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Posts Tagged ‘Scott Brown’

Recently, I received a meandering, three page, fund-raising letter from my “senior” (and hopefully “lame duck”) US Senator, John Forbes Kerry. I found this to be comical on many levels, not the least of which is that my career and personal focus is to remove as many politicians of his ilk as possible from elective office. Clearly, the Senator from Massachusetts does not read my blog or follow me on Twitter!

On a more serious note, I found the text of Kerry’s letter to be quite revealing. It is a blueprint for the 2010 liberal game plan! The first paragraph sets the tone:

“I have been a senator for 25 years and I’ve never seen anything like this. As President Obama works to dig us out of a deep hole and build our country back up, the Republicans in Washington at the highest levels have adopted an entirely different goal: Force his failure. It disgusts me every time I see it.”

Analysis: Demonize dissent. Imply Republican racism and personal animosity toward Obama. Remind people about the famous “inherited mess”. Label Republicans as “obstructionist” and “The Party of No”. Feign indignation.

Forget that this Administration’s policies are clearly digging a deeper hole. Forget that conservatives want America’s citizens and businesses to climb out of that hole without the added burdens of unsustainable debt, stifling over-regulation, massive tax increases and an endless stream of unfunded entitlements. Forget that saying “no” to bad policy is in the interests of the American people (who, incidentally, are also saying “no” to said policy). Forget that alternative solutions offered by Republicans, and even some moderate Democrats, have been totally ignored by the Administration and its puppets in Congress. It is much easier to label and demonize than to explain and defend ill-conceived and potentially disastrous legislation.

Later in Kerry’s comical yet disturbing letter, he revealed the tired and increasingly ineffective strategy of isolating and demonizing Tea Party patriots.

“We must defend our majority against a Tea Partier crowd that wants to make the ideology of the far right fringe the basic operating procedure of the federal government.

Analysis: Use the word “crowd” to imply “dangerous mob”. Label the Tea Party as “extremists” with the word “fringe”. Link a grassroots, bottom-up movement to a top-down GOP strategy.

Forget that Tea Party activists believe in the US Constitution, the “extremist” document which all Senators, including John Kerry, took an oath to defend. Forget that this movement is composed of Democrats, Independents, Libertarians and Republicans. Forget that “the Tea Party crowd” self polices and has no use or tolerance for “fringe” elements. Forget that lawn chairs, microphones, home-made signs and American flags, their “weapons” of choice, are not a threat to anything other than the careers of “out-of-touch” politicians.  Again, ignoring the substance of the opposition’s arguments with a labeling strategy is much easier for the Left than listening and engaging in civil debate. This tactic is at best intellectually lazy and at worst “Alinsky 101”. Fortunately for Senator Kerry and his “crowd”, the main stream media supports this approach. Unfortunately for the far left, the American people overwhelmingly reject it.

The letter rambled on, consistent with Senator Kerry’s droning style, but I will point out one more statement before I close.

“Let’s not forget the outcome of eight long years of Republican administration: an economy in shambles; two wars waged without focus or resources; record high unemployment rates and an America isolated from its allies.”

Analysis: What a surprise–BLAME BUSH!

There is no debate about the condition of our economy when Barack Obama took office, but his solutions are exacerbating our problems. The cure is worse than the disease. Forget that unemployment has increased dramatically under his watch.  Forget that he has created more debt in one year than the combined totals of several of his predecessors. Forget that our troops are still fighting, and shedding blood for our liberty and safety,  in Afghanistan. Forget that the Bush surge improved matters substantially in Iraq. Yes, Republicans deserve their fair share of blame for the “inherited mess”. But no, President Obama and Senator Kerry, this does not justify your tyrannical big government solutions. In terms of foreign policy, Obama has done more to isolate us from our allies than any President in US history. He bows to dictators and shuns our friends. His policies have been both naive and dangerous–and his answer to Bush’s so-called “Cowboy Diplomacy” is one of acquiescence and weakness. But, let’s just forget about all that for now. Republicans are bad. Liberals are good. “Something is better than nothing”, even if that something is insane.

Conclusion

I was amused by John Kerry’s solicitation. (Senator, if you’re reading this, please be “green” and take me off your mailing list.) But I must also thank Senator Kerry for confirming the predictable political strategy of his liberal friends in 2010. I’m sure most conservatives running for office will appreciate this “teachable moment” in November.

Senator Kerry, I am an Independent voter in Massachusetts. I helped Scott Brown become the 41st vote in the US Senate. You and your liberal friends are not listening to me and the majority of your constituents. Your attacks on dissent are neither substantive or compelling. Stick with the strategy and I’ll see YOU in 2012!

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“The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.” — Ronald Reagan

President Reagan would have liked my father.

Everyone, it seems, has a relative who repeats old jokes at family functions. One of my Dad’s favorites used to be:

Q: “Why don’t donkeys go to school?”

A: “Because nobody likes a smart ass!”

Now, I didn’t say they were good jokes, but read on–I’ll get straight to the point.

Know it All (KIA) Syndrome

Our country is in the process of rejecting the premises and policies of “donkeys” who went to school and grew up to be “smart asses” or, to put it more mildly, “Know-It-Alls” (KIAs). Sure, they can write a decent term paper and be rewarded with a good grade from a proudly socialist professor. Upon graduation, they can prepare a thesis and fulfill the requirements established to earn a Masters degree. And clearly, when they put resumes together and land a job at a “non-profit” like ACORN, they know how to churn out grant proposals that like-minded and equally clueless bureaucrats will find compelling and worthy of hard-earned tax dollars. But do they know how their predominantly liberal academic indoctrination translates into tangible, “real world” results? Hell no, and we may be feeling the effects of this disconnect for generations if we don’t act NOW!

America Has Woken Up!

The people of this country are waking up to this “KIA Syndrome”. They are rejecting the premise that if a proposal, however ill-conceived, sounds “nice” or “kind” or “just”, it is the responsibility of the taxpayer to shell out trillions of dollars to implement it. They are looking more closely at our Constitution for guidance on the true role and powers of government. They are mobilizing, blogging, tweeting, donating, volunteering, voting and yes, shouting! They are saying NO to “Know-It-Alls”!

Message Sent…and Ignored.

In New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts, the message was sent: If you’re a “KIA”, even in a “Blue State”, your political career will be “KIA” (Killed in Action*). If you’re “too smart” for the “ignorant masses” and continue to insist that your liberal agenda is even remotely in our interests, you will soon be looking for work in an increasingly difficult economic environment. Your local races, like it or not, are now also national races, and you can do nothing about it…except to “wake your smart asses up” and start listening to the people. That is the only way you might keep your current job or have any hope for future elective office. We’re on to you, and we’ve had enough!

From all indications, “KIAs” see Tea Parties and other grassroots efforts in the same way they see debunked global warming data–as an “inconvenient truth”. But because they insist that they are smarter than everyone, they pursue the same senseless strategies and tactics. This is good news for “common sense conservatives” across the country.

2010 will be a good year and I’m looking forward to it. We will see more Veterans, business people and first-time candidates elected this year than ever before. It’s time for some sanity. It’s time for change that actually works. It’s time to remove the liberal KIAs once and for all.

(*In case Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann read this and want to take me out of context: I believe in the political process and do not advocate violence. “Killed in Action” is not to be taken literally!)

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#41stVote

Shortly after the special election for US Senate in Massachusetts, I “came out” as the person responsible for creating, advocating and “driving” the #41stVote “hash tag” on Twitter.

I was part of the volunteer “Brown Brigade” and one of the many Scott Brown supporters who realized #41stVote was THE key national value proposition of the campaign. Why else would someone in PA (@AngelaRMLash) , Utah (@LadyLibertas93), Alabama (@Victoria_29) or California (friends of @ChuckDeVore) make calls from home, blog about the race, comment on news stories or click the “DONATE” button on a web site? After all, Scott Brown was a relatively obscure Republican State Senator in a presumed “safe haven” for Democrats. Clearly, and justifiably, people questioned the content, transparency and integrity of the health care bill. They saw that it was in their immediate interest–and the immediate national interest–to force Harry Reid “back to the drawing board” by ending his filibuster-proof “super majority” in the US Senate.

#41stVote organized, categorized and crystalized the message. It bonded individual bloggers, tweeters and patriots who wanted common sense conservatism and good government applied not just to health care and other “big bills”, but to all legislative initiatives. Together, these “regular people” became the media! Their clear, powerful and collective plea was: “Stop right there–we can do better!” The voters of Massachusetts agreed, and on 1/19/10, Scott Brown pulled off a political miracle by replacing liberal icon Ted Kennedy in the US Senate.

#Code41

I contend that Scott Brown’s unlikely and historic victory could be the beginning of what (the prominent and highly respected political analyst) Michael Barone once termed a “critical realignment” in American politics. Grassroots activism, (on and offline), did not simply disappear with Brown’s US Senate campaign. Energized by victories in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts, proponents of common sense conservatism want to know: What’s next? My hope is that their enthusiasm endures and political momentum accelerates across the nation–that is why I’ve created the #Code41 hashtag on Twitter.

#Code41 is a call to action. It is an urgent beckoning to those “regular people” who helped Scott Brown with #41stVote to “keep that truck rolling” across America. If you reject the dubious premises, policies and tactics of Obama, Reid and Pelosi, I urge you to support your favorite candidates, share great content, meet new friends and promote “online democracy” via the #Code41 hashtag.

#Code41 is not sponsored or formally endorsed by any specific candidate, Party, organization, PAC or special interest group. It is simply a #41stVote “spin-off” created to move the “good government” discussion forward at this critical time in our nation’s history.

#41stVote “went viral” and helped save our country from the ill-conceived, pork-laden and potentially disastrous monstrosity called the health care bill. Let’s do it again with #Code41 and restore transparency, integrity and common sense to the political process!


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Massachusetts Miracle?

Polls are currently indicating a statistical dead heat for US Senate in Massachusetts. Republican State Senator Scott Brown is shocking pundits, and the nation, by offering a robust challenge to Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley in the race to fill the seat vacated by the late Senator Edward Kennedy. The special election is scheduled for Tuesday, January 19, 2010.

Just two months ago, this campaign was a typical Massachusetts landslide in the making. Coakley was ahead by 30 points and running a safe, low profile “front-runner” campaign. The national GOP and traditional media had written Scott Brown off as another valiant casualty of  “Blue State” inevitability. The Coakley team and its allies were quite content to let the usual process take its course. Everything lined up as it almost always does in the Democratic stronghold called Massachusetts.

Significance

Much has been written recently about the significance of this election. If Brown wins, he represents the 41st vote in the US Senate–a vote which will end the filibuster-proof majority and force bipartisan debate on important legislation like health care reform. If Brown simply does well, he motivates conservatives around the country, even in historically liberal districts, to seek vacant seats and oppose Democratic incumbents. Some have called this race a referendum on “Obamacare”. Others, including moderate Democrats, see it as a chance to send a message to the far left that, well, they’ve gone way too far in that direction. I will not address these issues here, but I wanted to include them for contextual purposes.

What has changed in the last 60 Days?

The importance of this race has been clear since the passing of Senator Kennedy. Brown and Coakley have always been favored to be the nominees of their respective parties. A Brown victory would always have produced the aforementioned effect. So what started happening two months ago to turn the political tides? Three things: social media, viability and money. I contend that the former created the possibility of the latter two.

Social Media Creates a Buzz

Supporters of Scott Brown, the so-called “Brown Brigade”, were not content to sit back and watch another Democratic drubbing of a conservative candidate. They believed in Senator Brown and saw the political opportunity at hand. In addition to traditional campaign methods–phone calls, lit drops, bumper stickers and the like–they enthusiastically embraced social media as a marketing tool. They hit Facebook, Twitter, Ning, LinkedIn and YouTube. They wrote blogs and commented on other people’s posts. When they saw a relevant news story on line, they made their opinions known. Instead of telling two friends to support Scott Brown, they told two friends with 1000 followers each on Twitter. Those people liked the message and shared it with their followers. Before long, the entire nation began to notice and discuss the campaign. It was no longer just about Massachusetts–if Scott Brown were remotely viable, this could impact everyone!

#41st Vote

A Brown supporter, (who had been actively sharing content and commentary), was thrilled to see some interest developing. He was frustrated, however, that volunteer support, national media exposure and donations were not increasing quickly enough to make a very short–and clearly “up hill”– special election campaign viable. Without viability, who would bother to get involved or write a check?

That individual decided to bolster the social media efforts of the campaign team by creating a Twitter hashtag (a way to categorize content) called #41stVote. Together with blog engagement, personal outreach to influential “tweeters” and direct communication with main stream journalists, this #41stVote concept quickly caught on as a highly focused and compelling value proposition. Within days of its creation, interest swelled and the Brown message started to “go viral”. When that happened, money, volunteers and positive commentary escalated dramatically.

Interactions related to the #41stVote and associated social media devices increased donations to such an extent that substantial blocks of  traditional “media buys” were made possible. TV and radio exposure landed additional support, which in turn led to better poll numbers. When Rasmussen and other polling companies announced that the race was within single digits, viability had been achieved and cash poured into the campaign.

How much cash? Scott Brown’s January 11th, one day, “money bomb” secured $1.3 million! The average donation was only $75–a testament to the grassroots nature of this online campaign.

Lessons learned

While the Brown campaign used many social media venues to “broadcast” from the outset, its message only went “viral” after significant engagement, content sharing, value creation and tool utilization. The campaign had to answer the following questions from potential online “partners”:

1. Why should I follow you?

2. Why should I share your message?

3. Why should I write about you?

4. Why should I recommend that others follow you?

5. Why should I make calls on your behalf?

6. Why should I donate to your campaign?

7. Why should I interview you?

8. Why should I care?

Social Media Best Practices–How can we help YOU?

Understanding the needs of voters and potential donors,  providing valuable and easily shared content to online supporters and effectively engaging (as opposed to “talking at”) key strategic partners were all critical elements of Brown’s social media success. The #41stVote hashtag provided a unifying theme to these efforts. It also answered many key questions in nine simple characters.

Will social media change America?

Used in combination with the more traditional approaches, social media has emerged as an extremely powerful weapon in the Brown Brigade’s arsenal. Given the importance of this special election, and how the race has been trending recently, Scott Brown’s use of  “new marketing” may very well change the course of American history.


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