Category Archives: Republican Messaging

Time to start the narrative against Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush embraces his brother George W. Bush

Jeb Bush embraces his brother George W. Bush

President Barack Obama‘s 2012 re-election campaign created a narrative against Willard Mitt Romney early, and this narrative (“Mr. Moneybags/Elite/1%”) was hugely successful. The Obama campaign followed Messaging Maxim #4: Feed the Narrative. Now, in 2015, Republicans are already actively running against Hillary Clinton, the current front-runner for the Democratic Party 2016 Presidential nomination. It’s time to do the same thing and begin defining John Ellis (“Jeb”) Bush, the current Republican Party front-runner. There are plenty of examples that prove Bush is another Republican far-right extremist who would be bad for America:

Messaging Maxim #8: Don’t use the other side’s labels

Protesters opposing Arizona anti-immigrant law

Protesters opposing Arizona anti-immigrant law

Republicans and conservatives, which are curently one and the same, love to come up with short, catchy labels for things. Here’s a list of popular Republican political phrases. Those labels and phrases are always loaded, either in favor of the Republicans, against the Democrats, or both. So, if you’re a Democrat, a liberal or a progressive, why would you ever use those Republican labels, making them even more popular so they get taken up by the mainstream media and become part of our vernacular? The answer is, you shouldn’t. But plenty of Democrats, liberals and progressives are making this mistake lately. Here are a few examples of Republican-loaded phrases that Democrats, and thus the mainstream media, are using all over the place. Hopefully, these will serve as a reminder to cut it out:

With “#47Traitors,” the netroots find their groove

CNN Center: Capital of obsolete old media?

CNN Center: Capital of obsolete old media?

Last Wednesday, Susie Madrak posted a thought-provoking piece at Crooks and Liars titled: “Dear Media: You Are Not The Gatekeepers Anymore.” Madrak wrote about how the mainstream corporate media, including newspapers and television news, lost all credibility cheerleading and broadcasting Bush administration lies to lead us into the Iraq War, and have their own elitist agenda which includes pathologically attacking Bill and Hillary Clinton, ignoring “the corrosive influence of the Koch network,” and even, in some cases, working hand in hand with the CIA. According to Madrak:

The media is [sic] doing a slow burn, not even over Hillary Clinton specifically, but over our refusal to accept theirs as the only legitimate opinion.

The good news is, our increasing refusal to accept the mainstream corporate media’s elitist group think coincides with a successful streak for the netroots, i.e., grassroots political activists who primarily use the Internet for their activities. In particular, netroots members are using social media, blogs, podcasts and other alternative means increasingly to circumvent the Beltway Blowhards. For example, just last month, Brian Williams at NBC News was taken down by social media users for his Iraq War coverage lies. Shortly thereafter, Bill O’Reilly at Fox News got the netroots treatment, with social media users circulating disclosure after disclosure about O’Reilly’s lies and exaggerations. Likewise, the recent Federal Communications Commission switch to a vote for real Net Neutrality is the result of pressure from millions of Americans, many from the netroots, who filed comments and petitions to the FCC, even at times when mainstream corporate media coverage of Net Neutrality was scant.

The latest example of the increasing power of the netroots is the “#47Traitors” Twitter hashtag that exploded after 47 Republican U.S. Senators sent that unprecedented letter telling the leaders of Iran that an agreement currently being negotiated between the U.S. and Iran over Iran’s nuclear weapons development could be revoked or modified “at any time” in the future by another U.S. President or the Congress. While the Republican Iran letter seems closer to a violation of the Logan Act than outright treason, the “#47Traitors” label (and its offshoot, “#GOPWantsWar“) nevertheless is a brilliant shorthand message for the damage these Republican Senators have done to the United States and the office of the Presidency. Likewise, many of the same netroots members who have used these hashtags also signed onto a “We the People” petition to the White House asking that the Republicans who signed the Iran letter be prosecuted under the Logan Act.

The Democratic Party of Yes vs. the Republican Party of No

Ku Klux Klan march across Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL

Ku Klux Klan march across Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL

Last Saturday’s event at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, marking the 50th anniversary of the civil rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, was a jarring reminder of how the Democratic Party has become the party of “Yes” while the Republican Party stands in the way of progress as the party of “No.”

On issue after issue, including voting rights, marriage equality, affordable healthcare, equal pay for women, diplomacy instead of warmongering with Iran, tackling climate change, comprehensive immigration reform, sensible gun safety laws, high-speed trains, stopping police violence, renewable energy and more, the Democrats are the party of “Yes” while the Republicans define themselves by being against these things, and especially, being against whatever President Obama is for. Republicans now pathologically say “no” to things even if, as is the case with the Affordable Care Act, repairing America’s crumbling roads and bridges, and executive action on immigration, Republicans previously (even recently) supported those very things.

Republicans on a losing streak

Republican Presidential hopeful Scott Walker in London

Republican Presidential hopeful Scott Walker in London

If someone had told you that, in the months after the Republican Party’s historic 2014 Congressional election wins, Republicans would suffer one self-inflicted defeat and embarrassment after another, you might have told that person that he was nuts. But that is exactly what has happened to the Republican Party since last November’s elections. Here are some of the highlights, or more accurately, lowlights:

Anatomy of Rudolph Giuliani’s racist fail

Caricature of authoritarian Rudolph Giuliani

Caricature of authoritarian Rudolph Giuliani

The age of rapid political blowback, helped along by social media sharing, is upon us, and Rudolph Giuliani‘s racist remarks against President Barack Obama are the latest example. Here is a rough timeline of how Giuliani was hoist with his own petard:

Social media and the fall of Brian Williams

Brian Williams as Willi Vanilli

Brian Williams as Willi Vanilli

Chris Cillizza wrote a short Washington Post piece last Friday entitled “Who had the worst week in Washington? NBC’s Brian Williams.” Cillizza’s op-ed described how NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams was taken down by social media. In particular, Williams was placed on six months’ unpaid suspension, and may lose his job permanently, as a direct result of a Facebook comment by helicopter flight engineer Lance Reynolds, who disputed Williams’ oft-repeated story about being on a helicopter that was hit by enemy fire during the Iraq War. The social media takedown of Brian Williams was a keen observation by Cillizza, but social media are responsible for much than just Brian Williams’ job status. The Brian Williams debacle might be remembered as the moment where social media, and the Internet itself, overtook  television.

Jeb Bush feels the heat of the campaign kitchen

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush being introduced at World Affairs Council of Philadelphia in 2012

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush being introduced at World Affairs Council of Philadelphia in 2012

Former Florida Governor John E. “Jeb” Bush has not even officially announced that he is running for President yet, but already Bush finds himself under attack. Among the early attacks against Bush are:

Disneyland, measles vaccines and the illusion of choice

Disneyland crowd

Disneyland crowd

“I went to Disneyland and all I got was this t-shirt” is now a good thing, given that Disneyland in Anaheim, California is considered Ground Zero for the current U.S. measles outbreak. This outbreak of measles has now spread to 14 states with 102 reported cases as of January 30, which is double the pace of reported cases from last year. Experts agree that the measles outbreak at Disneyland and across the United States is a result of people who have not been vaccinated. In California alone, scores of parents at some schools have refused to vaccinate their children by signing a “personal belief exemption,” which is also available in a number of other U.S. states. Some of these so-called “anti-vaxxers” unfortunately have fallen prey to thoroughly debunked false information alleging that vaccines cause autism and other scary problems.

Republicans making mischief with Israel PM Netanyahu visit

John Boehner and Republicans at September 2013 rally to shut down federal government

John Boehner and Republicans at September 2013 rally to shut down federal government

Republican U.S. House Speaker John Boehner‘s invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vividly demonstrates that, after winning both houses of Congress in last November’s election, Republicans have no desire to work with President Obama or the Democrats for the common good. Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu is Republican political mischief-making in the extreme.