I think we need to run radio ads in the states of the Roadblock Republicans, making it crystal clear that they don’t deserve to be reelected because of their continued support for the Bush Doctrine of escalation without end. We need to turn up the heat even higher.The problem is, that's the wrong way to do it. Kerry's call is for ads telling voters why they shouldn't vote for Republicans.
You can make the spot sad, or satirical, or hard-hitting. Whatever you want to do. You can make it a personal story from your life (maybe you know someone in Iraq or have a family member there or maybe you are one of the many veterans in this community), or you can make a factual case on why voters should consider someone else because of this issue, or anything else you’d like. (emphasis mine)Okay, it's not quite Nixon on Laugh-In saying, "Sock it to me?" But if Kerry and crack DNC consultants think YouTube debates or gimmicks like this are the way to win in 2008, they're displaying again just how little they understand progressives and the mood of the country. They've got the basics of good idea here, but in Biblical terms, they're trying to put new wine into old wineskins. The progressive grassroots isn't about tearing down the Republicans. It's about building up the Democratic Party. Democrats need to be engaging voters and telling them why they should vote for Democrats.
Voters told Republicans last November who it is they no longer believe. What they want now is someone to believe in.
Consider Bush's Hard Corps, the unshakable something-percent. They'd rather believe lies and kowtow to scoundrels than abandon their soft-focused vision of Team Decider. Like Special Agent Fox Mulder, they want to believe. So do the rest of us. Democrats who want to win need to give voters something better to believe in than just "someone else."
Progressives need to look into themselves for the answer, not at the GOP.
What is it about Republican policies that strikes you as wrong? Contrast that with what you know is right. Ground it in American ideals and speak it simply and clearly. What is it that's been lost that you miss most? How do you feel about the atmosphere of mistrust being bred by the fear mongering and character assassination? How alone and uneasy are you feeling about your future?
Odds are, you're not alone at all. Voters will respond to hearing that Democrats understand their problems and anxieties and have ideas for addressing them. They have lost much. Give them hope. Give them something to believe in.
As if to drive home the point, Bob Shrum was on The Colbert Report as I typed this, blaming butterfly ballots, the Supreme Court and Diebold voting machines for the last six years of George W. Bush. Always fighting the last war.