Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Democratic Communication Breakdown

It's mid-October, which means two things. One, Snuggie weather has officially arrived. And two, the Democratic party has roughly two weeks to pull their heads out of their asses and drive home a message that just might prevent the Republicans from taking over a slew of mayoral and gubernatorial posts as well as both houses of Congress…a feat that will surely result in two years of political quagmire and legislative stagnation.

I am not confident that the Democrats are capable of averting this catastrophe and no folks, ‘catastrophe’ is by no means a hyperbolic expletive on my part. With a budgetary crisis, jobs evaporating and nothing remotely resembling clean energy legislation coming out of the GOP camp, a Republican Congress under a Democratic President would be a fucking disaster. 

To decipher why the Dems are such significant underdogs, one need look no further than its leadership. Nancy Pelosi is a hag; encapsulating all the shortcomings of post-feminist America. Her brashness and ‘my dick is bigger than yours’ pulpit demeanor are nothing more than attempts to overcompensate for her lack of vision and variagated deficiencies as House Leader. I don’t like her and if asked off the record, most Democrats in Congress would concur. She’s like that elementary school principle that smells like cat piss that nobody can stand but because of the position she holds, the entire teaching staff fears or at the very least tolerates.

Harry Reid, accomplished as he is, would sell his own grandchildren to get re-elected. An attribute he displayed in April by selling out his energy bill to focus on immigration; a blatant attempt to cater to the Latino electorate in the face of plummeting pole numbers. 

But tragically, the person most responsible for the Democrats' predicament is Obama himself. I say this not because I feel he has done a poor job but because a man once lauded for his oratorical prowess has continuously done a piss-poor job of communicating his agenda to the American public. And this failure has trickled down the ranks; mucking up every gear, screw and ball-bearing in the Democratic machine.

Obama/Reid/Pelosi: A Triumvirate of Ineffeiciency

With skyrocketing premiums and plummeting quality, Health Care reform was a necessity and from a legislative perspective, a monumental and historic achievement. This should have been a slam-dunk. But Republicans dominated the debate by pumping misinformation through every outlet from Fox News to the Tea Party circus. They did it so relentlessly that “death panels” and the fear of socialists kidnapping our doctors became more newsworthy than the fact that over fifty million Americans did not have any health care or that premiums had increased 78 % over the last decade while stagflation (stagnant wages and high unemployment amidst inflation) surged. 

Obama should have bought an hour on every network the day after the vote was cast and broadcast a Health Care infomercial that outlined in simple bullet points why this bill was in fact, a very good thing. Yes, the bill is 2,400 pages long but Democrats failed to simplify it and illuminate the positives in a way that the public could not only understand but get behind.

This proposed infomercial should have been followed by a continuous informational outreach initiative perpetrated by the President himself along with every senator, congressman, councilman, mayor and governor in the Democratic Party. The law was a victory for the average American and should have been marketed as such.

Leaflets, websites and commercials should have been deployed with the following ten bullet points:

-       The new Health Care Bill will provide healthcare to 32 million uninsured Americans.
-       It will also prevent healthcare providers from dropping their customers after they get sick.
-       It will prevent healthcare providers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.
-       It will prevent providers from raising premiums to unreasonable rates.
-       It will provide subsidies to help cover premiums for individuals making less than $43,000 a year and families of four with incomes under $88,000.
-       It will actually reduce the National Deficit by $143 billion over the first ten years and by $1.2 trillion in the next ten years.
-       It will force large businesses to provide coverage for employees and small businesses will receive tax credits covering up to 50% of employee premiums.
-       It will allow young adults up to the age of 27 to be covered by their parents’ policies.
-       It will expand Medicaid to cover more poor Americans.
-       It will establish a board to reduce excessive Medicare expenditures.

You see, these are all good things. And they are only some of the good things this bill does. And if one were bombarded with all these good things to the same extent they were bombarded with rumors of the ‘Viagra for sex offenders’ clauses that allegedly peppered the bill, one would have to conclude that the bill was in actuality, a very good thing. Yes, I’m using simple, mildly condescending verbiage but I’m being condescending towards Democratic leadership for failing to convince America of these facts.

The Dems have long since lost the propaganda battle on that issue and I am merely playing Monday morning cornerback here. But I am doing so because the Dems still have two weeks in which to not duplicate that misstep and adequately convey the information that just might sway voters back into their corners by November 2nd

They need to remind voters of how we got here. Why is unemployment so high? Why is the national debt so high? Where are these jobs Obama and his Federal Stimulus Package promised us? The answer to these questions could be provided in a very simple informational barnstorm that should have been employed by the entire Democratic Party throughout their campaigns. From day one, they should have reminded voters of the following eight fairly indisputable facts.

1)    The deficit is so high because Bush and a Republican Congress turned a budget surplus into a deficit by, among other things, cutting taxes for the rich during wartime, which, as any economist will tell you, is a big no-no. I have a Communications Degree and even I know this.  Republicans want to make those same tax cuts permanent, thus denying the Treasury $4 trillion in revenue over the next decade. The Stimulus Package that has added to this deficit was necessary and has only failed because it was not large enough to sustain long-term job growth.
2)    The financial universe imploded because of a lack of regulation and government oversight. Even after this happened, the Republicans did everything in their power to prevent passing of the Financial Reform Bill which aimed to, that’s right, prevent ANOTHER implosion of the financial universe because of a lack of regulation and government oversight.
3)    The equally debilitating decimation of the housing market could have possibly been averted by, and I know I’m a broken record player here, more regulation and government oversight. Yet in the wake of all this, what is the Republican Party still championing? Smaller government and less regulation.
4)    Republicans did and continue to do everything in their power to prevent the manifestation of the Health Care Bill, which does, among other good things, the ten good things on the list above. 
5)    Republicans oppose spending money on anything including stimulating the economy. A key to resuscitating a hemorrhaging economy is creating jobs, the biggest necessity facing our country. One great way to achieve this is infrastructural investments. Expanding high-speed internet access and improving our nations roads, bridges and schools would create considerable jobs but more stimulus expenditures are needed to facilitate this.
6)    Republicans continue to block any legislative efforts that would create clean energy and wane us off our reliance on foreign oil. Global Warming is not a myth and America cannot afford to be at the end of the pack in creating new, renewable sources of energy. We should be leading it.
7)    The last Republican congress also gave us the Iraq war, sanctioned terrorism and the violation of a multitude of civil liberties.
8)    The best idea the Republican Party has had since George W. Bush is Sarah Louise Palin. END OF FUCKING STORY.

This message should be pounded out incessantly through the upcoming weeks. Voters cannot be allowed to forget what Republican leadership has gotten them in the past. They are pissed off and they are scared. They are angry they lost their jobs and they want them back. They need to be reminded that Republican policy is the reason they lost them. If they still have their jobs, they are scared of losing them. They need to be reminded that the Republican Party will sooner protect corporate interests than those of the average working American. They need to remember. And it is up to Democratic incumbents and challengers across the country to remind them. They've got two weeks to do just that.   

Now get your asses to a booth people!

Article first published as A Democratic Communication Breakdown on Technorati.