Shut Up Shut Up Shut Up: The Republicans Control Congress

Read Chris Bowers' piece 'The Republicans Control Congress.'

I just read this awful and pathetically narrow piece of 'news' from the New York Times:  Some Democrats Are Sensing Missed Opportunities.  All of the Democratic elected leaders that are quoted look dumb:  Chris Dodd, Barack Obama, Phil Bredesen, Evan Bayh, Dick Durbin, John Kerry, Howard Dean, and Barbara Boxer come off as people looking to someone else to lead.  Here are a few rules of thumb for elected Democrats:

1) No elected Democrat should talk to Adam Nagourney on a strategy piece.

2) If you are an elected Democrat, just stop talking about what Democrats need to do to be elected.  Tell the country that Republicans are in charge and if people want a change they should vote for new leaders.

3) Any 'senior Democratic advisor' who blasts Democrats needs to be called out as not representing the party.  I didn't vote for senior Democratic advisors, and neither did you.  I don't represent the party, and neither do you.

4) My party elected Howard Dean, Barack Obama, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi - you are our elected leaders so quit pretending like there's a mythical Democratic leader out there who speaks for us.

5) And read Digby.  NO MORE PROCESS TALK!!!!

6) If you don't know what to say use the following preface to every single one of your sentences.  "You have to keep in mind that the Republicans control Congress, which means...."

Tags: Adam Nagourney, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi (all tags)

Comments

18 Comments

Re: Shut Up Shut Up Shut Up

This is getting unbearable. How can so many Democrats be so painfully stupid?

. . . "If the president broke the law, that's unacceptable. But I think it's debateable whether he did," Vilsack told Des Moines Register editors and reporters. "And I think Democrats are falling into a very, very large political trap," he said. "Democrats are not going to win elections until they can reassure people they are going to keep them safe."

Vilsack is supposed to be presidential timber? Any Democrat who can't criticize Bush for illegal wiretapping should just resign from politics.

by Gary Boatwright 2006-02-07 06:10PM | 0 recs
#2

#2 on your list should be obvious to anyone in politics. It's amazing these people got elected in the first place considering how clueless they seem.

In fact, your whole post makes me want to tear my hair out. What is up with these guys?!

by LiberalFromPA 2006-02-07 06:14PM | 0 recs
Good Post

I agree with this statement as part of a broad strategy : "Tell the country that Republicans are in charge and if people want a change they should vote for new leaders."

But there has to be more.  The Democratic leadership needs to put forth a message that can resonate.  From one of my diaries from last year: "So long as their party platform is "we are not Republicans, assume we would do better," they will continue to lose on a national level, and deserve to lose."

In three weeks the US government is going to burn through the debt ceiling again, which was raised in November 2005... to pay for tax cuts for the rich.  More federal debt is going to be subsidized by the Saudi rich, like the Bin Ladens.  Osama is still free, Iraq is still a quagmire, medicare and student loans have been cut, Medicare part D has been a catastrophic failure for seniors, while a boon for drug companies.  The effects of global warming are becoming more apparent, and the president has admitted to breaking the law, and in doing so, violating the constitution and basic civil liberties.  If Democratic leadership cant find a message in that mess that can inspire people to strive for better, then there will be no realignment.  

by Winston Smith 2006-02-07 06:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Good Post

And not to be the voice of skepticism, if our leaders can find a message that resonates, and passionately advance it, and in doing so, fight not just for their own elections, but for the American people, there will be a realignment.  The message, "we not republicans" wont do it.  

by Winston Smith 2006-02-07 06:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Good Post

No, it does it.

by dereau 2006-02-07 08:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Good Post

rock out

by Matt Stoller 2006-02-07 08:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Shut Up Shut Up: The Republicans Cont

Hey Matt or anyone else,

Do we know if our Democratic "leaders" read MyDD, especially posts like these?  

I find it unfathomable that they have to be told things that I would consider no-brainers.  I mean, are they really that fucking stupid?

by dayspring 2006-02-07 06:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Shut Up Shut Up: The Republicans Cont

They certainly read MyDD when they are trolling for netroots money.

by Winston Smith 2006-02-07 06:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Shut Up Shut Up Shut Up

agree completely.  digby's points on the "process" answer (thanks for the link) is also on the mark.  i really wish there was a way to get both of these to every dem running for office.  s.

by synth 2006-02-07 06:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Shut Up Shut Up Shut Up: The Republicans Cont

Chris' "Republicans control congress" frame will work. The GOP talking points all work. They work because the logic process implicit behind these frames have been hardwired into Republican voters for decades.

When my Dem in a Republican City attacks our GOP adversaries on the City Council as being 'knee-jerk obstructionist' their heads explode. Their claque is silenced and the electeds lash out like children.

Then my guy says another GOP attack frame of 'Now, I think everybody agrees that it's about time to have grown-ups in charge of things.'

The Republican invariably freaks out. Then we offer to call a recess. The gallery laughs at the double-entendre.

We win. Their head a-splode.

by dereau 2006-02-07 08:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Shut Up Shut Up Shut Up: The Republicans Cont

In response to your horribly long-winded, Monday morning quarterbacking PROCESS piece on Feb 1 piece (on Alito) I wrote:

"For the record, MyDD's plan is a loser anyway, because it fails to acknowledge a few basic, overtly obvious truths about the current political reality. These are:

1. Democrats lost the elections.

  1. Republicans run the country.
  2. As a result, Republicans get to appoint Justices.

If you don't like that, work to elect more Democrats. Anything else is a distraction."

Now you're taking my stuff and repackaging it?

That's not just lame, it's limp. Flaccid. Frighteningly inverted.

At least credit me. Something like "courtesy of the world's greatest blogger, Mark Spittle."

by Mark Spittle 2006-02-07 08:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Shut Up Shut Up Shut Up: The Republicans Cont

Gee Mark, the World's Greatest Blogger, you were the first person to ever say that Democratic congressmen are too hesitant in confronting Bush and pursuing a more progressive agenda.   You should sue Stoller for plagarisim.  

by Winston Smith 2006-02-07 11:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Shut Up Shut Up Shut Up: The Republicans Cont

Finally! Someone acknowledges my impact on the political arena. Yes, good advice. I'll consider it.

by Mark Spittle 2006-02-08 05:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Shut Up

Matt.. reading the NYT article accompanied by your commentary is an interesting experience, and I am very frustrated.  I think you both (the quoted Democrats and Stoller) are right.  One, (they are right) the party does lack a strong leader and a strong message, and that has crippled the party as it tries to reach out to middle America and inspire people.  Two, (you are right) the last thing the party should be doing is sitting around and lamenting the lack of a strong leader and a strong message.  

Your solution is not enough for me.  The Democratic leaders should not just harp on GOP failures.  Nor should they talk to NYT reporters and lament the lack of a message.  They should remember why they got into public service in the first place, forget polls and strategy, and they should create a message... a powerful and true message that will get every citizen who sees it thinking.

Here's a fucking clue, you assholes (who I will vote for):

TV AD:  FADE IN: (Old Man, Kind Face, Flannel Shirt): "As a young man I was called to serve my country in the army, to defend America from the Germans and the Japanese."

Text Fade In: National Debt $...8...0...0...0...

Old Man: Now George Bush and the Republican Congress want to keep giving huge tax cuts to the rich

Text: 0...0...0...

Old Man: and fight made-up wars

Text: 0...0...0...

Old Man:  while they cut my Medicare

Text:  0...0...0...

Old Man:  and mortgage my grandkid's future

Text:  0...0...0...

Old Man:  and sell my country to the Saudi Arabians.

Narrator:  It's time to restore honor to America.  It's time for a change.

Text:  National Debt: 8,000,000,000,000 and climbing

Narrator:  Paid for by the Democratic Party

by Winston Smith 2006-02-07 10:37PM | 0 recs
The Nagourney factor

After the last two years, any Democrat should know that Adam Nagourney's M.O. is to create stories that depict the Democrats as divided and pessimistic.

This isn't an unknown.  He loves doing that kind of thing, and has done it again and again and again (and again).

I don't know if the Democratic Party has overarching PR outlines that are given to various party leaders, but if not they need to be, and they need to include "when speaking with Adam Nagourney of the New York Times, project internal party confidence or say nothing at all."  These should be reinforced by funding decisions.

I won't go so far as to say Nagourney is a GOP flack, but he sure loves "handwringing" stories, and the Democrats are all too often eager to oblige.

by jonweasel 2006-02-08 01:42AM | 0 recs
The power of repetition.

If there is a reason why most people feel the Democrats in DC have no ideas and no message, let me tell you it isn't because the RNC taught them that.  It's because Democrats in DC keep repeating over and over that they have no message and no ideas.

I love your qoute about the mythical Dem leader.

If there is a lack of leadership in that town, it is only because our leaders refuse to lead.

by Sam Loomis 2006-02-08 03:42AM | 0 recs
Re: The power of repetition.

He is a Dem in DC

by CAModerate 2006-02-08 03:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Shut Up Shut Up Shut Up: The Republicans Cont

Oh My God.

Does no one see any irony here? Are you attacking Nag? Or the Dems? Are you saying we are strong or saying we are week? About 50% of the story's on the blogs read by journalists at every major paper and news outlet is about process. You beat up on Dems every day. In the past two months the list of Dems this blog has attacked is probably a mile long: Bayh, Hillary, Obama, Lieberman, Kennedy, Biden, Pelosi, Reid, Kerry, and the list goes on. They get attacked for standing up in the wrong way, sitting down, standing up at the wrong time, saying too muc, saying too little.

No I agree no one should have thought this article was a good idea. But the idea of ignoring the NY Times is like the idea of ignoring this blog. If your doing press it can't be done, and if your communicasting with the blogs it's hard to miss MyDD.

Seriously - get a grip on your influence and use it smartly. Attacking expends political capital -- and yall attack like you have an amex with no limit.

Please do at least one attack on Nag or fisking for old times sake?

by CAModerate 2006-02-08 03:47AM | 0 recs

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