Democrats seek a message to message

From a story in today’s Washington Post about Democrats longshot hopes of taking back majority control of the House:

“Our message cannot be a bunch of Democrats running around saying we have no message. That’s not a good message,” said Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.), the caucus’s newly anointed message man. “It’s time to get in a room and do a robust analysis of what message works and just start messaging it.”

With a newly appointed message man messaging like that, the Dems are well on their way. My message is that “message” is a noun and that everyone who uses it as a verb sounds like a self-satirist. I prefer the way Howard Dean put it in his advice to Democrats right after the votes were counted last year: “I think they need to figure out what they stand for and then talk about it.”

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 01/29/2015 - 10:43 am.

    It’s hard not to be lazy when the opposition is good at “messaging” self-parody that appeals to a thin slice of their constituents.


  2. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 01/29/2015 - 10:49 am.

    “Let us stand for something lest we fall for anything”

    My old man was a union heavy equipment operator. He told me that when he started out as a truck driver, he was making 65 cents an hour. But when the union came in, he made a dollar an hour. I asked him how much the trucking company owners made. He said “too much.”

    When I was 12 years old, during the 1960 presidential campaign, I heard him tell his brother that he was thinking about voting for Nixon. My uncle said “But Nixon’s a republican!” My dad said, “yeah, but Kennedy’s a catholic.” They both looked down at their shoes and shook their heads, indicating their dilemma.

    Afterwards, I asked my dad, “what’s a republican?” He said, “they’re for the rich guys.” I asked, “what are we?” “We’re democrats” he said. “Why?” I asked. Because democrats are for the little guy. “Are we little guys then?” He just looked at me. I said, “I don’t think I want to be a little guy.”

    We didn’t talk much politics after that. But 55 years later, that exchange is still taking place as the parties are still being explained away as “for the rich” and “for the little guy.” and tens of millions of people are still voting based on what the candidate looks like.

    Seems to me the message the democrats have been using since the 1930s will just be updated to “for the middle-class” now. They’ve learned that no further explanation or details are required for about half of the voting public.

  3. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/31/2015 - 09:03 am.

    The messages are there…

    It’s just that the Democratic Leadership Council won’t use them, or even pretend to use them. As long as these guys worry about alienating voters who will never vote them in this lifetime anyways, they’ll won’t form a compelling narrative. Whereas the republicans are all about their “base”, the DLC doesn’t realize they actually have a base. Just don’t tell us it HAS to be this way. This is failure of party leadership, not a genetic feature of liberalism.

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