Friday, January 28, 2005

Social Security Attack Ads

Average Guy (not a redneck, just a decent looking middle-class guy)sitting on his couch watching a TV. Kids running in and out of the house.

Wife calls out from the kitchen: "Honey, the privatized Social Security account is due."

Husband: "Gee, Honey, I just don't know whether we should go for the hedge funds or the junk bonds this time. What do you think?"

Wife: "Oh, I don't know hon. Maybe we should call the family stockbroker."

Husband looks into camera dumbfounded: "Uh, family stockbroker?"

CAPTION ACROSS SCREEN: Privatizing Social Security is for People Who Don't Need It. Count on the party that created it to save it. THE DEMOCRATS

Go Ahead, give it a try-Add yours in the Comments Section...

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Attack Ad of the Day- The Torture Guy

Black screen with Voiceover: "Ever wonder why we're having so much trouble convincing Iraqis that we're on their side? Well, maybe it has something to do with this...."

Screen fades to shots of Iraqi prisoner abuse fading into one another every few seconds as the Voiceover continues...

"Who's responsible for this? The same man that George Bush now wants to become the top law enforcement officer in the nation."

Screen fades to black as Voiceover continues, "Is this the kind of people we are? Call your senator today to ask them to stop the nomination of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General. Don't let this...."

Fade back to torture shot.

"...continue to be the face of America."

Monday, January 17, 2005

ATTACK AD- Martin's Dream

Footage of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. proclaiming "I have a dream.."

Cut to bombs going off on urban streets of Iraq. Frightened Iraqis running towards the camera.

Back to MLK, "I have a dream..."

Back to Iraqis. Headline Superimposed: "WMD search abandoned. No weapons found."

Back to MLK, "I have a dream..."

Cut to Tsunami footage, people fleeing the wave as it washes into their streets.Headline superimposed, "US Criticized for being 'stingy' on Tsunami aid."

Back to MLK,"I have a dream..."

Fade to black.

Thursday, January 13, 2005


ESSAY ON COMMUNICATION: (dozens of "4s" on dKos)

It's About Leadership, Stupid
by jmckay

I am a trial lawyer, son of a preacher, and a product of the "heartland." I've spent approximately 1/2 of my life in the midwest and 1/2 in New England. In both places, my job as a public defender has required me to persuade the average citizens who serve on juries to treat my clients fairly. This is no small task since my clients are invariably from the "wrong side of the tracks," and charged with something so horrible that the state is literally trying to execute them. These experiences have taught me something about how regular people think and how progressives can appeal to them as we try to turn our country around. Here's what I think:

  1. People take their civic responsibilities seriously, whether it's voting on a verdict or voting for president.
  2. People want to and will do what they believe to be right.
  3. Some people fall clearly on one side of the ideological spectrum and they are not persuadable to the other side. They will vote guilty or not guilty, Republican or Democratic, regardless of the facts that are presented to them.
  4. Most people fall in the middle, and they are perplexed and frightened about how they should vote.Their fears are exacerbated by their own knowledge that they are poorly informed about what's going on beyond the relatively small boundaries of their own day to day world.
  5. People in the middle resolve their doubts by looking for guidance, reassurance, and confidence from others.
  6. The lawyer or candidate that can state his/her position simply and powerfully will provide that reassurance and win the middle.
    Rule 6 applies, even if people in the middle disagree with the lawyer or candidate on specific issues.
  7. The lawyer or candidate who wins the middle wins the case or the election.
  8. These rules apply regardless of whether you are trying your case in Missouri or Connecticut.

The Republicans learned these lessons with Reagan. George W. has perfected the style. He doesn't know much, but he makes it clear where he stands on the two or three things that he knows people are concerned about. This is reassuring to the middle and they resolve their doubts in his favor. Add in the Rove/Cheney disinformation machine simultaneously cranking up their fears and you have a winning combination.

Democrats need to learn these lessons too, and accept them as inalterable truths about the human beings they are trying to persuade. This is not to say that we should shun complexity in our thinking and analysis of the issues. It is only to say that if you want to win the average citizen in the middle, you need to learn how to communicate with them like a leader-clearly, simply and strongly. Bill Clinton did this better than anyone, but you don't have to be Clinton for it to work. W. can barely speak, but he has incredible discipline and clarity in his message.

Americans want leadership above all else. They will vote for the person who appears to be the best leader, even if they disagree with him/her on the issues. The Bush's and Reagan have proven this again and again. It happens because they are perceived as leaders, and they are perceived as leaders because they have learned that communication is the essence of leadership.

Dukakis and Kerry didn't lose because they were intellectuals from Massachusetts. They didn't lose because the public disagreed with them on the issues. They lost because they couldn't select the two or three things that people in the middle care about and communicate their positions clearly and powerfully. For people in the middle, they failed to lead.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

International Choices - Tsunami Aid

Black screen, fading to American flag flapping in the breeze.

Voiceover: "There are times when America has been called upon to help the world. "

"In World War I, we came to the aid of Europe. "

Fade to black and white footage of troops in World War I, slogging through Europe with cassons in tow.

Voiceover: "In World War II, we did it again."

Fade to scratchy color footage of US soldiers being wildly cheered while riding down the Champs d'Elise during the liberation of Paris in World War II.

Voiceover: "Today, the world needs us again."

Fade to newspaper headline, "120,000 die in Asian tidal wave, epidemics feared", superimposed over footage of massive destruction shots from Asia.

Voiceover: "Where are we?"

Hard cut to footage of insurgents burning American flags and chanting in Iraq.
Voiceover: "Have we made the right choices?"

Fade to black with title and voiceover saying: "If you think our country's on the wrong track, vote Democratic in 2006."

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.