The Musings of

Something full of magic, religion, bullsh*t.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Queens of Denial

An editorial in today's Boston Globe regarding the battle for the DNC Chairmanship effectively summarizes the rationalizations that have become Democrat mantra since the election: that the election was lost because the Democrats were somehow deficient in getting their message to the American people. They are convinced that if they can get a chairman committed to effectively marketing their positions then they will clean up in 2006 and 2008. The writer, Douglas J. Hattaway, states

While the DNC has excelled in fund-raising and get-out-the-vote organizing, it has done nothing to build a Democratic brand that clearly communicates the party's vision, values, and goals. That is one reason why so few voters understand what it means to be a Democrat. The lack of a strong party identity puts candidates at a severe disadvantage in the electoral marketplace.

To succeed, the DNC must operate less like a political campaign and more like a marketing business. That means significant investments in communications infrastructure and activities to deliver message to voters between presidential cycles. It requires an understanding that such investments will show returns over the long term. It can result in a strong, new brand identity for Democrats that will vastly improve the party's electoral prospects at all levels
I can understand the importance of fundraising -- without money you are unable to get your message out to the people -- but the threshold amount of cash necessary to achieve market saturation is much lower than the amount that was spent on either campaign in the last cycle. If Americans wanted to know where John Kerry stood on the issues they could easily find the information (assuming, of course, John Kerry had only taken one or two stands on the issues at issue). If attacks on Kerry's war record were successful it was not because the DNC didn't "build a Democratic brand" or because they failed to "counter the GOP's marketing machine," it was because Kerry's campaign refused to answer its attackers.

The Democrats' constant search for an excuse ("It was the gay marriage initiatives!" Kerry lost Ohio because Republican intimidation kept 120,000 minority voters away from the polls!") belies their lack of self examination. They refuse to consider the possibility that the public rejected them not because of a marketing gap, but because they have a poor product. It is inconceivable to them that when presented with a clear choice between Republican and Democrat values, the public generally chooses the former.

By the Democrats' logic, Krispy Kreme is successful because they run effective nationwide advertising, and the fact that their doughnuts taste like angel kisses has nothing to do with it.

That is not to say that professed values alone are enough to win an election. George Bush I, for example, demonstrated that a Republican who acts like a Democrat will get beaten by the real thing. However, all the email lists in the world are not going to be enough to convince a majority of the voting public to choose government centralization, protectionism, and moral relativism over individualism, free markets, and traditional moral values. Or, put another way, no amount of savvy packaging can turn goat turds into, well, Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

Therefore, in an altruistic attempt to assist the Democrats achieve their goal of effective marketing, I give my official endorsement to Howard Dean for DNC Chair. I can't think of anything that could help the Republicans more than moving the Democrat party further to the left while taking advantage of new ways to more effectively communicate their liberal principles.
Centinel 12:35 PM #


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