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When it comes to analysis of the 2010 midterm debacle we are now about to see the results of there has been no shortage of explanations for why particular Democratic officeholders and candidates fell short this fall.

Some have been simple to understand and simple to grasp.

Some have blamed Obama surrogates.

Some have blamed Blue Dogs.

Some have blamed Fox News... or the Tea Party ... or the Koch Brothers.

I, for one, have always believed that the essential failing of the Obama Administration and of Democrats following the 2008 triumphs was one of weak and unfocused messaging that everything they were doing was for our benefit.

More after the fold...

This week brought some confirmation of that point of view in the one publication where analyzing marketing campaigns is the milleu: Advertising Age.

Bob Garfield is the resident ad critic at Ad Age.  His reviews of Super Bowl ads, and campaigns throughout the year, are crisp, cutting, and honest.

In reviewing the 2010 election results one need only look at the article headline and sub-headline to see where he places the majority of blame.

Democrats, Obama Failed by Abandoning Core Consumers

Weak Marketing Effort Beside the Point After President Ignored Passionate, Engaged Coalition

If Obama didn't have you at hello, to use the "Jerry Maguire" analogy, then he certainly had you by the DNC convention, and, for some independents, maybe it took the debates.  But by Election Eve, 2008, he had the country with him.

Not only did he have our collective energy, our attention, and our hopes - he had our e-mail addresses and our cell phone numbers!!!  We were champing at the bit for those texts during the 2008 campaign.  We couldn't wait to find out what the latest news from the campaign was.  We knew all the key campaign players: Axelrod, Gibbs, Plouffe, Jarrett, Goolsbee, etc...

I don't know about you, but when the DNC became OFA I felt like I lost my BFF.  "The fierce urgency of now" became somewhat less fierce in the way OFA communicated.  OFA didn't stir passions anymore.  Even the artwork was muted.  It felt less like we were being asked to wage campaigns on particular issues that really f***ing mattered than to participate in some feel good exercise -at least that's how it felt to me.

Then Garfield goes straight for the jugular - we lacked the urgency in 2010 because we were never energized enough from the person and party who needed us the most to BE energized on their behalf!

While a variety of demagogues and dimwits were squealing on cable about "tyranny" and "socialism," the Dems should have reminded the electorate every single day that they guaranteed health care to millions and saved the world from Dustbowl economic catastrophe.

Can't prove a negative? So what? You can't disprove one, either, and economic consensus was on their side. Anyway, since when do politicians soft-pedal claims? God knows the Republicans were blaming every opponent for killing jobs in their respective states. Every single day.

Let me repeat and re-emphasize.

"Every single day."

Every. Single. Day.



That was how often we needed to hear it - from Obama.  From Pelosi.  From Harry Reid.  From Steny Hoyer.  From Chris Van Hollen.  From James Clyburn.  From Chuck Schumer.  From Robert Gibbs.  From Rahm Emmanuel.  From Hilary Clinton.  From Joe Biden.  From Bill Burton.  From Timothy Geithner.  From Kathleen sebelius.  From Larry Summers.

And we needed to hear it as a single voice - not as disparate individuals.  Not after he sat down with insurers and big pharma and the hospital companies - BEFORE!  And Obama needed to be courageous and KNOW he had people willing to get his back if he did take a tough stand.  Hell, healthcare is about people first.  No one was going to have the backs of the healthcare industry... if he got US energized before the GOP and the nascent Tea Party got themselves energized (or exorcized - take your pick).

Then Garfield delivers the haymaker punch:

And while Obama was trying to look presidential by not blaming the previous administration for running up the debt financing a ruinous war and for letting banks run hog wild, the Republicans managed to tar him both for bailing out and regulating Wall Street. Neat trick.

Shame on them? Maybe, but that's like faulting a shark for eating. Blame the Democratic National Committee for getting bitch-slapped day after day and responding with strongly worded press releases. Blame the president for risking his party -- and his re-election and his vision -- for the sake of comity he is destined never to see. Instead, he used the bully pulpit to sound concerned.

"Now I know that folks are hurting..."

No shit, Dick Tracy.

Does he not understand how patronizing such pabulum sounds to the unemployed? Good grief. Nobody wants his understanding; they want jobs. And if they can't have them, they must feel that they are making a temporary sacrifice to rebuild the economy and the society to achieve America's greatest aspirations.

That concept shouldn't be too foreign to Obama. It's the one he ran on. What in the world happened to "Yes we can?" For that matter, what happened to "we?"

I have said this before, and it still sounds like the truth to me: Americans respect strength of character on display.  They respect strength of conviction put into action (sometimes in a wrong-headed way, but it's part of our national DNA).  So when you make a decision to have civilian terror trials... and then you back down - people smell blood in the water.  They smell fear.  They know you can be manipulated.  They know you'll end up having a "Beer Summit."  And... unless Obama is playing one really cagey game of rope-a-dope... they go in for the kill - full guns blazing, from all angles.  Because you can be outflanked and outgunned and outworked and outspent.

What Obama and Democrats have forgotten is that, at this level, it doesn't matter what style you are comfortable with.  Obama and the Democrats had, if not a mandate, then they certainly had implicit permission to GO FOR IT and not be afraid of failing to push for strong legislation, strong regulatory structures and personnel, and strong judicial and personnel nominees.  

Sometimes you have to read the room, and the room was desperate for action.  Action to stop skyrocketing healthcare costs and insurance company meddling.  Action to go after the bankers and financiers who were taking advantage of every loophole and advantage money could buy to take people's homes and force businesses to lay people off (because on Wall Street a reduction in force is always a good thing, a reduction in costs - for outsourcing jobs to a country with lower wages, benefits, and environmental standards, for instance - always bosts the bottom line).  Action to close Guantanmo Bay and end the wars.  Action to end DADT.  Action to strengthen federal agencies with consumer protectors, not industry shills.  Action to create jobs through economic stimulus and development of a strong manufacturing policy, even if it pisses off the Chinese (better if it does - we like American jobs better).

By fall of 2010 it shouldn't have mattered who was driving the car or who wanted the keys back.  Who the hell runs a campaign - after passing healthcare reform, financial reform, stopping combat operations in Iraq, and lowering taxes - talking about what the other guy wants to do?  You campaign - with as much positive messaging as possible - on your own damned record... because it's a REALLY GOOD RECORD!  And you tell them about all the other stuff you want to do, and can only do with EVEN MORE DEMOCRATS in Congress and the Senate.  And you say it... EVERY.  SINGLE.  DAY.

Starting tomorrow, the message needs to be this:

These are the things we are going to work on to pass into law.  These are the nominees I will want approved so our courts do not atrophy.  Lame duck or no lame duck - this is what I feel - and what Democrats feel - is the best path forward, so we are going to get stuff done RIGHT NOW so Americans can see improvements to their lives.   People's lives did not stop on Election Day, and neither did ours.  We push forward.  Bush's tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires - GONE. Step up and be part of America's recovery.

And you say that message... EVERY.  SINGLE.  DAY... until Election Eve 2012... and then you say it... EVERY.  SINGLE.  DAY.

And we know we can do it.  Because "Yes We Did."  And we can do it again.

UPDATE:Rec list?  Thanks everyone!  First time.  I am humbled.  Glad you enjoy the diary.

UPDATE 2 (Electric Boogaloo) Top of Rec List??? Wow - I should write while exhausted more often! :-)

UPDATE 3:  As if to prove my point...

Several senators expressed the opinion that Obama needed to show more passion, while party liberals renewed their complaint that Obama should abandon the pretense of bipartisanship in the face of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s intransigence and what they consider the Kentucky Republican’s blatantly political tactics aimed at making Obama a one-term president.

Others said Democratic leaders need to clearly spell out what they believe are the motivations behind the Republicans' positions: that they are beholden to special interests, who bankroll their campaigns.

If Democrats keep losing the message war, they worry, they will be wiped out in 2012.

"There was a lot of passion in that room," one senator said. "The reason is because the public is with us on our policies, but they’re not getting the message."

 Emphasis mine.

Originally posted to pkohan on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 07:59 PM PST.

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  •  Tip Jar (379+ / 0-)
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    •  Awesome dairy (55+ / 0-)

      I could not agree more!

      Thank You! Now if we can co-ordinate with our good progressive radio friends, and some good marketing techniques on the best way to convey our message, EVERY DAY, I think we are getting somewhere.

      I love this idea.

      My pet peeve has been for a long time that we are fighting right wing talking points. They must be defeated!

      Who wants to be in charge..... pkohan! How about you.

      ~a little change goes a long way~

      by missliberties on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 08:28:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Today: FBI wants it easier to wiretap internet (46+ / 0-)

        The administration is reaching out to internet users.

        Robert S. Mueller III, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, traveled to Silicon Valley on Tuesday to meet with top executives of several technology firms about a proposal to make it easier to wiretap Internet users.

        •  BOMB! (30+ / 0-)

          Now hopefully the word "bomb" caused the FBI to read this diary... and maybe some smart FBI Agent will pass it along to Obama.  

          Got to get their attention somehow... cause they sure aren't paying attention to common sense.  

        •  Yes, but the big question is this: (7+ / 0-)

          Will they wiretap only with a warrant?  If that is the case, I have little problem with it and see this just as trying to adapt to new mediums.

          Cold hearted orb/That rules the night/Removes the colours From our sight/Red is gray and/Yellow white/But we decide/Which is right/And/Which is an Illusion

          by KingofSpades on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:21:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, itwill be more warrantless wiretapping (6+ / 0-)

            Just like with the telecoms, etc. America has become a police state, and Obama is making things worse, not better.

            •  Just because you say it, doesn't make it so. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FreeStateDem, JTinDC

              You need sources.  Warrantless wiretapping was a temporary program that ended by 2007, I believe, and it only involved phones.

              But like I said, wiretapping with a warrant is the only way this is acceptable.

              Cold hearted orb/That rules the night/Removes the colours From our sight/Red is gray and/Yellow white/But we decide/Which is right/And/Which is an Illusion

              by KingofSpades on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:35:02 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  And no, Alex Jones doesn't count as a source. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                surfbird007, JTinDC

                Cold hearted orb/That rules the night/Removes the colours From our sight/Red is gray and/Yellow white/But we decide/Which is right/And/Which is an Illusion

                by KingofSpades on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:35:25 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Garfield's analysis is shallow and mostly off-base (14+ / 0-)
                  ...starting with his headline:

                  "Democrats, Obama Failed by Abandoning Core Consumers"

                  "Weak Marketing Effort Beside the Point After President Ignored Passionate, Engaged Coalition"

                  Anyone familiar with the ad industry trade books knows that in-house criticism is not exactly their forte'. We're talking about relatively low-paid writers. And, in Garfield's case, his career reads like the curriculum vitae of the  jack-of-all-trades-and-master-of-none that he is.

                  He describes himself as a "whore" in his own bio! LOL!


                  We're talking about 2010. And, in 2010, Obama was NOT running for office!

                  The election of 2010 was about the economy and jobs, period. (And, in case anyone wasn't paying attention, both were in the shitter at historically record-breaking levels.)

                  You tell your public(s), who are comprised of 17%-20% unemployed and underemployed souls, that things are getting better, and you'll alienate them faster than a vice squad detective wearing their badge at a prostitute's convention.

                  Here's what was wrong with Obama's media (his own p.r.) in 2010 (same thing that was wrong with it in 2008): it was run by someone (Axelrod) with exactly a few week's experience handling national candidacies (he worked for about 4 weeks on the Edward's campaign in 2004, or was it 2000?) before he took on the Obama media effort in 2008. Up until then, Axe had virtually NO national chops. NONE!  

                  Obama was NOT elected President in 2008 due to anything particularly brilliant that Axelrod accomplished that year. His work was middling at best. Obama was elected because of Obama. He's a dream-client...the type of media client that makes his media people (and his White House Communications staff) look far, far better than they, in fact, are!

                  Plouffe, however, may very well be the most brilliant campaign manager in the history of the Democratic Party, IMHO. (The best move Obama's made, perhaps aside from Liz Warren, was replacing Axelrod with Plouffe this past week. And, one more thing...Axelrod doesn't need a year in Chicago to prepare for 2012. The business does NOT work that way!)

                  But, getting back to 2010 and reiterating my earlier comment: Obama wasn't running for office in 2010. There were roughly 450 Dem candidates running for office, each with their own demographically-skewed audiences and hot-button issues, with jobs and the economy overshadowing most of those races.

                  Calling the lead-up to the election the "Recovery Summer," in and of itself, pretty much captures the incompentence of the messaging coming from the White House this year.

                  Contrary to popular belief, running for office--at least in some ways--is NOT akin to selling political candidates as a box of laundry detergent. However, it is about controlling message, connecting with your audience and maintaining continuity of theme, all three of which were done very poorly this year.

                  And, as far as shoving a totally bogus message down the throats of a public that was witnessing their daily existence running in the completely opposite direction of a White House that was so far removed from the day-to-day reality of Joe Public, it is THERE where you will find the ultimate fail of the White House's message this year.

                  Paraphrasing Barney Frank, from 15 months ago, "Telling voters that things would've been a lot worse without you is NOT a winning campaign theme." But, according to Garfield--who's much more accustomed to criticizing ads for laundry detergent than he is for anything political--it is about that.

                  Garfield's a charlatan. And, not a particularly well-paid nor wildly successful one, at that.

                  *      *      *      *      

                  And, who the f*ck am I talking my mouth off like this in a comment thread about campaign media? This is me. (Part of me, anyhow.) And, what you won't read much about in that link is the years (in my early- to mid-20s) I spent working with the likes of David Garth's and Hank Morris' consulting staffs, as well as Biden media consultant Larry Rasky, among many others. (And, yes, I'm sure there are many with similar levels of experience/expertise reading this comment, too.) But, those were nothing compared to my family gatherings during holidays, with my older brother (a core member of Roger Ailes' freelance tv production crew from the late 80's through the early 90's--that famous McConnell tv ad with his opponent being run up a tree by a pack of bloodhounds...bro' worked on that, and many others) hearing me call him a whore (too) in front of the rest of the family, multiple times at every clockwork! LOL! (BTW, we laugh about this nowadays. I have him reading Krugman a couple of times a week, and I'm happy to report he's "recovering.")

                  *            *      *      *

                  But, seriously folks, Garfield's no political guru...not by a country mile. This diary's so off-base, and misdirecting, if for no other reason than it reinforces the failed behavior that brought us to where we are today: under the gun, and in DESPERATE need of a change in messaging for our party. Repeating the same, misdirected message, multiple times is--simply--magnified FAIL. (But, Garfield DOES have the "continuity of theme" part somewhat correct, however. And, sufficient "frequency" is vital, as well, as long as the MESSAGE is on-target. Refer back to my comments about Barney Frank, above, for more on this.)

                  But, have no fear...Plouffe's in charge of messaging now, and that IS a good thing! The guy rocks!

                  As for Garfield...not so much.

                  "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                  by bobswern on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:24:46 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  srsly, David Plouffe may be the second coming (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    VA Gal, means are the ends, pkohan

                    as far as messaging; however hitting a simple message hard every day until it "takes" or dies a natural death, then throwing the next message against the wall to see what sticks: WHAT HARM????  and if it works for us like it has worked for Rethuglicans, so much the better.

                    something like the above, plus whatever Plouffe is doing, certainly isn't too much, and could even be coordinated.

                    this is how the Bad Guys do it:
                    "...a new talking point emerged, repeated first by representatives of conservative think tanks, then by conservative talk-show hosts and columnists, then by Republican members of Congress..."

                    for more, see story by Meteorblades, above quote is from Paul Waldman's book

                    Being Right is Not Enough: What Progressives Must Learn From Conservative Success


                  •  Well, I think that he was on target in his (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    zozie, blueoasis, pkohan

                    read of what happened.  I don't think that he got it right in what he offered up in terms of content.  The problem with the messaging conversation is the products they were trying to sell weren't that great.  As much as anyone might LOVE the healthcare bill, the fact that it is still largely theoretical and won't be fully implemented until 2014 simply does not make for a good product to sell.  The financial reforms are so watered down and arcane to most folks that that wasn't going to really work.  And you're totally right that running on saving the country from total collapse isn't a winning strategy.  The proof is in the pudding and the pudding they were serving up just wasn't that inspiring.

                    Anyway, Plouffe may be the messiah of campaign strategy and messaging, but now his challenge will be to focus on policy strategy - governing - because that's their product now - Obama is the vehicle and in the first campaign that's all they had to worry about - putting him out there and making him attractive - and BTW cleverly obscuring his record so that people would see in him what they wanted to see and not necessarily what he was.  But now Plouffe has to sell both Obama and a record.  Will they be better at designing their record and positioning Obama going forward?  That remains to be seen.  The early signals about going to the right and sticking with bipartisan cooperation do not give me high hopes for their success at the moment, but maybe that will change.  We'll see.

                  •  So, let me get this straight... (0+ / 0-)

                    If the brilliant David Plouffe, who in 2008 executed a brilliant campaign, is on board, then from a mesaging standpoint why is everything still sounding like the following from the White House:

                    Never tout the policy prescriptions you prefer as simply better than the opposition proposals.  
                    Always state that things are not simple or black and white, when, in fact some things are just simple and black-and-white.
                    Never draw a line in the sand.
                    Never push for the optimal result and work to get it passed -always compromise from a position of weakness.
                    Some lame analogy about car keys.

                    Seems like a simple question.

          •  Sorry, but you are falling for (7+ / 0-)

            bullshit. They have the technology today and the laws today to do what they need to do legally.  What they want is universal decryption, the ability read any encrypted stream because they were given a master key.  

            To put this in the non-cyber world, they want all vault and safe designers to build their systems so that the FBI or whoever can open them anytime they want.  As you can imagine this renders the safe useless because the skeleton key to open all safes will find its way into the hands of criminals and there is simply no protection offered at that point.  

            As it stands today, if a government agency needs to get inside a safe, they can call a locksmith or the manufacturer who can have an expert come in to aid them in opening the safe.  The same thing applies in the cyber realm, they have their own experts and they can work with the companies to open the encryption. Allowing them to create a backdoor allows every hacker on the planet access and the security gained through encryption is now lost.

            •  That is a very good point. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              But there are ways to make your computer undetectable.  I do know of programs that bounce your computer's proxy across the globe, making it impossible to locate (people in China use these to get past the censorship filters untracked).

              Cold hearted orb/That rules the night/Removes the colours From our sight/Red is gray and/Yellow white/But we decide/Which is right/And/Which is an Illusion

              by KingofSpades on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:40:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  All of the methods of making your computer (8+ / 0-)

                undetectable would have a backdoor in them if the FBI gets this law passed.  Not only would they be given direct access at the ISP level, they would, for example, be given the key to the encryption algorithm that Blackberry uses as well as the encryption algorithms used by TOR.

                China would love to be able to read all encrypted traffic. Many corporations would love to get their hands on the Blackberry code so they could intercept information about their competitors.  Once the keys are created, those with big bank accounts will find somebody with access and enlarge their meager savings in exchange for providing the code.  Eventually the keys will filter out and petty criminals will have access.  At that point there is no safe way of storing electronic data in a society that is dominated by electronic data.

                •  Which is why "this law" should not pass. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  pgm 01

                  The only one in the Dem caucus I see pushing it in the next Congress is Lieberman.

                  Cold hearted orb/That rules the night/Removes the colours From our sight/Red is gray and/Yellow white/But we decide/Which is right/And/Which is an Illusion

                  by KingofSpades on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:52:04 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Not really, depending on how much they want (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pgm 01

                you specifically.

                All of your data is coming from and going to a single point.  Your ethernet or wireless card/chip.  It doesn't matter where or how often you route the signal if they actually want to look specifically at you, and can simply glom onto your local access, either recording every bit of data you transmit wirelessly or tapping the ethernet/fiber node through which all of your data passes.

                The routing tricks do work better as far as an aggregate sort of thing, where people are just looking for criminals / terrorists / dissidents out on the web.  But if they suspect you specifically, your only option is to be working from a machine they don't know about or don't associate with you, so that they can't collect data from that machine.  Nothing in your home, nothing in known places you use often, nothing registered to you in any way.

                That's one reason why, way back in 'Enemy of the State' with Will Smith and Gene Hackman, the paranoid Hackman char had a setup in an abandoned garage.

                'Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.' - The Dread Pirate Roberts

                by Ezekial 23 20 on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 04:37:44 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  I agree 100% (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pgm 01

              but take issue with just one thing.

              As you can imagine this renders the safe useless because the skeleton key to open all safes will find its way into the hands of criminals and there is simply no protection offered at that point.  

              I would that it's starting out in the hands of criminals.

              The Universe is strange enough, you don't have to add hocus pocus

              by rsie on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 11:12:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  JESUS H. CHRIST ON A CRUTCH... (4+ / 0-)


            And yes...I'M FUCKING SHOUTING.

            If I show my support and enthusiasm for positive change, I create an environment that enables the change to be made even better.

            by Richard Cranium on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 10:06:08 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Obama is almost as bad as Bush was (10+ / 0-)

          At least Bush out in the open with it, Obama gives lip service to a particular position out of one side of his mouth and then does the very opposite of what he says his heart felt position is.

          And now Obama has taken blame for the "tone in Washington" and says that he is going to further capitulate, err, compromise with the rethuglicans. Fucking Unbelievable.

        •  So what? (0+ / 0-)

          If I knew it was comin', I could pull a jet plane.--Reggie Jackson

          by LongTom on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 06:47:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  If by "we" you mean... (16+ / 0-)

        ... The White House and the Democratic establishment using and working with their message-friendly progressive media in a way they have not up to this point.

        OFA should not be as reliant on Facebook and social messaging to get its message out there... and it needs to have a little bit of FIRE instead of being so vanilla.

        •  Yeah! (17+ / 0-)

          Why can't OFA be a force for pushing policy. Or is that a no no. Why can't we rally all of the OFA volunteers to call on their local democratic members to help out the middle class and not millionaires.

          Is that feasible?

          For me, above all else, this tax cuts thing is the most important battle we should try and win. At least go down fighting for chris sake. I hear rumors that the dems have generally lost their nerve.

          How do we force independents to move to the left, instead of the right. By fighting Republicans on their hypocristy that tax cuts will reduce the deficit. Really that is the stupidest most illogical nonsense ever. If the GOP can sell this crap then they can sell poop for millions. If dems can't fight back somehow, how can we ever win anything.

          (late night ramblings)

          ~a little change goes a long way~

          by missliberties on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 08:41:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree (8+ / 0-)

            Good points. In 2002 and 2004, Bush moved independents to the right by NEVER apologizing or backing off any of his major points. Independents DON'T want politicians who split the difference. This is a FUNDAMENTAL misunderstanding of independent voters. Independent voters respect strength and resolution.

            •  I think THE fundamental misunderstanding (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              K S LaVida, milkbone

              about independent voters is that few of them are legitimately independent. Most lean decidedly one direction or the other.

              Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

              by JTinDC on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 05:02:07 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  But I also think... (0+ / 0-)

                ... if you show and prove on some bread-and-butter issues - they can be gotten.

                •  The thing is, close to half of them cannot be (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  VA Gal

                  gotten because what they really are is hardcore conservative Republicans who dropped the GOP moniker out of embarrassment. These "independents" are as committed to insane rightwing ideologies as any teabagger.

                  It's the left leaning independents that we have to reach and convince them of the vital importance of their votes in midterms, not just presidental elections.

                  As for that middle group of independents who lean neither left nor right, they are not particularly bright as they fall all too easily for the scare messaging of the GOP. They are the ones who can make or break an election and they are the ones who need to hear Dem counter messaging day in and day out if they are to be won over from the right wing crap that they appear more inclined to accept.

                  Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

                  by JTinDC on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 06:41:33 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well put (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Without a STRONG countermessage (in response to GOP media control) our chance of winning true independents is very small. Half measures and focus on procedure DO NOT win these voters over. They're not necessarily going to be turned off by a strong liberal approach. So long as the approach is strong and based on a sound commitment. Voters respect that.

      •  "Fighting rw talking points" is good; better is (4+ / 0-)

        having left wing talking points. Attack, attack, attack.

        If I knew it was comin', I could pull a jet plane.--Reggie Jackson

        by LongTom on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 06:46:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Which is why Schumer getting (9+ / 0-)

      the Chairmanship on the new Sen Dems offices on communications and policy is a big improvement and a shrewd idea.

      Cold hearted orb/That rules the night/Removes the colours From our sight/Red is gray and/Yellow white/But we decide/Which is right/And/Which is an Illusion

      by KingofSpades on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:19:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So True - The Dems had no message (12+ / 0-)

      for the 2010 elections - The message should have come top down from the White House but they seemed totally disengaged (even if they weren't - Obama made a lot of campaign stops). If they had a message or theme can anyone name it - I certainly can't.

      "Just imagine a work of such magnitude that it actually mirrors the whole world....In it all of nature finds a voice." Gustav Mahler on his 3rd Symphony

      by Mahler3 on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:21:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Unemployment was 9.6% (3+ / 0-)

      When it is that high, the incumbent party loses.  Reagan got hammered in '82.  Bush got hammered in 1992.

      No amount of messaging was going to change the result very much.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:23:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  At that time you need "the new WPA, CCC" kind (6+ / 0-)

        of plan to deliver to the public. Something to get the demand side of the economy working again. The only message left you when there is no jobs, is a believable "Here's how we get jobs, and we need your votes to do it."

        We needed, and need, an actual Jobs Plan. At the moment the only thing I can see to avoid widespread, and visible, destitution is to extend unemployment benefits for 300 weeks or more. I don't think that's what people would see as a plan, though.

        Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

        by Jim P on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:40:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There are complicated reasons (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ORDem, AnnCetera

          why a straight job program was pursued in '33 and not now.  One of the most important is that in '33 there was no unemployment insurance.

          In the end, it is all about results.  I don't think anything could have been done in '09 that would have mattered much more than at the margins in November 2010.  Economies take time to turn around.  Certainly I would have pursued more stimulus, but it is worth noting that even Stiglitz, a left critic of Obama, was asking for only a 20% larger stimulus package than was utlimately passed.  Even if we got what Stiglitz wanted, unemployment would still have been over 9.

          I am very worried about 2012.  Reagan recovered from his debacle in '82, but that was because the economy recovered strongly in '83.  I don't see a similar recovery in the offing this time.

          The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

          by fladem on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:54:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well then instead of giving people (9+ / 0-)

            just unemployment checks, which has not accomplished much, they should have been given shovels, hammers, paint brushes and hard hats to work to repair the crumbling infrastructure of national and state parks.  

            •  Unfortunately, too many of the unemployed (0+ / 0-)

              are not up for hard physical labor. They've never done it and they aren't interested in doing it. I grew up in rural Illinois and Iowa. Starting at age 14 I worked construction for my father. Aside from those who lived on farms, few if any of my classmates knew what it was like to earn a check by the sweat of their brow. That was the late 70s and early 80s. Most in my generation wouldn't touch a shovel or a hammner with a ten foot pole.

              Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

              by JTinDC on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 05:14:30 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  the young could do it and are the most unemployed (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Maybe they'd have come out for the vote in 2010 if they saw the economy improving for them? Old folks will go vote repub no matter what but the dems need to get the young to vote to offset that, then again maybe it is impossible to get the young to come out to vote in a non presidential election? You could say if the economy was good that would give the young an even better excuse to be complacent and apathetic.

                •  I think (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  the young don't know what it's like to work by the sweat of their brow because those types of jobs aren't to be had in large part in america these days. The greatest generation wouldn't know about it either if it hadn't been for the new deal and the depression hadn't ended, I mean they would have worked on farms to avoid starving but other than that there wouldn't have been any jobs, hard working or otherwise.

              •  I realize that many (0+ / 0-)

                won't be jumping up and down for joy at the thought of clearing brush, painting buildings, shoring up pedestrian and auto bridges.  

                And clearly some can't. But it's the old discussion -- what do you want, and what do you need?

                No work, no check. At least something would be accomplished.  I'm sure everyone put to work by the CC & WPA wasn't jumping up and down for joy either.  

                And look what happened during WW II - Those on the 'home front' had to work in the factories, because those on the fighting front, weren't paid enough to support a family.
                I've got a nephew who is in his late 20's and perfectly able to do some construction work. But he considers it beneath him. He flunked out of college because he hates being told to do an assignment & what to do.

                So Mom props him up and he picks up some work from temp agencies.  I even tried to get him to volunteer for help in Katrina areas.  Nothing doing.  He'll lie to your face.  The military would be too much for him (probably have a total breakdown) but he is VERY selfish and certainly is capable of something more positive than what he is doing.  

                I think there are a fair number of Peter's out there.  

                •  we're created as products by our parents (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  So if mom is propping him up, that hurts his incentive to go work hard. I kind of look at that as a microcosm of our entire economy. Every generation thinks the newer one is spoiled. But look what the baby boomers have done to the economy, should we blame a 20 something kid for that?

                  There are a lot of lazy 20 somethings like that but there are also a lot of hard working ones, ones who would go do construction work if there were any jobs available for that.

                  •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

                    his sister is just the opposite.

                    Three years ago when I took a computer class at the local C College, I got a first hand look at the slackers and the workers.

                    One girl had left her unhappy home life, shared an apartment with another, was taking 12 credits at college, working nights at a local factory.  And I never saw her yawn!

                    Another worked the service desk at a local grocery store till 9 at night abt 4 nights a week. and during tax season & Jan break, worked at the local HRBlock.  
                    Peter was given a trust fund to go to college with by deceased grandparent, and got into what is considered an elite liberal arts college in PA.  He was out after the first semester.  

                    Interestingly he is the only one in the family registered as a Republican.

          •  well, there's no real Jobs Plan. (15+ / 0-)

            And one never mooted. A Commission to mess with Social Security, yes. A Jobs Commission, no.

            They did have a plan but was based on the entirely-discredited Trickle Down Faith. Make the banks whole (they weren't then, they aren't now), conjure some more cash, and then that would get us going. The plan is clearly based on delusion. People needed bucks in their pocket to create demand.

            So all the efforts, even through this QE2, really just encourage more speculation, which means more expensive necessities at a time when people don't have enough income, or if they do, a lack of security about it.

            Lack of a popular plan hurt us. A Plan, one vigorously presented and -- here's an important part -- fought for, would have turned out much better for us.

            Still will. We can't do exactly the WPA, but shit we can something. We have to do something. The nation is, after all, formally under a State of Emergency since the President renewed Bush's declaration a few weeks ago. Now that we at a real Emergency, it would be good to act forcefully.

            I still see no plan, not even a hint of a plan coming someday, to stimulate the demand side. Cold reality: 300-500 weeks of UI extensions, or widespread economic devastation. If you don't have a plan to prevent that, you certainly don't have a message which will bring out the voters.

            Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

            by Jim P on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 10:19:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  yes, but that's too complicated (0+ / 0-)

              Simple messages are the most effective.

              "Democrats in Congress had a plan, but everything we did was blocked, watered down, or killed by the Republicans."

              Of course, that kind of messaging has to happen in real time. Trying to convince people is one thing. Getting them to change their minds after the fact is a much more difficult proposition. What I don't understand is how the Obama campaign managed to do it very effectively, yet the Obama White House seems incapable of it.

              Reforms come from below. No man with four aces howls for a new deal.

              by Turbonerd on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 08:34:15 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Stimulus should have been targeted better (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            as well as being larger. As it was, half of the stimulus was tax relief that the Repubs wanted but that did not have a lot of stimulative value. Maybe that kind of stimulus bill could not have passed but it should have been the starting point and it should have been made clear that if it was blocked then the economy would stall.

            I don't know why I am arguing, I basically agree with you.

          •  That's not true (8+ / 0-)

            First of all, 20% of 787 billion is 157.4 billion and added to the 787 billion is 944.4 billion which is not even as large as what Christina Romer initially wanted which was 1.2 trillion.

            It was also 1/3rd tax cuts and not well targeted.


            The problem with the stimulus was not that it didn’t work, but it wasn’t big enough, and it wasn’t as well designed as I would have—I would have liked. Two problems. What was needed was a stimulus of at least 50 percent larger. Even the President’s own economic adviser talked about the need for a $1.2 trillion bill. But unfortunately, President Obama wasn’t given that choice. Even before it was presented to him, it was downscaled to a choice between $600 and $800 billion, and he pushed for the larger number.

            The second problem was that about a third of it is in tax cuts. And with Americans burdened with debt, with the uncertainties in the job market, much of that tax cut went into savings, not into spending. And the nature of a stimulus is you have to spend it. So while the money may have given them more security, may have provided individual benefits, it did not provide the stimulus that, for instance, directing money to help states maintain their universities, schools, teachers, would have done.

            Not to mention other critics like James Galbraith proposed longer term spending measures and truly fixing the banking system. Had this happened, it's well conceivable unemployment could be under 9% and maybe even 8% as Romer's initial estimate was.

            So sorry, progressives were vindicated, the "there's nothing that could have been done" meme is not a realistic one.

            And unemployment insurance is not stopping a WPA type program, it's the lack of political will and courage and people resigning themselves to making excuses for this administration. Our infrastructure needs massive repair, even after the stimulus.

            Pro Life??? Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers!- George Carlin

            by priceman on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 12:27:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  no complicated reasons, only lack of courage (6+ / 0-)


            Politics isn't complicated. (53+ / 0-)

            Why Democrats always figure out a way to make it so is astounding.

            We are like pool players who try to impress people with behind the back, one leg off the floor while smoking a cigarette bank shots.

            Republicans just aim and shoot the duck balls.

            a spook who sits by the door

            by brooklynbadboy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 07:12:10 AM PST

            We have $2 trillion worth of work that needs to be done just to fix our existing infrastructure.  Then there's the fact that we're living in the dark ages of high speed rail while China debuts the fasted train in the world.

            If millions of Americans need to be trained for these jobs - great!  That means even more people can be hired to train a work force that would be paid to learn on the job.

            ThAnswr "If the administration can't fight for it's friends, don't expect us to fight their enemies."

            by Uberbah on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 04:20:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Not necessarily (4+ / 0-)

        Better messaging could have made the difference between losing 30 House seats and 60. We could have held something like 56 or 57 Senate seats with better candidates and messaging, too. Maybe even 58.

      •  NO amount of messaging? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Sure, the incumbent party loses seats, but basic messaging could have prevented a tsunami. Dem leadership failed to see that the Tea Party was more than just a bunch of angry citizens - they were supported and encouraged by a MAJOR media network of Frightwing radio & tv outlets all over the country. And then the MSM hopped onboard.
        This was a very different scenario from anti-war rallies and protests rarely reported in the MSM press or media.

        Dem reps held townhall meetings in summer '09 with no particular message or talking points to counter Frightwing media's lies and fearmongering on cap & trade, Obamacare, bank bailout, etc.
        And while Obama may have thought it silly to respond to Frightwing accusations about his religion and birth certificate - those 2 issues were used to delegitimize Obama and build support for OTHER lies and distortions.

        I still believe Obama should be PRO-ACTIVE by holding a "birth certificate party", invite all the Frightwing media pundits and GOP congressional birthers to the White House to behold THE original birth certificate displayed similarly as the Hope Diamond and valuable works of art.....

    •  Yes, this is a great diary!!! And (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pkohan, breathe67

      it nails how I've been feeling. Why didn't they go for it...just really go for something! I just didn't get all this backing down on so many issues, this starting from a place of weakness, compromising  before we had to. It's not what the people wanted. Why didn't we make the Republicans scramble to keep up with US? Instead it was always playing defense. It's like all our excitement ended up just going flat...whoosh. That's why so many stayed home on Nov. 2nd. So, so sad! And I like Obama. I just don't understand how they allowed themselves to get into this position. They knew how to do it. They just stopped doing it.  

    •  Rehash diary? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      House of Gin

      IMHO "It" is missing salient pieces yet to be fleshed out-  

      I suppose if the current 43 Tax Expiry Debate v Debt hypocrisy goes as the cynics expect, I won't have to wait very long, but I digress-

      All that you expressed has been written here by devout supporters of President Obama, devout supporters of the most effective speaker of the House in decades, and devout supporters of some senate democrats and one senate independent-

      All that you expressed has also been retread in countless exposes by contrarians like me, and much better writers than I,  in diary after diary; the most glaring policy topic being HCR and the "bipartisan" corporate giveaway nature, of what the bill finally looked like...  And what the ridiculed many thought was a foregone conclusion from the outset...

      Oh there are other topics like "Don't look back" at 43's seven year criminal record, and the never uttered topic of an incomplete 911 inquiry that can never be discussed, but suffice to say, the jar overfloweth with the smell of rotten, gmo laden, salmon fish and stinky KFO shitstained corporate meat-

      So what was the "It" I was looking for and came up empty?

      If a PR maven critic, and those here who remain devout in there steadfast support, and those cynical about a future path, already have seen and written all you wrote, then please posit why this administration is playing a game of 2010 Deer in the Headlights when all of us see the loaded gun, and know exactly how to fight back, even in the face of a tilted, corporate controlled, PR landscape towards the entities that actually manipulate the political flow in this country...


      Who did\do they think they were kidding and fooling towards the 2010 midterm ballot box?  

      Faux Viewers?  Nascar Faithful? Low info Independents?  High info Independents?

      Write and posit about the BigFix© here, not the known rehash cause, and I will put down my pissant pen, and drink long from a tall STFU cup and read the many folks in this community who have inclinations regarding the BigWhy , but are not quite ready to toss the towel, just yet...


      Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

      by RF on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 06:48:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think the whole issue is he wants to appear (0+ / 0-)

      Presidential... like we haven't admired scrappy presidents.

      Roosevelt, Johnson, Kennedy - the great Democrats in the past century - were scrappy.

      Clinton was scrappy @ first - then laid down to the forces of DADT and Health Care and became bait for Impeachment after that.

      Takin it to the streets....Doobie Brothers

      by totallynext on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 07:15:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This should not be on the rec list. It should be (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      betson08, pkohan, ridemybike

      in Obama's PDB.  Excellent diary.

      Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

      by Miggles on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 07:20:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  never saw one ad about all the GM jobs saved (58+ / 0-)

    maybe they ran some in Michigan, but I couldn't figure out why they didn't run ads across the country showing GM workers making cars and how they would have been out of work if Republicans had their way. You know, "CARS MADE IN AMERICA! Thanks to Obama and the Democrats!" ads.

    Probably afraid that showing people at work thanks to the involvement of the federal government might appear to be socialist.

  •  Let's see if we use the opportunity (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greg in TN, David PA

    of having the republicans controlling Congress and trying to legislatively walk us back to get the message across: America, do you want a repeat of 2000-2008? Then support Bohener-McConell.

    "Capitalism has defeated communism. It is now well on its way to defeating democracy."
- David Korten

    by basquebob on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 08:15:38 PM PST

    •  Less concerned about the "repeat" message (16+ / 0-)

      I want us to advance OUR agenda.  I want us to talk about government like it's worth saving and STRENGTHENING.  I want to hear the word "union" spoken with pride instead of as a perjorative.  I want to hear Obama speak about public schools getting prioritized over charter schools, and to speak of teaching as a noble and value profession, not as criminals or fraudsters.

      F*** the GOP!  Let them do as they will.  Yes, we will need them for our purposes, but what they do should not define what WE do.

    •  Sorry, but insulting the voters by assuming (18+ / 0-)

      they've forgotten that Republicans suck was tried.

      It didn't work.

      What gets Democratic Moderates to the polls is what got them there in 2008 - believable policy plans that will improve their lives, not grousing about crappy the other guy is.

      There are no "permanent tax cuts". 9th grade civics, people.

      by JesseCW on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 08:57:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe true but still shows how stupid they are. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Spider Jerusalem, basquebob

        Elections are choices, and the rational decision is to go for the better choice (i.e. against the larger evil).

        He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

        by Sophie Amrain on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:12:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sophie (9+ / 0-)

          When people are insanely pissed off, they do not think rationally, and particularly during elections. Just ask Jimmy Carter about that.

          •  True enough. Also the media set this frame of (0+ / 0-)

            'is the voter going to punish party x for y?' It is easy to fall into this trap. The only entity clearly punished by the last elections is the land.

            He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

            by Sophie Amrain on Fri Nov 19, 2010 at 05:56:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, if neither option is offering to (11+ / 0-)

          do anything on the issues you care about, staying home makes sense.

          What people cared about was job creation, job creation, the overall economy, and job creation.

          Where was our plan to put America back to work?

          We didn't advance one, so Moderate Democrats, particularly in the Rust Belt, stayed home.

          There are no "permanent tax cuts". 9th grade civics, people.

          by JesseCW on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:21:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  adsf (0+ / 0-)

            What people cared about was job creation, job creation, the overall economy, and job creation.

            Jobs have been created. Not enough and not fast enough undoubtedly. But really, what more could have been done in 18 months? I am fully aware that some have claimed that the stimulus was not big enough, and I am in that camp, but it is also true that regardless of the size of the stimulus the "shovel ready" plans that would have created those jobs were not there either. You can not make those plans in 18 months.

            I totally disagree that we didn't advance one. We did pass and tried to pass many policies that would create jobs but you first have to start making and passing those policies. Unfortunately many of those policies that were not fully finished will now die and put us further behind. Policies such as cap and trade would have generated hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of new green jobs. But we can kiss cap and trade goodbye. That policy alone would have helped the rust belt a lot. So you ask, "Where was our plan to put America back to work?" Cap and trade was one of them but guess what: it just got killed by those people that didn't think there was a plan. Not because there wasn't a plan but because they don't understand how plans work and don't understand that big plans take time and a lot of effort to accomplish. But yet again this is the country of the drive-thru window where we wanted it yesterday. All you get at the drive-thru is fast food, do you want fries with that?

            "Capitalism has defeated communism. It is now well on its way to defeating democracy."
- David Korten

            by basquebob on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 10:55:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Net jobs haven't been created, and won't (9+ / 0-)

              be for quite awhile.

              But that's not the point.

              This election, like MOST elections, was not a question of rewarding or punishing sitting legislators.  

              It was a question of voting for a vision - and a warped as it was from our POV, the Republicans advanced one.  We didn't.

              Blaming voters and calling them stupid, then regurgitaing the same White House talking points about patience that just lost us the House, isn't a way to win this argument let alone the next election.

              I'm telling you as a blue-collar guy who has been out of work for three years, and who spends much of his free time at a job center talking to Moderate Democrats (many of whom voted in 2008 and not in 2010), that we lost blue collar moderate Democrats because we put forward no coherent jobs plan and instead lectured desperate people about patience and took a Herbert Hoover stance, telling them they just need to shut the fuck up, blame Republicans, and move into their cars without complaint.

              What you're doing in response to me right now is what the Party did to the American Worker all last fall.

              It's stupid.  It's cost you my respect and good will just as it cost the Party the respect and good will of a few million voters.

              There are no "permanent tax cuts". 9th grade civics, people.

              by JesseCW on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:11:14 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  What have I done to you exactly? (0+ / 0-)

                Other than engage you in conversation. And how am I supposed to know that you are jobless, you think I am a magician savant? Is that how you talk to people that don't agree with you a 100%? You just insult them when you don't like something they have to say?  So you assume I am not a worker? What the fuck do you know about me or my problems or my background or my job situation? And quite honestly I don't care about your respect or your approval. I never will from people that assume so much. I can not tell you however that I don't care about you and about the millions of people in your situation because I would be lying and wouldn't be a member of this community to begin with. I am interested in moving forward, in looking for solutions, short term and long term. But insulting each other we are not going anywhere.

                "Capitalism has defeated communism. It is now well on its way to defeating democracy."
- David Korten

                by basquebob on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 12:10:19 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  In my world, the safe assumption is that (7+ / 0-)

                  someone is or has recently been jobless.

                  I make no assumptions about - I refer to your positions.

                  You just compared the deperate cries of unemployed workers for jobs to impatience with getting a fast food order filled.

                  I'm sorry, but that's extremely cruel...and it's exactly what the Parties message was this year.

                  "Quit your bitching and just be glad we expanded food stamps" was pretty much the President message during his GOTV tour.

                  There are no "permanent tax cuts". 9th grade civics, people.

                  by JesseCW on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 12:14:31 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  you totally misread that (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    tmo, VetGrl

                    and I am really sorry you read it that way. If I would have known your personal situation I can see how that would be in very poor taste and cruel. So I am sorry.

                    I was expressing my frustration that as a nation and our lack of patience and wanting instant gratification has put us in the situation that we are in. That is not directed at the unemployed or the people suffering or you in particular. My bigger argument is that for a long term solution it is going to be a long and tedious haul. We have to change many of our attitudes and expectations as a nation. That does not mean that we can not do things in the short and medium term to help people like you. And I honestly ask you what is the plan in your mind? I know right now you have to worry about your personal situation but if you were in a position to make "the" plan, what would that plan be?

                    Look I come from a place originally that is not very different from the rust-belt in many ways. The basque region of Spain is a very industrial, particularly in everything related to the metal industry, area. From the mid seventies to the early eighties we also thought the end of the world was coming. But incredibly with a lot of hard work, forward looking thinking and a populace committed to what we called the industrial reconversion we did an incredible turnaround. Today the basque region is one of the most prosperous regions of Europe, not Spain but Europe.

                    So I am not telling anyone "to quit bitchin" but we need everyone to contribute to the conversation and the commitment. And trust me I understand your plight and I'll be the first one standing by you and with you. But we need to have both conversations.


                    "Capitalism has defeated communism. It is now well on its way to defeating democracy."
- David Korten

                    by basquebob on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 12:47:57 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  we need instant gratification (0+ / 0-)

                      right or wrong people need jobs NOW. We need them yesterday actually.

                      •  and who is saying we don't? n/t (0+ / 0-)

                        "Capitalism has defeated communism. It is now well on its way to defeating democracy."
- David Korten

                        by basquebob on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 08:47:09 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  someone who says (0+ / 0-)

                          that voters are spoiled and want instant gratification and that's why they didn't come out to vote for dems.

                          •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

                            Is that what I said or is that how you want to read it. Where did I say voters are spoiled other than in your head. The phenomenon of wanting instant gratification is well understood and exploited. Please, cry me a river. Let me spend sometime with more serious people, will you? bye

                            "Capitalism has defeated communism. It is now well on its way to defeating democracy."
- David Korten

                            by basquebob on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 01:38:30 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  wanting instant gratification implies spoiled (0+ / 0-)

                            so I just paraphrased you.

                          •  Sure, whatever, (0+ / 0-)

                            just because you say so. Again that is the way you want to read it but you can not say I called anyone spoiled because I didn't nor I implied it. But I guess you think you know better than I do what I meant to say rather than what I said. Really? Is that your argument? Because that is what you are saying "wanting instant gratification implies spoiled". That's your position and you are sticking to it, isn't it? Smart.

                            BTW, you didn't paraphrase me. You don't seem to really understand what paraphrasing means. You are taking something I said, expanding on it and making it into something else. That is not paraphrasing that is called making a false construct. You are making shit up to maintain an argument made out of thin air.

                            "Capitalism has defeated communism. It is now well on its way to defeating democracy."
- David Korten

                            by basquebob on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:38:54 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  instant gratification = spoiled (0+ / 0-)

                            Come on do you want me to post definitions from or something?

                          •  Yes post it. (0+ / 0-)

                            Go to, type "instant gratification" and see what you get. I got a page result from with 650,700 links. Now let me tell you what I did not get instant gratification = spoiled from Now do a search in Wikipedia for "instant gratification" and you get deferred gratification and guess which word does not appear: spoiled. Also try this link from Oxford.

                            "Capitalism has defeated communism. It is now well on its way to defeating democracy."
- David Korten

                            by basquebob on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 09:20:13 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  is english your first language? (0+ / 0-)
                          •  no, my third (0+ / 0-)

                            but what does that have to do with this?

                            "Capitalism has defeated communism. It is now well on its way to defeating democracy."
- David Korten

                            by basquebob on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 10:47:17 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I know I butcher sentences sometimes. (0+ / 0-)

                            For example:

                            "Now let me tell you what I did not get instant gratification = spoiled from"

                            It would have been better to write: Now let me tell you what I did not get, instant gratification = spoiled.

                            But you got what it meant, didn't you?

                            I am a lot more careful when I write in other settings. But suggestions are welcomed.

                            "Capitalism has defeated communism. It is now well on its way to defeating democracy."
- David Korten

                            by basquebob on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 10:56:29 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  someone that expects instant gratification (0+ / 0-)

                            that is a trait of someone who is spoiled, not the only one, say a parent is too lenient or indulgent towards their child, that kid would end up expecting instant gratification, meaning their demands are met as soon as they demand them.

                          •  with all due respect... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...context matters. English might not be my first language but I am not stupid. If you read the wkipedia link I posted it says "People who lack this trait [Deferred gratification or delayed gratification]  are said to need instant gratification and may suffer from poor impulse control."

                            Now, if you always associate instant gratification=spoiled, that is you and maybe many do, but by no means a scientifically or universally accepted association. I see many in this and other blogs use they're instead of there or then instead of than. I understand what they mean but that does not mean that they are right in the use of the language or wrong in the argument that they are promoting.

                            Judge me for what I said not for what you think I said. If you are not sure of what I said or meant then ask me. But trying to hold me to a construct that you make based on what you think I said or meant to say is unfair to say the least.

                            I've told you repeatedly in my argument above instant gratification is not equal to spoiled.

                            "Capitalism has defeated communism. It is now well on its way to defeating democracy."
- David Korten

                            by basquebob on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 11:28:50 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

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

                            I didn't know it wasn't your first language but for me I knew what spoiled meant as a kid when my parents would say I was spoiled when I whined because I didn't get my way. Later in life I found out what the term instant gratification means and it's another way of saying getting your own way. But there are different definitions, say you mean spoiled as in spoiled milk.

                            I think it's not really worth it though to discuss semantics so much.

                          •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

                            I think it's not really worth it though to discuss semantics so much.

                            But it is worth defending the meaning and context of what you mean and you really want to say, That is why in the context of this conversation I never called anyone spoiled but I do strongly feel that our lack of patience as a nation works to our detriment while I absolutely understand that people like Jesse feel desperate and need solutions now. Not because they are spoiled but because their livelihoods are on the line. Nevertheless no one ever answered with a cogent and coherent jobs plan which is how all this got started and here we are talking about semantics.  

                            "Capitalism has defeated communism. It is now well on its way to defeating democracy."
- David Korten

                            by basquebob on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 02:31:14 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  divide and conquer huh (0+ / 0-)

                            They'd rather have us sitting here arguing semantics when we essentially agree on what needs to be done, a jobs plan. Put me to work and I won't argue with anyone.

                          •  So once you lost the semantics argument, it (0+ / 0-)

                            is a waste of time to argue about semantics? I thought so:-)

                            He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

                            by Sophie Amrain on Fri Nov 19, 2010 at 05:57:50 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, because telling people how stupid they are (0+ / 0-)

          certainly wins them over.

      •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It worked for the Republicans. It worked for Harry Everyonethinkshesucks Reid in Nevada. He ran a campaign on "it will really suck if if she wins". BTW, it is the independents you are going for.

        And as for insulting the voters, what are you saying that the republicans don't insult the voters? Is that what you are saying? Because they've been doing it for a long time and winning. Do you need proof? Check the distribution of wealth charts for the last forty years.

        "Capitalism has defeated communism. It is now well on its way to defeating democracy."
- David Korten

        by basquebob on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:14:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why would you chase independents (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          happymisanthropy, Ezekial 23 20

          when nationwide, it's Moderates who didn't show up?

          Most independents are to the extreme of either party.  Only a plurality of Independents are Moderates, and they don't have great turnout.

          In Nevada, where an idiot Republican decided to make a bunch of amazingly racist remarks, we had something of a special situation.

          Why would you think people without jobs would generally go vote for a Party that doesn't offer a jobs plan?

          There are no "permanent tax cuts". 9th grade civics, people.

          by JesseCW on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:28:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Following your logic (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            explain Michigan.

            Maybe we are talking past each other.

            You seem to be convinced that Democrats didn't do anything or not much about jobs in the past 18 months. That is not the case. They did a lot. One thing they can not do is magic and manufacture jobs out of thin air. Another thing that is really hard to prove is that it could have been a lot worst and what Democrats did saved millions of jobs. This has been discussed ad naseum. You think those moderates would have gone for a further leftist agenda? You claim "Most independents are to the extreme of either party" I have no reason to doubt what you are saying but it is the first time I have ever heard such a claim. Can you provide me with sources, I am curious. At the extreme in which way and it what proportions?

            In Nevada, where an idiot Republican decided to make a bunch of amazingly racist remarks, we had something of a special situation.

            Again, she will really suck if she wins. How about Colorado, another special case? And Maryland? And California?

            Why would you think people without jobs would generally go vote for a Party that doesn't offer a jobs plan?

            Again, how do you suggest this "Jobs plan" be done? Seriously, I am curious. I have a few ideas but I know 1) this country is not ready for it 2) I would be called an extreme radical. Look at what this administration did for GM and the country and look all the grief it got for it. Don't tell me that saving GM and Chrysler was not a "Jobs Plan". You know how Michigan thanked this administration? By going red, very red.

            Didn't you give me shit in another diary for saying something about pragmatism. Yeah, you called me dishonest. So honestly, what is this plan you talk about? A realistic one that most people in this country is ready to accept, will buy and sign on to. I am all for moving forward.

            And lastly, there are things that have worked in other places and here and in other times but nothing of this scale was solved in 18 months. That people in this country expect magical solutions in 18 months says a lot of this country and very little of this administration. BTW, I am not defending this administration I am just calling them as I see them. Unfortunately the political cycles and the magnitude of the problem are not compatible in this situation.

            "Capitalism has defeated communism. It is now well on its way to defeating democracy."
- David Korten

            by basquebob on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 10:22:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  It might have worked in Nevada (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slinkerwink, basquebob

          but it didn't work in upstate NY - or on the Island either, or along the Hudson.  

  •  Team Obama seems to have (42+ / 0-)

    expected that whatever crap they got through Congress would be better than anything GWB did and therefore, would sell itself.  How naive.

    Two years to seize the offense and today they're reduced to fighting over "the Bush tax cuts."  Have to admire the GOP for turning a repudiation two years ago into nothing but winners today including turning "the Bush tax cuts" into a new third rail.  

    Bring Our JOBS and Troops Home NOW!

    by Marie on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 08:15:57 PM PST

  •  Why we lost: (23+ / 0-)
    1. Unemployment is still catastrophically high
    1. We failed to blame Republicans

    #1 alone didn't sink us; otherwise it would've sunk the 1934 Dems, too. But the lack of fight, combined with all the dancing in the end zone that meant that Dems owned the whole economy now, made #1 fatal.

    (The Ad Age guy is right, in other words. #1 was a policy failure; #2 was mostly a messaging failure.)

    Formerly known as Jyrinx.

    “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” ― Emma Goldman

    by Code Monkey on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 08:20:08 PM PST

  •  And still the President is trolling for (18+ / 0-)


    And while Obama was trying to look presidential by not blaming the previous administration for running up the debt financing a ruinous war and for letting banks run hog wild, the Republicans managed to tar him both for bailing out and regulating Wall Street. Neat trick.

    Shame on them? Maybe, but that's like faulting a shark for eating.

  •  No kidding? (12+ / 0-)

    the sad thing is that Obama can't rip some lines from Truman and have them fly with a majority of Dems. Stuff like..

    You know, this last Congress-this Republican 80th "do-nothing" Congress-tried its best to take all your prosperity away from you. I wish you would read the record of that Congress. Then if you send another one back there like it, you will deserve what you get.


    back in 1946 you said you wanted a change; and only a third of you two-thirds of you stayed at home~only a third of you went to the polls, and you elected that awful 80th Congress. And you got just what you deserved. I don't feel sorry for you about it at all. I am trying to tell you what you are about to get, if you go to the polls again, and a half of you, or a third of you go to the polls again, and the rest of you don't vote.


    It's a credible message, but I can see it burning in some quarters.

    The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

    by RBH on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 08:29:44 PM PST

    •  Yeah, he can't say that (2+ / 0-)

      only a third of you went to the polls, and you elected that awful 80th Congress. And you got just what you deserved. I don't feel sorry for you about it at all.

      It's not just Dems. If President Obama said something like that today, or two years from now in his re-election bid, the right-wing noise machine would destroy him. I can see Limbaugh running that quote on his show every day for a year. "I don't feel sorry for you at all". Wow. I'm surprised Truman actually said that.

      The thing is, most Americans probably never heard that line from Truman because back then the press was not interested in running with the most shocking headline. They actually protected presidents to some extent, like not reporting about President Kennedy's illness. They had some journalistic integrity.

      Today, that quote would be a major headline on every TV show, website, and radio show for months on end. I think if President Obama said something like that, it would probably end his re-election bid.

      •  If it were a major headline (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        then everyone in the country would hear it, and the media filter would have been bypassed.

        The cliche is that there's no such thing as bad publicity, and most of the country doesn't give a shit about what Limbaugh says (and in fact Limbaugh will make it up if Obama doesn't say it anyway).

        Unemployment: 9.5% Receiving food assistance: 25%

        by badger on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 08:54:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why does everyone take (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          such a combative tone? Why in the world do you think it would be a good thing for it to be a major headline for the president to tell the American people "I don't feel sorry for you at all". I mean seriously. Do we have to combat everything and disagree on everything on this blog? Jesus Christ.

          •  Have a rec (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            I was disagreeing with you - is that what you mean by combative? Otherwise, I didn't feel I was attacking you, beyond disagreeing. I'm certainly not going to apologize because we have different opinions.

            In context and given Truman's well-known personality, I think it probably was a good thing for Truman to say it. Read the letter he wrote to the critic who criticized his daughter's singing (it's in the wikipedia article on HST).

            I don't think making controversial statements is the only way past the media filter, but it's one way.

            Unemployment: 9.5% Receiving food assistance: 25%

            by badger on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:23:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Because what has been said isn't working. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            geonerd, happymisanthropy, ohmyheck

            If you are saying the same things over and over and you aren't believed, you need to switch tactics.  

            We tried bipartisanship.  We reached out.  We didn't do so well with that.

            I'm not suggesting the President say, "You got yourself into this mess, so you fix it" but he needs to do something because what he has been doing isn't working, at least according to the ones who voted.

  •  The problem is that NO ONE in the MSM will (4+ / 0-)

    allow, permit, or otherwise deign to let Democrats carry this message.

    NO ONE.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 08:30:34 PM PST

  •  We did have some EPIC WINS for Dems in CA (18+ / 0-)

    I hope an advertising story gets written about the epic wins for Dems in California. Lots of folks here at least responded extremely favorably to Jerry Brown's advertising campaign. His sense of timing was impeccable, and his ads were some of the punchiest and snappiest I've ever seen.

    Californians: The Courage Campaign is working for changing the 2/3 budget rule and for ending Prop 8. Go!

    by tmo on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 08:32:03 PM PST

  •  if they would just drop (10+ / 0-)

    compromise and bipartisanship they'd be half way there.

    Maybe you should send a copy to the WH.

    "The job of career politicians is to convince you that you have a perfectly free choice to hit yourself on the head with a brick or a baseball bat."

    by lisastar on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 08:35:17 PM PST

  •  Tipped and recced for getting it (8+ / 0-)

    Been saying for months that instead of being policy wonks, we need to be saying every day, in one syllable words "This is the good we have done. This is the good we could do if the Republicans weren't standing in the way. Get rid of the Republicans and we can do more good."

    Instead we got long, rambling lectures about how this aspect or that aspect of Democratic policy was awful.  

    And what's the takeaway from that- as Election night showed, the takeaway is "democrats are bad. Don't elect them".

    "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

    by Whimsical on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 08:42:59 PM PST

  •  Ad idea: "We're the good guys, in general... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, betson08, mightymouse

    They are definitely the bad guys, always. Here's why."
    Simple, straight, not sleazy...just truthful.

    "We're right in the middle of a fucking reptile zoo! And somebody's giving booze to these goddamn things!"-Hunter S. Thompson ;-)>

    by rogerdaddy on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 08:43:46 PM PST

  •  Here is another message most Democrats need to (15+ / 0-)

    learn: When you compromise on your core values you are renouncing your values.

    That does not mean you don't compromise at all but you don't compromise on your core values.

    "Capitalism has defeated communism. It is now well on its way to defeating democracy."
- David Korten

    by basquebob on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 08:48:08 PM PST

    •  step one: have core values (8+ / 0-)

      Sometimes all you can do is sing gospel music - Gram Parsons

      by mightymouse on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:41:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You should also frame everything you do (0+ / 0-)

      in terms of those core values (and yes, getting some wouldn't hurt)...

      Here's what Lakoff says are Progressive's core values, (my paraphrasing in blue in between the quotes). He says we see the nations as a family, with Progressives having the nurturant parent model and conservatives having the strict father model:

      Nurturance means empathy and responsibility for taking care of the child. It means being strong, competent, and working hard.

      First, if you empathize with your child, you will provide protection
      Second,if you empathize with your child, you will want your child to be fulfilled in life, to be a happy person. And if you are an unhappy, unfulfilled person yourself, you are not are going to want people to be happier than you are. The Dalai Lama teaches us this. Therefore, it is your moral responsibility to be a happy, fulfilled person. Your moral responsibility. Furthermore, it is your moral responsibility to be a happy, fulfilled person who wants others to be happy. That is part of what nurturing family life is all about.

      These obviously aren't the only progressive values. Others include:  (see pages 12-13)Freedom, opportunity, prosperity, fairness, open, two-way communication, community building, service to the community, cooperation and trust.

      When was the last time you heard Beck, Hannity or Limbaugh saying anything at all that reflected that they value community or are even happy people to begin with? NEVER. That's because they're all basically miserable bastards and the people who listen to them are sharing in their misery IMHO.

      Lakoff also finds that there are six types of progressives. We need to remember that we are not monolithic so we can look past our differences and unite

      Socioeconomic progressives
      Identity politics progressives
      Civil Liberties progressives
      Spiritual progressives

      The Republicans have been beating us with their framing prowess. They even use it to make their stonewalling and refusal to negotiate seem like it's Obama's fault, when he has been the one capitulating.

      What is mystifying is that Obama is perfectly capable of doing this to them, but he won't. I just don't get it.

  •  I could not agree more with this diary. (6+ / 0-)

    The message is simple.....


    Oh, by the way.....a unified front against Citizens and standing for PRINCPLES and Repeating it over and over.....would work!!!!!!!!!!!

    "Alan Grayson, Thank You for providing spine to the Democratic Party", alnc 11/3/10!!

    by alnc on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 08:48:37 PM PST

  •  tipps and reccs for (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radiowalla, liberalis, basquebob, pkohan

    winning not whining.

    I like the direction you take a view from.

    "slip now and you'll fall the rest of your life" Derek Hersey 1957-1993

    by ban nock on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 08:49:45 PM PST

  •  You don't run on your record, you run on promises (11+ / 0-)

    You use your record to make those promises credible.

    People don't get their ass off the couch to go vote for what you did two years ago, they get their ass off the couch to go vote for what you're going to do.

    Overall, though, on point.  T&R

    There are no "permanent tax cuts". 9th grade civics, people.

    by JesseCW on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 08:54:00 PM PST

  •  Talk about weakness (5+ / 0-)

    Obama had set up a meeting with the new and old House & Senate leaders for Thursday to talk about legislation.  

    All of a sudden, the PeTHUGS had scheduling conflicts and essentially stood up the Prez and rescheduled the meeting for Nov 30.  This gives them more time to get their talking points together and delay somethings in this lame duck session.

    Obama should have held them to the original meeting time, and said THEY should reschedule their conflicts.  But no.......  he wants to be 'accommodating'.

    No wonder they are walking all over him.
    This is truly so sad & sickening to us here.
    Thanks for the heads up about the article.

    Another point, the new ReThugs were told in their orientation sessions to not forget the folks back home.  Be sure during the next 2 months to MAKE time to give local interviews - don't just disappear into the DC party whirl woodwork.

    Too bad my esteemed local Dem HouseCritter(for the first time ever) didn't practice this. He will probably loose in a protracted absentee fight with an avowed tea partier/Sarah Palin, science denier.  

  •  Dimmocrats don't think they need to message (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, Major Tom, mightymouse, equern, pkohan

    They're above all that.  Bye-bye country.

    Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the causes of destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest... Gibbon

    by Dinclusin on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 08:54:55 PM PST

  •  Ad Age sez (0+ / 0-)

    Happy meals for everyone!

    Who cares what Ad Age says?

    If Americans want to stop being taken for fools, they need to stop acting like fools.

    Denial is complicity.

    by Publius2008 on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 08:55:11 PM PST

  •  Your diary did make a lot of sense (6+ / 0-)

    now we are hearing about the bush tax cut compromise and the fact that after a WH meeting the mood was "we gotta play defense"

    Seems the Obama team have lost the will to do the right thing and have given up.


  •  They Succeeded. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, Major Tom, ohmyheck

    You're confusing them with us, Democrats with progressives.

    They're professionals, they're highly educated, they're upper income earners.

    They're not blundering, they're solving problems.

    Connect the dots, find which problem-solving is most consistent with their behavior.

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

    by Gooserock on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 08:59:19 PM PST

  •  Oh. My. God. (6+ / 0-)

    You just put your finger on it.

    Join CM and Co. for AWARDS PLUS EDITION diary each Wed. at 8pm ET.

    by commonmass on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 08:59:48 PM PST

  •  Do we we need to be led, or do we need to lead? (9+ / 0-)

    Go read the comments on the man's articles.

    The Republicans have people trained to repeat their bullshit constantly, and on every level.

    What do we have?  What are we opposing this with?

    We don't rage at the unfairness of the invective that's aimed at us day and night, we attack our own instead.  The Republicans attack our party, and we join in.  We're so used to being victims, to lamenting the lack of quality in our party that we don't even question the impulse towards self-mortification.

    We're not going to sway independents until we learn to balance keeping our people accountable and keeping our opponents accountable properly.

    We need to be taking our fight to our enemies.  A party that joins with the other side in fostering its own inferiority complex is not going to inspire voters.  If the politicians won't do their party, we must deliberately choose to make up for that, and drag our party's politicians along for the ride.

    The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

    by Stephen Daugherty on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:02:14 PM PST

    •  What the GOP has taught us... (8+ / 0-)

      ... is that what the opposing party says about YOU is less important thant what you say about THEM, how often you say it, and how coordinated the messaging is.

      If we haven't learned that, then ballgame over.

      •  At least the hotdogs were good n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Major Tom
      •  Well, phokan, do you realize that the coordinated (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fhcec, FreeStateDem

        message on this site has been doom, gloom, disappointment and a lot of people dumping on hicks, religious folks and the like?

        In this day and age, we cannot neglect the message that we ourselves send, nor our role in organizing people.

        We also cannot depend on the politicians to take the lead.  We should, and we should show them the way, rather than vice versa.  That's the way it's going to have to be.  We must take the initiative.  WE must choose to support something as a deliberate, well argued proposition, rather than waiting for the next charismatic candidate to do it for us.

        This whole marketing thing strikes me as passive. It strikes me as the sort of mentality that got politics in the state it is now, because the whole model of marketing is built on appealing to consumers, rather than emphasizing a decision deliberately made to pursue a certain line of policy.

        The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

        by Stephen Daugherty on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:39:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Pkohan (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TracieLynn, fhcec

        Because of the massive message failure and lack of attack leadership, the crazies actually had the unmitigated gall to call Obama a socialist; yet the label stuck and they got away with it. Alas, it's not what you are; it's what they constantly say you are that often carries the day - and particularly if one constantly cowers his mandate away. But hey, welcome to American politics in the new century and the new political way.    

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

      we attack our own instead

      This is the problem. Even this diary is part of it because why did this rocket up the Rec list so fast? Because it fulfills that need that Democrats have to attack other Democrats and call them failures. Democrats love to attack their own. Republicans never or rarely attack their own. Republicans are united even when they don't get what they want. Democrats attack their own when they don't get 100% of what they want.

      •  Attack or critique? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TracieLynn, ohmyheck

        I am trying to get a renewed and positive focus on 2012, but also on what we can do in the interim, both in the lame duck, and in the next Congress.

        There are lessons to be learned from 2008-2010 - and winning the messaging war is THE crucial one to learn.

        That we even need to be having this discussion is what is the problem.  This should be Politics 101: A) Never stop campaigning, and B) Keep on point!

        •  Actually, your tone (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          is respectable. I didn't mean that you were attacking Democrats in the diary, I meant that the reason it resonated with others here is because it fulfills that need that they have to see other Democrats as failures. Republicans simply do not do that. The party leadership tosses them a bone like a gay marriage amendment, and they are okay with it. They don't get most of what they want. Their leaders never deliver on the real conservative utopia. But they are united behind their party and when they critique and attack they go after Democrats, not Republicans.

          So when you talk about messaging for 2012, my advice to Democrats is stop attacking your own. This blog would be a good place to start. But I won't hold my breath.

      •  I don't think that's right. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slinkerwink, TracieLynn, ohmyheck

        They killed  all their moderates. Ran them right out of the Party.

        They turned on Bush.

        Republicans support their base and their ideology at all costs. They speak and act forcefully consequences be damned.

        Democrats chase votes and alter their ideology in that pursuit. They speak and act weakly as a consequence of this strategy.

        End of story.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:34:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, it's easier (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          for Republicans, because the ideology of their party is pro-corporate and their base is pro-corporate. Democrats have a party apparatus that needs corporate support to win, but they have a base that is anti-corporate.

          •  They don't need corporate support to win. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TracieLynn, ohmyheck

            That's a Clinton Fallacy.

            It was a quick fix - corporate smack - that enabled Democrats to get past a weird business guy and a milquetoast bureaucrat.

            We've been mainlining that Corporate Smack for almost 20 years now.

            Can you name a piece of legislation that was written for people at the expense of profit since Reagan?

            How about our Brand? The Party of the People? Republicans are running Populist for crying out loud!

            We've made a deal with the devil, for sure. Corporate Smack!

            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

            by k9disc on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:46:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Fantastic. About time someone with credibility (7+ / 0-)

    on the subject, sat down and laid it out loud and clear.

    Now if only he and they read it and take it to heart.

    Now someone needs to point out, point blank, that Mcconnell wants Obama to be a one term president and 17% of republicans want their party to work with democrats to achieve things. How do you find common ground with someone like that?

    Blame the president for risking his party -- and his re-election and his vision -- for the sake of comity he is destined never to see

  •  They must have been saying (7+ / 0-)

    "Isn't it obvious to everyone that the Republicans are banking on economic hardship and causing pain to Americans in order to win a fucking election so they can cause pain more efficiently?"

    No. It isn't obvious to everyone. You are going to have to tell them that the Democrats are the only ones even coming close to trying to solve problems.

    I thought we were the smart ones.

  •  This is absolutely critical (8+ / 0-)

    Not after he sat down with insurers and big pharma and the hospital companies - BEFORE!

    He did do it before - unfortunately it was before the 2008 election. After the election - crickets.

    This is not a goos way to foster an impression of integrity.

  •  wow, my view of ad people just went up a (6+ / 0-)

    notch.  Very cut and dry analysis.

    "There's been a little complication with my complication"

    by dash888 on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:07:12 PM PST

  •  Well, hindsight is 20/20 as they say. (0+ / 0-)

    Also, rather naive idea that people could keep the enthusiasm of 2008 forever. Falling in love is a process, not a stable state!

    Also, rather naive idea to assume if you mention something every single day, you convince people more about its truth - could just as well end you up in loony town.

    So, all in all, not a cogent analysis, and not a very useful diary.

    He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

    by Sophie Amrain on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:09:42 PM PST

    •  or, you can hire a PR firm in (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fury, mightymouse, Sarea

      advance, like companies, to tell you how to plan your strategy. Democrats need to wake up and realize they need professional PR

      •  They don't need professional PR. (3+ / 0-)

        They need to support their ideology.

        What is the Democratic ideology?

        Is it pro-public or pro-private sector?

        Is it pro-profit or pro-people?

        Is it protecting america or projecting force?

        Over and over Democratic Values, Rhetoric and Policy are not at all cohesive.

        Professional PR will make it worse.

        Professional PR works for Republicans because that shallow, surface, ROI based message and policy IS their ideology. They don't even try to govern. They try to destroy government. And because they're successful, it feeds their 'government sucks (Elect ME and I'll prove it!) ideology.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:39:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Repeating something often enough to convince (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmo, slinkerwink, Sarea, ohmyheck

      people of its veracity is Pollytickin' 101.

      Or, at the very least, forces your opponent have to step into the arena that you built and defined every time they want to challenge what you said.

      Its dumb that politics have been reduced to such simplistic terms, but it's not naive to assert that is how things are.

      I've been involved in a number of cults, both as a leader and a follower. You have more fun as a follower. But you make more money as a leader. ~Creed Bratton

      by mydailydrunk on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 04:12:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  sophie: nope. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmo, slinkerwink, tomephil, ohmyheck

      This is not mere "hindsight." There were and are lots of people pulling their hair out and wondering, since April '09, where Dems and Obama were on messaging. From the bogus, ridiculous, shouting-idiot-filled health care town halls to now. "Where are the Dems and Pres to refute the lies??" we asked. I still don't get it. This is not hindsight, I assure you.

      Act Now, And You Get The Radical Homosexual FiloFax and Radical Homosexual Dayminder To Go With Your Radical Homosexual Agenda! -JML9999, 9.29.10

      by CoExistNow on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 05:57:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  oddly enough they pulled their hair out (0+ / 0-)

        while cooperating in GOP marketing.

        What about stepping into the gap instead of explaining that the Democratic Party is not?

        •  Many of us are trying (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          to step into that gap and get the real facts out there. My local paper has me on its "frequent flier" list because I write letters often and they request I wait 30 days between them. Lots of my FB friends have turned my 'Update' off because I will not relent in posting FACTS that counter the constant swirl of lies about earmarks, death panels, our purported 'socialist' state, Muslim president, etc. I have extended family members who avert their eyes at family reunions and ignore me because they know I won't let them get away with Rethug talking points. We've marched in HCR rallies and the OneNation rally. With signs correcting the record on all the b*llshit the Rightwing Machine is cranking out.....This is all just to point out that many of us are trying hard.

          It's just that we'd like a little bit of help hammering home the the good of the policies he's gotten through from the presidential bully pulpit itself. And from a congressional Dem or two in addition to Pelosi, who can't do it alone. That's all.

          I was at the Inauguration, where Obama urged us that our journey was just beginning, would be difficult, and that he was going to need us every step of the way. I heard Obama say, time after time on the stump before the election, that the change depended on US. So many of us took that to heart and have acted, stepping up to the plate time after time.

          Why hasn't he  helped us to sell his own policies that are helpful to millions of Americans? That's what some of us wonder.

          Act Now, And You Get The Radical Homosexual FiloFax and Radical Homosexual Dayminder To Go With Your Radical Homosexual Agenda! -JML9999, 9.29.10

          by CoExistNow on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 08:34:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Obama is a Conservative (0+ / 0-)

      and nobody needed hindsight to see it.

      Out of my cold dead hands

      by bluelaser2 on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 07:23:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tipped and rec'd. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musicalhair, pkohan

    Any plans for running for chair of the DNC? You would have a winning play book.

    The great tragedy of Science, the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. T. H. Huxley

    by realalaskan on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:13:51 PM PST

  •  lost what, last 10 of 12 primaries (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TracieLynn, betson08, Fury, pkohan, eXtina
    limbaugh, beck, hannity pounding hours a day with reverend wright, mis-quotes. should have been obvious then who had the best propaganda.

    the hatred and consistency of the right is impressive.

    obama needs some better help around him.

  •  Please repeat this diary (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TracieLynn, betson08, Fury, pkohan, ohmyheck

    Every. Single. Day.

    It's the Supreme Court, Stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:15:04 PM PST

  •  mother fuck Ad Age (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue earth, just want to comment

    No amount of marketing and advertising can save a bad product. The economy sucks, fix it and tell people you fixed and you win, take half ass measures and try to explain away shit you end up losing. The rest is fucking nonsense.

    "He's a politician. It's like being a hooker. You can't be one unless you can pretend to like people while you're fucking them."

    by jbou on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:15:12 PM PST

    •  Really? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      betson08, ohmyheck

      You think the losers about to take charge are going to do any better in terms of doing the fixing?

      You win with what you have, not what you wish you had.

      •  no... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pgm 01, Free Jazz at High Noon

        you lose if you fail to fix the fucking mess. The Republicans are dumb stupid mother fuckers with stupid ideas, but the President and the Democrats tried reaching out to them and that didn't work. The Democrats watered down their policy and watered down policy does not fix problems. That is the fucking reality. Stop watering down policy and fix things. End of story. Enough with the bullshit.  

        "He's a politician. It's like being a hooker. You can't be one unless you can pretend to like people while you're fucking them."

        by jbou on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:28:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Big things have the ability to sell themselves (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jbou, betson08, pkohan, ohmyheck

          but even they could benefit from good advertising.  Weak product like the end results of this administration need to be sold even harder.  It is not an "either or" issue, it is both.  They had sucky messaging about an inferior product which was itself compounded by the higher expectations from the high energy high visibility advertising of the campaign.  

          Obama marketed himself as bringing about an electric car that can cross the country at 130 mph without needing a recharge.  The final product was a used Yugo which the designers felt was a vast improvement over the horse and buggy that could have been made instead.  Instead of trying to explain the Yugo, they ceded the message to Republicans who had managed to convince people that the final product was a unicycle without a seat that they would be required to master using under penalty of death.

        •  Obama never should have let the mess (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          become 'his'. For such "dumb stupid mother fuckers with stupid ideas", no republican ever let any mess be theirs even if it is. Don't you know that all great economies (even under dem presidents) are because of what gop presidents did?  And of course, all bad economies (even under gop presidents) are because of what dem presidents did.

          When Obama took responsibility for W's mess, he owned what he did not create. Most people still blame bush, but now they think Obama can't fix it.

          I agree that things would certainly be better for Obama and the dems if they indeed 'fix' the economic mess we're in and did not water down their policies.

          But don't think for a second that the gop wouldn't claim credit and attack dems regardless.  They did it with the stimulus, attacking the policy while taking credit for the funding of local projects (making sure no dems were at the check presenting/ribbon cutting ceremonies).

          Dems need to learn how to do this, especially after citizens united or we are fucked.  Obama had it covered masterfully during his campaign, but he abandoned it after the election.

          ONE DOLLAR, ONE VOTE! - Supreme Court of the United States. Amend the constitution! Corporations are NOT people!! Money is NOT speech!

          by Back In Blue on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 04:07:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  i fucking have to agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      its the economy dumass

    •  Why shoot the messenger? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      betson08, pkohan, ohmyheck, Betty Pinson

      Ad Age is a very important source. There is some very important data here. Yeah, we hate the outcome. As a regular reader, I see them as a great source if info for all kinds of different corporate spending.

      These guys don't suck.

      "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."- Arthur Carlson

      by bobinson on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 03:06:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And the pugs won because they did what? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TracieLynn, betson08

      95% of americans received a tax cut from the stimulus.  But most americans believe their taxes were raised. How is that not a failure of messaging/marketing/whatever you want to call it?

      All of Obama's and the dems 'products' were defined by the right and diluted by their obstruction. All of their solutions or fixes were doomed because they did not engage their supporters and make it clear what they were doing.  They let the messaging be dominated by the right who had one clear and simple message—No to Obama.

      The pugs never let the messaging die, ever. Obama had a messaging machine unmatched, especially in it's ability to reach his base.  He abandoned it after the election.

      Anyone who doesn't think that 24/7/365 campaigning is now a requirement for governing as well as campaigning will experience the same fate.

      ONE DOLLAR, ONE VOTE! - Supreme Court of the United States. Amend the constitution! Corporations are NOT people!! Money is NOT speech!

      by Back In Blue on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 03:52:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Reread the first box quote. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Sure Ad agency goes on to focus on advertising, it's their thing.

      But the first box says it all.

      Democrats, Obama Failed by Abandoning Core Consumers

      Weak Marketing Effort Beside the Point After President Ignored Passionate, Engaged Coalition

      They note that the marketing the product was secondary to simply not having a good product to market.

      'Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.' - The Dread Pirate Roberts

      by Ezekial 23 20 on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 05:02:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You missed the most important part (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        That the marketing was besides the point because the Administration IGNORED THE OBAMA VOTING COALITION - especially how large the young and progressive representation was in that coalition.

        Just ignored us or insulted us or pushed us aside.

        Now is the time for corrective action on that front, not to give up on the coalition.

        •  No, I didn't miss that, I agree with it. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          betson08, pkohan

          But they're (politicians and their employees) the ones who gave up on us (the actual people).

          I agree that it is long past time they applied corrective action, and actually started working for us as they were hired to do.

          'Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.' - The Dread Pirate Roberts

          by Ezekial 23 20 on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 06:23:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The Rethugs have the WORST (0+ / 0-)

      product imaginable, and look at what THEY did.

      I totally disagree with you on this. This is exactly the point that many people here miss, and it is much to our danger.

      The MESSAGE is vital. The truth is NOT obvious to the general public.

  •  Walden Bello on Obama : (17+ / 0-)

    Obama's first mistake was to take responsibility for the economic crisis. In his quixotic quest for a bipartisan solution, he made George W.Bush's problem his own. Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan never made this mistake. They took no responsibility for the economic problems of the 1970s, heaping the blame entirely on their liberal predecessors and
    eschewing any bipartisan alliance with those they considered their ideological enemies. Roosevelt, too, slammed - and slammed hard - his ideological foes, those he termed "economic royalists."

  •  No no, we must be academic in our messaging (14+ / 0-)

    Marketing and sound bites are for the Republicans.  We need to give long drawn out scholarly responses, that discuss both sides of the issue, and then rationally show that our policy is better.  We must be as detailed and accurate as possible.  We can't say "we saved the economy from collapse" because we don't know for sure.  Let's not defend any of the social programs we pass until ample years have passed and allowed for thorough evaluation.

    a Democrat who likes to lose elections.

    no tax cuts for the wealthy. period.

    by The Clevelander on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:18:52 PM PST

    •  lol! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      betson08, jabney, pgm 01, David PA

      From an academic.

      He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

      by Sophie Amrain on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:38:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is the same problem that Global Warming (0+ / 0-)

      scientists face.  You get a freak major flooding event and ask a global warming scientist about whether or not it is global warming and they won't be able to answer with a simple yes or no. Because they understand all of the complicated factors and it takes time to officially make a determination if one can be made at all, they can't answer in a sound bite.  However, a scientifically accurate soundbite can be used if you know how to do it, the answer is that "such an event is consistent with Global Warming."  Yes it is fudging, but in a war of words where the other side has an unlimited bag of lies, simplifying is necessary.  

      Democrats should not stoop to lying or mud flinging but they should learn to simplify and assign blame. Relaxed legislation by Republicans led to the economic collapse.  Relaxed oversight pushed by Republicans, led to the oil spill. These are true statements, very clear to understand even if not perfectly accurate since Democrats do not have 100% clean hands on either issue.

    •  Yes. And no simple declarative sentences, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      betson08, pkohan

      whatever you do!

      Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

      by billmosby on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 10:57:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I agree entirely (6+ / 0-)

    Bush made bad decisions, he wasn't that popular, and he won elections anyway. I hate him, but I will give him one thing- he has balls. He had his views and he never backed down and, ultimately, that's what independent voters respected. Obama failed to realize this.

  •  "I think my liberal base is a pain (11+ / 0-)

    in the a$$" is one message that the white house folks had no trouble conveying , over and over again.

    The problem isn't messaging it is their real attitude.

    fact does not require fiction for balance

    by mollyd on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:20:40 PM PST

    •  at least part of the WH operation feels that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Betty Pinson

      part may not, if Wolfe's analysis is right - of an on-going tug of war between the DC insiders and Obama's team...

      played into Obama's tendency to "on the one hand, on the other hand" analysis style.

      now that Rahm is gone, it may get better... Ojala'...

  •  If elected, Democrats will _________. (6+ / 0-)

    Could anyone honestly answer that question based on Democratic messaging that election cycle? Because I can't. Of course, I could have Republicans answer that question for me, and they did in that last election.

    by bhagamu on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:26:49 PM PST

    •  Even worse! My teabag/ wingnut associates (6+ / 0-)

      had no problem filling in that blank.

      If elected, Democrats will raise taxes.
      If elected, Democrats will force Obamacare down our throats.
      If elected, Democrats will pick our pockets bare.
      If elected, Democrats will build a mosque 'at 9/11'

      Ad nauseaum.

      Some I could snap to reality with some simple facts (TARP was originally Bush, The President gave you a tax cut, etc).

      Others --too many-- were and remain just hopeless.
      Ready to swallow whatever "Big Lie" currently in play.

      "Space Available!" is the biggest retail chain in the nation.

      by Free Jazz at High Noon on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 10:03:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  One more thing: I'd say that half (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        betson08, Fabian, pgm 01

        of these folks twist and turn with the wind, but the crypto-teabagers I could reach with some facts seemed surprised and even a little relieved at some good news. This was heartening. I even got one person to vote for Reid (or so they claim).

        My point is that this Goebbelian BS in the media is only going to intensify. We can testify as to the good that exists on a local level (and nothing beats talking to sane friends and family and writing LTEs); but this Administration has got to stop being so damned tonedeaf at best.

        Abandoning core values at worst.

        "Space Available!" is the biggest retail chain in the nation.

        by Free Jazz at High Noon on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 10:12:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Exhausted - hitting the sack (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pgm 01, reesespcs, David PA

    Thanks for all the robust feedback.


  •  What about all those nice pictures from rallies? (0+ / 0-)

    I see them posted at this site quite often.  Surely that means that everyone loves the President, and by extension the Democrats, and we shouldn't be "chicken littles."

    •  A 'chicken little' is somebody who worries about (0+ / 0-)

      many meaningless things, and in general, prefers worrying over action which could have helped avert the disaster. So yes, it is never a good idea to be a 'chicken little'.

      He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

      by Sophie Amrain on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:42:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  couldn't agree with you more! (9+ / 0-)

    As a professional marketer, I've been astonished by the messaging incompetency of the Democratic Party. It's absolutely inexplicable. We- meaning the progressive left- have some of the best communicators on the planet on our side. I don't mean the political hacks who customarily drive the narrative, I mean the people who have made Google, Apple, Patagonia, HP, and many more, into household names worldwide. I'm talking about people who actually understand marketing and how to communicate in compelling ways. Argh! Another painful peeve of mine is that OFA totally dropped the ball after the election of 2008, in terms of keeping its incredibly talented, motivated group of organizers connected, informed, and mobilizable. As an FO myself, I'm shocked that the terrific organization we built with so much passion has been allowed to collapse. As a business person I think its a DISGRACE to waste such a powerful and proven resource. Now it has to be rebuilt, and at so much greater cost. But hell, let's get on with it.

    Wag more, bark less.

    by sgrAstar on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:34:07 PM PST

  •  AMEN, to all the above. (10+ / 0-)

    Barack Obama, the Obama White House, the Democratic Leadership and the Democrats in D.C. FAILED.  They thought the same ol', same ol' will be good enough that they found and still finding out it is NOT ENOUGH.  If Barack Obama does not get a spine and I mean a STIFF ONE, he will not be re-elected in 2012.

    •  Makes no difference. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pgm 01

      It really doesn't because the poltical structure in this country has utterly failed. Our democracy is effectively gone, replaced by corporate fascism.

      The dreams of industrialists even before Prescott Bush and DuPont tried to overthrow the US government with the help of the Nazis is about to come to fruition.

      For as long as it lasts. Most of this planet will no longer be suitable for human life within a few decades, anyway.

      (I'm feeling especially optimistic and happy tonight, just in case any one wasn't sure.)  

      Fixing the US and world economy is easy. Tax speculation, not labor.

      by shpilk on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:43:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If Corporate Governance is To Be the New... (0+ / 0-)

        ...playing field, maybe we'd better learn the rules of that game.

        Owning one share of a company can give you some interesting rights.



        I support socialized water

        by jabney on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:58:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I Wish I Could Tip Your Passion & Anguish... (0+ / 0-)

        ... because you expressed your thoughts succinctly. But I can't allow myself to surrender to total despair - there's got to be something. Damned if I know what, though.



        I support socialized water

        by jabney on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:34:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  If it's all "no use" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        why blog about it?

        I am wrestling with a personal choice on this very topic because at the end of the day I equate showing up online most every day, carping about politics, with feeling very useless and pointless.

        We're just ignored by the careerist Beltway Dems - we're ridiculed, even when we - I mean the netroots here - are trying to accommodating them.

        And I don't like being locked into bad investments and right now the Democrats are looking like that in terms of emotion, time and purpose - that is, if you are operating from the notion that getting jobs to want-to-be-working Americans is more important than getting bipartisan fig leaves for need-to-be-working DC Democrats.

        Which leads me to thinking that the Democratic party is not really in the corner of an American people that needs paychecks more than tax cuts. That needs to see bankers getting indictments not getting bonuses. That needs to see its retirement secured not gutted in the name of something the already-rich do not practice themselves: austerity.

        I don't want to feel this way...but there is a saying on Wall Street: Never get married to a position. Don't let emotional attachment (or worse, vanity) keep you from cutting your losses on a bad bet.

        And right now, the Dems are demonstrably a bad bet. They are woefully underperforming. It's not marketing. It's not messaging. It's not specific failure. It's complete, abject abandonment of the platform  that Dems supposedly run on.

        I am reminded of AIG - a great life insurance company...and a HORRIBLE fund manager. AIG wasn't content sticking to what it was good wanted to be a shadow investment bank. And it FAILED.

        The current crop of Democratic leadership wants to be a shadow Republican Party - oh, not all of it. Not the crazy un-business-ey anti-knowledge-y parts. Just the business-pandering parts.

        And there's the FAIL, because the Dems for all their expertise and enthusiasm to please just aren't credible corporate tools, and C-Floor America will always default to the GOP when push comes to shove so long as things like teachers and environmentalists, unions and blogs exist. Democrats are just too... progressive. Too mindful of the possibilities of rule of law to regulate and direct investment and business activity in ways that share the benefits of increased productivity with working Americans, not just investing Americans.

        And the investor class is just not that into sharing the spoils with its wage slaves.

        So, to the high and mighty and wannabe high and mighties of the Democratic Party: Enough with the pandering to the 'smart money' already. It's not that smart, but it's smart enough to know that Dems might be pro-business but they just aren't convincingly anti-labor enough to ever overcome the Republican advantage in this respect.

        So remember who and what you are - the party of the people. Of the WORKING class.

        And remember - it's a representative democracy.

        So represent, already.

        OK, that was perhaps a diary but I wrote it here so I am posting it here. :)

        Respect mah Facebookthorit-ah!

        by cskendrick on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 04:42:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  How about Democrats get the spines, and simply... (7+ / 0-)

      ...deliberately, do what it takes to get our policy ambitions realized?

      We shouldn't be waiting for the politicians.  We won in part, in 2006, because we got out in front of our party, and pushed for the change we wanted.  We did something of the same thing in 2008.

      But in 2012?  Obama and the Democrats had to have the ball in their court.  If Republicans had employed the same logic this election season, they would have lost.  Instead, in their fraudulent way, they pushed a pseudo-movement that appeared to be an outside force leading the way- more or less to make their movement look like ours, their system look like something the people were leading.

      We have to remember that again, that intentionality, that decision not to rely on the purity or the morale or anything else of that kind, but instead focusing on our will to make what we want to make happen.

      We cannot expect the folks in Washington to back change we won't come out to back first.  We don't have a confident, long term majority  that hasn't known defeat for over a decade, the way Republicans did.  We have a bunch of people more used to being minority party members.  Rather than engage the vain hope that they'll change over night, lets take for granted that we need to push for things first, that we need to be frontline in the campaign against the Republican Party.  Let's assume that the process of taking our party back much less that of taking the country back, is far from over, just beginning.

      No more waiting for our leaders, even Obama, who I support fervently.  Even he needs to be led sometimes.

      The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

      by Stephen Daugherty on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:48:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  When the left stops taking abuse from the center (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slinkerwink, ohmyheck

        And demonstrates some collective self-respect again, then it will be taken seriously again.

        That is (1) why the left is dismissed and (2) why the left is abused even by Democrats.

        The Democrats are ashamed of the left.

        In a real sense, the left is ashamed of itself.

        When that stops, the in-house beatings will back off.

        When they stop, the contempt of the right will abate.

        Oh, they'll hate us yet - even more.

        But by damn they will be sweating with apprehension as they do so.

        Respect mah Facebookthorit-ah!

        by cskendrick on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 04:19:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oddly enough (0+ / 0-)

        Some of them are still fighting the few Dems in DC who do have spines - namely Pelosi.

        Any Dem in DC who still thinks we need to cave to the GoP in order to win in DC needs to have his/her head examined.

  •  Agree with everything except this afterthought, (0+ / 0-)

    … which comes across as "Yellow Peril" talk to me.

    even if it pisses off the Chinese (better if it does - we like American jobs better).

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:39:05 PM PST

  •  40 years of FAIL. (9+ / 0-)

    It's not just Obama.

    It's Democrats failing to follow up and lock up Nixon operatives.

    It's Democrats failing to follow up and lock up Ollie North, Donald Rumsfeld, the Bush Crime Family, including the drug and arms dealing George Herbert Walker Bush.

    It's Democrats failing in 2006 to investigate the criminal actions of Cheney, Rice, Powell, Bush, Yoo, Addington, Ashcroft, Hastert and dozens of others.

    Fail after fail by Democrats to defend this nation against a criminal syndicate that started in the 1930s with DuPont and Prescott Bush, intent on overthrowing this democracy.

    Too late now.

    Blaming Obama is like closing the barn door after the horses have already been sent to the glue factory, decades ago.

    Fixing the US and world economy is easy. Tax speculation, not labor.

    by shpilk on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:39:32 PM PST

  •  Re-posting my comment from another diary : (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David PA
  •  Yes -- that would be lovely (0+ / 0-)

    but that is not how President Obama operates as President

    and I seriously doubt that he is going to start now

    so as I said -- lovely - but no dice...

    "Proud to proclaim: I am a Bleeding Heart Liberal"

    by sara seattle on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:47:42 PM PST

  •  All the comments after Garfield's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Back In Blue, pkohan

    column are straight out of the Red Wing closet.  

    However, this one below, hits too close to home, and should not be ignored, because it shows the result of the failure of the Obama team to handle the ball.
    Excerpts from 11/15/10 Ad Age

    By cybulman | PLANO, TX November 15, 2010 09:52:34 am:

    The basic laws of Marketing and Advertising are, that whatever is being sold, must be predicated and based on "TRUTH".

    Many Americans got turned off, when they repeatedly heard the false "mantra", with wagging finger in their faces: "If you have health insurance,you will be able to keep your insurance. If you have a doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Your premiums will go down-not up!".

    Well! Well! Just few months later, millions received their premium hike notices. Mine was 28% with no illnesses, no major doc visits and no hikes in the last 3 years. Millions are being knocked off their Co. Health Ins, by their employers, who would rather pay fines. Who is now paying for Obama's 15 million extra inner-city slackers on the Medicaid rolls?    ..........

    Now, lets admit it America, we were all taken in and sold, the BIGGEST BAIT n' SWITCH IN US HISTORY, by a masterful "pitchman". ......

    ... You know what happens, when the product-promise lies - in the headline, tag and copy lines! The product fails!    ......


    Democrats had better understand this point of view and the real world results, and deal with it QUICKLY!!    

  •  This is why WI is now red (4+ / 0-)

    The conservatives in my state have been hammering their jibberish mantra EVERY.SINGLE.DAY! This is why Feingold lost. People say that it just wasn't a good year for democrats, but I can tell you this... Feingold and the Democrats have been absolutely MUTE in my state. There has been absolutely no acknowledgement of Democratic accomplishments... zero... zip... nada. By denigrating the Democrats and spewing vile hate filled paranoid blather on a daily basis, the Conservatives are at least putting forth an image that they are at least impassionate enough about their agenda and actually doing something about it... this is what the fickle voters see.  

    •  Oh yeah the problems of the Democrat Party... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...are all about what they say to get in office and not at all about what they do in office.

      Propaganda/political spin feeds so many people, houses so many homeless, creates so many jobs, stops so much crime directly due to poverty and lack of opportunity and heals so many sick...yep, it is all about message. You know if one says the right things they can repeal the law of gravity. Yep get that message out.

      This country is a bloody mess because of messaging replacing positive policy, propaganda replacing creation equality of opportunity. Yep you can talk away thirty years of abject failure to protect the gains made in America since the early eighteen hundreds due mostly to Liberal policies and the expantion of the democratic franchise, quality public education and improved labor laws.

      Yep it’s all about political messaging, all both political Parties have done since Carter is give the country away to a minority of greedy arseholes who have no love of this country and ninety five percent of its people while they talked pure bull $#!# trying to hid what was in process.

      The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

      by Bobjack23 on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 04:58:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Remember that the the media is owned by the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    edrie, nicethugbert

    corporate right, the religious right and the wingnut right.  Obama never got much positive media coverage.  He was either dissed or neglected.  That said, I agree with you about the lack of a coherent message from the Dems. I went to an  Obama "listening tour" in the run up to healthcare with some of my DFA buddies.  We soon realized they weren't interested in listening.  They wanted us to be OFA people, but there was no specific message.  The message was "support President Obama".  When we wanted to talk about the public option, one of the DNC people told us privately that the public option was off the table-and that was in the very beginning, before Baucus' shenanigans. But, I still registered voters, stood in front of Valero stations with "No on 23" signs. Precinct walked and phone banked for the November election because the choice between Dems and Repugs is a no brainer.

    "They had fangs. They were biting people. They had this look in their eyes,totally cold, animal. I think they were young Republicans."

    by slouching on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 10:26:35 PM PST

  •  A scathing and well written post-mortem for..... (0+ / 0-) administration that died in its crib.


    British Petroleum: I think that means it's foreign oil.

    by Bensdad on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 10:45:40 PM PST

  •  I HATE recing diaries with "Thanks for rec list" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    vanity updates.  I mean, it's a major pet peeve.

    But damn.  Whatever.  Gotta click the button on this.

  •  "every single day"... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Back In Blue

    This part kind of reminds me of a line from The Candidate- "Marvin ... What do we do now?”  It's almost like after the campaign, they didn't have a plan as far as communication went.

    Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

    by billmosby on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 10:51:42 PM PST

  •  See but this is where it comes off the rails (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But by Election Eve, 2008, he had the country with him.

    No.  He had just over half of the part of the country that went out and voted.  A big chunk never even tries to figure out what elections mean and a big part hated him from the start with a white hot intensity.  

    People around here really seem to be massaging basic realities to run with their narratives.  

    I told you the "I told you so" pie fight wasn't going to get us anywhere.

    by Sun dog on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 10:56:47 PM PST

    •  Good point, but the messaging to the people (5+ / 0-)

      who voted for him essentially diminished after the election. And in it's absence the opposition took control of the narrative.  

      ONE DOLLAR, ONE VOTE! - Supreme Court of the United States. Amend the constitution! Corporations are NOT people!! Money is NOT speech!

      by Back In Blue on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 03:20:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't disagree with that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Back In Blue, CoExistNow

        I could spend my days armchair quarterbacking just about everyone above me in the Democratic party.  And yeah, from that position, it has been frustrating to see them go so soft in the face of just how depraved and huge the opposition is.  

        "I intend to be President of the whole country."  Obama says and, tragically, I think, "Uh oh."  Because he's right to want to have that focus but we're living in a time when one party has gone completely batshit.  So compromise with them won't necessarily bring the mushy middle around because all it does is empower the perverts and they'll twist everything.  

        But I also see irony in, seemingly this entire site, going on and on about message even as we spend all our time railing against our own party.  

        I told you the "I told you so" pie fight wasn't going to get us anywhere.

        by Sun dog on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 05:48:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It does seem that way at times. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tomephil, Sun dog

          But there is a huge difference between what a blog community says and what the president, his administration and his party say.  I wish the bashing would go away, especially the extreme Obama is a traitor or whatever stuff, but we should be able to have a discussion about something like this and hopefully come to a conclusion or at least inspire each other.  A lot of contact with our reps and senators and the message sent is the result of site like this.  

          But in the end, we are not that important and blaming anything on us is just nuts.  Bush owned the narrative.  Clinton never shied away from a fight.  Obama has no excuse for not at least trying.  He did a few times, but soon got lost.   The dem party is no better.  The right is fighting with everything they got while the left is singing kumbaya.

          ONE DOLLAR, ONE VOTE! - Supreme Court of the United States. Amend the constitution! Corporations are NOT people!! Money is NOT speech!

          by Back In Blue on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 06:03:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's not actually 'nuts.' (0+ / 0-)

            I know it would be faulty analysis to blame the blogging community for the results of the midterms or whatever.  But what I'm talking about is just being aware of what might be realistic goals of being a 'blogging community' in the first place.  If we have goals, if we see that we can have an effect, it's not nuts to question what will be the results of our actions.  

            We talk a lot about what is righteous and who is truly to blame for this or that.  All I'm talking about is staying focused on likely outcomes of our actions.  Otherwise it really is just a self-centered exercise and not activism at all because our presence in the game could do nothing more than help the worst players.  I hate that kind of irony.  

            I told you the "I told you so" pie fight wasn't going to get us anywhere.

            by Sun dog on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 06:51:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  The Same Could Be Said About Bush. It Didn't (0+ / 0-)

      seem to stop him.

  •  Funding, the free market of ideas is not free. (0+ / 0-)

    Who will be donating for these commercials?

    The victory of Wall St. regulation brought to you by Goldman Sachs.
    The VITAL health care reform endorsed by Cigna.
    The withdraw of most of the troops in Iraq funded by Raytheon.

    The Democratic coalition is always trying to find funding to compete with Republican funding, and usually resorts to compromising the principles of major sections of the coalition to get it. There is no source of funding able to compete within the coalition. There are unions and blogs. And, no George Soros can’t do it all by himself.

    If we are going to propose that politicians get better commercials, we have a better chance of being heard if can propose a funding source.

  •  man, are you trying to tell me (0+ / 0-)

    that Obama's crew, the one that got accolades for brilliant marketing in 2008, just forgot all this shit in 2010?  Man, all this is really missing the point.  You're just criticizing the Kabuki can't you see?

    •  There was no kabucki. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink, tomephil, Fabian, CoExistNow

      Did your Obama app not go silent? Maybe you didn't have an Obama app on your phone, but to me it was a sign that the orator was not going to the white house.

      Why would anyone abandon such an effective messaging machine? A direct connection to his base was severed. Then came Tim Kaine and OFA and the rest is bland, uninspiring history.

      There's no criticism of kabuki that we can't see, it's the disappearance of messaging that was critical to his election.  He said it himself when he said they were too busy getting things done that they didn't take the time to change the way things got done.  Nice spin, but what it really amounts to is that they didn't do anything to counter the non-stop anti-obmama offensive.

      There were some efforts: The party of no, grab a mop.  But the dems in congress and the left wing media didn't play along.  No surprise, but that is one of the things the left needs to do if they are going to be effective.

      At the end of the day, you can't change anything if the people you need to support you don't know why they should and often are made to feel that you don't care what they think.

      The real question to me is not why the messaging was so bad, it is why it was abandoned by a group who seemed to understand it's effectiveness?

      ONE DOLLAR, ONE VOTE! - Supreme Court of the United States. Amend the constitution! Corporations are NOT people!! Money is NOT speech!

      by Back In Blue on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 03:17:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Be the change you want to be? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, tomephil

    So, the question is, what does Obama want to be?  GOP door mat?

    And what do we want to be?  DNC puppets?  When are we going to stop letting the capitulaters run the DNC, both local and national?

  •  And, They Had the Numbers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    See Republicans $9.1 Trillion Dollars Debt since 1978. Democrats $2.1 Trillion in Debt since 1978.

    And the lost the 39% of the electorate who thought this was  a major issue by 34%! This is not a messaging problem, this is criminal political malpractice.

  •  The best marketing wouldn't have mattered (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The composition of the 2010 electorate simply did not favor democrats.
    No amount of democratic marketing would ever appeal to those voters.
    No need spending precious resources reaching out to them.

    The money would be better spent funding turn out efforts in democratic strong holds.
    The democrats abandoning organizations like acorn will hurt us.

    •  Agreed. (0+ / 0-)

      But ACORN wouldn't have put a dent in this wave either.

      I don't dispute that the dems should have defended ACORN, but it's a bit like worrying about whether to go for it on 4th down in a 73-0 blowout.

      It wouldn't have mattered.

      9/11 was an outside job.

      by Han Shot First on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 01:00:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The electorate is shaped by the marketing. (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmo, Fabian, pkohan, Tomsank, CoExistNow, willrob

      The composition of the electorate could have easily been different.

      The anti-Obama campaign, otherwise known as 'marketing' is what shaped the electorate. He's: a socialist, communist, marxist, fascist, muslim, not a citizen, not born here, got a deep seeded hatred of white people, freedom hater, anti-american, got a Kenyan world view, wants to see America fail, responsible for all our debt, etc. etc.

      Obama did LITTLE to counter any of that. For crying out loud, he passed a tax cut for 95% of Americans and by this election most people thought their taxes were raised!

      There is this belief in the democratic party that your record is enough to win the day. That people only vote FOR you.  Sorry, but those days are long gone.  If I see one more old fart dem waxing on about the days we used to have comity or serious debate I'm going to throw up.

      The pugs dominated the media daily during the Bush years after 9/11. You could not stand up to them without being called a traitor, anti-american, or accused of hating the troops.  They smeared everyone, outed an active CIA agent, changed their justification for war a dozen times.

      Enough of the American people bought it to re-elect W decisively.  A huge factor in that re-election was the marketing smearing of a war hero who was unable to market respond well enough to expose the lies as lies.

      We are in a media ruled world, whether it be TV, radio, internet, or social media and Obama's campaign understood that and won by exploiting it. That knowledge disappeared after the election.  I was shocked when the Obama app on my iphone went silent after the campaign. I wondered why such an effective messaging tool was abandoned.  It became clear soon after the election that marketing messaging was not going to be given a high priority anymore and my hopes sunk a little bit and set in on a downward slope that has only gotten steeper.

      If dems don't get the message that they need to run a 24/7/365 campaign machine like the pugs do, they and we are lost.  The pugs have no shame in promoting themselves. They have think-tanks to develop and hone their messaging. They have an entire media company dedicated to their message that raises money and employs their candidates.  The dems have nothing but the netroots and now with the CU decision, they will always be outspent.  Hell, mike pence is at the top of this site right now.

      Dems have to at least match the effort if they hope to survive in 2012.  Will they/we get the message?

      ONE DOLLAR, ONE VOTE! - Supreme Court of the United States. Amend the constitution! Corporations are NOT people!! Money is NOT speech!

      by Back In Blue on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 02:55:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The story of the last election is (0+ / 0-)

    the religious right. In 2008 they turned out for John McCain(!) in greater numbers than they did for GW Bush. In 2010 they were the driving force behind the GOP wave, ironically they also propelled Angle and O'Donnell to primary wins.

    Barack Obama may not be the messiah for liberal democrats, but he is the antichrist to the religious fanatics on the right. He scares them more than Al Gore or John Kerry ever did. And fear is what motivates these folks above all eles. Some of that is because he's balck, but that is overblown. These people would vote for Condi Rice if she sang the right tune.

    Obama represents, I believe, the thing they fear most. Reason. He does not pander to their superstition in any real way. He is in no way associated with their tribe, and he deosn't even pretend to be. The people they hate and fear the most are his biggest supporters: atheists, gays, minorities, etc.

    No amount of marketing could overcome this. I'd prefer a better marketing strategy in 2012, naturally. But if the gist of this post is the usual, "Obama should pander to the left and then he'll win big"... that's wishful thinking in more ways than one. Hopefully with better turnout and something resembling economic recovery Obama will prevail this cycle. I think that if the Tea Part succeed in nominating Palin (and I think they will) then things could swing wildly back to the Dems.

    But if not I am truly scared at what happens next. The religious right is the primary problem here. They have to be utterly defeated and discredited in order for any significant reform to occur. That won't happen by calling them names. Such a collapse can only happen from within. They will have to self destruct. It could well happen. But if it doesn't the future is very dark indeed.

    9/11 was an outside job.

    by Han Shot First on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 12:58:05 AM PST

  •  this is as misguided as criticizing alan colmes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for not doing an effective job of rebutting sean hannity. it completely misses the role of the impotent foil in the staged debate.

    surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

    by wu ming on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 01:01:54 AM PST

    •  So Obama is the impotent foil? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tomephil, Fabian

      Who is staging the debate?  Who is Obama's puppet-master?

      ONE DOLLAR, ONE VOTE! - Supreme Court of the United States. Amend the constitution! Corporations are NOT people!! Money is NOT speech!

      by Back In Blue on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 02:02:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  no, the democrats are (0+ / 0-)

        and the people who pay for the campaigns and  profit from business as usual are the ones who "pull the strings."

        surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

        by wu ming on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 02:18:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK, so now you're talking about the real crisis. (0+ / 0-)

          And I do not separate obama from the rest of the dems in this matter.

          ONE DOLLAR, ONE VOTE! - Supreme Court of the United States. Amend the constitution! Corporations are NOT people!! Money is NOT speech!

          by Back In Blue on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 04:11:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  that only works because no one ever gets in hanni (0+ / 0-)

          hannity's face- in this case the impotent foil is an impotent foil because they don't know what's happening on radio, as they plug in their CDs on the way to the rally.

          colmes was never a serious threat to hannity's certitude. all the left has to do is bipass the call screeners that protect the hannitys and limbaughs and the political right that has had so much success riding that invisibility will collapse.

          the moneyed string pullers will always create boundaries to limit progress but your model only works because the left ignores the right's essential media weapon and chooses to give it a free speech free pass.

          Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

          by certainot on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 06:00:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Agreed! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, Sherri in TX, CoExistNow

    Democrats, Obama Failed by Abandoning Core Consumers

    Weak Marketing Effort Beside the Point After President
    Ignored Passionate, Engaged Coalition

    And while Obama was trying to look presidential by not blaming the previous administration for running up the debt financing a ruinous war and for letting banks run hog wild, the Republicans managed to tar him both for bailing out and regulating Wall Street. Neat trick.

    Shame on them? Maybe, but that's like faulting a shark for eating. Blame the Democratic National Committee for getting bitch-slapped day after day and responding with strongly worded press releases. Blame the president for risking his party -- and his re-election and his vision -- for the sake of comity he is destined never to see. Instead, he used the bully pulpit to sound concerned.

    "Now I know that folks are hurting..."

    No shit, Dick Tracy.

    Does he not understand how patronizing such pabulum sounds to the unemployed? Good grief. Nobody wants his understanding; they want jobs. And if they can't have them, they must feel that they are making a temporary sacrifice to rebuild the economy and the society to achieve America's greatest aspirations.

    That concept shouldn't be too foreign to Obama. It's the one he ran on. What in the world happened to "Yes we can?" For that matter, what happened to "we?"

    Starting tomorrow, the message needs to be this:

    These are the things we are going to work on to pass into law.  These are the nominees I will want approved so our courts do not atrophy.  Lame duck or no lame duck - this is what I feel - and what Democrats feel - is the best path forward, so we are going to get stuff done RIGHT NOW so Americans can see improvements to their lives.   People's lives did not stop on Election Day, and neither did ours.  

    We push forward.  

    Bush's tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires - GONE.

    Step up and be part of America's recovery.

    And you say that message...


    ... until Election Eve 2012

    and then you say it...








    ~we study the old to understand the new~from one thing know ten thousand~to see things truly one must see what is in the light and what lies hidden in shadow~

    by ArthurPoet on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 01:28:53 AM PST

  •  Holy Fuck! Someone that actually gets it! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, CoExistNow

    I kept wondering and wondering and wondering and... and wondering some more... just when was Obama and "the leadership" going to start shooting back. Becuz, the Teapublicans were kicking their asses since that jackass on CNBC called out Obama on Obama's Big Plan to bail out everybody (and incidentally or not at that very moment birthed the Teabagger Movement). From that moment on the GOTP was on the offensive kicking Obama's ass and Team Obama had no answers. So, I kept wondering and wondering... are my guys ever gonna return some fire?? Ever?? The answer, clearly, was no.
    And STILL is no.
    They continue to bend over and grab ankles.
    "Reach across the aisle."
    So, wtf??
    Who do they answer to, becuz clearly it ain't us.
    They ain't got our back.
    The Blue Dogs are gone. Who they scared of? Teapublicans?
    That's 38% of the electorate.
    They're scared of them?
    They'd be toast if Obama and Team Obama and "the leadership" [rolls eyes] stood up like they had a pair and marched forward like they have a pair.
    Toes up.
    Instead... instead we get this bull$h!t.
    Reach across the aisle and ask for forgiveness.
    I can't even imagine LBJ reaching across the aisle.
    Hell, even Jimmy Carter fell on his sword.
    Pathetic. Simple pathetic.

  •  what is equally important is the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    reality that the republicans control the media!

    it is almost impossible to get any message out over the constant drumbeat of the oreallys, becks, savages, etc.

    we need to be the voices heard on the level of the street - and not as those constantly complaining about how that message isn't getting out.

    WE need to formulate the message and repeat it at the grocers, the gas station, the doctor's office, the bookstore, every single place we go!

    with citizens' united ruling, the money influence will be ever worse - and we cannot count on the media to allow even one minute of positive news to be put on the airways.

    when was the last presser you saw on the news?  when was the last presidential speech fully covered?  yet, when palin speaks, the tea party simmers - full frontal coverage.

    we are in a fight for our lives here - the money is winning and we are being sold down the river.  it is up to us to stop the crap on this website of putting out so many negative slams, criticisms (most unfair and unwarranted) and we need to start selling OUR product for 2012.  if we don't, well - i may just walk away from the politics cuz i won't live through to see the possibility of change in my lifetime.

    one of the ways we can help is to drown out the negatives that are unwarranted instead of ignoring them. when we leave the comments/diaries unchallenged, that leaves anyone new who stumbles into this particular madhouse with the wrong information.

    what is our job? it definitely isn't to get more republicans elected - and it's time we accepted responsibility for OUR actions.

    accountability is a two way street!

    MOVE'EM UP! ROLL'EM OUT... MOVE'EM UP RAWHIDE!!! meeeoooow! mrraaarrr!! meeeOOOOOW!

    by edrie on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 01:44:33 AM PST

  •  great advice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but there's no reason to believe that Obama will take any of it.
    What a strategic nightmare.
    Good luck with that whole capitulating, wuss PR thing...

    Please join the new facebook group, "We want Howard Dean back in charge" and spread the word!

    by astronautagogo on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 03:06:49 AM PST

  •  Is it the messaging? (4+ / 0-)

    Damn right it is.
    How many Democrats think taxes have gone up under Obama?

    A Bloomberg poll, conducted October 24 - 26, found that 52 percent of likely voters think federal income taxes have gone up for the middle class under Obama. In fact, taxes have fallen by nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars -- and most of that for middle-class taxpayers. Just 19 percent said taxes had fallen during the last two years.
    Even large numbers of Democrats believe taxes have increased, with 43 percent responding that taxes have jumped under Obama's leadership.

    This isn't criticism of anyone on this site. People here are more informed without question.
    But when actual legislation reduces taxes for 95% of Americans, and a national poll can state with some degree of confidence that 43% of Democrats believe the exact opposite, the messaging is not working.

    •  repub party is more associated with cutting taxes (0+ / 0-)

      Obama maid the stimulus all half taxes, and then messed up the messaging on that. But the stimulus shouldn't even have had tax cuts in it, the problem with the economy is not high taxes, just lack of jobs and we have seen cutting taxes whether on the rich or middle class doesn't lead to jobs, if you don't have a job you can't pay any taxes anyway even if you wanted to. People think Obama raised their taxes because they assume it is because of repubs that the dems included tax cuts in the stimulus, which is technically true.

      •  I see your point (0+ / 0-)

        The overall issue of the diary is about messaging. Is the Obama administration not just passing legislation, but clear in it's messaging?
        The example of taxes is only that, an example. The point of the tax statistic about 43 percent of Democrats believing Federal taxes have gone up under Obama is pretty clear proof that Obama's messaging is not working.

  •  Can we (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, CoExistNow

    send this to the DNC??? Loudly??

  •  The biggest problem was scheduling most of the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    big positive really noticeable changes for the good to years in the future. Who in 2018 is going to equate better healthcare THEN with what Obama did last YEAR?
    I have no idea why politicians have to give big business years to accomodate itself to change. The big corps don't have any problem jacking up gas prices, mortgage foreclosures, credit card fees, utility rates, or any of their profitable crap with no or little notice to US. If the govt tells them to change in 30 days or be fined $10M a day per instance for noncompliance those corporations will change real quick, yes sir.

    Living in the spaces between the boxes other people are thinking inside of...

    by fourthcornerman on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 04:30:21 AM PST

  •  Obama could do that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, CoExistNow

    but unfortunately, he wont.

    Seriously, this is why i voted for Obama instead of Hillary. If i was desperate for capitulation and middle-of-the-road, bipartisan, kumbaya i could have voted for her. I had expected her to use this style, based on what Bill did, but i didnt expect it from Obama.

    And there is ZERO sign that he has heard this message, would listen if he did hear it, or that he could sustain such hard and focused messaging for longer than two weeks at the most... even in the unlikely event that he wanted to.

    He's an amazingly aweful negotiator, always willing to hold out another few weeks to get a worse deal, and thats after he pre-compromises and gives away the store before the other side even says boo. He had some of the supposedly toughest, street-fighting advisors who seem to have told him to never fight, but to shut up and take whatever he was given.

    Anyway, sorry for the rant. Im just really mad at how this is turning out. And how duped i feel. I mean, i proudly voted for Obama three times, and now its like he cares alot more about people who will never, NEVER, EVER vote for him, and probly think he's the antichrist.

    But oh well, we obviously deserve another republican revolution. One that completes the job they started over 30 years ago. I just didnt see it being Obama that would usher it in. Our people are ignorant about the causes of their torment, while our leaders dont want to get their hands dirty and actually lead.

    Yup, just about as screwed as it gets. I cant believe that two years on, and Sarah Palin is still considered a contender. That really says alot.

    Prohibition makes crimes out of things that are not crimes - Abraham Lincoln

    by Unseen majority on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 04:31:09 AM PST

  •  Great diary. Important advice for the (4+ / 0-)


    Unfortunately, still being ignored  :(

  •  Get a better DNC head (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, Sherri in TX

    I'm disappointed with Kaine.  

  •  It is not just messaging (3+ / 0-)

    Policy was just not up to the scale of the problems. The stimulus was enough to staunch the bleeding, but that means nothing to those still without jobs. Banks were saved, so they could continue playing the exact same game at the expense of the rest of us. Even allies have not been convinced by health care reform. That's what happens when you try to sell Romneycare as a great progressive achievement.

    "Yet no one could doubt President Bush's support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security." -Obama

    by heart of a quince on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 05:13:39 AM PST

  •  Agree-Majority in Senate & Dem Pres. turns into.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimmylutherking, CoExistNow

    ...a "landslide victory for the GOP", or "a terrible loss for the Dems", etc, etc--good grief--what's the devil is wrong with the Democratic Message Machine?  Is it totally and permanently broken?  

    Would the GOP for an instant let their party's loss of one House of Congress, while still retaining a majority in the other plus the White House be portrayed as a defeat?  Since they didn't even concede that they lost all three in 2008, it would be a safe bet that they'd be calling the last election a victory if they were in the Democrats' current position.

    For the last two years they've been in the power position, yet with all the money available to them and with all the advertising talent available out there, they have not taken advantage of either.  

    Long and convoluted explanations don't fit into 30 second soundbites.  How long will it take the Dems to comprehend that fact?  Sadly, it seems that the learning curve is longer than the election cycles.

  •  analyzing politics w/out radio is for losers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    limbaugh and sons are louder and more repetitive than anything the left and the dems can do. if they get traction anywhere the right can shout over it and distort it and distract us with weeks of media control.

    the right's most important media weapon is the radio and it gets to shoot at obama and the dems for free all day long.

    limbaugh's buzz is lot bigger than madison ave's or obama's. i doubt madison ave's even figured out the billionaires biggest success is on radio.

    living in a radio free world is for losers and that's what the left has been for 20 years - it doesn't matter how many times you repeat it here what obama and dems should be or need to be saying, LIMBAUGH AND SONS ARE LOUDER AND THEY REPEAT IT ALL DAY LONG ALL WEEK LONG  and have been for 20 years, from 1000 of the loudest radio stations in the country, and no one gets in their face..

    it''s as every day the right's think tanks set up soapboxes on every corner and stump in the country and scream liberals suck and your fathers are murderers and your mother is a whore and the left just ignores it.

    after a while the left will have to leave town.

    the left needs to quit wasting time analyzing and strategizing as if their state AM radio megastations and GOP power centers don't exist.

    Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

    by certainot on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 05:47:57 AM PST

  •  Before Election- Yes, We Can; After- No We Can't (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, pkohan, Don Enrique, ohmyheck

    To most people, including me, that is how Obama sounded.  It was not, and is still not, a way to win.

    Yet Obama's main message after the recent election has been that he will "redouble" his attempts at bipartisanship.

    Without a major change in strategy and message, he will not be re-elected in 2012.

  •  Our party's marketing failure has been known for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx, Sarea

    a very long time. We've had excellent people such as George Lakoff and Jeffrey Feldman try to teach them how to create their own frame and market themselves to people. Our party leaders don't listen to these people, and it's shown clearly in their failure to communicate. Sure, we can blame the media all we want, but the responsibility rests with our party.

    I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

    by slinkerwink on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 06:00:06 AM PST

  •  champing (0+ / 0-)

    -- thanks for not using "chomping"!

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

    while Obama was trying to look presidential by not blaming the previous administration for running up the debt financing a ruinous war and for letting banks run hog wild, the Republicans managed to tar him both for bailing out and regulating Wall Street.

    Repubs take your high road and jam it up your ass.

    THIS is what NOT FIGHTING looks like.

    America legalized torture before they legalized marijuana.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 06:14:51 AM PST

  •  Technocratic Anti-Politics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Leading Democrats basically hate politics. They seem to keep hoping that, when they win a single election, politics will just go away and good policies will sell themselves.  But of course the world doesn't work that way.

    This is the problem with the "reality-based" meme.  It masks a desire not to need to be political at all.

    Let's face it: politics involves politics.  

    Unfortunately, Obama seems to really believe the bipartisan/transcending politics nonsense.  In 2008, that message was, in fact, great politics. Too bad it wasn't just politics to begin with.

    "I trust that you will continue to let me and other Democrats know when you believe we are screwing up." - Barack Obama

    by GreenSooner on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 06:18:44 AM PST

  •  The diary is good but it's not quite right (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A stronger lead from Obama would have helped a great deal. We all know the frustration of feeling that we cave too much to the minority GOP (now to have a majority in the House.) The surge in Afghanistan hurt a lot as a large majority of the people in the nation are against it.  But in the end, that wasn't what cost us the election.

    At least here in NH, there was no DNC money. None. A symbol of how poorly the national Democrats are working is their new lame looking logo. Lacking both money and taste is a fatal combination.

    NH was a disaster for the Democrats, going from a strong Democratic majority in both houses of the legislature to a veto proof GOP majority. But. My town, where I am Democratic vice-chair, went against the tide and went 100% for Democrats.  It is not a yellow dog town. We won because, first, we did effective fund raising early (last February.)  We had good
    mailings and newspaper ads.  We had good visibilities along road sides, good letters to the editor, and, most important, good door to door conversations. We also had good GOTV, with cooperation between all candidates from national level to local. This was not the typical NH election picture although most towns had many of these elements.

    All these things combined turned the tide against the GOP lies and distortions. The Democrats could have made a much better national presentation but frankly, the GOP's national presentation is far worse when people understood the implications of what they offered.

    Unfortunately, the rest of the state didn't manage to overcome the outside GOP money.  Also, what worked in our small town probably wouldn't have worked in the cities.  They needed TV ads too. And there was almost no national money to counter the waves of Corporate GOP money flowing into the state.

    Yes, we want Obama to reclaim the high ground of change and hope. It might overcome our other disadvantages as the robbers pay to keep their loot coming in. But -- good organization both on the national and local level can overcome a lot when we face people who will hurt most people in the nation.

  •  6 things required for electoral success: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson

    Attack, attack, attack. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

    Politics is not rocket science.

    If I knew it was comin', I could pull a jet plane.--Reggie Jackson

    by LongTom on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 06:45:52 AM PST

  •  Personally, I don't buy it (0+ / 0-)

    I think that the sound and fury of the teabaggers had relatively little effect on the national electorate. Their effect was limited, for the most part, to a reorganization of the Republican Party.

    The backfighting and bickering among the various wings of the Democratic Party also had little to do with the results: in the end, Democrats who voted, voted Democrat.

    The election results can be accounted for by two factors: the fact that it was a midterm election, and the fact that the Democratic victories of 2006 and 2008 were driven by an unusually motivated electorate that turned out in large numbers to vote against Bush.

    Obama was a great campaigner and so far has been the best president I've seen in 62 years of life, but the results of the 2008 election were misleading in that a lot of marginal Democrats and Blue Dogs from red-leaning districts swelled our numbers in Congress and in statehouses with people who, in the less energetic midterm could not, and never would have been able to, get re-elected.

    In other words, the “Democratic control of Congress” (and the “Democratic mandate”) were much more illusion than real, and what we are now seeing is a more realistic picture of American politics: a divided Congress, elections with not-so-great turn-outs, and huge confusions, false beliefs, and magical thinking on the part of the electorate on the issues.

    That we were able to accomplish what we did during the first two Obama years is actually rather remarkable to me. It certainly would not have been possible to ram through a more extreme (i.e., “better”) set of laws, because our Blue Dogs would have voted against us even more than they did.

    If we hope to get anything done now, in the next two years, we will have to convince some Republicans to vote with Democrats, while holding the Democratic caucus together more or less as a block. This puts huge limits on what we can do. No one wants to pass bad legislation or wants to undo what we have accomplished, but I don't think that having two “Parties of NO” is better than moving slowly forward with compromise legislation on carefully chosen, very needed and popular issues.

    I'm afraid we'll have to give a little to get a little, just has we have always done in the past.

  •  Hey Democrats! (0+ / 0-)

    Ignore the teaching of George Lakoff at your own peril.
    After the 2004 Presidential Election there was a big push for Lakoff - Howard Dean was pushed aside and look what happens. In addition the Obama Campaign was ripe with positive progressive messaging - what the fuck happened?

    "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." - Mark Twain

    by phastphil40 on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 06:59:48 AM PST

  •  Excellent diary (0+ / 0-)

    Spot on.

    Bob Herbert article on Mississippi injustice. So Utterly Inhumane

    by niteskolar on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 07:20:21 AM PST

  •  True but leaves out some critical facts (0+ / 0-)
    1. the media is neutral about standard commercial marketing (with some exceptions), but hates Obama and Dems.
    1. the utter and, to me, unexpectedly comprehensive capitulation of the new media (blogs/twitter/etc) to MSM agenda setting and framing.

    The failure of the Democratic Party to do marketing is news like the failure of republicans to tell the truth.

  •  A fine plan (0+ / 0-)
    And what is the plan when Obama and the Democratic Party do NOTHING to change the message?

    "I'm not a bot. Bile's what I got." Crashing Vor - 10/16/10

    by Arsenic on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 07:58:47 AM PST

  •  Holy Shit, so well stated. Mahalo. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  All very nice (0+ / 0-)

    But the messaging that some get are from blogs.

    And if I got my message from DKos, as a Democrat, I would have stayed home and not voted.

    I am sure you can call me an Obamabot or whatever, but because I happen to think Obama is trying to govern, and even though he has angered me with the Race to the Top agenda, I promised myself after LBJ that I would not be a one issue voter. So I still think that Obama is making changes.

    That said, where were all the Democratic leaders on cable? Where were they on Sumday shows? No where. Once in awhile you'd see whitehead or Brown or Sanders, but where were the Dems from Florida? Is Ed Rendell the only Democrat in PA?

    The right wing were everywhere. The press made a story of every Palin tweet, of every stupid remark she said. Today it is how wonderful her reality show is. Will that help her in 2012?

    The dumbing down of America has happened. Sorry, but if smart people don't get off their asses, form their own groups to spread the message, this country will be in deep shit.

    OFA tried to make a difference. I personally talked to hundreds of people in my state . Did I make a difference? I would like to think so. I went door to door in my neighborhood with charts and statistics about health care and jobs, etc.

    Why does Obama have to do it all? He cannot, nor should he be the chief of campaigning. He has to actually govern. Or have we forgotten that?

    And while I wish he would have done A instead of B, I still trust him. I know that there is no way I will agree with everything he is doing or will do.

    If you have ever worked at a job where you have put your heart and soul into it, where you have information that may hinder what you can do, not what you want to do, but you do the best you can for everyone - then those that hate you, hate you more. Those that thought of hating you, now do. But worse, those who supposedly had your back are  now ever so gently stabbing you, what would you do?

    Fight for them? When only a few are helping you?

    Personally, I'd walk away. Do whatever I can with the House and Senate I have, and then leave. That's what Obama will do.

    There isn't a day that goes by where whatever he says or does is not criticized.

    Every pundit, every writer, every half-asses voter has the answer for the President.

    It is old. It is stupid. Stop typing and start working from the bottom up. Rather than point out the weakness of legislation, point out the strengths.

    Republicans do that and they unite behind even the most idiotic candidates. And they win. Democrats do nothing but criticize everything, hate each other and split the party.

    But you all continue with this typical Democratic behavior. I've seen it before. Johnson didn't end the war, stay home, don't vote. Kerry is a wimp and should have not been swift-boated, stay home and don't vote.

    It is always someone else's fault- never the Democratic voters themselves.

    Good luck. But after reading so many blogs, I think I am done with caring and voting. Since Obama, I think, will not run again, I am sure in my lifetime I will witness the demise of this country.

    I only hope Obama speaks from the Oval Office to announce he is not running. I can only hope he flips the bird and tells us to go F ourselves because, he should say, I"m too smart for you.

    Enjoy the uneducated, war mongering puppets who will take office.

  •  I don't see why this question keeps coming up (0+ / 0-)

    It's screamingly obvious why we did so well in 2008 and so badly in 2010.

    The people who pushed Obama over the top in 2008 were under-30s and (sorry) low-information voters. These are exactly the groups who don't vote in mid-terms. They just don't, and no amount of advertising will get them to come out.

    Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

    by milkbone on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 08:38:06 AM PST

  •  FRAMING (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, dirkster42, leema

    It was totally missing. There was no message. I was disturbed throughout the entire election by that. Here in upstate NY only Andrew Cuomo did it, and he won by a landslide over a teapartying freak.

    Cong. Paul Tonko was on the local radio station last week - he said that there was no unifying message coming from the White House.

    Lots of people here think that advocating a Lakoff-inspired framing campaignis naive, or dumb, it's really Obama's policies that are the problem, but given how many people among the electorate bought a whole bunch of bullshit and lies from Tea Partiers and other corporate-sponsored Republicans, you have to start looking at the HOW they got their lies to stick, whether or not you agree with Obama or not.

    How to get Obama and the Dems to do frame their moves is another story.

    Great diary.

    At this point though, every bit of news about the President and Congress makes me cringe. I'm about to start a news fast to get my mood up.

    •  I've heard other saying similar things (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      betson08, dirkster42

      I would love to see a site that looks at the positive things that have been getting done.  That has been completely missing anywhere except the White House site, and aside from a few diaries here that get torn down.

      "Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected" ~Mahatma Gandhi

      by Kiku on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 09:43:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  YES: it is all about message and framing... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    betson08, pkohan

    particularly so to counter the unified lies from the Corporate Right.  

    "I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong." Richard Feynman

    by leema on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 09:07:31 AM PST

  •  Pleny of us here were saying it, and too many (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    betson08, Sarea

    here were saying Shut up! about it. so fucking simple. Obama rode in on a tidal wave and stepped off it. I will never get it.

    (And yes, he still accomplished a lot.)

  •  Warrent Buffett's op-ed in NYT today (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    why couldn't he write this before the election?

    Pretty Good for Government Work

    A man's character is his destiny.

    by Jaleh on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 09:27:57 AM PST

  •  Chomsky on the 2010 Midterm elections (0+ / 0-)

    Famed linguist and cultural analyst Noam Chomsky discusses the illusionary liberal-conservative divide following the 2010 midterm elections

  •  Funny thing is .............. (0+ / 0-)

    ....... liberals were saying this almost from the beginning.  

    And we know we can do it.  Because "Yes We Did."  And we can do it again.

    Here's the proverbial "fly in the ointment".  "Yes we can" stopped with Candidate Obama's election victory.  

    Unless there's an Obama complete and total personality change of biblically epic proportions, "No, you won't.  

    Sooner or later, Democratics need to face the truth.  

    Or as Harry Truman once said ......... (referencing sig line).

    "I wonder how many times you have to be hit on the head before you find out who's hitting you?" Harry Truman - 1948

    by ThAnswr on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 09:50:11 AM PST

  •  Anyone read the comments on the article? (0+ / 0-)
    Advertising must be full of right wing tools.

    Just another day in Oceania.

    by drshatterhand on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 10:01:01 AM PST

    •  Yes - did see that (0+ / 0-)

      Hey- Ad Age is a vehicle about marketing, and it focuses mostly on corporate America.

      We know the executive class is not always going to be on our side, but it is disconcerting to see no one defending Garfield's point of view (or Obama and the Dems) - because he is addressing a marketing issue that is applicable to corporate marketing as well as politics.

  •  I didn't like the "now they want the keys back" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, dirkster42

    meme, especially because that's what Obama basically did with his administration and commissions.

    I think that Obama has done good work getting us important legislation, and yes, I do see areas for improvements.

    But, where I see the biggest failures are in the PR department, in working to keep the base informed, engaged, and energized.  I do hold the admin responsible for calling the base "f**king retards", and hippies on drugs, for arresting progressives at Senate hearings, and for blocking progressives from participating in government.  

    I'm encouraged that Obama has changed his admin, Rahm is gone and that will change the tone.  Plouff is back, so we'll start seeing better messaging.  Summers is gone.  Warren is in.  I have hope.

    But, I don't think Obama should have to do it all.  The WH pages are full of good information about the work that has gotten done, he gives it to us.  He doesn't tell us what to do with it.  We've completely ignored that.  People who discuss that, like me, are called Obamabots, Obamapologists, shills, and are told to leave the site by some of the most popular diarists.  I think both sides, pushing Obama to make stronger changes, and celebrating the progress, are necessary.

    We have a responsibility to see past the Republican plan for disruption.  Republicans planned to stall and frustrate, hoping that Dems would turn on themselves.  It worked.  We'll never be able to hold onto government until we learn to defend the people that are working for us, and that might include accepting and defending some of the conseraDems who drive us crazy, but help us hold the majority and do vote with us sometimes (unlike Republicans that don't).

    We just rewarded Republicans in a big way for their obstruction.  The best plan we can have for 2010 is to start rallying behind Obama and the Dems.

    To start now.  Every day.

    "Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected" ~Mahatma Gandhi

    by Kiku on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 10:01:31 AM PST

  •  Lead. Follow. Or get out of the way. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You can't compromise with people who won't compromise with you. Bipartisanship is a two way street. Nothing in the middle of the road but yellow lines and dead armadillos.

    We won, act like it.

    When the base is motivated and mobilized, Democrats vote. When Democrats vote, Democrats win. I know, I was at a Democratic victory party on November 2nd. This year.

    Come on Barack!

    Shit happens. So when you flush thank a liberal.

    by BobBlueMass on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 10:04:02 AM PST

  •  Brilliance squandered? (0+ / 0-)

    Time and again during the 2008 campaign and indeed during part of the first year of his presidency, Obama proved that he was the "smartest guy in the room".

    I'm left looking for that guy now. There's no corner to hide in in the Oval Office.

    To some extent I'm sure the suffocating bubble that encloses the presidency makes even simple or obvious decisions difficult and prone to error.

    Why does the way forward seem so clear to us and not him?  Perhaps his way forward never really agreed with ours?

    Hard to say. Anyway, this is good stuff from Mr. Garfield and a fine diary. I hope that not only the message gets to our president, but that it's also heeded.

    "Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why." - Kurt Vonnegut

    by Wayneman on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 10:12:49 AM PST

    •  I think we had some of the same goals (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      it was the process that we didn't agree on.

      Obama is willing to compromise to take a step forward toward his long vision.  We wanted him to stand up and fight, loudly proclaiming his dedication to the middle class.

      Also, he built us up during the election to make us part of the process, and then didn't include us in the process, so it was very frustrating.

      "Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected" ~Mahatma Gandhi

      by Kiku on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 03:18:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If We All Know What The Message Should Be, They (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    know it too.  They just don't want to do it.  Our question should be why?  

  •  Obama -- great communicator, but weak messenger (0+ / 0-)

    I will probably be castigated for this, but I think Team Obama should have concentrated on a single message -- JOBS, JOBS, JOBS. In the final analysis nobody really cares how great he exhibits bi-partisanship or how well he can work the Blue Dog Democrats.  

    I am proud to have worked for his campaign and will continue to do so, however, the lack of jobs is of little comfort to the unemployed 9.6%. Yes, I understand that overhauling health care, protecting Social Security, practicing religious and social tolerance, improving image of the US outside etc. are all important, but unless the message says "I care about you, the middle class", all the rest are just talking points.

    If my message is garbled, it's because I lack a coherent message myself. :)

    Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Groucho Marx

    by technolinguist on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 10:48:39 AM PST

  •   Can we start composting those (0+ / 0-)

    audacity of hope books?


    by SBoswell on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 11:00:45 AM PST

  •  One of the only things that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    saved W's reputation with his base, IMO, was his conviction.  You gotta admit, that that motherfucker didn't give a rat's ass what anybody said.  He did exactly what he thought was right.

    Now the problem was that he was an ignorant, uncurious religious zealot so what he thought was right was pretty fucked up.  But he did it anyways and there are a lot of people out there that will give him a pass on all his mistakes simply because he was so bold.

    Imagine if Obama was that bold, and his actions actually worked.  Actually made the country better.

    I just don't get it.  I really don't.

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 11:29:56 AM PST

  •  absolutely agree w Garfield at Ad Age (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pkohan, Kiku

    DNC and president needs to run ads and speak every day about our vision.  Our accomplishments.  Whatever. Garefield said it.  Thanks for the diary.

    WE must hang together or we will all hang separately. B.Franklin

    by ruthhmiller on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 11:51:58 AM PST

  •  EVERY DAY! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If Beck or Limbaugh says something stupid, call them out IMMEDIATELY.  Many times this year, a Republican would naysay one or the other but get clobbered.  If we stood up, too, then the Republicans would not cede control to these two as*holes.

  •  You're right......then you're wrong (0+ / 0-)

    People should just drop the "marketing problem" line, that's political BS. It ain't about slogans. Obama's problem is real, and it revolves around the lack of content in his gut.....and it's not just Obama BTW, it's most of the Democratic Party, which has no idea what it stands for anymore.

    How could you expect "Joe Sixpack" to care about you anymore after you threw him under the bus with trade deals like NAFTA? He's free to vote his prejudices now, because he knows neither party is going to do anything for him.

    It ain't about being partisan and playing the game people, that just gets you had. We need to pull the plug on the Dems unless they come out with an agenda for the people and stick to it.

    •  Obama's been following his agenda (0+ / 0-)

      During the campaign he laid it out, I heard it first in an interview with Brian Williams after a Dem debate.  Williams asked Obama what he would try to fix, if there was only one thing he could do.

      Obama laid out his plan.  Fix health care, it's eating too much of our economy, with ineffective returns.  Use that money to invest in alternative energy (this was before the crash), and move us toward energy independence to reduce military outlays.

      He's stuck to that, big picture, and done lots of other stuff as well.

      Obama has passed lots of good legislation.  He's had lots of emergencies to handle.  He's done a very good job governing.  He's put the progress on the WH pages for us to see.  

      Where he didn't do so well: he build up an army of supporters and then pushed them out of the process.

      "Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected" ~Mahatma Gandhi

      by Kiku on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 03:06:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree... and disagree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      House of Gin

      What do you think an agenda is?  It's a marketing statement of purpose.

      Lack of strategic direction is a marketing problem.  We've all seen brands that try and be all things to all people, or that focus too narrowly, or that change too quickly (or not quickly enough).  They get their lunch eaten by competitors.

      Marketing is not just slogans or advertising.  It's consistency.  Repetition.  Focus by cross-functional teams.  It's public relations.  It's the actual product itself.

      Being "partisan" is not the goal. The goal is to make the American public believe in stronger public policy options than the other side has to offer.  The goal is to make the voters trust Democrats as worthy stewards.

      And to do that Dems must have conviction and clarity.

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

        "Lack of strategic direction is a marketing problem." --- this is a great example of how screwed up this party and the country is right now. There is no moral or right or good for the long term vs. my near term political future. It's all a "marketing problem"??

        You've been sold down the river of corporate consumerism....get a grip.

        •  You misunderstand me. (0+ / 0-)

          You are correct - the Democratic Party - in terms of its ideals and policy platform - holds the moral high ground on the vast majority of issues, and I do believe Democrats should communicate that as such.

          But strategic direction is not about right or wrong, it is about how you present a message or product to the voting public, in the case of politics.  On the general message of healthcare reform Democrats have the moral high ground.  Granted.  But what was the first thing the Obama Administration did from a strategic direction on HRC: strike deals with Big Pharma, insurers, and the hospitalcompanies - they compromised.  They took single-payer off the table.  From a strategic direction we then knew they had lost all leverage, and it gave the GOP cover to go out and just campaign like mad dogs against HRC, and the Blue Dogs to campaign like corporate lap dogs.  The white House had capitulated before Congress had even debated the issue.  So all that talk of letting the House and Senate control the HRC legislative debate was also effectively squashed.

          Different strategy, different outcome?  Who knows, but it would have made for a different outcome in the public perception of HRC.  

          Imagine if Obama had that televised HRC debate with the Congressional delegations at Blair House at the get go.  You remember, the one where he totally schooled the GOP on every substantive point and called "bullshit!" to their talking points, aided by the Dem Congressional leadership?  Imagine if that was the kickoff event, from a strategic direction, where the GOP was immediately put on the defensive as having ideas that, frankly, SUCKED, on the policy and moral merits.  Paints a different picture.

          Am I explaining myself better?

  •  It all seems so simple (0+ / 0-)

    after all it is used very effectively by ideological simpletons on racist morans every single day.

    Imagine what would happen if an intelligent, elegant, inspiring president actually threw the full weight of his office and his considerable charisma into taking a the SOTU address he should ask every person in the chamber who thinks he wasn't born in America to stand up.  Then ask every person in the chamber who thinks he is not an American citizen to stand up.  Then he should ask every preson who thinks he is a muslim to stand up.

    Then he can rip into them.  Really let them have it.  Just flat out tear them apart as a personal insult to him and as a deceitful poisonous slander on the body politic.

    If nobody stands up then he can say.  Now that that's settled lets talk about what we've accomplished and what we intend to do.

    •  As much as I share the sentiment (0+ / 0-)

      if Obama ever ripped into someone, especially publicallhy, that would be the end.  Remember the Dean scream?  Republicans have tried to push Obama into that, I'm glad he's smart enough to ignore it.

      I agree, though, Obama certainly has earned that right.

      "Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected" ~Mahatma Gandhi

      by Kiku on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 02:57:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very Well Done - I Totally Feel Same Way (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    President Obama and the Dem leadership have indeed allowed republicans to "BITCH SLAP" us at every turn.  I am sickened by the lack of willingness they had to show how republican ideals worked in tandem to ruin this country:

    Outsourceing of jobs - relaxing of any protections

    Appointing industry hacks to lead key resource and federal  agencies -- FEMA, SEC, EPA - you name it

    Removing regulation at every turn in favor of corporate billionaires

    Allowing the Military Industrial Complex to run riot; allowing vast privatization of military affairs and operations; LYING the country into a terrible war, shaming our beloved country before the entire world

    The list goes on.  Obama could have done some fire side chats in the middle of Red country to show where I country was headed, and overlay his vision for a better US.  

    And we never truly laid out how Dems seek to protect the Village, while Repubs secretly just give a damn about the Empire.  

    WHAT A SHAME.  Thanks again for the post!

  •  Check out the predictable reaction (0+ / 0-)

    of right-wing readers of Advertising Age in the comments on the article. They're swarming, folks.

    "Reagan proved deficits don't matter." Richard Cheney

    by psnyder on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 02:58:30 PM PST

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