Wednesday, November 24, 2010

WTF has happened to Obama the great communicator - and how the Democrats need a major overhaul of their messaging strategy

What has happened to Obama the great communicator and how the Democrats need an overhaul of their messaging strategy (in my opinion).

I'm shocked and saddened to say that I'm starting to give up with Obama - at least on his skills as a communicator and his ability to control the democratic message.

The dems seems to have a total inability to band effectively together, pick a few (only a few) winning talking points, stick to them and ruthlessly out the republicans on their nonsense.

The republicans are far superior at this and (with some exceptions from the teabaggers)  all sing off the same simple clear song sheet - smaller government, lower taxes, cut spending and strong on national security. They are also incredibly good at framing issues with language (read "don't think about an elephant" for the full story - great book by george lakoff) - pro-life/pro-choice, bush tax cuts, Obamacare, war on terror etc. 

The dems are all over the place on messaging and they are terribly divided - they need the old advertising lesson of throwing six tennis balls at someone vs. One...

As an interested viewer of the appallingly partisan state of affairs right now it seems obvious that the dems have a bunch of really clear strong points that are not getting through to the gen pub - unless they scour the political media and analyze it in great detail.

1.  Republicans don't care about poor people - while lobbying hard for continuing George bush's pro-millionaire tax cuts this week they voted down a bill for continuing unemployment benefits for struggling Americans. WTF? 

2.  Obama saved the American car industry and with it 1.3m jobs - GMs float on the stock exchange this week was the biggest in history (bigger than google). Right now all the big us car companies are back in profit for the first time since 2005. He took a tough decision that the party of NO mocked and it worked and yet they are still criticizing him for it. Why? And when are we going to out them on it?

3.  The republicans are using national security as a political tool and it's putting the American people in real danger. The party who started an illegal war, water tortured, wiretapped and extraordinarily renditioned while in power is screaming constitutional over reach (reach around?) over the TSA's new scanner/pat down procedures. Ridiculous hypocrisy. 100,000 troops are putting their life on the line every day, its time for the 99% of the population for whom they are sacrificing to do their part - in this case a slightly uncomfortable frisking only for those who refuse the scan. Surely a small price to pay and a welcome spirit of "everybody has a part to play" that has been forgotten. 

The republicans are also blocking the signing of the Start treaty against the advice of the chairman of the joint chiefs and other military leadership? Why? It's just politics and a chance to skewer Obama at the expense of American security.

4.  The republican party's intransigence and partisanship is holding back the confidence of the American people to pull out of this recession in the way the business community has - and the public needs to know this. 

The business community in the US has pulled steeply out of the recession in a way that ordinary people have not - 5 straight quarters of economic growth, corporate profits were the highest on record last quarter since the govt began recording in 1950 and corporate profits as a % of US economic growth over the last 3 decades are at nearly the highest point they've ever been today - up from the lowest point when when Obama took over. 

The constant sniping, criticism, blame gaming and painting of gloomy pictures can only leave the American public unsure, worried, cautious and unlikely to start spending, investing or employing. All of this politics is not harming business, it's not harming the republicans but it sure is harming the country's morale. 

At a time when the country needs to pull together and gee itself up, shame on the politicians who do the opposite for their own political gain.

5.  The deficit and W's tax cuts - the dems need to do much better job on this one. The right have succeeded in every occasion (normally unchallenged) in painting Obamas plans to let the tax cuts run out as "an Obama tax increase". This is rewriting history. I don't exactly remember the details, but I believe the only way W could get these tax cuts (in good economic times) through the congress was to agree to a term limit for them. So, this isn't Obama increasing taxes, this is the End of a policy written by bush and agreed by bush and supported by the republicans. The fact that Obama is willing to extend them for the middle class is a good thing. If it were me, 

I wouldn't extend them at all because then they are simply an extension of bush's policies. How about a brand new Obama tax cut beginning Jan 1? Reframe it like that and republicans would be fighting to increase the Obama tax cuts rather than extend the bush tax cuts. . . .

Grow some balls democrats, stop in fighting, learn to take and control the message and for christ sake read George lakoff's book about framing issues and stop letting the republicans run the communications board.

Happy thanksgiving and let's hope the witch of wassilla runs in 2012 - for all our sakes...

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