Keyword: Strategy

GOP Clown College Strategy: Blame Obama for Republican Failures Email Print

It's a tired theme. Take the massive heap of Republican failures and affix them firmly to the top of Obama's head. Draw a big, fat target, and take aim.

Puh - lease.

Now, I expect Republicans to run with this nonsense. They've got nothing else. But as for you Democrats and Independents... Really? Are you going to fall for that?

Don't accept their nonsense. Stand up for yourself. For your ideology. For your president.

When someone asks you how Obama could possibly have the nerve to create such huge deficits in such tough times, please remind them that the historic budget surplus left by Clinton was unapologetically morphed into an ungodly deficit by G. W. Bush thanks in large part to a war based on lies and multiple tax cuts to the richest of the rich.

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This Is How We Roll Email Print

It was predictable as clockwork.  Even while the votes were being tallied, Tom Delay was on the air saying that the Democrats were going to have a lame duck majority.  Despite Bush's stumbling words of "bipartisanship," his first action was to try and shove John Bolton's nomination back through the pipe.  And now insiders like James Carville are trying to stave off irrelevance by joining themselves at the hip with Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly to pick at the Democratic victory.

Republicans will be doing everything they can to make Democrats look as ineffective as Republicans themselves have been over the last twelve years.  Unfortunately for  the would-be congressional monkey wrench gang, they've spent the last decade putting in place rules and procedures that make the minority party all but irrelevant.  They can shout all they want, but their voices are going to sound funny coming from that deep, deep well of impotence.

Nice as it is to see the Republicans hoist on their own hubris-powered petard, we have to do more than just enjoy the irony if we want to still be laughing at Delay in 2008, 2010, 2012.  We have to not only pass bills, we have to do so in a way that fundamentally changes... well, everything.

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Take Off the Training Wheels Email Print

When it comes to Iraq, Republicans have no choice but to continue singing the lyrics taught to them by Bush.  They start off with a verse of "stay the course" and finish with a chorus of "we'll stand up when they stand down."  It's the silliest song this side of Weird Al, but so long as they can use "Cut at Run" as the flip side to this comedy single, they get to keep up their karaoke act without anyone grabbing away the mike.

That's not because Democrat plans for Iraq are anywhere near as ridiculous as the 'Publicans "stay in there until they get tired of killing us" plan, but because the Democratic plans too often fall into the "you're telling me too much" trap.  A "just over the horizon strike force" is an admirable idea, but in emotional resonance, it's no match for "cut and run."  Instead, Democrats should turn to a simple way of discussing their ideas, one that's surfaced several times, but which should be the standard response.

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Asymmetric Language Email Print

Though the mainstream media frequently talks about the "War on Terror" with terminology lifted from the battlefields of World War II, the net has featured some terrific discussion of what it means to engage in warfare against an enemy that refuses to fight by your own standards of "honorable behavior."  In particular, Pericles' diary on asymmetrical warfare is one of the clearest, most informative pieces of writing you're likely to find in any forum.

But as we're appreciating the difficulty that conventional armies face in asymmetrical engagements, let's remember the quote by Mao Tse-Tung: "all politics is war."  And on the political language front, Democrats are fighting a conventional war against an enemy that just won't "fight fair."

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Democrats Should Eat a Baby Email Print

I know this seems like the pages of dusty history, but it was just two years ago that W was polling above 50% and people shrugged off even his most outrageous actions.  It wasn't that long ago that anyone criticizing Bush was looked on a spoilsport, an angry outsider, just another playa' hata' in the game of America.

In those frustrating days (and they were long days), there was much speculation about what it would take for people to wake up to the combination of self-assured stupidity and mindless evil that made up the Bush administration.  A few even mulled the idea that Bush could take up barbequing infants on the White House lawn without giving up a majority on Gallup.

But here's the thing -- it wasn't passing unpopular laws and unpopular policies that finally brought Bush low in the polls.  It was the incompetence displayed in carried out his edicts that made people doubt the emperor's sartorial splendor, not the wackiness of his proclamations.

Now, odd as it sounds, as Democrats make the run toward 2006 and beyond, they need to take a lesson from Bush.  They need to sharpen up the utensils and track down a juicy baby.

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The Euston Primer: Middle-of-the-Road Woes Email Print

The Euston Manifesto. You've probably heard about it via Atrios or TBogg. On its face, it's just the compiled beliefs of a bunch of British pub dwellers. And thirty years ago, it would've remained a boozy pipe dream, but the Internet has changed things. Michelle Malkin's already endorsed it; it's only a matter of time before it gets support from the rest of the right-wing blogosphere. So it's probably worth discussing.

What is the Euston Manifesto? According to the authors, it's a compilation of beliefs from a group of progressives who grew tired of their party and are seeking to realign it. Sounds like an old Zell Miller speech, doesn't it? That's what I thought when I read it. In reality, it's a list of statements that pretty much everyone agrees with, mixed with strawmen and attacks against the Left (their capitalization) that sound like they came straight out of the Anti-Idiotarian playbook. To wit:

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Sorry to Rain On the Parade, But... Email Print

I'm not a fan of recruiting military vets as Democratic candidates, so I look at the Swing State Project's "Band of Brothers" strategy with a very jaundiced eye.

First, the plan smacks of DLCism; the Democratic Leadership Council mistakenly thinks that the key to Democratic victories is to turn the party into "GOP-Lite" ("Great New Taste! Now with 50% less morals!").

Second, it perpetuates the Republican-manufactured notion that Democrats are weak on defense, and will be portrayed by the GOP as an attempt by Democrats to "butch-up" their image via emulating the Republican Party. I can already see Ken Mehlman saying, "Don't be fooled by imitators, vote for the real thing. GOP!"

There are better ways to counter the idiotic idea that the Democratic Party lacks defense credentials; releasing more reports like this one -- authored by House Democrats -- is a good start. Dems need to go on the offensive, attacking the GOP and exposing its hypocrisy, corruption, and ineptitude.

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What Is To Be Done? (Musings) Email Print

So the 2005 elections highlighted what the polls, and our intuitions, have been telling us:  that there has been a dramatic shift in the political winds over the past year, and that what we have been saying about Bush and the Republicans is beginning to resonate with a wider audience.

Of course, more than a few of us immediately thought to ourselves, "Just our luck that, well, our luck has finally changed and we're stuck in an off year."  And we know that, despite the implosion currently taking place among the Busheviki and their congressional allies, a year is forever in politics ...

So everyone has suggestions for the Democrats, most of which involve some kind of bullet plan.  While I in the main agree with the idea that some sort of branding/framing (whatever you want to call it) may be necessary, I always get more than a little irritated at these calls for the Democrats to "tell people what they stand for."  (Even Jon Stewart does it sometimes, which seems to me a rare case of his parroting the SCLM conventional wisdom on this.)

First of all, the Democrats do tell people what they stand for, but only C-SPAN junkies really get to hear what they say.  This is partially the fault of the DNC and Democratic congressional leaders for not mastering the art of propaganda as well as the GOP has, but then again we don't have the Wurlitzer working for us like they do.  I don't doubt that some better branding/framing (whatever you want to call it) for 2006 might help get the message across better, but the braying about nobody knowing what Democrats stand for seems to me a canard.

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Vote Along Party Lines or Die! Email Print

Hold your nose. It's election day!

Many people become aghast at the mere mention of voting along party lines. "How could you?" "Why don't you think for yourself!" blah, blah, blah. I encourage these people to first take a deep breath and second to think deeply about how American government works. For clarity, ask yourself this one question, "Does your view on most issues tend to (more often than not) a) follow the Democratic line b) follow the Republican line c) be evenly mixed between the Democratic and Republican line, or d) lie completely outside the Democratic or Republican lines?"

If your answer is either a) or b), then your best strategy for the long-term promotion of your positions is to always vote along party lines. This is why:

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