Category Archives: Republican Messaging

Tell your Republican friends they are being used

Right-wing impeachment message, December 2011

Right-wing impeachment message, December 2011

For many of us, it’s heartbreaking to see our Republican friends and family members being brainwashed by Fox News and GOP identity politics beyond all rationality. Sometimes we try to argue the merits of issues with them, to no avail of course. Other times we just write them off, which can make for some estranged relationships. But here’s another idea: let’s try to point out to our Republican friends that they are being used by the Republican Party.

Republicans are the party of “EXCEPT”

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Republicans “support the troops” EXCEPT Bowe Bergdahl.

Republicans are “pro-life” EXCEPT once a baby is born, then he’s on his own.

Republicans believe in “law and order” EXCEPT when it comes to keeping guns away from violent criminals, terrorists and the mentally ill.

Republicans believe in the “sanctity of marriage” EXCEPT between gay couples.

Republicans believe in “family values” EXCEPT when GOP officials are caught cheating on their spouses or frequenting prostitutes.

Republicans believe in “smaller government” and “lower spending” EXCEPT when a Republican is in the White House.

Republicans are “pro-business” EXCEPT when it comes to helping business by repairing America’s crumbling roads and bridges.

Republicans “believe in the Constitution” EXCEPT when federal law requires grazing fees on federal land.

Republicans are “tough on crime” EXCEPT when it comes to white-collar crime by bankers.

Republicans “fight terrorism” EXCEPT when it’s right-wing domestic terrorism.

Republicans believe in “free speech” EXCEPT when it comes to revealing genetically-modified foods, donors to right-wing dark money groups, or information women need when they’re pregnant.

Photo by Pargon, used under Creative Commons license. http://is.gd/G4VJ4w

For climate change reality, watch the insurance companies and local officials

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley speaks at Maryland Climate Change Summit, 2013

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley speaks at Maryland Climate Change Summit, 2013

The Obama Administration’s latest move to battle climate change — new Environmental Protection Agency rules designed to cut power plant emissions by 30 percent — will likely set off a Republican response not unlike their response to the Affordable Care Act. We can expect lies, delays and lawsuits from Republicans and their Big Coal corporate backers to block the EPA rules. However, while many Republicans have the luxury of being climate change deniers to score political points, insurance companies and state and local officials do not have this luxury. Even insurance companies run by Republicans, and Republican state and local officials, will have to deal with the actual effects of climate change, such as an increase in claims by homeowners and business owners for damage related to rising sea levels, storm surges and fires, increased health care claims, and state and local budgets depleted by disaster response and rebuilding. That’s why it will be important to watch what these insurance company executives and public officials do.

GOP Death Spiral report card

Cliven Bundy

Cliven Bundy

After the Republican Party’s losses in the 2012 elections at the Presidential, Senate and House of Representatives, the GOP released an “Autopsy” report that called for Republican outreach to women, blacks, gays, Latinos and Asians. Several months later, Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said that the GOP was in a “demographic death spiral” that would continue unless and until the Republicans pass immigration reform and “get it off the table” in order to “get back in good graces with the Hispanic community.” Let’s see how that outreach is working for Republicans one year later:

Outside the belly of the beast at Ronald Reagan Library

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What happens when a couple of Democrats show up at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California? Well, the first thing is that they don’t go inside, because admission is $16 per person, and what sane Democrat would spend $16 to honor Ronald Reagan’s memory? But the outside of the Library is very telling, and of course they let you in the gift shop, because Republicans. We took photos that tell the full sordid story, so read on after the jump:

Cliven Bundy’s problem isn’t racism, it’s hypocrisy


The media frenzy over Cliven Bundy kicked into high gear a little over a week ago, when Bundy gave a “news conference” (see video above) in which he talked about “the negro” now being “on government subsidy” and having “nothing to do”:

They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, were they better off as slaves picking cotton, having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidies?

Messaging Maxim #6: Keep it Stupidly Simple

 

A friend forwarded the above sound clip, featuring President George W. Bush announcing his Medicare Part D prescription drug plan in 2006. The point of the clip was to show that Bush and the Republicans were all for extending deadlines for health insurance programs until President Barack Obama extended the March 31, 2014 Affordable Care Act signup deadline. But what was perhaps more striking about the Bush clip was its almost childlike simplicity of the language and delivery:

The average premium that seniors pay is a third less than had been expected, just $25 per month instead of $37 per month.

Thanks to this new coverage, America’s seniors are now getting the modern medicine they need at prices they can afford.

During George W. Bush’s presidency, Democrats made plenty of fun of Bush’s “Bartles and Jaymes” simplicity of speech. Before that, Democrats mocked the simplicity of presidential candidate and then President Ronald Reagan. But such simplicity often works. Indeed, Reagan became known as “The Great Communicator.” For these reasons, we now list Messaging Maxim #6: Keep it Stupidly Simple.

When politics becomes a joke

Zombie protester at Sarah Palin rally

Zombie protester at Sarah Palin rally

Democrats and progressives may have noticed a trend lately: your Republican friends or family members send you an email, and they write something like “this isn’t meant to be political, it’s just a joke that I thought was funny.” Then the joke contained in the email is something offensive to President Obama or Democrats. It’s never politically neutral, or making fun of both sides, and never ever makes fun of Republicans. Then if you call out the sender, they tell you you’re being too sensitive, or have no sense of humor, or “can’t take a joke.”

But make no mistake, these Republican jokes are meant to score political points, or at least to make Republicans feel better by hating on Democrats. Humor can take down a politician. Remember Chevy Chase‘s “Saturday Night Live” caricatures of a clumsy President Gerald Ford? Or Tina Fey’s dead-on “SNL” takedowns of Sarah Palin using Palin’s own words? So how about we fight back, and turn the tables on these Republican jokers?

Republicans’ low profiling

Rally for Travon Martin at Univ. of Minnesota

Rally for Travon Martin at Univ. of Minnesota

On a recent ski trip, we noticed two types of profiling: First, the lift operators at the bottom of the mountain scanned the lift tickets of some skiers and snowboarders, but not others, to make sure they had purchased a ticket that day. It seemed like only younger and less affluent-looking snowboarders were being checked, while older, prosperous-looking skiers were not. That night, at a nice restaurant in town, the host told some younger, scruffier looking snowboard types that it would be an hour and a half wait for a table, and then told an older, affluent looking couple that they could get a table in just ten minutes.

At CPAC, it’s all Republican culture war

Empty stage for empty suits at CPAC 2014

Empty stage for empty suits at CPAC 2014

Dispatches from the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) are coming in, and they’re not pretty. The CPAC conference is being held at the Gaylord Hotel (oh, the irony) in Maryland, and thus far has been a showcase for the Republican Party’s cultural symbols of God (love ‘im), Guns (love ‘em) and Gays (hate ‘em).