Saturday, August 21, 2010

The message

I've seen many writers (including Atrios and Yglesias, for starters) criticizing Democrats for not having a coherent message going into the midterm elections.  And I'd agree -- Democrats don't have a coherent message.

But, of course, this really doesn't matter.  Democrats didn't have a coherent message going into 2006, either, and they took over both chambers.  And the Republicans stand to do quite well this year without having much of a coherent message.  The "message" is just a media narrative and will largely be written after the fact anyway.  Does anyone really think that the Democrats can overcome the problems of running on a weak economy with their president's approval ratings in the 40s by coming up with the right words for their campaign banners?

8 comments:

Dusty Baker said...

The Message must fit on a campaign button the size of a quarter.

-KB

Daniel said...

Does anyone really think that the Democrats can overcome the problems of running on a weak economy with their president's approval ratings in the 40s by coming up with the right words for their campaign banners?

Couldn't hurt could it? And come on, the economy may be bad but President Obama passed three of his big five pieces of legsislation that he was voted into office to pass. But nobody is going to realize that because the Republican one-liner message (which, yes, is different than an effective substantive policy message) is so much better to the Democrats...nonexistent one. It wouldn't fix even most things for Democrats but it's still worth having a snappy saying which the Democrats currently don't have.

Seth said...

KB, good point. I'm sure the 1994 "Contract for America" phrase fit on the button, but none of the content did. They say only about a third of voters had even heard of the Contract -- I'm assuming a much, much smaller number could recall any of its items.

Seth said...

Daniel, okay, let's go with "Finish The Job!" and just call it a day. If Democrats spend half a million dollars hiring an advertising firm to help them develop a message, that's half a million dollars they're not giving to endangered Democratic incumbents.

Conan said...

I'd rather go with CRUSH YOUR ENEMIES, SEE THEM DRIVEN BEFORE YOU, AND HEAR THE LAMENTATIONS OF THEIR WOMEN.

Seth said...

Okay, that's good. Or maybe, "Please Boehner, Don't Hurt 'em!"

Marc said...

Party of No, as a cudgel with which to smack the Republicans, was good. Where'd that go?

Seth said...

Sure, it was succinct, except that the roughly half the country that disagrees with Obama's agenda wants a rejectionist party in power. Didn't liberals spend most of Bush's presidency demanding that Democrats say no more to Bush?