"Our Karl Rove is the blog you should be glad that Democratic strategists don't seem to listen to"
-- what they're saying on Republican blogs

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Debating "Privacy-Gate"

Democrats,

You're letting the Republicans, once again, define and debate the "Privacy-Gate" scandal on the White House's terms. Stop it. This administration liberally interprets the U.S. Constitution to suit their unbridled expansion of executive power, and lies to the American people saying that they don't wiretap without court approval. There is no parsing of this that doesn't implicate this administration of abusing power to the point of Constitutional Corruption.

The Democrats I've heard trotted out to fight this battle have been pretty lame -- they are being sucked into the debate of "what would you do to protect Americans from terrorists, hmm?" This is not the debate. The debate is whether Americans will or will not trade in our Democracy to overcome our enemies. Don't get caught up in the Republican-devised faux-debate. Ignore their attempts, and re-focus on the matter at hand.

Some talking points to roll out:


  • This President says he's spying on you to protect you. Just let that sink in.
  • The President says he knows he's acting within the laws and the Constitution. Unfortunately, this is not the first time this President has said something that is patently false.
  • If spying on Americans without due process is part of this administration's strategy to win the war on terror, then we clearly need a new strategy and new leadership, because now it sounds like we're losing.
  • This administration has now admitted that they are, in fact, losing the war on terror. Democrats believe winning the war on terror means more than just being at war forever -- we're only winning if we're not trading in our standard of living and democratic values.
  • Spying on Americans without due process is about as un-American as it gets.
  • If the President of the United States doesn't respect our system of government enough to follow the laws, then he should resign.
  • How many impeachable offenses and abuses of power are we going to stand by and watch until we decide enough is enough with this President?

Notice how none of these talking points dive down into the nitty gritty details of what is -- and what is not -- legal, constitutional, moral, and the like. This is by design, and is a contextual augment. If you want to create a groundswell of support for your position, best not to get mired in the details. Keep it at an executive, contextual level, with your integrity and moral indignation as the topic.

Don't get me wrong - you definitely need to know the details to give you the authority and integrity to justify your moral indignation. But just because you know the details doesn't mean you need to communicate them to the general public as part of your message.

Facts are much less important until they have proper context, so focus on how low this administration is willing to go in order to "win" - and portray it as a sign of weakness. After all, everyone knows that if you're willing to give up your values in a fight, you've already lost.

3 comments:

markmarks2677 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

These are generally good observations. I am puzzled as to why there is no discussion of the topics raised on this blog.

Am I the only person reading this?

Jon said...

No, you're not the only person reading. In fact, in the logs, I can see visitors from the senate, house, doj, and even eop on this site on a regular basis.

In addition, top-tier institutions also regularly visit, ranging from harvard to georgetown.