herein.  But all this stuff was in the ether, word-for-word, in middle November, 2004.)

  •  Not only did I recommend this diary... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tikkun, Caldonia, jkilkullen

    ...I hotlisted and e-mailed it to all of my fellow activist Dems and even some candidates' workers!

    Excellent diary, Mr. Populist! Two thumbs up.

  •  "Rudy blamed the grunts for missing that weapons (0+ / 0-)

    cache" should be the 08 equivelant (the last poll i saw had him double digits over mccain) of "it's the economy stupid" -- plus he married his cousin!

    "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."

    by hoodoo meat bucket on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 09:11:54 PM PDT

  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

    "A marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman" -- George Bush.

    "I'm personally against gay marriage, but I feel the states should decide." -- John Kerry (too nuanced by half!)

    what kerry should have said was "this subject is beneath me when our soldiers are dying overseas"

    "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."

    by hoodoo meat bucket on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 09:14:52 PM PDT

  •  i can't emphasize this too much: (0+ / 0-)

    this is the type of diary that makes me cream my pants -- prag-fucking-matism!!!  this is how we need to think. this is how we need to DIARY!!!

    "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."

    by hoodoo meat bucket on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 09:18:13 PM PDT

  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

    "Do not give Karl Rove any help whatsoever. In other words, do not start with a candidate who puts you in a twenty-foot ditch that Rove will never let you fight your way out of. Make damned sure your candidate has the gumption to come out swinging and immediately counter-punch every Swift Boat move Rove tries."

    (cough cough!!) PAUL HACKETT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."

    by hoodoo meat bucket on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 09:20:10 PM PDT

  •  He had me until "Bill Richardson." (0+ / 0-)

    Once I believed some men were good, some men were evil, and I could tell the difference. Later I learned to tie my shoes, and that I'm wrong a lot.

    by Junior Bug on Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 09:48:58 PM PDT

  •  democrats (0+ / 0-)

    Kery came close, and Gore came even closer, to winning their campaigns without going to these lengths. None-the-less there is nothing wrong with assuming these attitudes.  We need better candidates, however. Both Gore and Kerry lost their races themselves. I could see what was happening to them and they didn't try to help themselves.  The idea though is to chose authenticity. Where there's authenticity there will be simplicity.  Attack your opponent early and late and present yourself as all that is holy and decent.

  •  I like number 3 (0+ / 0-)

    It all comes down to psychological warfare, anyone who tries to be "nice" and "do the right thing" will be crushed like a bug, and The Roveruntster THINKS he is the exterminator.  It is time to TAKE HIM OUT, rally the troops!  Great diary, ad execs are SMART!

    Those things that hurt, instruct-Benjamin Franklin

    by godislove on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 06:08:04 AM PDT

  •  A few days back.... (0+ / 0-)
    This diary by occams hatchet raised the same point.  My comment at the time was as follows (I've said this so many times to so many people I'm sure I haven't a friend left in the world):

    Fighting dirty is sometimes the only way to victory.  I remember well the 2000 presidential campaign, when Al Gore chose to take the "high road" and refrain from calling George W on his dismal record, his complete lack of qualifications for the office of POTUS, his lack of character, etc., etc.  Well, we all know what happened.  Fight dirty, I say, and after you've won help your vanquished adversary up of the ground, help him dust himself off, thank him for a well-fought and honorable campaign, and enlist him as your newest ally in the pursuit of the fulfillment of YOUR agenda.

    But first, fight the necessary fight to win.

    Liberal = We're all in this together
    Conservative = Every man for himself
    Who you gonna call?

  •  Great stuff (0+ / 0-)

    Many years ago -- too many, really -- I attended a workshop on running political campaigns. I remember the lecturer saying that the way to win elections is to "define the opposition before they define you." In other words, exactly what you're talking about, Mr. Populist.

    What I find so hard to understand is why Democrats have never taken this to heart. It's awfully hard to win elections if all you do is react to your opponents attacks.

    The Dems need to learn to go for the jugular.

    "I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's." - William Blake

    by Tod Westlake on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 08:55:16 AM PDT

  •  Do it or lose. (0+ / 0-)


  •  great diary, but question (0+ / 0-)

    What does the author mean by:

    Work hard against the nomination of anybody who cannot remain strong and stay firm on base issues while tacking to the center in a convincing, spirited way.

    Hint! Hint!
    Bill Richardson. Mark Warner. And yeah, Al Gore!

    Does he mean Democrats should or should not nominate one of these candidates? This isn't clear to me.

  •  Rule 13 (0+ / 0-)

    Tie every incumbent Republican to "Katherine Harris:  The Face of the GOP."  Say how "N.I.C.E" she is.  That is, Narcissistic, Inept, Corrupt, and Elitist.  Remind voters how the Republican candidate fits this description, and how a political hack in the mold of horseshow judge "Heck-of-a-job" Brownie can even get to the position of running for a Republican U.S. Senator.

    The GOP -- party of Katherine Harris, is a tie-in that binds.

    The rhetoric of the right wing is being fixed around the policy of disinformation.

    by MoronMike on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 09:33:48 AM PDT

  •  Great information (0+ / 0-)

    for candidates to use. What are the chances that the Democrats will use it. None? They'll ignore what I think should be the first rule, Rule Five

    Stop playing by "Marquess of Queensberry" rules.


    I'm sorry, but as much as I like that Democrats can get in some good punches over the long haul they just don't know how to do this.

    I'm an pessimistic optomist and don't have a good feel that Democrats are going to follow Rule Ten

    Stop trying to be ATTAP, or "All Things To All People".


    By all means, rally your base.

    Oh, a few Democrats who've come here from early on recognize our importance and a few others will come around later but as a whole we are see as unliked step-children who are only tolerated rather than loved.

    Why the pessimism: it's clear to everyone that the Republicans are making a big push and where are the Democrats? They're on the sidelines wondering how many players to put on the field as Republicans score time and time again.

    -4.25, -6.87: Someday, after the forest fire of the Right has died we'll say "Whew, I'm happy that's over."

    by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 09:55:38 AM PDT

  •  Mr Populist (0+ / 0-)

    You said in your last diary that nobody ever commented in any of your diaries.  Hah! 400+ comments.  Don't go getting a big head now....

    Great diary.  In regards to the RULE FIVE:

    Stop playing by "Marquess of Queensberry" rules. Before you get punched, you punch. Hard. Whenever possible, you punch below the belt. And most importantly, even after they are down, you keep punching.

    I always wondered why nobody ever talked about Bush's lack of intelligence or inability to speak without a speech written.  I mean I know we're not supposed to make fun of mentally handicapped people, but somebody should have should have called him on it - something to the effect "Do you want a complete nitwit running our country???"   I mean he has said some seriously stupid things.

  •  The real threat to this country: idiots. (0+ / 0-)

    The author has some excellent points, I'm sure his heart is in the right place, and it's quite possible the Dems would dramatically turn their fortunes around if they adopted some of this mindest.

    But still, I can't help thinking it's pretty sad that the party of Thomas Jefferson and FDR has been reduced to taking advice on "perception management" from an advertising executive.  

    I don't blame this on the Democrats, or even the Republicans.  I blame it on the American people.  No matter what we do, democracy will not survive in this country if ordinary people don't start caring once again about politics and public issues.  

    Accordingly, I think we should stop giving a pass to people who take pride in not reading the newspaper or being able to name a single Supreme Court justice.  IMO such people should be shamed, not coddled.  The term "idiot" derives from the ancient Greek word idiotes, which referred to a citizen of a city-state who, despite having full political rights to participate in the civic life of his city, chose not to.  Such people were considered selfish, lazy, and harmful to society.  Their ignorance and apathy was seen as opening the door to the kind of tyrants and demagogues who had plagued Greece in generations past.

    I think we should treat our modern-day idiotai with the same contempt.  As should be painfully aparent by now, their "idiocy" is a threat to our freedom.  This attitude might not help us win elections.  But there is little point in winning elections if you lose your ideals in the process.

  •  Effective Communications or Evil Manipulation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    One of the things that drives me crazy about many progressives is their rejection of anything that comes from a "corporate mindset." Effecitve communmications strategy becomes an "evil manipulation" of voters, a moral betrayal of the "cause."

    The author of this piece drives home the cold hard fact that this is a fact of the human condition. I've been a PR consultant for 15 years, and the power of communications can be used both to accomplish positive and negative ends - it all depends on your perspective - but the tools and principles behind it are simply a a study in reality.

    How does the human mind process and sort through new information in an over-communicated world? It is  not evil to work within the limits of reality. Sadly, Democrats are dismal at this. It is a learned skill and we can do it.

    Not so long ago we had very effective communmicators like FDR and JFK and MLK on our side - they understood the priniples of precisely what this writer is telling us. Perhaps they didn't understand it in the "corporate" terms that are used today - that is just nomenclature... call it whatever you want - they absolutely understood how to reach the people with their Fireside Chats and stirring oratory that we can all recite. Now much "nuance" do you quote from JFK, or find in a Fireside Chat? Zilch! It is all catch phrases and emotive words that are meant to evoke certain emotional connections among listers. The Republicans figured this out and we got "politically correct".

    Please, if you are one of those who feels this is underhanded or makes you uncomfortable, don't be frightened. It is not what you think and it is nto insulting to voters to wish to appeal to them on an emotional level. It doesn't make us "sheeple" and it doesn't represent a moral failing or a betrayal of the nuance in issues. It is pure and simple this: a conversation using emotive "concepts" rather than cerebral wordsmithing. The emotions we evote convey all of the things you wish for us to say with the nuance and the words - in fact, they are far more powerful.

    The mind does not operate on a single intellectual level. We can be good at this. No.. we can be GREAT at this as I truly believe that liberal/progressive ideas when communicated well have shown throughout our history to be unstoppable. That is what th eepublicans fear - conservative messages aer not inspiring, but rather divisive. Liberal ideas and leaders like a JFK, MLK, or FDR are the biggest fear of the conservatives because they have NOTHING to counter it. it is the difference between ideology (conservative) and idealism (liberal/progressive). Let's accept the communications paradigm and start inspiring people again.

    •  Isn't this Good Witch or Bad Witch? (0+ / 0-)

      Are you going to use your powers for good or evil? Great communications skills brought us Hitler, Mussolini, and other snake oil salesman.
      Look for leaders with great powers of communication and who are real old timey Democrats, that is, leaders who believe that "we are all in this together."  In this month's Atlantic James Fallows ays that we lack leaders who keep the dangers in perspective.  Heck, Eisenhower, the best Democratic Republican we've had since Lincoln said, "The answer to a regime that wages total war is to wage total peace. This means bringing to bear every asset of our personal and national lives upon the task of building the conditions in which security and peace can grow."  

      "It's time to rein in the rascals and rotate the crop"

      by MontanaMaven on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 10:47:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hollywood Casting (0+ / 0-)

    From a movie agent/actor point of view, marketing is very important for the message.  Casting is also essential for the lead actor in the campaign. And since it is largely improvisational past the stump speech, you need someone who is:

    1. Quick on their feet like a Colbert or Jon Stewart or a Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan.
    1. Extraverted.  Very few introverts win.  The huge exception to this was the dour Nixon winning over the friendly, populist, happy Humphrey.  It was the WAR, stupid. Otherwise, Humphrey could have pulled it off.        Kerry, Hilary are introverts.  Crowds wear them out and you can tell.  
    1. Optimistic - Must naturally be a glass is overflowing kind of guy or gal.  I have great respect for Al Gore, but , bless his heart, he's an Eeyore. He tries to be sunny, but he just can't quite pull it off. He has the weight of the world on his shoulders.
    1. Has a strong center aka authenticity.  That's what we call it in acting world.  "She is centered."  So in regards to #10, don't be all things to all people.  Pick someone who has a strong clear message that he/she does not change according to whom they are speaking to.  People might have got tired of John Edwards' stump speech if they heard it a lot.  But he had a message.  He did not do one speech for working folks and one speech for rich folks.  He didn't pander.  Dean, Kucinich were also good examples of strong centers when speakin.  I've heard Spitzer, and he's got it to.
    1. People Power aka charisma aka ability to get in others' shoes aka empathy or fake it like Reagan is something we now yearn for more than ever after 6 years of lack of empathy by Bush, Ruumy, and Condi.

    So do NOT show your candidate doing things alone like windsurfing or snowboarding.  Sail with people or run with people.  Don't be an Army of One. (Use "we" and not "I", by the by).

    1. Surprise me. On rare occasions show us some true part of you.  If you are a sunny optimist, then show us a flash or two of anger or sadness that you keep at bay.  If you are a tough realist, show us just a touch of empathy. Dont' fake it.  Just don't be afraid of it.

    There's more, but I've got to run.

    "It's time to rein in the rascals and rotate the crop"

    by MontanaMaven on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 10:38:17 AM PDT

  •  This is decidedly un-Machiavellian (0+ / 0-)

    Didn't mention Fortune even once. Or virtue.

    Neither, with the exception of the first paragraph, did the piece give examples from history (sometimes revisionist) to prove the theoretical point. You'd be hard press to find three continguous paragraphs in The Prince that don't give at least one historical example.

    The style is more of the commentary on the seven Ecumenical of the undivided Christian Church written by Anglican bishops in the late nineteeth century. The format of that commentary first gives the canon. Then the ancient reading is given. Then the modern reading. This is very similar to the style of the rule, paragraph to explain the rule, hint that is used for this piece.

  •  Getting MEAN -- advice from Josey Wales (0+ / 0-)

    "Now remember, things look bad and it looks like you're not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. 'Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That's just the way it is."

    -- Clint Eastwood, in "Outlaw Josey Wales"

    When do you stop rationalizing, and admit just how far gone a situation we find ourselves in?

    If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State...

    by HenryDavid on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 01:48:39 PM PDT

  •  To consider Donny Duesche (0+ / 0-)

    to run the campaign with him being a republican would not be a good thing to do.

    Donna Brazile was e-mailing Rove every day during Al Gore's campaign.  

    Enough said.

    Life is what you focus on...I am focused on Bush......It ain't pretty

    by relentless on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 08:14:22 AM PDT

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