"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

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

"Cut and Run" - Stop Running from It and Start Cutting Through It


Their Karl Rove is staking his reputation on entrapping Democrats using "cut and run" rhetoric. Despite the fact that way too many Democrats have given him the ability to pounce like this, it still sounds to me that Their Karl Rove is turning out to be a one-trick pony who just goes back to what used to work, despite the evolving political environment (a telltale sign of a Conservative Mind). This is good news for you.

While Rove's original trick was really effective, it won't match your new set of strategies. Yes, Democrats, you need political strategies, too. No, not policy alternatives... political strategies. I know it's revolting to the Liberal Mind to think of debasing the concept of public service by polluting your message with turns of phrases designed to manipulate. But, campaigns are not public service -- campaigns are public relations drives. So, worry about doing the right thing after you get elected, OK?

In the past months, it's clear that you've avoided the Wrath of Rove by having nuanced, complex, and varied solutions to the problem in Iraq... all just to avoid the "cut and run" label. This is weak, and the polls support this assessment. Oh sure -- ducking the issue might just work if everything continues to get worse, but what if things moderate or even get slightly better in the next 10 weeks? What then?

For the midterms this fall, follow this recipe to help ensure that your current leads are sustainable, even if things stop getting worse....

Your New Set of Strategies

Strategy #1:
Deflect the "cut and run" rhetoric by proposing a philosophy -- not a policy -- that resonates with Democratic values as well as voters' sensibilities toward the war. This is the antidote to "cut and run." Deploy it at will, wherever possible. If pressed for details, see Strategy #2 below.

"I [Democrats] believe it's time for a change of course for the War in Iraq: It's time to propose and plan for a phase out of American occupation and phase in a support and rebuild effort. While it is our responsibility to help Iraq as much as we can, our 3-year occupation is hurting Iraq and hurting us - it's hurting everybody. When we're done phasing out our occupation, a new American initiative will be part of a coalition of countries who have an interest in supporting and rebuilding Iraq."
Notes about Strategy #1: This strategy calls the war what it is: an occupation. Americans hate that term, and so we need to stick it in everyone's face, and link it with the Republican policy. This messaging also carefully balances our responsibility to Iraq with our need to end the occupation. Support & Rebuild is a positive phrase to be associated with. While it might be implausible to implement, it's a great philosophy to campaign on. And, if nothing else, Democrats need a philosophy to run on.


Strategy #2:
Do not get sucked into solving the problem in Iraq. You can't solve the problem, because you don't have access to the information you need to make a solid policy proposal. Only the Republican Party has full access to this information. And only the American people can give you the keys to access this critical information by voting you into the majority in Congress this fall. Only then can you come up with an alternative plan. Let your constituents know that if you gain majority status, you will instantly be chairing all of the committees, and finally restoring the balance of powers in Washington that should have been serving us all along.

"If Americans vote Democrats back into the majority this fall, Democrats will have the power to stop the spin and spend policy of Republicans and will institute a change of course."

Strategy #3:
Make Republicans look like the hyper-empathetic, bleeding-heart liberals on the War in Iraq that they are. Seriously, Democrats, you've completely missed this dynamic... on the War in Iraq, Bush and the Pubs sound like flaming liberals... caring all about the freedom and happiness of Iraqis more than anything budgetary or fiscal, and just presuming there is universal belief in the implicit value of this agenda. As a result, Bush and the Pubs are putting Iraq's needs above America's in terms of investment, cost, lives, and going after Al Q'aida.

"Democrats believe in completing the War in Iraq on our terms, not Iraq's terms. Democrats don't believe that Iraqis should be determining for us when we're done. When Democrats gain majority status, we will finally be able to tell President Bush and the Republicans when we're done, and why we're done."


Strategy #4:
Make Republicans look lost and confused on the War in Iraq and the so-called War on Terror. If you're thinking to yourself "how?", then you have already bought into a fallacy that the very people who envisioned and executed on these initiatives have no accountability for the results of said initiatives. It's time to wake up to the fact that it's inexcusable for Bush and the Pubs
to have a shred of credibility left on foreign policy.

"Let me break it down for the voters: You can either take a chance and trust me [Democrats] to provide leadership on how we phase out of Iraq, or you can continue to trust the very people who created this disaster in the first place."

Key Phrases to Recite Throughout All Campaigns:

  • Republican policy of Spin and Spend in Iraq
  • Democrats believe in completing the war in Iraq on America's terms, not Iraq's terms
  • Democrats believe in a change of course in our Iraq strategy
  • Democrats believe we need to plan for a phase out of American occupation
  • Democrats believe in phasing in a Support & Rebuild effort in Iraq
  • Voters have a choice: Trust us for change, or continue to trust the Republicans who got us into this mess, and can't seem to clean it up on their own.

These strategies and messages will help crystallize your philosophy, and formulate an approach to counter and neutralize the "cut and run" attack.


Anonymous said...

NYT just had a rather biting article about our favorite political strategist (nytimes.com - 9/2). One item re: a possible Democratic takeover in Congress I didn't consider is Rove fears it would "invite two years of potentially crippling investigations into the administration..." That would be nice. Also glad to hear Rove lost his cushy corner office in the West Wing in April.

Anonymous said...

It's really necessary for the Dems to have a real strategy and not just stay on the defensive and let the Reps drive the campaign rhetoric, I would like to call it a debate but it is not. What the Dems really need to do is get back to the basics. They are the party for the people, not corporate America. If they want to win the next election all they have to do is the following:

Demand Mandatory Health Care for all Americans

Force Corporations to pay Pension Plans they Have Promised Their Employees

Recognize the value of the people in this contry individually not as viewed through a sprectrum of race, religion, or economic status

Force Corporations who Outsource American Jobs to pay penalties to stem the tide, we have already become a low wage service economy

Quit demeaning people who need "entitlement" programs, the programs were created to serve as a safety net for Americans and the programs are paid for by American tax dollars. Americans are entitled to them. (Especially when our current government creates an environment casuing outsourcing jobs.)

If you question how we can pay for all of this, just look to almost every other industrilized nation because they supply their citizens with these basics. Virtually all of our allies provide these base line benefits. How can the rest of the industrialized world provide their citizens with these basics of humane treatment yet we cannot. Our government leadears say we cannot, I say Why? We have become a nation whose only domestic products are bombs and burgers.

Our capital is used to line the pockets of wealthy corporations and war profiteers. There is not enough left to support necessary social programs after the bulk has been stolen by these modern day robber barons. Democrat or Replubican does not matter. Basic human decency should carry the day. It is past time to hold our government leaders accountable. We, as Americans need to look back at the founding fathers and find the same strength and resolve to do what they did. They did not accept being crushed under the weight of tyranny why should we do so today?

We must be heard as a tremendous voice resounding through this great contry. Not Democrats or Republicans but Americans who value the ideals upon which this contry was FIRST established. The belief that all men are created equal. Our worth is not meeasured by the color of our skin, which God we pray to, or our economic status. How we govern our society regarding matters of life and death or better known as abortion, war and stem cell research is best left to be decided by our own consious, our philosphors our legal system. NOT individual politicians. If you question this, particularly about abortion look and see how mamy senators or congressmen submitted bills to amend the constitution and make abortion illegal. None.

Sorry for rant. We need to come together as a civilized society for the good of all our citizens not just the elete and recognize that we as a people will be held accountable for the actions of our government. C

sam d dobermann said...

Democrats need to USE THIS wheneve "cut and run" is mentioned:

History of "cut and run" phrase

As somebody (don't remember who now) in a post on DKos explained, the term "cut and run" has an interesting historical context.

It's a nautical term. It means that if your ship is anchored, and you see an enemy ship heading towards you, you don't wait to take the time to pull up the anchor. You "cut" the anchor rope, and "run" as fast as you can with the prevailing wind by setting the main sails. Only an unencumbered ship, that is moving, has a chance at surviving a surprise attack.

Any Captain that does not "cut and run" will very likely lose his ship.

Then point out that we are using our precious troops to keep us anchored in Iraq when we should be going after the real villians.