You know, I've always liked Mark Shields straight from the hip, common sense commentary...
so, forgive me for trying to live up to it here...
3 points for Kerry below,
and one and a half for Kossacks....
#1: Don't get dragged into talking about Bush and 9/11. What he knew and when. Don't talk about it. It's a non-starter...and don't encourage anyone associated with your campaign to do this either. Why?
Because there is no good reason to get into the blame game. And there are so many other fish to fry. Your position should be..."let's investigate it, learn from it, be accountable for our failures, but let's keep politics out of 9/11."
Incidentally, "let's keep politics out of it" IS a tactical political stance. Use it. (Incidentally, this advice is for the Kerry campaign; the blogosphere, on the other hand...is hold their feet to the fire land.)
#2: The main theme of 2004 should be how Bush / Cheney ran an "Enron Presidency"...
a) he cooked the books and ran us into debt
b) he misled us, duped us, all the while pretending to be a straight shooter who had a "new way of doing things."
c) his policies have always benefitted the fat cats, and the little guys have always paid the price
d) he was happy to make it seem like he was something he was not. He ran as a Compassionate Conservative...we got something very different...just like Enron.
#3: Spend Money tying Bush to Tom DeLay (and, while we're at it, a little shot at Trent Lott couldn't hurt...)
"Hammer" this home. Force Bush to "Fess Up"...run pictures of Trent Lott with that sad feather in his cap...point out just how in bed with DeLay this administration is. Tom Delay is polarizing even in Texas, let's use it.
We don't need to run pictures of "evil foreigners" in our ads to demonize Bush...we've got Tom DeLay to do that trick.
Enron and DeLay will win votes and position our party to win. Guarantee it.
#4: Finally, as far as we Kossack types go...let me just say this:
Bush and the Republican Party are our real enemies and we've got a great shot at it this year. Unfortunately, we Dems have two streaks that always hinder us.
-we LOVE friendly fire. Your average Dem is more likely to be critical of "our" candidate on a regular basis than the other guy's. I would say this is because of the...
"Who, me, a Democrat?" effect. It's like the only proud Party members are actually at the convention. The rest of us are more like fellow travelers. We need to get the pride back. We need to get invested in the Party. We need to make being a Democrat mean something.
-our anger is so "off-putting". We are the most self-righteous bunch...myself included. We don't relate, we emote, we exude. The other side does it different...
they make anger a recruitment tool not a statement of pure principles.
I love James Carville. He gets angry right. But tune into your average left-wing rant on the radio or the blogosphere...and you just get this enormous whiff of..."if you don't agree with every last polemical line item of my rant you're a part of the problem, and a bad person to boot."
We need humor. We need a little flexibility. And we need to get out of our echo chamber. Let's face it, most of us here on Kos blew it big time analytically and strategically in the last year. We had some things right, and I would stand by them...but we just didn't see the forest for the trees.
There's gonna be some huge opportunities to do GOTV, to do creative tactics in the months to come...let's learn our lessons and get it right this time. Keep our sights on Bush...and add our input to a winning strategy come November. Alot of this is happening already...
but, uh, it can't hurt to keep our eyes on the prize.