"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

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Everything's Getting Worse

(It's Time for Things to Start Getting Better)


The national mood is now ready for you to come out swinging without sounding "anti-patriotic" or "one with the terrorists."

To put it bluntly, the Republican leadership over the past six years has made everything worse for America.

  • The economy? Worse, except for CEOs and oil companies.
  • Safety? Worse, with global terror on the rise, and Bin Laden still on the loose.
  • Jobs? Worse, with no "next big thing" on the horizon domestically to create new jobs.
  • Taxes? Worse, with over 100 new tax forms created since Bush and his congress took office in 2000.
  • Tax Relief? Worse, because high gas prices are just as bad as high taxes.
  • Religion? Worse, with the erosion of separation between church and state. Our Founding Fathers never wanted it this way.
  • Values? Worse, with corporate and government corruption on the rise under Republican leadership.
  • Vision? Worse, with the biggest ideas being a mission to Mars and WMD's in Iraq.
  • Deficit? Worse, with the largest federal spending in history after Democrats left them a surplus.

Republicans are going to spin this a thousand ways to Sunday, but it's doesn't much matter how they spin it: the results are in, and the Republican Way of Governing has proven not to work.

You can be honest when talking to your constituents: Democrats still need to work harder on their stance on key issues. But tell them where you stand on your issues.

Tell your constituents to vote for you in 2006 to bring the values of discipline, accountability, competence, and innovation back to Washington. Let's start fixing the things that Bush and the Republicans broke.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Stamping Out Blank Checks and Rubber Stamps


I don't have to tell you how critical it is that we end the era of single-party governance. Americans need and deserve a balance of power in Washington for the duration of Bush's term. This is why OKR will be focusing on providing messaging and politically effective solutions throughout 2006 to help ensure that Democrats take at least one chamber of congress back this fall.

We all know that there are going to be some tough races, and you cannot assume that Bush's unpopularity will automatically give you an advantage. It is incumbent upon every politician running for office to continually connect the dots between your local race and the mess this administration has gotten us into.

"Normally, this would be a race between me and my opponent -- a race to decide who represents the citizens of our [district/state]. However, this is no ordinary time in America's history. We are living in a time where the Republican party has led our country into a disastrous war, spent us into unprecedented national debt, desecrated our laws, corrupted the values we hold dear, and grew larger and more invasive than any administration in our lifetime.

But I'm not so shocked. Besides the double-speak and the false promises, this is an administration that has its own party in congress, ensuring that they could do whatever they wanted to do, and spend on everything they wanted to spend using your money, with no questions asked. What I'm saying is that the Republican majority in congress has been in the back pocket of this administration.

When you vote for me this fall, you will be voting "no" to scandals, "no" to massive debt, "no" to leaks, "no" to high gas prices, and "not good enough" to the management of the Iraq war. When you vote for me this fall, you will be voting "yes" to pressing forward in new and better ways for our great nation.

Remember, my friends and colleagues, a Republican in congress is a blank check and a rubber stamp for this administration."

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Rock the Bloat


Spring is the time to start building up the arsenal of themes that you'll use to distinguish your party from the opposing party, and to give yourselves a strategic advantage in the fall elections.

Let's focus on a theme that will cut across ideologies and become a clear winner for you: the bloated federal deficit.

The Republicans have been in charge for six years, spending Americans' tax dollars faster than people can send them in. The big question is: on what? What have they been overspending on that has made Americans happier and healthier? Consider a stump speech along these lines...

"Looks to me like the Republicans are, once again, out of touch. They're spending all of your money on things that you won't benefit from. That's what happens when only one party is in charge. It's like your teenager wanting to buy a Cadillac Escalade because it looks cool, and not having a Mother around to say 'that's nice, but where are you getting the money for that?'

There's just too much bloat in the lobbyist-infested Republican budgeting scheme. Vote Democratic in 2006, and we promise to find out exactly what the Republicans have been spending Americans' tax dollars on. And then, we're going to force a decision: either put our tax dollars to better use, or tell the American people exactly how you plan on wasting their hard-earned dollars."

This is an important inflection point for the party. It's an opportune time to own up to being the party of fiscal discipline, and stripping it out of the Republican brand. It's time to take credit for, and feel proud of, your record of only taxing when necessary to support the basic pillars of our country: healthcare, energy, the economy, and stronger communities. Once these fundamental values are secure, you can tell your constituents it'll be time to look at reducing taxes again.

Speaking proactively about the deficit will help you strip "tax & spend" from your brand, and transform it to "rebuilding the pillars of our country" in accordance with American values (even so-called "Christian voters" won't be adverse to talking about stronger communities and healthcare).

This is part of a pattern you will continue to see here on OKR... redefining classic debates with language and context that changes the dynamic, giving you an advantage on issues that matter. I know that a lot of Democrats see this as "Republican Light," but it's not. Rather, it's about enlightened values through an unconventional lens designed to resonate with the masses... rather than the fringes.