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I have been advised to not take this down.

That said, I have decided to cut the content here because much of it is in the contents.. repeated over and over again, and give a quick summary in the body here so this isn't long winded.

A Front Page article discussed a general strategy for a state wide election which involves significant efforts of a campaign, other groups and a little bit of luck.  The article was well researched and very informative.

I disagreed with the idea of putting the article out there - in the harshest of terms on multiple points.

They were:

* The terminology used is most often used by groups that refer to others as cheating, doing bad things, etc.   The terminology used within the article, no matter the intent to me sent the wrong message and framed an issue to provide ammunition to Republicans within the state used as an example, who have accused the candidate named within that article of many things in relation to that specific election.

* Because the candidate, pacs, unions and all groups involved have spent a lot of time (2 years plus) going on the radio, in town halls and elsewhere refuting this point, I disagreed with the acceptance of this point or praise for the use of the strategy.   No matter what people say privately, or how much we may believe something, it is my goal to back my candidate and my party against what I feel our spurious accusations.  The diary in question also noted that the campaign denied this occurred, while arguing how it succeeds.

* I feel as though groups I work with and for have really struggled with voting rights issues in our two states.   By my count, I have written at least six diaries I know of on how since 2012, the Republicans in both states have made efforts to change the voting laws.. from a 2-tiered voting system in Kansas (http://www.dailykos.com/...) to an end to early voting through a ballot measure in Missouri ( http://progressmissouri.org/... ).   For many of us who live in these two states, the ability to vote is really at stake in elections upcoming, and they rely on state house races.. detailing a strategy such as was detailed her in positive terms not only suggests that their party was lying, candidates were lying, I felt as though it gave oxygen to a story that everyone I know of in every single organization has been putting down.

* I feel as though the documentation of the strategy doesn't really benefit any democrat anywhere.. outside of the negative opinions, very few Kossacks are in any position - with millions to donate or running a statewide campaign - to make use of said information, so it was inside baseball that I felt only in the end served to hurt and provided no tangible benefit to anyone here in relation to 2014.

Finally, I'm re-writing this not only to be more calm but to say a bit of a mea culpa:  I can get very zealous and at times too much so when I feel as though an argument makes no sense to me.   Many of the commenters below and in the other article are fine to refer to myself, and others who believed on this issue as we do as 'fools' 'naive' 'losers' 'whiners'.   I took umbridge, and that fueled a lot of commentary that wasn't appropriate for what my goal here on DailyKos is.   I can't change comments, so yes there are moments that I lash out.

We all want the same thing.   We want to win.   I disagreed then and disagree now on the purpose of running said article and that isn't going to change.   But I figured, rather than take this diary down, if it is going to stay for all eternity I will let the vitriol stand in the comments and I will take a much more calm tone here and say:  I disagree.

Carry on.

To Mods:  If commanded, I saved original text and would restore.  I felt doing this met both of our goals.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Agree. And using the term "rat f*****ng" (32+ / 0-)

    with glee was not only offensive but sophomoric. We were first introduced to this in Watergate as part of the Republicans low brow and ultimately useless attempts to engineer elections. Never thought I'd hear Democrats embrace the term or the concept.

    Further, affiant sayeth not. 53959

    by Gary Norton on Sun May 18, 2014 at 11:49:59 AM PDT

    •  We can't be the party that advocates fair election (26+ / 0-)

      If we turn around and get involved in a diary that openly says "How to GAME"

      Elections aren't games.  These are people's lives and messages.

      Argh.

      Ok, I'm going to go meet with a candidate I promised some time today, but the more I think about this the more it really irritates me, so a break from my keyboard is probably best.

      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 11:51:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but when you're trying to follow (9+ / 0-)

        Marquis of Queensbury Rules, and the other guy is saying "screw that, whatever it takes to whip your ass", what do you do then?

        Act shocked and offended because they're "playing dirty"?

        You want to beat the bully, you punch the bully in the mouth.

        Hard.

        If that means ratfucking the shit out of him, so be it. Just do it better than them and they will come begging for fair election laws and what have you.

        "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 02:03:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then it must be ok to suppress the Republican vote (5+ / 0-)

          I mean, if it's OK to ratfuck elections because the Republicans are doing it, then it must be OK to suppress their voters, too.

          Right?

          In the Fox News Christian Nation, public schools won't teach sex education and evolution; instead they'll have an NRA sponsored Shots for Tots: Gunz in Schoolz program.

          by xynz on Sun May 18, 2014 at 03:34:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And this is where terms matter greatly. (7+ / 0-)

            Think about this.

            If I say to you:

            I'm going to convince Republicans that their candidate doesn't deserve their vote.

            That's fine.   Even Republicans would be OK with that, because they try to do that with Democrats.  

            Both parties are OK if people stay home because they don't like their candidate.

            I could write a long diary about how to make Republicans realize they can't vote for their candidate through effective messaging and it wouldn't be controversial.

            But if I write a diary and I say:

            How to engage in voter suppression efforts to keep Republicans home

            Everyone on this site would rightfully go "WHAT THE HELL"

            The way we use language and the implications of what we say are very important.

            I'm not opposed to someone using language.  I'm not opposed to candidates beating up their opponents in the primaries.

            But the implications made are much harsher on the basis of language, and outside of being things we've denied, it makes it much harder to defend the position of others.   That's just a fact.

            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 03:39:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No-one is trying to suppress Republican votes (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Adam B

              in any underhanded kind of way. What are you talking about?

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Sun May 18, 2014 at 04:03:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm saying it's the way you frame the message (5+ / 0-)

                Let's imagine two different diaries.

                One says:

                How Democrats Define Republicans Before the Primaries to Generate Early Support

                And the other says:

                How to Pick Your Opponent through Ratfuckery

                Which do you think matches the conservative talking point on an issue?

                For the last two years, conservatives in these midwestern states have been playing up the idea of democratic foul play at the ballot box, have put forward ballot initiatives, campaigns to change the primary season, limiting early voter, etc.

                And in many of these they have highlighted what they feel are 'scandalous' behaviors of 2012.

                How you message something matters.

                What I'm saying is that the way the other diary was phrased, just for me, is the worst possible way because it falls right into every right-wing talking point that they have preached for the last two years.

                That's the point I'm making in this diary and comments.  That's it.  How you present the message mattered.

                If Jeff had said, even on the front page:

                Showing up Republican Motherfuckers Early Can Cause them to vote for the wrong people

                It's VERY different then:

                Pick your opponent.

                The accusations by Republicans in both of our state houses go to the point that the candidate in Missouri organized PACs and money to float Todd Akins.   She didn't.  They've openly denied it.  

                When we imply we will work to 'pick a candidate' it implies we, democrats, are doing the chosing and we are advocating for it...

                You might be able to get away with that elsewhere, but just a few weeks ago the Kansas State House voted to change the rules for primaries to prevent registration changes, and members of that body directly cited the Missouri 2012 election as one they thought was 'scandalously' corrupted.

                So, when we bring up 'pick a candidate' and we've got the opposition who is spending tons of money, resources, radio time, chain mail and everything else contending that is exactly what happened while everyone involved is trying to get out the truth that that is NOT what happened and that the attempt was to make the primary bitter, the we just have DailyKos fuck us on the message discipline we are trying to keep out there.

                That's it.

                You can say things in a way that is truthful and real - that McCaskill used message management against ALL Republicans in the primary and the Republicans chose the most crazy one...

                Or, you can leave off the part about how they ran ads against all three Republicans and the implication is as the title that she 'picked' her opposition..

                One gets across that using message management works for Democrats.

                The other implies that the Republican conspiracy that they keep beating every one involved with everywhere possible including in the state house is true, and a site that is 'in the party corner' is basically referring to their message as a hint-wink lie.

                Things may work differently elsewhere, but when people have invested serious time in trying to get past this and get it out of the news, and answer it with a common theme of how we handle messaging, it's a kick in the ass to see a left-wing website come out and commend those groups for something they have been desperately denying.

                How you get your message across matters.

                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 04:17:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Who cares? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  tmservo433
                  Let's imagine two different diaries.

                  One says:

                  How Democrats Define Republicans Before the Primaries to Generate Early Support

                  And the other says:

                  How to Pick Your Opponent through Ratfuckery

                  Which do you think matches the conservative talking point on an issue?

                  It doesn't matter what the conservatives say, only who they nominate in primaries. Let 'em be blue in the face. Not our problem.

                  Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                  by MichaelNY on Sun May 18, 2014 at 05:00:40 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Here's why we care.. (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    leftykook, BvueDem, a2nite, JVolvo

                    It's easy to say: who gives a shit because in a statewide race we'll still kick there ass and we'll do it again.

                    When you are dealing with small money state races for the state house, democrats are running in Republican districts against either incumbents or there is no primary to alter and you have every potential variable against you.

                    So, why would you give anyone who already has an advantage an even bigger one by saying:  Oh, and that guy is from the party that is boasting they ratfucked an election and promotes how to game them?

                    Promoting the idea that democrats want everyone to vote and that we gave everyone a chance to chose is fine.

                    They won't be blue in the face when they keep large majorities in the state house of representative and state senate.  

                    Who gives a shit what they think and say?  People who are trying to figure out how to pick off enough of them to say: we're unhappy with our guy, or maybe I won't vote Republican so we can overturn a district.

                    Those are the people who care.

                    Claire can campaign to KC and St. Louis and Columbia and a wild Akin gets crushed.  Akin in a home conservative district gets to the House of Rep.   Crazy representatives get to the house all the time.

                    In a district that is about 60% republican or better, would I prefer to spend my time talking about the bat shit things their house of rep or sentator did at the state house, or do I want them to be portraying everyone I ask for money to help my guy in their district as part of the 'ratfuckery' that 'gamed the system' ?

                    Sure, they will probably say all that stuff anyway, but it would have been nice if in the middle of trying to figure people out we didn't have progressive sites floating them sources and terminology

                    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 06:01:42 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The Democrats do want everyone to vote (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      tmservo433, Caittus, a2nite

                      Prompting the Republican voters to choose the furthest right candidate does not impinge on their right to vote in any way. I don't really understand the rest of the points you're trying to make, especially as this kind of ratfucking does help to get people to decide not to vote Republican in general elections, which is what you say you want.

                      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                      by MichaelNY on Sun May 18, 2014 at 07:11:00 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  THIS is the right way to say it. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        BvueDem, a2nite

                        I love it.  You say it exactly right.   We want high information voters about every candidate, and we want that because we know it is the will of the people.

                        The fact that we end up with the candidate we want is a bonus.

                        I love how you phrased it.  How we phrase things is what matters to me.   That is it.

                        On one hand, we present the Democratic party as one of opportunities that gave people an open opportunity to chose for themselves.

                        On the other, we play into the Republican conspiracy that launched 3 pieces of Missouri legislation and 2 pieces of Kansas legislation aimed to stop 'those damn democrats' who gamed the system in Missouri in 2012.

                        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 07:58:03 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Or we could say that we will (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      a2nite

                      do unto them exactly as they have done to us.

                      If they get pissed, we'll ask "why" and if they're dumb, they'll say exactly why.

                      "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 07:54:06 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

      •  You would have a point (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jorge Harris, tmservo433, Caittus

        if there was something "unfair" about engaging in democracy. There's no rule that says it's "unfair" to enter either primary to vote for the candidate you want to win (even if you want him or her to win for less than noble reasons).

        In fact, the rules explicitly ALLOW it.

        •  But the way I read it... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BvueDem

          tmservo is upset not about the tactic but about DKos actively claiming the tactic was used while our candidate is denying it was. So effectively calling our candidate a liar.

          The more you learn, the less you know.

          by quiet in NC on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:10:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, the outside groups and her. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BvueDem, JVolvo

            Yes, she directly went on the air on Kansas City radio and denied such intent.  Conservatives have spent the last two years framing this in terms that are fantasy conspiracy because that is what they do.  Full of lies and nonsense about what happened.   As a result, Kansas passed a law about stopping people from changing parties.  And in town hall after town hall, they pointed to Missouri and made conspiratorial claims.

            Missouri legislature just moved to end early voting, and on the lips of the tea party on conservative radio was a debate on how the Democrats 'illegally' did this and that.

            You know it's bullshit.  I know it's bullshit.  Kos knows it's bullshit.  It's whacko tea-partiers proclaiming that stuff that just didn't happen.

            Big PACs and others spent a lot of money against Brunner, the frontrunner with a lot of money.  They spent a little on Akin but not as much and people say that helped him.  

            But when we use terms like 'ratfuckery' and 'gaming the system', out come the lunatic fringe who fill up conservative talk radio in the midwest morning and night and they will say 'See See!  that conspiracy..'  

            When we have state representatives, elected officials say in Town Halls that they think unions and others were encouraged to vote as Republicans, that all sorts of things.. that they allege crimes and the like (which are all NOT true) then you, I and anyone with a brain can say: that's some crazy cranks.

            But when we know we have states that are dominated by Republicans in state elected offices, and we know counties and districts trend Republican, I'm just saying: why are we associating terms like 'gaming an election' and 'ratfuckery' with good things to link to a candidate who at least publicly denies it?

            If Privately some aid or even PAC pulls Kos aside and directly tells him 'oh yeah, we're going to ratfuck for this guy' that's fine.  Kos can know first hand.

            Do you think MainPAC that spent $1.2M wants a headline that says:  Let's Praise MainPAC for their efforts in Ratfuckery?

            That's my point.  The problem with text is sometimes you can come off furious.  And at times I get frustrated.   But I'm not mad at Kos, Jeff or anyone here.. they provide us a valuable service.  It's the way I hear this hit my ear and think about the way the last two years have been here and think: Oh not this shit 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 08:22:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What would you call it? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VClib

              8-3-12:

              Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee are out with a new radio ad in the state, focusing specifically on GOP candidate Todd Akin and calling him "too conservative" for the state — which, given that he's still in a competitive three-way GOP primary, seems aimed at actually elevating him in the race.

              "Todd Akin calls himself the true conservative, but is he too conservative? Akin called President Obama a complete menace to our civilization, and has even discussed his impeachment," the ad says. "Akin wants to stop all funding to Planned Parenthood, outlaw many forms of birth control and Todd calls most government programs socialism, comparing them to a cancer."

              The ad also points out that Akin was endorsed by "the most conservative leaders in our country," Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee.

              •  I call it smart politics. Defining the opposition. (0+ / 0-)

                Strategic thinking. Clever. Shaping the election through messaging and other completely legal, above-board, and commonly-used techniques. Describing Akin for what he is. Telling the truth ("and the Republicans just think it's hell," as Missouri's most famous Democrat put it). Straightforward. Calling a spade a spade. Giving right-wing fringe voters enough rope to hogtie themselves. Giving voters an honest choice in the general election. Clarifying the significance of this election. Helping elect a Senator who better represents the Show-Me State.

                Etc.

                •  It's ratfucking. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  VClib

                  You're encouraging Republicans to pick the worst candidate, in the guise of criticizing him.

                  •  No, as explained (0+ / 0-)

                    here and here, it is not. It does not mean simply shaping who wins the opposition primary (by legal means).

                    Words matter -- that's why we use them. Definitions come from a widely-shared understanding, not a clique.

                    When people try to redefine words to suit their own agenda, especially within their own community, then communication breaks down.

                    As noted, some of the dirty tricks that are commonly associated with 'ratfucking' in politics are:

                    * stuffing ballot boxes (with illegal ballots),
                    * planting spies in the opponents campaign, infiltrating,
                    * distributing bogus campaign literature,
                    * espionage, sabotage by dozens of agents,
                    * canceling meeting-hall reservations just prior to rallies,
                    * putting out false press releases or "leaked documents" in the name of political opponents,
                    * spying illegally on rival campaigns,
                    * stealing 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" to disrupt opponents,
                    * conducting deceptive or offensive get out the vote phone canvasses, push polls under false names,
                    * planting stories sex scandals,
                    * falsifying email/IM records,
                    * illegal break-ins,
                    * illegal wiretapping,
                    * illegal money laundering,
                    * illegal slush funds,
                    * illegal plots to bomb the offices and steal from opponents,
                    * etc.

                    None of which were practiced by McCaskill's campaign.

                    This is not some outdated definition only remembered by adults over 30. Here are some more recent uses, the top of thousands in a hasty google search:

                    2012: Literally scores of different Republican ratfucking schemes for obstructing the right to vote of people not likely to vote Republican have been bubbling up around the country for months... http://www.eatthestate.org/...
                    2012: The Week In Greed #4: Risk-Free Ratfucking... Dirty tricks work in politics because it is human nature to see the worst of ourselves in others, particularly in those we feel are more powerful than we are. ...  a wide array of dastardly deeds, including spying on political opponents and recruiting conservatives to infiltrate opposition groups. The latter practice was known as “ratfucking.” http://therumpus.net/...
                    2013: The Case of Sami Al-Saadi: Snowden, Hong Kong Extradition, and a Good Old Fashioned Ratfucking: As the Guardian reported in 2011, the UK administered a good old-fashioned ratfucking to Saadi when it came time to offer him up as a sacrifice to rapprochement with Muammar Qaddafi in 2004. ... Seven years later, the UK helped administer a similar ratfucking to Qaddafi, leading the “humanitarian intervention” pack baying for his blood. http://www.counterpunch.org/...
                    2008: Ratfucking Part II - Ratfucking with Lee Atwater. In Part I we saw where the term "ratfucking" originated and met two of the most infamous ratfuckers. In this part we will see how ratfucking went from being a small part of GOP political campaigns during the Nixon era to being the centerpiece of campaigns under Bush I. ... Atwater invented or improved upon many of the techniques of ratfucking, including creating and spreading reputation-destroying rumors. ... Atwater's tactics in that campaign included push polling in the form of fake surveys by "independent pollsters" to "inform" white suburbanites that Turnipseed was a member of the NAACP. He also sent out last-minute letters from Sen. Strom Thurmond telling voters that Turnipseed would disarm America and turn it over to liberals and Communists. At a press briefing, Atwater planted a "reporter" who rose and said, "We understand Turnipseed has had psychotic treatment." ... "Lee seemed to delight in making fun of a suicidal 16-year-old who was treated for depression with electroshock treatments," Turnipseed recalled. Atwater ran a ratfucking operation in 1984 against vice-presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro. This included the allegation that Ferraro's parents had been indicted for numbers running in the 1940s. Atwater's most notorious campaign was the 1988 presidential election, in which Atwater approved the infamous Willie Horton ad. ... During the election, a number of false rumors were reported in the media about Dukakis, including the claim by Idaho Republican Senator Steve Symms that Dukakis's wife Kitty had burned an American flag to protest the Vietnam War, as well as the claim that Dukakis himself had been treated for a mental illness. http://www.correntewire.com/...
                    2012-2013: Firedoglake article tagged with "ratfucking": Top-Secret Document Reveals NSA Spied On Porn Habits As Part Of Plan To Discredit ‘Radicalizers’ http://firedoglake.com/...
                    Etc.

                    There seems to be an odd glee among some politicos in advocating 'ratfucking' -- an almost unnatural pleasure, a false sense of superior 'knowledge,' or the excitement of breaking a parental taboo. It's not something that most voters share.

  •  I'm trying hard to care about this. Not working.NT (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nocynicism, Occulus, Chinton

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Sun May 18, 2014 at 11:51:34 AM PDT

  •  It probably should say "DKos" instead of "Kos" (7+ / 0-)

    in the title.  As it is, it makes it look as if you're referring to a post by Markos.

    I liked and praised that post, assuming the author was correct in his factual assertions.

    I'm not going to take the time to run into the weeks with every detail of your rebuttal here, but it's a worthy effort and appreciated.

    •  If that diary wasn't FP.. (15+ / 0-)

      And I changed the title.

      But if that diary wasn't Front Page, I wouldn't be bothered.  It's inside baseball that some people are going to grasp.. I don't even mind all the analysis.. though the key assertion with McCaskill is wrong.

      I get that others will say "I don't care.."  Hey, if you're in a blue district or you are in the 'win no matter' it's easy.

      In an election cycle, we have a lot of candidates who need to get to every resource possible in order to get as much attention, money and resources as they can.

      The optics of having this on the front page, as a semi-endorsed position is, to me, like poison for candidates running in tough districts.

      There is a difference between a user opinion in a diary (like mine) that can be freely debated as a site-centered diary that I think makes it difficult for candidates to associate with us.

      That's IMHO, but that's coming off a lot of years of working to do this.

      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 11:56:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a good example of why (15+ / 0-)

    I seldom read the front page. Much of what appears there is simply not worth the time and effort. I read diaries by Meteor Blades, Joan McCarter and Laura Clauson when they show up in the diary list. Some of those get moved to the FP and others do not. Those three people deal with real issues in a fair and intelligent manner most of the time.  

  •  Thanks (5+ / 0-)

    I at least glance at all front paged diaries (they're usually more readable) and I work to get Dems elected in my red county purple state. I should get off the computer and do more to help my local Dems get elected.

    “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 01:11:16 PM PDT

    •  HUGE week this week (11+ / 0-)

      Here in Kansas we are kicking off education week.
      Official filing deadline is two weeks away.  
      We are going to have announcements and luncheons almost every day for the next two weeks.

      In most states, this is going on at the state level.  May and June is time for early money, recruiting and getting candidates in front of the voters.

      Get on it.

      (For my schedule: Southeast KS tomorrow, HarrisonVille, MO Tue, Wichita Thurs, Western Kansas Fri-Sun)

      Put some boots on the ground.  Early money and early connections make huge amounts of difference.. now is the time to define your candidate and their opposition.

      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 01:15:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It means we are not winning on ideas. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BvueDem, JayRaye, SoCalSal, Sam Sara, JVolvo

    New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

    by AlexDrew on Sun May 18, 2014 at 01:41:19 PM PDT

  •  I find it objectionable that you want to (8+ / 0-)

    complain about a diary about how political campaigns work, and a policy which has been used, successfully, since the Nixon era (about 45 years).

    Did you take offense at the term "ratfucking"? Because it's an actual thing and that is it's name.

    Did you take offense at the duplicitous nature of the policy? Because, even though it is used to get voters of the opposing Party to choose weak primary candidates, it's done all out in the open. Who's fault is an easily duped voter population?

    And why in the world would Democratic candidates in Red States not want to learn about a time-tested, legal strategy which would significantly increase their chances of winning the general election?

    Politicians aren't small children, needing coddling - and if you find one who is, RUN in the other direction, and find an adult you can help elect, instead.


    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

    by Angie in WA State on Sun May 18, 2014 at 02:23:12 PM PDT

    •  Follow the update above. (15+ / 0-)

      I'm not opposed to the term or offended.

      But think about this:

      The state party of missouri
      The McCaskill campaign
      Six major labor & education PACs in Missouri

      Have all issued statements DENYING this happened.  They have issued them because the republican talking point was that they all worked together to form a message in the primaries.. it's the Republican message because if they did that it is an ILLEGAL ACT.

      Republicans have used this as a talking point in Kansas and Missouri so often that Kansas has just passed laws preventing people from easily changing parties, under the allegation that PACs in Missouri told members to switch parties to vote to make sure Akin won.

      So, you have a state party, a candidate and PACs.. of which two are desperately trying to raise money this year, and you're going to invoke them in a diary asserting they did something that they have been accused of doing that they have repeatedly, publicly denied...

      How does this benefit democratic parties?   To openly call out an entire state party and campaigns of being involved in something they deny and claiming they were involved in it?

      How does that hurt people in red states?  Because red-states are red because we struggle to motivate Democrats.. we're OK if the other side isn't motivated.  But you want to float a story that the Right Wing has pressed for TWO YEARS in these states that a conspiracy happened that everyone on the Democratic side has pointed out is a complete falsehood and we want to now praise it as 'effective'

      Are you kidding me?  You're telling every conspiracy nut that an entire state party LIED to them for two years, and PACs took money from people while LYING to them about what they were doing it.

      And you think this helps PACs raise money for candidates in the red state right next door?

      I know this sounds frustrated, and I'm going to assume since you aren't in this area of the world, much of this is unknown to you...

      But you have a diary today that praises a party and a candidate for something they have outright denied in an election year where outside groups were actively involved in the messaging about all Republican candidates in the primary and this site (DailyKos) is going to contend that despite what every PAC, Party, and Candidate has said, they actually did what they deny doing, the Republicans were right, their reactionary legislation in Kansas was the right idea, and there accusations about illegal campaign coordination in Missouri to advance a candidate were all true.

      And how in the world does that help any democratic candidate in either of those two states to have a state party, a campaign and everyone involved painted by a left leaning site as absolute liars for two years over a strategy that if it happened would be illegal?

      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 02:38:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I personally hate this "gaming" of the electorate (8+ / 0-)

        and it speaks to how fraudulent the entire process has become.

        Say what you mean and mean what you say, get your political advice from Horton the Elephant and you never have to waste a moment trying to be coy or recollect what you said.

        “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

        by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Sun May 18, 2014 at 03:04:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You, and I wish. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tmservo433, BvueDem

          You don't know how many times I have said of the politicians, "just tell me the truth."  I will follow you to the ends of the earth.  Just be honest with me.  Sixty something years, and I'm still waiting.

          Though I hate that this "gaming" of the electorate is happening, it does happen and it is naive of any of us in the Democratic wing of the Democratic party to deny that it doesn't happen.

          If it gets Democrats elected, so be it.

          Compared with Rove's attack on Hillary's mental capacity to lead the country because of a fall and a 3 day stay in the hospital, this is small potatoes.

          I say hit'em for all you're worth and kick'em where it makes them fall on the floor in pain.

          Then kick them again until we keep them down.

      •  I believe what those candidates have denied (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tmservo433

        is a coordinated scheme involving their campaign and other organizations, such as 501(c)3 PACs, which, as you may already be aware, is an illegal action - the coordination part of it.

        That does not mean that the candidate and/or unaffiliated organizations didn't use key words or phrases in political advertising designed to elicit a specific response in low-information voters.

        I suggest you go back and read their denials and see if perhaps it is as I suggest, and that what they vehemently denied is what is illegal, coordinated behavior.


        "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

        by Angie in WA State on Mon May 19, 2014 at 02:42:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ive met a few clean politicians, (5+ / 0-)

      usually complaining about the voters being too stupid to ever elect them.

      •  Always true. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PinHole, BvueDem

        Just a few?  It's damn near all of them.   Behind closed doors though.  I doubt they'd say such a thing in public or appreciate being named as one of them in public.

        I've had candidates I loved and supported say things like that in private after events comment that way.  If you haven't sat in a meeting with a PAC where someone says 'heaven help us, this is the only candidate we have runnign to oppose X, and although they are a box of hair, it's what we have to support'.. those things happen all the time.

        But no one wants that stuff aired in public with names attached.

        I think people are human.   That said, the point isn't really clean candidates or perfect races or refusing to get dirty, etc.   Some would say McCaskill running ads against all the Republicans in the spring was a hell of a way to attack a foe before they had received major funding.. I'd argue that's a great strategy.

        But the talking point was that she artificially assisted Akin.. and everyone involved (and I mean everyone) has denied this. .. so you've got to understand why people who work with those people feel a bit combative when a site that is supposed to be on our side tends to imply that all of those denials came with a hint and a wink and maybe were not real when raising small money in these states is already a kick in the ass

        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 03:52:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Meh...that sounds like a serious case of nitpick. (6+ / 0-)

          Nobody is attacking their integrity. Besides, why should they care since they won?

          What this actually sounds like to me is a case of moral highhorsing, not an uncommon affliction among Democrats.

          The point of the diary is a useful one and a healthy one to air out. Democrats are done being a bunch of weenies and are perfectly willing to be tough customers and get their hands dirty. I like it.

          Reminds me of the old school union Dems from my pops' era.

          •  First, it's not a nitpick. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rduran, Ahianne, BvueDem

            It's nitpicky to say 'oh, I can't believe you ran those ads'.

            The Republican contention in Missouri is that the State Party, AFL/CIO and the Teachers unions, all of which ran ads as early as in the primary did so as a cordinated effort to promote Todd Akin.

            That isn't a nitpick, they are accusing them of committing felonies.  They are saying the campaign let other PACs do messaging for them and they all lined up and took to the air with the explicit impact of picking Todd Akin.

            They didn't.   Every group went out against every Republican because that was the only strategy anyone had because resources were low.

            There is nothing wrong with playing brutal ball, but do I really want a left-leaning website to say that the message from major PACs that our candidates count on money from were all lying through their teeth as Republicans accused them of, Republicans were right, and so on?  

            Now, the Republicans in both states say this went far.. that PACs encouraged people to switch parties, and change the candidate and so on.   That's why Kansas just changed it so that people cannot easily switch parties in this state.

            Nothing in that diary or elsewhere talks about that.   But that has been the story.. that there was a conspiracy between all these groups, blah blah blah.

            It's easy to write that off as 'well, that's just tea party nuts'.

            Tea Party Nuts host 4 hours of local radio in:
            Sprinfield,
            Kansas City,
            Wichita,
            Salina
            Jefferson City,
            St. Louis,
            Topeka,
            Branson,
            Harrisonville,
            Columbia
            Joplin,
            Pittsburg
            Arkansas City
            Dodge City..

            And they have tons of time to fill.

            This story could have been DEAD after the Kansas vote.  In fact, the narrative should have been: look at how crazy reactionary the Kansas legislature is for accusations that are unprovable and foolish about the 2012 election.

            Meanwhile, we prep to go into message weeks in both states, and all that has to happen is one asshole right-winger get the story from the front page of Kos that praises a strategy we've been denying for two years and there will be hours and hours of conservative radio back to talking about how the left steals elections... at the same time we're trying to get out some message and raise some money.

            That's it.

            That's my point.

            Feel free to disagree, but that's how I feel about this.

            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 04:27:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Woah, felonies? (6+ / 0-)

              Seriously, what are you talking about?

              You don't need to coordinate directly to get the message that "Akin is the guy we want". I knew that just by looking at the poll numbers.

              Me, I know for a fact that Akin was directly pushed by the McCaskill campaign. Why? Because I talked to some of the people behind the strategy.

              And I was cheering them on.

              •  Case closed. nt (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Angie in WA State
              •  The accussation that (R)s have been making (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rduran, leftykook, BvueDem

                For over two years in our states is that the party directly informed groups of a specific strategy to back Akin in the primary, which included campaign ads, registration switching, etc.

                This long-standing beef has aired within our talk radio programs, media and elsewhere for years.

                Everyone denies all of it.  That there was no push to cause people to switch parties, that PACs were not instructed to donate money to Republicans on the grounds of making them lose, etc.

                Almost all of it is horseshit.

                While the diary in question doesn't get into those accusations, when we say 'pick the candidate' and combine with 'ratfuckery' the narrative falls right into the way every Republican nutjob has taken to the air over the last few years and demanded voting changes/etc. in our state..

                Recently, as I note above, Kansas changed the period in which you can change your party affiliation, etc. and when conservatives take to the air, the mantra is: don't let a conspiracy from the other side chose for you.

                So, when a FP diary uses terms like 'pick your opponent' and 'ratfuckery'.. it plays into every conspiracy laden talking point that includes accusing those groups of everything up to and including felonies.

                Is any of it real?  OF COURSE NOT.  

                Can they defend themselves?  Of course, and we have for two years.

                But for IPU sake, the story was largely over.  Now we're going to use the exact same rhetoric and phrases they use in order to define a strategy used by a campaign.

                Imagine if the diary said instead:

                When you let Republicans see all of their options, they chose the crazy one.

                VS:

                Ratfuckery to pick your opponent.

                Those groups put up ads on every single (R) running.  It's documented.  The reason why people say it helped Akin is because he didn't have a budget to air in some of those markets.

                Democrats let them see all of the options, they chose the wrong one.

                But they did not, at any point PICK the candidate Republicans voted and did that.  None of those groups want to be tagged with Ratfuckery.

                I mean, come on.

                How you say things matters.   Does anyone want to be spending this time of year back going through an issue two years old where some asshat is going to bring up the idea that the conspiracy that Kobach and Brownback just sold Kansas on was real, and that a site that favors liberal-progressives outs the fact that messaging of those involved was a hint-wink?

                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 04:59:08 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  She put out ads against (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BvueDem

                All of her opponents.  Like I said, she has went on the radio directly to publically state her opinion.   What you, Kos, or anyone thinks.. I don't care if her campaign manager or Claire pulled them aside in private and said "this is my goal"  In public, in every radio interview she has framed it this way.

                And she's right.   Nowhere in that ad does she say: Vote for Todd Akin.   She doesn't do any of that.

                We're debating semantics.. I get you disagree with my whole point.  There is nothing we will say to each other to convince each other of the viewpoint.  That's fine.  I made my point and if people disagree that is fine.  I'm over it.  My only point which no one has denied is that the candidate and the state party have been involved in actively denying it.  On Kansas City talk radio, they denied it again today.

                So, maybe everyone on Kos thinks it is all obvious and we should count it up as a good strategy, but as long as every group involved says no, I'm not going to argue that my fellow democrats are a bunch of liars.   You can feel free to say that's stupid and we should just say it because it's the truth.

                I'm OK with you having your opinion, I've said mine.

                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 06:41:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  But that's not actually an ad "against" Akin (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  VClib

                  And you are being deliberately daft to read it otherwise.  

                  That it would be unsporting of McCaskill to admit that this was the intent does not mean (a) it wasn't the intent, or (b) that everyone else can say so.  

                  •  This is the disconnect (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    BvueDem

                    I'm talking about:

                    That it would be unsporting of McCaskill to admit that this was the intent does not mean
                    The fact that McCaskill has publicly taken a stand on it means people who work for her party in her state need to back her stand.  If you, somewhere else, want to say whatever, that's fine.   Asking someone here to say: this is the right approach to me is daft.  

                    The reason why I criticized it is because there are a lot of Kossacks on here in her home state who are working with her party and candidates in those markets.  

                    You in some other market can say whatever.   That's fine.  If you can't realize why I, volunteering for campaigns in her home state can't come out and say: of course she's totally lying then it is a disconnect.

                    That is all I have been trying to get across.  I've invested a lot (relatively) of money in candidates and and I care a lot about candidates.   So, when they go on the media market this morning here in Kansas CIty, and when confronted with the roll out of a potential anti-voter campaign, they tell us that this is kooky, then I'm not in a position to say that every one of the candidates I am donating to and their state party are packed with liars and the Republicans who fill my airwaves are right etc. etc. etc.

                    I'm not being daft.  I'm trying like hell to stick to the message people who are smarter then me tell me should be the official message.

                    That's it.   I do what my party asks me to, for the good of the people I'm trying to elect.

                    That's my only point in this whole thing

                    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 06:59:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Didn't get elected, did they. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        brooklynbadboy
  •  We can't play nice (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, Miggles

    Unless you want 60 Republican Senators, 38 Republican Governors, and 280 Republican members of the House of Representatives.

    •  I don't see how (7+ / 0-)

      giving cover to GOP conspiracy theories amounts to playing smart, though.  Also, I don't see how freely tossing around an opprobrium like "ratfucking," which encompasses a helluva lot more than what the diary discussed, to describe our own team's conduct is in anyway helpful.

      •  What conspiracy theories? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Caittus

        "Ratfucking", is no conspiracy theory.  It's political strategy, plain and simple.

        •  McCaskill, Missouri Dems and (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tmservo433, BvueDem

          six unions and PACs flatly deny any such conduct, and there is zero evidence that they engaged in it beyond a fantastical interpretation of a portion of the negative ads directed at GOP primary candidates.

          •  Plus please Remember.. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rduran, BvueDem

            While Kos points out above 'they knew what they would get'.. you can know what you are going to get and you still aren't practicing ratfuckery.   They presented all the options.  So did everyone else.  They didn't pick the candidate.

            They did encourage people to switch parties.

            Despite Kansas House members asssertions they didn't directly donate money to Akin.. those things didn't happen.

            Now, Kos points out above that they knew they wanted Akin.. a media strategy that presented Republicans with all the options and gave attack to ALL republicans in all markets did give Akin a prescence on TV he didn't have before.

            But they did NOT (publically) solely go after Akin.  What anyone says privately is what they say privately and they are free to say whatever..

            But in the press at every turn, and in speaking to districts, the state party and PACs and everyone else have denied they 'picked' Akin.

            It's easy to say 'well, that's the cover, who cares what Republicans say..'  hahaha it worked!  We have a senate seat.

            You also have 37 State Seats.
            You have a Governor.
            Secretary of State.
            House races in that state.

            All of them have their own story they want to tell.

            Do you lead off with:  We gave Republicans all the choices, and they chose the stupid one?

            Or do you tell them:  We ratfucked your primary in an attempt to game the outcome?

            Realize, in many of these districts to win you need to get SOME republicans to vote for your guy.

            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 05:26:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Err.. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rduran, BvueDem

              Typing to fast.. they DID NOT at any point encourage memberships of anyone to switch parties.  Ever.  

              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 05:39:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Bring on the fainting couches! nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, Miggles, Adam B
    •  No one is fainting (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      triv33, BvueDem

      I'm just saying, thanks for making work for us harder.

      That's the reality.  Change it up as much as you want, but we've spent two years denying this.   We just had legislation passed in one state that referred to this as a reason because of wild conspiracies, and in an off-season election year at a moment when we are trying to raise funds a site like DK is going to imply this is an effective strategy and use as an example of it's effective use a state race where every single party involved has openly, publicly denied their involvement.

      So, am I appreciative of a Kos FP painting a story we've spent two years denying happened?  Not really.

      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 03:47:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's get this straight (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles, randallt, brooklynbadboy, Caittus

    You object to Democrats portraying Republican candidates in primaries as "too conservative for [name of state]" and detailing their positions in ways that liberal and moderate voters don't like and conservatives like, so that Republicans listen to the ads and say "Yeah, I like someone who's the most conservative candidate who's really pro-family and against birth control" and elect the candidate in the primaries. You'd rather the Democrats sit on their hands, let the Republicans pick the best candidate, and then beat the Democratic candidate. And don't bullshit about just waiting around and beating their best opponent. Had Harry Reid sat around and let his best opponent win the Republican primaries, he wouldn't be Senator Reid today, and McCaskill could have easily been defeated by a more moderate and competent opponent.

    The other thing is, if you believe the denials out of Missouri, you're ignoring the fact that the McCaskill campaign did run a brilliant ad that had the result of prompting Republican voters to judge Akin as the most conservative candidate and nominating him. It was a thing of beauty. And there was nothing unethical about it. It was a truthful ad and duly labeled as a McCaskill for Senate ad, but it was ideally phrased so as to appeal to Republican voters in a primary.

    I'm glad real political professionals ignore the kind of absurd hand-wringing you're engaging in, and I only wish they did more of this effectively, whether you'd prefer to call it something other than "ratfucking" or not.

    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

    by MichaelNY on Sun May 18, 2014 at 04:02:17 PM PDT

    •  No. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rduran, BvueDem

      You are not getting my point at all.

      You object to Democrats portraying Republican candidates in primaries as "too conservative for [name of state]" and detailing their positions in ways that liberal and moderate voters don't like and conservatives like, so that Republicans listen to the ads and say "Yeah, I like someone who's the most conservative candidate who's really pro-family and against birth control" and elect the candidate in the primaries. You'd rather the Democrats sit on their hands, let the Republicans pick the best candidate, and then beat the Democratic candidate. And don't bullshit about just waiting around and beating their best opponent. Had Harry Reid sat around and let his best opponent win the Republican primaries, he wouldn't be Senator Reid today, and McCaskill could have easily been defeated by a more moderate and competent opponent.
      I favor this.  I favor it strongly, and we are doing that this year.   But how do we refer to it?   We say that we are using message management against all candidates to make the truth be known about them.  We do it because it shores up democratic voters.

      We don't imply that we are doing it to 'PICK' our opposition.   When you tell people you are moving to 'PICK' your opponent you are giving them every rhetorical advantage.   You are portraying what you are doing as fucking with the system by gaming the outcome.  For Christ sake, the diary uses the term 'gaming the outcome'.  

      There is a difference in HOW you get your message across.  What you are saying is:  We have a duty to work to inform people of their options early.

      That's the message of every PAC, every candidate, and the state party in Missouri.

      The diary I'm criticizing doesn't imply anything like that.. it plays into all the negatives by using terms like 'gaming the system', 'picking your opposition' and so on.

      There is a way to get across your message that gets you what you want without playing into every conservative talking point they are going to launch at you.

      If you can't recognize the way to get across a message without playing into your opposition, then...

      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 04:34:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In other words (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Caittus

        You completely ignore the facts that Darth Jeff and Dave have posted about how Republican operatives are completely aware of these tactics and that they were reported in real time. These are not secrets, but they continue to work because rank-and-file Republicans react to the message in the TV ads or mailers, not the messenger. You've wasted loads of key strokes and lots of completely useless anguish over this.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Sun May 18, 2014 at 04:58:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rduran, BvueDem

          Do Republicans do this?  Fuck all yes they do.  They do this all the time.

          Republicans control these states.  They do it to their own candidates in primaries.  It's a common damn strategy, and when you have the vast majority of the state house and the governors office and most of the voting base is (R) who gives a shit.

          Seriously.

          When you're significantly outnumbered in a state, when the numbers are against you you will use whatever you can.

          How you point out how you do it matters.   Do you want to sit and take a ground by which the majority in the state can define the message for you as 'picking your opponent'...

          You have to think about where you are, what your resources are, and how you get your message 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 05:02:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm thinking back to Operation Chaos (0+ / 0-)

        Rush Limbaugh's very public interference with the 2008 Democratic Presidential primary.
         

        For months, Limbaugh urged his listeners in states with open primaries to cross party lines and support Clinton in an effort he has dubbed "Operation Chaos."
        The conservative talk show host has said the Republican Party will benefit from a protracted Democratic race that grows more bruising by the week.
        http://www.cnn.com/...

        I appreciate that candidates, PACs, and state parties are governed by a different set of rules than a talk radio personality.  But it is disturbing to me that "conservative talking points" would have a leg to stand on when it comes to making accusations of 'gaming the system' and 'picking your opponent.'

        •  Yep. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rduran, BvueDem

          Operation Chaos and other stupidity do two things that I'm trying to remember who diaried years ago.. but they make him look like a freaking ass, and they motivated people interested in voting for Obama.

          Did it help Obama?  I think he would have won anyway.  But it made Rush look like an ass.

          Sometimes, strategies effective or not aren't the kind of things that you start openly expousing to just everyone in terms like 'Operation Chaos' 'Rat Fuckery' because anyone+dog reads them and you get some snickers and joy out of the people that agree with you and you become a long memory for those that think you're an asshole.

          6 years since Operation Chaos and Democrats still bring it up.  It's been two years since Missouri, and it will get brought up.

          Slight difference: Missouri is a state with a shitload of Republican districts that they would like to overturn, and avoiding debating shit from the past that isn't relevant to them at all in a red as red district is nice.

          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 05:20:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  So where does... (0+ / 0-)

    each party voting for the other party's weakest candidates in open primaries fall?

  •  "politics ain't beanbags" (0+ / 0-)

    It's silly to unilaterally discard legal tactics, because they're not "fair".

    That said, my big disappointment with the other diary was: "Ratfucking" clearly referred to illegal ways of discrediting your opponent. From the beginning. The classic was handing out flyers with "Free beer and women" with the Democratic headquarters address. Yes, that happened. Also, telling people that the election is the day after the actual election, telling them that if they have unpaid tickets and go to vote, they'll be arrested, etc etc.

    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

    by Karl Rover on Sun May 18, 2014 at 04:50:53 PM PDT

  •  If your point (5+ / 0-)

    behind old-liberal "we are better than them" purity is that it's not true that McCaskill campaign didn't actively work to get Akin elected nominee, then I can tell you flat out that you are wrong.

    I talked to people in campaign positions working on that strategy, cheered them all every step of the way, and marveled at their amazing success primary night.

    If we narrowly hold the Senate this year, it will be in large part because of that ratfucking effort. Me, I'll take the Senate seat.

    •  Who doesn't want the seat? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rduran, BvueDem

      And who wouldn't deny that effective messaging early by all involved to show Republicans all of their options greatly assisted in getting McCaskill out of a race where she was very vulnerable.

      Notice that though?  I say:  We presented a message about all their candidates, they chose the stupid one.

      That's what McCaskill did, that's what other groups did.  That's fact and it was brilliant.

      Republicans have spent the last few years alleging all sorts of madness, most of which didn't happen.  And we can laugh about that.  In states where Democrats would significantly outnumber Republicans it would be preposterous.

      We're just not going to agree on this.    How we present things matter.

      When we use phrases like:

      "Pick Our Opponent"
      "Game the System"
      "Ratfuckery"

      We play into THEIR narrative of how things went that there was some vast conspiracy to do all sorts of things.

      Meanwhile, if we say:

      "We provide message about ALL candidates and let them chose, they will chose the dumb one"

      Then you can get me to say: great, that's exactly what happened.   All options were shown.   People figured they would chose the dumb one, but THEY chose the dumb one.

      When we use phrases like:

      We pick their candidate
      Ratfuckery
      Gaming the system

      We say to them: this is a really dishonest way, they picked Akin from the beginning.

      People around Missouri knew that if people were informed the Tea Party would rally to Akin.   But they didn't put up ads only on Akin.   They let the entire Republican party decide on the entire set of candidates.

      If we want to keep using phrases like 'gaming the system' and 'ratfuckery' then it's fun on a liberal site where everyone wants to win.  I might even silently smile.

      But when we have to figure out how to get message out to people in districts that are hard to win, it sucks balls to have your strategy of giving people the most options through information portrayed as 'ratfuckery' and 'gamingj'.

      I'm content to say: we ungamed the system.  A Repubican candidate had a vast amount more money and blotted out the message.   We gave Republicans a field by which they could really see their candidates and we let them choose.   We're pro-democracy.

      We aren't pro-ratfucking.  We aren't pro-'gaming the system'.

      Because we didn't do those things.   We gave them more options.   Just because we figured what they would chose doesn't make it gaming the system, it doesn't make it ratfuckery and associating it with those who did it internally is the kind of thing you'll likely get a big smile from because they knew the outcome, but externally, would you want to be associated with those things?

      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 05:09:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  kos, you're misusing the word 'ratfucking' (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmservo433

      When people start redefining words to suit their own agenda, especially within their own community, then communication breaks down.

      I posted a comment on 'ratfucking' here, with etymology, links and quotes. It is an ugly word that inherently implies illegal, unethical, and reprehensible activities that would backfire if publicly revealed. It does not mean simply shaping who wins the opposition primary (by legal means).

      Rather than repeat my comment let me just summarize the dirty tricks that are commonly associated with 'ratfucking' in politics -- none of which were practiced by McCaskill's campaign:

      * stuffing ballot boxes (with illegal ballots),
      * planting spies in the opponents campaign, infiltrating,
      * distributing bogus campaign literature,
      * espionage, sabotage by dozens of agents,
      * 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,
      * stealing 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,
      * informing the FBI of sex scandals,
      * falsifying email/IM records,
      * etc.

      It comes out of the Nixon campaigns, with illegal break-ins, illegal wiretapping, illegal money laundering, illegal slush funds, illegal plots to bomb the offices and steal from opponents, etc.

      If you, kos, are advocating illegal activities, then it is time for me (and I think a lot of Kossacks) to leave DailyKos.

      •  This is the disconnect (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BvueDem

        I think sometimes when I look back at my comments and responses..

        When I hear:

        Ratfuckery and gaming an election.. everything that pops to mind are all the conspiracy based Republican talking points in the midwest and the image of outright cheating, encouraging your people to switch registrations to nuke a candidate, illegally donating to a campaign, switching money, advocating positions you don't believe in to interfere with the process, etc.

        That is the way I think of it.

        I'm not opposed to the word ratfuckery, I'm not offended by the use of the word fuck.

        But to me, the way we phrase things mean something.  When I hear phrases like 'we're going to ratfuck an election to game it'.. it doesn't sound like what legitimately happened..

        I know some of the staff have suggested that I'm ridiculous or just being whiny.  And maybe it is.  I just value words.  I value the word cloud that follows around people.

        I like words like: Honesty, Pro-Democracy, Reliable, and so on that helps me build confidence in people.

        Ratfuckery isn't a word I want associated to people.  And despite Kos assertion: they absolutely knew behind the scenes, I go back to my point: find me someone from the Missouri Democratic Party, the McCaskill campaign or any of the PACs who will go on the record and say "damn straight we ratfucked them!"   It will not happen.

        Because they value the way they are thought of.

        I think Kos does too.. I think Jeff does.   Despite the disagreement we are having here, I know they want more and better democrats.  And I know they want strategy that helps them win.  I don't think they see the ratfuckery as a word that hits in the same way as we do.

        This is causing us to fight over a semantic argument like ships that don't get close to each other but keep firing canons.  Neither of us can understand why the other side doesn't get our point.

        In the end, I need a site like Kos to help me work with more people all over the state to build something from nothing.   The resources I have are shit in comparison to my ability to find someone who can actually work at some of the events we need.   If I can find someone to walk a few blocks, go to a county fair, man a booth, get out through Kos, it matters far more than my displeasure at a word choice.  

        I've had time to sit back, talk to some friends who basically said: you've spent a long weekend, you're really wound up and your putting a lot of your personal pissed off thoughts and you're putting an argument on them they weren't intending to make.

        That's probably partly true.   I look for DailyKos to be a place to try and support us out in the wilderness and in the end, it has done that.  The DailyKos staff have worked hard to help get the message out about things I believe in.  They have made contacts for me, reached a larger audience and made Kansas matter.

        I'm upset with this word choice, but it's not enough for me to throw away everything I've gained.  There is no GBCW coming.

        Too many good people, too many important causes, too many goals I have and too little budget to lose track of friends.

        We disagree on this, but come November, when I need a site like DailyKos to help me get out a message in a district no one gives a shit about, it's my best shot.  

        So, for today, I will express my unhappiness.  Everyone takes lumps.   Darth Jeff writes some incredible stuff and I have traditionally enjoyed his diaries.   The fact that we disagree on some of the nuances of how we want to frame a debate at a level so low that a site like DailyKos doesn't have time to deal with (frankly, would you want every state person to be plugging a state race in a district of 6,000 voters non-stop here?)  .. and I'm sure when netroots comes around we will hopefully laugh about this and they will have a different perspective.

        Friends don't always have to agree on everything.   We can disagree, sometimes seriously so.  It doesn't mean we aren't still friends :)

        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 07:17:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Gray Davis did this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433, Adam B

    in the 2002 CA gubernatorial election to get Bill Simon picked over Richard Riordan, who was far more electable.

    I have no problem with it. It's just another electoral strategy.

    •  What we are boiling down to (3+ / 0-)

      Isn't that people hate a strategy of working to face the weakest opponent.     Who wants to say that doesn't happen.  A lot of us just got up in arms over the word choices, 'ratfuckery' 'gaming the system' and so on.   That's just semantics, and like I said elsewhere, some of us may care too much about semantics.

      Others of us care about this exclusively in one function, and that is because the official message out of Missouri has been that this isn't what happened.   So when we talk about it, the position that Claire McCaskill took when she was asked about it was that this isn't what happened.  The state party also went on the air and said this isn't what happened.

      They did that because Republicans took this story and basically exaggerated it and milked it into something it wasn't.. not a strategy but everything from paying off people to vote in the wrong primary to everything else.  None of those things were true, but talking heads had no problem insinuating that they were 'potentially' true.

      State Republicans in Missouri moved to 'reform the vote' and they cited it as a reason, at times calling it stealing an election.  Kansas changed their laws on when you can switch primaries and they pointed at this in Missouri.

      So, I was upset.. and frankly too upset, I should have just walked away and said 'whatever' but I got my dander up and it stuck with me and I wanted to say: all of us here refute this story repeatedly and we say to them: this isn't what happened.  How you message during a primary isn't picking a candidate and it isn't X, Y, Z.  

      So, I got butthurt because I've spent weeks refuting this in a different way, and the terminology that those who refer to this as cheating seems to pop up in a diary but referring to it as a good thing.

      I just got out of joint because for me, I've explained this repeatedly in many areas a totally different way.   What I say privately to someone else are my own private thoughts, but at a town hall, or when we confronted this issue I wouldn't say this.

      So, I got out of joint.  Just me.  I'm over it.  All I asked is that people think a bit, fight with me for a bit, if they totally disagree that is fine.. but I just want them to understand that none of us who live in Kansas or Missouri can run this argument by anyone but the most liberal democrats, and we would be mortified if someone went off in some public forum and even hinted that anything of the craziness (R)s accuse Claire and others of is true

      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 11:20:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Explain to me what sort of support (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433

    for a candidate of an opposing party is illegal?  Didn't Nixon massively interfere in the 1972 Democratic primaries to give himself the gift of McGovern?

    The Stars and Bars and the red swastika banner are both offerings to the same barbaric god.

    by amyzex on Mon May 19, 2014 at 08:11:01 AM PDT

    •  It isn't. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      amyzex, tao00000

      And that isn't at all what I am saying.

      I am saying that REPUBLICANS in both states have said that illegal things happened.   Think about the way (R)s scream BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI!   There doesn't have to be anything to it for them to scream it.

      They've made up assertions, they have done radio programs and town halls around the states both Kansas and Missouri and asserted outright falsehoods.

      They have alleged everything from Claire took over PAC money, that people encouraged their voters with enticements to switch, that people were paid off, that Todd Akin received direct cash from Claire, and so on.

      None of that is true.  The diary on the front page didn't get into those subjects.

      My point was that for the last two years, when Republicans bring up this, their comparative of BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI!  The message has been: this didn't happen, this is all horseshit, and we explain it in a way that says:  We encouraged people to know about all of the candidates, and of course groups attacked a front runner with a $7M warchest because he was the real threat.

      The reason why the FP diary bothered me is simple:  Kansas has tried to pass 3 voter restrictions, including multi-track voting that I have diaried repeatedly.  Missouri just proposed basically cutting early voting.  

      This morning, on Kansas City conservative Radio, we had Republican House members discuss the Missouri elections and why they need restrictions and they all point out fraud.   So, who comes on to combat it? Democrats who say: you are over simplifying it, there was no conspiracy, do not use these labels, infer all of this stuff happened when it didn't.

      Meanwhile, on a liberal progressive site we talk about policy on a public forum where every person including trolls can read through it.   When you use terms like 'ratfuckery' of an opponent, and 'gaming the primary', even if you explain it in great and accurate detail in the body as Jeff does, you still highlight Claire McCaskill as a success at it.

      Whether you believe she did or not, even if you were in the room with her and she said "fuck yeah we are going to ratfuck this to get the guy we want", it's still not a smart move to come out and cheer about it when the states in question where she is from are in a struggle to preserve the right to vote and the accusations over this happening in 2012 are a big part of the discussion.

      Are the republican charges bullshit?  Yes.   But it's too difficult to quickly explain into a 1 minute bit on a talk show why they are wrong.. and when your candidates and state party are completely committed to a message that says: this isn't what happened, I was bothered that we would say: yeah, it did.

      You have to keep your message.  I get that DailyKos isn't about solely electing democrats it is also about pageviews and attracting people who want to win, and sometimes poking fun at those of us out in the boonies, and I do that too.  

      But for years the one thing I've learned from everything I have ever done is that if the candidates and parties and unions set the message and their message is the Republican conspiracy is false, then I don't break with it, I help them make their case with facts.

      Referring to it as a successful ratfucking doesn't help.  Yes, other newspapers and sites had inferred it.  That's fine.   It was rebutted repeatedly.   People can hint and wink and infer.   But no one officially anywhere is going on the media while they are trying to combat heinous voter restrictions and cheering over it.

      Missouri's new sham early voting proposal:
      http://progressmissouri.org/...

      Kansas voting proposal for dual track voting:
      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      More on Kansas voting:
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

      all I said and why I was unhappy is that there are so many things that small money democrats here are trying to figure out, and i didn't like the word choice because it can be easily plucked and used against us to say that every official comment on this issue here in our states is a lie.

      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 12:58:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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