Arrgh! Just. Stop. Trying.
Folks, if you’re like me, and if you’re reading a blog called the Angry Black Lady Chronicles, you’re probably a hell of a lot more like me than you are like Mike Huckabee, you sometimes despair at the difficulty that Democrats seem to have with messaging.
You watch and groan as GOOPers repeat the same exact catch-phrases, lovingly crafted by messaging master Frank Luntz to obfuscate the actual issue and push buttons in the reptilian brain that drive low-information voters to support the Party whose actual agenda will leave them poorer, less free and less powerful than before.
How many times have you heard “death tax” instead of “estate tax’? How many Republican-voting people have you heard parrot the phrase “death tax”? How many of those people have, or ever will have, an estate valued at $5 million or more? How many of them understand that the first $5 million of their estate is exempt from the tax, and that it is 35% only on that portion over $5 million?
And how many times have you heard a Democrat make a snappy, concise response to a constituent or reporter’s question about the “death tax’?
Whatever your numbers were for the first set of questions, I can almost guarantee your answer to the last question was “Zero”.
This is because Democrats suck at messaging.
And even when Democrats stumble across an effective message, they can’t get other Democrats to adopt and incorporate that effective message into their speeches, or learn to twist whatever question they’re asked quickly back to the effective talking point that they know to be effective.
Democrats deal in the messy, ambiguous and nuanced reality of facts, GOOPers generate sound-bites. The exact same sound-bites. Over and over and over and over and over and… you get the point.
Those of us who spend too much time on Twitter are also aware of how popular that particular medium is with RWNJs. Again, this is because GOOPer “ideas” are soundbites that fit on bumper stickers and inside the limits of 140 characters. We Democrats use Twitter to link to thoughtful analysis pieces by Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias and Joan Walsh, while GOOPers tweet “Drill, Baby, Drill!” “Cap & Tax” “Liberal Media” and feel they have made a complex and cogent argument.
So at first, I thought a new fundraising campaign by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, or DSCC for short, was a good idea. They announced that they were holding a contest in which supporters would suggest potential slogans for a new DSCC bumper sticker. And for a small donation, you would receive your very own copy of the bumper sticker (a bumper magnet, actually, as they’ve gotten the message that people don’t like adhesive residue on their cars) so you could TELL THE WORLD why they should vote for Democrats in the next election.
Hooray! I thought. Someone at the DSCC finally noticed that they are incapable of creating a catchy slogan and decided to outsource the task to strangers on the internet, who couldn’t possibly suck any worse at messaging than they do.
I was wrong.
Follow me over the break for the two finalists, and weep.