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Posts Tagged ‘US Senate’

Conservatives Beware–You May Be In Over Your Head On This!

If you are one of those racist, Fox News-watching, Halliburton-loving, tea-bagging, right-wing extremists, you are probably too academically deficient to comprehend the sheer genius contained herein.  But read on, my red-necked friends, you might learn something.

Methane contributes significantly to global warming.

I have no supportive data on that, but, when I saw him recently at the “Happy Endings Day Spa”, Al Gore assured me that the assertion is true. (For the record, I was only there for a facial.) Intrigued, I asked the distinguished former Vice President for some insights on how we can, once and for all, put an end to the imminently life-threatening menace called “global flatulence”.  This was his recommended approach:

Liberal Logic Snap Shot

Cheese is binding, therefore, it should be consumed in mass quantities to reduce human methane emissions. Left to free will and free markets, it is unlikely that individuals will consume the projected 20 lbs a day necessary to effectively “cork” a nation. This proves that liberty and capitalism are poor substitutes for sound public policy when it comes to providing for the general welfare of the planet.

Al’s Action Plan

To set an example for the rest of the world, the federal government of the United States shall unilaterally require that, under penalty of massive fines and/or imprisonment, everyone (including illegals, who of course would be exempt from the law enforcement component; but fully exempting our Muslim brothers and sisters) shall be required to consume copious amounts of cheese. Several government agencies shall be created, and at least 2 “Fart Czars” shall be hired, to oversee the program.

The repulsive “pull my finger” game popular with Dads across America shall heretofore be permanently banned.

Problem

Much of the cheese supply comes from cows, which emit methane gas in great quantities.

Solution

Mandatory catalytic converters on all cows. (George Soros has recently purchased a company that makes these devices and he’s offering us a good price on the equipment!) Goat/sheep converters will be phased in over time. Delaying the initial cost of the non-bovine expenditures will be seen as a great victory for fiscal responsibility by Senator Olympia Snowe and her swing vote will thus be “earned” by Harry Reid. We can get this done, folks!

Problem

Excessive cheese intake may limit the effectiveness of the First Lady’s ongoing “war on fat kids”.

Solution

In exchange for a percentage of Chicago Climate Exchange revenues, Michelle Obama will pick another, non-conflicting cause to champion. No worries, Chicago-style “quid pro quo” is just the cost of doing business with certain people.

Outcome/Call to Action

If this plan works, and it will because Mr. Gore says so, the total cost of saving the world will be approximately $100 Trillion-Gazillion over 1,000 years…don’t sweat the details though.  It’s clearly worth every penny–but we must act NOW or risk irreversible damage to Mother Earth!

As Al stated to me so eloquently, either you support this measure or you want the planet to die. There’s simply no arguing with logic like that!

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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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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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