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Republican U.S. Sen. candidate Todd Akin speaks to supporters after his loss during his election night rally in Chesterfield, Missouri November 6, 2012. REUTERS/Sarah Conard (UNITED STATES  - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS USA PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION)   - RTR3A3FL
Democrats successfully gamed the Missouri GOP Senate primary to convince Republicans to nominate Rep. Todd Akin in 2012. The rest is history.
In August 2012, Republican primary voters threw endangered Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill a lifeline: Rep. Todd Akin. Even before Akin infamously referred to "legitimate rape" after the primary, McCaskill's team bet that Akin was the most flawed Republican candidate they could face. McCaskill's other would-be opponents, businessman John Brunner and former Treasurer Sarah Steelman, had their problems ,but nowhere near Akin's vulnerabilities. When the GOP nominated Akin it appeared that McCaskill had just gotten incredibly lucky.

However, it was far from just luck. McCaskill's campaign acted early to subtly but effectively encourage Republican primary voters to choose Akin over Brunner or Steelman. McCaskill ran ads calling Akin "pro-family," and "too conservative for Missouri," terms that appealed to Republican primary voters. Without knowing it, Republicans did exactly what McCaskill wanted and handed her her ideal opponent. McCaskill's strategy was quickly vindicated: Akin ran one of the worst campaigns in recent memory and the once-endangered McCaskill won by 55-39 percent margin.

McCaskill successfully pulled off a campaign tactic known as "ratfucking." The goal of ratfucking is usually to get the opposing party to nominate a weak candidate, or to pass over a strong candidate. While the term originated with Richard Nixon's manipulation of the 1972 Democratic primary field, in recent years it has been Democrats who have successfully pulled it off. Along with McCaskill, Democrats ratfucked a Florida House primary in 2012 to benefit now-Rep. Alan Grayson. Additionally, Sen. Harry Reid's machinations in the 2010 Republican Senate primary helped ensure that the GOP nominated the very flawed Sharron Angle. Still, while ratfucking can make all the difference in deciding what party controls a seat, it's not the most common practice. It can be very expensive and difficult to pull off, and some may get cold feet about interfering in another party's primary.

What follows is a guide to ratfucking and how to effectively pull it off. While there are certainly some ethical questions about meddling in another side's primary and embracing a Nixonian tactic, it is still a useful tactic to understand. Additionally, in an era in which House Republicans have gerrymandered their way to a majority no matter what voters say, ratfucking is a weapon Democrats can't leave by the wayside.

Head over the fold for a closer look at ratfucking tactics.

Before engaging in ratfucking, it's important to consider a few things.

Is it worth trying?: Unless your campaign or outside group has more money than it knows what to do with, you have to decide how to best spend your finite resources. If there isn't one viable Republican candidate who looks particularly strong or weak, it's probably better to just conserve your money for the general election.

Can my preferred opponent win?: There's not much of a point in spending money to prop up someone who is guaranteed to lose the primary. Primaries are fluid and unpredictable but even so, there are usually some candidates who just don't have the resources or name recognition to go anywhere even with your help. For instance, if you're a Montana Democrat you'd rather face little-known conservative state Rep. Champ Edmunds than the much more formidable Rep. Steve Daines in this year's Senate race. But with Edmunds having virtually no name recognition or money, he's just not a good investment. It may make sense to take a chance on someone who's unlikely to win their primary, but not on someone who's all but guaranteed to lose.

Can I afford it?: If your campaign has its own contested primary to deal with, the answer is probably no. It's far better to win your nomination first before focusing on the Republicans. This is less of an issue for partisan outside groups like the DCCC or House Majority PAC. They probably don't need to spend in the Democratic primary and can instead concentrate on ratfucking the Republican primary.

If you've answered yes to all those questions, it's time to review some of the best practices for ratfucking.

Use the right (wing) language: This is the most important part of the strategy. The trick to successful ratfucking is to get Republican primary voters to support your preferred candidate while making them think it was their idea. The key is to use language that makes it look like you're attacking Joe Unelectable while in fact you're propping him up. For example, Claire McCaskill called Todd Akin "Missouri’s true conservative" and "a crusader against bigger government." To Republican primary voters, all this made Akin seem more appealing. The St. Louis Post Dispatch summed it up well at the time:

To conservatives, McCaskill's "criticisms" in the Akin commercial sound more like compliments: that he opposes big government and wants to cut the federal departments of energy and education; and that he has been hotly critical of Obama.

At one point, the ad makes an allegation that sounds as if it could be on an Akin bumper sticker: "Todd's pro-family agenda would outlaw many forms of contraception."

While political observers could tell what McCaskill was trying to do, most primary voters just don't pay enough attention to figure this out. To them, it looked like it was just another Democrat attacking another Republican. Many probably even supported Akin as a way to stick it to McCaskill, unaware that they were voting exactly the way she wanted them to vote.

It's always important to use the lines of attack when ratfucking. If McCaskill had hit Akin for something like corruption or nepotism that most voters across the political spectrum dislike, the attack would have almost certainly hurt Akin's primary chances. Yes, some Republican voters would have still have seen McCaskill attacking Akin and voted for him to spite her. But attacks like these would have still planted a seed of doubt in voters' minds and encouraged them to vote for someone else. The trick to ratfucking is to attack your opponent without really attacking him.

It's also important to use the right language when you're trying to prevent a strong candidate from advancing. California Democratic Gov. Gray Davis' 2002 gubernatorial campaign is a good case study for this. Davis was very vulnerable (indeed, he'd be recalled a year later) and knew he was in danger of losing a general election to former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan. However, Riordan's opponent, businessman Bill Simon, was seen as much easier to beat. Only weeks before the primary, Riordan held a clear lead in the primary polls, but Davis' team set to work on making Riordan unappealing to primary voters. Davis spent about $10 million attacking Riordan for changing his mind on key issues like the death penalty and abortion.

It was clear to political observers what Davis was doing. Some Republican voters may have even caught on. But to the vast majority of primary voters what mattered wasn't the messenger but the message. The idea that Riordan was wishy-washy on conservative values was appealing to them, even if they came from Davis. Democratic interference wasn't the only reason Simon won; Riordan had his own missteps and Simon spent heavily at the end of the race. But Davis' decision to ratfuck the primary payed off big time. Simon transformed a massive polling deficit into a huge 49-31 primary victory. Davis proceeded to defeat Simon 47-42 and win a second (albeit abridged) term.

Don't use positive language: Imagine if Davis had, instead of attacking Riordan, propped up Simon by praising him. In a general election, Simon could have used those quotes to argue how good a person he is. It's better to speak in a language that appeals to conservatives but not to the broader electorate.

Don't be too obvious: Ratfucking works because most primary voters don't pay enough attention to politics to know it's happening. Still, it's always possible to be too obvious about it. It's vital never to admit you're trying to game the primary. The last thing you want is for clips of a Democratic candidate or Democratic operative saying "We want to help Joe Unelectable win the Republican primary," playing on Fox News every hour.

Don't wait till the last minute: Some states cast a huge amount of votes before Election Day. For example, in California ballots start going out a month before the election. If you wait till a week before ratfucking in those states, it may be too late to make a difference.

Crossover voters aren't reliable: It's tempting to try and encourage Democrats to cross over and vote for the least electable Republican. The big problem is getting enough Democrats to vote to make a difference. Because so few people pay attention to primary politics it can be hard to mobilize a significant number of voters to show up for the other party's primary. Some states also require voters to be a member of the party before voting in the primary (so called closed primaries). It's not too hard to change party registration but it introduces another step that reluctant voters may just not take. It's probably easier to convince Republican primary voters to vote the way you want than to get Democratic voters to turn out in significant numbers for a Republican primary.

Where ratfucking can make a difference this year

A number of Republican primaries feature one candidate Democrats would love to face. Here is a look a few of those races.

CA-07: June 3

Three Republicans are competing to take on freshman Democratic Rep. Ami Bera in this swing district. Former GOP Rep. Doug Ose is a wealthy and relative moderate and he would probably be Bera's most formidable challenger, while former congressional aide Igor Birman's very socially conservative views make him a liability. Perennial candidate Elizabeth Emken is also in, but unlikely to advance. A Birman primary win looks difficult but not impossible, and it could be worthwhile for Team Blue to get involved here.

MS-Sen: June 3, runoff June 24.
Republican Sen. Thad Cochran is safe against any Democrat, but he has a fight on his hands in the GOP primary against tea-partying state Sen. Chris McDaniel. Democratic former Rep. Travis Childers could have an opening against McDaniel, who among other things has shown a skepticism to Katrina relief funds that's unlikely to play well even in this conservative state.

CO-Gov: June 24

Several Republicans are competing to take on Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper. Former Rep. Tom Tancredo's views on immigration make him a potential liability to Republicans in the state and could allow Democrats to galvanize Hispanic voters. The Republican establishment's preferred candidate is former Rep. Bob Beauprez.

Conclusions

Ratfucking does not always work, but when executed correctly, it can make all the difference in whether Team Blue wins or loses. Money and time is needed to pull it off, and it does not make sense to try it in every race. Furthermore, it's vital to use the right language: Republican voters need to think that they're doing the opposite of what the Democrats actually want them to do.

Ratfucking is not the most savory campaign tactic. But if nothing else, Democrats should understand it and be ready to use it.  

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Sun May 18, 2014 at 07:44 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Please perhaps pixlelate the profanity nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Keeping it Simple , BvueDem, TofG

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Sun May 18, 2014 at 07:54:22 AM PDT

    •  It's the Generally Accepted Term for Such Tactics (22+ / 0-)

      ... and it's got a long, long history.

      As such, I seriously question whether it constitutes profanity.

      •  Some people have very sensitive ears, (4+ / 0-)

        or in this case, eyes.  Plus, a ton of 6 year olds read this site.  You wouldn't want them to learn about Ratfucking.  I mean, Ratfucking. Ratfucking

        Ratfucking
        Ratfucking.  Shit, how the fuck do you pixellate something?
        •  The term has a wiki...... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Caped Composer

          What more do you need?

          I am Joe's Steven......

          by Joes Steven on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:34:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This diary says that (6+ / 0-)

          Senator Claire McCaskill engaged in 'ratfucking'....

          The diarist, himself, is crazy if he thinks making such statements about a Democratic Senator in a red state is a good idea.

          •  seconded (6+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LakeSuperior, slakn1, BvueDem, PJEvans, Sylv, Kygre

            This dairy is wrong and needs to be deleted.  

            Ratfucking:

            Ratfucking is an American slang term for political sabotage or dirty tricks.
             Per this wiki, the term should be reserved for underhanded activity such as false flag operations.  McCaskill's ads were up front as to their sponsorship and do not quality for this characterization.
          •  6 YEARS LATER (0+ / 0-)

            This incident will mostly be forgotten in six years.  

            The only thing I can think of which had 6 year legs was an African vacation taken immediately after winning a senate election by Carol M. Brown.  (yes, racism)

            Lots of things should be remembered for six or more years, but I don't think dirty tricks would be one of them.

            I'm from Johnson City.

            by Al Fondy on Sun May 18, 2014 at 10:07:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Well, it's true (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, VClib

            Sunlight Foundation:

            Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Democratic outside groups, pouring in over $1 million during Missouri's Republican Senate primary, got the guy they wanted: Rep. Todd Akin, who Tuesday upset two other Republicans to take the GOP nomination.

            Recent polls have shown McCaskill trailing all three Republicans in head-to-head matchups, but Akin has the smallest edge. She is betting voters will see the six-term congressman -- who gave "thanks to God our creator" in his victory speech and has been endorsed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, an evangelical Christian -- as too conservative.

            Late in the primary, McCaskill hit TV and radio airwaves "criticizing" Akin, seen at right, as too conservative, a thinly veiled attempt to boost his chances in a primary where the GOP's right wing would have a disproportionate impact. The radio ad was paid for by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

            •  That is not "ratfucking" as that term is (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BvueDem

              understood by the public.

            •  Think about the framing here.. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BvueDem

              When you read:

              Claire McCaskill and groups poured in $1M during the Republican Primary Season..

              The message Republicans received was: McCaskill poured $1M into Akin's campaign.

              It's untrue.. even that article points out that it's untrue.. but that is the kind of story that the Republicans ran with.  They tried to do everything possible to convince people that Claire and her campaign had moved money, cajoled PACs, influenced labor and every other dirty trick.

              Two weeks ago in Kansas, we had a state Representative point to this figure ($1M) to say: this is why we have to change the rules about switching parties.

              But look down in that article.

              Of all the outside groups targeting ads at GOP candidates that have been reported to the Federal Election Commission, 88 percent focused on attacking Akin's opponents:
              The number of ads from Outside PACs and groups that attacked Akin was less then 12% of the total spending.

              LESS THEN 12%.   They spent a lot of money attacking the other two Republicans.

              But the Republican Mantra is that the McCaskill campaign flowed all this money into Akin by raising his profile unbelievably, and in the way this diary puts it we forget how many outside groups and even McCaskill invested in defining the other two candidates.

              We use terms like 'gaming an election' and 'ratfuckery' to imply that there was an across the board effort to push Akin like mad.

              Those groups have spent the last two years being accused of pumping $1M into Akins account.  That's untrue.  They've been accused in radio program after radio program of encouraging people to vote in the Republican party to make sure he was the nominee.  That's not true.   They've been told that money hijinx were up.

              All of it is horseshit.  Look at the article you site, it gives you a really good rundown that makes it clear that stuff is a lie.  We all know it's a lie.  

              We can say she wanted to face Akin, she rooted for Akin, she encouraged PACs to get out information on everyone.. but those conspiracy theories are NUTS.

              But when we link her to words like 'rat fuckery' and 'gaming the vote' we give all of those right wing nutbag cranks on just enough of a window to seemingly point and go 'see see!  even they agree with me, it was a big conspiracy!'

              Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

              by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 07:54:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You are missing the point. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY, VClib

                Keep reading:

                Though Akin did not have direct support from outside groups, he may have benefitted from the last-man-standing effect: Of all the outside groups targeting ads at GOP candidates that have been reported to the Federal Election Commission, 88 percent focused on attacking Akin's opponents: businessman John Brunner and former state treasurer Sarah Steelman. The biggest outside group has been Majority PAC, a  super PAC devoted to maintaining the Democrats' edge in the Senate. Majority PAC spent nearly $1.2 million in independent expenditures opposing the frontrunner Brunner, widely viewed as the biggest threat to McCaskill because he had the most centrist credentials of the GOP frontrunners as well as a personal fortune to invest in the race. A super PAC formed by Steelman supporters chipped in about $500,000 in anti-Brunner ads.
                •  Yes... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BvueDem

                  Of course they did.    Were all of those ads saying 'vote Akin'.. no, they were about taking down Brunner.. who had huge amounts of money.

                  If you want to say Democrats were sincerely concerned about the Republican front runner and therefore we wanted to make sure he was a wounded candidate before the fall, and that we wanted to inform all Republicans of what they were voting for.. and that money went into attack every candidate.. then it is easy to deflect.

                  You can say you spent almost everything on Akin's opponents because he had low money and was in a weak 3rd place until about a month before when the tea party others got behind him.

                  But when you say 'we ratfucked everything for Akin', again, you play to the narrative that says "we spent one million to help Akin!"   No, we spent a lot of money in defining ALL of our opposition, not helping Akin.

                  The fact that Akin got helped is fine.  But again, if we start gloating over the idea and take ownage of the term 'we ratfucked for Akin' the less-informed audience thinks exactly what Right Wing radio wants them to think, that Democrats under the table pushed for Akin, that they did all of these things that were deceitful for unions, etc.

                  No, they attacked other republicans.  They also attacked Akin.   They setup the message against everyone.

                  This is the disconnect with how we look at it.   Did Democrats 'game the election'?  No.   Brunner ran and had a primary budget of $7M.  He spent heavily.  Is it a shock that outside groups spent heavily to counter his message?  No.

                  Whether Akin benefited or not, going around crowing about the Missouri groups Ratfucked for him is the WRONG narrative to send, because the right wing leaps into all of their goofiness and paints it not as it was.

                  That's my opinion.   A big part of this, as I say earlier, is how we and how we think the audience will take the term.   I don't ratfuckery is the kind of positive term candidates would want in their word-association list.

                  That's me.

                  Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

                  by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:05:28 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Oh, come on. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    MichaelNY, tmservo433, VClib
                    The fact that Akin got helped is fine.  
                    No, it was the entire point.  WaPo, 8-3-2012:
                    And in the weeks leading up to Election Day, Democratic groups have taken a keen interest in the GOP race, with an apparent eye to helping along the candidate they perceive as the least formidable general election foe.

                    The latest example is a new radio ad paid for by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee that attacks Rep. Todd Akin (R), but does so slyly, in a manner that appears to be designed to endear him to conservative voters.

                    “Todd Akin calls himself the true conservative, but is he too conservative?” asks the narrator of the ad, which is approved by McCaskill’s campaign and paid for by the DSCC. The narrator goes on to note the negative posture Akin has taken toward President Obama, before concluding, “it’s no surprise Todd has been endorsed by the most conservative leaders in our country – Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee.”...

                    McCaskill released a round of three negative ads last month that stood out because the anti-Akin ad, unlike the spots running against businessman John Brunner and former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman, cast the congressman as a “a crusader against bigger government.” ...

                    But taken together, the nuance of McCaskill’s anti-Akin ad, the DSCC’s decision to focus on the congressman, and Majority PAC’s anti-Brunner spot suggest Democratic strategists believe there is utility in trying to influence the outcome of the primary.

                    •  It is fine to believe that. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      BvueDem

                      And advocate that.  We can all believe it benefited a candidate.   We can all say this was the ideal situation for her.

                      We can all stand up and say: she trailed everyone, but Akin least, and if she were to win she needed to face Akin.

                      Saying: the entire point was to help Akin - even if you believe it, I believe it, Kos believes it, everyone everywhere believes it is NOT the message that her campaign, her state party, or anyone else has taken anywhere.  They have flatly publicly denied it in radio interview after radio interview.

                      So, what we believe on this is whatever wen want to believe.  But a candidate and everyone around her, every PAC and group has said when pressed this is NOT what happened and that they opposed and represented every candidate and that they attacked Brunner because he had the most money.

                      If we're OK with saying we all know, so it's cool to say she lied when she went on the radio in KC and denied it, and that the state party lied when they took to the radio, and we know better.. and then praise her using terms like 'She ratfucked the other guy" and so on, well then good for us.

                      We apparently know how she wants to be presented to the public far better then they do.  I'm sure she will go on the radio next and say "remember when I denied any Republican conspiracy they keep accusing me of?  Well, we totally ratfucked him and it was AWESOME."  

                      I'm sure that is a message that will resonate with all of her voters, low information and occasional turnout democrats especially.

                      We are free to think whatever we want.  But when we start shoving terms that have a perception of being perceived as negative on candidates when they specifically deny them, how are we helping them?  

                      They can make a counter-case that says: it's fine for you to believe that, we just went after the biggest target.

                      But nope, let's just link campaigns with terms like 'ratfuckery' 'gaming an election' and so on, because those are the buzzwords every candidate wants associated with them.

                      People guffah at how nutty out states are.  Missouri trying an impeachment.  Missouri moving to arrest anyone who helped people register with ObamaCare, and to arrest people who would enforce gun law.  Kansas with Turn Gays Away, ending Fluoride, insane budgeting and an attempt to disenfranchise the vote.

                      So, all I'm saying, all I have been saying is: what the heck do we think we, as a progressive site gain by telling a lot of people who root for a winner and have some money in the game about a strategy by using terms the public things of as wrong (convince an elderly person or low information voter that you like your candidate because they were so smart at ratfucking the other guy)..

                      If you frame this differently the way they want to, and a way that shuts out the conspiracy lunacy then you still get the exact same point across without offering the lunatics in those two states the buzzwords coming from a left-leaning site that they associate with everything short of all the evils in the world.

                      In other words: what do we gain by countermanding the official message of the groups in Missouri?  What does that gain democrats?  Outside of saying we understand cool strategy?

                      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

                      by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:36:11 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  You type it like this: ratf*cking. (0+ / 0-)

          But I don't see the point.  It's the established term.

    •  You have fallen into (0+ / 0-)

      A Daily Kos trap. Now you'll support censorship, a very weak opponent to profanity. We even have you using the positive and upbeat pro-fanity and not the more distasteful vulgarity.

    •  You have every right to be angry- (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      llywrch, Sylv

      You and I are the rat. You can't pretty that up. I voted in a republican primary once. It felt cool at first. Then right after that I felt like I had been fucked by a stoopid system.

    •  How about Rat Fink? (0+ / 0-)

      It's a Cleveland term from Ernie Anderson, AKA as Ghoulardi.

      LECTURE - "Ghoulardi: Lessons in Mayhem"

      An honest heart being the first blessing, a knowing head is the second..Jefferson's Letter to Peter Carr

      by JugOPunch on Sun May 18, 2014 at 07:38:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What are you talking about? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      The use of the word "ratfucking"? It's not in the title, and Markos has been emphatic that he has no issue with profanity.

  •  I have no problem with the tactic. If the (11+ / 0-)

    GOP is going to run around with crazies, I say we use it to our advantage.

    Guns are never the principal in the commission of a crime, but they are usually an accomplice

    by MadGeorgiaDem on Sun May 18, 2014 at 07:59:57 AM PDT

    •  I'll take it further than that. (0+ / 0-)

      If they're going to run around with crazies and throw up road blocks on my right to vote, I'm going to do everything legal at my disposal to destroy their party, seat by seat. They aren't allies that we simply disagree with, that we can tolerate. They're enemies that want to destroy us and ensure we can't stop them by blocking us from voting.

      •  Sing it, brother (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        (or sister, as the case may be!)  We keep acting like we're dealing with sane people here who will respond to reason and logic and humanity.   They prove again and again that we are deluding ourselves, and that they will not rest until they have destroyed every vestige of what real Americans want America to be.  Our tactics should be legal, yes, but otherwise, they get no fucking quarter, none.

        (I'd rec your comment, but the check box is only available on some of the comments for some reason, haven't figured that out yet).

        I'll have a Cafe-Mocha-Vodka-Valium Latte to go, please.

        by penelope pnortney on Mon May 19, 2014 at 04:43:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Brother. (0+ / 0-)

          The rec box is only available for 24 hours after the comment is made, or something like that.

          As far as tactics, yeah, these people aren't going to stop. Ever. They will drive us into a ditch and jump out with shovels to dig it in deeper to ensure we never get out. They  get no mercy, no quarter. Crush them. Destroy them. Ensure we win 60% nationwide and at least 58% in a majority of house districts.  Unrealistic goals? Sure, but it just means I'll fight like hell to achieve them and we'll get great results in the process.

  •  It Can Backfire Horrifically (11+ / 0-)

    I believe that's where Joe McCarthy came from -- and how a half-century of La Follette progressivism was terminated. It's my understanding that in 1946 lots of Wisconsin Democrats crossed over to vote in the Republican primary in order to ratfuck the thing by voting for the disgusting buffoon (McCarthy) over the progressive statesman (Young Bob La Follette; remember: in the first half of the 20th century, mainstream American progressivism was a Republican thing). It "worked." McCarthy won narrowly. The rest, as they say ...

  •  Ratfucking through the ages (5+ / 0-)

    As someone old enough to remember Nixon's dirty tricks, I have been delighted to see that Democrats have successfully "steered" the republican primaries in recent years.  It's about time.  The tactic worked, and the R's don't have the Senate now in part because of it.  

    The current polls show the Democrats have a better than even chance of loosing the Senate in November.  However, we should not underestimate the R's conspicuous skill in shooting themselves in the foot and ruining their own chances.  "Helping" the primary voters to make the wrong choice would contribute momentum to the R's downfall.

    Remember: Conservatives would rather loose right than win wrong.  We should help them to get their preference.

    Canem Praeteri, Cave Modo Hominem. (Never mind the dog, just watch out for the human)

    by T C Gibian on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:07:50 AM PDT

  •  Perhaps one of the most interesting words (5+ / 0-)

    Fuck

    Going to Colorado in My Mind

    by Zwoof on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:09:06 AM PDT

  •  "Team Blue" is not a policy to better society. (6+ / 0-)

    Ratfucking ultimately treats the electorate as a means and not as an end, thereby weakening our politics. Casting about a political map looking for places to ratfuck is not the best use of our time, m2c.

    "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

    by Mogolori on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:10:41 AM PDT

    •  Well, "exciting the base" in 2010 didn't work... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      METAL TREK, quill, The Caped Composer

      ...and infuriatingly enough, no Dem pundits, political analysts, precinct committeepersons remembered it was a census year, and the ramifications that might ensue should the Republicans win districts and governors' chairs.

      If the average voter who's not been paying attention to the direction the country has taken -- meaning not hearing the too-loud voices of the perennial whiners about "freedom" -- treats 2014 like they did in 2010, even "ratfucking" won't work.

      So, the Dems/progressives should use every tool at their disposal to GOTV, and that includes "ratfucking".

      •  No, it worked fine where it was tried (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sylv, Mogolori, Australian2

        The national party was cautious and triangulated.  And Democrats lost badly.

        In California, however, the tactic was to get Latinos organized, registered, and out to vote.  It worked.  Really well.

        We lost no seats in Congress.  We gained seats in the state legislature.  In all a completely different result.

        From what I've seen, the DNC, DSCC and the DCCC are doing more like CA in 2010.  It really could pay off, too.

        Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

        by mbayrob on Sun May 18, 2014 at 01:34:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  well (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    claude, BvueDem

    you've got the DKos preferred lingo down. I do not approve, but you should go far.

    I don't know what's worse, the getting older or the getting wiser. -- G. Callen.

    by OLinda on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:10:42 AM PDT

    •  For Democrats to think that saying Senator (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BvueDem

      McCaskill engaged in 'ratfucking' is a good idea is absolute madness.

      •  Not 'absolute madness' (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BvueDem, Jyrki

        Just really questionable judgment. No hyperbole necessary.

        Some elements of this diary are absolutely crucial and SHOULD be had publicly.

        But other parts ... well, yup, putting them out there for Jebus and everyone to see ... that's pretty damn dumb.

        It shouldn't be so hard to know the difference.

        •  It isn't "questionable judgement" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BvueDem

          It is absolutely the exercise of zero 'judgement' at all.

          Take this diary down.

          •  Gotchya. Crystal-Clear on Yer Take-It-Down" Stand (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib

            But surely you agree that some -- not all, but some -- elements of this discussion really must be had publicly. And that other elements of the discussion -- however distasteful -- must also be bandied about, albeit privately (and preferably with more carefully chosen words). Or not?

            •  I don't have any problem at all with discussion (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BvueDem, Leftleaner, tmservo433, Sylv, Kygre

              of effective electioneering tactics, opposition research, methods of communication to the opposition, methods of political jujitsu, etc.

              What I have a problem with is saying that such matters are called "ratfucking" which is the use of illegal, unethical, anti-democratic and reprehensible dirty tricks.

              Senator Claire McCaskill did not engage in any of this conduct, but here is this fucking diary saying so on Daily Kos with the use of that term to describe Democrats who have nothing at all to do with illegal, unethical, anti-democratic and reprehensible dirty tricks.

              That the diarist cannot distinguish between effective and accepted electioneering and campaigning tactics vs. illegal, unethical, anti-democratic and reprehensible dirty tricks carried out by the likes of Donald Segretti and Richard Nixon (things properly described by the term "ratfucking") is THE problem.

              •  ratfucking=illegal, unethical, anti-democratic & (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tmservo433, LakeSuperior
                reprehensible dirty tricks. Senator Claire McCaskill did not engage in any of this conduct.
                Exactly.

                Some history, from All the President's Men, by Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, because words matter:

                p.126: The Trojans called their brand of electioneering "ratfucking." Ballot boxes were stuffed, spies were planted in the opposition camp, and bogus campaign literature abounded.
                p. 132: Ratfucking? He had heard the term; it meant double-cross and, as used by the Nixon forces, it referred to infiltration of the Democrats.
                p. 136: a lead by Woodward and Bernstein outlining the general program of "ratfucking," espionage and sabotage by at least 50 agents
                DailyKos diary titled: "Republican Ratf*#king - A Sad, Desperate Tradition", lede paragraph (emphasis in original):
                Ratfucking. Republican Ratfucking.  A time-honored GOP tradition. I'll repeat, a GOP tradition. Not ours.
                Nixon aide Dwight Chapin hired fellow USC alumnus Donald Segretti to run a campaign of dirty tricks (which Segretti dubbed "ratfucking") against the Democrats in 1972. ...
                Among the tactics were: canceling meeting-hall reservations just prior to rallies, putting out false press releases or "leaked documents" in the name of political opponents, spying on rival campaigns, putting plants into rival campaigns, purloining speeches and information, vote contracting, jamming phone lines, ordering vast quantities of food for delivery in the name of rival campaigns, hiring "rioters" and "activists, conducting deceptive or offensive get out the vote phone canvasses, push polls, and similar activities.
                DailyKos diary, "Spitzer Absolutely Ratfucked By the GOP - Proof":
                Almost four months before Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in a sex scandal, a lawyer for Republican political operative Roger Stone sent a letter to the FBI alleging that Spitzer ''used the services of high-priced call girls'' while in Florida.

                DailyKos diary, "Will the Republican RatFuckers Falsify an Email/IM Record?"
                We are dealing with Republican RatFuckers who have rigged vote counts.  Would they even hesitate to falsify an email/IM record in order to make Foleygate a "bipartisan" scandal?
                Etc.

                To repeat: Senator Claire McCaskill did not engage in any of this conduct.

  •  WI-06 (4+ / 0-)

    I would add WI-6 to the list of races where ratfucking could come in handy. A Grothman win would really boost Mark Harris' chances of taking this seat. Plus, Grothman already has a good chance of winning the republican nomination as it stands, so a little ratfucking could easily put him over the top.  

  •  I see nothing unethical (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timaeus, MichaelNY

    About trying to influence the other side's primary.  Certain tactics to do that may be unethical, but the general premise is not.

  •  I'm just here to mock (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    METAL TREK, quill, Timaeus, MichaelNY

    the Goody-Twoshoes types who will object to such low tactics and stooping to the level, etc,  etc.

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:27:38 AM PDT

    •  I don't see (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      claude

      any doing that, well maybe one.

      I don't know what's worse, the getting older or the getting wiser. -- G. Callen.

      by OLinda on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:33:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  not yet. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OLinda, quill, llywrch, rja

        they are all in church this morning...

        don't always believe what you think

        by claude on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:41:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I don't mind the profanity (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tmservo433

          Fuckem if they don't like it. Go hang out at The Daily Babtist.

          But I do have a big problem with advocating for mimicking Republicans and their dirty trick tactics. If you have to win by trickery, then YOU SUCK.

          But of course, the Democrats have been mimicking Republicans in every other way, I suppose it was just a matter of time they would resort to ratfucking.

          Meanwhile, I think it's telling that Kos picked this guy to be an editor. It seems clear now where he wants to take the site - down the toilet.

          •  We can win most seats (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nzanne, tmservo433, Sylv

            Without ratfucking. But when it comes down to it, some seats (Enough to get a supermajority in the senate and house) simply require us to do a few 'extra' things.  It's particularly useful, and completely justifiable, when your opponents all hold the same views but there's an unelectable troglodyte among the bunch who's pretty close to making it through the primary.

            My state's a pretty good example. If Karen Handel wins the primary, or god forbid Paul Broun, they're going to get clobbered in November. No two ways about it. Handel is within, I believe, half a percent of making the runoff, and she'd likely defeat Perdue in it. So uh. Guess who I want to make the runoff?

            •  Why do you think Handel would get "clobbered"? (0+ / 0-)

              Broun, yes, or maybe Gingrey, but they're trailing badly. Why would Handel be easier to defeat than Kingston (not that either would be easy to defeat)?

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Sun May 18, 2014 at 04:29:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  That's pretty much the argument (0+ / 0-)

            Used by some Senate Democrats in opposing filibuster reform, which I consider a desirable form of legal trickery.

  •  a plausible euphemism (4+ / 0-)

    The term "ratfuck" was current slang during the sixties, and as a college student I had occasion to use it.  At the time it meant only to mess things up for somebody, really bad.  The current use is a specialization of the meaning.

    For those who object to the use of this word, the usual abreviation at the time was "RF."  As in "Snaveley just RF'ed that guy f'r sure."

    Canem Praeteri, Cave Modo Hominem. (Never mind the dog, just watch out for the human)

    by T C Gibian on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:39:04 AM PDT

  •  Perfectly legit tactic. I'd add one more item: (14+ / 0-)

    Undercut the conservative bona fide the ratfuck target.

    What also worked for McCaskill and Reid was convincing the right wing that the real target of the operation isn't conservative enough.

    McCaskill also ran ads against Brunner before the primary saying he wasn't a true conservative.

    Excellent post.

  •  Well, we can't use ACORN to steal every election (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yonit, llywrch

    (Snark)

    Considering the GOP is not just gerrymandering like mad, but is also doing everything it can to discourage voting by likely democratic voters, we have to look at all the tools in the tool box.

    And we have to get our own voters motivated and turned out.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:43:18 AM PDT

    •  One good way to motivate voters (5+ / 0-)

      is to not suck.

      •  Or to motivate them into hating the other guy. (0+ / 0-)

        With the introduction of voter ID laws and gerrymandering to make it so our voters can't vote, and so that when they do their votes are wasted, you bet your ass I'm going to do what it takes to weaken their party. Sure, us not sucking should be the primary objective, which is why I'd vote in a democratic primary over a republican one, if the democratic one is even remotely competitive.

        But in GA, the Democratic Primaries in my area (I live in one of the reddest districts) were already decided or didn't matter. So those aren't the primaries I voted in.

      •  Or, if your a Republican (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sylv, James Hepburn, Matt Z, BvueDem

        Just start pointing out to your base that the other side is all onboard with 'gaming' 'manipulating' and De-legitimizing the process.

        It's a quick way to lose the high ground in debating your opponents when they can spend their time contending your a bunch of dishonest cheaters.

        No, it doesn't help that 'they do it too'.

        Argh.  Ok.  I said I'd get out of here, I have to be somewhere at 2:30 CST, but reading the comments in this diary just is not good for the way I see this community, because it reflects a profound misunderstanding of the reality of campaign messaging by conflating defining your opposition with gaming an election, and asserts that association with the same can be done without being harmful to our cause of promoting more and better democrats.

        Disagree?  Then get your ass to a campaign, go meet with a candidate, and tell them you want to help.   Bring this kind of message up, and you're going to see PACs run for the door and candidates stare you down like you brought in arsenic laced water.

        Are they willing to define candidates in the primary, and if it helps those who have the weakest case, does that help?  True.. but to conflate that with picking your opponent is the kind of message that is harmful FOR US, who are trying to elect people.

        So, I'm going to walk away.

        Despite the thought I'm just some user who hangs out on Kos and goes to church and just has my underpants in a bunch, you can look through everything I've written on here.. every organization I've worked with.. every campaign I've assisted.   Then go look at your Bio, get back to me and tell me that I know nothing and my opinion is worthless.

        We can disagree on the issues, but James has it right.

        This diary and the comment section here are head bangingly bad for advancing sites like DailyKos as a resource for candidates.

        And that's the truth.

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 12:13:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If Democrats ever took the time to "ratfuck" (0+ / 0-)

    Wall Street bankers we wouldn't have to play these petty primary games-games only a career politician gives a shit about. These primary games are exactly how both R's and D's make us jump through hoops instead of simply doing their goddamn jobs.

  •  Stakes are high (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    METAL TREK, MichaelNY

    and I think conditions have to be just right to make this tactic worth the risk, given the examples of failure given above. We may have those conditions now. The electorate seems to be moving left and the extremists still have a lot of power in the Republican party.

    "I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night..."

    by Killer on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:53:40 AM PDT

  •  Take this diary down -- it dishonors all Democrats (9+ / 0-)

    and is an insult to Senator Claire McCaskill.   That it even appeared as DK front page material raises questions about editorial judgement here.

    Publishing this diary on Daily Kos is an example of how Democrats shoot themselves in the foot on politics and messaging.

    The term 'ratfucking' in the politics/election context got its start with Donald Segretti and dirty political tricks carried out by Nixon's Committee to Re-Elect the President.....dirty tricks that were illegal, unethical and obnoxious.

    What the message and subtext of this diary does is to say that Senator Claire McCaskill engaged in dirty tricks with the same ethical deficit as the tactics of Donald Segretti.  The entire idea of declaring McCaskill to be at a Donald Segretti level of dirty politics is a lying, damaging/destructive meme that has no place on a site devoted to Democrats.

    That the diarist thinks this diary and its message is useful and not destructive to Democrats is an act of political malpractice for Democrats.

    Publishing such material on Daily Kos concerning a potentially vulnerable Democrat in a red state is act of folly and is irresponsible.

    •  Agreed...no thank you to the diary... (7+ / 0-)

      I am not interested in becoming a faux Dem.

      sh

      •  As if reading this diary changes your (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, BleacherBum153

        ideology in any way...

        Yeah... right.

        24 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

        by wwmiv on Sun May 18, 2014 at 12:30:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No one is worried about the ideology of the reader (14+ / 0-)

          People who are on this site want to win.

          But winning means candidates who will face opposition and need to win our vote.

          Winning means getting a message out to people who aren't onboard with this site.

          Winning means convincing the majority of voters in a district.

          Winning means fundraising off of donors who will help you.

          There are a lot of people on DailyKos who are great fundraisers.

          There are a lot of people on DailyKos who are working campaigns.

          There are lots of campaigns that would love this fall to tap into a base of loyal progressives who will donate to change districts nationwide.

          Worried about changing the mind of a poster here?  Who cares about that.

          Worried about shutting the door to candidates who would like to talk to this community but don't want to be associated or tagged with the idea they are part of something that is OK with 'gaming' an election?

          Worried about candidates who are desperate for donors and support in Red and Purple districts who would love to come to DailyKos and get support?  

          Yes.  

          I worry about that.

          Does this make me re-think a bit how I want to introduce candidates in red districts to a large donor base that I could easily use in small money races in states I give a damn about... YES.

          So how does this help elect more and better candidates?

          I'm sorry but let's get real.  

          No one is worried about this changing my opinion or that commenters opinion.  They will vote Democrat.

          No one is worried about that.

          Everyone is concerned with associating at-risk candidates who need resources with the concept of gaming elections for political strategies in at-risk districts where said content will be used to inform people who know NOTHING about DailyKos.

          This is the kind of Diary if I were Rush Limbaugh's show prep I would be ALL OVER because it feeds into the conservative talking points that were fiction in the case of McCaskill and they are fiction in the case of every manager of any real election effort I know of.

          You define your opposition through effective messaging.  You don't pick your opponents, you have them defined before they become your opponents.

          We aren't worried about changing the minds of people here.

          For most of the people I have I hadn't thought about Recruiting DailyKos or doing a rollout because their districts are too red.  

          But diaries like this make it harder for people like me to introduce candidates who need support to a site like this.

          That's the reality.  And if you can't appreciate that this is why some of us found this HR worthy, then that's OK.

          I get it is inside baseball.   And I like Darth Jeff, I think he has written some great articles.  

          But this article doesn't in any way help any campaign.  No campaign wants to see an article about inside baseball with a strategy that most non-hardcore voters view as unethical and meddling and have it associated with the official position of the site through front paging.

          Feel free to disagree, but that's it in a nutshell.  

          The fact that I'm sitting at a restaurant waiting on a candidate and hammering away furiously on public wifi despite saying I'd shut my keyboard and not respond on this any more earlier should imply why at least I think this is a real issue.

          Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

          by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 12:46:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I cannot agree (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yonit, METAL TREK, sooner2703, betelgeux

      If the repugs want to rewrite their playbook to exclude such tactics, so should we, but not before.

      republicans consider that their cause has been sanctified by devine action and that NO tactic is off the table which leads to their victory.  To disdain using methods which have been used against us for years begs the question:  Which hand would you prefer tied behind your back?

      Canem Praeteri, Cave Modo Hominem. (Never mind the dog, just watch out for the human)

      by T C Gibian on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:11:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The assumption of your comment is that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BvueDem, Sylv, Matt Z

        what Claire McCaskill did is "ratfucking"....

        ...Senator McCaskill never engaged in "ratfucking" and absolutely nothing at all about the Senator's electioneering tactics either are "ratfucking" or deserve to be called "ratfucking"....

        The diarist's political instincts to say that Senator McCaskill engaged in "ratfucking" and publicly writing that in a front page DK diary indicate 'polltical brain-death' for Democrats.

        •  Claire McCaskill is owned by Wall Street (0+ / 0-)

          She will say or do anything to get elected. I wouldn't vote for her is she were running against Satan himself.

          My problem is the slimebag wing of the party saying ratfucking is a good idea.

          •  If I had to live in Missouri, I would (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BvueDem, Sylv, Matt Z, tmservo433

            be absolutely pleased to vote for Senator McCaskill in an election pitting the Senator against any Republican, especially including Todd Akin.

            Things are tough for Democrats running in red states.  Expecting Claire McCaskill to perform and articulate at the same level of as elected Dems in blue states or at the Bernie Sanders level is neither realistic nor pragmatic.

            If you don't value maintaining the U.S. Senate in Democrat's hands, by all means, drag Senator McCaskill down in the manner that this diary does by tagging her as a "ratfucker".....that would be considered communication and political malpractice by any of the national Democratic Party organizations and it should not be any different here when evaluating staff work by organizations involved with progressive Democrats.

            However, if you adopt that course of action, be prepared for the consequence of a republican Senate on all public affairs in the United States and on the remaining Presidency of Barack Obama.

            •  you know, Lake, I live in MO, I voted for Claire (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY

              and was absolutely delighted that she helped pick the opponent she did.  That paid massive dividends not just locally but nationally.  I considered it ratfucking at the time and was pleased as Hell that she was willing and able to do it.  The diarist says that no political operation should ever admit to ratfucking, and her's didn't.  But all the local political analysts knew what she was doing.  Now, when they discussed her campaign's strategy on local public radio, they did not use the term "ratfucking," but that's hardly surprising.  The real question is, was it a 'dirty trick' for her to prop up Akin among conservatives?  If you ask the state GOP, then the answer is hell yes.  Eye of the beholder, I think.  

        •  It depends upon how (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          betelgeux

          you define rat-fucking. I agree that "fucking up their primary" would be a much better term, since nothing stated in the diary is illegal, or even unethical.  Perhaps you and him just disagree on the definition of a single word? If it's a massive disagreement, as in lots of people disagree with him, he should probably edit the diary to clarify what he means by 'ratfucking'.  Given, this line:

          The goal of ratfucking is usually to get the opposing party to nominate a weak candidate, or to pass over a strong candidate.
          and the tactics listed did make clear he wasn't advocating breaking the law.
          •  LakeSuperior's whiny, sanctimonious complaints (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, AndersonDelValle

            are based on his misunderstanding of the word "ratfucking". Ratfucking can mean many things. It can refer to illegal or unethical behavior. It can mean non-illegal behavior that is simply underhanded or sneaky. Here on Daily Kos, the word is used to refer to the campaign tactic of interfering in the opposing party's primary to ensure the most unelectable candidate wins. LakeSuperior is apparently ignorant of this last definition. That's fine, I wasn't aware of it myself until I started reading Daily Kos. But he needs to understand that the term does not refer exclusively to illegal activity.

            Proud Progressive Social Studies teacher. (-9.50, -8.05) "Teach a man to reason, and he'll think for a lifetime."--Phil Plait

            by betelgeux on Sun May 18, 2014 at 03:51:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yer Both Right, Both Wrong? Great Discussion Here! (0+ / 0-)

              Yes, let's accept a broader definition, but let's also beware of gratuitous, self-inflicted damage.

              FWIW I've appreciated the give-and-take herein (generally) as much as any I've seen on this site in quite a while. A matrix of decidedly thorny issues have gotten a healthy airing. Lots of important points, many well-supported and nuanced, many divergent wavelengths and great passion all around. (And just enough of the usual imbecilities sprinkled in to keep things familiar.) Overall, very nice. Best of all, (for the most part) shockingly polite, given the passion. That's really something.

              Whether or not you like the diary, I think you've got to admit that the discussion as it's developed has been pretty good.

              •  No...let's not accept a broader definition. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BvueDem

                "Ratfucking" is the carrying out of unlawful, unethical, anti-democratic dirty tricks.

                Any of the younger Democrats that want to put Claire McCaskill in the same category as Richard Nixon and Donald Segretti commit unforced error.

                Thinking that a declaration about a Democratic officeholder saying that they are "ratfuckers" is somehow not an insult and degrading form of communication is exercise in un-reality.

                The diarist somehow thinks that it is either entertaining or interesting to corrupt and redefine a term long held by the public as illegal dirty tricks, to define the Senator into the same group as Richard Nixon.   I can't think of a more negative and counterproductive exercise in communication that could be carried out by a Democrat in describing a present Democratic Party officeholder in the manner carried out in this diary.

                •  Your DEMAND That the Definition Be Narrowed (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MichaelNY, betelgeux, Avenginggecko

                  does NOT make it so.

                  The term has been used much more broadly than the way you define it -- all over the place -- and for eons -- whether you like it or not -- no matter how much you repeat yourself and stamp your feet. In the words of The Ol' Philosopher, "You could look it up."

                  I would NEVER conflate McKaskill with Nixion's minions (although I'm far from young and certainly not a Democrat). Anyone who would is a dipshit -- and I think it's a bit of a stretch to say many of the folks herein are guilty of such a conflation, witting or otherwise.

                  Further, I heartily agree that there are some ridiculous, unforced errors here. That's why I down-rated the diary and would like to see it taken down. FWIW, some of your arguments helped persuade me to do so.

                  I'm inclined to agree with you to a great extent, but it certainly appears to me that you're also throwing lots of punches at folks who'd otherwise be on your side (more or less).

                  Sometimes it's okay to accept "Yes" for an answer.

            •  You're trying to re-write history with your (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BvueDem

              "ratfucking" re-definition, in a manner that besmirches Democrats in the same scurrilous ways that Fox News besmirches Democrats.

              For Democrats, that is a brain dead strategy.

              For persons carrying out mass communications as we do here on the DK site, it malpractice and non-reality-based conduct that would get any political staffer fired in short order in a regular Democratic party organization.

              You are engaging in corruption of political language by your "ratfucking can mean many things" declaration.

              This diary's declaration claiming Senator McCaskill engages in "Ratfucking" as the public knows that term as illegal, unethical dirty tricks is a powerful, destructive lie and nothing about the charge that Senator McCaskill engages in "ratfucking" has anything at all good for Democrats.   The diarist is more interested in committing political and communications malpractice than actually helping Democrats gain governance.

              This diary is an atrocity of a diary for Democrats.   Any Democratic Party staffer that spread the poison in this diary would be rapidly fired.   The diarist is more interested in his own pride and attempt at creating a posting for entertainment value, than promoting the interest of Democrats.  

              Saying Claire McCaskell engaged in "ratfucking" is lying and this diary is promoting that lie over the best interests of all Democrats.

              •  Would you like to say the same thing (0+ / 0-)

                another 25 times? How about 50?

                Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                by MichaelNY on Sun May 18, 2014 at 07:03:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sure....I'll go a hundred rounds, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BvueDem

                  as many as it takes, to beat down the "Claire McCaskill is a ratfucker' meme here on Daily Kos because it is an astonishingly brain-dead self-destructive thing for progressive Democrats to be saying, both to the Senator and to the general public.

                  It is lie.

                  It is corrosive.

                  It is the worst form of self-destructive political masturbation and group-think I've ever seen here on Daily Kos.    

                  Spreading a 'Claire McCaskill is a ratfucker' meme is act of political suicide, because the general public understands this term to mean unlawful, unethical, undemocratic political campaign dirty tricks.

                  Clair McCastill is none of that, and anyone here saying that she is a 'ratfucker' lies to public about the Democrat that beat Todd Akin.    

                  I won't be playing 'rope-a-dope' either when the diarist is deliberately spreading this destructive, anti-Democratic-Party meme on Daily Kos.

                  •  Oh boy, we can all define our own words! Su3r! :-) (7+ / 0-)
                    Here on Daily Kos, the word is used to refer to [fill in the blank]. Some people are apparently ignorant of this last definition. That's fine, I wasn't aware of it myself until I started reading Daily Kos.
                    I recall a short story (in Spanish, maybe by Marquez?? not sure) about a guy who started coming up with his own words, e.g. his word for the chair in his bedroom, at sunset, was different than for any other chair at any other time. It didn't end well...

                    But at least some of us on DailyKos can now evidently define our own meanings of words. This is so cool! :-) This will shed light on those 'parked' websites, among other texts. The downright relates to a politician beside a collect fame. Ton sol restantes voz nerviosas vendamont los. Aged cruelty clouds conspiracy, and blurs the aversion the messiah boar blankness made popular. Ahinco antojo pureza ve caidas quiera de atacar. The essential newsletter lurks across a trash.  Why can't the evidence syndicate the curry? 去 矣 ,可 關雎 事 誨 」 出. 己轉身 後竊聽 建章曰:. A drowned downright excludes the panel. When can the battle murder a supreme graduate? Con aun fue parece sintio chiste. A naked outset follows the cake throughout a reasoned purchase, and a node abides beside a car. A happier insult strains in the public.  Nun bei vorn geht den blau. Against a bite farms the money. Stichting behoorden en hanteeren vereenigd te de. Are expenses distance weddings perceive strongly who age domestic? Our champagne hums underneath the rectified cigarette.  Ея Ее ни Не Со не.  A code rolls opposite a composite! Oui trouve pareil rit voulut astres tuiles. The awake changeover stretches under the water.  Toki han kay saa puhu paha. Is education residence conveying so so? Suppose shyness say ten behaved morning had.  復讐者」 伯母さん . Any unsatiable assistance compliment occasional too reasonably advantages. Jako kawy był Jaki tace. Πέραν ακόμη ευρήκ εν σε θα φράση έν. Remove but suffer wanted his lively length.  הָאֲדָמָה שׁוֹקֶקֶת הארצישראל וָאֲמַהֵר.  Moonlight two applauded conveying end direction old principle but. Capiche?

                    But it gets better! There's no reason to stick with those old-fashioned groupings of letters that grammar nazis call 'words'. That is so like 50 years ago! Eleectate ilio teign, fuin dapaiate ta chillpal pruvia. Juhe ur qurown icpeic i rowownbro fi rowed themses? Cotermost, leare oty arost pidis na pisack.

                    Wait, there's more! No reason to be stuck with only 26 alphabetic characters, nor even the 74 Khmer letters, nor  all other letters in all other alphabets. No! We can do better than that, we are DailyKos! Ðçè? Déêp ë™ù! Rš›œ អរSរ  أ َ َ Tد َّ 3ة َ cبU ِ ي َ7ّVة рzус? Ôски! L! Ûйก æ. Ñал, Íàф; Qаoвí. Õ î m8ษи, M! Ó! ìтåἄ λ4Oφ? Èαq, β+ῆτ - Êอั Pαo dòร  ไยदेना. Zगरी ا رہ=جfی ا لف Ú-eب{ایفا رس Ìی! &g'(w)*./01Ï2 y5 9. :>? @Aú Bव6x CJ? وK يNب ْجE.ท FJع َر NX ក្សYد bZ [ý ]^_` i jaô kl  |.}~€j ‚--ƒ„ l û…†Ü ä ‡ˆÒ‰Š‹ Œ  Ž  ‘“” – ˜ ž Ÿ¡ ¢Á u£¤ ¥ ¦§ ¨©ªhv«¬ I á°W± k²³ µ¶X•n¹º »Y¼m ½ t¾¿À à r ت Äõ ÅÆ ខ្មែÇ Éó Ë$ ã%ÎÖ× ØsÙÝ Þßâ ï ð ñö÷øüþ ÿ!  :-) hehe

          •  I thought he did explain pretty clearly (0+ / 0-)

            what he's referring to.

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Sun May 18, 2014 at 04:32:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  It is undoubtedly too late, but (0+ / 0-)

    couldn't the GA GOP Senate primary have been considered a prime opportunity for ratfucking by Michelle Nunn?

    Rush — the quivering rage heap who is apparently desperately trying to extinguish any remaining molecule of humanity that might still reside in the Chernobyl-esque Superfund cleanup site that was his soul. -- Jon Stewart

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:58:31 AM PDT

  •  Cantor (5+ / 0-)

    Here's the situation:  Eric Cantor is being challenged by Dave Brat in the June 10 Republican Primary for VA 7th District Congressman.

    Now Dave Brat is VERY conservative and is trying to run at Cantor from the right.  His contention is the Cantor has sold out to Obama etc.

    Cantor on the other hand is trying to label Brat as a nasty librul.  Cantor is running ads explaining that Brat was on some commission of Tim Kaine's and that they raised taxes.  Almost every independent source is calling out Cantor on it and calling that contention false.

    And a Democratic Committee Chairman told me that in many ways Brat is worse than Cantor (wrap your head around that one).  I asked if we should get out and vote for Brat, but he says that the Democratic Party is NOT going to encourage this officially because of the blowback that could occur.

    Oh yes, AND there is no Democratic candidate to run against the winner of the Repug's June 10 primary between Cantor and Brat.

    What do we want to see happen here?  

    IF (and that is a big IF) Brat could upset Cantor, it is a certainty that Cantor would run in the general election anyway.  He would claim that we Democrats voted for Brat and that he deserves the job.  And he would probably win in the general election in Nov.

    But what a shame it would be to see that and NOT have a Democratic candidate in the running.  Wayne Powell did a really good job last time garnering 41.4% of the vote matching almost exactly Obama's percentage in the district that day.  So far he is refusing to run.  I'm personally calling him to try to persuade him.  If only I had a billion dollars to throw at his campaign.

    As I diaried before,  there is significant opposition on the extreme right to Cantor and they are lining up behind Brat.  If the hard right base comes out on June 10 and defeats Cantor, it is not difficult to see a 3-way race in which a motivated Democratic base could come out and win with 42% of the vote.  

    So I think we need to do two things:

    1.  Vote for Dave Brat on June 10 and (BEFORE THAT)
    2.  Get Wayne Powell to throw in his hat.

    Wayne must be endorsed before June 10 in order to be on the November ballot.

    Ted Cruz: The second coming of Christ, but not Reagan (yet).

    by nuketeacher on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:58:33 AM PDT

  •  In 2010 our Democratic congressman was (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quill, Timaeus, DownstateDemocrat, Jyrki

    successfully RF'ed. Alan Mollohan or his father had been the representative from WV-1 almost continuously since WWII. Mollohan was unbeatable in the general election. The R's helped out an rogue Democrat candidate who attacked with help from the right-to-lifers. Mollohan didn't take it seriously and got clobbered when there was a very light turnout.

    Then David McKinley squeaked out a narrow win in the general- Mollohan would have beaten him easily. Many progressives were so pissed by the primary that they refused to vote for the Democrat.

    •  I don't agree with this example (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David Jarman, Andrew F Cockburn

      Mollohan was tainted by association with corruption, and he was probably defeated fair and square in the primary. Moreover, he probably would have been defeated in a general election a lot more heavily than Olivero was. Tell me why you think I'm wrong. I recall some frightening general election opinion polls, with Mollohan losing by plenty.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Sun May 18, 2014 at 04:34:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  From my perspective in his district, I disagree. (0+ / 0-)

        The corruption charges were old and had been used against him in the previous election, which he had won easily. The charges were also pretty flimsy, IMO. The House Ethics Committee had cleared him (and I think it was run by Republicans at the time).

        Molllohan says that the charges were brought because he had been on the Ethics Committee when they censured DeLay, and that there had been a concerted effort to get everyone involved. He was the last one left in Congress. I don't know if that is true, but it is certainly plausible.

        Every politician in the 1st District will tell you that Mollohan's campaign was the worst they have ever seen. Many of them warned him, but he ignored them. He had hired a new campaign manager who didn't know what she was doing. They ignored the attacks and he made almost no appearances in the district.

        Oliverio, on the other hand, was backed by the right-to-lifers and ALEC. They pushed hard in the more conservative areas. Even in Morgantown the only contacts I had from either campaign were robocalls from the anti-choice groups. There were rumors that many Republicans were switching their registration to independent so that they could vote in the Democratic primary.

        It is impossible to overstate how much other Democrats disliked Oliverio. Women hated him. Labor backed the Republican. His former colleagues in the state legislature detested him. After some soul searching I voted for him, but I am sure that several members of the County Democratic Executive Committee here in his home county did not. We are used to voting for conservative Democrats in the general election- Mollohan certainly wasn't a progressive and Manchin is usually worse- but we go ahead and do it because the alternative is so much worse. It really wasn't clear this time.

        Finally, WV is different from other states. (I talked to some outside consultants who came to work on the Sue Thorn campaign in 2012. They said that they here that from the locals everywhere they go, but that WV is the first place they had seen where it is true.) Most voters were born here and have grown old here, and they don't like change. Once someone gets into office, they can stay forever.

        Family connections are important- if my great-uncle George's wife's second cousin worked with your grandfather, then I will vote for you. One of the candidates I campaign with in the rural areas knows all the main families, and when she meets a voter she asks how they are related to someone with the same surname from several generations ago. If she gets a hit, she then explains her family's connection and asks for their vote. I have never seen this fail. Don't try it in New York.

        •  Nice anecdotes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Andrew F Cockburn

          But what you don't do is address the opinion polls that were showing Mollohan as a likely loser in a general election, if he had gotten that far in 2012. Oliverio kept the general election results a lot closer. That's not what ratfucking is supposed to do.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Mon May 19, 2014 at 01:38:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Failed miserably here in Illinois recently (7+ / 0-)

    Dems spent upwards of 5 million dollars in the gubernatorial primary hoping to keep Bruce Rauner out of the race.

    The teacher's union even backed one of his opponents!  Teachers union.. Illinois...  backing a GOP candidate...  I guess you have to live here to know what a joke that is.

    And Rauner used the whole thing to his advantage.. "They're so scared of me, they are backing my opponents!"

  •  This is a difficult and complex & shouldn't be FP (8+ / 0-)

    Strategy, and putting it on the front page calls attention to something Republicans both use and will bash us for.  

    Republicans have done the exact same thing, of course.. but the strategy is one that draws so much negative attention to candidates that we are better off not highlighting it in a way that makes it seem like a viable 'use in every race' strategy.

    Because it isn't.

    It is a dangerous, risky strategy that has a huge chance to wildly backfire.. Todd Akin blew himself up, but until he did that race was 50/50 in Missouri.. had that slip not happened, he could have easily prevailed.

    This is the risk.

    Highlighting this as a strategy that makes the front page of Kos is both risky and stupid.. (IMHO)... a lot of us work our tails off for candidates and we discuss a lot of what-if scenarios and things we consider about potential adversaries.  

    But getting into the details of this as a strategy is beyond the reach of Kos to effectively address in a way that informs the public without seeming like a bunch of assholes.

    This is the first diary here in a while I am seriously opposed to it being part of the front page discussion.

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:18:24 AM PDT

    •  Is the truth revealed less true (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timaeus, tmservo433

      For sure, the republicans have some junior grade functionary reading Daily Kos and other similar sites.  When this underling passes word about this post to the higher ups, what are they supposed to do about it?  Can they complain that (at last) the Democrats are now successfully doing something which the R's have been doing for years?  If they even try to explain the situation to the voters they might look even worse.

      Unlateral disarmament means one side will not have the weapons to defend itself.  Do we want to be that side?

      If approached properly, perhaps the R's could be persuaded that this tactic would best be abandoned by both sides, especially since we seem to be outdoing them with it lately.

      Canem Praeteri, Cave Modo Hominem. (Never mind the dog, just watch out for the human)

      by T C Gibian on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:30:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would agree it's worth debating (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BvueDem, Sylv

        But the problem with debating ratfucking (which, btw, is a nomenclature that will offend  many who aren't small minded Republicans)

        Plays out a strategy that is true.. but also not nearly as open as portrayed here and is rife with risks.  Candidates who undertake similar policies generally do so because they find themselves at risk from a different primary contender.

        When candidates discuss with staff the use of their resources, it is a difficult internal matter that comes down to the real use of donor money, time and effort.

        Staffs don't sit around and talk about how to ratfuck an opponent.. they talk about how to win with the best use of their resources.

        When we discuss a subject like this on Kos, and I say this as no offense to the readers of Kos, most of the readers here probably haven't been in those rooms or dealt with that decision making process and too many will think 'this is an effective strategy'.

        This article doesn't make it clear both how potentially dangerous and how difficult it is to co-ordinate such a policy effectively while dealing with the best wishes of your donor base, associated PACs and your main messaging.

        No candidate wants to act as a matter that destroys their main message.   Claire McCaskill's strategy of helping Akin became a major story in Missouri and hurt her for awhile because too many side donors went after her for her potentially dangerous move of advancing a radical candidate who might take her seat.

        I'm not saying don't discuss it.. but I'm saying when we frontpage a story about 'ratfucking' we not only get into the weeds on strategy, we discuss a strategy that is fairly unpopular in both parties in a way that makes it seem applicable to races where it isn't, and that is confusing to the donor base that every single candidate needs.

        I don't want any candidate I'm trying to help to get asked 'would you use money/resources to ratfuck your opposition'.. no one who works in campaigns wants that.

        Just saying.  I hope this makes a little more sense.

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:58:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I want to add, it's not Republicans complaints (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LakeSuperior, BvueDem, Sylv, Matt Z

        That ratfucking causes candidates to worry about.
        It is democratic donors who are unhappy - at times vocally unhappy - about having any of their money and resources moving to change an (R) primary to put forward a potentially risky candidate that they completely oppose.

        Donors - hardened democrats - can (and have) absolutely lost their mind over the idea that candidates will do anything to help the nutjobs through primaries because they fear the potential blowback.  

        I'm not worried about (R)s screaming.. the hardened (R) will never vote for you.

        But this is a strategy that turns off some of the largest donors for democratic candidates who think of this as stealing their resources to support what they oppose.  

        I've seen this done.. and work.   But discussing it as a strategy is dangerous because the fastest way to turn off donor spigots is to tell them you're rooting to go up against a nutjob.. because they worry more about that nutjob potentially winning and you falling off a cliff then they do racing against someone who isn't a wackball

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 10:07:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There isn't any truth to the claim of (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BvueDem, tmservo433, Sylv, Matt Z

        this diary that Senator Claire McCaskill's campaign engaged in illegal, unethical, dirty tricks which is what "ratfucking" is.

        •  This is a VERY important point (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LakeSuperior, BvueDem, Sylv, Matt Z

          McCaskill aired issue ads about how far wrong Akin was, and that was so close to a passive endorsement that for a while, knowing how dangerous it was, Republicans took to the radio waves to contend she instructed donors to give directly to Akin, up to $1M, that she had enabled his campaign to sabotage the democratic process.

          This was a running story but it was the Republican narrative.  

          While I address that the decision of how to outside root for a candidate by enabling their base to see them differently - which is what McCaskill did, and still dangerous...

          Anyway, I guess that's just me.

          Let me put it this way, it's hard for me to encourage candidates to open up a campaign blog here to work for funding when a lead article is about Ratfucking - a subjcet they sure as hell don't want to be linked to.  If any user had published it, fine, it's easy to write off..  When it's a front page article it's harder to distance from.

          Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

          by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 10:34:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  This cycle, not much ratfucking is needed. (0+ / 0-)

    They're doing it themselves.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:27:30 AM PDT

  •  Rodent fornication (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff

        without ethical problems: in states like CA, LA and WA that have variations on blanket primaries everyone votes in the same primary. You don't have to reregister or ask for a GOP ballot, you just vote for whomever you choose among candidates from all parties and independents.

        The CA statewides are all safe or likely Democratic wins but it would be nice to tarnish the Repub brand even more by voting for their craziest candidates. I might vote for Tim Donnelly for Governor because he will reinforce the GOP image as the nativist and racist party. Nobody can beat the old guy this year (Jerry Brown) so it is a safe vote. Whenever I see Neel Kashkari's TV spots I think about what a dick he is (and how much money he is pissing away.) Big Tim Donnelly for Gov! Also Orly Taintz is running again, this time for AG. What fun...

       

    Diehard Swingnut, disgruntled Democrat, age 55, CA-30

    by Zack from the SFV on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:29:57 AM PDT

  •  Then there's (5+ / 0-)

    a lovely tactic reputedly performed by Lyndon Johnson before he became a US Senator.

    So the story goes, he was running in a close race, and told his campaign manager to spread the rumor that his opponent had once engaged in sexual relations with his barnyard sows.

    The manager objected, saying that Johnson couldn't get away with calling the man a 'pigfucker.'

    According to the story, Johnson smiled and said, "That's true, but we want to have the bastard deny it."

    I believe it's dignified with the term 'swiftboating,' but it's the Pigfucker Tactic all the same.

  •  Kentucky is the race (0+ / 0-)

    I really think we have a chance of picking off this seat. But that will only happen if we have a strong turnout, and that will probably reflect a good national effort.  That would mean retaining the senate majority and picking up a few seats in the house.  (I don't think we can win the speaker's chair back this year but a net gain of 4 or 5 seats would be significant.)  

    If we head into 2015 with a Senate controlled by Democrats and the Republican caucus that will have to pick a new leader because the architect of Obama obstruction lost in a deep red state, there will be real momentum to get stuff done.  Even the house will have some incentive to get things done because a lot of the less-crazy Republicans will be fearing a Hillary wave in 2016.

    "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

    by Spider Stumbled on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:34:36 AM PDT

  •  To address some criticism about this diary (10+ / 0-)

    I understand some are uncomfortable that I'm supposedly revealing internal strategy and making it easy to counter it. But I'll remind everyone publications like Politico and the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported on McCaskill's tactics as she was doing it. It was well known among political watchers what McCaskill was doing for months. Yet it worked anyway. Democratic campaigns are continuing to attempt this tactic this cycle and they haven't been to secretive about it: There was even an article about it in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago.

    Ratfucking works for one very good reason: Most Republican primary voters don't pay nearly enough attention to politics to understand what's going on. If most had read Politico in the summer of 2012 they would have known not to nominate Akin for example. In 2002 Riordan outright accused Davis of interfering in the GOP primary, but he still badly lost. I don't expect this to change anytime soon. The fact of the matter is ratfucking is clear to anyone looking for it, but not enough people are willing to look for it. Most primary voters on both sides just don't pay nearly that much attention.

    Contributing Editor, Daily Kos Elections. 24, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-02 (resident).

    by Jeff Singer on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:36:18 AM PDT

    •  Bullshit! (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BvueDem, Catte Nappe, PJEvans, Sylv, Matt Z

      You said:

      I understand some are uncomfortable that I'm supposedly revealing internal strategy and making it easy to counter it.
      No, the reason your diary is getting heavy flack is that you are engaging in lying about a sitting Democrat Senator by claiming that Senator engaged in 'ratfucking.'
      But I'll remind everyone publications like Politico and the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported on McCaskill's tactics as she was doing it. It was well known among political watchers what McCaskill was doing for months.
      Nope....those publications did not say that Senator McCaskill engaged in "ratfucking."   It is you who first used that term to describe Senator McCaskill's electioneering with a time right out of Watergate times to pejoratively attack a Democrat with your lie saying that is what McCaskill did.
      •  Ratfucking has been used this way for a while (8+ / 0-)

        At DKE for example "ratfucking" is used to describe what I'm describing. It was used to describe what Alan Grayson was doing in the FL-09 GOP primary in 2012 as it was happening.  

        Contributing Editor, Daily Kos Elections. 24, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-02 (resident).

        by Jeff Singer on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:50:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are corrupting political language by (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BvueDem, James Hepburn, PJEvans, Sylv, Kygre, Matt Z

          using a term which is inherently and directly connected with illegal, unethical, undemocratic and damaging conduct (by republicans, no less) and using it to describe Senator McCaskill's campaign.

          You are insulting a sitting Democratic Senator, you are making damaging and false allegations of negative and unethical conduct by your use of the word "rat fucking"

          You are more in love with your personal use of the work "rat fucking" to describe the Senator's conduct than you are interested in being effective for Democrats.....since you could have written your entire diary without saying that Senator McCaskill engaged in illegal, unlawful conduct which "ratfucking" is by virtue of how that term came into common lexicon through the adventures of Donald Segretti and Richard Nixon.

           

        •  This is not the issue (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BvueDem, PJEvans, Sylv, Matt Z

          When a story is Front Page, it is representative of the ideals of Kos.. that's fine.

          A lot of us are repping a lot of candidates this cycle.   Getting candidates, especially in purple and sometimes red districts to come to Kos and work on fundraising and messaging is an important part in the next generation strategy.

          When front page articles focus on policy in a way that is deep - but also thin - on the realities of what goes on inside of a campaign it makes it difficult, far more difficult, for campaigns to involve a site like Kos in helping their campaign.

          Anyone can publish at Kos.  if someone published this and it was just a diary, people can say 'well, that's just one idea'..  but Front Pagers represent supposedly the ideals of the site.

          Now, you tell me, repping people running for state senate, house, and federal levels if I want any candidate I work with in a red state to get listed on a site that puts Ratfucking as a strategy for trend-red districts front and center.

          It's not a matter of discussing the viability of the strategy, though this diary also fails to address the serious complications of dealing with donor bases, uses of funds, management of outside groups to make sure your own message doesn't blow up.. it is about getting Democrats to address sites like Kos as the kind of people they want to recruit into campaigns with minimal baggage.

          In other words: articles like this one don't make it any easier for those of us out here trying to actually do something.

          I say this peacefully because I like many of your other diaries.. and I think your heart is in the right place.. but the connections diaries like this make are good for thsoe who are already sold on progressive at all cost, bad for those of us trying to convince democrats to get involved.

          That's my opinion.  

          I spent my morning with a breakfast with a candidate who is going to run in a bright red district.   I would hang my head rather than show that person the front page today because the last thing I need those people to think is: you look across at the lunatic I'm running against and someone thinks it's ideal.

          I mean head bang

          But that's me.

          Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

          by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 11:08:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you for speaking up, and your real work on (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tmservo433, LakeSuperior, Sylv, Matt Z

            the ground.

            Your comment should be turned into a short diary, imho. Seriously.

            So many 101st Fighting Keyboarders have never actually devoted themselves to winning a local race, heart-and-soul. All politics is local.

            I encourage you to donate a donut to the tip jar, for the reasons you lay out so well, to get this off the front page ASAP. You've been a Kossack since 2004, I think your bona fides are clear enough and your judgment is most welcomed.

      •  Good grief. You're outvoted. (7+ / 0-)

        Most of us like this diary.  It's tiresome that you keep making the same points over and over and over and over again.

        •  I'll plead to "tiresome" any day if it involves (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BvueDem, Sylv, Matt Z

          fighting the lie claimed by this diary that Senator Claire McCaskill engaged in "ratfucking"

        •  No, most of us 250k Kossacks don't like this diary (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LakeSuperior

          Some of you who do have foolishly Uprated it.

          Several of us have gone further and HR'd it, as it deserves. I expect it will be removed by tomorrow. Today is Sunday and wiser voices are offline.

          I'm glad that user LakeSuperior is speaking up on it more than most of us have time for. Each comment that s/he makes clarifies and/or raises additional points which drive the message home.

          This diary should be removed. It undermines DailyKos' reputation, which affects a wide swath of races across the country. If does not advance the goals of electing better and more Democrats. It is juvenile to the core. It does not speak for DailyKos. It shoes a shameful lack of understanding of what its core term means, and how it was used by the Nixon Administration.

          It makes me wonder if Markos erred by hiring as a front-page writer a 26-yo kid who still seems rooted in his elementary school playground of 2000.

          •  You do realize, do you not, that there aren't (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DLWinMI, betelgeux, MichaelNY

            actually anywhere near 250,000 active Kossacks?  The number is much closer to 5,000.

            All of your other sentences are incorrect as well.

          •  This is irrelevant. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Timaeus, betelgeux, MichaelNY, Adam B
            It makes me wonder if Markos erred by hiring as a front-page writer a 26-yo kid who still seems rooted in his elementary school playground of 2000.
            And undermines any point you were trying to make. You're attacking someone for being 26 on a website dedicated to the party that needs young voters.
            •  Yes, that attack is politically much worse, and (0+ / 0-)

              much stupider, than this diary.

            •  No, I'm not. I'm attacking a juvenile diary for (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LakeSuperior

              being juvenile. Is that difference clear to you?

              In that sentence I was simply poking fun at Darth Jeff by quoting back his lede sentence in his own Masthead profile.

              Are you suggesting that someone who advocates "ratfucking"(though he clearly doesn't know what it means) is incapable of defending himself on a blog, and that criticism of his judgment will somehow chase away him or other young voters? I don't think so.

              Btw, I'm a big fan of weatherdude, who is younger -- so long as he sticks to the weather. ;-)

              •  That part of the comment (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BvueDem

                Looked like you were attacking a young man for being young. Perhaps I miss-interpreted it. I wasn't suggesting that he's incapable of defending himself, but I was absolutely suggesting that seeming like you're attacking someone for being too young could scare away young voters. Over-reaction on my part? Yeah, most likely. Sorry for it.

                •  Sorry if I wasn't clear, & thanks for your input. (0+ / 0-)

                  I should be working on something else at the moment, so I was typing fast, and I shouldn't have included the gratuitous jab at him. I should have stayed focused on the diary (which does strike me as sophomoric).

                  •  In other words, you double down and (0+ / 0-)

                    repeat the insult. Go away.

                    •  It's not sophomoric or ill thought out (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Timaeus

                      Jeff's presentation of strategy is solid and the way this works in races also works.  There are many candidates who will discuss this privately.. there are times when outside groups may implement a strategy such as this.   Republicans do this all the time.

                      As I've had a day to think about this and to go back and forth with many, I've realized the fault of some of my positions and I've had time to understand why the group who is saying this feels as they do.

                      They see it as promoting a successful strategy that they can show results with.

                      And there is no denying the validity of Jeff's work.

                      Like I said, my concern is that if taken in soundbytes, terms like 'ratfuckery' 'gaming the primaries' play in the narrative Republicans want to set.. they just sound bad.

                      My bigger problem is that for the last nine months, no matter what you want to believe, no matter how many articles you cite, no matter how many personal conversations you've had with the candidates when push came to shove Claire McCaskill took to the airwaves and denied this.

                      The state party denied it this year.

                      When Republicans used this as an example for why they needed voter suppression in both states they took to town halls and they made up accusations, claims and everything else, and other democrats and groups went on the record and denied it.

                      So, I guess why I got so upset is because it is a hard to stay on message and stick with the story people want to tell.  The story everyone involved wants to tell is that this isn't what happened.  They want to tell the narrative that they wanted to fully inform everyone.  They have said time and time again that Claire would have beaten anyone beause she won by significant margins and Brunner was hurt from the spring anyway.

                      So, I took it personal.. too personal.. because just four weeks ago I was rebuffing this exact argument being made in a Kansas town hall when Kansas representatives referred to this as hijacking the vote and everything else.

                      So, I took it personal and I got too mad about it.  I get that.  I've had time to think about it and I get where they are coming from.

                      I get wrapped up in this because here I am, some little guy working little bitty stuff but I'm trying hard to rebut the crazies in my home state with what I'm told is the official position.. and then I see a front page piece that seemingly says: well, the official position is pretty much crap.

                      So, I took it personally.  I shouldn't have.  I shouldn't have had my dander up.  But you know, some of us do get over-invested.  

                      That's it.  I'm not demanding people say they are wrong or that their process of thinking is terrible or that this is a strategy blah blah.. I guess at the heart, all I wanted was an open recognition that a lot of people in a lot of groups have kept to the message that this isn't true, so having a site on our side that (to me) seemed to reflect the idea that wasn't true stung me more than it should have.

                      Jeff had no way to know I would take it that way or would anyone else.  They don't live here, they don't deal with the meetings,  and these areas are so nutty that they sometimes don't make sense.  

                      But that's it.   I get made sometimes.  It's all good.  We all want the same thing.  I said my piece: this is the official position, this is the way all of us who are here are actually addressing this, this is not the cheering we are doing over the issue, and no one in Missouri or Kansas is going to say boo about 'what an awesome job ratfucking!'

                      :)  Thank you timaeus.  I know those from the boonies got all of our panties in a bunch.  We get that way now and again.

                      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

                      by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 11:03:41 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  This diary is sophomoric. That's not an insult. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      LakeSuperior

                      Get a clue.

                      The misuse of "ratfuck" does a disservice to DailyKos and to Dems, especially those in conservative districts.

    •  Yes! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Darth Jeff, Timaeus, DLWinMI, MichaelNY

      I like your measured response to the turbulence your original post set off.

      For those who object to RF'ing on moral grounds, I would like to suggest that there is nothing very moral in politics.

      For those who object because the republicans now know what we plan to do, this is not news to them.  They are very aware of what they have been doing and of what we are doing.  What can they do about it?  Their own structural problems are dragging them under.  They are being propelled into what may be the first election which they could not buy.  Do you think they could actually score points with the voters by bellyaching about a primary strategy which it seems that they invented?

      Canem Praeteri, Cave Modo Hominem. (Never mind the dog, just watch out for the human)

      by T C Gibian on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:50:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  most vital of all . . . . . (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BvueDem, Catte Nappe, Sylv

    Ratfucking only works if you DON'T tell the whole fucking world that you're doing it, on the front page of one of the country's largest liberal blogs . . . . . .

    (Not to mention I'm a bit uncomfortable seeing the Dems adopt not just the old Gopper program, but now also the old Gopper tactics.)

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:40:51 AM PDT

    •  And not to mention Rethug language (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BvueDem

      The term "ratfucking" has been historically, permanently associated with the sleaziest tactics of the Nixon presidency.

      Only a morally vacuous little !@#$ would try to resurrect that term and its methods as a new tactic for the Democratic party.

      But hey, maybe this is the NEW New Democrat party. The Obama Democrats, where it's OK to illegally surveil the entire US population as long as you have a D by your name. Or cutting social security for poor old people is a plausable bargaining chip in an austerity package.

      I could go on. The New New Wall Street Democratic party. Take on the ethos of those Enron asshole who joke about ripping off grandma Millie as they gouged millions with rigged energy prices.

      •  Agreed: weenies using swear words to act tough, (0+ / 0-)

        doesn't do much for me nor for most voters that I know.

        The scrawniest, wimpiest, reedy-voiced, cry-baby wusses in junior high were the guys I knew who swore the most. (George K., Mark R., Jamie B., where are you now?) They didn't make a lot of friends that way, outside of their own little circle. I've wondered what happened to them by their 20s.

        A public blog is public speech, on the record (even if deleted on the original site, it is often mirrored elsewhere). Those who can't distinguish public speech from private (confidential) speech seem to have missed a basic lesson in politics.

  •  Brilliant post. I've never seen this explained in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff, BennyToothpick

    anywhere near this much detail.

    There's another way to interfere with Republican primaries:  switch parties and vote Republican.  I live in a pure red county in a pure blue state, and we're having an election this year for the five county commissioners.  The Democrats are in such disarray that they're only fielding candidates in two of the five commissioner districts, neither of whom has any chance to win.

    So quite a few local Democrats are registering as Republicans in the hope of electing one or two old-fashioned moderate Republicans to replace the current Tea Party extremists.

    While I think that makes good tactical sense, I could never do that myself.  I'm a Yellow Dog Dem for more than 40 years.  I just could not possibly vote for any Republican.

  •  McCaskill ran ads against all three (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timaeus, tmservo433, Sylv, MichaelNY

    Opponents but spent the most against Akin. The other two ads were typical negative ads but the Akin one called him the most conservative, pro family candidate. It was a bit more subtle strategy then just targeting Akin.

  •  Examples of RF'ing... (0+ / 0-)

    Various pictures of the US Flag used as a screen name symbol.
    Various pictures of the bald eagle for the same.
    Screen names like "freedom", "constitution", "God", "christian" and many others.

    Home page for "Operation American Spring" is a great example.

    And yeah, I do like to abbreviate the word so people can focus on the meaning rather than the syllable within the full word.

    •  today's example of RF'ing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sylv

       Read about Constitutional Clayton, (Clayton Kelly) the teabagging blogger who snuck into a nursing home to photo a political opponent and longtime Mississippi incumbent senator Thad Cochran's ailing wife against her will. He put the pic up on the internet for a time to cause grief for the Cochran family and to imply that the 76 year old Cochran wasn't capable of being re-elected.
        Another example of RF'ing the word "constitutional" to give your blogging gig title credibility with conservatives, especially in this case TEABAGGERS.

  •  Critical (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats must keep the Senate or the People of America will get F'cked up the wazoo on everything!  The right to vote for millions is being sent to the toilet already, taxes on the poor and middle class, removal of taxes on the rich and corporatocracy, decimation of schools shoved into privatizatioin, loss of Social Security to privatizaation as well as Medicare and Medical, and they will send the Adorable Health Care Act to farther than hell so the 8 and a half million can go die which the Libertarians would like to see (ala Ron Paul and son), women can forget about being acknolwedged as equal citizens with the gargoyle like Rush Limbaugh calling the Repulsivican hateful and misogynist shots.  Forget about feeling human.

  •  See the Texas primary this year: (0+ / 0-)

    Ratfucking also works if the Democratic voter has nothing to lose, i.e. you live in a region of the state where no Dems even bother to run.
    Here in Texas, we have the primary runoff election coming up on May 27.  Any eligible voter can vote in the repub runoff, as long as they didn't vote in the Dem primary.
    There are two teabagger candidates that I plan on "supporting" on May 27:  Ken Paxton for State Attorney General, and Dan Patrick for Lieutenant Governor.

    "Soylent Green is people too, my friend!" Guess Who

    by oldmaestro on Sun May 18, 2014 at 10:09:56 AM PDT

    •  Gee, thanks. Thanks a heap. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmservo433, Sylv, MichaelNY

      Do you really want Patrick for Lt. Gov? And Paxton for AG? Hmm? Because R's stand a better than middling chance of winning the general. Meanwhile there is a Dem run-off of some significance (unless you want Larouchie Kesha Rogers as Senator if we do manage to swing a Dem win against the odds)

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Sun May 18, 2014 at 12:25:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was responding to the diary about ratfucking. (0+ / 0-)

        If you have a problem with the concept, take it up with the diarist.

        "Soylent Green is people too, my friend!" Guess Who

        by oldmaestro on Sun May 18, 2014 at 07:36:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I responded to you (0+ / 0-)

          Because you expressed the intention to act on the diarist's concept. Just because the diarist put it out there doesn't mean you have to do it, so that's on you.

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:07:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  That's what the GOP claims is happening (0+ / 0-)

    here in Oregon. That the year-old story of Monica Wehby stalking having a melt-down over Andrew Miller, after her former boyfriend broke up with her was a rat finking* by the Democrats.

    Admittedly, the story came out the week before mail-in ballots are due here, & the story was submitted anonymously to several media here in a form that could be seen as opposition research. But Wehby has been rat finking herself with her unusual tv ads. And her reaction to the story, which admittedly really isn't all that big a deal -- how many people have gone a little crazy at the end of a relationship? -- have only shown she doesn't handle unpleasant surprises outside the clinic like this very well.

    I'd say the story was placed by another Republican, except the likely perpetrator -- Conger -- doesn't have the money or imagination to do this kind of research on her.

    My guess is that it came from a co-worker who knows her well, & knows as a congressman she'd be a Michelle Bachmann without the crazy eyes: bouncing all over the place on her policy statements, & perhaps changing her vote at the last minute. Not the kind of person anyone wants in Congress.

    * Just testing this euphemism in place of the more common "rat fuck". How does it work?

    •  The term "rat fink". . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      llywrch

      had its start in the prison system as term used to describe the guy who squealed to the warden.  Not sure it is appropriate here since it is a noun and described something rather different.  I have proposed the abreviation "RF."

      Canem Praeteri, Cave Modo Hominem. (Never mind the dog, just watch out for the human)

      by T C Gibian on Sun May 18, 2014 at 10:31:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's what I thought (0+ / 0-)

        But then to try to reconcile that meaning with all of those images of "rat fink": a rat with crazed eyes -- as if out of his mind on some decadent blend of speed & LSD -- who appears as if it's truly rat fucked...

        Yeah, there's still a lot of stuff I didn't understand as a kid, & still don't understand as an adult.

  •  OMG? Is what the DCCC and DSCC plan for 2014? (0+ / 0-)

    If so I'm all in. Money, time, the works. The GOP isn't sitting around worrying about political morality because there is no such thing. An immoral campaign tactic is merely one that negatively affects my candidate.

    Ratfuck away.

  •  This Might Be My First 'H/R.' I'm All Aquiver. (6+ / 0-)

    (Am I calling it by the right name?)

    1. I have zero problem with the either the term or the practice of "ratfucking." Maybe its usage can be quite a bit broader than some here have suggested. History suggests that it can be applied constructively and appropriately to a very wide range of political tactics.

    2. Giving lots of free, relatively high-quality ammo to Rethuglicans is about the dumbest, most irresponsible damn thing someone on "our side" can possibly do. Surely there are ways of talking about the really important issues this diary raises without replenishing the Dark Side's armories.

  •  So.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433, Catte Nappe, Sylv

    Part of me is all like, "all's fair in love and war", have at it.

    But another part of me thinks that we should consider whether it is ethical for one party to manipulate the other party's primary, a question whose answer seems self-evident.

    If gerrymandering is the problem, let's work on that.
    If deliberate promotion and dissemination of falsehood in the media is the problem, let's work on that.
    If systematic disenfranchisement is the problem, let's work on that.
    If excess private corporate money in the process is the problem, let's work on that.

    But if one party wants to stand up and claim to be in favor of fair and appropriate redistricting, a well-informed citizenry, expansion of the franchise and easy access to exercise thereof, and disclosure and limits on the influence of wealth in politics, among other things, it may not make the most sense to choose "ratfucking" as an appropriate strategy to achieve political goals.

    In any case, culture eats strategy for breakfast. Let's build a culture of activism, of justice, of fairness, of honesty and openness, of responsible citizenship and public service.

    Because one of our political parties has gone batshit crazy and will do anything, including fuck rats, in order to hold on to power, and there really shouldn't be any confusion over which one it is.

    Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good. ~ Romans 12:21

    by Mickquinas on Sun May 18, 2014 at 11:15:08 AM PDT

  •  Interesting Diary (5+ / 0-)

    But... I have to agree with those who voted to hide it.  It's not appropriate as a front page diary, in language or message.  

    If a nearly-identical article was posted on RedState, with only the parties reversed, we would be falling over ourselves to link to it and quote from it, proving that Republicans are liars, cheats, and degenerate scumbags.  We can do better.

    "The majority of a single vote is as sacred as if unanimous." - Thomas Jefferson

    by cartwrightdale on Sun May 18, 2014 at 12:07:57 PM PDT

  •  This just occurred to me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv

    seeing the two diaries back to back — but couldn't Karl Rove's absurd attacks on Hillary and their echoing by other right wingers be a form of rat-fucking? Because Hillary is a poor candidate, which will rapidly become clear if she declares. She has the potential to have Democrats unengaged and sleepwalking through the 2016 campaign, as is demonstrated here every single day when people declare she could practically pick up the keys to the White House now. That is complacency on a dangerous level I have never seen here before (Usually just suggesting one of our candidates seems to have a decent lead generates warnings and finger-waggings and "at our peril" mutterings but HILLARY! IS! INEVITABLE! so she doesn't need our time or energy).

    Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

    by anastasia p on Sun May 18, 2014 at 12:45:14 PM PDT

    •  Lets see some of the other head to heads and see (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      how they match up vs. Clinton. If it is true that the data indicates shes the strongest candidate we have, then ratfucking us would mean the GOP would start elevating someone like Warren by saying she's 'too progressive' and a 'class warrior' etc, etc.

      We shouldnlet the data guide us rather than feelings.

  •  I understand and appreciate the criticisms here (8+ / 0-)

    I understand why many would find this controversial or unseemly. I'd like to address some of the criticisms here:

    Use of the term ratfuck: I agree it has some very negative connotations. But it has entered the political lexicon to describe legal tactics I've talked about. Daily Kos Elections used the term long before I started writing for it. If another term caught fire (McCaskilling or whatever) I'd use that.

    It may tip off Republicans: As I mentioned above, plenty of people caught on to what McCaskill, Grayson, and Davis were doing at the time. Publications like Politico even wrote about it at the time. It didn't make a difference then and I really doubt it will then. Most voters just don't follow politics close enough to notice or really care about campaign tactics. If they did, the Todd Akins and Bill Simons of the world would never have been nominated.

    It's unseeingly and doesn't belong on Daily Kos: I completely understand this perspective. But this kind of tactic is not new to the site. In 2008's GOP primaries, Kos himself encouraged Michigan Democrats to vote for Mitt Romney. The reasoning was, "Because the GOP deserves the very worst." That was another form of gaming GOP primaries, and one that made a good deal of tactical sense.

    Again, I understand why some may feel uncomfortable with this article. But let's not forget, ratfucking helped Harry Reid and Claire McCaskill pick unelectable GOP opponents and win when the odds were heavily against them. If they had not done this we'd have a 51-49 Senate majority and would almost certainly lose the chamber this year. Those campaigns were smart and saved us two valuable seats. If the tactic saves us more seats, I make no apologizes for advocating for it.  

    Contributing Editor, Daily Kos Elections. 24, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-02 (resident).

    by Jeff Singer on Sun May 18, 2014 at 12:55:33 PM PDT

    •  Missouri Democrats would VICIOUSLY disagree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sylv, Matt Z

      Jeff,

      I've responded to this in a diary, and I am grateful for your response.  My response will be quick:

      (1) No one is worried about tipping off Republicans.  They do it to.  Tipping them off is pointless, giving them fodder to associate campaigns with practices that repeatedly poll as unethical is however a problem.   As I state above, do you think Right Wing Radio wouldn't love to say 'see they endorse'.. why do I say that?  Because when Kos messaged that people should vote for Romney it was about the only time that Midwest Right Wing radio every openly spoke about DailyKos to highlight Democrats as a party of cheaters.   That's not ha-ha, those things happen.  We all know they happened.  You give people fodder they use it.

      (2) I have no problem with the use of ratfuck, I have problem with the application.

      (3) The connection to Claire McCaskill is BULLSHIT   Claire McCaskill instituted a messaging policy where she devoted messaging money to attacking every republican in the primary season because every outside advicsory group told her that she needed to define all of them early before they had a chance to shore up donor bases.  

      She went after every single Republican in that category, airing radio and TV ads, with PACs who help assisted.  Let's not say otherwise, I was there for that.  I know who donated to what causes and how the messaging went against every single Republican in the field.

      Republicans accused her of giving Akin an advantage because the Akin campaign didn't have money to run statewide ads and her attacks on all Republicans were aired in most of the major markets: Springfield, St. Louis, Kansas City.. markets that Akin couldn't reach with his own ad buys, so her mention of him as a radical was suddenly transformed by Republicans into her effort to promote him.

      Republicans went on Springfield and Joplin Missouri radio waves and claimed that McCaskill was meddling, at one point insinuating she was spending $1M in donations to Akin.

      This was BULLSHIT her ad-buy for all candidates wasn't $1M, it was a strong ad-buy against all candidates that yes, did raise Akin's profile.

      But she denied throughout the race, and Republicans accused her of gaming the system.

      Accepting the Republican accusation at this time is like saying the entire point of the democratic messaging out of the Missouri Campaign from July through November of that year as a rebutal to the accusation is a big lie, and that she did do something her campaign openly and with great vigor denied she did.. because in fact, from all PAC and direct candidate spending she DID NOT do it.  

      She went after all candidates.

      Why are people upset with this analisys?  Because you accept a viewpoint that Midwest democrats have spent the last two years in a rebuttal denying happened and you seem to leisurely play it off as 'of course it worked for you'.

      This is completely stomps the message of those of us who are working in those states and seems to treat the message that we've been advocating of 'set the message of your opponent before they are defined' and you are redefining it as rat-fucking, which is absolutely the accusation.

      I know you get this because you are smart.   Not every campaign has a lot of money or resources.   We need things to break in our favor to get out a message that resonates not just with liberals but with voters in general.

      When we have spent YEARS combating a Republican talking point in districts where we are spending a lot of sweat blood and tears and a site like DailyKos seems to put out a message that says: the message of the state parties and PACs in those states are lying to you, they actually did Ratfuck for Akin (which again, DID NOT HAPPEN) you are stomping my message.

      Here I am at a luncheon with a candidate who luckily is busy talking and I can't even think about his pitch to this group because I'm banging out on a laptop because I can't think about how short-sited this kind of message is to those of us who are actually trying to elect people.

      I'm not concerned that it's inside baseball.  I'm not concerned that PACs have used it.   I'm very concerned we're putting up front page diaries with commentary that is over-congratulatory for a strategy that a state party, candidate and multiple campaigns openly denied happened, in an election year where candidates need a site like Kos to reach potential donors but would definitely not like to be linked with content that seemingly implies something that PACs in this area have been denying for TWO YEARS.

      In other words: STOP MAKING MY JOB HARDER

      That is all

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 01:10:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think the screaming and yelling (8+ / 0-)

        In all caps is called for. I feel as though you probably aren't interested in hearing opposing viewpoints, but it's more than reasonable for people to conclude that yes, McCaskill did attack all 3 Republicans, but the attacks on Akin were of a different nature than her attacks on the other two, and designed to do something different—namely, make him more acceptable to GOP voters while making Steelman and Brunner less acceptable.

        Indeed, McCaskill's ads specifically attacked Brunner as being insufficiently conservative, and derided Steelman for playing "politics as usual." But it's quite notable that Akin was the only one she branded as too conservative—a very different line of attack, and one that made him more appealing to Republican primary voters.

        McCaskill probably went after all three to give herself some measure of plausible deniability. But just because she herself might have claimed she wasn't trying to meddle on Akin's behalf doesn't mean that she wasn't. And quite a lot of observers have rather reasonably concluded that she did in fact try to help Akin win the primary, and that she benefitted from doing so.

        You, evidently, do not. Disagreement is fine, but this kind of yelling and screaming insistence that you are right and the person you disagree with is trafficking in foul calumnies is a bridge too far.

        Get the Daily Kos Elections Digest in your inbox every weekday. Sign up here.

        by David Nir on Sun May 18, 2014 at 03:48:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I do think I finally get servo's p-of-v at least, (4+ / 0-)

          which is that it is his/her job to help maintain the kind of plausible deniability that applied to McCaskill's campaign--and so, in a literal sense, any discussion of ratf*cking, by any name, is going to make his/her job harder.  Understood.  

          But--speaking as a Missouri Democrat--it is a losing battle to maintain that McCaskill's campaign didn't try, and try successfully, to influence the GOP primary.  I'm sorry if that steps on servo's messaging, but I am aware of no respectable local political analyst who didn't comment on this as it was happening.  Was it risky?  Of course.  Could they be certain that Akin was going to say something as meltdowny as he did?  Well, actually yeah, pretty certain.  

          •  You nailed it. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BvueDem

            Dead on nailed it.

            without going long winded, You avoid these kind of terms because the connotation is horrible and because Republicans use it to leap into wild conspiracy theories they have, and they have blowtorch radio stations all over the state.

            They can think it all they want.  Democrats can think it all they want.  There are different ways to frame it.  I'm not upset at winning.. I'm in the back of my head just saying:  Don't take ownership of this term so that talking heads all over the state in both states will eat up more cycles talking about it.

            Because they aren't going to stop just saying 'she wanted people to vote for Akin..'   No, their conspiracies are all about campaigns taking over others, that people were paid to switch parties, that illegal funds went from one campaign under the table into Akin's campaign.

            It's all shit.   But when you take ownership of Ratfuckery, you take someone like..

            the KC Conservative Radio station (one of them) and without naming a host, I can imagine in my head it going like this:

            "Remember two weeks ago, when I was telling you that Kansas had to switch to a locked primary and shut down people switching parties.. and you callers thought it was crazy.. well look at this.. now we know why.. even the left says 'ratf(*&ery' (they'd edit for radio) happens and they want it'..  They would then leap into all of their complete batshit, about paying people off, illegal campaign funds, PACs being taken over, Unions being told to have their members to vote in an (R) primary and so on.

            Those are all shit.   But you've got 8 hours of conservative radio in most markets in both of these states.. all you need is to take ownership of this as a strategy and they won't stop where we stop about promoting the options for them to vote for the wrong guy, they will make allegations.

            And for people that think that's stupid, Repubicans just tried to impeach MO Governor Jay Nixon over some irrational stuff, including a claim kicked at the beginning that turned out to be a complete fantasy of a radio host out of South Central Missouri.

            I just don't to give the nutters things to say for them.. none of us have the resources to combat it.

            Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

            by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 07:43:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nutters will ALWAYS find something (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tmservo433

              I understand your impulse to avoid giving them something but they'll make shit up if something doesn't exist.  So why worry that you may offend their sensibilities and give them something to use.  They're gonna find something anyway, even if nothing is there.  

              Politics is a dirty game and if you're not willing to get dirty yourself then you won't be in it for too long.  The republicans will have no qualms about getting dirty, making you out to be worse than a pedophile or morphing you into Osama bin Laden in order to win.  So while we're worrying about being proper and not offending them or giving them more ammo, they're doing everything possible to win.  Some of it is dirty, some unethical and some is even illegal but they're winning and they're kicking our butts.  You above all else should know that being in the lions den of Brownstain's Kansas.  

              I really think the criticism of this diary is overblown.

              This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

              by DisNoir36 on Mon May 19, 2014 at 04:46:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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

                That we do worry about these things too much.   Look, this story would continue to pop up whether or not anyone from Kos brought it up.   Everyone knows it, it's two years later it hasn't disappeared.  I've tried to say repeatedly this isn't the end of the world..

                I just found it frustrating that we'd use talking points that the other side has used when at least in the open the message from everyone is the reverse.

                That's all.  I can take things too seriously, and on some weekends I'm wound up.  

                Anyone who has worked on any level in any race knows that nothing is pure as the driven snow.   That doesn't work.  

                Being in the lions den, my only point with anything is.. things are crazy tricky to pull things together, all of us hope everything breaks our way, we bank on our friends, so I got offended more because I view this site as very friendly for them, like a 'home base'.   So,  I admit openly it wound my engine..

                I think the best way to put it is something I said to someone else.. there are very few words that just boil my blood.. like the n word, and c*ks*ker.  Now, other people can use that second one all the time as just their standard cursing and they don't mean horrific things by it.  But it does boil by blood and I just have an immediate reaction to it.   So, when we use certain words or terms it bothers me more than it should.  It isn't about the tactic, it isn't about the meaning, it is just about how we present it.  

                Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

                by Chris Reeves on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:11:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't have a problem with the presentation (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  tmservo433, MichaelNY

                  I don't think there's anything all that offensive about the term itself.  I don't think there's anything offensive about the context.  It basically means engaging in some underhanded tactics to undermine your opponent.  It's like tying your opponents shoelaces together before a race.  You're gaming the outcome to your advantage.  There's nothing particularly illegal about it or even unethical.  

                  Some people seem offended by the fact that one of ours would engage in such GOP-like tactics but I comment her for doing it and winning what seemed like a sure bet loss.  I comment Harry Reid for doing the same.  Sometimes that's what you have to do to win in politics.  While we sit here and get in a tizzy about words or the underhanded ways in which the GOP operate the fat is they clean our clocks time and again.

                  There's a diary up right now about Rove and Hillary and his bullshit.  It's downright dirty and evil what he's doing but you know what it's effective.  Everyone is talking about the old brain damaged Hillary.  It's completely lost on them that many of those same people hold up as a saint someone who was older and had a genuine mental health issue which actually impaired him mentally (Alzheimers).  Rove is as dirty as they come and we know all the examples, but fact is his whispering campaign got Bush past McCain in 2000 and in the White House.  I wonder if our side would resort to the same types of tactics if we knew that they would be effective in ensuring we would win.  Would the ends justify the means if it meant Brownstain would lose in Kansas?  What if it had ensured Al Gore was president in 2001 instead of Shrub?  

                  There's something to be said about sportsmanship in sports but politics isn't a sport.  It's a life and death situation for far too many people and the sooner we see it as such the better off mostly everyone will be.      

                  This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

                  by DisNoir36 on Mon May 19, 2014 at 06:10:43 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I know. I get it. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    DisNoir36, BvueDem

                    I don't find anything offensive with language.  I'm not clutching my pearls.  My main point was: every group has went on the air to say one thing.. and whether or not people want to roll their eyes and say 'yeah, but come on..' that is still the official take on it and that is the public way it is presented here.  

                    I say at one point in the other diary if it wasn't Front Page Kos staff, I wouldn't give a shit.   But when it comes out as seemingly the officially supported message of a heavily trafficked and trolled website and it says the reverse of what at least the official point by them when they talk publicly is, it is just another recounting of events that says: this is what really happened.  

                    So, no matter what some of us do or think privately or what I would say privately, I'm not going out and saying: when Claire got on the radio in KC and said this was wrong, or when they disputed with Missouri House Republicans and told them it was wrong, I can't, no one here, can say: the candidate and the party are all lying to you, but I'm good with that, it's politics hurray they won.

                    Like I said, not everyone will get  this and I have already been down the rabbit hole of people who think this is ridiculous.  All I can say is: 5 voter restriction bills in 2 years (that's for both states), and it remains something they trot out often.. Americans for Progress are now running radio ads this morning about 'expanding the vote but keeping the vote secure' to support these things.. I was bothered, like I said, maybe too bothered, because I don't want the terminology like 'ratfucking' and 'gaming the system', when the right to vote in these states has been under fire for years and the 2012 election is part of their wacky narrative.    They will always have a wacky narrative.  I just didn't like the look of a left-leaning site providing them ammo that they can twist to say 'see, see!  these people agree with us..'  blah blah.

                    Anyway, I said last night I'd drop it and I really need to remove the diary.  The way I see this isn't the way outsiders see it, and they are more than willing to tell me I'm an wrong and so on.. all I can do is go work with the people I work with, follow directions and try to do something.. so I'll be away from Kos all day today (driving mostly) and I will give you the last word and I won't respond.. I've said everything I think in circles.. but that is me.  (to quote someone else: be concise  me: I'm longwinded)

                    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

                    by Chris Reeves on Mon May 19, 2014 at 06:26:50 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It's all good tmservo433 (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      tmservo433, MichaelNY

                      I got nothing but respect for you.  Different opinion maybe but you're in the shit while I'm in the progressive paradise of CT.  Different perspective, different opinion, same goal.  Have a good day.

                      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

                      by DisNoir36 on Mon May 19, 2014 at 06:49:42 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not trying to yell and scream (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DisNoir36, BvueDem

          And seriously, my apologies if it is interpretted that way.  It is not my point, well outside of the: this does make things harder.

          I'm a little bit cooler about this later.   Because I think after talking with Michael he and I came to some realization on the differences in the way we perceive the word and the way we perceive the implication.

          I have a disagreement with the phrasing.  I've tried to repeatedly say, here and privately that I respect the point.  I just very much dislike the connection of those words and phrases when here locally the goal is to say the reverse of that.

          I guess, in a calmer way.. you have an elected official who accuses your group of all sorts of ill will and cites it as motivation for their action.  This was more than a year ago.. you, the candidate yourself, appear on local talk radio and denounce it and say directly: this didn't happen.

          A year later, another set of representatives elected in both states again accuse a group of doing something.. they use it in their talking points at town halls to advance legislation to stomp out early voting in Missouri and to end party affiliation changes in Kansas.   As talking points, they all cite it.

          Your state party explains on the same radio station why they stand opposed to these legislation and refer to the accusations, which include some outright falsehoods mixed in (remember, we aren't dealing with a stable audience or people in the opposition who will represent this as Jeff does) and they portray it as some vast conspiracy, call for all sorts of things, continuously refer to it as felonious etc.

          Now, whether we all can look at the strategy say it's legal.. they aren't focusing on that.. they are focusing on the canards they've attached.. but even in focusing on the police, you've now had the candidate and the state party take to the airwaves in multiple cities and deny it.  They've contended this didn't happen.

          So, this becomes the blue/teal debate.   I yell at someone: that car is blue, what a crap color.  The dealership who is with the buyer says: what are you talking about, this car is teal, here is the paperwork, you don't know what you are talking about.    We are the friends of the dealership.  The dealership is our partner, maybe we are the factory or whatever.   Us yelling back "no, the guy is right, it's blue.. but isn't blue awesome"  even if we are right, we've still just contradicted the person we have as a partner who has taken every effort to explain this in another way.

          That is my point.  

          I'm Ok with disagreement.  I don't think I have referred to anyone in derogatory terms.   I have no problem acknowledging they are on the same side.  I'm just saying, as a point of fact which no one has bothered at any point to explain why this doesn't matter: if the state party and the Claire herself go on the air to say this isn't true, repeatedly.. what benefit of it to us to say that it is.  It is a small quibble.

          In media markets here, it is something I think about because we are all hardcore conservative here.   Maybe no one covers this story anywhere and it just stays between all of us Kossacks and we move on and think: great strategy.  Maybe I'm wildly paranoid.   I'm not as worried at the moment, I've managed to get the unhappiness out of my system.

          But yes, I do wait for any conservative talking head to take to the airwaves and say 'see, see, Rep. Dove/Rep. X was right, there was a conspiracy and they refer to it as ratfuckery..' (they'd of course bleep or change).. because a public hearing it in 10 second soundbytes from a conservative talking heads doesn't get the nuance.  They get the words and they thinK: that sounds bad.

          That's all.  

          I sent you my thoughts privately.  I'm not as wound as I was earlier.   My motives here aren't to crush Jeff, I'm not calling anyone a bad person, I'm not saying this is all evil, I'm not saying anything like that.

          I'm saying there are a lot of people who I would love to have their campaigns on Kos.  That I would love to introduce to the Kos community because they need resources.  I am grateful for all of the people I have met through Kos who will help us this fall in both states.  I may over worry about tagging any of them with a strategy that so many of them on both sides of the state line have said isn't real in order to combat legislation at the same time members promote as a good strategy.  

          It's tricky, and in text I am struggling to explain the realities of the way things like this work in the middle of nowhere.  Like I said to Michael, if no one on any of the talking head shows hammer on this this week, a week we are trying to do certain things then I don't care.   Just my dander up because I know the message that the group in question wants to get out, and no matter what we think of it, I don't think anyone wants them to say "Our campaign had the best ratfuckery ever!" it's just not the word cloud they want.

          Sorry I'm posting long today Dave.  These things just mean a lot to me, maybe too much.. and I respect like hell the work you guys do.  Like I said to Michael, when we get to NN you can beat me around the bush, I'll buy you a drink, and you can tell me how wildly wrong I am.

          Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

          by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 10:47:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Is THIS the kind of party (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433, BvueDem, Matt Z, LakeSuperior

    we want to be?

    (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

    by PJEvans on Sun May 18, 2014 at 01:05:15 PM PDT

  •  If I were running for public office... (0+ / 0-)

    ...I would wait until after the Republicans hold their primary or other type of nomination contest before attacking a Republican challenger, so it's a tactic that I wouldn't use.

  •  If it is illegal, and a Dem candidate said she (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BvueDem, Kasoru, Sylv, tmservo433, Matt Z

    didn't do it, it's probably best not to claim she did, no matter what Politico, the WSJ or others might say. We don't win by becoming them.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Sun May 18, 2014 at 01:39:56 PM PDT

    •  "If it is illegal" (0+ / 0-)

      It's not illegal. What was the rest of your point?

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Sun May 18, 2014 at 04:43:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is not.. the allegations (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BvueDem

        In the states are what he's talking about.   In these two states, the accusations are straight out of conspiracy theories.

        They are nutty and provably false.

        So your response is: if they are nutty and provably false, why does this matter?

        Because all you need to get nutty, kooky conspiracy theories to go nuts is to even think that they have someone who they wildly disagree with them even 'hint' that their most outrageous conspiracy could be at least partially true.

        Look, I said to Jeff privately I think this is a well researched diary that covers the guts of the realities..

        I don't view myself as apocolyptic.  This isn't going to cost any statewide candidate anything.. and it won't impact anywhere outside of KS/Missouri so who cares.

        But in those states, it matters because we have low funding, a small list of candidates, and we have districts that are primarily (R) in demographics for the house.

        We're going to lose a lot of them.

        I'm saying:  Messaging that promotes us as giving republicans tons of choices and they chose the wrong one is better then saying 'we ratfucked the republicans, gamed the system, and it worked!"

        Does it mean shit at the state level?  Probably not.  Does it hurt some in small no money races?  Yep.    In the major markets in both stats we are dominated by conservative talk radio and conservatives.   We have candidates who are running with almost no money.   We have groups that don't want to put a lot of money in.  

        So a radio show that will spend time giving shit about whether or not Democrats favor 'subverting democracy' sucks.   Do they do it?  Holy shit yes they do.   Brownback did it to people in his own freaking party last time.. they do worse then that.

        That makes a story outside of the states, but when your demographics and media are with them, that isn't a story they will gain traction.. but like someone fishing the tiniest fleck out of an eye, people turn crap like this into some longwinded rant about how unfair, and then the wild ass conspiracies and flame throwing come out.

        Is any of it true?  Hell no.  But they will have 8 hours a day on radio here in KC on station 1, 5 on another.. throughout the markets, most areas have not one but two conservative talk radio stations.  How many liberal viewpoint?  Zero.

        People view our unhappiness as some sort of apocalypse 'whoa is me, or candidate is going to lose because of X'  That's not true.  They will win or lose based on their campaign, who they are, and how they get a message out.

        We have to work on that.   But it means we are all watching what we say.

        The only reason I and a few others from this area got bothered is because we know it's tight and we know we're going to have a really tough go of it.. that is always true.  A lot of us have absolutely poured our hearts and tons of money into this year.  

        So, we wear our hearts on our sleeves.  Maybe on this I and others have a thin skin.   But like I said: it was just two weeks ago we had talk radio in Wichita and talk Radio in Kansas City promoting new voter registration rules, the rules and guidelines about switching parties and whenever people appeared the always brought up Missouri, laid it out as a giant conspiracy and so on.. is their viewpoint based in reality?  No, no more than Republicans who tried to impeach Jay Nixon in Missouri over absolute dogshit.

        Can any competent person brush it off as total crap?  Sure.  But damnit to hell if I don't want that story to just die so I'm not having some drive time host bring up 'NEW INFORMATION" about some alleged conspiracy and proof that everyone was lying.   Because there is nothing any of us can do to get that kind of bullhorn.

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 06:12:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  TLDR (0+ / 0-)

          Because this is nonsense:

          In these two states, the accusations are straight out of conspiracy theories.
          No, they are accurate and documented.

          Therefore, the long string of words that followed in your post is superfluous.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Sun May 18, 2014 at 07:06:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The fact that you didn't read (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LakeSuperior, BvueDem

            Means you missed the point where the conservative conspiracy theory is that Democrats, state and PACs paid people to switch parties, that the McCaskill campaign took over messaging from PACs, and other complete bat-shittery.

            Sorry.  Your failure to read isn't really my fault.  It's hard to explain years worth of nuttery in a paragraph

            Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

            by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 07:19:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  They didn't have to pay people to switch parties (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tmservo433, Adam B

              They got the Republicans to vote for Akin all by themselves.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Sun May 18, 2014 at 07:37:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Agreed.. that's why the crazy conspiracy (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BvueDem

                That keeps floating through conservative talk and even out of the lips of elected officials here is nutty.  They didn't have to do any of that.

                But that's what the accusations have been for over two years now.

                Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

                by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 07:55:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  We already know that Republicans make up (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  tmservo433

                  wild conspiracy nonsense. I get that you think that a diary using the word "ratfucking" fuels them, but they don't need anything to fuel their bullshit; they do it all by themselves. I see no reason to worry about a single word posted on Daily Kos will somehow hurt Democrats electorally, especially since this strategy, which is quite transparent to those in the know, has been successful repeatedly.

                  Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                  by MichaelNY on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:18:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I get that.. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    MichaelNY, BvueDem

                    I think everyone knows the strategy.  LIke I said, Brownback used it against his own last election.

                    Me being upset at the framing isn't me trying to be worried.. I'm not worried.. bigger shit then this will happen.  I'm sure I'll have some candidate somewhere personally say something jacked up, or I'm going to have some one do something stupid, god knows what happens in an election.

                    Eh, I'm just being territorial because like I said, I've just spent months trying to get more progressives here to DailyKos, and to work for candidates I care about, and I know what they hear on the radio every day, day after day.   So, for me, when the same kind of framing is used here that right-wing loons use on radio it just hits me wrong.

                    It's not the end of the world.    I tend to get worked up over these things early, because this morning I'm publishing up to here the last photos and information on the rally in Topeka for Brown V Board, and I'm thinking.. I helped people there get on here and other things I care about so we can help build a fund of knowledge for these places that have nothing.   So, I get a bit more edgy about it today because the thought goes through my head: I tell them this is great, and one of the first FP articles these people are going to see sounds exactly like a Republican Representative who used similar terms (though not profane) to define the conspiracy behind liberal voters in Missouri and why Kansas had to pass the legislation they did.

                    Are they nutty? Yes.  Can we stop them from being nutty?  No.  Is it the end of the world?  No.  It's kind of l tend to get pretty upset whenever anyone uses the term c*cksu***er.  It pisses me off.

                    It doesn't mean it's the end of the world.. it's just one of those things that gets my engine going, that's all.

                    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

                    by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:48:05 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  BTW Michael.. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY, BvueDem

                I'm sure if I grab hold of you for a minute in Detroit, I promise you won't want to punch me out.  I'm truly not a dick.  we just get passionate about things.  

                In the end, as I say repeatedly, we're going to agree a lot more then we disagree.

                My unhappiness with a framing of a political tactic wrapped in word choices that I don't like isn't the end of the world.  

                The fact that we are willing to fight about it tells me that you care about winning and in the end, that's what I value.  

                I'm debating what goes into the sausage.  It's the stuff that is never pretty.  

                So, if I get high pitched on you today, know I still like ya, ya big lug ;)

                Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

                by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:13:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I have no urge whatsoever to punch you (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  tmservo433

                  I just think you're wasting a lot of energy on the unimportant question of what Republicans could do with slightly more coverage of a Democratic strategy that worked, or with the usage of a particular word, or both.

                  Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                  by MichaelNY on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:34:39 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Fair enough. (0+ / 0-)

                    I'll say this.. if I don't hear from anyone on either side of the state line of the conservative hosts bringing this back up, or if two representatives who have been hammering this issue on both sides of the state line don't mention it, I will send you a message and tell you I am completely wrong and whatever, let's go for it.

                    And no, I'm not going to say anything bad about anyone who thinks I'm being over-reactive here.

                    That's fine.  We're some strange beasts out in the midwest.  We have just some goofiness that is hard to really relate if you haven't 'been here'.. I mean, we just had a radio station last week debate whether or not Jay Nixon is subject to prison after he gets out of office because he let gay people file their taxes as a couple.. and they took an HOUR AND A HALF of call in on one of the largest political stations in the state and that's all they talked about.

                    We're nutty out here.  Just nutty.   So, people like me get our panties in a bunch to use a phrase when we think about terms like these because we don't have a way to combat them.. and that's the stupidity I deal with on a daily :)

                    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

                    by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:41:27 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The thing is, they can say what they like (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      tmservo433

                      But will it move votes? I'll say absolutely not. What moves votes is shit they make up, like stuff about "death panels." Not this kind of thing.

                      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                      by MichaelNY on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:44:48 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Your right. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        MichaelNY

                        And I do think about this too much sometimes.  

                        In my mind, I read this the way Rep. Dove railed against the missouri voting 'conspiracy' and how our conservative radio talks Missouri voting 'conspiracy' and I grit my teeth and say.. "please, just don't let me hear this week, see, see, this liberal site DailyKos they know what's up.. they are telling you everything I say is true!"

                        You and I know it's shit.. but voters aren't all high information.  And using sites of your opponent as ammo is one of the easiest moves in the game.

                        Like I said, this is probably nothing and nobody will care.  I can care about these things or wonder about these things too much.

                        That and I've got a lot of time today because outside of a luncheon today, my big day is tomorrow when I've got to try and sell someone on running who last I knew hasn't decided to commit and so I'm feeling the pressure.

                        Call it good Karma.  When you're trying to hit the putt, even if a butterfly flaps it's wings too hard it's too easy to think "goddamnit, now is JUST the wrong time for that".

                        Things go well tomorrow and I won't give a shit about this.. except to say this is how I would frame it and that's it.

                        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

                        by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:52:18 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  I should add.. (0+ / 0-)

                        That's the problem I'm having discussing this.  Those on the outside say 'well, if all they are going to say is that she lobbied for Akin'.. except, as I say repeatedly it boils down to what you are saying: what moves votes is the shit they make up.

                        They have spent years making shit up about his.. to them it isn't about wanting Akin, it's a story that involves conspiracies and payoffs and madness.  As you note, none of it is true.   But those kind of lies do motivate their voters.  LIke I said, I just don't want to see anything from this site used to frame that debate in a way to legitimize it.  That's all

                        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

                        by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:14:07 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I don't think anything in this diary legitimizes (0+ / 0-)

                          any of that. You do.

                          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                          by MichaelNY on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:20:12 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Yep. It's perception (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LakeSuperior, MichaelNY, BvueDem

                            That's what I said.  When I hear the words 'game the primary' and 'ratfuckery' to me, that is what to me gives some curtain to their insanity.  You don't see it that way.  It's just a difference of perspective.. That's all :)

                            Ok.  I've got to getup early for a long drive.. so I'll close this out.  

                            :)

                            Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

                            by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:22:15 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  thanks, tmservo433, for your leadership (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MichaelNY, tmservo433, BvueDem

                            on this entire matter, and for everything else you do for progressive Democrats and on Daily Kos.

                          •  Thank you. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MichaelNY, LakeSuperior

                            I may get too tensed up over nothing, as Michael points out, and today is a day I'm already tense.. but we are all on the right side of things.   We just have to work to all help each other to get the results we want.

                            I now know for sure I have volunteers tomorrow so the pressure is off me some, and gives me time to really talk to the people I have to approach.

                            I get uptight because in Kansas, I know out of the gate a lot of these races I'm going to put time into we are going to lose.  I hate it.   But I'll still put out the effort.

                            I always ridiculously hope that if I can get things just right.. just perfect conditions that we can surprise people.

                            I'm still cautiously hopeful this year about Governor.. I think it's a struggle but work.  But great people are on that.   I'll see Paul now and again.   But it is the state house races, these little races with no money.. I guess you can say I get emotionally invested in them.

                            And yep, even like some fool, it's not unheard of for me to cry when a candidate I love gets beaten, even after years of trying to pull this off

                            Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

                            by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 10:03:32 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I completely understand that (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            tmservo433, LakeSuperior

                            Maybe you'll ward off burnout better if you see this as part of a lifetime of work. You can neither do all of it by yourself nor win every battle you throw yourself into.

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Sun May 18, 2014 at 10:09:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  In most years.. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MichaelNY, LakeSuperior

                            I would do that.   And I have, by every admission, over committed this year.

                            The moment I picked up the first call last year and said I would help I knew I was f---ed.  I'm trying to build Kansas & Missouri Kossacks, and that has gained me a lot of email addresses and people that can help.

                            But nobody of any real skill wants to handle the small races at all, the state party provides nothing and so, yep. I went ahead and agreed to work with more than one group to help them figure out if we can do anything this year.  

                            And it is turning into a full time job.   The last time I took on any Kansas candidate was almost 6 years ago and I worked with 3.   By the time we're done, the group I'm working with hopes to work with 15.   I don't have the remotest time in the day to handle 15, but the state isn't even trying and groups want to make that effort.  

                            So we'll see.    I find this part.. the early part.. is the part I handle the worst.  Same every time.  I hate the nervousness of trying to get a yes.   You get all that confidence back and it gets easy once you get past that part.

                            (and I'll be less annoyingly chatty)

                            Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

                            by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 10:20:34 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Have a good, successful day tomorrow. nt (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LakeSuperior, tmservo433

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:28:01 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Thanks I need it. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MichaelNY

                            This would be a big win for us.

                            Kasha Kelley is the Republican in Kansas who thinks we can cut mental healthcare funding because she knows someone who was cured of a mental illness (want to guess how?)

                            She was also the one who helped propose Turn Gay Away, her new tact is a potential amendment that would make gay couples who chose to live in Kansas as a married couples guilty of tax fraud for filing in Kansas.

                            So, yeah.

                            Between posting here.. which at this point I'm doing somewhat nervously to distract myself, I've been going through bios and research and hoping like hell that we can figure this out to make this happen.

                            Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

                            by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:37:50 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

  •  Why on earth is this on the front page? (6+ / 0-)

    I'm aghast that this kind of interference with a closed primary election is being discussed as a useful or helpful technique. The diary refers to

    a weapon Democrats can't leave by the wayside
    but I don't consider "ends justify the means" a proper supporting argument at all.

    In addition, I don't care if that is the commonly accepted term for the technique under discussion - I don't need to be blasted with an f-bomb 15-20 times in a diary. That's just common (dis)courtesy.

    In terms of both ethics and presentation, this seems a poor selection for the front page.

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Sun May 18, 2014 at 01:40:52 PM PDT

  •  Decorum...? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    Is it necessary to say the word ratfucking this many times to make your point????  

  •  This is an excellent piece (8+ / 0-)

    As for the term "ratfucking" itself, it's a very common phrase that can mean different things in different contexts. Nixon was a scumbag who committed unethical and, in some cases, illegal acts. If you're referring to Nixonian ratfucking, you're probably talking about some really shady business.

    Running ads in a GOP primary, though, is perfectly lawful, and it's also known as "ratfucking." Maybe you have an ethical issue with it, but that's what it's called.

    Also, none of this information is secret. It was widely understood and appreciated at the time that this is exactly what McCaskill was doing (and Reid, and Gray Davis, etc.). No one is revealing any information that might hurt Democrats here.

    Get the Daily Kos Elections Digest in your inbox every weekday. Sign up here.

    by David Nir on Sun May 18, 2014 at 03:40:39 PM PDT

    •  The public does not understand the term (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BvueDem

      "ratfucking" in the manner you are trying to re-define it.

      Next, there is no advantage accruing to Democrats to accept this term as applying to any Democrat when it originate from illegal, unethical, obnoxious dirty political tricks by republicans in the Watergate era.  Democrats voluntarily signing up for being described as "ratfuckers" commit unforced error.

      That you think that Democrats should be taking some kind of ownership of the the negative connotations of the term "ratfucking" and that you think this is a desirable political move and wise thing to do with public statements directed at Senator Claire McCaskil is an irrational thought process.  

      Yet this diary paints the Senator with the same pejorative term in a manner similar to the methods and tactics of Fox News with corruption of word meaning, disinformation and the spread of a lying conflation.

      This is all directed at a sitting U.S. Senator who beat Todd Akin and whose seat is crucially important for hold the Senate.

      Madness.

  •  Wasn't going to Rec or comment (6+ / 0-)

    but I wanted to let Darth Jeff know that I think this is a fine diary that highlights a risky but rewarding campaign strategy that could help put Team Blue back in the majority. Thank you.

    The sheer level of vitriol in these comments from puritans, goo-goos, and a particularly annoying grammar nazi is sickening.

    Proud Progressive Social Studies teacher. (-9.50, -8.05) "Teach a man to reason, and he'll think for a lifetime."--Phil Plait

    by betelgeux on Sun May 18, 2014 at 03:59:03 PM PDT

    •  Thanks! I appreciate it (4+ / 0-)

      Contributing Editor, Daily Kos Elections. 24, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-02 (resident).

      by Jeff Singer on Sun May 18, 2014 at 04:02:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just a public comment (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, BvueDem

        Jeff,

        I've messaged your privately but I think sometimes in public when things get across that are rough.. I'm sure at NetRoots you can bang me on the head and I'll grab something to drink and you can set me straight.

        But I wanted to say I respect the amount of work you've put into this.. and I completely get your end point.  

        When strategies are effective, especially in statewide races, it is important to share them.   My concerns with how we present them and my private and public arguments aside, I wanted to at least say somewhere in this diary in response to this: I admire and respect your end goal.

        In the end, we are all after the exact same thing.  Nobody is going to agree or disagree all of the time.  No matter how openly I disagree on points, it doesn't mean that I disagree with your work or the effort you put in here.. I wanted to at least say that.

        And yes, I'm a long winded so & so.  

        But I spend a weekend on things and maybe my fuse is a bit too tight.   We all get that way sometimes.

        We all have our own pressures.  It's just life.   So, I wanted to say, despite my disagreements both in the open and privately, I have tried to praise your work repeatedly and hope nothing perceived in anything written is looked at as some sort of personal attack as much as an argument over..

        My opposition isn't some world is over dear god, dear god.. it's just: I like for things to be as least complicated as possible.

        I just wanted to say this in the open rather than in a message so that it's there so that we don't get into some idea that I think badly of anything.  

        Disagreements happen.  Nobody dies.   Everyone moves on.   I make my case why I dislike disclosing strategies and framing of them in a certain way, it doesn't mean that I don't respect the work behind it.

        That's it.

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 06:56:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BennyToothpick, Jorge Harris

    A very good read. Don't let the apoplectic, sanctimonious folks grind you down.

    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

    by MichaelNY on Sun May 18, 2014 at 04:45:48 PM PDT

  •  I would never try to deny any diarist (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LakeSuperior, BvueDem, Jyrki

    His say at DK. But I strongly agree with tmservo433, LakeSuperior, and other commenters that this diary puts DK in a seriously compromised position and should be taken down.  It advocates unethical and possibly illegal activity, and will become fodder for right wing propaganda if it appears to be a recommended strategy for Dem campaigns.  The likely fact that Republicans do it, and that Dems historically have not been aggressive enough in attacking and defending, is not really relevant.  And using Claire as an example of this seems like an incorrect and inappropriate claim on its face.  This diary will have the de facto result, the unintended consequence, of hurting Dem candidates, especially Claire McCaskill.  

    'Tis with our judgments as our watches, none go just alike, yet each believes his own. - Alexander Pope

    by liberaldad2 on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:52:37 PM PDT

    •  What's unethical about this? (0+ / 0-)

      None of it is illegal.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:20:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Claire isn't running for a while.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, BvueDem

      Not til 2018.  This will hopefully be forgotten by then.
      The strategy itself isn't illegal.

      The issue a lot of us have is a perception issue.

      When people like us here 'ratfuckery' we don't think of a strategy that implies effectively organizing messaging to provide the opposition with information about all candidates while being less negative on one we may be eager to face.

      When we hear ratfuckery, the term that hits our ear is much more like Skullduggery.   As Michael and others point out, this isn't that.   We think about it because that's how Republicans will perceive it.  

      We're concerned about it because true or not, whether everyone in this diary says "of course it happened!  what are you talking about" Claire McCaskill has been on half the radio stations in the state and denied that it happened.

      Michael and others will say I worry to much and this is a way to inform other democrats.  

      To me, and I realized this a few minutes ago, what we are fighting over isn't the strategy it is the perception of a strategy... it is the way some of us feel this strategy will be perceived because of how the words frame it.

      I said to Michael that there are few words that really piss me off, but I don't deal with well with someone using the word c*cks*ker.   It infuriates me.  Red jumps into my eyes.  It's the same for me as saying the N word in reference to my children who as they grow up look more and more African American in their heritage.  

      Some people on this site hear ratfuckery and gaming the outcome and it doesn't hit that chord with them. It just means strategy.

      Some of us hear it and it sounds to us like the kind of bait that will roll off of a Republican's lips like someone admitting to kidnapping a baby.

      As Michael points out, the diary in no way implies that.. it is the way we hear the word.  

      Perception is everything.  I'm personally tainted by it.   I live somewhere that has been fighting over what happened in this election for two damn years.. so I have a thin skin on it.  And that's my fault.   Michael, in NY has the good fortune of probably having more access to liberal/progressive news sources, etc.  Meanwhile, on a weekday I've got three AM networks that go:  TheBlaze (kinda), Sean Hannity, Rush, and then stacks of local conservative talking heads... and they all need to fill 20 hours plus a week with whatever they can come up with.

      So I don't like the word choice.  It means something different to me than say Michael or Kos or others.  That's fine.  I can argue with them and they can argue with me all day and it won't change either of our opinions.  I don't have their life experience, they don't have mine.  

      Are either of us outlandishly wrong?   Despite the desire probably on both sides to say the other side 'just doesn't get it' we both do.. we just reach a different conclusion based on how we perceive it.

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:33:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  FYI, Forgive me.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BvueDem

        Kos nailed me on this earlier.. I use 'we' a lot when I mean either me or just a group I represent.  Years and years ago, as part of something I was chastised repeatedly for saying "I" when I advocated something, and reminded repeatedly that even if I came up with the idea on my own, I was still part of a team, and I wouldn't have the time or resources if it wasn't for the team.. so always present ideas as "WE".  It's been almost 10 years since that, but I still struggle with using "WE" when it's really just me at this point :)

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:41:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I get it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tmservo433

        But you don't have to be limited by local news sources as long as there still is internet neutrality.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:45:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Dead on. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, BvueDem

          High information voters see through this stuff like nobody's business.  They scoff at Kansas Republicans.  And we're organizing them.  

          But, to get more into the weeds, and another thing I wouldn't diary because phrased wrong it could be taken some horrible ways.. I'm all about getting the message across to passive Republicans that their candidate isn't a Republican at all, and that they are basically all a new style of Big Government Republican that just wants a different kind of big ass government while the Democrats want a different kind of big ass government.   So, if both the parties want big government, does anyone deserve your vote, really?  

          That's not a hard argument to make it Kansas now.  You address people with the truth.   And every single campaign, Republican or Democrat does some of that: does your guy even deserve your vote?

          What working with Republicans taught me is that they treat these rural elections like a car chase on Fox.  They will broadcast guesswork, complete falsehoods, stipulations whatever to keep the eyeballs of potential Republicans on the race thinking: that other side is a bunch of fuckheads!  I have to vote!   AfP and others absolutely do that.. sending out fliers about bullshit.

          Dems don't have the money in this state to take to the airwaves to do the same.  And so many low information voters just get that.  Can I convince them to get out and vote democratic?  That's a hard row to hoe.. maybe.  Can I convince them their candidate doesn't deserve their vote.. that's a bit easier.

          I'm just.. encouraging them to consider alternatives with more information.   So, I get all in a twist over words I dislike because I picture it in the car chase that low information people get on the daily drive in conservative radio and the like.  That's all.

          As far as Net Neutrality.. remember, almost 30% of Kansas has dialup only internet access, except for cell phones.   Farmers and rural communities have nothing.  So, the access to the internet means zero out there

          Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

          by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:59:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, that's bad (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tmservo433

            I didn't know that about dialup-only access in much of Kansas.

            I think that the Kansas Gubernatorial election could be winnable for the Democrat, as Brownback is really unpopular. But perhaps some Republicans in the State Legislature could be defeated, too, as punishment for the radical right-wing takeover of the Kansas Republican Party and the policies they've pursued. You definitely have to appeal to moderate Republicans to elect more Democrats in Kansas. Good luck; it might have some positive results.

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Sun May 18, 2014 at 10:08:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We'll keep it updated (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY, BvueDem, Jyrki

              yeah, I joke with people it is sometimes hard for us to talk kansas & missouri politics with people because it is such madness they can't understand.

              We have an area in western Kansas with no internet services for 40 miles, and they lost their post office in a tornado so mail gets delivered once a week or they have to drive 20+ miles for it.

              We have a place in the North West corner that lost phone service.  AT&T won't even provide a land line for a home phone because the state let them off so they don't have to do it... it is a cell phone on EDGE or nothing.

              We received funds to build a documentary on what is really happening in Kansas, I'm taking it to LA on the 31st, but.. yeah.  It's hard for people to relate unless they are actually here.  (and who wants to be here, unless it's a city!)

              Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

              by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 10:15:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Isn't all of western Kansas tremendously (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tmservo433

                conservative and, like, R+30 or so, though? Are there any pockets of Democratic support?

                Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                by MichaelNY on Sun May 18, 2014 at 10:18:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It's insanely conservative. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MichaelNY, BvueDem

                  INSANELY conservative.   There is a compound out there that is like the Bundy range that has kept everyone out for years that most people assume is a cult.

                  So, yes, very conservative.

                  But in that area we have Manhattan, Salina, Fort Hays, all university areas.  And Junction City/Fort Riley military base, which outside of Wichita is the highest concentration of African American minorities.. and Dodge City, which has one of the fastest growing Hispanic groups.

                  Thursday we are meeting with Rev. Eckles.. he put together a new religious voter registration PAC this year, and we are trying to help them organize get out the vote for the latino community in Western Kansas.

                  Look, all of this is longshots.   We have zero state support (and I mean, none, the state party basically said to everyone go pound sand)  because they can only invest in Davis.   That's fine.  A lot of groups want to take the shot..

                  We're going to lose a lot :(  But if we don't even contest, then there is no chance.   Frankly, if we can get some first time voters to get out there and vote and we can do the same next time around we can turn a few voters into regular voters.

                  The internal statement is:  We are working toward 2020.  2020 is the year that every group is trying to build around.  

                  Anyone thinking we are accomplishing lots of goals this year.. that's not going to happen.   But we have to start sometime trying.  

                  We're just crazy fools that way.

                  Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

                  by Chris Reeves on Sun May 18, 2014 at 10:25:29 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I agree with your thinking (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    tmservo433

                    and I salute you for putting in the effort, knowing that it is not likely to bear fruit with victories at the polls any time soon. I think 2020 is actually overly optimistic, but I definitely agree that every politician should have an opponent, if at all possible. The effort should be made.

                    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                    by MichaelNY on Sun May 18, 2014 at 10:38:17 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  This diary reminds me of another 'tone deaf' (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BvueDem, Jyrki

    diary that appeared on Daily Kos a while back.....that one
    was the DK diary criticizing Senator Inhofe the day after his son was killed in an airplane crash.

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