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The conventional wisdom in Washington is almost always wrong. Anyone who has watched any of the Sunday morning talk shows, the vomitoriums of conventional wisdom, can attest to that.

A Democratic focus group revealed a strange problem. In a red state, the participants simply refused to believe that ANY political party could take the positions that the Republicans have taken. When shown proof, they abruptly switched to supporting ANY other candidate. Still, we cannot drag them all in, kicking and screaming, to a group like this. But we can run against the positions that the Republican party has taken. I will not make a list here, because it is too extensive. However, most policy positions of the Republican party are very, very unpopular. The vast majority of Americans do not favor reducing (or privatizing) Social Security benefits. They just don't. Or raising the minimum age for benefits, or for Medicare. Actually, when confronted with the Republican platform, almost nobody supports it.

So why cannot SOMEBODY run some ads detailing what the other party is all about? Almost everyone who sees and/or hears it would say, “Holy Hell! I don't want THAT!”

Why can't we nationalize this (and EVERY) election? I mean, if almost everyone disagrees with the Republican positions on almost every issue, why not?

Almost all Republicans are in a contest to determine who is the most conservative. They apparently believe (and some even say) that there is no such thing as TOO conservative. Yeah, there is, and we passed it a long, long time ago. Now we are in crazyland.

Hey, someone, please. Listen to me. Yes, it is important to have a positive agenda, to say what you would do. But not when you are running against radicals. It is OKAY to say what the other guys want to do.

I have been SCREAMING this for a few years.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Easy answer: gerrymandering (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GMFORD, whl

    I doesn't matter that a majority of Americans nationwide think the Republican positions are crazy. They've gerrymandered so many right-wing districts that they can go harder right and somehow get more votes.

    If what the national majority wanted actually mattered, the Democrats would run the House--more Americans voted for a Democratic rep in 2012 than Republican, still the Republicans won more seats.

    •  Does't matter... (8+ / 0-)

      as I said in my post,

      In a red state, the participants simply refused to believe that ANY political party could take the positions that the Republicans have taken.
      Note: In a red state.

      Gerrymandering is horrible. But I still believe that if people actually knew what the hell they were voting for, maybe they would vote AGAINST it.

      Hey, we will not know until we try...

      "No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up." --Lily Tomlin

      by paulex on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 10:38:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My brother (the Republican) (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        scyellowdogdem, David54, whl, unfangus

        doesn't believe me when I say his party takes such radical positions.  No matter how many examples I show him of (R) crazy talk he just says they are the exceptions, not the norm.

        I have quit corresponding with friends who spout rightwing drivel but he's my brother and I know he's a social liberal which makes him a Democrat.  Arrrrgh!


        •  Yeah, but I am not talking anecdotes... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RandomNonviolence, whl, lunachickie

          I am talking about core positions.

          And I DO know what you are talking about.

          But the Democratic focus groups DO show that they WILL switch, if they know the position of the Republicans. Not all of them will, maybe not your brother.

          But it does not hurt to try.

          "No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up." --Lily Tomlin

          by paulex on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 11:48:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The lack of trying is what got me to tip this (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Not sure I agree with "nationalization" per se, but the whole roll over and play dead motif is just ridiculous. There should not be one unopposed GOP candidate ANYWHERE in this country. WHERE is the national party (or even state parties) on such a thing?

            Oh, they'll tell you they're "being strategic with limited resources". Nonsense. With recent SCOTUS rulings, I'm done buying that shit. And it's no longer an option even if funds were limited. Every race should have a candidate. Every one. And the party apparatus should be pushing hard to keep it that way.

            But alas...I hear crickets.

            (Wish I had an actual map--if I find a current one for November 2014 races, in terms of 'unopposed districts', I'll post it)

            This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

            by lunachickie on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 10:06:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I know what you mean (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          unfangus, paulex

          I have two of these people for brothers.  It's insane.  I finally gave up arguing with them (because they don't want to be confused by the facts) and told them that when they had been involved in the "Republican" Party for two years, they should come back and tell me how they feel.  Since I was a big wheel in Republican politics in the 80's and 90's and know who these people are and what they stand for.  At least now my two brothers don't argue with me, because they're chicken to take me up on my bet.

          PS Ask your brother to read the Republican Platform if he thinks that this is an exception.

          Also, social libertarianism does not make someone a Democrat.  Both my brothers are the same way, and both their wives are secretly Democrats.  I've also worked successfully on their children.  At least I'm stamping out this kind of nonsense for the generations after.


          •  I did tell him to read the platform but he (0+ / 0-)

            couldn't be bothered.  He's not really a social libertarian as he believes in single-payer health insurance and the social safety net and he's not a fan of gun ownership.

            His problem is that my Dad told him years ago to vote with his pocketbook and, because he's rich, he figures his taxes won't go up if the R's are in power.

            His other problem is he doesn't pay attention to politics.

            P.S.  Assuming you are in CO, so am I and my brother too.

      •  Most of those people are ignorant (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        lost causes :/

      •  The gop are willing to go to a lot of trouble and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        show no moral values whatsoever in their quest for a few votes to win in just enough districts to hang onto power.
        So they have no problem with voter suppression, voter purges, etc.

        Dems should work harder on this.
        Part of what you're talking about is "the narrative". Dems continually let Meet the Press be a propaganda outlet for gop talking points.
        Dem Senators are basically in hiding, and when they do come out it's word salad.
        Harry Reid's been bucking that trend, some, lately.

        A national ad campaign as you're suggesting would work if the Dems (esp. the Senators) would get out there and reinforce it. The ad campaign could pre-empt the "narrative" of the corporate media spewing of gop talking points. It could set "the narrative".

        Make the gop respond. (I won't go into the George C. Scott "Patton" monologue as a diary here caught hell for bringing it up, but...)

        They have half-heartedly started this "war on women" narrative, (or adopted it after progressives started it), but as soon as Marsha Blackburn comes out to play it down, they should be hammering her.
        "Uh-uhhhh. Oh no you didn't. There sure as hell is a war on women...let's look at the facts." Etc. and then show the facts.

        It could be crafted in such a way as to not run roughshod over, say, Mary Landrieu's chance of winning.

        There is evidence of this working. For a brief period, OWS managed to bump "austerity" out of the dominant position in the media narrative, and allow the words  "income inequality" to be expressed by actual people in the media. Thankfully the Dems finally picked up on it, and it's been part of the public discussion since. Before that it was all about the debt and deficit . We couldn't discuss reality because that would be "class warfare".

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 05:38:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It really is this simple (5+ / 0-)

    Remind the voters of exactly what the GOP is, or lose. Call them devils, or lose. If we try to play nice they're going to clobber us while screaming "SOCIALIST COMMUNIST MUSLIM ANTICHRIST OBAMA OBAMA FEMA CAMP OBAMA" And possibly a few words in there I can't post here.

  •  This diary hits the mark (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VPofKarma, paulex, whl, unfangus, Chi

       Part of the problem is the old Dick Morris 'triangulation' 'Sister Soulja' type mentality  that takes over in mid terms. This is  how '10 a redistricting year was lost.

     President Obama was not on the ballot and the D' s went back to being the party of Clinton which lost the House in 94' and never won it back until Obama came along in '06 as a star senator.

    So why cannot SOMEBODY run some ads detailing what the other party is all about? Almost everyone who sees and/or hears it would say, “Holy Hell! I don't want THAT!”
      This is the million dollar question.

    Michelle and Barack Obama along with Joe Biden cracked the code. and stayed on the offense  

    Why can't we nationalize this (and EVERY) election? I mean, if almost everyone disagrees with the Republican positions on almost every issue, why not?
     This what they did. in '08 and '12

      Now the President is starting to ramp it up AGAIN.

         Conventional wisdom in the press is eagerly talking up Mrs Clinton in '16 for a reason.
    Some secretly  know it hurts mid term Obama type enthusiasm and its turn out.
        Right now the focus must be on making Nancy Pelosi Speaker. To do that, the most effective person in the Democratic party is First Lady Michelle Obama. If she gets going the base will be revved up, and the election will be nationalized.  


  •  You're right, but (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, unfangus, Chi

    we've been saying this since Reagan. In 1984 a NYT poll found that the American people disagreed with every Reagan position 70 - 30, and he was up front with his positions - people knew what he stood for. In 1984 the IRS was asked if the american people were better off than they were four years ago. 2/3 of taxpayers weren't - do I have to mention that roughly 50% of Americans are not taxpayers because they are either on Social Security (Who lost) or who made too little to pay income tax. (Uh...)
    The truth really won that election.
    What I said at the time was that the American people knew that they are being screwed, but someone else was being screwed worse - in the 80's that was blacks, today it's the people next door because demographically the people next door are now some kind of minority, doesn't matter which - another thing I said thirty years ago, "we are all (n-words)". The average American voter is willing to be less well off as long as someone else (with darker skin or a vagina or...) loses more.
    This will always be the case, at least until someone (the Democrats) run on something positive. And the ACA, written by the insurance companies and originally proposed by the Heritage Foundation, may not be enough in the long term. Speaking for myself, an idea that would have been a far right pipe dream thirty years ago is nothing to crow about today, and don't think that people won't see that once it sinks in.
    In 1994  15% of rank-and-file Democrats boycotted the election and stayed away until 2008.
    We don't need "more and better Democrats", we need better Democrats with the courage to admit they are better. Running on your positives is a good idea, but you have to have positives first.

  •  It's a myth that GOP voters have no idea (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RandomNonviolence, whl

    what their Party stands for. We'd like to believe that the 99% is a cohesive group, that if everyone just knew what the policy goals of the GOP were, that we'd all vote en masse for Democrats.

    This ignores the simple fact that about half of all Americans are either Christianists, libertarians, tax-haters, or racists. People don't vote Republican because they're confused; they are voting that way for a reason. The right wing blogs say the same things, that Dem voters are just ignorant and that if we only understood the issues better, that we'd vote GOP.

    •  I disagree. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whl, Chi

      First, I never said that the 99% was a cohesive group. I would not even attempt to believe that, let alone argue that thesis.

      The vast majority of people in this country cannot identify the vice president. Just because you are not uninformed, don't assume that everyone is as engaged. They are not.

      To say that half the population is racist or fundamentalist or something similar is just plain wrong. If you have statistics to back that up, let me know. Even if that were true, that does not preclude them voting against Republicans to maintain their own interests.

      Just sayin'.

      "No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up." --Lily Tomlin

      by paulex on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 05:38:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Disagree Also (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        paulex, Chi

        See my diatribe about my two brothers above.  There are lots and lots and lots of very smart Republicans who just choose to ignore those who have taken over the party.  I know, I was Republican Chair of the largest county in Colorado which has now changed into the swingiest county in the swingiest state in the country.  And frankly, I live in the swingiest part of that county.  I know whereof I speak, because these folks are my best friends.

    •  You're right. The core gop is Christian (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whl, paulex, Chi

      Nationalist. However, they dominate and dictate a narrative to the media that picks up the non-zealot potential swing voters.

      One thing we should be doing is driving a wedge through the "religious" base by highlighting the fact that the gop pols routinely prop "family values", etc. and routinely get caught cheating, doing drugs, etc.
      We know that's a "thing", but we should make it a national "thing" that the gop has to deal with.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 05:46:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The GOP in a nutshell: Backwards. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paulex, unfangus

    That pretty much says it all. Republicans simply want to take us backwards, to the days:

    ...before Social Security
    ...before Medicare
    ...of back alley abortions
    ...of Robber Barons who didn't have to worry about no stinkin' regulations
    ...when only certain people were allowed to vote
    ...before we had a minimum wage...
    ...when people could be denied insurance coverage due to pre-existing conditions or annual and lifetime caps

    ...every single thing the Republican Party stands for is quite simple: they want to bring us backwards.

    It's unclear to me why this has been so hard for Democrats to effectively convey.

  •  Easy Answer Is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paulex, Chi

    Because Democratic insiders and consultants are just too selfish and too gutless to do it.  I agree with you 100% and share your years of frustration.  But, alas, we are voices crying in the wilderness.  This worked extremely successfully for Republicans in 1994.  It will work for us.  Democrats just are too afraid.  So, they sit back, whimper and run individual races again and lose.  You know, there are very few Democrats left in the south who aren't representing majority-minority districts.  So who gives a shit if we run on abortion or gay marriage or, God forbid, Obamacare.  The commercials write themselves.

    Your congressperson voted 52 times to let insurance companies cancel your insurance if you get sick.

    Your congressperson voted 52 times to stop you from providing insurance to your young adult children when they might not be able to get it anywhere else.

    Your congressperson wouldn't let a woman have an abortion even if she was raped.

    Your congressperson wants women who have abortions for any reason be convicted of capital murder.

    Your congressperson doesn't believe in the minimum wage.

    Your congressperson wants to privatize Medicare, costing seniors unseen billions per year.

    Your congressperson wants to let a murdered just released from prison purchase a gun without a background check.

    Really, all you have to do is read their platform to the public.  They'd be scared silly.  If someone would just give me a billion dollars, I could win the house and senate for them and put the Republican Party in the toilet where it belongs.

    This stuff is just so easy.  But, alas, I digress.  Move along.  Nothing to hear here.

    •  This is excellent - let's go further into the GOP (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Weeds -
      Jesus said "Feed the Poor" - Republicans voted to cut SNAP , WIC and school lunches.
      Jesus said "Heal the Sick" - Republicans voted 52 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
      The Bible says "I was a stranger and you took me in" The Republicans oppose any sort of rational immigration policy
      Jesus said "Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you" - Republicans voted to eliminate extending Unemployment benefits and raising the Minimum Wage.

      I could go on, but the idea is to contrast what they SAY they believe in but what they DO, and use their own "religious" hypocrisy against them.

      Of course it hurts! You're being screwed by an Elephant!

      by CAPitBull on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 02:20:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Couldn't Agree More! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Put a similar comment in a different thread:

    What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

    by equern on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 10:47:45 AM PDT

  •  I'll also go one step further... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If we DON'T nationalize this election, we will lose the Senate and even more seats in the House.

    Not to mention winnable governorships and seats in statehouses everywhere.

    The ONLY way we're going to win is if we can motivate enough young people to vote, and the ONLY way to reach them is via social media and online.

    You can't sit down to a meal in a restaurant without SOMEBODY tweeting, texting, or photobombing; everyone knows what everyone else is doing.

    Sure, there are still local issues that are of deep concern, but they are enmeshed with national issues that can only be addressed with a NATIONAL campaign.

    What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

    by equern on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 10:55:21 AM PDT

  •  Because many of our pols want the same things. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Better Democrats is extremely important.

    "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." -- JC, Matthew 6:24

    by Chi on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:58:48 AM PDT

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