A Winning Strategy

This has been bothering me for awhile. You see, the Billionaire’s Club has given Karl Rove a lot of money to run a national campaign. Example is Massachusetts where his Crossroads had been running attack ads against Elizabeth Warren, both candidates got together and asked outside groups to butt out of Massachusetts, and now this typically Rovian media attack on her heritage and parentage as an utter distraction from the issues facing the taxpayers of Massachusetts.

Whether you believe in my ontogeny, the phylogeny is the same: This will be a national race, run from central command and control, using stealth cash. All well and good to debate how wrong this is, and to wonder how the Obama campaign can fare against the hidden Sith Lords of the GOP.

But what about poor Congresswoman Jane Doe, Anytown U.S.A.?

How does SHE compete against the Rovian Hand and near-infinite supplies of cash?

Here is a strategy that will work, and allows Democrats to run a national campaign, while letting local candidates focus on local issues.

Once, a few years ago, when I was still known in Democratic circles, I was at the annual Bish Bash, local journalist Don Bischoff’s fifty-year tradition of a Christmas party that drew the local politicians and the local media folk and movers and shakers and remained bipartisan and communitarian to the end.

And a local politician asked me about his race for the state house of representatives.

He was going up against an incumbent (bad) and a popular woman (bad in Eugene) and yet, as the challenger he was going to have to attack her record and qualification for re-election. (Bad.)

And we were talking about it, and I told him this:

You don’t HAVE to run against her, I said. Because of the iron discipline of the Republican caucus in Salem,

All remembered the recent history of a prominent long-serving Oregon Republican, loved on both sides of the aisle, voted his “conscience” a few years ago on an education bill, and was summarily stripped of his committee assignments and chairmanships, and was left in political Siberia for the remainder of his tenure, able to vote and not much more. When the next election came, he did not run again. And, since then, no Republican legislator is allowed to vote contrary to the Leadership’s position.

So, I went on, instead of running against HER, run against the incredibly unpopular Speaker of the House.

Say, “My opponent is a person of quality,” and ladle on as many honorifics as you want. Kill her with your kindness and consideration. And then say, “But it doesn’t MATTER what she believes. When she gets to the legislature, she will vote exactly as she’s been told to vote by the Speaker, and her record proves that. Well over 90% of the time, she votes the party line. So, if you elect her, you’re ACTUALLY just giving the Speaker her vote.”

Almost impossibly, he actually took my advice, and was elected the following fall.

That is the winning issue for Democrats. Kill your opponents with kindness and run against the Republican congressional leadership, who poll BELOW the miserable approval rating of Congress as a whole. Use their iron discipline as a truncheon to bash them over the head with from now until election day, and the DNC and other out of state groups can provide all the coop and parallel advertising in the world.

That ONE message will focus the election on its national implications, and allow local candidates to run against the National Machine that thinks it far more important to take the Congress than the White House.

If Mitt wins, so much the better, but control of Congress stops pesky investigations and undoes pesky rules. And it allows their investment to pay off in profitable terms. If you doubt this, think of the investment versus gain ratio for those who financed George W. Bush and what each PERSONALLY received in tax cuts over the past eleven years.

No: this is a national cabal and a national conspiracy, partially if not totally run by “The Architect” and paid for by The Usual Suspects.

When we find out who they are, it will be too late, electorially.

But this strategy will win. It makes rational sense, and, as I said, it’s already got a proven track record.

Now, just because I’m not going to charge the DNC and the DSCC and whoever else a $50,000 consulting fee for this bit of political advice, do not for a moment think that it isn’t worth any more than you’ve paid for it.

A word to the wise is sufficient and ten thousand to a fool will not suffice.

But think about it in the terms it’s given to you: sincere advice, based on facts from a citizen who is sincerely concerned about our march to plutocracy and the health of our democracy.


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6 responses to “A Winning Strategy

  1. Good stuff Hart. I’m gonna’ find a way to get this across the mountains.

    • Thanks, Ten Bears. Get it out to whomever you can. Unless we break this cycle of hate, there’s no way back that won’t involve tragic and stupid violence.

  2. Wild Bill

    I just love solution driven people, instead of whiners and complainers. Now if we could get the national leadership to start supporting real progressives instead of blue dogs, we might get somewhere. Until then, your strategy does make complete sense. How many votes has it gone with zero republican in favor, that kind of discipline doesn’t come cheap, and everyone of those GOP’ers have their hand out constantly, expecting to be paid.

    • Well, it’s the legitimate use of the old Rovian trick (always used illegitimately, like bugging his own office): use their strengths as their weakness. Share widely.

  3. courtney

    Seconding Wild Bill’s sentimentality. I’ve forwarded this piece to reps of a Dem congressional candidate in a very Red state and hope this little seed will find purchase…

    • Thanks Courtney. Get it out there as widely as you can. The chiefest advantage is that it’s non-violent and suppressive OF violence. The R candidate can smear all he or she wants, and, turning the other cheek, the D can kill them with kindness. This takes the whole “attack ad” cycle and makes THEM look like the bullies they are, without having to become one ones’ self.