"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, February 12, 2006

Branding Republicans


Usually, I spend my spare time worrying about how you brand yourselves. And, why shouldn't I? Your brand stinks. When people think "Democrat," they think of Michael Moore, Jesse Jackson, Howard Dean, and John Kerry. In other words, propagandists, opportunists, heretics, and flip-floppers, in that order.

But, as Republicans have learned through experience, it's easier to re-brand your foe than yourself in politics. And, what better time to start some baseline Republican re-branding just before the races heat up for the 2006 congressional elections? Let's keep it simple and give the public a bunch of easy one-liners to digest for the first 3 months. Once this base branding has been applied, we can flesh out the popular one-liners and expand in greater detail.

So, let the branding begin:

Republicans -- they spend our savings and tax your children
Republicans -- they think they know foreign policy... but do you
                               think it's working?
Republicans -- they'll bug your phone and track your web
                               searches... feel safe now?
Republicans -- they're not Big Government... they're Huge,
                               Corrupt, In Your Face Government
Republicans -- if they're pro-life, why are they pro-death penalty?
Republicans -- if they're so good at war, why are our troops dying                                every week?
Republicans -- bringing America down, one blunder at a time
Republicans -- the party that was determined to keep Terri
                               Schiavo alive
Republicans -- we gave them all the control, and look what they                                did with it
Republicans -- just when you thought that one party was good
                               enough for America
Republicans -- they need Democrats to keep them in line
Republicans -- over 5,000 American dead on their watch... and
Republicans -- they're sure they're right, even when they're dead
Republicans -- five years in control, and there is still no oil-free
                               energy plan?
Republicans -- my tax cut was nice, but it's all going to heat my
                               home and fill up my car
Republicans -- sponsored in part by Abramoff, the corrupt
Republicans -- absolute power corrupts absolutely
Republicans -- the party of self destruction in search of weapons of                                mass destruction

Take your pick, mash'em up, or come up with your own. I don't care. But start "beta testing" some one-liners and see what sticks. There is so much crap going on under Republican watch that it's just a matter of coordinated effort to find out what message is going to "click."

Go to it.

Friday, February 03, 2006

A Real State of the Union Response

President Bush's State of the Union Address was actually not so bad as Bush speeches go. He was as patronizing as ever on foreign policy, yet fairly blunt and visionary on domestic initiatives. The overall flavor was definitely conciliatory, designed specifically to appeal to voters who have switched off this administration as an ideological bully, out of control.

Democrats need to blunt this instrument of moderation, quickly. It's not enough to simply follow the polls and say "hey, the speech really didn't give him a significant bump," and just move on. The speech needs to be debunked, point by point, over and over. Why? Because Democrats need to nationalize the 2006 elections if you have any chance of winning back majority status.

On being isolationists:

"The only thing that is isolated here is the President of the United States. He has isolated America in our war on terror because of his Iraq Mistake."
On Iraq:
"Republicans have somehow turned the War on Terror into a Civil War in Iraq. Can we really trust this party to lead us to victory, when they have not yet caught Bin Laden, and instead are getting our men and women killed in an insurgency in Iraq? Iraqi insurgents can't attack America -- but we know Bin Laden can."
On Iran:

"This administration has let the real dangers -- Iran and North Korea -- get out of hand, while getting caught up in a Civil War in Iraq, which had no ability to harm us. This administration is responsible for the priorities they set, and they are to be held to account for their wrong-headed decisions."
On Russia:

"This administration has let Iraq distract America from serious security concerns, including nuclear weapons in Russia, combined with allowing Russia to turn their backs on democracy. How can this President talk about democracy around the world and let one of our allies fall back into a dictatorship?"
On the economy:

"The President talks about all the great jobs he's created. Have you seen them? The only jobs I see growing are low paying jobs. Republicans have let China invade our economy and strengthened our reliance on China for our economy."
On American innovation:
"We completely agree with the President on innovation being the cornerstone of the American economy and American dream. The difference here is that Democrats have a history of strategically using tax dollars to foster new ideas and innovations that have led to economic breakthroughs over the past century. The Republicans on the other hand, are more focused on sending the nation into debt so that we end up spending our money on interest payments instead of the Next Big Thing that will keep America's economy strong."
On oil:

"Democrats have seen the so-called oil addiction problem decades ago, and we have consistently implemented policies to reduce our reliance on foreign energy. Put Democrats back in the majority, and you can be assured that this promise is not just lip-service, but acted on."
On Social Security:

"We applauded the President's failure to destroy Social Security because it's clear that Americans want Social Security. You know and trust that Democrats will fix Social Security and not destroy it. We like personal accounts, but we like them like we like 401ks. 401ks didn't destroy Social Security, and neither should personal spending accounts."

On marriage:
"As you know, Democrats differ from Republicans in that we want to maximize individual freedoms. Republicans seem interested in limiting all kinds of freedoms, including who you can marry, and even when Terri Schiavo could die. We believe that Americans are moral, good people, and we see no need to legislate personal freedoms."
On spreading democracy abroad:

"We agree with the President that democracy and freedom is a human right that all people deserve. Where we don't agree with the President is how to attain and grow democracies. We just don't agree that bombing and killing thousands of innocent Iraqi bystanders is the right way to sway them into a democracy. We do not believe that telling all moderate Iranians to stay home on election day is the right way grow democracies. And we do not believe that watching Russia shut down its democratic systems is a way of growing democracies. So, while we agree with the President that democracy is good, all we see is failures in his ability to execute on this worthwhile goal."